Come Before His Presence with Singing

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5 (KJV)

The whole Psalm is give above. Yes it is short, so I will endeavor to keep my comments short as well.

The Psalm is merely titled “A Psalm of Praise”. Many might be asking why we should praise the LORD? This Psalm gives us the answer. First of all let me tell you who is to praise the LORD. “All ye lands” that is the whole earth, and everyone on it. No exceptions. God made us for His praise and glory.

Praising Him involves serving Him with gladness, not complaint; and entering His presence with singing. The Spirit filled Christian is to be a singer (Ephesians 5:18-21), and it is honoring and glorifying to the LORD.

We ought to praise Him because it is He that has made us; He is our Creator (Genesis 1-2). It is He who has made us, and not ourselves.

We are also the “sheep of His pasture” which is a picture of how ignorant, and needy we really are. That may offend some people, but it is the truth; I am needy. The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23), and with Him as my Shepherd I will not lack any good and right thing.

His “gates” are there to keep the enemy out, but let His people enter into His courts of splendor. We enter with thanksgiving, and go into His courts with praise. Thank Him for His blessings in your life. The apostle Paul said, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

A couple of more reasons for our worship of the LORD is His mercy and truth. He is constantly merciful, for all eternity. His truth never changes. As for His truth, there are some who things God ought to change with the times, the culture, and with society. God will never change, and because of that He is dependable, trustworthy, and stedfast.

The gospel message that Christ Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and He rose again has not changed either; nor has His promise to come again.

The LORD Reigns

“The LORD reigneth, He is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith He hath girded Himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh Thine house, O LORD, for ever.” Psalm 93:1-5 (KJV)

The place where my wife and I live is along a continuous flowing stream called Flat Creek, in Southwest Missouri. We are out of any danger of flooding, barring a world wide flood; and I am certain that is not going to happen, because of God’s promise never to do that again.

I begin telling you this, because we can step out our back door, and hear the water from the creek flowing over the rocks, with a comforting, still noise of flowing waters. When we get a lot of rain, and the creek rises; then it sounds like a roaring storm. It is even noisy where you must speak louder when you speak to another person. My wife and I love living here. We like to call it “our little piece of heaven on earth.” The road to get here is rough, rocky, and could be treacherous. Does that not sound like Jesus’s description of the road to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14)?

This is about our Lord. The LORD reigns. Even in a perilous, dark, evil, wicked world our God reigns. When the storms rage; our God reigns. When the kings of earth rebel against the way of God (Psalm 2); our God reigns. When the voices which hate God make decisions that are contrary to God, His Word and His way; our God reigns.

The idea of the “flood” reminds me of the prophet Isaiah’s inspired words, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19b).

We need to remember the silence of God speaks louder than any king or ruler can ever speak. The LORD is mightier than the noise of many waters.

Come to the LORD through His Son Jesus Christ who died for your sins, was buried, and arose bodily from the grave and is alive forever more.

Unaltered, Unbroken

“If his children forsake My law, and walk not in My judgments; if they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips.” Psalm 89:30-34 (KJV)

The Psalm has much to do with God’s promises to the Davidic line of the kingdom of Israel. Written by Ethan the Ezrahite; possibly a Levitical singer mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:43, and 15:17-19 (From the MacArthur Study Bible note on Psalm 89: Title).

One of the things that I have noticed in the study of Scripture over the years; that there is one thing that truly stands out; and that is that God loves His people, and receives us just as we are; but He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. That is why He chastises, disciplines, and corrects us.

No one of us would ever think or say that the discipline or chastisement of the LORD is a pleasant thing; no more than we would say that when our father took us out behind the wood shed that that was a pleasant thing. We learn from our Father’s chastisement; and we should be grateful for it.

Even though God chastens His children He will never forsake us. His covenant will not be broken, neither will the thing that has gone out of His lips be altered.

Something those who claim to be Christian and God’s people need to realize in our day. God, neither His Word, neither His covenant changes with the times or the seasons. He does not change to fit the culture; neither does His Word.

God’s word is sure, stedfast, relevant for the day, and it is still powerful; and every jot and tittle will be fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). Stand with God, and His Word; or fall for anything.

