A Good Gift
Posted in Evangelism
Scripture: “In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from them. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Syria and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael. Then Jehoahaz sought the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him, for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Syria oppressed them. (Therefore the Lord gave Israel a savior, so that they escaped from the hand of the Syrians, and the people of Israel lived in their homes as formerly. Nevertheless, they did not depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin, but walked in them; and the Asherah also remained in Samaria.)” – 2 Kings 13:1-6
I have been given a gift, and that gift is my Small Group. Starting in September, my Small Group (and two other groups) committed to read the Old Testament over a year. My husband Brian and I chose to call it the “Old Testament Challenge.” It has been a challenge to stay committed to reading and not falling behind, but the gift is the accountability, joy and community this Small Group has given me. It brings me great joy to know I have 11 other women (just in my group) reading with me. I have much accountability knowing that every Tuesday night we will meet and discuss what we are learning and what God is teaching us. The best part is that I have grown to find much enjoyment in spending time in God’s Word.
Even though this devotion may sound a little like a plug for Small Groups, what I really want to focus on is the gift. One of God’s character traits that has stood out to me in our Old Testament reading is his kindness. He loves to give gifts to his people and take good care of them. We often think of God as judgemental and harsh, especially in the Old Testament, but what I have noticed is how God is actually kind and patient with his people. Especially those who love him and try to do what is right.
Even in this passage today, we see one of the many kings who continued to do evil in the sight of the Lord, but Jehoahaz took a minute to ask God for help. He decided to stop doing evil for a little bit, stop trying to trust his own strength, stop trying to control, and ask God for help. What did God do? He gave them a savior and they received a break from the oppression of the Syrians. Even though God knew that this gift, this break from their oppression, was not going to change their hearts, he still helped them! Amazing! There are so many other stories of how God is kind and gives his people gifts, but this one was part of my reading this week.
What gift is God giving you? Is it your Small Group? Is it a text from a friend? Is it the beautiful flowers blooming this Spring? If you can’t name a gift from God, ask God to show you. He loves to give gifts to His children.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your kindness and patience. We don’t deserve the many gifts you give us, yet you are so kind to give them and remind us just how much you love us. Thank you for the ultimate gift of your Son and his sacrifice so we can pray and be in relationship with you. Open our eyes to gifts you are giving us today. We love you. Amen.
Submitted by Marya Marsh