Psalm 105, Leviticus 12, Isaiah 11‐12, 2 Corinthians 8‐9
Ps. 105:1 – Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;make known his deeds among the peoples! – What has God done for you? Tough question? Well that all depends upon your perspective. If you think it’s tough because you can’t think of what He’s done, you are probably not looking hard enough. In reality, it’s a tough question because to say what God has done for us would take us forever to answer. God has blessed us in more ways than we can imagine. And, He wants us to make His deeds known among our friends, family, strangers, everyone! God wants us to tell others about Him. When prayer is answered we should rejoice — and tell others about it! When we are blessed with health or material things or family or friends, we should rejoice — and tell others about it! God is worth making known among the peoples. This entire Psalm is a song dedicated to the faithfulness of God. Included are some of Israel’s greatest triumphs, which came directly because of the intervention of God.
Psalm 105:4 – Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! – Here lies some of the greatest wisdom in the Bible. There is nothing better than seeking the presence of the Lord. Why is it that we run from His presence so often? Want real lasting joy? Seek Him! Want peace? Seek Him! Want love? Seek Him! May we be seekers of God! There is a common Christmas slogan that says, “Wise men still seek Him.” It’s true. Seek Him!
Lev. 12 – Leviticus 12 is part of the Levitical law concerning cleanness and uncleanness. This chapter dealt with the purification of a woman after childbirth.
Is. 11-12 – These two chapters from Isaiah are two of the most beautiful prophecies of Messiah in all of Scripture. Chapter eleven describes what the Messiah will be like, and the blessing that He will bring. Chapter twelve describes the joy that the people will respond with after Messiah comes. We, who know that Jesus is the Messiah, have been blessed to see the difference that Jesus makes in our lives, our families, our community and our world.
2 Corinthians 8-9
2 Cor. 8:18 – With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. – There is a bit of mystery about who this famous preacher is that is mentioned in 2 Cor. 8:18. I love this verse for several reasons. Number one, it affirms that even in the early church, there was need for gifted communicators to travel from church to church, city to city, to tell others about Christ. I think of this preacher as being an early Billy Graham, D.L. Moody type evangelist. Second, I like it that even though he was famous at the time, we have no idea who he is today. There will come a day when people may forget who Graham and Moody were, but they will not forget Jesus. What was important was not that this man was famous and gifted preacher, but that Jesus was Who he preached. May those of us who have the privilege of teaching, never get in the way of the message. Jesus is worth making known to the world, not us.
I also like it because the man could not have accomplished what he did apart from Titus. We know the name of the servant but not the preacher. How cool is that? Praise God for the Titus like people that support pastors, missionaries and evangelists so that the Gospel may be spread around. We know that the church at Corinth was involved in the supporting Paul and probably this man too. Their financial support made the spread of the Gospel possible.
2 Cor. 9:7 – Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – Paul was asking the Corinthian church to give an offering for the church in Jerusalem. There was a huge need in the Jerusalem church, and Paul knew that the gift from Corinth would be a blessing and an encouragement to those in Jerusalem. I love how Paul asked for money and the attitude with which he wanted the people of Corinth to give. Giving is a privilege to those who are followers of Christ. Our gifts to God should be a part of our worship to Him. We should lovingly give back to God a portion of what He has blessed us with. Paul gives a very tender argument for this. I love that he ends his chapter with these words in verse 15: Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! In other words, the gift that the Corinthians can give is a reflection of the inexpressible gift that God has given to us.