Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. Ephesians 6:10-11
I had a dream last night that I was in a mine with a foreign family. A mother and child were digging in an alcove of dirt when the ground at the base opened up and quickly swallowed the mother. I sensed that this had happened in an adjacent area of the mine to another mother, too, but did not actually see it, just caught a flurry of activity out of the corner of my eye. I remember looking around at others in the mine to see if anyone had noticed. The only one who was aware was the child in front of me as he/she (I could not tell) stood there in shock looking at the place where the mother had just been scraping at the base with a broken hoe before being devoured by the earth.
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Matthew 15:8
My devotion this morning just happened to be Psalm 106:17
The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan; it buried the company of Abiram.
That led me to read more in Numbers 16:
Korah (son of Izhar), Dathan and Abiram (sons of Eliab), and On (son of Peleth)… dared to challenge Moses. ..They came together to confront Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You’ve gone far enough! Everyone in the whole community is holy, and the LORD is among them. Why do you set yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?”
Moses replied, “In the morning the LORD will show who belongs to him, who is holy, and who it is that he will allow to come near him. Only the person the LORD chooses will be allowed to come near him. Korah…You’ve gone far enough! ….you and all your followers have joined forces against the LORD! Who is Aaron that you should complain about him?… Tomorrow you and all your followers must come into the LORD’s presence. Aaron will also be there with you”
The next day…When Korah had gathered all his followers–those who opposed Moses and Aaron–at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the LORD appeared to the whole group. The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Move away from these men, and I’ll destroy them in an instant.”
Moses said to those gathered, “This is how you will know that the LORD sent me to do all these things and that it wasn’t my idea: If these men die like all other people–if they die a natural death–then the LORD hasn’t sent me. But if the LORD does something totally new–if the ground opens up, swallows them and everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive to their graves–then you’ll know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt.” As soon as he had finished saying all this, the ground under them split, and the earth opened up to swallow them, their families, the followers of Korah, and all their property. They went down alive to their graves with everything that belonged to them. The ground covered them, and so they disappeared from the assembly.
And ended with Psalm 39:4-8
“Teach me, O LORD, about the end of my life. Teach me about the number of days I have left so that I may know how temporary my life is. Indeed, you have made the length of my days [only] a few inches. My life span is nothing compared to yours. Certainly, everyone alive is like a whisper in the wind. Selah
Each person who walks around is like a shadow. They are busy for no reason. They accumulate riches without knowing who will get them.” And now, Lord, what am I waiting for? My hope is in you! Rescue me from all my rebellious acts. Do not disgrace me in front of godless fools.
Jesus, Your word in John 15:18 reminds us that “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” May I never treat you or any of your chosen ones with contempt, disdain, spite, or meanness of spirit. But as I read the other day, not everyone has faith. May You be my vindication against those who disdain Christians and encourage and support wickedness. You tell us to love the sinner, hate the sin. Romans 1:28-31 comes to mind, Father…
And because they thought it was worthless to acknowledge God, God allowed their own immoral minds to control them. So they do these indecent things. Their lives are filled with all kinds of sexual sins, wickedness, and greed. They are mean. They are filled with envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and viciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, haughty, arrogant, and boastful. They think up new ways to be cruel. They don’t obey their parents, don’t have any sense, don’t keep promises, and don’t show love to their own families or mercy to others. Although they know God’s judgment that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do these things but also approve of others who do them.
I know that you oppose the proud, but give grace to the humble. Bring humbleness of heart to those who, like Korah, are under a powerful delusion and know not what they do or who they are serving. Many live as enemies of the cross and stand on the edge of the earth over the bowels of hell ready to be swallowed alive by the flames. Pluck them from the edge, Lord, and restore their feet to solid ground. I bow with my face to the ground in intercession, Lord…accept this poem as an offering, Lord…
MY CROWN JEWEL
Oh, my Jewel! My Eternal Glory!
Lord, the Author of this, my story.
My Life, my Breathe, my every Word,
My Sheltering Wing, like a mother bird.
Oh, God come quickly to my aid!
For scorn and disdain around me lay.
My closest friends are my enemy (Psalm 41:9),
And malice like ice combats me.
Tear down this wall and clear my path!
Come against evil in Your mighty wrath!
Summon Your power! Be my Defense!
Show me Your love and your recompense!
Vindicate me and grant me Your favor.
Bless your servant, My Crown, My Savior.
In your name, Lord Jesus, Amen.