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Devotional

Graves of Craving (Numbers 11:31-35)

Is complaining really that grave of a sin?

Chapter 11 of Numbers begins with complaining. The Israelites in the wilderness complain (we aren’t told about what) and God burns the outsides of the camp. The people cry out to Moses, who prays to God and the fire stops. Immediately after this episode, the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt with the Hebrews start to complain– about food –and the people of Israel take up the cry. In verse 10 it says that “Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent…”, which seems to indicate that a large portion of the Israelites had joined into the craving and complaining.

The people “despise” God by implying that He is not good, that rather Egypt was good.

Moses then joins in the complaining! Well, not exactly– he begins complaining, not about missing meat, but rather like a parent who’s “had it up to here” and is ready to quit, he complains to God: “Why have You put me in charge of this people!? I can’t deal with them! Just kill me now!” There is no doubt however, at least in my mind, that Moses’ complaint was different in kind than the sinful complaining of the people. The people grumble against God, whereas Moses talks directly to God. The people “despise” God by implying that He is not good, that rather Egypt was good (which requires some serious forgetfulness of the slave labor, starvation and murder of their children, not to mention forgetting how God saved them). Moses complains against the people, and recognizes that he is not capable of dealing with them. Does he perhaps sin, or come very close to sinning, by challenging God’s decision to put him in charge of the people? Maybe, but he also seems to put the failure at his own feet, and asks God to take him. God’s response is telling. He gives other leaders to help Moses rule the people, and He declares that He will punish the complaining cravers, in a very fitting way, by giving them exactly what they want:

[18]…And say to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, and you will eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat, for life was good for us in Egypt?” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat. [19] You will eat, not just one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, [20] but a whole month, until it comes out your nostrils and makes you sick, because you have despised the Lord who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we ever come out of Egypt?”’”…[24] So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. …

Now we arrive at our arced passage. God brings quail, blows them in from the ocean and they land all around the camp. The people go out to gather and there is a huge amount. They lay them out, lick their chops, take a big bite, “But while the meat was still between their teeth, before they chewed it, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague.” (vs 33)

Wait…what? I thought that having to eat meat until it “comes out of your nostrils and makes you sick” was the punishment for the craving and complaining. And it seemed a very fitting punishment. What happened? Take a look at verse 24: “So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord…” Moses told them what God had said. Moses told them that they were sinning in their craving and complaining. Moses told them there was a punishment coming and what that punishment was. The proper response of the people to being rebuked, to being confronted with their shocking ungratefulness and despising of the God of the Universe, should have been shame, remorse and repentance. But there is no response that we are privy to. They seem to miss the point completely, hearing only that meat is coming. They add sin to sin. Instead of turning from their sin and repenting they continue on the same path of craving, and so beg an even fiercer punishment than the first; a final punishment on those who craved, that serves as yet another warning to everyone else.

The proper response of the people to being confronted with their shocking ungratefulness and despising of the God of the Universe, should have been shame, remorse and repentance.

They call the name of the place “קִבְרוֹת הַתַּאֲוָה” Graves of Craving, because there they buried the people who craved. They didn’t put their sins of craving and complaining to death, but followed them down to the graves and were buried with them. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a). Like all of Israel’s wilderness wandering, this episode serves as a serious warning to us. What cravings tempt you? When you are tempted, do you turn your eyes away from God and allow your cravings to supplant Him in your heart? When you cannot get what you crave, do you start to complain? “For the wages of [your] sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). So take the warning seriously, but do not despair! Your sins have been buried with Jesus, and He gives you the strength to bury your cravings and complaints.

Chronological Read

The Chess Master (Psalms 2)

The following Devotional study was submitted as a student project by Eric Kim, for The Theology of Biblical Poetry: Advanced Arcing/Bracketing online course. To find out more about online courses and to see what courses are currently available, click here.

 

Let’s say that I am playing chess with a Grand Master (and that I am an amateur). I am getting ready to attack one of the Grand Master’s good pieces. He then makes a move—that doesn’t protect it! I know that he sees my intention to attack that piece, so it is hard to understand his move… until the game is played out to the end.

