Praying Responsibly

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A Study in 1 Kings 3:3-14 –

“ASK ANYTHING IN MY NAME, AND I WILL DO IT” (John 14:13,14) –

A young man, taking this Scripture in the Gospel of John quite seriously and quite literally, said he was still waiting for the LORD to supply his request for a new Vette.  That’s a super sports car, for those who are not familiar with this car term.

A new Vette, and LORD, while I’m asking, I need a sunroof, and racing stripes, and the spoked wheels too!

You talk about PRAYING with specifics!  Some people do it up in a big way.

Now this young man was really only half serious about this petition of his; he does know the LORD isn’t bound to answer SELF-INDULGENCE.  He’s aware that God doesn’t provide us with expensive toys just to help us along with the Sin of Pride. Most of us don’t need any help in that category.

This man is also quite clear that there are other dimensions of the Bible verse,

“So that the FATHER may be glorified in the Son”

Thus his request, his PRAYER, is not up to par because there isn’t much of any room for the FATHER to get the glory.  The GLORY is all going to the car and the driver.

SELFISH URGES –

There are, after all, in the best of us, in the most Christian of us, some Selfish Urges.  Some things we want to have and some things we want to do, no matter what!

That might not be spiritual, but it’s real.

And so when it comes down to what we PRAY FOR, what the DESIRES of our hearts really are, it seems to be somewhat of a mixture.  It seems some of the things I find myself praying for, I might want, but maybe I shouldn’t have.  So what do I pray for?  What should I pray for?  What are the right things to pray for?

Thirty Centuries Ago… 

A young man was facing the same kind of choices with a whole candy store full of possibilities.

  • WEALTH in tremendous quantities.
  • POWER beyond what most of us can ever dream of.
  • RECOGNITION, RESPECT, ADULATION, he could have had it all!

And in fact it seemed, if you looked at one side of the records book…he was well on his way.

HEIR to the family fortune, named by his father as his successor, backed by some of the finest families of the nation, shoved ahead by an ambitious mother; about all he lacked, a degree from the Jerusalem School of Business.

Solomon had ALL THE GOODIES in the world, right there for the taking.

Life Wasn’t All A Bowl of Cherries.

Solomon had a half-brother out there drumming up rebellion against him.  There were old wounds left unhealed from his father’s days, for David had not yet settled all the scores or finished all the battles before he died.

More than that, there was the defiant, the disobedient, the disenchanted in the kingdom.  How was Solomon going to reign and reign effectively?

There was definitely serious problems of management, of loyalty, of governing.

Where to go and what to do?  What to PRAY FOR?

What do you say to the LORD?  Is it, “Let’s go for the snazzy sports car”, or is it something like, “Destroy my enemies, put down those who are against me”?

Or is it something else?

I think you know the story.  Solomon opted for something else to pray for.

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Not RICHES, nor FAME, nor CRUSHING of the OPPOSITION…

But something else–WISDOM.

Solomon PRAYED first for Wisdom, then for Understanding and for Discernment.

WISDOM, the power to know what to do with your knowledge, your resources, your energies.

“MORE IS BETTER”

I sometimes really get a kick out of watching television commercials with kids in them.  Children seem so honest in their desires and answers to the questions asked about the “why’s”.

The AT&T Commercial of an adult sitting on the floor with school children illustrates one point of Praying Responsibly.

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The conversation sort of went like this:

“More is better than less because if there’s more stuff, then you might want to have some more…” [Credit to iSpot.tv].

So MORE means not more resources, energy or time in our lives, but the WISDOM to use what you have already.

One of the Issues in Praying for Wisdom –

We so often, like Solomon, wait so late to do it.  We wait until we have tried everything else with our hands and we’ve blown it–and then, out of desperation, we ask for the LORD’S GIFT of Wisdom.  Our sense of timing is all off and so it was with Solomon.

In the first two chapters of 1 Kings, we can read and recognize, how like Solomon we are, trying everything to manage our own problems, even desperate measures, before we get down enough and strung out enough to PRAY FOR WISDOM & GUIDANCE.

When all’s said and done, the bottom line is… a young king who is still desperate, still unhappy, and still insecure.  He has done everything humanly possible to do in securing his kingdom, but he is not yet secure.

ROYAL MACHOISM just isn’t getting it done!

