News & Updates
 
October 2013

Devotions October 2013
Elk, Canada
                                                   Elk Canada

1.               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          October 1, 2013               

Good Morning!
We have the assurance that God will go with us through all difficulties.

STANDING ON HOLY GROUND:
Exodus 3:11. “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12. And he said, Certainly I will be with thee;”

In the first rush of youthful enthusiasm Moses had been impetuous enough to attempt the emancipation of his people by the blows of his right hand. But now that God proposes to send him to lead an Exodus, he starts back in dismay almost petrified at the proposal. But how true this is to nature! There was something more than humility here; there was a tone of self-depreciation which was inconsistent with a true faith in God’s selection and appointment. Surely it is God’s business to choose his special instruments; and when we are persuaded that we are in the line of his purpose, we have no right to question the wisdom of his appointment. To do so is to depreciate his wisdom, or to doubt his power and willingness to become the complement of our need. “And God said, Certainly, I will be with thee.”

What an assurance was here! And yet something of this kind is said to each of us when we are called to undertake any new charge. We have been called into the fellowship of the Son of God. “He died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” He is with us all the days, even unto the end of the age. He will never leave us, neither forsake us. “Fear not,” He seems to say; “I am with thee: I who change not, and without whom no sparrow falls to the ground. All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Not an hour without my companionship; not a difficulty without my co-operation; not a Red Sea without my right arm; not a mile of wilderness journeying without the Angel of my Presence.”

That voice still speaks to those whose hearts are hushed to hear. By written letter or printed page, by the beauty of a holy life, the spell of some precious memory, or the voice of some living teacher, the God of past generations still makes known His will to the anointed ear. Nor will our lives ever be what they might until we realize that God has a plan for every hour in them; and that He waits to reveal that plan to the loving and obedient heart, making it known to us by one of the ten thousand ministries that lie around us.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   23  24

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

************************************************

2.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       October 2, 2013               

Good Morning!
Moses left on the same path which he had come forty years before.

RETURNING TO EGYPY:
Exodus 4:19. “And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. 20. And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.”

The fire faded from the bush; the light above the brightness of the sun died away; the voice was still; and Moses looked around on the browsing sheep and the mighty mountains with the strange wonder of a man awaking from a trance. It had been the supreme hour of his life; for which all previous years had been preparing, and from which all future ones would date. What an important conversation this had been.

So often do we shrink back from the sacrifice or obligation to which God calls us that we think we are going to our doom. We seek every reason for evading the Divine will, little realizing that He is forcing us out from our quiet homes into a career which includes, among other things, the song of victory on the banks of the Red Sea; the two lonely sojourns for forty days in converse with God; the shining face; the vision of glory; the burial by the hand of Michael; and the supreme honor of standing beside the Lord on the Transfiguration Mount.

Imagine, then, that setting-forth. Zipporah sitting on the ass, perhaps nursing a little babe, new-born, whilst the husband and father walked beside. And in his hand was the sacred rod, once only a shepherd's crook, but now the rod of God destined to be employed for deeds of transcendent power, and always reminding him of what weak things could do when wielded by strong hands behind them.

He knew that the same power which brought him forward was bringing towards him the brother whom he had not seen for forty years. How the hearts of the two throbbed at the thought of meeting! How eagerly would each press forward! How earnestly would each scan the distant figure of the other in the long vista! And, finally, GOD so contrived it that they met in the Mount of GOD, where the bush had burned, and the voice of GOD had summoned Moses from shepherding a flock to become shepherd of a host. That’s God’s GPS that they would meet there without any prior contact with each other.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   25  26             Psalm   119  vs. 161--168

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

3.          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           October 3, 2013               

Good Morning!
We have here the story of glad tidings and also of failure and disappointment.

THE AUDIENCE WITH THE ELDERS & THE AUDIENCE WITH PHARAOH:
Exodus 4:22. “And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. Exodus 5:2. “And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.”

Moses and Aaron reached Egypt; and in answer of the Divine command proceeded to summon the elders of Israel to a conference, at which they should present their credentials, and give utterance to the Divine Message with which they were entrusted. It must have been a very remarkable meeting, perhaps the first of the sort ever held. Never before had this downtrodden nation produced men daring enough to take such a step, the first, indeed, towards national sovereignty. Their reaction to the news, “then they bowed their heads and worshipped.” This is the first time in 400 years we read of this.

The next point for the brothers was to go to Pharaoh, with the demand that he should let the people go to hold a feast in the wilderness. This was according to the Divine direction (Exodus 3:18); and was moreover a reasonable request. It was probably in an audience-room of some splendid palace, where the lordly Pharaoh received deputations and embassies, that they met him. In order to appreciate the audacity of the demand, we must remember the unbridled power and authority which were claimed by the Egyptian monarchs. Without Pharaoh could no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. For him great Egypt existed. For him all other men lived, suffered, and died. From his superb throne he looked down on the wretched crowds of subject peoples, careless of their miseries. What were their tears and groans, and the wail of their bondage, but a fitting sacrifice to be offered to his exalted majesty!

“Who is the Lord (Jehovah), that I should obey his voice, to let Israel go? I know not the Lord (Jehovah), neither will I let Israel go.” The point of the reply lies in that word “obey.” He saw that these men did not present him with a request, but with a mandate from One of greater authority than himself. This stung him to the quick. Did not they know that he also was a god?

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   27  28

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

**********************************************

4.                  God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       October 4, 2013               

Good Morning!
That same day a new order was issued from the palace, emanating from Pharaoh himself, to the taskmasters of the people. Many times our best efforts fail.

FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT:
Exodus 5:4. “And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. 9. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.”

