When we recite our own history with the Lord, we can always see that He is faithful to us even when we blow it. That’s the nature of our wonderful God. Faithfulness.
In these two psalms David recounts the history of God’s faithfulness even when the Israelites were not. He had promised that His hand would be lifted from them if they rebelled too much, so even those promises were fulfilled. God’s Word will not fail.
Which brings me to a special verse hidden in the middle of Psalm 105. In verses 16 and following, the psalmist speaks of Joseph – and how he was sent before his people to Egypt so that he could eventually save his nation from the famine which would come. (If you remember, the way he got there was not too pleasant: he was sold into slavery by his brothers).
Just recapping a little, Joseph had a couple of dreams when he was young. In one, he saw himself with his brothers binding sheaves of wheat in the field. Suddenly his sheaf arose and stood upright and all of the others bowed before him. (Genesis 37:5-7). Then he had another dream in which the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to him.( Genesis 37:9).
Needless to say, these dreams angered the brothers and his Dad. However, these dreams were God’s Word to him. God was making a promise to Joseph that this scenario would eventually happen. And it did. When Joseph became second in command in Egypt, his brothers came to him and bowed down to receive their provision.
However, in the meantime, Joseph went through horrible circumstances. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, lied upon by Potiphar’s wife, and thrown into prison. It took many years for all of these events to transpire. The dreams that Joseph had seemed to be impossible.
Yet they came to pass just as God had said. When the time came, Joseph was given the interpretation to Pharoah’s dream, and within a matter of days, Pharoah promoted him to second in command in all of Egypt.
That’s what we call a “suddenly.” It seems that things are going along in a negative vein, and “suddenly” God moves and turns things around.
Now for Joseph this had to be surreal, but I’m sure that looking back he could see how God had prepared him for this assignment. Joseph had learned skills as he was head steward in Potiphar’s house and as he was promoted to leadership in the prison. “In whatever he did, God was with him and made him prosper” (Genesis 39:43)
Why are we talking about this now? There is a key in Psalm 105:19: a principle which we need to know.
“Until the time that his word came to pass, the Word of the Lord tested him.” The Word itself tested him.
Have you ever had a promise from God, and then everything seemed to turn in the opposite direction? That’s the word testing you. Satan comes to steal the word, so he will try his best to make the opposite happen for you.
But stand firm. Just as with Joseph – if you stay strong, with a good attitude, and continue to believe what God has promised, you will see what He has promised coming to pass.
God is faithful.
I Corinthians 3
God gets the glory for everything. Not man.
Paul makes it very clear that divisions and strife people have are nothing more than carnality. Spiritual men aren’t divisive.
The Corinthians were saying, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos.” They were holding up this minister or that, but Paul rebukes them. “We are just ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but it was God who gave the increase.” (V. 5-6)
What a difference there would be in the world today if we could understand this. God is the One who makes the seed to grow – not man. Every minister exercises what has been given him by God, but the Lord is the only One who can make a person grow. It’s an individual relationship – and not someone else’s gift. Each person receives his ability to grow from God himself.
In our spectator world, there are those who think they have achieved great things for God just by listening to “some great preacher.” They are wrong. When we hear the Word – from a great preacher or from an ordinary man who loves the Lord – it’s what we “do” with it that counts.
The world is full of Christians who sit in the stands watching their favorite preachers perform. That’s not what our Father has in mind for us.
Let’s be those who take what we know and run with it. We must do what we know to do – with vigor – giving all the glory to God.