Shaking with fear

BY VALDIR JOSÉ DA SILVA —

“Now, announce to the men, ‘Whoever is shaking with fear may turn around and leave Mount Gilead.’ 22,000 men went home; 10,000 remained'” Judges 7.3

The feeling that appears so much in the adventures of our hero Gideon is fear. In this chapter 7, the Lord recognizes Gideon’s fear in verse 10 and once again gives him a sign that he, the Lord God, will be present in battle.

But what strikes me most in this chapter is that 32,000 men volunteer to attack the Midianites. However, when it is proclaimed that those who are afraid may leave, an astonishing 22,000 return and 10,000 brave men remain. Continue reading “Shaking with fear”

They marched boldly

Ten awesome plagues. Pharoah finally gives in to Moses’ demand and releases the children of Israel. God grants them favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, who give them silver, gold, and clothing. They see appear before them the Lord in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light.

Egypt behind them, freedom up ahead. “… the sons of Israel were going out boldly” Exodus 14:8, NASB.

What a heady feeling it must have been! Clutching their firstborn children, the Israelites get their first taste of victory and freedom. Continue reading “They marched boldly”

Implications of Christ’s priesthood

In previous articles we laid out the importance of the priesthood, the history of the priesthood, the nature of Christ’s priesthood, and the operation of Christ’s priesthood. We want to conclude this series by laying out some important implications of the ministry of Christ.

Due to the great work of Christ as our High Priest, we can be confident in at least five areas:

Continue reading “Implications of Christ’s priesthood”

Be strong and courageous

“I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5-9 NIV).

What is it like to start a new job, to begin a new project, to begin an exciting challenge? Continue reading “Be strong and courageous”

Jesus is there; don’t be afraid

The pages of the gospels are filled with examples of Jesus’ kindness. The pages of our newspapers betray that, as a people, we are not very kind at all.

In Mark chapter five, when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter, he said something very kind to him. He said, “Do not be afraid any longer” (Mark 5:36 NASB). Those words echo across the centuries to us, bringing Jesus’ kindness to us still. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. Oh, that we would replace the fear in our hearts with his words! Continue reading “Jesus is there; don’t be afraid”

No good deed

“Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:2-3 NKJV).

Elijah is often considered the greatest of all the prophets of Israel. On the Mount of Transfiguration, he appeared with Moses and Jesus as the representative of the prophetic office (Mark 9:2-13). His challenge to the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel stands as one of the greatest exhibitions of faith and courage of all time (1 Kings 18:20-40). There he defeated and put to death 850 idolatrous prophets, establishing the Lord as the one true God. Continue reading “No good deed”