Refurbish, Replenish or Replace!
Read Isaiah 40:6-8; Jeremiah 36:20-32; Joshua 21:43-45
Ah spring. The season of lilacs, tulips and dandelions. This year, it has also been the time for refurbishing, replenishing and replacing. It began with the repainting of both the shed and the hot house. Then there was the rose bed that needed new landscape cloth and nuggets. And oh yes, several plants didn't make it through the winter, in spite of my optimism that they just might. They were simply too weakened from the hail that pelted them more than once during the past few years, and the winter finished them off. Everything here, beautiful or durable as it seems, eventually needs a great deal of propping up. When it can no longer be fixed, it must be replaced. When we first moved into our home, a friend in town gave us a peony bush that had lived for fifty years in her yard. I was so excited when I learned that these lavish flower-producing plants sometimes live to 100 years of age. Alas, I didn't account for the deer that reckoned our treasure as being its new hors d'oeuvre, and though we transplanted what remained of the poor thing into a more secure place, it didn't make it. What had lived for half a century quickly withered away. Thanks Bambi.
Everything we see is a reminder of the truth of the scriptures. We observe the breaking down of both living and nonliving things as it occurs all around us. Praise God that His word will stand forever, Isaiah 40:6-8. There is no one, nor is there any plan devised by any man that can thwart what God has decreed, Proverbs 21:30-31. Let's look at a few examples from the scriptures:
Contempt for God's Word, Jeremiah 36:20-32. We often hear of people in our day who mock and disrespect what God has said. What a picture we have of that attitude, given to us by the prophet, Jeremiah. Can you imagine arrogant King Jehoiakim as he sat by the fire warming himself. He was hearing the very Word of God, the promise of destruction unless he and his people would humble themselves and cry out to their God. Yet, look at his defiance in the face of promised devastation. He cut and burned up the scroll which promised either God's tender mercy or certain judgment. There was no fear of God in his heart. Yet, his ignoring and destruction of God's truth didn't have any effect on what the Lord did. Sadly, judgment came and would have, even if Jehoiakim had destroyed every scroll on which God's Word was written. Jeremiah 1:11-12 is a reminder that God watches over what He has said to ensure that it will be carried out.Even today, people ignore and disrespect God's truth to their own peril. Even though they may not slash or burn Bibles, many look at the scriptures as nothing but another religious book, believing that there is no need to take what is written there seriously. Perhaps they even look at what scripture says as Lot's sons-in-laws did, Genesis 19:14. They laugh it off. Oh, that each one would come to know the wonderful Creator/Redeemer Who loves them, before it is too late.
Fulfillment Of Every Detail Of God's Promises, Joshua 21:43-45. There is an old expression that speaks of the devil being in the details, but the truth is that God is the King over the details, Psalm 115:3. Getting everything to line up in order to pull even a small project off, can be challenging. A few weeks ago, we were reminded again how difficult it can be even to reinsert the Styrofoam pieces into a box to repack it. How different it is for the God Who names the stars and knows how many there are, Psalm 147:3. As an example, look what God did for the children of Israel. What a reminder of His attention to detail. Can you imagine the logistics involved in taking one man and his wife to start a nation? Now add the fact that that couple was unable to have children for decades, after having been promised that through them, blessings would come to the whole world, Genesis 12:3. There were even more challenges. Add to the difficult circumstances the fact that this little nation was held in slavery by the powerful Egyptians, having never seen the land the Lord had promised them, 400 years earlier. Now, to make things even more challenging, be in charge of getting those two to three million people out of bondage and after that, keeping them alive in a desert land for about forty years. They had sufficient food, water and strength for their long journey because of the awesome care of the Lord, Nehemiah 9:20-21. God did all of this and so much more for them, with no problem at all. He kept the promises He made to these people, and He gave them the land He had sworn to give them, fulfilling every detail, Genesis 15:13-19; Joshua 21:43-45.
His truth will not be thwarted simply because we can't figure out how He will bring it to pass, Jeremiah 32:27. Nothing can invalidate His promises, whether they ensure blessing or harm. Whether or not His timing is our timing has no bearing upon God's faithfulness. What He says, He will surely do, Numbers 23:19; Psalm 119:89.
Lord, Thank You for the beauty of spring. When we enjoy the flowers You have created, help us remember that unlike their beauty, which is only for a short season, Your Word will never fade away.