The following is a read-through-the-Bible devotional for July 17th. My husband Ron writes the Saturday ones. I hope you enjoy this one.
One thing this passage affirms to us is that God is not the author of confusion, but He does put high value on design and order. It is interesting that all tasks were assigned by sacred lot. This process really diffuses the possible sins of pride, envy, jealousy, disputes, hatred, and bitterness because basically every task is assigned by the Lord. Each man, if he has an issue with his task, has to work it out with God. He can point his finger at no man.
Due to ungodly ideas, ungodly philosophies, and immorality, birth rates in Western Civilization are dropping below replacement thresholds. We are not reproducing enough to sustain our culture. It is interesting to note that in 1 Chronicles 25:5 Heman is honored by God due to his 17 children! Satan despises child-bearing, but God affords child-bearing high honor, and it is in fact the very first command! See Genesis 1:28.
Paul argues in this passage that we are counted as righteous because of our faith in God. So we say “Ok, fine” and read on. But I think the enemy and our sin nature might like to muddy the waters here. While Bible reading and prayer are both vital, do we impute some righteousness to ourselves by doing such? The Church and the Body of Christ are God’s design and carrier/vehicle for much of what God has in mind for us. But, do we count ourselves more righteous because of our involvement? Are we trying to somehow earn our righteousness? I have to continually fight off the idea that I am more righteous than my pagan adversary because I know God and God’s Word and I can precisely articulate my adversary’s sin. My pride tries to define my righteousness.
But it is what Christ has done for me, and his righteousness that is imputed to me, and my faith in God, which accounts for my right standing with God. “Works” have their vital and proper place in our lives, but our right standing with God is a separate matter.
I have to admit that despair over God’s timing, my perspective of His forgetfulness of me, and His sovereignty of allowing some very difficult things in my life to occur, do cause me great anguish. I can completely identify with David’s state of heart. But David’s faith that God will speak to him, David’s trust in God’s unfailing love, along with his belief that God is good to him both instruct me and light my path. Attitude and perspective in response to the difficulties in my life count for a whole lot. So I recount the good things God has done for me, submit to His timing in all things, and lean real hard on Hebrews 10:35-36; “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
We sometimes hear God described as a killjoy, an archaic Law Giver, or someone who just has too many rules and restrictions. But some limits and boundaries keep us out of trouble. Freedoms and passions must be buffeted by responsibility and wisdom. We injure ourselves when we cast aside God’s counsel.