I SAMUEL 23 : 1 – 12
David voluntarily went and rescued the people of Keilah
from the Philistines; Even though David’s men were not
ready for that exploit initially, by waiting in the presence
of the LORD, David received guidance from the LORD
to attack Philistines.
The Philistines used to steal the grains from the Keilah’s
threshing floors and hence David’s attack on Philistines
was a great help to the people of Keilah.
What could have David expected from them?
At last, a hiding place for him and his team?
At least a temporary rest from the wandering?
Support from the people in case Saul attacks?
Overflowing gratitude from the people?
Alas, in return to his risky rescue of them, they were
almost ready to betray David to Saul!
Expecting gratitude? Was it not right?
Why GOD allowed him to take a risk?
Was it not a meaningless war to David?
People got deliverance but his wandering continued!
Great expectations; Grate expectations!
Don’t expect gratitude for all your good deeds;
Many a times, people won’t even remember your timely
help and will try to betray you.
Don’t assume their gratefulness when you try to make
your next move!
If David allowed his expectations of gratitude to decide
the next course of action, he might have faced betrayal
and unnecessary cornering;
But David decided his next move by leaning on GOD!
He waited for GOD’s guidance before the attack as well as
after the attack!
Most of the times, we get GOD’s guidance before our first
move but after the victory we assume people’s gratitude
and ignore waiting for GOD’s guidance and hence enter in
to unnecessary conflicts.
Just because GOD used your skills to bring blessing to
others, never assume that they will be grateful to you!
We are HIS workmanship to do good works;
Do them diligently and wholeheartedly;
But never expect anything in return from people!
Our protection and provision will come from HIM!
BUT YOU, O LORD, ARE A SHIELD AROUND ME,
MY GLORY, AND THE ONE WHO LIFTS MY HEAD
HIGH. ( PSALM 3 : 3 )
GENESIS 21 : 14 – 19.
Hagar and Ishmael sent out by Abraham and Sarah;
Pathetic situation in the life of Sarah.
From slavery to a blessed position and then abandoned;
Her life was always controlled by some one else.
Is not natural to cry? Is it not the time to feel depressed?
Is it wrong to worry about the future of her son?
She lifted her voice and wept.
But notice the surprising response from GOD!
‘GOD heard the voice of the lad’,
she cried but her cry was not so significant .
Again the angel of GOD explains (GENESIS 21 : 17 )
‘GOD has heard the voice of the lad where he is’.
The Bible not even recorded the cry of the lad, but GOD heard it;
Hagar lifted her voice and wept, but that was not considered!
Hagar already received a personal promise about her son
and his future(GENESIS 16 : 10, 11 &12 ).
Again GOD confirmed that to Abraham( GENESIS 17 : 20 ).
Again GOD promised that to Abraham ( GENESIS 21 : 13 ).
When GOD promised and confirmed that again and again,
Getting frustrated and crying is not expected from Hagar;
She is supposed to encourage and strengthen Ishmael,
who is yet to get the maturity to claim the promise;
Crying now means lack of faith in GOD and thinking high
about her role in the fulfillment about the promise;
You know, the child won’t die, It is having a promise!
Her cry is aiming at the death of the child!
It is a mistake to cry from her part; CHILLI mistake!
See the angel’s response;
‘Hold the lad with your hand and I will make him a great nation’
Notice carefully, no blessings promised to her, but only to the lad;
Her blessings depends on holding the hands of the lad!
With or without her help, the promise will be fulfilled;
But if she needs to be blessed, she has to be with the child!
Yes, GOD opened her eyes!
How many of us are crying with these kinds of unbelief?
We overestimate our worth in the GOD given vision, ministry;
We cry foolishly fearing the death of the vision and ministry;
Remember, GOD given vision can not die; can not be killed;
It is having life; the promise and the blessings of GOD!
Your blessings depend on your attachment and involvement;
Don’t ever imagine, if you are not there ….?
Even your cry and frustration will become a mistake;
A chilli mistake, which brings tears if mishandled;
Stop your cry; Get hold of the GOD given vision;
Your future blessings depend on that;
You are not needed for that vision;
But, you need that vision;
Understand, humble yourselves and accept your part!
