Week 6 - Essential 100

June 3, 2016

Week 6 - Essential 100

Hello Everyone!

I wrote a Blog post on Wednesday, but guess what?  It was deleted and I LOST it.  It was my own fault.  I did not hit save, and it went "bye bye".  Anyway, I have written another one here but it's a day late.  Sorry!  Perhaps God didn't like my original Blog and saw that I needed to write another one.  He is in control, even in human wanderings, sin and flat-out mistakes.  THAT is something we really do see clearly in this past week's readings.  Along with the first recorded instance of a "maternity test" in human history (1 Kings 3:16-28).

ONWARD AND UPWARD

in 1st Samuel 16:7 God makes a statement about how He does business.  God does not look at the things ALL OF US look at.  God does not consider external appearances at all.  "But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  This is a quality that is true of God alone, but can also become MORE TRUE of people who grow in spiritual maturity.  We write people off and dismiss them consciously and subconsciously based on externals all of the time.  God looks at the heart.   

So what kind of heart is God looking for?  A heart like that of King David whom God described as "...a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22).  Look how David conducted himself as King Saul was trying to kill him.  In 1st Samuel 24:3-7 David has such reverence for God's anointed (King Saul) that even though God was in the process of rejecting King Saul, David still revered him not for his performance, but because God had anointed him as King.  This action expresses David's heart towards God.  He was a humble man who respected God and his ways, understood God, and would do whatever God wanted Him to do as that Acts 13:22 passage says. 

And when David became King, look how he did business.  Most of us ask God for wisdom, then when we think we've received that wisdom, PLOW FORWARD.  David inquired of God as each step what he was to do.  In 2 Samuel 5:19 "so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”  God said yes, so David went forward but when faced with another obstacle, once again he inquired of The Lord "; "23 so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees." 

David was a man after God's own heart who would do whatever God wanted Him to do.  David believed in God.  The Goliath stand-off is very reminiscent of many other stories we have read of people who pleased God greatly by doing what He asked of them against all odds (faith).  This week we read about Elijah at Mt. Carmel who stood for God against all odds against the prophets of Baal with a WATER SOAKED sacrifice.  In past weeks we read about Gideon defeating an army by smashing jars and shouting, we read of Joshua taking Canaan by marching around the city walls and blowing trumpets, we saw The Israelites crossing the Red Sea on dry land.  These are all similar stories about leaders and people who pleased God and would do whatever He said.  These are people after God's own heart.  These are people who believed God.  God told them to stack the deck against themselves, and then HE CAME THROUGH.  God put them in situations where they would definitely fail if not for divine intervention, and God did not fail them.  These people ALL had terrible flaws.  Moses' lack of faith and unwillingness to do what God said without about two hours of coaxing. Samson's selfish/evil ways, David's affair/murder of Uriah.  BUT God used them all, and God considered David to be a man after his own heart more so than all of the others.  And from the line of David came Jesus who fulfilled God's law perfectly so that all who look to Jesus' righteousness HAVE His righteousness on them.  Through Jesus, we who were once far away are now drawn close.  Through Jesus, we please God.  Now that we've been given this great gift in Christ, we need to all grow into a people who are after God's own heart; a people who will do whatever God asks of them no matter how high the odds are stacked against them; a people of FAITH.

PLEASE READ Acts 13:16-41.  In this short passage, Paul RE-CAPS everything we have read so far in the Essential 100, and places it all in the context of what Jesus Christ means for all of us in light of all God has done in the past.  This is really helpful for you to understand as a Christ follower living under the New Covenant that God established in Christ over 2,000 years ago.  Grace is a BIG deal for us.  It changes everything.  Praise God.