Probably, before the evening fell, the ominous word had passed from the head-men to the task masters who were set over their fellow Hebrews, and were, therefore, responsible for the daily delivery of a certain tale of bricks, that they must expect no more straw, though the daily returns must be maintained. “Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw; go ye, get you straw where ye can find it. Yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.” Thus a great hardship came upon them.

Finally, they could stand it no longer, and resolved to make an appeal directly to Pharaoh. “The officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh.” It was a bitter day for Moses and Aaron when the people took the matter into their own hands, and, without using them as intermediaries, and went directly to the king to get him to put them back to the point at which they stood before that well-meant, but disastrous interference. Moses and Aaron waited outside the palace to learn the result of the interview. It happened just as it might have been expected; the king would not listen to the appeal made to him. “He said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord. Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given to you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of brick.”

They came forth from Pharaoh and as Moses and Aaron stood there they poured out on them the bitterness of their spirit. What must it not have been for them to hear from those lips the bitterest reproaches they could frame, cutting them as knives, although they would have gladly given their lives to alleviate the circumstances out of which they sprang? “The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to stink in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword into their hand to slay us.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   29  30        Psalm 119   vs.  169--176

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

5.  6.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   October 5 & 6, 2013               

Good Morning!
We must never suppose that the difficulties which confront us indicate that we are not on God’s path, and doing his work.

SOURCE OF HELP AND RELIEF IN TIME OF NEED FOR A BAFFLED SOUL:
Exodus 5:22. “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23. For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”

And Moses returned unto the Lord.” There is no other help for us when we are passing through such stern discipline; and the man who cannot flee thither in similar straits is pitiable indeed. When we see our hopes blasted, our plans miscarry, our efforts doing more harm than good, whilst we are discredited and blamed, pursued with the taunts and hate of those for whom we were willing to lay down our lives, we may preserve an outward calm; but there will be a heart-break underneath, and the noblest part in us will wither, as corn blasted by an east wind, unless we are able to pour out our whole complaint before God. The agony of soul through which Moses passed must have been as death to him.

As he lay there on the ground alone before GOD, wishing himself back in Midian, and thinking himself hardly used, he was falling as a corn of wheat into the ground to die, no longer to abide alone, but to bear much fruit. But dying is not pleasant work! It is not easy, nor pleasant, to forego one's own plans, to cease from one's own works, to renounce one's own reputation, to be despised and flouted by the very ones you would save.

It is a lesson for us all. God must bring us down before He can raise us up. Emptying must precede filling. We must get to an end of ourselves before He can begin in us. But what a beginning He makes! “Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now thou shalt see what I will do to Pharaoh, for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land” (Exodus 6:1). Deliverance was sure, though he had learned that it did not depend on anything that he could do, but on that all-sufficient GOD, who had announced Himself as the I AM. All of this would be forgotten when standing on the other side of the Red Sea.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   31  32
Isaiah   33  34     Psalm 120

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

7.                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          October 7, 2013               

Good Morning!
Well for man could he breathe continually the higher, rarer, atmosphere of faith. But, if he cannot, yet has God-ward aspirations and desires, so that he takes his distrust and his despondency to God, as Moses did, God will in no wise cast him out.

GOD’S CONDESCENSION TO A WEAK FAITH:
Exodus 6:1. “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 3. And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

As the Lord Jesus condescended to Thomas, and bade him “reach hither his finger and behold his hands, and reach hither his hand and thrust it into his side,” so that he might be no longer “faithless, but believing” (John 20:27), so Jehovah now declared to Moses that, if he could not walk by faith, sight should be vouchsafed to him. “Now shalt thou see,” etc. Human infirmity is so great, man’s faith is so weak, the best are so liable to accesses of distrust and despondency, that, if God were extreme to mark what are in this way done amiss, few indeed would be those who could “abide it.” Therefore, in his mercy, he condescends. He will not “break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax.” He will accept the imperfect service that is still service, and allow his servant to work in a lower sphere. Henceforth the faith of Moses was not much tried; he had soon sight to walk by. When once the series of plagues began, he could no longer ask, “Why is it that thou hast sent me?” He could see that the end was being advanced — the deliverance being extorted from the king — and that the day of final triumph was fast coming.

The protestation of Moses did not offend God. God gave him, in reply to it, a most gracious series of promises and assurances, well calculated to calm his fears, assuage his grief’s, and comfort his heart; and he confirmed the whole to him by his name JEHOVAH, “the Only Existent,” and therefore “the Eternal and Immutable.” This name he had previously revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai, as his peculiar name, and the one by which he would choose to be called (Exodus 3:13-15). He had also told him to proclaim this name to the people. This command is now repeated (Exodus 6:6) very solemnly; and with it are coupled the promises above alluded to.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   35  36

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*******************************************

8.                  God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     October 8, 2013               

Good Morning!
In time of depression of the discouraged servant of God is always a time of promise.

GOD GIVES HIS PROMISES THROUGH A SERIES OF “I WILL”:
Exodus 6:6. “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7. And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.

In despair Moses had thrown himself on GOD, pouring out the story of his failure and shame. “Wherefore hast Thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that Thou hast sent me?” But there was no chiding, no rebuke, on the part, of his strong and faithful Friend, who knew his frame, and remembered that he was but dust. “Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh.”

The emphasis lies on the words, “Then,” –“Now,” – “I.”
“Then,” when he had reached the, lowest point of self-confidence.
“Now,” since all human effort has been put forth in vain.
“I,” the self-existent, ever-glorious Lord.

