Saturday, July 1, 2017

Psalm 116:10-19 - Great Faith in God

Psalm 116:10-19
10 I believed when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.”
11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars.”

12 What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me?
13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the Lord.
14 I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh in the presence of all His people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.
16 O Lord, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,
You have loosed my bonds.
17 To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of the Lord.
18 I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh in the presence of all His people,
19 In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

Message:  Great Faith in God

Time: Based upon authorship and subject matter, Psalms cover a range of centuries. David is mentioned 73 times, Solomon 2, Moses 1, and 50 designate no specific person. It is believed they were compiled around 537 BC. The psalms deal with such subjects as God and His creation, war, worship, wisdom, sin and evil, judgment, justice, and the coming of the Messiah.

What the Lord is Saying: The Greek Old Testament is also called the Septuagint or LXX. 

Often in life, it is going through a difficult circumstance, a distressing situation, when we are most affected by the love and grace of God. And in this Psalm is that recognition. It is also through the recognition that we are a sinner that we understand how wonderful it is to have our Savior. We find the Lord just and good. We find rest in Him. God has been merciful toward us. We have been rescued today and we are rescued for all tomorrow's. In heaven, we will be completely at rest and able to walk with our Savior. That is the message of the first 9 verses. In those verses there is the sweet recognition of being low, of the mercy and grace of God and our permanent state with God in heaven.

Then in verses 10-19 is living life. How then do we now live?

I am hurting and no man is helping
Verse 10,11 - "I believed when I said, I am greatly afflicted."  I said in my alarm, "all men are liars."

I have stared at these verses for some time. For some reason, as I read them, I struggle with their understanding. What I see in this Psalm is his recognition that God is real through our circumstances. In and of himself, man does not bring the answer to life. 


The Psalmist declares that I said in my alarm so these words were voiced, not in somber reflection, but in boisterous alarm that all men are liars. I think the Psalmist is experiencing a quite revelation that man does not hold the answers to living and the problems of life should move us to him. In his hurt, in his affliction, he turns to believing in God. Men, themselves, are liars. There attempts to unravel and solve life are in vain. He believes God, he is hurting, and his hurt is great, and people are not the answer. I suppose at the moment I can relate.

I think of people I speak to, like Delphina, who had her boyfriend just walk out on her after several years together. She had yielded to this man her body, through sexual intimacy, against her better judgment, and then he had gone after another woman. And in that distress she was deeply afflicted and hurt, feeling like no one will really want her if she does things God's way. And just like the Psalmist, is the reflection that man cannot fix problems of pain. I continue to watch my 16 year old son ignore our direction, our instruction, our rules, and continue to go his own way. Our role as parents seems utterly useless. We don't feel like trying any longer. Lord, we are hurt, afflicted. We believe you O God, but we hurt. It's people that hurt us. People disappoint us. You have created us to be people that value relationships; we need each other, but not to solve life but to live it together, in growing dependence on God.

Paul adapts this statement in 2 Corinthians 4:13 with the words, "But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak." I believe when I said is the idea that I can speak, now, because I believe I can speak and my words are that I am greatly afflicted. He cried out to God because of a real need.

No one like you
What shall I render to the Lord? How could I begin to pay back the Lord for his mercies toward me? For all his benefits toward me? The Psalmist is focused on God, not man. It's not that man is useless here and offers nothing, but it is God that he is focused on, in thanking him for his mercies and love. It is unlike anything that he could receive from man or his fellow men. 

Thankful heart
The Psalmist then references a cup of salvation. It is not clear what this cup is as it is not the Lord's supper but more likely a cup at the end of the meal that he holds and thanks God for his bounty and his love. I shall lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. There is a simple and profound acknowledgement to God that even in the meal that he has provided we can be thankful. His mercies are new, not just every morning, but with every meal that we can take. He uses the meal, at the end, then as a time to thank His God for his mercies. 

There is such a danger in life to always be in want. In these verses, I am seeing the Psalmist turn his attention toward God and seeing God as the answer to his life, his comfort, refuge, and the one that deserves his praise. 

I commit everything to the Lord
In verse 14, he says, I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh in the presence of all His people. A vow is a promise someone makes, generally when they are in dire straits, like experience a sickness which they think at the time they will not come out of. It is at this time when we see what matters most -- life. All the fluff of life and all that we think is important, suddenly disappears and for that moment, life is what is most important. We desire to simply continue with life. 

