LAW / GRACE/ FREEDOM :: The Kings

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR TOPICS FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. EACH TOPIC IS A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS WE’RE REVIEWING CHRISTIAN MEDIA.
On the fourth Friday of each month in 2022 we’re studying the RHW 2022 Theme: God’s Law, Grace & Freedom.

“Without God’s law and grace there is no opportunity for recovery from any addiction and therefore no true freedom!”

After King Solomon’s death in 931 BC the stressful relationships between the Hebrew tribes divided them into two kingdoms; with Israel being the northern kingdom and Judah the southern kingdom. The contrasting stories of the kings who reigned over the two kingdoms show us lives of those who chose to live according to God’s law vs those who decided to go their own way.

I promise that I will honor those who honor me, and those who despise me will be considered insignificant. ~ 1 Samuel 2:30

When we look at the history of the kings of Israel and Judah we can see that the kingdoms suffered under the kings who didn’t follow the Lord.  However, God’s grace was shown to the kingdom and the people as long as the king obeyed and honored God’s laws.

A surprisingly low number of kings were faithful to God. Out of the 39 kings who reigned over Judah and Israel only eight from the southern kingdom of Judah were good. All 19 kings from the northern kingdom of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord.

He will never forget His agreement or His promises, not in thousands of years. ~ Psalm 105:8

The good news is that God is not only a loving law giver, He is a gracious promise maker. And He keeps His promises to a thousand generations. Although the kings in the divided Hebrew kingdoms failed miserably to follow God’s laws, He graciously kept the promise he kept not only to Abraham, but to King David.

For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong…  Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever. ~ 2 Samuel 7:12; 16

The promise to David included the heir that would later become the Messiah, Jesus Christ The Righteous One Who brought the power of grace to free all humanity from evil and sin.

Praise God Jesus is the King of my heart. His love endures forever. His goodness and mercy lasts for eternity!

Be blessed by this wonderful worship song by Kutless.

LAW / GRACE/ FREEDOM :: The Judges

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR TOPICS FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. EACH TOPIC IS A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS WE’RE REVIEWING CHRISTIAN MEDIA.
On the fourth Friday of each month in 2022 we’re studying the RHW 2022 Theme: God’s Law, Grace & Freedom.

“Without God’s law and grace there is no opportunity for recovery from any addiction and therefore no true freedom!”

LAW

The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim. He spoke to the people of Israel there and said: “I brought you up from Egypt. I led you to the land I promised to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my agreement with you. But in return, you must not make an agreement with the people who live in this land. You must destroy their altars.’ But you did not obey me. How could you do this? Now I will tell you this: ‘I will not force out the people in this land. They will become your enemies. Their gods will become a trap for you.’” Judges 2:1-3

After Joshua and all the people who came from Egypt died off, God raised up political / religious leaders to guide the people in times of oppression from their enemies. The era of the judges highlights the core principles of God’s law brought by Moses:  Obedience brings peace and life. Disobedience brings oppression and death. These stories remind us God’s judgement for sin is sure to come. However, forgiveness of sins with restored relationship is equally as certain for those who turn to Him in true repentance.

REBELLION

The people of Israel served the Lord as long as Joshua was alive. They continued serving the Lord during the lifetimes of the elders who lived on after Joshua. These men had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel….  After those people had died, their children grew up. They did not know the Lord or what he had done for Israel. So they did evil and worshiped the Baal idols. They did what the Lord said was wrong. The Lord had brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. And the ancestors of these people had worshiped the Lord. But the Israelites quit following the Lord. They began to worship the gods of the people who lived around them. That made the Lord angry. The Israelites quit following the Lord and worshiped Baal and Ashtoreth. The Lord was angry with the people of Israel. So he let robbers attack them and take their possessions. He let their enemies who lived around them defeat them. They could not protect themselves from their enemies. When the Israelites went out to fight, they always lost. They lost because the Lord was not on their side. The Lord had sworn to them this would happen. So the Israelites suffered very much. ~ Judges 7; 10-15

This section of scripture shows us the cycle of sin, judgement and repentance that the people of Israel repeated over and over. This is the cycle all humanity repeats over and over again. As one godly generation dies off, the next generation either wasn’t taught the ways of God or they simply fail to follow God because the temptation of sin is so great. The responsibility lies on the family leaders. When one generation fails to teach the next generation how to follow God’s laws, the cycle of sin is sure to continue.

