Week 10: Pastor Michael Bowles
“Destroy it, NOW!”
Text 1: “But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.” (1 Samuel 15:9, NKJV)
Text 2: “Then David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?” And he answered, “I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.” (2 Samuel 1:13, NKJV)
There is a fact uniting these 2 scriptures that is fascinating, although somber.
The first scripture details the failure of Saul to fully obey the instructions of God and Samuel. When the people of God left Egypt, Amalek attacked the Israelites from the back of the camp killing the old people, the pregnant women, and the children. He was merciless. Because of this action, God promised to destroy them from the face of the earth. In this passage, God instructed Saul to do just that, eliminate Amalek and all he had, but Saul failed to do it.
The second scripture details a part of Saul’s death. After he went into battle, he laid wounded on the ground but he would not die. He didn’t want to die at the hands of his enemy so he requested for a young man to kill him. The young man did kill Saul. Interestingly enough, this young man was an Amalekite.
Now, the link between the 2 passages should be obvious. Saul did not destroy all things Amalek, so an Amalekite eventually took his life. Could it be that when God gives you the opportunity to destroy any enemy of your soul, when you don’t do it, this very thing will have the capability of destroying you?
This question is very interesting. There are people that refuse to put away a vice, a sin, a damaging conduct even though they have the possibility and ability to do so. People sometimes play with hidden sins embracing them for far too long instead of destroying them. Sometimes vices linger for a whole lifetime eventually destroying the live of he who has it. Smokers destroy their lungs eventually causing harm to them. But, without singling them out, people in general embrace evils that eventually come back to destroy them.
When God gives you an opportunity to destroy an evil in your life, destroy it! Do not be slow to act, do not be merciful with evil, destroy it! Do not drag your feet in walking to obliterate the harmful sin that can come back and destroy you, destroy it! If the evils are habits, break them. If they are books, burn them. If they are devices, get rid of them. If they are patterns in life, change them. But, give no leeway to anything that potentially can come back to hurt you.
Is there any Amalekites that need to be wiped out of your life? Any descendants of Amalek that must be annihilated out of your life? Do it before anything has the chance to destroy your life.
Questions for reflection:
1. Are there destructive habits in my life that need to be broken?
2. Are there any physical items in my possession that need to be burned?
3. Is there an internal sin that I have to get rid of?
4. Once questions 1-3 are dealt with, is there a practice that I have ignored that I must engage in?
Action assignment: Take a deep and hard look at your soul. Is there anything that cuts your life source that needs to be dealt with today? Is there any sin in the secret place that needs to be brought into the open. If so, destroy it, NOW!!!
“The Lord our Healer!”
Text: “Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.” (Matthew 15:30-31, NKJV)
I sometimes marvel at car manuals. They contain a detailed description of what to do, what to check for, and how to proceed should a mechanical issue arise. The engineers that put the car together know how they made the car, its nuances, its intricacies, therefore they know how to “fix” the car they themselves have designed. No one should know better than them.
In the same way, God made the human body. He gave His word, a detailed description of what to do, what to check for, and how to proceed should any disease arise. Because He is the One that made us, He knows us, our physical limitations, our intricacies, and therefore no one knows how to heal the human body any better than He who made it.
In Exodus 15:26, God reveals Himself to humanity as “the God who heals you.” We need to understand that if He revealed Himself in this way, it is because God wants to heal! It absolutely would make no sense for God to reveal Himself as a healer and then not heal. So, our healing is His desire.
A question that can be asked is, “How then do we have so many diseases today?” Please understand that we live in a fallen world, a reality marked by sin as it entered through Adam and Eve into our human reality. Although God still reigns, He has allowed the consequences of our sinful choices to dictate the course of action in our world. Disease happens to be one of the many consequences of man’s fall. But, when He returns to earth in His second coming, he will exterminate suffering and ailments from the earth. Also, the bodies of those who hope in Jesus today would have been transformed already into a body like Jesus’ after the resurrection. No disease would be present in such bodies.
In our world today, sometimes 2 believers that suffer a disease pray to God. One is miraculously “healed” and the other passes away. We are quick to say that God healed one but not the other. Although in the physical realm this would be true, please realize that the believer that passed away was also healed, in fact, his healing was greater than the one whose body was made well. We humans just don’t see it that way.
I know the power of God to heal. I was healed by Him of an incurable disease. At the age of 23, the doctors told me I had an incurable disease in my intestines, a place called terminal ileum. One of them gave me the somber announcement that I should plan on living for about 10 years, as he thought it would turn into cancer. But I received a word from God that He would heal me. Ten years later, right about the time I “was told” I would die, the doctors told me that they could not trace the disease…a clean bill of health. Praise be to God that intervened! That’s the amazing God I serve. In a case like mine, we rejoice that the Kingdom of God intervenes even now, giving us a glimpse of how things will be during His reign.
But God doesn’t just heal the body; He heals the “soul” as well. Although this may be hard to understand, there is a “heart” within us that is responsible for who we are. I am not talking about the physical heart, but the spiritual one. Most theologians attribute the mind, the will, and the emotions as the sum of this spiritual heart. The Bible warns us to guard this heart with all diligence as all issues of life flow from it. Jesus tells us that this heart can be very deceiving; He says, “But those things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” But Jesus can heal this internal heart also!
If in the physical realm you are suffering from a disease today, I would like to encourage you to go to the heavenly “engineer” that created the human body. He can and wants to heal you. But more importantly than your body, He wants to touch your soul. If you realize that you need Him today, please pray to Him and healing of the soul can be yours today also.
Questions for reflection:
1. If Jesus healed so many, do I have the faith I can be healed?
2. Do I firmly believe that God can and does want to heal me?
3. If God revealed Himself as healer, do I truly believe He heals?
4. What must I do to go to God and be healed?
Action assignment: Read 2 Kings 20:1-6. Concentrate on verse 5. As you pray perhaps for your own healing, and the healing of others, let the words, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you” be a balm of grace over your life today. God can and does heal!