My bible study group has decided to study out Job and I’m so grateful. I have focused on chapter 1 and 2 this week and had such an “oh wow” moment!
Honestly, there are days that I feel like I’ve just had enough. Usually after dealing with 3 boys and their attitudes and behaviors, bills we have just enough money to cover, my husband having a bad day, and trying to not make remarks back to strangers who feel comfortable talking to me about things I wish not to discuss with them. I know we all have those days.
In 1 Kings 19 Elijah voiced what I have felt so many times. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
I’ve said the same thing myself but then I find myself feeling guilty for feeling this way. Now granted I haven’t had people chasing me down to try and kill me and that is what makes me feel so guilty. Shouldn’t I be able to handle more? Do more? But watching Elijah I notice that he didn’t feel guilty. And God didn’t punish him for being at the end of his rope.
God made Himself known. God met Elijah’s needs and then talked with him. Elijah was honest with how he was feeling. He didn’t feel sorry for himself, he didn’t try and pretend he was stronger than he was, and he didn’t try to blame or harass. It didn’t bother God.
After meeting Elijah’s immediate needs and after showing Himself to Elijah, he led Elijah to Elisha. Elisha would be his helper.
God does the same for us. In the midst of my trouble, if I look up long enough, talk to God, I too will find my needs being met by God. I too will have someone come alongside me to strengthen me and take over some of my responsibilities if I allow them.
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.
I have spent a few days thinking of this scripture, allowing it to tug at my heart. God would cause them to be greatly deceived?
But God isn’t causing them or anyone to be deceived. God’s permitting us to be deceived when we want to be. He’s never going to force His will upon us.
If our desire is to be gods, like a god, then God will allow that. If our desire is to be God’s children then he will lead us.
He is a God of order and compassion.
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his ;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Reading through 1 Kings 11-13 has given me cause for deeper thought today. Reading over and over I hear God telling these men what great things He is going to do for them. He’s making them Kings, securing a kingdom not only for them but for their children as well. They have nothing to worry about. This is coming from God. This is great!
But I don’t see them relying on God, trusting God. They are getting caught up in power, status, and fear. Afraid of losing what God has said would be theirs. Instead of listening to God, obeying Him, giving their hearts to Him, they start relying on themselves to maintain that position of power. And it’s not pretty.
I think about the times I have done the same. It’s never turned out good for me. I’m left with no joy, no calm, no peace.
May every day I look towards God and know that I can put my trust in Him without falling into sin with being impatient, afraid, untrusting. May my heart always be turned towards God. Giving thanks to Him. Praising His name. Enjoying His faithfulness!
1 Kings 11:1-3 King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations that the Lord had told the Israelites about, “Do not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn you away from Me to their gods.” Solomon was deeply attached to these women and loved them. He had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 concubines, and they turned his heart away from the Lord.
My sons and I have been talking about how the people you hang out with and the person you marry can influence your relationship with God.
All three of them have very firm ideas on the type of the woman they want to marry or not marry and when we came to this scripture their hearts were listening and left them thinking.
I have friends who have married someone of a different faith or lack of faith and I have seen their struggles. Some of them make it work and some don’t.
My thinking is that marriage is hard enough. My sons see that marriage is messy just like any close relationship they will ever have but I pray they are thoughtful enough to consider this scripture when they consider marriage.
My oldest son came to me yesterday and said that he wished our move would hurry up and come. Either we move now or we just didn’t move because he didn’t know what to do tomorrow. I tried to help him understand that we wouldn’t know anything definite for the next few weeks. But I understand how he feels. It’s hard to make plans when you just don’t know.
1 Kings 8:54-61 When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven, and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice: “May the Lord be praised! He has given rest to His people Israel according to all He has said. Not one of all the good promises He made through His servant Moses has failed. May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors. May He not abandon us or leave us so that He causes us to be devoted to Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, which He commanded our ancestors. May my words I have made my petition with before the Lord be near the Lord our God day and night, so that He may uphold His servant’s cause and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, and so that all the peoples of the earth may know that Yahweh is God. There is no other! Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God to walk in His statutes and to keep His commands, as it is today.”
I love a great blessing! I love to know that someone is saying good things about me or asking God for good things for me. My heart also longs to know that God will always be with me and never abandon me or my family.
What made me pause and go yes, today, yes? Towards the end of verse 59 – 60 “as each day requires”. The older NIV version reads “according to each day’s need”. So that all of the heart may know that the Lord is God and there is no other. That everyone may know that Yahweh is God. As it is today.
He is going to make sure that I and my family have exactly what we need for today, then tomorrow He’ll take care of tomorrow. I can trust in that because I know that God is like no other and no one, nothing, will ever be like God. That means I can live for today.
We are still looking at moving and I do need to make preparations to get ready for this move but I can relax and know that we can plan for just what today requires. And I can continue to teach my children to relax, as it is today.
Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,
This morning my middle was baptized! I couldn’t be happier. I have watched my young man struggle with his faith, with scripture, with his heart, for over a year. He wanted to get baptized, I wanted the child to get baptized, but he told me a year ago that his head knew why he needed to get baptized but his heart wasn’t there.
My husband and I have the mindset that we don’t bring it up, we don’t push our faith onto our sons. We allow them to come to their own faith and when they start asking to be baptized the we will talk about it with them with scriptures. This is their faith, their decision and we want them to make the decision but when they are ready.
I have to tell you though, it was hard to sit back and watch him go through this struggle. He deals with pride. He struggles with accepting help. I knew if I interfered with his struggle then his faith wouldn’t be his own. He wouldn’t mature spiritually, either with this decision or with future struggles. My prayer is for my sons to become men who go after God’s heart.
Today is AWESOME!