Devotional Week 43 Monday
“And the Lord answered, ‘Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the (child) of her womb?’ Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have indelibly imprinted or tattooed a picture of you on the palms of each of My hands…your walls are continually before Me.”
Isaiah 49: 15, 16
Loved By God
“God of love, we come into Your presence aware that You love us from everlasting to everlasting. Your love touches us in all of our being. Before we were born You loved us and Your love will follow us to the end of eternity. Fill our lives with Your spirit and help us to love as we are loved.”
Betty Radford Turcott
Today’s Study Text:
“And the king rose in the night and said to his servants, I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry, therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the open country, thinking. When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive and get into the city.”
II Kings 7: 12
“God Will Take Care of You” Part 11
“The Despair Caused By Doubt”
“I can have only compassion for those who sincerely bewail their doubt, who regard it as the greatest of misfortunes, and who, sparing no effort to escape it, make of this inquiry their principle and most serious occupations.”
Has there been a time in my life when I let my doubts overwhelm me?
Do I truly believe that when my Father in heaven says He will do something, He means what He says?
“The more we distrust God, the heavier our hearts will get. You know why? Because, somewhere along the way, we determined to be God for ourselves.”
“Who Do You Trust”
(2007) Teaching Series
“The chief reason we doubt, is that we don’t appreciate the God we’re dealing with.”
There’s a part of me that feels “just a little” sorry for the king of Israel. Living right in his kingdom was the prophet Elisha. A man who performed miracles one after the other. The fact is that only Jesus is recorded in Scripture to have performed more miracles.
Yet with this Godly man nearly on his doorstep, along with all the evidence that when Elisha spoke, heaven moved on earth, the king still found room within himself to harbor the toxin of doubt. Our study text today is proof perfect of the spirit of doubt that prevailed inside the king.
Just to remind us, Elisha had informed the king during the gruesome siege by the Syrians that God would provide deliverance. You would think after Elisha’s word had proved to be the truth time and time again that the king’s ears might have perked up when he was told that the famine would be over in 24 hours. But for us to come to this conclusion, we would be way off base. In his commentary on II Kings, author and pastor Dale Ralph Davis helps us identify three important passages found in II Kings 7. I’d like us to take a moment to look at this trio of texts:
“Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, as the Lord had spoken through Elisha (II Kings 7:1). The king had appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate, and the starving people trampled him in the gate as they struggled to get through for food, and he died as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to him. And when the man of God had told the king, ‘two measures of barley shall sell for a shekel and a measure of fine flour for a shekel tomorrow about this time in the gate.”
II Kings 7: 16, 17, 18
I really appreciate how Dale Ralph Davis describes the “prophetic promises” found three times in three texts “These verses hammer home the veracity of Yahweh’s word through the prophet. Three times we are told: the new prices in the gate came about ‘according to the word of Yahweh’; the officer died ‘as the man of God had spoken it,’ so ‘it came about according to the word of the man of God.’ True, that word had contradicted all appearances and stood opposed to the most likely human projections. But it would prove true because Yahweh had spoken it.”
It is noteworthy that the captain, appointed by the king to distribute food to the hungry, proved to be very verbally doubtful. He basically mocked the idea that in 24 hours the famine would not be ravaging the city. As Davis observes in his comments on this particular story, “the situation here is not a simple tragedy but a tragedy brought on by the officer’s own unbelief. By his unbelief he did not falsify God’s word but forfeited his own benefit from that word. The story should drive us straight to Hebrews 12: 25, “So see to it that you do not reject Him or refuse to listen to and heed Him Who is speaking to you now…How precarious to think God can’t possibly be all that upset over a certain degree of unbelief.”
We live in a day and age where doubt and unbelief frequently are heralded as attributes of “real thinkers.” The desire to question what is written in the Bible runs rampant even in some Christian circles. Author George Ridding prayerfully expresses the challenge of the day in these words: “In times of doubt and questionings, when our belief is perplexed by…new thoughts, when our faith is strained…by mysteries beyond our understanding, give us the faithfulness of learners and courage of believers in Thee; give us boldness to examine and faith to trust; patience and insight to master difficulties; stability to hold fast…and in times of trouble to grasp new knowledge and to combine it loyally and honestly with the old; insight to refrain from stubborn rejection of new revelations and from hasty assurances that we are wiser than our fathers. Save us and help us, we humbly beseech Thee, O God.”
In the words of the great English pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Many a believer lives in the “cottage of doubt” when they might live in the “mansion of faith.”
So the question comes to us today just as it came to the rebel king of Israel “Where will we live?” Praise God, we can choose to live in His “mansion of faith.”
“Doubt sees the obstacles,
Faith sees the way;
Doubt sees the blackest night,
Faith sees the day;
Doubt dreads to take a step,
Faith soars on high;
Doubt questions, ‘Who believes?’
Faith answers, ‘I believe!’”
The Doubter’s Prayer
“Eternal Power, of earth and air!
Unseen, yet seen in all around;
Remote, but dwelling everywhere,
Though silent heard in every sound;
If ever Thine ear in Mercy lent,
When wretched mortals cried to Thee,
And if indeed, Thy Son was sent,
To save lost sinners such as me;
Then hear me now, while kneeling here,
I lift to Thee my heart and eye,
And all my soul ascends in prayer,
Oh, give me – Give me Faith! I cry.
While faith is with me, I am blest;
It turns my darkest night to day;
But while I clasp it to my breast,
I often feel it slide away.
Then, cold and dark, my spirit sinks,
To see my light of life depart;
And every fiend of Hell, me thinks,
Enjoys the anguish of my heart.
What shall I do if all my love,
My hopes, my toil, are cast away,
And if there be no God above,
To hear and bless me while I pray?
If this be vain delusion all,
If death be an eternal sleep
And none can hear my secret call,
Or see the silent tears I weep.
O help me God! For Thou alone
Canst my distracted soul relieve;
Forsake it not, it is Thine own,
Though weak, yet longing to believe.”
Anne Bronte, Poet
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
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