Bible, Scripture, Satan, Righteousness, Light, Promises, Blessing, Covenant, Justice

HE DOES NOT FAIL

ZEPHANIAH 3:5

“The LORD is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the criminal knows no shame.”

Time and time again the Lord has shown up for me. I cannot begin to list all of them. I just know that whenever I need Him, He is always there. I am reminded of a passage in Lamentations. 3:22-23 says, “22 The LORD’S acts of mercy indeed do not end, for His compassions do not fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”

Even in the midst of the failures of the leaders of Jerusalem (which we looked at in the previous verses), Zephaniah says the Lord is righteous there. He will do no injustice. He shines His light to expose their corruption. He does not fail. For those who were suffering under those corrupt leaders, this had to be encouraging. God is still doing that.

APPLICATION

God never fails. You can take that to the bank, as the saying goes. If there was ever a sure bet, that’s it. Let me quick to say, however, that we cannot put God on our timetable. Sometimes it may seem He is not answering our prayers. Sometimes it may feel He has abandoned us. Not so! Those are just lies of the devil.

I love the book of Joshua. It holds such truth for us today. Joshua 1:9 tells us through God’s own words, “‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.’” Don’t you know Joshua was ready to take on the gates of hell with a water pistol after hearing that.

Because I know the Lord is with me and will never fail me, I can face life’s trials with certainty. That does not mean I enjoy the trials, but I know they are for a purpose. When I go through the dark valleys of every day living, God is right there. He will never, ever fail me. That’s worth shouting about. Yoo Hoo!

Your compassions are new every morning, Lord. You will never fail me or forsake me. 

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Bible, Covenant, Promises, Protection, Relationships, Rescue, Scripture, Security, Strength

MY STRENGTH

HABAKKUK 3:19

“The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like deer’s feet, and has me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.”

Here we are at the last verse of Habakkuk. This verse is one of the most quoted in the book. If you missed the beginning of the look at Habakkuk, go back to the beginning of my blogs on this awesome book. They began on November 2. That means we have spent 56 days looking at each verse of this wonderful message to us.

Habakkuk closes his message with praise to God. He confesses publicly that the Lord God is his strength. He does not place his trust in the armies of Israel or on some foreign power. He knows God is the only source of strength. He brings in the image of the deer climbing up effortlessly to the high places. He says God does the same for him. And that applies to us as well.

When we are at our lowest, the Lord picks us up. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” When we rely on Him, He can lift us up to the high places. He does it effortlessly. It is no strain for Him, but for us, it’s agony.

APPLICATION

My little granddaughter asked me the other day to throw her high. Now, she’s approaching five years old. When she was a toddler, this was an easy ask. I could throw her multiple times to her glee. But now…that’s not so easy. It is hard for me to do that more than twice. Aren’t you grateful that God does not tire of lifting us up. No matter how many times we fall, we can turn to Him and say, “Father, lift me,” and He does.

I have had to call on Him several times in my life. There have been moments when I did not think I could carry on. That weakness may have been emotional, physical or spiritual. Each time He came to my aid. Each time He “made my feet like deer’s feet and has me walk on my high places.” He will do the same for you.

I want to climb to the highest heights, Father. Lift me up to be with You.

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Abiding, Bible, Blessing, Christmas, Promises, Prophesy, Scripture

EVEN IF

HABAKKUK 3:17

“Even if the fig tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit on the vines, if the yield of the olive fails, and the fields produce no food, even if the flock disappears from the fold, and there are no cattle in the stalls,”

Having no hope is well…hopeless. When someone reaches that point, they have a hard time believing that anything good could come to them. Perhaps you are in that position right now. Here on Christmas Day, you feel all alone and that no one cares. You may be surrounded by people but still feel that way.

Habakkuk is winding down his message with today’s verse. He will end with two powerful verses (check back the next two days for those blogs). But right here in today’s verse he is numbering the losses. There were no figs, no fruit, no oil, no food, no flocks and no cattle. Seems pretty hopeless to me. But he is setting up his ending. Check back tomorrow.

APPLICATION

The world may be going to “hell in a hand basket,” as the saying goes. But God is still on His throne. Even if marriage has been redefined by a government, God still sanctions marriage between one man and one woman. Even if churches today are sanctioning unbiblical practices, God still has His plan for the church. Even if…

Christ came on an “even if” day. There had been 400 years of silence. God had not spoken to the people since Malachi. The people were hopeless and felt alone. Even if! You see, God had a plan that had to take its time. God brought Jesus into the world on an “even if” day. God brought hope to the hopeless.

I am so glad we can celebrate Christmas today. Even if the world is falling apart, I will worship Him. Even if my health fails again, I will worship Him. Even if all my plans crumble, I will worship Him. How about you? Can you say, “Even if…”?

Joy to the world, the Lord has. Let earth receive her King.

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Abiding, Belief, Bible, Eternity, Loyalty, Promises, Relationships, Scripture

DISAPPEARING ACT

NAHUM 3:17

“Your courtiers are like the migratory locust. Your officials are like a swarm of locusts settling in the stone shelters on a cold day. The sun rises and they flee, and the place where they are is not known.”

