as an example, and they were written for

Another sermon (book?) idea for when they increase the number of hours in a day from 24 to 40 so I'll have time to actually do stuff...

David addresses the Israelites in 1Cor28, but it's 1Cor29:10-20 that caught my eye. In these verses, after he has told them about Solomon succeeding him and about plans for the temple, that David offers up a prayer to God. And it's a sound model for prayer and perspective on life.
- Like the Lord's prayer, David begins with an exaltation of God, thanking Him for being the source of all things, for being sovereign.
- Love that v11 attributes victory to God.
- The start of v14 has a dose of humility, a recognition that we deserve nothing. And v16 acknowledges the riches they have are really the Lord's.
- In v17, David uses spiritual logic noting that he deserves nothing, that the Lord tests the heart (not the action), and therefore he righteously offers his sacrifices. And he offers them with joy.
- In v18, David pleas for God to move the hearts of the people. David is focused on their intentions and their hearts, not their actions.
- In v19, he prays for the Lord to move his son's heart. Solomon is known for his wisdom, but it was a proper heart that first asked for wisdom rather than riches. And that heart began here with David's prayer for the Lord to provide that heart.
- David ends where he began -- with a corporate blessing and worship to God.

Hey, pastors all over the country: when preaching on prayer, the Word provides a lot of examples of Godly prayer beyond the Lord's prayer. Maybe you can mix things up a little. I've got a good start for you already.


of the fierce wrath of God

The only thing on the news is the situation in Haiti. The bulk of individuals' responses to the suffering is an outpouring of prayer (for missionaries, for those hurt, for recovery, etc) and financial support. A few have been expressing great sorrow and struggling (yet again) with how a loving God allows suffering in the world. And not surprisingly, people like Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh say Haiti was asking for it.

The outrage from Christians against Pat and Rush is somewhat surprising to me. There is an immediate expression of rage, and a declaration that most Christians don't agree with these buffoons, and that God is a loving God and this is just a senseless tragedy. But I almost feel as if their reaction is not out of some righteous anger at bad theology, but rather simply to distance themselves from an unpopular opinion. I don't know if Christian outrage at Robertson's and Limbaugh's comments are because they so dislike the theology of their remarks, or because they don't want to be associated with unpopular people.

But let's say it was because they disagree with the theology. I don't think the theology is wrong. Throughout the Old Testament, God strikes down not just people, but whole nations who defy Him and mock His ways. In Revelation, the prophecies of what will happen to the nations that are against God are clear. It is an immensely unpopular opinion to say that a loving God who sent His Son to die because He so loved the world is the same God who is quite capable of sending disasters to strike down His enemies. Many Christians state that vengeance is the Lord's and that they can't wait until He rains down justice. But then when something horrible happens, they squirm and wonder how God reconciles suffering with love. Just like Pat and Rush shouldn't speak for all Christians on what God's intent was behind massive disasters, I'm thinking maybe the Christians who disagree with their positions shouldn't either.


sternly telling him to be quiet

Been a long while. Still trying to decide the point of all this. When this began so long ago it was about figuring out where the walk was headed, and what He was saying. I guess that exploration still remains. I guess? Perhaps that exploration isn't and shouldn't be so loud anymore. Perhaps?

In any case, the first sentence of 1Chron20 took my breath away: "Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel."

First, it is a clear reminder that our fight is not against flesh and blood, and that the shadows, they are very real, and that lion is always waiting to pounce upon you, always waiting at the door. And perhaps in moments of being away and moments of confused silence, it is clear Satan is still so very strong, still so often victorious.

Second, it highlights that there are times when Satan lets things occur. God is still sovereign over all things, no question. But Satan is also very much in control of this world. 1John2 makes a very clear distinction between those of God and those of the world, indicating the world is not of the light. And it is clear that Satan lets the world have its own ways. But then at times he has to get off that brimstone throne of his and press his advantage and move things toward darkness. And even something as seemingly innocuous as a decision on counting people can be used against us.

Perhaps not regularly committing myself to exploring my walk, exploring where all this goes opens that door keeping that lion at bay. Perhaps thinking more about light and darkness is critical in staying true. Perhaps silence is a sign of Satan standing up, suggesting some innocuous (in)action.