In Exodus 14:13, Moses told the people "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD". Verse 14 tells them why they should respond in that manner; "the LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent". Many times the Israelites are told the LORD is the one who fights for them (Deuteronomy 1:30, Joshua 23:3, 2 Chronicles 20:29, Nehemiah 4:20). Yet in the very next verse the LORD tells Moses, "Tell the people of Israel to go forward".
What a great lesson for me. I am to fear not and stand firm knowing the LORD is my salvation and He fights for me. But I am responsible to move forward in doing what He has instructed. I must confess, I often want the first (God's action) without my participation. It is as if I want God to prove Himself again before I do what I know is my responsibility.
Lord God, You are my refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Thank You that I know that to be true. May my knowledge of that truth make my response swift to move as You direct.
After being told they must forgive each time a brother repents after sinning against them, the disciples response is "Increase our faith!" I always laugh when I read the reply. Notice the exclamation mark at the end of their statement. It is as if they are saying to Jesus the only way that is possible is if You increase our faith. I love Jesus' response. Basically, He says you already have the gift of faith, therefore do as you are commanded – just do your duty.
When I am slow to forgive or counseling a believer who says I can't forgive, this is the verse I go to. Jesus makes it very plain that as a servant we are to do as we are commanded and consider it our duty, not something for which we should be praised. We seem to think forgiveness on our part is something special, but Jesus tells us this is the only proper response.
Thank You for forgiving me all my sin, Jesus. I want to be as gracious as my Lord and Savior in forgiving the sins of others. When I struggle to forgive, I know it is not more faith I need. Thank You for the gift of faith. What I need is a more resolute trust in You and what You have done and are doing.
In Job 32, we are introduced to a fourth friend of Job's who has sat silent until the the other three stopped answering Job. The next six chapters are Elihu's response primarily to Job, but he also addresses Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. Elihu begins by admitting his youth compared to the other men but recognizes wisdom does not necessarily come with age. Since God does not include Elihu in His correction of the other four men, it appears He approves Elihu's counsel. So it would be wise of us to listen to this young man's arguments and insights.
Father, forgive me for thinking myself wise. You alone are the only wise God. May the advice and counsel I give be Your wisdom and not my own. Please surround me with men and women whose counsel is from You no matter their age.