fight

The Pain of Provocation

“Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’” – 1 Samuel 1:6-8 We learned yesterday that Hannah, who was married to a man named Elkanah, was unable to have children. Her pain was amplified by the fact that her husband had another wife named Penninah, and she seemed to have no problem getting pregnant. Despite the fact that Elkanah favored her and had a genuine love and affection for her, Hannah’s pain burned and led her to a place of agonizing jealousy. Even worse, Penninah

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God of Armies

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14 One of the most commonly used names for God in the Bible is Yahweh Tsebaoth, which literally means “Lord of Armies,” “Lord of Soldiers,” or “Lord of War.” In fact, this interesting depiction of our Heavenly Father is used over 250 times in the Scriptures, and yet very few people are familiar with it. This is because Bible translators have often inserted their own theology and made it “Lord of Hosts.” Even though most people don’t know what a host is (other than someone who entertains people in their home), they do it because they’re reluctant to connect God with something as ugly as war. However, this becomes less of a concern when we understand the context. When Yahweh speaks of being the “Lord of Armies,” He’s actually referring to a spiritual battle. He wants

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The World’s System

“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast — terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.” – Daniel 7:7 It’s safe to say that the world’s way is beastly. Ever since humanity fell into sin, the forces of darkness have been raging to orchestrate chaos and stir up violence. Throughout all of history, kingdoms have risen against each other and war has been commonplace. Of course, behind every mass movement of anarchy, disorder, or crime stands Satan — the Beast himself. It was his image that Daniel saw in the vision recorded in Daniel 7, wherein he took the form of four brutal monsters, each representing a worldly government under the sway

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The Harvest of His Promises

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10,11 I love this promise from the Lord as recorded by Isaiah because it reminds us that His Word never returns void. I think many of us become discouraged when we faithfully apply ourselves to the things of God and yet don’t experience the freedom and breakthrough we’ve been longing for. We pray, seek, and trust, but we still endure a prolonged wilderness that leaves us wondering if He’s there at all. It can be equally as

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