In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos'
(matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos'
which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain
theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both
styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying
spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground'
a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the
deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.
In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the
styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different
facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style
than the 'Varying topics' one.
As the month of December coincides with the Christmas season, in this month I intend to
dwell exclusively on all the topics revolving around Christmas using the visit of the
Wise man described in Matthew 2 as the base.
Let me wish you a happy and an edifying read… oh yes-MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF US!
Victory in the very place of defeat
Under the apple tree I roused you; there your
mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birth –Song of Solomon 8:5
contrast between Adam and Christ who was yet to come! And what difference
between man’s sin and God’s forgiveness! For this one man, brought death to
many through his sin. But this man Jesus Christ, brought
forgiveness to many through God’s mercy. Adam’s one
sin brought penalty of death to many, while Christ freely takes away many
sins and gives glorious life instead. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused
death to be king over all, but all who take God’s gift of forgiveness
and acquittal are kings of life because of this one man, Jesus
Christ. Yes, Adam’s sin brought punishment to all,
but Christ’s righteousness makes men right with God,
so that they can live. Adam caused many to be sinners, because he
disobeyed God, and Christ caused many to be made acceptable
to God because he obeyed –Romans 5:14-19
The Bible abounds with examples of God scoring victories
in the very places of defeat. What about Joshua’s campaign, against the City of
Ai which is
described in great detail in Chapters 7 and 8 in the Book bearing his name? A
defeat caused by sin, is turned into victory by obedience later. Let’s take yet
another example in the somatic (to use medical parlance) realm –the case of
weakness of a man turned into his strength
Moses, the man with
(Exodus 4:10) by God’s enablement gives the longest recorded
speech in the Bible
(the Book of Deuteronomy 1-33). Let’s also go to the
psycho-spiritual realm. Peter, the coward who denied his Lord for fear of
mortal danger was so transformed, that towards the end of his life, he was
willing to be crucified upside down. Yes that same cowardly Peter fuelled by
his faith rose to such unbelievable levels of sacrificial disposition. Let’s
also examine Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness. If Adam succumbed to
temptations in the most favourable of conditions of a pleasant Garden of Eden,
then the Final Adam-Jesus- enduring the heat of a desert, took on and defeated
the foe after 40 days of fasting in the most adverse of circumstances’
Now what makes us think that if the spiritual fall of man,
began under the ‘apple tree’, the spiritual victory march would not begin under
yet another ‘apple tree’? Is this fact not consistent with God’s
character of scoring victories in the very areas’ of defeat and there is a
specific pointer in the Bible itself, to that effect
(Song of Solomon 8:5).
Let’s come to that…
If all aspects of Jesus’ were prophesied in advance in the
Scriptures (virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection etc), would the same
reliable Scriptures point only towards the place of his birth
(Bethlehem–Micah 5:2) and not towards the
exact place therein? Is the first of the above-captioned scripture portion
speaking about Solomon, the son of a rich King David? Even commonsense suggests
it is the son of a humble carpenter coming to an unknown place with his
pregnant wife (Note: birth pangs can begin anywhere), who can be born under the
roadside apple tree and not the son of a rich King, for whom every facility
would be made available.
Whilst reading about the birth of Jesus in
lets examine closely
Luke 2:6-7 from KJV which reads thus
And so it was, that, while they
were there, the days were accomplished that she should be
delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped
him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
It is crystal clear, she gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem (not in the manger) and because there was no
place for them in the inns’ of Bethlehem,
the baby Jesus was placed in the manger.
Consider this once again…
Victory and defeat are two inseparable twins. If there is
a sweet smell of victory in the air for some, then not far way would be the
pungent odour of defeat for others. If it all, there was defeat with the
capital D for mankind, then it was in the garden of Eden under the apple
tree, then where else could the first step towards victory be taken
(which eventually led to yet another tree in the Calvary), other than ‘at
a apple tree’?
Father, only eternity would stun us with some truths, all
of us, may not be aware of here on earth. However, grant us the mind to examine
and understand Thy Word properly, so that, with some of the startling truths
revealed, we can praise you all the more, for Thine indescribable wisdom. In
Jesus’ name. Amen.