Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made? God designs us in a way that our bodies are the fullness of our parents. Our flesh, bones, and inert nature, are already decided even before we are conceived. This is part of God’s plan. We do not have the right to take the life of one that is preordained into existence unless God did not intend for the child to be born just yet. Even still we are not to choose life or death for the unborn. Since we do not know God’s Plan and His Timing is beyond our comprehension, we are not the ones who can decide to end a life before it even begins.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16
Fearfully made in this context is standing in awe of God who created from nothing. God formed life from the basic materials found on the ground of the earth as it was being finished. Understanding the intricacies of the human body, it is no wonder the writer was in awe of his own creation. He gives God all the glory for the mere fact He could take mud and clay, mold it, breathe in it and here we are.
Wonderfully made is the uniqueness of the individual in the formation but at the same time understanding that we all have the same basic purpose in life, glorifying God for all He does. We are given a purpose for being on this earth before we are ever conceived physically because God sets for the plan in our lives, placing us with the individuals who shall guide us in the direction we should go.
Yes we still have to fight our sinful nature but God’s purpose in our lives will always win out as long as we believe, have faith and trust that Jesus is our Salvation through His Blood and the only way to the gates is doing as Jesus taught us to do. Worshiping and praising God all the way.
Humans have always wanted to be like God and with the advent of clean abortions (yes hard to believe there is such a thing), stem cell research, and now exploring the possibility of repairing corrupt DNA brings us closer to believing we can create and destroy as we please. We cannot create, only manipulate what is already in place. It is not our place or even our right to destroy what is created by God. You cannot argue that God has a hand in our creation Our spirit is formed before the shell of flesh and bone and our purpose is known by God alone.
The Wise Son
We have covered sibling rivalry resulting in so many things these past for lessons but what about the Second Son who never knew his brother.
Solomon, Son of David and Bathsheba was actually the second son. The first born was born of lust when David seduced her and the child was taken by God for David’s sin. David had comforted Bathsheba after their firstborn’s death and Solomon was conceived. God had plans for Solomon and David hoped that He would be the one to keep the kingdom together.
Solomon was feared and revered by his older brothers as Solomon was actually the last son born of David. This seems kind of odd but understanding that David’s other wives were not truly of love but of political purpose, it is right that Solomon would be chosen as king. In fact, God told David as such. Through Solomon’s early reign we see how all those who were harmful to his father were exiled or executed. There was little mercy from Solomon when it came to his inner circle. He found the right people and removed those who sought to harm his father and himself.
Solomon understood the need for keeping the peace and took a daughter of Pharaoh as wife (This will be important later for his downfall). When he returned, Solomon went to Gibeon to make his sacrifices as the Temple was not yet built. While there, he fell asleep and God came to him to grant him his desire as king. Solomon’s eloquence in speech and right thinking pleased God for he asked:
”Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” 1Kings 3:9
God granted him a wise and understanding heart but also granted him riches and an honor above all earthly kings. He used these gifts wisely. Initially he made wise decisions and the kingdom prospered enough to build the Temple of Jerusalem where all would come to worship.
So what Happened??
Solomon had made wise and foolish decisions. Most led to his eventual downfall. He had many wives and concubines not of Hebrew descent which led to many children. This would lead to many divisions and a great number of catastrophes later in Israel’s history. So what can we learn from Solomon:
1. Follow your own wise advise and keep a close walk with God.
Solomon had a knack for good fatherly advice but had many issues following it himself. The Books of Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes showed his thoughts and desires. Though Ecclesiastes is said to be written by someone else, it is obvious that Solomon’s heart is in it. If Solomon had just stayed with one or two Hebrew wives and no concubines, he might not have been so confused later in life. He did not walk with God as his wives lured him away with their beliefs and their gods. This led to his corruption and downfall.
2. Too much power makes one weak.
Keeping a close walk with God reminds us that all Glory belongs to God. He is the one that provides the power and authority we have over others if He so chooses us for that type of mission. Solomon’s power weakened as the kingdom grew.
3. Worldly distractions keep us from completing our part in God’s Plan.
It was more than just too much power that weakened Solomon’s grip, it was the distractions of the world. He became enticed by many temptations and was no longer wanking with God. Solomon became more obsessed with himself and the power he held over many. He reintroduced the many gods to the people and they did what was right in their own eyes but still under Solomon’s rule. Instead of moving forward they went back because the world got in the way.
For all the wisdom of Solomon who taught his sons and daughters what to be aware of in order to live a right and moral life, he did not heed his own advice. In the end, he was an empty man because he pursued much and gained nothing. He was given so much by God but squandered it like a child who receives an allowance and blows it before it even arrives in his hands.
Our God is a great and wonderful God who gives us the opportunity and skills to do great things. Success is derived by how we use the tools given and who receives the Glory. Once we begin to become obsessed with power and keep the glory for ourselves, we are doomed. God told Joshua to Keep His Word on his heart and meditate on it daily. Without the Word within us because of worldly concerns, we have nothing to meditate on because the world can overtake the heart.
Hear the wisdom in Proverbs:
He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage. Proverbs 11:28
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:7-10
No matter where we are, God is there directing and guiding us in all places throughout our lives. There is a confidence in knowing that God is ever present in our lives. He will pick us up when we fall, He will guide us in our living and direct us to the places He needs us to go. That is what Psalm 139: 7-10 is all about.
