Friday, August 16, 2019
Doeg, King Saul’s chief shepherd, went to the House of God one day to perform a religious duty, and he saw David there. Later, he reported to the king that the priests of the Lord were in league with David. King Saul considered David an enemy, so he was furious and ordered his guards to kill the priests. When the guards refused, King Saul ordered Doeg to do the job and he obliged: he killed 85 priests and all the people in the city—men, women, children, and babies—and even the animals (1 Samuel 21-22).
People like Doeg exist today. They go to meetings in Muslim countries to spy on converts from Islam who worship Christ. When we pioneered a church in North Africa, Fatima started coming to our meetings. We later discovered that she was a secret police agent. But God, in his grace, had orchestrated things to our advantage, and miraculously protected us from a lot of trouble.
Glorious Father, give your children in Muslim lands the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Enlighten the eyes of their heart (Ephesians 1:17-18). Illumine their soul and mind to receive a word of wisdom and of knowledge from you so they can identify the “Doegs” that infiltrate gatherings of believers to spy on the freedom they have in Christ (Galatians 2:4).
Give your children the presence of mind and a sensitive spirit to see the things you want to reveal to them. Give your flock love and wisdom: love to pray for the “Doegs” and trust God to convict them, and wisdom to guard the flock of God against those who want to wreak havoc on your church. Do a miraculous work in the lives of present-day “Doegs.” Change their hard hearts, heal their sick souls, revive their dead consciences, and bring them into the Kingdom of your beloved Son. May no treason or persecution bend our will to keep us from following you or even dying for you.
In the name that is above every name, Jesus the Christ, Lord and King. Amen.
Do not be terrified by them…. I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against… kings… officials… priests and people…. I am with you and will rescue you (Jeremiah 1:17-18, NIV).
Friday, August 9, 2019
During this season, Muslims the world over celebrate Id al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice (other names are used in different areas). This celebration commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son (Ishmael, according to Islam) in obedience to God’s command. But God provided a ram for Abraham to offer instead.
For the celebration, each family or group of families kills an animal, usually a sheep. Wherever Muslims are, whether in Mecca taking part in the hajj (pilgrimage) or anywhere else in the world, their religion requires them to slaughter an animal.
Merciful and redeeming God, I ask you to open Muslims’ eyes during this season to see the Lamb you provided for the atonement of the sin of the world. May they open their hearts to Christ, who was led like a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7), who died on the cross, and who rose again to set us free from sin and condemnation.
Help Muslims realize that Jesus agonized, suffered, and died for them so that they could have joy, peace, and life in him.
May they accept your provision to redeem them “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Let them hear his cry on the cross declaring, “It is finished.” Then they will see how pointless it is to try to gain God’s favor through the millions of sacrifices they slaughter during this season.
Compassionate Father, reveal to Muslims the Lamb of God who now sits upon the throne in heaven. Draw them by your love to join saints and angels in singing the heavenly chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12).
Where is the lamb for the burnt offering? . . . God himself will provide the lamb (Genesis 22:7-8, NIV). There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, REB).