Does any soul cursed with the tyranny of a bondage beneath which all its energies are pressed to the dust peruse these lines? Let such an one lay to heart the repeated “I will” of this marvelous necklace of promises, which are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus, applicable to all circumstances, parallel with all ages, unchangeable and eternal as the nature of the Lord who gave them. – “I will bring you out . ,” - “I will rid you . . “, - “I will redeem you .,” -  “I will take you to Me . .,” - “I will be to you a God . . “ - “I will bring you into the land.” - “I will give it you . . . ";

And notice that this cluster of I wills is contained within two brackets, that pledge the very nature of God itself to their accomplishment, “I am the Lord (v. 6)” “I am the Lord" (v. 8).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   37  38        Psalm   121

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

***********************************************

9.                    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                      October 9, 2013               

Good Morning!
In the Exodus mankind would see the awesome power of God hitherto not seen or experienced before. God would be seen in a miraculous way never before demonstrated.

GOD TAKES TO HIMSELF A NEW NAME:
 Exodus 6:2. “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:
 3. And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

“JEHOVAH” in contrast with “EL-SHADDAI.” El-Shaddai means, as translated, “God Almighty.” It denotes in God the simple attribute of power — All-Mightiness — power exerted chiefly in the region of the natural life. Jehovah, on the other hand, has a deeper and wider, an infinitely fuller and richer meaning. It denotes God as possessed of the perfections of the Absolute and changeless because He is self-existent and eternal. God’s eternally what he is (Exodus 3:14) — the Being who is and remains one with himself in all he thinks, purposes, and does. This implies, together with immutability, the attribute of self-determining freedom, and that of unlimited rule (dominion, sovereignty) in the worlds of matter and mind, which is of the essence of the conception of the Absolute.

Hence such passages as these: — “I am the Lord (Jehovah), I change not” (Malachi 3:6); “Whatsoever the Lord (Jehovah) pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places” (Psalm 135:6); “The Lord (Jehovah), he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is none else” (Deuteronomy 4:39).

This self-existent, eternal Being is seen entering into history, and revealing himself as the God of compassionating love. Grace and mercy are felt to be no longer foreign to the meaning of the name, but to be as much a part of it as changelessness and freedom. This, accordingly, was what the name told to Israel; not simply that there was an Almighty, or even that he who had entered into covenant with the Fathers, and was now about to undertake their deliverance, was this Almighty God; But rather, that it was in the work of their salvation that his perfections as Almighty were to be surprisingly and surpassingly exhibited.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   39  40

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

10.                   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                     October 10, 2013               

Good Morning!
The manifestation of the Jehovah attributes in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt has its higher counterpart in the redemption of men from sin and Satan through Christ.

A RICH PROMISE:
Exodus 6:7. “And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, ..”

These covenant promises are as rich as they are wonderful, and as wonderful as it is rich — “I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God.” It includes
(1.) The highest honor. Who speaks? The absolute God. To whom? A nation of bondsmen. Yet he says — “I will take you,” etc. And he did it, even as he still takes sinners in Christ into union and fellowship with himself — adopting them as sons, admitting them into a covenant, making them heirs, etc.
(2.) The highest privilege. All promise and all blessing, for time and for eternity, are wrapped up in this single but most comprehensive word — “I will be to you a God.”
(3.) The most indissoluble of relations. It lasts through time, and extends into eternity, enduring as long as God and the soul and Christ endure, and that is for ever (Matthew 22:31, 32).

With Christians, too, God enters into covenant at their baptism, promising them protection, spiritual aid, and eternal life in heaven, on their maintaining faith and repentance. This covenant, like his others, he will assuredly keep. Let them be but true to him, and they need have no fear but that he will be true to them. The Promised Land will be theirs, he will give it to them for a heritage he is Jehovah!

How wonderful to contemplate God in the majesty of his perfections as the Great I Am — the absolute and unconditioned Being! But what language will express the condescension and grace displayed in the stooping down of this absolute Being to enter into covenant engagements with man, even to the extent of binding himself with oaths to fulfill the promises given by his own free goodness. Christ redeems us from sin’s burden and from Satan’s tyranny. He does this in virtue of the “stretched out arm” and “mighty judgments” with which, while on earth, he overcame the Prince of the power of this world; himself also enduring the judgment of God in being “made sin for us,” “that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   41  42         Psalm   122

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

**********************************************

11.                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               October 11, 2013                

Good Morning!
Here we find God’s unshaken purpose asserting itself in the midst of human unbelief and infirmity:

MOSES IS ENCOURAGED TO GO TO PHARAOH AGAIN:
Exodus 6:10. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 11. Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.”

This is a most remarkable feature in the narrative — how, high and clear above all notes of doubt and hesitancy on the side of man, and at the very time when things are wearing their most untoward aspect, God expresses himself with perfect decision as to the deliverance of the people. Hope in the hearts of the people seemed extinct; even the faith of a Moses was staggering at the obstacles to be encountered. These fears and trembling, however, are all on the human side; he who names himself Jehovah is raised infinitely above them, and has clearly in his view not only the certainty of his purpose being fulfilled, but all the steps by which the fulfillment is to be brought about. 

How this should give us confidence when we are trembling for the cause of Truth! We cannot see the end from the beginning, but Jehovah can, and we can stay ourselves on his knowledge of what is dark to us. It is enough for us to know that no contingency can arise which he is not aware of, and has not prepared himself to cope with; that no opposition can erect itself against his counsel, which it is not within his power to overthrow. The counsel of the Lord stands for ever — the one stable fact in the midst of earthly vicissitude and change, of all ebb and flow of human hopes and fears. That surely is enough to lean upon, in the dark and troubled hours of our own and of the world’s existence.

On the one hand Pharaoh’s heart is to be revealed, bringing out all his resources again and again, until at last they are swallowed in the catastrophe of the Red Sea. Then, he is done with, but the operations of Divine power are only as it were beginning. It is a great matter that we should thus see the powers arrayed against God, working at the utmost of their strength; that we may feel how immeasurably the power of God transcends them.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   43  44

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

**********************************************

12.  13.                   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                            October 12 & 13, 2013               

Good Morning!
It is hardly possible to over-estimate the value of simple, unquestioning obedience in the growth of character.

