Thursday 5 December 2013

"THE LORD IS MY HELPER" Bible Reading Thoughts for Dec. 6th


     Today we completed reading Hebrews and specially noted how Paul’s concluding appeal to them could equally apply to nearly every aspect of our lives today – surrounded as we are with false values and godless behavior. He warns, “God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’  “ [v.4]
      When did God say this?  Where is Paul quoting from?  It is a surprise to discover that he is quoting from the words of God to Joshua, spoken soon after the death of Moses.  God was inspiring Joshua by telling him, “Just as I was with Moses so will I be with you.  I will not leave you or forsake you.  Be strong and very courageous …. being careful to do according to all the law  …” [ch. 1 v.5-7]

     The Bible Paul read inspired him – and he used it to inspire others – what an example to us of how to use God’s word and put what we read into practice.  Paul’s next quotation is from Psalm 118 v.6, “So we can confidently say. ‘The Lord is my helper;  I will not fearwhat can man do to me?” (quoted in v.6 of Hebrews 13)
     Do you live with confidence?  Or do you “fear”? Our awareness of the “grace” of our Lord must be a factor in our “confidence.” .  This is the loving favour of God toward those who genuinely seek to serve him, despite their weaknesses.  This is the next point Paul makes after telling them to “consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” – that is, imitate those who led them to know the true way.

     Paul now makes a very vital point, “it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace” [v.9]  We need to fully sense that “grace” so that we can be strengthened by it and realize more and more fully that “The Lord is my helper”    Although not expressed in the same way, this is the process we are starting to see that Job is going through as he searches to have a relationship with God and contends with “friends” who do not know God. 
     We are all at different stages of perceiving – as long as we are really seeking – that “the Lord is my helper” – and we have inspiring messages that give us a vision of the future. We read a wonderful example of this today in Micah chapter 4 which started, “It shall come to pass in the latter days …” events which lead “many nations (to) come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD … that he may teach us his ways …” [v.1,2] Let us really know “his ways” now – and then in that day we will be there and may be privileged to assist in that teaching - and then, we pray, all people will know and say, “The Lord is my helper.”      

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