Following God Schedule by Living in His Image 2of2

Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount provides guiding principles (The Beatitudes) and explains the essence of Living in the Image of God. The first three Beatitudes describe commitment to following God’s direction through humility and repentance in order to perform the responsibilities of representing him in human interactions. The third through eighth describe the value of humility, care and sensitivity to the needs of others, motivation for being good, and individual responsibilities in the pursuit of peace and righteousness. Further, Christ explains in the second part of the sermon that God creates every person with an intrinsic capability to be good to others and motivate and preserve their goodness. Similar to the intrinsic quality of salt to enhance and preserve the goodness of food. He expects every person to radiate positive impact in human interactions, similar to a light source radiating light, so that people may benefit and glorify God for each other.

Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount wikipedia.org

The Sermon on the Mount [Matthew 5–7] was Christ’s formal teaching to explain God’s purpose for human interactions. He declared the guiding principles in The Beatitudes; described the essence of God’s purpose for human interactions using the Salt of the Earth imagery; and discussed several examples to explain God’s expectations in interactions among people.

Boy offers fish and bread
Boy offers fish and bread
LumoProject.com FreeBibleImages.org

As we discuss previously in Part 1 of this study (Following God Schedule by Living in His Image 1of2), God creates every person to represent him in interactions with others: to convey his presence and impact as if he was there physically in human form. Through formal teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and parables, physical examples, and interactions with his disciples and others during his human ministry, Christ provides guiding principles and describes the essence of Living in the Image of God—to fulfill God’s purpose for every person to be his representative (aka ambassador) in interactions with others. Those that live according to the principles will follow God’s Schedule and receive fulfillment of his promise. In contrast, those that depart from the principles will depart from the schedule.

We discuss the Sermon on the Mount to understand Living in the Image of God based on Christ teaching of the guiding principles in The Beatitudes and the essence in the Salt of the Earth teaching.

Continue reading “Following God Schedule by Living in His Image 2of2”

Christian Basis for Race Relations

No Place for Racism Among Christians

Through his covenant with Abraham and elaboration of the covenant in the gospel according to John, God establishes a uniform criterion for the status of every person before him, irrespective of race. He explained the criterion further in interactions between Peter and Cornelius, where he poured out the Holy Spirit without regard to racial, national, cultural, or other differences among the people. He mandates every person to accept and interact with others the same way he would: without regard to race, nationality, geographical extraction, physical features, gender, or any other categorization. Therefore, racism or racial discrimination is a human failure and has no place among people that believe in God.

God to all that worship and serve him
God to all that worship and serve him theglobalgospel.org freebibleimages.org

We digress somewhat from our scheduled study in order to participate in the on-going discussion of race relations occasioned by events in the United States of America. We focus our contribution on understanding God’s purpose for multiracial interactions and relationships based on accounts in the bible. God creates people into categories based on race, nationality, geographical location, physical features, gender, and others. However, none of these categorizations has any effect on a person’s status before God. Instead, his covenant with Abraham and explanation of the covenant in the gospel according to John establish the equality of all people under God, irrespective of race or any other categorization.

Furthermore, interactions between Peter and Cornelius clearly explain God’s purpose for race relations. During Peter-Cornelius meeting in Caesarea, God poured out the Holy Spirit on Cornelius and his relations and friends the same way that he did on Jewish followers of Jesus at Pentecost. Racial, national, cultural, or other differences between Jews and Gentiles did not matter to God and should not matter among his people.

Comfortable among others
Comfortable among others
LumoProject.com FreeBibleImages.org

Also, as we discuss in Following God Schedule by Living in His Image, God creates every person to represent him in interactions among people: to convey his presence and impact as if he was there physically in human form. Therefore, he mandates every person to accept and interact with others the same way he would, without regard to race, nationality, geographical extraction, physical features, gender, or any other categorization. Racism or racial discrimination is a human failure before God. Any person that rejects, demeans, or in any way discriminates against another person on the basis of race has failed in God’s purpose of Let Us make man in Our image… [Genesis 1:26].

