Have you ever noticed how often the word “sing or sang” is noted throughout scripture? Psalm 89 Ethan said he would sing continually about the Lord’s faithful deeds. “The heavens also praise his amazing deeds as well.” Job referenced this same thought: When the morning stars sang in chorus and all the sons of God shouted for joy. In Chronicles 16 and Psalm 105, the authors note: Sing to him! Make music to him. Tell about all his miraculous deeds. We should be praising God for he is Lord among the heavenly beings, a God who is honored in the great angelic assembly. At the birth of our Savior, the vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God.
The author Ethen exalted God in word and song. Paul told the Colossians to exalt God by exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God.
One author put it like this: “live your life in praise to God.” In psalm 113 we read that God is higher than anything or anyone, outshining everything you see in the skies.
What is your favorite hymn or praise song that you sing to give God praise?
We are learning more and more about the power of prayer in the lives of believers. Yet there will always be those who rebuff God and refuse to bow the knee or utter words of praise to Him. They are like the men in Romans 1:20 who see the evidence of his power and His love, yet deny him. Just like the psalmist, we go before Him to ask: “Why, Lord, do you stand afar off?” Why do you not remove these evil men?
The answer is that God is full of compassion, mercy and his patience is far beyond ours. He continues to offer evidence until like Pharaoh; they have hardened their hearts beyond the point of no return. Then, He allows the waves of death to come, and like the people in Noah’s day, they realize it is too late. Their ears were seared beyond hearing the gospel message and so they die and enter Torments where they meet the rich man of Luke 16, who said, don’t let them come here.
But, even as believers, we also often fail to stop and praise God for things like pandemics. We are like Peter, whose eyes were on Jesus as he stepped out of the boat but then let the winds whistle and the roar of the water take our attention. We see the evidence of his power, yet hear God ask: Why don’t you trust me and my plans?
Easter was a glorious reminder that Christ rose from the
dead and that because of that we have hope and will rise one day and meet Him
in the clouds. As we read this list of unpronounceable names we are reminded that
only Christ has been raised. Until then men will still die and will not experience
the resurrection until our risen Christ returns. We will join many in the
sacred graveyards and the living will only have a gravestone and memories. Why
did the Chronicler record so many unpronounceable names? Why did he register
the names of Israel’s enemies? Why are there so few women’s names? So what are
we to glean from this sacred graveyard?
The Chronicler wants us to know that life is short, eternity
is long, and God has revealed His plan for our redemption. Woven in this chain of people, we find that
God sent His son born of a woman to redeem those who were under the law. Some
bowed the knee and whispered God save me for there is no other name under
heaven whereby we are saved. We are saved not from perishable seed but
imperishable. No matter how great our first birth privilege or heritage is, it
does not secure our salvation for by no works are we justified, but by His
One day all of us will stand before the Lamb of God when the
books are opened. To some, they will hear well done, thou good and faithful
servant; but to others, they will hear–depart from me I never knew you.
This is a sobering thought. Consider your decision for Christ today.
I hope you will come along with me as we venture forth in the Word of God daily. I have been writing these devotionals for 7 yrs now without missing a day. I am up to Judges (my least favorite book~) Tomorrow we start the book of Ruth. *smile* I am following the Daily Bible reading plan from Bible.org
Judges 18-19 As the Israelites moved farther and farther away from Yahweh, people began to look for other means to bring them success. Unfortunately, the principle of pursuing God’s kingdom and his righteousness has taken a back seat. Meet Micah, whose name means “who is like God” as an example. He lived in the time when Israel had no king, and each man did what he considered right. He lived just a stone’s throw from the tent of God in Shiloh, but God’s word and principles were far from his memories of a holy lifestyle. Instead, if someone stole from you and you had the opportunity to steal back, it was rewarded with words of affirmation. How far they have fallen to have forgotten the Commandment: “Thou shalt not steal.” Micah steals, but instead of correcting him, his own mother “blesses” and has an idol made to honor his treachery. Then Micah bribed the Levite to stay with him offering ten pieces of silver per year. That loyalty lasted until a better offer came to the Levite. Micah then met his match in the Danites, who plundered an innocent town “just because” they were little and peaceful and when he faced them was told to “back off,” or he would face the same consequences.
These stories remind us of gang wars and the memory of Al
Capone; bribery, murder, payoffs, and more. When God is absent, men’s hearts
are evil continually as they look for prosperity, and the wealth and prosperity
gospel takes precedence. We read about it in Noah’s day and now again here in
Micah’s day and fast forward to today.
It is stories like this that should drive us back to God and
His word. Proverbs 3: do not let mercy and truth leave you; bind them around
your neck. Acknowledge God and follow Him in all your ways, and he will make
your paths straight.
There is a pattern that becomes very evident in this book and it is what we read in Judges 10:1 “The Israelites cried out for help to the Lord: “We have sinned against you. We abandoned our God and worshiped the Baals.” How many times does a nation have to walk around the wilderness to get the message that God is God and He will not share His glory with another? The patience of God is mind-boggling! And here we are in the 21st century viewing this same pattern and God is still patient with us today.
Judges 9-12 reveals that once again the nation started out correctly but soon diminished into chaos and idolatry. It is then that they come back to God in tears and repentance only to remain that way until the judge died and the people are left without a godly leader. Yet the patience of God is remarkable. He allows us to wallow in the mire but is ready to forgive and reinstate us to a higher state. How often are we like Thomas Jefferson when we come to chapters like these? When Jefferson found a passage he didn’t like he took scissors to it. But, we are not to be like that because God has placed these chapters in here for a reason that we might learn and apply biblical principles to our lives.
What lessons is God teaching you as you read this book?
Joshua 14: How would you describe yourself? Are you a patient person or impatient?
Caleb is a hero that has been on the sidelines waiting. Waiting is the hardest test God has given to us in so many ways. We want the answer now, but Isaiah tells us that God’s ways are higher than ours. His answers are, in fact, so precious that we can claim the principle that Jeremiah told the exiles in Babylon. Jeremiah said to them, listen, God has a plan; to prosper you, to show you how to become His treasure. God has a plan for a future that will shine like the heavens because it will be filled promises.
Caleb had waited patiently for 40+ years to see the Promised Land. He and Joshua were the only two of the Egyptian slaves to believe God’s promise. Because of the unbelief of others, they had to wait. Sometimes that is just like us. Our dreams seem to be on hold. Add to that, God has us do laps around the wilderness with others who refuse to believe in our vision. Why does he do that? He wants us in the perfect spot for His plan to come to fruition. It might be hard, uncomfortable—think camping night after night, eating manna day after day.
Are you waiting for the birth of a vision that you have held onto what seems forever? Take a lesson from Caleb. God’s timing is perfect; His plan is higher and grander than you could ever imagine.
Psalm 37 reminds us to trust in the Lord and don’t fret! God rewards those who rely on Him. That is what happened to Caleb.