Month: May 2020
1 Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
It should be very clear to those of us who follow Christ and seek the wisdom of God that the nations today are raging against this pandemic, against the virus, and against each other far apart from the counsel of the Lord. They take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed. The nations seek to break the bonds of God from their lives and to cast off His loving cords of restraint and guidance. Not once have I heard a national leader tell us that we need to seek the face of God, repent from our sin, and cry out to Him for mercy. (If you have heard of a national leader who has said this, please send me the link to the article.)
The doom and gloom of this pandemic are the primary news stories. We hear about some people who are acting quite heroically during this time and we hear about others who are taking advantage of this time to make some quick money or to gain political clout. Conspiracy theories abound with different levels of validation. Some say it will take years, others say it will be better in a few months. They debate between the value of human life and the value of human economy. Someone else said that the news companies are liking this because more people are watching news and as their ratings go up so do their profit margins.
Please notice verse 4. God is laughing at man’s roaring’s apart from Him. God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, so God is not laughing at the pains of mankind; however, God knows that those who are raging against Him have it all wrong. We could say that they are all “barking up the wrong tree.” Until they seek God’s wisdom, they are going to get it wrong. There is one King of glory and He is the Lord of hosts. Psalm 24:10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.
Until the nations seek God’s wisdom all we can hope for is the best of human ideas. But what we really need is leaders who are truly seeking God’s face, His wisdom, and His answers. Let us pray that those who are in leadership over us will stop their human raging and will seek counsel from the King of glory, the Lord of hosts.
For the first time since March 21st, I took Jared to the store last night. Since he has no concept of wearing a mask, he had no sense of keeping it on his nose. I took three masks because of his swallowing issues and could have taken more. It was quite comical to keep pulling the mask up over his nose and wondering if it was doing any good at all. We are thankful for Jared’s good health. He has been very good about being quarantined for so long. He repeatedly asks to go to church, to put on his tie and go to church. Church has been a weekly part of Jared’s life since he was born, and he must be wondering why we don’t go. Thank you who have prayed for him so diligently. He is really doing well.
Tomorrow is Ascension Day here in Indonesia. Each year the Christian churches put on a combined service to celebrate the ascension of Christ. This year, the service is prerecorded and is available on https://ascensionday.online.church The service will begin at 10:00 AM Jakarta time which is 12 hours earlier than Chicago time. Join us for an hour of music and prayer and worship as we celebrate the ascension of our Savior and His call for us to continue on for Him.
Have a great day in the Lord,
1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
There were times in the Psalmist life when he felt God was not hearing his prayer. In verses 1-4 he shares the fear of the silence of God. As I read this Psalm it reminded me of today, this Covid-19 day. All of us have prayed and asked God to remove this virus, to bring it to an end, or to heal our friends or family from it. God has seemed to be silent. He has seemed to hide His face from us and to leave sorrow in our hearts. Our eyes need His light, or we too might sleep the sleep of death. Those who reject God, His enemies, have assumed that we will be overcome and seem to rejoice when those who call upon the Lord get sick.
This is not an overreach. We are struggling today with the apparent silence of God.
In verse 5, the Psalmist changes his focus, and so must we. God’s unfailing love is His steadfast, never changing, undeserved love. This is a love that we can trust even when we have doubts. Our hearts can rejoice knowing that God has a salvation planned for us. We may not know when His salvation will come but we are certain it will; His unfailing love will not leave us alone.
Because God’s love is steadfast, we can sing His praise. Note here that the Psalmist does not say that his circumstances have changed, but his focus has changed. In the middle of our Covid-19 days, we can rest in the unfailing love of God and we can sing His praises for His goodness to us. God is good to us: He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins so that we can be made righteous in Him. So, while our circumstances seem bleak, our eternity is secure. Sing God’s praises with me today; He has been good to us.
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
It should be interesting that passages we have known and studied take on a new light while living in a world-wide crisis. When we take our time to read and listen to the news, we find our minds running to many places and not all of them are godly. The unrighteous of this world are clamoring for position and power hoping that when all of this is behind us that they will have done the right thing. Conspiracy theories abound. Conversations quickly go to what the government is doing wrong and that they should be more concerned about the lives of people.
The message of Psalm 1 has become more focused than ever. We are called here to delight ourselves in the law of the Lord and to meditate on it day and night. We have more time at home than ever before. We have more time to meditate on the Lord and upon His word than ever before. Furthermore, we have a greater need for God’s mind than ever before. As people of God, we need God’s knowledge to know His counsel. In Job 35:16, 38:2, and 42:3 we find the expression “counsel without knowledge.” Since no one today knows the mind of God and most are not interested in knowing God’s knowledge about this crisis, their counsel is without God’s knowledge.
My friends, if we want to be people of strength, refreshment, fruitfulness, security, and blessing (Psalm 1:3, the tree), then our primary source of meditation must be the Word of God, His holy Scriptures. Each of us who are redeemed have the Holy Spirit of God living in us whom Jesus sent to guide us into all truth and to teach us clarity regarding Himself. If we are going to be people of the light, people of the blessing, then we are to meditate in God’s law day and night.
This world is in such desperate need of people with good answers. I cannot give them answers about Covid 19 nor about the economy nor about when we will get back to normal, whatever that will look like. But I can tell them that God is good, that God is just, that God is merciful, that God cares about them, and that God is fully in control today. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He has written the last chapter and is moving the entire world population to where He wants us. This world needs answers and God will to show them to His people who meditate on His word first and foremost.
Our church here in Jakarta is giving out food baskets every week. This began when one man saw the upcoming need and donated 5 jt, or $300.00 toward the project. Since then, 57 food baskets, sembako bags, have been given. Each week, God burdens someone and the account increases. If you have been wanting to help people who are legitimately suffering due to a lack of work due to the crisis, 100% of what is given goes to buy food. Each food unit cost Rp 150,000 or about $10. If you are in the US and want to donate to this you can use our Paypal account, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in Indonesia you can donate to CIMB Niaga account IDR : 800 130 149 700
As you give, pray that these food gifts will show the love of Christ to those whose hearts are far from Christ to realize that the Christians in the community love them with the love of Christ.
Have a great day in the Lord,