Here is a picture of God being the Grand Master…

Here in Psalm 2 is a picture of God being the Grand Master, and humanity making a rebellious move against God by wanting to be their own gods. Nations and armies rise against Him and God’s response is that He appoints His Son as King over all (Psalms 2:6). How calmly and wisely and lovingly He responds to this situation that would make me cringe! Moreover He appoints the Son’s authority to be supreme over the entire world. No one will fully understand this “move” until the end of time. This majestic display of God’s power leads me to ask if I have been testing God in wanting to choose sin over Him. Will I make the Son mad who can break the entire world like a fragile glass? Therefore be filled with awe and change your allegiance away from the world, and from autonomy, to the Son.

Arc (1)

Nothing New, Nothing More Glorious. (Romans 1:1-7, part 2)

Paul was not a volunteer for the gospel; he was set apart for the gospel. In other words, to announce the good news became a purpose in his life. As Peter said:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9 ESV

Paul’s gospel was not a different one than the one the other apostles preached. His gospel was about Jesus, in whom we have found, perfectly expressed, the excellencies of God. This gospel was not a new recipe or invention, but “just” a restatement of the promises found in the Old Testament through the prophets, the good news about the Son of God, the Messiah.

This Jesus, Son of David and Son of God, human and divine, who was crucified in weakness, died as a man, and resurrected in the power of God, is Paul’s Lord. He is the one who did not commit sin, but yet died for our sins.

This is the Gospel. The Lord is inviting the rebels (the sinners, you and me) to receive His grace and forgiveness, to submit to His kingdom, to live in obedience to the faith in Him because we love Him. It is a calling to belong to Him. This is not about feeling religious, but about stating allegiance.

Jew or non-Jew, man or woman, rich or poor, no matter who you are, you are invited to hear God’s good news about His Son. The most important thing in your life, in order to know who you are, is to know to whom you belong.

Comparison of methods

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Josué Pineda

My Credentials in One Word (Romans 1:1-7)

What are your credentials? What qualifies you for the position you hold, the rank you have achieved, or the work you do?

The introductory paragraphs of the book of Romans, as is typical for Paul’s writings, are full of content. He writes about his identity in Christ, about the recipients and about God, and he writes about these things even more than he does in the introductions to his other letters. In this particular case, he also includes detailed information about the gospel.

What are your credentials?

Paul introduces himself as a slave belonging to the Messiah. If we were to focus on just this portion we would already have much to say, but for now let me simply point to the fact that introducing himself in this way automatically introduces Jesus as his Lord. Paul also presents himself as one who was called to be an apostle. He did not decide to be an apostle, nor a part of the delegation that Jesus chose, nor to volunteer to be sent on behalf of the Messiah. He was rescued, while being a rebel against the kingdom. He was set apart. He was taken from the inner side of the gates of Hades and brought to the kingdom of Jesus’ marvelous light, to officially announce the praises of Him who rescued him.

So what are Paul’s credentials? As he introduces himself to the Romans, we see that all of his credentials are connected to Jesus; His identity and His work. Paul’s credentials can be summed up in one word: Jesus.

What about you? Who are you in Christ? What are your credentials?

Comparison of methods

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Josué Pineda

Eternal Salvation For Those Who Obey Him. (Heb 4:13-5:10, Part 2)

In Hebrews 5:9, the writer says that Jesus, having suffered and been made perfect, became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. What does it mean to ‘obey him’? What can we learn from the context?
 
We are told in the preceeding verse that Jesus himself learned obedience – I think this means he gained a full appreciation of human obedience – through what he suffered. And in the verse preceeding that we see that Jesus’ response to suffering was not to have a stiff upper lip and soldier on, but to reverently, earnestly, desperately, cry out to God for help. Jesus lived in close dependence on His Father.

Jesus’ response to suffering was not to have a stiff upper lip and soldier on, but to reverently, earnestly, desperately, cry out to God for help.

We see a similar theme in Heb 4:16, where the readers are exhorted to draw near to the throne of grace for help in their time of need. God has provided them with His Son as a sympathetic yet perfect representative, now enthroned in heaven. Our weakness is well known: we are to draw near, depending on his grace, for help.