The writer exclaims that finding a hiding place from God is not possible. We cannot hide from what we cannot see. Since God is a part of everything, even the stuff that man makes cannot hide us from Him. Our sinful nature tells us that behind closed doors, God cannot see so we are tempted to do things in secret places, hiding from the world.
In Heaven or Sheol, God is there. Now some translations say hell instead of sheol. This was before Jesus defeated the Adversary so Sheol, the place of the dead before judgement for the Hebrews, would be a better stated because God is absent from hell. According to many Jewish scholars, God has ruler ship over Sheol even though individuals there are bound and locked in. Ascending into Heaven, according to the people of this time, was reserved for the truly righteous who never sinned or were chosen by God as prophets and priests (though just being a Levite priest did not guarantee heaven). It is also descriptive of what is beyond the sky.
We can be high up in the air or dwell in the deepest depths of the sea and God is there. These areas are all part of God’s creation. We cannot escape it, we cannot hide. God’s hands reach as far as the earth is round. The hand of God is in everything. We see the beauty of His creation in every thing, every day. Mankind has tried to dismiss this but we cannot play God. Even with the internet and having the world at our fingertips, we will never be as omnipotent, omniscient, nor omnipresent as God is.
Ephraim and Manasseh
Before Jacob died he had an audience with Joseph and his two sons. Manasseh and Ephraim were adopted into Jacobs family and became his so that they would be properly blessed. Here is what Scripture tells us
17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.” 20 So he blessed them that day, saying,
“By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’”
Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.
He did give both a blessing but the better of the blessings fell on Ephraim. Why did Jacob do this? Was it because he was biased? Or did he understand the need for a younger, stronger nation to be built up. Was it because Manasseh actually lived up to his names meaning, ”forgetfulness”, while Ephraim means, “fruitfulness”. In his blessing Jacob says his younger brother will be greater than he, what does he mean?
Ephraim is spoken of more than Manasseh and suffers curses as well as many blessings. When the kingdom split into two Ephraim was the lead house in the northern kingdom while Judah maintained the south. Ephraim is known to be a mixture of nations and is it unknown how many are truly out there.
Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah is my scepter Psalm 108:8
Judah is the Scepter….which is the holder of the Kingdom power. Judah is at the seat of the city called holy and the ruling party of God’s Kingdom will sit in Jerusalem. Ephraim is the helmet….the strength of numbers, the strong arm of God. Ephraim will be numerous and as there is strength in numbers they also must be strong in their faith. But something went wrong…..
Ephraim has been known as the largest grouping of many ethnicities which eludes to Ephraim being America with many houses of Jacob intertwined with the world. The book of Hosea shares many things about future Ephraim in 7:11 Ephraim is called a silly dove; 8:9 says that Ephraim has hired lovers. Here is something that is relevant to this very day:
8 “Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned.
9 Aliens have devoured his strength, But he does not know it; Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him,
Yet he does not know it. Hosea 7:8-9
This is a rabbit hole that will hurt. We are a melting pot of many nations this “cake unturned” is a half- baked notion that though we live together we do not truly live as one. There are so many ethnic divisions that cause way to much strife and this will leave us wide open for destruction from within.
If Ephraim is America then we are in deep trouble. Hosea mentions many of the issues we are having from what once was great has caused great tribulation. We led in agriculture but have now poisoned ourselves and the land with Genetically Modified Organisms. We are the richest country but this will be our downfall as greed will overtake the leaders and rich, destroying the economy. We have become harlots from Israel as many in this place have forgotten God and began to serve pagans (false religions and false Christian doctrine). All the attempts to live as one will not work as long as there is still an ethnic and religious division. We are one country with many tribes, as long as these tribes continue to self-identify and spit hate at the others, we will not be one. As long as there is mental dysfunction causing confusion from what God made and people think they know themselves better than God, there will be disharmony and civil unrest. As long as God’s law continues to be distorted by man, there will be wrath from above which will wipe us out.
What can we learn from Ephraim??
If what Hosea says is true about America then it is time to get out of there, not keep trying to get there. The country is still young and has lost the original premise of the fore-fathers. It is a land of hate and dissention where even those in charge cannot get along because of their misunderstandings and the greed that has infected the government.
But you know something? There is hope. There is a promise, a man, a father, and a friend, who gave us something wonderful. Jesus came to save the wretched, the poor, the greedy, the lost, the hurt, the hopeless, kings, paupers, nobles, servants, warriors, masters, slaves. He came to save us all from our sins by giving up His life on the cross and defeating death once and for all. All we need do is believe in Him and follow Him with our own crosses suffering to do His will and having a fullness of life.
As we come to a close today We need to pray for God to guide us in His ways so that we can be the lights in this dark and weary world. For the Ephraim’s we pray that God will have mercy and look into our souls to save us as we cry out in Jesus Name. Jesus we ask You to do Your will in us through the Holy Spirit so that we can go and make Disciples of ALL men. Thank You Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN
The messages on the blogs written on this page are within biblical adherence. Though the Scriptures listed in the blogs are directly from the Bible and other related religious writings the explanations and interpretations are in line with Biblical thinking as it relates to today’s world. The use of historical facts are to assist in the validity of the writings. The main writer of this blog site is an Ordained minister in one denomination though the views are related to all denominations so if something is said that does not fall in line with your denominational background, pray for personal discernment and understanding.