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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB June 18

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Jun 18
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

19:3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. It's hard to understand how Elijah could be afraid after all God has done to deliver him, but we are all susceptible to fear and threats. I have noticed especially after a big event where God has used me and adrenaline is pumping, I am so much more vulnerable to emotional and spiritual attack! Things seem bigger, and with the adrenaline let down comes a bit of depression.

19:4 "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors." You know, I was wondering what Elijah meant by this, and I think he is feeling guilty for killing all those people. I get this because Jezebel rubs in the fact that he killed all those prophets, and why else would he say, "I'm no better than my ancestors"? God was far from done with Elijah, but it is validating to see this "superhuman" figure still be human.

19:6 He looked around and saw some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. I can't help but wonder if this "angel" was the Lord, and if the "bread" and "water" weren't somehow part of the sustaining presence of Christ Himself. After all, no typical bread and water could sustain someone for 40 days and nights in a hot desert (vs. 8). I'm sure the "40" days and nights is significant, since that's how many days Jesus stayed in the desert. Also, just as Elijah had to really eat the Bread and drink the Water for the long journey ahead, we must do the same!

Elijah and the cave: I found this info about Elijah on a Messianic website ...

In Jewish life, Elijah is associated with at least three essential tasks: he is considered to be the forerunner of the messianic age, as the arbiter of Jewish law, and as a mediator between parents and children. We learn that Elijah will announce the coming of the messianic age from the last line of the haftarah for Shabbat ha-Gadol, the Sabbath before Passover: "Behold I will send Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of Adonai" (Malachi 3:23). Wherever there is an unresolved Talmudic dispute, the rabbis declare tayku, an expression meaning "the question will be answered with the coming of Elijah." Lastly there is a description of Elijah working to reconcile relationships between parents and children, "[Elijah] will turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to the fathers" (Malachi 3:24).

19:18 Yet I will preserve seven thousand others in Israel who have never bowed to Baal or kissed him!" This was not only true then, it is true throughout history. God has always preserved a remnant of His holy people who have never given themselves over to idolatry and unbelief. This should always encourage us that we are not alone.

Acts

12:23 Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people's worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. If only Herod had read "I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols" in Isaiah, he could have been spared some agony. I find it interesting the reference to worms in light of Gehenna-where "the worm does not die."

Psalms 136

I love this Psalms and wish I had more time to go through it. But I don't. However, I want to point out a few characteristics of God that are highlighted here. It is such an awesome praise! Some Jews believe it was the Psalm Jesus sang on His way to the Garden of Gethsemane the night of His betrayal. "Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives" (Mark 14:26).

Faithful (26 times!), Good, Omnipotent, Supreme, Creator, Mighty, Powerful, Skillful, Vast, Deliverer, Strong, Miracle Worker, Protector, Loving, Eternal, Guide, Victor, Avenger, Redeemer, Savior, Rescuer, Provider. Phew...what a God we serve!