"Wait on the Lord."
It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before him; tell him your difficulty, and plead his promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if he keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet he will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, "Now, Lord, not my will, but thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for thee in the full conviction that thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower."
"Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed."
"I have seen his ways, and will heal him."
It is the sole prerogative of God to remove spiritual disease. Natural disease may be instrumentally healed by men, but even then the honour is to be given to God who giveth virtue unto medicine, and bestoweth power unto the human frame to cast off disease. As for spiritual sicknesses, these remain with the great Physician alone; he claims it as his prerogative, "I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal;" and one of the Lord's choice titles is Jehovah-Rophi, the Lord that healeth thee. "I will heal thee of thy wounds," is a promise which could not come from the lip of man, but only from the mouth of the eternal God. On this account the psalmist cried unto the Lord, "O Lord, heal me, for my bones are sore vexed," and again, "Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee." For this, also, the godly praise the name of the Lord, saying, "He healeth all our diseases." He who made man can restore man; he who was at first the creator of our nature can new create it. What a transcendent comfort it is that in the person of Jesus "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily!" My soul, whatever thy disease may be, this great Physician can heal thee. If he be God, there can be no limit to his power. Come then with the blind eye of darkened understanding, come with the limping foot of wasted energy, come with the maimed hand of weak faith, the fever of an angry temper, or the ague of shivering despondency, come just as thou art, for he who is God can certainly restore thee of thy plague. None shall restrain the healing virtue which proceeds from Jesus our Lord. Legions of devils have been made to own the power of the beloved Physician, and never once has he been baffled. All his patients have been cured in the past and shall be in the future, and thou shalt be one among them, my friend, if thou wilt but rest thyself in him this night.
Today's reading: Psalm 129-131, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 129-131
A song of ascents.
1 "They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,"
let Israel say;
2 "they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained the victory over me.
3 Plowmen have plowed my back
and made their furrows long.
4 But the LORD is righteous;
he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked."
5 May all who hate Zion
be turned back in shame.
6 May they be like grass on the roof,
which withers before it can grow;
7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
nor one who gathers fill his arms.
8 May those who pass by not say to them,
"The blessing of the LORD be on you;
we bless you in the name of the LORD."
Today's New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 11:1-161 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
On Covering the Head in Worship
2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head-it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head....
[Ăbĭn'adăb] - father or source of liberality.
- An Israelite of the tribe of Judah in whose house the Ark rested after its return by the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:1; 2 Sam. 6:3, 4; 1 Chron. 13:7).
- The second son of Jesse, the father of David (1 Sam. 16:8; 17:13; 1 Chron. 2:13).
- A son of King Saul ( 1 Sam. 31:2; 1 Chron. 8:33; 9:39; 10:2). He was slain along with his father and his brother Jonathan at Gilboa.
- The father of one of Solomon's officers (1 Kings 4:11).
DO NOT WORRY
Here’s a word from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that we would do well to ponder within the first waking hour of every day: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.” It doesn’t get any more practical than that. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made some of the preeminent statements in Scripture about the providence of God. He was addressing one of the universal pressing questions we all ask: Who is going to take care of me?
“Your heavenly Father knows you need them,” so don’t get caught in the rat race or, we might say, the pagan chase (“the pagans run after all these things”). There is a better alternative, in other words, to living a life of hoarding. As someone said, the problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. Our security does not come from the bank statement telling us how much we’ve saved up, or from the number of suits in the closet. Food in the pantry is a good thing. But no matter how much any of us have to eat or drink or wear or drive or shelve, we will never know security until we see the face of providence: the God who clothes the lilies of the field and who tends to the birds of the air. And he knows. He knows what we have and what we need. He knows those days when we have less than we think we need, too.
Sparrows fly, but they also fall. But not one of them falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father (Matthew 10:29). This year may be a time for any of us to feed and fly and travel far, or it may be the year of a broken wing-or that final plummet. And that is where providence figures in more powerfully than anywhere else.
The fact of pain and loss and even overt evil does not nullify the reality of providence. While we try to explain the dark, the greater reality will always be the light. The only reasonable explanation for the way things work is that the Creator of all things keeps it all going day by day.
There are a thousand things that could go wrong with my body right now, but at the moment it seems to be working just fine. My breakfast if being converted from fuel to energy and the oxygen my lungs are sucking in is making bluish blood turn red and rich. My brain is sending thousands of commands a second, and my heart muscle is relentlessly contracting like a fist, pushing lifeblood to every external and internal cell. I’m not amazed that I can so easily get sick or injured. I’m astonished that my body works as well as it does. And there is only one explanation: a continual divine care.
Hearts don’t always work right, and sooner or later they all stop. Some pregnancies end in miscarriage. At the moment there are at least a dozen wars going on in the world. There are crimes against property and person, and unspeakable things that go on behind closed doors. But the incidents where things don’t work well are set against the backdrop of so many healthy days, and good relationships and proper exchanges. Generosity, forgiveness, forbearance, support, patience, kindness: these are among the many gifts given every day. And there is only one explanation for this: a divine governance.
The proof of providence is the fact that it never stops raining permanently, living things keep growing, and the human race keeps reaching out for hope and life. In so many ways the creation keeps asserting itself. It is irrepressibly alive, even though pieces of it keep dying. But more importantly, the Creator keeps asserting himself. God keeps saying, I’ve made what I’ve made. And I will keep it going and growing, and recreate when I need to.
Excerpt from Putting the Pieces Back Together: How Real Life and Real Faith Connect. Complimentary DVDavailable now.