Isaiah 27:7 God Strikes Differently

Lightning strike

Has the Lord struck her as he struck down those who struck her? Has she been killed as those were killed who killed her? Isaiah 27:7 

People often see punishment in a negative sense. There is often nothing good seen in one being punished for something that was done wrong.

The common reasoning for this is that most often people punish with the idea of getting revenge and to cut someone else down. There is seldom any redemptive qualities to being punished or struck in the way people punish other people.

This view on what punishment is often carried over to view as to how God will punish someone. It is often seen as a way to destroy a person or just to get revenge.

Isaiah had been talking about how Israel had been struck or punished by God. It looked like everything was hopeless, but he asks for one to take a look at how God struck. It was done in a way that was different from those He struck around Israel. God did not strike to destroy,  but to correct and build up.

In the same way God will strike believers today. He is focused on making the person the best he can be, to be more like Jesus every day. God will allow negative things to occur in a person’s life to get their attention and draw them closer to Him.

Striking in this way is done out of love, not revenge or hate as the world would strike another person. God is not out to destroy a person because of His sin, but to redeem the person.

There will come a day when Jesus will return and God will strike the world with His revenge to destroy, but this is not done today to believers. God does what is necessary today to build up, not destroy.

When you feel God’s  hand strike you, take a moment and see where you are with Him. If you are living in a sinful way, repent and turn back to Him. If you are following Him correctly, know that God is allowing you to be tested to see if you really trust Him and will follow Him.

God loves you with an undying, eternal love that is only looking out for your best. His strike at you is only to build you up, not destroy you. Instead of fighting God, allow God to build you in His way.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will not fear God’s correction in your life; that you will be more like Jesus every day; and that you will grow under God’s hand upon your life. 

Proverbs 21:23 Guarding Your Mouth

Duct tape on mouth

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. Proverbs 21:23 

Freedom to speak is the desire and love of many people. In some places people are allowed to speak freely in whatever way they desire, while in other places people are severely restricted on what they can talk about.

The freedom to speak freely is a double-edge sword. It can be good to be able to say what is needed without fear of being reprimanded. However, many times people talk too much, too fast. Things are often said that only bring about trouble.

Speaking today has become even easier than in the past. Not only can a person be heard by those physically near by, but he can also be heard by millions around the world using online social media. This can also happen within just a few seconds, rather than days or months.

Solomon gives advice to a person who speaks. He should guard his mouth with what he says. This prevents tragedy from occurring.

It is common to hear a person suddenly say something in the heat of the moment that is hateful or harmful to himself or to others. Responses to online comments are often sharp and painful.

Many are having their dreams destroyed because of something that was stated online years before. They did not put a guard over their mouths and are now paying for it. Often society does not care if the person ever changed or not, it is just that it was said and was wrong.

Believers are also known for saying things quickly in the heat of the moment, casting harsh judgement before hearing the full story. Instead of being slow to speak and quick to listen, they are slow to listen and quick to speak in judgement of others.

Speaking like this is often selfish and brings about trouble and hatred with no love. Believers should always speak out of love and truth.

Every day you will have hundreds of opportunities to speak. Before you speak, slow down and consider what you will say, put a guard over your mouth.

Ask yourself if what you are going to say is going to build up or destroy, it is going to be the truth or a lie.

Once you speak, your words are out there and cannot be returned. However, they will return to reward you or destroy you.

Are you speaking the words of God or of self? Put a guard over your words and speak His words.

I pray today that God will help you guard your mouth; that you will only speak the words of truth and love; that you will be led by God’s Holy Spirit in what you say; and that your words will point people to God rather than destroy them.

Jeremiah 23:1 Woe To The Bad Shepherds

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1

God was preparing to destroy Judah because of the sins of the people. He gave many warnings that it would happen. Even though this was God’s plan, there were many of the leaders of the temple that were trying to say something different. They had their own priests and prophets saying that God would bring about peace. They were also leading the people into the sin of following false gods. The people were being destroyed and scattered because of the way they were being led.

God gives them a warning that He would punish them for doing this. As He would destroy them, He would also bring out a remnant of the people, who they were leading wrong, to restore and build up again.

Shepherds are the ones who are supposed to lead the sheep to the best food and water. They are to protect them from the enemy. If the slack off on any of their duties, the sheep will scatter and be destroyed.

Ministers, preachers, and evangelists are always considered the shepherds or leaders of the people in the church. Although this is true, that does not mean that other people are not shepherds also. Many people, who are not preachers, also are leaders of other people. They are the ones who lead and guide some people in the walk in this life. Many are parents, while others are teachers, or mentors, or bosses of others.

People today are teaching or leading others down paths of sin that are against God. False teachings are being taught in the churches, as though it is God’s word. Prophecies are being made that God will overlook sinful acts, because of His great love. Prayers for God’s peace are being made, without a call to repentance from sin. Adultery, drunkenness, lying, cheating, gossiping, stealing, jealousy, hatred, oppression, racism, and many other sins are accepted in the church as acceptable. These are just a few ways of destroying and scattering God’s sheep. God will hold them accountable.

As a believer, you must correctly speak God’s word. Speak the truth in love at all times. Do not allow yourself to be guilty of destroying His sheep, because you spoke of God’s word in a false way. Seek God’s direction in His word as you live it and lead others with it.

I pray today that you will know God’s word in truth; that you will speak God’s word in truth; that you will not be guilty of leading others wrong; and that God will strengthen you to live in righteousness for Him.

Job 16:5 Be An Encourager

But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring relief. Job 16:5

Job’s friends were continually pointing out how wrong he must be to be going through the harsh suffering he was dealing with. They had no words of encouragement for him. Job states that he could speak in the same way if the roles were reversed, but that he would not. He would speak words of encouragement and comfort striving to ease their suffering.

The world loves to kick a person when he is down. When a person has fallen a little in some area of his life, the world will point out more wrongs and keep him down. Others will just love to point out where he went wrong to bring him in to the suffering that is happening.

People of the world will treat others this way, because that is what the devil wants to do. He sets out to kill and destroy anyone he can. He wants to destroy any hope or belief that a person has. Destruction of progress in a person’s life is important to the devil.

It is easy to do things as the world does. It is easy to point out faults and wrongs in a person, and cut them down while they are down. However, that is not what you as a believer should be doing.

Jesus said that He was sent to proclaim good news. That good news is that God loves the people and wants to save them. Jesus did not come to condemn the people or sit and just point out all of their faults. He built them up with love and compassion.

Every believer should be seeking to build up another person. Building another person is done by encouraging the person, rather than pointing out his faults.

As a believer, you are supposed to be doing things just like Jesus would do them. You are to be His disciple, one who is learning to live just like He lived.

What kind of words are you speaking today?

Are they words like the friends of Job, cutting down, condemning, and destroying?

Or are they words like Jesus, loving, caring, full of compassion and building up?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will show compassion for others; that God will strengthen you to encourage others; and that you will show God’s comfort to others.