So what does it mean to obey him? It includes, at least, a life of urgent yet reverent fellowship with God, expresssed through earnest prayer. In our day to day lives, we are the needy – we are completely exposed before God (Heb 4:13) – and we obey him by drawing near to His throne, through His Son our great high priest, for help.

Heb 5

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Robert Elphick

Hold Fast the Profession. Draw Near to Grace. (Heb 4:13-5:10, Part 1)

Israel showed, during their time in the wilderness, that man’s heart can be fickle (Hebrews 3:9). God then showed that he will not tolerate continued rebellion (3:11). The truth of the case study applies to all: God’s scrutiny penetrates deeply (4:12), and there is no hiding (4:13). We are left, as the writer says, exposed and in need of mercy.

But warning is followed by encouragement:  The great truths discussed ealier in the letter are summarised along with associated exhortations.

But warning is followed by encouragement…

We have a magnificent representative seated at the right hand of God’s throne in heaven: God’s very Son (4:14). He who humbly walked among his people and then suffered unto death for our sin (2:9) now represents us, in perfection, before God. Let us hold fast to this faith that we profess. 

We have a magnificent representative seated at the right hand of God’s throne in heaven.

He is also a sympathetic representative (4:15). He has felt the fatigue and hunger of humanity (2:17,18), and the pull of sin in all dimensions (4:15). We are needy, and he knows it well. He has opened to us a throne of grace, and we are to come to it with complete confidence.

Heb 5

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Robert Elphick

They Are Among Us, So Take Heed. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

One of the great things about arcing is that it forces us to slow down in the thought process, and it disciplines us to ask questions that might easily go unasked – but once asked can produce not only insight into truth, but a full sense of the weightiness of that truth.

2nd Peter 2:1 is an excellent example of this. We are told, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” At first this looks like a simple comparison–-comparing two things that have one obvious major commonality (the false teachers and prophets are, well, false). But upon looking closer we will find that the two things being compared are actually so similar that they can be considered to be the same thing. The false teachers are not like false prophets just because what they teach is false; they are like them primarily because they arise from within the congregation of the godly. They are like them because they lack divine authority, and because they deny the one to whom they owe allegiance. They are like them in that they ignore God’s warning of impending judgment, teaching others to follow them in peacetime sensual indulgence. They are like them in that they will most certainly be condemned (along with their followers) by God.

False prophets led Israel into idolatry, prostitution, injustice, murder, and oppression – and brought the full weight and condemnation of God on the people of Israel.

When you look carefully at false teachers from the aspect of being the heirs of the false prophets, the real danger they pose becomes evident. False prophets led Israel into idolatry, prostitution, injustice, murder, and oppression – and brought the full weight and condemnation of God on the people of Israel.

False teachers put people in danger of eternal condemnation. Even more than that, though, is the damage false teachers do to the reputation of God. Just as false prophets led to the name of God being blasphemed among the nations (Is. 52:5), so do false teachers lead to the nations condemning the gospel. False teachers paint a picture of discipleship that glorifies sensual indulgence (in all of its many forms) in this life, and therefore leads to a church that outdoes the world in its worship of the creature over the creation. God is belittled and trivialized – and therefore blasphemed.

Just as false prophets led to the name of God being blasphemed among the nations (Is. 52:5), so do false teachers lead to the nations condemning the gospel.

It would be easy to move from here to a condemnation of the various false teachers we are subjected to in our own time, such as the seemingly ubiquitous peddlers of prosperity, those who would compromise Biblical authority on issues of human sexuality, or liberals who deny the full authority of scripture. But a more fruitful exercise would probably be to examine how our own hearts are drawn to the sensuality that produces false teachers and their followers. False teachers did not just barge their way into faithful congregations from the outside – Peter warns us, just as Paul warns the Ephesian elders, that false teachers will come from within these otherwise faithful and healthy churches. That is why we must take heed for ourselves. Do we take seriously the coming judgment of God? Do our teaching and lives reflect a hope for an eternity with God as our ultimate lasting treasure? Are we continually paying attention to the scripture, and letting that shape how we think and feel and live? Are we open to the loving admonishment of fellow believers? Or is our understanding of the scripture shaped by our hearts’ unredeemed desires and the prevailing attitude of the culture?

