REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on July 27, 2015, is provided by Ulysses Wang who pastors Renewal Church in Sunnyvale, California. Pastor Ulysses is a graduate of New York University (BA) and Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for this Morning
“Who Do You Call When You are in Trouble?”
2 Kings 1:1-4
After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. 2 Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.” 3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ 4 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’” So Elijah went.
It’s obvious that in this passage God is upset at King Ahaziah because he didn’t inquire of Him as to how his illness would turn out. What is interesting, however, is the king’s reaction to the news from his messengers regarding the “stranger” that they had met on the road. Through nothing more than a description of his outfit, Ahaziah knew that it was the prophet Elijah (v.8). What we can see from this is that Ahaziah was very much aware that there was a prophet of the Lord in his land, yet he had no interest in inquiring of the Lord through him. For this, he was condemned to die from his wounds.
We take encouragement from this passage that we serve a God who wants us to inquire of Him. Imagine that!—being invited to ask for wisdom and knowledge from the source of all wisdom and knowledge! Our struggle, however, is that too often we don’t take God up on His generous offer. We’ve replaced God with Google or friends or medical professionals. Not that any of these things are wrong—these things can all be a blessing—but the problem comes when these things effectively replace God in our lives. Inquiring of God through prayer is considered impractical. Like Ahaziah, we know that He’s there and He’s real, but in times of trouble, we go elsewhere for answers.
Prayer: What do you need to ask God about today? James reminds us that, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (1:5). Spend time inquiring of the Lord. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Galatians 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Hebrews 4:14-16: Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Questions to Consider
- How does Jesus’ ability to “empathize with our weaknesses” encourage you?
- If Jesus never sinned, can He truly empathize? Why is it important that “he did not sin”?
- Where do you turn to in your “time of need”? What does this say about where you place your trust?
- It gives me confidence that he genuinely understands what I am going through. He is a God of Immanuel—one who is with us and among us.
- Since He is God, he doesn’t need to do anything in particular to learn what we are going through. But since he went through temptations without succumbing to them, it does give us more confidence in approaching Him.
- Personal response.
How much did you interact with God today? How much time did you spend talking to Him? Was He an active part of your day? Spend some time talking to Him about your day—the victories and defeats, the exciting things as well as the mundane. Give Him an opportunity to speak to you.