Today: Psalms 65; John 12:12-36; 1 Samuel 8 & 9; 1 Samuel 10:1-8
I love to meditate on God’s amazing character. David does this as well in Psalms 65…
God is almighty and powerful. He “establishes the mountains by His strength” and is “encircled with might.” He “stills the roaring of the seas.” (v.6-7)
Creation itself praises God. “You make the sunrise and the sunset shout for joy.” (v.8) “The pastures of the wilderness drip, and the hills encircle themselves with rejoicing. The meadows are clothed with flocks and the valleys are covered with grain; they shout for joy, yes, they sing.” (v.12-13)
Yet as powerful and big as He is, God KNOWS US. He chooses us! “Blessed is the one You choose and allow to approach You; He will dwell in Your courtyards. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, You holy temple.” (v.4)
God also provides for us with His great power. “You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; the stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for so You prepare the earth. You water its furrows abundantly. You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth. You have crowned the year with Your goodness, and your paths drip with fatness.” (v.9-11)
Isn’t it amazing that the God who is powerful enough to create the universe also loves us and takes care of us?!!
Most people do not understand when God does a new thing. Even the disciples did not get what God was doing… “These things His disciples did not understand at the first…” Only in retrospect, and with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, did they realize how Jesus perfectly fulfilled Messianic prophecy. “When Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him.” (v.16)
It is easy for US to understand what Jesus was talking about when He prophesied about His impending death. We have 2000 years of hindsight to help us out. But there was no way for the people listening to Jesus to connect all the dots at the time. So many crazy perplexing things were happening.
In one way, I envy those who got to physically interact with Jesus while He walked the earth, during that short time that “the light” was among us. But I am so grateful to have the New Testament Scriptures and the Holy Spirit’s help to put all of this into proper perspective. Jesus’ contemporaries had neither of those aids. And they were understandably clueless.
Jesus wanted His hearers to understand. He encouraged them to “walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you…” and “while you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” (v.35-36)
Jesus gave the people so many clues through all of His miracles. God even threw in some heavy hints Himself and spoke to the people audibly… “a voice came out of heaven” and said “I have both glorified [My name] and will glorify it again.” (v.28) But still most people did not get it. I probably wouldn’t have understood it had I been there either.
How blessed were the people around Jesus who DID understand and believe! They were the first Christians. And just look what they started!
1 Samuel 8
Pay attention to the Israelites’ clamoring for a king because may people are doing the same thing today. They willingly gave up their freedom because they thought that a king would take care of them, and fight their battles. (v.20) Samuel warned them, but they wouldn’t listen. They wanted “to be like all the nations” who lived enslaved to their own kings.
God had offered them a better way… a way of freedom with only Himself as their leader. But they rejected God and chose to follow human men instead. Human beings haven’t learned very much in all this time!
1 Samuel 9-10
Saul’s anointing by Samuel is such a good story! I love all the detailed prophesies that so quickly come true. God told Samuel that Saul was coming and he went out to meet him. Samuel knew that Saul’s father’s donkeys had been found, and that Saul’s father was now worried about him. He anointed Saul and then told him in great detail that he would meet three young men, what they would be carrying, and that he would then encounter a group of prophets and even what types of instruments they would be playing. I just love all the little details!
God gives us details when He wants to make sure we have no doubts that He is working. What an amazing ride Saul went on. He was filled with the “Spirit of the LORD,” he prophesied and “changed into a different man.” (v.6) God blessed him so greatly in the beginning. He gave Saul all the tools he needed to be a great warrior king and man of God. If only Saul had followed God!