And Now, Solomon Turns to PRAYER for WISDOM –

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LORD, I’ve tried all I know to do, the people still aren’t behind me, the thing isn’t coming together, all my hard work and efforts and all my struggling; it just won’t do.  I have to have YOUR WISDOM!

PRAYING REASONABLY –

I noticed in my reading in 1 Kings 3, when Solomon did pray for WISDOM, it wasn’t just a PRAYER for relief from all his troubles.  No, his PRAYER was a Responsible Prayer; his PRAYER ASKED FOR WISDOM to help him deal responsibly with his tasks at hand (VERSE 9):

“So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good bad.  For who is able to judge and rule this Your great people?”

To Govern and Discern…

You and I might well be tempted to PRAY,

“LORD, just take it all away; who needs this kingdom business?

What a headache.

Take it all away!”

 But Solomon’s PRAYER is responsible prayer.

Although Solomon must have finally come to a point of desperation after trying and trying to manage his kingdom, and nothing was working as well as it should, but now I’d say he exercises creative desperation.

He PRAYS for Wisdom, being aware that he cannot expect God to lift the burden entirely, but that he can EXPECT help and guidance, insight and discernment:

 “I cannot do it all, so I turn it over to You LORD.”

“MORE, IS BETTER!”

Solomon now takes a step further; he has moved along another notch into spiritual maturity.  Now his PRAYER IS,  “Give me what I need in order to keep on doing what I must do.”  Give me help; but I don’t shirk my responsibility.  I do not surrender, but I PRAY for WISDOM!

Finally, I wouldn’t want to forget that the GLORY of it all when we Pray for Wisdom, we get that and MORE!

We get better than we even ask for!

When we pray responsibly, even when it seems rather late in the day, our God is pleased and gives us not only that WISDOM, but a good deal MORE!

1 Kings 3:10-13 (NIV bible):

[10] The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this (WISDOM).  [11] So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice,  [12] I will do what you have asked.  I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.  [13] Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for–both riches and honor–so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.

PRAY FOR WISDOM IF…you would PRAY for the right things, and then EXPECT God’s Gifts in abundance!

An unknown, unnamed soldier during the terrible days of the American Civil War, left behind a most eloquent testimony to this truth –

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 [See Footnote [i] for Prayers from the Confederacy – A Christian Confederate Soldier’s Prayer]


CREDITS:

Footnote [i] –  See www.historyaddict.com/CSPrayer.html

Photos:  Google Image Search. 

Bible References:  Amplified Bible, except where noted in the text.

“Being Careful with the Company You Keep”

The words in this blog title, were the words I heard from my parents constantly while growing up as a child.  I’m sure your parents emphasized the same idea to you as well.

I remember my dad telling me, “Mel, if one of your friends jumped off a roof into a fire, would you do the same?”  Hanging my head in shame, “No.”

In essence, my parents were trying to get the point across to me, “Be careful who you associate with (‘who you hang with’).”  Did my parents WISDOM stick in my adult years?  I’ll answer that question while investigating together, the WISDOM given from a father to his son in The Book of Proverbs.

TEXT: PROVERBS 4 – “Oh, kids will be kids…”

This parental phrase has been repeated over and over again in families.  So, I want to elaborate on the idea of responsibility as a PARENT, GRANDPARENT, GREAT GRANDPARENT, AND UNCLE when it comes to teaching the ways of the Lord.  This principle will apply not just to our family kids, but also to our spiritual children; the friends, brief acquaintances, neighbors, and others that we have led to JESUS or leading to Christ.  Some in the church call the process “DISCIPLING”.  And it can be.  But I’m going to call it teaching godly WISDOM, as Solomon speaks to in the Bible.

PROVERBS 4:1-27 AMPLIFIED BIBLE:

"Do NOT forsake my teaching"
“Do NOT forsake my teaching”

HEAR, MY sons, the instruction of a father, and pay attention in order to gain and to know intelligent discernment, comprehension, and interpretation [of spiritual matters].  For I give you good doctrine [what is to be received]; do not forsake my teaching ~  (verses 1-2). 

 

“Boys will be boys” …

We all heard those sayings before, perhaps even repeated the words ourselves.  BUT, what do they mean to us and others?

It means that when someone says that, they don’t believe they have any reason to worry how the kids will turn out…because kids will always be kids.

Now, that may seem logical…but its not!  The MESSAGE I want to make clear in the blog-POST…a child left to their own devises without instruction and correction of disobedience can become monsters.

