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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

When a Woman meets Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valcárcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

Available at:
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Christianbooks.com

 

Devotional Week 41 Wednesday

 

“For God Who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts so as to beam forth the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God as it is manifest in the Person and as revealed in the face of Jesus Christ the Messiah.”

II Corinthians 4: 6

Amplified Bible

“The circumstances of our lives are not unmeaning, but infinitely otherwise; but this we very often do not see for want of vision. High as heaven and wide as the earth is the atmosphere of holy opportunity in which our souls have their being. Is it not felt? Then it is only because it is not wished.”

William Mountford

Today’s Study Text:

“And a great famine came to Samaria. They besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a kab of dove’s dung (a wild vegetable) for five shekels of silver. As the king  of Israel was passing by upon the wall, a woman cried to him, ‘Help, my lord, O king!’ He said, ‘No, let the Lord help you. From where can I get you help? Out of the threshing floor, or out of the winepress.’”

II Kings 6: 25-27

Amplified Bible

“God Will Take Care of You” – Part 3

“Who Will come to Your Rescue?”

“Creatures are helpless things without God.”

Matthew Henry

Have I ever chosen to trust in “human” power rather than trust in God?

What was the result in my own life when I chose to misplace my trust in the things and people of this world?

“‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the Lord, who take counsel and carry out a plan, but not Mine; and who make a league and pour out a drink offering, but not of My Spirit, thus adding sin to sin.”

Isaiah 30: 1

Amplified Bible

 

“Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God. They are bowed down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright. O Lord, give victory, let the King answer us when we call.”

Psalm 20: 7-9

Amplified Bible

            For all of you who regularly read the daily devotionals which I post or email here in Transformation Garden, you are well aware that we have come upon specific passages in the Bible which are simply put – gruesome. One story that immediately comes to my mind as I mentally review our journey from Genesis 1 up to II Kings 6, is the experience of the Levite’s concubine. I thought this horrific record could not be topped but I was wrong. II Kings 6 is even worse. The fact is that I admitted to you, when we were studying the tragic story of the Levite’s “wife,” that I almost skipped those verses but I didn’t because of the words of the Apostle Paul to his son in Christ Timothy: “Every Scripture is God-breathed (give by inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, and for training in righteousness in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action” (II Timothy 3: 16, Amplified Bible).

            The Apostle Paul is all-inclusive when he instructs young Timothy that the entire Bible was recorded for our benefit. We are not just taught the will of God but we are also shown, sometimes in vivid detail, what happens when we leave God’s track laid out for our protection.

            Over the coming days, as we study regarding the ways God takes care of us, we are going to see that when we, as God’s children, intentionally walk away from heaven’s plan and strike out on a path of our own creation, often times the unthinkable happens.

            So I encourage you to come along with me as our journey is going to take us through some barren and bitter territory. Yet, praise God, He doesn’t let His children go. Yes, they may suffer affliction when they leave His care, but oh how thankful I am, God just won’t give up on us. He keeps on our trail, doing everything possible to bring us back under the shelter of His wings if we will let Him.

            Our study text today begins with a weather report. There was a terrible famine in Samaria. This is how Bible commentator Matthew Henry describes the situation: “The country (of Israel), we may suppose, was plundered and laid waste when the capital city (Samaria) was brought to the last extremity. The dearth which had of late been in the land was probably the occasion of the emptiness of their stores, or the siege was so sudden that the people had not time to lay in provisions; so that, while the sword devoured without, the famine within was more grievous for it should seem, the Syrians designed not to storm the city, but to starve it. So great was the scarcity that an ass’s head, that has but little flesh on it and that was an unsavory, unwholesome, and ceremonially unclean piece of meat, was sold for five pounds, and a small quantity of fitches or lentils, which were called dove’s dung, no more of it than the quantity of six eggs, sold for five pieces of silver…see how contemptible money is, when, in times of famine, it is so freely parted with for any thing that is eatable.”

