Sunday, 30 April 2006

His delight shall be in the law of the Lord

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” - Psalms 1v2

The book of Psalms opens with a psalm that clearly contrasts the godly and the ungodly man. It ends with a depiction of how their lives will result – “The Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish.

The key difference between the two is seen in verse two. The righteous man delights in the law of God and he meditates on it day and night. The man who delights in God’s word and constantly considers it will flourish and be like a tree at the riverside.

If we ever hope to have any kind of success spiritually we must learn to delight in the law of the Lord. We must spend time in it and keep our thoughts focused on it day and night.

God’s word is more that just a church day option – it is a daily necessity.

Saturday, 29 April 2006

So the Lord blessed

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: … So Job died, being old and full of days.”
- Job 42v12-17

After all of the trials and tribulations of his life the hard times are finally over. All through it, even with his doubts and fears, he remained faithful to the Lord. God knew of course that no man is perfect and God honoured with more at the end than he had before. While his critical friends were rebuked God “lifted up his face.”

When it was all said and done the Lord blessed the days of Job more than he had at the beginning and Job died old and full of days.

God not only gives strength, but He gives blessing at the end of them. The story of Job is reminiscent of James 1v12 – “Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approves, he will receive a crown of life.

May all our trials be opportunities for us to see the blessings at the end of them.

Friday, 28 April 2006

Now my eye has seen you

“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.” - Job 42v5

Nothing helps us draw close to God like trials. From the very start we saw that Job was a spiritual man. He hated evil and did all he could to take care of his family’s spiritual needs. Yet, something was missing.

After all of the tribulations Job discovered something. He realised that before the trials his knowledge and awareness of God was secondary and only based on what he had heard about God.

After he had been through the trials he truly saw God for who He is. Too often we face trials with dread and fear. Every trial is chance to see God and to get to know Him better. Lets count it all joy when we fall into diverse temptation.

Thursday, 27 April 2006

I know that You can do anything

“I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from thee.” - Job 42v2

After God confronted Job with more agreements showing his power and Job’s weakness Job expressed the deep rooted if hidden faith that was his sustaining power through all of the troubles. Even if the midst of his doubts and questions Job still had a deep-rooted faith which he expressed with these words – “I know that you can do anything and nothing can be hidden from you.”

God is going to do exactly what He wants to do, the way He wants to do it, and when He wants to do it. Nothing is going to stop Him.

Does this mean that I view God as some kind of tyrant or dictator? No it means that I trust Him to do what is ultimately what is best for His eternal plan and should rejoice that I am being used to glorify Him

Wednesday, 26 April 2006

I will put my hand over my mouth

“Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” - Job 40v4

After Job and his friends take turns trying to decide for themselves what God may or may not be doing God “finally” enters the discussion. God appeared in a whirlwind and said, “Who are you to question me – stand up and I am going to question you!” After a long list of the intricacies of creation and God’s sustaining power God demands a response from Job.

What could Job say? He was guilty and he knew. “I am vile,” Job said, “and I am going to put my hand over my mouth now.”

Job knew the wrongness of questioning God. The next time we think about questioning Him, lets follow Job’s example and “Put our hands over our mouth.

Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” - Job 38v4

Finally, it seems, God enters the discussion. He does so in a very dramatic way as He speaks to Job out of the whirlwind. I always wonder how Job must have felt when he heard these words – “I will demand of you, and you will answer.”

The scenario changes from a group of men second guessing God, to God grilling Job. For all of his wondering and questioning Job has no response to the question, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?”

How does one answer a question like that? Yet, how often do we put ourselves in the same position as Job? Something comes along in our lives that we don’t understand, perhaps the situation gets worse and worse, and pretty soon we are wondering, “What is God doing?”

Whenever that happens we would do well to remember God’s words to Job. Where were you when God created the world? Unless we were there, we have no right to question what God is doing today. He is on control, let’s just learn to trust Him.

