Saturday, December 31, 2011
ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 12/31/2011
HOW TO ENJOY THE REST AREAS OF LIFE, Part23b, Continued From Yesterday!
V. 33 FOR INVOLVING YOURSELF WITH HIS WORSHIP
Abraham used this calm period of life to call on the name of the Lord. He used this time to deepen his relationship with God. This certainly equipped him for the battles that still lay ahead.
Why is it that so many people wait until the bottom falls out to call on the Lord? The best time to worship Him is all the time! It says far more about your character when you are consistent in worship than it does for you to wait until you are in trouble to call on Him. Many people treat Him like He was a spare tire! Pull Him out when life goes flat, put Him away again when the crisis has passed.
Don't wait until some calamity comes to run to Him, be in the business of seeking His face day by day (Mat 6:33). Then, when trials do come, you are already close to Him. That is why church, Bible reading and study, and prayer are so vitally important.
V. 33 FOR INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
This verse tells us that Abraham planted a "grove". This simply means that he planted a tree. He is making an investment for the future. At his age, he might never cool himself under its shade, but Isaac will, and his grandchildren will. He is looking beyond himself to those who will follow and is making a difference for them while he can.
Use the rest areas of life as times to make an investment in the future of the Lord's kingdom work. Is there a young person you can mentor? Is there a life you can impact for the glory of God? Is there someone's life that you can be a blessing to for the glory of the Lord? This is what the Lord intends His people to be doing (Titus 2:2-10).
There will come a time when your life will be wracked by the winds of adversity. When those times come, your focus will be so inward that you will not be able to make a difference for others. The time to reach out is when things are going smoothly. Sadly, too many believers live their lives for self, with no concern for anyone else.
V. 1-8 FOR INVENTORYING HIS BLESSINGS
As those peaceful days unfolded for Abraham, he was able to spend the time listening to the laughter of Isaac and Sarah. He was able to contemplate all that the Lord had done for him and how God had blessed his life. It was a time for him to inventory the blessings of the Lord.
Being thankful for the blessings of the Lord in the days when life is good is a great way to prepare for those times when it is less than pleasant! Living in the constant awareness of the Lord's goodness and blessings in your life is a hedge against doubt, fear and uncertainty when the hard days of trials come. God would have us to be a thankful people (1 Thes. 5:18; Phil. 4:6). Don't take the easy days of life for granted! They will not last forever, but while they are here, use them as times to rejoice in the blessings of the Lord and to prepare for the days that are coming when it may seem that the blessings are few and far in between!
Conc: At this point in his life, Abraham was well aware of all that he had already been through. He knew what the storm felt like! He knew how dark the valley could be and he knew how long the night could last. But, he did not know what lay just ahead! If he had been able to see the future, he might not have ever chosen to face it. God in His wisdom, used this rest area time in Abraham's life to prepare him for the trial that was just ahead.
You know, you and I cannot see tomorrow either! We do not know what is ahead. I am just glad that God, in His wisdom, plans a few rest areas along the way for us to enjoy. He gives us the times of refreshment and peace to help us to recover from our past battles and to prepare ourselves for the trials that lie ahead. Are you using the rest areas of life to their full advantage? If you are in one of life's lulls, thank God for, and ask Him to help you to use it for His glory. If you are in the storm today, why not come before Him and thank Him for the battle you are fighting and thank Him that somewhere out there, there is a rest area with your name on it!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING!
New International Version (NIV)
10 Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor. 11 The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng: 12 “Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder. 13 Even while you sleep among the sheep pens, the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold.” 14 When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land, it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon. 15 Mount Bashan, majestic mountain, Mount Bashan, rugged mountain, 16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the LORD himself will dwell forever? 17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. 18 When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious— that you, LORD God, might dwell there. 19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!
Friday, December 30, 2011
ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 12/30/2011
HOW TO ENJOY THE REST AREAS OF LIFE, Part 23a
There are times in life that are simply difficult to tolerate! There are battles to fight, valleys to cross, long nights of the soul to endure and storms that must be weathered. All you have to do is read the story of Job, or just live in this world for any length of time and you will know what I am saying is true. These times are not sent because the Lord wishes to cause us trouble. He is in the business of conforming His people into His image (Rom. 8:29, 1 Cor. 4:17). The trials of life are the tools that shape us into His likeness. Therefore, even though they are difficult, they are a blessing in disguise.
