Between a Rock and a Hard Place
“Between a rock and a hard place” is a phrase I heard growing up that I never understood. I think of that phrase now a lot when I read Scripture, though; we see time and time again God’s people in seemingly hopeless scenarios—essentially between a rock and a hard place. But His plans are always better than ours. You think, there is no way they’re getting out of this one! But God always makes a way.
In Acts 7, Stephen is before the council, and in response to their questions, he tells account after account of their history of persecuted prophets. He starts with Abraham, works his way to Joseph, and then gets to Moses in verses 20-21.
At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son.
Moses’ story jumps out to me as a rock-and-hard-place situation. First, Pharaoh ordered all the Hebrew baby boys killed. Then, Moses’ mother hides him for three months, puts him in a basket in the river where she knows Pharaoh’s daughter will find him, and then God makes way for his mother to be his “nurse” and ensure his care at the beginning of his life (Exodus 2:1-10). Then, if that wasn’t enough, God continues to rescue Moses from a rock and a hard place, as we see later in Exodus 14.
As the Israelites flee Egypt, they’re standing at the Red Sea and see two options: drown in the Red Sea or go back to Egypt to be enslaved. The ultimate “between a rock and a hard place” scenario! But God made a way that wasn’t even an option. He parted the Red Sea, and the Israelites walked through on dry land.
How often have we been in situations where we felt like all the options were in front of us, and all seemed like hard choices, but God provided a path we didn’t see before? For me, I look back and can count a handful of times where I’ve experienced Moses and the Red Sea moments where God brought help through an avenue I didn’t know existed.
Remember that God is a God of love, kindness, and grace when you find yourself in a seemingly impossible situation. He is full of mercy and wisdom, and He is just. Ask Him to make a way for you to move forward in His will. Ask for guidance, direction, and wisdom. God is often working things out in ways we can’t yet see. So trust Him and lean on Him through these times.
Jesus, thank You for making a way when things seem hopeless. Help us never lose sight that your plans are greater than ours. When we think we’re in a rock-and-a-hard-place situation, bring us comfort and peace as we trust in You. In Your name. Amen.
1 Kings 18:36-37 36At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
Elijah had given the prophets of Baal every advantage. He gave them most of the day. They had hundreds of Baal priests. When they had exhausted all their efforts he built an altar of twelve stones, arranged the wood, and placed the sacrificial bull. He dug a trough around the altar. Then he had the people drench the altar with water until the trough filled up.
It must have been 3PM, the time of the evening sacrifice. Elijah prayed the above prayer. He declared the reason for this test was that the people would know there is a God in Israel, and that he was doing these things at God’s command. He prayed that so that the people would know that the LORD (Jehovah, also YHWH) is God. He prayed that they would realize God was turning their hearts back.
A fire fell from heaven and consumed everything, including the altar stones! Then the people shouted, “Elijah, Elijah, Elijah!” Elijah’s name means God is Jehovah! They were declaring that God is Jehovah. Elijah’s prayer was answered.
If we operate at God’s command and pray with a heart to see people realize that the LORD is God, we can expect to see miracles also. We can expect God to turn hearts back to Him. If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Pray the above prayer for your family and nation.
The Service of Love
Rebecca Jordan Heys , Today Devotions
SCRIPTURE READING — JOHN 13:1-17
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example. . . .”
A few days ago (June 19) we reflected on 1 Corinthians 13, which gives a picture of the beautiful love that Jesus calls us to live by. It’s a love that is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud. We show this kind of love in humility and with acts of kindness and service.
Jesus showed this kind of love when he washed his disciples’ feet. John 13 tells us about it. Jesus dressed himself like a servant, wrapping a towel around his waist and getting down on the floor. The disciples felt embarrassed that Jesus would do such a thing. But he explained that a beautiful life consists of receiving this kind of servant-love from him and then sharing it with others.
This is one of the most direct commands that Jesus gives us in the Bible about how to follow his example. Though washing people’s feet may not be a part of our culture today, there are many other ways to serve people with the love of Christ. We can listen to them; we can advocate for them; we can share our time and gifts. We can show people everywhere the humble love of Christ, and we can encourage them to show Christ’s love to others. In this way the love of Christ can spread everywhere and transform the world!
Jesus, our servant-King, we are so grateful for the humble love you have shown to us. Give us the humility to receive this love from you and to share it with others everywhere. In your name, Amen.
What It Means to Believe in Jesus
Salvation begins with knowing who Jesus is and what He did for you.
Saving faith has three elements: knowledge, conviction, and trust. Today, let’s look at the first component: the knowledge required to believe in Jesus as our Savior.
Who is Jesus? He is the Son of God. At the request of God the Father, Jesus set aside His divine rights, took on human form, and dwelled on earth (Philippians 2:6-7).
What did He accomplish? To be acceptable to God, sacrifices had to be without defect (Leviticus 22:20). Jesus lived a perfect life, which qualified Him to be our substitute, bearing God’s judgment for our sins. Through His death on the cross, we are forgiven for our transgressions and have peace with God.
Why did He have to die? We could not save ourselves, since even our best deeds are marred by sin. When we accept Christ’s atoning work on our behalf, we are no longer God’s enemy but a member of His family.
When I was saved at age 12, I understood only the simplest aspects of these truths. I knew that I was a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness and that only Jesus could save me. But knowledge alone does not bring salvation—even the demons understood that Jesus was the Son of God (Luke 4:41). Salvation also requires conviction and trust. I believed these truths, and the Lord saved me. Do you believe the same is true for you?