Whereas God promised to withdraw His love from the northern kingdom of
Israel (Hos. 1:6), He promised to keep His love for the southern kingdom
of Judah (Hos. 1:7). Why? Is God inconsistent in His being and activity?
The answer is no. At this time, Judah’s time to face God’s
wrath was not yet ripe (see 2 Kgs. 17:18-19). Its cup was not yet full.
Later, however, Judah refused to repent, God’s love for her was
also withdrawn, and she was sent into captivity (see Jer. 9:12-16; Jer.
52:27). God’s patience does not invalidate His justice (see 2 Pet.
3:8-10). His patience with the sinner is to encourage him to repent (2
Pet. 3:9). Therefore, God’s love is not irrevocable or eternal
for those who refuse to acknowledge and serve Him only (see Jn. 3:18,
36). It is irrevocable for those who acknowledge and serve Him only.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to acknowledge
and serve you only.
2. Father, please thank you for your unfailing love.
The Lord fights for His own children
The Lord promised Joshua to give the five kings of the Amorites who
joined forces to fight against Gibeon for making a treaty of peace
into his hands (Jos. 10:1-8). The Lord personally took part in the battle
to ensure that His word to Joshua came to pass (Jos. 10:10-11). He threw
the armies of the five kings into confusion and hurled large hailstones
down on them from the sky (Jos. 10:10-11). According to the Scripture,
more of the Amorites died from the Lord’s own weapon than from
the swords of the Israelites (Jos. 10:11). It was because the Lord fought
for Israel that they had the victory (Jos. 10:14, 42). The point is made
here again that the Lord fights for His children (see Exod. 14:13-14;
2 Chron. 20:14-17; Jos. 10:14, 42), and that He is the one who gives
us victory over our enemies, not our weapons (see Ps. 44:1-8; 1 Sam.
17:47). Our battles are indeed His battles (see 1 Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron.
20:14-17). We do not have to fight our battles (Exod. 14:13-14; 2 Chron.
20:14-17). As He fought for the Israelites against the Amorites, He will
fight for us today against our enemies (Jos. 10:14, 42; Exod. 14:13-14;
2 Chron. 20:14-17). All we need to do is to leave all our battles for
Him to fight them for us and give us the victory (Exod. 14:13-14; 2 Chron.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please fight all my battles for
2. Father, please enable me to entrust all my battles to you.
The Lord’s whereabout
This passage answers the question of the Lord’s whereabout. According
to it, the Lord is on is heavenly throne (Ps. 11:4). There is a heavenly
throne, and the Lord alone is seated on it (Ps. 11:4). He is seated on
it continually. There is no time when He is not seated on His throne.
This is the constant teaching of Scripture (Ps. 47:8; Is. 6:1). This
means that He alone is King and He alone reigns over all of His creation
(see Ps. 44:7-8). It also means no act escapes His attention (see Ps.
11:4-5). There is no throne but His own, and no one sits on His throne
except Him. While Satan roams about (cf. 1 Pet. 5:8), the Lord remains
seated on His throne (Is. 6:1). Since His throne is the only throne and
He alone is seated on it, everything and everyone is subject to Him,
including Satan. Anyone who seeks can find Him always seated on His throne.
He never abdicates His throne or responsibility. He alone is in charge
of all creation. There is no rival or equal to Him.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please show in my life that you
alone are seated on the throne.
2. Father, please let all creation be subject to you completely.
The Lord listens to His children
Joshua asked the Lord for the sun to stand still over Gibeon and the
moon over Aijalon to enable him and the Israelites to complete their
campaign against the five kings of the Amorites who had joined forces
to fight against Gibeon for making a treaty of peace with Israel, and
the Lord listened to Joshua (Jos. 10:12-13). Joshua 10:14 does not
mean that the Lord has never listened to anyone else before or after
but that Joshua’s case lacked an equal or a comparison. God always
listens to His children. He listened to Moses (Exod. 8:12-13, 29-31).
He listened to Hannah (1 Sam. 1:9-20). He listened to Elijah (1 Kgs.