Being the Doorkeeper with God as Our Shield

“Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of Thine anointed. For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee.” Psalm 84:9-12 (KJV)

This Psalm was written for the “sons of Korah” (Numbers 16). Korah was a leader of rebellion against Moses and Aaron, along with Dathan and Abiram. Because of their rebellion they perished and much of their families also.

The Psalmist writes to those sons of Korah who did not participate in the rebellion. God is a shield to all those who trust in Him. The “shield” is also the king whom God has anointed.

Note that the Psalmist is saying that one day as a doorkeeper in the house of God is better than a thousand days in the tents of wickedness; even if with the wicked you are given the best amenities, and made wealthy by it.

God, the LORD, is our sun and shield; our light, our protector. It matters not what the world or the SCOTUS throws at us. The LORD of the Universe still reigns, His laws, and institutions are still up and going. What He said in Genesis 1 – Revelation 22 still stands.

“Blessed is the man [the individual] that trusteth in Thee”. The trust we show in YOU, O Lord is by believing your word. When we turn our backs against Your word, we turn our backs on You.

Desires of the Heart

“So they did eat, and were well filled: for He gave them their own desire; they were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for His wondrous works.” Psalm 78:29-32 (KJV)

Asaph is again the Psalmist of this song. This Psalm is a reminder of the wilderness journeys of Israel, and how God delivered them out of Egypt; then, to drive Egypt out of them.

God had provided the people with “manna” meaning “What is it?” and they were complaining and calling on Moses to lead them back to Egypt. How fickle and foolish we people can be sometimes; yes even saved, even delivered people.

You can read the story that is being sung by Asaph in Numbers 11.

A couple questions: Would you prefer that God gave you all the desires of your own heart? or: Would you prefer that God gave you His desires and placed them in your heart and mind?

The Psalmist points out to us that God “gave them their own desire”; and that was not a good option for them. We see later that they gorged themselves, many became sick and perished. They named the place “Kibrothhattaavah” which means “Graves of Craving” (Numbers 11:34). The Psalmist of Psalm 106 states,

“And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalm 106:15

Go ahead and complain about your life situation. Go ahead, and ask God for a big fancy home, big nice car, lots of money in the bank, great land holdings; and He may give it to you.

Myself I have chosen to pray for what He desires for my life. I pray that is what you have determined as well. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Note that he does not say “things you desire”, but rather, “desires”.

When God, through Jesus Christ, is your desire there will be peace, rest and safety.

How Are Your Thoughts and Attitude?

“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: Thou hast declared Thy strength among the people. Thou hast with Thine arm redeemed Thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.” Psalm 77:13-15 (KJV)

This Psalmist, Asaph, has begun the Psalm feeling a bit sorry for himself. His thoughts are on his own life situation, and he is addressing the LORD, but only about his aches and pains of heart and soul. That is the place we all need to take them; but when we have encountered God those thoughts, attitudes will perish.

You alone are in charge of your attitude. It begins with your thoughts. If you are driving to work on one of these busy freeways in the cities, and someone rudely cuts you off; when the traffic is moving quite well; you say, “That affects my attitude”; but does it? It can. It is however your personal responsibility to redirect your thinking toward a different attitude.

The Psalmist began with sorrow, and basically a pity party with God; but he ended up focusing on the LORD; and he saw things completely different.

Asaph began to focus his thoughts on the strength of God; His deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea; and he saw the awesome, power and glory of God. In the verses ending this Psalm, the Psalmist describes the sea as being fearful of the LORD and parting at His appearance. He describes thunder, lightening, and trembling and shaking of the earth.

Oh my; when we see the power and glory of God all our problems melt away. Our thinking and our attitudes will reflect the glory of the LORD. All this begins with having a personal encounter with God through His Son Jesus. There is no other way (John 14:6). There is only one cross, one Saviour, one resurrected Lord, and one returning Lord of lords and King of kings. His name is Jesus.

So what is your problem today?

