2 Kings 3:1—4: 17
Oh, how easy is it for us sinners to get into a hard spot and then turn it back on the Lord. “Oh, no! My sinful decisions did not lead me to this place, I am not reaping what I sowed! The Lord has led me to this place.” I love Elishia’s response to the king. “Why are you coming to me?” This shows us that the Lord was not sought before this war was started. In any court of law the Lord would be free and clear of helping them in anyway. However, that is not the character of our God. He does give them water and he does teach them how disgusting idol worship is by allowing them to see the Moab king kill his son.
In the next chapter we see God care for a faithful few. The widow and the Shunamite woman both receive blessing because they are faithful to God. Remember all the way back to Abraham sitting with God talking about Sodom and Gomorrah? Abraham asks God if He will save the town if there is only one faithful person, and God says yes. Faith is all God needs to save us and bless us.
Acts 14: 8-28
Misplaced zeal. That is the name of the game in this story. It almost makes you sad. These people are so eager to worship their fake gods. They are ready to believe and hear what Paul and Barnabas have to say, right up until the time they say, “Turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God.” Looks like the Pharisees were not the only ones with misplaced zeal. Gosh I so see myself in this misplaced zeal. I have lived a life of jumping from one idol to another. I have even been the mob that stoned someone to death because they were saying something I did not like. Whoa, whoa, I mean that figuratively. Only by the grace of God did I turn from those worthless things. But here is what I know. You have probably had misplaced zeal too. I hope you have had that moment with Jesus where you turned from those worthless things. That is what faith is. Turning toward the living God. Faith is all God needs to save us and bless us.
Do not gloss over the fact that Paul got stoned to death! Then he gets up because God is not finished with him yet and goes back into town to preach. Mindblowing. Poor guy. He and Barnabas keep going on their mission unit they make it back to Antioch to give a report. If this was me giving the report my first statement would be, “I got stoned to death.” I would imagine Paul was so much less self-absorbed, and started with, “The message has reached all the way to Lystra and we have actually established churches with leadership in the towns we have been to.” But whatever.
Psalm 140: 1-13
Proverbs 17: 22
Please, I beg you, stop telling someone who is suffering with depression, “You just need to get up and go work out, get outside, and do something.” Yes, working out and getting outdoors is part of prevention. But when depression hits this proverb is proof that our energy really is depleted. To help us it would be great if you said, “Have you been in God’s Word and taken time to process what is going on in your mind?” If you give us time, God will restore our broken spirit and our strength will return.