As it says in the verse, a vow is a debt, thus there is a payment that is made. And here in the verse is a willingness to pay, in I shall.  Thus far, in these verses is the assertion that God is all that there is and so he worships God and is giving himself to God. He is doing this in his prayer. Thus, in the presence of all God's people he makes the promise to live his life for God. Isn't this what the baptism is in a person's life? It is testifying of a changed life, but it is doing in, preferably in front of people. It needs to be in front of people. 

Precious to the Lord is death of the His chosen
And just as verse 14 speaks of life, verse 15 speaks of death. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones. It speaks here of the high value the Lord places on the death of those that have been called by Him, His godly ones. Our life is sealed by Him and our death is no different. He takes care of His. As we walk with God in the land of the living (v. 9) we can also walk with Him at the time of death. We can trust him in both circumstances. 

God is there. He is with us in life and in death. He is our God. Verse 16 takes a moment to acknowledge that he is indeed God's servant. O Lord, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,
You have loosed my bonds.


Promise: I can have faith in God. I can. He continues to show me over and over his faithfulness. He is a God to be praised. 

Prayer:
I believe in You God. I get hurt, but you God are the answer, not man. In You are so many benefits, so I turn to You. I pause, at the dinner table, to call upon Your name. 

I shall pay my vows to the Lord, in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.

O Lord, surely I am They servant, I am Thy servant, the son of Thy handmaid, thou hast loosed my bonds. To Thee I shall offer a sacrifice of thankgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord. 

I shall pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people. In the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem, 'Praise the Lord.'

Sunday, June 25, 2017

James 5:13-18 - Persevere through Prayer

James 5:13-18
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

Message: Persevere through Prayer

Time: James is thought to be the brother of Jesus. It is written about AD 45.

What the Lord is Saying: 

1. The Call to Prayer

There are 3 anyone statements: Is anyone suffering? Is anyone cheerful? Is anyone sick? I recalled that James 1 started with the idea that we have trials and the first action to the trial is asking God for wisdom. When we are going through a difficulty, the first response is to talk to God and ask him for help. In this scenario the response to each statement is prayer. Our focus remains on the Lord and looking to Him for help. This idea is central to our faith - we depend on God. We trust in Him. We rely on Him. 

2. The Character of Prayer

The final statement is in response to sickness and calling on the elders of the church to come and pray over the person. He calls on leaders of the church and they anoint him with oil. Oil in Bible times was medicinal and was used to treat lacerations, like the parable of the Samaritan in Luke 10:34. It is used to express concern and it strengthens. Symbolically it is the filling of the Holy Spirit. Is this a practice still today, that is, to anoint people with oil? According to our church, it is still a practice. James is encouraging us in the practie of church leaders interceding for one another. 

We are to have faith, a fervent energetic spirit, and righteousness.

a. Faith is the means of the power of prayer (v. 15 - prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick). Faith is conviction, it is trust, full confidence, and no doubting. Personally, I think it is very hard to pray without any doubt. 

b. Fervent energetic spirit (vs. pray for one another as effective prayer (v. 15-16) we are passionate about what God wants. 

c. A righteous individual (vs. the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much v. 16)

3. The Consequence of Prayer

v. 15 - faith will restore the one who is sick
v. 15 - they will be forgiven him if he committed sins
v. 16 - mutual confession provides healing - confess to one another
v. 16 - prayer can accomplish much 

example is Joni and we are not to put faith in faith; result is a transformed life.


Promise: Prayer can accomplish much, in my life, in other lives.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to learn how to continually pray. Thank you for Hope Church and their pastors and bringing the Word through them. Thank you for Pastor Roy and this message he gave this morning. Teach me now to continue to depend on You and trust you throughout all of life's circumstances. Help me to pray more for in doing this I trust you for the outcomes of life and acknowledge that I am not in control.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Psalm 116:1-9 - An Answered Prayer

Psalm 116:1-9
1 I love the Lord, because He hears
My voice, my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call as long as I live.
The cords of death encompassed me
And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.
The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.

Message:  An Answered Prayer

Time: Based upon authorship and subject matter, Psalms cover a range of centuries. David is mentioned 73 times, Solomon 2, Moses 1, and 50 designate no specific person. It is believed they were compiled around 537 BC. The psalms deal with such subjects as God and His creation, war, worship, wisdom, sin and evil, judgment, justice, and the coming of the Messiah.

