TODAY IN HIS WORD COMES FROM
Isa. 66:14 (NCV)
When you see these things, you will be happy,
and you will grow like the grass.
The Lord's servants will see his power,
but his enemies will see his anger.
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
What we see may not always be what others see. How we view our circumstances, often is not how God sees them. And many times, when God moves on our behalf there are two different view points; the way we see it, and the way the enemy sees it.
INSIGHT INTO GOD'S WORD:
The other day as I was reading my daily Bible a story from the Old Testament that once again stood out to me like light shining. I don't often read this passage, but when I do, I am always struck by something deep inside of me. 1st let me share the passage with you from 2 Kings 3 NCV.
14 Elisha said, "As surely as the Lord All-Powerful lives, whom I serve, I tell you the truth. I wouldn't even look at you or notice you if Jehoshaphat king of Judah were not here. I respect him. 15 Now bring me someone who plays the harp."
While the harp was being played, the Lord gave Elisha power. 16 Then Elisha said, "The Lord says to dig holes in the valley. 17 The Lord says you won't see wind or rain, but the valley will be filled with water. Then you, your cattle, and your other animals can drink. 18 This is easy for the Lord to do; he will also hand Moab over to you. 19 You will destroy every strong, walled city and every important town. You will cut down every good tree and stop up all springs. You will ruin every good field with rocks."
20 The next morning, about the time the sacrifice was offered, water came from the direction of Edom and filled the valley.
21 All the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them. So they gathered everyone old enough to put on armor and waited at the border. 22 But when the Moabites got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. They saw the water across from them, and it looked as red as blood. 23 Then they said, "This is blood! The kings must have fought and killed each other! Come, Moabites, let's take the valuables from the dead bodies!"
Now to recap for you quickly: The king of Israel from Samiria, Jorma, enlisted the aid of King Jehoshaphat and the King of Edom to help him wage war against Mesh the king of Moab. But after traveling for several days in the desert, they had run out of water. So the three kings went to see Elisha to seek help and wisdom from God. And this is where the passage I just shared with you picks up.
My first "sighting" in this passage is that the first thing Elisha did was to worship God. Before seeking God's counsel Elisha called first for a harp, and WHILE he was worshiping, God gave instruction to him. It makes me take a step back and wonder, how often do we miss out on God's counsel because we rushed in with "ok God...." and then leave again.
My second thought from this passage always makes me smile because we don't always see the hand of God, or what He is about to do, or even HOW or where His help is coming from- - it just seems to show up. Our part is simply to prepare for it.
My third finding and which lead to this whole devotional today is that; when God supplied and gave victory, His people saw a blessing and much needed water, and the faithfulness of God. The enemy however looked at the same thing and saw a bloodbath. One party saw the mighty act of God and was relieved, the other party saw death and destruction.
The passage goes on to talk about the victory the Israelites had over the moabites after the enemy army came out all cocky thinking they had won the battle. Isn't that how it always is though? It makes me think of the Cross. As Jesus hung up there dyeing, how many celebrated thinking they had won! From one view point Jesus on the cross looked like the death of all that God had promised-- but God saw it a different way, and it was soon shown to His people that what appeared to be a defeat was truly the greatest victory.
I am reminded of how people looked at me and spoke the whole, "oh I am so sorry..." when they heard about my divorce several years ago from my exhusband, but really I WASN'T sorry. What they perceived as a defeat wound up being a huge blessing to me, and God brought about so much good.
Have there been hardships, yes of course. But what outweighs them all is the work that God is doing.
A passage that has been on my heart for days now since reading 2 Kings 4, is that of 2 Cor. 2
Victory Through Christ
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's victory parade.
God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume.
Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among those
who are being saved and among those who are being lost.
To those who are lost, we are the smell of death that brings death,
but to those who are being saved, we are the smell of life that brings life.
(vs. 14-16 NCV)
It is the same as our leading verse from Isa. 66, God's people will see His strength, but His enemies will see something different. To those who are hungry and have a heart wanting to know God, we will be like something that smells sweet and full of life. But to those who despise us for our belief, we will carry a stench to them because we will smell like the death that consumes them.
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever been around people that no matter what you do, it just seems to set them off? Don't take offense, maybe it really is just your "perfume."
I was outside watering my Holly Hocks, that are growing wild in my front yard, before coming in to work on this devotional, and I was captivated by a bunch of bees flying around. Now what was interesting is that they were all over the Holly Hocks, but not on any of the bushes. I leaned down to smell one of the huge flowers on the Holly Hock-- and nothing. Though they are beautiful, I can't smell anything from them. But the bees can-- they smell the pollen that for them gives life. I guess it is a good thing I am not a bee,or I would be starving. I probably looked funny walking out among all the flowers, some of which are taller than I am, sniffing the different colored flowers. But still I couldn't detect anything but the bees flying around seemed so happy and full of life.
And it occurred to me, that this is how we as Christians appear to be to others who have not accepted Christ and are totally comfortable with the way they live, and have no desire for anything else. When they "smell us," they don't detect anything... but we are busy as bees and full of life. And then there are going to be those who are totally against our belief, and to them we are going to smell wretched.
To those being saved and we who have accepted Christ, will see God's movement like that of Israelites-- much needed water-- LIVING WATER. But to those who oppose us and look to our defeat, they will see what the enemy saw; death and destruction-- a bloodbath-- because those who seek God will see His faithfulness and victory, but those who curse Him and come against us will see something else.