Escape in a Basket

Bible:

When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket. Acts 9:23-25 ESV

[Paul wrote:]

At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands. II Corinthians 11:32-33 ESV

Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth!
We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and we have escaped!

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:6-8 ESV

Reflection:

During the time the Nazis were in power in Europe and Germany was invading and occupying other countries, Jewish people were in terrible danger, and many European Jews were put to death. When the country of Denmark was occupied by the Nazi government, a German diplomat warned the people who were part of the Danish Resistance that the Nazis were about to round up and deport all the Danish people who were Jews. The Danish people worked quickly to help their Jewish friends and neighbors to escape. Most of the Jewish people in Denmark escaped by buses, trains, or on foot to the coast of Denmark, where Danish fishermen smuggled them in boats over the water to Sweden, where they would be safe.

Saul also had to escape from Damascus after awhile. He had kept on preaching that Jesus was the Son of God and the promised Savior, and after awhile the Jewish religious leaders became angry with him. They got together and planned to kill Saul, who wrote later that the governor of the city was also involved in the plot. Saul found out about the plot, and he knew he had to get out of Damascus, but all the gates to the city were being watched night and day. So some of Saul’s disciples put him in a basket and lowered the basket through a window opening in the city walls during the night. Saul was able to get away from his enemies and to escape the death they had planned for him.

We were all under the power of our enemies, sin and death and the devil, and we had no hope of escape. We needed help to be set free and to be saved from the evil forces that were hurting us. Jesus came to this world to rescue us from sin and all the evil that had us under its power. He died on the cross and rose again from the dead so that we could be set free. Because of Jesus, we are safe from everything that could ever hurt us, and we are free to be his people and to love and serve him now and forever.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for setting us free from sin and death and for making us your people forever. Amen.

Source:

https://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007740

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I Will Be Their God

Bible:

“Now therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, ‘It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence’: Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.” Jeremiah 32:36-41 ESV

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand. Psalm 95:6-7a ESV

Reflection:

King Christian X of Denmark was a good king who worked to improve the lives of his people, and they respected and loved him. Every day he would ride a horse through the streets of the capital city of Copenhagen without having any bodyguards to protect him. He wanted to be close to his people, so he went out among them to meet them and talk to them. There’s a story that once a visitor asked someone why the king didn’t have a bodyguard, and the person replied, “All Denmark is his bodyguard.” King Christian was their king, and they were his people, and there was nothing to come between them.

Jeremiah spoke words of God that promised that the same kind of thing would one day be true of God and his people. They were experiencing war and famine and exile, and the future looked grim. But the Lord promised that he would someday bring them back to their own land and give them safety. The people and their children after them would have new hearts, and would obey his covenant. He would be their God, and they would be his people. This is the most wonderful promise the Lord could give. Nothing would come between him and his people, but instead they would live in God’s love and protection every day.

This promise was most beautifully fulfilled when God came to us in Jesus. Jesus lived among his people and taught them God’s ways, and showed his love and compassion to people who were sick and hurting. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and to make us God’s people and bring us back to our heavenly Father. Because of Jesus, God is with us always, every day, and we can always go to him in prayer and know that he hears us and will help us in the way that is best. There is nothing in the world that can separate us from God’s love, now or ever.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending our Savior, Jesus, to make us your people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Source:

http://www.peachtree-online.com/yellowstar/Christian.html

The True King

Bible:

But in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of the Carites and of the guards, and had them come to him in the house of the Lord. And he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the Lord, and he showed them the king’s son. And he commanded them, “This is the thing that you shall do: one third of you, those who come off duty on the Sabbath and guard the king’s house (another third being at the gate Sur and a third at the gate behind the guards) shall guard the palace. And the two divisions of you, which come on duty in force on the Sabbath and guard the house of the Lord on behalf of the king, shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand. And whoever approaches the ranks is to be put to death. Be with the king when he goes out and when he comes in.”

The captains did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they each brought his men who were to go off duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. And the priest gave to the captains the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of the Lord. And the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house on behalf of the king. Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”

When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she went into the house of the Lord to the people. And when she looked, there was the king standing by the pillar, according to the custom, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. And Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” Then Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains who were set over the army, “Bring her out between the ranks, and put to death with the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of the Lord.” So they laid hands on her; and she went through the horses’ entrance to the king’s house, and there she was put to death. II Kings 11:4-16 ESV

[The Father] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 ESV

Reflection:

There’s an old story about a king of Denmark who died, and while dying entrusted his children to Earl Godard. Godard was a wicked man who killed the king’s two daughters and ordered a fisherman named Grim to drown the king’s son, Havelock. But Grim realized that Havelock was the rightful king of Denmark and fled the country with his family and the young prince. When Havelock grew up he married Goldborou. She was the princess of England, but when her father the king had died, an earl named Goodrich had seized the kingdom that belonged to her. After some battles Goldborou and Havelock became the Queen and King of England, and they ruled together for 60 years. Havelock gave his Kingdom of Denmark to an earl who had helped him in his struggles.

Havelock and Goldborou both had their kingdoms stolen from them, but in the end they were able to become king and queen. The same thing happened to Joash. He was the true king of Judah, but his grandmother Athaliah had stolen his kingdom and even put to death her sons and other grandsons. But the time came when Joash had his kingdom restored to him. The priest Jehoiada waited until he was seven years old, then he got all the captains and guards together and planned to overthrow Athaliah. Everything went as Jehoiada planned. Joash was crowned and anointed in the temple while all the captains applauded and shouted, “Long live the king!” Then they seized Athaliah and put her to death.

God is the King of everything, but we turned against him and became a part of the kingdom of darkness. The devil stole us from our rightful king when our first parents fell into sin. But God sent his Son Jesus, our true king, to overthrow the devil and to bring us back to his heavenly kingdom. Jesus defeated death and the devil when he died on the cross and rose again from the dead. Because of Jesus, we have been brought back to God, and we will live in his heavenly kingdom forever.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to bring us into your heavenly kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Source:

http://middleenglishromance.org.uk/mer/27