The Redeeming Love of God (Hosea 3:2-3)

No Love Like God’s Love 2

“So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: and I said unto her, ‘Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.” Hosea 3:2-3 (KJV)

Obedience must be the heart of the prophet.  Hosea obeyed.  He bought his wife and freed her from the licentious, debaucherous  bondage she was in.

The price was steep.  What price is too high to pay to redeem what you love?  The price God would pay to redeem all mankind was high as well.  It cost Him the life of His only begotten Son.

Hosea was not told to wait and love Gomer after she straightened up her life.  He was commanded to love her unconditionally.  It is hard to love the unlovable, the unloving, the unkind.  It is hard to love when that love is not returned.  That is what real love is.  Hosea did.  God does.  His children do, else they are not His children (1 John 4:8).  We are able to love, because we are God’s purchased possession (1 Corinthians 6:20).  We are forgiven, and indwelt by the Spirit of Christ.

Just as Hosea paid a price for Gomer’s redemption, and God pays a price for Israel’s and our redemption, so too, it requires a price for us to love unconditionally.  The price we pay is openness; our lives opened up to hurt, rejection; when we love we open our lives to those we love.  The price we pay is giving; giving ourselves, our time in order to see that one we love set free from their problem, trials and bondages.  The price we pay is tough love; chastening is not pleasant; it will be hated at times by the one we love.  The price we pay is forgiveness; someone must pay, and it will be the one who forgives.

Redemption is always at a high price.  Forgiveness and cleansing are not free.  Someone must pay.  In Gomer’s place Hosea paid the price.  In Israel’s stead God pays the price.  “The Redeeming Love of God” for all people is through the death, burial, and resurrection of God’s Son Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:19; 2:24;  John 3:16).

Accepted redemption, such as Gomer’s must have made, requires and gives a change of life, and life style.

There was to be a period of cleansing discipline for Gomer.  She would not go back to her “Lovers”.  She would not “Play the harlot”, or would Hosea have another woman.

When God redeems us there is a time for cleansing – it is called life.  There will come a day when we will be with Him; and when we stand in His presence we will be clean, by the blood of Jesus.

-Tim A Blankenship

The Redeeming Love of God (Hosea 3:1)

No Love Like God’s Love 1

“Then said the LORD unto me, ‘Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.'” Hosea 3:1 (KJV)

The LORD again speaks to Hosea concerning his wife.

Hosea received command from God.  “Hosea, love your wife again.”  She is still in an unlovable state, yet God says, “Love her again”.  He was obedient in putting her away.  He was obedient in the naming of his children, and seeing God at work in his family situation.  Would he obey in this as well?  He would.  He would follow wherever the LORD led.

Notice who God tells Hosea to love.  Another woman?  N0!  The same Gomer who was entangled, and involved in temple prostitution, adultery against God and her husband.  When is he to love her?

  1. While she still has other lovers;
  2. While she is still practicing her lewd ways.

Why is he to love her?  He is to love Gomer to illustrate God’s love for unfaithful Israel.

God may withdraw His hand of grace, His protecting hedge about His people; for awhile, but it is always redemptive in purpose.  He never forsakes His people.  He loves His people and always knows what is beneficial for us.

“Woman loved by a lover” is equivalent to “Who look to other gods”, since Gomer represents Israel and Hosea – God.  “Is committing adultery” is equivalent with “Love the raisin cakes [flagons of wine KJV] of pagans”.  “The expression ‘And love raisin cakes’ describes the reason for their apostasy.  ‘Loving raisin cakes’ is equivalent to loving sexual sin.  ‘Raisin cakes’ were dried raisins pressed together for sweetmeat.  Participants in the licentious Baal rites ate ‘Raisin cakes’.  These delicacies symbolized to them the sweetness of their participation in the Baal fertility rites to satisfy their lusts, and to increase productivity throughout the land in every area of life.  Such sin may indeed be sweet for a season like ‘Raisin cakes’ in the mouth, but it turns within the stomach ‘to the venom of cobras (See Job 20:14).”  From the Study Book by John Traylor.

The “Raisin cakes” imply enjoyment of their lewd practices; and their neglect, and rejection for hearing the words of the LORD.  Sin can indeed be enjoyed, but only for a short period, and it pays “Loan shark” interest rates.

Like has been said, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go; Sin will leave you longer than you want to stay;  Sin will cost you more than you want to pay.”  But you will pay.  By the love and grace of God our sin debt was paid by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, He was buried and He rose again.  He is alive.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Redeeming Love of God (2) continued…

GOD Pursues the Redemption of His Wife (Continued…)

The conclusion of this study will include verses 14 – 23 of Hosea 2.