MIRACLES: Pastor Saeed is suffering in an Iranian prison, but he’s also leading inmates to Christ. Here’s the latest. (My conversation with his wife, Naghmeh Abedini)

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

PastorSaeed-2(Washington, D.C.) — “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.” Hebrews 13:3 (NKJV)

On Tuesday evening, I had the opportunity to talk by phone with Mrs. Naghmeh Abedini. She is the wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been in prison in Iran for converting to Christianity, preaching the Gospel, and helping the underground house church network inside Iran.

This Saturday will mark the third year since Pastor Saeed was arrested in Iran and sentenced to death. A prayer vigil for his protection and release will be held in churches all over the world this weekend. I ask you and your family and church to commit this weekend to praying for this dear brother in Christ and his precious family. I have been invited to speak that day at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. and will address…

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Comfort for the Broken Hearted

“Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Psalm 69:20-21 (KJV)

You have experienced it I am sure. Those times when you think a friend or loved one will stand with you, and for you; and they do not. The Psalmist David was experiencing one of those times when this Psalm was written.

Within it are 5 verses which are quoted in the New Testament concerning the Messiah. He had one of those days too. They gave Jesus vinegar to drink, mixed with gall, but He did not drink it (Matthew 27:34). That was while He was dying on the cross.

Now, what is “Gall”? It is a poisonous, bitter herb. It has come to mean “bitterness” like from others. What is reproach? “To find fault with (a person, group, etc.); blame; censure.” from Dictionary.com.

These words “Reproach”, “Gall” and “Vinegar” show us that the Psalmist was hurting and no one was coming to his aid. We have all felt that way at one time or another. Let us remember our Saviour.

Jesus was a sinless, blameless, faithful Man of God, and Son of God, who did always those things that pleased the Father/God. He was accused of blasphemy against God. He was found guilty of sin, which He was not guilty of. He was given vinegar mixed with gall for “refreshment” while He was suffering. Do you still think you are having a bad day?

Not only all of that, but then, He was rejected by the Father, because He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Can you imagine the most heavenly man who ever walked on earth, being forsaken by all of heaven; when just hours before the angels of heaven were in attention awaiting His call to deliver Him; which did not come; and they now have turned their backs to Him?

If you think you have had it so bad; you have a lot of gall.

But Jesus said,

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus knows your broken heart, your every need, and He will not give you gall or vinegar to drink.

GOD Does Not Turn Away My Prayer

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: but verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.” Psalm 66:18-20 (KJV)

Have you ever noticed a time when it seems as though you are not getting through to God, as you pray? It just seems to feel as though your prayers are not even getting past the ceiling? That is; should I say; a painful, sorrowful feeling.

When God hears our prayer it is due solely to His mercy and grace. He hears your prayer, my prayer every time we pray. Yet, it seems as though He does not.

Part of the problem is addressed by the Psalmist when he writes, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me…” To “regard iniquity” is to hold on to it; refusing to let it go; even to the point of rejecting God, His word and His direction for our lives.

There are things which is within the realm of “regarding iniquity” which hinders our prayers. One is for the husband not to treat his wife well (1 Peter 3:7), and I am almost certain that that would include the wife not treating her husband well. Another thing is praying with lustful desire which would include greed for things (James 4:3).

The prayers God hears are those we pray in His name. Jesus said, “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24). Also, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7. When we have received the change which comes with receiving Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour our heart’s desire changes too. We desire what God desire, and so pray accordingly “In His name”.

Jesus said, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

God hears the prayer of His people whose hearts are directed toward His heart by the cross of Jesus Christ.

Author Interview: Robert Hefner, Author of “The Filling”

I want to share this from an online friend, and pastor who has interviewed the author of the book mentioned; “The Filling”. Hope you will read this, and maybe purchase the book too, at the link provided.

Nephos

It is not often that I encounter a book utilizing sound exegesis to explain an easily-misunderstood subject in a clear, concise manner.  The Filling: Answers from Ephesians on How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit is a welcome exception.  The author, Dr. Robert Hefner, is a long-time friend and graciously consented to discuss his new book.

1robertIf you would, Robert, begin by sharing a bit about yourself.