Despite how we feel sometimes, life isn't all bad. We would all have to admit that there are times when the Lord inserts times of peace into our lives. He allows us to pass by some "still waters" and He causes us the "lie down in green pastures." I thank God for those times in my life and I know you do too! Just as surely as the troubles of life are sent into our lives to grow, mature and strengthen us, the rest periods of life are sent for their purpose as well.
This chapter is all about a rest area in the journey of Abraham's life. The ups and downs that lead to this point. I would like to point a few uses for these rest areas of life. When the times of rest come, knowing how to use them properly allows us to extract from them all the blessing that God wants us to get, as we now take a few minutes to look at How To Use The Rest Areas Of Life.
V. 33 FOR INHABITING THE BEST PLACES
The middle part of this passage has to do with a transaction between Abraham and Abimelech (v. 22-31). This transaction saw seven sheep change hands. These seven sheep ewe were a testimony that the well belonged to Abraham. The well became known as "Beersheba", which means "The well of the seven-fold oath." Water wells were of vast importance to men like Abraham. They needed them to ensure the lives of their flocks, herds and families. It was by this well of sweet water that Abraham settled down and enjoyed this rest area of life.
When the fur is flying in your life, it is harder to concentrate on your walk with the Lord. But, we should take advantage of the calm times of life to enhance our relationship with Him. If we can learn to love Him during the lulls of life, then we won't have to work nearly as hard to find Him during the storms!
What I am advocating is a life that zeros in on God through prayer, worship and the study of His Word. A life that doesn't wait until everything falls apart to confess its sins and seek His face. But, a life that is lived in a place of closeness day by day, even when things are good. A life that finds a place of consistent growth in the things of the Lord is a life that He can use for His glory! A good example of this truth is the life of Job. He called on the Lord when things went wrong (Job 1:20-22). He was able to do it quickly because he had spent time in the Lord's presence when things were going well (Job 1:1, 5, 8).
If we can ever learn to settle down in the best places of His blessings during the good, restful times of life, we will not be so easily blown off course when the adverse winds of trials and afflictions begin to blow against us!
V. 22-32 FOR INSULATING YOURSELF WITH HIS PROMISES
These verses tell of the covenant made between Abraham and Abimelech concerning their mutual interests. Abimelech was concerned about his safety, Abraham was concerned about his well. At the end of this summit, Abraham could dwell with safety within the borders of Abimelech's land because he had the promises of this covenant (v. 23).
Use the rest areas of life as times to meditate on the great promises of the Lord! Let these truths feed your soul. Then, when the troublesome times do come, you will find that you are steadied by His Word and by His great promises.
For instance, we believe in eternal security, and that is His promise to His children, but under the right kind of pressure, you might begin to feel that you are lost again. John the Baptist in Matt. 11:3, found himself in a position of doubt that he probably never thought he would see! The promise of His presence is another that comes under attack. What about His power and ability? What about His Sovereignty? What about His ability to meet your needs? However, I believe that if you will immerse yourself in His promises, they will be a help and a comfort as you fight the battles of life. The whole point is this, so fill your heart and life with His truth during the lulls in the storm, that when the winds begin to howl again, you are insulated by His promises. You will find that it is a tactic that works wonders!
TODAY’S SCRIPYURE and BLESSING!
New International Version (NIV)
1 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. 2 May you blow them away like smoke— as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. 3 But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. 4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. 7 When you, God, went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, 8 the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
ABRAHAM, FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 12/29/2011
Genesis 21:9-21 WHAT AILETH THEE?
Abraham may have been the father of the faithful, but His family life was a shambles in the relationships of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael. According to Gen. 16, this arrangement did nothing but cause trouble for Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. Sarah was jealous of Hagar and her baby; Hagar was jealous of Sarah and her relationship with Abraham; poor Abraham is caught in the middle trying to please two women. In our text, things have come to head. There is all out civil war in Abraham’s tent. As a result, Hagar finds herself in a desperate situation. In the midst of that terrible time, she has a powerful, personal encounter with Almighty God. Out of Hagar’s pain comes a ray of hope for all those who find themselves in the hard, harsh places of life. I want you to see that God can take your hopeless situation and turn it around for His glory. I want to focus in on the question the Lord asks Hagar in verse 17, “What alieth thee?” If you have an ailment, regardless of what it may be, God has a word of hope for you in these verses.
v. 9-14 IT WAS A TIME OF HARSH REJECTION
Things had been tense in Abraham’s tent for many years. In this passage, Isaac is about three years old and Ishmael is about seventeen. They are celebrating as Isaac matures from a baby to a little boy. Things come to a head during this feast and Hagar faces a terrible time of rejection.