What the Lord is Saying: 

First Glance
I love the Lord because He hears me; he hears my requests. He turns his ear toward me and I can then call on him as long as I live. Death surrounds me and the terror of hell comes upon me to the point that I find distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord saying, "Lord, save me, please save me." You are gracious; you give me what I do not deserve. You are righteous; your ways are pure and right. You are compassionate; you are there for me no matter my situation or my condition. You preserve me; I fall and am low and you save me. Therefore, I can rest again. I can rest because the Lord deals with me in a generous manner, lavishing gifts of grace and compassion on me. You have rescued me from death. You have rescued my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling. I can now walk before the Lord in the land of the living. 

That last line reminds me of the Bash-n-the-Code song sung by Rebecca Sparks called Land of the Living, their first release, back in 1986. "We walk before the Lord in the land of the living. Jesus is king in the land of the living." My guess is that refrain came from this text. 

The idea is I can now walk in life, with people, freely, completely, because I have been delivered. I have been impacted by God's grace. I have been rescued from death, tears, and stumbling. I love the Lord. 

Promise: Regular prayer is what is needed in my life as I need this reminder that I am delivered and forgiven and rescued.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the words from this Psalmist. Thank you for the reminder that You are near. You have rescued my soul from death, my ears from tears, my feet from stumbling. You have shown me grace and compassion. Thank you for listening to me and hearing my prayer. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 - Joy and Judgment

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. 10 So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.

Message:  Joy and Judgment

Time: The Book of Ecclesiastes does not directly identify its author. The conventional belief is that the author is indeed Solomon. The book was likely written towards the end of Solomon's reign, approximately 935 B.C. It is a book of perspective whereby the speaker reveals the depression that inevitably results from seeking happiness in worldly things. Most every form of worldly pleasure is explored by the Preacher, and none of it gives him a sense of meaning. He accepts that life is brief and ultimately worthless without God and advises the reader to focus on an eternal God instead of temporary pleasure.

What the Lord is Saying: I don't know what it is about these Spring months of the year, but I notice my time in the Word really seems to diminish as compared to the Fall and Winter months. I continue to walk through chapter 11 of Ecclesiastes. Verses 1 and 2 of chapter 11 spoke of serving and giving our all to serve. But we can't secure ourselves from zero failures. We must remember God is in control. We can trust God for outcomes. We are not all-knowing creatures, we come to God with humility anchored in the fact that He knows it all. And - rejoice in the years of life that I have and do not focus on the years of life after the grave. The days of darkness, as in the days of life, will be many. Both type of days are futile or unpredictable. In review:
1. Do my best
2. Life is unpredictable
3. God knows it all, not man. 
4. Rejoice in the years of life that I have
These are the themes I have seen thus far. Now as I look at verse 9 and 10, I see Joy and Judgment. 

First Glance
To the young man, as you age and grow - rejoice. Allow your heart to be pleasant, especially as you prepare to be a man. Follow the impulses of your heart and desires of your eyes, yet know that God will judge you for your actions. 

Now, that is an odd sort of verse there. Be pleasant; follow the impulses of your heart. Follow the desires of your eyes. Yet, know God will judge you for your actions. Remove grief and anger, put away pain. Childhood and old age are fleeting (passing swiftly). 

Clarification
Solomon speaks to young man, as I have seen. Young men are the most impressionable people. Plus, they are hit with the greatest of temptations in life. I am dealing with that right now, as I watch my youngest son, Derek, in those years. He is 16. My oldest retreated more to his world, of computers, but I know still struggled with different demons. He has such a strong inclination toward things that are out there, different from mom and dad, and is thus, so against restraint and counsel. This is why these words are so important, because of the position the young man is in.

But, I am a little vexed by these words. The preacher states be of good cheer, follow your heart, follow the desires of your eyes - but know this - God will bring you to judgment for all these things.

Again, backing up, looking at the context, I see words that encourage enjoyment in each day. Verse 8 - if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all. But he also says in verse 6 - Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening. Enjoy, but work hard. The reality is that days of darkness, for they will be many.

How does this all fit together? Rejoice in your days; work hard; do not be idle; there will be days of darkness, yet follow your heart realizing you will be judged.

