The Lord restores
Although the Lord had promised to withdraw His love from the northern
kingdom of Israel (Hos. 1:6, 8), He also promised to love them again
and take them as His children (Hos. 1:10). Both the southern and northern
kingdoms will be re-united and restored to their land (Hos. 1:11). This
is the Lord’s nature. He is ever ready and willing to restore and
take back anyone who returns to Him (see 2 Chron. 30:6-10; Ezek. 18:21-23).
He never forsakes those who return to Him (cf. Ps. 51:17). In fact, His
love for His repentant children sets Him apart from all so called gods.
Anyone who returns to Him will find Him the most welcoming Father (cf.
Luke 15:1-7 ). We can be quite sure of His warmest reception if we return
to Him with all our hearts. It is His nature to forgive all our sins
and remember them no more if we forsake them and return to Him with all
our hearts. (Jer. 31:34; cf. Acts 2:38-39).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to return to
you totally, wholeheartedly.
2. Father, please restore me fully as you promised.
The Lord forsakes those who forsake Him
God told Moses that after his death, the Israelites will soon prostitute
themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering (Deut. 31:16).
This will amount to forsaking Him and breaking His covenant with them
(Deut. 31:16). The Lord also told Moses that when this happens, He will
become angry with them and forsake them (Deut. 31:17). And when He forsakes
them, He will hide His face from them (Deut. 31:17, 18), and they will
be destroyed as many disasters and difficulties come upon them (Deut.
31:17-18). As the Lord foretold, the Israelites forsook Him and turned
to the gods of the land they entered and as He promised, He also forsook
them, handing them over to their enemies who plundered them (Judg. 2:10-15;
Judg. 10:6-13). The Scripture has made this point consistently and conclusively
that the Lord will forsake those who forsake Him (Deut. 4:25-28; 1 Kings
9:6-9). When we turn to other gods, we forsake the Lord and break His
covenant (cf. Deut.31:16). In return, the Lord forsakes us, hiding His
face from us, as a result of which disasters and difficulties come upon
us (see Judg. 2:10-15; Judg. 10:6-13; 2 Chron. 15:1-2). In fact, nothing
displeases God more than forsaking Him and turning to other gods, hence
His angry and fierce response (Judg. 2:10-15; Judg. 10:6-13). If anyone
has forsaken God and turned to other gods, the right thing to do is to
return to Him with all his heart and soul, and he will find mercy and
forgiveness (Deut. 4:29-31; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 3:19-20). Anyone who refuses
to return to Him remains the object of His displeasure and wrath (Judg.
2:10-15; Judg. 10:6-13).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please keep me from forsaking you
and turning to other gods.
2. Father, please take away whatever can make me to forsake and turn
away from you.
The Lord’s attitude to the wicked
This passage states clearly
that the Lord hates the wicked (Ps. 11:5). This hatred results in His
fiery judgment upon them
(Ps. 11:6). The
fact that God is love
does not apply to the unrepentant wicked. The unrepentant wicked are objects
of His wrath, not of His love (see Ps. 1:4-6; Deut. 28:15-68). The Lord’s
hatred and wrath upon the unrepentant wicked can only be taken away if they turn
from their wickedness to Him (Is. 55:7; Ezek. 18:21-23, 27-28). Anyone who commits
an act of wickedness makes himself an object to God’s hatred and wrath
(Ps. 11:4; Ps. 1:4-6; Deut. 28:15-68). The wicked man who refuses to turn from
his wickedness to the Lord remains an object of God’s hatred and wrath.
There is forgiveness for the wicked who turns from his wickedness to Christ (Acts
2:38-39; Acts 3:19-20). Anyone who desires to be a friend of God and loved by
Him must turn away from wickedness to Him. The desire of the Lord for the wicked
is that he turns from it and live (Ezek. 18:21-23). The hatred and wrath of God
remain on the one who persists in his wickedness. The key to God’s love
for the wicked is to turn from wickedness to God.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please keep me away from all wickedness.
2. Father, please enable me to be most faithful to you in everything.
Believers must keep their word
When the people of Gibeon heard of the victory of the Israelites over
Jericho (Jos. 6:1-25) and Ai (Jos. 8:1-29), they tricked them to make
a treaty of peace
with them to let them live (Jos. 9:3-15). The leaders of Israel ratified the
treaty with an oath (Jos. 9:15). Later, the Israelites found out that it was
a ruse, and that the Gibeonites lived near them (Jos. 9:16). However, in spite
of the grumbling of the whole assembly, the leaders kept their promise to them
and allowed them to live (Jos. 9:17-21). The leaders said they did so because
they gave them their word in the name of the Lord (Jos. 9:19), and so that
wrath will not fall on them for breaking their word (Jos. 9:20). These Israelite
leaders did the right thing by keeping their promise to the Gibeonites. Believers
are required to keep their words (see Num. 30:2; Matt. 5:37; cf. Eccl. 5:4-6).
According to the Scripture, it is evil when one does not keep his word (Matt.
5:37). The one who keeps his word even when it hurts is considered worthy of
the Lord’s assembly (Ps. 15:1-4). It is the right thing for believers to
keep their word. It is even a divine obligation for them to do so (Matt. 5:37).
It is unchristian for a believer not to keep his word (Matt. 5:37). The Lord
is not pleased when His children fail to keep their word as He taught (see Ezek.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to keep my word.
2. Father, please take away whatever hinders me from keeping my word.
God’s will is indispensable for His children
When the Gibeonites heard of
Israel’s victory over Jericho (Jos. 6:1-25)
and Ai (Jos. 8:1-29), they resorted to a ruse (Jos. 9:3-13). Without enquiring
of the Lord, the Israelites made a treaty of peace with them to make them live
(Jos. 9:14-15). Later, however, they found out that the Gibeonites were neighbours
who lived near them (Jos. 9:16). Had they enquired of the Lord, they would have
found out the truth about the Gibeonites. By failing to enquire of the Lord,
they failed to find out the truth about them and ended up making a treaty of
which the Lord had forbidden (Exod. 34:11-15; Deut. 7:1-6). Therefore, it is
of utmost importance to seek out and follow God’s will in everything, all
the time (cf. 2 Sam. 5:18-21). One can make a fundamental or fatal mistake by
not doing so (see Jos. 9:3-27; cf. Exod. 34:11-15; Deut. 7:1-6). The Scripture
requires believers to seek out and follow God’s will in everything (Eph.
5:17). Nothing can be as dangerous as not seeking out and following God’s
will in every matter and situation. Failure to seek out and follow God’s
will always is worse than driving in thick darkness without lights or sailing
in the high seas or flying in high altitude without a compass. And when we are
sure of what God’s will is, we must follow it whole-heartedly. It is
inexcusable and most dangerous not to do so.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to seek your
will in everything.
2. Father, please reveal your will to me in every matter concerning
3. Father, please keep me within your will always.
2 Thess. 1:6-7
God’s relief for His suffering children
Paul declared to the Thessalonian
believers that God will give relief to them in their suffering (2 Thess.
1:6-7). His love
and justice demand
so (2 Thess. 1:6-7). As He will payback those who persecute them, so will
He give them relief for the persecutions and trials they encounter (2 Thess.
This promise applies to all believers, not to the Thessalonian believers
alone. It is the nature and will of God to comfort His persecuted and afflicted
(see 2 Cor. 1:3-5). God never abandons His persecuted and afflicted children
(see 2 Cor. 4:8-9). On the contrary, it is when we are persecuted and afflicted
that His presence and help become more visible and real (see Acts 18:9-12;
2 Kgs.6:15-17; Dan. 3:13-30). Therefore, believers who suffer should trust
for His promised relief (2 Thess. 1:6-7).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please be with me in suffering.
2. Father, please give me relief in suffering.
The Lord gives victory over our enemies
When the five kings of the Amorites
joined forces together to attack the Gibeonites for making a treaty of
the Israelites (Jos.
the Lord promised
Joshua that He will give them into his hand, and that not one of them will
be able to withstand him (Jos. 10:8). The Lord kept His promise, and these
and their cities were given into Joshua’s hand (Jos. 10:19, 29-32). Not
one of them was able to stand up against Joshua as the Lord promised (Jos. 10:19,
29-32; cf. Jos. 1:5). Joshua could not have defeated these kings if the Lord
did not give them into his hand. Therefore, it was not Joshua’s army that
brought him and the Israelites victory, but the Lord. This is exactly what the
Scripture teaches, that it is the Lord who brings His children victory, not their
weapons or armies (see Ps. 44:1-8). Thus, if we desire victory over our enemies,
we must allow the Lord to fight for us and give us victory over them (Ps. 44:1-8;
1 Sam. 17:47). As was the case for Joshua, so it is with us who believe in the
Lord today. Our victory over our enemies does not lie in our weapons, but in
the Lord’s hand (Ps. 44:1-8; 1 Sam. 17:47). Being the Alpha and the
Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the end, the Almighty (Rev.
Rev. 1:8), and the one of whom nothing is impossible (Lk. 1:37), He is more
than able to overcome all our enemies for us.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to entrust all
my enemies unto you.
2. Father, please fight all my battles and give me victory over all