OYB May 20
Julie FerwerdaAre 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 May 20
26:19 If the Lord has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the Lord. This is the question we must ask with those in our lives who make it difficult—did the Lord stir them up, or is it the result of human scheme? I wonder if there is ever a time it is only human and not the Lord bringing it about for greater good, especially when it involves individual lives?
26:19-20 For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the Lord's people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.' Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the Lord? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?" I can surely feel David's isolation and sadness in this verse! I also love his imagery. It was 15 years from the time of his anointing until David became king. I believe it was 5 years he spent hiding out in the wilderness as a fugitive.
26:23 The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power, for you are the Lord's anointed one. Another reminder that evil as he is, Saul was anointed by God for his purpose.
27:1 But David kept thinking to himself, "Someday Saul is going to get me. The best thing I can do is escape to the Philistines. Then Saul will stop hunting for me in Israelite territory, and I will finally be safe." How often do we sell out for the enemy camp out of fear, doubt, or discouragement? We think that maybe if we settle in enemy territory, we will be left alone. We check ourselves out of the battle because dogs don't chase parked cars. David was having a serious lack of faith and settled in pagan country. The Philistines are some of his greatest enemies!
27:10 "Where did you make your raid today?" Achish would ask.
And David would reply, "Against the south of Judah, the Jerahmeelites, and the Kenites." David had a little bit of an honesty problem. Out of his fear, he is deluding the Philistine king into thinking he is attacking Israel so that the king will think him loyal.
28:2 Then Achish told David, "I will make you my personal bodyguard for life." Many are the plans in a man's heart! Even though David is not displaying qualities of a person of faith right now, his deliverance into his kingdom is near. God will not allow David to be tied to this king or the Philistines.
28:13 And the woman said to Saul, "I see a divine being (or a god) coming up out of the earth." This is interesting in light of Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34.
I wondered if Lazarus might be symbolic for Jesus coming to save Israel, so I Googled it and there were many sites that suggested the same. First, check out values in our equation:
Bethany = "House of poverty"
Across Jordan = The promised land was over Jordan and Jordan means DEATH.
Lazarus = "God has helped"
Consider some of the following verses in this passage:
...Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick (Lazarus might stand for the Jews, God's first-born Son).
...This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it."
...When [Jesus] heard that [Lazarus] was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was (across the Jordan).
..."Let us go to Judea again."
..."Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?"
...[Jesus said] "If anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." (They can't see—I must go to them)
..."Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep."
...So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days (it had been almost 4,000 years since the promises to Abraham and when Israel became a nation)
..."Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
...Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
..."I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
..."I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.
...When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled... (His heart hurts over His dead son-see the parable of the Prodigal!)
...So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it (wasn't Jesus that stone that kept the cave sealed and His people blinded? "He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them" John 12:40)
...Jesus said, "Remove the stone."
..."Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days." (4,000 years-2,000 years from Abraham to Jesus, 2,000 years from Jesus until the resurrection?)
..."Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"
...So they removed the stone.
..."Lazarus, come forth." (The Jews eyes will be opened in the Tribulation)
...The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
...Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him.
11:4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death. I have noticed that often times when God gives me a promise, the meaning of it is hard to determine until it all plays out. Had I been Mary and Martha and watched Lazarus die, I would probably have thought Jesus failed me. But then if you really thought about it later, after Lazarus came to life, you would realize that his sickness didn't end in death. It ended in resurrection from the dead!
11:15 And for your sakes, I'm glad I wasn't there, for now you will really believe. Sometimes Jesus is glad that things look hopeless around us so that He can finally help us believe through His miracles.
11:49-53 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish." Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. Wow...I never noticed this verse before! Powerful prophecy.