Daily D – Psalm 9:9-10
The LORD is a refuge for the persecuted, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you because you have not abandoned those who seek you, LORD. PSALM 9:9-10 (NLT)
John 6 is a chapter not easily summarized. One young preacher heard about the wisdom of preaching through the books of the Bible in a verse by verse manner. He tackled John’s Gospel with great intent. Then he arrived at this chapter. Several weeks later, he told his congregation, “We will come back to John later.”
He never finished that chapter, let alone the rest of the book.
King David tells us that God will not abandon those who seek him (verse 10). I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of these two verses in The Message:
GOD’s a safe-house for the battered,
a sanctuary during bad times.
The moment you arrive, you relax;
you’re never sorry you knocked.
John 6 begins with a huge crowd following Jesus because of the signs pointing to him being no ordinary man (verses 1-3). Jesus then miraculously fed those five thousand men and more. He started with a little boy’s lunch and ended with each of his twelve disciples gathering a basket full of leftovers.
People are always eager to follow a leader who will give them things for free. Read the rest of this chapter and see how he offered the gift of eternal life for free. See also that the chapter that begins with five thousand and more ends with Jesus and the Twelve.
After the magnificent miraculous meal, the crowd wanted to crown Jesus king. Jesus withdrew “to the mountain by himself,” (verse 15). Sometime after dark, while the disciples were crossing the lake in a boat, “A high wind arose, and the sea began to churn,” (verse 18).
Rowing into the wind for three or four miles is exhausting work. The beating of the waves wearies a person’s nerves. Then “they saw Jesus walking on the sea. He was coming near the boat, and they were afraid,” (verse 19). Jesus said, “It is I. Don’t be afraid,” (verse 20).
I am no Greek scholar and refuse to pretend that I know more than I do. Even so, what Jesus says here in the Greek language as John recorded it is the equivalent of what God told Moses his name is: I AM. Wet, weary, worried disciples saw a second sign that day of who Jesus really is.
Verse 22-65 are a long, uncomfortable conversation where five thousand and more are reduced to the original Twelve. Bread Kings are not popular when the bread runs out. Verse 66 is one of the saddest in the Bible: “From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him.”
Jesus even asked the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” Jesus asked lots of questions. This one is always painful to hear and to ponder. If Jesus does not give us what we want when we want it, we are tempted to walk away.
Remember that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indie chooses the right cup and drinks from the fountain? The ancient knight says, “You have chosen wisely.” Peter chose wisely when he said, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God,” (verses 68, 69).
Jesus did not abandon them in their hunger. Jesus did not abandon them in the storm. Jesus did not abandon them to an eternity apart from God. He was completely worthy of committed trust.
He still is.
The LORD is a refuge for the persecuted,
a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you
because you have not abandoned those who seek you, LORD.
Thank you, King David. Thank you, Simon Peter.
Thank you, Jesus.
I will trust in Jesus who is the Bread of Life.
Our Father, you are our refuge in times of trouble. You never abandon us when we seek you. May we always seek you and not merely what you provide. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.