The Story of Job. – Day 13


Arbitrator vs Intercessor? Do you have one?

Do you have an arbitrator between you and God? Do you think one exists? Do you have someone who can be your adjudicator · arbiter · judge · umpire · referee · assistant referee · linesman · line judge · mediator · conciliator · intervenor · intercessor · go-between · negotiator · peacemaker? Do you have an intercessor between you and God? Do you think one exists? Do you have someone who can be your mediator · moderator · go-between · negotiator · middleman · intermediary · intervenor · interceder · arbitrator · arbiter · conciliator · reconciler · broker · honest broker · petitioner · supplicant · liaison officer · peacemaker? Have you heard of Jesus? Have you met Jesus? Have you had an encounter with Jesus? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for me and all the believers. Is He interceding for you too? Do you believe?

Ever tried to debate or argue about something you know little about? Ever tried to prove a point that you didn’t have all the facts on? Did it happen out of hopelessness or despair? Did it happen out of pride or arrogance? How will you know the truth? How will you find the truth? Do you realize that it is the truth that will set you free?

Today’s reading from God’s Word from Job 9 starts with an interesting case that has Job saying that there is no arbitrator between God and man. We will all one day come before the judgment seat of God to give an answer for the life we live and it will have an impact on our next steps. Believing in Jesus gives us eternal life with God and how we have decided to steward our life will impact our role or responsibilities then.


For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

2 Corinthians 5:10

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Romans 14:12

Today’s reading from Job 9:

‘Then Job answered and said, “Yes, I know it is true. But how can a mortal man be right before God? If one should want to contend or dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times . God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; Who has [ever] defied or challenged Him and remained unharmed? It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know it, When He overturns them in His anger; Who shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble; Who commands the sun, and it does not shine; Who seals up the stars [from view]; Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea; Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the [vast starry] spaces of the south; Who does great things, [beyond understanding,] unfathomable, Yes, marvelous and wondrous things without number. Behold, He passes by me, and I do not see Him; He moves past me, but I do not perceive Him. Behold, He snatches away; who can restrain or turn Him back? Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’ “God will not turn back His anger; The [proud] helpers of Rahab [the arrogant monster of the sea] bow under Him. How can I answer Him [and plead my case], Choosing my words [to reason] with Him? For though I were righteous, I could not answer. I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge. If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice. For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills and saturates me with bitterness. If it is a matter of strength and power, behold, He is mighty! And if of justice, who can summon and challenge Him? Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty; Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty. [Though] I am blameless, I do not care about myself; I despise my life. It is all one; therefore I say, ‘He destroys [both] the blameless and the wicked.’ When [His] scourge kills suddenly, He mocks at the despair of the innocent. The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blind to justice]. If it is not He, then who is it [that is responsible for all this injustice]? “Now my days are swifter than a runner; They vanish, they see no good. They pass by like the [swift] boats made of reeds, Like an eagle that swoops down on its prey. If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up,’ I am afraid of all my pains and worries [yet to come]; I know that You will not acquit me and leave me unpunished. I am accounted wicked and held guilty; Why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]? If I were to wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye, You would still plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes would hate me [and refuse to cover my foul body]. For God is not a [mere] man, as I am, that I may answer Him, That we may go to court and judgment together. There is no arbitrator between us, Who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were]. Let Him take His rod away from me, And let not the dread and fear of Him terrify me. Then I would speak [my defense] and not fear Him; But I am not like that in myself.’

Job 9

Today’s study of our reading comes from the following:



Study notes:

In Job’s pain and despair, he starts to question or seek a mediator to help his questions to God. Job was looking for answers to the injustice of the pain and suffering he was going thru. We read in today’s chapter from Job, how Job felt futility about being vindicated in the midst of his righteousness and having done nothing wrong. Job realized that he was unable to argue or discuss with God or even understand God’s ways and wonders if he can depend on God. We learn as we read as Job references the sea which was viewed as “a force of evil” back then whereas the stars were worshiped by some. Job realizes that the focus needs to be on the creator not the created, how God’s greatness and wisdom would ensure God’s victory even against a case with man. We learn how Job is willing to pray to God and ask God for help, but he wouldn’t argue with God. God’s will and way are perfect and unchangeable. We learn about the despair of the day for Job as painful as they were. We learn how Job feels that in the midst of all of this, even if Job put on a happy face or put on a happy mood, it would be fake and would be held against him. Job speaks to how God must have found him guilty and so what’s the point of going on or trying to prove otherwise. We see how bad it has gotten for Job that he was losing all hope and falling into deeper despair. So Job declares that there is no arbitrator who could stand between him and God who would be able to bring this situation to a resolution. He would like to find an advocate, an arbitrator, an umpire, or a referee to help in this situation but could not find someone to help find him justice.


Where are you at today? Are you looking for an advocate, an arbitrator, an umpire, or a referee for your life? Do you realize that God realized that we couldn’t do it on our own and so He sent His one and only Son Jesus? Do you realize that when Jesus ascended back up to heaven that He didn’t leave us alone, He sent the Holy Spirit? Do you realize the names we have for them both?

Found the following list at 32 Names of the Holy Spirit Used In Scripture

  • Breath Of The Almighty – Job 33:4 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the life-giving breath of God!
  • 2.Counselor & Comforter – John 14:16,26; 15:26 and Romans 8:26 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our counselor and He gives us strength!
  • Spirit of Counsel – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit will counsel us and teach us as we grow in Christ!
  • Eternal Spirit – Hebrews 9:14 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the eternal God!
  • Free Spirit – Psalm 51:12 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is a generous and willing spirit!
  • God – Acts 5:3-4 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is God as the Third Person of the Trinity!
  • Good Spirit – Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 143:10 – Meaning- God’s Spirit will teach us and lead us in goodness!
  • Holy Spirit – Psalm 51:11, Luke 11:13, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30 – Meaning-God is the Spirit and He is Holy! He is the Spirit of Holiness.
  • Lord – 2 Corinthians 3:16-17 – Meaning- As the Third Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is recognized and worshiped as the Lord!
  • Power of the Highest – Luke 1:35 – Meaning- The Spirit of God’s Power, He is the greatest power!
  • Spirit of Might – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning- He is the Spirit of strength.
  • Spirit of Adoption – Romans 8:15 – Meaning- By this Spirit we are made heirs of God
  • Spirit of Burning – Isaiah 4:4 – Meaning- He is the fire of purification!
  • Spirit of Judgment – Isaiah 4:4, 28:6 – Meaning-The Spirit brings conviction and judgment.
  • Spirit of Christ (Jesus Christ) – Romans 8:9, 1 Peter 1:11 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit shared between Jesus and God
  • Spirit of Glory – 1 Peter 4:14 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit always gives Glory to God!
  • Spirit of God – Genesis 1:2, 1 Corinthians 2:11, Job 33:4 -Meaning- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Triune God!
  • Spirit of Yahweh, (Spirit of the Lord Yahweh) – Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 61:1 – Meaning- The Spirit has the sacred name for God-Yahweh!
  • Spirit of Grace – Zechariah 12:10, Hebrews 10:29 – Meaning- He is a Spirit of Grace!
  • Spirit of Knowledge – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit has clarity of Mind.
  • Spirit of Truth – John 14:17, 15:26 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is about truth not falsehood!
  • Spirit of Life – Romans 8:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit gives life!
  • Spirit of Understanding – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is understanding!
  • Spirit of Wisdom – Isaiah 11:2, Ephesians 1:17 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is wise!
  • Spirit of the Living God – 2 Corinthians 3:3 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the One True God who is the God of Life!
  • Spirit of Prophecy – Revelation 19:10 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit inspires true prophecy!
  • Spirit of the Father – Matthew 10:20 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is shared between the Father and the Son.
  • Spirit of the Fear of the Lord – Isaiah 11;2 – Meaning- The Spirit of the Spirit of reverence toward our God.
  • Spirit of the Lord (God) – Acts 5:9 -Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the presence of the Lord.
  • Spirit of the Son – Galatians 4:6 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit shared between the Son and the Father.
  • Spirit – Matthew 4:1, John 3:6, 1 Timothy 4;1 – Meaning- Sometimes simply referenced as the “Spirit”.
  • Spirit of Revelation – Ephesians 1:17 – Meaning-God reveals His truth through the Holy Spirit!

Looking again I found an even more interesting list based on today’s subject: What are the names and titles of the Holy Spirit?

  • Author of Scripture: (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16) The Bible is inspired, literally “God-breathed,” by the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. The Spirit moved the authors of all 66 books to record exactly what He breathed into their hearts and minds. As a ship is moved through the water by wind in its sails, so the biblical writers were borne along by the Spirit’s impulse.
  • Comforter / Counselor / Advocate: (Isaiah 11:2; John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7) All three words are translations of the Greek parakletos, from which we get “Paraclete,” another name for the Spirit. When Jesus went away, His disciples were greatly distressed because they had lost His comforting presence. But He promised to send the Spirit to comfort, console, and guide those who belong to Christ. The Spirit also “bears witness” with our spirits that we belong to Him and thereby assures us of salvation.
  • Convicter of Sin: (John 16:7-11) The Spirit applies the truths of God to men’s own minds in order to convince them by fair and sufficient arguments that they are sinners. He does this through the conviction in our hearts that we are not worthy to stand before a holy God, that we need His righteousness, and that judgment is certain and will come to all men one day. Those who deny these truths rebel against the conviction of the Spirit.
  • Deposit / Seal / Earnest: (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14) The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on His people, His claim on us as His very own. The gift of the Spirit to believers is a down payment on our heavenly inheritance, which Christ has promised us and secured for us at the cross. It is because the Spirit has sealed us that we are assured of our salvation. No one can break the seal of God.
  • Guide: (John 16:13) Just as the Spirit guided the writers of Scripture to record truth, so does He promise to guide believers to know and understand that truth. God’s truth is “foolishness” to the world, because it is “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Those who belong to Christ have the indwelling Spirit who guides us into all we need to know in regard to spiritual matters. Those who do not belong to Christ have no “interpreter” to guide them to know and understand God’s Word.
  • Indweller of Believers: (Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19) The Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of God’s people, and that indwelling is the distinguishing characteristic of the regenerated person. From within believers, He directs, guides, comforts, and influences us, as well as producing in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He provides the intimate connection between God and His children. All true believers in Christ have the Spirit residing in their hearts.
  • Intercessor: (Romans 8:26) One of the most encouraging and comforting aspects of the Holy Spirit is His ministry of intercession on behalf of those He inhabits. Because we often don’t know what or how to pray when we approach God, the Spirit intercedes and prays for us. He intercedes for us “with wordless groans,” so that when we are oppressed and overwhelmed by trials and the cares of life, He comes alongside to lend assistance as He sustains us before the throne of grace.
  • Revealer / Spirit of Truth: (John 14:17; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16) Jesus promised that, after the resurrection, the Holy Spirit would come to “guide you into all truth.” Because of the Spirit in our hearts, we are able to understand truth, especially in spiritual matters, in a way that non-Christians cannot. In fact, the truth the Spirit reveals to us is “foolishness” to them, and they cannot understand it. But we have the mind of Christ in the Person of His Spirit within us.
  • Spirit of God / the Lord / Christ: (Matthew 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Peter 1:11) These names remind us that the Spirit of God is indeed part of the triune godhead and that He is just as much God as the Father and the Son. He is first revealed to us at the creation, when He was “hovering over the waters,” denoting His part in creation, along with that of Jesus who “made all things” (John 1:1-3). We see this same Trinity of God again at Jesus’ baptism, when the Spirit descends on Jesus and the voice of the Father is heard.
  • Spirit of Life: (Romans 8:2) The phrase “Spirit of life” means the Holy Spirit is the one who produces or gives life, not that He initiates salvation, but rather that He imparts newness of life. When we receive eternal life through Christ, the Spirit provides the spiritual food that is the sustenance of the spiritual life. Here again, we see the triune God at work. We are saved by the Father through the work of the Son, and that salvation is sustained by the Holy Spirit.
  • Teacher: (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13) Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach His disciples “all things” and bring to their remembrance the things He said while He was with them. The writers of the New Testament were moved by the Spirit to remember and understand the instructions Jesus gave for the building and organizing of the Church, the doctrines regarding Himself, the directives for holy living, and the revelation of things to come.
  • Witness: (Romans 8:16; Hebrews 2:4; 10:15) The Spirit is called “witness” because He verifies and testifies to the fact that we are children of God, that Jesus and the disciples who performed miracles were sent by God, and that the books of the Bible are divinely inspired. Further, by giving the gifts of the Spirit to believers, He witnesses to us and the world that we belong to God.

