2 Kings 4:18–5:27 Acts 15:1-35 Psalm 141:1-10 Proverbs 17:23
Why Tempt Ye God to Put a Yoke Upon the Neck of the Disciples?
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. – Acts 15:4-11
So often because we feel conviction to live certain ways and to do or not do certain things, that God is calling every one to live in the same way. When we try to force little things that we have made big things onto others we risk putting a yoke on them that even we can’t bear? There is only One standard to live by and that is the Word of God – the entire Word…not just bits and pieces.
Help me, Father to see where I fail in this area. Please help me live and walk as a faithful follower of Jesus, looking more and more like Him each day. I ask that in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen!
Now I Know That There is No God in All the Earth, But in Israel
So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. 2 Kings 15:9-16
It is interesting how often the first thing we want to do when God does a miracle through someone is to lift that person up. In this passage, Naaman wanted to give the prophet an offering. But Elisha knew it was not him, but God that did the miracle, and he refused gifts for what God had done.
The LORD Pardon Thy Servant in this Thing
And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD. In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing. And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way. 2 Kings 15:17-19
Naaman was healed and He knew it was God. He gave God the glory and wanted to worship Him but He also knew that He worked for a master that bowed to an idol and that he would be required to do that. He asked the Lord to pardon him when we was made to bow. Elisha told Naaman go in peace. God looks at the heart.
Set a Watch, O Lord, Before My Mouth
LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. – Psalm 141:1-4
To Pervert the Ways of Judgment
A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment. – Proverbs 17:23