“The Israelites went p and wept before the Lord until evening, and they inquired of the Lord. They said, ‘Shall we go up again to battle against the Benjamites, our brothers?’” (Judges 20:23)
The tragic situation called for earnest prayer. Desperate situations call God’s people to weeping and prolonged prayer as we seek God’s will.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, this terrible battle began with the sexual assault of a man’s concubine, and literally thousands died as a result. In our society today, we have sexual assaults against adults and children, and yet there is no real outcry. Help us to come to terms with this as individuals first and then as communities, to put a stop to these horrid crimes against people we love in our families and friends, and rise up a cry to put a stop to this insanity. This isn’t just crime in our world, it is a crime against God and if we do nothing, it will only get worse. This is not a political issue, it is a human issue concerning moral behavior, that is eating at the very fabric our foundational beliefs. It is time to work together to stop this kind of behavior. We seek You, Abba, to help us in this very important pursuit of getting our moral compass’ back in sync and put a stop this once and for all. Today we continue to pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Let us begin to weave and God will provide us with the thread.”
“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even thought it it against the law. And if I perish,, I perish.’” (Esther 4:15-16)
Humans make decisions to be available for God’s use or not. God leads people to places in life where they can be useful in His purposes. He forces no one to be so used. He can always accomplish His saving purposes through someone else.
Fasting is usually associated with prayer. Fasting in the sumptuous luxury of the place was an indication of unusual earnestness. Esther needed dedicated prayer as she prepared to risk her life for her people. Sometimes we look at the results of whether we do as we know we should do, or do as we feel is safer to do. Esther’s decision was the right one, though she still risked her life to do so.
“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not raid on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:17-18)
Elijah was a real man, but what a man of very strong faith he was. Beloved, we should should never stand in awe of others who have power in prayer. God asks each of us to pray regularly and often. The power comes from our relationship with Him. Remember the woman who believed so strongly that if she could only touch Jesus’ garment she would be healed? She was healed and Jesus told her, “Go in peace, Daughter, for your faith has made you strong.”
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of he synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at this feet and pleaded earnestly with him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hand on her so that she will be healed and live. So Jesus went with him. While Jesus was still speaking, some men came for the house o Jairus, the synagogue ruler. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher any more?’ Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the ruler, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. ‘When they came to the home , Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, the took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means little girl, I say to you, get up!’) Immediately the girl stood up and walked around . At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.” (Mark 5 :23, 35-43)
I went into rather long detail on this reading from Mark, partly because it is one of importance but also because it is one of my favorite stories. If you remember the story of calling Lazarus from the grave, he called him by name, or everyone in that burial chamber would have gotten up and come out. Here, Jesus tells the little girl, ‘Talitha koum” or “little girl, I say to you, get up). Remember what Jesus told Jairus, the synagogue ruler, “Just Believe.” Jesus knew what He was doing and the impact it would have on all those around who had seen her lying dead on her bed, yet with Jesus called out to her, she immediately got up upon His call to her.
Jesus died on the cross, taking on all the sins of the world, past, present and future, and three days later he arose and ascended to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus’ disciples all died for their belief in Him, except John. Judas Iscariot betrayed Him, but then took his own life. At just about any time there are about 200 digs going on in Israel, and of course everyone has to obtain permission to dig. In the last 2,000 years, everything that has been dug up, has verified with Holy Scripture. Others have come up with a variety of alternative stories, but not has yet to be affirmed. So in Jesus’ word, “Just Believe!”