Today’s Reading: Psalm 68, Exodus 14, Ezra 4, Romans 5:12‐21
Psalm 68 – Psalm 68 begins with a powerful declaration about the power of God over His enemies. 1 God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him! 2 As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God! 3 But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
There was something that just struck me tonight about the imagery of wax melting before a fire. What a comparison to how the wicked will perish before God! It compels me to want to witness more so that more people will know the grace of God and not have to experience such horrific and yet holy wrath.
Exodus 14 – I have been a follower of Jesus since I was a child. You would think that after reading this story many times, and hearing read or listening to sermons based upon this event, I might get tired of the story. I’m not. As I read this story tonight, I felt like I was reading it for the first time.
Think about what this passage is saying! God miraculously saved the children of Israel from the most mighty army on the face of the earth. He separated the Red Sea! He allowed an entire nation to cross the Sea on dry ground! God is a remarkable wonder worker. If my God could do this, surely He can help me through any problem I face. God is good.
Ezra 4 – Talk about frustrating! You have waited years to return to your homeland. You became afraid to dream about such things, because you were afraid of disappointment. Finally, the day has come. You are not only released from the bondage of slavery, but you are instructed to rebuild your house of worship and your city. The work starts and for two years progress is made. And then comes opposition.
Such is the challenge the Children of Israel faced when rebuilding the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The work started and then was halted. It would take generations before the work would be completed.
I’m sure the people were discouraged. They probably questioned God. But all that they went through would make them stronger. God allowed these events to transpire in their lives. God would be glorified through what men meant for evil.
Romans 5:12-21 – I love Jesus. I can’t help but write that after reading Romans 5:12-21. Just as Adam’s sin ushered sin into the world, so Christ’s death ushered in the opportunity for man to be redeemed by God. Christ’s death on our behalf is the most beautiful act ever done for mankind. His death brought life for us, but it requires that we accept His free gift of salvation. Don’t let your stubborn heart keep you from knowing God’s Son.