Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 12 November 2022:
Here is a sbort video overview of 1-2 Kings: https://youtu.be/bVFW3wbi9pk
2 Kings 1:6 – And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’”
Idolatry is placing your trust in something other than God or valuing something more than God. God takes that VERY seriously.
2 Kings 1:7 — Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?
Where do you go for answers?
2 Kings 1:10 — Fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
There are consequences from being led by the ungodly. Bad leaders can lead men counter to God’s will and into inevitable demise.
2 Kings 1:13 — O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight.
God shows mercy to those who ask with a genuine heart.
Psalm 130:3, 4 – If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
Truly understanding the grace you have received through Jesus drives you to obedience, not to casual, comfortable compromise. Grace gives you a second chance to honor God as God.
Grace should bring us to Fear God, not take Him for granted or treat Him disrespectfully.
Psalm 130:5, 6 – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Faith is trusting God in the moment, and hope is trusting God with the future – faith projected forward. Faith and hope are acts of love for God. Today, the psalmist describes one of the most important acts of faith and hope, which is waiting confidently and enthusiastically without discouragement, doubt, or wavering. Waiting reveals love – love waits – “Love is patient…. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Love is tested and revealed in the waiting, which most of us have experienced firsthand in some way. For example, many have experienced the test of waiting in long distance relationships. The test of waiting has been the experience of countless love relationships. When teaching teenagers about the importance of chastity and virginity before marriage, how many parents have said, “If (s)he really loves you, (s)he will wait”? In a similar fashion, the Bible tells us that if we love God, we will wait faithfully for the return of Jesus, keeping ourselves pure as we excitedly prepare for the great wedding day when Jesus (the Bridegroom) will return to receive us (His church, His bride) to become one with Him forever.
Waiting isn’t doing nothing. Waiting is active faithfulness in the present while we await the future promise. “Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (Psalm 85:10) “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22) Waiting for the Lord is not just active, it is all consuming, loving the Lord “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Love is often tested by the requirement to wait, and waiting is often tested by the fear of not doing what seems most expedient at the moment from our own incredibly limited perspective. Willingness to wait involves the intentional sacrifice of near-term opportunities out of faithfulness to another; it involves endurance and perseverance empowered by a future vision more powerful than current realities. Again, waiting requires faith and hope driven by love – “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Do you have the faith, hope, and love for Jesus needed to wait faithfully for Him, actively, joyfully, excitedly obeying Him, regardless the apparent circumstances, trusting Him with the results and the fulfilment of His promises? If not, pray that God will strengthen your faith, hope, and love while stepping how in the strength you already have. Below are some more verses for your consideration on waiting:
- James 5:7 — Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
- Romans 8:25 — But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
- Proverbs 8:34 — Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
- Psalm 62:1, 5 — For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation…. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
- Psalm 27:14 — Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
- Psalm 33:20 — Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
- Hosea 12:6 — So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.
- Psalm 37:7 — Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
- Psalm 37:9 — For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
- Psalm 37:34 — Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
- Isaiah 40:31 — But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
- Psalm 52:9 — I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.
- Psalm 69:3 — I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.
- Proverbs 20:22 — Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
- Lamentations 3:25 — The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
- Lamentations 3:26 — It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
- Hosea 12:6 — “So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.”
- Habakkuk 2:3 — For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay
- Zephaniah 3:8 — “Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD, “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed.
- Romans 8:23 — And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
- Titus 2:11-15 — For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
- 2 Peter 3:13, 14 — But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
- Jude 1:21 — keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
- Luke 12:35-48 — Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Proverbs 12:1 — Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Do not hate the Lord’s reproof — that is just stupid.
Proverbs 12:2 — A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of evil devices he condemns.
Is this hard to understand? Even under grace, God cannot tolerate your sin. He will deal with it, in love but with firmness.
Proverbs 12:5 — The thoughts of the righteous are just.
The Holy Spirit uses God’s word to transform your mind so that just thoughts produce righteous deeds, evidence of your faith.
Proverbs 12:10 — The mercy of the wicked is cruel.
Your ability to be merciful is in direct proportion to your closeness to Jesus. The more you genuinely appreciate the mercies of God, the more you will be merciful. The more you are connected to Jesus (the Vine), the more you will embody mercy and the more mercy will flow through you to others.
Proverbs 12:11 — Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
God is Author of both the natural laws and the moral laws. One theme that is constantly repeated in the Bible is “You reap what you sow.” God’s natural and moral laws are simple and produce obvious results. We complicate things when we attempt to work around God’s laws and do pointless things. Don’t waste your time, energy, and efforts by doing things God never intended.
Proverbs 12:16 — The prudent ignores an insult.
Did you get that? Ignore insults and be prudent.
Proverbs 12:18 — There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Are all of your words healing?
Proverbs 12:20 — Those who plan peace have joy.
You have to have a plan for peace.
Proverbs 12:25 — Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
You can help take a load off of others by giving them a good word to ease their anxiety.
Proverbs 12:26-28 — One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray…. In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.
A good leader guides people to where they need to go. They know the way and show the way. The Bible says that Jesus IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Good leaders lead people to Jesus. Leading people anywhere else is to lead them astray, wickedness. So, all those secular gurus out there are, in fact, wicked.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 12 November 2022: Wait on the Lord today by trusting and obeying Him now, committing to trusting and obeying Him in the future, and by demonstrating unconditional love for others that is willing to suffer unfairness for the sake of reconciliation. Have the faith to deny self, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. (Psalm 130:5, 6)