Yesterday I left work early because I was sick. I burned a fever that medicine would not reduce. I came home, took a nap, and wound up feeling LOTS better.
This morning I got up and had to evaluate: Am I still sick, or am I being lazy and not wanting to go to work? I opted to go, but was not my usual high-energy, chipper self. Around 11am I went into a meeting and sat for almost 15 minutes in total silence, unable to follow the conversation. I left at noon. I napped off and on all afternoon, and around 4:30 the stomach cramps hit. Let's just say, I'm glad I didn't stay at work.
I had a couple of awesome devotion experiences this week that I wanted to share.
1. REALLY Bad Girls of the Bible. I am reading this book by Liz Curtis Higgs. From the start she slayed me. The first chapter is about mediums, witchcraft and sorcery. Now, I have never practiced any of those things, and I certainly have never endorsed them....or have I?
From the time I was old enough to read, I read my horoscope. There it was, at the bottom of the comics page, and I read the comics every morning. So I would read my horoscope. What kind of day will I have today? This led to something a little less innocent.
After I graduated high school, I picked up a book about the zodiac. I never took it home from the library, but I did read enough to get some ideas. One of the things I picked up on was compatibility. The idea behind this is the love of your life is someone who has a zodiac sign compatible with yours. I remember asking my sister if my fiance and I were compatible. She said "Well, you are an earth sign, and he is a water sign, so together you make mud!" She was joking, but went on to say that the signs were actually compatible.
The fact that the marriage didn't last should be enough to show me that the zodiac is a bunch of hooey. Recently, though, I actually went out to one of the websites to see if my sign was compatible with someone else's sign. OUCH. Deuteronomy 18:10-11 says: Let no one be found among you who...practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
Liz Curtis Higgs writes: "Horoscopes, palm readers, telephone psychics are worse than hoaxes or pleasant diversions -- they can cost us our souls"(33).
Make no mistake. This is a slippery slope. Consulting the zodiac for your future can lead to seeking more and more answers, and lead one deeper and deeper into the occult. The modern day mediums market their wares as spiritual, god-driven, and use terms like healing, empowering, respected, and wisdom.
Listen up: God is the judge here, and when He says He ABHORS something, we really need to sit up and pay attention. I wish I could wipe my mind clean of what I learned on that website, but I can't. So I ask God to forgive me, and I move forward knowing that He is going to provide me with the person who is perfect for me, and the zodiac can kiss my....well, you get the picture.
2. During my daily reading this week I came across this story of David at the end of his life. The scripture is 2 Samuel 21:15-22.
Israel is at war with the Phillistines (again), and David is again up against a giant. He is weak, frail, and about to be killed when one of his warriors rescues him and slays the giant. Verses 16 - 22 go on to tell us about 3 additional giants that were slain by 3 additional warriors. I started thinking: "What if David hadn't slain Goliath at age 17?" What if he had failed in his faith, and not won that awesome victory? Israel's history would have been much different, and 4 more giants from Gath would not have been taken down.
What giants have you slain in the name of Jesus? Are you sharing these victories with others? What if the reason you are going through a hard time is to give others the courage to get through their own personal Goliath?
3. Since I am reading the One Year Through the Bible, today's scripture was again about David. A little more puzzling to me, and actually gave me more questions than answers. The scripture reference is 2 Samuel 24. The gist of it is this:
a. God was angry at Israel.
b. God caused David to take a census, David tells Joab, and Joab protests, but obeys.
c. After the census, David's conscience begins to burn, and he asks God for forgiveness.
d. God gives three choices: 3 years or famine, 3 months of fleeing, OR 3 days of severe plague.
e. David throws himself on the mercy of God and allows Him to choose the punishment. It is the plague, and in 3 days 70,000 people are killed.
So my questions are: 1. Why was God angry? 2. Why did he "cause" David to sin, and then in turn punish Israel?
Thoughts on this are welcome...leave me a comment.