It is amazing what we can learn from the past. We can choose to either learn from it or be doomed to repeat it.


So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Will you allow God’s good plan to direct you?


God’s got a plan. He has a plan for you. Are you willing to receive it? Are you willing to hear it and follow it? Are you willing to hear it and walk it out? Are you willing to wait upon God in order to get the details you need for today’s part of the plan? Are you willing to start even if you don’t have the full plan?

I remember a time when at a men’s retreat God called me to join the board of the homeowners association. I knew he wanted me involved in the community but didn’t know what that would look like but out of obedience I stepped into it. I can only imagine the fear or doubt that could have or would have been there had I know what the next three years was going to look like. God gave me enough information to step up, step out, and start going in the direction He had planned. To think how over those years as secretary, vice-president, and then eventually president of a homeowners association for over ten thousand people, needing to change what roofing material would be allowed, what colors of pain would be allowed, how to handle the insurance prices, how to handle the security/safety concerns, how to handle to billing how to work thru staffing and management, how to handle to pools, how to handle the internal board conflicts, and so much more that may have or could have swayed me from stepping up or stepping in to such a large thing at that point in my life.

I learned that God gives us enough detail to start going and helps us to walk through it, teaching and training, leading and guiding, preparing and encouraging us through it all. He has been able to do this even more times since and right now is a time I need wisdom in regards to planning as my roles and responsibilities have grown and changed. Going from an individual contributor who had to support the full team to now being a manager of incredible staff and the work and requests that are coming in growing even faster, the need to for a vision, a mission, and a plan becomes even more important. As I turn to God’s Word this morning and pray, I await the instruction and direction to be able to take that step up and step out so that we can step into God’s plan and His flow for what is yet to come.


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets us started with 1 Kings 7 today.

‘Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction. One of Solomon’s buildings was called the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. There were four rows of cedar pillars, and great cedar beams rested on the pillars. The hall had a cedar roof. Above the beams on the pillars were forty-five side rooms, arranged in three tiers of fifteen each. On each end of the long hall were three rows of windows facing each other. All the doorways and doorposts had rectangular frames and were arranged in sets of three, facing each other. Solomon also built the Hall of Pillars, which was 75 feet long and 45 feet wide. There was a porch in front, along with a canopy supported by pillars. Solomon also built the throne room, known as the Hall of Justice, where he sat to hear legal matters. It was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling. Solomon’s living quarters surrounded a courtyard behind this hall, and they were constructed the same way. He also built similar living quarters for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married. From foundation to eaves, all these buildings were built from huge blocks of high-quality stone, cut with saws and trimmed to exact measure on all sides. Some of the huge foundation stones were 15 feet long, and some were 12 feet long. The blocks of high-quality stone used in the walls were also cut to measure, and cedar beams were also used. The walls of the great courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone, just like the walls of the inner courtyard of the Lord ’s Temple with its entry room. King Solomon then asked for a man named Huram to come from Tyre. He was half Israelite, since his mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father had been a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. Huram was extremely skillful and talented in any work in bronze, and he came to do all the metal work for King Solomon. Huram cast two bronze pillars, each 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference. For the tops of the pillars he cast bronze capitals, each 7 1 / 2 feet tall. Each capital was decorated with seven sets of latticework and interwoven chains. He also encircled the latticework with two rows of pomegranates to decorate the capitals over the pillars. The capitals on the columns inside the entry room were shaped like water lilies, and they were six feet tall. The capitals on the two pillars had 200 pomegranates in two rows around them, beside the rounded surface next to the latticework. Huram set the pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one toward the south and one toward the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz. The capitals on the pillars were shaped like water lilies. And so the work on the pillars was finished. Then Huram cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1 / 2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference. It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of decorative gourds. There were about six gourds per foot all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin. The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen, all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. The walls of the Sea were about three inches thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 11,000 gallons of water. Huram also made ten bronze water carts, each 6 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4 1 / 2 feet tall. They were constructed with side panels braced with crossbars. Both the panels and the crossbars were decorated with carved lions, oxen, and cherubim. Above and below the lions and oxen were wreath decorations. Each of these carts had four bronze wheels and bronze axles. There were supporting posts for the bronze basins at the corners of the carts; these supports were decorated on each side with carvings of wreaths. The top of each cart had a rounded frame for the basin. It projected 1 1 / 2 feet above the cart’s top like a round pedestal, and its opening was 2 1 / 4 feet across; it was decorated on the outside with carvings of wreaths. The panels of the carts were square, not round. Under the panels were four wheels that were connected to axles that had been cast as one unit with the cart. The wheels were 2 1 / 4 feet in diameter and were similar to chariot wheels. The axles, spokes, rims, and hubs were all cast from molten bronze. There were handles at each of the four corners of the carts, and these, too, were cast as one unit with the cart. Around the top of each cart was a rim nine inches wide. The corner supports and side panels were cast as one unit with the cart. Carvings of cherubim, lions, and palm trees decorated the panels and corner supports wherever there was room, and there were wreaths all around. All ten water carts were the same size and were made alike, for each was cast from the same mold. Huram also made ten smaller bronze basins, one for each cart. Each basin was six feet across and could hold 220 gallons of water. He set five water carts on the south side of the Temple and five on the north side. The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple. He also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls. So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord : the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals; the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars); the ten water carts holding the ten basins; the Sea and the twelve oxen under it; the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls. Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord , just as King Solomon had directed. The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. Solomon did not weigh all these things because there were so many; the weight of the bronze could not be measured. Solomon also made all the furnishings of the Temple of the Lord : the gold altar; the gold table for the Bread of the Presence; the lampstands of solid gold, five on the south and five on the north, in front of the Most Holy Place; the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of gold; the small bowls, lamp snuffers, bowls, ladles, and incense burners—all of solid gold; the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, with their fronts overlaid with gold. So King Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord . Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Lord ’s Temple.’

1 Kings 7

‘Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem ! Raise the alarm on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the Lord is upon us. It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again. Fire burns in front of them, and flames follow after them. Ahead of them the land lies as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Behind them is nothing but desolation; not one thing escapes. They look like horses; they charge forward like warhorses. Look at them as they leap along the mountaintops. Listen to the noise they make—like the rumbling of chariots, like the roar of fire sweeping across a field of stubble, or like a mighty army moving into battle. Fear grips all the people; every face grows pale with terror. The attackers march like warriors and scale city walls like soldiers. Straight forward they march, never breaking rank. They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right position. They break through defenses without missing a step. They swarm over the city and run along its walls. They enter all the houses, climbing like thieves through the windows. The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is his mighty army, and they follow his orders. The day of the Lord is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive? That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the Lord your God as before. Blow the ram’s horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people— the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. Let the priests, who minister in the Lord ’s presence, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, “Spare your people, Lord ! Don’t let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don’t let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, ‘Has the God of Israel left them?’” Then the Lord will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land. The Lord will reply, “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy your needs. You will no longer be an object of mockery among the surrounding nations. I will drive away these armies from the north. I will send them into the parched wastelands. Those in the front will be driven into the Dead Sea, and those at the rear into the Mediterranean. The stench of their rotting bodies will rise over the land.” Surely the Lord has done great things! Don’t be afraid, O land. Be glad now and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things. Don’t be afraid, you animals of the field, for the wilderness pastures will soon be green. The trees will again be filled with fruit; fig trees and grapevines will be loaded down once more. Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil. The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced. Then you will know that I am among my people Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. Never again will my people be disgraced. “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike. And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth— blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the Lord has said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called.’

Joel 2

‘While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000. The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”’

Acts 4:1-12

‘But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.’

2 Peter 3:8-13

‘It is good to give thanks to the Lord , to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. You thrill me, Lord , with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord , what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts. Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, O Lord , will be exalted forever. Your enemies, Lord , will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered. But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents. But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord ’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”’

Psalms 92

Who is your advisor? Who are your advisors?


When faced with a decision do you have a group of people you would ask?


‘So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.’ – Proverbs 24:6 – https://my.bible.com/bible/116/PRO.24.6

‘Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.’ – Proverbs 15:22 – https://my.bible.com/bible/116/PRO.15.22

‘Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.’ – Proverbs 11:14 – https://my.bible.com/bible/116/PRO.11.14


When faced with a decision do you turn to God and ask God for wisdom?


5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1:5-6


We were never meant to go it alone. Do you have people of like mind that you can talk to and walk thru things with? Turn to God’s Word! Invite God into the situation! Meditate on God’s Word daily so that He is able to use it when you are in need of wisdom.


Today’s reading gets us started in 2 Samuel 20:

‘There happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant: “Down with the dynasty of David! We have no interest in the son of Jesse. Come on, you men of Israel, back to your homes!” So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed with their king and escorted him from the Jordan River to Jerusalem. When David came to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to look after the palace and placed them in seclusion. Their needs were provided for, but he no longer slept with them. So each of them lived like a widow until she died. Then the king told Amasa, “Mobilize the army of Judah within three days, and report back at that time.” So Amasa went out to notify Judah, but it took him longer than the time he had been given. Then David said to Abishai, “Sheba son of Bicri is going to hurt us more than Absalom did. Quick, take my troops and chase after him before he gets into a fortified town where we can’t reach him.” So Abishai and Joab, together with the king’s bodyguard and all the mighty warriors, set out from Jerusalem to go after Sheba. As they arrived at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa met them. Joab was wearing his military tunic with a dagger strapped to his belt. As he stepped forward to greet Amasa, he slipped the dagger from its sheath. “How are you, my cousin?” Joab said and took him by the beard with his right hand as though to kiss him. Amasa didn’t notice the dagger in his left hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it so that his insides gushed out onto the ground. Joab did not need to strike again, and Amasa soon died. Joab and his brother Abishai left him lying there and continued after Sheba. One of Joab’s young men shouted to Amasa’s troops, “If you are for Joab and David, come and follow Joab.” But Amasa lay in his blood in the middle of the road, and Joab’s man saw that everyone was stopping to stare at him. So he pulled him off the road into a field and threw a cloak over him. With Amasa’s body out of the way, everyone went on with Joab to capture Sheba son of Bicri. Meanwhile, Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel and eventually came to the town of Abel-beth-maacah. All the members of his own clan, the Bicrites, assembled for battle and followed him into the town. When Joab’s forces arrived, they attacked Abel-beth-maacah. They built a siege ramp against the town’s fortifications and began battering down the wall. But a wise woman in the town called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.” As he approached, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?” “I am,” he replied. So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.” “I’m listening,” he said. Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’ I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel. Why do you want to devour what belongs to the Lord ?” And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to devour or destroy your town! That’s not my purpose. All I want is a man named Sheba son of Bicri from the hill country of Ephraim, who has revolted against King David. If you hand over this one man to me, I will leave the town in peace.” “All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.” Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the ram’s horn and called his troops back from the attack. They all returned to their homes, and Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem. Now Joab was the commander of the army of Israel. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard. Adoniram was in charge of forced labor. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. Sheva was the court secretary. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests. And Ira, a descendant of Jair, was David’s personal priest.’

