God provides for us in His way and in His time, what’s left for us to do is have good manners as we wait.
People of God left the land of slavery not wanting anything. Their financial needs were met, their bodies were healthy and fit, their food and drink were provided daily. What else could they want more? What else could we want? Still, a lingering of ‘never enough’ consumes us all.
The Eden curse of ‘God is not giving us the best’ hunts us relentlessly. We can be so much focused on what we don’t have that we loathe what we do. Our manners slip and our complaints colour the atmosphere turning the provision of God into vexation. Moses, provoked by the constant accusations and anger of people missed seeing the promised land. What miracles are we missing out on by employing bad manners?
God steers evil towards His purpose, but He does not engineer it. The hearts of man are hardened and worn away by unbelief and sin.
God in His mercy shows us time and time again the corruption of our hearts. He does that often by eliminating the props that our hearts stand on. The ten plagues of Egypt were a demonstration of the authority and superiority of God to humble peoples hearts and bring them to repentance.
The price of a heart of sin and unbelief is ruin, but the reward of a redeemed heart is eternal joy.
Jesus Christ endured the hardness of the cross to bring us salvation that would soften our hearts and set us free from the blindness of sin and unbelief. He paid with His precious blood so that life would flow in our stony hearts. Hope in God today and remember not to harden your heat in unbelief when darkness cover the earth.
The people of Israel were welcomed in the land of Egypt during the time that Joseph was alive and hated later. We all go through seasons of ‘spiritual depression’ The people that once loved us, don’t seem to do anymore. The prayer that worked before, it’s not working anymore. The worship that encouraged before does not seem to raise the encouragement needle now.
The ultimate cause of all spiritual depression is unbelief.
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The incredible thing about unbelief is that unbelief is easier seen in others than in ourselves. We can recognize unbelief in the Israelite people wandering in the desert for decades. One day they are happy and all hallelujahs and the next day building a golden calf and about to stone Moses. Unbelief hardens the heart and manipulates the mind. It makes us depend on our feelings and not faith. Genuine truth on the other hand keeps our hearts soft and our minds alert to the Spirit of God. The presence of God ( cloud and fire) was with the Israelites in the wasteland. Moses and Aaron were prepared to guide people. Still, people were full of disbelief and ready to rebel. Are you in a spiritual wilderness right now? How can you detect that and what are you going to do to keep your eyes on God during this dry season?
The journey from the dream to destiny must go through the distress path.
Think of Joseph, he is a dreamer. His dreams are not his but God’s. God sees time differently from us and plans provision ahead of the problem. He uses people to fulfil His dreams and that’s why this can be a bit ridiculous in the eyes of those who can not see Him. Joseph is sharing his dream with his parents and brothers and all he gets is laughter and scorn. He is sincere, yet sincerely wrong in the way he does it.
The dream is true, yet his character is not ready yet for the dream.
So, God in His wisdom and love takes Joseph to a path where pain, prison and serving in the palace would mould his personality and attitude for the times coming. The distress discipline that Joseph goes through it’s but a foretaste to what Jesus Christ went through to fulfil God’s dream which is you and me redeemed forever.
Does this truth comforts you in the middle of the distress you are going right now?
If you are waiting for God to fulfil His promises to you, you are not alone. Waiting can feel like wondering and wondering can feel wasteful, but let me tell you this: although waiting is not fun, it tells us to focus on the faithfulness and timing of God. If we look through the Bible and our lives we can observe how people and we dealt with ‘waiting seasons’ in our lives.
I can tell you that there is no art to waiting well.
We all get impatient (traffic jams) irritable ( when people don’t catch up at the same speed as us) angry and make mistakes while waiting. But GOD, knowing how we are, puts us through ‘wandering in the wild’ seasons time and time again to show us His love and help us lean on Him. We need to trust God protection and provision as we wander in the wilderness.
There is no understanding of God’s redemptive story without knowing what covenant means. Covenant is different from a contrate ( a pact when pairs enter into a quid pro quo agreement)
From Genesis on, God enters into formal relationships with different people in the Bible in order to save and rescue the world. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are but a few of the people He entered into a covenant until the story reached its climax with Jesus Christ.