Further, as we discuss in Equality Under the Law—Saul Terminated as King, the punishment of Saul in interaction with Amalekites underscores equality under the law as God’s mandate.

Samuel rebukes Saul [1 Sam 15:23]
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org
God terminated Saul as king of Israel because he departed from God’s command in executing judgment against Amalek. Instead of destroying all as he was commanded, he spared “everything that was good” for special treatment while selecting the “despised and worthless” for total destruction. Based on the swift termination of Saul’s kingship following the incident, we learn that God will not condone discriminatory application of the law. The principle of equality under the law is part of God’s mandate and means the law of a people must apply equally to all, irrespective of race, status in the society, or any other categorization.

First, we discuss God’s covenant with Abraham and elaboration of the covenant in the gospel according to John to understand the status of a person before God is determined based on a uniform criterion and choice available to every person. Second, we discuss Peter-Cornelius interactions to understand God accepts every person that believes in him and wants us to do the same without regard to race or any other categorization. Third, we discuss the termination of Saul as king of Israel following his interaction with Amalekites to understand equality under the law as God’s mandate.

Continue reading “Christian Basis for Race Relations”

Following God Schedule by Living in His Image 1of2

Living in the Image of God

Every person is created to represent God in interactions among people: to convey his presence and impact as if he was there physically in human form. Those that live according to this purpose will follow God’s schedule and receive fulfillment of his promise. In contrast, those that depart from the purpose will depart from God’s schedule. Examples from David illustrate his approach in interactions with Saul satisfy God’s mandate of keeping “the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just.” The approach contributed to his success on a path to kingship that lasted over ten years and included transition from Saul, training for David, and preparing Israel to accept David as king. Two encounters with Saul presented opportunities for David that could have been misinterpreted. Saul conceded the kingship to David on both occasions as David’s commitment to “right and just” prevailed over the temptation to clear his way to the kingship by killing Saul. The concession contributed to preparing Israel to accept David as king.

The Beatitudes. wikipedia.org

GOD’S AMBASSADOR God creates every person to represent him among others and wants us to fulfill the purpose in interactions among people and between people and other creations. To understand the biblical basis for this statement, we note that God is supernatural, created the universe (including the earth and its inhabitants) to work naturally, and wants to interact seamlessly with the universe and its constituents. Let’s focus on people and the earth. God creates people and other inhabitants of the earth to work naturally and wants to interact seamlessly with them. He can interact with people through the Holy Spirit but the interaction is supernatural and doesn’t fill the need for natural interaction with people.

To understand the importance of working naturally, imagine a person’s bank account suddenly swells with a large amount of money that is not traceable to any natural source. How would other people, including the regulatory authorities, respond to the change? It would be unacceptable to say that God gave the money. That is a supernatural explanation. The natural system requires a natural explanation. As a second example, how would people respond to a full-grown tree appearing suddenly in the middle of a highway? Or a person showing up one day to claim the presidency of a country saying God appointed him/her president? God can do any of these but chooses the natural way to do them.

The natural way requires interactions among people following certain rules and processes while God channels his participation in the interactions through the people. For example, if he wants to provide money to a person, he works with the person and others to provide the money naturally. He works through people in every situation to implement changes naturally to fulfill his purpose. He creates every person to represent him in interactions among people to fulfill his purpose in every situation.

The biblical basis for this understanding is in God’s declaration of his purpose for humans: “Let Us make man in Our image…” [Genesis 1:26], which we paraphrase as: let us create every person to represent God (his presence, desire, approach, methods, sensitivity, compassion, etc.) in interactions among people and between people and other inhabitants of the earth. The paraphrase helps us understand the declaration to mean that God creates every person to be his channel for natural interactions with other people.

