As we continue this study of the Dead Sea scrolls, authorities announced the discovery of several more scrolls as their extensive search for more hidden caves and treasures continues. Given the "coincidence" of the events described in previous devotionals, God's providential involvement in these developments becomes clear. His Word tells us what is about to happen, and new discoveries of Biblical texts seem to be directly related to modern prophetic fulfillments....continue reading this devotion.
When Daniel was in the midst of the lion's den…God was with him. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the midst of the fiery furnace…God was with them. It would have been perfectly easy for God to immediately transport these saints out of their difficulties, but no, He chose instead to be with them in the midst of their trials. God chose to reveal His power through the trials instead of exercising His power to remove them....continue reading this devotion.
Back in the third century Cyprian the Bishop of Carthage wrote to his friend Donatus: "It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered, in the midst of it, a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret....continue reading this devotion.
Once upon a time, Aesop wrote, the beasts and the fowls were engaged in war. A doublehearted bat was trying to belong to both parties. When the birds were victorious, he would fly around telling everyone he was a bird, and when the beasts won, he would walk around assuring everyone that he was actually a beast. His insincerity was soon discovered and the devious bat was rejected by both the beasts and the birds. From that time on and forevermore, the bat would be banned from the light and would be only allowed to appear openly at night....continue reading this devotion.
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....continue reading this devotion.
Tonight begins the Biblical feast of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) throughout the world! Roughly 2500 years ago, there was a special Sukkot celebration in Jerusalem. The people of Israel were exiled and dispersed all across the Babylonian empire. Later, they were given the right to return and start construction on the 2nd temple of Israel. Nehemiah 8 speaks of the special celebration that happened at that time. We read how Ezra taught the people out of the book of the law and how they responded in weeping and repentance before the God of Israel....continue reading this devotion.
There is an important lesson here and in other places of God's Word, namely that humility and gladness go together. What do the humble and the joyous have in common? They both look up. The humble are those who don't look down on anyone. The truly humble look up all the time. They have to look up, because their eyes are on God, and He's above them. The joyous are always looking up as well, otherwise they wouldn't be rejoicing. The joyous are believing the Good News, so they rejoice!...continue reading this devotion.