My name is Robert Hefner.  I am 35 years old.  I have been married since June 21, 2003, to Diana, and we have one child, Joseph, who is 5.  I have been in full-time ministry as an assistant pastor at Mud Creek Baptist Church since the summer of 2003 as well. My primary ministry responsibilities include adult education and pastoral research, but like any pastor, I have a number of other regular and irregular ministry duties.  I have been teaching theology at Fruitland Baptist…

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The Land is GOD’S to Give as He Pleases

“God hath spoken in His holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the strength of Mine head; Judah is My lawgiver; Moab is My washpot; over Edom will I cast out My shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of Me.” Psalm 60:6-8 (KJV)

One of the things people and nations need to understand is that God is the owner of all lands, and distributes those lands as He sees fit.

The land of Canaan was promised to Abraham, and His children through Isaac the promised son. He gave the land of Canaan plus land on the east side of Jordan to the people of promise.

Down through the ages there is still contention over that land. It is simply because the people will not submit to God’s ownership and division of that land. If the people would submit to God’s ownership, division of that land, and realize we are all only stewards of where we dwell; then there could be peace.

The Psalmist speaking the words of God notes this division. Shechem and Succoth are land on the east side of Jordan, and were given to two and one half tribes of Israel, because of their request for it (Numbers 32:1-5). Gilead, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah are God’s people. God says, “Gilead is Mine.” He also says, “Manasseh is Mine”; and “Ephraim is the helmet for My head” (NKJV), and “Judah is My lawgiver”.

To think about “Moab is My washpot” we are the surrounding enemy nations; along with Edom, and Philistia. We might consider Moab as the “washpot” in that when Israel strayed God uses them to discipline, chastise Israel for their waywardness.

Do we as Christians today understand that all God has given in our hand, under our feet, even on our back are His; and we are uniquely His stewards to care, and work it for His glory? The land is His and everything on it.

When we know God through His Son Jesus Christ we will understand this and will direct our lives accordingly. We will love the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We will love the Word of God, we will hear it and do what He says. When we fail, or fall we will trust Him to pick us back up; and we will continue on the path of holiness.

Greatness of the One

“I will praise Thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto Thee among the nations. For Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and Thy truth unto the clouds. Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let Thy glory be above all the earth.” Psalm 57:9-11 (KJV)

The Psalmist David was hiding from King Saul in a cave when he wrote this Psalm; or possibly shortly there after. You can see by this Psalm that he was still trusting in the LORD his God.

He was praising the Lord, and he would praise Him among the people of his nation. He would sing unto Him among the Nations of the world around him.

He recognized the greatness of the mercy of God, and proclaimed it. He bragged about God. We can, and we get to brag about His greatness as well; when we know Him.

The LORD God is exalted above all the earth. He is the most glorious of all. Even the stars in their astrological signs cannot hold candle, or light to the glory of their creator. Above the heavens [stars, planets, etc]; above the earth; that is the Lord our God.

He came as a Man.  His name is Jesus.  He bled and died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose again.  He is returning some day soon.  Believe Him. Trust Him with your whole being.  There is no life apart from Him.  He is the One who holds all things together (John 1:3;  Colossians 1:17).

Spend time today in contemplation of the greatness of the One who is above all things; and exalt Him.

The Reign of God in the Earth

“God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: He is greatly exalted.” Psalm 47:8-9 (KJV)

God not only reigns over the heathen; He also reigns over the hearts of all men, all the people of the earth. It may not appear to be so at times but He does.

The name of God given three times in the above verses is “Elohim” representing the whole of the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the only one qualified, worthy and able to sit on the throne of His holiness.

These verses do seem to point to the time when the Messiah [Jesus Christ] comes, and reigns from His throne in Jerusalem. The “Princes” could be all those who have been redeemed through the ages, and are gathered together to do His bidding in all the earth.

The “Shields of the earth” are those given kingdom power and authority to carry out the word and will of God in the earth.

Even those in the earth in our world today who have been given authority to rule, have been given that authority by God; and this is what the apostle Paul says of that;

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.” Romans 13:1-6

If you will notice this authority has been given them for the “Good”, not to be a terror to the people.  When the authorities rebel against the good laws of God, and bring terror on the people the people of God must stand up, and stand against the tyranny.

