Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32 (Fast)
Read the “0407 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.” (1 Samuel 28:4-5)
We’re living in a crazy time, people are losing their jobs, people are getting sick; no one is allowed to leave home, and it seems like the world is spiraling into chaos. Here in 1 Samuel we see two characters, Saul and David, and both are faced with difficult situations, but both men react very differently. In chapter 28 we see the armies of the Philistines making warfare against Israel.
Saul, knowing he is in a tight place and knowing he needs the Lord unfortunately turns to the wrong person. Saul seeks for a witch to bring back the spirit of the great Prophet Samuel.
Saul stooped down to the world’s level, trying to get an answer from God. Saul knew the ways of the Lord but chose to walk wickedly. In this time that we are in we cannot compromise what we know and what we believe in order to try and get the answers that we should be getting from God’s Word. God expects us to live holy and righteousness lives even in tough times when we don’t know what to do. Tough times are not an excuse to live wrong.
David was also faced with a difficult situation in chapter 30. David and his mighty men returned from battle to find their home city completely destroyed, burnt with fire, and all their wives and children were taken captive. The whole camp was in great distress and even spoke of stoning David. Not only did David lose his wives, family, and everything he owned; but now his own men are talking about killing him. David did not use this time to run from God or have a pity party. In verse 6, we see that he encouraged himself in the Lord and sought counsel from the priest. After doing what God told him to do he recovered everything he had lost and achieved a mighty victory. We need to remember as we go through this “virus crisis” that God is always going to be there for us. He will show us what to do, and we have nothing to be afraid of.
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” (Psalm 56:3)
In this tough time, we need to encourage ourselves in the Lord. As we go through these strange and scary days we have to decide whether we are going to do our own thing and try to get God’s blessing in our own way, like Saul; or, are we going to encourage ourselves in the Lord and get godly counsel, and do things God’s way. It’s a choice we will have to make every day.
Posted in Devotions by Wade Thompson with no comments yet.
Read the “0404 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath. And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me? Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?” (1Samuel 21:10-15)
“And when he [JESUS] was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.” (Matthew 8:28-32)
Good morning. Here we have two examples of madness. David made himself mad to save his life. The herd of swine went mad when possessed by devils, and they lost their lives.
I use to work security in a casino, on the graveyard shift. You notice many things on this shift. Mainly around the slot machines. People stare, glassy-eyed into the machine watching the numbers and symbols spin around. Their only movement is to hit the spin button. The cocktail waitresses come around serving drinks and alcohol, which being a depressant just adds to the miserable look that is on their faces. From what I understand many are regular customers: they come there all the time. Can I ask you something? Is this the kind of life you planned on having? Something happened to draw these people into the madness of gambling.
I walked by a roulette table, and saw three separate gray chips placed as bets. The wheel was turned and the ball raced around. When all was said and done, those three gray chips went to the house: that’s $15,000 ($5,000 each): that’s madness. Is there a madness in your life?
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:20-27)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who can save people from this madness, as well as other madnesses. The Reformers Unanimous Addictions Program has a slogan: “Only the Truth makes free!” We can show you from the Scriptures how to end the madness. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is the only Way: every other path is a dead end. Jesus is the Truth: He doesn’t sugar-coat your problem, but will stand right by your side, and face it with you. Jesus is the Life: He will help you with your life, and keep you from throwing it away. Jesus said…
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15: 4-5)
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” (John 15:8-9)
If Jesus didn’t think your life was precious, why would He allow Himself to be beaten, spit upon, whipped by a whip that had sharp bones and metal pieces that ripped right through His skin, and then be nailed to a cross shedding His precious blood for your precious soul? He is able, and will stop whatever madness you have.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with 1 comment.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31
Read the “0402 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” (1 Samuel 16:6-13)
Samuel is in a situation where God’s vessel (King Saul) is done being used as king.
