Author Archives: nborger2017

1 Chronicles 21; 1 Peter 2; Jonah 4; Luke 9

So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” But Joab said, “May the LORD add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” 1 Chronicles 21:2-3

1 Chronicles 21 begins with David sinning against the LORD by taking a census of Israel. This census stemmed from David’s pride and military ambitions and was not according to God’s command. Jesus dealt with His own disciples’ pride in Luke 9 when an argument arises among them over who is the greatest.

But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” Luke 9: 47-48

Jesus shows the disciples the opposite of pride: childlike humility and servitude.  Instead of being prideful, I should instead serve others with humility, thinking of others over myself.

David had to deal with the consequences of his sin, as God sent a terrible pestilence on Israel, killing many Israelites.

And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw, and he relented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” 1 Chronicles 21: 15-15b

Even though the Lord punished David and his people, He stops His angel from destroying Jerusalem, mercifully sparing all the people of Jerusalem from His wrath.

God’s mercy shines through again in Jonah, as he sends the prophet to warn the Ninevites of their upcoming destruction if they continued their current path. The Ninevites repented and Jonah was furious at God for not destroying them. God responds, however,

And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” Jonah 4:11

God asks Jonah why He should not pity Nineveh and offer mercy and a chance to repent. Jesus found Himself in a similar situation with His own disciples when He was not received in Samaria.

And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he [Jesus] turned and rebuked them. Luke 9: 54-55

Dear God, thank You for Your abundant mercy and grace upon me. Help me to have a heart of humility and servitude instead of pride and to thank You for Your grace. In Your Holy Name, Amen.

Nathanael (nborger2017)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

2 Kings 9; 1 Timothy 6; Hosea 1; Psalm 119: 73-96

Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.” 2 Kings 9:13

2 Kings 9 begins with a prophet appointing Jehu king over Israel. The Lord chose Jehu as Israel’s king because of the great evil of Jezebel, queen of Israel, and Ahab’s sons. Jehu takes over the kingdom and kills Jezebel, fulfilling the words God spoke through Elijah that Jezebel would have no burial. The Lord used Jehu as a device for carrying out His purposes and Word; however, Jehu was still a sinner. The Lord later tells Hosea to name his newborn son Jezreel saying:

“…in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the king of the house of Israel” Hosea 1:4b

The Lord was able to use a wicked man like Jehu to carry out His ultimate plan.

“Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Let your mercy come to me, that I may live” Psalm 119:76-77

Psalm 119 speaks of God’s steadfast and unfailing love. The Lord chose to symbolize this love when He told Hosea to marry Gomar, a prostitute. Hosea’s marriage to Gomar represents God’s relationship with Israel. He loves them even though they have gone astray and been unfaithful. However, the Lord tells of a time when Israel will follow Him:

“And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people” it shall be said to them “Children of the living God” Hosea 1:10b

“Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:11b-12

Since God has saved me and called me His despite my unfaithfulness, I should pursue the things of God and live to please Him.

“Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice because I have hoped in your word.” Psalm 119: 73-74

Dear God, thank You for loving me despite my failings and mistakes. Please help me follow You and obey Your words and teachings. Amen. 

Nathanael (nborger2017)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

1 Kings 2; Galatians 6; Ezekiel 33; Psalm 81,82

“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:2-4

This is a question I have asked before: how long until the wicked are judged? Why is it that good people die and evil people live on? However, in Ezekiel 33:20 the LORD answers:

“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”

Even though sometimes it seems like the wicked run rampant and unpunished, God sees their ways and will judge them.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

God tells us to not grow weary of righteousness, even though the wicked may prosper and life might be hard.

“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:8

Even though the wicked may prosper in this life, in the end they will reap only corruption while the followers of God will reap eternal life. Times of trouble will come in this life; however, God tells us that He will protect and deliver us.

“I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. In distress you called, and I delivered you; Psalm 81:6-7a

God will protect us and guide us, even if things do not make sense at the time of the struggle or when the wicked seem to go unchecked. Our strength is in the LORD, not in ourselves and even though things do not make sense all the time, we can still trust Him and lean on Him.

Dear God, thank You that You help and guide me. Please give me faith to follow You even when it feels like the world is falling apart and I struggle with many burdens. Help me to cast my burdens and cares upon You and trust You, for in the end I will be free of my burdens and the wicked will be judged for their sin. Amen.

Nathanael (nborger2017)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

1 Samuel 26; 1 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 5; Psalm 42, 43

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42 begins with vivid declaration of the author’s want and need for God. Just as the tired and thirsty deer needs cool, flowing streams to quench its thirst, I too need God to quench the longing and desires of my heart.

“My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the LORD commands his steadfast love and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42: 6b-8

When going through struggles or trials, I can turn to God for help. Even when I don’t see an end and my soul is cast down; I can remember and call on the Lord for strength and help. He will be with me and help me.

David shows trust in God when he finds Saul asleep on the ground. Saul had been hunting David with intent to kill him and had driven David from place to place. David had an opportunity to take matters into his own hands and kill his hunter but instead refused saying:

“As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. 1 Samuel 26: 10b-11a

David probably was inches away from the man who had been trying to kill him without cause but refuse to strike him, instead leaving vengeance for the Lord. David lets the LORD defend him.

“Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!” Psalm 43:1

Just as David trusted in God and not himself to help and defend him I too need to trust God and wait on him.

“Send out your light and your truth; Let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God” Psalm 43: 3-4

Dear God, please guide me and help me. Please help me lead the life you have called me to lead (1 Corinthians 7:17). Please defend me and satisfy me like only You can. Amen.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Judges 19; Acts 23; Jeremiah 33; Psalms 3,4

Judges 19 is a chapter that reveals Israel’s state without God. The chapter parallels the time when two angels visited Lot and the men of the city came out to the house. Sadly, Israel was now just as bad as the cities God completely wiped off the earth. Israel’s pattern of following God, then abandoning Him, has been a recurring theme in Judges and continues throughout the Old Testament. But God is not finished with Israel:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jeremiah 33:14-15 ESV

God promises Jesus because Israel cannot follow God on their own. I ,too, cannot make it myself and am in need of a Savior.

David wrote about God’s protection and mercy in Psalm 3 when He said:

“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.  I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill.” Psalm 3: 3-4 ESV

And God protected Paul when the Jews planned to kill him, saying

“Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome” Acts 23: 11b ESV

God saves and protects those who trust in Him and His Word. When I trust in Him, He will care for and help me through struggles and hard times. David wrote Psalm 3, a Psalm of praise and trust, when he was fleeing Jerusalem after his rebellious son Absalom had taken over the city and tried to kill him. David doesn’t put his trust in men but instead trusts God to protect and defend him in the face of this great struggle.

Dear God, please help me to be more like David, calling on Your name when I am struggling or in distress. I cannot make it on my own and need a Savior to help and guide me. Please protect and guide me just as You protected and guided David in his time of distress long ago. Amen.

Nathanael (nborger2017)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books