The Story of Job. – Day 7

Today we will complete the study of chapter 4. As we saw yesterday it was the start of the conversation and accusations of his friends after 7 days of mourning without anyone speaking.

‘The roaring of the lion and the voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken. The lion perishes for lack of prey, And the cubs of the lioness are scattered. “Now a word was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it. Amid disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, Dread and trembling came upon me, Which made all my bones shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair on my skin stood on end! The spirit stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, and then I heard a voice, saying: ‘Can [mortal] man be just before God or be more righteous than He? Can a man be pure before his Maker or be more cleansed than He? God puts no trust or confidence, even in His [heavenly] servants, And He charges His angels with error. How much more [will He blame and charge] those who dwell in houses (bodies) of clay, Whose foundations are in the dust, Who are crushed like a moth. Between morning and evening they are broken in pieces and destroyed; Unobserved and unnoticed, they perish forever. Is not their tent-cord drawn up within them [so that the tent collapses]? Do they not die, and yet without [acquiring] wisdom?’’

Job 4:10-21

Today’s notes from the study of Job 4:10-21.

We see as we start today’s reading and study how Eliphaz tries to demonstrate through his description that in spite of strength and resources, wicked people experience calamities. We see that the lion’s characteristics are described through 5 different words to represent the wicked people and calling out Job.

  1. The roaring of the lion: The word used here (אריה ‘aryêh) or in a more usual form (ארי ‘ărı̂y), is from, ארה ‘ârâh, to pull, to pluck, and is probably given to the lion as the puller in pieces, on account of the mode in which he devours his prey, Bochart, however, contends that the name is not from, ארה, because, says he, the lion does not bite or crop his food like grass, which, he says, the word properly means, but is from the verb ראה râ’âh, to see, because, says he, the lion is the most keen-sighted of the animals; or rather from the fire of his eyes – the terror which the glance of his eye inspires. So the Greeks derive the word lion, λέοντα leonta, from λάω laō, to see. See Beehart, Hieroz. Lib. iii. c. 1, p. 715.
  2. The voice of the fierce lion: The word here translated “fierce lion” (שׁחל shı̂chal) is from שׁחל shachal, to roar, and hence, given for an obvious reason to a lion. Bochart understands by it the swarthy lion of Syria; the lion which the Arabians call adlamon. This lion, says he, is dark and dingy. The usual color of the lion is yellow, but Oppian says that the lion in Aethiopia is sometimes found of a dark color, μελανόχροος melanochroos; see Bochart, Hieroz. Lib. i. c. 1, p. 717, 718.
  3. The teeth of the young lions: The word used here, כפיר kephı̂yr, means a “young lion already weaned, and beginning to hunt for prey.” – Gesenius. It thus differs from the גוּר gûr, which means a whelp, still under the care of the dam; see Ezekiel 19:2-3; compare Bochart, Hieroz. Lib. iii. c. 1, p. 714. Some expression is here evidently to be understood that shall be applicable to the voice, or the roaring of the lion. Noyes supplies the words, “are silenced.” The words “are broken” can be applicable only to the teeth of the young lions. It is unnatural to say that the “roaring” and the “voice” are broken. The sense is, that the lion roars in vain, and that calamity and destruction come notwithstanding his growl; and as applied to men, it means that men who resemble the lion are disappointed and punished.
  4. The old lion: The word used here, לישׁ layı̂sh, denotes a lion, “so called,” says Gesenius,” from his strength and bravery,” or, according to Urnbreit, the lion in the strength of his old ago; see an examination of the word in Bochart, Hieroz. P. i. Lib. iii. c. 1, p. 720. Perisheth for lack of prey – Not withstanding his strength and power. That is, such a thing sometimes occurs. Eliphaz could not maintain that it always happened. The meaning seems to be, that as the strength of the lion was no security that he would not perish for want, so it was with men who resembled the lion in the strength of mature age.
  5. The stout lion’s whelps: The word here rendered “stout lion,” לביא lâbı̂y’, is probably derived from the obsolete root לבא lâbâ’, “to roar,” and it is given to the lion on account of his roaring. Bochart, Hieroz. P. i. Lib. iii. c. 1. p. 719, supposes that the word means a lioness. These words complete the description of the lion, and the sense is, that the lion in no condition, or whatever name indicative of strength might be given to it, bad power to resist God when he came forth for its destruction. Its roaring, its strength, its teeth, its rage, were all in vain. Are scattered abroad – That is, when the old lion is destroyed, the young ones flee, and are unable to offer resistance. So it is with men. When the divine judgments come upon them, they have no power to make successful resistance. God has them under control, and he comes forth at his pleasure to restrain and subdue them, as he does the wild beasts of the desert, though so fearful and formidable.

*Found details on the lion here:

From the study we are following, it adds the following insight into verses 10-11:

Job 4:10 “The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken.” Understand vanishes, or perishes (out of Job 4:9). Or, is restrained, or suppressed, as may be gathered out of the following branch of this verse. “And the teeth of the young lions are broken”: The power of such mighty ones to do mischief is taken away from them, and they and their families are brought to ruin. The teeth of lions are very strong in both jaws; they have fourteen teeth, four incisors or cutters, four canine or dog teeth, six molars or grinders.

Job 4:11 “The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad.” Dares not venture out of his den in search of prey, amidst the roar of thunder. The blaze of lightning, and the violence of the storm, that blast of God, mentioned in the preceding verse. “And the young lion’s whelps are scattered abroad”: Are so affrighted with the lightning and thunder, that, being separated, they flee in different ways, and cannot find the path which leads to the den of the lioness, their dam. Thus do the divine judgments suddenly oppress, scatter, and bring to nothing the fierce and powerful tyrants of the earth, and unexpectedly strip them of all their wealth gotten by injustice and oppression. Eliphaz now, was relating Job to evil men who were spoken of as lions. He was saying that Job had abused his power as a leader. The old lion was a tyrant who had lost his power. In this last statement, it was a terrible blow to Job, because his children were called the whelps. They were taken from Job, but they were not scattered, they were in heaven with God. Job’s friend spoke of them, as if they were lost for the sins of their father. All of the statements from Job’s friend were not true, because they were not from God.

