“The Bezalel’s and Oholiab’s”

Praising God for His helpers

Exodus 28-31 No matter where we are or what we are called to do, we need those extra hands to assist us. Some are gifted to pray, others to do manual work, others to be those silent and humble assistants behind the scenes. God had set aside Aaron in eternity past to be his priest along with his sons. Three times God says that Aaron and his sons are to minister to Him as His priests. [Ex 28:1;29:1;30:30].

As our wise God, He also chose assistants for Aaron and his sons; Bezalel and Oholiab. He anointed them with the Spirit of God in understanding in knowledge, all kinds of craftsmanship. He placed in their hearts and in their minds the instructions for making the holy garments as well as the instructions for making the holy Tabernacle. Together these two would lead in the building of the Tabernacle and making the holy woven garments for Aaron and his sons.

Just as then, so today, God has prepared the Bezalel’s and the Oholiab’s to assist each of us in some way. Will you stop and praise God for them and pray specifically that they are a Joseph, a man of purity, and a Daniel, who resolved not to defile himself?   Would you pray a blessing over them?

When in a Quandary, seek God in Prayer!

When in a quandary seek God

Genesis 24 God hears the prayers of His servants

Not too many years ago in our country, it was common to place ads in publications offering oneself as a bride seeking a husband. In Genesis 24, we find the reverse. Abraham sends his trustworthy servant in search of a bride for his son, who is about forty years old at this time. Abraham secured his promise to “not acquire a wife for his son from the daughters of the Canaanites.” [Gen 24:3]  If God promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants, we wonder why he was so adamant about this stipulation. All we need to do is look back at the issue of Sodom and Gomorrah to see the reason why. Later we will see that God agreed with his decision because the sin of the Amorites/Canaanites was a stench in his nostrils.

Abraham had discipled this servant well as we see he sought the face of God in prayer for wisdom and discernment upon arriving at his destination. Do we seek the face of God when we are in a situation where we do not know where to turn or whom to trust as he did? God honored that prayer in bringing Rebekah to offer him a drink and to water the camels; no small feat for ten camels would need twenty-five gallons of water apiece!

The servant prayed much like Solomon: “But respond favorably to your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O Lord my God. Answer the desperate prayer your servant is presenting to you today.” [1Ki 8:28]

“A Steadfast Faith”

Jesus prays for you

Luke 22 As the disciples argued over who is the greatest, Jesus reminded them that the key is not their greatness but their faithfulness. Jesus remarks: “pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all [all disciples], to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, [in particular] that your faith may not fail.” 

It is when we are self-confident in our faith that Satan comes to sift us. Then we must ask ourselves what is most important. Do we answer that our faith remains strong? Satan is audacious, arrogant, and is the father of lies, and he comes telling us that our faith will not carry us through. Note that Jesus’ concern is not about one’s failure to succeed but faith to remain steadfast.  We have two avenues of protection in times like this. We can remind Jesus of his promise to intercede/pray for us that our faith not fail and remind Satan that “The Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will; [Rom 8] that Christ is at the right hand of God….interceding for us. [Rom 8] that He always lives to intercede for us.[Heb 7] and that we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One [1Jn 2]

Beloved, Jesus prays specifically for you and me that our faith not fail. Take time today to thank Him for His prayers.

Nehemiah’s Epitaph

Nehemiah's epitaph

Nehemiah 11 to 13, Ps 126 Nehemiah reminds God! Do we?

Over and over, one refrain is used by Nehemiah “remember me, O God” for what I have done. Does God forget? No, He does not. In Exodus and throughout, God remembers His covenant. Why then does Nehemiah tell God to remember? Could it be that it is a reminder to each one of us lest we forget? Psalm 139 says, “You have searched me and known me.” God knows all, but we are forgetful.

Nehemiah doesn’t say reward me but remember me. Malachi records that, “A scroll was prepared before him in which were recorded the names of those who respected the Lord and honored his name.” [Mal 3:16]
As we step apart from Nehemiah today, let us look forward to that time when we meet Nehemiah in the heavenly temple as the faithful servant of God who only asked one thing: “Remember me, O God.”

What an outstanding epitaph of the legacy of this faithful servant.

“The Trilogy”

The Trilogy ...Ezra. Esther, Nehemiah examples of prayer

Nehemiah 1 to 5 Ezra, Esther, Nehemiah all lived in or around the palace in Susa, yet as Moses taught, they were separated religiously from the pagan idolatry of the land. They were examples of fasting and prayer before executing their duties, and God blessed them to serve.

We live in a land that idolizes celebrities who do not live a life pleasing to God. John wrote: “They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s perspective, and the world listens to them.” [1Jo 4:5]  Yet, Ezra-Esther-Nehemiah chose to live “in the world but not of the world,” which is a paraphrase of Jesus’ words; Joh 17:16 “They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world.”

A page out of Nehemiah’s diary might have read; today, I read from the Word, prayed from the Word, and lived by the Word. Nehemiah did nothing until he prayed before he entered the king’s presence, prayed as he faced the enemies, prayed and thanked God for the work he was doing.

What does our prayer life look like?

