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The God Who Surprises Us

Week 17 in the Word – April 23, 2021

As I read the Bible, I love the many ways that God surprises me. His wisdom is nothing like mine. His goodness is amazing. His power is without limit. When you combine infinite wisdom with power and goodness you get a continual flow of surprises.

God chooses unlikely people and shows them His goodness, wisdom, and power. He picked the youngest son of a family, a shepherd boy, David, to be king of Israel. Surprise!

When, as king, David, proposed an ambitious plan to construct a temple to honor the Lord, God refused it. Surprise! Instead, God told David He would establish his throne forever. Surprise!

But the way God would do that was by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, in human flesh to redeem a people from all the earth and to become their king. Surprise!

When God the Son lived on earth, He called ignorant disciples to be His apostles and He initiated contact with the most despicable and corrupt people of His day—like a tax collector named Zacchaeus or a Samaritan woman living in sin (Luke 19; John 4). Surprise again!

But the greatest surprise of all is that the eternal God would take on human flesh so that sinful people like us would be saved by faith in Him. He came not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). And saved we will be if we trust in Him!

God shows His strength through the weakness of His people. He shows His goodness through saving the most undeserving and disreputable people He can find. He shows His wisdom in making all things work together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

Expect to be surprised as you read about the works of God in the earth and in human history. You will be more than amazed by His wisdom, power, and goodness. May we never recover from this surprise!

Looking back

Last week we saw the sad ending of Saul’s reign and life while at the same time God blessed David with the promised throne.

In Luke, we read some of Jesus’ most well-known parables (the Prodigal Son, the dishonest manager, the persistent widow, and the Pharisee and the tax collector in the temple). Jesus warned of coming judgment in His teaching about a stingy, rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus.

Looking ahead

This week we will near the end of II Samuel and the waning days of David’s reign. In Luke we will see the tender love of Jesus as expressed to a hated tax collector named Zacchaeus and to the whole city of Jerusalem. Jesus will be sharing a final Passover meal with his disciples and making His new covenant with them through the breaking of bread and the drinking of the cup of wine.


Tip of the week

Measure your understanding of the Scriptures by the degree to which your study increases both your love for God and your love for neighbor.

In On Christian Teaching, Augustine (354-430 AD) wrote: “So anyone who thinks that he has understood the divine scriptures or any part of them, but cannot by his understanding build up this double love of God and neighbor, has not yet succeeded in understanding them.” [quoted by Dr. David E. Briones TableTalk magazine November 2018 p. 24].


Week of April 23-29, 2021

April 23/Day 113 The God Who Surprises Us (II Samuel 7-9: Luke 19:1-28) Audio here. April 24/Day 114 The Hidden Consequences of Sin (II Samuel 10-12; Luke 19:29-48 ) Audio here. April 25/Day 115 Authority: Rejected and Abused (II Samuel 13-14; Luke 20:1-26) Audio here. April 26/Day 116 Manipulative Leaders (II Samuel 15-16; Luke 20:27-47) Audio here. April 27/Day 117 The Providence of God (II Samuel 17-18; Luke 21:1-19) Audio here. April 28/Day 118 Chaos: The Old Normal (II Samuel 19-20; Luke 21:20-38) Audio here. April 29/Day 119 God’s Timing: Does He Schedule Things? (II Samuel 21-22; Luke 22:1-30) Audio here. If you do not have a copy of my book you may want to order one here. However, you may also access the daily audio recordings generously provided by my friend and pastor Charlie Evans in the chart.

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