Today: Psalms 64; John 11:1-44; 1 Samuel 2:27-36; 1 Samuel 3 & 4

Psalms 64

“Hear my voice, God, in my complaint;
Protect my life from dread of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret discussion of evildoers,
From the restlessness fo the workers of injustice,
Who have sharpened their tongues like a sword.
They aimed bitter speech as their arrows,
To shoot from concealment at the innocent;
Suddenly they shoot at him, and do not fear.
They make firm for themselves an evil purpose;
They talk of setting snares secretly;
They say, ‘Who can see them?’
They devise injustices, saying,
‘We are ready with a well-conceived plot’;
For the inward thought and the
heart of a person are deep.”
Psalms 64:1-6

Could there be a more accurate description of these days we are currently living in than Psalms 64:1-6? The enemy conceives their evil plots in secret and arrogantly think no one sees them. They use their bitter speech like arrows to destroy the innocent. David nailed it!

But here’s the kicker… David also tells us how this modern day horror movie ends… and it is GOOD!

“But God will shoot an arrow at them;
Suddenly they will be wounded…
Their own tongue is against them;
All who see them will shake their heads.
Then all the people will fear,
And they will declare the work of God,
And will consider what He has done.
The righteous person will be glad in the
LORD and take refuge in Him;
And all the upright in heart will boast.”
Psalms 64:7-10

For every evil plan of the wicked, God has a counter move. And God WILL WIN! It’s coming soon, Christian. Can you feel it??

"Lazarus Come Out" painting by Donald D. Krause

John 11 – LAZARUS

“Jesus wept.” John 11:35

The shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35, is also one of the most moving. It displays Jesus’ humanity and His heart. He loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus so much that Lazarus’ death, and his sisters’ pain moved Him to tears. John tells us that Jesus was “deeply moved in spirit and was troubled.” (v.35)

But Jesus had a plan. John makes it clear that Jesus intended for Lazarus to die. He writes, “SO when [Jesus] heard that [Lazarus] was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.” (v.6) Jesus didn’t rush to get to his friend. He intentionally waited for Lazarus to die.

That sounds kinda’ mean! But again, Jesus had a plan… “This sickness is not meant for death, but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (v.4)

Jesus told His disciples, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going so that I may awaken him from sleep.” (v.11) The disciples thought He really meant that Lazarus was only sleeping. But Jesus knew Lazarus had died.

Notice that the disciples thought that going to Bethany, where Lazarus was, meant their death. This part of the story is often overlooked. They had said to Jesus, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and yet You are going there again?” (v.8) And Thomas told the others, “Let’s also go [to Bethany], so that we may die with Him!” (v.16)

Jesus obviously knew what was going to happen, that they were not going to die but instead would witness a marvelous miracle. But the disciples thought they were going to Bethany to die. They demonstrated great courage to follow Jesus there.

Don’t miss that Jesus once again claimed to be the only way to salvation when He met Martha, “I am THE resurrection and THE life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” (v.26)

Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” He did not correct Martha when she replied, “Yes, Lord; I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, and He who comes into the world.” (v.26-27)

Jesus then told Mary, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” and then as He prayed, He said He was addressing God personally “…because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” (v.42)

There is SO MUCH going on in this story. But the main purpose of it all was for everyone there to witness “the glory of God; so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (v.4) And we see how each thing Jesus did and said supports this purpose. Jesus wanted the people who witnessed this astounding miracle to BELIEVE!

1 Samuel 3

“Word from the LORD was rare in those days; visions were infrequent.” 1 Samuel 3:1

I believe we have just gone through a similar period in our country and much of the world when “word from the LORD was rare” and “visions were infrequent.” (v.1) Our luxurious wealth and comfort has allowed us to become spiritually lazy. We have forgotten all of God’s miraculous works, just as the Israelites had.

But God had a plan. Those days were about to change and He ushered in the revival through Samuel.

I believe we are also on the cusp of a great new work of God that will usher in a time of spiritual revival, a thing which will make “both ears of everyone who hears about it…ring.” (v.11) I have seen that God is calling to people all over the world as He called Samuel. He is revealing the word of the LORD and appointing new prophets.

My own visions from God began in August 2019. Since then I’ve experienced 3 or 4 visions every week in which my soul is transported to heaven and I pray for the world with all the saints. I am not the only one who has begun receiving visions, dreams, and prophecies. There are thousands upon thousands of us all over the world. And the message we are all getting is strikingly singular. God is doing a new thing. He is revealing Himself in a new way and calling people to Himself.

Maybe He is calling YOU in a new way too. May we all answer His call as Samuel did:

“Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

Fresco of the Philistine captivity of the ark, in the Dura-Europos synagogue.

1 Samuel 4

Just as I believe God is bringing about a great revival, I also believe He is is separating real believers from those who only give lip service to God. The Israelites treated the ark of the covenant like a good luck charm. They carried it to their battle with the Philistines thinking its presence would help them win.

But God doesn’t work that way. The Israelites did not respect or honor God’s presence. They tried to use God for their own purposes. And God allowed them to be defeated and the ark to be stolen by the Philistines. Eli’s sons were both killed and he fell over and broke his neck when he heard that the ark had been stolen. ALL of God’s prophecies to Eli through Samuel came true that day. And the glory of God “departed from Israel.” (v.21)

I think this is a warning for us today. God will not be used or mocked. And He is coming. Are you ready?