Our Daily Bread
- READ: Exodus 14:1-14
I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. —Exodus 14:4
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Whether that question
is posed during a business meeting, a church council, or a family
discussion, it often springs from a sense of exasperation in trying to
comprehend why someone has acted in a certain way. More often than not,
the answer is a matter of perspective.
If we had been among the Israelites leaving Egypt after 400 years of
slavery, we would likely have seen Pharaoh as part of the problem—and he was. Yet God saw something more.
Inexplicably, the Lord told Moses to take the people back toward Egypt and
camp with their backs to the Red Sea so Pharaoh would attack them (Ex.
14:1-3). The Israelites thought they were going to die, but God said
that He would gain glory and honor for Himself through Pharaoh and all
his army, “and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” (vv.4,17-18).
When we simply cannot understand why God allows circumstances that threaten
to overwhelm us, it’s good to remember that He has our good and His
glory in mind. If we can say, “Father, please enable me to trust and
honor You in this situation,” then we will be in concert with His
perspective and plan. —David McCasland
Your words of pure,
Shall yet unshaken stay,
When all that man has thought or planned,
Like chaff shall pass away. —Anon.
Faith helps us to accept what we cannot understand.
- READ: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! —Psalm 22:26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is
Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart-breaking words
that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry
out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O
my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why
it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to
David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a
characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency.
Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy
(vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt). —Dave Branon
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.