v. 9-10 The Reasons For This Rejection – Ishmael was mocking and making fun of Isaac and the festivities. The word “mocking” is a strong form of the word “Isaac”, which means “laughter”. Ishmael saw all his hopes of inheritance dashed in Isaac, the promised son. He knew that Isaac was the son of promise and that he was just the son of a slave. So he is jealous of Isaac and he acts out his rejections during the feast. Sarah sees this and blows her stack and demands that Hagar and Isaac be sent away!
v. 11-14 The Realities Of This Rejection – Abraham is reluctant, but God tells him that this is part of His plan for Isaac and for Ishmael. For Abraham, this is as real as it gets! He is forced to send away his oldest son and that son’s mother, Hagar. It broke Abraham’s heart to have to send them away. It was a hard morning for Abraham, a worse coming (“Grievous” = “to tremble or quiver”, v. 11). We all know that life can be just like that at times. We are enjoying ourselves one moment and the next; we are on the bottom, looking up, wondering how we got down here. This life is filled with hard realities and heartbreaking moments. Sickness comes; people die; relationships fall apart; depression rears its head; difficulties arise; troubles dog our steps. That is the reality of life! (Job 14:1; John 16:33). Gen. 3:17-19 show us “Some have been there; some are there and some are going there“.
v. 15-16 IT WAS A TIME OF HOPELESS REALITIES
v. 15 There Were Problems – The water ran out, the sun beat down and Hagar gave up! Life is like that at times ( 2 Cor. 1:8). Sometimes, the burdens are more than we can bear! But, they are never more than Jesus can bear (2 Cor. 1:9-10). In Matt. 11:28-30 Jesus is in the yoke with you!
v. 16 There Was Pain – Hagar’s heart is broken. She is sure Ishmael is going to die; and didn’t want to see him die so she set herself “A Bowshot” away, which is probably about 1000 feet. She does not want to witness the death of her son, so she leaves him under a bush and goes off to weep. She found herself in a situation she could not fix and from which she could not escape. Have you ever been there? David was (Ps. 55:1-8). Most of us like to be in control of our lives, when we can’t control it or fix it, we get desperate! Have you ever been there?
v. 16-17 There Was Prayer – Hagar may have prayed: Ishmael certainly did. God heard him and moved to help him; “Ishmael” means “God Hears”. Prayer is an ever-present resource for the believer. We can run to Him anytime, anywhere, for any purpose and He has promised to hear us and help us! (Matt. 7:7-8; Jer. 33:3; Phil. 4:6-7). Prayer should be our first priority, not the final straw! Here’s the truth: Problems are going to come into our lives. When they do, they will come unwanted or unannounced. When they come, they will hurt us deeply at times. When they come, we must not delay, but we must run to the Lord and seek His help. He will hear us and He will help us. He may change the situation, but more often, He will change us in the situation (2 Cor. 12:7-11).
v. 17-21 IT WAS A TIME OF HIDDEN RESOURCES
While Hagar went through this time of terrible tragedy, she was enveloped by some very precious hidden resources. She didn’t realize it, but God was there and He had just what she needed to see her through. She was so overcome by her grief that she could not see the resources that were right there before her eyes. Have you ever been there? We say it like this, “Can’t see the forest for the trees”.
v. 12-13 God’s Providence – God had a plan in all of this. Ishmael represented the efforts of the flesh and he had to go, so the son of faith, Isaac, might obtain his rightful place. The pain and suffering was part of God’s plan. The same is true in your life and mine. God has a plan and sometimes it involves us walking through some hard places. God knows what He is doing. Until you walk through the valley, you cannot appreciate the mountain top; some examples are Elijah, Widow of Zarephath; Three Hebrews; Daniel; Disciples in the boat; 5,000 plus hungry folks; Mary and Martha; etc. (Isa. 55:8-9; Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17). Thank God He is behind the scenes pulling all the strings of life (Ps. 37:23).
v. 17a God’s Presence – She didn’t know it, but God had been there the whole time. He won’t leave you either ( Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20). Other examples are found in Deut. 31:8; 1 Sam. 12:22; Isa. 41:10; 43:2.
v. 17b God’s Peace – God called Hagar by name; He was concerned about her problem, and He spoke peace to her. God knows (Job 23:10). God cares (Heb. 4:15-16). God can speak peace to your heart (John 14:27; Phil. 4:7). Remember the Disciples in the boat when Jesus came walking in the water? “ It is I” ( John 6:19-21.)
v. 18 God’s Promise – He may not make you a great nation, but He will take care of you –(Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:19; Ps. 37:25).
v. 19 God’s Provision – He opened her eyes and showed her what had been right in front of her all along! We are blinded to His provisions by our problems. He can open our eyes and show us that He has everything we could ever need (Luke 24:30-31). He has what you need, if you will come to Him, you can have that provision (The blessings and power of our God). He has more and can do more than you can imagine ( Eph. 3:20)!
