My mind, being the tired mind that it is, couldn't resolve what most to focus on, so I have instead chosen to go with gleanings....short bits of insight from the passages that I read.
First up: 1 Samuel 4. This is a story about a battle between Israel and the Philistines.
3And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies." 4So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.I read that and thought, hmm.....God is being used as a good luck charm here. We lost so I wonder if our fortunes will change if we bring the covenant of God with us. The very act of bringing to covenant among them, and the good cheer that it raised, actually inspired the Philistines to fight harder. I found that interesting.
Then to read in Romans 4 what is the justification for faith. I may have worded that poorly. :) Abraham was not justified in faith for being circumcised, for doing 'good work' for God, or for any outward thing. He was justified because he believed and trusted in God. That was it. I really liked these lines:
20No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.Those lines remind me of the importance of not wavering in my faith. Of my need to just hold to God despite the "stuff" around me. I need to remain fully convinced of God and his promises and HIS ability to carry me through. As I do this, I can praise God and give him the glory and that will help my faith to grow stronger. It's one of the good circle things. :)
In Jeremiah 42 we are reminded that our safety and security comes from God. Israel was used to running to Egypt for help when things got tough. God tells his people in this passage, don't go running off to Egypt. If you go there, bad things will happen to you BUT
10If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you.And then finally in Psalm 18 I read these closing words
46The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
48who delivered me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you rescued me from the man of violence.
49 For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
50Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.
God is our salvation.
God is the one in whom we should put our trust.All praise and glory and thanks belong to our God! It is him I put my trust. :)