A Curse on Their Uncontrolled Anger

God told me not to play computer games today. It made me angry because it is the only time I relax. (I play while eating lunch.)

David comes home, eats lunch, and then watches TV for 15 minutes. He unwinds and is ready to get back at it in the afternoon.

I pointed that out to God. He said, “Trust Me.”

After lunch, I got out my library book on writing to study. If I read 12 pages a day and took notes, I would finish before it was due.

I finished the chapter and started on the next. It didn’t apply to my situation. I went through the rest of the book and only took 3 notes. I had an hour and a half free.

God said, “Now you have time to go to the library.”

That made me ecstatic. I would rather go to the library than go to the mall!

🙂

Simeon and Levi were the brothers who killed all the men at Shechem, (see Genesis 34). You might say they had anger issues. Simeon’s tribe grew so small that their inheritance was a little circle in Judah’s inheritance, (see Joshua 19:9). It was so tiny that the map in the Chronological Study Bible didn’t show it.

Levi learned to control his anger. His tribe still felt anger but chose to subdue it.

Moses was a Levite. He killed the Egyptian in a fit of anger, (see Exodus 2:1-15). But he learned to master his anger.

Genesis 49:5-7, “Simeon and Levi are two of a kind, ready to fight at the drop of a hat. (6) I don’t want anything to do with their vendettas, want no part in their bitter feuds; They kill men in fits of temper, slash oxen on a whim. (7) A curse on their uncontrolled anger, on their indiscriminate wrath. I’ll throw them out with the trash; I’ll shred and scatter them like confetti throughout Israel.” The Message

Jacob’s prophecy came true. The Levites were scattered through Israel like confetti. They didn’t receive an inheritance. But they humbled themselves before God and He chose that tribe to serve in the temple.

The Bible says Moses was the most humble man, (see Numbers 12:3). He showed us that God can use us even if we have anger issues. We have to humble ourselves and give that anger to God.

We all get angry. What matters is how we react to that anger, (see Ephesians 4:26). Do we take matters into our own hands? Do we explode? Or do we subdue it, humble ourselves before God and trust Him to vindicate us?

Was there a time when you got angry and you left it to God? How did He vindicate you? What was your reward for controlling your anger?

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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God Hasn’t Changed

Rachel demonstrated trying to make things happen in her own strength. She didn’t steal the household gods to worship them. They held a greater purpose.

“…household gods were used as evidence of family leadership. …Rachel stole the gods to give her husband the position of tribal leader. …Laban was so insistent on getting them back to make sure one of his own sons would become the family chief. …to erect a boundary…to make sure Jacob never returned with the household gods to claim the first rights to the family holdings.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Jacob relied on God. He knew all his blessing came from God:

  • His children, 30:2.
  • His wages, 30:31-33; 31:8-9.
  • His home, 31:3, 13.

Laban changed his wages 10 times but God blessed him every time. He trusted God because He never changes and never leaves.

Genesis 31:5, “…But the God of my father hasn’t changed; he’s still with me.” The Message

Was there ever a time when God vindicated you after being cheated? What about vindicating your children?

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Inch By Inch

My bathroom scale can keep track of the weights of 2 people. After you weigh yourself, it asks if you are #1 or #2. Then it will tell you how much you have gained or lost.

David normally weighs himself on the scales downstairs. Once he weighed himself on my scale and hit #2. That was sometime last year.

Monday, I weighed myself and didn’t like the number. I moved the scale closer to the sink. (The sub-floor was not glued down when they built the house. I can get a different reading if I am on a stud.) I was in a hurry. I stepped on the scale before it had finished asking, “#1 or #2.”

The scale said I lost 77 pounds. I hadn’t. That was the difference between my weight and David’s weight last year. I had lost weight in the last week – 4 ounces. (Sigh.)

That is how God works – little by little.

Genesis 8:3, “Inch by inch the water lowered. After 150 days the worst was over.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…Noah, his family and the animals, confined in the ark – 371 days.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

* * * * * * *

Genesis 8:13, “In the six-hundred-first year of Noah’s life, on the first day of the first month, the flood had dried up. Noah opened the hatch of the ship and saw dry ground.” The Message

Noah spent 100 years building the Ark and preaching to whoever would listen. He didn’t have 1 convert. Then he spent a year in the Ark with his family and all the animals.

He really needed a vacation! I’m sure he longed to rest on the beach watching the waves roll in. Instead, he put God first and built an altar, (see Genesis 8:20).

Noah was ready to retire. He was 601 years old and had just survived the worst disaster on the earth. Yet God was not finished with him.

God instructed him and his sons to “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Earth!”, (see Genesis 9:1). Before he became an “Ark builder,” Noah was a farmer. He planted a vineyard, (see Genesis 9:20).