“And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.” (1 Samuel 15:26)
Now is the time for a new regime. God is looking for a new man, a better man. A man who will be used mightily to bring about revival, blessing, and peace to a nation. Samuel is looking at Eliab and saying surely this is him. He thinks to himself he is strong, tough, and big, this must be the man, however God says no. Samuel begins to go down the line one after the other, each one being rejected. None of these men are the chosen vessel of God. It isn’t until Samuel asks the question, “are here all thy children?”, that we find our answer. His father says, “well there remaineth yet one”. The absolute last resort. The bottom of the barrel. The only crumb left left after a feast. The very last drop of water in a dry and thirsty land. It was then that Samuel and Jesse’s very last resort was realized as God’s first choice. It may have been the worst option to man but it was the best option to God. They thought to themselves, “he is so small, so young, so… insignificant. How could this be the vessel God will use?” God says to Samuel, “the Lord seeth not as man seeth”.
The thought I have today is this: Right now we’re living in a time where all of our normal church abilities are being taken away. All of our “obvious choices” for church are being rejected for the time being. The ability to physically gather has been taken. The ability go door-knocking or physically visit people for the most part has been taken. The ability to physically pray together, go on bus routes, fellowship in person, or even go out with a friend to encourage each other is gone. You might ask, “what remains?,” “what’s left?” My answer is God’s best for this time. Whatever you can do is the “David” of this time. It’s not small or insignificant, it is extremely powerful. Just because it’s our last resort doesn’t mean it’s God’s. The tools he wants us to use today may seem small and insignificant, but to God they are the most powerful. God doesn’t ask what we can’t do, he asks what we can. He asks what’s left, because that’s how he feeds the five thousand, slays a giant, and defeats the Midianites with three hundred men. This is how God does his greatest miracles and wins His greatest battles.
So ask yourself, “what’s left?,” “what can I do?” Some of these tools we don’t see yet, they are out in the field. Just as Samuel didn’t sit until he found who was left, don’t sit till you find what is left. The Bible, prayer, family, the ability to make a phone call, Zoom a Sunday School class or prayer meeting, Facebook live any/every service, or talk to a neighbor about Christ. We have the ability to be the greatest Christians, parents, friends and spiritual leaders that we have ever had the chance to be. Make the best out of what remains recognizing it is God’s best for us right now. We do believe God is in control right? We don’t think that somehow God missed this right? Just because we may be at our wits end doesn’t me he is. Pastor preached about Esther and about how we’re here, “for such a time as this.” Do we believe that? Let us be challenged to do the best we can with what’s left. Maybe we feel like we’re at the bottom of the widow’s vessel of oil. Just keep pouring and watch what God does. Today ask yourself… “what remaineth?”
Posted in Devotions by Justin Mears with 5 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 27:15
Read the “0401 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for [then should ye go] after vain [things], which cannot profit nor deliver; for they [are] vain. For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great [things] he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.” (1 Samuel 12:20-25)
Background – Israel messed up, they had gotten to a place where they forgot what God had done for them. Israel became discontent and unthankful. The people doubted what God was doing, so they begged for a king and shortly after they realized what a terrible mistake they had made. In the verse prior to these, we see their brokenness and desperation, longing for what they once had, before they sinned against the Lord. Samuel now attempts to encourage and restore their spirits. He assures them that God has not forsaken them. Samuel implores the people to turn back to God and serve Him with everything they have. He begs them not to seek after that which is vain. Finally, Samuel reminds them of all the Lord has done for them.
Can you relate with these Israelites? Are you in a place where you think restoration is out of the question? Could there be no hope for you to ever come back from what you have done?
Maybe, you can relate with the Israelites, not because of a “great sin” but simply because the world around you seems so bleak. Is there Hope? If you watch any News station these days , you can certainly relate with the feeling of “no hope”.
I am no Samuel (Just a Sam), but let me encourage you. THERE IS HOPE.
If you have strayed away from the Lord due to sin, He desires to restore you. He longs for your fellowship. Allow Him to give you hope.
