Daily Archives: October 16, 2010

1 Kings 19; 1 Thessalonians 2; Daniel 1; Psalm 105

I often wonder how much in life is my responsibility and how much is really not under my control at all. While in many respects I realize that God is in control, there is still the “you reap what you sow” principle and similar principles all through Scripture that say that what I do has a direct bearing on how my life goes. So I alternate between knocking myself out toiling and trying to control things with burying my face in my hands telling God that I am just tired of it all and I am just going to hand it over to him and take a break! Just this week I have been back and forth between these extremes a few times.

As I read the passages for today I see Daniel as an example of someone who, while he did his part by not defiling himself with food offered to him (and I’m sure that was a huge temptation – rich royal food fit for a king!) he was also helped all along by God, who gave him looks, strength, and smarts. God even softened hearts of others to help him along. Daniel did his part, and God did His.

As I read the passages in 1 Kings I can understand how Elijah feels as he sits under the broom tree and asks God to just take his life because he has had it (although when I feel that down it’s usually not for as righteous as a reason as Elijah…). God gently provides for Elijah, and gives him strength, and he moves forward, after a rest. (BTW – I love how God’s presence was not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire, but in a gentle whisper!)

As I read Psalm 105 I see the story of how God throughout history showed His strength and his redeeming love for His people. But near the end of the Psalm something catches my eye…

44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
and they fell heir to what others had toiled for-

While the Israelites certainly did experience toil in their lives, their toil was for the benefit of others. Now, in God’s economy, they will receive land flowing with milk and honey and other treasures that others had toiled for. However, there was an expectation from the gift giver:

45 that they might keep his precepts
and observe his laws.
Praise the LORD.

As we reflect on God’s faithfulness and how he has provided for us so richly, we should want to observe his laws, out of love. In 1 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul says “we are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.”

Lord, help me to align my life so that I am trying to please you, not everyone else. Give me the trust I need to understand that you love me more than anyone and want the best for me and my family. Let this understanding give my soul rest, as I release things, people, and situations into your hands.

Sue

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