* *

When you have an empty nest, you are not finished. When you step back from your life’s work, you are not finished. Remember the gifts and desires from your youth? Start developing them. Grandma Moses didn’t start painting in earnest until she was 78 years old.

We are to prosper, produce, and fill the earth until the day we die. Take one small step. “Inch by inch, life is a cinch…”

What did you want to do when you were a child? Did you dream of inventing something? What would you like to create? How do you preserve your memories? Journaling? Painting? Photography?

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And Then There Were the Musicians

“We…have inner strengths and gifts that need to be refined but we’re not aware of them because a demand hasn’t been placed on them.” The Word for You Today, 9-30-18

When I married David, I determined to bring honor to his surname. My actions showed his name meant hardworking, honesty, doing the right thing, faithfulness, and dependability. David was already living this way. We taught our children the same things.

But what if you were born into a family with a different reputation? Are there strengths and gifts in you? Yes!

1 Chronicles 7:21, “…Ezer and Elead, cattle-rustlers, killed on one of their raids by the natives of Gath.” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Chronicles 7:24, “His daughter was Sheerah. She built Lower and Upper Beth Horon and Uzzen Sheerah.” The Message 

* * * * * * *

“Beth-Horon, House of the Hollow… Much later King Solomon would fortify both Beth-Horons (2 Chronicles 8:5). abarim-publications.com

* * * * * * *

“Uzzen-Sheerah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List…some sharp pinnacle and reads ‘Top of Sheerah.’ ” abarim-publications.com

While her brothers were out rustling cattle, Sheerah was building defendable towns. Two of them were later used as fortresses. The third had a pinnacle where she could watch for danger.

* *

What if you have a boring job? Are there strengths and gifts in you? Yes!

1 Chronicles 9:18, “Up to now the security guard at the King’s Gate on the east. They also served as security guards at the camps of Levite families.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…the temple gatekeepers played very significant roles in a temple-centered society with crude locks and keys. In one role the gatekeepers functioned essentially as secret service agents, controlling the inner city security of Jerusalem.

…Some gatekeepers held substantial political power themselves. By guarding doorways a gatekeeper could play the role of the royal ‘chief of staff,’ controlling access to the king.

…Another gatekeeper, a certain Zechariah, is called a ‘wise counselor’ (1 Chronicles 26:14), which is a phrase the Chronicler reserves for royal advisors (1 Chronicles 27:32, 33).

…Kore, a gatekeeper of the East Gate, …’in charge of the freewill offerings given to God,’ a responsibility that included distributing allotments by divisions (2 Chronicles 31:14-16). Without bank vaults persons of great integrity were necessary to ensure the proper financial care of the temple and its personnel.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

The gatekeepers were more than bouncers. They were wise advisors, with political power, entrusted with the finances.

* *

Some duties required greater commitment and sacrifice. Would you accept a job that required 24-hours, 7 days a week duty?

1 Chronicles 9:33, “And then there were the musicians…They had permanent living quarters in the Temple; because they were on twenty-four-hour duty, they were exempt from all other duties.” The Message

Serving on the worship team looks glamorous but it’s not. We practice or play every day, 7 days a week. We are constantly learning and memorizing new songs. We can’t just run away for the weekend.

Some weeks we carry more responsibility than others. The weekend of Derek’s wedding one leader played percussion as she led. Another singer stepped up and led 2 songs. Some weeks, I play 2 keyboard parts and cover the bass part all at once.

* *

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your family’s reputation is. It doesn’t matter what your day job is. God put strengths and gifts in you to do more. You have great political power – all you have to do is cast a vote.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Let the Light Shine Out

The star in the southern sky was still shining when I got up. I downloaded a “night sky” app to see if it was a planet. It was part of the Cancer constellation.

Psalms 119:147, “I was up before sunrise, crying for help, hoping for a word from you.” The Message

I enjoy being up early. The quiet house is conducive to writing. I made my coffee and started devotions.

Psalms 119:130, “Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning.” The Message

That verse is my prayer. I want ordinary people to see the “light” from God’s Word.

The problem is we are looking for a “spotlight” but God offers a “nightlight.” There is enough light to see the next step. We won’t trip in the dark – but we won’t see the entire trip.

“…Ancient lamps were…small ceramic bowls…a “nose” on one edge…Wicks of cloth were laid in the nose and extended into the oil of the lamp. The light produced was not brilliant but necessary for finding one’s way. …Psalms 119:105…compares God’s Word with a lamp. While the light from that word does not blind the eyes, it does point the way for its hearers.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

God shows me the next step. Sometimes in the light of a star.

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They Will Try to Get Rid of Sacred Worship

At Brianna’s bridal shower, she heard an old wives tale. “The number of bows you break opening gifts is the number of children you will have.” She was fearless –

“Does anyone have a pocketknife?”

