Well, the sun came up again today- ho hum. Got out of bed and got dressed as usual- ho hum. Ate breakfast, same breakfast I always eat- ho hum. Went to the same job I’ve been going to for the last many years- ho hum. Saw the same people I see everyday- ho hum. Came home at the same time I always come home- ho hum. Had the same meal we always have on this day of the week, every week- ho hum. Caught the same news report, and heard pretty much the same news, I catch everyday- ho hum. Watched the same television programs I always do after dinner- ho hum. Went to bed at the same time I do every evening- ho hum. Tomorrow I’ll get up and do it all again- ho hum…
How many times have we heard the statement, “Freedom aint free!”? It’s a statement meant to impress upon us the fact that the freedoms associated with living in this country, freedoms we hold so dear, did not come cheap. They cost the dedication, commitment and a great many lives of people who went before us to secure and insure them, not only for themselves but also for all of us who have come along later.
The Psalmist recorded Israel’s prayer to God from long ago. “Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, for we have been brought very low” (Ps. 79:8). The sense of the prayer is that the people ask God to forget their former sins. The text of the Psalm would seem to fit the period of Israel’s captivity in Babylon. God allowed the Babylonians to conquer Judah, destroy Jerusalem and the temple therein and take the people of the land into Babylon as captives. In time, the Medes and Persians would conquer Babylon, but it would be seventy years before the first of the people of Judah would be allowed to return to their homeland.
When the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive and bring forth a Son and call His name Jesus, she was troubled. She was a virgin. The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, and the son she would bear would be the Son of God. The angel further assured her that it would happen as he had said by informing her that her relative Elizabeth, who had been called barren, had also conceived and was in the sixth month of expectancy. Gabriel summed it up by saying, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Lk. 1:26-37). What man could see no way of happening, God could perform.
When Solomon became king of Israel, God granted him a request: “Ask! What shall I give you?” (1 Kgs. 3:5). Solomon responded by humbly describing himself as “a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in” (vs. 7). He then asked God for “an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (vs. 9). Solomon’s request was for wisdom that he might lead God’s people effectively. God bestowed upon him a degree of wisdom that made him the wisest man who had ever lived (vs. 12). And, because Solomon’s request was so selfless, God bestowed upon him great wealth (vs. 13).
Gary L. Hutchens