Continue reading “Following God Schedule by Living in His Image 1of2”

Incremental Work with God Example from David

David-at-Nob Event Sequence

An event may appear insignificant but could be a key step that triggers a sequence of events toward fulfillment of God’s promise. Irrespective of the apparent significance of the trigger event, how a person responds could determine whether they follow or depart from God’s Schedule. Respond in every event knowing your next step could be ordered to open doors and release your blessing. An example: David’s meeting with priest of Nob Ahimelek appeared insignificant initially but triggered an event sequence that exposed Saul’s disrespect for clergy independence and authority, fulfilled God’s promise of punishment to Eli, and provided David a benefit that endured through almost the remainder of his life. David’s interactions with Ahimelek in the meeting conveyed compassion that likely contributed to his blessing.

Jesus teaching from boat
Jesus teaching from boat TheGlobalGospel.org FreeBibleImages.org

David’s meeting with Ahimelek the priest of Nob is important for its effect on subsequent events, though the meeting itself appears insignificant. The sequence of events triggered by the meeting include Saul’s massacre of the priests of Nob, which exposed his disrespect for clergy independence and authority while fulfilling God’s promise of punishment to Eli and his descendants. Also, the event sequence resulted in a blessing for David: through Abiathar, son of Ahimelek (descendant of Eli), who escaped the massacre and served David for more than forty years as companion and clergy. Abiathar was retired from the priesthood at the conclusion of his service to David.

Massacre of the innocents
Massacre of the innocents
wikipedia.org

David had met with Ahimelek at Nob to request short-term food supply and weapon. Ahimelek provided him with leftover consecrated bread and the “…sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah…” [1 Samuel 21:9]. However, a sequence of events triggered by the meeting was more important than the items David received from Ahimelek. Therefore, David-Ahimelek meeting at Nob illustrates an event of little significance that triggered an event sequence (or cascading events) of great consequences. Furthermore, David’s response in the trigger event conveyed compassion that likely contributed to his blessing from the event.

The importance of the meeting derives from two occurrences. First, the interactions were witnessed by Doeg the Edomite, a servant of Saul serving a detention under the priest. Second, David showed concern for Ahimelek’s safety by withholding information regarding his dispute with Saul so Ahimelek could interact with him normally without taking a side in the dispute. He recognized Ahimelek needed protection from potential accusations by Saul regarding the interactions and did what he could to protect him. Although his compassion was not effective in protecting Ahimelek from Saul, David benefited immensely from the interactions, not because of the material items he received but because of subsequent events triggered by the interactions.

To understand the importance of David-Ahimelek meeting, we recall an antecedent event: a prophecy for Eli and his household and descendants, whereby God declared punishment on Eli for honoring his sons more than God “by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel” [1 Samuel 2:29]. God declared to Eli as follows: “The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age” [1 Samuel 2:31]. Further in Verse 33, he added: “Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.”

We discuss the event sequence triggered by David-Ahimelek meeting, focusing on Saul’s disrespect for the independence and authority of the clergy, how Saul’s massacre of the priests of Nob fulfilled God’s promise of punishment to Eli, and David’s benefit from the massacre that endured with him through almost the remainder of his life. The study adds to understanding that an event may appear insignificant but could be important as the trigger for an event sequence that leads to fulfillment of God’s promise.

Continue reading “Incremental Work with God Example from David”

Working with God in Increments

Work and Miracle Accomplish Goal

God’s schedule often consists of a sequence of tasks, revealed incrementally but not in advance. Completion of a task opens opportunities and conditions for the next task, irrespective of perceived success or failure. God provides input to accomplish a task but expects human effort to combine with his input. We discuss Christ teaching in interactions with a man born blind to understand Following God’s Schedule by working with him incrementally. Also, we discuss Peter’s escape from Herod to illustrate working diligently toward receiving and utilizing God’s intervention.

