Thought of the day: how quickly we forget.
The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law.
They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them. (Psalm 78:9-11 NIV)
The psalmist is reminding his listeners of Israel’s long history of being blessed by God and turning away from God. He references the battle where the men of Israel are armed for battle, ready to go to war, but they lose heart and back down. How can this be? Look at all the times God has come through for you! Look at all of the miracles that He has done, where he supported you!
And yet, the heart falters. Even when armed for battle, the opposing force seems too big to take on. Perhaps it’s because they looked at their bows and arrows and said, “We can’t defeat this force.” Maybe if they were armed with sticks instead, they would have been forced to rely of God’s power.
Our insistence on our own independence and self-reliance can be a fault, if we fail to follow God’s direction because we believe that we can’t accomplish His task. We are not alone. Sometimes He puts us up against an overwhelming obstacle so that we will rely on Him.
Thought of the day: sing!
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing! (Psalm 98:1, 4-5 NIV)
Sing! Sing to the LORD, for He is good. He has blessed us.
Sing because you are His creation, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Sing because music expresses what mere words cannot; emotion and feeling made real and present.
Thought of the day: hope
I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:1-4, 10-12 NIV)
My heart is troubled. What can I do? Where can I turn for solace? Thinking of God’s good deeds and miracles may not change my circumstances, but it does give me hope by example of His faithfulness.
Thought of the day: sing about the most important thing.
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God.
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. (Luke 1:57-64, 67-68 NIV)
Zechariah is mute for nine months. Then God releases his tongue, and he sings a beautiful song that has been in his mind and on his heart:
Praise be to God, for He has come to His people and redeemed them.
That’s what he wants to say after not speaking for nine long months. Give praise to the most important thing.
Thought of the day: God is still King.
We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be. How long will the enemy mock you, God? Will the foe revile your name forever?
But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth.
Have regard for your covenant, because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land. (Psalm 74:9-10, 12, 20 NIV)
We live in troubling times. Wars over seas, oppression and brutality at home. Where is God?
He is here, with us. We see His works every day. God is in us, and we are His hands and His agents for change. God is still King.
Thought of the day: a sign to many
I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. (Psalm 71:7-8 NIV)
A sign to many? How?
Any time we publicly associate ourselves with Jesus, we become a sign to many. People will notice how we live, talk, interact with others, some that we know and many that we don’t know. And so it is important to live our lives not so we put on the “Jesus mask” when we are out in public, but to be consistently embodying the outpouring of the Spirit within us. When the day is dark, God provides refuge and solace. We can sing His praises in both adversity and joy.
Thought of the day: poor and needy
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay. (Psalm 70:4-5 NIV)
“I am poor and needy.” This is a moment of vulnerability for David. I think we all read this and know it is true of ourselves. Yes, I am also poor and needy. I need comfort. I need certainty. I need motivation. I need energy. I need stability. I need validation. I need communication. I need hope. I need love.
Money doesn’t buy what I need. I am poor because I do not have these things.
So come quickly, God. May I always be able to say, “The LORD is great!”