“Deliver me” prayer

In great fear and distress, thinking that his brother Esau was coming with four hundred men to avenge himself, for the wrong that Jacob had done against Esau, Jacob had no where to turn, but to God. He prays to God, making this the first recorded example of prayer in the Bible.

By addressing God as God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac – he personalized his relationship to God and was affirming the covenant relationship that his grandfather and father had with God. Jacob then recounts the promise of God that guaranteed his safe return and then recognizes that he was unworthy of the least of God’s mercies that he had been shown. He then makes a plea of deliverance, by praying “Deliver me” from impending danger and possibly death, in the hands of his brother, Esau. who’s blessings he had taken by deception. (Genesis 32:9-12)

Points to ponder:
From this first recorded prayer of Jacob, we see a model of prayer that everyone in the world ought to pray. First, one must recognize that God is a personal God. Second, God is a promise keeping God. Third, we are unworthy of God’s mercies and yet God shows us his mercies. And most importantly, we must each pray the prayer of deliverance, asking God to deliver us – to deliver us from sin, and the sting of death. This prayer of deliverance is in essence the prayer of confession – confessing that we are unworthy sinners in need of a Savior. And those who pray (cry) the prayer for deliverance, can be assured that God would deliver us (Psalm 34:6). Deliverance from fear and death is only possible by believing in Jesus, the Great Deliverer, through whom we have victory (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Have you prayed the prayer of deliverance? Have you confessed you need for Jesus, The Savior?

Genesis 32:9-12 (KJV)
9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

Psalm 34:6-7 (KJV)
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (KJV)
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Albert Einstein was a fool

Major news agencies on October 4th, 2012 reported that an original 1954 stamped envelope and a handwritten letter which shed light on the famed scientist and Nobel prize winner Albert Einstein’s religious belief was to be going to be auctioned on eBay starting October 8th, 2012 and ending ten days later. It was reported that the opening bid on what came to be dubbed as Einstein’s “God Letter” would be $3 million dollars. This letter was written to the Jewish philosopher Eric Gutkind, a year before Einstein died, as a response to Gutkind’s book “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt.” In this letter, Einstein writes, “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends, No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

Undoubtedly, Einstein was one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century and I mean no disrespect to him for his contributions to the discipline of Physics, but if I was to meet him, face to face, I would tell him, that he is a fool, not because I am any more smarter than he was, but because of a strong Biblical conviction. Failing to recognize the sovereignty of God and unable to explain “why evil exists”, Einstein questioned the existence of a personal God and reduced the God of the universe who created him with strengths and weaknesses as a product of human weaknesses. The man who came up with the theory of relativity, postulating that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant regardless of their relative motion or of the motion of the source of the light, failed to recognize that the speed (timing) of the LIGHT of the world, Jesus Christ, in a vacuum (a life without Jesus) is constant regardless of his relative motion (mental state of understanding the Sovereignty and Salvation of God) or of the motion (working) of the source of the LIGHT of the world (God). Jesus is the light of the world and he is the constant – same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and only a fool says in his heart that there is no God (Psalms 14:1) or that God is nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses. To say (or write) such a thing. in and of itself, is a weak expression.

Points to ponder:
God is Sovereign irrespective of the existence of evil. Job suffered evil but in and through his experiences, he realized that God is sovereign and  always in control and recognized that His Redeemer lives. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and his love for you and me and for that matter to anyone, whether they refuse to change or not, is a constant – the same. Are you a fool denying the existence of God or are you wise, fearing God, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10)?  Let no man deceive himself. If any of you seem to be wise, let him become a fool so that he may be wise, for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (1 Corinthians 3:18); the God, Only Wise (Jude 1:25).

Psalm 14:1 (KJV)
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

1 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV)
18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s;

No matter what – I will pray

Many decisions that ought to be taken are not taken due to one of the following reasons:
1. we try to rationalize the situation assuming that our finite and limited human minds has infinite comprehension and abilities or
2. we think of the consequences of the decision and are paralyzed for fear of life or fear of being ridiculed.

In today’s text, taken from Daniel 6:1-28, we will look at Daniel, who chose to pray NO MATTER WHAT.

Many of us are probably familiar with the story of Daniel in the lion’s den, but for the benefit of those who aren’t, as a backdrop to this character, Daniel was cast into a den of lions by king Darius, who was tricked by jealous conspirators, into signing a foolish decree that no one should make petition (pray) unto anyone else, except the king for a period of thirty days. These evil men knew that Daniel was faultless and fervent in his allegiance to the one true God, Jehovah, and sought to have him killed, for they knew that he would not compromise when it came to the matters of God or his commandments, the first being, you shall have no other gods before Jehovah, a.k.a., you shall not worship or pray to anyone else , except Jehovah. The law in the kingdom of Darius, a Medo-Persian kingdom was unchangeable, once ratified and sealed and so when the king was informed of Daniel’s continuance in prayer to Jehovah, not once but thrice a day, the king who favored Daniel, was now in a quandary and had to follow through with the decree. Daniel is thrown into the lions den, but miraculously, the mouth of the ravenous lions are held shut by the angel of God sent for his protection among the beasts. What the conspirators or the king had failed tor realize was that while the law of unchangeable, the lions were not. When juxtaposed between choosing life by not praying or choosing death by praying to God, Daniel chose to pray to God, NO MATTER WHAT. In other words, Daniel was not willing to refrain from praying, even if that meant, it would cost him his life.

If Daniel would had rationalized or thought of the consequences, he would have probably ended up like the majority, refraining from praying to God, and breaking His commandments, by praying to a man (the king Darius). This might have saved his life for a short while longer but in the end he would not have gone down in history as someone who had the privilege of spending a night with lions and living to tell its tale. His act of courage and faithfulness not only did it deliver him from the lion’s den, but also proved to the heathen kingdom, that the God whom he served is far more than able to deliver the righteous one out of any trouble, even from seemingly dire and deadly situations. Our acts of prayer can prove unto the unbelieving world that the God whom we pray to, is in deed able and is a personal, prayer answering God, unlike any other.

Points to ponder:

  1. What is God asking you and me to pray for?
  2. Can we take the step to pray to God, without rationalizing or thinking of the consequences, NO MATTER WHAT?

Personal God

Ever wondered how both in the Old testament times as well as in the New testament times, most of the times, that the Scripture (Holy Bible) records the interactions that God has had with man/men/woman/women directly or through the angel of the Lord, He has called them by their first names, personally.

Let’s look at a few examples –
Cain is questioned, where is Abel thy brother? (Genesis 4:9)
Abraham, Abraham on mountain in the land of Moriah (Genesis 22:11)
Moses, Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:4)

When Jesus called, the IRS guy up the tree, he called him by his first name and said, Zacchaeus,  make haste and come down , for I must abide at thy house. (Luke 19:5)
On resurrection morn, Mary was asked by Jesus who said, “Woman, why weepest thou?” and until he called her by her first name “Mary”, she did not recognize him. (John 20:12-15)

If God is calling us today, are we hearing His voice; are we recognizing him.
Be assured that He is calling us by our first name, because He is a personal God and He wants to have a personal relationship with each one of us.