“For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
The historical books of the Hebrew Bible often have sections where great religious leaders make a final speech.
This is a summing-up of their lives and often a prophetic warning about the future.
Call it “foreshadowing,” if you will, because everyone who hears this story knows that everything Samuel predicts comes true. As long as the people and their king serve only the Lord, they prosper; but if they and their king turn away from that faith, they suffer. As those who read the books of Samuel know, the people of Israel turn away from God; and eventually, great empires come and lay waste to the land.
Samuel asks his listeners to affirm that he has acted with integrity as their leader. Money has not swayed him, nor has personal emotion; he has done what is good in the sight of God. (Maybe, like Eli before him, his sons are a mess, but that’s another matter.) The people take seriously what he has to say next for two reasons: they trust Samuel, and they fear God.
Today some leaders taint religion by acting as Samuel’s sons did. Their personal greed, desire for political power, or unwillingness to put God first make some think that religion itself is a sham. Faithful leaders can still be found, but Samuel’s example suggests that it’s a good idea to question the actions of our leaders before we let them tell us what they think God wants from us.
If you will revere and serve the Eternal, if you listen to His voice and do not disobey His commands, then you and this king who rules over you will follow the Eternal One, your True God, and all will go well with you.
But if you ignore His voice, if you disobey the commands of the Eternal, then His mighty hand of judgment will be raised against you and against your ancestors.
Stand ready, for the Eternal One is going to show you a great sight. It is the wheat harvest now, and is this not the time after the early rains? But I will call upon the Eternal to send thunder and rain so you will realize the depths of your sin before God because you demanded a king to rule over you.
Samuel prayed to the Eternal. He sent thunder and rain to pelt the fields that day, and the people were afraid of Him and of Samuel.
People (to Samuel): Pray to the Eternal One your God on behalf of your servants so we will not die for adding to all the weight of our sin the evil of demanding our own king.
Samuel: Don’t be frightened. It is true that you have done evil, but never stop following the Eternal One. Serve Him completely, and do not follow empty things that do not have the power to benefit or save you. They are worthless.
For the sake of His reputation, He will not cast away His chosen people. Before you ever chose Him, the Eternal One chose you as His own because it pleased Him.
As for me, the last thing I would ever do is to stop praying for you. That would be a sin against the Eternal One on my part. I will always try to teach you to live and act in a way that is good and proper in His eyes.
Make this your one purpose: to revere Him and serve Him faithfully with complete devotion because He has done great things for you.
But if you continue in your evil ways against Him, you and your king will be swept off the face of the earth.
(1 Samuel 12: -25)
The Lord Speaks
Word of God Speak
Let it pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak
God Confronts Job
Have You Gotten to the Bottom of Things?
And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm.
“Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job!Up on your feet! Stand tall!
I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers.
Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that!Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured,and who set the cornerstone,
While the morning stars sang in chorusand all the angels shouted praise?
And who took charge of the oceanwhen it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
That was Me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,and tucked it in safely at night.
Then I made a playpen for it,a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,
And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’
“And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’
So you could seize Earth like a blanketand shake out the wicked like cockroaches?
As the sun brings everything to light, brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—they’re caught in the very act!
“Have you ever gotten to the true bottom of things,explored the labyrinthine caves of deep ocean?
Do you know the first thing about death? Do you have one clue regarding death’s dark mysteries?
And do you have any idea how large this earth is?
Speak up if you have even the beginning of an answer.
“Do you know where Light comes fromand where Darkness lives
So you can take them by the handand lead them home when they get lost?
Why, of course you know that.
You’ve known them all your life,grown up in the same neighborhood with them!
“Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readinessfor times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyonsfor the downpours of rain, and chartsthe route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields,deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelandsso they’re carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,the mother of ice and frost?
You don’t for a minute imaginethese marvels of weather just happen, do you?
“Can you catch the eye of the beautiful Pleiades sisters,or distract Orion from his hunt?
Can you get Venus to look your way,or get the Great Bear and her cubs to come out and play?
Do you know the first thing about the sky’s constellations and how they affect things on Earth?
“Can you get the attention of the clouds, and commission a shower of rain?
Can you take charge of the lightning boltsand have them report to you for orders?
What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?
“Who do you think gave weather-wisdom to the ibis,and storm-savvy to the rooster?
Does anyone know enough to number all the cloudsor tip over the rain barrels of heaven
When the earth is cracked and dry,the ground baked hard as a brick?
“Can you teach the lioness to stalk her prey and satisfy the appetite of her cubs
As they crouch in their den,waiting hungrily in their cave?
And who sets out food for the ravenswhen their young cry to God,fluttering about because they have no food?”
The people sitting in darkness and the land of death have seen a great light!
JESUS–a STEADFAST hope in a shaky world.
Silver & Gold have I not but such as I have, give I to you—
IN THE NAME OF JESUS OF NAZARETH, RISE AND WALK!
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;
“men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
“I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath. Blood and fire and vapor and smoke.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
“And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls.”
On the day when I faced disaster, they confronted me, but the LORD became my defense. (2 Samuel 22:19)
BECAUSE HE LIVES, I CAN FACE TOMORROW
BECAUSE I KNOW HE HOLDS THE FUTURE
AND LIFE IS WORTH THE LIVING JUST BECAUSE
Even if I shall walk in the valleys of the shadows of death, I will not be afraid of evil, because you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me,
I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?
(Psalm 16:8, Psalm 27:1)
Jesus Heals the Man Born Blind
Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus ANSWERED them, “This is God’s work: to believe in the One whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29)
For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 6:38; 57)
So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
A Lame Man Healed
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. (Acts 3:1-3)
And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
So then faith comes by hearing, and the ear to hear by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them; walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:7-10
I am not ashamed of the Good News. It is the power of God. It is the way He saves men from the punishment of their sins if they put their trust in Him. It is for the Jew first and for all other people also. (Romans 1:16)
STRENGTH ARISES AS WE WAIT UPON THE LORD
“The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
Then Job replied to the Lord:
“I know that You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,things too wonderful for me to know.
“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;I will question you,and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.
Therefore I despise myselfand repent in dust and ashes.”
God Restores Job
I Will Accept His Prayer
If My people who are called by My NAME will humble them selves and pray, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14)
For we know that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Job Is Richer Now
The Lord returned to Job all the things that he had lost, when he prayed for his friends.
The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You. (Job 42:5)
So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning. (Job 42:12)
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries:
but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (Daniel 11:32)
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22)
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
(My Utmost For His Highest)
They know that there is no greater joy than for His children to be walking in His will.
As the Father sent the Son, so Jesus sends us to reveal the heart of the Father that none perish but that all come to everlasting life
through faith in His Word, His Son.