A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord.
1 Lord, hear my prayer!
Listen to my plea!
2 Don’t turn away from me
in my time of distress.
Bend down to listen,
and answer me quickly when I call to you. (Ps 102:1-2) NLT
The introduction of this Psalm caught me off guard. For some reason, I think the Lord wanted me to remember a time when my heart was breaking and there were no words to speak as I found myself kneeling beside my bed, weeping—possibly wailing—before the Lord. These were the unspoken words of my heart. Hear me Lord, please listen to me. I need you! I needed God for comfort, I needed him so much. His face was the only one I wanted to see, his voice the only one I wanted to hear. In my mind, I pictured myself with my head on his lap and his hand stroking my hair. That picture in my mind was what got me through that night. I felt his love for me; I felt the calm come over me. He didn’t turn, he heard. He bent down and listened.
23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Col 3:23-24) NKJV
I’ve had to make this verse a mantra. Working has certainly brought a vast array of personalities into my life. What I learned from this is how God used the challenging co-workers to show me weaknesses about myself, character traits he wanted to change in me, and to trust his purpose for putting me in a specific place working for a specific person. It was difficult for me to see it when I was walking through it, and there were times I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. There was a season where every day I had to tell God, “I’m doing this for you.” But the blessing was a deeper walk with him and a better understanding of who he created me to be.
34 In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the Lord, which He had spoken through Joshua the son of Nun. (1 Kings 16:34) NKJV
I couldn’t remember what Joshua had spoken so I looked it up: “Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.” (Josh 6:26 NKJV)”
God was serious about the city of Jericho being left as a reminder that he was the one who had destroyed this city. Those were harsh words with a heady promise attached to them. I really wish the bible said more about this. I had so many questions. It’s obvious Ahab was not following the Lord as the previous verses tell us he did more to anger the Lord than did all the kings before him. But I wonder if Hiel was aware and knew the price he would pay to obey the king by once again fortifying Jericho’s walls. This was work—but certainly not unto the Lord!
Heavenly Father, I saw such a depth to who you are in these verses. You are the Tender Comforter, the Teacher and Gardener pruning the unhealthy branches from me, and the God of Judgment whose word stands. Thank you for allowing me to know even a small part of you. In Jesus name, Amen.