“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering’” Judges 11:30-31.
The Bible never glosses over the bad points of God’s people seeking to serve Him. Jephthah was rough around the edges to be sure. He also had a lot of worthless fellows that attached themselves to him. But, unlike Abimelech, he seemed to legitimately want to serve God. This should encourage us as we see God using someone imperfect in His service.
But, unlike Jephthah, we should trust in God and His salvation, never-ending love, and constant concern for us rather than seeking to strike rash bargains with God that we often don’t intend to keep. Even if we were to keep a vow, the fact that we felt we had to make it in the first place indicates that God is into making deals rather than operating out of love. This cheapens God to the status of a pagan god.
We won’t ever know if Jephthah actually sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering.
But we should not vow but instead trust God to love us.
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#vows #douglaskashorek #trust #devotional
“Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade ….’” Judges 9:14-15.
God’s people under Gideon were trees, but Gideon was dead and the son of his servant, Abimelech, was all thorns. Looking for relief for their bondage in the midst of the Judges cycle of sin, they turned to a man who first killed his seventy brothers before treating them cruelly rather than turning to God. Abimelech’s story is a cautionary tale to us in many ways. First, just because God is using us, doesn’t mean that He is pleased with us. We should compare words and actions against His Word. More importantly is the bigger lesson of whom we put our trust to save us. Just because our money says ‘In God We Trust’ doesn’t make it so—no more than wearing a WWJD bracelet makes us a Christian. Today, we might put our trust in the economy or politicians, good health or friends. But God and His Word is the only One in which we can trust for salvation. If we look to brambles to reign over us, we will get scratched in their shade.
In what or whom are you trusting?
#devotional #douglaskashorek #trust
“For this reason this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “You have rejected this message; you trust instead in your ability to oppress and trick, and rely on that kind of behavior.”
Israel ran to Egypt for help, but they would discover it to be a failure, vv. 1-7. They refused to listen to the prophets who directed them to seek God, vv. 8-11.
Isaiah summed up the choice: Trust in what God says, or attempt to do it ourselves. Doing the latter, we consider ourselves smart. God sees it for the foolishness it is.
#votd #Isaiah #trust
“because they had no faith in God, because they didn’t trust his saving power.”
Psalm 78.22 CEB
Israel failed for lack of faith. They tested the Lord. In spite of all he did for them, they rebelled against him. So they were punished for their failure to trust.
We easily see Israel’s failure, but not so much in ourselves. How does our lack of trust in God’s saving power demonstrate itself? Worry? Anxiety? Impatience? Insistence in solving our own problems?
#votd #Psalms #trust
“Commit your future to the Lord!
Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf.
He will vindicate you in broad daylight,
and publicly defend your just cause.”
The context is the presence of evil people around us. We must not fear them nor envy them. God is in control of the situation and cares for his people.
Often, the Lord will act at what appears to be the last minute. He shows that the power is his. He works to foster trust in his will. How have you seen God work in your life?
h/t Don Ruhl: https://emaildevotionals.com/2018/07/22/what-happens-when-you-commit-your-way-to-the-lord-2/
#votd #Psalms #trust
“Despite all this, they continued to sin,
and did not trust [God] to do amazing things.
So he caused them to die unsatisfied
and filled with terror.”
The Israelites had great evidence of God’s miraculous care for them, but they refused to believe that he would continue to do so in the future. Dissatisfied with God’s provisions, they died in the desert unsatisfied in every way.
God satisfies and meets his people’s needs. Let us trust him to care for us in his amazing providence and find our satisfaction in him.
#votd #satisfaction #trust
“Asa prayed to the Lord his God: ‘O Lord, there is no one but you who can help the weak when they are vastly outnumbered. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you and have marched on your behalf against this huge army. O Lord our God, don’t let men prevail against you!'”
2 Chronicles 14.11
King Asa of Judah trusted in God, who gave him peace during his reign. Asa believed in God’s help, asked for it, and he received it.
What does your prayer sound like to God?
