Psalm 120, Leviticus 27, Isaiah 36‐37, Ephesians 5:1‐21
Ps. 120:1 – In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. – Psalm 120 is a psalm of deliverance. The psalmist in this case is asking for deliverance from those who are lying about him, his God, etc. He lives amongst these liars. He know what to do with his distress. He takes it to God. Why? Because, God has proven faithful in the past to answer prayer, and he is sure that God will answer prayer in the future. God can be trusted with any problem that we face, no matter how daunting it may seem.
Lev. 27:34 – These are the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai. – The book of Leviticus ends with laws about vows. In this interesting book we’ve seen how seriously God took the law as He delivered it to Moses. The people took these laws seriously too. That doesn’t mean that they continually obeyed God. When they didn’t they paid the consequence. Aren’t you glad that we do not have to follow the letter of the law that was prescribed in Leviticus? Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law. He did not do away with the law, but He summed the law up for His followers. May we be a people who love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, soul, mind and strength, and may we love our neighbors as ourselves. According to Jesus, all the law and the prophets hang upon these two commands.
Is. 37:5-7 – When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’” – The odds against Israel were huge. King Hezekiah was about to enter a battle that he had no business being in. The mighty Assyrian army was mocking Israel. Even Hezekiah’s most trusted advisers told him that he would lose. But, Hezekiah went to Isaiah and to the Lord. He prayed. He sought God’s protection. I love his prayer. And God answered. In Isaiah 37:36 we read, “And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.” So, what are you having trouble trusting Jesus for today? I know for me it’s been a home selling. But, God is so much bigger than a housing market. He is the God who answers prayer. Let Him show you His wondrous works.
Eph. 5:1-2 – Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – These verses are some of the reasons that I love this book. Paul writes so plainly and simply to the Ephesians. We are to be imitators of Christ. When we do that, we walk in love esteeming others as more valuable than ourselves.
Eph. 5:15-17 – Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. – The verses preceding this one are some of the most practical verses in all of the Bible in how to live the Christian life. I like Paul’s warning here. As Christians we should seek to know and understand what the will of the Lord is concerning us. On Sunday, I’ll be beginning a new series at Woodbury Community Church entitled, Mist Stories: The Intersection of Faith, Life and Love. The sermon this Sunday deals with James 4:13-17, where James is very specific that we know and follow the will of God. We should not be so arrogant as to think that living outside of God’s will for our life will bring us to a better spot than being in His will.