Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Jabez

In the 4th chapter from the book of 1 Chronicles, we find the man named Jabez.  Interestingly enough, there are a series of books written about this particular man, which is written in verses 9-10 in chapter 4.  Keep in mind, for the rest of the chapter, it does its usual chronicling of families, with a few minor descriptions like in the first three chapters, but here it goes quite in depth.

It starts out by telling us that Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.  Out of his siblings, he was the only one to cause his mother great pain.  Later in life, Jabez did not want to live up to that name and asked God to bless him, to enlarge his territory, and to keep him from harm.

And God granted the request.

How amazing it was for God to answer his prayers.

The same could be said about you.  How many are told that they're not going to amount to anything special because of where they live, what they've done, or the fact that no one else in the family has accomplished anything good?  The story of Jabez is about a man who was dealt with a poor hand, but with his true faith in God, he prayed and rose about it, all with God's blessing.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Names, names, and Nimrod

"You're such a nimrod."

In the book of 1 Chronicles, the first few chapters gives an account of the historical family records.  The majority of the records lists this father or mother had these sons or daughters, and so on.

In verse 10 of chapter 1, it reads: "Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on earth."  Nimrod appeared in Genesis.  However, one wonders why such a name became an insult.  Hence the quoted passage at the top of this post.  Oh, by the way, there is a small town in northern Minnesota named Nimrod.  Go figure.

Some even had their evil deeds put down in detail.  In chapter 2, verse 7, it reads: "Achar, who brought trouble on Israel for violating the ban on taking devoted things."

Friday, April 12, 2019

Let the Lord set your feet upon the rock

Psalm 40 starts with the speaker saying he waited patiently AND expectantly for the Lord.  We were in a pit of misery, but God heard us and set our feet upon the rock, keeping our steps steady.  He knows the path reserved for us and He helps us along the way.

Verse 8 is very powerful, for it says to take delight to do God's will.

Also, since us as Christians know the Good News, do not keep it to yourself.  Share in the news, either through words or actions.  Do not conceal from others the goodness that the Lord has done for you.

We may be in great need and afflicted by some malady.  At the very close of the psalm, it reads, "O my God, do not delay."  We do not want God to delay his thoughtfulness of us.  But we also must not delay in reading about his Word, about His Son Christ Jesus, and the good He does in the world.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Zedekiah rebels

In the final chapter of 2 Kings, chapter 25, we ended 24 with Zedekiah taking over as the king of Judah.  He was appointed by the king of Babylon.  Like all of the other kings of Judah, he did evil in the Lord's name.

But then Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzsar surrounded Jerusalem with siege weapons.  He kept this up for close to two years, by which time there was a great famine in the city.  Somehow, the soldiers of Judah fled the city by night, all without the Babylon army knowing until they were long gone.  But it didn't take long before they were captured.  Zedekiah's sons were slaughtered and his eyes were put out.

Nebuchadnessar then burned the Lord's Temple and looted all of the treasures inside.  He then appointed Gedaliah governor of Judah and he swore an oath to the people that no harm would come to them if they served the king of Babylon.

But the people of Judah would have nothing of it.  They killed Gedaliah and then fled to Egypt.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Judah's punishment

In the book of 2 Kings, chapter 24, the Babylon king Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah.  The king of Judah, Jehoiakim, surrendered and even paid tribute for three years.  But then he stopped.

The Lord did this to Judah for the evils they had done in His name, just as He had promised.

The invasion continued until Jehoiakim's death and then his son was the next king.  His name was Jehoiachin.  He was eighteen and only reigned for three months.

During Nebuchanezzar's reign, he carried away all of Judah's treasures from the Lord's Temple.  He even took as slaves as many people as he could--they numbered ten thousand in all--and left only the poorest.

Friday, April 5, 2019

The value of silence

Psalm 39 starts with a statement about guarding one's ways, not speaking sinfully while in the presence of those who wish to do evil to us.  But the silence grew immense within us . . . to the point where we spit out vile words.

Have you ever held your tongue when someone speaks about something you don't believe in, over and over again, until one day you just snap?  I do.  And so do you.  In today's instant social media age, this is as true now and your comments can have wide implications.

Remember Psalm 39 whenever this happens and remember the Lord.  Our time on Earth is brief.  Place all of your hope with the Lord.  He will sort it all out.

The Lord knows what you are going through in these situations.  You are not alone, even though you may feel like it.  Be at peace that Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit are with you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The right tools in the toolbox

I was replacing a brake light on my vehicle this past weekend--I had known about it for some time but put it off due to the frigid Minnesota weather and now the time was right.  The tools I needed were simple.  Aside from the bulb, all I really needed was a Philips head screwdriver.  Two screws.  No problem.

I was wrong.

One of the screw heads was a little worn and I had to resort to a socket to remove it.  Again, no big deal, once I found the right tools.

Whenever I've encountered problems in my life, I've looked to God for answers as much as I could.  Many answers can be found in the Bible.  The stories and lessons in the Bible are numerous and seemingly never-ending.  Whatever the circumstances, the answers can always be found in prayer and in His Holy Word.

A month ago, I needed to have a difficult conversation with my sales team.  I didn't want to do it, but I needed to.  I put my complete trust in the Lord, even remembering how Moses wasn't prepared to speak to the multitude of Israelites but God gave him the ability.  My difficult conversation sparked a fire for my sales team, changing their negative attitudes that were poisoning their minds into a positive one.  And it was all thanks to God and His Word.

Spend time daily in prayer and in reading His Scriptures.  You will be amazed at the results.