Deriving from the Hebrew language from the same roots as the word ‘cut’ or the Latin ‘coming together’ covenant in the Bible, gives this idea of a formal pact between God and His people coming together and agreeing on His promises. The agreement often required a sacrifice as a seal. The sacrifice was God’s promise for His faithfulness.
This is the nature of God. He gives and He keeps His promises from generation to generation. The chief promise being the provision of the unblemished lamb. Jesus Christ. He was cut and crushed by the weight of our sin so that the promise of God is fulfilled. Yes, all the promises that he spoke to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were ultimately fulfilled by Jesus, our Lord who united us with God. He keeps His word to the end, even if we don’t keep our part of the arrangement. He is the covenant keeper.
Our mouths and our acts are well connected. What we confess we conform to. The opening of Psalm 105 tells us to praise and give thanks to the Lord at the same time as to seek Him and His strength. Why?
It’s impossible to praise God and not be encouraged. It’s inconceivable to give thanks to God and not experience His strength flowing through your veins. It’s impossible to sing His name and not be exhorted in His glory.
When we don’t stay silent about our God, His acts and marvellous love responds to our lives. Not just that, but when we praise God with our mouths and seek His face daily we become brave and audacious to share all He is with others. The sharing of the good news becomes even more natural to us when it goes through our mouths in form of praise and Thanksgiving.
‘Give us this day our daily bread’ ( Matthew 6:11) is a prayer of dependence and delight. We depend on our God to send the rain so that the crops will grow and give their fruit. God maintains our earthy life. He put breath in our lungs and supplies for our bodies daily. He does that with plants, animals and us alike. We rely on Him. Our tables, bellies and heart are filled by our creator. Everything necessary to sustain life comes from God, we depend on Him and we delight with Him. When we see God as the creator and the maintainer of life we rejoice and participate in his plan of renewal.
Earth is not as it should be, plants are not as they should be, animals are not as they should be, we are not as we should be, but Jesus promises to renew to perfection all nature and world, our bodies and hearts forever. Lord, helps us rejoice in the work of thy hand as you do.
God put the moon and the sun at work to make sure that life on earth was not only sustainable but satisfying. The earth circles around the sun and the moon orbits the earth creating a seasonal rhythm for us to dance.
Life is a gift of sweat and joy. There is life transpiring in every season.
There is plants and animals of dark and creatures of the light that God takes care. There is vitality happening that our eyes can’t see that God oversees. All is made to display the riches of God’s power and creativity. The big and the small, the fragile and the strong point us to God’s breathtaking inventiveness and imagination. Lord, open our eyes to see the world as the work of your finger and explore it and enjoy it giving glory to you.
It’s is true that we believers in Christ are known more in the world for what we don’t do as to what we do. People have painted us to be gloomy and joy killers. Yet, we come to this portion of psalm 104 and we read verse 15 and there is no gloom to be seen but -Wine, Oil and Bread. Meaning gladness, glow and grow. Let me explain that.
Wine is broadly used in the Bible as a ‘drink of gladness’. It used to be and still is an essential ingredient for any celebration tables and shared happiness. Weddings, festivals and parties prize good wine as good hospitality. When wine is taken in moderate quantity has the ability to revive and refresh the human heart. When wine is consumed outside the moderate levels has got the opposite effect of weakening the human body and intellect. That is an abuse of the usage of wine and no longer fits the ‘glad’ description that the Bible illustrates here.
Oil makes us glow and has so many benefits to our daily living. By consuming and using the oil we are kept healthy and purified. Our skin is smooth and shiny. Oil was used to lightning lamps so light might enter the house and people see each other faces.
Bread or grain is the chief substance in our lives. Bread helps us grow. It strengthen our hearts and sustains us. Bread preserve and maintain the body.
Jesus used these ingredients in Eucharist to illustrate the new covenant we have in Him ( Bread and wine ) and the oil as a symbol of His anointing ( Messiah, the anointed one). Jesus is the true vine, the olive tree and the bread of life. In Him, we are renewed and our hearts are filled with Joy.