HOW THE CHARACTER OF MOSES GREW:
Hebrews 3:2. “Moses was faithful in all his house.”

If we were engaged in telling the story of the Exodus, it would become us to study minutely the account of the succeeding plagues. But it is on Moses that our attention must be focused; and, indeed, it is marvelous to trace the growth of this man, in perhaps a few months, from the diffidence and hesitancy of Midian to the moral sublimity which made him “very great in the land of Egypt,” in the sight of the great officials of the court, no less than of the mass of the common people. We shall discover that the secrets of his growth consist in an instant and unquestioning obedience, an utter indifference to human opinion, strength of purpose, unfailing patience, indomitable courage, persevering faith and prayer.

Though he had been at least seven times in the royal presence, and each time the bearer of heavy tidings, increasingly abhorred by Pharaoh and his court, and though so far his appearances there had been unsuccessful in securing the great object which God had set before him, yet there was no hesitancy or questioning, when for the eighth time the Lord bade him present himself in the palace to demand the emancipation of the people on pain of a locust on the land. And, surely, it must have been a much greater effort for Moses to be the medium of such judgments, and the object of so much bitter hatred, than for many. He was naturally gentle, tender, and very meek always ready to pray for the cessation of a plague, and never for its advent; yearning sympathetically over sister and brother, though they had grievously injured him; willing to be accursed if the people might be spared.

Unannounced, the darkness fell like a pall upon the land, “even darkness that could be felt.” “They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days.” Then, again, we see the proud spirit of the king “Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.” But Moses made answer with calm dignity, as became the ambassador of God. “And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well; I will see thy face again no more” Exodus 10:29.

Read Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   45  46              Psalm   123
Isaiah   
47  48       

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

14.                  God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 14, 2013               

Good Morning!
The faith of Moses had kindled faith in three millions of people.

PREPARING FOR THE EXODUS:
Exodus 12:41. “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years--on that very same day--it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42. It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.”

We have had indications that through the faith of this man, Moses, which was growing exceedingly, blessing would accrue to the chosen people. The children of Israel were exempted from the terrible inflictions by which Egypt was desolated. Moses claimed that GOD should do as He had said. And according to his faith it befell. No murrain swept off their beasts. No boils broke out on their persons. No tempest swept their fields. No locusts destroyed their crops. No darkness obscured to them the sun. Thus, while the minds of their oppressors were engrossed with their own special sufferings, the Hebrews were at peace; and when the Egyptians were prevented by the darkness from moving, the oppressed population of Goshen had ample time to prepare for that Exodus which Moses at least knew was so near.

And when all the provisions had been thus solemnly recited, there followed the words of promise, on which thenceforward Moses reposed his faith; “I will pass through the land of Egypt, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; . . . and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (ver. 12, 13).

As we study that strange and marvelous episode, we must never forget the light thrown on it by the memorable verse which tells us that “by faith Moses kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood; lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them” (Hebrews 11:28). The importance of this verse lies in the fact that it attributes the keeping of the Passover, the sprinkling of blood on the lintels of the Hebrew houses, and the immunity of the Hebrew people, to the effect of the heroic faith which burnt so steadily in the soul of this simple-hearted man; the entirety of whose obedience was only equaled by the absoluteness of the unquestioning faith, which dared to take God at his word.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   49  50               Psalm   124

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

15.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      October 15, 2013               

Good Morning!
Who can depict that night, ever memorable in the history of our race when, indeed, as Bunsen says, history itself was born the night when God brought Israel out of the house of bondage!

GOD BROUGHT THEM OUT WITH A MIGHTY HAND:
Exodus 12:30/ “So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

It was the early spring, and a time of the full silver moon, which shed her soft light in cascades of beauty on the land that lay beneath her; from where, on the Western frontier, the Nile rolled its majestic volumes, to the waters of the Red Sea on the far Eastern border. All was still with an almost preternatural silence; broken only by the hoot of the owl, the scream of the bittern, the plunge of the monster in the water, or the cry of the jackal on the plains. But suddenly the stillness was interrupted by a scream of anguish, as a mother rushed out into the night to tell that the Angel of Death had begun his work, and she was presently answered by the wail of a mother in agony for her first-born; and this by another, and yet another.

It was useless to summon priest or physician, magician or courtier; how could they help others who had not been able to ward off death from their own? The maid grinding at the mill and her lady sleeping under curtains of silk were involved in a common sorrow, which obliterated all social distinctions, and made all one. There was not a house where there was not one dead even Pharaoh's palace was not exempt. The news spread like wildfire that the heir to the throne was dead. “And there was a great cry in Egypt.”

“Then Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people.” And so the host stepped forth into freedom. For the first time the Israelites realized that they were a nation, and drank the earliest rich deep draught of liberty. A mere horde of slaves, they suddenly crystallized into a people. The spirit of their leader inspired and thrilled them. This is for us. We, too, may overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony. By faith we, too, may obtain promises and stop the mouths of lions, and quench the violence of fire. Only claim thy freedom.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   51  52

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

********************************************

16.               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                             October 16, 2013                

Good Morning!
God will never allow Satan to overtake those who put their trust in Him.

SATAN WILL PURSUE THOSE WHO ESCAPE FROM HIS GRASP:
Exodus 14:13. “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.”

IT was not long after the hour of midnight before the entire Israelite host was on the move; and as the morning illuminated the cloud with its flush, it beheld them marching, the men several abreast, whilst wives and children and baggage and cattle followed. From different points the vast host which, judging by the fact that the number of the men amounted to six hundred thousand, could not have been less than two and a half millions moved towards the central meeting-place at Succoth.