Book of Job – Job 4

Ever had people tell you that they received a word from God for you? Ever checked it against God’s Word to confirm the truth of it? Ever found it to be true? Ever found it to be false? Ever not checked and just assumed it was true or false without verifying? Ever not checked and later found out they were wrong? Turn to God for wisdom so that you won’t be mislead or tricked by the plans and ploys of the devil.

When we receive the Holy Spirit after accepting Jesus into our hearts and lives, He can speak and confirm or rebuke what is being said. We need to turn to God for wisdom. We can’t just try to go through life man’s way but instead we need to seek first the kingdom of God and go it His way. We need to choose the narrow road that leads to life rather than going mans way on the broad road that leads to death.

Reference links for today:



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?

What makes today happy?

Is it a special day? Is there a party? Is there a reason? Is there something special about it?

Today is the day that the Lord has made, so lets rejoice and be glad in it! Don’t let anything rob us of that joy for the joy of the Lord is our strength! There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy, how about you?

The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

There ain’t nothing
gonna steal my joy

Does it have to be a holiday? Does it have to be a weekend? Does it have to be a birthday? Does it have to be an anniversary? Does it have to be a party? Does it have to be a gathering? Or can it all be about the overflow of the joy of the Lord pouring out of your life?

Not feeling it? Why not fill up with Him? Did you listen to the above 2 songs? If not and you are questioning start with the one just above and then the first one. Don’t read on till you have listen to both and then come back to this point and continue.

Feeling it more? Needing more? Why not try going to the first one and watch it in YouTube and and allow YouTube to play thru a few more worship songs? This is the day the Lord has made! Music doesn’t work for everyone, so let’s do something powerful and turn to God’s love letter found in the Bible.

Even on special days, sometimes we need to know how much we are loved. Even on special days, the devil will try to rob us of our joy. Even on special days, people will do things or say things that will try to rob us of our joy. But we can’t let that cause us to lose our joy for the joy of the Lord of the joy is our strength and so if we feel it draining from us, lets turn back to God and be refilled. Let’s allow God’s Word to be our fuel for a new day so that in and through us and our lives God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

  • Nehemiah 5
  • Nehemiah 6
  • Nehemiah 7:1-4
  • Ezekiel 46
  • Ezekiel 47:1-12
  • Acts 24:1-9
  • Revelation 17:11-18
  • Psalms 138

We need to defend the oppressed. We need to support the orphans and widows.

We need to ensure that the rules and ways of doing business don’t harm the oppressed.

Let’s live out our lives in a way that shows reverence to God so that in and through our lives, as living sacrifices, He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Let’s live out our lives with the wisdom of the Lord

Let’s not be fooled or tricked but rather live out our lives with the discernment that comes with the Holy Spirit. Trust God!

Let’s complete the good work that God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish.

Let’s be living sacrifices to our God that are pleasing to Him.

Let’s be living out our lives to supporting life and flourishing.

Let’s allow the living water of Jesus to flow in and through us so that there will be life wherever we go.

Let’s be a part of the victory by being on Jesus’s side.

Let’s be a part of the people who will spend eternity with God and not in the pit with the devil.

Let’s give God thanks and praise Him.

‘I give you thanks, O Lord , with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord , for all of them will hear your words. Yes, they will sing about the Lord ’s ways, for the glory of the Lord is very great. Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord , endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.’

Psalms 138:1-8

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:

This morning when I landed on Bing to get my reward points it started with this page:

Yes, today is my birthday but that isn’t what makes it happy. Thank You Jesus for this new day You have created and have prepared in advance for me. Thank You Jesus for the strength I receive through the joy You have provided me. Thank You for today!

Where do you turn when things get tough?

Ever heard people say that when the going gets tough the tough gets going? But how do they do that? How can they be so tough? How do they persevere? What is it that can drive them to press on? What is it that can motivate them to keep going? Can it endure? How long can it endure? Is it pure human strength or is it something bigger? How do they know to keep going? How do they know which way to go?

Ever looked into God’s Word? Ever realized that all the wisdom you need can be found in it? Ever realized that when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit we have power that is greater than anything we can or could ever do in our own strength? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Have you given Him permission and access to everything? Have you decided to receive His wisdom and guidance? Have you decided to obey His commands? Have you decided to receive the greatest gift available that can only come through grace by faith? Have you accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus?

Let’s imagine a world where we love God and love people as our only commands. Love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. Love our neighbor as ourselves. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives being patient, being kind, without envy, without boasting, and without pride. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives without dishonoring others, without being selfish and forcing our own ways, without being easily angered, and without keeping records of wrongs and so forgiving. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives being truthful and rejoicing in it rather than delighting in evil. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives always protecting, always, trusting, always hoping, and always persevering. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives being with never failing love and that love being what helps us keep going, even when the going gets tough!

So when the going gets tough, how will you respond and why will you respond that way?