2 Samuel 20

‘This message was given concerning the Ammonites. This is what the Lord says: “Are there no descendants of Israel to inherit the land of Gad? Why are you, who worship Molech, living in its towns? In the days to come,” says the Lord , “I will sound the battle cry against your city of Rabbah. It will become a desolate heap of ruins, and the neighboring towns will be burned. Then Israel will take back the land you took from her,” says the Lord . “Cry out, O Heshbon, for the town of Ai is destroyed. Weep, O people of Rabbah! Put on your clothes of mourning. Weep and wail, hiding in the hedges, for your god Molech, with his priests and officials, will be hauled off to distant lands. You are proud of your fertile valleys, but they will soon be ruined. You trusted in your wealth, you rebellious daughter, and thought no one could ever harm you. But look! I will bring terror upon you,” says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Your neighbors will chase you from your land, and no one will help your exiles as they flee. But I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites in days to come. I, the Lord , have spoken.” This message was given concerning Edom. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “Is there no wisdom in Teman? Is no one left to give wise counsel? Turn and flee! Hide in deep caves, you people of Dedan! For when I bring disaster on Edom, I will punish you, too! Those who harvest grapes always leave a few for the poor. If thieves came at night, they would not take everything. But I will strip bare the land of Edom, and there will be no place left to hide. Its children, its brothers, and its neighbors will all be destroyed, and Edom itself will be no more. But I will protect the orphans who remain among you. Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.” And this is what the Lord says: “If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you! You will not go unpunished! You must drink this cup of judgment! For I have sworn by my own name,” says the Lord , “that Bozrah will become an object of horror and a heap of ruins; it will be mocked and cursed. All its towns and villages will be desolate forever.” I have heard a message from the Lord that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say, “Form a coalition against Edom, and prepare for battle!” The Lord says to Edom, “I will cut you down to size among the nations. You will be despised by all. You have been deceived by the fear you inspire in others and by your own pride. You live in a rock fortress and control the mountain heights. But even if you make your nest among the peaks with the eagles, I will bring you crashing down,” says the Lord . “Edom will be an object of horror. All who pass by will be appalled and will gasp at the destruction they see there. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord . “No one will live there; no one will inhabit it. I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan, leaping on the sheep in the pasture. I will chase Edom from its land, and I will appoint the leader of my choice. For who is like me, and who can challenge me? What ruler can oppose my will?” Listen to the Lord ’s plans against Edom and the people of Teman. Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep, and their homes will be destroyed. The earth will shake with the noise of Edom’s fall, and its cry of despair will be heard all the way to the Red Sea. Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle, spreading his wings over Bozrah. Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish like a woman in labor. This message was given concerning Damascus. This is what the Lord says: “The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear, for they have heard the news of their destruction. Their hearts are troubled like a wild sea in a raging storm. Damascus has become feeble, and all her people turn to flee. Fear, anguish, and pain have gripped her as they grip a woman in labor. That famous city, a city of joy, will be forsaken! Her young men will fall in the streets and die. Her soldiers will all be killed,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “And I will set fire to the walls of Damascus that will burn up the palaces of Ben-hadad.” This message was given concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which were attacked by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. This is what the Lord says: “Advance against Kedar! Destroy the warriors from the East! Their flocks and tents will be captured, and their household goods and camels will be taken away. Everywhere shouts of panic will be heard: ‘We are terrorized at every turn!’ Run for your lives,” says the Lord . “Hide yourselves in deep caves, you people of Hazor, for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has plotted against you and is preparing to destroy you. “Go up and attack that complacent nation,” says the Lord . “Its people live alone in the desert without walls or gates. Their camels and other livestock will all be yours. I will scatter to the winds these people who live in remote places. I will bring calamity upon them from every direction,” says the Lord . “Hazor will be inhabited by jackals, and it will be desolate forever. No one will live there; no one will inhabit it.” This message concerning Elam came to the prophet Jeremiah from the Lord at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “I will destroy the archers of Elam— the best of their forces. I will bring enemies from all directions, and I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds. They will be exiled to countries around the world. I myself will go with Elam’s enemies to shatter it. In my fierce anger, I will bring great disaster upon the people of Elam,” says the Lord . “Their enemies will chase them with the sword until I have destroyed them completely. I will set my throne in Elam,” says the Lord , “and I will destroy its king and officials. But I will restore the fortunes of Elam in days to come. I, the Lord , have spoken!”’

Jeremiah 49

‘As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’ For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last. When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent. ” And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching.’

Luke 23:26-49

‘Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them. Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus. They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith. But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.’

2 Timothy 2:14-26

‘Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Jacob. Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival! For this is required by the decrees of Israel; it is a regulation of the God of Jacob. He made it a law for Israel when he attacked Egypt to set us free. I heard an unknown voice say, “Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude “Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me! You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god. For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. “But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths! How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him; they would be doomed forever. But I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”’

Psalms 81

Will you get it the second time around?


Ever had the situation where you didn’t get it the first time and had to do a do over? Ever had the situation where you missed your first chance and had to pray for a second chance? How did you respond when the second situation came around? Did you forgive right away? How did you react when the second situation came around? Did you take it and run with it? Did you take it, learning through the pains and trials of the first time, and do it better or right the second time? So when the second time comes, will you get it? or have to do it again? How many chances does it take before you get it? How many chances does it take before you can move on? God is the God of another chance or second chance, so how will you receive that chance when you get it?


Today’s reading comes to us from Deuteronomy which is about the second chance.

‘“At that time the Lord said to me, ‘Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. Also make a wooden Ark—a sacred chest to store them in. Come up to me on the mountain, and I will write on the tablets the same words that were on the ones you smashed. Then place the tablets in the Ark.’ “So I made an Ark of acacia wood and cut two stone tablets like the first two. Then I went up the mountain with the tablets in my hand. Once again the Lord wrote the Ten Commandments on the tablets and gave them to me. They were the same words the Lord had spoken to you from the heart of the fire on the day you were assembled at the foot of the mountain. Then I turned and came down the mountain and placed the tablets in the Ark of the Covenant, which I had made, just as the Lord commanded me. And the tablets are still there in the Ark.” (The people of Israel set out from the wells of the people of Jaakan and traveled to Moserah, where Aaron died and was buried. His son Eleazar ministered as high priest in his place. Then they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from there to Jotbathah, a land with many brooks and streams. At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant, and to stand before the Lord as his ministers, and to pronounce blessings in his name. These are their duties to this day. That is why the Levites have no share of property or possession of land among the other Israelite tribes. The Lord himself is their special possession, as the Lord your God told them.) “As for me, I stayed on the mountain in the Lord ’s presence for forty days and nights, as I had done the first time. And once again the Lord listened to my pleas and agreed not to destroy you. Then the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and resume the journey, and lead the people to the land I swore to give to their ancestors, so they may take possession of it.’

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the Lord ’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good. “Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God. Yet the Lord chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above all other nations, as is evident today. “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. Therefore, change your hearts and stop being stubborn. You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!’

Deuteronomy 10

Today’s reading then brings us into Isaiah.

‘It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people, ‘Listen carefully, but do not understand. Watch closely, but learn nothing.’ Harden the hearts of these people. Plug their ears and shut their eyes. That way, they will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts and turn to me for healing.” Then I said, “Lord, how long will this go on?” And he replied, “Until their towns are empty, their houses are deserted, and the whole country is a wasteland; until the Lord has sent everyone away, and the entire land of Israel lies deserted. If even a tenth—a remnant—survive, it will be invaded again and burned. But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down, so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.”’

Isaiah 6

and

‘When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan. The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm. Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed. Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah. Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying, ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’ But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “This invasion will never happen; it will never take place; for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed. Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”

Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead. ” But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.” Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey. For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted. “Then the Lord will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!” In that day the Lord will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees. They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places. In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River —the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off everything: your land, your crops, and your people. In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left. Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey. In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver, will become patches of briers and thorns. The entire land will become a vast expanse of briers and thorns, a hunting ground overrun by wildlife. No one will go to the fertile hillsides where the gardens once grew, for briers and thorns will cover them. Cattle, sheep, and goats will graze there.’

Isaiah 7

Today’s reading next takes us into the New Testament and starts with Matthew

‘When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”’

Matthew 16:13-28

and continuing into Romans.

‘So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.’

Romans 14:13-23

So where are you at today? Are you looking for a second chance? Are you wanting a second chance? Have you learned through the process post first chance? Have you grown through the process of the first chance? Are you ready for the second chance? Why not invite Jesus into your situation and accept the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit so that You can take the learnings from the first chance and make the most of things with your second chance.


Today’s reading concludes with a psalm.

‘From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me. Let all Israel repeat this: From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me. My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows. But the Lord is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly. May all who hate Jerusalem be turned back in shameful defeat. May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop, turning yellow when only half grown, ignored by the harvester, despised by the binder. And may those who pass by refuse to give them this blessing: “The Lord bless you; we bless you in the Lord ’s name.”’

Psalms 129

Does everything have a place? Do you have a place for everything?


Do you see what is coming? Are you getting ready? Are you preparing so that you will have a place? Are you preparing so you know where everything goes? Do you have an inventory? Do you have an inventory of the things you have? Do you have an inventory of the things being done? Do you have an inventory of things that are being ignored, deprioritized, avoided, need to get done? How are you keeping track? How are you getting prepared? How will you receive the change? How will you make sure that everything gets done in a way that will glorify God? Do you know how to distinguish between the yes, the no, and the delegate-able?

How will you make sure that everything has a place? How will you make sure that you have a place for everything? How will you make sure that as you do everything as unto the Lord that He receives the praise, the honor, and the glory?


Today’s reading gets us started in Numbers 8.

‘The Lord said to Moses, “Give Aaron the following instructions: When you set up the seven lamps in the lampstand, place them so their light shines forward in front of the lampstand.” So Aaron did this. He set up the seven lamps so they reflected their light forward, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. The entire lampstand, from its base to its decorative blossoms, was made of beaten gold. It was built according to the exact design the Lord had shown Moses.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel and make them ceremonially clean. Do this by sprinkling them with the water of purification, and have them shave their entire body and wash their clothing. Then they will be ceremonially clean. Have them bring a young bull and a grain offering of choice flour moistened with olive oil, along with a second young bull for a sin offering. Then assemble the whole community of Israel, and present the Levites at the entrance of the Tabernacle. When you present the Levites before the Lord , the people of Israel must lay their hands on them. Raising his hands, Aaron must then present the Levites to the Lord as a special offering from the people of Israel, thus dedicating them to the Lord ’s service. “Next the Levites will lay their hands on the heads of the young bulls. Present one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to the Lord , to purify the Levites and make them right with the Lord . Then have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons, and raise your hands and present them as a special offering to the Lord . In this way, you will set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel, and the Levites will belong to me. After this, they may go into the Tabernacle to do their work, because you have purified them and presented them as a special offering. “Of all the people of Israel, the Levites are reserved for me. I have claimed them for myself in place of all the firstborn sons of the Israelites; I have taken the Levites as their substitutes. For all the firstborn males among the people of Israel are mine, both of people and of animals. I set them apart for myself on the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. Yes, I have claimed the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons of Israel. And of all the Israelites, I have assigned the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They will serve in the Tabernacle on behalf of the Israelites and make sacrifices to purify the people so no plague will strike them when they approach the sanctuary.” So Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel dedicated the Levites, carefully following all the Lord ’s instructions to Moses. The Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes, and Aaron lifted them up and presented them to the Lord as a special offering. He then offered a sacrifice to purify them and make them right with the Lord . After that the Levites went into the Tabernacle to perform their duties, assisting Aaron and his sons. So they carried out all the commands that the Lord gave Moses concerning the Levites. The Lord also instructed Moses, “This is the rule the Levites must follow: They must begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of twenty-five, and they must retire at the age of fifty. After retirement they may assist their fellow Levites by serving as guards at the Tabernacle, but they may not officiate in the service. This is how you must assign duties to the Levites.”’

Numbers 8

Today’s reading continues into Numbers 9.

‘A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. In the first month of that year he said, “Tell the Israelites to celebrate the Passover at the prescribed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. Be sure to follow all my decrees and regulations concerning this celebration.” So Moses told the people to celebrate the Passover in the wilderness of Sinai as twilight fell on the fourteenth day of the month. And they celebrated the festival there, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. But some of the men had been ceremonially defiled by touching a dead body, so they could not celebrate the Passover that day. They came to Moses and Aaron that day and said, “We have become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead body. But why should we be prevented from presenting the Lord ’s offering at the proper time with the rest of the Israelites?” Moses answered, “Wait here until I have received instructions for you from the Lord .” This was the Lord ’s reply to Moses. “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If any of the people now or in future generations are ceremonially unclean at Passover time because of touching a dead body, or if they are on a journey and cannot be present at the ceremony, they may still celebrate the Lord ’s Passover. They must offer the Passover sacrifice one month later, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the second month. They must eat the Passover lamb at that time with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. They must not leave any of the lamb until the next morning, and they must not break any of its bones. They must follow all the normal regulations concerning the Passover. “But those who neglect to celebrate the Passover at the regular time, even though they are ceremonially clean and not away on a trip, will be cut off from the community of Israel. If they fail to present the Lord ’s offering at the proper time, they will suffer the consequences of their guilt. And if foreigners living among you want to celebrate the Passover to the Lord , they must follow these same decrees and regulations. The same laws apply both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.” On the day the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it. But from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle looked like a pillar of fire. This was the regular pattern—at night the cloud that covered the Tabernacle had the appearance of fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the Lord ’s command wherever he told them to go. Then they remained in their camp as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle. If the cloud remained over the Tabernacle for a long time, the Israelites stayed and performed their duty to the Lord . Sometimes the cloud would stay over the Tabernacle for only a few days, so the people would stay for only a few days, as the Lord commanded. Then at the Lord ’s command they would break camp and move on. Sometimes the cloud stayed only overnight and lifted the next morning. But day or night, when the cloud lifted, the people broke camp and moved on. Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. So they camped or traveled at the Lord ’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.’

