Infalliable

 “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil…” Hebrews 6:19

This year, giving thanks for hope.

To learn (and to keep learning) that sometimes He doesn’t change the outward circumstance so that the inner life may grow. And inescapable pressure is sometimes the tool chosen to press us closer to Him, unto true freedom and inexplicable joy.

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“Do not tell me, that wrapped in His glory
He hears not my voice when I cry
Do not tell me, that wrapped in His glory
He hears not my voice when I cry…
If Jesus is my portion
Forever, I will know…
He made me, He loves me
He knows all my story
I shall look upon His face by and by…”
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Not After Empty Things

20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 

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21 And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. 
22 For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people. 
23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.
24 Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.
25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

1 Samuel 12:20-25

 

Matthew Henry’s comments
” Fear not; for, though God will frown upon his people, yet he will not forsake them (1 Sam. 12:22for his great name’s sake; do not you forsake him then.” Every transgression in the covenant, though it displease the Lord, yet does not throw us out of covenant, and therefore God’s just rebukes must not drive us from our hope in his mercy. The fixedness of God’s choice is owing to the freeness of it; we may therefore hope he will not forsake his people, because it has pleased him to make them his people. Had he chosen them for their good merits, we might fear he would cast them off for their bad merits; but, choosing them for his name’s sake, for his name’s sake he will not leave them.”
On Samuel and prayer
He comforts them with an assurance that he would continue his care and concern for them, 1 Sam. 12:23. They desired him to pray for them, 1 Sam. 12:19. He might have said, “Go to Saul, the king that you have put in my room,” and get him to pray for you; but so far is he from upbraiding them with their disrespect to him that he promised them much more than they asked.
(1.) They asked it of him as a favour; he promised it as a duty, and startles at the thought of neglecting it. Pray for you! says he, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in not doing it. Note, It is a sin against God not to pray for the Israel of God, especially for those of them that are under our charge: and good men are afraid of the guilt of omissions.
(2.) They asked him to pray for them at this time, and upon this occasion, but he promised to continue his prayers for them and to cease as long as he lived. Our rule is to pray without ceasing; we sin if we restrain prayer in general, and in particular if we cease praying for the church.
(3.) They asked him only to pray for them, but he promised to do more for them, not only to pray for them, but to teach them; though they were not willing to be under his government as a judge, he would not therefore deny them his instructions as a prophet. And they might be sure he would teach them no other than the good and the right way: and the right way is certainly the good way: the way of duty is the way of pleasure and profit.
On fearing the LORD
Fear not with a slavish fear,” but here, “Fear the Lord, with a filial fear.” As the fruit and evidence of this, serve him in the duties of religious worship and of a godly conversation, in truth and sincerity, and not in show and profession only, with your heart, and with all your heart, not dissembling, not dividing. And two things he urges by way of motive:

(1.) That they were bound in gratitude to serve God, considering what great things he had done for them, to engage them for ever to his service.

(2.) That they were bound in interest to serve him, considering what great things he would do against them if they should still do wickedly: “You shall be destroyed by the judgments of God, both you and your king whom you are so proud of and expect so much from, and who will be a blessing to you if you keep in with God.” Thus, as a faithful watchman, he gave them warning, and so delivered his own soul.

 

You asked me to let go but I thought I knew better
Afraid of surrender and what I don’t know
I’ve always had a plan but now I’m so weary
And I can’t see clearly, forgot who I am…
Can I speak honestly? I’ve still got some questions
Still fightin’ attention, I need some relief
No, I’m no Superman, this is my confession
Been learnin’ my lesson, help me understand
So won’t You make my eyes Your eyes
My ears Your ears, my tears Your tears
And won’t you make my hands Your hands
My feet Your feet, my dreams Your dreams

 

The Shoe.

“He was gifted with a powerful personality.
He was a most impressive man.
He was a mighty warrior—brave, brilliant, and even heroic.
It was clear to many that he was destined…[to lead].

[But] he killed and attempted to deliver…by his own means.
…[And he was] removed from people: shelved, sidelined, and silent.

 

The learning of Egypt was not sufficient to equip Moses for his life-work. He is taken to the solitudes of the wilderness. That is God’s college. All who have done the greatest work in the world have graduated there-Elijah at Horeb, Ezekiel at Chebar, Paul in Arabia, and John in Patmos. God’s workers may take their arts course in the universities, but must take their Divinity course alone with Him.
Often in the middle of daily duty we come on the outshining of his Presence.
Let us be on the outlook for it, and take off our shoes.
— F.B. Meyer

 