No sooner had Israel gone than Pharaoh was sorry. The public works stood still for lack of labor. Vast territories were suddenly unoccupied. The labor of this enslaved people was missed on every side, in city and field. There was a sudden loss of revenue and service which he could ill dispense with. And his pride forbade that he should quietly give in to their unhindered Exodus. Besides, in their mad haste to be rid of this people, the Egyptians had laden them with jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment (Exodus 11:2-3); so much so that it is distinctly said, “they spoiled the Egyptians.” It is clear from the contributions afterwards made to the building of the Tabernacle that Israel carried off a large amount of treasure and valuables.

“And the heart of Pharaoh, and of his servants, was turned against the people; and they said, why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” “So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them.” “And the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh . . . and overtook them” (Exodus 14:9). In like manner the Devil rises up when a soul is delivered out from his kingdom. He will pursue with all his might and forces to try to reclaim them. But take refuge in the power and might of the Almighty, He will deliver those who call upon him. Moses’ words of confidence still ring true, “Stand still, and see the salvation (power of deliverance) of the Lord.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   53  54        Psalm   125

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

17.               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                October 17, 2013               

Good Morning!
While following God’s cloud may bring any of his children into a position of unparalleled difficulty, they may always count upon Him to deliver them.

THE SONG OF VICTORY:
Exodus 15:21. “And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”

From his throne on high their Almighty Deliverer looked down upon the cowering crowd of fugitives in their sore fear as they cried to Him. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them” (Isaiah 63:9) throughout that memorable night and day. As Moses foretold, “He fought for them, while they held their peace.”

The one man who seemed unmoved amid the panic of the people was their heroic leader Moses, whose faith was the organ of their deliverance. And therefore it is that in all after-allusions to this great event his hand is always referred to as the instrument through which the might of the Lord wrought. “Thou leddest,” says the Psalmist, “thy people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Psalm 77:20). “He led them,” says Isaiah, “with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?” (Isaiah 63:12). The people, therefore, had good reason to remember the ancient days of Moses; for they were made famous by Moses mighty faith. By his faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land.

The morning dawn revealed one of the most memorable spectacles of history. A nation of slaves, fleeing from their masters, had suddenly become a nation of freemen, and stood emancipated upon the shores of a new continent. The cavalry of Egypt was overwhelmed in the midst of the sea, there remained not so much as one of them left; and all along the shore lay the bodies of the dead, cast up from the depths of the tide.

And from that ransomed host, congregated there in one vast throng, broke forth an anthem, whose sublime conceptions of language rendered it worthy of the occasion, as it has been the model for triumphal songs in all subsequent times.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   55  56

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

************************************************

18.             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     October 18, 2013 

Good Morning!              
The encampment of the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai is one of the greatest and most wonderful events in the history of the world.

AT THE FOOT OF SINAI:
Exodus 19:18. “And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.”

After a march of several miles from the Red Sea, they came out on a perfectly level plain of yellow sand, some two miles long, and half-a-mile wide, nearly flat, and dotted over with tamarisk bushes.  The mountains which gather around this plain have for the most part sloping sides, and form a kind of natural amphitheatre; but towards the south there is one pile of jagged cliffs which rises sheer upwards to a wild precipice, whilst behind lies the granite mass of Gebel Mousa, deeply cleft with fissures, and torn, as though it had fought a hard battle with earthquake, storm, and fire. This pile of rocks is called Ras Sufsafeh, and was probably “the mountain that burned with fire.” It rises from the plain below as a huge altar; all that happened on its summit would have been easily visible to the furthest limits of the camp of two million souls pitched beneath. Such was the chosen scene for the giving of the Law.

At the foot of Sinai the children encamped for a year. It was here that this group of former slaves was solidified into a nation which is still in existence. There they celebrated the Passover. There upon this mountain God descended and gave them the laws which they were to keep throughout all their generations. God also wrote with His finger the Ten Commandments. God welded the Hebrew people together into one that they might be able to receive and retain as a part of their national life those great truths with which they were to be entrusted. It would become their duty to pass these truths along to all people.

Every ordinance of the Law, every custom and provision for domestic and civil life, every item in the construction of the sanctuary and in the ordering of the priests, was due to the direct will of God, spoken from his mouth. “God,” and not Moses, was the author of each proviso, the real Legislator, the real Law-giver, the real King; Moses was but the mouthpiece, an intermediary to communicate God’s decrees to his people. How clear was the testimony to the supremacy of the Most High! Such were some of the lessons taught at Sinai.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   57  58        Psalm 126

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

********************************************

19.  20.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                             October 19 & 20, 2013               

Good Morning!
There are experiences with us all in which God forgives our sin, but we still pay the consequences. We reap as we have sown. We suffer where we have sinned.

HOW IT WENT ILL WITH MOSES:
Numbers 20:10. “And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11. And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

IT was but one act, one little act; but it blighted the fair flower of a noble life, and shut the one soul, whose faith had sustained the responsibilities of the Exodus with unflinching fortitude, from the reward which seemed so nearly within its grasp. The wanderings of the forty years were almost over. The congregation which had been scattered over the peninsula had converged towards the given meeting-place in Kadesh. There the encampment remained for some months; and there Miriam died one of the few with whom that lonely spirit could still hold converse of that life which lay beyond the desert sands, the valleys of Sinai, and the waters of the Red Sea, in the distant mighty land of the Pharaohs and the Pyramids.

Moses, Aaron, Caleb, and Joshua (and perhaps the Levites), were the only relics and survivors of that vast triumphant host, whose voices had rung out their challenge on the morning of emancipation; and each of the four thought himself sure, and his comrades also, of going over to “see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.” But this was not to be.

