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Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Daily Devotionals
Truths to Live By - One Day at a Time
Devotional: July 18th

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“Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.”

David was ecstatic when he brought the ark to Jerusalem and when it was placed in the tent that he had specially prepared for it. Sensing that this was one of his greatest achievements and one of the most glorious moments in his career, the king danced before the Lord with all his might. His wife, Michal, ridiculed him for what she thought was shameful behavior. As a direct result of her critical attitude, she had no child unto the day of her death.

We learn from this that a critical spirit produces barrenness. Of course, when we say that, we are not speaking about constructive criticism. If criticism is true, we should welcome it and benefit from it. There are few friends in life who love us enough to give helpful criticism.

But destructive criticism can be devastating. It can destroy the work of God in someone’s life, and can undo the progress of years in a few minutes.

In the incident involving David, the ark represents Christ and the ark given its place in Jerusalem speaks of Christ enthroned in the human heart. When that happens, the Spirit-filled believer cannot help but express his exuberance and enthusiasm. This often stirs up the hostility of unbelievers and sometimes the scorn of other Christians. But that critical spirit inevitably leads to barrenness.

It can lead to barrenness not only in an individual life but in a local assembly as well. Take, for example, a fellowship where the young people are subjected to a continual torrent of criticism. They are taken to task for the way they dress, for their hair styles, for their public prayers, for their music. Instead of patiently training them, the leadership expects them to be instantly full-grown. Soon the young people drift away to more congenial fellowships, and the assembly is left to die on the vine.

Let us be warned by the example of Michal that censoriousness not only harms its victims but takes its revenge on the one who practices it. That revenge is spiritual barrenness.

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