Devotional Week 5 Monday
“And as your day, so shall your strength, your rest and security, be.”
Deuteronomy 33: 25
As Thy Day, So Shall Thy Strength Be
“When adverse winds and waves arise,
And in my heart despondence sighs,
When life her throng of cares reveals,
And weakness o’er my spirit steals,
Grateful I hear the kind decree,
That, ‘as my day, my strength shall be.’
When, with sad footsteps, memory roves,
Mid smitten joys and buried loves,
When deep my tearful pillow flies,
And dewy morning drinks my sighs,
Still to Thy promise, Lord, I flee,
That, ‘as my day, my strength shall be.’
One trial more must yet be past,
One pang, - the keenest and the last;
And when, with brow convulsed and pale,
My feeble, quivering heartstrings fail,
Redeemer, grant my (eyes) to see
That, ‘as my day, my strength shall be.’”
Lydia H. Sigourney
Today’s Study Text:
“Your strength will equal your days”
Deuteronomy 33: 25
“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” Part 1
“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
His merciful love couldn’t have dried up
They’re created new every morning
How great Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3: 22, 23
The Message Bible
When I feel tired and weak, do I remember to “tap” into my heavenly Father’s unlimited strength?
When I call upon my Father each morning, do I ask Him for strength for that day?
“Oh, by every tear which God hath wiped from your eyes, by every anxiety which He has soothed, by every fear which He has dispelled, by every want which He has supplied, by every mercy which He has bestowed, strengthen yourselves for all that awaits you through the remainder of your pilgrimage; look onwards, if it must be so, to new trials, to increased perplexities…look on what is past, as well as what is to come, and you will be enabled to say of Him in whose hand are your times, His future dealings will be what His former have been – fulfillment of the promise, ‘as thy days so shall thy strength be.’”
“He who gives you the day will also give you the things necessary for the day.”
Gregory of Nyssa
c. 335 - c.394
Elisha was an elderly man; in the sunset years of his life and ministry. As he lay upon his bed, with an illness the Bible does not disclose, I wonder if he took time to dig into his memory bank as he reflected on the pilgrimage of his life. I must add – what a life it was! Most Bible scholars do not share the exact age Elisha was when he left home and a lucrative family business. But it is likely he was somewhere around 14-18 years of age. It was his enthusiasm and persevering spirit which made him the perfect companion to Elijah. From the moment Elisha began his mentorship at Elijah’s side until the very moment when Elijah was carried away in a heavenly chariot, Elisha proved a faithful stalwart – a dependable cohort to Elijah.
In fact, if I made a list of all the people mentioned in the Bible and then ranked them according to how their lives have touched my own, Elisha would be right near the very top. I’d like to tell you why for the reason is quite simple – I can relate to Elisha and I think most likely you can too, for his 60 years of service to God were really years of a “servant” ministry. As I have studied his life, I witness a man who understood the needs of a woman like myself who was not able to have a child. Let us remember how Elisha cared for the Shunamite woman when she couldn’t conceive a child. We should not forget that when this young boy died suddenly, it was Elisha who breathed life into his lifeless body.
Elisha understood the great need for God-filled education in a country rife with idol worship. So he spent a great deal of his life, not only encouraging the work at the Schools of the Prophets but also coming to the rescue of the students when the “pot” was poisoned and the borrowed ax-head was lost. Then when a widow woman was threatened by creditors with the loss of her two boys into slave labor, it was the prophet Elisha who came to her side with heaven’s plan for debt-relief.
The reason I find Elisha such a compelling person is that his everyday, common-touch makes it easy for regular folks like you and me to relate to this prophet of God. The fact is, Jesus own ministry was much like Elisha’s for they both understood one of the most critical factors in touching the lives of those who entered their world. Not only did Elisha and Jesus meet people where they were, but they knew that for many people, it was in the middle of their every day activities…their everyday challenges…and their everyday problems which often proved to be where the greatest roadblocks were found as they attempted to minister to the spiritual needs of each person. As one missionary so correctly stated, “It’s hard to tell someone about Jesus’ love if their stomach is aching because they haven’t had any food to eat in days.” Both in the lives of Jesus and Elisha, it was the human needs which they met that made it possible for an effective spiritual ministry in the hearts of those they touched.
This is why Elisha’s ministry in the Old Testament and Jesus’ ministry in the New Testament, leave us with heaven’s pattern for ministry to the people we encounter in our world today.
At the end of Elisha’s life, it appears that a “lingering” illness prevailed upon his body. There was no glorious heavenly chariot sent to remove Elisha from his earthly bed of illness. Instead, this man of miracles, who brought hope to an entire nation in a time of immense wickedness, as the Bible simply states: “died, and they buried him” (II Kings 13: 20, Amplified Bible).
One Christian writer in visualizing Elisha’s last hours on earth paints this uplifting view, which to my mind beautifully conveys the essence of this faithful servant of heaven: “As on the heights of Dothan, (when Elisha) had seen the encircling hosts of heaven, the fiery chariots and horsemen thereof, so now, (at the end of his life) he was conscious of the presence of sympathizing angels, and he was sustained.”
A life-long trust in God strengthened Elisha, not only in his lengthy ministry but as the closing hours of his life on earth approached. All throughout his life, with confidence, Elisha could testify that he was given strength to sustain and carry him through each day.
What a testament to the life of one who took up the call to do God’s will no matter what and then never turned back no matter the hardship he faced. God’s promise is still sure: “as are your days, so will your strength be.” When each of us comes to the end of our journey here on earth, may we, like Sir Henry Wotton, be able to say with confident assurance, “Be to me now – on Thee I call – My Life, My Strength, my Joy, My All.”
“Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy powerful hand…
…Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
Be Thou still my strength and shield.”
Strength For the Day
“Lord, Thou hast all my frailty made,
And Thou mine inmost want canst read;
Prepare Thy light for every shade,
Prepare Thy strength for every need!
When at Thy word the tempests form,
When at Thy breath the mists o’er-shroud,
Provide Thy still voice for the storm,
Provide Thy rainbow for the cloud!
What time I sojourn in the night
Let Bethlehem’s star rule all the sky;
And when I climb steep Calvary’s height
Let Olivet be clear on high!
Send me, with each new step of trial,
A higher flight of heavenly song;
Lend me, with each fond hope’s denial,
The power to feel the hope was wrong!
Grant me, with every bitter thorn
Thy love refuses to destroy,
The perfect strength of weakness born,
The perfect grace that equals joy!
I may not bid the shadows flee
Thy are the shadows of Thy wing;
Give but the eye more power to see
The love behind their gathering!
I may not cast Thy cross away,
Thou gavest me Thy yoke to share.”
“God is our Refuge and Strength, mighty and impenetrable, a very present and well-proved help in trouble.” (And I will add, not only in trouble, but every step of the way home!)
Psalm 46: 1
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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