Devotional Week 5 Tuesday
“I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly), and on every occasion, to the very close of the age.”
Matthew 28: 20
“Mind you, I am alongside you all the days.”
Matthew 28: 20
“Lonely? Yes, sometimes when the night is dark
And silence wraps the spirit in its gloom;
But then His angels, watching ever nigh,
Supply the place of friendship’s room.
Tired? Yes, often when the day is done,
And sun rays sink behind the distant west;
But then my Savior walks beside; and He
Can give the wearied heart its rest.
Afraid? Oh, yes, when mountain paths are steep,
Too steep for feet unused to rugged ways;
But the His promise cheers me, and the fear
Is turned to joyful hymns of praise.
Go on I press, the loneliness and fear
But bind me closer to the love divine;
Within the deepest darkness faith can see;
And so I pray; ‘Thy will, not mine.’”
Today’s Study Text:
“When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were going from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel,’ But Elisha replied, ‘As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The prophets’ sons who were at Bethel came to Elisha and said, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?’ He said, ‘Yes, I know it, hold your peace.’ Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?’ And he answered, ‘Yes I know it; hold your peace.’ Elijah said to him, ‘Tarry here, I pray, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.’ And the two of them went on.”
II Kings 2: 1-6
“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” Part 2
“Bind Us Together”
“I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me; But I long to rise in the arms of faith, and be closer drawn to Thee.”
Fanny J. Crosby
What do I think was the attachment which bound Elijah and Elisha’s lives together?
“(God’s children) in each generation are joined to those who have gone before, and filled like them with light to become a golden chain in which each (individual) is a separate link, united to the next by faith and love. So in the one God they form a single chain which cannot quickly be broken.”
When I was a teen in high school, back in those days, Home Economics, as it was called back then, was a required class which all girls had to take in order to graduate. Part of the curriculum included making yourself a dress and then all of us put on a fashion show, modeling our new apparel. The fact is I had more hidden straight pins holding the dress together than you could count. However, I did learn enough so that I have been able, through the years to actually make myself some clothing.
The garment I chose to construct in Home Ec. Class was typical “Dorothy” because I chose two fabrics which gave the top of the dress a turquoise hue as the cloth moved back and forth and when the bottom of the dress fluttered, it appeared to be green. In addition, the cloth had an upholstery like texture to it and was certainly different than any other girl’s outfit.
There was however, one distinct problem with the cloth. It unraveled along the edges. Being inexperienced, I didn’t even consider the fact that the material would not hold together. After wearing the dress only once, I realized I needed urgent help. Someone who would assist me with my problem and so I took my unfinished dress to my mother – an extremely capable seamstress. It only took her a few minutes to solve my dilemma. She got out her trusty “sewing box” and found what was called “binding tape.” This thin silky light-weight tape can be sewn over frayed edges, protecting fabric when it rubs together.
You may be wondering exactly how binding tape has anything to do with the prophet Elisha and God’s everlasting faithfulness. Well, as I studied, I came to the conclusion that binding tape can teach us a lot about how God’s faithfulness works in our lives just as binding tape works on fabric.
1. Application #1: Binding tape can strengthen the weakest places on a garment. God’s faithfulness works like a strengthening agent in my life because at my weakest places, God’s ability to work out what is best for me, makes me stronger. The Apostle Paul made this very point in his letter to the Church in Corinth: “For when I am weak in human strength, then am I truly strong and able and powerful in divine strength” (II Corinthians 12: 10, Amplified Bible).
2. Application #2: Binding tape has the ability to unify two very different pieces of fabric which in turn, allows an outfit to have variety in it. God’s faithfulness acts in the same way, uniting people with very different personalities so they have the ability to not only work well together but they can even function in solidarity. Take a look at how God’s faithfulness brought two very different personalities together, the brash and bold Elijah and the more reserved “plodder,” Elisha. As I pondered the lives of these two men, I began thinking about their early lives – Elijah raised in the rough mountainous region of Gilead, then spending time alone by the brook Cherith and later moving in with a desperately poor widow in the foreign country of Sidon. Now compare this with Elisha who lived on his family farm from the time he was born until the day Elijah came by the land Elisha was plowing and called Elisha into the ministry. After an internship with Elijah, we find Elisha cared for by a wealthy family who even built a special room for the traveling prophet. We might wonder what Elijah and Elisha had in common that bound them so tightly together. There’s no doubt in my mind that God’s faithfulness was the essential binding that kept them united in heavenly ministry in spite of their unique characteristics.
3. Application #3: Binding tape is able to make what could potentially look like just a bunch of ragged strings instead become a beautifully patterned garment. Our Father’s faithfulness at work in our lives is a witness that when seen by others, brings glory to our heavenly Father. In the words of Christopher Wordsworth, “Lord, by Thy word my rule, In it may I rejoice; Thy glory be my aim, Thy holy will my choice.”
When I was a young teen, one of the most popular praise and worship songs was “Bind Us Together”, a call for unity through the loving faithfulness bestowed by our heavenly Father on His earthly children. As the song goes: “Bind us together Lord, bind us together, with cords that cannot be broken.” May this be the desire of our hearts today.
Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Savior, so precious Thou art!
Fold me, O fold me close to Thy breast,
Shelter me safe in that ‘Haven of rest.’”
Lilia N. Morris
I Bind My Heart
“I bind my heart this tide
To the Galilean’s side,
To the wounds of Calvary
To the Christ who died for me.
I bind my soul this day
To the brother far away,
To the sister near at hand,
In this town, and in this land.
I bind my heart in thrall
To the God, the Lord of all,
To the God, the poor man’s Friend,
And the Christ whom He didst send.
I bind myself to peace,
To make strife and envy cease,
God! Knit Thou sure the cord
Of my (life) to my Lord.”
Lauchlan Mac Lean Watt
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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