Monday, 24 April 2006

God is great and we cannot know Him

“Behold, God is great, and we know him not neither can the number of his years be searched out.” - Job 36v26

Elihu was the youngest of Job’s four companions. He patiently waited his turn while the other men spoke and Job responded. Finally, he entered the fray after Job gave what surely seemed to him like a long statement of self-righteousness. Like everyone else there Elihu did not know that was going on, but he seemed to him that Job was blaming God for punishing him and that Job was claiming perfection. Job was not doing that of course, but perceptions are important and we must all watch how others perceive us.

In the midst of his spirited response Elihu makes some brilliant statements. Here he reminded Job and the others of something they had already alluded to a couple of times – “God is great and we can’t know Him.” Of course, it is possible to know God personally, but it truly knowing Him and all that He does is beyond our ken. How can sinful, frail men ever hope to understand the perfect, holy, omnipotent God?

The answer is of course that we can’t. That is why it is important that we learn how to trust God in situations where we can’t figure it out. We are much better off if we stop trying to figure out the “whys” and trust that He is doing what is best.

Sunday, 23 April 2006

The eye covenant

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” - Job 31v1

Job had amazing insight for a man who lived before the Law and probably before any of the Bible was written.

Job is to be admired for his simple, if basic faith and for principles he had learned. In chapter 31 Job begins to argue his case with God. He starts off the list of reasons why he should not be suffering with a very simple, but profound statement. Somehow he already knew the importance of purity. He said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes, why then should I think upon a maid?”

Job had compacted with his own eyes. He knew the danger of lust spurred on by sight and the thoughts that follow. Because he had reached agreement with his eyes, he would not let his thoughts dwell lustfully on a woman.

In a day of websites, books, and seminars dedicated to battling lust we might to well to follow this example of this ancient man of God. Would we not do well to make a compact with our eyes that we would not let our thoughts dwell on that which would inspire lust in our mionds?

Saturday, 22 April 2006

Wisdom and understanding

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding”. - Job 28v28

Job had rare insight into the reality of wisdom and understanding. He expressed that they are as rare as silver and gold and that men work hard to find them, Yet, just like silver and gold it is rare to come across a man who has mined wisdom and understanding.

All through our history we have the record of writers, scholars, and philosophers who have sought out wisdom. Their books fill our libraries. Men spend their lives readings and studying the great philosophers of the past, yet still there is a dearth of wisdom and men still cry out for more wisdom and deeper understanding.

Job had it all figured out. Wisdom comes from a reverential fear of God and understanding comes as man departs from evil. It is so simple, and yet so hard for us to grasp.

Wisdom and understanding come down to two simple ideas – trust God and obey Him.

Friday, 21 April 2006

Who can understand the thunder of His power?

“Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?” - Job 26v14

Job did a wonderful job of “setting affection on things above and not on things are earth.” He saw his very real and very difficult circumstances for they could not be missed. Yet, in spite of all that he kept turning his eyes to the Lord and His power.

In this section he reminds his friends of some of God’s works:

“He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”
There are some majestic works here, but Job goes on the make a wonderful statement – “Lo, these are parts of His ways,” declaring that all of these amazing things are only a little of what God does. He then asks the rhetorical question – “Who can understand the thunder of His power?”

When it comes to the mighty power of God we must remember that we are but puny creatures in His sight. We really don’t have a clue about what is going on. God does. Who are we to ever question or try and figure out what He is doing. Since we can’t understand the thunder of His power, we are better off to simply praise His for who He is and don’t be so concerned with what He is doing.

Thursday, 20 April 2006

God does what His soul desires

“But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.” - Job 23v13

Job continued to exercise a measure of “raw faith.” He knew some key truths about God that kept him going in his trials.

Job knew that God was unique, that God was immutable, and that God was sovereign. No one was going to sway God from His perfect will. In spite of all his doubts and fears Job could count on the fact that God was still God and that he was in control.

God does what he to do. We are to rest in that and trust that He using us to achieve His divine purposes.

