Friday, May 1, 2015

Conviction, Concern, Covered



Judges 1:1–2:10, Philippians 1:1–11, Psalm 61:1–62:12

Today God convicts me of a sin of omission. I also bring to Him a concern, and at the same time rejoice in His amazing ability to cover me from the onslaughts of life. I actually feel cuddled in His arms.

The conviction is a repeat. I’m not beating myself up over it as I once did, but am looking to God for ways to obey it now. Even so, feelings of regret come from the OT reading:

Now the angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” As soon as the angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept . . . And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. (Judges 2: 1–4, 10)

In their busyness to conquer their enemies and take possession of their land, the people of Israel didn’t get the job done. God rebuked them for it and told them He would use the remaining people to be a poke in their hearts and a snare to their lives. If that failure was not bad enough, they also neglected their children. The next generation didn’t even know what God had done for them.

In my busyness, I didn’t teach my children well either. They were told about God and about Jesus Christ, but I did not persist, and I did not do all I could have to bring them to the Cross. Now they are adults with families of their own. God is nudging me that it is not too late.

The concern is for another part of my family, a relative with early systems of Alzheimer’s disease. My mother was diagnosed with it. We are still uncertain that was correct, but I just finished reading Still Alice and am certain that my other relative whom I love very much, has that dreaded affliction. She is a Christian. When I read Paul’s words from the NT, and David’s words from the Psalms, it is fairly easy to pray this with her in mind . . . as well as other pleas for the Lord to keep her sheltered in His strong tower and cover her with His wings.

For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:8–11)

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead (her) to the rock that is higher than (both of us), for you have been (our) refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let (her) dwell in your tent forever! Let (her) take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah (Psalm 61:1–4)


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