If you are one who has just lost hope in general, because your situation seems unbearable and there is no “light at the end of the tunnel”, whatever your “tunnel” is. Allow these verses to penetrate your heart and restore your spirit:
For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people (1 Samuel 12:22)
You have the option to choose another path, you have the choice of the Hope of Christ or whatever else may be out there. I promise you, this other road will lead to brokenness, Sadness and ultimately destruction. Hope will not be found here.
And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain (1 Samuel 12:21)
Take a moment to remind yourself of all God has done for you, where He has brought you from and the promises, He has made to you, in His Word. The entire world is searching for something right now and some have no Hope. We, as God’s people, cannot lose Hope, For their sakes, we must have Hope and we must share this Hope.
Posted in Devotions by Samantha Mears with 6 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6
Read the “0331 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.” (1 Samuel 8:3)
The Bible is alive! It is truly a living book! Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is quick…”. This has probably happened to you before, where you read a passage over and over and you read it again and the Holy Spirit highlights something in the passage.
I have read these chapters many times like you probably have as well, but as I was reading for this devotion, I was thinking about Samuel and his sons. First Samuel chapter 8 and verse 3 is the thought today, “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment”. They totally went in the opposite direction that their father, Samuel, had raised them in.
Samuel was God’s man. One of his sons was named Joel – meaning “Jehovah is God!” The other named Abiah meaning “God is my Father!” Samuel knew God and he was close to the Lord God.
Samuel served the Lord from his youth. He had a godly and a praying mom named Hannah who lent him unto the Lord not long after his birth. Samuel began serving the Lord and hearing the voice of God at a young age (1 Samuel 3).
He was now an old man according to chapter 8 and verse 1. I admire Samuel’s faithfulness. I have the highest respect for men of God and women of God who are just faithful for the long haul. In the last 8 weeks at our church we’ve had the honor of having Dr. Paul Fedena, Pastor Charles Clark, Jr., and Missionary Jeff Bassett in to preach. All 3 of these men have been saved and serving God for over 40 years. Their faithfulness to our Lord inspires me and encourages me to keep my eyes on the Lord and keep serving Him in truth.
Samuel wasn’t one of these fire cracker servants of the Lord – in it for a little while and made an impact, and then vanish away. Instead, he stayed faithful.
His sons on the other hand made up their mind that they were going to go a different path. They would have grown up seeing their dad serving the Lord and seeing their dad praying. God was real to Samuel and his sons would have seen that. How sad that they didn’t walk in their fathers ways.
Just like Joel and Abiah had a spiritual influence in their life, you do as well. There have been people that have influenced your life spiritually and you ought to thank God for those people. I think about in my life how I’ve had pastors, my parents, teachers, coaches, and friends influence me for the Lord. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t serve God for them, but one of the reasons I serve God is because of them. God uses people to encourage us and help us along the way.
People have invested in you. People have influenced you in your Christian walk. Don’t turn aside and start following false doctrine, don’t turn aside and start following the latest trends in the world, don’t turn aside and start forsaking church and spiritual things.
Don’t let it be that the “Samuels” in your life find out that you forsook the ways of the Lord God. Maybe you’ve been thinking about walking away, let me ask you to consider two things: Jesus Christ and the people that have spiritually influenced your life.
Posted in Devotions by Corey Woolner with 3 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1 – 4
Read the “0328 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people. And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.” (Ruth 1:1-13)
Good morning. Naomi was at quite a low point in her life. Her husband died, then her two sons died. All she had left were her two daughter-in-laws. And she told her daughters. “…it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.”
When things go wrong, do you blame God? I must have sinned for this to happen to me. Woe is me for the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. But we forget…
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
So what happened with Naomi? God had to turn her around and get her out of Moab. He needed her back home. She didn’t leave Moab when her husband died. When her two sons died, she left Moab. There was a divine appointment waiting in Bethlehemjudah. And Ruth stayed with her.
Did you know your face changes when your countenance drops, when you’re depressed?
