Some people think God is like a Star Wars movie...that He most likely is not real and if He exists, He's "far, far away" and not really interested in what's going on here on puny earth.
Unfortunately, many take this view. For example, in Psalm 10, the author feels God is indeed "far off" (v1). Yet, the answer comes in later verses that God does indeed see (v14) and hear (v17) what is happening on this 3rd rock He created.
Notice some characteristics of those who would like to ignore God:
What should we do? We should remember that God does see, hear and will bring justice (14, 17, 18). Until that happens, remain faithful and don't give up! God will strengthen you (17).
The Trump sure likes to fire people. How many memes can you find on the internet of him telling people, "you're fired"? Hundreds!
Do we "demote" God when we feel like He's not "cutting it"? Here are some ways we demote God in our lives:
1) Not putting Him above all other things in our lives - Mt 6:33. Truth is, when God comes second, He's been demoted. Relegated to second place in lieu of whatever has become most important in our lives.
Sadly, when things don't turn out as we think they should, we may bump Him down to second. Like a bench-warmer, when we need Him, He's there, but until then we're content to have God "ride the bench" until we need Him to step in and help.
2) Not giving Him the glory He deserves. David writes that God's glory is "above the heavens", or "highest above all other things". Is He highest in my life? - Ps 8:1
3) Not taking time to consider the amazing works of God. In truth, evolution has put God on the fast track out of town. Instead of looking around and being amazed at the stars, we hear, "but man can put satellites into orbit and men on the moon".
Instead of marveling at the moon and stars, we hear, "amazing that all of that came out of the big bang..."
Instead of looking at mankind and enjoying how we are made, "in His image" we hear, "we have evolved over millions of years..."
No wonder it is so easy for people to demote God to second place when what we hear is contrary to God's Word. Take time today to consider God's amazing works: The sun, moon, stars, galaxies, universes, and solar systems. Don't forget that as amazing as these things are, mankind is more special. - Ps 8:3
4)Not realizing the blessings we have. When we look around and say, "look at what I've done with my life" we empower ourselves and demote God. Remember that the source of ALL our blessings is God. He has given us glory and honor. Give thanks to Him! - Ps 8:5
Don't demote God in your life. Promote Him to #1!
Remnants, like what's left over after I eat the cake. I may save you a piece. I may not...
In Isaiah, God was calling His people to change, to repent. Few answered His call. Most ignored the words given through Isaiah. Needless to say, God was not pleased with His people.
Some people get frustrated and can't reconcile how a loving God could punish His people. Well...how does a loving parent punish his/her children? Punishment does not equal lack of love. Rather, punishment shows you care enough to correct. Truth is, Israel was full of hypocrites (9:17), the ungodly (10:6) and idolaters (10:11). God is the perfect judge and knows when it's time to correct, and when it's to be patient with Israel (and us).
The message to those trying to live a righteous life in the midst of all the evil people in Israel was that God was going to take care of the remnant, that small portion of a larger group. The remnant were those who have these qualities:
1. Those who depend on the Lord – 10:20
2. Those who turn to God – 10:21
3. Those who will be rescued from trouble by God – 11:11
4. Those who return to where they are supposed to be – 11:16. For Israel, this was a physical place.
Would you have been part of the remnant, or part of the problem. Today, strive to be part of the remnant!
Stress keeping you awake at night? Pray!
There was a certain point in my life where I was extremely stressed. The stressful event lasted nearly a year before it was resolved, but the result of that stress was that I was not sleeping well at night at all! I would toss and turn and what little rest I got, I would wake up in the morning feeling exhausted.
I wrote this verse (Psalm 4:8) and taped it to my wall right by my headboard. I made sure I saw it right before I went to sleep at night. No, this verse was not some lucky charm to ward off the sleep stealing demons, but it was a reminder to give my problems to God who is willing and able to help. Praying about this and turning my problems of the day over to God helped me immensely.
So, what helps you fight off stress? What verses comfort you most?
Aaron Baker works with the fun church family at Foristell.