However, God still reigns, and is directing the course of this world; preparing for the day He rules and reigns righteousness in the earth.

GOD Knows the Secrets of Your Heart

“If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; shall not God search this out? For He knoweth the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:20-21 (KJV)

The first step to worshipping false gods is forgetting the one true God. We can forget Him by neglecting His word. Maybe we no longer read it. Maybe we feel we are independent of Him, no longer need Him. We stop taking heed to what we know to be God’s Word, refusing to listen to the Spirit of God within.

We might even think, “I am too sophisticated to worship idols or other gods.” O really? That thing, or person, or job, that is your treasure is what you worship. God knows the secrets of your heart, and my heart.

Remember this: there is nothing hidden from the All-Knowing mind of God. There are many who refuse to even admit what the prophet Jeremiah stated in Jeremiah 17,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

The answer to that question is that “God knows”; and it is best if we agree with God that the heart of man is in fact “…Deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” Is that not clear with what has been happening in the world and the U. S. of A. One young man killing 9 people in a Church in South Carolina. The band of murderers and thugs waging chaos in the Middle East, cutting off heads of Christians and Jews, and anyone else who might get in their way.

Do you think that you are above that? Do not deceive yourself. But for the grace and love and mercy of God… That could be you or me.

God desires to give a new heart. That new heart, inner being, comes through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the holy Son of God who paid our sin debt to the Father. When we put our faith and trust in the work of the Son we receive a new heart and life.

O, believe Him today.

Participate in Righteousness – Inherit the Earth

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” Psalm 37:8-10 (KJV)

Many times when I see an evil deed done, my first thought is; “Death to the evil one”. If you have any righteous thought in you at all then when you see evil done you will have the thoughts too.

Defining evil in our day has gotten a bit complicated to many though. What used to be evil is now good; and what used to be good is now evil. The complication has come in due to evil itself.

Evil through the lies of Satan has been confused by what is deemed as love, which is actually tolerance mixed up with hatred. If someone is genuinely loved those who love them will correct them when they are in error; and endeavor to aid them, and direct them the right direction. The new idea of “love” is just let them be who they are; and they continue on in their self lies and affliction, misery and sin. What would you think of a doctor who discovers a cancer in your body, but does not tell you of the cancer because he “loves” you and is willing to let you continue as you are?

The Psalmist says to us. “Relax! Don’t React!” at least not with anger. We ought always be angry with evil, and the outcome of it; but let us also realize that in the end days evil will be judged, and those who practice it will be judged, and it shall be done away.

To “Wait upon the LORD” is not sitting idly by, but to keep on believing, trusting, doing those things we know we are to do. Be busy about the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot change evil, but evil will be judged. They that wait upon the LORD shall inherit the earth, they shall also “renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). Those who “Wait upon the LORD” are the meek who inherit the earth (v. 11; Matthew 5:5), as well.

Part of living a righteous life through Jesus Christ is living a life that confronts evil with the power of the word of God, and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the strength against evil in our world. The Psalmist believed evil would lose in the end. So do we.

Put an end to the evil in your life by trusting Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, His burial and resurrection. He removes the evil, and gives you His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The Goodness of the LORD

“For the word of the LORD is right; and all His works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” Psalm 33:4-6 (KJV)

The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. Maybe you can see it. Maybe you cannot. It makes no difference; except for your salvation.

We have all heard statements similar to this: “If God is so good, then why do good people suffer?” or maybe this: “Where was God when that happened?” Usually those comments or questions are made by people who do not know God; and many who do not want to know Him. I could be wrong about that.

In the first question their is a large assumption that people are good; or that there are good people. My first thought on that is: according to whose judgment?

God is good, and there is no other who is good, but Him. Note: “The word of the LORD is right…” The One who speaks right words, does right, and His works are done in truth.

He also loves righteousness and judgment. He is the righteous Judge in the earth. He is the One who has made all things. It is His declarations that are true. If you doubt Him, and choose your own way; then, you will perish, and spend eternity in flames of liquid fire (Revelation 20:14-15).

