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Will I stand alone? 0

The reading from Psalm 106 reminds us of the short term memory issues of the Israelites. The book of Exodus recounts God’s miraculous intervention into Egypt and how He stepped in to free the Israelites from slavery. God sent Moses to tell the Israelites that God had heard their cries and was going to free them from slavery and take them to a land of their own. They were skeptical and didn’t believe God was going to do it. They stood back and were amazed to see the miraculous signs (plagues) God used to get Pharoah’s attention. The people of Egypt wanted the Israelites to leave and they offered silver and gold to their former slaves as the Israelites began their long journey out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
The Israelites even experienced the separation of the Red Sea that allowed them to get away from the pursuing Egyptians. Then on the journey God led them in the form of a cloud during the day and as a pillar of fire at night so they people of God would know exactly where to go. God even provided food for them on the journey. The people of God witnessed with their own eyeballs the amazing provision of God.
What they witnessed did not prevent them from eventually complaining and turning their back on the God who saved them and provided for them. Because of their forgetfulness, complaining, and their idolatry, God was prepared to destroy them and start over with the descendants of Moses. But Moses intervened and begged God to remember His covenant with His people. Moses reminded God that the rest of world would view Him as a vengeful and angry God that saved the Israelites from slavery only to kill them in the desert. Psalm 106:23 tells us that God would have destroyed them if Moses had not intervened.
Imagine how difficult it was for Moses to stand alone on the side of God when all the people wanted to abandon God. Will we have the courage to stand alone on the side of God when the whole world turns their back on God. May we be people of faith who remember the great deeds of God stand firm in our conviction that God loves us and will provide for us.

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The Lord, our Savior 0

The passage from Isaiah is such a convicting passage as it calls us to “Present the case for your idols…Let them show what they can do” (Isaiah 41:21). The context for the passage is that the people of God turned away from their God (YAHWEH) and gave their affection and attention to false gods and looks to false gods for help. They forgot all that God had done for them in the past and they turned away from their Creator and Provider. Despite the forgetfulness and sinfulness of God’s people, God still came through for His people and provided salvation for them. The prophet then celebrates that God again demonstrates grace to the people of God, “Sing a new song to the Lord! Sing his praises from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 42:10). Despite the fact that God’s people abandoned Him, He will not abandon His people. He clearly proclaims that He will continue to provide for His people. “I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them. But those who trust in idols, who say, ‘You are our gods’ will be turned away in shame” (Isaiah 42:16-17).

This passage illustrates our character and the character of God. We are so quick to pursue idols of fame, pleasure, selfishness, and power and we regularly forget all that God has done for us. While our memory is fleeting, God’s faithfulness is steadfast. The question is not whether God will be there for us, but rather will we continue to look to God for the guidance, protection, and love that He is ready to provide. May we recognize and represent the faithfulness and steadfastness of our Savior.

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Yes your majesty. 0

As a American citizen it boggles the mind to consider that Kings and Queens still exist in our world. TV shows, fairy tales, and movies have taught us that when Kings and Queens give instructions the proper response, and the only response if you want to remain alive, is “yes your majesty.” We see this over and over in history as well as Kings and Queens ruled their nations and citizens obeyed their directives. The Psalm reading for today, Psalm 8:1-9 reminds us that there is only one King, God, the creator of the world. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”(vs. 1) Creation itself reminds the Psalmist of how powerful and amazing the Creator is and the Psalmist is blown away that God, who is indeed omnipotent, wants to be in a relationship with us. “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (vs.3-4)

God not only wants a relationship with us but wants us to be a part of what He is doing in the world. It is humbling to consider that God has a role for us to play in the salvation story that is being played out all over the world. “Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (vs. 5-6). What a privilege it is to have an assignment from God, to do the work we are called to do, as we serve the one true King of all creation. When we hear directions and promptings from God, I pray our response is quick and clear, “yes your majesty.”

Remember that we are participating in a marathon and not a sprint. Be encouraged that you have made it more than halfway through. If you have dropped out for awhile and missed some days, then start back up today. This is a not a litmus test to prove your devotion to God, but rather an opportunity to spend time reading God’s word throughout the year.

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I hear you God but I’ve got a better idea 1

Today’s Old Testament scripture reveals that God wants simple obedience and trust in Him and His commands. Saul is given an instruction by the prophet of God Samuel to destroy all of the Amalekites and all of their possessions. Instead of obeying God’s instruction Saul set aside Agag, the Amalekite King and the best of the sheep, oxen, fattened calves, and lambs. Saul decided that he knew better than God. In Saul’s mind, God didn’t offer an instruction He just offered a suggestion.

As a result of his disobedience God rejected Saul as King. Samuel confronted Saul about his disobedience and plainly said these words, “to obey is better than sacrifice” (I Samuel 15:22). Saul had his excuses ready to explain why he didn’t obey God’s instruction. Samuel wasn’t interested in Saul’s rationale for disobedience and simply informed Saul that God rejected him as King.

We have our excuses ready too don’t we. Often times we know exactly what God has instructed us to do and yet we rationalize away obedience and develop numerous excuses as to why we decided to ignore God’s instruction in order to do something that we determined to be a better idea. Often times we forget how the world is organized because we have ourselves at the center instead of maintaining an awe and reverence for the Lord that would keep Him and His commands at the center of our world.

As our creator, God knows what is best for us. Obedience may be difficult but that is what God wants from us. Simple faith and trust in Him that demonstrates that we acknowledge He knows best.