Where are you LORD?
In Yesterday’s “JrHi Ladies Devotions” class, we saw what happened when Israel was defeated at Ai, Joshua fell on his face before the throne, the Ark of the Covenant and whined out to the Almighty.
Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, Lord GOD, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all — to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! Joshua 7:6-8 nkj
The Almighty is so patient with us. Two things went wrong with Israel’s first fight against Ai. There was sin in the camp, sin of the worst kind, Achan had stolen what was dedicated to the Almighty (under the ban, something Joshua had no way of knowing) and The chosen captain of Israel (Joshua) consulted men about Ai instead of the Almighty.
Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, “Go up and spy out the country.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.” Joshua 7:2-3
Joshua did exactly what the spies of Ai advised him to do without consulting the Almighty. The Almighty knew about Achan’s theft and the hot anger toward Israel. The principle is Body life. We are the body of our Messiah. When the Almighty is angry with one of us, he is angry with us. If one of us has victory, we have victory.
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26
Because we are a body, and Messiah is our head, it is important that we look to him for understanding and look to each other with the same intensity that we look at ourselves with. This is what the Messiah said when an honor student (a lawyer) asked him what the greatest commandment was.
Jesus said to him (the lawyer), “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39
Does the Almighty seem far off? Does it seem like your prayers just bounce off of the roof and fall back to you in silence? I feel that way sometimes. “Where are you LORD?”
You know that he as promised to never forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 28:20) so why don’t I feel his presence? Sometimes it is because he is standing back to let me learn to trust him by faith, not by sight. Other times it is because we have sin to deal with. There are times when someone we associate with in ministry has sinned. But sometimes it is because we put our trust in people instead of the Almighty like Joshua did at Ai. I suspect that is what happened to David in our Psalm of the week. He did what seemed right without talking to the Almighty about it. That is what Joshua did, I’ve done it, and I bet you have too. The awesome thing about Grace is that we can repent at any time. We can stop going our own way, turn around (repent) and follow the Almighty again. We call it Grace, David, in our Psalm called it “lovingkindness”.
Sometimes it is easy, sometimes our pride makes it difficult, but it always is for us, not against us.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:28-39
Everyone sins, everyone needs to turn their face to the Almighty who loves us. When we cannot find evidence of him, then we need to trust, more than ever that He is near. Keep walking The Way, stand firm against the darkness of this world, and keep calling upon his name. His love for you shines bright, even in the fog.
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your Y’shua-salvation. Psalm 13:5 nasu
When it seems as if you cannot see him, trust his lovingkindness, his Grace. He will never leave you.
Mrs. Hagerty, December 1, 2015