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Friday: Further Thought – The Lord Hears and Delivers — 8 Comments

  1. The Hebrew word for the desert Sanctuary is literally translated as “The Tent”. I thought it was rather surprising to have such an ordinary word to describe their meeting place with God. But on reflection, I found it comforting that God wanted to be thought of dwelling with the people in a tent, just like them.

    The word “sanctuary” itself came into the English language around the 14th Century and generally referred to churches. Interestingly the word quickly came to mean a place of refuge where a person could go and expect to be given protection, except for cases of treason or sacrilege. They were essentially like the cities of refuge set up in the early settlement of Canaan. (This has ramifications for our perceptions of the Heavenly Sanctuary – but that is another story)

    I want to combine these ideas about the ordinariness of the sanctuary together with the notion of it being a place of refuge to make an application for us.

    For most of us, our lives get incredibly busy. Even in retirement, there is always pressure to get this and that all done by some perceived deadline. My favourite rejoinder to Carmel when she tells me to get a move along is; “Slow down! We are not catching an airplane!”

    We need sanctuary or protection from our own busyness. And God has given us that sanctuary in an ordinary day – the Sabbath. Unfortunately, we often forget the sanctuary of the sabbath and end up running a highly choreographed sacred concert or attending meetings to fill in our rest time.

    Jesus knew what the sanctuary of rest meant:

    Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. Mark 6:31 MSG

    The disciples needed time out – a sanctuary from their busyness.

    While much of our thought this week has been God’s protection from outside agencies, maybe as we come to the end of this week of study we should think about the protection God offers us from ourselves.

    Have a restful and peaceful Sabbath!

  2. I have added to my list of favorite Psalms, other than Psalm 34:1,4,6,17, and Psalm 23, I have added Psalm 121. Psalm 121:6-8 is good, but adding Psalm 121:1-5 to verses 6-8, is like adding blueberries to bananas and nut milk, when making a health drink.

    We can develope trust in God by using the 4 steps to trust. Consistency, Confidence, Empower, and Memory(a picture is worth a thousand words). Look at Matthew 5:1-15. Christ showed consistency, confidence, and was empowered, then in verse 14 and 15 gave Memory. You probabally did not realize until now that verse 14 and 15 is a parable, or picture in words, if you prefer.

    "How can we develop unreserved trust in God in all circumstances?"
    We set our love on Him, in our mind, word, and actions.
    Our connection to Him allows us to hear
    His loving kindness. Leading us to know the way in which we should walk through out the day. Then next morning we engage the same. Boring, absolutely not, because we connect daily. Oh yes just like an exercise program, at 1st we question whether or not we can be consistent. We remember the consistency of Christ in the sermon on the mount, it is pushing us on. Before we know it , with empowerment and confidence, and continuance, like exercise, we can't do with out it. Our faith and trust becomes even stronger, as we give God the glory for all He has done for us.

    Remember, we believe we will win through Christ, we don't stop there, we take the win by drinking of the Living Water. John 4:13-15.

  3. The phrases of the day are,

    "At times such as this, we just have to learn to trust in the goodness of God, most powerfully revealed at the Cross."


    "...victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power."

    What type of challenge are you facing today? Most probably involving not only your life but the lives of those around you. May we struggle in our prayer chamber to understand God's purpose for what we are going through today and get out as winners, humble and accepting the will of God because the most challenging wrestling may be against self.

  4. I had an interesting conversation with a friend, yesterday. He is close to my age, 75, but we only have known each other for a few years. Ellen White states that: ‘God will do great things for those who trust in Him.” She also points out that: “His professed people have no greater strength in that they trust so much to their own wisdom, and do not give the Lord an opportunity to reveal His power in their behalf.”

    Our conversation was about using the 20/20 hindsight to find God’s hand working out our lives. His life had been a constant up and down, success and failure, winning and loosing. Most of his life’s occurrences were influenced by his anger and resentment, mine were not. We compared the trajectory of our lives and found that we were both led by our loving, caring, most compassionate God.

    My friend is just now coming to understand that "in all things God works for the ‘good’ of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose" – Rom.8:28. I discovered this truth and believed it early on in my life, seeing it changing my and my family’s life in small increments for the better.

    At the time he discovered God’s truth using hindsight, he had just passed through the most challenging trials in his life, but his heart had softened sufficiently by then to allow him to want to look back to find answeres to 'why' it came to this point. He could finally see the red thread of God’s providence and long-suffering, loving kindness weaving through his life as God waited until the time came when he could understand!

    He is now able to be grateful in all cirumstances! His life stabilized just in time for the last chapter in life to unfold, and he is ready for it. He detects God’s hand easily now and es ever grateful for Him to stay close in the valley of the shadows of death, not understanding why God would allow so many hardships for him to go through.

    His home is now in a foreign country where most everyone is poor in material wealth but rich in love and acceptance of each other. His new neighbors express friendship and kindness toward him easily - a smile, an appreciative word, generosity and acceptance, which he is ready to return in kind.

    God stood by him as long as it took to replace the anger with His love, one step at a time. Most if not all distructive anger has left his heart, having been replaced with the desire to embrace God’s everlasting love extended to all His children. Yes, it is for us to know that our God is perfect in His Judgement - the Lord hears and delivers!

  5. I like how the lesson emphasizes that 'some psalms can pose a serious challenge when what they promise, and our current situation, do not match. At times such as this, we just have to learn to trust in the goodness of God, most powerfully revealed at the Cross.' This is our assurance. What a blessed thought.


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