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

I have esteemed the word of His mouth more than my necessary food

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” - Job 23v12

In the darkness of his troubles and despair Job could no longer really sense God’s presence. It is obvious that he felt alone and abandoned, but his basic faith in God did not waver. He knew deep down that God had a purpose. He also knew that God knew what was going on.

How can we know that God knew all of this? I think we can get a picture of this from this verse where Job says that he treasure the words of God more than even food itself. We can’t prove it here, but Job got his strength from someplace, and that he treasured God’s words, so it appears that he got his strength from God’s words.

How much do we treasure God’s word? Do we have a “take it or leave it” attitude, or do we treasure God’s word so much that we would be willing to pass up our daily sustenance for it?

Could any of us say today that we love God’s word more than our daily food?

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

He knows the way that I take

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” - Job 23v10

As Job’s lament and his “friends’” criticism continued he kept looking back and clinging to what we might call “raw faith.” At times he battled with not totally understanding, but still kept his faith in the Lord.

Job rested in the fact that God knew all about what He was going through. He knew that there was a purpose in his trials, and he knew that when the trials were over and God’s work was done he would come through shining like gold purified in a fire.

How easy it is for us to become desperate and despairing when things get tough. We get so focused on how bad it is at the moment that we can forget the eternal value of our trials.

If we could ever learn to just let God mould us and purify us in our trials they would be much more bearable.

Ron Hamilton puts it well in his song “Rejoice in the Lord.”


God never moves without purpose or plan.
When trying His servant and molding a man.

Give thanks to the LORD, though your testing seems long.
In darkness, He giveth a song.

He makes no mistake.
He knoweth the end of each path that I take!
For when I am tried and purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

I could not see through the shadows ahead,
So I looked at the cross of my Saviour instead.

I bowed to the will of the Master that day,
Then peace came, and tears fled away!

Now I can see testing comes from above,
God strengthens His children, and purges in love.

My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging, more fruit I will bear.


by Ron Hamilton

Monday, 17 April 2006

Shall any teach God knowledge

“Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high.” - Job 21v22

Once again Job was confronted with friends who were trying to declare for themselves what God was doing. All of them were convinced that God was doing what He was doing because of something Job had done.

Job did not know why he was going through what He was going through. He knew that he did not know the reason. Job’s friends did not know either. The difference was that they did not know that they did not know. Because of that they put themselves in God’s place acting as though they could explain why God was acting the way He was.

There seems to be a trend today to claim that God is acting when disasters strike. The tsunami was supposedly God’s action on the Muslim population. Hurricane Katrina was God’s judgement on New Orleans for sponsoring a gay pride festival. 9/11 is supposed to be God’s judgement on America for turning against Him and His principles.

No one can know the mind of God. We are out of place when we attribute acts to God that may or may not be His.

Sunday, 16 April 2006

I know that my redeemer liveth!

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:” - Job 19v25-26

Hallelujah and glory to God! May His praises be known in heaven and on earth. Jesus is risen from the dead and I KNOW that my Redeemer is alive today!

What wonderful faith Job had – even before Jesus Christ was manifested in the flesh Job knew that His Redeemer was a alive and that one day he would see Him with his own eyes. Oh how he longed for that day – “…my reigns be consumed within me…” expresses a heart felt yearning for that glorious when we shall see Him face to face! Job was in serious trouble, he had lost everything, his body was covered with painful boils, he didn’t know what was going on - but this one thing he did know – his Redeemer was alive and one day he would see Him!

O what a wonderful comfort for us. We may not know much else. We may not know why we have the troubles, trials, and tribulations we have. We may not know why we are sick, why we suffer the lose of loved ones, why we have financial difficulties, or why nothing seems to be falling into place.

There is one thing was can know and proclaim with absolute certainty – I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER IS ALIVE!!!!

Glory to God on High!!!!

Saturday, 15 April 2006

The righteous will hold on to his way

“The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.” - Job 17v9

Job grasped a concept that many Christians never seem to grasp today. Trials and troubles in our Christian life are things to be feared, but they truly have a purpose.

