August 18, 2017
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
A Psalm of David
“Long enough, God –
You’ve ignored me long enough.
I’ve looked at the back of Your head
long enough. Long enough
I’ve carried this ton of trouble,
lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies
have looked down their noses at me.
Take a good look at me, God, my God;
I want to look life in the eye,
so no enemy can get the best of me
or laugh when I fall on my face.
I’ve thrown myself headlong into Your arms –
I’m celebrating Your rescue.
I’m singing at the top of my lungs
I’m so full of answered prayers.”
David the Psalmist
The Message Bible
My Voice Shalt Thou Hear
“My voice shalt Thou hear this morning,
For the shades have passed away,
And out from the dark, like a joyous lark,
My heart soars up with the day:
And its burden all is blessing,
And its accents all are song.
For Thou hast refreshed its slumbers,
And Thy strength hath made it strong.
My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning,
For the day is all unknown,
And I am afraid, without Thine aid,
To travel its hours alone.
Give me Thy light to lead me
Give me Thy hand to guide,
Give me Thy living Presence
To journey side by side.
Star of eternal morning,
Sun that shall never decline,
Day that is bright with unfading light,
Ever above me shine!
For the night shall be all noontide,
And the clouds shall vanish far,
When my path of life is gilded
By ‘the bright and morning Star.’”
“Let never day nor night unhallowed pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done.”
Today’s Study Text:
“I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
“Strength for Each Day” Part 5
“Invincible” – incapable of being conquered, over-run, or subjugated.
Who do I look to in my life for strength?
What person(s) have provided me with strength during times of trouble in the past?
“I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me.”
American Standard Version
“It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning. But Moses’ hands got tired. So they got a stone and set it under him. He sat on it and Aaron and Hur held up his (Moses’) hands, one on each side. So his hands remained steady until the sun went down.”
The second book of the Old Testament, Exodus, chronicles the travels and trials of the children of Israel in their journey from Egypt to Canaan.
During this desert crossing, the large encampment of people found themselves up against a variety of obstacles. One of the most challenging is recorded in Exodus 17. No sooner had the tents been pitched at Rephidim than the people found out there was no water. In a miraculous turn of events, Moses was instructed by God to go to a rock in Horeb and strike the rock. God promised water would be provided. Sure enough more than enough water was supplied by God’s Hand to meet the needs of the people.
I relate this story as a background to what happens next. After seeing God supply their needs, you would think the people would have increased trust in the strength of God. But when the foreign King of Amalek decided to attack, everyone started wailing, “What are we going to do?”
At the instruction of God, Moses told the leader of the army, Joshua, to fight against the Amalekites. Then Moses did something rather unusual. He climbed to the top of a nearby mountain where he could survey the battle. And he carried with him the same rod God told him to use to hit the rock when water was provided to meet Israel’s need.
Atop the hill, whenever Moses “held up his hands, Israel prevailed.” But when he put his hands down, the “enemy prevailed” (Exodus 17: 11, K.J.V.).
Because the battle continued all day long, this ultimate “survivor” test took a toll on Moses. His hands became tired. So two people – Aaron and Hur – came to stand with Moses and help him by holding up his hands.
I love this story because it is a wonderful example of how God’s strength is sent to us in times of need.
Over the past several days, we have been looking at what gives us, the power to become invincible. We found that God gives us courage to do the impossible; He gives us courage to change; He gives us joy in the face of struggle; and today we find God gives us strength by sending us the help we need in our greatest moments of weakness. In His second letter to the Christians living in Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote these words spoken to him by God: “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12: 9, K.J.V.).
Yesterday we learned our joy – our happiness – comes directly from God’s strength. Today we read that when we are the weakest, we know exactly how strong God is. His strength will perfectly fill the areas of our lives that need help most.
When Moses was tired – God sent the help he needed – and the help came in the form of two friends who stood by his side to assist him.
Several years ago, my husband and I faced a very different challenge after being hit head-on by a drunk driver. One of the greatest mountains we both had to climb was learning to walk again. After months in the hospital, then in a wheelchair, I was taken by two physical therapists to the gym where I was wheeled up to a set of parallel bars. With the assistance of a person on either side of me, I was able to stand for 45 seconds – what seemed like a lifetime, I can tell you. I didn’t have the power to accomplish this task on my own. I needed help – an “Aaron and Hur” to hold me up. For several weeks, I had two helpers providing strength when I was weak. Until my fractured bones and flaccid muscles grew stronger, someone had to come alongside me.
Where you are broken, you may need help to recover. Where you are hurt, you may need healing hands to relieve pain. One of the best things about the Heavenly strength we are given is that God will send you just the helpers you need at the right time.
This past week, I received an email from one of our Circle of Prayer members who had sent a request. She sounded so concerned that when I read her request, I relayed her need to some of the Circle of Prayer members immediately and asked them “Please start praying now.”
Within hours, another email arrived from the individual who had asked for help with her urgent need: “I already see God at work. Thank you all for your prayers. And to think people who don’t even know me are praying for me."
The strength of God was provided by the help of people praying. Individuals just like you! And just as Aaron and Hur helped when a friend needed assistance during a moment of weakness – God sent help to “hold up her hands.”
He is doing the same for you today. In the words of Ben Patterson, “What we don’t see God doing is always much greater than what we see Him doing.”
I invite you to claim this extraordinary promise as your own: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1, K.J.V.).
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
“Jesus, we invite the fullness of your strength; Come to us now. We look for You, in the faces of those You send to show us how strong we are – when we rely on You, totally!”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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