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<< A Wisdom Retreat with Stephen Davey

A Wisdom Retreat - November 12

  • 2019 Nov 12

"Not Guilty!"

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

I have documentation from Rabbi Reuven Lauffer [Jerusalem, Israel] of an incredible story . . . one relating to the Holocaust: the incarceration and slaughter of Jews in the concentration camp known as Auschwitz. This true story took place toward the end of World War II.

At Auschwitz, as in all the camps, there was no lack of great Jewish scholars. One night ten of those learned men made up a Jewish court of law and put God on trial.

The central premise of the trial: how was it possible that God, who is totally good, could create such a living hell as Auschwitz? The debate raged back and forth all night; finally, the court returned a verdict of "Guilty!" God was guilty of failing His people.

However, upon adjourning the court, the entire barracks rose and began to pray their morning prayers. Even after finding God guilty, they prayed to Him!

What an incredible statement of faith it was for these Jews to continue praying to God, even while the torture and systematic killing continued. Yet, I thought how tragic that they were now praying to a God they believed had left them all alone.

If we were honest with ourselves, each of us could point to a time when we felt as though God had left us . . . and it took infinitely less than genocide to make us accuse God of abandonment.  

When Moses gathers the people to hear his final counsel, he is 120 years old.  His life drawing to a close and the final opportunity looming before him, Moses speaks to the Israelites, reminding them that God does not leave His children. 

Think about it—they had just come from 400 years of generational slavery!   They had not yet entered into the land which God had promised them!  

A man's last speech is usually devoid of self-aggrandizement and is often saturated with words of truth. Moses spoke the words of our text; he believed—he knew—that God does not ever leave His children. 

How did Moses convey this truth?  He knew it in his heart; he professed it with his lips; he lived it until the end. 

This marvelous promise of security should serve to strengthen us in the face of any and all trials.  Our trust is in the Lord and His promises, as recorded in Scripture.  

The words of the last verse from the great hymn "How Firm a Foundation" take on new meaning when we sing:

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose 

I will not, I will not desert to his foes. 

That soul, though all hell 

Should endeavor to shake

I'll never, no never, no never forsake. 

Do you cast your cares upon Jesus Christ (1 Peter 5:7) or charge that He isn't concerned?  In the midst of your conflicts and struggles, do you trust and rest in God or indict, try, and find Him guilty of neglect? 

Jesus said, ". . . lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

Do you believe  the words of  Christ?  If your  answer is "Yes," then  the verdict  must be . . . "Not guilty!"

Prayer Point: If you have had doubts about God's faithfulness, ask Him to increase your faith. Then ask Him to help you remember all that He has done for you and those whom you know and love. Take time to thank your trustworthy Father.

Extra Refreshment:  Read and try to memorize 2 Timothy 2:11-13.

The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

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