Sifted by the Lord
For behold, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the earth. - Amos 9:9
Every sifting comes by divine command and permission. Satan must ask permission before he can lay a finger upon Job. In actual fact, in some sense our siftings are directly the work of heaven, for in the text God says that He will "shake the house of Israel." Satan, like a slave, may hold the sieve, hoping for the worst; but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing His purpose by the very process that the enemy hopes will be destructive. Precious children of God, even though you are shaken, be comforted by the blessed fact that the Lord directs the whole process for His own glory and for your eternal profit.
The Lord Jesus will graciously and yet firmly divide that which is precious from that which is of little account. All are not Israel that are of Israel; the grain on the barn floor is not clean and pure, and so the shaking process must be performed. In the sieve, husks and chaff fly before the wind, and only solid substance will remain.
Observe the complete safety of the Lord's wheat; even a pebble has a promise of preservation. God Himself sifts, and therefore it is stern and terrible work; He sifts them in all places, "among all the nations"; He sifts them in the most effective manner, "as one shakes with a sieve"; and yet in all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shriveled grain is permitted to fall to the ground.
Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord. A shepherd would not lose one sheep, nor a jeweler one diamond, nor a mother one child, nor a man one limb of his body; nor will the Lord lose one of His redeemed people. However little we may be, if we are the Lord's, we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ Jesus.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Deuteronomy 25
verse 2 Psalms 116
Name above All Names
By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson
Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the diversions of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.
In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the whole sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and ministry:
- Jesus as the True Prophet
- Jesus as the Great High Priest
- Jesus as the Conquering King
- Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
- Jesus as the Son of Man
- Jesus as the Suffering Servant
- Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne
Name above All Names helps us to see and meditate on the incomparable character of Christ—a spiritual exercise that enables us to readily respond to the exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon the King of kings, and to better understand just how great Jesus really is.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.