"Warrior" drawing by David Cohen

Today: Psalms 18:37-42; Matthew 24:32-51; Matthew 25:1-13; Job 38 & 39; Job 40:1-2

Psalms 18

“You have forced those who rose up against me to bow down under me.” Psalms 18:39

Even though David was a fierce warrior, he still gave God the credit for his victories. David is talking about actual physical battles with real human beings in this Psalm. Most of us will likely never find ourselves in such a physical struggle (hopefully not) these days. But we still battle against very real spiritual enemies that God can help us defeat.

For many years, I searched for healing from depression through prescription drugs, alcohol, relationships, education… everywhere except through God. When I finally reached the end of my own faulty solutions, God was standing right there, hand reached out to lift me up from the abyss. He was my answer. The more I delved into God through prayer and Scripture, the weaker that demon of depression became. Over twenty three years now I have been seeking God. He has completely delivered me from my enemy. Through God’s divine grace I can also say, as David did, that “I pursued my enemies… and overtook them. And I did not turn back until they were consumed. I shattered them so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.” (v.37-38)

This is the kind of spiritual / emotional healing that God offers to us. This is victory in Jesus. This means no weapon formed against us shall prosper. God offers us spiritual and emotional victory here in this life right now. It isn’t always easy to get there. It requires a lot of hard spiritual and mental work. But it is so worth the effort. Victorious life is so wonderfully sweet.

I love the last line of this passage: “Then I beat them fine like the dust before the wind; I emptied them out like the mud of the streets.” YES! Before the mighty power of God, our spiritual enemies are nothing but dust and mud. Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! Please teach us how to live in your victory today!

"The Second Coming" painting by Jorge Cocco

Matthew 24

It might be fun to contemplate about various end times scenarios. But Jesus makes it clear that “about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Nobody knows the exact meanings of these prophesies. Nobody knows specific dates and times, not even Jesus! Be wary of number crunchers, the self proclaimed “prophets” who have figured it all out. They are either deluded or lying.

The whole point is not to obsess about dates and details but to be ready at all times. Live your life honestly and uprightly. Be wise as serpents and simple as doves. Follow Jesus as if he could come at any moment… because he just might!

"Pillars of Creation" painting by Marie Green

Job 38-40

FINALLY God speaks! We’ve endured 38 chapters of hot air from Job’s blathering friends. Finally we get to the truth!

Remember that some day God WILL speak definitively. Some day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. What a blessed day that will be! Until then, we must continue to endure the hot air blathering of this fallen world. All we can do is to press on in pursuit of our Savior, the only bearer of complete truth.

I love it that God begins by telling Job to “buckle up!” (v.38:3) I am so captivated by the fantastic imagery in God’s response. He reminds Job of his mighty power to construct and order the Universe. God conveys such personality in this passage. He is even sarcastic as he seemingly teases Job, “tell me if you have understanding… since you [obviously] know.” (v.38:4-5) Did you know God has a sense of humor? He certainly does! After all, he created laughter.

I suspect many of us who grew up in Sunday School hearing these Bible stories all our lives may grow indifferent to how utterly amazing is the story of Creation. It is good to meditate on it from time to time. Ponder the incredible power that can create the entire Universe out of nothing!