Today’s reading gets us started in 2 Kings 19:

‘When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the Lord . And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, all dressed in burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby. But perhaps the Lord your God has heard the Assyrian chief of staff, sent by the king to defy the living God, and will punish him for his words. Oh, pray for those of us who are left!” After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah, the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.’” Meanwhile, the Assyrian chief of staff left Jerusalem and went to consult the king of Assyria, who had left Lachish and was attacking Libnah. Soon afterward King Sennacherib received word that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was leading an army to fight against him. Before leaving to meet the attack, he sent messengers back to Hezekiah in Jerusalem with this message: “This message is for King Hezekiah of Judah. Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you with promises that Jerusalem will not be captured by the king of Assyria. You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different? Have the gods of other nations rescued them—such nations as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Tel-assar? My predecessors destroyed them all! What happened to the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad? What happened to the kings of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?” After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord ’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord . And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord : “O Lord , God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord , and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord , and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. “It is true, Lord , that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord , are God.” Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria. And the Lord has spoken this word against him: “The virgin daughter of Zion despises you and laughs at you. The daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head in derision as you flee. “Whom have you been defying and ridiculing? Against whom did you raise your voice? At whom did you look with such haughty eyes? It was the Holy One of Israel! By your messengers you have defied the Lord. You have said, ‘With my many chariots I have conquered the highest mountains— yes, the remotest peaks of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars and its finest cypress trees. I have reached its farthest corners and explored its deepest forests. I have dug wells in many foreign lands and refreshed myself with their water. With the sole of my foot I stopped up all the rivers of Egypt!’ “But have you not heard? I decided this long ago. Long ago I planned it, and now I am making it happen. I planned for you to crush fortified cities into heaps of rubble. That is why their people have so little power and are so frightened and confused. They are as weak as grass, as easily trampled as tender green shoots. They are like grass sprouting on a housetop, scorched before it can grow lush and tall. “But I know you well— where you stay and when you come and go. I know the way you have raged against me. And because of your raging against me and your arrogance, which I have heard for myself, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth. I will make you return by the same road on which you came.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Here is the proof that what I say is true: “This year you will eat only what grows up by itself, and next year you will eat what springs up from that. But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them; you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit. And you who are left in Judah, who have escaped the ravages of the siege, will put roots down in your own soil and will grow up and flourish. For a remnant of my people will spread out from Jerusalem, a group of survivors from Mount Zion. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! “And this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: “His armies will not enter Jerusalem. They will not even shoot an arrow at it. They will not march outside its gates with their shields nor build banks of earth against its walls. The king will return to his own country by the same road on which he came. He will not enter this city, says the Lord . For my own honor and for the sake of my servant David, I will defend this city and protect it.” That night the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there. One day while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with their swords. They then escaped to the land of Ararat, and another son, Esarhaddon, became the next king of Assyria.’

2 Kings 19:1-37

Today’s reading then brings us into Ezekiel 25:

‘Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, turn and face the land of Ammon and prophesy against its people. Give the Ammonites this message from the Sovereign Lord : Hear the word of the Sovereign Lord ! Because you cheered when my Temple was defiled, mocked Israel in her desolation, and laughed at Judah as she went away into exile, I will allow nomads from the eastern deserts to overrun your country. They will set up their camps among you and pitch their tents on your land. They will harvest all your fruit and drink the milk from your livestock. And I will turn the city of Rabbah into a pasture for camels, and all the land of the Ammonites into a resting place for sheep and goats. Then you will know that I am the Lord . “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you clapped and danced and cheered with glee at the destruction of my people, I will raise my fist of judgment against you. I will give you as plunder to many nations. I will cut you off from being a nation and destroy you completely. Then you will know that I am the Lord . “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the people of Moab have said that Judah is just like all the other nations, I will open up their eastern flank and wipe out their glorious frontier towns—Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. And I will hand Moab over to nomads from the eastern deserts, just as I handed over Ammon. Yes, the Ammonites will no longer be counted among the nations. In the same way, I will bring my judgment down on the Moabites. Then they will know that I am the Lord . “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Edom have sinned greatly by avenging themselves against the people of Judah. Therefore, says the Sovereign Lord , I will raise my fist of judgment against Edom. I will wipe out its people and animals with the sword. I will make a wasteland of everything from Teman to Dedan. I will accomplish this by the hand of my people of Israel. They will carry out my vengeance with anger, and Edom will know that this vengeance is from me. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken! “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Philistia have acted against Judah out of bitter revenge and long-standing contempt. Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will raise my fist of judgment against the land of the Philistines. I will wipe out the Kerethites and utterly destroy the people who live by the sea. I will execute terrible vengeance against them to punish them for what they have done. And when I have inflicted my revenge, they will know that I am the Lord .”’

Ezekiel 25:1-17

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting with Acts 17:

‘While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there. He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.” Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. “You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.) So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” That ended Paul’s discussion with them, but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.’

Acts of the Apostles 17:16-34

Today’s reading then continues into Revelation 8:

‘When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour. I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake.’

Revelation 8:1-5

Today’s reading concludes in Psalms 120:

‘I took my troubles to the Lord ; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. Rescue me, O Lord , from liars and from all deceitful people. O deceptive tongue, what will God do to you? How will he increase your punishment? You will be pierced with sharp arrows and burned with glowing coals. How I suffer in far-off Meshech. It pains me to live in distant Kedar. I am tired of living among people who hate peace. I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war!’

Psalms 120:1-7

So where are you at today? 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 recommitment 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:

Salvation Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me, thank you for dying on the cross for me. Jesus, please forgive me for all the evil things that I have done. I am sorry. Jesus, I want to be a child of God and follow you, please teach me to do what is right. Jesus, I want You to be my Lord and Savior, please come into my Heart, and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Jesus, please protect me from the evil one, and save me, so that I may go to Heaven with You. I also pray that you would save my friends and family. I love you Jesus, I want to know You, and be close to you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.  

Sign your name here.

Looking for something that will encourage and strengthen?

Where do you turn? Do you know of any good sources? Do you know where you can learn more? Do you know where you can read more? Do you know where there is truth that can encourage not only you but those around you? Do you know where this is truth that can strengthen and lift both you and those you are leading? Do you know where Thomas Jefferson turned? Do you know what he spoke to and spoke from during his second inaugural address?

God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. God’s Word can both motivate, encourage, and strengthen you and those you are leading. When I think of the rough day yesterday, I left work late and went to a Team Meeting for worship and art being lead by our incredible worship pastor. He went to Exodus 33 and shared verses 12-17. Between our time together of worship and the preaching of the Word, I was motivated, encouraged, and strengthened to get back up and press forward.  It spoke to how the overflow of our hearts is what we pour into ministry. It spoke to how when we have God’s presence that all things are possible. It spoke to how God responds to big faith.

12Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
17And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” 
–from Exodus 33

The 5 points that our worship pastor shared were incredible and used real life stories and examples as well as other part of the Bible to speak God’s truth to us so that we could get inspired, encouraged, and strengthened.

Defined by his presence

  1. Continue to learn – v13
    • Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
  2. God promises his presence and his rest – v14
    • And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
  3. Moses wanted more of God – v15-16
    • 15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
  4. God’s presence makes us different – v16
    • 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
  5. Moses hunger was pleasing to God – v17
    • 17And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”

Today’s reading comes from Exodus 39…

Making the Priestly Garments

‘From the blue and purple and scarlet yarns they made finely woven garments, for ministering in the Holy Place. They made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He made the ephod of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. And they hammered out gold leaf, and he cut it into threads to work into the blue and purple and the scarlet yarns, and into the fine twined linen, in skilled design. They made for the ephod attaching shoulder pieces, joined to it at its two edges. And the skillfully woven band on it was of one piece with it and made like it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen, as the Lord had commanded Moses. They made the onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold filigree, and engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. And he set them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He made the breastpiece, in skilled work, in the style of the ephod, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. It was square. They made the breastpiece doubled, a span its length and a span its breadth when doubled. And they set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle was the first row; and the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. There were twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They were like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes. And they made on the breastpiece twisted chains like cords, of pure gold. And they made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastpiece. And they put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastpiece. They attached the two ends of the two cords to the two settings of filigree. Thus they attached it in front to the shoulder pieces of the ephod. Then they made two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. And they made two rings of gold, and attached them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, at its seam above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. And they bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so that it should lie on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece should not come loose from the ephod, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He also made the robe of the ephod woven all of blue, and the opening of the robe in it was like the opening in a garment, with a binding around the opening, so that it might not tear. On the hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around the hem of the robe, between the pomegranates— a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate around the hem of the robe for ministering, as the Lord had commanded Moses. They also made the coats, woven of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, and the turban of fine linen, and the caps of fine linen, and the linen undergarments of fine twined linen, and the sash of fine twined linen and of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, embroidered with needlework, as the Lord had commanded Moses. They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the Lord .” And they tied to it a cord of blue to fasten it on the turban above, as the Lord had commanded Moses. Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the people of Israel did according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses; so they did. Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; the covering of tanned rams’ skins and goatskins, and the veil of the screen; the ark of the testimony with its poles and the mercy seat; the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; the lampstand of pure gold and its lamps with the lamps set and all its utensils, and the oil for the light; the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin and its stand; the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; the finely worked garments for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons for their service as priests. According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.

–from Exodus 39:1-43

Mar 3 - Encouragement and Strength from Exodus - Ephod of Aaron.jpg

Today’s devotional from the Global Impact Bible points to Thomas Jefferson’s second inaugural speech and how he used both Exodus and Romans 13:4 to speak to the people of the United States.

I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, and our riper years with his wisdom and power; and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do, shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.

–from Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Speech

So where are you at today? Are you needing motivation, encouragement, and strength? Are the people around you needing to be motivated, encouraged, and/or strengthened? What are you going to do? Where are you going to turn? How will you respond? Do you know where your hope and your source come from? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteous, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but fully trust in Jesus’ name.

Every morning I start my day in the Bible. On days when it is either cut short, missed, or interrupted it prevents me from getting filled up. It keeps me from being fully prepared for the day. When I do get to finish fully, the Holy Spirit fills me up and I live and pour out my life with the overflow of all that God is and has poured into and over my life. It is the reason people may wonder why am I so joyful, why am I the way I am and the reality is that it is because of Jesus living in and through me. It is because God has poured so much into me that I am overflowing into the lives of the people He brings into my life. It is because His Word never returns void!

So where are you at today? Looking for something or someone that will encourage and strengthen? Are you turning to God’s Word? Are you crying out to God? Are you in relationship with Jesus? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you, comfort you and encourage you? Are you willing to give it up and over to God so that He can pour into you and your life and the lives of the people around you in a way that will encourage and strengthen you and then?

Today you get to choose! Today you don’t get to choose what comes your way but you will get to choose how you will respond. From the overflow of the heart your mouth will speak. So what is in your heart? What will the overflow be? Will your words be words that build up or tear down? Will your words be words that cause life or cause death? Will your words build up others? Will your words tear down strongholds?

So what will you choose? The decision is one that only you can make. The power is yours!

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I lift it up Lord and take hold of the Words from Exodus 33 and how I want to continue to learn more about you and seek your face. I want Your presence with me everywhere I go so that I go where You want me to go, I do what You want me to do, and I say what You want me to say. If You don’t come with me, I don’t want to go! Without You life isn’t worth it. With You all things are possible for nothing is impossible with You. So Lord I take this time seeking You , diligently seeking You for I know then I will find you. I come boldly believing and trusting in You for I know that bold faith will shine Your glory to the world around me. Help me today to step out in the right mindset and focus so that in all that I think, say, and do that You Lord will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. I want go where You go. I want to stay where You stay. And so Lord guide my steps I pray. Allow me to pick up the encouragement and strength from Your Word that today I will walk out this day with the overflow in order to be able to pour into the lives of everyone who comes across my path. I lift all this up to You Lord and ask that Your wisdom and discernment will lead and guide as Your Spirit will comfort and direct so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Who does God say you are? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 21st)

Do you remember life before you had that encounter with God? Do you remember who you were then? Do you remember the transformation that took place when you realized that it was all about having a relationship with Him? Do you remember the difference it made in your life to realize it was more than just ritual and routine but was all about having an intimate relationship with God through Jesus? Do you remember how the old faded or is fading away? Do you remember the newness of life that has begun? Do you remember that sense of new beginning? Do you remember those old things that were keeping you from becoming all God desires and has planned for you fading away and the new things that have started to appear? Do take hold of the fruits of the Spirit that have started to produce?

