“I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me”
“ “For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord. But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death.”– Proverbs 8:17; 35-36 (NASB)
This is the voice of Wisdom speaking. The first line of Proverbs 8 says “Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice?” The writer of these proverbs knew the value of wisdom and so in this and other chapters, Wisdom is given the voice. But it is truly the voice of our Lord God. We can know this from Proverbs 2:6 “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” All that God says is wise and worthy to be accepted as a way to live our lives. In today’s promise we find that Wisdom loves those who love her and it is to them that she guides in the way of the Lord. The contrary promise is that those who hate Wisdom, and many do so, we find that what they love is death. Perhaps they do not think so or know so but anyone hating wisdom, so as to spurn it, is acting as if he loves death. Life comes to those who seek and find Wisdom and take it in. Praise be to God who gives us the path to wisdom and Wisdom itself becomes our gift from God.
“As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 18:95 (NASB)
As we move day to day looking for and finding promises in every book of the Bible, the Book of Psalms is not out of the ordinary. We’ve already found many promises in these songs written by David and many others which bring praise, worship, honor, and adoration to our Lord God. As we often notice and underscore, God’s Word is true and powerful. The New Testament book of Hebrews (4:12) says God’s Word is living, active, and sharp. Today we find the promise that God’s way is blameless – that means it’s never wrong and will never lead us astray from the path He places us upon. We also have the promise that it is ‘tried’ which means tested and proven to be true. No errors or mistakes or falsehoods will be found in the original manuscripts of the Bible inspired by God through human writers. Third, God and His Word is a place of refuge, a safe place where we are shielded from the attacks of our evil enemy. Why can we know it’s a safe place? Because it’s God’s true and trusted revelation of His will and it’s able to judge our heart’s thoughts and intentions.
“Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:1-2 (NASB)
In all the books of the Bible, there is none that matches the Book of Job. It is a story of God giving permission to Satan to test one of His own. Job was an extremely wealthy man. Some say the most wealthy of his time – sometime after Babel and before Abram. With permission from God Satan laid on Job the most serious trials in an effort to get Job to curse God and turn from his faith in God. Job lost everything except his wife and his own life. It was a stiff trial and very difficult to understand for a man who loved and followed God all his life. At the end and after hearing many recriminations from his so-called friends, Job confessed the words in today’s verses. He acknowledged God’s sovereignty over his life and all life. Nothing that God purposed to do can be thwarted is the promise we have. Have you a promise from God? Believe it friend and know that God will never renege on any promise he makes. His love for us is perfect and his grace has saved us if we have believed in Him.
“And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14b (NASB)
God’s plans are perfect in every way. In the Bible God says, “my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 There are times in God’s plan that we don’t know about. In Proverbs 4:6 God promises he “will make straight our path.” But of its purpose we do not always know. Queen Esther was in just such a situation. Chosen by God through the King of Persia to be his queen, for a time that was very important to the Jews. Hatred for the Jews was stirred up by an evil man named Haman who held a high position in the courts of Persian King Ahasuerus. Haman hatched a plot to exterminate all Jews in the land using a new Persian law. Esther was in a unique position to do something to thwart this evil plan. For in this plot all of God’s unconditional covenant promises to Abraham (Genesis 17:1–8) and to David (2 Samuel 7:8–16) were jeopardized. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin informs her it is God who placed her where He could use her to save the Jewish people. She used her position to get a new law permitting the Jews to defend themselves.
“The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build,” – Nehemiah 2:20 (NASB)
In March 445 B.C. Nehemiah follows his contemporary Ezra and together they are the ones who organized the return of the people from Babylon to Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s role was restoration of the city’s walls and defenses. It has been 70 years since the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple of God. True to the prophecy through Jeremiah, God brings the people back. But it is not so easy. The people living in the land were a mix of Israelites from the Norther Kingdom and the people the Assyrians has shipped in from other lands. These are the people who become known as Samaritans and are hated by Jews. They give Nehemiah grief and trouble. Lies and false reports are sent to the Persian king as well as threats of attacks. Sanballat and Tobiah were the leaders of the troublemakers. Nehemiah makes it clear who is the power and authority behind their effort. He declares what is God’s promise to them and instructions to build first the walls and establish order to govern. The walls are completed in September 445 B.C. – seven months. Nehemiah then appointed to serve as Governor by the King of Persia
“For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”” – Ezra 8:22 (ESV)
Before the Southern Kingdom of Judah was conquered and taken captive, then exiled (for the most part) to Babylon and other Chaldean cities, Jeremiah had delivered God’s prophecy that it would happen. Jeremiah also delivered a prophecy (Jeremiah 24:6) from God that He would bring them back to the land. Ezra was a scribe. Scribes were the theologians who studied the Law of Moses and was an authority of the same. When Cyrus became king of Persia, God motivates Cyrus to send exiled Jews back to Jerusalem. This happens in stages and it is action that fulfills God’s prophecy through Jeremiah. “in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, (Ezra 1:1)” The journey to Jerusalem was be long and dangerous. Thieves who robbed for survival posed a threat to travelers. Caravans traveled with protection for safety. Ezra and the people had professed their trust in God for protection. Ezra did not want to confuse the king regarding their trust in God’s so they entreated God for safety with a prayerful fast. God honored their prayer of faith and gave His protection. God promises and God delivers on his promises.
“Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NASB)
“Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” – 2 Chronicles 20:20 (NASB)
Jehoshaphat was the King of Judah, the Southern Kingdom of Israelites. The descendants of Lot, Moab and Ammon, and the those from Esau, Edom, had intentions of dethroning Jehoshaphat. These were relatives of Judah through Abraham’s relations. They were a serious threat to the people in Jerusalem and the region. Jehoshaphat took this crisis to God in prayer (2 Chronicles 20:5-12). Today’s verses include the promises God made to the King of Judah. First He said, “Don’t let fear make you become demoralized. Second, “Trust the Lord to fight this battle.” Have we ever found ourselves facing overwhelming circumstances that cause a sense of panic within our souls? We are sure to have faced such challenges both great and small and if God is who we trust, we can be certain the promise is ours as well. God does not allow anything to come that will be too much for us if we are willing to put the solution into His hands. Major decisions about what we should do and conflicts that we need resolved will be “handled” by God. We can trust Him to do what is best for us in every circumstances..
“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” – 1 Chronicles 28:9 (NASB)
The books of First and Second Chronicles have much of the same historic accounts found in the books of the Kings. Today’s verse is an account of King David’s charge to his son Solomon as the throne of Israel is assumed by Solomon. David’s spiritual charge to Solomon resembles the Lord’s exhortation to Joshua (Joshua 1:6–9). Solomon asked God for and received the very “discretion and understanding” his father, David, desired for him. We have wonderful promises in these verses and perhaps one of the most potent ones is the promise that God will be found by those who seek Him. Many times when non-believing people mock or ridicule God and our belief in His existence it is because they have never truly sought God. We believe the dual positive/negative promises here are absolute. Those who seek to find God will find him and that finding is the work of God. Those who forsake the search for God will find they remain as rejected as they ever have. Those who seek, find. Those who ask, receive. Those who knock, the door is opened. That is all it takes and it is God’s doing that saves us.
“The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.” – 2 Kings 19:30 (NASB)
This is principle that God applies. His purpose and His promises will never go undone. The context of today’s verse is a message God sent to the people living in Jerusalem. Isaiah was charged to deliver this message. Hezekiah was King and he was anxious about what would happen to his kingdom. The Assyrians had conquered the Northern 10 tribes and deported most of the people exchanging them for people from non-Jewish cultures under their control. God’s warning for many years through Isaiah, Jeremiah and other prophets was that the same lay in store for the Southern Kingdom. This conqueror was promised to be Babylon. Before this happens Hezekiah is promised a reprieve from the threat enjoined by Assyria. In this promise is God’s plan to preserve a remnant of the house of Judah (from whom the Messiah will come). This remnant will be what regenerates their people. From the remnant of survivors in Jerusalem would come the descendants who would cover the land once again. It would be many years but that promise is what happened and it is still happening today. God always preserves a remnant of the blessed to carry out fulfillments of His promises.
“He said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart,” – 1 Kings 8:23 (NASB)
It is common among all people for all time to believe in more than one god. The “more than” are the invented gods that spring from the imaginations of people who reject the one true God. Making comparisons causes some who do not know God to think that there exists a choice in what god or gods we might believe in. There is only one true God who is the God who created all things. Solomon, the King of Israel knew and believe this truth. He makes his affirmation in this verse which is a declaration of the truth and a promise we can believe it. To believe in the actual existence of any other god is to believe in false ideas of make-believe gods. Like Solomon, a wise man beyond comparison on this earth we too can say in our prayers, “there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath.” The enemy of God is Satan and he is real but he is not a god but a fallen angel who embodies many false gods. Let’s not be led astray with the thought that there is any beside our Lord God to worship and trust.