When People Don’t Fear God…

Read: Psalm 9-16
Marked: Psalms 10:13, Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the violence, the protests, the deaths of innocents during the last year or so.

Why do the wicked do wickedness? I think because, for the most part, the wicked have renounced God.

They certainly don’t believe, or at least act as if they don’t fear God, or think He will not hold them accountable.

If my thinking is right, a world that doesn’t fear God is a dangerous place.


Doing the Will of God…

Read: Psalm 1-8
Marked: Psalms 4:5, Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the LORD.

Romans 12:1 instructs us to “offer our body a living sacrifice”. And here Psalm 4:5 says we are to offer the sacrifices of righteousness. Obedience to God leads to righteousness.

In obeying God I am to offer the sacrifice of righteousness in worship and praise to God Who enables me to carry out His will through the Holy Spirit as I place my trust in Him.

God Chooses…

Read: Malachi 1-4
Marked: Malachi 1:4, Even though Edom has said, “We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places,” Thus says the LORD of hosts: “They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.

In Psalm 127:1 we read, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it.

God had punished Edom for its iniquity. Though Israel (Jacob) and Edom (Esau) were both children of Isaac, God had chosen the younger to bless because Esau had forsaken his birthright.

God blesses who He chooses, and often the one filled with pride is not chosen. Such was the case with Edom. Instead of turning to God in repentance, Edom was determined to go his own way. But God said, “They may build, but I will throw down.”

If I throw down my pride and turn to God I will find that God will build me up. Proverbs 3:34 says, “Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.”

I pray I will throw down pride and always humble myself before the Lord.

Think No Evil…

Read: Zechariah 8-14
Marked: Zechariah 8:17, Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD.”

These days it seems people don’t think twice about having ill thoughts towards their neighbours. If they don’t think and act like other people then they’re deserve abusive words or worse.

God also warns about taking false oaths. The word oath can mean promise or curse. Today, some curse their neighbours. But worse than that there are those who call themselves Christians yet are antagonist against other people.

1 John 4:20 reminds us if we say we love God yet hate our brother, then we don’t really love God. God judges even our thoughts.

Love Toward the Nations…

Read: Zechariah 1-7
Marked: Zechariah 2:11, Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.

The phrase, “many nations shall be joined to the Lord”, caught my attention because of the racial tension that is evident today.

God sent His Son to die for the whole human race (John 3:16). The word, “nations”, means people, and describes gentiles, or non-Jews.

The gospel is for all people (Romans 1:16). How I think and behave towards other ethnicities is important to God. There is no place in the heart and mind of a Christian for racism.

Racism is counter to the all encompassing love of God the Father towards His creatures. God, fill me with Your love towards all nations and peoples that I might win them for the kingdom in Your name.

He is Always with Me…

Read: Zephaniah 1-3; Haggai 1-2
Marked: Haggai 1:13, Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the LORD.”

As a child of God I must remember that no matter what happens, no matter the trial, God is with me.

He has promised to keep me in His hands. Even when I do my own thing, and ignore God and His word, He is still with me.

The realization of this spurs me on to remain close to Him and keep my heart from wandering.

God is Slow to Anger…

Read: Nahum 1-3; Habakkuk 1-3
Marked: Nahum 1:3, The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.

I have heard people say, “If there’s a God, why does He let evil happen?”

This verse tells me the answer. God is slow to anger. I am grateful He is because He gave me time to come to know Him and repent of the evil I have committed

He may be slow to anger but that doesn’t mean He will not deal with evil and sin. He will not acquit the wicked. If there is no repentance there will be no forgiveness.

Unless one turns to a Christ there will be no acquittal. Even as He controls the whirlwind and the storm, so will He hold the guilty accountable. Such is His power. But He is slow to use it.

God Hears Me…

Read: Micah 1-7
Marked: Micah 7:5-7, Do not trust in a friend; Do not put your confidence in a companion; Guard the doors of your mouth From her who lies in your bosom. For son dishonors father, Daughter rises against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own household. Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.

Wickedness can be so great that one can’t even trust his closest friends, or even relatives.

When I can’t trust those closest to me, I can always trust the Lord. When those closest to me don’t even want to listen, God is there, ready to listen. His doors are always open.

The Deception of Pride…

Read: Obadiah 1; Jonah 1-4
Marked: Obadiah 1:3, The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’

The Bible teaches that pride leads to destruction. I ought to be very careful, then, not to let pride enter my heart.

It can be subtle. If I consider my ways better than the ways of others I am in danger of letting pride enter my heart. Pride causes us to believe things about ourselves, or others, which are simply not true.

I must guard myself against the deception of pride.

Considering the Poor and Needy…

Read: Amos 6-9
Marked: Amos 8:4, Hear this, you who swallow up the needy, And make the poor of the land fail,

As I’ve made my way through the Old Testament, I’ve seen on a number of occasions, God’s chastisement because of how the poor and needy are treated.

God has a heart for for the poor, marginalized, and needyand He expects me to care too. While Jesus says we will always have the poor among us (John 12:8), it doesn’t give us reason to use and abuse them.

Even Sodom was destroyed, in part, because of the way they treated the poor and needy among them (Ezekiel 16:49).

Considering the days we are living in, we need to consider how we treat the poor. Are we enriching ourselves at their expense?