Who does God say you are? A child of God! A son or daughter? A husband or wife? A father or mother? A servant leader? …

I have moments throughout my life where God has called me to be more that what I thought I could be. He called me to be a good husband and father. He called me to step up and be part of the leadership of my community. He called me to step up and lead the community. He called me to get involved in the lives of kids. He called me to make a difference in the lives of kids. He called me to go to camps. He called me to lead a camp. He called me to get involved in His church. He called me to step up and be a servant leader in my church.  He called me to a good employee and lead.

I have stories about how I resisted those for a time because it felt so much bigger than myself like the time when I resisted to the point of getting the ultimatum of obeying or being nothing. I have learned that if God calls me to it, He will get me through it! Nothing is too big for God and so I need to not lean on my own understanding but rather in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will be my strength. I need to tie up to Him when I am feeling weak and allow His strength which is more than enough to be what helps me get in and get through. When He called me to become president of the homeowners association, I had to lean on Him! When He called me into serving in worship and arts, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to act, I had to lean on Him! When He called me into men’s leadership, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a deacon on the church board, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a director for a camp for foster teens, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a director for the content management system at work, I had to lean on Him!

God has a plan and God has a purpose for each of us! God takes us right where are loving us unconditionally and to the fullest amount. God doesn’t want us to stay where we were but He has plans and dreams for our lives that can feel frightening at times because they are so much more than we could have ever asked or imagined. His ways are not our ways, His ways are bigger and better. So we need to lean not on our own understanding but rather in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our path straight! Do limit yourself because of the lies of the devil! The devil is real and He is trying to rob you from all God’s blessings by speaking lies that you aren’t this and aren’t than and why would God ever… so resist the devil’s lies and he will flee and instead run to God, call out to God, trust in the Lord with all your strength, your mind, all your heart and soul! Stay close to God! Draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you!

So take time and seek God! Take time and read God’s Word! Take time and be with God’s church! Take time and consider what God has planned for you! This is the day that the Lord has made! God didn’t want to leave you where you were but His plan through Jesus is to give you a hope and a future! God wants to walk with you into all the amazing plans He has for your life! When you start to feel weak or afraid, draw closer to God, lean on Him more because in our weakness, His strength is revealed! All things are possible for those who believe!

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 16:18 …

18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

–from Matthew 16:18

Do you realize how this impacted the world of art? Have you been to St. Peter’s Basilica? Have you consider the impact of Jesus’ words to Peter and how it impacted the world? Have you seen how these words have impact the world of art done by Michelangelo? Ever seen such incredible pictures from the Basilica?

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Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You Lord that You aren’t done with me yet and that I am still clay being molded into the person You desire for me to be. I thank You Lord that You aren’t limited by my abilities but are able to take what I have and use it for Your glory. I thank You Lord that Your plans for me are good. I thank You Lord for Jesus who came and made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. I thank You Lord that thanks to Your plans I have a hope and a future. Lord, grant me wisdom for today. Lord, help me when I get stuck or feel weak to hold on tighter to You. Help me to be like David who when he was so drained, he strengthened himself in you! Nothing is impossible with You Lord and so I put all my hope and trust in You so that in and through my life You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Can you live giving it all?

How many ways can we consider this? How many ways can we say this?

Are you committed? Are you dedicated? Are you convicted? Are you decided?

How are you living your life? Are you a halfway type of person? Are you part way in type of person? What are you involved in? What are you you committed to? What are you dedicated to? What are you convicted to?What have you decided is your focus?

Are you wholeheartedly committed to living after God and His ways?

Are you all in?

Are you trying to live out your life fully after God? Are you fully 100% committed to doing what the Lord calls you to do? Are you in with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your strength, and all of your mind?

Is there anything bad or getting in the way of you being able to accomplish this?

Are there things that you need to remove from your life in order to be able to better follow after God?

God’s looking for people! Will you step up? Will you raise your hand? Will you come forward?

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war. –2 Chronicles 16:9

Will you be fully committed so that even in those weakest or darkest moments, God will be able to give you strength?

Will you allow Jesus to be the Lord of all of your life? Partial doesn’t cut it. If Jesus isn’t the Lord of all of your life, He isn’t Lord at all in your life!

Let’s consider the times throughout the Bible where we hear about “all of our heart”…

  • 4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  –from Deuteronomy 6
  • 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. –from Matthew 22
  • 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; –from Proverbs 3
  • 34Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. –from Psalm 119
  • 69Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. –from Psalm 119
  • 1Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. –from Psalm 111
  • 1Of David. I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. –from Psalm 138
  • 14Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! –from Zephaniah 3
  • 6So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart. –from Nehemiah 4
  • 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters, –from Colossians 3

Do you want to have a full life? There is but one way! Do you 10 out of 10? Consider these words from John 10:10…

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. –John 10:10

As our devotional today concluded, it speaks the truth of what a full live looks like when it says…

It’s a life of love, trust, gratitude, joy and meaningful work. In the passages for today we see why and how we should live wholeheartedly.

–from Day 234: Bible In One Year 2017

Life on this planet is short, so let’s make the most of it and live wholeheartedly!

For those of us who have received Jesus and invited Him into our lives, we know we have eternity to spend with Him and so we need to share this hope that is within us with the world around us that God has provided to each of us as a way to help point them to Him.

Wholehearted Living

Day 234: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Brevity of life … Psalm 102:1-11
  2. Certainty of resurrection … 1 Corinthians 15:1-34
    • Let’s consider and remember these words of wisdom from today’s devotional…
    • Paul tells us what was at the heart of his preaching, and why he followed Jesus so wholeheartedly: ‘The gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand’ (v.1). This is the gospel whereby you are saved (v.2); hold firmly to it.

      The message

      It is a very simple message, ‘that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures’ (vv.3–4).

      His death had a great purpose. It was ‘for our sins’. The power of sin is broken. Sins can be forgiven.

