Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Talk Tuesday-In Pursuit of His Heart

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt and settled in the promised land of Canaan, GOD gave them judges to rule over the land for a period of about 150 yrs., until the arrival of Samuel the prophet. The people asked the LORD for a king, to be like the nations that surrounded them. First, He appointed Saul, the son of Kish, as King over Israel. Yet, his heart was prone to follow after the wishes of the people more than after GOD's will. In the end he was deposed because of disobedience. Samuel says to Saul: "But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you." 1 Samuel 13:14

When God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint the new King of Israel, the prophet found several of David's brothers who were stronger, taller, more handsome and more regal in physical appearance. Yet the LORD instructed Samuel, saying: "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart," 1 Samuel 16:7. Of David, son of Jesse, tribe of Judah, God says, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will" Acts 13:22.

Whenever you read though the book of Kings and Chronicles in the Bible, you will find a common description preceding the various kings, 'And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of his father David' (i.e. 2 Kings 22:2) or 'And he did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD, as his father David had done' (i.e. 2 Chronicles 28:1).

King David was not a perfect, sinless man. Yet he was a man after God's own heart. I love the LORD. When I think of all the things He has done for Andrew and me, tears of gratitude often spill down my cheeks. David says, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?' Psalm 8:3-4. I know many of us can attest to the goodness and faithfulness of the LORD-unmerited love, mercy and grace. In honour of all that He is, why not live in pursuit of His heart? What a great honour to hear it said that we were a people after God's own heart!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Talk Tuesday-God Is Not A Man That He Should Lie

"God is not man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19

This morning I was reminded of this truth in such a profound way, as I looked back at the most difficult moments of my life and reflected on the promises of God. I began to weep as I realized that God kept each and every single promise He made to me. Each one seemed impossible at the time, and my situation seemed immovable. Yet, by His grace and mercy, I chose to believe and each time, the victory He promised came to pass. In some cases it took years, in others months. I have come to the realization that if you do not persevere through the valley, you will not be able to climb unto the mountaintop. The view from up there is quite stunning. You gain such an appreciation for the wisdom, faithfulness, love and mercy of God.

In Exodus 3, God met with Moses at the burning bush on Mount Horeb and told him that not only would He deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, but that He would take them to 'a land flowing with milk and honey'. During their journey, they stumbled, fell, experienced opposition and became captives of their own doubt...yet God's promises remained true.

Right before crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land, they faced Balak King of Moab, who feared them greatly for they had just defeated Og King of Bashan and Sihon King of the Amorites. Balak commissioned Balaam son of Beor to curse the Israelites (Numbers 22). God appeared to Balaam on behalf of the children of Israel and forbade him to do anything but pronounce blessings upon His people. When King Balak became frustrated, Balaam could only reply, "God is not man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot change it," Numbers 23:20.

God kept His promise to Israel. They entered the Promised Land. He kept His promise to me. He will keep His promise to you. We have to continue to trust Him. Do I still struggle with doubt? Yes. Do I still struggle with fear? Yes. Do I often feel discouraged when I can't see the promise on the horizon? Yes. Yet, God IS NOT a man, that HE should lie. Hold on to Him, cling to the promises in His Word, wait patiently for Him, and remember He has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5