This week, our study of Ecclesiastes moves from chapter 4's examination of oppression, competition, isolation, and position to adoration in chapter 5. While living through the difficulties of a broken world, God wants us to know His will and be refreshed when we come to worship Him. Solomon shares 3 aspects of wisdom to prepare our hearts for worship.
Psalm 12 expresses how David felt when he had been abandoned by godly friends. In Psalm 13, David is so alone, he feels he has been abandoned by God Himself. This feeling is prompted by the length of his suffering. Perseverance in a long time of difficulty is perhaps the most trying to our minds and hearts.
David's struggle will feel familiar to many people of God. In a marathon of trust, we often ask similar questions. Is God one who abandons? Through David's wrestling, we will learn that God's character and work confessed in prayer sustains us during long, drawn-out periods of suffering.
Using proper names is very important at announcements of significant life events. When the angels announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds in Luke 2:10-14, the titles they used had intentional significance.
We continue to study the hymn of security and assurance in Romans 8:31-39.
Is this world spinning out of control? The book of Esther (along with Daniel, Nehemiah, and the story of Joseph) foreshadows the church age. They all take place when God’s people live in minority status in civilizations that are hostile to God’s authority. The author of Esther masterfully demonstrates that God’s providential work is up to the task of keeping his promises. Miracles are not the norm currently. They were at times and will be again in God’s economy. For now, however, we rest upon God’s rich providential care. God’s powerful operation of providence working in and through human agency and natural law to bring about His good pleasure is nothing short of breathtaking in the book of Esther.
Aspen, Colorado, has 6000 permanent residents, and 50 of them are billionaires. To some, living in Aspen is the height of material prosperity. However, people of spiritual virtue have different values. Godly moms in particular desire a spiritual home through which they may leave a faith that will remain through generations of their families to come.
As Joseph waited in prison, God still had not brought to pass the dream He gave Joseph when he was 17 years old (Gen. 37). Joseph was now 30 years old and had spent over half of his life waiting for God to fulfill His promise that he would rule over his brothers. Meanwhile, he has been faithful with what God has given him, both position and promises. From his youth, Joseph was faithful to God’s Word, even when it got him in trouble. And in His own timing, God would exalt him.
Psalm 63 describes a saint who needs refreshment. Jacob receives spiritual refreshment from the Lord in Genesis 35 as he gets right with God and continues to make progress.
God can still use saints that have failed and help them make right choices again, even in their last years. Isaac and Rebekah are an example that it’s never too late to do right. True saints experience guilt and conviction that leads to repentance, forsaking sin, and prospering again. Now governed by the Spirit, Isaac comes to his senses and sends Jacob on a journey to continue in God’s will.
Genesis 23 shows Abraham going through the most extreme trial of an aged Christian’s life. He loses his wife Sarah, whom he had been married to for 100 years or more! How Abraham endures this agony is a great lesson to us.
In God’s providence, the next chapter of Genesis fits perfectly with a Father’s Day theme. The Lord provides for every need of His people’s hearts when preaching through the whole Word of God.
The American evangelical culture can view God as an activity director on a cruise ship. We expect Him to be blessing us every moment, or He is not doing His job. This passage corrects that understanding. Faith is cultivated through trials.
When you look at a painted portrait of a woman, you often wonder what she was really like. We wonder the same thing with Bible characters. A few verses in Hebrews 11 show us how to interpret Sarah’s story. She was known as a woman of faith.
Sarah is involved differently in all 3 sections of Genesis 18. God’s promises to Sarah and Abraham show what he can do with faithful obedience in simple, singular things.
God gives the third unconditional covenant of the book of Genesis to Abram.
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