It’s a Wonderful Life – Judges 13:18-19

WonderfulLife“‘Why do you ask My name,’ the Angel of the Lord asked him, ‘since it is wonderful’ … and he did a wonderful thing while Manoah and his wife were watching” (Judges 13:18-19, HCSB).

Manoah and his wife were unable to conceive and had no children. But Manoah and his wife (we’re never told her name) eventually became the parents of Samson through God’s intervention into their lives.

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Success Story – Deuteronomy 8:18

Success-Arrows-Up“You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18, ESV).

This verse is one of my favorites. Moses is preaching to Israel and preparing them to enter the promised land.

He reminds them of all God has miraculously done in bringing them out of Egyptian slavery and during their wilderness wanderings over the last forty years.

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Two Choices – Proverbs 18:10-11

two_choices“The name of Yahweh is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected. A rich man’s wealth is his fortified city; in his imagination it is like a high wall”  (Proverbs 18:10-11, HCSB).

At first glance, you may read these consecutive verses as two individual proverbs, each having its own meaning. Upon a closer look you will see that these two proverbs are like two sides of the same coin:
two worldviews,
two ways of life,
two realities,
two choices for life!

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Fortunate Misfortunes – Psalm 66:10-12

“For You, God, tested us; You refined us as silver is refined. You lured us into a trap; you placed burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us out to abundance” (Psalm 66:10-12, HCSB).

The Psalmist indicates that refining is a process meant to purify God’s people.

And if these verses allude to God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage, the Psalmist seems to apply Israel’s experience personally to us.

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Growing Wheat in a Field of Weeds – Matthew 13:24-30

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. The landowner’s slaves came to him and said, …. ‘So, do you want us to go and gather them up?’… ‘No,’ he said. ‘When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn'” (Matthew 13:24-30, HCSB)

In this parable, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a man who sowed wheat in a field but is sabotaged by his enemy who sows weeds among the wheat.

Now, that’s not really the way we envision the Kingdom of God, is it? We sort of understand the wheat field, but the weeds don’t really fit into our understanding of the Kingdom of God.

So, the servants of the owner of the field want to pull up the weeds, but the owner commands the servants to let the weeds grow with the wheat and then he instructs the servants to separate the weeds when they harvest the wheat.

This parable demonstrates the sovereignty of God over His creation. “Evil” coexists with “good” for a period of time.

Then, Jesus interprets His own parable and explains that the sowing of the weeds in the wheat field is unquestionably the work of Satan, the Devil (vs. 38-39).

But God is Almighty and His Plan is Supreme, even to the extent that He can use the evil actions of people and even the Devil himself to work His good purposes.

God is able to grow and harvest wheat in a field full of weeds!

God remains undaunted by evil in the fulfillment of His good purposes. Although the evil one is working throughout history and even the circumstances of our lives to disrupt God’s plans and purposes, God is active in this present world but He is not necessarily reactive to evil.

So God works through the circumstances of our lives to declare Himself and His redeeming love to us.

God is resolute, intentional, and deliberate. He has a plan and purpose and is actively pursuing His plan of building His Kingdom in our lives.

Sometimes our lives may seem to us more like growing wheat in a field of weeds. But Jesus assures us in this parable that our life is really a field of wheat with some weeds growing in it!

We are God’s wheat field! And God is the master! He wants us busy growing wheat, not pulling weeds! 

“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10, HCSB).