Weddings are full of symbols, traditions, and hidden meanings. Apocalyptic writings are the same. Daniel 7 and 8 are apocalyptic texts.

“…Apocalyptic texts usually presented symbolic versions, with every detail appearing to have a specific hidden meaning, though not always explaining it. The primary purpose of apocalyptic writing was to comfort those who were persecuted for their faith. Such comfort was found in knowing that all the kingdoms of earth, however powerful they might appear, would one day be crushed and replaced by God’s eternal kingdom, in which the faithful would be vindicated (Daniel 2:44; 7:27; 8:25). …” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Alexander the Great fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 8. Some things never change. What Daniel wrote about that time is true today.

Daniel 7:25, “Then he will blaspheme the High God, persecute the followers of the High God, and try to get rid of sacred worship and moral practice.” The Message

Jeremiah 29 tells us how to live regardless of the political state. We are to marry, have children, build houses, plant vineyards, etc. Through it all, we are to cling to our convictions.

“When a Roman soldier was told by his guide that if he insisted on taking a certain journey, it would probably be fatal, he answered, ‘It is necessary for me to go – it is not necessary for me to live.’ That was true depth of conviction, and only when we are likewise convicted will our lives amount to something.”

“Streams in the Desert,” September 9

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Make Yourselves at Home

I’m studying “Decorating Master Class – The Cullman and Kravis Way,” Elissa Cullman and Tracey Pruzan. I just finished the chapter on lighting.

“Positioning Guidelines for Suspended Lights:

The bottom of a suspended fixture is typically between 6 feet 9 inches to 7 feet 3 inches from the floor… The bottom should be at least 36 inches above dining tables.” “Decorating Master Class,” Elissa Cullman and Tracey Pruzan

I measured the distance between my light and my kitchen table. When I added pendants to the light, I forgot to remeasure. I moved it up 4 inches.

My sister-in-law didn’t realize it was a swag light. (I have a cloth cover over the chain.) I should stop looking at it as a swag light.

The next day, I moved it all the way up and tightened the covered chain. It opened up the view! (We have 8-foot ceilings and the light is well within the above guidelines.)

Then I felt guilty for spending time measuring and moving the light twice. Decorating is not important – right? Wrong!

Jeremiah 29:5, “Build houses and make yourselves at home. Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country.” The Message

I am making myself at home!

The first group of exiles must have felt like God was punishing them. The remaining Israelites probably felt like they were “good.” But the opposite was true.

Jeremiah 24:5-6, “…the exiles from here that I’ve sent off to the land of the Babylonians are like the good figs, and I’ll make sure they get good treatment. (6) I’ll keep my eye on them so that their lives are good, and I’ll bring them back to this land. I’ll build them up, not tear them down; I’ll plant them, not uproot them.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…It was the exiles, not the people remaining in Judah, whom God would use to redeem his land and his people. …” Chronological Study Bible Notes on Jeremiah 24

The remnant consisted of: elders, priests, prophets, royalty, government leaders, skilled laborers, and craftsmen. (See Jeremiah 29:1-2.) God had everyone he needed to start over. God told them to have children and apprentice them.

The exiles were to live there for 70 years, (see Jeremiah 29:10). God wanted them to prosper – even in exile. So no matter where you live…make yourself at home!

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Get Your Prayers Off the Ground

I’ll just leave this here…it hit way to close to home.

Isaiah 58:2-4, “They’re busy, busy, busy at worship, and love studying all about me. To all appearances they’re a nation of right-living people – law-abiding, God-honoring. They ask Me, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’ and love having Me on their side. (3) But they also complain, ‘Why do we fast and You don’t look our way? Why do we humble ourselves and You don’t even notice?’ …(4) You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. …The kind of fasting you do won’t get your prayers off the ground.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“In Isaiah 58:1-4, the prophet most likely described the situation in Jerusalem soon after the exiles returned…Not only did the community have to reclaim the land for farming and reconstruct the city; they had to rebuild all their economic institutions from the ground up. …religious devotion had become a substitute for ethical behavior. …No matter how properly ‘religious’ their behavior was, it did not address the real need of the community: the need to share the scarce resources that were available to the returnees. …did not see the necessity of relating their religious devotion to their social and economic practice. God thought that they should.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

* * * * * * *

“Prayers are not wishes; prayers are conversations. God does not grant but God gives, God is not summoned, but God speaks. …There is no one right way to speak to God, no guarantee of answers or outcomes, but the words themselves will take on life as they leave your lips, they will find their way to Jesus, they will be heard.” “Forgiving God,” Hilary Yancey in “You + Hard Thing = Not Talking to God (or the Silence Where God Speaks),” Ann Voskamp

(Note to self: Things to overcome – complaining and bickering. Enough said.)