PROVERBS repeatedly WARNS PARENTS…children left to their own desires will metamorphose into…

–  All the days of the afflicted are evil; but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast ~ Proverbs 15:15 KJV.

–  A wise son makes a glad father, but a self-confident and foolish man despises his mother and puts her to shame ~ Proverbs 15:20 AMP.

–  A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him ~ Proverbs 17:25 NAS.

–  The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother ~ Proverbs 29:15 NIV. 

The Story of Two Sisters:

This story involves TWO SISTERS who had spent the day fighting.  And girls (I helped raise two daughters), if you are reading this story, it’s not 8681712-a-young-girl-says-her-prayers-just-before-bed-timeabout you…well, maybe.

When it became bedtime, the two sisters were still mad at each other.  But as usual, they knelt beside their beds for their prayers.

“Dear God,” the 8-year-old began.  “Bless Daddy and Mommy, bless our dog.”

Then she stopped.  Her mother gently prodded,  “Didn’t you forget somebody?”  She glared across the bed at her 6-year-old sister and added,  “And oh yes, God bless my ex-sister.”

Still, you might be thinking,  “What can you do?  There are some who look at kids who behave badly and just shrug and say…Well boys will be boys; kids will be kids.”

The author of PROVERBS wouldn’t agree.  He believed a parent should and could influence their children.  He constantly preached to his kids about what was right and wrong; as he noted in Proverbs 29:15:

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother shame” (MP).

Proverbs 22:6:”

“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

According to a 2003 study by the Barna Group [See Footnote [i] ]– they found that:

~  A person’s moral foundations are laid by the age of nine.

~  Most people make a decision regarding the personal significance of Christ’s death and resurrection by the age of 12.  [For me personally, I was thirty years old and my wife was twenty-eight].

~  In most cases,people’s spiritual beliefs are irrevocably formed while they are still preteens.

An Attention Getter…

“Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live!”  (Proverbs 4:1 Message Bible)

SOLOMON is saying “listen to me” “pay close attention to me and learn”–he’s assuming something worth saying is something worth listening to.  So…as if you’re a PARENT, GRANDPARENT, UNCLE/AUNT…what can you say worth listening to?

A SHORT SURVEY OF PROVERBS:

I searched out THREE MAIN THEMES:  (There may be more, but these were the ones that stuck out to me).

Those three main themes are summed up in the following verses:

PROVERBS 1:7 – “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge…” (AMP Bible).

PROVERBS 1:8 – “My son, hear the instruction of your father; reject not nor forsake the teaching of your mother.”  

PROVERBS 1:10, 15-16 – “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent”  “My son, do not walk in the way with them; restrain your foot from their path;  For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.”

The On-going Message….

FIRST…Fear God.

Then REMEMBER what I’m teaching you.

And then, be careful who you hang out with and who you try to be like.

Proverbs 4:19:

“The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.”

SOLOMON–ONE OF THE WISEST MEN WHO EVER LIVED!

10646657_10152631217078930_8754778246084982255_nHe talked the talk.  BUT he ended up NOT walking the walk.   And by failing to “walk the walk”…he hurt his son.

Looking back on life, especially in raising our son; in my spiritual immaturity–I perhaps hurt my son by NOT walking the walk with consistency.  Sometimes my life would be exemplary in being like JESUS, and other times, not so much.  Examples: complaining about work, neighbors next door, loosing my temper while driving, etc.  It certainly wasn’t demonstrating the LOVE of Jesus.

Make a Decision NOW!

 Here’s the deal:  If you want a child to grow up the way they should go, and believe me, I learned the following priorities the hard way, you have to DECIDE to keep your priorities straight.

~  DECIDE that YOU’RE going to FEAR GOD.

~  DECIDE that YOU’RE going to REMEMBER what God taught you.

~  DECIDE to be CAREFUL who YOU hang out with.

If a parent will repeat those THREE IDEAS–over and over again to their children–FEAR GOD, REMEMBER OUR TEACHING, BEING CAREFUL WHO YOU HANG WITH; WHO YOU TRY TO BE LIKE, over and over again to the younger generation, it WILL make an impact.  My adult children have demonstrated our teaching and demonstration of living with godly fear in their lives for the most part.  Thank you JESUS.  Are things perfect in their lives? No, but neither is my life.

SOLOMON was very good at “talking the talk”

For the majority of his life, he even walked the walk.  BUT, toward the end of his life, he grew tired of that walk (1 Kings 11:9-13 NIV):

[9] The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.  [10] Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’S command.  [11] So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.  [12] Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime.  I will tear it out of the hand of your son.  [13] Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.

Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, talked the talk yet ended up NOT walking the walk because he FAILED and hurt his son!

Todays PARENTS “Walking the Walk”; Needing to look to God as a Way of Life…

As parents, if we look to God, God will be the One who’s in the center of our lives; and that goes far beyond Sundays at church–or Wednesdays, Mondays…

And if that is true, our own kids, grandkids, nephews/nieces will take notice.  They may not tell you so with their lips, but by their decisions and actions away from the family unit…

That which you fear is that which you will obey…

That’s why Proverbs 9:10 tells us,

The reverent and worshipful FEAR of the Lord is the BEGINNING (the chief and choice part) of WISDOM and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding.

If I FEAR GOD, I won’t FEAR anything else.  

So FIRST, we need to talk with our kids.

Secondly, we need to “walk the walk.”

And third…we need to Look to God; looking to God as the center of our lives as PARENTS.

If that’s true, our kids will notice.  If we sincerely look to God in faith–if we believe we can trust God with our everyday lives in all situations–our children will too!

I remember an incident on a New Year’s night, my wife and I were celebrating the evening at home…snacking, dancing, snacking…you get the picture.  We heard a car drive up and heard several voices laughing and quite vocal. As we went to the front room windows, peering out into the darkness (about 11 PM), the front door opened and our youngest daughter, her boyfriend and another couple came upstairs.

Our daughter’s voice rang out at the top of the stairs, “I hope you don’t mind mom and dad, if we hangout here for New Years, it’s nuts out there and we thought it would be safer over here.”   What ‘music’ to our ears as parents.  Godly teaching had gotten through! Thank you JESUS!!

One thing Solomon knew about his daddy, his relationship David had with God was real.  And knowing that, Solomon wanted that same bond/closeness he’d seen in his father.

And because Solomon knew that; because he struggled to follow his father’s example…Solomon’s kingdom eventually became even greater that David’s had been.

Leaving you with one last thought…

What your children/grandchildren become depends to a great extent…upon you; what you choose to do with your God in your life.

Who’s company are you keeping these days?

 

Footnote:

[i]  Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions: Ventura: Gospel Light, 2003.

Bible Translations:

Amplified, NIV, The Message, King James bible.

Photo Credits:

photobucket; Photo Pin.

 

 

 

 

Our Responsibilities as God’s “Plenipotentiary”

“Plenipotentiary” Definition:

Noun – a person, invested with the fill power of independent action on behalf of their government.

Adjective – having full power to take independent ACTION as a designated representative.

WHAT ARE THE ROLES OF A DIPLOMAT/AMBASSADOR/”PLENIPOTENTIARY”?

United States Ambassador
United States Ambassador

When United States DIPLOMATS negotiate a treaty, attend a state dinner, or arrange a visa for a traveler to the United States, they all have the same mission–REPRESENT THE INTERESTS and policies of the United States.

An AMBASSADOR is the President’s highest-ranking representative.

His/her qualities should be as follows:

—  A strong leader.

—  A good manager.

—  A resilient negotiator.

—  And, a respected representative of the United States.

Benjamin Franklin speaking to the qualities that should accompany a “plenipotentiary”– diplomat, said it this way:

“[The qualities of a diplomat are] sleepless tact, unmovable calmness,

and patience that no folly, no provocation, 

no blunders make shake.”

 BIBLE VERSE:

2 Corinthians 5:20

 

HOW WE BECOME GOD’S REPRESENTATIVE–CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS TO THE WORLD:

Joel Santos says it this way–If God were like me, he would have used legions of angels, proclaiming, singing, shouting his message nonstop, simultaneously around the world.  But praise God, He is NOT like me! [i footnoted].

In 2 Corinthians 5:11-20, the Apostle Paul, responding to criticisms about his ministry by giving reasons why Christians should be involved in MISSIONS.

GOD gave us ALL… the ministry of reconciliation…

This GOD-GIVEN COMMISSION is plain and clear–God’s mission of reconciling the world unto Him will be brought to completion through us, the redeemed!

Preparation For Being AMBASSADORS:

Before taking this honor as Plenipotentiaries, we need to make an honest attempt of knowing our responsibilities.  Consider the Christian as an AMBASSADOR who has a special motive of serving–the love of Jesus.