      While sin’s power is broken, its presence remains in our lives. But one day, even the presence of sin will be removed.

      You can be sure of this because of the resurrection. This is the certainty of your hope for the future.

      Jesus died and was buried. One day you will die and be buried. Jesus was raised from the dead. One day you will also be raised.

      The evidence

      The resurrection is a sign in this world of the future God has in store. Paul spoke of the future in light of what God had done: ‘He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead’ (Acts 17:31). Faith is not irrational. Faith is grounded on the event of the resurrection.

      Paul gives some of the evidence for the resurrection. First, he highlights that Jesus was ‘buried’ and ‘raised according to the Scriptures’. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were written about before he was born.

      Second, he points to Christ’s appearances to Peter, to the twelve, to 500 others, to James, all the apostles, and finally, to Paul himself (1 Corinthians 15:6–8).

      This is not an exhaustive list of the appearances – but enough to show it is well attested. He shows that the resurrection is rooted in history, grounded in Scripture and confirmed by experience.

      The importance

      The resurrection really matters. If there is no resurrection, the consequences are dire. The resurrection was the basis of Paul’s preaching. Without it ‘everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors… a string of barefaced lies’ (vv.14a–15, MSG). Since that was what they based their faith on, without the resurrection ‘your faith is futile’ and ‘you are still in your sins’ (v.17). There would be no hope for the future, ‘those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost’ (v.18). In fact, Paul concludes that without it Christianity is worse than nothing: ‘If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all people’ (v.19).

      The result

      ‘But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries’ (v.20, MSG). Therefore, the resurrection is certain. One day all those who are ‘in Christ’ will be raised from the dead. Then death will be destroyed (v.26). ‘God’s rule is absolutely comprehensive – a perfect ending!’ (v.28, MSG).

      Because the resurrection is certain, Paul writes, we endanger ourselves every hour (v.30): ‘I die every day’ (v.31). He is 100%, wholeheartedly fully committed to the Lord. He even fought wild beasts in Ephesus (v.32). He was willing to risk his life because of the certainty of the resurrection.

      This is the reason why Paul urges us to ‘stop sinning’ (v.34). Satan’s tactics often start with doubt. If he can make us doubt, then next he will tempt us to sin. In one sense, all sin stems from unbelief.


      The message of Jesus, his death and resurrection, is good news. It is the gospel. You are to receive it and believe it. You are to take your stand on it. You are to hold it firmly. Like Paul, pass it on to others.

      –from Day 234: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. Eyes of the Lord … 2 Chronicles 16:1-18:27

Day 234 of 365 …

Strengthen yourself in the Lord!

In a bind? In a tough spot? In a situation? Turn to God to be your strength and to strengthen you! Allow Him to meet you right where you are at and help you! Allow Him to grant you wisdom for the very situation so that you can move forward in His blessing and guidance to complete the work He has for you to do!

Today’s reading from 1 Samuel speaks right into this situation…

Descendants of Benjamin

1Benjamin fathered Bela his firstborn, Ashbel second, Ahrah third, 2Nohah the fourth, and Rapha fifth. 3Bela’s sons were: Addar, Gera, Abihud, 4 Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, 5 Gera, Shephuphan and Huram. 6These were the sons of Ehud—the heads of clans of the inhabitants of Geba, who were taken captive to Manahath: 7Naaman, Ahijah and Gera—he took them captive and fathered Uzza and Ahihud. 8Shaharaim fathered children in the country of Moab after divorcing his wives Hushim and Baara. 9By his wife Hodesh he fathered Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, 10Jeuz, Sachiah and Mirmah. These were his sons, family leaders. 11By Hushim he fathered Abitub and Elpaal. 12The sons of Elpaal: Eber, Misham and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod with its villages; 13Beriah and Shema, leaders of the clans living in Aijalon and who drove out the inhabitants of Gath. 14Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, 15Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16Michael, Ishpah, Joha were sons of Beriah. 17Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber 18Ishmerai, Izliah, and Jobab were sons of Elpaal. 19Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, 20Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath were sons of Shimei. 22Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, 24Hananiah, Elam, Anthothiah, 25Iphdeiah and Penuel were the sons of Shashak. 26Shamsherai, Shechariah, Athaliah 27Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zichri were sons of Jeroham. 28These were leaders of the clans listed in their genealogies. These lived in Jerusalem. 29Now the father of Gibeon dwelt in Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maacah, 30and his firstborn son was Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, 31Gedor, Ahio and Zecher 32and Mikloth who fathered Shimeah. They lived with their relatives in Jerusalem, opposite their relatives. 33Ner fathered Kish and Kish fathered Saul. Saul fathered Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 34Jonathan’s son was Merib-baal and Merib-baal fathered Micah. 35Micah’s sons: Pithon, Melech, Taarea and Ahaz. 36Ahaz fathered Jehoaddah, Jehoaddah fathered Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri, and Zimri fathered Moza, 37Moza fathered Binea; Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 38Azel had six sons and these were their names: Azrikam, Bocru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan—all these were sons of Azel. 39The sons of his brother Eshek: Ulam his firstborn, Jeush second, and Eliphelet third. 40Now the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and grandsons—150. All these were descendants of Benjamin.

–from 1 Chronicles 8

What if someone took everything you loved and owned? What if they burned down everything that they didn’t take? What would you do? How would you respond? What if 1/3 of the people who were going out with you were too tired to go all the way? How would you respond?

