God Calls Nobodies and the Unloved

I’m a middle child. They say middle children are sometimes called the forgotten children. (I’m sure my daughter would agree!)

In the Bible, the firstborn child was the lucky one. Take Esau and Jacob: When Isaac died, Esau got two-thirds of his riches and Jacob got one-third. In every family, the firstborn would get twice as much as his siblings.

Esau was the firstborn; Jacob was a nobody.

Romans 9:13, “As it is written, ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.’ ” Modern English Version

This verse confused me until I read Romans 9:25 in The Message…

“…I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled out, ‘You’re nobody!’ they’re calling you ‘God’s living children.’ ” The Message

Genesis 25:28, tells us Isaac loved Esau. Esau was the firstborn and his father’s favorite. Jacob was nobody and unloved. But God changed that! God is “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Jacob is God’s living child and Esau was forgotten. God determined this before Esau and Jacob were born!

Genesis 25:23, “Then the Lord said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples will be separated from your body; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.’ ” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative….Is that grounds for complaining that God is unfair? Not so fast, please. God told Moses ‘I’m in charge of mercy. I’m in charge of compassion.’ Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy….’If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled “chosen of God,” they’d be numbers still, not names, salvation comes by personal selection. God doesn’t count us, he calls us by name…’ ” The Message

I serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob…and Pamela.

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Greatly Loved

Daniel 10:19, “And he said, ‘O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.’ And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Let my Lord speak, for you have strengthened me.'” ESV

This was the second time he told Daniel he was greatly loved, see v. 11.

I love chocolate, but not as much as I love David. He is greatly loved.

I love my children, but not as much as I love David. He is greatly loved.

I love my parents, but not as much as I love David. He is greatly loved.

That is how God loves me. I am greatly loved.

He doesn’t want me to be afraid. He wants me to live in peace. He wants me to be strong. He wants me to be courageous.

He gives all of those things to me because I am greatly loved…

…and so are you.

Gloating Over Your Brother’s Misfortune

When my children were young, the school presented a discipline program called, “1, 2, 3, Time Out.”

When a child misbehaved, you said, “That’s one.” If they repeated it, or talked back, you said, “That’s two.” If they still disobeyed, it became the third strike and they had a time out.

I was surprised, when during an illustration, they showed a child acting up, and when the first child was sent to time out, the parent turned to the second child and said, “That’s one.”

What did the second child do? The second child smirked when the first child got a time out.

Obadiah 1:12, “But you should not have gloated over your brother’s day, the day when his misfortune came and he was a stranger; you should not have rejoiced over the sons of Judah in the day of their ruin; you should not have spoken arrogantly in the day of their distress.”

No matter how evil a person is…they are still God’s child.

No matter how much they may seem to deserve misfortune and ruin…God still extends mercy and love.

“Dear Lord, Please forgive me for every time I spoke arrogantly in the day of another’s distress. Amen.”

 

You Won’t Be Harmed

I have been sick this week. I don’t know what caused it, but I am feeling better.

Psalms 121:6, “You won’t be harmed by the sun during the day or by the moon at night.” CEV

“Harmed…sun…moon: In ancient times people saw the harmful effects of the rays of sun, and they thought that certain illnesses (especially mental disorders) were also caused by the rays of the moon.” CEV Bible Notes

“Let Us Help!”

Ezra 4:1, 2, “The enemies of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people had come back to rebuild the temple of the Lord God of Israel. So they went to Zerubbabel and to the family leaders and said, ‘Let us help! Ever since King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here, we have worshiped your God and offered sacrifices to him’.” CEV

“Foreigners: People from foreign countries who had been captured by Assyrian and Babylonian kings and forced to settle in Palestine.” CEV Bible Notes

Interesting. The enemies of the Jews still are professing that they want to “help.”

 

As Much Happiness As Being Rich

In his sermon last night, Pastor Monte Knudsen said, “Life is not about the accumulation of stuff.”

When people were asked how much money it would take to make them  happy everyone answered $10,000 more than what they make now. It was the same answer for those who made $25,000 and for those who made $150,000.

Today’s verses show us the key to true happiness.

Psalms 119:14, 36, 37, “Obeying your instructions brings as much happiness as being rich…Make me want to obey you rather than to be rich. Take away my foolish desires, and let me find life by walking with you.”

He Did Everything He Was Supposed To Do

I had trouble starting my work today. I blamed my son who was watching “The Office” on Netflix, but it was more from apathy. I wonder if I am still going in the right direction? I got my answer in today’s verse.

Daniel 6:4, “The other men tried to find something wrong with the way Daniel did his work for the king. But they could not accuse him of anything wrong, because he was honest and faithful and did everything he was supposed to do.”

I work for King Jesus. I am honest and faithful. If I am to do everything I am supposed to do today…I had better get to that ironing. (Yuck.)

Seventy Weeks

Daniel 9:24, “God has decided that for seventy weeks…” CEV

“Seventy weeks: or ‘seventy times seven years’.” CEV Bible Notes

We do not know God’s calendar. We try to figure everything out based on our calendar, but that doesn’t work.

2 Peter 3:8, “Dear friends, don’t forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day.” CEV