Again, I think the subject matter is a little vexing and perhaps intended to be a little puzzling. The Preacher here continues to cover a lot of ground, a lot of thoughts. But he concludes his writing with these words in chapter 12, verse 13-14: The conclusion, when all has been heard: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Yes, we are to pursue life and consider all that it offers as it states in verse 9 - follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes; but, as we do, we must realize that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. Thus, I feel the conclusion in this is to be careful. If God will bring us into judgement for all these things, then I am to have sound judgment. 

My last son sleeps now in our house. He is 16 and as I think about this words I think about some of the things he is experimenting with in life. I think of things I experimented with in life as well. And I wonder, the experience is not the problem, but rather it is the indulgence in that experience that is often the problem. We can learn much from these experiences. My hope and desire with my children has not been to just put them in a box and restrict their enjoyment and choices to things, but it is to allow them to make choices, but then to see that with those choices there are consequences. I guess I just didn't realize it was my job always to show them consequences. I was hoping for natural ones. And yet, I must remember, God has given each person a conscience, the ability to understand good and evil. That conscience always has the ability to draw him back in.


Promise: I'm continually reminded of these words -- "Be Careful." I think that is a sentiment I find int the Book of Numbers and it applies here as well.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the truths of Your Word. Help me to be more anchored in those truths, in all seasons of the year. I pray that me and my family are always doing in our best in whatever activities we are involved in. Remind us that we can always trust you, even though life is unpredictable. You know it all. Help us to enjoy our days, rejoicing that each day is a gift from you. Lord, in the world we have many choices as to how to live our lives. I pray Lord that we all, me, my family, friends and others, choose you. What a wonderful world this would be, if this was so, for all. Yet, the reality and the truth is many choose alternate ways. For my children, help them in their choices, sometimes trying out new things, looking to see if life has enjoyment in these things and through it all, help them to conclude that you are the author of life. Help them to return to you. Help them to return to truth. It is easy for me to sit in judgment, but what concerns me the most is not trying things out, but it is indulging in those things, to the point that it hampers life. Lord, make us wise and wise followers of You.

The BIble and Homosexuality

New American Standard Bible 

Genesis 19:4-9
Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.

Leviticus 18:22
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. 

Leviticus 20:13
If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

I Timothy 1:9-10
realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
  
Jude 7 
just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. 

Romans 1:24-27
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

I Corinthians 6:9-11
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Mark 7:21-22
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.

James 1:14-15
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
 


 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ecclesiastes 11:8 - Joyful Living in Light of Death

Ecclesiastes 11:8
Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come futility.

Message:  Joyful Living in Light of Death

Time: The Book of Ecclesiastes does not directly identify its author. The conventional belief is that the author is indeed Solomon. The book was likely written towards the end of Solomon's reign, approximately 935 B.C. It is a book of perspective whereby the speaker reveals the depression that inevitably results from seeking happiness in worldly things. Most every form of worldly pleasure is explored by the Preacher, and none of it gives him a sense of meaning. He accepts that life is brief and ultimately worthless without God and advises the reader to focus on an eternal God instead of temporary pleasure.

What the Lord is Saying: As I continue to study and read through Ecclesiastes 11, I consider the themes put forth by the author. So far, I'm hit with these ideas. 
1. Do my best. 
2. Life is unpredictable. 
3. God knows it all, not man. 
The message is not to be passive or idle and one may expect this response to life when we realize and hold onto the idea that God is in control. But, this doesn't make us passive, but instead intensifies our focus on giving God all the glory while we work hard in life. 

In this verse, I see this idea of being a person that rejoices in life. I spend too much time in thought, in contemplation, in a melancholy state, and I do not spend enough time rejoicing nor encouraging my family. I'm thankful for the time we have had taking trips together and going places. Going hiking together last summer was wonderful. I've been a better father, at least in my disposition, as the kids have aged. I'm not real happy with the person I was as they were growing up. I like their independence. But, I don't enjoy how life is now more about money and spending. 

We need to enjoy our days. I need to be smiling more and laughing more. My wife is wonderful, but also are my kids. Megan has this countdown on the knot wedding page. There is something like just 70 days left with her here. Lord, help me rejoice in those days. 

I like how the writer begins this verse -- if, a man should live many years. There is no promise in life of the number of years that we live and the author knows this, and then remarks, if a person should live many years, then there is behavior that the person should enjoy. The reality is many die at a young age. I hear of it all the time and it is heart breaking. When I was young, death was barely in the equation. Yes, it was the fear of death that had a lot to do with my salvation, but that was after witnessing an emotional scene from a movie and movies have always tugged at my heart. But beyond this I think of myself as invincible, until I start getting into my mid 40s and word of people dying that are friends starts to mount. Suddenly, death is a reality and the thought of it is more prominent in my thinking. 

