Category Archives: Monday–God is…

My Delight is the Lord, December 26

Word of the Lord a Reproach?

December 26, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 20:7-18

Jeremiah doesn’t sound very complimentary when he says, “the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long” (v. 8). How could such rash words be spoken by this man of God? The prophet was struggling because of the strong and even violent opposition he faced as he proclaimed the Lord’s message to His people. Sometimes we have expectations of what our experience with the message of God will be, both in obeying and sharing it. We might anticipate a wholly positive engagement. His word, though, serves, among other things, to rebuke and discipline us. It shines light where people prefer darkness. So, Jeremiah experienced the backlash of God’s holy word contacting unholy men. We may need to revise our own expectations.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Did Jeremiah want to quit preaching? (v. 9)
  • Why could Jeremiah not stop preaching? (v. 9)
  • What were people whispering about Jeremiah? (v. 10)
  • What day did Jeremiah curse? (v. 14)

My Delight is the Lord, December 19

Know God

December 19, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Hosea 4:1-11

Yes, Jesus said that “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:32). That does not mean, though, that being a child of God is purely an intellectual exercise. What we know is important, but the accumulation of information by itself is inadequate. Hosea’s concern for God’s people was their lack of knowledge. There was “no knowledge of God in the land” (v. 1). Notice, though, how this ignorance evidenced itself. There was “swearing, lying, murder, stealing, adultery,” etc. (v. 2). The point is that true knowledge of God means being like God. Unrighteousness proves ignorance; godliness proves knowledge.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What does it mean that God has a “controversy”? (v. 1)
  • What are people breaking? (v. 2)
  • With whom is God’s contention? (v. 4)
  • How does the lack of knowledge destroy? (v. 6)

My Delight is the Lord, December 12

My Helper

December 12, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Psalm 118

A prevalent question in today’s world seems to be, “What can man do for me?” There appears to be an ever-present thought that life, this world, and my fellow man owes me something. Some people call this a sense of entitlement. That outlook, where it exists, has some inherent faults. For one thing, if I’m constantly looking to others to support me, protect me, and provide for me then I have given them power and control over me. Since I am looking to them to do “for” me, I have also empowered them to do “to” me. So, the Psalm’s question, “What can man do to me?” has become a very disturbing proposition (v. 6). It need not disturb us. If, rather, “the Lord is on my side; I shall not fear.” Now the question sounds much different, “What can man do to me?” (v. 6). It is the Lord, not man,  who is “on my side as my helper” (v. 7).

Questions to Ponder:

  • Taking refuge in the Lord is better than what? (vv. 8-9)
  • How are the Psalmist’s troubles described in vv. 5, 10-12, 13, 18?
  • Who is blessed? (v. 26)
  • Why should thanks be given to God? (v. 29)

My Delight is the Lord, December 5

Sovereign God

December 5, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 18:1-11

At issue in the minds of many believers is how God exercises His sovereignty. It’s not a question of whether or not He is the all-powerful, all-knowing, creator and ruler of the universe, but rather how He acts in that unique position. It is held by some that this must mean that everything that happens, does so because He makes it to happen. Again, it’s really not a question of whether or not He could do that, because He most certainly could. But does He? This text shows that God can decide on a course of action (here in regard to a nation), then, depending on what they do, God may very well change what He had intended. That is, Sovereign God allows the will and choice and actions of men to play a real role in how things turn out. That makes God no less sovereign.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Where did God tell Jeremiah to go? (v. 1)
  • What did Jeremiah see? (v. 4)
  • Do things always turn out as God intended?
  • What was the message for God’s people? (v. 11)

My Delight is the Lord, November 28

Impressive God

November 28, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Psalm 136

What, to you, is most impressive about God? Of course, the field of possible answers is quite broad and deep; infinite, really. There is so much about God that captures our fancy, elicits great delight, and leaves us in extreme awe. Maybe it’s His limitless power, or understanding, or holiness, or any number of other things. For the writer of this Psalm it is God’s enduring steadfast love. Notice its mention in the second line of every verse–all 26 of them. Note how various translations express this particular love of God; it is steadfast, loyal, faithful, unchanging, etc. God’s love is fierce. That is, it is tenacious and unrelenting. He’s not looking for reasons to love us, He loves us despite our giving Him reasons not to. His steadfast love just does not stop. That impresses immensely!