False teachers did not just barge their way into faithful congregations from the outside – Peter warns us that false teachers will come from within these otherwise faithful and healthy churches.

The warning against false teachers is not merely a call to contend for orthodoxy against those who have obviously left it – it is a call for us to “be all the more diligent to make [our] calling and election sure”, to take hold of the “precious and very great promises” of the Gospel and pursue God with passionate vehemence.

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Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Andrew Bywaters

Continually in My Mouth– Praise (Psalm 34:1-22)

The following Devotional study was submitted as a student project by David Riaño, for The Theology of Biblical Poetry: Advanced Arcing/Bracketing online course. To find out more about online courses and to see what courses are currently available, click here.

 

Nowadays, it is very common to see Christians that profess their faith, but don’t seem to rejoice greatly in the Lord. Even we ourselves, most of the time don’t live as if the fact that we received the glorious salvation of Christ Jesus were true. But we are going to live with the Lord forever! There is no more hell for us! We should live jumping and praising all the time!

It is common to see Christians that profess their faith, but don’t seem to rejoice greatly in the Lord.

The Apostles gave us a great example of conviction and gladness in the gospel. When they were imprisoned, they just couldn’t stop speaking of the Truth (Acts 4:19-20), and when they were whipped, they went to their homes rejoicing because they had suffered for Christ (Acts 5:21). They had experienced the grace of God so much that they couldn’t stop praising and leading others to praise. That is the very product of spending time in the presence of the Son of God! (Acts 4:13)

Maybe the best demonstration that Jesus has really shed His grace in our lives is that we use our mouths to praise Him all the time. If we do so, other people are going to be moved to praise God as well. We have to experience the grace of God a lot, day by day, in a deep and real way, as the apostles did in the presence of Jesus. We need to see His grace, and be amazed by the blessings that he pours in our hearts and our lives.

The apostles experienced the grace of God so much that (despite sometimes great suffering) they couldn’t stop praising and leading others to praise. That is the very product of spending time in the presence of the Son of God!

As it is written, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears”, and again, “My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad”. Only seeing the abounding grace of a God who answers, we will be able to rejoice in Him time after time. Therefore, as the psalmist cries after offering His praise: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”

Arco

How Does the Son Feel About His People?

The following Devotional study came from a student project submitted for The Theology of Biblical Poetry: Advanced Arcing/Bracketing online course. To find out more about online courses and to see what courses are currently available, click here.

 

The Son has enjoyed the Father from eternity. How does he feel about his people for whom he has suffered and died; those whose sin and rebellion required him to become a man and suffer and ultimately be crucified?

How does the Son feel about his people?

Jesus Christ has now been raised to God’s right hand. There he waits while those for whom he died come to understand and trust and in his redemptive work, and come to know the God who created them and provided for their redemption. He intercedes for them. There is nothing at all in them that makes them worthy, indeed it was their sin and rebellion that required the Son to be crucified. But God shows his sovereign goodness and grace through them and they come to recognize that God is the source of all good. So they, with the Son, delight in God.

“Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6b

These people are thus being brought to glory. They belong to Jesus, they are his bride and his inheritance. How does the Son feel about his people? “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight” and “Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance”.

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Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Robert Elphick

Satan may be powerful, but God is sovereign! (1 Thess 2:17-3:13, Part 4)

More often than not, Paul was forced to leave a newly formed community of believers much sooner than he would have preferred. It was particularly heart-wrenching in the case of the Thessalonian church. In this passage, Paul details the Progression of his actions in Response to his forced departure.

His response develops through four stages:

(2:17-20) He and his co-workers earnestly sought to return to Thessalonica but were met with insurmountable obstacles, which Paul clearly recognizes as from Satan’s hand.

(3:1-5) Paul knows Satan’s schemes and acknowledges his concern for their vulnerability. And so, unable to bear the burden of separation any longer, Paul remains alone in Athens and sends Timothy.