#prayer #trust #VOTD
“I, I am the Lord, and there is no deliverer besides me.”
Israel looked to other gods, to other nations, like Egypt to protect them. They failed to trust fully in God. For that failure, they paid dearly.
To what, besides God, do we resort for deliverance? What does it mean to trust God fully?
#God #trust #VOTD
I posted this earlier today over on my microblog, but nobody reads it (which is fine with me), and I thought this deserving of a good read. May it encourage someone today.
Have faith. Trust in God. Believe that he will provide. Has he not done so in the past? Has he not cared for your every need? Have you not seen his hand move when you were helpless? Are you not his child, in Christ? Did you not obey the gospel and receive his grace? God cares for his own. He has promised to care for those who seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Rest in him. Be at peace. Know that he is God and he sees your need. Give thanks for his goodness toward you.
“Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 4.5 ESV
David gives this counsel to the wicked, who have no regard for God. It was what he did. He obeyed the Lord and trusted in him to care for his life and future.
How does this principle apply today? Is it more important to remember in times of persecution?
#obedience #trust #VOTD
“When I am afraid, I trust in you.”
David prayed for deliverance after being captured by Philistines.
What causes us fear? What builds our trust in God?
#VOTD #fear #trust
When a brother or sister in Christ tells you something in confidence, make sure it goes no further.
Gossip is a gallow that kills morale, trust and love.
Some fancy themselves on being the local church’s reporter! They always have the scoop and they’re ready share what they’ve heard through the grapevine or straight from the horses’ mouth. But simple fact of the matter is – God despises the grapevine of gossip that betrays trust and the talker who destroys fellowship amongst his people (Proverbs 6:16-19).
The church doesn’t need any TMZs! So if that’s what we’re in the business of listening to other’s problems for, then wisdom says we better shut down the shop before we sell a multitude of things that cannot be bought back.
“A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” (Proverbs 11:13)
Do you sometimes wonder how you can be concerned and yet not worry? This lesson brings Scriptures forward that can help you make the distinction.
Rejoice in God and cast your care on Him.
Maak je geen zorgen. Wees gelukkig!
May the Lord bless you,
Are you bearing a burden today that makes you feel discouraged and worthless? Is it hard for you to sleep peacefully and enjoy a mind that is under God’s control? Today there are multitudes of people who are hurting so very much and may even feel that God is not aware and listening to their prayers and answering them.
Let me urge you to read Psalm 40. Of course there are many other passages of scripture in the word of God that will help us, but in this section of scripture we find a man who feels exactly as we do when our hearts are broken and life is so very, very, difficult.
He says in v. 12, “For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart fails me.”
Have you felt that your life is just like this? What can we do in such a condition as this? Continue reading
“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings.” Selah. (Psalm 61:1‑4). When my heart is overwhelmed. . .to be over-whelmed means, “to the mind covered or muffled up with sorrow.” [Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies]. What do we do when our hearts are simply overwhelmed? This psalm should give comfort to many a person who has struggled in finding words to express to God. The psalmist tells us how to deal with situations such as this.
First of all, we are instructed to pray. The very thing that we may struggle with is what we are instructed to do. I am reminded of the statement made by the apostle Paul in Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The psalmist asked God to “attend unto my prayer.” Listen or give attention to my prayer. We have that assurance from God’s word in many places. John states, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (I John 5:14). Don’t forget to pray!
Second, remember what God has done for you. The psalmist proclaimed, “thou hast been a shelter for me.” Remember all the blessings you have enjoyed, both physical and spiritual. When we look at what God has done for us, it should help us to face whatever is confronting us at the present time.
Third, we need to abide in the tabernacle. To do so is to be in the presence of God. We need to stay close to God. We need to walk closer to God each day of our lives. Notice another statement found in Psalm 27:5 “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”
Finally, we need to trust God. We may not understand why certain things happen, but we need faith that is strong enough to trust God. (Psalm 62:8; Isaiah 26:3,4).
Pray. . . Remember. . . Abide. . . Trust.
Larry Cole – Montrose Church of Christ, Carthage, TN