Today’s Passage – Isaiah 33 – 36 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 47:1
Read the “0806 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Streams in the Desert”
“Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.” (Isaiah 35:3-4)
The Lord is always good to give comfort in our time of need. As the world ages it is ravaged by the effects of sin; effects that began all the way back in Genesis 1. The consequences of this sin can be seen everywhere. There is not a inch of ground that was spared the curse of sin; no woman is spared from the pain of child birth, and all food is gathered by the sweat of our brow. Furthermore, we see the effects of sin on the world system – injustice, riots, uprising, murders, child trafficking, natural disasters. Everyday we turn on the news it seems to be getting worse – and it will get worse, but we have this hope:
“Behold, your God will come with vengeance”.
This passage specifically deals with the deliverance of Israel, but the promises are still true. In Hebrews 13:5 the Bible says,
“…for he that said I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
In addition to this promise we see the promise of the Holy Spirit given by Jesus in John 14:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” (John 14:16)
This is not a promise of the lack of trials but the promise of his presence through them. We can take it further and see how this promise is fulfilled:
“but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you”. (John 14:17b)
One day we will be taken from this earth to live forever with Jesus Christ, and as we read in the rest of Isaiah 35 we know this to be a place where there is no sin, where there is no pain, where there is everlasting joy. The Bible describes it in Revelation 21:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:4 – 6)
What a great reminder of the mercies of God and the haven of rest he has for his Children. In this world of sin and despair, remember there is coming a day when it will all be gone. Remember, Your God Will Come!
Posted in Devotions by Paul Meyer with 2 comments.
Today’s Reading – Psalms 36 – 39 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33
Read the “0623 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23)
Reading our passage this morning I’ve been trying my best to ruminate over the verses. I’ve heard it often said that familiarity breeds contempt, as I’ve matured as a Christian I have found myself in a way not appreciating the familiar verses as I should. There is truth and wisdom in simplicity, these few verses particularly I’ve had memorized since I was a child, but I’ve never appreciated them for how they have applied in my life.
Theres a few things to unpack here. God concerns himself with the minute details as much as he does the big picture. I’m not sure if any of us can recall the first steps we took as a child, but those first steps have led us to where we are today. The average human will take 216,2262,500 steps in their lifetime, that is approximately 110,000 miles – enough to walk around the equator five times! Each step, though inconspicuous, has contributed to arrival at our destination. This may cause initial anxiety. What if I’m not walking in the way God has for me? What if I arrive somewhere I’m not supposed to? It’s easy for us to fear uncertainty but we can rest assured in the fact that our steps are ordered. The word, “ordered,” which is used in this verse does not mean commanded, it means organized. Remember, Psalm 23 paints the picture that the Lord is our Shepherd. A Shepherd leads the way, he doesn’t drive the herd. More importantly in leading the herd he carefully plans out the path to avoid danger. The sheep need only to heed his voice and follow his leading in order to arrive safely at their destination. This isn’t to say that trials and tribulations won’t come, but that they were not a surprise to the Shepherd. We also have a promise in the next verse:
“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:24)
There’s two ways of approaching this verse. First, a fall is a trial and tribulation in our life. Although we stray into danger it will not utterly overcome us; the Shepherd has promised us a safe arrival at our destination. Second, a fall is a sin, despite the sin we get ourselves into through our journey, the Shepherd has promised not to forsake us and will ensure we are brought into his fold safely. Whatever application you would like to believe, rest assured that the onus for arrival is not based on the herds abilities but on the Shepherds promises. Jesus refers to himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10, furthermore he refers to his church as his sheep.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” – John 10:27-28
If you are concerned with your steps there is only one piece of advice I can give – listen to the Shepherd’s voice. We have the Bible to guide us and the Holy Spirit to lead us. If you are saved, positionally you are a good man and your steps are ordered by the Lord. I pray we live each day appreciating the steps God has prepared us and listen carefully to his leading.
Posted in Devotions by Paul Meyer with 1 comment.
Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 9 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 121
Read the “0519 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read a previous post from this passage – “No Longer Happy“
“And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom:” (2 Chronicles 9:5)
Reading through this passage this morning, this particular verse caught my eye. By trade I am an analyst. Specifically I am tasked with compiling, building and delivering reports to an audit team, board of directors, and governmental regulators. In the business world there are many kinds of reports. Some are straight-forward, fact based and objectively inarguable. Others are skewed, manipulated and used to illicit a desired response, or even better – funding. Our life is filled with data; human’s are constantly compiling statistics – how many times our heart beats, how many steps we take, how often we take a breath. Think about the millions of minute decisions you make on a daily basis – now think about those decisions being compiled into a report. Our report, wether good or bad, should always be a true report. A true report is about being real, being genuine, being vulnerable. A true report is willing to show your strengths and weaknesses.
In this passage the Queen of Sheba has heard of the splendor of Solomon, she’s heard of his wisdom, his riches, his glory. Despite hearing all of these good reports, she could not believe it, she had to see it for herself. In our life, even the good reports are met with doubt, we must confront doubt with truth. Not only do we see the compilation of a report in this passage but we also see the reception of the report. Notice how in this recollection there is no mention of confrontation from Solomon, in fact the Queen states that the reports she had heard were conservative at best! “Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.” Solomon not only was wise, but he was humble. He understood the importance of being genuine with those around him. In Proverbs 27:2 he writes: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Solomon had the proof, that the Queen of Sheba’s preconceived notions were wrong, but instead of confronting her about them, he chose to build a true report with her.
In our lives each of us creates a report with those around us, our relationship with these individuals is based on the data we collectively share and produce. Pride always correlates with image – Nebuchadnezzars pride was shown in his buildings, Absalom’s pride was in his hair, Samson’s in his strength, The Pharisees in their religiosity. The truth is, regardless of the decadence of our pride externally, God see’s the true report “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” The Lord has many things to say about outward appearances – Matthew 23:27 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” So why does the Lord care about our true self, our true report so much? Because who we truly are reflects in our worship – John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
During this time of quarantine I’ve tried to take time to self reflect – Am I creating a true report with my family? With my friends? With my church family? With my coworkers? Or am I masking my vulnerabilities with pride? God already knows my true report and it is this – I am a sinner in need of a savior. No matter how well I dress, how often I go to church, how much I read my Bible or how long I pray. I need the same amount of grace and mercy every day, not a day goes by where I need less of God. May we spend our days embracing these truths and may it reflect in how we worship the true God!
Posted in Devotions by Paul Meyer with 2 comments.