Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 30 October 2022:
Listen to this message from Dr. J. Vernon McGee on 1 Kings 10 — https://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/popPlayer.cfm?id=4834&rel=mcgee_j_vernon/1ki
Psalm 125:1 – Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
There is a clear theme in today’s readings – humility, faith, hope, trust, obedience, love.
Psalm 125:3 — For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong.
When the wicked lead a nation, the righteous are led into sin. The ungodly should not be allowed to lead.
Psalm 125:5 – Peace be upon Israel!
You will never have peace in life Christ is the center of your life, your desires aligned with His and until you have the faith, hope, and love that comes from unity in Him, trusting in Him and obeying Him. Summary: Humility comes before honor, and pride before the fall. Humility is not just recognizing who we aren’t, it is also recognizing who God is and having the faith of a little child, which is confident in the Father’s provision. Fear is the product of pride. Faith comes from humility. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith surrenders all to God and trusts God rather than self or any other idol. Faith walks in obedience and the greatest command to obey is love. It takes faith to love because it takes faith to be vulnerable in love and to suffer in love. Faith trusts God through the suffering for a greater blessing than can be imagined today. Faith, hope, and love bring peace as we become one with the Father and the Son. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The goal is not goodness or blessings, the goal is Jesus. Your goal today is to humbly follow Jesus, trusting and obeying Him. Don’t let anything distract you today.
Psalm 126:5, 6 — Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
“There are few events more joyful than a homecoming. From seeing familiar faces to falling into our beds, many of us love to come home. Psalm 126 recounts the happy song of former slaves as they came home: ‘Our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them”’ (Ps. 126:2). After many years of exile, a miraculous homecoming had occurred. This verse recounts what may have been one of the most joyful scenes in all the Scriptures.
Yet the same psalm also has something to teach those who are struggling in verse 6: “He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Why would the psalmist turn to this scene of a farmer weeping continuously as he plants? Perhaps he remembered the prayers that were “sown” while in exile. This also would have been an encouraging thought for those returning to a land that was overgrown and neglected. Fields would have had to be reclaimed and reworked. Resettling the promised land was not easy. When the temple foundation was re-laid, many in the older generation wept for what had been lost, while the younger generation shouted with joy (Ezra 3:12–13). Having experienced God’s mighty work of deliverance, the psalmist could reassure others that a harvest would one day come.
The confident song of these liberated exiles can teach us to hope for the progress of the gospel today. They knew who their Redeemer was and testified that He is mighty to save. Now they turned and, through their songs, preached good news to the sorrowful. We know from the words of the Lord Jesus Christ that the sower is ultimately a representation of spreading the Word of God (Mark 4:14). It may seem that the work is difficult and even hopeless. It may seem that the preached Word and evangelism are fruitless. Parents may begin to despair that their children will never respond to God’s Word. Some of the older generation may recall the church of decades ago and weep as they look at what is left standing today in some places. Years may pass, and even decades, and there may seem to be no harvest.
Psalm 126 reminds us of the good news that the gospel will bear fruit. After Christ’s death on the cross, it seemed to the disciples that all was lost, and yet He rose from the grave. After His departure to heaven, they appeared to be a tiny minority, and yet the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, and thousands were added to their number. Church history includes many cycles of plowing and sowing, working and waiting, and weeping and rejoicing. Whether we live in a time of slavery or sowing, let us never despair, for the sower “shall doubtless come again with rejoicing” (Ps. 126:6).” (Ligonier Ministries)
Proverbs 30:12 — There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth.
Most people have a higher opinion of themselves than they ought.
Proverbs 30:18, 19 – Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.
You never know what a person might do under certain circumstances. Everyone can be tempted to do foolish, sinful things when conditions change. You should seek to not only guard your own heart by controlling your environment as best as you can, you should also do the same for others, protecting them from their own weaknesses whenever possible.
Proverbs 30:19 – …the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.
People who are driven by their passions or emotions are unpredictable.
Proverbs 30:20 – “This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’”
The world takes sexual sin very lightly, but God takes it very seriously.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 30 October 2022: Today, seek to understand your fears from the perspective of your pride, your trust in self rather than Jesus, your focus on self rather than Jesus and others. Discover your hidden pride and pray for greater humility. Put your trust in Jesus and grow in faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love. Consider how well you are loving God and others today. Realize that your unloving words and deeds have their root in fear, pride, and selfishness. Pray that God will help you truly search your heart and remove your selfish pride. Recognize your pride, but don’t stare at it. Rather, keep your eyes on Jesus. Follow Him today, only Him. (see today’s readings)