“So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:19-21)
The people had to ask if this was Naomi. And Naomi said to call her Mara. Mara means bitter. Naomi was bitter, but she was home, and Ruth was with her. But it was all part of God’s plan. And to make a long story short…
“So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.” (Ruth 4:13-22)
It took some sorrow to get Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehemjudah, but Ruth had to get there to meet and marry Boaz, so they could have a child, and Ruth would be the great grandmother of king David.
Are you going through something bad? Don’t blame God. Here are three verses to remember…
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
I’m sorry, but in this world ye SHALL have tribulation. I don’t care what the prosperity preachers tell you, believe the Bible. Tribulation is going to come. Bad things happen to good people and bad people. Maybe God is just trying to turn you in the right direction like Naomi. Just remember our second verse also…
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
That’s ALL things: the good and the bad. Bad things happen in life. But what we perceive as bad, God may be using that for His good, and our good. Before you become bitter, and blame God, go to Him with your problem. “Lord, things look pretty bleak. I don’t know why I’m going through this, but You do. Help me to understand. Show me what to do.” And that leads us to the third verses…
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Trials and tribulations should not separate you from God, they should draw you closer. When bad things happen, don’t get bitter; run to God where all things work for good.
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with 2 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 61:1 – 3
Read the “0326 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous. And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein ye go.” (Judges 18:5-6)
In the beginning of chapter 18 it prefaces how during this time in Israel there was no king, and the tribe of the Danites were seeking a place to dwell. They were looking for success with their next steps and they wanted a clear path on how to get there. But, they had no leader, no guidance, and no sense of direction. The Danites seek the prayer and guidance of a priest, and the priest gives them an answer that is never easy to hear. To simply take the steps in your journey and the directions will come from God. I cannot count how many times I have asked God about the next steps, the game plan, and the end goal when clearly He just wants us to go… No questions asked, no map, no final destination but just go. I am a planner, I like setting goals, I like overthinking, and I like knowing where I am heading to the point where I stress immensely until I know exactly how it will go. But how easy would it be to just take the small steps of faith, and let God lead “wherein ye go”.
“And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land. When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.” (Judges 18:9-10)
The Danites were delivered into a land that was better than anything they could have thought, created, or planned and surely better than they deserved. When we put our trust in Him and take our hands off, God will give us His better plans into our hands. Although the fear of not knowing and not having total control can be unbearable, knowing there is a God who will take complete control is a settling thought. Taking a leap of faith and letting Him lead will bring us to a place of no disappointment “a place where there is no want of anything”. Therefore having “no directions”, but faith can lead to an amazing destination.
Posted in Devotions by Lexi Scates with 5 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17
Read the “0325 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Note – this post is from yesterday’s reading.
Judges is a book encapsulated in diversity, each Judge was profoundly different than his predecessor. While the formula for Israel’s habitual fall remained consistent, the method of their salvation was always changing. In Judges 11 we are introduced to a man with no social pedigree, despised by his brethren, but used tremendously for the glory of God. Jephthah was the son of a Gileadite and a harlot. In Judges 11:2 she is said to be a “strange woman” perhaps making her a Canaanite. Due to his second-class sonship his brothers drove him from his inheritance. Look in verse 4: “And it came to pass.” Jephthah, like us, was living in a world of uncertainty.
The time spent in your father’s house, your brothers’ disdain for you, spreading sickness, depressed markets, cancelled events, curfews – it all comes to pass. “In process of time” – the will and way of God is not always expedient, certainly in the life of Jephthah these trials did not quickly pass, but the process is what made him who he was. Likewise, our circumstances may not change immediately, but we are built through the process.
As we read through the rest of the passage we see a discourse between Jephthah and the King of Ammon. Jephthah relays to the king the history of Israel and Ammon as recorded in scripture. Perhaps his trial in life helped forge his relationship with scripture. Had it not been for the trial in Jephthah’s life perhaps the Spirit of the Lord would not have come upon him in verse 29. Had it not been for Jephthah’s trial perhaps Israel would have not been delivered. If it had not been for the Church’s trial in our day perhaps our nation will not be delivered. Romans 5:3 says “…but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope…” Our hope is in Jesus Christ, I pray that in this tribulation our hope in Him will be built through this process.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.
