This week in 101 Wednesdays, we studied the life of King David. From his childhood, to his encounter with Goliath, to his prolific song writing.
In answering the first homework question, my mind went straight to the election. The prophet Samuel goes on God's direction to find the new king. He assumes one of David's older, more handsome brothers is the choice God has made. But God tells Samuel, "I have rejected him. Man looks at the outside appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." The question read: How do you observe this same truth at work in our world today?
It made me think of how we evaluate those who are vying to be our nation's leaders. We often judge their outward appearance, perhaps because it is so hard to evaluate their hearts. We have become skeptical of all politicians, haven't we? Dishonesty is so rampant that we are left to resort to more superficial criteria when making a choice.
I was also reminded that even though we cannot see their hearts, the Lord most certainly can. And does. I'm SO THANKFUL for that, aren't you? I trust that God knows what He's doing in the upcoming election, and while I will step in and cast my votes, I can pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven regardless of my limited understanding of what's best for our country.
Did you get a chance to flip through the book of Psalms and notice how many David has written? (It says "A Psalm of David" at the top of those he wrote.) And they are not just poems, you know. They are songs. He was a great musician. I love how his songs speak to so many different emotions and experiences. So many were clearly written in his pain and questioning, and yet so many were written full of joy in his victories. There may be a Psalm for every occasion to encourage us on our journeys too.
Well, this week, we wrap up the Old Testament in the Jesus Storybook Bible. I'm so excited about these next stories. The first one, on Namaan's healing, was the story on which Beth Moore spent our whole weekend teaching when I saw her a couple weeks ago in Long Beach. (I still need to share with you some more goodness about that weekend!)
For now, here is the homework for the week. Sorry I'm a few days late getting it up!
Chapters 17-21, to page 175
Jesus Storybook Bible
1. Read 2 Kings 5:10. What EXACTLY did Elisha the prophet tell Namaan to do? Think about that. Now, WHY would God require this seemingly unnecessary repetition when we know He could have healed Namaan with one dip in the water? As a reader of this story hundreds of years later, what does this tell you about the relationship between repetition and healing?
2. The next chapter we learn about talks about Isaiah the prophet. There were many prophets, but Isaiah is my favorite. Some of the chapters contain my favorite passages in the whole Bible. Read Isaiah chapters 40 and 41 in your spare time on a quiet morning or evening. You may recognize many famous verses in those chapters. Write down a few that speak to you personally.
3. Daniel is another very long and complex book of prophecy. But it also includes the wonderful story of his time in the lions’ den. What is one lesson we can learn from this story when we are persecuted for our faith?
4. Next we come to poor, rebellious little Jonah. Share at least one of the following:
• A time when you knew the obedient choice, but went the other way
• A time when you felt angry and unforgiving to someone who didn’t deserve forgiveness
• A time when God saved you from worse consequences than you deserved
5. Knowing God’s standards is meant to bring conviction which leads to repentance and receiving forgiveness. But often, we take it a step further and let in guilt. Guilt is NEVER God’s plan for us. Guilt keeps us stuck and sorry, instead of joyful and hopeful that we are forgiven and have the power to change. Take a minute to pray, like God’s people did in Nehemiah chapter 9. Confess your tendency to wallow in guilt and forget about God’s huge love and forgiveness. Ask Him to teach you the healthy way to deal with your mistakes, and tell Him about your desire to follow Him.
Labels: 101 Wednesdays