Job said that when the righteous go through problems they would hold to their ways and not be moved, but would stay hold on to his way.

Too often we see problems the wrong way. Perhaps that is why James writes that we should count is all joy when we fall into various types of trials. Perhaps that is why Paul reminds us to be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. God always has a purpose for our trials, always.

Are we righteous enough that when trials come we hold fast to our way?

Friday, 14 April 2006

Though He slay me yet will I trust Him

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” - Job 13v15

Job made the ultimate statement of faith and reliance on God’s perfect will. He showed how far he was willing to trust God and to what extent he was able to trust Him. Job said that even if God were to kill him it would not affect his faith in God.

Job exercised what we might call extreme faith. He was willing to carry faith to the limit.

I wish that I could always say something like “Even if God killed me I would still trust him. I am afraid that there are times when I don’t even trust God in the simplest of situations.

“Lord, I believe. Help mine unbelief.” May I get to the point where I could trust Goif even if He were to slay me.

Thursday, 13 April 2006

Will you contend for God

“Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him? Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God? Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?” - Job 13v7-9

How many times have you been going through a difficult time in your life and had a friend say something like, “Well, is there something in your life that you are not dealing with?” How often do we hear or read people who, upon hearing about some great tragedy determine that it must be an act of God’s judgement? It seems there is no lack of people who seem to think that they know the mind of God.

Job had it right – “Do you really think that you can argue on God’s behalf? Who are you to mock God by determining why He does what He does?”

Eliphaz and Zophar had both determined in their hearts that God was punishing Job for some sin in his life. Who gave them the right to decide why God was doing punishing Job. In do doing they were placing themselves in the position of judging God!

We can never know why God does the things He does. When we try to second-guess God and His actions we are proving to be the epitome of pride and arrogance.

God always does the best thing – lets not be guilty of acting as His judge.

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Can you by searching find out God?

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” - Job 11v7-8

I tend to think that Job’s friends may very well have had good hearts. It does not seem that they intended to hurt him or to falsely accuse him.

Zophar gives good words of wisdom here, “Can you figure God out by searching Him?” His perfect way is as high as heaven.” This reminds me of Isaiah 55 and the truth that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than out ways and our thoughts. Job could not figure out what God was doing, Zophar pointed out that sometimes what God does is simply beyond understanding.

We all face times when we just can’t see what God is doing. At those times we would do well to just realise this truth and trust that God is doing what is right.

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

As for me I would seek God.

“I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number:” - Job 5v8-9

We are often critical of Job’s friends for their attacks on their friend. Not everything they said however was wrong.

After a week of silence among the three friends Job broke the silence by bemoaning the fact that he was ever born, by wishing he had been still-born, and by wishing he were already dead.

His friend Eliphaz started out by reminding Job that men were sinners and that God was a righteous God. Eliphaz had no more idea about what was going on in Job’s life than Job did.

His advice to Job was sound though – “If it were me I would seek God and commit my cause to Him. He does great, unreachable, and marvellous things.

Eliphaz’ advice may not have been just what Job needed at the moment, but it is good for us to remember. In our affliction we do well to seek the Lord, for we can’t know what great, unreachable, and marvellous thing He might be doing.

Monday, 10 April 2006

Shall we accept good and refuse to accept evil?

“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” - Job 2v10

In the next round of this heavenly battle the Lord allows Satan to afflict Job’s body with terrible, painful boils from head to foot.

With this things get even worse. His wife wonders why he keeps going on with such integrity. Even more than that she suggested that he simply curse God and die.

Job’s simple response is classic – “Should we expect only to receive good from the Lord and not bad as well?” Job understood that God works in ways that he could not hope to understand. He knew that God has every right to give us either good or bad in our perception, it is totally up to Him.

In this entire situation Job did not sin with his lips by blaming God.

There is a saying, “You have to take the bad with the good.” This is true when it comes to God’s dealings. All He does is for ultimate good – even when it does not seem that way to us.

No matter what is happening, let us be sure that we don’t sin with our lips by putting the blame on God.