Teaching human relationship with God regarding work
Teaching human relationship with God regarding work TheGlobalGospel.org FreeBibleImages.org

In continuing with our study series on Following God’s Schedule, we note that God often will provide his schedule as a sequence of tasks, revealed in increments but not in advance. As we discuss in a previous study under Human Relationship with God Regarding Work, completion of a task opens opportunities and conditions for the next task. Irrespective of perceived success or failure, the outcome of a task always leads to opportunities for a new task. Recognize and commit to the new task to advance in following God’s schedule. We discuss Christ teaching in interactions with a man born blind to illustrate God’s schedule revealed in sequential task increments.

Interactions with man born blind
Interactions with man born blind
TheGlobalGospel.org FreeBibleImages.org

Furthermore, each task includes a direct contribution from God and a contribution to be accomplished by human effort. God’s contribution could be closely tied with, and at times indistinguishable from, human effort and could occur before, during, or after the human contribution. We discuss Peter’s escape from Herod to illustrate God combining divine contributions with human effort to accomplish a goal.

Also, the end of a task at times indicates several options for a new task. Some of the options represent an attempt by the enemy to divert a person from following God’s schedule, whereas the other options provide opportunities to continue on God’s path. David faced a similar situation following his departure from Saul. He needed to protect himself from Saul but at the same time continue to build his reputation as a potential future leader of Israel. He identified his immediate and long-term needs and made choices based on satisfying the needs. We discuss events following David’s departure from Saul to understand his choices and staying on God’s schedule toward becoming king of Israel.

David’s choices during the period illustrate Searching for Next Step in Following God’s Schedule. The current study focuses on Christ teaching through interactions with a man born blind and the example based on Peter’s escape from Herod, to understand God’s schedule as a sequence of tasks to be accomplished incrementally through combined divine intervention and human effort. The next study will focus on understanding David’s choices following his departure from Saul, which illustrate Searching for Next Step to remain on the sequence of tasks representing God’s path or schedule to fulfillment of his promise.

Continue reading “Working with God in Increments”

Resisting Enemy Disruption

Recognize – Assess – Resist

The enemy will like to disrupt any person from Following God’s Schedule by attacking their compassion, diligence, appreciation, or any aspect of human interaction essential to living in God’s purpose. Learn to recognize, assess, and resist the threat. Start with Christ teaching in the Parable of the Sower: that God offers opportunities for every person to grow and flourish in him but the enemy will attempt to disrupt the opportunities in several ways. Then continue with David encountering potential enemy disruption through physical threat to his life. He recognized the threat, tried containment initially, but later implemented an avoidance strategy to resist disruption by protecting himself from Saul.

Teaching Enemy Disruption TheGlobalGospel.org FreeBibleImages.org

The enemy will seek to disrupt a person from Following God’s Schedule at any stage of a mission. As we discuss in a previous study under Nature of Temptation, the devil wants to pull each person away from God’s purpose and will devise schemes to disrupt a person from living to receive fulfillment of God’s promise according to God’s schedule. For example, the devil can attack the compassion or diligence of the intended service provider in a call to compassion or the appreciation of the service recipient.

Recognized need but refused care
Recognized need but refused care
LumoProject.com FreeBibleImages.org

He can attack a person’s compassion to reduce their sensitivity to needs that God places on their path. As we discuss under Compassion—Sensitivity to Needs, God uses call to compassion to direct a person to blessing he has ordained and expects the person to recognize the need, care about the needy, commit to providing, and persevere in seeking to alleviate the need. The devil can attack a person’s compassion by interfering with or manipulating one or more aspects of their capability to recognize, care, commit, and persevere.

Similarly, the devil can attack a person’s diligence. As we discuss in a previous study under Diligence in Human Service—Stimulates Appreciation, a person called to provide service to alleviate a need will be successful if he/she is diligent: i.e., understands the need and needy, is driven by care (i.e., hunger and thirst for righteousness) to commit to providing for the need, and perseveres in seeking to alleviate the need. Therefore, the devil can seek to disrupt by interfering with or manipulating one or more aspects of the person’s capability to recognize, care, commit, and persevere.

