Casting All Your Cares1 Peter 5:7
Worry is a common emotion, even among Christians. God commands His people not to fear, yet all of us experience fear to some degree and respond to it differently. Discover the Bible’s solution for fear when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.
From the Sermon
How to Overcome Jealousy
Jealousy has been the downfall of humanity since our very beginning.
In Genesis 4 it was Cain’s jealousy of his brother Abel that led to murder. While it might be easy to dismiss their story as inapplicable to ourselves, since we probably don’t have a criminal record for murder and are not tempted to obtain one, it is possible to bring ruin to those we envy without ever laying a hand on them, through a snide word here and a blessing withheld there. Not only that but jealousy, when left unaddressed in our hearts, will crush us and overwhelm us.
Jealousy flourishes when others receive more or achieve better than we do. It can penetrate our minds even as we observe the lives of people we don’t know well, simply because we perceive them to have some form of advantage unavailable to us. When someone else experiences happiness because of success or a good reputation, jealousy may manifest as a kind of sadness for ourselves that excludes any gladness for the other. Consider the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32): when the elder brother watched his father celebrate the homecoming of his delinquent younger brother, he refused to cheer along. Why? Because even though he had never lost good standing with his father, he resented the joyous forgiveness and recognition given to another.
Jealousy can make us hostile toward those who have never meant to harm us. When Joseph’s brothers observed how their father loved him, “they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him” (Genesis 37:4). Suddenly, at their breakfast table, relationships were broken—and through no fault of Joseph’s! He had done nothing by his own design to intentionally harm or hinder his brothers, but they hated him because seeds of jealousy were planted deep in their hearts.
Jealousy also fails to recognize that God knows what He is doing when He apportions gifts. When we are jealous of another’s success, we say to God, “You ought to understand that I am supposed to be there… I should look like her… I should have what he has.” But shall the potter have to endure such questions from the clay (Isaiah 64:8)? Why do we think we can question God’s divine wisdom as He deals with us and with others? He has made us and arranged our circumstances exactly as He desires.
Rare is the man or woman who does not struggle with jealousy for one reason or another, at one time or another. So what is the cure for it? With the Holy Spirit’s help, it is to name jealousy for the sin that it is and ask Him to help us daily to root it out, purposefully and ruthlessly. And, again with the Spirit’s help, we can consider all that we have in Christ—for as we think about the spiritual blessings that are ours through Him, jealousy withers and contentment grows in its place. Do not let envy grow in your heart today—and if and where it has done so, root it out.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
6but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. 8But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband,1 10and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.
Objects of Divine Satisfaction
He has blessed us in the Beloved.
What a state of privilege! It includes our justification before God, but the term “blessed” in the Greek means more than that. It signifies that we are the objects of divine satisfaction, even of divine delight. How marvelous that we—worms, mortals, sinners—should be made the objects of divine love!
But it is only “in the Beloved.” Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience—at least that is their apprehension. When their spirit is lively and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so high, so heavenly-minded, so drawn above the earth! But when their souls cleave to the dust, they are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted. If they could only see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father’s sight, but that they stand accepted in One who never alters. This One is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. How much happier they would be, and how much more they would honor the Savior if they could grasp Him!
Rejoice then, believer, in this: You are blessed “in the Beloved.” You look within, and you say, “There is nothing acceptable here!” But look at Christ, and see if everything is not acceptable there. Your sins trouble you; but God has cast your sins behind His back, and you are accepted and blessed in the Righteous One. You have to fight with corruption and wrestle with temptation, but you are already accepted in Him who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts you, but be of good cheer—he cannot destroy you, for you are accepted in Him who has broken Satan’s head.
Know by full assurance your glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than you are. They are only blessed in heaven “in the Beloved,” and you are even now blessed in Christ after the same manner.
Joab Rebukes David
1It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. 4The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king.
David Returns to Jerusalem
Now Israel had fled every man to his own home. 9And all the people were arguing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”
11And King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests: “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king?1 12You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if you are not commander of my army from now on in place of Joab.’” 14And he swayed the heart of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, “Return, both you and all your servants.” 15So the king came back to the Jordan, and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to bring the king over the Jordan.
David Pardons His Enemies
16And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17And with him were a thousand men from Benjamin. And Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, with his fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan before the king, 18and they crossed the ford to bring over the king's household and to do his pleasure. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, 19and said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. 20For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.” 21Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord's anointed?” 22But David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?” 23And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king gave him his oath.
24And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. 25And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself,2 that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. 27He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28For all my father's house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?” 29And the king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” 30And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.”
31Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim, and he went on with the king to the Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan. 32Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33And the king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.” 34But Barzillai said to the king, “How many years have I still to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35I am this day eighty years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36Your servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him go over with my lord the king, and do for him whatever seems good to you.” 38And the king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you, and all that you desire of me I will do for you.” 39Then all the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own home. 40The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. All the people of Judah, and also half the people of Israel, brought the king on his way.
41Then all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away and brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all David's men with him?” 42All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is our close relative. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?” 43And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and in David also we have more than you. Why then did you despise us? Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?” But the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.
Paul's Visions and His Thorn
1I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—4and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—6though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,1 a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Concern for the Corinthian Church
11I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!
14Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?
19Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.
Prophecy Against Tyre
1In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 2“Son of man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,’ 3therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. 4They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock. 5She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord God. And she shall become plunder for the nations, 6and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
7“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar1 king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. 8He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. 9He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. 11With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground. 12They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. 13And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. 14I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the Lord; I have spoken, declares the Lord God.
15“Thus says the Lord God to Tyre: Will not the coastlands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when slaughter is made in your midst? 16Then all the princes of the sea will step down from their thrones and remove their robes and strip off their embroidered garments. They will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground and tremble every moment and be appalled at you. 17And they will raise a lamentation over you and say to you,
“‘How you have perished,
you who were inhabited from the seas,
O city renowned,
who was mighty on the sea;
she and her inhabitants imposed their terror
on all her inhabitants!
18Now the coastlands tremble
on the day of your fall,
and the coastlands that are on the sea
are dismayed at your passing.’
19“For thus says the Lord God: When I make you a city laid waste, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you, and the great waters cover you, 20then I will make you go down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you to dwell in the world below, among ruins from of old, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set beauty in the land of the living. 21I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more. Though you be sought for, you will never be found again, declares the Lord God.”
Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause
A Maskil1 of Asaph.
1O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
2Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old,
which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!
Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.
3Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!
4Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place;
they set up their own signs for signs.
5They were like those who swing axes
in a forest of trees.2
6And all its carved wood
they broke down with hatchets and hammers.
7They set your sanctuary on fire;
they profaned the dwelling place of your name,
bringing it down to the ground.
8They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9We do not see our signs;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is none among us who knows how long.
10How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
11Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
Take it from the fold of your garment3 and destroy them!
12Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the sea monsters4 on the waters.
14You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15You split open springs and brooks;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
17You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
you have made summer and winter.
18Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
and a foolish people reviles your name.
19Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts;
do not forget the life of your poor forever.
20Have regard for the covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.
22Arise, O God, defend your cause;
remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!
23Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!
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