Raid on Amalek

1Now it came to pass, when David and his men returned to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire; 2taking the women in it captive, young and old, without killing anyone, but carried them off as they went their way. 3So when David and his men came to the town, behold, it was burned with fire—and their wives, their sons and their daughters had been taken captives. 4Then David and the troops with him lifted up their voice and wept until they there was no more strength in them to weep. 5Even David’s two wives were taken captive—Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow. 6So David was in a serious bind, for the troops were calling for his stoning, for all the troops were bitter of soul, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in Adonai his God. 7Then David said to Abiathar the kohen son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8David inquired of Adonai saying, “Should I pursue after this raiding band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue! For you will surely overtake and you will surely rescue!” 9So David went, he and the 600 men with him, and came to the Wadi Besor, where those left behind remained— 10for 200 men stayed behind because they were too exhausted to cross Wadi Besor. Yet David pursued, he and the other 400 men. 11Then they found an Egyptian in the open field and brought him to David, gave him bread to eat and water to drink, 12and they also gave him a piece of fig cake and two cakes of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit came back to him, for he had eaten no bread and drunk no water for three days and three nights. 13Then David asked him, “To whom do you belong? Where are you from?” “I am a young Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite,” he said. “My master abandoned me three days ago because I fell sick. 14We made a raid in the Negev of the Cherethites, and on Judah, and on the Negev of Caleb; also we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15Then David asked him, “Will you lead me to this raiding band?” “Swear to me by God that you won’t kill me or deliver me into my master’s hands,” he said, “and I will lead you to this marauding band.” 16So he led him down, and behold, they were scattered over all the area, eating, drinking and feasting because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17David attacked them from the twilight until the evening of the next day. None of them escaped, except 400 young men who rode on camels and fled. 18So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives. 19There was nothing of theirs missing, whether young or old, sons or daughters, spoils or anything else that had been carried off—David recovered everything. 20David took all the flocks and the herd that they had driven ahead of the other cattle, so they said, “This is David’s spoil.” 21When David reached the 200 men—who had been too exhausted to follow David and were left at Wadi Besor—they came out to meet David and to meet the men with him, so David approached these people and greeted them. 22But all the wicked men and worthless fellows among those who accompanied David said, “Because they did not accompany us, we shouldn’t give them any of the spoil that we’ve recovered, except every man may take his wife and his children and leave.” 23“You must not do so, my brothers with what Adonai has given us,” David said. “It is He who has protected us and gave into our hands the raiding band that attacked us. 24Who would listen to you in this matter? The share of him who went down to the battle is to be the same as that of him who remained by the baggage. They will share alike.” 25So it has been from that day forward—he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day. 26When David arrived at Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Look, a blessing for you from the spoil of the enemies of Adonai,” 27to those in Beth-el, Ramoth-Negev, Jattir, 28Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29Racal, to those in the towns of Jerahmeelite, to those in the towns of the Kenites, 30Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, 31Hebron and to all the places where David and his men had roamed.

–from 1 Samuel 30

You are invited! You are wanted! Will you go? Will you participate? Will you be humble and go? Will you be too proud and busy and miss out on what is most important?

Invitation to the Wedding Feast

1Yeshua answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who made a wedding feast for his son. 3He sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they wouldn’t come. 4Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who were invited, “Look, I’ve prepared my meal. My oxen and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!”’ 5“But paying no attention, they went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6And the rest grabbed his servants, humiliated them, and killed them. 7Now the king became furious! Sending his troops, he destroyed those murderers and set fire to their city. 8“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9So go into the highways and byways, and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.’ 10And those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to look over the guests, he saw a man there who wasn’t dressed in wedding clothes. 12‘Friend,’ he said to him, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But the man was silent. 13Then the king said to his servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

–from Matthew 22

Don’t be tricked! Don’t be fooled! Allow God to direct your steps and your words!

A Trap about Paying Taxes

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might trap Him with a word. 16And they sent to Him some of their disciples, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are honest and teach the way of God in truth. And what others think doesn’t concern You, for You do not look at men’s appearance. 17Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Yeshua, knowing their wickedness, said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20And He said to them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21“Caesar’s,” they said to Him. Then He said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22And hearing this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.

Religious Leaders Ask a Tricky Question

23On that day, Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Yeshua and questioned Him, saying, 24“Teacher, Moses said, ‘If someone dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his widow and father children for his brother.’ 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died; and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26In the same way also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28So in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 29But answering, Yeshua said to them, “You’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living!” 33When the crowds heard this, they were astounded at His teaching.

The Greatest Mitzvot

34But the Pharisees, when they heard that Yeshua had silenced the Sadducees, gathered together in one place. 35And testing Him, one of them, a lawyer, asked, 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?” 37And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Yeshua Overturns the Arguments

41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Yeshua asked them a question, 42saying, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” “David’s,” they say to Him. 43“Then how is it,” He says to them, “that David by the Ruach calls him ‘Lord’? 44For he says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’ 45If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 46No one was able to answer Him a word. Nor did anyone dare from that day on to question Him any longer.

–from Matthew 22





Do you need help? Do you really need help?

If you answer yes, have you asked for help? Have you turned to the one who can help? Have you talked with them about what you need and how they can help? It’s more than just a routine, it’s all about having and building and strengthening that relationship! If we aren’t living in relationship with Him and we aren’t walking in alignment with Him and we don’t ask Him, how can we expect to get help when we need it? We need to ask!

God is just! God is patient! God’s wants everyone to turn back to Him as He doesn’t want anyone to perish! God loves us so much and unconditionally that He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way to bridge the gap between the rebelliousness of man and the love of God. Jesus paid the price or the penalty that justice required from a just God! So when we accept and live in relationship with Jesus, we can always have hope because even when we slip up, God is ready to forgive us (if we’ll ask) and allow us to step back under the cover of His love through Jesus. When Jesus comes back, let’s be ready! Let’s choose now to receive Him as our Lord and Savior and live in relationship with God! Let’s be in continuous conversation with Him!