Conc: What ails YOU? Bring it to the Father today by prayer and by faith!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING,
New International Version (NIV)
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 12/28/2011
SIN AND THE SAINT OF GOD, Part 21b, Continued From Yesterday!
SIN CANNOT DERAIL GOD'S PLAN
When Abraham left the promised land to enter Gerar, he placed the plan of God in jeopardy. You see, God had promised to send the promised seed within a year (Gen. 18:10-14). Abraham showed very poor judgment! If Abimelech had been allowed to sleep with Sarah, it could have short-circuited God's plan. Of course, the Scriptures tell us that God prevented anything like that from taking place! Another problem is the fact that Abraham is the sole representative of God Almighty ( v. 7). He has been commissioned to be a blessing to all the families of the earth. Instead of being a blessing and a witness for God, Abraham's life could have been a hindrance to prevent Abimelech from knowing of God. However, in spite of Abraham's sin, God spoke to Abimelech and dealt with him anyway (v. 6-7).
Regardless of what we do, God's plan will be accomplished! For too long, preachers have tried to keep the people of God in line by using fear tactics against them. The saints have been told to live right or God can't bless; He can't work and He can't save souls. Many have been told that they have sent others to Hell by the lifestyles they live. Well, I just want to set the record straight today! You cannot hinder God from doing His work (HE WILL DO IT WITH OR WITHOUT YOU)! You might miss out on the blessing of being a part of what He is doing, but God will accomplish His will in the church and in the world whether we cooperate or not!
Another thing, you cannot "send anyone to Hell". Men go to hell when they refuse to receive Christ as their Savior and nothing you or I do can cause them to do that or prevent them from doing that! That may not be what you have heard all your life, but it is still the truth! Our job is to warn them and to live right before them, but the decision they make in the end is theirs and theirs alone (Eze. 3:18)!
You might think that Abraham's sin should have shamed Abraham? But there is no indication that he ever acknowledged it or repented of it! Much like many in our world today! But, think about this: Abraham's sin was used as testimony to the greatness of God. Abimelech would have never known that God was a God of mercy, grace, forgiveness and restoration if that old saint had never fallen into sin! But, because he did, God was able to demonstrate His power through forgiving and restoring Abraham by grace. This is not an excuse for sinning! It is just a reminder that our sin will not stop God from saving folks. People need to know that our God is a God Who saves and keeps SIINERS WHO BECOME SAINTS through grace and not works!
SIN WEARS THE EMPEROR’S CLOTHES
Sin is just like the story of "The Emperorer's Suit". It attempts to camouflage itself, but it never realizes that its camouflage is flimsy and transparent. In fact, everyone can see through it, except the Emperor. When Abraham is confronted by his sin, he does not repent, but instead he offers up excuses. Here they are. They aren't much, but they are the same ones people still use today.
1. He Claimed That He Had Acted Out Of Fear - v. 11 - It wasn't fear that caused this terrible event, it was a lack of faith!
2. He Twisted The Facts - v. 12 - Sarah was his sister, but she was more than that, she was his wife!
3. He Hid Behind His Past Failures - v. 13 - He tells the king that this is the way we have always done it. Abraham's response to being confronted is to attempt to hide behind some very flimsy excuses. Like the Emperor, Abraham did not even realize that he was fully exposed before God.
When we sin and are found out, we always try to make excuses for our behavior. We will either blame someone else, or we will blame the devil. We may try to pretend that we didn't do anything wrong. We may plead ignorance. We may act like we see no wrong in our actions. There are a thousand ways we can handle sin, but only one way will bring cleansing, restoration and the blessing of God. Sin must be confessed! It must be dragged out, kicking and screaming, into the open, and it must be exposed for what it is: black, dirty and wicked! This is God's way for dealing with sin (Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). What excuses are you hiding your behavior behind today? Whether you know it or not, everyone already sees it for what it is! You will never get past it until you can see it for yourself and deal with it God's way!