Numbers 9

Today’s reading takes us into the wisdom from Solomon with Ecclesiastes 7

‘A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born. Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies— so the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time. Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool. A fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless. Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart. Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool. Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life. Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life. Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked? Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people. So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself? On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time? Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes. One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town! Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins. Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you. For you know how often you yourself have cursed others. I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work. Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find. I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness. I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare. “This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle. Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman! But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”’

Ecclesiastes 7

and continues into Ecclesiastes 8

‘How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness.

Obey the king since you vowed to God that you would. Don’t try to avoid doing your duty, and don’t stand with those who plot evil, for the king can do whatever he wants. His command is backed by great power. No one can resist or question it. Those who obey him will not be punished. Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble. Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen? None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked.

I have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other. I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praised in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless. When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off. The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows. And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless! So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun. In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night. I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.’

Ecclesiastes 8

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Matthew 2

‘Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’ ” Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”’

Matthew 2:1-15

and then continues into 2 Corinthians 12

‘You have made me act like a fool. You ought to be writing commendations for me, for I am not at all inferior to these “super apostles,” even though I am nothing at all. When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you. The only thing I failed to do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a financial burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong! Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children. I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me. Some of you admit I was not a burden to you. But others still think I was sneaky and took advantage of you by trickery. But how? Did any of the men I sent to you take advantage of you? When I urged Titus to visit you and sent our other brother with him, did Titus take advantage of you? No! For we have the same spirit and walk in each other’s steps, doing things the same way. Perhaps you think we’re saying these things just to defend ourselves. No, we tell you this as Christ’s servants, and with God as our witness. Everything we do, dear friends, is to strengthen you. For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.’

2 Corinthians 12:11-21

As we consider today’s reading from God’s Word. As we consider this day we are entering into. As we consider where everything goes. As we consider what places are available or potential options. Let’s us stop and seek God’s wisdom and will so that we won’t be doing it willy-nilly but instead with a plan and a purpose, just like God created us with a plan and a purpose. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to bring a peace that surpasses all understanding. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us while comforting and strengthening us through the process.

Today’s reading concludes with a psalm from Psalms 101.

‘I will sing of your love and justice, Lord . I will praise you with songs. I will be careful to live a blameless life— when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride. I will search for faithful people to be my companions. Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me. I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence. My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.’

Psalms 101

Do you know where to turn?


Do you know what you have need of? Do you know what needs to be done? Do you know what is your calling? Do you know where to go? Why not turn to God and be filled with the Holy Spirit? Why not invite God into your life and allow His wisdom to lead and guide you? Why not invite God into your life and allow the Holy Spirit to give you the ability to get it done? Why not invite God into your very situation in order that the expertise necessary can be found and meet the needs? Do you know where to turn? Don’t be fooled! Don’t be lead astray! Stay close to God and allow Jesus to be your Lord and Savior! Don’t forget! Don’t turn away from God! Draw closer to God and allow Him to draw closer to you! Do you know who to turn to?

Today’s reading starts in the book of Exodus with Exodus 31.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft! “And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make: the Tabernacle; the Ark of the Covenant; the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement; all the furnishings of the Tabernacle; the table and its utensils; the pure gold lampstand with all its accessories; the incense altar; the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils; the washbasin with its stand; the beautifully stitched garments—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests; the anointing oil; the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. The craftsmen must make everything as I have commanded you.”

The Lord then gave these instructions to Moses: “Tell the people of Israel: ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the Lord , who makes you holy. You must keep the Sabbath day, for it is a holy day for you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the Lord . Anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death. The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day by observing it from generation to generation. This is a covenant obligation for all time. It is a permanent sign of my covenant with the people of Israel. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed.’” When the Lord finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, written by the finger of God.’

Exodus 31

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 32.

‘When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.” All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord !” The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry. The Lord told Moses, “Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” Then the Lord said, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.” But Moses tried to pacify the Lord his God. “O Lord !” he said. “Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand? Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people! Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.’” So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people. Then Moses turned and went down the mountain. He held in his hands the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. These tablets were God’s work; the words on them were written by God himself. When Joshua heard the boisterous noise of the people shouting below them, he exclaimed to Moses, “It sounds like war in the camp!” But Moses replied, “No, it’s not a shout of victory nor the wailing of defeat. I hear the sound of a celebration.” When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing, and he burned with anger. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf they had made and burned it. Then he ground it into powder, threw it into the water, and forced the people to drink it. Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?” “Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the Lord ’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. Moses told them, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.” The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day. Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord , for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.” The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to the Lord on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for your sin.” So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves. But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!” But the Lord replied to Moses, “No, I will erase the name of everyone who has sinned against me. Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Look! My angel will lead the way before you. And when I come to call the people to account, I will certainly hold them responsible for their sins.” Then the Lord sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.’

Exodus 32

Today’s reading next brings us into the book of Job starting with Job 22.

‘Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied: “Can a person do anything to help God? Can even a wise person be helpful to him? Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect? Is it because you’re so pious that he accuses you and brings judgment against you? No, it’s because of your wickedness! There’s no limit to your sins. “For example, you must have lent money to your friend and demanded clothing as security. Yes, you stripped him to the bone. You must have refused water for the thirsty and food for the hungry. You probably think the land belongs to the powerful and only the privileged have a right to it! You must have sent widows away empty-handed and crushed the hopes of orphans. That is why you are surrounded by traps and tremble from sudden fears. That is why you cannot see in the darkness, and waves of water cover you. “God is so great—higher than the heavens, higher than the farthest stars. But you reply, ‘That’s why God can’t see what I am doing! How can he judge through the thick darkness? For thick clouds swirl about him, and he cannot see us. He is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.’ “Will you continue on the old paths where evil people have walked? They were snatched away in the prime of life, the foundations of their lives washed away. For they said to God, ‘Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do to us?’ Yet he was the one who filled their homes with good things, so I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking. “The righteous will be happy to see the wicked destroyed, and the innocent will laugh in contempt. They will say, ‘See how our enemies have been destroyed. The last of them have been consumed in the fire.’ “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! “Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you. If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’ God will save them. Even sinners will be rescued; they will be rescued because your hands are pure.”’

Job 22

Today’s reading continues into Job 23.

‘Then Job spoke again: “My complaint today is still a bitter one, and I try hard not to groan aloud. If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his court. I would lay out my case and present my arguments. Then I would listen to his reply and understand what he says to me. Would he use his great power to argue with me? No, he would give me a fair hearing. Honest people can reason with him, so I would be forever acquitted by my judge. I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food. But once he has made his decision, who can change his mind? Whatever he wants to do, he does. So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny. No wonder I am so terrified in his presence. When I think of it, terror grips me. God has made me sick at heart; the Almighty has terrified me. Darkness is all around me; thick, impenetrable darkness is everywhere.’

Job 23

Today’s reading out of the Old Testament concludes with Job 24.

‘“Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain? Evil people steal land by moving the boundary markers. They steal livestock and put them in their own pastures. They take the orphan’s donkey and demand the widow’s ox as security for a loan. The poor are pushed off the path; the needy must hide together for safety. Like wild donkeys in the wilderness, the poor must spend all their time looking for food, searching even in the desert for food for their children. They harvest a field they do not own, and they glean in the vineyards of the wicked. All night they lie naked in the cold, without clothing or covering. They are soaked by mountain showers, and they huddle against the rocks for want of a home. “The wicked snatch a widow’s child from her breast, taking the baby as security for a loan. The poor must go about naked, without any clothing. They harvest food for others while they themselves are starving. They press out olive oil without being allowed to taste it, and they tread in the winepress as they suffer from thirst. The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the wounded cry for help, yet God ignores their moaning. “Wicked people rebel against the light. They refuse to acknowledge its ways or stay in its paths. The murderer rises in the early dawn to kill the poor and needy; at night he is a thief. The adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No one will see me then.’ He hides his face so no one will know him. Thieves break into houses at night and sleep in the daytime. They are not acquainted with the light. The black night is their morning. They ally themselves with the terrors of the darkness. “But they disappear like foam down a river. Everything they own is cursed, and they are afraid to enter their own vineyards. The grave consumes sinners just as drought and heat consume snow. Their own mothers will forget them. Maggots will find them sweet to eat. No one will remember them. Wicked people are broken like a tree in the storm. They cheat the woman who has no son to help her. They refuse to help the needy widow. “God, in his power, drags away the rich. They may rise high, but they have no assurance of life. They may be allowed to live in security, but God is always watching them. And though they are great now, in a moment they will be gone like all others, cut off like heads of grain. Can anyone claim otherwise? Who can prove me wrong?”’

Job 24

Today’s reading brings us into the New Testament starting with Mark 4.

‘Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secret#4:11 Greek mystery. of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven.’#4:12 Isa 6:9-10 (Greek version).” Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given#4:24 Or The measure you give will be the measure you get back.—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”’

Mark 4:10-25

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 10.

‘So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?’

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

As we come to the close of today’s reading, let’s take a moment to meditate on today’s psalm coming from Psalms 62.

‘I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. So many enemies against one man— all of them trying to kill me. To them I’m just a broken-down wall or a tottering fence. They plan to topple me from my high position. They delight in telling lies about me. They praise me to my face but curse me in their hearts. Interlude Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Interlude Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind, and the powerful are not what they appear to be. If you weigh them on the scales, together they are lighter than a breath of air. Don’t make your living by extortion or put your hope in stealing. And if your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life. God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you; unfailing love, O Lord, is yours. Surely you repay all people according to what they have done.’

Psalms 62

Are you filled with the Spirit?


Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Have you received the Holy Spirit? Do you make time to be filled up daily so that others may receive the overflow? Do you make time to meditate on God’s Word in order to receive wisdom through the Bible for what is about to happen today? The Holy Spirit isn’t a thing but a person in the trinity. The Holy Spirit isn’t an it but a He. He will be your comforter and your guide! He is your counselor and your advocate! He will bring conviction and revelation of truth! He will intercede and teach! He is a witness to everything, verifying and testifying to the facts. Why not invite God into your day right now even before you start today’s reading. Why not ask the Holy Spirit to fill you up to overflow so that not only you will receive what God has but you will also be able to overflow into all the lives of all the people God is preparing to bring into your life or across your path today? Let’s get filled up as we prepare to start today so that we won’t run out of gas part way through the day!

Today’s reading beings in Exodus 28.

‘“Call for your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Set them apart from the rest of the people of Israel so they may minister to me and be my priests. Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful. Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom. Have them make garments for Aaron that will distinguish him as a priest set apart for my service. These are the garments they are to make: a chestpiece, an ephod, a robe, a patterned tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother, Aaron, and his sons to wear when they serve me as priests. So give them fine linen cloth, gold thread, and blue, purple, and scarlet thread.

“The craftsmen must make the ephod of finely woven linen and skillfully embroider it with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. It will consist of two pieces, front and back, joined at the shoulders with two shoulder-pieces. The decorative sash will be made of the same materials: finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. “Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel. Six names will be on each stone, arranged in the order of the births of the original sons of Israel. Engrave these names on the two stones in the same way a jeweler engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in settings of gold filigree. Fasten the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod as a reminder that Aaron represents the people of Israel. Aaron will carry these names on his shoulders as a constant reminder whenever he goes before the Lord . Make the settings of gold filigree, then braid two cords of pure gold and attach them to the filigree settings on the shoulders of the ephod.

