Isn't it interesting that of the multitudes thronging and pressing toward Yeshua (Jesus), only one really touched Him? What made Yeshua notice her among all the rest?
The Lord is quoted in this scripture in Matthew and it contains an important principle which I think we sometimes tend to overlook. Many believe and even teach that if someone acquires much material prosperity, then God has surely given them favor, and that if someone is undergoing extreme trial, it must be because they have sinned or that they lack faith. But the Lord says that the sun rises and the rain falls on both the righteous and the unrighteous alike. A life of good circumstances does not necessarily mean that God is with us. And likewise, a life of trial and suffering does not mean that God is not with us!
by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions Exodus 12:12-13 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be [...]
In the year 1920, young Oswald Smith stood before the examining board for the selection of missionaries. He had wanted to be a missionary for as long as he could remember, and for all that time had been crying out to God that He might open a door for him to do so. Finally, his time had come. There he stood awaiting his destiny. His long-awaited was about to come…"No."
In 1917, the Ottoman Empire controlled the city of Aqaba which seemed impregnable to any attack. Behind the city in every direction was a vast desert, and overlooking the city's harbor were huge naval guns protecting it against any enemy attack from the sea.
While walking through the forest one day, a farmer found a young eagle who had apparently fallen out of his nest. He took it home and put it in his barnyard with his chickens and there it stayed for years. It wasn't long before the little eagle learned to eat and behave like the chickens.
An official of a mission board, who knew it takes more than just desire to make a missionary, was appointed to examine a candidate for the mission field. He told the young man to be at his house at six o'clock in the morning. The young man complied and arrived a six o'clock sharp. The examiner kept him sitting alone in the room until ten…
Have you ever heard of the Valley of Elah? It's the valley near Bet Shemesh where David defeated Goliath, yet this historic battlefield is virtually untouched in Israel. During the rainy season a brook runs through the midst of the valley, however it dries up during the summer. This brook is very likely the one from which David chose his five smooth stones – one of which was used to kill Goliath. Yet, this historic place has no landmarks, no churches – people drive past it all the time unaware of it's biblical or historic significance.
One day a passerby saw a homeless man on the roadside. He stopped for a moment to hand him some loose change and casually said "God bless you, my friend".
Growing up, one of my favorite Saturday activities was watching ABC Sports. I can still remember the opening line — “The thrill of victory or the agony of defeat!” One of the greatest prophets of the Bible, Elijah, experienced his share of victories — but he also knew that sudden feeling of defeat.
Carl Armerding wrote a funny story in Moody Monthly, about his experience at the zoo. "As I stood there," he said, "an attendant entered the cage through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom.
One of the greatest stories of the Bible is David and Goliath. It's such a good story, in fact, that the world has come to make common use of it! A prime example of this is when the underdog faces an invincible champion in just about any sport on national television, commentators always seem to make mention of David and Goliath.
In 2nd Samuel Chapter 9 we read of the story of King David and Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of the first king of Israel, King Saul. After Jonathan's death, David went forth to show kindness to Saul's house. Mephibosheth had become lame at the young age of five — he had lived his entire life as a cripple.
In the Greek olympic games of old, a unique race was run. The winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!
When God called Gideon to lead Israel against their enemies, He wanted to show that a small army empowered by God was more effective than the largest armies. But notice how they fought – without weapons that an army would normally use. They fought with shofars and lamps! They fought with weapons that the world would consider ineffective, yet triumphed mightily over their enemies. They shouted as loud as they could, sounded the shofar, and broke the vessels that held the fire so that their lamps burst through with brightness.
It ought to be obvious to all of us believers that we are in a spiritual war that is taking place all over the earth — and that we are called to fight in this battle. In the world's armies, soldiers are not sent into battle before receiving many months of serious training. They need to get physically in shape first and then to learn how to handle different wartime situations and tactics of the enemy.
As most of you know, this past week the conflict in Israel has escalated. The IDF has termed Israel’s military operation, “amood anan”, which in literal Hebrew, means, “pillar of cloud”. In English it has been rendered, “pillar of defense”. The term is a direct reference from the Exodus of Israel from Egypt when they were led out of slavery and protected by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.[Exodus 13:21]. The pillar both led (directed and guided) and protected the children of Israel from the Egyptian army…providing both leadership and protection.
"Exhausted but still in pursuit…" Well, now we know why the angel of YHVH addressed Gideon the way he did. With his small three hundred man army he had just decimated the army of Midian — but the victory wasn’t complete, and so the Jewish general and his small, exhausted, hungry, band were determined to cross the Jordan and take care of 15,000 additional Midanite enemies and their leaders, Zebah and Zalmunna.
Nature provides us with an illustration that closely parallels the insidious tactics employed by our adversary. According to scientists, Arctic polar bears feed almost entirely on seals. To enjoy such a meal, they sometimes resort to a cunning bit of trickery. If the hole through which the seal gets his food is near the edge of the ice, the polar bear will take a deep breath and swim under water to its exact location. Remaining below the surface, he will then make a tiny scratching sound, imitating a fish. When the charmed seal hears this, he dives in for a quick supper, only to find himself suddenly entrapped in the huge, hungry embrace of his predator.
When Joseph was thrown into prison, his life was thought to be over. How could anyone escape an Egyptian prison? But then, in one day, according to God's perfect timing, he was instantly promoted to reign over all Egypt with only the Pharoah, ("god on earth") as his Lord…