Who doesn’t love a good disappearing act?! I can still remember David Copperfield making a Boeing 747 disappear. That plane is probably still wandering somewhere, lol. We all know that the plane didn’t really disappear, but the illusion was breath taking.

Nineveh would soon disappear, just like the locusts as soon as the sun rises. During the cool nights, they piled on top of each other to stay warm. They were a mass of wiggly insects. Nineveh compares the army of Nineveh in that same fashion. They were so numerous they resembled this horde of locusts at night.

APPLICATION

Unlike the strength of Nineveh that disappeared never to return, our Lord will never disappear. He is with us forever. He remains by our side through this life. Then we will reign with Him forever in the eternal. He will never, never disappear.

I worked with a lot of children during my 30+ years in the Child Welfare system. Many of them had disappearing parents. Mom or dad or both deserted them. The damage done to those precious children would break your heart. I am so grateful for parents who were present in my life all the way up to the time of their homegoing. And one day we will be reunited.

I am also grateful that my heavenly Father is always there. I may not always feel that, but that is because I have drifted away. He is still there. Jesus will never disappear on you. He is there, faithful and true, always ready to lend you His hand. Will you take it?

Place your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters. Place your hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the seas.

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Abiding, Allies, Battles, Bible, Confidence, Disappointment, Faithfulness, God's Will, Promises, Scripture

MISPLACED CONFIDENCE 

NAHUM 3:9 

“Ethiopia was her might, Egypt too, without limits. Put and Lubim were among her helpers.” 

Have you ever had someone you were depending on let you down? It is no fun feeling. Your hopes seemed dashed. You get angry at that person and then you get sad. Emotions are always a part of this kind of disappointment. What do you do with those emotions? 

Nahum was reminding Nineveh that no one can depend on any earthly power. He gives the example of No-Amon who depended on Ethiopia and Egypt for her might. Historical records have shown their armies numbered in the millions, like sand on the seashore. But No-Amon still fell. Only God’s power is eternal. 

APPLICATION 

I pray you have not suffered the fate of misplaced dependence. Let me reassure you – people will let you down. I have promised people that I will eventually disappoint them. I am not perfect and have never claimed to be. I know my failures. Do you? 

As believers, we know our only certain source of strength lies in Jesus Christ. Only He can sustain us. Read these words from Psalm 62. “5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Hm. 6 Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” 

Aren’t those great words? I just love that He is my rest, my hope, my rock, my salvation, my fortress, my salvation, the source of my honor, my mighty rock and my refuge. If that doesn’t give you confidence, nothing will. Trust Him today! 

I shall trust in You at all times, my God and my Savior. 

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Abiding, Allegiance, Battles, Belief, Bible, Courage, Defeat, Enemies, God's Will, Opponents, Promises, Rescue, Scripture

LIONS’ DEN

NAHUM 2:11

“Where is the den of the lions and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, lioness, and lion’s cub went with nothing to disturb them?”

I love going to the zoo. We have a small one here in Chattanooga, TN where I live. Almost any zoo has “the king of the jungle” – the African lion. These beasts are huge. It is hard to really understand how big they are until you see one in person. A full-grown male lion does not have many threats. They rule the jungle or African plain.

That is the analogy Nahum is using in today’s verse. Nineveh had devoured all its enemies. None seemed able to stand against it. So, that is why it is so appalling that Nineveh is so desolate and defeated. Nahum is asking, “Where is the den of lions”? All their fierceness was gone. They were defeated.

APPLICATION

I want you to know that as a child of the King, your enemies will not stand. They will all bow before Him. They may appear to be triumphant right now, but their day will come. You may not see it in your lifetime, but it will come. No enemy of our King will remain.

How do I know that? Because His Word says it. Romans 14:11 says, “For it is written: ‘AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, TO ME EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, AND EVERY TONGUE WILL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.’” If God’s Word says it, that settles it. It will be just as He has said. Do you believe that?

I know I can trust Him when He says something. I believe all my enemies will bow, just as I will. I will bow willingly. They will bow because they know they are defeated. Oh, how sweet to know in Whom I can trust.

I praise You, O God, for Your faithfulness to all generations.

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IN TIMES LIKE THESE

NAHUM 2:10

“She is emptied! Yes, she is desolate and waste! Hearts are melting and knees wobbling! Also trembling is in the entire body, and all their faces have become pale!”

A couple of years ago, when I was going through treatment for my Amyloidosis, I got very weak. I was deathly ill. I had fainting spells and lost a lot of weight because I could not keep anything down I ate. My face was pale. My knees were wobbly. I felt as if my heart was melting. I guess you could say I could relate to the description in today’s verse.

Nahum, of course, is describing the condition of the Ninevites. Joel uses a similar description in Joel 2:6. “Before them the people are in anguish; all faces turn pale.” We find this description again in Jeremiah 30:6. “Ask now, and see if a male can give birth. Why do I see every man with his hands on his waist, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale?”

APPLICATION

The application, to me, is clear. We are weak and frail without Jesus. He is the source of our strength. You may think you are strong, but let a trial come your way and you will see what you are made of. Our flesh, in itself, can only bear so much. But it is amazing what we can endure with the help of the Lord.