Sunday, 9 April 2006

Blessed be the name of the Lord

“And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” - Job 1v21

Job certainly had the right perspective on the things of this world. When all the bad news came he fell down and worshipped. When it was gone he had has the perfect response – I was born with nothing and when I die I am going to have nothing. God gives me what He wants and He takes when He wants, blessed be the name of the Lord.

God’s name is to be blessed no matter how we perceive what He is doing. He is worthy of praise not because of what He does, but because of who He is. All of that in entailed in His name. His perfect name does not change, and therefore He is ALWAYS worthy of our praise!

At the end we have these notable words as well – “In all this Job did not sin by accusing God.”

God is perfect and His ways are right. He is always worthy of our worship. We fail only when we focus on our present circumstance instead of on Him.

Saturday, 8 April 2006

Then Job … worshipped

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped,” - Job 1v20

Imagine this. You are going about your daily business. You love God and are happy with your family and your lot in life. Things couldn’t be better in the world.

Suddenly you get a phone call – “I hate to tell you this, but the stock market just collapsed, you are wiped out.” When they hang up you check your email and find out that the business associate that you trusted completely has emptied your bank account and skipped town. Then you get a text message on your mobile phone from your accountant who was supposed to have been paying all your bills. It contains the following “Boss, thnx 4 evrythng, CU l8ter J” followed by a visit from a solicitor for one of your many creditors. If that weren’t enough, someone rings the doorbell to tell you that all ten of your children have been killed in a tornado.

Bad day, huh? What would be your first reaction? Would your first response be to go and worship God? “Worship God?!?!” you might say, “How could a worship God then?”

Your question would seem well warranted, yet when Job faced a similar situation the Bible says that he “tore his robes, shaved his head, fell down … and worshipped.” We are reminded that worship is not to be conditional on our circumstances. God is worthy of our worship no matter what has happened. Next time we face a challenge may we consider Job … and worship.

Friday, 7 April 2006

This Job did continually

“And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.” - Job v1:5

Job was an amazing man. First of all we read that he was perfect, upright, feared God, and eschewed evil. Next we see his absolute devotion to his family. In the days before the Levitical priesthood Job was acting as the family priest to intervene for his wife and children.

Job strove to set his family apart for the Lord. He rose up early to intervene for them before the Lord. Just in case they had sinned, Job wanted to make sure that sacrifice had been made for them

It is interesting to note that he did this continually and regularly. It was a part of his life, nothing unusual. Job’s care for his family was a key part of his life, may we see our family role in the same light.

Thursday, 6 April 2006

Job …eschewed evil

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” - Job 1v1

The Bible says that Job was the greatest of all the people of the East. Incredibly rich, everyone knew who he was and he was highly regarded. Yet, he was able to do that without compromising his stand for the Lord.

Four things stick out at the very beginning:

· Job was perfect. Meaning he was complete and mature. He of course was not without sin, but there was no mark on him that others could point to and fault him
· Job was upright - like a measuring rod. He did not bend or waver in his convictions.
· Job feared God. He knew God for who He was. He had a holy reference for a holy God.
· Job eschewed evil. Literally he was “turned off” by evil.

God was about to use Job in a mighty way. Each of these are areas where we can and should follow the example set by Job.

I am impressed by the fact that Job eschewed evil. He was totally turned of by evil when it confronted him. Think about how our lives would be different if we could say that we were totally turned off by evil. Most of us don’t mind dabbling with evil. When we dabble in it we are prone to accept it.

Lord, remind me daily of your holiness so that I am totally turned off by evil.

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

The character of Mordecai

“For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.” - Esther 10v3

I find it interesting how often God’s people rose to power in places where they were strangers and pilgrims. Joseph rose to be second in power to Pharaoh. Daniel become prime minister and chief governor, and here we find that Mordecai became second in power only to King Ahasuerus. Not only that, at the same time he was well received by his own people.

