Today’s Reading: Psalm 55, Genesis 50:1‐14, 2 Chronicles 28, Acts 21:17 ‐23:11
Psalm 55 – Have you ever been betrayed by a best friend or family member? David’s psalm of lament in Psalm 55 talks about such incredible pain. Many of David’s lamenting psalms deal with God rescuing him from his enemies. This is the first instance I recall reading of David lamenting the betrayal of an old friend.
His solution remains trusting in God. He takes the pain that he is feeling and leaves it in God’s lap. That is a good place to go when we are hurt by human beings. God will never betray us. He may allow us to experience pain, but when He does, it is for our good and growth.
Genesis 50:1-14 – I have been with many families as they have walked through the death of a loved one. Joseph honored his father, Jacob, upon Jacob’s death. He followed through on the promise that he made to his father, to have him buried in the land of Canaan.
Joseph did a good thing. He honored his father’s wishes. He asked Pharaoh for permission to leave and go back to Canaan to bury his father, and his request was granted. Joseph was a man of his word. Over and over again we see that when Joseph spoke, when he made a promise, he could be trusted. Godly leaders are men and women who keep their word.
2 Chronicles 28 – Much has been written about the wickedness of King Ahab in Israel. A reading of 2 Chronicles 28 makes me feel that King Ahaz may have been Judah’s most wicked king. His worship of Baal and his worship of the gods of Judah’s enemies are a clear picture of a king whoring after other gods. He led Judah to such a terrible place that God allowed Judah’s enemies to kill 120,000 men in one day, and take another 200,000 women and children captives.
May we not chase after the gods of this world. I don’t want to be accused of idolatry. I wonder what things I have placed ahead of God in my life.
Acts 21:17-23:11 – Paul must have had some suspicion that his trip to Jerusalem could be perilous for him. He was received warmly by James, the leader of the Jerusalem church and the half-brother of Jesus. The Jerusalem church was thrilled to hear what God was doing amongst the Gentiles.
After seven days in Jerusalem, false charges were brought up against Paul. The charges indicated that Paul was telling everyone, everywhere bad things about the people of Jerusalem, the law, and the temple. Truth be told, Paul was arrested because he was telling everyone, everywhere about Jesus, the Messiah.
It’s interesting to see how Paul responds to his plight. He uses it as a platform to proclaim Jesus to even more people,many of whom he would have no access to if it weren’t for the arrest.
Paul saw every opportunity to share Christ, whether in chains or free, as a blessing from Christ. May we have the same resolve to share Christ with others!