Questions to Ponder:

  • What should be given to God because of His steadfast love? (vv. 1-3)
  • What events are alluded to in this Psalm?
  • By what were the heavens made? (v. 5)
  • Which of the plagues is mentioned? (v. 10)

My Delight is the Lord, November 21

Grieved Spirit

November 21, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 63:7-19

The Holy Spirit doesn’t show up often in the Old Testament. That designation appears only 3 times (in the ESV) as compared to 89 times in the New Testament. That certainly doesn’t mean He isn’t there. This particular reference (vv. 10-11, which actually contains 2 of the 3 total Old Testament appearances) shows His presence with Israel in the wilderness. And when the people rebelled, they “grieved” the Holy Spirit (v. 10). Paul uses that language when he encourages disciples to not grieve God’s Spirit (Eph. 4:30). Grief comes to the Spirit when God’s people rebel because He (Spirit) is working fully in concert with Him (God). So, whatever we understand about the Spirit and His work, it is always to bring about God’s intentions, purposes, and will.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What has God granted His people, and why? (v. 7)
  • What saved God’s people? (v. 9)
  • How is God’s Spirit grieved? (v. 10)
  • Like what had God’s people become? (v. 19)

My Delight is the Lord, November 14

God’s Presence

November 14, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Psalm 114

Israel’s departure from Egypt to occupy the land promised to Abraham’s descendants (which they were) involved many amazing events. This Psalm draws on several of them; crossing both the Red Sea and Jordan on dry ground (v. 3), the physical appearance of Mt. Sinai where they camped (v. 4), and water being provided from rock (v. 8). None of these could be considered “natural” occurrences. Why did they happen? Because of the presence of God. Why did the waters and mountain respond in such remarkable ways? The earth “trembles…at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob” (v. 7). While it is true that there is a sense in which God’s presence inescapable (Psa. 139:7), it can also be ignored and resisted. No great things can happen in our lives unless God’s presence is given its place.

Questions to Ponder:

  • As what are the people of Egypt referred in v. 1?
  • By what three names are God’s people called in vv. 1-2?
  • How were God’s people His “sanctuary” and “dominion”? (v. 2)
  • What question is asked of the seas and of Jordan? (v. 5)

My Delight is the Lord, November 7

Would God Do That?

November 7, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 41:1-20

Is God limited to use only the righteous in His service? This not an uncommon question in Scripture. It troubles the human mind to think of wholly righteous God calling into service ones for whom righteousness is not a quality (see Hab. 1-2). Here, God seems to be identifying Cyrus of Persia as an instrument of His righteousness. True, this one is designated in this text only as “one from the east” (but see, 44:28-5:6). He is one “whom righteousness calls to follow” (v. 2; NASB, NIV, KJV). The point of vv. 2-4 is to answer the question of who is the one who has accomplished all this (the defeat and destruction of many nations). It is not an unnamed, powerful pagan king. Rather, it is, “I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he” (v. 4).  So once again we are reminded that God’s way of doing things is not necessarily consistent with human thought or reason.

Questions to Ponder:

  • What is said of Abraham in v. 8?
  • What assurance does God give to Israel? (v. 10)
  • What does God say to His people? (v. 13)
  • For whom will God act? (v. 17)

My Delight is the Lord, October 31

Thankful for a Reason

October 31, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Psalm 107

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good” (v. 1). Who’s going to argue with that? But think about this; if you do give thanks to the Lord, why are you doing it? Is it because the Bible says to do it (here, and countless other places)? Or, are you doing it because you are thankful? Have you ever heard or seen (or experienced) a parent telling their child to say “Thank you” for some kindness or nice act done for them? If the child says it, why are they saying it? True, it’s important for them to be taught–and for them to learn–the habit and practice of gratitude. That’s appropriate for young children. But isn’t a part of the maturing process to actually become thankful people–not just ones who say thank you? So, because they’ve come to identify and recognize all the good things God has done, they cannot help but give thanks. The key isn’t just learning to say it, it’s learning to see just how good God really is. Here, these people had wandered, hungered, fainted, cried out, and God delivered them (vv. 4-6). So, “Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love!” (v. 8).

Questions to Ponder:

  • Whom does God satisfy and fill? (v. 9)
  • Why did God difficulty to come to His people? (v. 12)
  • What refrain is repeated in vv. 6, 13, 19?
  • What refrain is repeated in vv. 8, 15, 21, 31?

My Delight is the Lord, October 24

My Song

October 24, Monday: God is…

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 12:1-6

I have a multi-tool in my desk. It’s supposed to do 14 different functions. I actually have only used it for 2 or 3. It is more ingenious than it is functional. Sometimes a tool, or a person, can try to do so much that nothing ends up being done well. On the other hand we can fail to identify all capabilities that may be present. Some functions can be overlooked. When it comes to God, the latter is the problem, not the former. He does all things well. But we likely don’t see all that God is able to do for us. “For the Lord is my strength, and my song, and he has become my salvation” (v. 2). God is my strength, my song, and my salvation. We give the first and last of these good attention, but what about that middle one–God is my song? Every person’s life is singing a song. It’s what moves, drives, directs, and encourages us. It’s what puts the wind under our wings. What song am I singing?

Questions to Ponder:

  • What is absent since I trust God? (v. 2)
  • What does it mean for God to be my song? (v. 2)
  • What thought does v. 3 bring to your mind?
  • What three things should be done relative to God? (v. 4)