Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 12

Patriarchs And Human Frailties

January 12 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 34-36 and Psalms 12

The more I read about the “Patriarchs” the more I realize how God chose these people despite their messed up their lives. We find Abraham and his son Isaac both lying about who their wives were in order to save their own skins (Genesis 26:7 and Genesis 20:1-3) – Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi slaughtering all the men of an entire city (Genesis 34:25) – Jacob’s son, Reuben sleeping with his father’s wife (Genesis 35:21) – how weird is that! It’s so easy for us to look back on history and ask, “What were these men of God thinking”?

Before we judge these guys too severely however, remember that they didn’t have the benefit of the abiding presence of The Holy Spirit. The reality they lived was different than ours but the revelation of God they did possess was earth-shattering for their time.

They saw God as alive – as one who spoke to them – as one who wanted to bless them. This was in stark contrast to all the nations who worshiped gods of wood and stone.

Hebrews 7: 22 says we have a “better covenant” because Jesus came to adopt us as sons and daughters of God. The patriarchs would have been speechless at the revelation we have now, but especially at the intimacy we enjoy with God. These people lacked both insight and anointing and lived with very little knowledge of the Lord. They knew God as if they were observing Him through a veil. It’s no wonder Jesus had to come. The Patriarchs had little revelation about God’s true nature and character.

We can do better than the ancients. We have a better revelation – we have a personal loving Saviour who has specifically instructed us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We have a compassionate Father who has told us to go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation. We have been given the garment of salvation and the robe of righteousness. The Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us power to live righteously. I can only imagine what Abraham would have done had he known Jesus as we do. The truth is that he saw only types and shadows and we have seen God Almighty in the face of Jesus Christ. It’s true – the Patriarchs walked by faith and in the revelation they had been given but I wonder what they would think of us and our lifestyles knowing the immense revelation we have been blessed with in Jesus.

Questions:

1. If the patriarchs had so many “issues” in their lives, what set them apart as God’s special men and women?

2. What are some primary differences between the faith that the Old Testament patriarchs had and the faith that we have?

The Devil’s Lies

July 12 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 37-39 and Psalms 12

Spiritual Warfare – Part 2

In Isaiah 36:18-20, Sennacherib’s field commander makes one final verbal and mental attack on the people – trying to win the battle for their minds;

“Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The LORD will deliver us.’ Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”

In comparing God Almighty with all the phony gods of this world, Sennacherib king of Assyria has finally shown his hand and his heart. He has no respect for The “I AM” and tries to portray The Lord as one of the many gods of this world – gods who have no qualities except those that are assigned them by man. It’s remarkable how many people still believe the enemy’s lie – that our Lord is a man-made fabrication.

Here then is the end of the story; Hezekiah does the right thing! He first tears his clothes and puts on sackcloth. Then he goes into the house of the Lord to seek God and pour out his heart. At the same time he is also sending word to the man of God to intercede and enquire of the Lord for him and to pray for Jerusalem. What a wonderful response to an attack from the Devil. It’s inevitable that we will encounter perilous situations in this life but when you take these problems to God and get spiritual encouragement and prayer, you will find the support you need. As soon as Hezekiah prayed, the enemy backed off briefly but soon was back in full force, along with more messages of demoralization. Hezekiah once again ran to the Lord and spread out the enemy’s communication before God – again came a response from the Lord! We must talk to the Father about what the Devil is saying to us. Imagine the outcome if Adam and Eve would have told God about the Devil’s conversation with them instead of acting alone! God not only had a response for Hezekiah but a solution – He fought Hezekiah’s battle for him – God Himself attacked the enemy. THIS IS HOW IT HAS TO BE WITH SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

Ephesians 6:12 reads, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” God Himself will fight for you if you go to Him for support and help.

Questions:

1. Has the devil ever told you that God is just a figment of your imagination?
2. How did Jesus respond to the enemy when He was lied to?

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