GRACE

Then the Lord chose leaders called judges. These leaders saved the people of Israel from the robbers. But the Israelites did not listen to their judges. They were not faithful to God. They followed other gods instead. In the past the people of Israel obeyed the Lord’s commands. But now the Israelites stopped obeying the Lord. Many times the enemies of Israel hurt the Israelites. So the Israelites would cry for help. And each time the Lord felt sorry for them. Each time he sent a judge to save them from their enemies. The Lord was with those judges. ~ Judges 2:16-18

Even in the face of all Israel’s consistent rebellion to God, He faithfully continued to deliver them from their oppressors. This deliverance wasn’t because of the repentance on Israel’s part, but of mercy and compassion from the heart of a loving Father.

FREEDOM

The judges, even with their flaws and weaknesses did save Israel from their enemies. But through it all the people of Israel continued to insist on having a king like other nations. They did need a king, but not the kind they thought. What they needed was The King, and Messiah, Jesus Christ who would bring true freedom from all the oppressors.

The most important lesson we can learn from the judges stories is that humanity is ingrained with a cyclical sinful nature. Unless we keep our focus on God’s Word and teach the younger generation God’s ways, humanity will consistently return to dark, evil ways.

The good news is our heavenly Father will always be there when we turn away from sin. When we call out to Him, He is faithful to deliver us from our enemies, even if that worst enemy is ourself. God will bring us to a place of freedom and victory over any bondage we may suffer from if we continue to follow Him.

Be blessed by this worship song with Jesus Culture.

 

Resources:

ESV Study Bible

Spirit-Filled Life Bible

NLT Parallel Study Bible

International Children’s Bible

LAW / GRACE/ FREEDOM :: The Exodus

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR TOPICS FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. EACH TOPIC IS A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS WE’RE REVIEWING CHRISTIAN MEDIA.
On the fourth Friday of each month in 2022 we’re studying the RHW 2022 Theme: God’s Law, Grace & Freedom.

“Without God’s law and grace there is no opportunity for recovery from any addiction and therefore no true freedom!”

God spoke to Moses, “I am the LordI appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but I didn’t make myself known to them by my name, the LordI even made a promise  to give them Canaan, the land where they lived as foreigners. Now I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians hold in slavery, and I have remembered my promise.

“Tell the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord. I will bring you out from under the oppression of the Egyptians, and I will free you from slavery. I will rescue you with my powerful arm and with mighty acts of judgment. Then I will make you my people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the forced labor of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land I solemnly swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your own possession. I am the Lord.’ ” ~ Exodus 6:2-8

As we are now in the Passover and Easter season of the year, this is an interesting study to reflect on.  Today we’ll look specifically at how God’s grace was displayed to the Children of Israel before, during and after their exodus from Egypt.  And we will look at how that grace brought freedom from Pharaoh’s slave law

Grace In HIS PROMISE

Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.~ Exodus 2:23-25 

Our Scripture reading above reflects God’s grace as He has heard the cries of His people in slave bondage under the Pharaoh. It’s not because the Children of Israel deserved God’s grace and mercy. It was because God remembered the promise He had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God is always faithful to fulfill His promises.

GRACE IN THE PLAGUES

The homes of the Egyptians will be filled with flies, and even the ground outside will be covered with them. But on that day I will treat the region of Goshen differently. That is where my people live. There won’t be any flies there. This way you will know that I, the Lord, am here in this land. I will distinguish between my people and yours. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’ ” ~ Exodus 8:21-23

But the Lord will distinguish between Israel’s livestock and the livestock of the Egyptians. No animals belonging to the Israelites will die.’ ” ~ Exodus 9:4

All over Egypt the hail knocked down everything that was out in the open. It struck down people, animals, and every plant in the fields and destroyed every tree in the fields. The only place it didn’t hail was the region of Goshen, where the Israelites lived. ~ Exodus 9:24-25

Moses lifted his hand toward the sky, and throughout Egypt there was total darkness for three days. People couldn’t see each other, and no one went anywhere for three days. But all the Israelites had light where they were living. ~ Exodus 10:23

