Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 147

Broken Down Pieces Of Rubble

November 27 – Today’s Readings – Nehemiah 4-6 and Psalms 147

“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, ‘What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?’ Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, ‘What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!” [Nehemiah 4:1-3]

“Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, ‘The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.” [Nehemiah 4:10]

This was the state of the city of Jerusalem. It was burned with fire – its walls were broken down – there was only rubble everywhere. People were openly mocking the work of God because the job seemed humanly impossible. Yet God called His people to take those burned out rocks, bricks and timbers and rebuild. I can imagine that one crew would be responsible for separating the materials – another crew would wash and scour the large stones – still another would reshape any bricks that were broken. Someone would mix fresh mortar and a fifth crew would mortar the materials into place.

1 Peter 2:4-5 says, “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house…”

We too may have been burned out, broken-down pieces of rubble, but God got a hold of us and began to clean us up – reshape us and build us into a “spiritual house”. Our job is to submit to the master “bricklayer”. Because we are “living stones” we have to hold still long enough to be built into God’s wall. In North America many of God’s “living stones” are refusing to be built into a spiritual house for the Lord. They insist on removing themselves from the wall – trying to make their own walls – deciding on the shape they should be so that they can place themselves in the most visible spots in the wall – making sure that they don’t carry too much weight in the wall – etc.

God’s Church is and has always been built by Jesus and upon Him. He takes those who are willing and places them. The end result will be a beautiful “Jerusalem”, fit for the King. No doubt the enemy will fight hard to keep this spiritual house from being built but, just as God has determined, there will be a New Jerusalem – a dwelling place for The Most High. If at times you look around in Church, and all you can see is a heap of rubble, then you need to see through the eyes of faith. Each “stone” is being transformed – built into the house. Lets enjoy the process.

Questions:

1. Tell about an incident where you felt the master builder pick you up, perhaps knock a sharp edge off and place you in His wall.
2. Give an example of how you were once a burnt out brick, but God began to clean you up.

Victory For You!

May 27 – Today’s Readings – 2Samuel 7-9 and Psalms 147

“The Lord gave David victory wherever he went”. This phrase is repeated twice in these chapters and should be of great interest to you and I. The only reason the Lord seems to have blessed David in this way is because David was putting God first in his life. The Lord spoke to David through the prophet Nathan saying, “I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed.” (2 Samuel 7:8-10)

Why was all this promised to David? Why did David deserve this from God? The simple truth is that David didn’t deserve anything from the Lord in the same way that you and I don’t deserve all the blessings we receive. God’s blessing was on David and Israel because it was in God’s heart and plan to do so. King David had only one part to play in all of this – seeking God with all his heart. It was Jesus who said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) Which “things” was Jesus referring to? All the things we worry about of course – food, clothing, how long we live, how we look – all the kinds of “things” that Our Father knows we need. But – He will also bless you with the true riches of The Kingdom!

How would you like to have victory wherever you go and in all you do? It’s really quite simple. Seek God – walk with God – know God – submit to God – honour God in how you do things – and you too will have success. If you are walking in the grace of God, He will be consistent in “going to war” with you! It is God’s plan and purpose to pour out His blessings on you and your people. It is His grace that has decided it – our lives will be blessed because we are His and are doing things His way.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3) It is so important we realize that the blessings in our earthly lives do not hold a candle to the blessings that we have in the spiritual realm, where we reign in life through Christ Jesus. We are spiritual beings first and foremost and our blessings in this world as well as our blessings in eternity stem from our right standing with God in the Holy Spirit. Everything we are and shall ever be originates in Christ – it is true we are blessed – how can we not be blessed if we are part of the plan of God in this world and the next!

Questions:

1. Substitute your name into the following phrase – “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went”.

2. Is there anything holding back this kind of blessing in your life? In answering – remember that our part is insanely simple.

Rebellious or Wise?

May 22 – Today’s Readings – 1Samuel 25-27 and Psalms 147

In these chapters we find Abigail, the wife of a “wealthy” but “surly” man. Here is a woman who possessed some wonderful character qualities; attributes we should take to heart. She had great insight and perspective and even though she was loyal to her husband (as “wicked” as he was), she was even more attune and loyal to the Lord and the workings of God. She saved her husband Nabal’s life and business but also saved David from taking vengeance with his own hands and slaughtering Nabal and his men. Her actions and words made David even more qualified as future King because his integrity was not compromised. Her speech in this passage honors God and David and shows great discretion as she presents her case to David.

There’s a little twist though – in order to save Nabal’s life, she actually had to go behind his back – do things and say things that she was not authorized to do or say – she also had to be brutally honest about Nabal’s shortcomings. “She fell at his (David’s) feet and said: ‘my lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name is Fool, and folly goes with him.” (1 Samuel 25:24-25)

In this interchange she reveals humility, frankness, sincerity and spirituality in her approach. If Nabal knew what she was doing or saying, he would have hit the roof and would no doubt have been abusive to her as well. She broke commonly accepted norms in a desperate situation but saved many lives and honored God as well as the future king in doing so.

Does this affect our lives in any way? Well, aside from it being adrenaline-charged reading, I think there is a lesson to be learned here. There may be times in our lives when extreme measures do need to be taken. Wisdom itself will dictate to you when to act in an extreme way and when to act within established patterns. Had Abigail stayed home and been a “submissive wife” much would have been lost. We too, when faced with very difficult decisions, may find ourselves doing things that are out of character or role. There may even be times when we are completely misunderstood for the things we do or say. That’s OK – even Jesus was completely misunderstood at times – and The Apostles too went against established authority when they declared that “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29)

Fortunately, God knows our hearts and HE will direct our paths.

Questions:

1. Give another example from Scripture where established “authorities” had to be disobeyed in order for God’s purposes to move ahead.
2. Give an example from history that also reveals this same pattern.

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