JESUS expressed LOVE in many ways, and as His AMBASSADORS, we need to take note:

He loved the lost – (Mark 10:21).

He wept over the lost – (Matthew 23:37).

He loved the outcasts of society – (Illus.: Luke 19:1-10).

The lack of love angered Him – (Mark 3:5).

He proved His love on Calvary…He died for us, so we live for Him.

A Christian Ambassador Responsibilities and Duties in the World– [ii]

1.  BE READY –

To be alert for chances to represent Christ while not backing away from a challenge or an opportunity.

2.  BE PATIENT –

Not quarrelling with others, but will listen in order to understand, then with gentleness, seek to respectfully engage those who disagree.

3.  BE REASONABLE –

Have informed convictions based on God’s Word/Scripture (not just feelings), give reasons, ask questions, aggressively seek answers, and will not be stumped by the same challenge twice.

4.  BE TACTICAL –

Adapt to each unique person and situation, maneuvering with wisdom while challenging bad thinking… presenting the TRUTH in an understanding and compelling way.

A Personal Experience of Being “Tactical”:

I have been blessed to be a part of 4 Billy Graham Crusades over the years.

As a counselor, when the Crusade Choir starts singing “Just as I am, without one plea”, was my cue to start my journey towards the center field of the football stadium.  To be qualified as “counselor”, we had to go through a week of training before Crusade began.

Mr Graham was positioned on a platform and after his message, those in attendance, started flowing down the long series of steps to the field. As counselors, we were to be sensitive to people’s needs, look forward to God-given opportunities, then to listen and share God’s Word with those who accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

After meeting and talking to several people one night, and as the crowds gathered on the stadium floor began to disperse,  I also turned to leave.  When out of the corner of my eye, I noticed 3 men heading towards me at a rapid pace.  Two of the men, who were giants among men, were carrying a much smaller man by his armpits, his feet not touching the ground.  As they approach, I didn’t know whether to stay frozen in place, or turn my back and quickly remove myself from their sight.  I decided to stand my ground with trepidation.

One of the men spoke up and declared, “We our Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton.  We were here last night and got saved.”

Releasing the smaller man so that his feet could touch the ground, he continued saying, “This is a fellow-Marine.  We brought him here tonight so he too can be saved!”

 I thought to myself,  “Mel, this is a unique situation with unique men.  Lord, I need to quickly adapt to and apply Your wisdom…NOW!” 

Immediately, I proceeded to explain that their “fellow-Marine” needed to make his own choices in accepting JESUS;  their forceful and insistent encouragement might do more harm than good.  Scaring someone to Christ might sound “convicting”, but no, God’s Word doesn’t tell us to do so as His Ambassadors.

I then began sharing the Gospel Message with the help of a B.G.C. (Billy Graham Crusade) tract, and the young Marine accepted Jesus as his personal Saviour.

5.  BE CLEAR – 

Being careful with our language and not relying on Christian “lingo”.  [Ex.: manifestations, glorified, the rapture, justification, reconciliation, etc.].  Keep it simple.

6.  BE FAIR –

Be sympathetic and understanding towards others, acknowledging the merits of contrary views.

7.  BE HONEST –

Being careful with the facts that will not misrepresent another’s view, overstate his own case, or underestimate the demands of the Gospel.

8.  BE HUMBLE –

Do not press a point beyond what the persons evidence allows.  Know that their understanding of the TRUTH is fallible.

9.  BE ATTRACTIVE –

Act with grace, kindness, good manners (“fruits of the Spirit”)–do nothing that will dishonor the One who has sent you on the mission.

10. BE DEPENDENT –

Know that your effectiveness requires joining your best efforts with God’s POWER.

AMBASSADORS ON A DIPLOMATIC MISSION:

christian-embassy-un-logo-210x210

As Christian Ambassadors, “Plenipotentiaries”, we are to shine forth God’s Light–proclaim the message of SALVATION whenever and wherever we may be.  Sadly, Christians have lost the sense of our godly appointment in this world.  We’ve got our “ticket to heaven” punched, and we are home free!

May it never be, that as Christ’s Ambassadors, we are ordinary citizens in the world.  For if we feel that way, we will never fulfill the mission:

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion,  Your God reigns!”  (Isaiah 52:7 AMP).

 

[See previous Blog: July 8th, 2011 – https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/christ-ambassadors;-our-power-to-influence/.] 

