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DIVINE REJECTION
Psalm 60


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The feeling of being rejected by God can tempt us to look around for better options. When it seems like God does not care about us or has forgotten about us or worse has actually set Himself against, we can find ourselves in search of other comforts. ‘Maybe we have been wrong about God’s goodness or God’s sovereignty,’ we might think. ‘Maybe we were foolish to think that He would always satisfy. Maybe we should look for joy elsewhere.’ Our Christian friends will remind us: ‘God will never leave us or forsake us.’ But is that true? It sure seems like God does forsake us at times. So which is it? The truth is, the Bible teaches that God will ultimately never forsake His people. He is committed to saving His people and dwelling with them forever. Yet, that does not mean that there will not be times of ‘temporary forsaking’ or ‘divine rejection.’ The people of Israel experienced this on several occasions. Job faced this in His trials. And we see David going through this as well in Psalm 60 (and other psalms).

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 August 2016 )
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Psalm 59: The God Who Laughs Print E-mail

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My family has enjoyed watching the Summer Olympics in Rio this year. We sat amazed on Thursday night watching Michael Phelps win another gold as an olympic swimmer. He is impressive. He has won like twenty-five gold medals and few of those other kind when he was only fifteen. He is so dominant in the pool. In fact, I doubt there will be another athlete in my lifetime that is so dominant in his/her sport. He is just that good. But you know, I started swimming this year. As I talked about a few weeks ago, I go swim laps three maybe four times a week. I even invested in some goggles ($10 at the front desk of the YMCA). So as good as Phelps may be, I think I could take him. He doesn’t scare me. Sure, he’s a foot taller than me and has been swimming his whole life and is probably the greatest swimmer of all time, but I could take him. Just give me a shot and he would go down!

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 August 2016 )
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Psalm 58: A Prayer to the Just Judge Print E-mail

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Let me begin with a completely hypothetical situation: what if the leaders in our country were wicked people? What if the president was wicked? And the members of congress were wicked? And the judges on the Supreme Court were wicked? What if it didn’t stop at the national level? What if our governor was wicked and our mayor and our town council? What if the entire government was wicked? At this point in this election year, it might not be too hard for us to imagine such a possibility. Many fear that such will be the case beginning in January of next year regardless of which party’s candidate is elected in November. Truth is, that could be the case. We are not promised just rulers and ‘good men in the White House.’ In fact, the history of the world actually testifies against such an idea. The vast majority of kings and leaders have been wicked.

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 August 2016 )
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Esther 8-10: The Great Reversal Print E-mail

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Most people love a great plot twist. We love it when it is looking like the heroes are not going to win in the end and all will be lost, when out of nowhere their deliverance comes and they all live happily ever after. Life doesn’t always work out like that here in the real world, but we do it enjoy it when the circumstances change dramatically for the good and the bad guys are defeated. We are wired to appreciate such reversals of fortune. Remember the Rocky movies? I remember going and seeing Rocky IV (I believe) in the theater, the one where Rocky fights the Russian who had killed his best friend in the ring at the beginning of the movie. When the final fight begins, Rocky gets pummelled for the first few rounds. Yet, it seems like that is his plan. He is trying to wear the Russian down. And then, he finally decides to throw a real punch and it lands right on the jaw of his opponent. People in the theater stood up and cheered. The makers of the film really caught the power of the great reversal.

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 August 2016 )
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Esther 3-7: Of Plans and Providence Print E-mail

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The best laid plans of men are never guaranteed success. Generals lose battles because of rain. Teams lose games because of injury. Businesses go broke because of new technology. Perhaps it could be argued that in each of these situations there should have been a proper backup plan. But even those fail. There aren’t enough backup plans to account for everything that could possibly happen. Granted good plans can (and often do) produce good results, but there is no guarantee. Why? Because men are finite beings. We don’t know the future. We don’t know how things are going to play out. We don’t know what the next hour will bring, much less the next day or week or year. Our plans are always limited by our lack of knowledge and understanding.

Last Updated ( Monday, 25 July 2016 )
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Esther 1-2: A Plan for Favor Print E-mail

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Living in exile in a foreign land would be difficult. It would be hard to have no say in the government. It would be hard to adapt to a foreign culture. It would be hard to never really feel safe. Yet, many have faced such a life. In fact, we see several people facing such circumstances in the Bible. When Ruth left Moab to return to Bethlehem with Naomi, she was an exile living in a foreign land. Daniel and his friends were exiles in Babylon. John was exiled on the island of Patmos when he wrote the book of Revelation. The idea of being an exile in a foreign land is not foreign to the Bible. The characters in the book of Esther are living in exile. Many Jews had been living in exile for over a hundred years. In fact, many had been born in exile and so it was all that they knew. But that did not mean that life was easy. As we will see, these Jewish exiles faced difficult challenges living under foreign rule. So much so that they may have been tempted to question if God still had a plan for Israel. Maybe God had forsaken His people for good. Maybe exile was all that they would ever know.

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 July 2016 )
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