Psalms 83: 1-4, 9-10, 17-18
Exodus 2: 1-10
1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
Starting with the passage from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 Paul wrote to this church, which had undergone great turmoil and persecution from the local Jewish community. When Paul first arrived there, as was his custom, he went to the local synagogue and started proclaiming the gospel of Jesus as Messiah. From the beginning these men had not understood the prophecies and foretelling of the Messiah in the scriptures, and when it was revealed to them they rebelled, out of jealousy, and went out to hire thugs to disrupt all gatherings of ‘the church,’ with particular hatred for Paul and Silas, Acts 17:5-10. So Paul wrote to the church, in part, to understand and appreciate their leaders and pastors, who were in constant trouble and trials from the enemies outside the church, and even within, there is plenty of unrest. Even today all pastors and leaders have to deal with unrest from within the church. There are always unruly people to calm down, there are people who are strongly opinionated, and disagreeable, there are those who are timid and weak, and then there are those gentle souls that are easily frightened. So appreciate your pastors, not everyone is as kind and calm as you are. Also the church is called to be patient with all these personalities, and no one is to take things into their own hands and repay evil for evil, but rather look for the good in each other. Look for ways to rejoice, rather than complain, go outside and look at the sunset, there you can marvel at God’s grace in creation. When you see a brother who has recovered from an illness, thank God and rejoice with him for good health. Thank God at the grocery store for full shelves, and at the gas station for a full tank of gas. Never stop praying, for God hears our prayers and it glorifies Him when we pray, because it reveals our submission to Him, and our need for Him.
Exodus 2: 1-10 This is a select passage concerning the baby Moses whose mother defied the edict of the Egyptian Pharaoh to kill all the Hebrew male children. She hid her son, putting him a basket in the Nile river, only to have him be found by the Pharaohs daughter, who brought him into the palace to be raised as her own. There is great irony here, in that the King of Egypt is raising the very one who will return to set God’s people free. The bigger picture though, is that when trouble comes to us, God always provides a way of escape. In this example the mother thought of a basket to put Moses in, maybe it was a short term solution, but it was God who gave this mother the thought, she acted on it in faith, and Jehovah orchestrated the end.
Psalms 83: 1-4, 9-10, 17-18 An imprecatory psalm of Asaph. “O God, do not remain quiet. Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. For behold Your enemies make an uproar, And those that hate You have exalted themselves….They have said let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” He goes on asking God to remember the mighty works He performed against other enemies of Israel, and for Jehovah to shame His enemies, so that they will know that Jehovah is El Elyon, God Most High over all the earth. The truth is that God understands our emotions, and He can handle it when we express our frustrations, anger, and desire for reciprocal justice. We are living in such times as these currently, and it’s okay to rant occasionally to our God. But ultimately we make requests and not demands, knowing that God has planned good for we who believe, and not destruction, Jeremiah 29:11-14.
When trouble comes our way, whether in the form of temptation, or mishap, or disaster, our response should always be to cry out to Jehovah for help. Concerning temptation, 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man, and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape, so that you will be able to endure it.” That way of escape is called Grace, it’s available to us for the asking. Grace makes the way of escape, faith takes the way of escape. Concerning disaster, Job 2:10 ” But Job said to her..’Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity.”‘ No one likes hard times, calamity, or trouble but they are a part of life and it is our privilege to call upon the Name of our LORD for help in the time of trouble. We can ask for wisdom, James 1:5, which he freely gives, we can ask for grace, 2 Cor. 6: 1-2, we can ask for help in any way we can think of, and He will hear and answer our prayers according to His kind will.