Their enemies oppressed them
and subjected them to their power.
Many times he delivered them,
but they were bent on rebellion
and they wasted away in their sin.
In much the same way that some beasts of burden react stubbornly to the instructions of their muleskinner, the human race is determined to resist the direction and guidance of God. Although God’s grace has always been there to favor humanity, men have rejected the authority of the Creator and have rebelled against him under the pretense of being masters of their lives. Those who act so do not know that every breath and every heartbeat depend on the wonderful life that God has given them and that they have no power or control whatsoever of these things. However, in open rebellion and victims of their own pride, these wicked beings have declared themselves independent and if this is something that is in their hands to do. For them the Lord has prepared various disciplinary actions but their pride and stubbornness prevent them from recognizing the majesty of God and his unparalleled love.
Let us not behave ourselves, God’s children, as those wicked rebels or stubborn beasts of burden who are opposed to any order or instruction they receive because they rather obey their own rebellious nature than their legitimate owner’s commands. Oftentimes we find ourselves under the oppression of the enemy because God is disciplining us and anytime we’re faced with adversity we must review ourselves internally to ensure that what is happening is not the result of our rebellion. Cry out to God for his compassion. His mercy is abundant and always available to rescue us from oppression. God is faithful and he will not forsake us.To God alone be the glory!
He let loose the east wind from the heavens
and by his power made the south wind blow.
He rained meat down on them like dust,
birds like sand on the seashore.
He made them come down inside their camp,
all around their tents.
Have you ever been trapped in a dust storm? Let me tell you that it is something unbelievable and suffocating. The air becomes unbreathable and visibility is virtually reduced to zero. The color of the sky turns red or ocher, a layer of sand is spread over every surface and there is no way to determine when the weather phenomenon will come to an end. Now imagine the same storm but this time instead of dust what falls to the ground are birds, not any kind of birds but tasty quail. Imagine also that the quail layer covering the surface has a thickness of about one meter (three feet), ie we would be flooded almost to the waist by a sea of birds. I am sure that if you find you in a similar situation the first thing that would cross your mind would be Gee, what good opportunity to stock up my kitchen with meat! And at no cost! I am also sure that you would not go long without starting to collect as much as possible of the feathered booty.
The scene described above came to pass to Israel when they were in the desert after having escaped miraculously and spectacularly from the clutches of the Egyptians. But what happened was not a fluke. There was a compelling reason in that the people complained bitterly that they had no meat to eat. So annoying was the complaint that a point was reached where Moses, the visible leader of this great escape asked God to take his life. God responded by sending them plenty of meat which the Israelites gathered eagerly to later receive a strong discipline from the Lord as a consequence of the greed of the rebel nation. Let’s be careful of what we wish and never complain about anything that we believe we need. If what we believe we need is really necessary, God will provide in abundance according to his grace and mercy. If what we think we need is just a trivial wish we could be exposed to a severe discipline from the Lord. Let us learn to live with contentment so we do not fall into the trap of consumerism and excess. To God alone be the glory!
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a miracle is a an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs. I love it when the Bible speaks of miracles, wonders and miracles. These interventions that God makes from time to time to exalt himself and show his power to both believers and unbelievers can not be explained from the standpoint of science or what we have so far been able to learn about natural laws. One of the first things that atheist activists attack is precisely the existence of miracles. They, in their eagerness to prove that God does not exist, they look for all kinds of interpretations to justify the wonderful facts within the principles established by science. Ultimately, when their explanations are rejected as preposterous and illogical they have no other recourse but to say that anything that has to do with miracles is simply the product of a collective hallucination that altered the perception of the witnesses of the portent. They do not realize that a miracle is present in them and those around them. None of the natural laws and principles which science has discovered can ever explain the miracle of life.
In any case, we must show compassion for atheists. It must be a terrible thing to stand in direct opposition to God’s plans. Creation is the best evidence of the existence of the Creator, so there is no excuse in saying that they never had the chance to believe. The blindness of atheists can only be healed by God himself if indeed they were interested in recovering their eyesight. Their proud heart prevents them from recognizing their mistake and from accepting the love that God offers to all. May the Lord have mercy on these poor souls. To God alone be the glory!
Your arm is endowed with power;
your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.
One of the biggest obstacles that keep us from walking close to God is our short attention span. The attention span of a person is the ability that someone has to keep his concentration on one task or stimulus, without being distracted by other people or things in their environment. According to studies conducted by psychologists the ability to focus on a target is necessary for learning and for successfully completing any project. We joke about the very short attention span of a child or a dog without realizing that we also have serious limitations in this respect. The world constantly bombards us with many messages and almost all of them are successful in diverting our attention from where it should be focused, which is pleasing our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. In a world where the use of mass media is intensifying every day is easy to lose focus on the things of God. The number of things that are competing to capture our attention, even for brief moments, it’s phenomenal. For the advertising folks is not so important how long they can grasp our concentration as long as they can secure it repeatedly throughout the day. Not surprisingly then, the indiscriminate bombardment of messages we receive minute by minute of our existence.
The solution is not that we move to the opposite end of the pendulum and we spend all day reading the word, in prayer and fasting. The extremes can never be good. We must strike a balance between the attention we devote to the things that keep us connected to God, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and our daily activities related to our work and family environments. However, the fact that we spend most of our attention and time on activities that are not spiritual does not mean we should not take every thought captive to Christ because everything we say, think and do must be related to our obedience to God. Let God be the center of our life in action and thought to keep us in a constant attitude of praise to his name regardless of what activity we are doing. Never lose sight of the purpose for which we were created, the glory of God. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged arm, Christianity, exalted, God, hand, hope, Jesus, justice, life, love, obedience, power, Psalms, right hand, righteousness, strenght, wisdom
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
We can find in the word of God many expressions that compare our daily lives with a continuous war. Certainly we are involved day by day in adverse situations that are the result of attacks by some of our enemies, including our own flesh or sinful nature. Our families are under heavy artillery fire whose sole purpose is to divide us and make us fight against each other. We are in a field of a battle that fortunately belongs to the Lord and by definition the war is already won. But even though our enemies have been defeated they will not acknowledge it and they will continue attacking all those who are on the Lord’s side as long as God permits. Many may wonder why the Lord does not put an end to this long conflict that has affected humanity since the time of our first fathers. Both the duration and troop involvement in the conflict are part of God’s perfect plan and hostilities will end only when God is satisfied that his plan has been carried out and his goals have been achieved. Meanwhile, as soldiers in this fight, the Lord prepares us and empowers us so we can struggle and emerge unscathed from the encounter.
Among many other things that God confers us to go into battle with are: strength, security, swiftness, steadfastness training, and power as King David says in this portion of Psalm 18. All these features allow us to address the conflict with a reassuring sense of confidence, not based on our own strength but based on the strength that comes from God. If we know that we have these skills and we apply them in the battlefield, our spiritual progress will be solid and permanent as that of seasoned warriors. Thank God that the battle belongs to him and we are part of the victorious army. Thank God that He enables us so we can prevail over the many conflicts in which we will be involved on a daily basis until the Lord announces with the hammered silver trumpets that the final victory has been achieved. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged battle, Christianity, conflict, enemies, faith, God, hope, Jesus, life, love, power, Psalms, salvation, security, sinful nature, spirituality, steadfastness, strenght, swiftness, training, truth, war, wisdom