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“Moses was out of touch with God (in Egypt). So he fled, and crossed the desert that lay between him and the eastern frontier; threaded the mountain passes of the Sinaitic peninsula, through which in after years he was to lead his people; and at last sat wearily down by a well in the land of Midian . . . . and finally to the quiet life of a shepherd in the calm open spaces of that wonderful land, which, on more than one occasion, has served for a Divine school.
Such experiences come to us all. We rush forward, thinking to carry all before us; we strike a few blows in vain; we are staggered with disappointment, and reel back; we are afraid at the first breath of human disapprobation; we flee from the scenes of our discomfiture to hide ourselves in chagrin.
Then we are hidden in the secret of God’s presence from the pride of man. And there our vision clears: the silt drops from the current of our life, as from the Rhone in its passage through the deep waters of Geneva’s lake; our self-life dies down; our spirit drinks of the river of God, which is full of water; our faith begins to grasp his arm, and to be the channel for the manifestation of his power; and thus at last we emerge to be his hand to lead an Exodus.”
— F.B. Meyer

Moses didn’t choose to leave his lofty perch for the life of a lowly shepherd; his own ambition led to humiliation. Fortunately, the Lord used his humiliating experience to help the future leader gain humility. Big difference between being humiliated and becoming humble. God used Moses’ failure to mold one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.”

— C. Swindoll on Psalm 131

 

Fate
Holds nothing on the providence I know
No longer bound to things of wood and stone
When all I had to offer was my worst
You saw my heavy heart and loved me first
Your beauty staring down my brokenness
You chose to throw Your heart into the mess
Compassion crashing down upon my debt You were there
Grace
You saw the crushing weight my flesh deserved
You kneeled and wrote forgiveness in the dirt
And one by one the stones fell where they lay
As one by one my accusers walked away
With nothing left to throw they made a cross
And knowing only love could count the cost
You were there
All this time
Like a river running through my failure
You carried me all this time
Like the splinters buried in Your shoulders
Your love carried all my shame
Jesus how my soul will praise You
You carried me all this way

Faithful Trust

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” — Proverbs 22:6

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17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge;
18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
19 So that your trust may be in the LordI have instructed you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge,
21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?

— From Proverbs 22

Matthew Henry’s comments:
 The advantage designed us by them. The excellent things which God has written to us are not like the commands which the master gives his servant, which are all intended for the benefit of the master, but like those which the master gives his scholar, which are all intended for the benefit of the scholar. These things must be kept by us, for they are written to us, (1.) That we may have a confidence in him and communion with him. That thy trust may be in the LordProv. 22:19. We cannot trust in God except in the way of duty; we are therefore taught our duty, that we may have reason to trust in God. Nay, this is itself one great duty we are to learn, and a duty that is the foundation of all practical religion, to live a life of delight in God and dependence on him.

(2.) That we may have a satisfaction in our own judgment:That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mayest know what is truth, mayest plainly distinguish between it and falsehood, and mayest know upon what grounds thou receivest and believest the truths of God.”

Note, [1.] It is a desirable thing to know, not only the words of truth, but the certainty of them, that our faith may be intelligent and rational, and may grow up to a full assurance. [2.] The way to know the certainty of the words of truth is to make conscience of our duty; for, if any man do his will, he shall know for certain that the doctrine is of God, John 7:17.

(3.) That we may be useful and serviceable to others for their instruction:That thou mayest give a good account of the words of truth to those that send to thee to consult thee as an oracle,” or (as the margin reads it) “to those that send thee, that employ thee as an agent or ambassador in any business.” Knowledge is given us to do good with, that others may light their candle at our lamp, and that we may in our place serve our generation according to the will of God; and those who make conscience of keeping God’s commandments will be best able to give a reason of the hope that is in them.

 

“The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all.”
— Proverbs 22: 2

Matthew Henry:

“He make some poor, to exercise their patience, and contentment, and dependence upon God, and others rich, to exercise their thankfulness and beneficence. Even the poor we have always with us; they shall never cease out of the land, nor the rich neither.

2. Notwithstanding the distance that is in many respects between rich and poor, yet in most things they meet together, especially before the Lord, who is the Maker of them all, and regards not the rich more than the poorJob 34:19Rich and poor meet together at the bar of God’s justice, all guilty before God, concluded under sin, and shapen in iniquity, the rich as much as the poor; and they meet at the throne of God’s grace; the poor are as welcome there as the rich. There is the same Christ, the same scripture, the same Spirit, the same covenant of promises, for them both. There is the same heaven for poor saints that there is for rich: Lazarus is in the bosom of Abraham. And there is the same hell for rich sinners that there is for poor. All stand upon the same level before God, as they do also in the grave. The small and great are there.”

There in the stillness right from the start
You were the ember that lit the dark
Over the heavens and galaxies
God, You were there singing over me
There in the silence and mystery
You were the constant that stayed with me
Never a moment that You withdrew
God, You were there when I need You
I was never on my own
I was never far from home
I was always in Your arms
You were there, You were there…
Oh, my soul sings
You are faithful
You are faithful
To the end
Let my heart sing
Because You know me
And You love me
To the end