We never really see Mordecai’s relationship to the Lord. We do see however something of he character that we can emulate. First, he sought the best for his people. Secondly, he spoke the message of peace to them. There is a spiritual application here for us to take with us. Do we really seek the best for others, or is our primary focus on us? Are we known for sharing a message of peace? We have the ultimate message of peace through Jesus Christ and we know that the ultimate welfare of people comes about through knowing Him.

Are we applying Mordecai’s example to our Christian lives?

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

If I perish I perish

“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” - Esther 4v16

Esther and her Uncle Mordecai are interesting figures. Up until this point it appears that they were happy enough to just blend in with the crowd and not “rock the boat.”

However, the day came when Mordecai would not bow down to the Haman. This was the beginning of their troubles. We don’t know why Haman would not bow down, perhaps it was simply pride, but judging by his near contemporaries actions it would appear that he would not bow down because he was a Jew and only God was worthy of his veneration.

Later, when the whole nation of Israel was threatened he went to his niece to ask her to go to the king for them. There is something interesting about her response once she decided to go – “If I perish I perish” was her response. Was it simply national pride and patriotism, or was it a willingness to die for her God? We really don’t know, but regardless she showed a rare courage in her willingness to die. She showed the kind of courage that God’s people need today in the face of tremendous opposition.

Monday, 3 April 2006

For such a time as this

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” - Esther 4v14

Esther is an interesting book. God’s name is never mentioned, and the key Jewish characters do not appear as strong, spiritual people. On the surface these do not look like people who would have anything to teach us today.

A Jewish girl named Esther became queen under circumstances that were questionable at best. She and her Uncle Mordecai say nothing about being Jews until the whole nation is threatened with extermination by a conspirators plot.

Finally Mordecai decided that something had to be done. He approached his niece about going to see the king to intervene for their people. His words to Esther were, “Who knows if you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this”? God is not mentioned, but as Jews they surely worshipped a God Who is sovereign and that He was the one who had allowed her to come to her position.

Whenever we face difficult or challenging situations we need to ask ourselves if it just barely possible that God has put us there just for “such a time as this.” What difficulty are you facing? Might God have you there just for “such a time as this?”

The Teacher

Give us a closer abiding in Jesus
that we may
bring forth more fruit,
have a deeper sense of our obligations to him,
that we may surrender all, have a fuller joy,
that we may serve him more completely.

Sunday, 2 April 2006

Remember me, O my God, for good

“And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.” - Nehemiah 13v31

Nehemiah had gone from being a simple cupbearer for the king of Babylon to being the legal governor of the restored city of Jerusalem. He had done an amazing work in having the walls built and bringing the city together. In cooperation with Ezra he had seen a great revival in the land.

At the very end of the book he is remembering some of what had happened and he asked God to remember the good that he had done. The idea is that he is asking God to bless his efforts. We see this happening quite often in the Old Testament. Part of the reason of course is that they did not have to comfort of the Holy Spirit to assure them of their salvation. However, there is a principle that we can apply.

Nehemiah did his best and then he left the rest up to God. There is a good pattern here for us as we serve God today. We must do all that we can humanly do for the Lord, then all we can do is to leave the rest with Him.

The question becomes, are we well and truly doing our best for Him? Only then can we step back and ask Him to remember and bless our efforts.

Saturday, 1 April 2006

You have done right and we have done wickedly

“Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:” - Nehemiah 9v33

Nehemiah 9 is a wonderful psalm recounting God’s faithfulness despite sin after sin by God’s people. It is a real testimony of God’s grace, mercy, and patience. Toward the end of the chapter the confession becomes clear. There is no “blame game” in this chapter. No excuses, no reasons, and no passing the buck. The people made it clear, “God , you have done right, and we have done wickedly.”

The blame game has been a part of how people respond to God. From the very beginning when Adam, blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent it has always been “someone else’s fault.”

There may even be times when Christians try to blame God, even though they would never admit it as such.

These people here had it right though. Simple enough – “You have done right and we have done wickedly.” That needs to be our attitude toward our sin and God’s holiness.