“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that mad does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of he Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.” (Deuteronomy 8:2-5)
God’s history lessons are not always obvious. We need God’s inspired interpreter. Moses interpreted God’s reasons for the long wilderness journey as a testing period for a fickle and inconsistent people. Life’s tough times may contain God’s revelation if we are ready to learn from them. History tests the commitment of the heart not the knowledge of the head. History is the arena in which Go’s disciplines His people. Remembering past discipline and its causes should help us avoid future discipline.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, often we ask You for help to understand what You have told us to do, but rarely do we seek Your discipline, for any reason! We know that You love us and want the very best for us, but if it entails discipline, we like to shortcut around that area, even if if is the best way for us to learn and understand the lesson You are teaching us. So, if we forgive to ask for the necessary discipline to help us, just go ahead and just give it to us anyway! It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers”
“This command was also evil in the sight of God, so he punished Israel.” (1st Chronicles 21:7)
David had ordered a census to be taken of how many able bodied men he had as his disposal, in light of an advancing threat. Almost immediately, David knew he had committed a sin against God and regretted his order. The effects of sin upon a person’s lie cannot be eradicated totally even by repentance and remorse. God’s judgment was visited upon the people, in spite of David’s actions to repent and show remorse. David was one of God’s most faithful people, yet he made a serious mistake. He should have simply prayed to God to deliver His people from the latest threat and it would have been done. Let us understand this lesson in our own daily lives, and place our trust in God alone.
“‘I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me,’ declares the Lord. ‘I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, I struck them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me,’ declares the Lord. ‘I sent plagues among you as I did I in Egypt, I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I willed your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me.’ declares the Lord.’I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet yo have not returned to me,’ declares the Lord. ‘Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.’ He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns down its darkness, wand treads the high places of the earth —- the lord God Almighty is his name.” (Amos 4:6-12)
God’s punishment of Israel came in stages and was intended to induce a repentance which did not come. He used the natural order to punish Israel. At times, God must resort to increasingly severe measures to rivet His people’s attention to their sin and His will. Meeting God can be he ultimate punishment for people who are not rightly related to Him. God can, has and will use all forces of nature and political history to call His people to repentance. Failure to repent means summons to meet God in judgment.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise the authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.” (Revelation 13:9-10)
Beloved, God allows the evil forces of Satan to exercise control and inflict judgment, but their time of power has been limited by Him long before they gain power. God controls time and eternity. Satan does not. God’s saints must endure such difficult times with patience and faith. Jesus’ sacrificial death was part of God’s eternal plan to create His faithful people who would not worship Satan. I pray this is crystal clear to you all.