We see in today’s reading how He is ready to help, but nobody turned to Him and nobody asked Him for help…

God’s Punishment of the Rebellious

1The Lord said, “I was ready to answer my people’s prayers, but they did not pray. I was ready for them to find me, but they did not even try. The nation did not pray to me, even though I was always ready to answer, ‘Here I am; I will help you.’ 2I have always been ready to welcome my people, who stubbornly do what is wrong and go their own way. 3They shamelessly keep on making me angry. They offer pagan sacrifices at sacred gardens and burn incense on pagan altars. 4At night they go to caves and tombs to consult the spirits of the dead. They eat pork and drink broth made from meat offered in pagan sacrifices. 5And then they say to others, ‘Keep away from us; we are too holy for you to touch!’ I cannot stand people like that—my anger against them is like a fire that never goes out. 6“I have already decided on their punishment, and their sentence is written down. I will not overlook what they have done, but will repay them 7for their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They have burned incense at pagan hill shrines and spoken evil of me. So I will punish them as their past deeds deserve.” 8The Lord says, “No one destroys good grapes; instead, they make wine with them. Neither will I destroy all my people—I will save those who serve me. 9I will bless the Israelites who belong to the tribe of Judah, and their descendants will possess my land of mountains. My chosen people, who serve me, will live there. 10They will worship me and will lead their sheep and cattle to pasture in the Plain of Sharon in the west and in Trouble Valley in the east. 11“But it will be different for you that forsake me, who ignore Zion, my sacred hill, and worship Gad and Meni, the gods of luck and fate. 12It will be your fate to die a violent death, because you did not answer when I called you or listen when I spoke. You chose to disobey me and do evil. 13And so I tell you that those who worship and obey me will have plenty to eat and drink, but you will be hungry and thirsty. They will be happy, but you will be disgraced. 14They will sing for joy, but you will cry with a broken heart. 15My chosen people will use your name as a curse. I, the Sovereign Lord, will put you to death. But I will give a new name to those who obey me. 16Anyone in the land who asks for a blessing will ask to be blessed by the faithful God. Whoever takes an oath will swear by the name of the faithful God. The troubles of the past will be gone and forgotten.”

The New Creation

17  The Lord says, “I am making a new earth and new heavens. The events of the past will be completely forgotten. 18Be glad and rejoice forever in what I create. The new Jerusalem I make will be full of joy, and her people will be happy. 19I myself will be filled with joy because of Jerusalem and her people. There will be no weeping there, no calling for help. 20Babies will no longer die in infancy, and all people will live out their life span. Those who live to be a hundred will be considered young. To die before that would be a sign that I had punished them. 21-22People will build houses and get to live in them—they will not be used by someone else. They will plant vineyards and enjoy the wine—it will not be drunk by others. Like trees, my people will live long lives. They will fully enjoy the things that they have worked for. 23The work they do will be successful, and their children will not meet with disaster. I will bless them and their descendants for all time to come. 24Even before they finish praying to me, I will answer their prayers. 25 Wolves and lambs will eat together; lions will eat straw, as cattle do, and snakes will no longer be dangerous. On Zion, my sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil.”
–from Isaiah 65
There will be a new heaven and a new earth! There will be a place where there is no more pain and no more suffering! There will be a place with no more tears! There is a right way and a wrong way! There are outcomes based on our actions! Will anyone stand up, stand in the gap, and do something by saying no because that is so outside of being ok?

The Lord Judges the Nations

1 The Lord says, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house, then, could you build for me, what kind of place for me to live in? 2I myself created the whole universe! I am pleased with those who are humble and repentant, who fear me and obey me. 3“The people do as they please. It’s all the same to them whether they kill a bull as a sacrifice or sacrifice a human being; whether they sacrifice a lamb or break a dog’s neck; whether they present a grain offering or offer pigs’ blood; whether they offer incense or pray to an idol. They take pleasure in disgusting ways of worship. 4So I will bring disaster upon them—the very things they are afraid of—because no one answered when I called or listened when I spoke. They chose to disobey me and do evil.” 5Listen to what the Lord says, you that fear him and obey him: “Because you are faithful to me, some of your own people hate you and will have nothing to do with you. They mock you and say, ‘Let the Lord show his greatness and save you, so that we may see you rejoice.’ But they themselves will be disgraced! 6Listen! That loud noise in the city, that sound in the Temple, is the sound of the Lord punishing his enemies! 7“My holy city is like a woman who suddenly gives birth to a child without ever going into labor. 8Has anyone ever seen or heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a day? Zion will not have to suffer long, before the nation is born. 9Do not think that I will bring my people to the point of birth and not let them be born.” The Lord has spoken. 10Rejoice with Jerusalem; be glad for her, all you that love this city! Rejoice with her now, all you that have mourned for her! 11You will enjoy her prosperity, like a child at its mother’s breast. 12The Lord says, “I will bring you lasting prosperity; the wealth of the nations will flow to you like a river that never goes dry. You will be like a child that is nursed by its mother, carried in her arms, and treated with love. 13I will comfort you in Jerusalem, as a mother comforts her child. 14When you see this happen, you will be glad; it will make you strong and healthy. Then you will know that I, the Lord, help those who obey me, and I show my anger against my enemies.” 15The Lord will come with fire. He will ride on the wings of a storm to punish those he is angry with. 16By fire and sword he will punish all the people of the world whom he finds guilty—and many will be put to death. 17The Lord says, “The end is near for those who purify themselves for pagan worship, who go in procession to sacred gardens, and who eat pork and mice and other disgusting foods. 18I know their thoughts and their deeds. I am coming to gather the people of all the nations. When they come together, they will see what my power can do 19and will know that I am the one who punishes them. “But I will spare some of them and send them to the nations and the distant lands that have not heard of my fame or seen my greatness and power: to Spain, Libya, and Lydia, with its skilled archers, and to Tubal and Greece. Among these nations they will proclaim my greatness. 20They will bring back all your people from the nations as a gift to me. They will bring them to my sacred hill in Jerusalem on horses, mules, and camels, and in chariots and wagons, just as Israelites bring grain offerings to the Temple in ritually clean containers. 21I will make some of them priests and Levites. 22“Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure. 23On every New Moon Festival and every Sabbath people of every nation will come to worship me here in Jerusalem,” says the Lord. 24 “As they leave, they will see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me. The worms that eat them will never die, and the fire that burns them will never be put out. The sight of them will be disgusting to all people.”
–from Isaiah 66