Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 40

They sought Him Out – He Responded

February 10 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 39-40 and Psalms 40

Here, in the last chapter of Exodus, we find a group of people who made a concerted effort to approach the Lord with sincere hearts and according to God’s will. He responded, of course, and did wonderful things in their lives. This is a pattern repeated in both the Old and New Testaments. At the dedication of the first Temple in Jerusalem, a very similar supernatural encounter with God occurred. Even in the upper room (Acts 2), the disciples were gathered in unity and constant prayer for several days when they received a great visitation of God. The only instances where God did not respond to people approaching Him with sincerity and fervour were when “other issues” got in the way.

It really is the same today – God responds to those who diligently seek Him – those who turn to Him with pure motives. Do we require the same elaborate preparations that Moses made? No – not at all, but I believe spiritual preparation can be made as we approach God. It has to do with preparing our hearts – an attitude of thanksgiving, praise and worship. It may even entail repentance and a renewed acknowledgment of our relationship with Jesus as our great High Priest – but in this day of grace and living in the love of God, WE ARE the temple of the Holy Spirit. His presence is with us constantly as we live and “abide in the vine”.

Psalms 40 seems to reinforce the manner in which we should approach God – “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced”. This passage indicates that we indeed “belong” to the Lord – that we are His treasured possession, if indeed He has become Lord and Christ to us. We have full confidence in approaching God, knowing that he hears us and that as we wait on Him, He responds.

God hasn’t changed – He has always desired to meet with us in intimacy. Do you recall Genesis 3: 8-9 when God came in the cool of the day to commune with Adam and Eve? Scripture does not say so directly but I’m left with the impression that this was an every day event. Tragically, one day, this “meeting” did not go well, as disobedience had separated Adam and Eve from God. Thanks to Jesus; we no longer have a barrier between God and mankind when Christ dwells in us. We live in a wondrous, peace-filled, eternal relationship with the King of Kings who delights in us as we walk with Him. “The glory cloud” of that original tabernacle now rests on you and “the fire” now dwells in you.

Questions:

1. Evaluate the spiritual preparation you personally make when coming to a place of corporate worship.
2. What does the Psalmist mean in Psalm 40 when he says, “Your Law is within my heart”?

Jeremiah – A “Man Of Wealth and Substance?”

August 10 – Today’s Readings – Jeremiah 40-42 and Psalms 40

At this point in the book, Jeremiah transitions from “the most hated man in Israel” to “THE MAN” to whom all go to seek God and receive wisdom. His status changes from “pauper” to “man of wealth and substance”, having been blessed by the commander of the armies of Babylon. [Quick thought – he didn’t refuse the money even though it came from questionable sources] – yet, the power of his anointing did not change and his words still carried tremendous weight.

“Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, ‘Please hear our petition and pray to the LORD your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the LORD your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” (Jeremiah 42:1-3)

What these people had decided to do was escape to Egypt, but they wanted “the word of the Lord” to confirm this decision. After seeking God and receiving his message from the Lord, he went to them and said, “Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the LORD your God and said, ‘Pray to the LORD our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the LORD your God in all he sent me to tell you. So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.” (Jeremiah 42:19-22)

How would you like to go to “the man of God” for prayer and instead of receiving blessing, he told you to do something you absolutely did not want to do? Then, when he saw you were not obeying, he pronounced “a curse” on you. That would certainly change some of the “prayer lines” I’ve seen in my life time. Imagine the ministering leader prophesying the sad truth about people’s lives. Imagine sins being revealed by the Word of the Lord. Impossible? This is not only possible, but also a sure thing as the anointing of God increases in these last days. Think of Ananias and Sapphira or Simon the sorcerer. God judged these people, because the anointing of the Lord was powerful and the fear of the Lord was needed. Would to God there was a bit more “fear of the Lord” in Churches today. We desperately need the anointing of Jeremiah once again.

I also have had encounters in my life when I was asked “advice” from a pastor. Usually the reason I was asked was because there had been a disagreement and I was supposed to resolve a certain conflict. Almost invariably, what I suggested as a “wise” solution was completely ignored because the people’s minds had been made up long before. O, for open hearts who would sincerely seek and receive instruction from the Word of the Lord!

Questions:

1. Give another example from Scripture where “the Word of the Lord” was ignored and problems followed.
2. Give an example from your life when you followed the advice of the Lord and had success because of it.

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