Tag Archives: Famine

2 Samuel 20:1-22:34

I have a goal planner that breaks goals down into “monthly” (big picture), “weekly,” and “daily” (habit building) activities. Sometimes I can get so focused on the daily habits that I lose sight of the big picture purpose. It takes effort for me to keep a big picture focus. And not just with goals, sometimes I can get caught up in a detail or distraction of circumstance, and then find myself off course of a kingdom focus.

Joab is in pursuit of Sheba, a man who turned against David.

19 “We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the Lord’s inheritance?”

20 “Far be it from me!” Joab replied, “Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not the case. A man named Sheba son of Bikri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I’ll withdraw from the city.” (2 Samuel 20:19-21, NIV)

Joab keeps his focus: he was after Sheba, not intent on destroying an entire community. That type of focus is a sign of discipline, self-control, and maturity. Joab kept his word and left once he obtained his goal. (Also very impressed with the “wise woman” who cut through all the distraction of an army to get to the point, avoiding mass casualties and destruction.)

During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.” (2 Samuel 21:1, NIV)

In the detail of the immediate (a famine), a bigger picture is revealed (the consequences of Saul’s actions as catalyst). Not only am I impressed by David seeking the Lord’s face, but I also notice that God uses immediate issues (like a famine) to bring about (bigger picture) justice. It would take a man after God’s heart to go deeper, to seek understanding, and then have the ability to take action.

But I linger longest in these verses, slowing to take in the meaning. David’s song of praise, of all that the Lord has done for him, and how David lives his life in response.

“To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
    to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
27 to the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
28 You save the humble,
    but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
29 You, Lord, are my lamp;
    the Lord turns my darkness into light.
30 With your help I can advance against a troop;
    with my God I can scale a wall.

31 “As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
33 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure. (2 Samuel 22:26-33, NIV)

Lord, how often do I lose you in the details? How often do I forget to see with a kingdom focus? I pray that it would be my habit to praise you daily, to seek your face, to give you glory, and to live with discipline, self-control and maturity. May I not be moved by emotions and distractions, but instead live like the “wise woman” who keeps an end goal in mind, despite the circumstances.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 43, Genesis 44, Genesis 45, Matthew 22:23-29

God sent me before you to preserve life. Genesis 45:5

Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29

 Please read at: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen%2043,44,45;%20Mt%2022:23-29%20&version=NKJV

Passing the test the second time!

           The brothers of Joseph sold him into slavery, deceived their father, and showed no remorse, thus failing the first test.

             Many years later God presents a second test. The brothers go to Egypt because of famine, not knowing that Joseph is ruling. Joseph, still unrecognized, has Benjamin given five times their portion of food and commanded to be a slave. The brothers show no envy or jealousy during their meal and refuse to forsake Benjamin in Egypt, choosing to serve as slaves beside him. Their motive? “since (their father Jacob’s) life is bound up in the lad’s life, … For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”  Now they show compassion and protection for their father. What a vast difference!!

           It took15 + years for them to learn love and sacrifice for one another. The steps taken were acknowledging their sins against their father and Joseph, regret, sorrow and repentance. Producing right actions in times of testing.

Now the Reward: Joseph revealed! The Family Reunited in Love and Joy!!

Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, … Joseph made himself known to his brothers.  And he wept aloud, … Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.… I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.”’

And back home… when they told (Israel/Jacob their father) all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. Then Israel said, “It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Can’t you just hear the cries of delight and relief from each of them!? The grabbing, touching, exclaiming, and rich conversations! Vindication and intimacy! Now they will live with each other in the rich land which the Lord God Almighty provided for them!

             How much this is like the prodigal son!  But what if the brothers hadn’t changed? How would the family have functioned then? Continuously disjointed, dysfunctional and pain serving, yet with the added judgement by ruler Joseph? I think so.  

              I see this in my life today. My family, extended family and others. Self pride and centeredness causing injustice, neglect and abuse; Signs of perpetuating blindness and famine spiritually, and poverty in many areas. Yet a quick, deep and thorough surrender to the Supreme Lordship of the Ruler of the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ fixes it all with a Fabulous, Permanent Reunion!! Sin confessed, repented and given to Jesus allows for the Great Exchange, the receipt of forgiveness and the indwelling Holy Spirit forever!

             Oh, how hard it is to bend the knees of my heart to You sometimes. This is required for change, for reunions with You and Your body! I exalt You Jesus in my view so I know how foolish I am without You. Please Lord Jesus, enable, equip and empower me to See Your Hand in All things. I choose to implement Your wisdom, understanding and patience. Keep me alert to Your Scriptures and Your Power Lord God, so that I may know specifically Your way for me, not sin against You, and move by Your Power alone. Make me effective everywhere I am for Your Kingdom purposes and glory. And have me to not look elsewhere to condemn, but to myself for Your discipling and healing me simultaneously, which is Your method. Lord God Almighty, thank You for reunions! The promise of permanent salvation, the eternal home of Your Presence, fantastic fellowship with believers and tangible mansions!!!  

Further reading –    Genesis 37:12-36; Genesis 39-41; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Luke 3:8; Luke 15:11-24; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 1 John 1:9; Luke 5:24; Luke 23:43; Psalm 51; Acts 1:8; Romans 15:13; 2 Timothy 1:7; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 6:12; Galatians 6:8; Psalm 25:4; Psalm 86:11; Psalm 119:33; Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 48:17; Proverbs 3:5-14; Psalm 119:11; John 8:31-36  

AND Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:3; John 14:2-3

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized