Psalm 91, Exodus 37, Esther 4, 1 Corinthians 9
Ps. 91 – This entire Psalm is beautiful picture of God as our refuge and our fortress when we live our life in a way that pleases him. The promises made here are spectacular. From protecting us with His angels, to promising deliverance from all sorts of evil, God takes care of His children. He really does. What are some ways that God has taken care of you? There are probably way too many to name, and so many situations that you are unaware of. That’s the beauty of Christ’s protection. He is constantly at work on behalf of His children.
Ex. 37 – Bezalel, who we discovered yesterday was God’s chosen person to build the tabernacle is busy making the ark, the table, the lampstand and the altar of incense in chapter 37. All of these would be used in the tabernacle. The ark would go into the Most Holy Place. I’m struck by the workmanship, expense, and detail that went into each piece. God was given the very best that the people had.
Est. 4:14b-17 – And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” 17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. – The plot by Haman has reached the palace. Mordecai’s sorrow has led to him wearing sackcloth and ashes outside the palace gates. Jews all over the region have responded in a similar manner. But, Mordecai has something the other’s don’t. He was the “adoptive father” of the Queen. And, he implored Esther to do something about this plot. I love Esther’s response. Instead of trying to solve the problem immediately, she asks for prayer. She has a plan, but she will not move forward on it until there has been much prayer and fasting. May we learn from Esther. When we have decisions to make that are difficult, or when we face grave situations, we should do it girded with prayer. Fasting is a good thing to do also. It focuses us on God and declares our dependence upon Him.
1 Corinthians 9
1 Cor. 9 – Paul continues his thoughts about those who are strong in the faith and those who are weak in the faith. He willingly gives up his rights so that he will not be a stumbling block to a weaker brother. That is an admirable trait, it is what God desires to see in those who follow Him, and it is tough! Are you willing to surrender your rights so that your brother or sister in Christ may not be fall behind in their spiritual walk?
1 Cor. 9:19-27 – For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. – I love how Paul ends this chapter. The Apostle recognizes that the most important thing is teh Gospel. He wants the Gospel to be spread more than anything else. So, he is willing to become all things to all people so that he might reach some for the Gospel.
To reach people requires discipline. So, Paul compares himself to an athlete, who runs to win the prize. He encourages us to live our lives that way. May we run to get the prize.