God wants employers to not only be fair but also to be compassionate, not coldhearted. The practice of paying wages each day ensured that the poor, who lived literally hand to mouth, would not be hungry while waiting for their pay.
Do you own a business? What a wonderful reputation you could achieve if your business would treat all employees with dignity and fairness and pay all its bills on time!
Taken from NIV The Journey Bible
God’s Design in Detours
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
Have you ever wondered what God is doing while you are looking in the wrong place for something you lost and needed very badly? He knows exactly where it is, and he is letting you look in the wrong place.
I once needed a quote for a new edition of my book Desiring God. I knew I had read it in Richard Wurmbrand. I thought it was in his devotional book, Reaching Toward the Heights. I could almost see it on the right hand side of the facing pages. But I couldn’t find it.
But while I was looking, I was riveted on one page, the devotional for November 30. As I read it, I said, “This is one of the reasons I have had to keep looking for my quote.” Here was a story, not for me, but for parents of broken children.
Having broken children is like looking in the wrong place for what you have lost and cannot find. Why? Why? Why? This was the unplanned reward of “wasted” moments.
In a home for retarded children, Catherine was nurtured twenty years. The child had been [mentally handicapped] from the beginning and had never spoken a word, but only vegetated. She either gazed quietly at the walls or made distorted movements. To eat, to drink, to sleep, were her whole life. She seemed not to participate at all in what happened around her. A leg had to be amputated. The staff wished Cathy well and hoped that the Lord would soon take her to Himself.
One day the doctor called the director to come quickly. Catherine was dying. When both entered the room, they could not believe their senses. Catherine was singing Christian hymns she had heard and had picked up, just those suitable for death beds. She repeated over and over again the German song, “Where does the soul find its fatherland, its rest?” She sang for half an hour with transfigured face, then she passed away quietly. (Taken from The Best Is Still to Come, Wuppertal: Sonne und Shild)
Is anything that is done in the name of Christ really wasted?
My frustrated, futile search for what I thought I needed was not wasted. Singing to this disabled child was not wasted. And your agonizing, unplanned detour is not a waste — not if you look to the Lord for his unexpected work, and do what you must do in his name (Colossians 3:17). The Lord works for those who wait for him (Isaiah 64:4).
Jacob continues his last words to each of his sons, sharing both positive and negative feelings and predictions—blessings as well as curses.
Famous Last Words
“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first in rank and first in power. But you are as unruly as a flood, and you will be first no longer. For you went to bed with my wife; you defiled my marriage couch. . . .
“Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will grasp your enemies by the neck. All your relatives will bow before you. Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.”
(Genesis 49:3-4, 8-10)
Jacob spoke to his sons individually, blessing some and making predictions about their futures. The way the men had lived their lives played an important part in Jacob’s prophecies.
The oldest son was supposed to receive a double inheritance, but Reuben lost his special honor because of his actions. Unruly and untrustworthy, especially in his younger days, he had gone so far as to sleep with one of his father’s concubines. Jacob could not give the birthright blessing to such a dishonorable son.
Judah had sold Joseph into slavery and tried to defraud his daughter-in-law. So why did Jacob grant him this blessing? Judah had demonstrated a dramatic change of character (Genesis 44:33-34). Moreover, God had chosen Judah to be the ancestor of Israel’s line of kings. This would fulfill Jacob’s words, “The scepter will not depart from Judah.” Judah’s line would produce the promised Messiah, Jesus.
Like Jacob’s sons, our pasts also affect our present and future. By sunrise tomorrow, our actions of today will have become part of the past. Yet they will already have begun to affect the future.
What actions can you choose or avoid today that will positively shape your future?
Streams in the Desert – May 26
Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well, sing to it! (Num 21:17)
This was a strange song and a strange well. They had been traveling over the desert’s barren sands, no water was in sight and they were famishing with thirst. Then God spake to Moses and said:
“Gather the people together, and I will give them water,” and this is how it came.
They gathered in circles on the sands. They took their staves and dug deep down into the burning earth and as they dug, they sang,
“Spring up, O well, sing ye unto it,” and lo, there came a gurgling sound, a rush of water and a flowing stream which filled the well and ran along the ground.
When they dug this well in the desert, they touched the stream that was running beneath, and reached the flowing tides that had long been out of sight.
How beautiful the picture given, telling us of the river of blessing that flows all through our lives, and we have only to reach by faith and praise to find our wants supplied in the most barren desert.
How did they reach the waters of this well? It was by praise. They sang upon the sand their song of faith, while with their staff of promise they dug the well.
Our praise will still open fountains in the desert, when murmuring will only bring us judgment, and even prayer may fail to reach the fountains of blessing.
There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come?
“Thou wait for deliverance!
O soul, thou wait long!
Believe that now deliverance
Doth wait for thee in song!
“Sigh not until deliverance
Thy fettered feet doth free:
With songs of glad deliverance
God now doth compass thee.”