06-14-2019 God’s timing.
Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” 1 Sam 1:11 NKJV
Let’s put this verse in context first and I’m paraphrasing here:
Hannah was one of two wives to Elkanah. In ancient Israel, the practice of polygamy was common. While Elkanah’s other wife had children, Hannah was barren. The other wife derided Hannah because of her barrenness. And while this is cruel and unjust today’s society, in ancient times when a woman was barren, it brought shame to her.
The family had gone to Shiloh to bring a sacrifice to the Lord God which was their custom. Elkanah gave a double portion of blessing (meaning food) to Hannah because he loved her and because she was barren and looked upon with derision. But Hannah wept and would not eat. She begged God to open her womb.
That’s what this verse is about. Hannah begged God to give her a child who she promised would be given to Him, consecrated as a Nazarite and set apart for God.
God did open her womb and gave her a son named Samuel. This verse is not about Samuel but about his mother, Hannah, who could only depend on God to fix her circumstances.
What heartbreak the woman must have endured at the hands of not only her husband’s other wife but all the women in her community! And yet, she went directly to God for help. It reminds us to look to God when situations are dire.
Personally, I know God has taken care of situations when I cried out to Him for relief. He’s never early, never late but always on time. In our fast-paced society, we want things immediately but we have to remember, God’s timing is not our timing. And while we fret, the answer is on the way. God only has three answers: Yes, No and Wait. Of the three, wait is the hardest to deal with because we must endure.
Some might ask, “Isn’t no even harder to endure?” I would say, no, because when a no comes, I believe God has a better plan than what I proposed. Thus, it goes hand in hand with wait.
Do you go directly to God when you are in dire situations or do you go to your friends for counsel? Who is better prepared to handle your situation?
06-10-2019 Verse: Ruth, a model daughter-in-law
But Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God. Ruth 1:16 NKJV
This verse was the response to her mother-in-law, Naomi, who had lost not only her husband but also her only two sons. Naomi wanted her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, to stay in Moab, the country of their birth. But she, Naomi would travel to her hometown of Bethlehem. In those days a childless widow was among the lowest and most disadvantaged. They had no support you and had to live on the generosity of strangers. Thus, Naomi was desperate and had to leave but didn’t want Ruth or Orpah to come with her as they had family in Moab.
But Ruth’s dedication to remain with Naomi was the noble and loving commitment of a daughter-in-law to a mother-in-law. Something we lack today. Naomi’s life and love of God made an indelible impression on Ruth. Naomi had lost her husband, her two sons…her entire family and yet she continued to honor God. Her character was impeccable. She trusted God to take care of her.
Ruth saw Naomi’s lifestyle and love for God but never gave up her gods. But when Naomi made the declared she would return to Bethlehem, that’s when Ruth left everything behind. Her gods. Her family. And took Naomi’s God, the one true God as her God. And stayed with Naomi for the rest of her life.
Her story is one that is beautiful. She honored her mother-in-law and God had mercy on her and gave her another husband.
How does this verse affect us today? As women and wives, we are called to be kind and generous to our mothers-in-law even if they do not reciprocate those kindnesses. It’s not done for the person but for God’s glory. He sees and knows all things.
The website women of noble character had these ten tips for being a better daughter-in-law:
- Speak to her and about her with kindness and above all don’t complain about her to your husband.
- Make an effort to listen to her advice – even if you don’t agree with it or take it.
- Allow her spoil your children as long as it’s within reason.
- Don’t make comparisons of your parents and your in-laws either to yourself or to your husband.
- Offer help when you can.
- Cultivate a relationship with her by treating her as you would a girlfriend by calling or inviting her to do things with you.
- Don’t take advantage of her good nature and expect a built-in babysitter all the time. she may not mind but don’t overdo it.
- Don’t say negative things about your in-laws to your husband.
- Make plans for the holidays ahead of time with your in-laws to avoid any hurt feelings.
- Thank your in-laws for the way they raised your husband.
06-03-2019 Verse: God is with you!
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Josh 1:5 NKJV
Joshua 1:5 is another of those Bible verses that is a promise of God. Even through trials, no one can come against you and that He will always be with you.
To make the verse more personal, substitute “God” or “Jesus” for “I” and your name or “me” for “you” making it a personal verse to memorize and repeat when in a trial.
For example, my life’s verse could read: “Jesus will be with me. Jesus will not leave me nor forsake me.” Or it could read: “God will be with me. God will not leave Seralynn or forsake her. And while the latter is in the third person, it’s personal and becomes a prayer. And bonus…the prayer is scriptural and praying God’s word back to Him. There’s immense comfort in it. Comfort that surpasses all understanding.
Even in my darkest hours and there were many over the years, I always knew God was with me. And I know He’ll be with me until I breathe my last breath.
Do you know God is with you and will be with you until your last breath?
05-31-2019 Verse – Just Do It!
Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.’ Deut 1:21
This verse is definitely a life verse when considering career choices or stepping out in Faith. That was me when I wrote inspirational romances. I felt ill-equipped to write. I needed instruction on how to write and how to use the language to its fullest potential. But, God gave me a vision, and I have stepped out and worked many hours to learn the craft and I’m still learning and I will continue to learn every time my fingers hit the keyboard.
I faced discouragement from fellow writers who critiqued my work, from instructors who made it clear it was difficult to get an agent in this day and age let alone find a publisher willing to take on a new author. But the reason for writing was so strong none of those naysayers would keep me from my purpose for writing.
The idea to possess the land… whatever “the land” may be is strong, and it’s God’s promise to follow the Nike phrase… Just do it!
What “land” are you trying to possess and what are your fears?
2019 05 27 Verse – Gideon’s Victory
So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands. And he [Gideon] sent away all the rest of Israel, every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men. Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley. Judges 7:8 NKJV
It seemed fitting on this Memorial Day to use a verse from scripture that details how God worked wondrously through his servant Gideon, a military leader, judge, and prophet.
As a military leader, he knew battle strategy but as a judge and prophet would he trust God to do what God had promised or would he do what he thought was in the best interest of Israel?
God made him an authoritative figure but Gideon leaned more on his own understanding of war and took 32,000 men to the Midianites to prepare for battle. But God told him there were too many men! Gideon then sent 22,000 men back to Israel, leaving 10,000 men to conquer the Midianites. It was still too many men for God to show His glory. Only 300 men remained to conquer the Midianites. Against all odds and man’s battle plans, God gave Gideon the direction to overcome their foes who were in far greater numbers than Gideon’s men.
Today’s Bible story shows us if we have God’s ear, there’s nothing we can’t overcome. What battle are you waging today? Is it physical, mental, emotional, financial? He has the answer. Seek Him and His answer.
05-24-2019 verse Aaronic Blessing
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you. And give you peace. Num 6:24-26 NKJV
In my younger days, my pastor would sing this blessing at the end of each service. It comforted me. I did not know it was an actual blessing from the Bible. In fact, it is the Aaronic Blessing and one which I have heard both in English and in Hebrew.
This blessing will always have the power to comfort me and I hope it comforts you today.
Through the years, different verses have been a blessing what verses are your favorites or have been a blessing to you?