Psalm 105 – What Has God Done For Me Lately? 

What things is it good to know about God? If I was introducing someone who was interested to find out more about God, I would point out that among the great things about Him is that He is good and He keeps His promises. 

This Psalm looks long at first, but when you consider it as an overview, it’s not that long. In fact, seeing it for what it presents itself to be it’s over too soon. In it, however, we are given the privilege of the overview of the history of a people. That history is one of a relationship from God to a man. How that relationship extends to a people. How that relationship establishes a people in a land. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

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The Kings II 13 – Elisha’s End and God’s Enduring Love 

​But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence. (2 Kings 13:23 NIV) 

Covenant love is not easy. This is seen painfully in God’s interactions with the northern kingdom of Israel. 

The sins of Jeroboam had continued through his dynasty up to the dynasty of Jehu. Elisha, like his predecessor Elijah, had faithfully served as a prophet of the Lord to Israel and had seen the people continue to stumble between two opinions. Wanting the best of both worlds, idol worship and an affinity to Yahweh the one true and living God. Elisha knew such compromise was not possible. 

King after king would follow the sins of Jeroboam yet still on  occasion turn to God. God would still come through for His people when they cried out to Him even though they never stayed faithful to Him once He rescued them. As Elisha’s days were drawing to an end, he expressed the compassion of God to the people of Israel by granting to Jehoash, the evil king of the time,  an opportunity to gain victory over the Arameans their persistent enemy of the time. Jehoash’s failure to trust God totally through hitting the arrows more than the three times, meant he would never experience total victory he could have with total trust. Elisha had used his past moments to leave a life lesson to the king of the time and to those who would follow. 

There’s the remarkable episode of the effect of Elisha even in death, where someone about to buried came into contact with the man of God’s bones and came back to life. This too gives hope that even in dead situation an encounter with God can bring it back to life. 

This was not far from the dead relationship the people of Israel had with the God who rescued them. Yet God remained concerned, gracious and compassionate. Ever willing to keep covenant love, ever willing to remain faithful even as the other party is faithless. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

The Kings 09 – Remember the Covenant: A Reply to Prayer 

​People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.’ (1 Kings 9:9 NIV) 

It is good to know that prayers, as conversation with God, can get a response from God. He hears and answers prayer. After the magnificent prayer Solomon made on behalf of the people, God appeared to Solomon as He had done earlier to engage with Solomon’s request. 

The words God offers to Solomon are heavy in reminding the King of the same  story God has played out with the people since their days of slavery in Egypt. That story is about His faithfulness and compassion in rescuing His people and saving them for His purpose dependent on their covenant relationship with Him. A covenant based on mutual faithfulness. A covenant that God had stuck by in good times and bad. 

The people, however, were prone to wander. God knew that and for their sake and Solomon’s sake, He urged covenant commitment. He reminded Solomon of his father’s success being down to such covenant commitment. He informed Solomon that further success would endure if there was covenant commitment. Likewise God pointed out the consequences of failing to keep that exclusive relationship as the top priority. Where the fortunes of the people reflected the power of the god in other cultures, the true and living God would make it abundantly clear that the failings of His people  should they follow after other gods would not be a reflection of His success or failure. Their defeats and disasters due to disobedience would be a reflection of the justice of the covenant keeping God. 

Reading this sober warning at this juncture in the life of the nation of Israel is a crucial reminder of what real success in life is. For a people defined by God’s rescuing and establishing power, success is remaining faithful to that relationship. Remembering who we are and whose we are can save considerable  heartache. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Exodus Extracts 24 – Agreed

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” (Exodus 24:7)

Passing down key points of life verbally can be engaging and memorable. There is something however about writing it down.

All the rules and the nature of the conversation God had with His servant Moses were carefully noted down. Not just written, but then read in the company of the people.

Whenever an agreement is going to be made it’s important to understand the nature of the agreement. The people heard clearly what the Lord wanted from the people He delivered. In so doing they are not just hearing demands of an overlord, they are hearing the heart of a Deliverer who is also concerned to establish true peace among His people. To hear such a heart in the light of such deliverance and such provision gives the people a strong basis on which they can make their agreement.

What’s important to remember, though, is that for all that would take place in the ruptures in the relationship, the basis of the agreement was a fair one. There was their experience, there was their encounter and there was their written agreement.

Saying those words would have heavy repercussions in the future. For now, it was worth celebrating the fact that the God who delivers is concerned for the peace of His people for which He seeks our agreement.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden