Friday, July 3, 2009

daily text 07/03

Friday, July 3rd, 2009
"I have placed Jehovah in front of me constantly. Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be made to totter." (Psalms 16:8)

Jehovah's written Word mentions many people who have figured in the outworking of God's purpose. Instead of being mere stories for our enjoyment, such accounts can draw us closer to God. (James 4:8) All of us can learn much from the experiences of well-known Bible characters - Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Ruth, David, Esther, the apostle Paul, and others. However, accounts about less prominent individuals can also benefit us. Meditating on Bible narratives can help us to act in harmony with the psalmist's words found in today's text. How are we to understand those words? A soldier usually wielded his sword with his right hand, leaving that side unprotected by the shield held in his left hand. Yet, he was protected if a friend fought near him on his right. If we keep Jehovah in mind and do his will, he will protect us.
(Watchtower issue: 02/15/08, 1:1-3)

*One of my favorite Bible characters, who is less well-known, is Micaiah. At 1 Kings chap 22, he is summoned by King Ahab & King Jehoshaphat to prophecy in behalf of Jehovah, because apparently he was one of the only true prophets left in Israel at that time, (according to 1 Kings 22:7, 8) I admire how he spoke the truth even amidst all his 'sell-out' contemporaries, (about 400 false prophets), who were always telling King Ahab what he wanted to hear, instead of what God actually said. In fact, verse 16 is kind of funny because it shows that Micaiah had a history with King Ahab in this regard, because it says: "At that the king said to him: “For how many times am I putting you under oath that you should not speak to me anything but truth in the name of Jehovah?” ... and 18 says "Then the king of Israel said to Je·hosh´a·phat: “Did I not say to you, ‘He will prophesy concerning me, not good things, but bad’?"
So not only did he have to deal with unpopularity and unjust treatment from his fellow prophets, such as Zedekiah, who at verse 24 slaps him across the face for speaking the truth. But then look at what happens to him in verses 27 & 28 "...This is what the king has said: “Put this fellow in the house of detention and feed him with a reduced allowance of bread and a reduced allowance of water until I come in peace.” Upon that Mi·cai´ah said: “If you return at all in peace, Jehovah has not spoken with me." -So on top of being treated with scorn and disdain by everyone, he also gets punished by the king everytime he speaks the truth, since its not what King Ahab wants to hear! (This chapter is so interesting because it's also one of the few times we are given a glimpse into God's heavenly realm and how assignments are delegated to his angelic messengers, at verses 19-23)