REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on February 4, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
‘A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘It is you priests who show contempt for my name.’ But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name’?”
No one wants to be disrespected; I certainly don’t. Many years ago, I was livid at this Korean woman, who tried to prove to her friend whom we had just met, that my close relative who sat next to me didn’t speak Korean that well. To my unsuspecting relative, she asked her to pronounce a certain Korean word, basically to have a good laugh. I didn’t like it. Evidently, God does not like to be disrespected either.
God was many things to Israel in the Old Testament times as he is to us today: a father (Ex. 4:22), a husband (Jer. 2:2), a king (1 Sam. 8:7) and Lord (Ps. 135:5), to name a few. As a father, God expected to be honored but Israel dishonored him like the way the prodigal son treated his father (Lk. 15:11-31). Unwilling to wait until his father died in order to inherit the inheritance, the son “said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’” (Lk. 15:12). What a dishonor to the father!
As a master, God expected to be respected but Israel disrespected him like the way the farmers in the parable of the tenants (Matt. 21:33-41) beat and stoned his servants who were sent to collect his fruit. “Last of all, [the master] sent his son,” thinking, “They will respect my son.” They didn’t. “The tenants threw him out of the vineyard and killed him” (Matt. 21:37-9).
It is certainly an uncomfortable question, but it bears asking, “How have we shown contempt for God’s name?” The woman mentioned earlier just wanted a good laugh at my wife’s expense. I wonder whether we do the same at God’s expense: having told everyone that we are church-going Christians but living and conducting our business like the world in pursuit of temporary pleasure (that produce a quick laugh).
Not a pleasant way to start the morning but a necessary one from time to time. Let’s check our heart this morning and pray about ways (however insignificant they may seem) to honor God today.
Prayer: I praise You Father that I matter to You even though I don’t understand why You should concern Yourself with an insignificant person like me. It is amazing to think that You would consider my respect for you as something important, since You are God of the universe. Thank You for Your humility. Whenever I don’t honor and respect You, gently remind me to repent so that I will turn to You once again. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 4
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Chron. 21:2-3, 6-7: “So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, ‘Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.’ 3 But Joab replied, ‘May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?’ But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. 7 This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel.”
Ps. 20:7: (David) “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Questions to Consider
- What was King David’s motive in counting how many soldiers he had?
- Joab was known neither for his spirituality nor for ethical conduct (2 Sam. 20:10), but here he called it correctly: what David did was repulsive. In what sense was the census disrespecting God?
- It is likely that David wrote Ps. 20:7 some time before he ordered the census. What makes this doubly disrespectful to God?
- In short, as the chief of the military, he wanted to make sure he had enough people at his disposal to do what he desired to do militarily, whether defending against or attacking the enemy.
- Ultimately, David was putting more weight on his own resources than the Lord in order to accomplish what he wanted militarily. In short, David showed little faith in God’s ability to help him; that’s called mistrust and God felt very disrespected and dishonored (“evil in his sight”).
- Ps. 20:7 clearly indicates that David knew better, particularly since he had experienced God’s deliverance many times before, such as when he, as a lad, was able to defeat the giant Goliath. James 4:17 says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
Peer pressure affects adults as well. Sometimes, in our attempts to avoid an unflattering perception of us as Christians, we end up saying and doing things that disrespect God. So, what kind of opportunities did you have today to honor God? How did you fare? We can always pray for a better tomorrow. Pray.