            With empty stomachs throughout the city, the king, we are told, went out to walk on the wall, potentially seeing for himself how really bad things had gotten. It was during his stroll when he came upon a woman, a mother, who cried out, “Help me, my king.” And here’s what the king replied, “No let God help you. Where do you think I can go for help? Do I go out to a barren, dry, field? Do I go to a winepress with no grapes?”

            Interestingly, this king, who was actually the ruler of God’s children, happened to be the son of Jezebel. Here’s what the Bible tells us: “See how this son of Jezebel, a murderer is sending to remove my head?” These words were spoken by none other than God’s prophet Elisha who was threatened by the king. Why? Because the king knew full well that he was out-of-line and doing his own thing before the God of heaven and earth. And since Elisha was God’s servant, the king decided he would lash out at the person who represented the God of heaven. The fact is that in II Kings 6: 33, the king stated: “This evil (the famine) is from the Lord!” And then the impudent king added, “Why should I any longer expect God to withdraw His punishment.”

            Let’s be clear, this was a very simple case of people, who at one time made the choice to worship God, then turning away and deciding to replace the God of heaven with a god made of human hands. In fact, the god, Baal, was who they chose to oversee their crops. Lot of good that did for now, not only was Baal impervious to their weeping and wailing, but their blatant sins had separated them from their Creator.

            What these people deserved was to be ignored and left in the trouble they had created for themselves. But that’s not what happened. God had faithful warriors who trusted Him, even when they were facing their own demise at the hands of the king.

            This should give you and me something to think about for our world is in a terrible situation right now. Please remember, this rebellion was taking place among God’s children as well as with the Syrians. God’s children had rejected His call to repentance. They had adopted the practices of the surrounding nations. But thank God for the faithful few. The Elisha’s who in their own lives and in their own homes and in their own cities had chosen to remain true to their Father in heaven. This band of trusting souls did not give up…they did not turn away…they did not fall by the wayside for they believed that through thick and thin, God would take care of them.

            In our world today, God is still looking for His faithful children. I just love the words in II Chronicles 16: 9 which tell us, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” If we stop and take a closer look at three specific words in this passage: “strong,” “perfect,” “toward,” we come up with such a beautiful perspective. The word “strong,” as used in the Hebrew in this text, means to help cure, to encourage and repair, to strengthen and withstand, to fasten upon. Then if we look at the Hebrew for the word “perfect,” which is used in this passage, we find it means “wholly ready.” And the word “toward” means in a movement toward something or in this case a movement toward Someone. Now let’s put this text together. It means that God is looking carefully throughout the earth searching for His children whose heart is totally committed, every bit of their heart, to be fully seized by their heavenly Father. In fact, God’s children are so ready to be fully possessed that they are moving, with all their strength toward their heavenly Father.

            God is looking this very day for His children. Those who won’t fall away in the bitter hour. Those who will persevere in prayer. Those who are committed to God’s will and His way.

            It’s easy to look at an experience such as the one in II Kings 6 and think to yourself, “That was a long time ago.” But the events we are studying from Scripture sound as if they were ripped out of today’s headlines.

            God’s looking now. He’s searching for His children who are wholly ready and prepared to be His – this very day. When we move toward Him, without a doubt we can count on His promise to take care of us and lead us in the way we should go.

 

    Dependence on God

“Even as the needle, that directs the hour,

Touched with the loadstone, by the secret power

Of hidden nature, points unto the Pole;

Even so the wavering powers of my soul,

Touched by the virtue of Thy Spirit, flee

From what is earth, and point alone to Thee.

 

When I have faith to hold Thee by the hand,

I walk securely, and me thinks I stand

More firm than atlas; but when I forsake

The safe protection of Thine arm, I quake

Like wind-shaked reeds, and have no strength at all,

But like a vine, the prop cut down, I fall.”

Francis Quarles

1592-1644

 

 

“Father, into Your hands I give the heart which left Thee, but only to learn how good Thou art.”

         George Macdonald

 

“Lord, be Thy Word my rule,

In it may I rejoice;

Thy glory be my aim,

Thy holy will my choice.

 

Thy promises my hope,

Thy providence my guard;

Thine arm my strong support;

Thyself my great reward.”

Christopher Wordsworth

                Your friend,     

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

 

 

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