When God appoints you for slaughter . . .

What if God was against you? Pause and think about that for a moment. If God didn’t love you and He desired your destruction. What an utterly horrible thought. We know that while we serve God, He will never be against us, but from a flawed human perspective, the writers of Psalm 44 may have had “legitimate” reason to think that God was against them. There were many ways that God was not “with” them.

This post cannot bring the psalm justice. I invite you to simply read it for yourself. As you read, watch the structure of the psalm. The psalmists (1) Praises God for past deliverance (2) Declares their faith in God (3) Tells of how God has cast them off (4) Tells of how they still have faith in God (5) Calls unto God to deliver them.

While the psalmists tells how God has, “given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.” They also say, “Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” It has other passages like, “Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.”

It really does not sound like God is on their side. He’s deliberately giving them to the heathen. He’s allowing them to be overcome. In the words of the Psalmist, “But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.” What is going on? Doesn’t God love them? Why is God allowing this?

Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t understand why. Some of these things we will not understand until eternity. We can know however, that God is always just. And God always rewards those obedient to Him.

But let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to remember that in the moment. To be honest, I have to say that I’m not sure how faithful I would be in such a situation. I hope I’d be faithful. The Psalmists’ reaction to all this is something we can truly learn from. The psalmists say, “All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way.”

These men found the strength to praise God and faithfully seek His face while all their situations looked as if God Himself was against them. I challenge you with this statement: Faith is not faith that sees. If you can “see” God’s goodness in your life, you don’t need “faith” in God’s goodness. But when times like Psalm 44 come, it’s a true test of what you believe about the God of the universe.

Do you believe that God is good? Do you believe the promises that He has given? No matter what the situations look like, you can have faith in God’s promises like these men did.

Proverbs tells us, that If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. These men had great strength. When adversity came, they still boasted in God.

In all their hardship, they said, “In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.” Let us strengthen ourselves in the Lord, so if such hardships come to us, we may do the same.

 

The great thing about mercy

God loves all His children. He loves to hear them cry out to Him. He wants them to go to Him in times of distress. God has all the power than anyone could ever need.

Today I would like to share just one simple thought with you. A thought about mercy. It’s simple.

Mercy is not deserved.

In fact, when you look the word up in the dictionary, it says, "to treat an offender better than he deserves." It’s not deserved.

You can’t earn mercy.

So my simple thought to you, is that when you find yourself in a predicament where you deserve serious consequences. It’s not too late to turn to God. It’s not too late to beg for mercy. The Psams records at least 10 times where someone calls out to God for mercy. God has an abundance of mercy, and he loves to act on behalf of His children.

Whatever your situation, call upon God in faith. Ask Him to show mercy. Ask Him to work on the hearts of those in authority that they would show mercy. Call upon Him out of a pure heart. And wait to see the power of the Lord.

God knows that we are frail. He understands that we are dust.

"So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." – Romans 9:16

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." – Isaiah 55:7

"For thy mercy is great unto the heavens," – Psalm 57:10

A Christian’s response to a bad day

Has anything ever gone wrong in your life? Ever had a bad day, or your plans messed up or it seemed as if every step of the ways you had to fight to get things done. When things go wrong, do you go to God in anger and frustration? Or, do you praise Him despite what is going on? God wants us to praise Him despite all the hardships that He has justly allowed in our lives.

If we take a look at scripture we will find an example of one guy who had a really bad day. It probably is the worst day ever recorded. This man’s name was Job. In one day, He lost all of his oxen, all of his donkeys, all of his camels, all of his sheep, and all of his children. Yes, he lost all of his children. If you know much about ancient wealth, it was measured in livestock. Basically, he lost most if not all of his wealth. But more than this, all his children died. And it wasn’t broken to him in the easiest way, all the servants came up to him at once and told him what happened.

Job’s response is one of absolute reverence and faith. The bible tell us that, he got up, shaved his head (a sign of mourning) , and then he fell down and worshipped God. He says specifically, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD, ” Job 1:21. Did you hear that at the end? He blessed the Lord! The next verse tells us that in all of this, “Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.”

How many times do we have a bad day because we were late to work, or our food wasn’t the way we like it, or other insignificant thing happens, and we get upset at God? Have you ever gotten upset at God or anyone else, because some insignificant detail of your life didn’t go the way you planned? Job’s life is such a rebuke. Job had a proper view of God, and he most definitely had a proper view of himself.

I would like to challenge you, strive to be content in any circumstance. Whatever God allows in your life, he is allowing for your benefit. Don’t get angry at someone or God because something didn’t turn out the way you wanted. God wants us to practice contentment in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. Let us learn to be content, with whatever God gives us.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” – 1 Timothy 6:6

A time to praise,

When was the last time you thanked God for His blessings? When was the last time you praised Him because of who He is? Days and hours and weeks and minutes pass us by, yet so often it seems as if we forget to thank our heavenly father.

Our Heavenly Father has given us so much! He gave us eternal life through His Son, all we have to do is believe and accept Him. But He gave us more than this. He gives us peace, comfort, joy, patience, temperance, meekness. . . The list goes on and on. One of my favorite verses says, “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” Philippians 2:13. Did you catch that? God is working in us to give us the desire to do His will and the ability to do His will.

He makes it easy for us to do right by giving us the desire to. When we face temptation, God says He, “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13. God didn’t have to do that! He could have just allowed us to be overcome by sin. He has given us a free choice. He promises us blessings when we serve Him. Not blessings in the far off future, but blessings now, like a long life for honoring your parents, or ask and ye shall receive, or . . .

My question for you today is, “Have you thanked God for His goodness?” or “Have you taken time to meditate on His holiness?” I would challenge you, thank God for His gifts to you today. Praise Him for His holiness and thank Him for His love and mercy and . . . God is good, all the time. He has given us so much. Won’t you take time out of your day to thank Him, today?

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” – Psalm 107:1