Then Moses called for all the leaders of Israel. He said to them, “Pick out a lamb or a young goat for your families, and kill the Passover animal.Take the branch of a hyssop plant, dip it in the blood which is in a bowl, and put some of the blood on the top and sides of the doorframes ⌞of your houses⌟. No one may leave the house until morning. The Lord will go throughout Egypt to kill the Egyptians. When he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, he will pass over that doorway, and he will not let the destroyer come into your home to kill you. ~ Exodus 12:21-23

From the above selected Scriptures you can see that God graciously protected the Children of Israel during the ten plagues in Egypt. While there aren’t specific verses for all ten plagues, we have no reason to believe that God didn’t protect the Hebrew people through every plague.

GRACE IN THE EXODUS

The Egyptians begged the people to leave the country quickly. They said, “Soon we’ll all be dead!” So the people picked up their bread dough before it had risen and carried it on their shoulders in bowls, wrapped up in their clothes. The Israelites did what Moses had told them and asked the Egyptians for gold and silver jewelry and for clothes. The Lord made the Egyptians generous to the people, and they gave them what they asked for. So the Israelites stripped Egypt of its wealth. ~ Exodus 12:33-36

Even after all of God’s grace bestowed on the Hebrew people, He still had more for them on there way out of Egypt. The Egyptians were so afraid of what God would do to them they begged the Hebrew people to leave quickly. Not only were they now free to go, God made the Egyptians have generous favor so much that Egypt was cleaned of its wealth!

God heard the cry of His people, remembered and kept His promises.  His mercy and grace found them in their bondage just like He does for us today. God blesses all His people with His grace and freedom.

Be blessed by this touching song by Matt Redman.

LAW / GRACE/ FREEDOM :: The Patriarchs

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR TOPICS FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. EACH TOPIC IS A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS WE’RE REVIEWING CHRISTIAN MEDIA.
On the fourth Friday of each month in 2022 we’re studying the RHW 2022 Theme: God’s Law, Grace & Freedom.

“Without God’s law and grace there is no opportunity for recovery from any addiction and therefore no true freedom!”

Then the Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives and your father’s family. Go to the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make you famous. And you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you. I will place a curse on those who harm you. And all the people on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram left Haran as the Lord had told him. ~ Genesis 12:1-4

From the deserts of Haran, God found the man who would be the father of His people Israel, and ultimately the heir to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Even before the law was given to Moses, Abram faithfully obeyed the Word given to him. God’s grace saw Abram’s faith and counted it as righteousness.

Abraham believed when he stood in the presence of the God who gives life to dead people and calls into existence things that don’t even exist.  When there was nothing left to hope for, Abraham still hoped and believed…  He didn’t doubt God’s promise out of a lack of faith. Instead, giving honor to God ⌞for the promise⌟, he became strong because of faith and was absolutely confident that God would do what he promised. That is why Abraham’s faith was regarded as the basis of his approval by God. ~ Romans 4:17-18; 20-22

The story of the Old Testament Patriarchs is the story of a family that spanned two thousand years before the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Through the rich heritage of these faithful people, God blessed obedient men and women whose lineage brought His son to the human race. (See Matt 1:1-17)

Because of their obedience to the call on their lives, Father God graced The Patriarchs of our faith with favor and blessings that provided the way for us to experience. the true freedom found only in Jesus Christ.

We have been made right with God because of our faith. So we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through our faith, Christ has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. ~ Romans 5:1-2

I pray you will be blessed with this anointed song by Cory Asbury.

LAW / GRACE/ FREEDOM :: The Garden

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR TOPICS FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. EACH TOPIC IS A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS WE’RE REVIEWING CHRISTIAN MEDIA.
On the fourth Friday of each month in 2022 we’re studying the RHW 2022 Theme: God’s Law, Grace & Freedom.

“Without God’s law and grace there is no opportunity for recovery from any addiction and therefore no true freedom!”

Then God planted a garden in Eden, in the east. He put the Man he had just made in it. God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and good to eat. The Tree-of-Life was in the middle of the garden, also the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. ~ Genesis 2:8-9 (MSG)

God created people for relationship with Him. He wanted them to be free to live with and love Him. God gave people the ability and opportunity to make choices. We can obey and be rewarded with a happy life and relationship with God. Or we can disobey and suffer painful consequences personally and in our relationship with God.