In quitter moments Moses would have acted differently, but just now he was irritated, indignant, and hot with disappointment and anger. When, therefore, the assembly was gathered together in their thronging multitudes around him, he accosted them as rebels. He spoke as if the gift of water depended on himself and Aaron. He betrayed his sense of the irksomeness of their demand, and then vehemently smote the rock with his rod twice. And as those blows re-echoed through the still air, they shivered for ever the fabric woven by his dreams and hopes.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   59  60
Isaiah   61  62          Psalm   127

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

**********************************************

21.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   October 21, 2013               

Good Morning!
The death of Miriam, of Aaron and of Moses all occurred in the same year.

THE DEATH OF MOSES:
Deuteronomy 34:5. “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.”

The Bible is the book of life. Its pages teem with biography; they contain but scant memorials of death. The only death they describe at length is that of Him who in dying slew death. The very minuteness of the description here shows how unique and all-important it was. Men make more of death than of life as a gauge of character. The records of Scripture find little room for dying testimonies, words, or experiences; whilst they abound in stories of the exploits and words of those who have stormed and suffered and wrought in life's arena. This may explain why, contrary to human custom and expectation, the death of the great Lawgiver is described with such brief simplicity.

After such a life it was meet that Moses should have a death and burial unparalleled in the story of mankind; and we do not wonder that poet, painter, and preacher, have found in that lonely death on Pisgah's summit a theme worthy of their noblest powers. As far as the east is from the west, so far had that transgression been removed. But though the remission was complete, yet the result lingered in his life, and shut him out from an experience which should have been the crown of his career. Jude tells us (vs.9) that the devil showed up at Moses’ funeral contending to claim his body but Michael the great Arch Angel wrested it away from his grasp.

An ancient Hebrew legend says that when the time came, Moses turned to the Almighty (so the legend runs) and said, “Thou, Lord of the Universe, who wast revealed unto me in the burning bush, remember that Thou didst carry me up into thy Heaven, where I abode forty days and forty nights; have mercy upon me, and hand me not over into the power of the angel of death.” I’m sure that if the devil came to claim so great a person as Moses he will also show up at our funeral.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   63  64

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

22.                  God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 22, 2013               

Good Morning!
In the next few days we will study the ministry of Elijah who was a special messenger sent from God during a time of apostasy of the nation of Israel.

A Messenger From A Forsaken God:
1 Kings 17:1. “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”

First we want to know why God had to raise up such a messenger and send him to bring such dire predictions. In the previous chapter it tells us what manner of person that King Ahab was. 

1 Kings 16:29. “And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa King of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. 30. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. 31. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. 32. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.”

We learn that to this point in time Ahab was the most evil king that had ever sat on the throne of Israel. Jezebel, his wife, had introduced all the idol gods o of her home country. Israel was in a state of almost complete idolatry. They had forsaken Jehovah and were worshiping Baal. Now God is a long-suffering God and is long on patience but there is an end to His patience and long-suffering. God will not let these kind of things go without intervening in some manner, usually catastrophic.

At this occasion in the history of Israel God sent a man, not just any man, but a rugged old-time prophet who did not fear to declare God’s message to the king himself. We want to take a real good look at the man God chose to bear his messages to King Ahab. We want to find where Elijah’s constitutional strength lay. How he acquired the boldness to stand against king and the false prophets of Baal.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   65  66          Psalm 128

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

***********************************************

23.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               October 23, 2013

Good Morning!               
The ministry of Elijah left an impact on Israel which is still reverenced in Israel to this day, so we hope you will follow with us as we retrace his footsteps in the Holy Scriptures.

INTRODUCTION TO ELIJAH:
1 Kings 17:1. “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand,”

Some say that Elijah is the grandest and most Romantic character that Israel ever produced. He appears suddenly and disappears miraculously, thus the imagination of Israel has played its part. Some believe that he was Phineas, the grandson of Aaron, and others believe that he was an angel from heaven. The impression his ministry made upon the minds of the people reappeared again and again even after the passing of many centuries. His ministry was reincarnated in John the Baptist. (Matthew 11:14) and some mistook Jesus for Elijah (Luke 9:8). His final appearance on earth was on the Mount Of Transfiguration.

Elijah’s physical appearance made a lasting impression on everyone who saw him. (1 Kings 18:7; 2 Kings 1:7-8) He was probably above the ordinary height and of great physical strength, clothed with a leather girdle about his loins, and a sheepskin cloak over his brawny shoulders, and long thick hair and beard streaming down his face and shoulders. He may not have been an Israelite. He may have been an Ishmaelite or a heathen by birth, as God sent him to anoint a king in Syria. (1 Kings 19:15) To the people he would seem to come more directly from God. The human element was ever overshadowed by the divine.

THE SECRET OF HIS FITNESS: Elijah had his constitutional strength and courage fostered by his rugged surroundings. Gilead was a wild unsettled country, compared to Ephraim and Judah. Instead of stately palaces and flourishing towns, it boasted tent villages and mountain castles. Desperate and frequent were the fights between the surrounding tribes. Amid scenes of conflict, of loneliness, and probably of poverty, Elijah’s strong character was formed. This was not forged in an hour, or a day, but developed gradually among the mountains of Gilead.  Like Unto Moses in Midian watching sheep for forty years, with John the Baptist in the wilderness of Judaea, with the Apostle Paul in the desert of Arabia, and our Lord himself in the wilderness for forty days. The wilderness has been called, “God’s school for prophets.” God gives each servant the right training for the service appointed him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   1  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

**********************************************

24.                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       October 24, 2013               

Good Morning!
How few are Elijah’s recorded words, and those few are utterances of less than a dozen occasions, all these to something less than a dozen people. He no sooner delivers his first brief message than he disappears, and for three years and a half Israel hears him no more.