WRITE THE VISION AND MAKE IT PLAIN ON TABLETS,
THAT HE MAY RUN WHO READS IT.
FOR THE VISION IS YET FOR AN APPOINTED TIME;
BUT AT THE END IT WILL SPEAK, AND IT WILL NOT LIE.
THOUGH IT TARRIES, WAIT FOR IT;
BECAUSE IT WILL SURELY COME, IT WILL NOT TARRY.
( HABAKKUK 2 : 2 & 3 )
MATTHEW 17: 27.
A piece of money; we all need it, you know.
For some a piece means only a few cents;
For others, it is only few billions!
But we all need it!
The question is ‘ are we trusting GOD to meet our needs?’.
A piece of money in the mouth of a fish!
Is it not a strange place to expect money?
How the fish got the money?
How many more fishes are there with money?
Why the fish is keeping the money?
But the point is, that money is not useful to the fish!
That fish can not eat or swallow it;
Even if it swallows, the fish can not digest it!
The better option is ‘ give it up, vomit it ‘
You see, that fish is also having a need;
The urge to ‘ donate ‘ that piece!
When Peter’s need meets the need of the fish,
We call it a miracle;
But, only GOD can make that link;
The link between Peter and the fish!
Dear friend, take stock of your financial situation;
Not once or twice, but regularly.
If you are like that fish, having more pieces,
More than what you can digest, kindly pray.
GOD will send a Peter, to collect, in your way;
If you are like that Peter, in need of few pieces,
Not able to meet your needs, kindly pray.
GOD will send a fish, to donate, in your way;
Whether it is giving or receiving, don’t do on your own;
You know, the mammon is having power;
So don’t deal with it with your ‘ wall street wisdom’.
Trust GOD, pray earnestly, discern and decide;
You need the ‘ financial wisdom from above’.
If not, in your need, you will swim behind the wrong fish,
When the fish with the urge to donate is waiting;
In your abundance, your indigestion will affect your health,
When a Peter with a genuine need is silently suffering;
Whether you ‘give’ or ‘receive’, don’t move without prayer!
Whether it is ‘pieces’ or ‘billions’, don’t deal without prayer!
Pray, Trust GOD, be blessed and be a blessing!
BUT BY AN EQUALITY, NOW AT THIS TIME YOUR
ABUNDANCE MAY SUPPLY THEIR LACK, THAT THEIR
ABUNDANCE ALSO MAY SUPPLY YOUR LACK – THAT
THERE MAY BE EQUALITY. ( II CORINTHIANS 8 : 14 )
LUKE 15 : 11 – 32
A well known parable; Father and the lost son!
We know it, accepted it; enjoyed it; we all were like the lost son;
When we come to the second part of the parable, we usually hate the attitude of the elder son; His actions and attitude are so natural, so common in an ordinary family of this world.
But, in the DIVINE family?.
Compare the parable and the reality.
1. PARABLE: The younger son took the initiative to come back.
( verse 18).
REALITY:THE FATHER took the initiative to bring us all back.
2. PARABLE: The older son was in the field, when the reunion of father and the lost son happened. (verse 25).
REALITY: The only SON was on the cross, when we all got the right to call GOD as our FATHER!.
3. PARABLE: As the father received the younger son safe and sound, he killed the fatted calf.( verse 27).
REALITY: To receive us safe and sound, THE FATHER allowed the killing of THE UNBLEMISHED LAMB!
4. PARABLE: The older son felt unhappy to share the inheritance with his brother.(verse 30)
REALITY:THE SON, by HIS sacrificial death, made us all co-heirs with HIM! Not ashamed to call us HIS brothers!
5. PARABLE: The older son was not able to accept his brother coming near to his father.(verse 28).
REALITY: THE SON opened a new way, by HIS flesh, for all of us to come boldly to THE FATHER’s presence.
6. PARABLE: The older son was not willing to sacrifice even a calf (verse 30)
REALITY:THE SON poured out even HIS soul unto death voluntarily.
7. PARABLE: The older son was not interested to share his father’s house with his brother.(verse 28)
REALITY: THE SON, after HIS death and resurrection, started preparing a place for the adopted sons, us, in HIS FATHER’s mansion.
