Victory Vitamin Blog – 2 Chronicles 36:16

But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 

-2 Chronicles 36:16 NIV

 

 

The Israelites always wanted a king.  God told them it was a bad idea, but they wanted a king just the same.  These kings continually led the Israelites away from the LORD.  They encouraged the people to worship idols, and the people were all too willing to obey their kings.  God sent prophets to warn the kings and the Israelites to turn from their evil ways, “but they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.”  As a result, the Israelites were taken captive to Babylon and the Nation of Israel would never be the same.  Sadly, they had no one to blame but themselves.  They mocked God until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against them and there was no remedy.  NO remedy.  Think about that.  That’s a terminal diagnosis.  No way to fix it.  It’s over.  There was no remedy for the Israelites under the Old Covenant, but God had promised a new one.  He said, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…I will forgive their wickedness, and remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31)  God provided the Remedy.  His name is Jesus.  You and I have also disobeyed God, and ignored His calls to change our ways.  His wrath was aroused against us, but there IS a remedy.  Jesus died in our place.  You are forgiven.  Jesus is the Remedy.  God could have punished you directly, but He doesn’t want to.  God is love.  God loves you, that’s why He punished His perfect, sinless son instead.  God loves you.  You’re forgiven. Now act like it.

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Kings 18:18

“I have not made trouble for Israel, but you and your father’s family have.  You have abandoned the LORD’S commands and have followed the Baals.” 

-1 Kings 18:18 NIV

 

 

These words were spoken by the prophet Elijah to Ahab.  Ahab was the most wicked king to ever rule over the people of Israel, and that’s quite a feat.  Elijah was literally risking his life by confronting Ahab and telling him that he had abandoned the LORD”S commands, but that’s what the LORD told Elijah to do.  Elijah was telling Ahab something that would benefit him greatly if only Ahab would listen.  But Ahab did not like to be told that he was wrong.  How well do YOU receive rebuke?  Many people tend to get defensive and retaliate by pointing out the faults of the messenger or trying to justify their own sinful actions.  It’s not just little children who need guidance and correction, we’re all sinners, and we all stray from the path God has laid out in His Word.  Whether it’s a friend, your pastor, a church member, or a complete stranger, we should be thankful for those who have the courage to rebuke and correct us when we’re wrong.  Thankfully we have a loving heavenly Father who forgives all our sins.  In mercy and love He provides people to help keep us on track.  Be wise, be humble and listen to them.

Victory Vitamin Blog – 2 Samuel 11:4

“Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.” 

-2 Samuel 11:4 NIV

 

David was King of Israel.  He pretty much had rock star status, and that pretty much went to his head.  Rather than accompany his soldiers to battle one day, David decided to take the day off.  He probably slept late, wandered around his palace in his tunic, you know, King stuff.  At one point David went out on a balcony and looked down.  He saw a woman bathing and she appealed to him.  David asked his servants about her.  They said, “Oh, she’s married to one of your soldier’s who is off fighting right now.”  David replied, “Oh, go get her for me.”  She came to his room and David committed adultery with her.  It gets worse.  Bathsheba gets pregnant.  David freaks out and tries to get her husband to come home from war and sleep with his wife to make it look like he is really the father.  When that doesn’t work, David orders Uriah to the front lines and tells all the other soldiers to retreat so Uriah will be killed.   Then David married Bathsheba.  What do you think of King David now?  He sounds like a disgusting human being, right?  Well, David repented, and the LORD forgave him, just as He forgives you and me for the disgusting sins we commit, but let’s consider what led to David’s disgusting actions.  1) He shirked his duty.  As King, it was David’s job to lead the army in battle.  He stayed home, and the devil found work for his idle hands to do.  2) David failed to exercise self-control.  When he found out Bathsheba was married that should have been the end of it.  3) Rather than face the music, David tried to cover his tracks.  Bad idea.  God forgives us when we repent.  That act on God’s part displays His love for us.  God’s love for us inspires us to live lives that glorify Him.  Keep yourself busy serving the lord and serving others.  Exercise the God-given gift of self-control. (Galatians 5:23)  When you sin, stop, and admit it to God.  Let David serve as both a bad and good example of how to live.

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Samuel 17:45

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty”

-1 Samuel 17:45 NIV

 

The odds were not in David’s favor.  Goliath was a big man and a skilled warrior.  The fact that he would march out daily and challenge anyone from Israel to fight him is a testimony to his confidence.  David was a shepherd.  He was the youngest of his brothers.  But David was not intimidated by Goliath.  Far from being intimidated, David was infuriated.  That Goliath would stand out in the valley and loudly mock the Israelites, who were the army of God, was intolerable to David.  David was entirely confident that the LORD would help him shut that bully’s mouth.  David put his faith in action and God brought Goliath down.  It was David’s faith and complete confidence in God that caused him to undertake a task that many others were terrified to approach.  What daunting tasks are giving you doubts?  Is there a situation in your life that seems destined to destroy you?  Call it your Goliath, and trust in the LORD as you face it head on.  God has already defeated our most dreaded enemy, the devil.  Now sin and death can do us no harm.  Trust Him to go with you into your daily battles as well.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Judges 2:18-19

“Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived;

-Judges 2:18-19 NIV

 

At this point in Israel’s history, they had left Egypt, wandered in the wilderness, crossed into the Promised Land (modern day Israel/Palestine).  The LORD had instructed the Israelite army to destroy every living thing in the cities they conquered in the promised land.  That way they wouldn’t be tempted to follow the idol-worshiping ways of the previous inhabitants.  They disobeyed the LORD in that regard, and not surprisingly, the Israelites began worshiping false gods.  When they worshiped false gods, the LORD caused the Israelites to lose in battle and be oppressed by other nations.  When the Israelites repented, the LORD would send a “judge” who would lead the people back to the LORD, and back to victory in battle.  As it says above, this would last until that particular judge would die, then the Israelites would start the cycle of disobedience over again.  We’re not that different from the Israelites.  When life is good, we tend to drift away from God, neglect worship and His Word, pray less frequently.  When hardship strikes, suddenly we remember just how much we need God.  We can be thankful that just as God raised up judges to rescue His sinful Israelite people, so He has raised up a rescuer for us.  One who has delivered us from the enemies of sin and death.  We need not worry about our freedom lasting only as long as that judge lives.  Jesus lives forever.  He cannot die again.  Our victory in Him is eternal!