Tag Archives: trust in God

(I Kings 13-16) For Generations To Come

Why did God not wipe out the blatantly disobedient people of Israel? One king after another – on both sides of the Israeli teams – obeyed God to differing degrees. Most disobeyed Him unashamedly. Their open rejection of everything God stood for would seem to be reason enough for God to wipe them off the face of the earth.

Why didn’t He do that? First of all, Scripture makes it clear God doesn’t delight in the deaths of His enemies, that His Sovereign will is that no one die without His saving grace. God didn’t – and doesn’t – destroy the Jews because of that one person whose heart is stirred, that one who is softening toward Jesus, and who will receive what the Messiah died to provide.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psalm 103:8)

But here is what occurred to me this morning as I sat here praying about these chapters in I Kings: God had made promises about Israel’s preservation to Abraham and to King David. Why? Because these men had vital relationships with God based on complete surrender and great faith. Neither man was perfect. But both men trusted God, and confessed and repented of sin. They were faithful to God, and He was faithful to them.

I am sure we are all praying for our children. We want God to bless and protect them today and every day. But I’m wondering how many generations of our descendants will be touched by God’s hand of protection, His grace and mercy, because we are living lives of obedience here and now? How many of our children and grandchildren will be blessed because we ourselves are surrendered to God, and demonstrate complete faith in Him? How many years will God continue to answer our prayers long after we are gone from this earthly body?

Our lives are lived in a few decades on this earth. But our prayers live into eternity. Our example goes on without us in the hearts and minds of our children. Our influences influence them whose influence impacts our grandchildren who will have children and grandchildren of their own.

What example of obedience are those dear ones seeing in us today? More importantly, what is God seeing in us that would cause Him to want to answer our prayers for the next generation and the next?

Abraham’s and David’s prayers are still being answered today because they were faithful to God while they had that opportunity. May the same be said of us a few thousand years from now.

August 13 – Roots

Jeremiah 14-17

It’s been a hot and dry summer here in Ohio. The grass is brown, the flowers have wilted, leaves on trees droop. The last few days there has been an occasional shower and even a few heavy rains, but so far it doesn’t seem to have had much effect on the landscape.

In fact, I went out in bare feet yesterday to get the mail, and the grass was still dry and brittle. It’s been that parched here. Even a bit of rain isn’t enough to quench the ground.

Jeremiah says people who put their trust in mankind, or even in themselves, are like that. (17:5-6) Like tumbleweeds in a desert, like a desolate land of salt, they are cursed with a thirst that cannot be satisfied. Oh, many will say that’s not true, that they are just fine without God. Jeremiah says they’re so used to living in the wilderness they won’t even see when prosperity comes.

Then the prophet goes on. People who put their trust in the Lord are blessed!

For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. (17:7-8)

We who plant ourselves close to the Living Water will have deep roots, we won’t fear the heat of battle or hardship, and our faith will stand firm even when things around us dry up. Then, because of our witness, people will want what we have. We’ll bear fruit!

Where are your roots planted?

 

 

July 2 – The Battle Is The Lord’s

2 Chronicles 19-23

When Jehoshaphat heard there was a great multitude headed their way, and ready for battle, he was afraid. But Jehoshaphat didn’t run. 20:3 says he turned his attention to the Lord. He asked his fellow Jews to fast and pray with him.

Then the king prayed, “God, we’re in trouble. We don’t know what to do – but our eyes are on You.” (from 20:13)

I love God’s answer to that prayer. “Do not fear. The battle is the Lord’s. Stand and see the salvation of the Lord.”

So on the day of battle, Jehoshaphat told the people to trust God. He put the choir in front of the army, and instructed them to sing praises to God. I’m sure the enemy hadn’t expected that. They had swords drawn to fight Judah’s soldiers. What were they supposed to do with the praise team?

The enemy armies, stunned and confused, began fighting each other. It was a pretty incredible victory for the Jews.

I don’t know what battle you are facing in your personal life. I do know the battle before us as a nation. Let’s learn from Jehoshaphat’s example. Instead of focusing on the problem, let’s turn our attention to the Lord. Let’s fast and pray and seek Him only.

Then, instead of complaining, or worrying, or striking out, let’s praise Him. Let’s us Christians be the examples of trust in God, confidence in His ability, the willingness to obey only Him, and the joy that is ours in our redemption through Jesus’ blood.

Oh, let’s be ready for battle. But never forget that when our focus is Him, the battle is the Lord’s!