8. The older son argued with his father by explaining his brother’s failures in detail.( verse 30).
REALITY:THE SON is interceding for us, even now, by covering our transgressions by HIS blood.
Do you really know the meaning of The Cross and The Grace?
…..HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE IF WE NEGLECT
SO GREAT SALVATION?( HEBREWS 2 : 3 ).
Note: I didn’t give the Bible references for all the above REALITY points; Can you please spend little extra time in Scriptures to find the suitable references?
LUKE 1 : 36
Elizabeth means GOD is an oath.
With what kind of expectations, her parents gave her that name?
Her name seems to have lost its meaning in her life;
She is from the priestly family of Aaron; her husband, from the
Levite division of Abijah, serving in the Jerusalem temple;
But she was barren; Biblically speaking, cursed;
Was she a sinner? Why then this curse of barrenness?
Or was he a sinner? some kind of secret failure?
But the Bible is very clearly stating;
‘they were both righteous before GOD’ and
‘walking in ALL the commandments and ordinances’!
Then why? Why this barrenness?
Their side they keep the covenant in a blameless way,
But from GOD’s side, whether he remembers the covenant?
If so why Elizabeth, GOD is an oath, silently suffers?
Right questions need right answers, but those right answers will
be given only on the right time; wait!
Some curses will not be visible outside; but this barrenness will
disturb the life like a plague in the society; Public humiliation;
More than the husband, the wife will be forced to approach the
gate of reproach and disgrace; Clear sign of GOD’s disapproval;
A physical problem becoming an emotional problem and then a
psychological problem and then a social problem and…….
Poor woman, living with that label in this society, facing the subtle rumors, hearing the piercing explanations, avoiding the hate campaigns, receiving the verbal attacks even from the loved ones and crying all alone;
Oh, The most unkindest cut of all;
From a city in the hill country of Judea, Zac going to Jerusalem;
So aged, but travelling to serve in GOD’s temple!
Think about Elizabeth! What she got from GOD for their devotion?
Their righteousness before GOD? Their blameless walk?
Their sincere service for so many years?
Their most important prayer request yet to get the answer,
but this lady sending Zac, well advanced in years, to serve GOD!
You know, a man serving GOD wholeheartedly and faithfully in the
absence of his woman’s cooperation is almost impossible!
But this dear old lady, how was it possible for her to cooperate?
A wondrous woman!
With a broken heart, unanswered questions, unexplained reproach
and battling mind living in this society itself is so painful, but being
steadfast in serving and supporting her man’s service to GOD,
Oh, only a wondrous woman can do that!
When others are boasting about receiving supernatural blessings
so naturally and when she is crying about even her natural blessings
getting blocked supernaturally, is it possible to continue the faith walk?
Oh, only a wondrous woman can do that!
We serve Him and worship Him, not because of the received blessings,
because He is GOD!. A wondrous woman knows that.
You know, a wondrous woman always remains wondrous!
When Elizabeth became pregnant, Mary greets her;
Wait a minute! Is this not again an injustice?
Her son becoming a forerunner, a servant to Mary’s son?
Elizabeth and Zac proved their faithfulness by obedience, by
blameless walk and by selfless service; But Mary and Joseph yet to prove anything; Mary just a teenager and Joseph a carpenter, not even a priest;
Who deserves to be the parent of Jesus? Is it acceptable?
But see Elizabeth’s response; “Why is this granted to me, that the mother
of my Lord should come to me?’ Oh, the humility and gracious attitude!
Oh, only a wondrous woman can do that!
Dear Elizabeth, crying because of the blocked blessings?
Don’t worry, you are special, a wondrous woman!
You know, GOD always assigns the toughest assignments to His dearest
saints! He is not just a covenant making GOD, but covenant keeping GOD!
He knows your pains, frustrations and reproach;
You may not remember your prayers but He remembers!
Your tears and times are in His hands!.
Surely He will bless you!
Please continue your faith walk and good works!
Be a wondrous woman!