17:1-6; Jam. 5:17-18). He listened to the psalmist (Ps. 18:3-6). He listened
to Zechariah (Lk. 1:8-17). He listened to His only begotten Son (Jn.
11:41-44). He listened to Peter (Acts 3:1-10; Acts 9:32-42). He listened
to Paul (Acts 28:2-9). He has even invited us to ask of Him and has promised
to hear us when we do so (Matt. 7:7-11; Rom. 8:32; Phil. 4:6, 19). It
is our duty to ask of Him as He has told us (Matt. 7:7-11). But we must
ask with faith (see Matt. 9:22, 28,29; Jn. 11:40). Unbelief deprives
us of His answers to our requests (Matt. 13:58).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please teach me to pray.
2. Father, please hear and answer me when I call upon you.
Ps. 136: 1-26
God is worthy of our thanksgiving
Here the psalmist is not only giving thanks to God, he is exhorting others
to do the same (Ps. 136:1-26). The reason for the thanksgiving is well
stated. God alone is God (Ps. 136:1-3). He alone made the heavens,
the earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars (Ps. 136:5-9). He delivered His
children from all their enemies and settled them on their inheritance
(Ps. 136:10-24). He provides for every creature (Ps. 136:25). He is
(Ps. 136:1). He is the God of heaven (Ps. 136:26). For all this He
is wholly worthy of our thanksgiving. We are all beneficiaries of His power
and goodness. Therefore, it is indeed good to give thanks to Him (see
Ps. 100:4; 1 Thess. 5:18). It is not proper for believers not to give
thanks to God. Rather it is God’s will for believers to give thanks
to Him (see 1 Thess. 5:18). No circumstances must be allowed to prevent
giving thanks to God (1 Thess. 5:18). It amounts to sin not to give thanks
to God (cf. Rom. 1:21). Therefore, as the psalmist has done and is exhorting
us to do, let us give thanks to God (Ps. 136:26).
PRAYER: 1. Father, thank you for all your acts of
power and goodness for me.
2. Father, please give me the spirit of thanksgiving.
2 Thess. 1:6-7
The time of God’s relief for His suffering children
Suffering believers are often anxious about the time of their relief
(cf. Rev. 6:9-11). Here Paul assures the Thessalonians believers that
their relief from persecutions and trials will come when Jesus Christ
returns (2 Thess. 1:6-7).
This does not mean that God will abandon them in their suffering until
Jesus returns. The Lord never abandons His persecuted and afflicted
children (see 2 Cor. 4:8-9; cf. Acts 18:9-12). What Paul means is that
of God’s relief will come to the suffering Thessalonians at the
return of Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:6-7). This promise applies not only
to the Thessalonians believers but to every persecuted and afflicted
believer. There will indeed be full relief for all suffering believers
when Jesus returns (2 Thess. 1:6-7). The call to endure suffering is
an indication that God’s relief may not come to suffering believers
in its fullness now (cf. 1 Cor. 4:11-13; 2 Tim. 2:3; Heb. 12:7-11). But
all suffering believers will experience full relief when Jesus Christ
returns (2 Thess. 1:6-7; Rev. 21:1-5). This should encourage believers
to endure suffering and not to give up their faith on account of it.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to endure all
suffering to the end.
2. Father, please keep me in time of suffering.
We must praise God with all our heart
Here the psalmist resolves not only to praise God, but also how to
do so (Ps. 138:1). According to him, he will praise God with all his
(Ps. 138:1). This means that even before the “gods”, he will
praise Him alone (Ps. 138:1). This is how we must praise Him with all
our heart (Ps. 138:1). This is the kind of praise that the Lord requires
and deserves (see Deut. 6:5). Anything that we do for Him half-hearted
is neither acceptable to Him nor worthy of Him (see Duet. 6:5; Is. 29:13-14).
There is indeed no God but Him (Ps. 18:31). To praise anyone else along
with Him or in addition to Him is not to praise Him at all. Even in the
prevalence of so-called gods, like the psalmist, we must praise Him alone.
PRAYER: 1. Father, praise be unto you alone.
2. Father, please make me a man of praise.