THE SECRET OF HIS STRENGTH:
1 Kings 17:1. “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

“As the Lord God of Israel liveth, …” He had an overpowering conviction that Jehovah lived, that he was near, that he was the God of this people, and that he would assert supremacy over all false gods. This is the secret of spiritual strength in all ages. The revelation of God’s presence and power is what all churches now need. How many of our sermons, full of sound and fury, leave not a trace behind them? But the almost silent Elijah accomplished the regeneration of his country.

THE COMPLETENESS OF HIS CONSECRATION: “Before whom I stand, ...” This he said, not with a sense of God’s nearness only, nor of his favor, but to express that he was the Lord’s consecrated servant, through whom, and by whom, he might do what he willed. Standing is an attitude of attention, of expectancy, of readiness. In Scripture servants are represented as all standing, looking towards the King, with loins girded, eyes intent, and ready to do his will.

We cannot stand before the Lord until we have knelt before him in penitence and humility and prayer. This Elijah had done in Gilead. (James 5:16-18) If we would have divine strength to use in the greatest conflict with sin around us, we must prove its miraculous energy in our private life.

He no sooner delivers his first brief message than he disappears, and for three years and a half Israel hears him no more. He speaks for a moment: he is silent till God calls again. And when he reappears, it is for a day. with that one days ministry ended, thrice more he reappears in history, but each time it is for a day, then he goes into the silent heavens, and save on the night of transfiguration, speaks no more to man.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   3  4             Psalm  129

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

********************************************

25.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               October 25, 2013               

Good Morning!
As always, God has reserved the greatest prophet for the worst age. God’s man is always equal to the task before him.

A MESSAGE FOR AN APOSTATE PEOPLE:
1 Kings 17:1. “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”

This verse introduces us to Elijah. Elijah was born in Tishbe, in the wilderness district of Gilead, just east of the Jordan River. He, no doubt, was a wild looking man, “He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins.” (2 Kings 1:8). We know nothing of his call from God. We first read of him as he fearlessly strides into the great hall of Samaria, into the very heart of idolatry, and declares that the God of Israel still lives, and then gives Ahab the weather report.

Elijah proclaims to Ahab that there will be no rain, in fact, there will be no dew fall, until he himself gives the word. His words probably did not strike fear into the heart of Ahab and he, no doubt, snickered and laughed it off as some crazy fool from the country, after all, the priests of Baal claimed absolute control over nature, including the clouds and rain. But Elijah had declared, “There shall not be rain nor dew these years (not days, or weeks, or months, but years), but according to my word.” this was revealed in prayer. According to James 5:17 Elijah had prayed earnestly that it might not rain. The mystery of prayer is revealed in 1 John 5:14-15.

This man, Elijah, would affect all classes of the people. They had shared the sin, and therefore must share the penalty. The loftiest are not beyond God’s reach, the lowest are not hidden from God’s notice. The tiny garden of the peasant was cursed, as well as the splendid park of the king.

National Sin Brings National Calamities: The message, not to some, but to all, is, “repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). It was to be “according to the word” of God’s servant. The change in the weather would be foreseen and foretold, not by false priests, but by the praying prophet. The curse came because of sin, as had been proclaimed by the law. (Leviticus 26:19-21; Deuteronomy 11:16-21, & 28:23-24) It would be vain to cry, “O Baal, hear us” (1 Kings 18:26). The curse would be removed only by repentance (1 Kings 18:39).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   5  6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

********************************************

26.  27.              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          October 26 & 27, 2013               

Good Morning!
God Guarantees Us Necessities, Not Luxuries. Jesus tells us to pray in this manner, “give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). “Bread for the day,” “Bread that I need.”

THE BROOK CHERITH:
1 Kings 17:2. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 3. Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 5. So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Elijah disappeared back into his home country and hid himself by the brook Cherith where he would have water to drink, and God “commanded” the ravens to bring him food to eat. The months went by “and the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook,” (1 Kings 17:6) probably between one year and eighteen months (1 1/2 years).

Now the word Cherith means separation. Its location is uncertain, but it is somewhere among the rocky ravines and caves of his home. Elijah is hid away, away from usefulness, for a total of three years and a half, most of the time in a strange land, “forty two months”—“times and times and half a time” (Revelation 11:2-2; & 12:6, 14). We could call them wasted years when Elijah was hid away from the people. We may ask, could he have not done better service for God and the people by staying among them and preaching or prophesying to them?

Solitude was necessary for his soul’s health, and ours. All men who are much before the world need their times of retirement (Matthew. 6:6). It is remarkable how God’s elect messengers, each in his turn, have been sent “apart into a desert place to rest awhile” (Mark 6:31). Here is a chorus from a song we used to sing,
“Shut in with God, in a secret place.
There in his presence, beholding his face.
Gaining new power to run in this race.
O, how I love, to be, shut in with God.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   7  8             Psalm 130
Jeremiah   9  10

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

**********************************************

28.             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               October 28, 2013               

Good Morning!
Elijah drank from the brook and the “ravens brought bread and meat” with unfailing regularity and in earnest prayer to the God of Israel, “before whom he stood,” he would get refreshment and strength for the coming conflict and conquest.

WHEN THE BROOK DRIES UP:
1 Kings 17:7. “And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.”

Picture Elijah sitting by the brook Cherith, watching its waters becoming shallower day by day under the grip of the drought. From a stream to a trickle, then drop by drop from barren rock, until, where pools of refreshing water were before, there was nothing left but sand and stones. He knew not what he should do next, but he waited and prayed. He had done the will of God, what next? God could have used miraculous means to keep the brook flowing, but he did not. God could have opened an underground spring to furnish enough water for Elijah, but he did not. It is time for Elijah to look to God for further directions.

How different are the resources of the believer from those of the worlding! When the Cherith of the worlding fails he has nothing further to look to, but when, from the believer, one comfort is withdrawn another is at hand.

1 Kings 17:8. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 9. Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.”

