Bible Devotions

I am the Lord your God

on February 6, 2009

Twenty-three times in only three chapters (Leviticus 18, 19, 20) God said “I am Lord.” It stands to reason if something is repeated it must be important. But 23 times is screaming this is not only important it is also essential. This must be something we really need to understand.

In our contemporary culture, we have a hard time grasping this phrase. What does Lord mean? We think of royalty perhaps the king is also lord. But we have no kingdoms ruled by kings or lords today. Well except maybe for the “drug lords” or the “gang lords”.

So where do we go to learn about kings and lords? You guessed it, the Bible of course. Kings, rulers, pharohs, judges were lords in their day. As we look at the different aspects of their regins we may learn a little bit more of God and His Lordship.

First we see that kings or pharohs had the power to terminate one’s life. In the book of Esther we see the king had power over a person’s life and death. Recall that in order for a person to come into the king’s presence, the king must hold out his royal scepter. If he didn’t, you were killed. Pharoh in the New Testament issued the order to have all male children under the age of two be murdered.

Also in Esther’s time, the king decided who married who. Again recall how the king threw out his one wife and had a beauty contest to find his next wife and queen.

In the Old Testament book of Exodus 5, Pharoh determined what work the people did. The children of Israel were forced to make bricks out of mortar and straw. Pharoh also determine how easy or hard it would be to complete the job as he decided to stop supplying the raw materials so the people had to gather the straw for themselves.

Jesus shares a story of a ruler’s mercy and judgment in Matthew 18:23-35. The king wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One servant owed lots of money and could not pay, so the king forgave him his debt. There’s the mercy. But that same servant sought repayment from another servant for a smaller debt and did not forgive his debt but put him in prison. When the king heard of the servant mistreating the other servant, he executed judgment and put the first servant away in prison to be tortured.

Nehemiah 2:7 indicates the king provides protection. For Nehemiah asked for letters from the king to make his journey through other kingdoms a safe one. With just any letter Nehemiah would have be raided and his materials would be blundered. But with a letter from the king, it was a ticket to trouble free journey through other kingdoms.

Rulers, such as Joseph, the right hand man next to Pharoh during the famine in Egypt determine who received food (Genesis 41:55). So we see rulers determine what provisions are granted daily.

In summary a king, ruler or pharoh had power over your life or death, determined who you married and what work you did, forgave your debt, executed judgment based on your behavior, and supplied protection and daily provisions. From this limited review, now apply these aspects to God and His reign over us.

God has power over my life and my death.

God determines who should I marry.

God decides what work I should do.

God forgives my debt.

God executes judgment over my behavior.

God supplies protection.

God provides daily provisions.

Think about each one of these statements. Let it sink in. Ask yourself “How willing am I in accepting them?” If we waver, it is an indication of our lack of trust. For if we know God is good and His purposes are for our best interest, then surely we are able to submit to His rule in our lives.

What area of your life do you need to allow God to rule? What steps are you willing to take to allow Him to rule in this area?

Lord my God, thank you for helping us understand you better today. Lead us into a fuller knowledge of your supremacy. Enable us to trust you more each day and allow you to rule all areas of our life. Forgive us for holding on to some areas. Enable us to let you have your way for we know you desire what’s best for us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade. Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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