O YOU AFFLICTED ONE, TOSSED WITH TEMPEST, AND NOT COMFORTED,
BEHOLD, I WILL LAY YOUR STONES WITH COLORFUL GEMS, AND LAY YOUR
FOUNDATIONS WITH SAPPHIRES. I WILL MAKE YOUR PINNACLES OF RUBIES, YOUR GATES OF CRYSTAL, AND ALL YOUR WALLS OF PRECIOUS STONES. ( ISAIAH 54 : 11 & 12).
GENESIS 16: 9.
Hagar: A slave from Egypt; a maidservant of Sarah;
No great expectations; No pride and prejudice; But
Because of the momentary decision taken by the frustrated Sarah,
Hagar’s life and Sarah’s frustrations gained momentum!.
You know, decisions taken at frustrated moments will surely beget more frustrations; Enter His rest before making decisions!
Sarah suffered, felt inferior; not willing to accept even her own expectations about her family’s future;
Late revelations: Abraham’s baby is not my baby!;
Sarah went to the next extreme; dealt harshly with Hagar and she fled;
Abraham? So silent; father of faith had a black spot of doubt?
Silently accepted Sarah’s suggestion; Silently enjoyed Hagar’s embrace;
Silently supported Sarah’s madness; Silently watched Hagar’s escape!
But Poor Hagar,
What was her mistake?! Why she had to suffer for their foolishness?
She was used, misused and abused; treated like a wooden toy;
No respect for her personality, her feelings and emotions;
Better to quit; resign; escape; Her decision to run away justified!
But God? Is He watching? Why He allowed this?
GOD, who was silent up to that moment, sent an angel;
To acknowledge her decision? To console her?; No!
To send her back to her mistress; to submit herself under her hand!
Is it not cruel? Is this visitation and the message from GOD’s angel?
Is it logical? Will they accept? Even if they accept, how will they treat?
Will they punish, the punishment for a runaway slave?
See Hagar, no questions asked; no ifs and buts; simply obeyed!
The secret: The assurance she got ‘ YOU ARE THE GOD WHO SEES’.
Submitting to Sarah may become suffocating, but it does not matter!
If we have the assurance ‘ EL ROI’, no submission will be suffocating!
Hagar didn’t think about the wisdom in that command, like most of us.
But see the consequences and the rewards!.( Genesis 16 & 17 ).
1. Abraham’s house, even if Sarah was fuming, was the safest place for the delivery.
2. Her son was acknowledged as Abraham’s son; in the wilderness,
nobody would have accepted that as a legitimate child!
3. Abraham named the child Ishmael, meaning GOD hears; even the name
selected by GOD.
4. Because of the intervention of GOD, through the angelic visitation,
her status got changed; from just a slave to mother of ‘GOD hears’.
5. Her son Ishmael got circumcised as a mark of a covenant with GOD.
6. At least thirteen more years of peaceful dwelling in the land; no more
torture mentioned in the Word.
7. Specific blessings to Ishmael were uttered to Abraham by the angel.
8. Silent Abraham becoming struggling Abraham, struggling to send her away when Sarah revolted the second time. A bond created. Oh! the assurance of being loved( Genesis 21 : 11).
A name, a bond, a place, a status, a covenant, a blessing, a prophecy,
an assurance and much more; just because of single act of blind obedience; ignoring the temporal suffering by reckoning the great truth;
‘ EL ROI- GOD SEES and ISHMAEL – GOD HEARS’.
Praise the Lord, Hagar obeyed!
Tell me friends; Which costs more, obedience or disobedience?
No one to understand your sufferings?, no one to wipe away your tears?,
Feeling just used and thrown away? frustrated by passive Abraham?
Tortured by selfish Sarah? Bewildered by GOD’s silence?
GOD is silent, but not blind and deaf;
HE SEES, not just you, even your future!
HE HEARS, not just your voice, even your afflictions!
HE KNOWS, and HE wants to protect and bless you!
Don’t doubt GOD’s wisdom and instructions!. Just obey!.
You may not understand The INFINITE’s plan with your finite mind;
But, one day you will surely testify: EL ROI!;
Man’s manipulations and Satan’s subtleties won’t touch you,
If you dwell in the secret place of the MOST HIGH!