(3:6-10) Upon Timothy’s return with a report full of good news, Paul’s spirit is lifted, his heart is full of joy, his prayers overflow with thanks to God. And significantly, Paul is stirred to pray all the more that he might be granted opportunity to see them.

(3:11-13) Finally, even as he writes this letter, Paul gives expression to his prayers. It is God who alone opens the doors and directs his steps. It is God alone who will guard and establish the Thessalonians’ hearts.

In summary, Paul’s ministry and the prayers that drive that ministry are under this banner: Satan may be powerful but God is sovereign!

Paul’s ministry and the prayers that drive that ministry are under this banner: Satan may be powerful but God is sovereign!

(In the following, I leave several propositions together in a condensed arc, in order to highlight the big picture flow of Paul’s logic).

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Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Michael Lane

A Right Hearing of the Word (1 Thess 2:13, part 3)

How do you listen to a sermon? What expectations do you bring? In 1 Thessalonians, Paul is filled with thanks to God because the Thessalonian believers demonstrated a posture of humility before the Word of God.

Notice five things Paul says concerning a right hearing of the Word:

  • It is received as the Word of God. God can and has communicated himself to men. And he has done so in words of intelligible human language.
  • It has been proclaimed. In chapter 1, verse 5, Paul emphasizes that this proclamation is not like any other message. “Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”
  • It is received, taken in, considered and pondered. John 1:11 illustrates an example of the opposite: “He came to his own and his own did not receive him,” that is, they would not even consider the truthfulness of Jesus.
  • It is accepted. This is the personal appropriation of what has been received. It is welcomed and embraced for what it truly is: the very Word of God, bearing authority over men. To accept it as the word of God is to submit to its authority and obey it.
  • And finally, it is a word that is at work among believers, exposing and rooting out sin (Heb 4:12-13), teaching, reproving, correcting and training (2Tim 3:16).

 
So then, how will you listen to the word?
 

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Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Michael Lane

To Please God, Who Tests Our Hearts (1 Thess 2:1-4, part 2)

As in much of Paul’s ministry, his gospel work in Macedonia (Acts 16-17) was met with severe opposition. Though the intent of such persecution was aimed at putting an end to Paul’s preaching, he continued to openly proclaim the truth. In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-4, Paul reveals the roots of such boldness.

Working backwards through the passage helps open the logic. Knowing even the motives of his heart are exposed to God, Paul’s aim is to please the Lord, not tickle men’s ears, so he speaks the truth because he understands that the gospel he proclaims has been given by God as a sacred trust. Unlike so many of the pop-culture messages of his day, his gospel did not have its source in error, impurity, or deception.

Knowing even the motives of his heart are exposed to God, Paul’s aim is to please the Lord, not tickle men’s ears.

This perspective that his message is from God and its proclamation is for the pleasure of God forms the root and ground of Paul’s boldness even in the face of mistreatment.

It may be asked, are not the charlatans and false teachers equally as bold in their endeavors? Indeed they are, and often for a parallel, albeit corrupt reason – they believe the source of their message is worth giving over their lives in service. They believe its promised pleasures are worth the sacrifices it may demand.

But this only serves to highlight the great contrast between v. 3 and v. 4. It is the pleasure of God over against all other pleasures that fuels Paul’s bold – and winsome – Gospel proclamation.

The Character of Gospel Ministry

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Michael Lane

The Verdict Is In… (1 Thess 1:2-10, part 1)

When Paul arrived in Corinth, his first few weeks were stressful ones. His gospel message received meager welcome among the Jews of that city (Acts 18:1-6). Opposition was nothing new to Paul but his spirit was wearing thin. At the same time, he had been anxiously awaiting word from his co-workers whom he had sent to Macedonia in order to encourage the new believers there and report back on their spiritual welfare (1 Thess. 3:1-5). His concern for them was so intense that he even feared, “that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.” (1 Thess. 3:5)

What strengthened Paul’s resolve to persevere in the work of evangelism in Corinth? What transformed Paul’s anxiety over the Thessalonian believers into overflowing thanksgiving to God? The answer to both questions is the same: he was given assurance of God’s sovereignty in appointing a people unto himself.

