Today’s Reading: Psalm 86, Exodus 32, Nehemiah 12:27-47, 1 Corinthians 4
Psalm 86 – 15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. What do you think of when you think about God? A. W. Tozer once said, “What comes to mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” I think for many of us, we think about fear when we think about God. We fear His wrath. We fear His response to our wicked hearts. We fear His short fuse.
But, that is an incorrect view of God. Psalm 86:15 reveals a beautiful truth about God. God is merciful and gracious. He is slow to anger. He is abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. This means that God’s fuse isn’t short. He is slow to anger. When we give God cause to anger, be sure that He experiences it. But, He also understands us. He understands His creation better that we understand ourselves. He understands the struggle with sin that we have. He understands the temptation that we face. He understands the distractions in our lie. God is so good.
Exodus 32 – Exodus 32 is the sad story of the quick decline of the Children of Israel. God had so graciously delivered them from the hand of the Egyptians and when Moses was on the Mountain of God longer than the people expected, they assumed the worst and turned to the worship of an idol. It’s interesting that they broke commandment one as soon as they began to lose faith in their leadership.
Moses’ conversation with God is an interesting one as he intercedes on behalf of the people with God. This is the role of the priests. The priests would one make atonement for the people. This is what Moses did for the people.
Nehemiah 12:27-47 – There are certain times when I read the Bible when I think, “I wish that I could be an eyewitness of this event.” The dedication of the walls of Jerusalem is one such event. This was such a momentous event to the people of Israel. I love the way that the Jewish people celebrated events like this. There was so much music. In this case, there were a few choirs singing on different parts of the walls. I would have loved to have heard what that sounded like.
1 Corinthians 4 – 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent 5 you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, 6 as I teach them everywhere in every church.
What an incredible example of discipleship! When I think about discipleship, I think about encouraging people to walk like Christ. Paul was so in tune with the Lord, that he could, with good conscious write, “be imitators of me.” Why? Because, Paul imitated the Lord.
But, Paul didn’t stop there. He then told the people to look to Timothy as an example. Timothy also followed Christ. Timothy had been discipled by Paul, and was a good example of what it meant to follow Christ. Paul’s hope was that this dysfunctional church would become full of people who could write similar things. When we live like Christ, the world becomes a different place.