Did you ever notice when reading your Bible that the Old Testament is full of stories filled with expectations? This popped out to me today as I was reading about Jonathan in 1 Samuel chapter 14. In that chapter (1 Samuel 14:8-10), Jonathan says that if the Philistines say, “Come up and fight,” that will be the Lord’s sign that He will help defeat them.
It seems like such a small thing, but what I noticed is that there are so many instances like that. There are so many verses where people say if something happens then it will be the Lord’s sign.
People expected a sign.
I was just sitting here doing my daily Bible study when something hit me that I thought I should share. I was reading in the book of Luke.
Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”
So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “You have said it.”
Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”
Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”
“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.
Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)
I’ve always found myself comforted and encouraged by Luke 21:19.
It doesn’t matter what translation of the Bible you choose; this verse captivates my soul. I’m reminded that whatever my circumstances, no matter who it seems is hurting me or leaving me, no matter what is happening in the world, no matter what the news might say, whether good or bad… If I stand firm in Him, then I win.
Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
answer me, for I need your help.
Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
You are my God.
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
for I am calling on you constantly.
Give me happiness, O Lord,
for I give myself to you.
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;
hear my urgent cry.
I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble,
and you will answer me.
Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. (Deuteronomy 13:4)
I really like this verse. It almost seems to give a bit of a roadmap for life.