Category: Uncategorized

Even if it’s my fault ?

During a hot, humid, oppressive and suffocating week last summer, I set a record. Running in the nearby town of Mountain Lakes early one morning, I sucked in yet another bug. That reminded me of when my wife and I went to a bluegrass concert in Overpeck Park in the Meadowlands in Bergen County. The group had to stop their set early—-their lead vocalist had breathed in one bug too many and she had to beg that they stop.

None of these bugs were inhaled on purpose! Yes, some misfortune happens without us making any stupid choices.

But sometimes setbacks do depend on our own unwise choices.  Like the time I had a brutal workout with two running friends that continued until I got totally exhausted …. finally we were running on rough terrain with gravel and roots and rocks…… suddenly I tripped and fell flat on my face…. followed by a trip to the ER for MRI & stiches!

My foolhardy run reminds me of the old song Margaritaville:

Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
But I know it’s my own [darn] fault

In Psalm 107 both scenarios happen. First, when it’s no fault of their own,
some sailors are caught up in a terrifying storm. And then:

They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
(Psalm 107:26-27)

They surely reached their limits! Excellently, they call out to the Lord and are rescued:

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
(Psalm 107:28)

The second case is when it is their own fault:
 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
(Psalm 107:17)

You might think that the Lord would not want to listen to those idiots.  But he does!

We see a beautiful shocking amazing thing about grace:
The Lord gives the exact same reply to the rebels as for the innocent guys!
 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
(Psalm 107:19)

I’m glad that God always listens and acts when we sincerely cry out. He brings us relief whether we are the victim or it’s our own stupid fault.


Can’t Put This Lamp Out

When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father’s kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the officials of Israel. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.  Nevertheless, because of the covenant the Lord had made with David, the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever. (2 Chronicles 21:4,6b-7)

Reading 2 Chronicles, we see that Jehoram was a wicked king who did not have a heart for God like his predecessor King David did. Our God is a God of justice. Shouldn’t  justice dictate that God simply snuff out David’s dynasty ? We might think so, but long before Jehoram’s reign, God made an eternally  binding promise to King David : I am giving you a Kingdom that will  never end.

As a result, since God’s promises are irrevocable, he voluntarily painted himself into a corner.  In order not to go back on his word he bound himself to temporarily overlook a lot of evil.

How does God’s  irreversible promise relate to us today? Scripture teaches that Jesus is the fulfillment of the everlasting Kingdom promise that was made to King David. Listen to what God says happens to us when we believe in Jesus :

 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.  (Galatians 4:7)

I have done some pretty stupid things. Indeed, God would have every right to say, “Ken  has blown it one time too many—-he is disinherited !” But, because of God’s promise,  I still belong to Jesus.

Yes, being an heir, I can’t be disowned.  Does that mean I do whatever I want whenever I feel like it ? Not at all. I am so deeply thankful that I have been declared an heir outside of anything I ever did, that I want to live for Jesus with an attitude of gratitude !