Your faith has healed you
Your faith has healed you
Sweet Publishing freebibleimages.org

Also, the devil can seek to disrupt by attacking a person’s appreciation. As we discuss previously under Season for Giving, Receiving, and Appreciation, God expects the recipient of human service to appreciate the service, appreciate the provider, and appreciate God for placing the provider in position to alleviate the need. Appreciation is important because it motivates the service recipient to “hunger and thirst” to do likewise for the benefit of others. Thus, the service recipient in a call to compassion is a nurturing heart where benefits of the service grow and multiply. The benefits grow if the recipient understands and appreciates the service. In contrast, the benefit dies if the recipient simply takes the service but does not understand or appreciate that something has been done to alleviate his/her need. The benefit of human service dies in a taker, i.e., a person that receives service without appreciation. Therefore, an attack targeted at a person’s appreciation could be an effective way to disrupt a person from living to receive fulfillment of God’s promise.

Continue reading “Resisting Enemy Disruption”

Diligence in Human Service—Stimulates Appreciation

Extending Benefits of Human Service

Diligence breeds success in human service, stimulates recipient’s appreciation, and motivates them to “hunger and taste” to do likewise toward others. Thus, diligence extends the benefits of human service through a long chain among God’s provider-receiver network: whereby every person could be his provider of service to others and receiver of service provided by others. Christ taught diligence through his disciples in feeding thousands in the wilderness. Several generations earlier, David’s diligence manifested in interactions with Saul and as officer and commander in Israel’s army. Diligence brought him success, admiration, and growing reputation as potential future leader of Israel.

Teaching and feeding thousands LumoProject.com FreeBibleImages.org

Diligence in human service contributes to Following God’s Schedule because it determines a person’s success in completing a call to compassion. As we discuss previously under Compassion—Sensitivity to Needs, God directs a person to a need and expects them to recognize the need, care about the needy, commit to providing, and persevere in seeking to alleviate the need. A person called to provide service to alleviate a need will be successful if he/she understands the need and needy, is driven by care (i.e., hunger and thirst for righteousness) to commit to providing for the need, and perseveres in seeking to alleviate the need. That is, if the person is diligent.

Disciples distribute food
LumoProject.com FreeBibleImages.org

Diligence means understanding what needs to be done and mobilizing resources to complete and deliver service to alleviate the need. Mobilizing resources could include consultation with others, identification of tasks, forming teams as needed, and assigning leadership to accomplish the tasks. For simpler tasks, mobilizing resources would simply mean getting up to do what is needed. For example, the Samaritan mobilized resources initially by providing first aid directly and transporting the needy to the next point of help. There he continued the mobilization by speaking to the inn keeper and promising additional assistance. Diligence manifests in recognizing the details and persevering through to accomplish the objective of delivering service to alleviate the need.

Successful delivery of service to alleviate a need calls for appreciation from the recipient. As we discuss previously under Season for Giving, Receiving, and Appreciation, God expects the recipient of human service to appreciate the service, appreciate the provider, and appreciate God for placing the provider in position to alleviate the need.

Boy offers fish and bread
LumoProject.com FreeBibleImages.org

EXTENDING BENEFITS OF HUMAN SERVICE Appreciation is important because it motivates the recipient of human service to “hunger and thirst” to do likewise for the benefit of others. Thus, an act of goodness whereby a person provides service to alleviate another person’s need could benefit several more people because the recipient’s appreciation motivates him/her to be good to others that are, in turn, motivated to be good to yet others. Thus, appreciation unlocks the long-term benefit of human service that lies in the potential to motivate an expanding community of people to “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Therefore, diligence is important because of stimulating appreciation that could result in extending the benefits of human service through a long chain among God’s provider-receiver network.

