March 2, 2014
Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“And the Lord answered, ‘Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the (child) of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of my hands: (O your name here,) your walls are continually before me.’”
Isaiah 49: 15, 16
Today’s Study Text:
“Observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in His ways.”
I Kings 2: 3
“Words of Blessing – Observe and Walk”
“Alas, my God, that we should be
Such strangers to each other!
O that as friends we might agree,
And walk and talk together!
When wilt Thou come unto me, Lord?
O come, my Lord most dear!
Come near, come nearer, nearer still:
I’m well when Thou art near.”
What does it mean in my daily life to observe and walk with God?
If I were to think about my daily priorities, how much time do I set aside for walking with my Father?
“All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Gives me grace for every trial
Feeds me with the living bread;
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul a thirst may be,
Gushing from the rock before me,
Lo, a spring of joy I see.”
“He leads us on by paths we did not know;
Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
Yet when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.
He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze of losses,
Sorrows, and o’er clouded days;
We know His will is done;
And still He leads us on.”
N. L. Zinzendorg
Father and son. The king of Israel and the king in waiting. As David and Solomon conversed, the father’s words of blessing and advice were meant not only to instruct but encourage the young Solomon as he prepared to take over the throne of Israel.
As we learned yesterday, there were four essential elements that David wanted to make certain Solomon understood would bring him success – and not of an earthly nature, but most importantly of a heavenly one. This is why David began by telling Solomon to first, “take heed of the way.” This was a message to Solomon to stay within the hedge of God’s protective strength and care. I love the way L. B. Cowman expands on this thought. “God hedges in His own that He may preserve them.” What a beautiful way to express the way David was trying to see that his child, Solomon, kept the journey of his entire life within the hedged area of his heavenly Father’s way and will.
However, David didn’t just stop by encouraging Solomon to stay within the boundaries of heaven’s hedge. He continued his admonition with the Essential Element #2 found in 1 Kings 2: 3 which states: “Keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways.” As we uncovered yesterday, the word “charge,” means to stand as a sentry on a post. David was reminding Solomon that not only had God called this young man, “My beloved,” but it was God who had laid His hand on Solomon and called him to be the king of Israel. However, with this “calling,” came the duty to stand watch, to safeguard the post to which he had been summoned.
But there was more to the calling of God on Solomon’s life. Not only was he to stand watch, he was also called by God to walk in the ways of his Father in heaven or as the Hebrew translates the word “walk,” in this text, Solomon was invited by God to traverse his entire lifetime toward a life of heavenly prosperity. (We’ll spend more time in the next few days looking at what heaven’s definition of a truly “prosperous” life is really all about!)
It isn’t hard to understand that if Solomon had followed the counsel laid out by David, who himself had learned by experience what happens when we wander outside the bounds of God’s hedge of protection, he could have avoided a lot of the trouble that came his way. Or may I say, that he walked into. And frankly, the same thing happens to you and me. I know as I review my own life, there were quite a few times when the complicated difficulties I faced were ones I walked right into myself because rather than stay on God’s path, I chose to create my own. I love the words of the prophet Micah who made this definitive declaration:
“We will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.”
Micah 4: 5, K.J.V.
To better understand the context of this statement, I chose to read the entire chapter of Micah 4. As Micah looked around at what happens to God’s children when they follow His way and when they heed where they walk, and when they stand at their post, he came to this wonderful conclusion which The Message Bible so clearly sets forth:
“Meanwhile, all the other people live however they wish, picking and choosing their gods. But we live honoring God and we’re loyal to our God forever and ever.”
When the children of Israel were on the border of Canaan, their faithful leader Moses, came before them with a message from heaven. Just as David in his waning years shared a heavenly message with his son, Solomon, so Moses stood before the people whom he loved as his own children and spoke these words: “Know also in your minds and hearts that, as a man disciplines and instructs his son (or daughter), so the Lord your God disciplines and instructs you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways” (Deut. 8:5, Amplified Bible). Years later, we find that Solomon himself penned these words he found to be true: “The way of the Lord is strength and a stronghold to the upright” (Proverbs 10: 29, Amplified Bible).
In the words of David to Solomon and to each of us as well, “Keep the charge (post) of the Lord your God, walk in His ways.” (1 Kings 2:3, Amplified Bible).
“O Lord, this is our desire,
to walk along the path of life
that You have appointed us,
in steadfastness of faith,
in lowliness of heart,
in gentleness of love.”
Walking With God
“Oh! For a closer walk with God!
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!
Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul-refreshing view
Of Jesus and His word?
What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only Thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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