Psalm 135, Numbers 16‐17, Isaiah 55, 1 Thessalonians 2:17‐3:13
Ps. 135:5-6 – For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.6 Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. – This is an amazing psalm. When you read it you are immediately struck with the majesty and glory of our God. There is no one like Him. He is the God that is above all gods. And, He will do whatever H pleases. If anyone but God were to have this power, we would have reason to fear. But, God is good. His plans for us our good. That doesn’t mean that we will always like what God does, but it is always good. Sometimes God allows trouble to come into our life to teach us something. Sometimes God allows it to come so that we will be dependent upon Him. Sometimes He displays His power in our weakness. Sometimes He makes us wait. God is good, and His love endures forever.
Ps. 135:16 – Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.- Recent surveys have shown that the fastest growing category of religious belief is that of no belief. Atheism is on the rise in America and the world. We have replaced God with thinking, reason, science, feeling, compassion, causes, humanism, or any number of other things. Try as those who are mockers of God might, God’s name will endure forever. His renown will be throughout the ages. May we be a people who say, “I don’t care what the rest of the world says, as for me and my house, I will trust the Lord and praise His name forever!”
Num. 16-17 – As a pastor of a local church, my heart aches for Moses as I read Numbers 16-17. Moses was a man of God. He was God’s chosen leader for the children of Israel. He was one of many spiritual leaders that the children of Israel looked up to. The descendents of Levi were priests. Korah was one of the priests. An influential leader, Korah was not pleased with the way that Moses was leading. He was also jealous of Moses’ position. And so, Korah led a rebellion against Moses. He criticized Moses’ leadership, undermined his authority, questioned his motives, cast doubt on Moses ability to lead to a group of spiritual leaders and those that he led. It was an all out attack on Moses, Moses’ character and Moses’ spiritual life.
The results for Korah and those who rebelled was not good. God killed every one of them. God was not pleased with the attack against his chosen leader. The next day the children of Israel grumbled to Moses and Aaron that the spiritual leaders, the priests had been killed. God became furious. He struck the people with a plague and 14,700 more died. So, in just a couple of days 14,950 people were killed. Why? Because they were rebelling against the Lord’s anointed one and causing disunity in the camp. May we not be such people. It’s important to be involved and ask the tough questions. It’s also important to lovingly pray for and support those in leadership. To aspire to leadership is an honorable thing, and it can also be a lonely path.
Is. 55:6-9 – “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – This Old Testament passage spells out the grace that is offered to all of us through Jesus Christ in a marvelous way. I’m preaching a series at my church called, “Mist Stories: The Intersection of Faith, Life and Love” right now. It’s based off of James 4:13-17, where we are told that our lives are a mist that appears for a little while and then are gone. Isaiah reminds us that we need to seek the Lord now, while He can be found. We are not promised tomorrow. And then he spells out for us just how gracious and loving and forgiving that our God is. Have you gone to the mercy seat of God? Have you found forgiveness at the table of God’s grace? He wants you to experience life to the full. He wants you to know true joy. Give your sin, your burdens, your grief, your dreams, your life to Christ today. If you’d like more information on beginning a life with Jesus, or want to know how to experience forgiveness, joy and peace call 1-800-NEED-HIM. There are wonderful counselors waiting there to talk and help you experience the grace and compassion that these verses so eloquently speak of.
Is. 55:12-13 – “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” – What a picture of joy! Where there was sorrow before God’s grace, there is now joy because of it. Have you experienced that type of joy? Jesus wants to give it to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13
1 Thess. 3:8 – For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. – Have you ever led someone to faith in Jesus Christ? Paul had. In fact, Paul had led people to the Lord all over the world. I love that Paul was deeply concerned for the spiritual welfare of those he had ministered to. I can echo Paul’s words when he says that he and his co-laborers are most alive when they hear about the faithfulness of the Thessalonians towards God. May we all experience such wonderful moments!