Concerning the work in Corinth, Paul receives a vision from God, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent!” (Acts 18:9). The ultimate ground for this exhortation is given in the last proposition of v.10, “…for I have many in this city who are my people.”

Concerning the Thessalonians, Paul and his co-workers overflow with thanks to God (1 Thess. 1:2-3) because the verdict concerning the Thessalonians is in: they bear all the marks of genuine gospel fruit (v.3). They truly are God’s chosen and beloved children (v.4).

From beginning to end, the ministry of the gospel is a work of God; the evangelist is merely a tool in his sovereign hand.

From beginning to end, the ministry of the gospel is a work of God; the evangelist is merely a tool in his sovereign hand. God’s sovereignty in salvation is a source of encouragement both to persevere in evangelism and to rest assured that God will guard and nurture those whom he has called to himself.

Genuine Fruit of the Sincere Gospel

Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Michael Lane

Think. Believe. Obey. (Hebrews 11:24-27)

I’m struck by observing the relationship between thinking, faith, and choosing to obey.

Trusting God involves viewing options in a variety of ways and then choosing the best option from an eternal perspective. Like James, the writer of Hebrews construes Moses as putting a certain spin on the pleasures of Egypt and the sufferings of identifying with the people of God. From a worldly perspective, one would obviously choose the immediate pleasure. But from the eternal perspective, trusting God that He has a glorious future planned for his children, the road of suffering is the obvious choice. Why? Because this road is the pathway to eternal joy. True faith must be grounded in God’s existence and in His promise to do good for those who trust Him (see 11:6).

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Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Tom Steller

Weakness in Me, Strength in Christ. (2 Corinthians 12)

As a general rule, people hate weakness. I sure do. In elementary school P.E. I was jealous of the (many) guys who could do more pull-ups than I could. Being physically weaker than others has been a common experience for me, but not one that I particularly like. If physical weakness is frustrating, spiritual weakness is worse. Appearing weak spiritually is a great temptation for pride, envy, anger, and discontentment. When I don’t have it all together, when I don’t feel like I have the strength to keep going, when I am suffering in the midst of difficult circumstances, I find that I am often shaken to the core. I find myself doubting the Lord or at least my calling. I am, after all, a senior pastor. I should be the strongest spiritually, not the weakest, right?

God’s economy, however, is different from ours. Despite our desire for strength, it is weakness that is treasured in God’s Kingdom. This is seen most clearly in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. In 2 Corinthians 12 we learn about a weakness of the Apostle Paul. Though we are unaware of the exact nature of it, we see that Paul was afflicted with a ‘thorn in the flesh’. No doubt this thorn proved to be a great temptation or struggle for Paul and yet it was through this weakening that Paul found strength.

The instrument God used to keep Paul from giving in to the temptation to pride was the thorn in Paul’s flesh.

Few could claim to have more reasons for boasting than the Apostle Paul. As we see in verses 3 and 4, Paul had experienced great and glorious revelations from God– but great revelations are also an opportunity for the temptation to pride. Paul did not give in to the temptation. And the instrument God used to keep Paul from giving in to the temptation was the thorn in Paul’s flesh.

The thorn had a significant effect on Paul. As we see from the passage, God was working through it to accomplish two purposes: 1. to keep Paul from being conceited (v.7e) and 2. so that the power of Christ would rest upon him (v. 9e). Paul, bothered by this troublesome thorn, prayed that God would relieve him of it, but surprisingly God did not relieve him and instead said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Trials weaken us, but every weakness is an avenue of Christ’s empowering work.

God, our all-powerful and all-loving Father has seen fit to beset us with various trials. God’s desire is to empty us of all of our self-reliance and supposed strength so that we might find true strength by resting in Christ. The trials weaken us, but every weakness is an avenue of Christ’s empowering work. Let us no longer despise our weaknesses but recognize them as opportunities of manifested power of the greatest kind, the power that comes from Christ!

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Meet our Devotional Blog Contributor: Chadwick Haygood