Today: Psalms 77:10-20; Acts 15:22-41; 1 Kings 11:14-43; 1 Kings 12:1-24
“And I said, ‘This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High!’ I will remember the works of the LORD. Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” Psalm 77:10-11
In the first half of Psalms 77, yesterday’s reading, Asaph laments about all of his troubles and wonders if God’s mercy has ceased forever; “has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?” (v.8-9)
In the second half of the Psalm, Asaph wipes the tears off of his face and resolutely looks heavenward. In this life we WILL have troubles. God does not promise us an easy life. But we do have a “God who does wonders,” who has, with His arm, redeemed us. (v.14-15)
Even during difficult times we can meditate on the glorious works God has done in the past and be encouraged.
It didn’t take long for dissent to well up within the early Christian church. First there was a dispute about whether or not Gentile Christians should be circumcised. Then Paul and Barnabas disagreed about another disciple and “the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another.” (v.39) This story makes me sad. But I’m not surprised. God is true and perfect, but He works through us messy humans. There will always be imperfections in the church as long as humans are involved… all the more reason to keep our eyes on Christ and not on each other.
I find it interesting that Luke, the author of Acts, doesn’t interject his opinion on the argument between Paul and Barnabas. He never tells us if he thinks one or the other was right or wrong. He just sticks to the facts. I think that is because it doesn’t matter if anyone was right or wrong. Quite possibly they were both right. God’s blessings followed them both. They split up, went to different places to preach the gospel, and God continued to grow His church.
1 Kings 11
Most of King Solomon’s reign was spent in peace. But in his old age, Solomon turned away from God and sacrificed to the false foreign gods of his many wives. God removed his protection from Israel and raised up adversaries. How tragic that one of the wisest men who ever lived had such a dismal ending to his life.
Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, did not inherit any of his father’s wisdom. He mucked things up almost immediately. The kingdom was split in two and Jeroboam ruled over most of Israel. Only Judah followed Rehoboam.