“Then, with great skill and care, make a chestpiece to be worn for seeking a decision from God. Make it to match the ephod, using finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. Make the chestpiece of a single piece of cloth folded to form a pouch nine inches square. Mount four rows of gemstones on it. The first row will contain a red carnelian, a pale-green peridot, and an emerald. The second row will contain a turquoise, a blue lapis lazuli, and a white moonstone. The third row will contain an orange jacinth, an agate, and a purple amethyst. The fourth row will contain a blue-green beryl, an onyx, and a green jasper. All these stones will be set in gold filigree. Each stone will represent one of the twelve sons of Israel, and the name of that tribe will be engraved on it like a seal. “To attach the chestpiece to the ephod, make braided cords of pure gold thread. Then make two gold rings and attach them to the top corners of the chestpiece. Tie the two gold cords to the two rings on the chestpiece. Tie the other ends of the cords to the gold settings on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod. Then make two more gold rings and attach them to the inside edges of the chestpiece next to the ephod. And make two more gold rings and attach them to the front of the ephod, below the shoulder-pieces, just above the knot where the decorative sash is fastened to the ephod. Then attach the bottom rings of the chestpiece to the rings on the ephod with blue cords. This will hold the chestpiece securely to the ephod above the decorative sash. “In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the sacred chestpiece over his heart when he goes into the Holy Place. This will be a continual reminder that he represents the people when he comes before the Lord . Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord ’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord ’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord .

“Make the robe that is worn with the ephod from a single piece of blue cloth, with an opening for Aaron’s head in the middle of it. Reinforce the opening with a woven collar so it will not tear. Make pomegranates out of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and attach them to the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and pomegranates are to alternate all around the hem. Aaron will wear this robe whenever he ministers before the Lord , and the bells will tinkle as he goes in and out of the Lord ’s presence in the Holy Place. If he wears it, he will not die. “Next make a medallion of pure gold, and engrave it like a seal with these words: Holy to the Lord . Attach the medallion with a blue cord to the front of Aaron’s turban, where it must remain. Aaron must wear it on his forehead so he may take on himself any guilt of the people of Israel when they consecrate their sacred offerings. He must always wear it on his forehead so the Lord will accept the people. “Weave Aaron’s patterned tunic from fine linen cloth. Fashion the turban from this linen as well. Also make a sash, and decorate it with colorful embroidery. “For Aaron’s sons, make tunics, sashes, and special head coverings that are glorious and beautiful. Clothe your brother, Aaron, and his sons with these garments, and then anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they can serve as my priests. Also make linen undergarments for them, to be worn next to their bodies, reaching from their hips to their thighs. These must be worn whenever Aaron and his sons enter the Tabernacle or approach the altar in the Holy Place to perform their priestly duties. Then they will not incur guilt and die. This is a permanent law for Aaron and all his descendants after him.’

Exodus 28

Today’s reading then takes us into Job 17.

‘“My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me. I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me. “You must defend my innocence, O God, since no one else will stand up for me. You have closed their minds to understanding, but do not let them triumph. They betray their friends for their own advantage, so let their children faint with hunger. “God has made a mockery of me among the people; they spit in my face. My eyes are swollen with weeping, and I am but a shadow of my former self. The virtuous are horrified when they see me. The innocent rise up against the ungodly. The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. “As for all of you, come back with a better argument, though I still won’t find a wise man among you. My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. These men say that night is day; they claim that the darkness is light. What if I go to the grave and make my bed in darkness? What if I call the grave my father, and the maggot my mother or my sister? Where then is my hope? Can anyone find it? No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!”’

Job 17

Today’s reading next takes us into the New Testament starting in Mark 3.

‘Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.

Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him. Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.’

Mark 3:1-12

Today’s reading then continues into 1 Corinthians 9.

‘Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle. This is my answer to those who question my authority. Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves? What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” Was God thinking only about oxen when he said this? Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest. Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ. Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. ‘

1 Corinthians 9:1-14

As we prepare to close today’s reading, let us meditate on today’s psalm. Let’s read Psalms 59 together.

‘Rescue me from my enemies, O God. Protect me from those who have come to destroy me. Rescue me from these criminals; save me from these murderers. They have set an ambush for me. Fierce enemies are out there waiting, Lord , though I have not sinned or offended them. I have done nothing wrong, yet they prepare to attack me. Wake up! See what is happening and help me! O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, wake up and punish those hostile nations. Show no mercy to wicked traitors. Interlude They come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets. Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths; their words cut like swords. “After all, who can hear us?” they sneer. But Lord , you laugh at them. You scoff at all the hostile nations. You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my fortress. In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me. He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies. Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons; stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees, O Lord our shield. Because of the sinful things they say, because of the evil that is on their lips, let them be captured by their pride, their curses, and their lies. Destroy them in your anger! Wipe them out completely! Then the whole world will know that God reigns in Israel. Interlude My enemies come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets. They scavenge for food but go to sleep unsatisfied. But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.’

Psalms 59

What is the state of your heart?


Consider what is coming out of you and what it is saying about the state of your heart. Consider what you are filling your heart with so that when it overflows people see your actions and hear your words. Will you allow God into your heart? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Do you realize that when your heart is in the right state doors can be opened and walls can be knocked down? Are you ready to walk it out in faith and obedience to God? Do you realize that with God all things are possible? Will you build your relationship with Him? Will you trust God? Will you hear what God says and walk it out in obedience? Do you realize the state of your heart is visible to everyone around you by what is being overflowed out of it? Do you believe in your heart? Do you allow that belief in God to overflow so that you share it with the world around you? What is the state of your heart?

Today’s reading starts us in Exodus 16.

‘Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt. There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “By evening you will realize it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord , because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us. What have we done that you should complain about us?” Then Moses added, “The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. What have we done? Yes, your complaints are against the Lord , not against us.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Announce this to the entire community of Israel: ‘Present yourselves before the Lord , for he has heard your complaining.’” And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud. Then the Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the Israelites’ complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’” That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp. And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew. When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was. And Moses told them, “It is the food the Lord has given you to eat. These are the Lord ’s instructions: Each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts for each person in your tent.” So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed. Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.” But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them. After this the people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the flakes they had not picked up melted and disappeared. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much as usual—four quarts for each person instead of two. Then all the leaders of the community came and asked Moses for an explanation. He told them, “This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord . So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.” So they put some aside until morning, just as Moses had commanded. And in the morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor. Moses said, “Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord . There will be no food on the ground today. You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day.” Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. The Lord asked Moses, “How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions? They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord ’s gift to you. That is why he gives you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place. Do not go out to pick up food on the seventh day.” So the people did not gather any food on the seventh day. The Israelites called the food manna. It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey wafers. Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Fill a two-quart container with manna to preserve it for your descendants. Then later generations will be able to see the food I gave you in the wilderness when I set you free from Egypt.” Moses said to Aaron, “Get a jar and fill it with two quarts of manna. Then put it in a sacred place before the Lord to preserve it for all future generations.” Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. He eventually placed it in the Ark of the Covenant—in front of the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived at the land where they would settle. They ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. The container used to measure the manna was an omer, which was one-tenth of an ephah; it held about two quarts.’

Exodus 16

God will meet your needs. He will provide enough for each day. He will provide enough so that you can also have rest. Will you trust Him? Will you allow the truth of God to fill your heart so that your life will be lead and directed, comforted and instructed by the Holy Spirit? Will you put your trust in God and not complain and grown about people? Will you cast your cares on God for He cares for you.

Today’s reading continue into Exodus 17.

‘At the Lord ’s command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded. “Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the Lord ?” But tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord , “What should I do with these people? They are ready to stone me!” The Lord said to Moses, “Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you. I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on. Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord here with us or not?”’

Exodus 17:1-7

God is with us! God sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide! We are not alone! So will you put that in your heart and live it out trusting in God and casing all of your cares upon Him rather than worrying and complaining? Worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything. Consider the state of your heart and what is coming out of your mouth as the overflow from your heart. What’s the state of your heart?

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 36.

‘Then the people of the land took Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and made him the next king in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. Then he was deposed by the king of Egypt, who demanded that Judah pay 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold as tribute.

The king of Egypt then installed Eliakim, the brother of Jehoahaz, as the next king of Judah and Jerusalem, and he changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. Then Neco took Jehoahaz to Egypt as a prisoner. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. Then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and captured it, and he bound Jehoiakim in bronze chains and led him away to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also took some of the treasures from the Temple of the Lord , and he placed them in his palace in Babylon. The rest of the events in Jehoiakim’s reign, including all the evil things he did and everything found against him, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. Then his son Jehoiachin became the next king.

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. Jehoiachin did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight. In the spring of the year King Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon. Many treasures from the Temple of the Lord were also taken to Babylon at that time. And Nebuchadnezzar installed Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, as the next king in Judah and Jerusalem.

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. But Zedekiah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and he refused to humble himself when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to him directly from the Lord . He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, even though he had taken an oath of loyalty in God’s name. Zedekiah was a hard and stubborn man, refusing to turn to the Lord , the God of Israel. Likewise, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful. They followed all the pagan practices of the surrounding nations, desecrating the Temple of the Lord that had been consecrated in Jerusalem. The Lord , the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord ’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done.

So the Lord brought the king of Babylon against them. The Babylonians killed Judah’s young men, even chasing after them into the Temple. They had no pity on the people, killing both young men and young women, the old and the infirm. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. The king took home to Babylon all the articles, large and small, used in the Temple of God, and the treasures from both the Lord ’s Temple and from the palace of the king and his officials. Then his army burned the Temple of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, burned all the palaces, and completely destroyed everything of value. The few who survived were taken as exiles to Babylon, and they became servants to the king and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. So the message of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest, lying desolate until the seventy years were fulfilled, just as the prophet had said.

In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom: “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The Lord , the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Any of you who are his people may go there for this task. And may the Lord your God be with you!”’

2 Chronicles 36

Is what is in your heart making you live your life in a way that is pleasing to God? Is what is in your heart making you live your life in a way that displeases God?

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament – John 19.

‘Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha ). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did. Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.’

John 19:16-27

Will you fill your heart with the things of God? Will you be a steward of all He give you? Will you not worry about the threats or evaluation of man but rather put your focus on what God has to say?

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 4.

‘So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another. For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you. Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike. Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.’

1 Corinthians 4:1-13

As we close today we find ourselves in the book of Psalms. Let’s close by meditating on today’s psalm – Psalms 48.

‘How great is the Lord , how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain! It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender. The kings of the earth joined forces and advanced against the city. But when they saw it, they were stunned; they were terrified and ran away. They were gripped with terror and writhed in pain like a woman in labor. You destroyed them like the mighty ships of Tarshish shattered by a powerful east wind. We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. It is the city of our God; he will make it safe forever. Interlude O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple. As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory. Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice. Let all the towns of Judah be glad because of your justice. Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.’

Psalms 48

How will you celebrate it once you have it?


Is the suffering forgotten? Is the journey forgotten? Is the rescue forgotten? Is the end of one and the beginning of another forgotten? How will you celebrate? Will you celebrate in a way that will be and can be remembered? Will you celebrate at all? Will you remember? Will you cease the moment?

Today’s reading brings us to Exodus 15.

‘Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord : “I will sing to the Lord , for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him! The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is his name! Pharaoh’s chariots and army he has hurled into the sea. The finest of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The deep waters gushed over them; they sank to the bottom like a stone. “Your right hand, O Lord , is glorious in power. Your right hand, O Lord , smashes the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty, you overthrow those who rise against you. You unleash your blazing fury; it consumes them like straw. At the blast of your breath, the waters piled up! The surging waters stood straight like a wall; in the heart of the sea the deep waters became hard. “The enemy boasted, ‘I will chase them and catch up with them. I will plunder them and consume them. I will flash my sword; my powerful hand will destroy them.’ But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. “Who is like you among the gods, O Lord — glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders? You raised your right hand, and the earth swallowed our enemies. “With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home. The peoples hear and tremble; anguish grips those who live in Philistia. The leaders of Edom are terrified; the nobles of Moab tremble. All who live in Canaan melt away; terror and dread fall upon them. The power of your arm makes them lifeless as stone until your people pass by, O Lord , until the people you purchased pass by. You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain— the place, O Lord , reserved for your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established. The Lord will reign forever and ever!” When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers rushed into the sea, the Lord brought the water crashing down on them. But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground! Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced. And Miriam sang this song: “Sing to the Lord , for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea.”

Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”). Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink. It was there at Marah that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” After leaving Marah, the Israelites traveled on to the oasis of Elim, where they found twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the water.’

Exodus 15

How long will it take before you remember everything God can do and has done in your life? How long will it be before you start to worry or complain because you have stopped leaning on God and started to think you were all alone? Why not turn to God? Why not lean on Him and trust Him rather than worrying or complaining about your situation? Don’t you remember the power God has? Don’t you remember that with God all things are possible? Will you take hold of the standard?

‘He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”’

Exodus 15:26

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 35.

