We should want to rejoice greatly and praise God when he helps us.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Noah was 500 years old when God told him to build the ark. It took 100 years to build the ark, so Noah was 600 years old when they went into it with all the animals. There was only one window in the top that was 18 inches square. We don’t know what kind of light they had. There was no ventilation with only one window. After they went in it was 40 days before the rain came. It didn’t smell very good with so many animals in the ark. They came out of the ark after a year and built an altar to worship God. We have windows in comfortable homes that we can open and see out. We have food and can walk outside. Even with the current corona virus, we should not be complaining but have much to rejoice about.
Paul and Silas sang at midnight when they were in jail. Paul spent two years under house arrest in Caesarea. Then he was in prison for two years at Rome where it was dark and he only got food when it was brought to him. He had no bathroom or shower privileges. None of that caused Paul to complain. God help us shine as beacon lights to the lost.
Philippians 2:14-15 (Amplified Bible, Classic) Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [[a] against God] and [b]questioning and doubting [among yourselves], That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world,
Paul had learned in all of his difficulties that he could be content and shine like a bright light.
Philippians 4:11-13 (Amplified Bible, Classic) Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be [a] content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [b] infuses inner strength into me; I am [c] self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
God wants to harden us for difficulties, so we don’t complain but rely on him with rejoicing.
Isaiah 41:10 (Amplified Bible, Classic) Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.
Samuel gave directions to the people. The Israelites had served God on and off for years. Now they seemed to want to serve him. As Samuel prayed and was offering, God thundered and confused the enemy. Samuel set a stone to remember how God helped them. In our day God is helping us one day at a time. We need to set stones to remember God’s help.
I Samuel 7:3-13 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only. And Samuel said, Gather all Israel…I will pray for you unto the Lord. And they gathered…and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the Lord…And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh…the Philistines went up against Israel. And when…Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord: and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him. And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle…but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. And the men of Israel…pursued the Philistines, and smote them…Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
Asa wanted to do right with the Lord, so they broke down the idols and cleaned up all the high places and images. God has correction for us along the way. He wants us to clean up what he shows us so we grow to be more like Christ.
II Chronicles 14:2-5 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord…For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images…And commanded Judah to seek the Lord…and to do the law and the commandment. Also he took away…high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.
Asa had 580,000 in his army, but there were 1 million in the Ethiopian army – 420,000 more. At times we feel like we need to pray like Asa did, “help us, O Lord.” God will help us but like Paul asked God to remove his thorn in the flesh, God may say “my grace is sufficient for thee” (II Corinthians 12:7-9). Paul also said to come boldly for help with our needs (Hebrews 4:16).
II Chronicles 14:8-11 And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour. And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah. Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array…Asa cried…Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
When God came, he helped them win the battle. He will always be there to help us in every situation.
II Chronicles 14:12-15 So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the Lord…and they carried away very much spoil. And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the Lord came upon them: and they spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding much spoil in them. They smote also the tents of cattle, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance…
The psalmist says, “Selah” – consider this. God is our very present help!
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and…mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Uzziah was only 16 when he became king and he reigned 52 years. As long as he sought God, God made him prosper.
II Chronicles 26:4-7 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord…And he sought God…and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. And he…warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath…of Jabneh …of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod…And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians…
God makes us prosper spiritually. Paul wasn’t prospering physically in prison, but he was prospering spiritually. We should thank God and rejoice that we’re prospering spiritually with God’s help. Uzziah was marvelously helped until he was strong.
II Chronicles 26:14-16 And Uzziah prepared…shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers…to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed…to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Pride was in his heart. He thought he could do anything and sinned. We need to stay humble when God helps us marvelously.
II Chronicles 26:19-20 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and…leprosy even rose up… he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out…himself hasted also to go out, because the Lord had smitten him.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)