Meditation for 11/20/2019
“Abraham traveled through the land as far as the site of he great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To our offspring I will give this land.’ Do he built an altar there to the Lore, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.” (Genesis12:6-8)
The building of an altar refers to worship. Prayer is part of that worship. We may not hear God speak audibly to us today (thought many do still hear Him), but He does speak o us in the experience of worship through His Spirit and His Word.
Abram built these altars in gratitude for God’s promise that the land would be given to his descendants. It symbolized his recognition of God. Altars are often a gesture of recognition or gratitude. Later leaders built altars to the Lord, because of tradition. Spirit led leaders, still react to God’s call, with an awareness of recognition that our Lord is calling them to action under His will.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, thank You for the call You placed on my life and for all that You call for a multitude of reasons, to serve You in both specific purposes and those who are called to serve You through the lives they lead, which touches others in a special way. We who claim to be Christians, are all called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, to worship and praise His holy name. Some are called to be ordained leaders, while others have gifts needed for other purposes, but all are called to serve. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Let your burdens make you better—not bitter!”
“Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. ‘O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes,’ he said, ‘then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.’” (Exodus34:8-9)
Moses worshiped the Lord wit a prayer confessing sins and asking for forgiveness. Individual worship keeps community needs in focus. In asking God’s guidance, Moses acknowledged the responsibility of the Israelites for their sins of rebellion. One of he biblical principles related to forgiveness is that we must acknowledge responsibility for sin before we can receive forgiveness.
Worship, Prayer: (Psalm1:1-150:6)
The individual psalms began for the most part as prayers. They have been annotated in that light. They were collected as components of the singing worship of Israel. As such, they provide a textbook for the study of worship. They show that all experiences and emotions of the individual and the community can be expressed to God as part of worship. All events of life can be the subject taken before God in worship. Beloved, worship is response of the human before God in all His glory and compassion. The worship response frees the person to bring all personal and community situations and feelings to God.
Second Thought of the Day:
“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: ‘O Lord, God of heaven, he great and awesome god, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter your among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ ‘They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your hand. O Lord, let your ear e attentive to the prayers of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success to day by granting him favor in the presence of this man.’ I was cup bearer to the king.’” (Nehemiah1:4–11)
Nehemiah, like Ezra identified himself with sinful Israel and confessed Israel’s sins to God. Nehemiah went a step beyond Ezra. He claimed he promises of Scripture and asked for success as he initiated a plan to help Israel. Nehemiah addressed his prayer to God in a way that expressed faith in the one, unique God. Lack of clarity on this issue is what had sent the chosen people into captivity. They did not worship God alone. They did not trust God to keep His covenant. They refused to believe God would bring the covenant curses upon them, and sadly, they were wrong.
Deliverance includes helping an individual, or in this case, a nation in a personal conference. Prayer is the preparation for such deliverance. Nehemiah’s prayer claimed God’s promises. The covenant demands grow out of God’s love, not out of a tyrant’s need to manipulate and exercise power. If we have turned away from God, serving other gods or just not serving the one true God, then we must confess our sins and ask for His forgiveness. It will be given to you, because He loves all of His people. Clear?