Conc: We all battle sin! Some more than others, but we all fight it nonetheless. The question is, who is winning the battle, you or your sins? If you want to be free you can be (John 8:32)! If you want to be a light to the world you can be (Matt 5:14). If you want your life to be blessed and to be a blessing, you can have it (Rom 15:29)! All it takes is you doing what Abraham refused to do: get before the Lord and face your sins for what they are! If you do, the Lord will forgive you and bless you, He will restore you and use you for His glory. Does that sound good to you? If you need that kind of help, it is available in Jesus. Come to Him and watch Him work on your sin problem!
TODAY’S SCRITURE and BLESSING,
New International Version (NIV)
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 12/27/2011
SIN AND THE SAINT OF GOD, Part 21a,
These verses portray a horrible failure in the life of one of God's choice servants. If you remember Abraham's journey down in to Egypt in Genesis 12:10-20, you will notice some similarities between that event and Gen 20:1-18. It is never pleasant to see failure in the life of one of God's children. But, I am thankful that God did not sweep Abraham's sin under the rub. I am grateful that He saw fit to record the event in the pages of Scripture. I am grateful because, like Abraham, I struggle with sin. Sometimes, I struggle with the same sins over and over, as I am sure you do too. What we need in the midst of our struggle is some encouragement! What we need is the blessed assurance that we have hope in the midst of our failures!
This passage offers that hope to our hearts today! It may seem like a passage of darkness, gloom and failure, but in reality, it is a passage filled with hope and help for you and me. I want to point out a few principles that are contained here that speak to your need and mine, as we take a look at Sin And The Saint Of God.
SIN DOESN'T HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE
Remember that Abraham is 100 years old when this event occurs. When he did this same thing in Genesis 12, he was just beginning his walk with the Lord. Here, he should be at the height of his maturity as a believer. Notice also that this is a sin he has carried with him for many decades (Gen 20:13). For us the point is clear: there will never be a time in this life when we will be beyond falling! Therefore, we need to avoid some of the mistakes that Abraham made.
Never stop trusting God to take care of you - Why was Abraham there in the first place? Well in Gen. 12, he went because of a famine, not believing that God would take care of him. This time, we are not told why he went, but my opinion is that he was getting away from Sodom and Gomorrah. He probably thought that all the area would be burned up. When we come to the place where we no longer trust the Lord to meet our needs and to get us through the trials of life, we are headed for disaster!
Never put yourself in the place of temptation - Abraham had a fear that some man would kill him so that he could have Sarah. When he felt this fear, he was inclined to lie to save his hide, not believing that God would be able to take care of him. Only a fool subjects himself to temptation's lure believeing that he will walk away unharmed! If you know that you have a problem in a given area, you are foolish to place yourself in a position to be tempted! When temptation comes, you need to be like Joseph: Run! (Gen. 39:12). Friends, we must never let down our guard! May we never come to think that we have arrived at a place where we cannot sin, or where we are free from the temptation to commit a particular sin. As sure as you let down your guard, you are headed for trouble (1 Cor. 10:12)! As long as you live in this flesh, you will never be safe from sin!
SIN CANNOT OVERCOME GRACE
Even though Abraham is clearly out of God's will at this time in his life, he is still enjoying the Lord's blessings! That may mess up your theology, but it is still true! You see, even when Abraham is in a place of his own choosing and is not doing what God asked him to do, he is still being blessed by the Lord. Notice the blessings that came his way:
1. He Forgave Him Of His Sins - Implied in verse 17
2. He Protected Him From Harm - v. 2-9, 18
3. He Blessed Him Financially - v. 14-16
4. He Used Him For His Glory - v. 17
(This same principle is witnessed in the life of Elijah , 1 Kings 19:8-18).
What does this teach us? Simply the truth that we cannot change “who we are” , but we can change “WHAT WE ARE and TO WHOM WE BELONG“! We all know that God chastens His children (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12). However, how many of us could testify to the truth that there have been times when we were miles away from the Lord and He still blessed our lives! What is this? Nothing less than His grace! This just serves to remind us that God deals with us on the basis of whose we are rather than on the basis of what we do! This does not give us a license to sin! After all, the redeemed sinner is going to want to serve the Lord, and the sinner will not rest until things are right between him and the Lord. It is also true that after a while God will deal directly and completely with the sin that resides within His children's hearts. Thank God, even our sin is unable to separate us from the LOVE of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:38-39), but sin will separate us from God (Is 59:1-2)!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING:
New International Version (NIV)
1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. 6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’S unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!
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