Daddy blog

I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What seems reasonable to one might not seem reasonable to another at first


S: Numbers 32:1-7,16-22 The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.” Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them?” ... Then they came up to him and said, “We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place. Meanwhile our women and children will live in fortified cities, for protection from the inhabitants of the land. We will not return to our homes until each of the Israelites has received their inheritance. We will not receive any inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan, because our inheritance has come to us on the east side of the Jordan.” Then Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle and if all of you who are armed cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him— then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel.”

O: It's unclear if the Reubenites & Gadites were originally trying to not go on to fight for the Promised Land or not; I thought they were, but Juliane thought that they weren't, and only gave in after Moses admonished them.

In any case, the Reubenites & Gadites had wanted to do something which seemed reasonable to them, which seemed totally unreasonable to Moses and the rest. In this case, if Juliane's interpretation is correct, then they realized their error when Moses admonished them. If not, then Moses at least saw what they meant after discussion and allowed them to propose a compromised.

In Joshua 22, the Reubenites & Gadites get misunderstood again -- this time with even more potentially disastrous consequences. Here it is very clear that the rest of Israel had misunderstood them and that they had not intended anything wrong. Fortunately, this time as well, before things came to blows, the rest of the Israelites actually sent a fact-finding party, so things were resolved again.

A: Many times we have thought we were reasonable while the other people are being unreasonable, but if we actually do some proper investigation out before we act, it may turn out to be a misunderstanding.

James 1:19-20 says "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."

P: Father, help me remember this the next time someone else does something which seems terrible to me. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Even what God originally sanctioned can become an idol


S: Numbers 21:4-9 Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!

2 Kings 18:4 He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan.

O: God was the one who told Moses to make the bronze snake. So originally, it was a good thing. However, after many centuries, people started worshipping the snake instead of God. So good King Hezekiah had to destroy it.

A: What originally good things have we allowed to become idols in our lives?

For example, some churches have made rules like, "You must not drink any alcohol", "You must never hold a joss stick", etc. The original intention was good — to help people avoid drunkeness, to avoid worshipping idols, etc. However, these rules can become legalism.

P: Father, if there are any "Nehushtan"s in my life, please reveal them to me and help me to break them up. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Remain Steadfast in the Face of Ungodly Opposition


S: Numbers 14:3-10. 20-24
“Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle.

God was going to destroy the Israelites, but Moses pleaded for them.

Then the Lord said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord’s glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will ever see it. But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.”

O: Caleb and Joshua did the right thing, but the Israelites listened to the other 10 spies and were going to stone them! Sometimes when you obey the Lord, you find people attacking you.

Sometimes, like here, God vindicates you. Sometimes, like many prophets and martyrs, you do get killed, or at least harmed, in this life, so your reward and vindication is only in heaven.

A: Nonetheless, regardless of whether our reward or vindication happens here on earth, or has to wait till heaven, we must be steadfast in Christ when we know what God requires of us.

This is easier said than done, of course, but having other believers around to encourage us helps, by providing positive peer pressure. This is another reason why regular fellowship with other believers is so important.

P: Father in heaven, lead us and guide us, and give us the strength to follow Your leading. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Malaysia Untuk KemuliaanMu


S: Isaiah 61:8, 11 “For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them.”
The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

O: God originally was speaking to Israel, but in verse 11, He extends His justice to all the nations of the world.

This doesn't mean that His justice is already operational in all the nations of the world, but as the Kingdom of God is slowly extended throughout the world, like a mustard seed, the influence of God's standards of truth and justice spreads.

A: Tomorrow, Sunday 5 May 2013, is election day here in Malaysia. Let us vote in such a way as to uphold God's justice. May it spread to Malaysia as well!

P: Father, we pray for Your Justice and Goodness to overshadow everything that is happening here in Malaysia. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)