Today’s Reading: Psalm 57, Exodus 1:1‐21, 2 Chronicles 30, Acts 25‐26
Psalm 57 – Two times in this Psalm, David writes, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!”
David wanted people to recognize the glory of God, and to worship Him alone. This was one of the Psalms that was written when David hid in a cave as he fled from Saul. Even in the difficulty of his situation, David was thinking about praising God!
Exodus 1:1-21 – God’s chosen people have been an oppressed people throughout history. Upon the death of Joseph, and his generation, a new king came to rule over Egypt. Joseph had long since been forgotten, and the new Pharaoh feared the Israelites. He wanted the male children to be killed, because he feared how numerous the Israelites were growing in the land of Egypt. The Egyptian midwives did an honorable thing and saved the lives of the boys that Pharaoh wanted dead. But, tough times were ahead for the Israelites.
2 Chronicles 30 – – 2 Chronicles 30 is a great example of the difference that one man can make in a nation. Hezekiah loved the Lord. The people had forgotten how to love God, keep His commandments, and celebrate His festivals. Even the priests had abandoned their responsibilities.
Hezekiah called a nation to repentance and righteousness. There was initial shame felt by the people when the Passover was ready to be celebrated. This was replaced by joy when the people received the pardon and forgiveness of God.
We should be a people that seek to live righteous lives. We ought to run to the things of God and run from the world. We need God more than we think we need God. When the Israelites experienced more of Him, they wanted even more. This was shown by the extension of Passover to another week.
Acts 25-26 – Paul was hated by a certain group of people in Jerusalem. They were willing to do or say anything in order to get Paul in trouble. They wanted him dead, and had conspired to make it happen.
Acts 25-26 shows the futility of their plans, and the sovereignty of God. Paul, the prisoner, had an opportunity to share his faith with two of the region’s most powerful men, Festus, and King Agrippa. He was also able to share with all of Festus and Agrippa’s advisers.
I love the way that Paul tried his best to persuade King Agrippa to become a follower of Jesus. In the end, Agrippa turned Paul down, but it was only because Agrippa wanted to continue to live in his sinful lifestyle, not because Paul hadn’t persuaded him that Jesus was the Messiah.
We can give some people the most compelling evidence in the world that Jesus is Messiah, but they might still turn us down when we encourage them to trust Jesus with their life. It’s called the willful roadblock, and is the roadblock that people who don’t want to give up their lifestyle deal with. It was well known, at the time, that King Agrippa was in an incestuous relationship with his wife’s sister, and didn’t want to give that up. Paul didn’t see Agrippa beyond the point of God’s redemption.