Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday, July 19th: Psalms 23-25, Acts 14 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Psalms 23-25; Acts 14

A couple years ago I listened to and learned some amazing things from Ray Vander Laan and his Follow the Rabbi lectures (though Focus on the Family).

I remembered learning about the actual meaning of "green pastures" from the famous Psalm 23,  I googled it and found this great video that explains it - and the video imagery makes the point even more than words ever could.

The green meadows were actually rocky hills, and with the very small amount of moisture available in the area, small tufts of grass grow by these small rocks, and the Shepherd leads His sheep to those tufts of grass, and every day the sheep eat them, and there is just enough for what they need for that day.

In other words - God gives us what we need for the day, or even for the moment, when we need it. This verse is not promising us a happy-go-lucky life with no problems along the way. No, it's promising us that God will provide what we need when we need it, and not before - if we follow Him! The grass is sparse and we can't find it on our own. But we can trust Him, because He was faithful yesterday and the day before that and He will continue to be faithful today and every day.

Anyway, here's the video.....

And the still waters?
In the deserts, wadis can quickly kill. In fact, in that part of the world, more people die in the desert from floods than from starvation or dehydration. When it rains in the hills, water rushes through the wadis, creating flash floods that can’t be seen or heard until it’s too late to escape.

Sheep without a shepherd go to the wadis to find fresh water and have no hope of escaping the floods. It’s the shepherd’s job to find “still water,” that is, water that doesn’t risk death.

Again, it's not referring to a beautiful placid river running through lush meadows that you lounge beside. It's about God leading you to water that refreshes and does not lead to death.

For more about the Shepherd - click here.

Acts 14: 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Here we see the doctrine of common grace.  As Rayburn says....
This is, of course, not the saving grace of God which, when pitched on a sinner, in election, redemption, and salvation, draws him out of sin and death, delivers him from the curse of sin, and brings him into fellowship with God.....It is grace that is given to the just and the unjust alike. And it accounts for all that is orderly, worthy, good, and beautiful in sinful human life.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Psalms 26-28; Acts 15:1-21


Nathan Reimer said...

It's interesting how one miracle performed by Paul can lead to misunderstanding and a near death experience for Paul.

With the help of God, Paul healed a crippled man, and the people who witnessed this then misunderstood the message Paul was preaching and believed that Paul was one of their own gods. When Paul tried explaining how the miracle he performed was the work of our God, the leaders stoned him. They thought Paul was dead so they left him. With the help of sone of his disciples ,Paul then got up and went back into the same city for that night and left the next day and then continued preaching the gospel.

The miracle that stood out for me was how Paul was saved from death and recovered so quickly that he could continue on the next day. I would have thought that after being stoned to near death, Paul would have had many permanent injuries and he wouldn't have been able to move for a long time. What an amazing God we serve, who can heal a man physically and emotionally so quickly.

Conrad said...

I too thought that it was amazing how quickly Paul was able to get back up, and also still having the desire to continue to spread the good news.

Pamela said...

I remember seeing that video before. It's interesting how our interpretation changes as our time changes and yet the validity of the message remains.

I love this earnest prayer:

Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.