Deut. 6:15 (MEV): (for the Lord your God is a jealous God among you.) Otherwise, the anger of the Lord your God will be inflamed against you from off the face of the earth.
Several years ago, I went to a Beth Moore conference and her topic was the jealousy of God. Most of us, including me, think of jealousy in a negative context; to be envious, or show suspicion towards someone else. But I learned that day that God’s jealousy is for me, not against me! He is Jealous or fiercely protective of things that belong to Him and that would be me (and you too, if you belong)!
Deut. 6:24-25(MEV): The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us, as He has to this day. It will be our righteousness if we are careful to keep all these commandments before the Lord our God, just as He has commanded us”
And, to continue on, I see that His statutes are for me as well. The more I study God’s word, the more I see love poured out on the pages. Every thing God asks me to do is for my good. He has made a way for me to be fiercely protected, if I just ponder these things in my heart, and make up my mind to do things God’s way.
Deut. 7: 10-11 (MEV): yet He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him. He will repay him to his face. Therefore, keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command you today, by doing them.
But, there are consequences if I choose not to be fiercely protected by God– destruction! So, He begs me, please keep My commandments. Don’t just merely think about them, but do them, and He will lavish His protection on me for all my days.
Deut. 8:3 MEV): He humbled you and let you suffer hunger, and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Our clothing did not wear out on you nor did your feet swell for these 40 years.
God teaches me, and trains me by means that may seem strange to me. They may even feel like a curse at the moment……
Deut. 8:7-9 (MEV): For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs that flow out of valleys and hills, a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig copper.
But If I just wait, have a little patience, I will see what he was preparing me for, blessings forevermore.
I was once in a bad relationship. I should have known better than to get into it, for so many reasons, but still I continued on in it, for about 13 years. It was during this time that I fully came to recognize that God saw me and knew my name, and saw what I was going through. It was during this time that I surrendered to God. I began to talk to God as though He was sitting next to me. It was the beginning of my relationship with Jesus. Years later I got into a new relationship. This person treated me so different. It was because of what I went through earlier, that I was able to appreciate and notice the good of the new relationship.
It is the same with Israel. Would they have appreciated the good land if they had not gone through the wilderness?
Deut. 9:6 (MEV) Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess on account of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.
This verse made me laugh! God knows I don’t deserve what He blesses me with. Yet He chooses to bless me any way!
Deut. 9:20 (MEV): The Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, so I (Moses) prayed for Aaron at the same time. (referring to the golden calf)
Just this week I heard a person ask a minister “Why didn’t God punish Aaron? He sure punished a lot of the people, but it looked like Aaron walked away scot free.” The minister said he did not know, but this verse tells us it was because Moses prayed for him. Moses interceded on behalf of the people over and over, not just Aaron. I need people praying for me like Moses prayed for Aaron and the people of Israel. Perhaps the Holy Spirit?!?
Luke 7 is so filled with nuggets I would type the whole chapter. I read about the faith of the Centurion, that got his servant healed, the single mom whose son died and Jesus brought him back to life, John the Baptist’s doubts, and the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears. But here are my observations:
Faith is not the only way I can be healed. Jesus can have pity/compassion towards me.
Lack of faith is not held against me. Jesus understands my heart and my questions. I should never be too afraid to come to Jesus with my concerns.
Sometimes I do things based on my faith, and I end up where I never thought I would be. John the Baptist was like this too. His thoughts focused on the here and now, God focuses on the eternal. John only saw the prison bars, but I now see his story to encourage me not to waver in my faith based on my surroundings.
Faith can lead me to do bold things for God that someone is always ready to criticize. I should do it anyway!
It is my faith that saves me, I should never take it for granted.
Oh God my Father, I come into Your presence with a grateful heart. I am grateful that you train me sometimes with painful situations, so that I can appreciate the good. I am grateful that you bless me even though I am a stubborn person. I am grateful that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me. And, I am grateful that you give me faith. Everything that I have, comes from You, and so most of all, I am grateful for YOU! Thank you that with confidence I can say that I am a child of God. In Jesus’ name…Amen!