When the children of Israel were finally to occupy the land God had promised them, He also instructed them to totally destroy every inhabitant of that idolatrous and sinful land so that godliness would be the hallmark of those who would now dwell there.
And then the fear-filled Gibeonites plotted a scheme to preserve themselves from the annihilation that had come to their neighbors. They said they had come from a very far country, but had heard about God, and offered themselves and their countrymen to be servants to the Israelites They offered proof of being from a long distance by showing them the moldy bread, the broken wineskins and their tattered clothing that had all been new when they left on the journey.
Common sense told the men of Israel that the condition those men were in was surely proof that they were being truthful, so they believed them. They depended on their own observation and good reasoning that it was a good thing to accept what these men told them, and make an alliance with them.
However there was one important truth they missed; they didn’t pray about it to seek the counsel of the Lord—who knew the truth and would have given them warning!
As I meditated on this passage, I thought of times that I have depended on my own common sense. good reasoning and observations, and came up with my own decision without first asking my Father about it. It must grieve God’s heart when He knows every pitfall and yet sees us go blindly ahead on the path of our own choosing.
May God give me (and all of us) the sensitivity to seek His wisdom when decisions need to be made. He knows what’s best, and it must give Him a heart of joy when we trust Him to lead us on the right path.
Christmas has become a time of such commercialism, and there is great anticipation in children’s hearts for the gifts that might have their name on them beneath the Christmas tree.
When my children were small, I wanted them to understand fully that Christmas was a day for us to celebrate the birthday of Jesus; so we had a special dessert for Christmas dinner to make them very aware of the real reason we celebrated that day.
I baked an angel food cake (angel food was appropriate) for the birthday cake, which was frosted with white divinity frosting. One thing that made this cake outstanding to the children was that I always baked a dime into the batter– carefully sterilized, of course. The cake had one tall white taper in the center hole and when it was lighted, we all held hands, bowed our heads, and softly sang happy birthday to Jesus. Then the cake was cut, each child choosing just the spot in the cake they wanted for their serving., hoping to be fortunate enough to get the piece with the dime in it.
As the years went by, my children decided on their own the dime was so special that they took it to Sunday School the following Sunday to put in the offering. And now that they are adults, most of them continue the Jesus-birthday-cake tradition in their own homes.
We never allowed our children to believe in Santa Claus either and they had great fun in greeting him as the storybook character he is. We wanted them always to know that we told them the truth. If we made them believe Santa was real, when they eventually found out it was untrue, would they believe what we told them about Jesus was also untrue? That was a risk we were unwilling to take.
Have a special “happy birthday Christmas” this year!!!
This morning the skies were cloudy presenting a gloomy day. Suddenly the sun broke through with brilliance, flooding my house with such cheerful brightness it called forth my spontaneous burst of praise! “Oh God! Thank you for making the sun—thank you for making the moon—and thank you for making me!!”
In my spirit He whispered, “You are of more value to Me in My kingdom than the sun and the moon are in the universe.”
That was a staggering thought! I mulled that over in my mind and could well imagine a conversation in Heaven which may have been like this: “I want to make mankind so that there will be those with whom We can companion, but We need to prepare a place for them to dwell. They will be special, so the place we make for them will need to be special as well. Let’s make a sun to light their day and a moon and stars for the night. We’ll make trees and flowers and a beautiful garden because they are so loved!”
I can identify with that. When I created a gift for my child, I spent time and thought in its preparation, anticipating the joy on my child’s face when the package was opened. But to me, my child was so much more special than the gift I had created. I just wanted my creation to give my child joy.
…..and if you have opened your heart to Jesus and asked Him to forgive your sins, then you are one of His children for whom He has created the sun and the moon, and all His beautiful creation. You are His treasure and His creation is your gift.
“For you are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ” Galatians 3:26