“Do We Have a Daniel Heart?”

God is God

Daniel 7 to 9 Daniel has been in Babylon for a v-e-r-y long time. In that time, he has faithfully served kings as but first and foremost; he reverently continues to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Both Ezekiel and Daniel have visions as they stand by a body of water. They not only ‘saw’ but ‘heard’ the words of the vision. How blessed we are in this century to ‘see’ with heavenly eyes the future through these prophets and hear the meaning. God’s purpose is to know and understand that God is God and there is no other. Isaiah wrote: His deeds and plans are superior to ours, and yet He considers each of us as He orchestrates our day and our future. Again, just as Ezekiel, John, and Isaiah, Daniel fell to the ground as he recognized he was in the presence of God’s holy messenger, Gabriel.

As Daniel arose, the vision was so real that he fell to his knees in prayer. “O Lord, great and awesome God!” You are faithful while we have been unfaithful. You are righteous, but we are unrighteous. You are exalted, but we have been humiliated. Therefore, you were right to judge our sin.

 Daniel has recorded all of this so that we might recoil in our sin and exalt He who is the Lord God Almighty. Isaiah the prophet wrote: “seek the Lord while He may be found.” [Is 55:6]

The Righteous Shall Prevail!

God's justice is sure

Daniel 4 to 6 Daniel served under several kings and knew the ways of God because he spent time with God three times a day. Nebuchadnezzar was a wise king, but foolishly, he ignored the advice to repent of his sin, and God called him to account. Daniel interpreted the visual lesson of the handwriting on the wall for Belshazzar. Daniel boldly told him that he had not learned the lesson of “he who is prideful will be humbled,” from the experience of his grandfather. And then was Darius, who is a prime example of one who is the fool extraordinaire. Signing a law then regretting it was his major blunder. Wicked men of his court sought to elevate themselves and demote Daniel with an extreme measure of death in the lion’s den. Yet, Daniel remained steadfast just as Paul told the Corinthians: “be ye steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord.” [1Cor 15:58]

Daniel survived to live another day, but the wicked men and their families became breakfast for the hungry lions. This is a truth that will not change: sin has its consequences, and often our families pay the price along with us.

Stay faithful to God, stay humble, because it is the righteous that shall prevail.

The Power of Prayer

Praying with others

Daniel 1 to 3 When confronted with what seems an impossible request, what do you choose to do? Many are standing up or choosing to be vaccinated. What do you do? Do as Daniel and the three Hebrews did, go to God in prayer. “O God of my fathers, I acknowledge and glorify you, for you have bestowed wisdom and power on me. Now you have enabled me to understand what we requested from you.” [Dan 2:23]

First, Daniel acknowledged who God is. Secondly, he glorified God for what He can or will do. Thirdly it seems he waited through the night for an answer, and when it came, he honored God for revealing the answer.  Fourthly, Daniel did not face this problem alone. He sought the help of his three best friends because, ultimately, it would affect them all. “He asked them to pray for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery so that he and his friends would not be destroyed along with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. ” [Dan 2:18] 

Who are your praying brothers/sisters that will come alongside you to pray you through what seems an impossible request? 

Mockers and Scoffers Beware!

God is calling us to be prepared

Joel 1 to 3 Joel describes the advanced guard of locusts sent to destroy the land and crops. Judah has faced yet another onslaught of the enemy Babylon as he describes the locusts. Whether real or imaginary they are those things that come to seek, kill and destroy. How like our arch enemy Satan! 

Secondly, Joel now describes the vivid and impending visitation of the Lord. (MacArthur) God is not finished yet with His people. He now calls his people to a fast, a sacred assembly, and to cry out to the Lord for “perhaps God will grant a reprieve.” [Joel 2:13]  Joel speaks of the day of the Lord, and Peter references that in his first sermon in Acts 2, where he says that He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh “in those days.”

Do we feel the Spirit’s presence, calling us to repent and to fast? Today as then, there are the scoffers, the mockers regarding God’s call for repentance. Has the Spirit sanctified us because “in the last day scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges. “[2Peter 3:3]

Are we prepared? 

The Pure in Heart

Pray for a pure heart

Ezekiel 44 God is very clear about those who will seek His presence. Paul wrote to the Ephesian church; remember you, who are called the “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision,” were without the Messiah, alienated from the covenant of promise, without hope, and without God. But, now you are brought near by the blood of Christ.” Therefore, in this new relationship, remember the price that has been paid for your heart circumcision and be ye holy as you seek entrance into His Most Holy Place.

The Lord is clear: Thus says the Lord GOD, “No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of Israel, shall enter My sanctuary.” [Ezek 44:9] It isn’t just that we are not a Jew by birth, but it is that regardless of Jew or Gentile, our hearts need circumcising. We must seek cleansing from our defilement, for only the pure in heart will see God. [Matt 5:8]

Once a heart is cleansed, one’s ears can hear and take in spiritual truths, and our lips can speak that which is right and pure.  It begins in the heart, the seat of our affections. The psalmist wrote: “Create in me a pure heart..” [Ps 51:10] Have you prayed and asked God for a pure heart?