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

The Intervention of Jesus Christ – Grace

In the movie, “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone,” he was an actor in trouble. He trashed a motel and was given 200 hours community service in a church.

They were casting for their big Easter production and he tried out. Claiming Christianity to participate, they gave him the role of Jesus Christ. While rehearsing the scene of the woman caught in adultery, he asked a question…

“What did Jesus write in the sand?”

“The Bible doesn’t say,” the director replied.

He spent a lot of time with three of the men playing “his disciples.” And even helped repair a car that was given to a single mother. He stopped shouting his lines dramatically and started saying them kindly.

He finally understood on opening night. During the scene of the woman caught in adultery, he wrote in the sand…

“Grace”

“Letting go of every single dream, I lay each one down at your feet. Every moment of my wandering never changes what you see.” “How Can It Be” Lauren Daigle

* * * * * * *

2 Peter 1:1-2, “…I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (2) Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Peter 1:12-13, “Because the stakes are so high, even though you’re up-to-date on all this truth and practice it inside and out, I’m not going to let up for a minute in calling you to attention before it. (13) This is the post to which I’ve been assigned – keeping you alert with frequent reminders – and I’m sticking to it as long as I live.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“The letter is written out of pastoral concern to counter false teachings and their influence on the lives of early Christians. Certain teachers, for their own personal gain, were promising that people could be Christians and still live immoral lives. …concerned that there be a check against this false teaching and immoral living even after he is gone (1:12-15).” Chronological Study Bible Introduction to 2 Peter

* * * * * * *

“When we focus on our perceived value and worthiness, we lose our sense of awe and wonder at just how magnificent Jesus is. …the first century believers in Colossae,… wanted to be right with God, and there was no shortage of people willing to tell them exactly how they could do that. Some argued for religious observances like circumcision, holy days and rules about food. Others suggested angel worship and secret rituals, plus other mystical practices. …Paul speaks firmly against these checklist teachings, explaining that those who promote such ideas are not holding on to Jesus. It’s Jesus alone…and He is enough.” “You are Not Enough, and That’s OK” Asheritah Ciuciu, on Proverbs 31 Ministries email

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Learn a Life of Love

My daughter-in-law, Bethany, just asked me if I was a drug dealer!

My granddaughter, Olivia, was at the fair when a nasty storm blew in. They came to my house and waited out the storm in the basement. Since Luke was out-of-state, we decided to have a slumber party. (Their house doesn’t have a basement.)

The phone rang at 12:30 a.m. waking the adults up. I grabbed the extension by my bed but no one answered. I hit redial and it went right to voicemail. I guess the caller rolled over on their phone.

Then Bethany woke up when David left at 5:30 a.m. His boss told him of a barber who opened at 6:00 a.m. on Fridays for walk-ins. He left for a haircut.

He came back to the house for the Wal-Mart list. He picked up a few things there and brought them home. Then he went to work. Olivia blissfully slept through it all!

It concerned Bethany because there was a call in the middle of the night. And David kept leaving. I explained everything to her.

I woke up before he left and went to the basement. Yesterday, I moved my Bibles, devotionals, notebook, and Chromebook downstairs. (My office is also the guest room. I had to temporarily move out.)

I was writing in my notebook seated on the loveseat. God reminded me of a conversation earlier this week. I had my notebook and 2 Bibles open on the desk. I told God it was crowded and wished for a bigger space. Now I am balancing a notebook and 2 Bibles on the loveseat. That desk looks pretty big to me!

Paul wrote most of the New Testament – from prison! Instead of changing my circumstances I am letting God change me. I will write anywhere and everywhere.

Ephesians 3:8, “And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ.” The Message

Our slumber party was the last night of camp. Derek is one of the leaders and has been gone since Sunday. I envisioned a week of romance. The honeymoon is definitely over. *Sigh*

Ephesians 5:25-28, “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. (26) Christ’s love makes the church whole. (27) His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. (28) And that is how husband’s ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves and favor – since they’re already ‘one’ in marriage.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…In the Greek culture that was dominate in and around Ephesus, husbands were on average 12 or more years older than their wives, were usually more educated, and held much higher social status,….

In one traditional Greek formulation, men used prostitutes for pleasure and wives only to bear them legitimate children.

…What is significant is that Paul modified the culture’s values, calling on all believers to submit (5:21), and allowing the husband-wife relationship to be affected by the God-human relationship.

…While Romans and Greeks supposed that husbands would love their wives, Paul listed such as a command.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

* * * * * * *

Ephesians 5:21. “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.” The Message

The way I support my husband shows my support for Christ? That’s a humbling thought.

Ephesians 5:1-2, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. (2) Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us, His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that.” The Message

I guess I should stop wishing for dazzling white silk!

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