We discuss Christ’s feeding of thousands in the wilderness to highlight diligence of the disciples laying the foundation for the miracle. Also, we discuss David’s diligence several generations earlier, which manifested in interactions with Saul and in David’s role as officer and commander in Israel’s army. Because of his diligence in human service, David was successful in everything he did and was highly admired among contemporaries. As a result, his reputation grew rapidly as potential future leader of Israel.

Continue reading “Diligence in Human Service—Stimulates Appreciation”

Compassion—Sensitivity to Needs

Recognize – Care – Commit – Persevere

Compassion is important to following God’s schedule: based on David’s early interactions with Saul and on Christ teaching in two parables—God uses call to compassion to direct a person to blessing he has ordained. He calls the person regarding a need and expects them to recognize the need, care about the needy, commit to providing, and persevere in seeking to alleviate the need. Earn blessing by completing the call or incur punishment by declining. Illustrations from David show he completed three calls to compassion early during his period as king in waiting and each completion led him to accomplish a goal and key step toward becoming king of Israel.

Teaching love through compassion [Luke 10:25–37]
LumoProject.com FreeBibleImages.org
The bible study series on Following God’s Schedule examines David’s interactions during the period between his anointing to be king and his confirmation by the people of Israel. The study focuses on understanding his following God’s schedule toward kingship notwithstanding the schedule was not revealed to him a priori. His path to kingship after the anointing included a transition from King Saul, kingship training for David, and preparing the people of Israel to accept David as king. God had a plan and schedule for each of these, required David to follow the schedule, but did not reveal the plan or schedule to him.

The study is applicable to everyday life because David’s situation is quite similar to common human experience. As we discuss in Prayer of Joseph from the Dungeon, God at times grants a prayer with a promise to be fulfilled to fit his overall plan for the recipient, sets a schedule for fulfilling the promise, requires the recipient to follow the schedule, but may not reveal the schedule or plan. The recipient needs to follow the schedule to receive fulfillment of the promise just like David needed to follow God’s schedule to become king.

Victory parade from killing Goliath
Victory parade from killing Goliath
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

God provided his schedule to David piecemeal, as a series of preparatory and precursory events: preparatory events are those that prepared him for future occurrences, whereas a precursory event is one that is necessary to trigger a future occurrence. David’s choices regarding the events determined whether he followed or departed from God’s schedule. The study series focuses on understanding his choices in various events in the context of Christ teaching. We discuss David’s choices as they illustrate God’s purpose for human interactions and relationships, which Christ emphasizes in his teachings presented live several generations after David.

This session of the series focuses on compassion, based on David’s early interactions with Saul and others and on Christ teaching through two parables: the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats and the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Through the teachings, Christ explains that God uses a call to compassion to direct a recipient to a blessing, such as an achievement step toward fulfillment of a promise. The recipient earns the blessing by completing the call to compassion or incurs punishment by declining. Illustrations from David show he completed three calls to compassion early in his interactions with Saul and each completion led him to accomplish a goal and key step toward becoming king of Israel.

Continue reading “Compassion—Sensitivity to Needs”

Prayer of Joseph from the Dungeon Part 2 of 2

When and How He Chooses

Joseph’s prayer leads to understanding the basis for faith and expectations when circumstances suggest a prayer may have gone “the wrong way.” He prayed for release from jail but the prayer appeared unanswered for two years. Thereafter, he was taken from jail and appointed to a high position in Egypt. If he believed that an appeal to Pharaoh was God’s answer to his prayer, then he likely was disappointed because the appeal did not bring him relief. However, if he understood God may have a plan for him that differed from his expectation, then he likely waited with faith for God’s time. Release from jail at the time he prayed would likely have led to great uncertainties for Joseph. However, more than two years after his prayer, he was released into a condition that gave him great control over future events. Joseph’s experience illustrates that God may grant a prayer with a promise to be fulfilled WHEN and HOW he chooses, to fit his overall plan for the recipient.