 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.  And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.  And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call Me Ishi; and shalt call Me no more Baali.  For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.  And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.  And I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.  I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”  Hosea 14-20 (KJV)

There are many times that we think of God’s judgment as only being punitive – to punish.  It is so much more.  It is also redemptive.  It is God’s desire to have His people in the place of blessing, and He gets His people to blessings by both punitive and redemptive judgment.

In verse 14 God says He will “allure her”.  This is  to attract her to Himself (Romans 2:4).  Why would God, who is “Beautiful in holiness”, rich in glory, and worthy of praise, want to attract this people who were in effect, in a state of whoredoms against Him?  That is what His grace is all about.  Loving the unlovable.  Cleansing the unclean.

How would God “allure”, attract her?

  1. By taking here as His “Wife” again;
  2. By speaking “comfort to her”  [these would be words of love, romance, telling her of her beauty. This loving comfort would even cause her to forget her former lovers];
  3. By restoring her fruitfulness.

“The Valley of Achor” is the place of Achan’s sin (See Joshua 7).  God had commanded Israel not to take any accursed thing for themselves; as they conquered Jericho.  The silver, gold, and vessels of bronze and iron were for the LORD’S treasure house.  Achan disobeyed and kept a “Babylonish garment” and a “Wedge of gold” which he buried in his tent.  Because of this rebellion by one man, and his family the nation lost a battle that should have been won.

We learn from this story that harboring sin is futile to God’s people.  Taking to ourselves what God forbids is harlotry against God.  Yet God says through Hosea, that “The Valley of Achor [is] as a door of hope”.  “When Israel embraced the Baals, she took what God had cursed just as Achan did in taking the spoils of Jericho.  Their sin had brought terrible destruction upon them, their children, and their land.  Its transformation would be a token of the eternal blessings they would enjoy from now on.”  (From Hosea: God’s Reeeming Love by John Traylor pp. 23&24).

A place where a man and his family judged for sin becomes “A door of hope”.  There was a man who was judged that is our place of hope.  The cross of Jesus, and ugly, despicable judgment, is the only hope mankind has.  Because Achan died Israel became victorious.  Achan died for his own sins.  Jesus “Became sin” for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), and died, making victory possible for all who will believe.

What love God has for His people.  In verse 2 God said, “She is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!”  In verse 16 He says, “You will call Me ‘My Husband’ and no longer “My Master’.  Before Israel in their harlotries were recognizing God equally with the Baals.  Baali equals “master”, making her a slave [a slave to sin] (See Romans 6:16).  God says, “You will no longer be a slave, you will be My Wife, and I  your Husband.”

God was going to make their love for Him so great that they would forget about the Baals, and their names.  God’s covenant with Israel would be an eternal covenant.  Their land would be blessed.  The beasts of the field would even be a blessing to them (v. 18).

She would no longer be unfaithful, but holy and righteous unto God.  It is God’s work, and they would know that God is the LORD (Ephesians 2:8-10).

“And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.  And I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people, ‘Thou art My people; and they shall say, ‘Thou art my God.'” Hosea 21-23 (KJV)

God declares that He is God over the earth.  He controls the rain, the wind, the plague, and the harvest – good and bad.  For some reason many Christians have stopped believing this, and it is partly due to our technology; whereby  we are sadly mistaken.  Technology is good as far as it goes; but God is still God.  Not one meteorologist or scientist can make our weather or take it away, they can only make predictions and maybe explain how it happened; nothing more.

Because of Israel’s departure and adultery God had withdrawn His blessings, mercy and grace so they might see His grace, and their evil ways more clearly.  Now, God is preparing to return His blessings upon them; the blessings of mercy and grace.  They had no mercy, but they will;  they experienced no grace, but now they would receive it and see it.  They would be His people; who were not a people.  They would proclaim “You are my God.”

“The love of God is greater far, than pen or tongue can ever tell.”

The ultimate and final blessing for Israel is yet to come.  Even so Come Lord Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Through the Bible in a Year – 012713 Evening

The Kingdom Coming

Matthew 20 – 26

1.  The King’s Vineyard (20)

A.  The laborers (vv. 1-19)
B.  The Great ones (vv. 20-28)

2.  The King’s Presentation (21:1-10)

A.  Cleansing the temple (vv. 11-17)
B.  Authority (vv. 18-27)

3.  The Identity of the King (22:41-46)

4.  The Ruling of the King (23)

5.  The Kingdom Coming (24-25)

6.  The Price of the Kingdom (26)

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Redeeming Love of God (2)

GOD Pursues the Redemption of His Wife

GOD is on a persistent quest to redeem the lost spouse (Israel), and reclaim her to Himself.  Through the gift of His Son Jesus He paid the ultimate sacrifice to redeem all who will hear His voice believe the gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved.

“Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.  Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not My wife, neither am I her Husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.  And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.  For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.'” Hosea 2:1-5 (KJV)

God calls on Judah and Israel to refer to one another as brethren “Brother” and “Sister”.  There is a contending on God’s part, with Israel.  God has put away Israel: “She is not My wife”  “I am not her Husband!”  There is punitive judgment here – for the purpose of punishing and restoration.

If Israel would not quit hers sins then God would “Put them away” in order to show them, that is was He who was providing bountifully for them; not her “lovers” who are the Baals of pagan, godless worship.

“Wife” in the text, as is Gomer is representative of the corporate people [Nation] or land of the North.  “Children” are representative of individuals within the nation or land.

There is a storn indication that there was a small group [remnant] within the nation who were not participative as individuals, but said or did nothing about it.  Their toleration in essence; was approval for the actions of others while they were selling the nation to godless whoredoms and all kinds of immoralities.

In these verses God pleads with Israel (v. 2);  He warns them of judgment (vv. 3-4); and the people obstinately reject God’s plea (v. 5).

“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.  And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.’  For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.”  Hosea 2:6-8 (KJV)

We are told by some Scriptures that God puts a “Hedge” about His people keeping them from harm, and from evil.  Here the hedge has a different purpose.  God says now how He will bring them back to Himself.  He will build a hedge of thorns and “wall her in”.

By doing this God accomplishes three things;

  1. She would no longer be able to find the “Paths” that lead to the shrines and idols of Baal (v. 6);
  2. In seeking the idols they would not be able to find them (v. 7);
  3. They would begin to realize that they had it much better when they were worshipping God and Him only.

In God and in God alone they would realize the blessings they had received were from GOD alone (vv. 7-8).

“Therefore will I return, and take away My corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof, and will recover My wool and My flax given to cover her nakedness.  And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of Mine hand.  I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.  And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, ‘These are my rewards that my lovers have given me:’ and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.  And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me, saith the LORD.”  Hosea 2:9-13 (KJV)

We can see by these things that God is on a relentless pursuit of His wayward “Wife”.  He lovers her.  Real and true love is harsh with a wayward loved one.

How would God pursue?

  1. Take away the grain at harvest;
  2. Take back the wool and the flax (linen);
  3. He would remove His hand of protection, and put on her a hand of judgment, which no one could deliver her from;
  4. All celebrations, feast days, would cease; along with laughter and joy;
  5. He would destroy her vines and fig trees, because she had given praise to the Baals for the fruitfulness of the land.

This judgment was God’s.  She had gone after other gods following the paths of pagan cultures clothed in expensive jewels and dress.  God says, “She forgot Me”.

This is a sad commentary about God’s people.  The very fact that Israel was worshipping Baals shows they had forgotten, and departed from God.  Any time any of God’s people begin to look to their wealth, blessings, or pleasures as coming because of their own goodness, or from anything , but God; she has forgotten God.

Has the United States of America depended upon idols?  Is the pagan deity Baal still worshipped in the USA? Pleasure, wealth and convenience seems to be the cry of today’s society and culture.  The saddest part of that is that many professing Christians have lined up with the world in these things too.

Yet our answer for freedom from sin and this world is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  Hear Him, believe Him, repent and be saved.

When evil is in the world, and the world is in the Church; evil is progressing toward its maximum potential, and its end.
More on this chapter next time…

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Redeeming Love of GOD

Hosea’s Call, Circumstances, and Marriage

Several years ago I did a study of Hosea.  I spent a few days in the church I pastored teaching in special services for that purpose; and I was also invited by my home church to come for a week of services to teach the book of Hosea.  It was the year that our Convention – the Southern Baptist Convention – had Hosea as the Winter Bible Study.  This was a study i thoroughly enjoyed, was encouraged by, and prayerfully have grown through; and more since that time.

We will be in this study for some time.  I will endeavor to keep the studies readable and short.  I pray God’s richest blessing on you, as you read and hear the word of the LORD.

“Hosea was the second of God’s spokesmen known as eighth-century prophets.”  Amos was the first, and he and Hosea were contemporaries, both preaching in the Northern kingdom also know as Israel, or Ephraim.  Isaiah and Micah preached to the Southern kingdom, usually called Judah, during this same century.

There are two main divisions to the book: 1) Hosea’s marriage, and 2) Hosea’s message.  There are four prominent themes:  1.)  God’s love,  2.)  the sin of God’s people,  3.)  God’s judgment, and  4.) hope.