‘Then Josiah announced that the Passover of the Lord would be celebrated in Jerusalem, and so the Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month. Josiah also assigned the priests to their duties and encouraged them in their work at the Temple of the Lord . He issued this order to the Levites, who were to teach all Israel and who had been set apart to serve the Lord : “Put the holy Ark in the Temple that was built by Solomon son of David, the king of Israel. You no longer need to carry it back and forth on your shoulders. Now spend your time serving the Lord your God and his people Israel. Report for duty according to the family divisions of your ancestors, following the directions of King David of Israel and the directions of his son Solomon. “Then stand in the sanctuary at the place appointed for your family division and help the families assigned to you as they bring their offerings to the Temple. Slaughter the Passover lambs, purify yourselves, and prepare to help those who come. Follow all the directions that the Lord gave through Moses.” Then Josiah provided 30,000 lambs and young goats for the people’s Passover offerings, along with 3,000 cattle, all from the king’s own flocks and herds. The king’s officials also made willing contributions to the people, priests, and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the administrators of God’s Temple, gave the priests 2,600 lambs and young goats and 300 cattle as Passover offerings. The Levite leaders—Conaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, as well as Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad—gave 5,000 lambs and young goats and 500 cattle to the Levites for their Passover offerings. When everything was ready for the Passover celebration, the priests and the Levites took their places, organized by their divisions, as the king had commanded. The Levites then slaughtered the Passover lambs and presented the blood to the priests, who sprinkled the blood on the altar while the Levites prepared the animals. They divided the burnt offerings among the people by their family groups, so they could offer them to the Lord as prescribed in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the cattle. Then they roasted the Passover lambs as prescribed; and they boiled the holy offerings in pots, kettles, and pans, and brought them out quickly so the people could eat them. Afterward the Levites prepared Passover offerings for themselves and for the priests—the descendants of Aaron—because the priests had been busy from morning till night offering the burnt offerings and the fat portions. The Levites took responsibility for all these preparations. The musicians, descendants of Asaph, were in their assigned places, following the commands that had been given by David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, the king’s seer. The gatekeepers guarded the gates and did not need to leave their posts of duty, for their Passover offerings were prepared for them by their fellow Levites. The entire ceremony for the Lord ’s Passover was completed that day. All the burnt offerings were sacrificed on the altar of the Lord , as King Josiah had commanded. All the Israelites present in Jerusalem celebrated Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover. None of the kings of Israel had ever kept a Passover as Josiah did, involving all the priests and Levites, all the people of Jerusalem, and people from all over Judah and Israel. This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign.

After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!” So they lifted Josiah out of his chariot and placed him in another chariot. Then they brought him back to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried there in the royal cemetery. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him. The prophet Jeremiah composed funeral songs for Josiah, and to this day choirs still sing these sad songs about his death. These songs of sorrow have become a tradition and are recorded in The Book of Laments. The rest of the events of Josiah’s reign and his acts of devotion (carried out according to what was written in the Law of the Lord ), from beginning to end—all are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.’

2 Chronicles 35

If you forget will you turn back and look to find answers in God’s Word? How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be remember as one who lived in accordance with God’s will or one who lives in adversity to God’s will?

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament starting in John 19.

‘Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.” The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.” When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha ). It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!” “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back. Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. ‘

John 19:1-16

Remember that God has the power. Don’t fear men more than God!

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 3.

‘Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.” And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.” So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.’

1 Corinthians 3:10-23

So let us live our lives as temples of the Holy Spirit. Let’s live our lives being lead and guided by the Holy Spirit. Let’s live our lives with the comfort and peace that comes from the Holy Spirit. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to teach and train us in the ways we should live! Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Word to life in a way that we can live out our lives in ways that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Today’s reading concludes in the book of Psalms. Let’s meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 47 together.

‘Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet. He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance, the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves. Interlude God has ascended with a mighty shout. The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm. God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. The rulers of the world have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For all the kings of the earth belong to God. He is highly honored everywhere.’

Psalms 47

Where does your confidence come from?


On what are you basing this confidence of yours? What are you trusting in that makes you so confident? On what do you rest this trust of yours? What is this confidence that you have? What are you relying on? What is this “guarantee” that makes you yourself rely on it? What is your source of confidence? What makes you so confident?

During the good times? During the trials? During the troubles?

On whom are you depending? Who are you counting on? In whom do you now trust? Now on whom do you rely? What are you now relying on? In whom are you trusting?

Will you trust in God no matter what? Will you trust in Him like Daniel and his friends did when they wouldn’t bow down and then got thrown into the fiery furnace? Will you trust in Him like Daniel did when he kept praying and seeking God and then got thrown into the lions’ den? Will you trust in Him like David when he stood up to Goliath with just his slingshot and some stones? Will you trust Him in the midst of the storm? Will you trust Him when you are coming under attack like Hezekiah did when confronted by Sennacherib came to attack him?

Trust in God who is trustworthy! Trust in God who is faithful! Trust in God who is Love! Trust in God who will never leave you nor forsake you! Trust in God and turn back to Him!


Today’s reading begins with Isaiah 36…

Sennacherib Dares Jerusalem

1Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that King Sennacherib of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 2The king of Assyria sent the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a massive army. The Rab-shakeh stood by the aqueduct of the upper pool in the highway of the washer’s field. 3Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came out to him. 4So the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What is this confidence you’ve relied on? 5I say your strategy and strength for war are only words of a lip. Who do you rely on now, so that you have rebelled against me? 6Behold, you rely on this splintered reed as a staff—Egypt! If a man leans on it, it will go into the palm of his hand and pierce it—thus Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 7“‘But if you say to me: ‘We trust in Adonai our God’—is it not He whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, and then said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before this altar’? 8“So now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,ooo horses—if you could put riders of your own on them. 9So, how can you repulse a single lieutenant—the least of my master’s servants? Yes, you’re relying on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen. 10“Moreover, have I now come up against this land to destroy it without Adonai’s approval? Adonai said to me: ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’” 11Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh: “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak to us in the language of the Jews when the people on the wall are listening.” 12But the Rab-shakeh said: “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words? Hasn’t he sent me to the men who sit on the wall—who will eat their own waste and drink their own urine with you?” 13Then the Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews and said: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14Thus says the king: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you! 15Nor let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in Adonai by saying, “Adonai will surely deliver us—this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’ 16“Don’t listen to Hezekiah! For thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me. Then everyone will eat from his own vine and fig tree, and everyone will drink water from his own cistern, 17until I come and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.’ 18“Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, ‘Adonai will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, when did they deliver Samaria from my hand? 20Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their country out of my hand? So will Adonai deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” 21But they were silent, and did not answer him a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 22Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.

–from Isaiah 36

God knows what He is doing! God knows the heart and minds of every person! God’s sees beyond the surface right to the intention! God is trustworthy! We don’t need to fear others, we need to trust in God! The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Many create fake gods but put your hope and your trust in the one and only God! The God who is a saving God! The God who is not only Lord but also Savior! Realize whose fight it is! Realize the battle belongs to the Lord! Remember we already know who wins (feel free to read the end of the book if you haven’t already read that God wins)!

Hezekiah Tears His Clothes

1When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the House of Adonai. 2Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe and the senior kohanim, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz. 3Then they said to him: “Thus says Hezekiah: This day is a day of distress, rebuke and contempt. For children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength for giving birth. 4Perhaps Adonai your God, will hear the words of the Rab-shakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words which Adonai your God has heard. So offer prayer for the remnant that is left.” 5When the officials of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6Isaiah said to them: “Thus you will say to your master, ‘Thus says Adonai: Do not be afraid of the words you have heard, with which the boys of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7Behold, I am putting a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor, and will return to his own country; then I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’” 8Then the Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard he had withdrawn from Lachish. 9Now he had heard them say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, saying: “He has come out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah saying: 10“Thus you will say to King Hezekiah of Judah, saying, do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying: ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 11Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands—utterly destroying them—so will you be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered those my fathers destroyed—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, or the children of Eden who were in Telassar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, or the king of Arpad, or the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, or Ivvah?’” 14Then Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the House of Adonai and spread it before Adonai. 15Hezekiah prayed to Adonai saying: 16“Adonai-Tzva’ot, God of Israel, who is enthroned upon the cheruvim, You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17Incline Your ear, Adonai, and hear! Open Your eyes, Adonai, and see! Listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who was sent to mock the living God. 18It is true, Adonai, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands, 19and have cast their gods into the fire—for they were not gods, but the work of human hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 20Now, Adonai our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone are Adonai!” Answered Prayer and Sennacherib’s Demise 21Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: ‘Because you prayed to Me about King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22this is the word that Adonai has spoken about him: “The virgin Daughter of Zion will despise you and mock you. The daughter of Jerusalem will shake her head at you. 23Whom did you taunt and blaspheme? Against whom did you raise your voice and haughtily lift up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24Through your servants, you have blasphemed my Lord and said: ‘With my many chariots I have climbed to the heights of the mountains, to the remotest parts of Lebanon! I cut down its tall cedars and choice cypress trees. I have gone to its farthest peak, its thickest forest. 25I dug and drank water, and with the sole of my feet, I dried up all the streams of Egypt.’ 26Have you not heard? I did it long ago! From ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass— that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of rubble. 27Their inhabitants are weak handed, shattered and ashamed. They are like the grass of the field and green herb, like grass on roofs, scorched before it is grown up. 28But I know your sitting down, your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me. 29Because your raging against Me and your arrogance reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose, and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way that you came.” 30So this shall be the sign to you: This year you will eat what grows by itself, in the second year what springs from that. But in the third year, you will sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32For from Jerusalem a remnant will go out, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot shall perform this.” 33Therefore thus says Adonai concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not come to the city, or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield, or throw up a siege-ramp against it. 34By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come into this city” —it is a declaration of Adonai. 35“For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.” 36Then the angel of Adonai went out and struck down 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When the men arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 37So King Sennacherib of Assyria withdrew, and returned home, and stayed in Nineveh. 38It also came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of his god Nisroch, that his sons Adrammelech and Sarezer struck him down with the sword, and escaped into the land of Ararat. Then his son Esarhaddon became king in his place.

–from Isaiah 37

Jesus came the first time to save the world, not to condemn it! Jesus will return for the final battle! Jesus already conquered the grave! Jesus already completed the payment! We know this because on the cross He cried out “It is finished!” So don’t worry and don’t fear! Put your trust in God! Ask Jesus into your heart! Daily walk with Him and talk with Him! Allow Him to lead you and guide you! Allow Him to comfort you and encourage you! Why not step out today being bold and courageous because you know in whom you trust! Why not step out today being bold and courageous because you know where your confidence comes from!

Betrayed and Arrested

1When Yeshua had said these things, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2Now Judah, who was betraying Him, also knew the place, because Yeshua had often met there with His disciples. 3So Judah, having taken a band of soldiers and some officers from the ruling kohanim and Pharisees, comes there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4Then Yeshua, knowing all the things coming upon Him, went forward. He said to them, “Who are you looking for?” 5“Yeshua ha-Natzrati,” they answered Him. Yeshua tells them, “I am.” Now Judah, the one betraying Him, was also standing with them. 6So when Yeshua said to them, “I am,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7So again He asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And they said, “Yeshua ha-Natzrati.” 8Yeshua answered, “I told you, I am! If you’re looking for Me, let these men go their way.” 9This was so the word would be fulfilled that He spoke: “I did not lose one of those You have given Me.” 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the servant of the kohen gadol , and cut off his right ear. Now the servant’s name was Malchus. 11So Yeshua said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath! The cup the Father has given Me—shall I never drink it?”