Read the “0321 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.” (Judges 6:1-6)
Good morning. The word – impoverished – means (of a person or area) made poor – deprived of strength or vitality. Kind of like the shelves at Shop Rite. Kind of like the toilet paper aisle. Kind of like Venezuela after the Socialists took over. It’s long food lines. It’s food kitchens and food banks. It’s dumpster diving for your needs. Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. America is doing evil in the sight of the LORD. Killing babies. Lusting after strange flesh. Whoring after Godless Socialism, Communism, and Fascism. We are getting a taste of Socialism now with shortages at the grocery store, curfews, and no toilet paper. The world has gone crazy. Did you ever imagine you would see a fight break out in a store over a roll of toilet paper? And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. America is becoming impoverished, but what can we do? We can do as Israel did, and cry out unto the LORD.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicles 7:14)
If My people, which are called by My name, Christian. You call yourself a Christian, a follower of Christ, and yet you will not fight for what is right. What does light have to do with darkness? Your voter registration says Democrat. The Democratic Party is for killing babies. That alone should make you change parties.
If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves. Realize that abortion is the murder of innocent babies. Realize all the sin that abounds in your life, all the abominations that surround you, humble yourselves. You can’t save yourselves. Humble yourselves and seek help.
If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face. God is the only one who can repair corrupted hearts, open the eyes of those blinded by sin, and remove the abominations around us. We need to humble ourselves, and seek God’s help through prayer: seek His face.
If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways. We can sometimes see the sin of others around us, but do we see our own?
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1John 1:8-10)
So if we humble ourselves, and pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways, what will God do? The LORD tells us then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. The only way to heal our nation is through the LORD. He is our only hope.
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with 2 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34
Read the “0320 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.” (Judges 2:18-19)
The Book of Judges covers the period of time from the death of Joshua to the beginning of the monarchy when King Saul was anointed. (Approximately from 1380 BC to 1050 BC) Joshua had driven out most of the inhabitants of the land, but there were still enemies within the borders of Israel that needed to be removed. Throughout judges, we see the victories and, unfortunately, the defeats of God’s people as they contend with these Canaanites and others.
During this period, Israel was ruled by judges. These judges were not necessarily sovereign rulers over the entire nation, but were mostly regional military and civil rulers and some of the dates of their leadership overlapped other judges.
The Book of Judges was probably written by Samuel, as is suggested by the Jewish Talmud. It had to be written after the coronation of King Saul as the Book claims four times that “there was no king in Israel.” (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25) Judges would have to have been written after there was a king, but records history from before there was a king. It also had to be written before 990 BC, when David drove out the Jebusites from Jerusalem:
“And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.” (Judges 1:21)
There were fifteen judges in all: thirteen mentioned in Judges, and then Eli and Samuel who are revealed in 1 Samuel. There is one female judge, named Deborah.
Throughout the Book of Judges we see a repeated cycle:
- Israel in a right relationship with God receiving God’s blessing of provision and protection.
- Israel moves away from God and begins to worship idols and fall into sin.
- God drops the hedge of protection that was placed around them, and Israel’s enemies begin to conquer them.
- Israel cries out to the Lord.
- The Lord raises up a judge.
- Israel is delivered.
We see the same thing happening in Christian’s lives today. Oftentimes people are saved out of very difficult circumstances. For a time, people are afterwards very contrite and zealous in their faithfulness to the Lord. However, often after experiencing the wonderful blessing of God, people will forget all about the God who blessed them. What a shame! Why can’t we learn to appreciate the Lord and remain devoted to Him as much during prosperity as we were during adversity.
America and the rest of the world are certainly experiencing adversity today. Let’s pray that this trial will cause us to cry out to the Lord as the Israelites did in days of old. But then let’s also pray that after deliverance comes, that we remain faithful.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.