“Hosea 1-3:5 emphasizes God’s faithful love in spite of the people’s unfaithfulness to Him.  Hosea 4 – 7:16 shows God’s indictment of the sins of unfaithful Israel.  Hosea 8 – 10:15 stresses the sure judgment that awaited Israel because of their stubborn refusal to repent.  Hosea 11 – 14:9 presents the hope that God’s healing love will eventually lead some to repentance and renewal.”  From the WINTER BIBLE STUDY for this study.

Let us begin by reading chapter 1 verse 1,

“The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.” Hosea 1:1 (KJV)

If you will note the kings of the kingdom of the South – Judah; Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.  Three of these kings “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD”; one did not – that was Ahaz (2 Kings 15:30-34; 16:1-4; 18:1-3).  Joash, fit in with Ahaz.  For those who might think leadership in the nation does not have anything to do with morality, or blessing beware.

Sometimes hearing the Word of the LORD is through our circumstances.  The spiritual and moral attitude of Israel was one of not only spiritual adultery against God, but adultery of the flesh as well.  Because of this it might have been quite difficult for a man to find a woman who was morally and physically pure.  Does that sound relevant to our times?  Through these circumstances of life Hosea heard the Word of God.

“The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, ‘Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.  So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.”  Hosea 1:2-3 (KJV)

The Northern kingdom was a kingdom which had departed from the LORD from their inception (1 Kings 12:16-33).  If you were to study the kings of the Northern kingdom there is not one king of whom the Scripture says “Did right in the eyes of the LORD”, not one.

Remember, also, the moral circumstances of the land in that day.  There was much idolatry; all connected to Baal worship.  There was temple prostitution, used in “worship” of Baal, pleasure oriented god who was made after the image of man.  The  prostitution was both male and female; or heterosexual and homosexual abomination.  The people of the era believed these adulterous practices would bring s harvest of bounty, the rains would be plentiful.  Many a young woman and many a young man was convinced that to present themselves as a prostitute for Baal was her duty and an honor.  Many a married – betrothed woman would go to Baal’s temple and engage in this behavior believing that to do so would make her womb fruitful and bear many sons.

Hosea loved a woman named Gomer who – possibly after the wedding –  began these pagan rites of worship.  God definitely used this  in speaking to Hosea.  Hosea learned in this the pain, the heart break of God in Israel’s departure from Him.

“And the LORD said unto him, ‘Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.  And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”  verses 4-5 (KJV)

As a result of this marriage there was a son born to Hosea and Gomer.  God told Hosea to name him Jezreel.  Jezreel means “God sows”.  In this case God is saying that He is going to sow judgment.  Jezreel is a city approximately 55 miles North of Jerusalem.  It is in an area known as the “Plain of Jezreel [Megiddo]”.  A place where much blood has been shed, and much will yet be shed in that plain (See Revelation 19:11-21).

At this time the house of Jehu will be judged, because of their father’s sin (See 2 Kings 10:29-31).  It seems that Hosea has no doubt about Jezreel being his son.

And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, ‘Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.  But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’
Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.  Then said God, ‘Call his name Loammi: for ye are not My people, and I will not be your God.'” verses 6-9 (KJV)

The next child that was born was a daughter.  Lo Ruhamah means “No mercy”.  Do you suppose Hosea may have began to realize that his wife was unfaithful at this time.

Then Gomer had a third child, and God called him Lo Ammi meaning “Not My people”.  Was Hosea coming to understand the heart of God?  His heart- ache, pain, and anger with adulterous affairs, with worldliness among His people?

“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, ‘Ye are not My people,’ there it shall be said unto them, ‘Ye are the sons of the living God.’  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” verses 10-11 (KJV)

Speaking through the circumstances of Hosea’s day God has spoken words of judgment and rejection.  However, we see in these last verses of the chapter that there is hope.

In these verses God promises that He is not through with Israel.  This is truly a hope and promise of THE REDEEMING LOVE OF GOD.

What does God promise?

  1. They shall be “accountable – without number” (v. 10);
  2. …Those “Not My people” declared to be “Sons of the living God” (v. 10);
  3. …There shal be a gathering of Judah and Israel (v. 11);
  4. …They shall have one head – “The root of David” (v. 11; Jeremiah 30:8-9);
  5. …They are told to refer to one another as “brother” and “sister” (2:1).

We will look at number five further in the next study.

When we look at Israel, the Northern kingdom, God’s promises to them; then we can know and rest in the assurance of God’s promises that His Word is being fulfilled; even today.  The whole law and the prophets is revealed fully in the person of Jesus Christ.  He suffered the agony, suffering, rejection of death, was buried, and rose again bodily from the grave; justifying all who will believe Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just thought I would share this once again. We are in such need for comfort.