Footnotes:  [i] Pastor/minister @Evangelical Christian Church – Network of Churches and Ministries in the Philippines.  [ii] Adapted from Greg Kouki,  “Ambassador’s Creed” and Roger Morris’ Characteristics of a Christian Ambassador.

 

 

The “Honey Bee” Prophetess (Part Two)

The HONEY BEE
The HONEY BEE

Let’s pick up the story of the “Honey Bee” (Deborah) in Judges 4:14-17:

[14] And Deborah said to Barak,  “Up!  For this is the day when the Lord has given Sisera into your hand.  Is not the Lord gone out before you?”  So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him.  [15] And the Lord confused and terrified Sisera and all his chariot drivers and all his army before Barak with the sword.  And Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled on foot.  [16] But Barak pursued after the chariots and the army to Haro-sheth-hagoiim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left.  [17] But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

Up!” and Go… NOW!  

The king of the enemies of Israel was being DELIVERED into the hands of Barak.  

By the spirit of prophecy, DEBORAH knew this was the time to attack.  So, Barak did.

Sometimes, God speaks to us TO UP and GO!  We may wonder, why now?  Always remember that God’s timing, though it may not seem right at the time, is always perfect.  Sometimes we are told to go talk to someone we haven’t even noticed before around us.  Then, wonder how God’s purpose will play itself out and finding ourselves in position do nothing else… but patiently WAIT for His plan to be revealed.

Proverbs 19:21 addresses this plainly:  “Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.”

Does God really have a specific purpose for lives in this world today?  It might not seem like it, but it is there alright.  We just have to seek the wisdom and understanding to discover His plan and through His Word.

Some Scarey Stuff – (verses 18-22):

[18] And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him,  “Turn aside, my master, turn aside to me!  Do not be afraid.”  And he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.  [19] And he said to her, “please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.”  So she opened a bottle of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him.  [20] And he said to her,  “Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there anyone here?’ that you shall say, ‘No.’ ”  [21] But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent-peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through to the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted.  So he died.  [22] and BEHOLD, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, ” Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with a tent-peg in his temple  (NASB).

It’s almost fearful to read the words laid down in front of our eyes.  Samson falls asleep in the “barber chair” of Delilah and gets his hair cut off; Sisera falls asleep in the tent of Jael, getting a tent-peg driven through his skull.  Hmmm, anything here about going asleep while the women of the house may be angry at us?

PROPHECY FULFILLED:

This is the fulfillment of the prophecy by Deborah to Barak earlier in the story:

“But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman”  (Judges 4:9).

Great Lessons to Learn–THINGS aren’t always what they appear at first!

Yes, I found some great lessons from this particular passage of Scripture.

1.  JAEL broke a fundamental principle of hospitality. 

2.  JAEL broke her promise to Sisera and killed a man that her own husband had made peace with. 

And yet… God used even her treachery to accomplish His purpose.  Surely, Sisera deserved to die; he fought against God’s people on behalf of a leader; he harshly oppressed the people of Israel (Judges 4:3).  Could this be a NEWS HEADLINE in the Middle East and today’s world?  You bet!

The LESSON for us is important.  God can make even the evil of men serve His purposes:

“Surely Your wrath against men brings You praise; and the survivors of Your wrath are restrained”  (Psalm 76:10 NIV).

Yet, that never lessens the personal responsibility for the one doing the evil.  JUDAS’ betrayal of Jesus served the eternal purpose of God, yet he still answered for the evil deed.

CONCLUSION OF THE PASSAGE– (verse 23-24): 

[23} “So God subdued on that day Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites.  [24] And the hand of the Israelites bore more and more upon Jabin king of Canaan until they had destroyed [him].”

DEBORAH (the “Honey Bee”) was a prophetess and intercessor who had been placed to judge the things of God; used mightily to free her people from their enemies.

Our Enemies Today–

Our enemies we face are more internal than external.  We are enslaved by our hearts and minds, unwilling to follow the precepts of the Lord and rather “play the harlot after other gods.”

Oh how the Body of Christ (The Church) needs more DEBORAHS to lead us away from the circle of apostasy.  Now not ALL women in your church are going to be “DEBORAH S”, and not ALL men will be “Barak s”; but that doesn’t change our God given responsibilities as true believers in Christ Jesus.

Some of you reading this may be “Deborah’s” in waiting.  Perhaps it’s time for you to STEP UP and be REVEALED– and you will say as she did in Judges 4:9 (NASB):

“I will go with you.

But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours”