Definition: The point at which the image is formed. Attention on a problem or situation. To fix steadily on a central objective.
Synonyms: Attentive, Concentrate
Read Numbers 13: 1-3, 25-33
Twelve spies (one from each tribe) were sent to survey Canaan and report conditions to the people. The chosen scouts were leaders in their tribes, probably knowledgeable about their faith. Ten of the men returned defeated. Their focus was on the city’s impressive features: it was large, well fortified, and the people are huge!
Let’s focus on some salient points from Scripture:
- Canaan is the land promised to Abraham’s descendants. (Genesis 12: 5-7)
- Pharaoh set them free due to God’s mighty works and miracles. (Exodus 12: 31-32)
- Not only were they free, they took the Egyptian’s wealth. (Exodus 12: 35-36)
- They beheld the parting of the Red Sea! (Exodus 14: 13-17; 26-28)
Having just experienced all the above works of God, ten men still focused on the Canaanites strengths and not God’s power. These ten men convinced the Israelites that following God’s plan to conquer the land was foolish; consequently, this led the people into forty years of desert living, never entering the land of milk and honey.
Doubting God’s faithfulness leads to bad decisions. Yes, we are to think logically when making decisions; but we must remember, we worship a mighty God. We can always depend on his keeping all promises. There are times when the odds are so insurmountable the world knows the victory is God’s.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Focus on victory through God and not self.
Read Numbers 14: 6-9, 11-16; 26- 45
Yesterday we talked about ten of he twelve spies who focused on the Canaanites strengths; on the other hand, the other two spies (Joshua and Caleb) focused on God. They understood God’s promise of assured victory; however, it was ten against two. Focusing on man’s opinion instead of God’s promises, the Israelites logically decide the majority were right.
It’s interesting to note God was ready to destroy everyone and bless Moses with a great nation. I would have accepted the offer; instead, Moses focused on the pagan nations ridiculing God, so he saved the people from destruction. Although not destroyed, the punishment was harsh, for only Joshua and Caleb will enter the land. Everyone else over the age of twenty will die before God gives them victory over the Canaanites; furthermore, the ten troublemakers were struck with a fatal plague. Amazingly, the Israelites took notice; now they were ready to take the land! Too little too late! (Numbers 14: 37-45)
What a day for Moses, and this was just the beginning! I wonder how often during the next forty years, he wished he’d taken God up on his offer and let the people be destroyed.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: When faced with a challenge use the common sense God gave you, but make sure logic doesn’t supplant focusing on what a big God we serve.
Read 2 Samuel 11 & 12: 1-25
She feels like a hypocrite as she observes the usual mourning rituals for her husband; however, her pain is real, despite the fact she is responsible for his death.
When Uriah refused David’s offers to return home for a respite from battle, he left David no choice (or so he thought) but to arrange the faithful soldier’s death. Since Uriah spent no time with her, everyone would know the child she carries is not her husband’s; thus an ill-conceived action plan, with Uriah on the front line, assured his death, along with the collateral damage of other soldiers. Such devastation and loss caused by one night of sin.
At first glance, it appears Bathsheba’s hand was forced. She had no choice but to acquiesce to David’s request. A king could order her killed for refusing. We don’t know why she went to David. Perhaps she felt flattered or maybe it was self-preservation. Either way, she was self-focused, and her selfish decision led to bloodshed. Obeying God’s law isn’t always easy, but it’s always right.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: Keep focused on God’s word even when – especially when -intense emotions are involved.
Read 1 Samuel 25
Scared for everybody’s life the worker runs to the house to find Abigail, because she always knows what to do. Nabal stumbles through life and leaves a mess behind for Abigail to clean up; therefore, the responsibility of the household and business falls on her shoulders. People probably called her Mrs. Fit-it instead of Nabal’s wife.
This is a prime example of his foolishness: David’s men provided protection and were fair to Nabal’s workers, yet Nabal rebuffs David’s request for food; thus, refusing the future king! Once again Nabal’s foolhardiness falls to Abigail to correct. She and the servants gather supplies for David’s feast and prepare to make a trip.
Abigail’s focus was on preventing bloodshed and protecting God’s chosen, David, from sin. (1 Samuel 25:30-31) Married to a man whose focus was always on self; Abigail learned to focus outward and on God. Not only did she prevent deaths, David asked her to marry him when her husband died.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: What a difference a day can make! Keep focused on God – every day!
While Bathsheba’s self-focused decision wreaked havoc and loss of life, Abigail’s focused resolve sent off a chain reaction that saved lives and kept the peace.
Are you a woman of action? How do your actions affect your family and those around you? Focus on one person in your life. Write in your journal steps to encourage this person’s spiritual growth.
For example, I have a friend who is not opposed to Christianity, but is apathetic towards faith. However, she is very interested in nature and concerned for the environment. I gave her a book about nature and our environment that focused on God as Creator.
Another example is asking a person of another faith an open-ended question about their belief system. Hopefully, a discussion will ensue that provides a witnessing opportunity.