Jesus teaching from a boat
Jesus teaching from a boat
TheGlobalGospel.org FreeBibleImages.org

In the first installment of this two-part study on Joseph’s prayer (see Prayer of Joseph from the Dungeon Part 1 of 2), we observed that Joseph probably believed his encounter with Pharaoh’s cupbearer was God’s answer to his prayer.

Prayer of Joseph from dungeon
Prayer of Joseph from dungeon
FreeBibleImages.org

Therefore, he used the opportunity to appeal to Pharaoh. However, although the encounter was indeed a key step in the implementation of God’s plan for Joseph, his expectation regarding the opportunity was different from God’s plan. Joseph prayed to be released from jail and expected his appeal to Pharaoh would result in his release. However, the cupbearer did not deliver the appeal and Joseph remained in jail for the next two years. Thereafter, Pharaoh had dreams that troubled him but could not be interpreted by any of his people [Genesis 41:8]: “In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.” Then, and only then, Pharaoh’s cupbearer remembered Joseph—as an expert dream interpreter—and informed his master [Genesis 41:12–13]: “Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”

Continue reading “Prayer of Joseph from the Dungeon Part 2 of 2”

Prayer of Joseph from the Dungeon Part 1 of 2

Series on Following God’s Schedule

God may grant a prayer with a promise, set a schedule to fulfill the promise to fit his overall plan, want the recipient to follow the schedule; but may not reveal the promise, schedule, or plan. We begin a study series to follow David’s experience as king in waiting and examine his interactions in the context of Christ’s teaching: with the purpose of understanding how he followed God’s schedule to become king of Israel without knowing the schedule a priori. The study begins with a discussion of Joseph’s prayer from Potiphar’s jail, as an example of prayer that God granted with a promise but did not reveal the promise or schedule for its fulfillment. The study is potentially relevant to every person in understanding God’s expectations of each of us when he grants a prayer with a promise to be fulfilled WHEN and HOW he chooses.

Sermon on the Mount
Come, Learn, and Be Blessed
theglobalgospel.org freebibleimages.org

We begin a bible study series on Following God’s Schedule based on David’s interactions with others during the period between his anointing and confirmation as king of Israel. We examine the interactions in the context of Christ’s teaching several generations later. Recall that David did not become king immediately after his anointing. Instead, he went through a sequence of events that lasted approximately ten years and culminated in the people of Israel formally electing him king. The sequence of events represents God’s Schedule for David to become king of Israel after his anointing. God did not reveal the schedule to any person—not even Prophet Samuel or David himself. That notwithstanding, David followed the schedule, as we can surmise because he did become king. He followed God’s schedule to become king of Israel without knowing the full schedule at any time.

SCHEDULE FOR MISSION As we discuss in a previous study under Human Relationship with God Regarding Work, God often will lead a person to accomplish a mission through a schedule of task increments without revealing the mission or entire schedule. Each task increment leads to an outcome that ushers in the next task. Thus, the person proceeds through God’s schedule in a series of steps that culminate in completing the mission and accomplishing the objectives, without knowing the full schedule at any time. The events in each step can be preparatory (i.e., providing experience needed for the next events), precursory (i.e., a necessary event that leads to the next), or both preparatory and precursory. The person’s choices in each event determine whether he/she follows or departs from God’s schedule. As we discuss in previous studies, a departure from God’s schedule need not be permanent because he often provides opportunity for redirection (see Opportunity for Voluntary Redirection and Divine Intervention by Coercive Redirection). David took advantage of redirection when needed and, thus, followed God’s schedule to become king of Israel.

SCHEDULE FOR PROMISE David’s experience in following God’s schedule is potentially applicable to every person, because God at times grants a prayer with promise, sets a schedule for fulfillment of the promise, wants the recipient to follow the schedule, but may not reveal the promise or the schedule to the recipient. He grants every prayer of a person that believes in him. He may grant some prayers instantaneously and exactly as prayed whereas he grants other prayers with a promise to be fulfilled at a different time as he chooses.

Continue reading “Prayer of Joseph from the Dungeon Part 1 of 2”