Perhaps you are going through a very trying time right now in your life. You may be sick or grieving. Whatever it is, Jesus is your strength. Your knees may be wobbly, and your heart may be faint, but Jesus has you. Quit trying to manage it on your own. You can’t, He never said you could. He can and He always said He would (to borrow a quote from a dear brother-in-law).

I am so thankful that both times I went through my stem cell transplants I knew who held me. It was not the doctors or their medical knowledge. It wasn’t the great treatment I received at the hospitals. It wasn’t my wife, as precious as she was through both of those events. It was Jesus. He carried me through. He can carry you, too.

In times like these you need a Savior. In times like these you need an anchor. Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.

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Abiding, Bible, Covenant, Promises, Refuge, Safety, Scripture

MY ROCK 

NAHUM 1:7 

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.” 

Can I just say that my wife is my rock? She is steadfast and sure. She stuck right by my side through both of my stem cell transplants. She has moved from state to state with me as the Lord has moved us in our ministry. Packing and unpacking, decorating and painting. She is my place of refuge on this earth. 

The word “stronghold” can be translated as rock. Nahum reminds the believers that God is their fortress, their stronghold. When all breaks loose, and it is going to, they can run to their place of refuge. He will see them through the hard times that are coming. I love how Nahum begins this verse – “The Lord is good.”  

APPLICATION 

I pray the Lord is your rock and place of refuge. As much as I love my wife, she is not my ultimate stronghold. Jesus is. I know He is always there and will always be there. He understands me as no other. When I come to Him and pour out my heart, He is always listening. 

Let’s be honest. We do not always pay attention when people are pouring out their heart to you. Try as you might, your mind can wander. Not Jesus. He is laser focused on you. He knows your needs before you ever voice them. When you are scared and confused, He welcomes you into His arms. 

So run to Him. Let me encourage you to do a word study on the words “stronghold” and “refuge.” Take comfort in this. Look back at the verse. The last phrase says. “He knows those who take refuge in Him.” He knows you by name. I will run to Him. I want to hear Him call my name. 

We praise You, O Lord, for being that steadfast force in our lives. We run to You and are safe. 

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THE FLOOD

NAHUM 1:8

“But with an overflowing flood He will make a complete end of its site, and will pursue His enemies into darkness.”

I have never had to go through a flood, although I know plenty of people who have. I even have a friend who has helped many flood victims during a Disaster Relief deployment. Most victims describe the feeling of hopelessness as they could do nothing to stop the rising waters.

That is probably how God’s enemies feel. There is no escape. The demons who rebel against our Lord know God is too powerful to fight against. The Bible says they believe and tremble (James 2:19). He is an “overflowing flood” which covers all.

APPLICATION

Is your head above water? Can you see a lifeboat? Feeling overwhelmed with life can feel like a flood. Things keep coming and coming and coming. I have known people who cannot seem to catch a break. They go from crisis to crisis. They are literally drowning in misery. Is there no end?

Our peace does not come from being rescued from the floods. Our peace comes in the midst of it. God is our peace. Even when He allows tragedies and trials, those things that try to drown us, there is peace. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us He will not tempt us beyond what we can bear. There is always a way out.

Our struggles in life are not meant to drown us. They are meant to strengthen us, and not just for ourselves. We share our trials to show others going through the same thing so they too can find faith in their floodwaters. And we do not just throw them a life vest. We jump in the waters with them as the Lord leads. That is our calling as believers.

O Lord, flood my heart with compassion and goodness from above.

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TRUTH AND FAVOR 

MICAH 7:20 

“You will give truth to Jacob and favor to Abraham, which You swore to our forefathers from the days of old.” 

I like receiving gifts. Don’t you? I mean, come on, who doesn’t? But I really like receiving gifts that include things I need. I am at the age now that I really do not want many things. So, I am hard to buy for. When my family gets me a gift, it is usually something I have specifically told them I could use. 

Look at these two gifts that God gives Jacob and Abraham. The Hebrew word for “truth” can mean steadfastness, faithfulness and truth. The word contains so much more than what we consider truth. Then He gives favor. That Hebrew word is key to God’s covenant relationship with Abraham and the whole nation of Israel. It can also be translated as loving-kindness. 

APPLICATION

Oh, to have God’s truth and favor. Wait a second! I do! When we come to Christ, we receive both of these to their fullest extent. God’s truth is found for us in His word. God’s favor is celebrated through our covenant relationship with Him through Jesus. We receive the same gifts as Jacob and Abraham. 

Now, listen carefully. Both of these gifts are given for a purpose. God does not give us gifts to hoard and keep to ourselves. Oh no. These gifts are given to share. We share God’s truth with people everywhere. We introduce others to the covenant relationship we have in Christ. 

I am not worthy of these gifts from God. Neither are you. But God gives liberally to His children. The very moment you ask Christ into your heart, these gifts arrive. Hallelujah! Who can help but praise Him for these beautiful gifts. 

Thank You, Father, for giving me truth and favor, just like Jacob and Abraham. 

(This is my last blog on Micah. I will start the book of Nahum tomorrow.)  

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