Today I have selected two passages that have a do or die feel to them. Both of these passages have similar wording and I think they have something that we can all learn.
The first passage is found in Genesis 43:14b. It reads like this:
“And as for me, if I am bereaved of children, then I am bereaved.”
As for the second, it is found in Esther 4:16b. It says:
“And if I perish, I perish.”
These might not seem like much but just wait until I give you the background.
In the first passage it is Jacob speaking. Yes, the same Jacob who stole his brothers birthright and blessing, married Leah and Rachel (Labans daughters) and had a son named Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Now Jacob is old, he still thinks Joseph, his favorite son, was killed by wild animals and so he clings even more closely to Joseph’s brother, Benjamin. There is a severe famine in the land, the same one that Joseph, a prisoner in Egypt, had foretold through Pharohs dream.
Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food and they come back with a story. Joseph (although they didn’t know it was him) had been testing them and told them that he would not see them again until they brought Benjamin with them.
This posed a problem. Jacob would not let them take Benjamin. But this turned into a life or death situation. The famine was severe and they had no food. So finally, Jacob said this line: And as for me, I f I am bereaved of children, then I am bereaved. Jacob had lost Joseph, Simeon was a captive in Egypt and he did not want to lose Benjamin. But he knew that this was a do or die moment and he decided to follow God and trust God with his children. And if they died, they died.
The second is spoken by Queen Esther. Esther, a Jew, was chosen as the Queen of Persia. Hamaan hated Jews and came up with a plot to kill all of them. This would be a total wipe out of Jews. Esther was the only one who could stop this plot. But she had to go into the King, without an invitation. If you went into the King without an invitation, he could raise his scepter and you would be killed. Or he could find favor with you and let you enter. It was a risky thing and no doubt Esther was a bit scared. Her words? If I perish, I perish.
Both of these phrases show a choice. This is do or die. These are do-what-must-be-done words. These are complete laying it in God’s hands words. These are words of trust. Jacob didn’t want to give up his childeren but he put them in God’s hands and if God chose to take them away, then He took them away. Esther didn’t want to give up her life, but she laid it in God’s hands and if she died, then she died. So be it. God gives and God takes away. So. Be. It.
What happened to Jacob and Esther? Let’s look at the Bible to find out.
Jacob found out the amazing truth that Joseph was alive. In one fell swoop he had all his children with him. Here are God’s words to Jacob in Genesis 46:4:
“I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again and Joseph’s hands shall close your eyes.”
Esther went in to the King and was successful. The King didn’t kill all the Jews and God used Esther to save His people. Listen to what Esther 8:16 says:
“The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor.”
God blessed both Jacob and Esther and He used thier trust to accomplish great things and save His special nation.
So whatever God wants to do with your life, so be it.
Posted in Bible, Bible characters, do hard things, faith, God, Living for God, words by Priscilla with no comments yet.
Recently in my Bible reading I have been reading about King David. While reading I saw lots of different character traits that we could all learn from. Here are 5 of them:
One of David’s most famous brave acts was when he defeated Goliath, scratch that, I mean when he showed Israel that God could defeat Goliath…
“All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his fathers house free in Israel.” And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kill this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”
1 Samuel 17:24-27
Now we all know how the story goes. David takes 5 stones and a sling, hits the giant in the forehead and he fall down and dies. You can read the full story of David’s heroic deed in 1 Samuel 17. There are many other stories in 1 and 2 Samuel of David’s victories in battle. Don’t you want to have the same bravery that David did to be able to stand up to your giant? Many times we can feel inadequate and not ready to be brave. But doesn’t God say “If I am for you who can be against you?” Paul says, “We are more than conquerors in Christ.” Be brave. God’s got your back. Another good passage of a brave deed of David’s is in 1 Samuel 30:1-15
Although David was a warrior, a battle leader and a great king he was also a compassionate king. Jonathan, one of David’s close friends had died along with his father Saul, David’s enemy. David say in 2 Samuel 9:1 “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” There was! But he wasn’t a warrior, or even an able bodied man. He was Jonathan’s crippled son, Mephibosheth. Still David took him under his wing and cared for him like he was his own son. When David was attacked and had to flee for safety he took Mephibosheth with him. Think of how Mephibosheth felt. Saul, his grandfather and Jonathan his father died and lo and behold King David comes and treats him like royalty! How great would that be!
“And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul you father and you shall eat at my table always.” And he paid homage and said,” What is your servant that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”
2 Samuel 9:6-8 You can read the full story in 2 Samuel 9
Ask God if he can instill in you a love for everyone, the crippled, the orphaned, the fatherless, the …ugly…
Doesn’t God say that what you do for the least of them you do for him? “When I was hungry you fed me, when I was naked you clothed me.”
When you think of kings, you think of proud, majestic and full of glory. What about humble??? A humble king is a good king. If you search through the Bible you can see that David was a very humble king.
“And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son.” 2 Samuel 1:17
When Saul, David’s enemy died, he did not rejoice. Yeah! I can be king now! He mourned for them.
“David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” 2 Samuel 12:13a
After the whole Bathsheba incident, David realized his sin and repented. He did not try to cover his sin up with all his power. I bet if you keep searching you can find some other great verses pointing to David’s humility. What about you? When you have sinned or been proven wrong don’t stick to that ugly stubborn human pride. Try to be teachable and be humble. Create in me a clean heart Lord.
David also had good integrity. Twice he had a chance to kill Saul, who wanted to kill David, but he didn’t.
“And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give you enemy into you hand and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.'” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “the Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing his is the Lord’s anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.”
1 Samuel 24:4-7
“Then Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.” But David said to Abishai. “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?’ And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water and let us go.”
1 Samuel 26:8-11
You can read the full story of both these integrity-filled adventures in 1 Samuel 24 and 26
When you have a chance to do something you know is wrong what will you choose? Will you fall into the trap of peer pressure or will you stand up to do the right thing.
It says in the Bible that David was a man after God’s own heart. That is the highest honor that anyone could ever be given. Better then the medal of honor, the purple heart, anything! What a great honor! Jesus was also born of David’s family. He was called the Son of David and it also says in the Bible that the throne of David would be established forever! David truly had the hand of God on his life. I pray to God that I would follow after his heart too and that He would establish some of these great character traits in me too.
Why don’t you ask God to help make you a man/woman/boy/girl of his heart too?
Lets be humble and ask the Lord to make us compassionate and righteous, people of his heart. Be brave and do the right thing with integrity.
Thank you Lord for the example that David is to us today!
Posted in Bible, Bible characters, Home by Priscilla with no comments yet.