“Zarephath,” Why Zarephath? One hundred twenty miles from Cherith, and over harsh terrain, dry rugged, dangerous territory, and what about provisions? Did the ravens follow him? Zarephath itself would be a dangerous place for Elijah. It was near to the birthplace of Jezebel, and her father was king there, and further it was the very home of Baal worship. But Ahab would scarcely dream of looking for Elijah there, so Elijah would spend almost two years and a half there.

It had probably been a year since the rains stopped and the whole country-side had long ago dried up and the nation had begun to suffer greatly. The prophets of Baal had cried out in vain for rain. But God would wait for Elijah’s prayer for rain.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   11  12         Psalm   131

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

**********************************************

29.                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              October 29, 2013               

Good Morning!
Jesus gives us the answer to our question of why Elijah was sent outside of the country of Israel until the drought was to be lifted.

ELIJAH WAS NOT WELCOMED IN ISRAEL:
Luke 4:24. “And he (Jesus) said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias (Elijah), when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26. But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

Elijah “the prophet was not accepted in his own country,” but found a confiding welcome and generous hospitality at the hands of an alien. Jesus felt the same rejection as the prophet Elijah did. “He came unto his own and his own received him not” John 1:11. And we need not be surprised when we, as Christians, are shunned and rejected by those who are close to us.

GOD’S SURE GUARDIANSHIP OVER HIS SERVANTS.
Elijah is perfectly safe under the shield of divine protection, as safe in the region of Sidonas as he was by the brook Cherith. He who commanded the ravens to feed him can put in the heart, and into the power of the Phoenician woman to do the same. When one resource fails God can provide another. God allows one and another to fail that he may show how boundless his resources are. There is absolutely no limit to the possibilities of God’s sustaining and protective power.

“Man Is Immortal Till His Work Is Done.” There is absolutely nothing which God cannot use to be the instruments of his purpose, and the vehicle of his power. The angels of God are many and various (Luke 2:13; Revelation 5:11). “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee” (Psalms. 91:11). He causes them (angels) to wait in duteous ministry on those whom he has called to high and holy service in his kingdom. God had a grand mission for Elijah to accomplish in Israel and will take care that he shall be able to fulfill it.

Elijah didn’t have much to pack-up and move, so at God’s command he left his little camp by the Brook Cherith and began to make his way to the country of Phoenicia which would take him at least a week.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   13  14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

30.              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                           October 30, 2013               

Good Morning!
In this devotion we are allowed to view some things that are ordinarily beyond our vision. In this scripture we are made aware that God moves people to do His bidding even though they do not realize that God is controlling their activities.

DOING THE WILL OF GOD UNAWARES:
1 Kings 17:8. “And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
9. Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 10. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.

“I have commanded...”This is to show that God has complete control of all the avenues which lead to our emotions, our wills, and our actions. This woman was “commanded,” or “controlled by God,” as the ravens were “commanded” (1 Kings 17:4), even though she did not suspect it. Many people, even unbelievers, are moved by God to help the believers in times of crisis (Acts 27:43). God knows all things and controls all things. He can do whatsoever he wills with whomsoever he wills.

Arriving in Zarephath, after walking many days, over, and through, some of the harshest conditions on earth, no doubt sustained still by ravens, Elijah saw a widow woman (identified no doubt by her manner of dress) gathering sticks. At this moment Elijah did not know whether this was the woman that God had spoken to him of. He asked her to bring him a drink of water. Even though the drought had affected the whole region the water still flowed down from the mountains of Lebanon which are over eleven thousand feet high and snow capped all year.

“As she was going to fetch it, …” She immediately went to get Elijah a drink of water. I feel that is the moment that Elijah recognized that this was the woman to whom the Lord was sending him. Let us look for a moment at this incident from another point of view. The woman of Zarephath was there on an errand of her own, viz., to gather a few sticks to kindle a fire to cook her last meal in this world. She was also, though unknown to herself, on an errand from God. She was commanded to sustain the prophet of Israel. Yet these two errands harmonize. God uses man’s purposes to work out his own will. Has God ever used an incidental trip of yours as an opportunity to be a witness for him? Or to help someone who needed help?

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   15  16         Psalm   132

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

*********************************************

 31.          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              October 31, 2013               

Good Morning!
The cup of cold water has its promise of reward according to Jesus, and this widow woman would receive rewards beyond her wildest dreams.

WHAT A TOUCHING SPECTACLE:
1 Kings 17:11. “And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Elijah asked her for water, which, with promptitude she went to fetch. This is the sign by which Abraham’s servant identified Rebecca (Genesis 24:14-27). “As she was going….he called to her, and said, bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.” Elijah asked for a little water and a little bread. We can only use our imagination to guess with what means the prophet was sustained for the long, hot, journey from Cherith, which took many days. Did the ravens follow him? Did angels feed him as they would some time later (1 Kings 19:5-8)?

The famine had already extended to Phoenicia because it was almost totally dependent upon Israel for grain. And the answer she gave Elijah shows us how dire her circumstances were. “I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Elijah needed help, he needed food and shelter, and more yet, a hiding place. Why would God send him to the poorest of the poor? Why not to Egypt or somewhere that the famine had not reached? She too had come to extremity—to the last handful of meal. Picture that widow at the gate of Zarephath gathering a few sticks to prepare the last meal for herself and her son. Had she not prayed? No doubt she had, and sincerely. She knew about the God of Israel, “she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, she recognized Elijah as a prophet of Israel, and she had heard about the wonders his God performed.

She believes in the “living God,” but cannot presume him to be her God. What right has she, a poor widow of Zarephath, a “stranger” to the God of Israel, to look for any special favor, or consideration, from the Lord?

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   17  18

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 **********************************************************************************

Copyright (c)2010 GODSGRAZINGFIELD & JustHost.com