You know, the surrendered life is always a successful life!
FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE ON THE RIGHTEOUS,
AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR PRAYERS…(I PETER 3 : 12)
Scene 3: NUMBERS 2: 3 – 10
God gives instructions about the order to be followed;
Camping discipline; Warfare strategy;
But strangely the first born Reuben by-passed;
Judah shall lead from the east!, Reuben in the south!
A sharp cut and a strange order;
Scene 2: GENESIS 49 : 3 & 4.
Jacob’s final blessings to his twelve sons;
Just before his death; Sons eagerly waiting;
Starting with Reuben, carefully selected words;
‘First born; Jacob’s might, beginning of his strength’;
Oh, very good introduction; Jacob continues;
‘The excellency of dignity;
The excellency of power’.
Power; dignity; strength; might; the first born!,
Oh, what a combination, surely a special person!
Jacob is going to declare more than the double portion;
But, suddenly Jacob’s face and tone changes;
“Unstable as water; You shall not excel!” ;
A sharp cut and a strange curse;
Excellency of dignity and power, but he can not excel!
Reuben painfully listens, the next eleven sections;
All blessings! Curse only for Reuben the first born!
Not even to the brothers who schemed against Joseph!
Scene 1: GENESIS 42 : 37.
Joseph as a ruler in Egypt; Simeon in his custody;
The nine brothers are expected to bring Benjamin,
To prove their identity and to free Simeon;
Going back to their house, the first born Reuben,
Father of four sons trying to convince his father;
‘Send Benjamin with me, I will bring him back safely’
‘If not, kill my two sons’. Oh what a surety!
But, Jacob straightaway rejects that!
After some time, Judah proposes;
‘ If not, let me bear the blame forever’
Strangely his father accepts that!
“Life of two sons; or accepting the blame,
Which is an in- depth security?”
Reuben painfully asks himself.
A sharp cut and a strange rejection;
Scene 0 : GENESIS 35 : 22.
Why? Why only Reuben again and again?
You know it; Yes his sexual immorality;
Experimentation; Defiling the bed;
Behind the scene and the screen:
Do you know?. It is Reuben who prevented
his brothers from murdering Joseph!
So compassionate; so talented; So mighty;
So excellent; so powerful; so responsible;
Dignity; the first born Reuben;
Reuben means ‘ Behold a son!’
But, poor Reuben ‘ Behind a sin!’.
Want to excel in your calling?
Need one more message; no;
Write your own message; your own story;
By remembering sex infested poor Reuben!
BUT I SAY TO YOU THAT WHOEVER LOOKS AT
A WOMAN TO LUST FOR HER HAS ALREADY
COMMITTED ADULTERY WITH HER IN HIS HEART.
( MATTHEW 5 : 28 )
HAVE YOU NOTICED?
II KINGS 5 : 14 : Syrian commander in River Jordan;
Not to take bath, but to obey the words of Elisha;
He dipped seven times, his flesh was restored;
Restored like the flesh of a little child!
His leprosy gone; he was clean; A clean miracle!.
Wait, restored like the flesh of a little child?
But,what was his age? a commander, might be thirty plus!
After the miracle, he did not get the flesh of a thirty plus,
But, much more than that, like the flesh of a little child!
Total transformation; A brand new start;
Much more than the expectations;
He expected just healing from the leprosy,
But, why so much?
My cup runs over!
What we expected was just a drop, some relief;
Deliverance from the enemy;
But a table in front of our enemies and
Our cups runs over; Just filling the cups will do,
But, why so much?
As a sinner we stood far from His Presence;
Expecting just forgiveness, some relief;
Willing to be servants and slaves, away from the enemy;
But eternal life, the seal, the gifts, the position in Christ;
Abundant life, exceedingly great promises, Royal priesthood;
The authority, The Word, The Spirit;
And above all, the right to call Him ‘ABBA FATHER’!
Just deliverance from sin and darkness will do,
But, why so much?
Because, GOD SO LOVED ….,
From His side, why so much?
But from our side, why so little?
OH, THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES BOTH OF THE WISDOM
AND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! (ROMANS 11 : 33)