On the heels of this sort of thinking is verse 8 of chapter 11 when I am encouraged to embrace two ideas: Rejoice in the years of life that I have and do not focus on the years of life after the grave. The days of darkness as in the days of life will be many. Both type of days are futile or unpredictable. 

There is lasting joy with our creator. This needs to be my focus.  

Promise: If we are unprepared to meet our Creator, death will be a terror for us.

Prayer: Lord, yesterday for the Easter Message at church we discussed the inevitability of death. It comes for every person. It is guaranteed. Yet, Lord, we can have comfort in it. Help me to be comfortable and not see it as an end, but a continuance. Thank you for the life you have given me and the joy of being with people and spending time with them. Thank you for family. You are the matchless God.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Ecclesiastes 11:5 - Humility of Understanding

Ecclesiastes 11:5
Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

Message:  Humility of Understanding

Time: The Book of Ecclesiastes does not directly identify its author. The conventional belief is that the author is indeed Solomon. The book was likely written towards the end of Solomon's reign, approximately 935 B.C. It is a book of perspective whereby the speaker reveals the depression that inevitably results from seeking happiness in worldly things. Most every form of worldly pleasure is explored by the Preacher, and none of it gives him a sense of meaning. He accepts that life is brief and ultimately worthless without God and advises the reader to focus on an eternal God instead of temporary pleasure.

What the Lord is Saying: Ecclesiastes 11 began with the message that time is short and I need to do my best each day and give my best. And life is unpredictable; as we do our best and be responsible we can trust God for his outcomes. Now, verse 5 has these words: Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things. 

Now, it seems like we are in the age of knowledge. I often think about right now and our lifestyles. Their is an influx of entertainment, recreation, activity, choices -- and all of these things have one thing in common: more knowledge. With more knowledge we have more choices and more options for our time. It is actually mesmerizing. 

Yet, this knowledge does not mean we have greater wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" and Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Knowledge and wisdom are found by fearing the Lord or letting God define in our lives these virtues. In God is true morality. In life, morality is blurred. Life is constantly in motion, but we need to remember where we have come from. Religion is often seen as tradition which then flies in the face of now, when knowledge is erasing tradition.

This verse would not be a popular verse of today because it states that we do not know the activity of God. In God, there is mystery, which causes us to trust. Mystery is not what we like as it is being erased with knowledge. We would much rather say that people get what they deserve (i.e. karma). Often, the only time God is brought up is when we are at a stage of helplessness or not understanding and to me, this occurs often, in the realm of sickness. In sickness, we don't see why things have occurred the way they have and so at those moments, we continue to pray and ask God for his mercy.

Creation testifies always of God's handiwork. This verse states 3 ideas:
1. We do not know the path of the wind (or spirit in other translations)
2. We do not know how bones work in the womb of a pregnant woman
3. We do no know the activity of God who makes all things.  

Man does not understand the breath of life, how it begins, when it begins, nor how it ends or when it ends. On a side note, it is interesting the obsession we have now with robots, for man desires to have control over something and so the creation of a robot is more in that control. The body is often self healing, yet sometimes it isn't. There is definite mystery in how one body works, while another does not. We do not know how bones work. And we do not understand God. Evil is present. Weather disasters it seem have increased. Man introduces these ideas of climate change or global warming as the answer to increases in natural disasters. Yet, God's timing could be a wake-up to us that he is real, that he is real and still present in lives today. And those events are startling ways in which he attempts to get our attention.

Job 11:7-9 Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? They are high as the heavens, what can you do? Deeper than Sheol, what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.
Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.

Promise: The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. Life begins with Him and knowing Him. Get to know the character of God more than the ways and means of man.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us for not seeing and acknowledging You. We love our progress and our advancement. More and more we are leaning on our own understanding and with greater knowledge we become more independent of our creator. Even in our worship, we want to achieve an altered state of being in Your Presence. Bring us back to You Lord. Remind us you are the author of life. Remind us that you are in control. Remind us that you are present. Remind us continually that we need you. Lord, keep us couched in wonder and amazement, and keep reminding us we are not in control, but You are in control. You define life. Guard me Lord so that I am defined by You.