Broken Pieces

No one needs reminded of the times in which we live; I am pretty sure of that.  Unless of course you are living on a deserted island somewhere and you would not be reading this anyway.

The economy is in ruins, and the only promises for change is in words of men, it seems at times.  Except for those who find their comfort in the Lord of all creation.  He is our Sustainer, Provider, Protector, Sword and Shield from the enemy who seeks to destroy, maim and kill.

The prophet Isaiah prophesied of judgment coming on Israel in the first 39 chapters of the prophecy; warning them of the coming wrath of the LORD of hosts.  Babylon was coming as God’s agent of judgment on a nation that had forsaken God.  Then we reach chapter 40 and the prophecy changes.

There are scattered words of hope and comfort in those…

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Through the Bible in a Year – 012713

Introduction of I AM

Exodus 1 – 18 (6:1-8; 3:113-15)

1.  “LORD” is used 212 times in Genesis; 406 in Exodus; 1,890 times in the first five books of the Bible;  “I am the LORD” is used 17 times in Exodus; the first 15 are in the first 16 chapters.

2.  What is the significance of  “…But by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them” have in our text? (6:1-3)

A.  JEHOVAH had never revealed Himself to so many in so powerful a way as He is about to do in Egypt.

B.  Though the name was known, the character, power and glory was yet to be seen.

3.  First Moses and the children of Israel would realize His power (6:6-8; 15:26; 16:12);

4.  The Pharoah and the Egyptians will know that GOD is the LORD (7:5; 7:17; 8:22; 10:2; 14:4, 18; ).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Through the Bible in a Year – 012013 Evening

The King Building His Kingdom

Matthew 13 – 19

1.  What the Kingdom is like (chapter 13);

2.  The King Provides for the Subjects of His Kingdom (chapter 14);

3.  The Challengers of the Kingdom (chapter 15);

4.  The Doubters within the Kingdom (chapter 16);

5.  The Power and the Glory of the Kingdom (chapter 17);

6.  The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (chapter 18);

7.  Those Who will Enter the Kingdom of Heaven (chapter 19).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Through the Bible in a Year – 012013

Healing Broken Relationships

Genesis 33 – 50

1.  Jacob and Esau (chapters33-36);

2.  Joseph and Brothers at Odds over Dreams (chapters 37 – 38);

3.  Joseph with Purpose in Egypt (chapters 39 – 41);

4.  Joseph Trys his Brothers (chapters 42 – 44);

5.  Joseph, His Father and His Brothers Reunited (chapters 45 – 48)

6.  A Promise and a Coffin in Egypt (chapters 49 – 50).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Gethsemane

It has been some time since I posted anything.  I received this today by email from Bible Gateway, and thought I would share it with you.  It is from a sermon preached by Charles H. Spurgeon February 08, 1863.

Gethsemane

‘And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ Luke 22:44

Suggested Further Reading: Mark 14:32–42

Behold the Saviour’s unutterable woe. The emotions of that dolorous night are expressed by several words in Scripture. John describes him as saying four days before his passion, ‘Now is my soul troubled;’ as he marked the gathering clouds he hardly knew where to turn himself, and cried out ‘What shall I say?’ Matthew writes of him, ‘he began to be sorrowful and very heavy.’ Upon the word ademonein translated ‘very heavy,’ Goodwin remarks that there was a distraction in the Saviour’s agony since the root of the word signifies ‘separated from the people—men in distraction, being separated from mankind.’ What a thought, my brethren, that our blessed Lord should be driven to the very verge of distraction by the intensity of his anguish. Matthew represents the Saviour himself as saying ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.’ Here the word perilupos means encompassed, encircled, overwhelmed with grief. ‘He was plunged head and ears in sorrow and had no breathing-hole,’ is the strong expression of Goodwin. Mark records that he began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy. In this case thambeisthai, with the prefix ek, shows extremity of amazement, like that of Moses when he did exceedingly fear and quake. Luke uses the strong language of my text—‘being in an agony.’ These expressions are quite sufficient to show that the grief of the Saviour was of the most extraordinary character, well justifying the prophetic exclamation ‘Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow which is done unto me.’

For meditation: The instruments we associate with the shedding of Christ’s blood were wielded by men—the scourge, crown of thorns, nails and spear (John 19:1–2,18,34). The fact that he sweat ‘great drops of blood’ in Gethsemane before any man could lay a finger on him gives us an important glimpse behind the scenes—his life was not taken from him by men; it was given by him for men (John 10:17–18).

Sermon no. 493
8 February (1863)