Interrogated and Tried

12Then the band of soldiers, with the captain and the officers of the Judeans, seized Yeshua and tied Him up. 13They led Him first to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the kohen gadol that year. 14Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Judean leaders that it was better for one man to die on behalf of the people. 15Simon Peter was following Yeshua with another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the kohen gadol , so he went with Yeshua into the court of the kohen gadol . 16But Peter was left standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the kohen gadol , went out and spoke to the doorkeeper and brought Peter in. 17The maidservant at the door says to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this Man’s disciples too?” He says, “No, I’m not.” 18The servants and officers were standing around a fire they had made, because it was cold and they were warming themselves. And Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself. 19The kohen gadol then questioned Yeshua about His disciples and His teaching. 20“I have spoken openly to the world,” Yeshua answered him. “I always taught in the synagogues and the Temple, where all the Jewish people come together. I spoke nothing in secret. 21Why question Me? Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them. Look, they know what I said.” 22When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby gave Yeshua a slap, saying, “Is that the way you answer the kohen gadol ?” 23Yeshua answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, give evidence of the wrong; but if rightly, why hit Me?” 24Then Annas sent Him, still tied up, to Caiaphas, the kohen gadol . 25Now Simon Peter was standing outside and warming himself. So they said to him, “Aren’t you one of His disciples too?” He denied it and said, “No, I’m not!” 26One of the servants of the kohen gadol , a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with Him?” 27Again Peter denied it, and immediately a rooster crowed. 28Then they led Yeshua from Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so they would not become unclean but might eat the Passover. 29Therefore Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?” 30They answered, “If He weren’t an evildoer, we wouldn’t have handed Him over to you.” 31Then Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him by your Torah!” The Judean leaders responded, “We are not authorized to put anyone to death.” 32This happened so that the word Yeshua spoke would be fulfilled, signifying what kind of death He was about to die. 33So Pilate went back into the Praetorium, called for Yeshua, and asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34“Are you saying this on your own,” Yeshua answered, “or did others tell you about Me?” 35Pilate answered, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and ruling kohanim handed You over to me! What have You done?” 36Yeshua answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Judean leaders. But as it is, My kingdom is not from here.” 37So Pilate said to Him, “Are you a king, then?” Yeshua answered, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, so that I might testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” After he said this, he went out again to the Judean leaders. He said to them, “I find no case against Him. 39But it’s your custom that I release someone for you at Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40They shouted back, “Not this One, but Bar-Abba!” Now Bar-Abba was a revolutionary.

–from John 18

What’s leading or directing your decisions?


Faced with a decision to make, what is guiding you? Faced with decision to make, what is directing your path? Faced with decision to make, who or what are you following?

How about at work when options come before you? How about in your country when it comes to picking leadership during the elections? How about in your community when you need to choose where and when and if to get involved?

Is it based on peer pressure? Is it based on group decision? Is it based on a gut feel? Is it based on analyzing all the data? Is it based on alignment to God’s way and will?

sign-post-what-is-directing-your-decision-and-path

Imagine how things would be different if everyone put God in the center of all of their lives! Imagine Jesus being the center for every decision and hence being lead by the Holy Spirit in every decision you make!

jesus-at-the-center-of-it-all

Let’s stop focusing on the thing and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on the created and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on rituations and start focusing on having a relationship with God!


Today’s reading kicks off in this line in Hosea…

Idols Thrown Down

1“Put a shofar to your mouth! Like a vulture he comes against the house of Adonai. For they overstepped My covenant and transgressed My Torah. 2 Will they cry out to Me, ‘My God, we—Israel—knew You’? 3Israel has rejected goodness— an adversary will pursue him. 4They crowned kings, but not by Me. They appointed princes I did not approve. Their silver and gold they made into idols— just so they would be cut down. 5Samaria! Your calf is thrown down! My anger is kindled against them! How long will they be incapable of innocence? 6For a craftsman from Israel made it, so it is no god. For the calf of Samaria will be splinters. 7“For they sow wind, and reap a whirlwind. There is no mature grain— the sprout yields no meal. Should it produce anything, strangers would swallow it up. 8Israel has been swallowed up! Now they are among the nations, like an ornament with no delight in it. 9For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself. Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Although they hire among the nations, I will now round them up. So they will begin to decrease under the burden of king and princes. 11“When Ephraim multiplied altars for making sin offerings, they became his altars for sinning. 12Though I were to write out for him ten thousand things from My Torah, they are regarded as something strange. 13Sacrifices are gifts for Me— should they sacrifice meat and then eat it? Adonai will not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sin— they will return to Egypt. 14For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built temples, while Judah has multiplied fortified cities. So I will send fire upon its cities that will consume their citadels.”

–from Hosea 8

How far away can you get before you get into trouble? How far from under the protective cover can you get before you get hurt? How far will you wander before you turn back?

Days of Desolation Are Coming

1Do not rejoice, O Israel, do not celebrate like the peoples— for so you have gone whoring away from your God. You have loved a prostitute’s pay, on every grain-threshing-floor. 2Threshing-floor and wine-press will not sustain them, and new wine will fail her. 3They will not dwell in Adonai’s land. Instead Ephraim will return to Egypt, and eat unclean food in Assyria. 4They will pour no wine-offerings to Adonai— they would not be pleasing to Him. Their sacrifices will be like the bread of mourners for them. All that eat it will be defiled, for their bread is for their appetite, not coming into the House of Adonai. 5What will you do for a moed or for the day of Adonai’s feast? 6Look, even if they escape the desolation, Egypt will gather them up; Memphis will bury them. And their precious silver treasures? Weeds will possess them. Thorns will be in their tents. 7The days of punishment have come; the days of retribution have come. Let Israel know! The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad! For great is your iniquity and great the hostility. 8Ephraim is a watchman with my God, a prophet. A bird catcher’s trap is on all his paths. Hostility is in the House of his God. 9They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sin. 10“Like grapes in the wilderness I found Israel. Like early fruit on a fig tree in its first season I saw your fathers. They came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame. So they became as detestable as the thing they loved. 11Ephraim’s glory flies away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! 12For if they should raise their children, I would make them childless to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them! 13Ephraim, as I have seen, is like Tyre, planted in a meadow, but Ephraim will bring his children out to the slayer.” 14Give them, Adonai, what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dried up breasts. 15“All their wickedness is at Gilgal, for there I despised them. Because of their wicked practices, I will drive them out of My House. I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious. 16Ephraim is blighted; their root is withered; they bear no fruit. Even if they bring forth children, I will slay the cherished ones in their wombs.” 17My God will cast them off, since they did not listen to Him. So they will become wanderers among the nations.

–from Hosea 9

What is going to take to bring you back into alignment with God? Will you need to see something? Will you need to hear something? Will you need to feel something? Will you smell or sense something? What would need to happen to really get your attention?

Will you change the way you are living? Will you set an ethic to follow? Will you look to live righteously? Will you look to live a covenant of love? Will you soften your heart to the things and ways of God? Will you humble yourself and give your life up to God?

What will you sow? What will that cause you to reap?

Israel to be Shamed in Captivity

1A luxuriant vine is Israel, who produces fruit for himself. Like the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. Like the goodness of his land, they made beautiful sacred pillars. 2Their heart became smooth. Now they will bear their guilt. He will break down their altars. He will destroy their sacred pillars. 3Surely now they will say: “We have no king, for we have not feared Adonai. The king—what can he do for us?” 4They spoke words— empty oaths to make a covenant. But judgment springs up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5The inhabitants of Samaria will quarrel over the calves of Beth-aven. Indeed its people will mourn over it, but its priests will tremble over it. For its glory will surely depart from it. 6It also will be carried to Assyria as tribute to a warring king. Ephraim will receive shame and Israel will be put to shame by its own counsel. 7Samaria is being cut off. Her king is like a splinter on the surface of the water. 8The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel will be destroyed. Thorns and thistles will come up on their altars. And they will say to the mountains: “Cover us!” And to the hills: “Fall on us!” 9“From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel. There they took their stand. Will not war over sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah? 10When I desire, I will chasten them, and peoples will gather against them when they are yoked to their two sins. 11Though Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, I put a yoke over her fair neck. I will make Ephraim pull; Judah will plow; Jacob will drag a harrow by himself.”

Plow Up Your Ground

12Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap in accord with covenant love. Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek Adonai, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. 13You have plowed up wickedness, you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of delusion, for you have trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men. 14A tumult will arise among your people. All your strongholds will be demolished, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle, when a mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15Just so has Bethel done to you because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be utterly cut off.

–from Hosea 10

What’s it going to take for God to get your attention? Do you realize what He has already done for you? Do you realize how much Jesus did? Do you realize what is at hand? Do you realize what is available? Do you realize it’s a choice we each have to make individually? So choose wisely! Choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to follow Him all the rest of your life!

My Son Called Out

1“When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. 2They called out to them but they departed from their presence. They kept sacrificing to the Baalim and burning incense up to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them on My arms. But they never acknowledged that I had healed them. 4With human cords I was drawing them, with bonds of love, and I became to them as One lifting a yoke from their jaws. I bent down to them and fed them. 5He will not return to the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian will be his king— because they refused to return. 6So a sword will fall on his cities, and destroy and devour his gate bars because of their own counsels. 7So My people are bent on turning from Me. Although they are being called upwards, none will rise up. 8“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you as Zeboim? My heart is turning over within Me. My compassions are kindled. 9 I will not vent My fierce anger. I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God—not a man— the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in fury.” 10They will walk after Adonai. He will roar like a lion. Indeed, He will roar and the children will come trembling from the west. 11“They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, like a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will settle them in their houses.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

–from Hosea 11

Make your choice fast! Make your choice soon! Don’t wait till it is too late! Take a look around and see the signs of the season! Every year when I go through the Bible, I feel like we are getting closer based on what is taking place in the world!

you-have-a-choice-to-make-choose-wisely

Signs of the End

1As Yeshua was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What stones and what buildings!” 2Yeshua said to him, “You see these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Yeshua began to tell them, “Watch out that no one leads you astray! 6Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 8For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Watch out for yourselves! They will hand you over to the courts, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them. 10The Good News must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speaks but the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. And children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Birth Pangs Before Deliverance

14“But when you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15The one on the roof must not go down, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16And the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18Pray that it will not happen in winter. 19“For in those days there will be trouble such as has never happened, not since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20And unless Adonai had cut short those days, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He cut short the days. 21“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there He is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen. 23So be careful! See, I have told you everything beforehand.”

Messianic Victory

24“But in those days, after that trouble, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ 26And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then He will send out the angels and will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from the end of the earth, to the end of heaven.”

Keep Watch

28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see all these things happening, know that it is near, at the door. 30Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, except the Father. 33“Keep on the lookout! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time is. 34It is like a man away on a journey. After leaving his house and putting his servants in charge and giving each his task, he also commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Therefore stay alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or in the early morning. 36So watch in case, coming suddenly, he finds you asleep. 37What I say to you I say to all: ‘Stay alert!’”

–from Mark 13

 

Leadership…to serve, to lead, to care for, to protect…


Have you been called into leadership? Have you accepted it? Have you resisted it? Have you been serving others? Have you be leading others? Have you been caring for others? Have you been protecting others?

We are to be servant leaders! We are to accept and receive the calling of God and step up and step into all that God has created you to be!

Don’t doubt or fear! Take the calling and trust that since God called you to it, He will get you through it! His timing is perfect and He has a purpose for it. Be it a call to step up and lead your community! Be it a call to help others at work! Be it a call to forgive! Be it a call to serve! God will help you all the way through it!

Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you! Allow Him to encourage and comfort you! Allow Him to direct your step! Ask Jesus into your heart! Follow God’s instruction and direction in order to complete the work He has called you to do! It’s not about us, it’s about bringing Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Jesus did all the work, so let’s receive it and walk in it today!

We see as today’s reading how David was put into the situation of being King over all of Israel…

All Israel Anoints David King

1Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke saying, “Here we are, your own flesh and blood. 2Even before, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led Israel out and back. Also Adonai said to you, ‘You will shepherd My people Israel and be ruler over Israel.’” 3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David cut a covenant with them at Hebron before Adonai. Then they anointed David king over Israel. 4David was 30 years old when he began to reign and he reigned 40 years. 5In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned 33 years over all Israel and Judah.

Securing Jerusalem

6Now the king and his soldiers marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the region. But they said to David, “You’ll never get in here! Even the blind and the lame could ward you off,” thinking, “David can’t get in here.” 7Nevertheless, David did capture the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David). 8On that day David said, “Whoever would conquer the Jebusites must strike through the water shaft to those ‘lame and blind’ whom David’s soul despises.” That is why they used to say, “The blind or lame couldn’t get into the house.” 9So David ­occupied the stronghold and renamed it the City of David. Then David fortified it all round from the Millo inward. 10David continued to grow stronger, for Adonai Elohim-Tzva’ot was with him. 11Then King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David with cedar logs, carpenters and masons; and they built a palace for David. 12David then realized that Adonai had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. 13Then David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David. 14Now these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

Master of Breakthroughs

17Now when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines marched up searching for David. When David heard about it, he went down to the stronghold. 18The Philistines came and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. 19Then David inquired of Adonai saying, “Should I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them over into my hand?” Adonai answered David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines over into your hand.” 20So David came to Baal-perazim and David struck them down there. So he said, “Adonai has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters!” That is why he named that place Baal-perazim. 21They abandoned their idols there, so David and his men removed them. 22But the Philistines marched up and spread out in the valley of Rephaim again. 23When David inquired of Adonai, He said, “Do not go up; instead circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. 24Now it will be when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you must act, for then Adonai will have gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines. 25David did just as Adonai had commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.

