February 10, 2020 – Monday
Psalm 74:22-23 NKJV
22 Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily.
23 Do not forget the voice of Your enemies; The tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually.
Psalm 74:22-23 NIV
22 Rise up, O God, and defend Your cause; remember how fools mock You all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamor of Your adversaries, the uproar of Your enemies, which rises continually.
Had another verse of the day already worked out, but our Monday evening Bible Study of Psalm 74 changed my mind. Above are the final two verses of Psalm 74 which may reflect the thoughts and emotions of many Christians today.
So ask yourself, why is God not acting today? Now? Why not? Frankly, I do not know, but I have my own ideas as to why not. I believe God is still winnowing out believers from among the unbelievers. He is still separating His remnant from the unbelievers. And it takes time. Recall the following verses from Acts 7
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
This is the same Saul who in Acts 9 was breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord and had gone to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Saul was not a believer and was not above having believers put to death for their faith in Jesus. Yet Jesus choose him to be His voice to the Gentiles. Jesus choose Saul! Don’t take my word for it, let’s see what scripture has to say.
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” NIV
This encounter with Jesus left Saul blinded and he had to be led into Damascus. While Saul was in Damascus, Jesus appeared to Ananias in a vision and instructed him to go to Saul, lay his hands on him so he might regain his sight. Of course Ananias did not want to go having heard much about what Saul had done to believers in Jerusalem. Still in Acts 1, 15 But the Lord said to him, Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children [people] of Israel. Oddly enough we do not see Saul with his new name until Acts 13 where we read 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit where he blinded an evil man for a short period of time resulting in the pro-counsel of Paphos believing.
There is more. Recall in Mark 3 20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that He and His disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When His family heard about this, they went to take charge of Him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” His family, included His brother James. Also in John 7 there was disbelief among His brothers: 3 Jesus’ brothers said to Him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that Your disciples there may see the works You do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since You are doing these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His own brothers did not believe in Him. What happened to all of His brothers? I don’t know, but I do know one of them became a believer, His brother James. There is even a book in the New Testament written by His brother James.
Bottom Line: We need to leave the timing up to God and let Him continue His winnowing. Personally I am grateful He was so patient in waiting for me to turn to Him and pray for a new worldwide Great Awakening.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton