Sometimes God has to use some heavenly sandpaper to smooth out our rough edges. It’s not a pleasant experience. Sometimes He has to use coarse sandpaper, sometimes He uses finer sandpaper. But He is just preparing us for His wonderful finish to be applied to our lives.
Someone said each of Jesus’ parables is like a window. You can look through the parable and see the world in a different way. But if you really look at a window instead of through it, you will often catch your own reflection in the glass. When you truly “get it” you’ll always see yourself in the parables of Jesus.
There was a time in Israel’s history when they had a whole bunch of kings and they didn’t do very well. In fact, they drifted far away from God. This message is directed toward people who have come out of Egypt. They are Christians and they have come to the place of growing as a Christian for a while but then in the middle of that, something happens and they get out of favor with God. This is a beautiful picture of it in the Old Testament.
Each of us has three kings fighting for control (there are probably a lot more). In each of us, there is a King Saul, a spirit of jealousy, a spirit of envy, a spirit of anger that becomes so blinded that this is a true “rage-a-holic.” Thank God, I think in each one of us there is the potential for a King David, a spirit of submission. It is the spirit of Christ of submitting to God’s given authority. And I also think in each one of us there is a “king-to-be” Absalom and he is the spirit of rebellion, the spirit of selfish ambition. Who I can become? What I could do if I were in charge? I could do a whole lot better if I was in charge of this outfit! Be careful, because those three kings are usually fighting for control of your life.
From the very moment Satan slithered his slimy existence before Eve, there has been something sssinister and sssinful and ssscary about sssnakes! A study of the nation of Israel’s rebellion against God and the swift punishment they received.
I know it is tough being a teenager and it’s tough to be the PARENT of a teenager. Mark Twain gave some advice on raising teenagers, “Things run along pretty smoothly until your kid reaches age 13. That’s the time you need to stick them in a barrel, hammer the lid down nice and snug and feed them through the knothole. And then about the time he turns 16 you’d better plug up the knothole.” It is part of the sense of humor of God that he has arranged it that parents would be going through middle age at just the time when they have teens in their home.