Thursday, January 18, 2018

2018.01.18 Devotional Gleanings

Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!”
Genesis 37:18-20
The precious doctrine of God's all-sovereign will is the biblical answer to the problem of evil. Here we have where they meant it for evil, but the testimony of 50:20 is that God meant this for good. Even through the wickedness that the wicked do, the good God is always doing good. And the final piece of that goodness will be to punish the wickedness of the wicked!

    “Why did I not die at birth?
    Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?
    Why did the knees receive me?
    Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?”
Job 3:11-12
Here are the first in a long series of questions that Job has throughout the book. God's answer? "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" (38:4). Indeed, this is the foundational answer to any of us, whenever we question the providence of God.

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
    ‘This people honors Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far from Me.
    And in vain they worship Me,
    Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
Mark 7:5-8
What dangerous thing it is when a clever idea becomes a tradition. As the weightiness of the tradition increases, the importance to us of Scripture decreases, until we begin to lay aside God's commandments, and that dreadful sentence sounds in heaven, "Their heart is far from me, and in vain they worship me."

For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:22-25
When God finally gives a man a right heart toward His law, it is evidence that he now has peace with God, but it brings him directly into a war with his sin. Battle is not pleasant, but victory is sure!

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