Ron helped me out last Saturday with the devotional piece. Now, he’s on the docket. He’ll be writing Saturday’s devotional. I’m switching to Wednesdays. He’s a great writer so I was glad that he accepted Pastor Dave’s offer to write once a week. I’ll be sharing his pieces as they are worth reading. Check back on Wednesday for mine. Ü
The pattern here is obvious: evil and disobedience leads to oppression. Obedience leads to peace and God’s provision. It is significant to note that God talks to his people. In this case it is audible. For me it usually seems that God impresses something on my spirit, or a scripture will jump out at me, or something in the pastor’s sermon will move my spirit. Manoa and his wife exercised faith and sought out God’s will on the child.
It is apparent to me that most of us men have some sort of fatal flaw that can completely take us out. For us to be numbered among good men and in the end obtain the, “well done, good and faithful servant” reward, we must fight off and subdue that flaw. Even though God was looking for a situation to engage the Philistines, Samson’s desire for attractive godless women was a fatal flaw.
All men have a certain and real amount of power that can be very useful in God’s plan and very dangerous to Satan’s agenda. That daily choice about being led by the Holy Spirit is vital.
Reading about Samson is one wild show… huge personal power and colossal weaknesses. But the take away message is probably found in Hebrews 11 where Samson is commended for his faith. Wow! Weigh that in your mind for a while.
Because this is such an important concept, I wish to re-emphasize that God talks to His people. God talked to Manoa and then 1101 years, 44 days and 7 hours later ( Ü ) He is talking to John the Baptist (1:33).
It is of high significance that Jesus picked ordinary men for his disciples. It might be easy to think that God would employ the brightest for His tasks: Moses was educated in the household of Pharaoh, we know the wisdom of Solomon, Daniel was given the best that Babylonia could offer, Paul was highly educated and Luke was a doctor. But the disciples were ordinary men along with Gideon and a host of others. It is in my willingness to follow Jesus that God is able to use an ordinary man like me.
How would you like Jesus to tell others that you are a man of complete integrity! Wow! A compliment from the Savior of the whole world! Nathanael must have been quite a man. I can sometimes get real irritable knowing that good character and holiness are formed in the crucible of suffering. I want good character and integrity but I would be very pleased to just sidestep the suffering. I guess that Jesus’ compliment to Nathanael should encourage me to see the benefits in suffering and realize that the purifying element of that suffering leads to God’s favor, and maybe even a compliment from Jesus.
Psalm 102: 1-28
Third emphasis on God talking to his people! David expects God to answer him in his distress (verse 2).
David is in very bad shape here. In verse 10 he acknowledges God’s wrath and anger. Our sin nature can sure get us into real trouble. Sometimes life circumstances can overcome us and the losses precipitate depression. In any case, what ever the circumstances, our hope in the Lord is germane. David shows us the way. He recounts who God is. He cries out to the Lord and obtains mercy.
It doesn’t take long in life to figure out that we can be deceived and lied to! Carefully considering your steps requires thoughtfulness and patience.
The pain inflicted by bad decisions prompts us all to be cautious. Being led by the Holy Spirit can save us a lot of grief.