The Law in the Garden

God commanded the Man, “You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don’t eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead.” ~ Genesis 2:15-17. (MSG)

Adam and Eve only had one law to follow. Pretty simple compared to Old Testament Biblical laws and our modern standards of law keeping. Among all of creation God gave only Adam and Eve the ability to think, reason, gain knowledge and make decisions using their knowledge. Most people aren’t content with what they have.  We have an innate desire for knowing and experiencing life; whether that includes suffering or not. When given the choice, many will take the risk of knowing both sides of the good and evil.  And so Eve took Satan’s bait and the human race has been suffering the consequences ever since.

Freedom in the Garden

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the land, and conquer it. Rule over the fish of the sea, the flying creatures of the sky, and over every animal that crawls on the land. I have just given you every green plant yielding seed that is on the surface of the whole land, and every tree, which has the fruit of a tree yielding seed. They are to be food for you. Also for every wild animal, every flying creature of the sky and every creature that crawls on the land which has life, every green plant is to be food.” So God saw everything that He made, and behold it was very good. ~ Genesis 1:28-30

Adam and Eve had freedom unlike any other humans have experienced. They had the freedom to walk and talk with God in their garden paradise home. They had the perfect life. But they didn’t know how perfect it was until it was gone. We often take for granted the goodness that God has bestowed on us.

Grace in the Garden

And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. ~ Genesis 3:21

Adam and Eve were created in the state of God’s amazing grace. With their incredible freedom came the ability choose between good and evil. And even when they disobeyed God and ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil He still loved them. They experienced God’s first act of grace, foreshadowing the future redemption of the human race, when He shed the blood of an animal and covered them with its skin.

Choose Life

I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. ~ Deuteronomy 30:19

God’s love is free and unconditional but His law, grace and freedom have conditions. In the same way there are unbreakable, unchangeable laws of nature and physics, God’s laws have set requirements and results that don’t change and can’t be broken without a consequence. Thankfully, Jesus came to save us from the consequences of our sin. However, it is up to us to make the right choice. Do we want life or death? Choose life!

Contemplate the choices available to you in Jesus as you enjoy this beautiful song by Kari Jobe.

LAW / GRACE / FREEDOM :: Introduction

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR TOPICS FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH TOPIC IS A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS WE’RE REVIEWING CHRISTIAN MEDIA.
On the fourth Friday of each month in 2022 we’re studying the RHW 2022 Theme: God’s Law, Grace & Freedom.

“Without God’s law and grace there is no opportunity for recovery from any addiction and therefore no true freedom!”

As I shared in the RHW 2022 Preview I was contemplating the abounding lawlessness in our world when God pricked my heart with a reminder of the Ten Commandments. I then thought about how Jesus fulfilled that law and gave us the grace and freedom we believers can gratefully enjoy in our everyday lives. Immediately, I knew what I needed to focus on this year. And then this sentence came to me:

“Without God’s law and grace there is no opportunity for recovery from any addiction and therefore no true freedom!”

What To Expect

In the Law/Grace/Freedom study series we’re going to dive into all of these topics and how they relate to each other and to us as Christians. We will go through biblical history and look at the relationship humanity has had with them and what has resulted. I’m no theologian, just a simple woman seeking to obey God’s good and perfect will to the best of her ability. However, I believe, without any doubt, that God is leading me this year more than any year before. These core topics are critical to the body of Christ today.

Spirit Led Study

My traditional approach to writing an RHW study series is to prepare a solid outline far in advance and follow it for the entire year. This study will be very different. I have prepared a loose outline of what I want to learn myself in regards to these topics. Otherwise, it will be the Holy Spirit’s guidance as to how this study proceeds. Should be an exciting and very interesting study!

Contemplate how the Holy Spirit will guide us in this life-changing study as you enjoy this beautiful song by Hillsong Young & Free.

RESOURCES

Pathway to Freedom: How God’s Laws Guide Our Lives  by Alistair Begg

The Doctrine of Law & Grace Unfolded  by John Bunyan