God’s plan, Restoration and Grace

“Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”  Psalm 73:1-3 KJV

When my mind is full of thoughts and concepts and precepts of the word of God and then God gives me a reading that covers it all… That is what I experience today. All of my thoughts and feeling were leading me astray down a path which is bound with condemnation, when Jesus came to set us free! Quickly God rescued me from such foolish thoughts – Oh how He loves us!!!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Psalms, chapters 73, and 77-78 (embedded below for your convenience).

Chapter 73 is fitting for the world we live in, probably more so than when it was written – my logic is this: Jesus, Himself said we were in the end times, so how much more so today. And the Bible says before Jesus returns the day will get more evil – and we are seeing this very thing on a global scale. And we see those who do evil, prospering. We almost want to give up – why do we suffer persecution and why do we struggle for His name’s sake? Our rewards are unseen and in heaven – and when we receive our crowns, we will lay them back at the feet of our Lord – and we get a mansion in heaven but then we don’t get to stay there because the whole purpose is a new heaven and a new earth in a Garden of Eden utopia (not in man’s understanding of it – but God’s will). So what is the point of it all? Shouldn’t we just take the easy road instead?! (In case you haven’t noticed – being a Christian isn’t the easy road.)

God’s ways are NOT our ways – so trust His process and know there is tragedy for the wicked, and those who trust in God are blessed exceedingly abundantly.  And this doesn’t mean financial riches, although God does bless some with finances.

So, that was one of the thought on my mind: that I am seeing so many evil people prospering while God’s children struggle. And this has been a patterns throughout the Bible and God knows and has already wrote about it to encourage us. The other thoughts that leads to are: well, am I really righteous? Am I really one of the good guys? I also have my struggles and my flesh – I have been promised redemption and restoration and I sit here a woman without covering waiting on the Lord to put it in the elder’s hearts to cover me, be a father to the fatherless, and anoint me. I have been offered membership into their ‘club’ – but I don’t think they understand my spiritual ask. I need the restoration the Lord has promised and it isn’t a membership made by man. And again I recall in humility how frail humanity is and how I am an unworthy sinner – it is no wonder the modern local church isn’t kind enough to anoint me and cover me.  ……… As my thought spin and spiral I see it is the corruption from years under a false prophet with the heavy hand of legalism. And in grace – wonderful, glorious, transformative grace I am freed! As God says, today’s reading starts with the encouragement above and then lead to a Psalm about God’s redemptive works – then onto one about how kind and loving and merciful God has been to the ever rebellious Israel – and how God still loves me.

We were looking at the life of David and are heading back to it – and David was a sinner, murder and had a flesh struggle everyone could see – yet David was a man after God’s own heart. More importantly – it is ok if we are a David! Yes, God loves us through our rebellion, through our sin struggles and even through denying Him (like Peter did in the New Testament). It is ok to be like Israel, or like David or like Peter – it is perfectly fine to be human and fillable. The key has always been to get HUMBLE – get low – and God will take care of the rest.

Today’s reading all boils down to – Jesus loves me. God the Father loves me – so much, He helped me get to a point of having these things on my mind and prepared my heart, and prepared the readings so that all these things came together just for me – so I could be freed from every chain and He could show me just how much He loves me – even broken and a mess.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms 73 & 77-78 NKJV

The Tragedy of the Wicked, and the Blessedness of Trust in God

A Psalm of Asaph.

73 Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For there are no [a]pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment.
Their [b]eyes bulge with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.
They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak [c]loftily.
They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return here,
And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
11 And they say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
13 Surely I have [d]cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
16 When I thought how to understand this,
It was [e]too painful for me—
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
20 As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was [f]vexed in my mind.
22 was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the [g]strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who [h]desert You for harlotry.
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord God,
That I may declare all Your works.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 73:4 pains
  2. Psalm 73:7 Tg. face bulges; LXX, Syr., Vg. iniquity bulges
  3. Psalm 73:8 Proudly
  4. Psalm 73:13 kept my heart pure in vain
  5. Psalm 73:16 troublesome in my eyes
  6. Psalm 73:21 Lit. pierced in my kidneys
  7. Psalm 73:26 Lit. rock
  8. Psalm 73:27 Are unfaithful to You

The Consoling Memory of God’s Redemptive Works

To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

77 I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled;
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah

You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old,
The years of ancient times.
I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart,
And my spirit [a]makes diligent search.

Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed [b]forevermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah

10 And I said, “This is my [c]anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is in [d]the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 The waters saw You, O God;
The waters saw You, they were afraid;
The depths also trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
The skies sent out a sound;
Your arrows also flashed about.
18 The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was in the sea,
Your path in the great waters,
And Your footsteps were not known.
20 You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

God’s Kindness to Rebellious Israel

A Contemplation[e] of Asaph.

78 Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter [f]dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.

For He established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers,
That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments;
And may not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not [g]set its heart aright,
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

The children of Ephraim, being armed and [h]carrying bows,
Turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep the covenant of God;
They refused to walk in His law,
11 And forgot His works
And His wonders that He had shown them.

12 Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers,
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through;
And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
14 In the daytime also He led them with the cloud,
And all the night with a light of fire.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness,
And gave them drink in abundance like the depths.
16 He also brought streams out of the rock,
And caused waters to run down like rivers.

17 But they sinned even more against Him
By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.
18 And they tested God in their heart
By asking for the food of their fancy.
19 Yes, they spoke against God:
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 Behold, He struck the rock,
So that the waters gushed out,
And the streams overflowed.
Can He give bread also?
Can He provide meat for His people?”

21 Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious;
So a fire was kindled against Jacob,
And anger also came up against Israel,
22 Because they did not believe in God,
And did not trust in His salvation.
23 Yet He had commanded the clouds above,
And opened the doors of heaven,
24 Had rained down manna on them to eat,
And given them of the [i]bread of heaven.
25 Men ate angels’ food;
He sent them food to [j]the full.

26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens;
And by His power He brought in the south wind.
27 He also rained meat on them like the dust,
Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas;
28 And He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
All around their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled,
For He gave them their own desire.
30 They were not [k]deprived of their craving;
But while their food was still in their mouths,
31 The wrath of God came against them,
And slew the stoutest of them,
And struck down the choice men of Israel.

32 In spite of this they still sinned,
And did not believe in His wondrous works.
33 Therefore their days He consumed in futility,
And their years in fear.

34 When He slew them, then they sought Him;
And they returned and sought earnestly for God.
35 Then they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
36 Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth,
And they lied to Him with their tongue;
37 For their heart was not steadfast with Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38 But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity,
And did not destroy them.
Yes, many a time He turned His anger away,
And did not stir up all His wrath;
39 For He remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again.

40 How often they provoked[l] Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember His [m]power:
The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,
43 When He worked His signs in Egypt,
And His wonders in the field of Zoan;
44 Turned their rivers into blood,
And their streams, that they could not drink.
45 He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them,
And frogs, which destroyed them.
46 He also gave their crops to the caterpillar,
And their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail,
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 He also gave up their cattle to the hail,
And their flocks to fiery [n]lightning.
49 He cast on them the fierceness of His anger,
Wrath, indignation, and trouble,
By sending angels of destruction among them.
50 He made a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But gave [o]their life over to the plague,
51 And destroyed all the firstborn in Egypt,
The first of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52 But He made His own people go forth like sheep,
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;
53 And He led them on safely, so that they did not fear;
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And He brought them to His holy border,
This mountain which His right hand had acquired.
55 He also drove out the nations before them,
Allotted them an inheritance by [p]survey,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.

56 Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God,
And did not keep His testimonies,
57 But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers;
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58 For they provoked Him to anger with their high places,
And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.
59 When God heard this, He was furious,
And greatly abhorred Israel,
60 So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh,
The tent He had placed among men,
61 And delivered His strength into captivity,
And His glory into the enemy’s hand.
62 He also gave His people over to the sword,
And was furious with His inheritance.
63 The fire consumed their young men,
And their maidens were not given in marriage.
64 Their priests fell by the sword,
And their widows made no lamentation.

65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
Like a mighty man who shouts because of wine.
66 And He beat back His enemies;
He put them to a perpetual reproach.

67 Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has established forever.
70 He also chose David His servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him,
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 77:6 ponders diligently
  2. Psalm 77:8 Lit. unto generation and generation
  3. Psalm 77:10 Lit. infirmity
  4. Psalm 77:13 Or holiness
  5. Psalm 78:1 Heb. Maschil
  6. Psalm 78:2 obscure sayings or riddles
  7. Psalm 78:8 Lit. prepare its heart
  8. Psalm 78:9 Lit. bow shooters
  9. Psalm 78:24 Lit. grain
  10. Psalm 78:25 satiation
  11. Psalm 78:30 Lit. separated
  12. Psalm 78:40 rebelled against Him
  13. Psalm 78:42 Lit. hand
  14. Psalm 78:48 lightning bolts
  15. Psalm 78:50 Or their beasts
  16. Psalm 78:55 surveyed measurement, lit. measuring cord

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