–2 Samuel 5

If He calls you then answer! If He sends you then go! Make sure you are prepared! Make sure you are ready! God’s plans are perfect! He has a plan, which means we need to understand the instructions and do it His way! Trying to do it our own way has the risk that we will miss the mark and so we need to take hold of God’s love, God’s grace, God’s hope, God’s wisdom, God’s blessings and walk it out His way! So walk with Him and talk with Him so that you won’t be wondering in your own strength!

Ark Retrieved from Kiriath-jearim

1Then David consulted with the officers of the thousands and of the hundreds, with every leader. 2David said to the entire assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and is from Adonai Eloheinu, let us spread the word to our kinsmen who remain in all the regions of Israel, along with the kohanim and Levites in their towns and pasturelands to come and join us. 3Let us bring the Ark of our God back to us—for we did not inquire of it in the days of Saul.” 4The entire assembly agreed to do so, for the proposal seemed right in the eyes of all the people. 5So David assembled all Israel from the Shihor of Egypt to the entrance of Hamat, to bring the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. 6David and all Israel went up to Baalah, to Kiriath-jearim, that was in Judah to bring up from there the Ark of God, Adonai who sits enthroned above the cheruvim, which is called by His Name. 7They transported the Ark of God upon a new cart from the house of Abinadab. Uzza and Ahio guided the cart 8while David and all Israel celebrated before God with all their might, with songs, lyres, harps, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets. 9But when they came to the threshing-floor of Hidon, Uzza reached out his hand to hold the Ark, because the oxen stumbled. 10The anger of Adonai burned against Uzza, and He struck him down, because he reached out his hand and touched the Ark. He died there before God. 11David was angry because Adonai had burst out against Uzza. So he called that place Perez-uzza as it is to this day. 12David feared God that day, saying, “How can I ever bring the Ark of God to me?” 13So David did not take the Ark with him to the City of David, but left it in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 14So the Ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months; Adonai blessed the house of Obed-edom and everything that he had.

–from 1 Chronicles 13

Don’t assume because of how it worked in the past you should do it that way! Ask Jesus how you should go! Allow God to give you the instructions for today!

1Now King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, as well as cedar logs, stonemasons and carpenters, to build a palace for him. 2Then David knew that Adonai had established him king over Israel, for his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel. 3David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David fathered more sons and daughters. 4These are the names of the children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 7Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet.

David Breaks Through at Baal-perazim

8When the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David, but David heard of it and went out before them. 9Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim. 10So David inquired of God, asking, “Should I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them over into my hand?” Then Adonai said to him, “Go up! I will give them over into your hand.” 11So they came up to Baal-perazim, where David defeated them. David said, “God burst out against my enemies by my hand, like waters burst out!” Therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim . 12They abandoned their gods there, so David ordered and they were burned with fire. 13But the Philistines again raided the valley. 14So David again inquired of God, and God said to him, “Do not go up after them, but circle around behind them and come against them in front of the baca trees . 15As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the baca trees, then go out to battle. For God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 16David did just as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. 17So the fame of David spread throughout every land, and Adonai brought the fear of him upon all nations.

–from 1 Chronicles 14

Don’t let the tests or trials of the past hold you back from the future God has planned for you! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord be our strength! Let’s live our of lives with the joy of the Lord starting our day!

Joy Comes in the Morning

1A psalm, a song for the dedication of the Temple, of David. 2I will exalt You, Adonai, for You have lifted me up, and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 3Adonai my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. 4Adonai, You brought my soul up from Sheol. You kept me alive, so I would not go down to the Pit. 5Sing praise to Adonai, His faithful ones, and praise His holy name. 6For His anger lasts for only a moment, His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning. 7When I felt secure, I said: “I will never be shaken.” 8Adonai, in Your favor You made my mountain stand strong. When You hid Your face, I was terrified. 9To You, Adonai, I called, and to my Lord I made my plea: 10“What gain is there in my blood, in my going down to the Pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? 11Hear, Adonai, and be gracious to me. Adonai, be my help.” 12You turned my mourning into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. 13So my glory will sing to You and not be silent. Adonai my God, I will praise You forever.

–from Psalms 30

Watch out for those who will try to deceive you! Watch out for those who will try to manipulate you! Jesus is the way! Jesus is the answer! Jesus finished it! He didn’t come to abolish the law and the prophets, He came to fulfill them! When He was on the cross and said “it is finished” He was speaking about being the ultimate sacrifice that fulfilled the punishment so that everyone who believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life! He conquered the grave and sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! So ask Him into your heart! And allow His calling on your life to be fulfilled too!

Finish strong! Don’t give up! Pursue the purposes of God!

Greeting

1Paul, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the command of God our Savior and Messiah Yeshua, our hope. 2To Timothy, a true child in faith: Grace, mercy, shalom from God the Father and Messiah Yeshua, our Lord!

Beware of False Teachers

3As I urged you, when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay in Ephesus to direct certain people not to pass on different instruction, 4or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These give rise to useless speculations rather than God’s training which is in faithfulness. 5Now the goal of this command is love from of a pure heart and a clear conscience and a genuine faith. 6Some, having missed the mark, have turned away to fruitless discussion— 7wanting to be teachers of Torah, even though they do not understand what they keep saying or what they so dogmatically assert. 8But we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately, 9knowing that the Torah is not given for a tzaddik but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and worldly, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10the sexually immoral, homosexuals, slave-traders, liars, perjurers, and for anything else that opposes sound teaching— 11in keeping with what was entrusted to me, the glorious Good News of the blessed God.

Mercy to the Worst of Sinners

12I thank Messiah Yeshua our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to service— 13even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. Yet I was shown mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14and the grace of our Lord overflowed with the faith and love that are in Messiah Yeshua. 15Trustworthy is the saying and deserving of complete acceptance: “Messiah Yeshua came into the world to save sinners”—of whom I am foremost. 16Yet for this reason I was shown mercy—so that in me as the foremost, Messiah Yeshua might demonstrate His complete patience, as an example for those about to put their trust in Him for eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Fight the Good Fight

18This charge I entrust to you, Timothy my son, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, so that by them you fight the good fight, 19holding onto faith and a good conscience. By rejecting these, some have suffered shipwreck regarding their faith. 20Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander—whom I have handed over to satan to be disciplined not to blaspheme.

–from 1 Timothy 1

God can use us all! Each of our roles! Each of our perspectives! So that we can speak the truth in love to those around us in a way that they can hear it and receive it and embrace it and be transformed into everything God has created them and planned for them to be! Let’s be God’s arms extended! Let’s be God’s hands helping! Let’s be God’s feet going! Would you receive it better from a fisherman? Would you receive it better from a moneyman or tax collector? Would you receive it better from a doctor? Each one has a view of what happened and in some cases it resonates better with a person! So don’t exclude yourself and don’t disqualify yourself because you aren’t an evangelist or a pastor because God can you use and the gifts and talents He has given you for greater purposes!

A Doctor Charts the Facts

1Now many have undertaken to organize an account of the events fulfilled among us, 2just as they were handed down to us from the start by the eyewitnesses and reporters of the word. 3Therefore it seemed best to me also, because I have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, to write for you an orderly record, most excellent Theophilus, 4so you may know for sure the truth of the words you have been taught.

Prophecy of Birth to the Barren

5In the days of Herod, King of Judah, there was a kohen named Zechariah from the priestly division of Abijah. Elizabeth, his wife, was from the daughters of Aaron. 6Together they were righteous before Adonai, walking without fault in all His commandments and instructions. 7But they were childless, because Elizabeth was barren and both of them were elderly. 8Now it happened to be Zechariah’s time to serve as kohen before Adonai in the order of his division. 9According to the custom of the priestly office, it became his lot to enter the Holy Place of Adonai to burn incense. 10And the whole crowd of people was praying outside at the hour of incense burning. 11An angel of Adonai appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12Zechariah was in turmoil when he saw the angel, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to your son, and you will name him John. 14And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15He will be great before Adonai; and he should not drink wine and intoxicating beverage, but he will be filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh just out of his mother’s womb. 16Many of Bnei-Yisrael will turn to Adonai their God. 17And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to the children and the disobedient ones to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for Adonai a prepared people. 18Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? I’m an old man, and my wife is well-advanced in age.” 19And speaking to him, the angel declared, “I am Gabriel, the one standing in God’s presence. I was commissioned to tell you and proclaim to you this good news. 20So look, you will be silent and powerless to speak until the day these things happen, since you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21The people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering about his long delay in the Holy Place. 22But when he came out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the Holy Place. He was making signs to them but remained mute. 23When the days of his priestly service had been completed, he went home. 24After these days, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and hid herself for five months, saying, 25“Adonai has done this for me! In these days He looked upon me, to take away my disgrace among the people.”

Prophecy of Birth to the Virgin

26Then in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by Adonai into a town in the Galilee named Natzeret 27and to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Miriam. 28And coming to her, the angel said, “Shalom, favored one! Adonai is with you.” 29But at the message, she was perplexed and kept wondering what kind of greeting this might be. 30The angel spoke to her, “Do not be afraid, Miriam, for you have found favor with God. 31Behold, you will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you shall call His name Yeshua. 32He will be great and will be called Ben-Elyon. Adonai Elohim will give Him the throne of David, His father. 33He shall reign over the house of Jacob for all eternity, and His kingdom will be without end.” 34Miriam said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am not intimate with a man?” 35And responding, the angel said to her, “The Ruach ha-Kodesh will come upon you, and the power of Elyon will overshadow you. Therefore, the Holy One being born will be called Ben-Elohim. 36Behold, even your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son in her old age; and the one who was called barren is six months pregnant. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38So Miriam said, “Behold, the servant of Adonai. Let it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her.

Elizabeth Greets Miriam with Joy

39Now in those days, Miriam got up and quickly traveled into the hill country, to a town in Judah. 40She entered Zechariah’s home and happily greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Miriam’s greeting, the unborn child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was completely filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 42She then cried out with a great shout, saying, “You are blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43Who am I, that the mother of my Master should come to me? 44For even when I just heard the sound of your greeting in my ear, the unborn child leaped with joy in my womb. 45Blessed is she who trusted that there would be a fulfillment of those things spoken to her by Adonai.” 46Then Miriam said, “My soul magnifies Adonai, 47and my spirit greatly rejoices in God, my Savior. 48For He has looked with care upon the humble state of His maidservant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49For the Mighty One has done a great thing for me, and holy is His name. 50And His mercy is from generation to generation to the ones who fear Him. 51He has displayed power with His arm. He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52He has brought down rulers from thrones and exalted humble ones. 53He has filled the hungry with good things and sent away the rich empty-handed. 54He has helped His servant Israel, remembering His mercy, 55just as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.”

Zechariah Breaks His Silence

56Miriam stayed with her for three months and then returned to her home. 57Upon Elizabeth’s full term to deliver, she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard how Adonai had shown her His great mercy, and they began to rejoice with her. 59Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they kept trying to call him by his father’s name, Zechariah. 60But his mother declared, “No, he will be called John.” 61But they said to her, “No one among your relatives is called by this name.” 62So they began making signs to his father, as to what he wanted him named. 63Asking for a small tablet, he wrote, “John is his name.” They were all astonished! 64And his mouth was immediately unlocked as well as his tongue, and he began to speak, praising God. 65Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these matters were talked about throughout the hill country of Judah. 66Everyone who heard pondered these things in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child become?” For the hand of Adonai was on him.

The Kohen’s Song of Prophecy

67His father Zechariah was filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and prophesied, saying, 68“Blessed be Adonai, God of Israel, for He has looked after His people and brought them redemption. 69He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, 70just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ages past, 71salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us! 72So He shows mercy to our fathers and remembers His holy covenant, 73the vow which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us— 74rescued fearlessly from the hand of our enemies—to serve Him, 75in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. 76And you, child, will be called a prophet of Elyon. For you will go before Adonai to prepare His ways, 77to give knowledge of salvation to His people through removal of their sins. 78Through our God’s heart of mercy, the Sunrise from on high will come upon us, 79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of shalom.” 80And the child kept growing and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

–from Luke 1