This One who has made all things is the Lord Jesus Christ. “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3). He also died for your sins was buried and He rose again. He is returning one day to rid the world of all sin and evil for eternity.

Believe Him. Trust Him.

Wicked Workers, and the Work of the LORD

“Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up.” Psalm 28:3-5 (KJV)

To be drawn away with the wicked, with the workers of iniquity would be drawing the Psalmist into the pits of hell. That was not his heart, nor his destiny.

The heart of the Psalmist is already established in the LORD. He calls the LORD “my Rock” his faith is in Him, and in no other.

The “wicked” are those who are deceived by their own lust, they are morally corrupt, they are ungodly, wicked, and condemned. These are they who speak well of their neighbors to their face, but will destroy them with an opportunity to prosper at their expense.

The “workers of iniquity” are the wicked. Their endeavors and their words condemn them. They have no regard for God. When the rain falls they are unthankful to the One who alone gives the rain. Of the “Operation of His hands” Spurgeon in the Treasury of David has written,

God works in creation – nature teems with proofs of his wisdom and goodness, yet purblind atheists refuse to see him: he works in providence, ruling and overruling and his hand is very manifest in human history, yet the infidel will not discern him: he works in grace – remarkable conversions are still met with on all hands, yet the ungodly refuse to see the operations of the Lord.

His hands, and His operations are great. He is Awesome and glorious in all His ways. He is in the operations of the universe. He holds the earth on her axis, and the planets and stars in their place. If He were to remove His hands everything would fly apart, and explode into pieces. Do you O sinner not see His mercy? Do you not see His grace given in the sending of Jesus Christ His holy and blessed Son; dying on the cross for our sin debt? O condemned one you need not be “drawn away” with the wicked. Through Jesus Christ He will give you a new heart, and a new life.

The Paths of the LORD

“All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25:10 (KJV)

There has been much said by the Psalmist of the “paths” of the LORD. The paths, of course, are the ways we go in God’s plan for our lives. All of us go in His way. Many of them are in different ministries, and ways of serving the LORD, but they are right.

Note that the Psalmist writes that “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth…” None of them are without those two items of grace.

Contrary to some beliefs there is no separation between fact, and truth. It is in fact true that Jesus died for your sins. It is in fact true that God the Father loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins.

Note also, that “Mercy and truth” is given “Unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies”. For you to walk outside of His covenant of grace, doing your  own thing, your own will, in rebellion against God’s covenant; thumbing your nose at God and His word you are not walking in the path of the LORD, and there is no mercy or truth for you.

I choose the path the LORD has given me. I choose to walk according to His covenant, and His testimonies. I choose to live by His testimonies. After all He sent His Son Jesus to die for me. I am His.

What’s the difference between Apocalyptic Islam & the “last days” according to Bible prophecy? Glad you asked….

It has been awhile since I shared a post from Joel Rosenberg; I think we need to hear what he says.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Bible-HebrewmanuscriptUPDATED: Shana Tova! Sunday evening at sundown in Israel begins a new Jewish year. And as we begin, the region is full of anxiety over what the future holds.

The good news is that the God of the Bible is the God who knows the future, is all sovereign over the past, present and future, and even gives us a glimpse into the future through prophecy. This year, more than ever, I encourage you to read through — and study careful — the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, and especially the prophecies that tell us what the future holds.

Since publishing an article and two fact sheets (here and here) about the nature and threat of “Apocalyptic Islam,”people have been asking me numerous questions.

Among them:

  1. Don’t Christians and Jews also believe in the End of Days?
  2. Are you criticizing all people who study, believe…

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The Perfect Way of God

“As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him.” Psalm 18:30 (KJV)

The Person of God is the central character of this text. He is the central Character through the whole of Scripture; both Old and New Testaments.

We see that His way is perfect. He is blameless; and His way is blameless; and all who walk in Him will be blameless.

Next, we see that His Word is “tried” or proven. It forever stands the test of time and of our lives. It is never changing, just as God Himself never changes. He is Immutable; His Word is Immutable as well; therefore He and His word can be trusted. Unlike mankind always changing. The laws of man are ever changing; thus, what can we believe? What can we trust? Who can we trust among humankind who stand on nothing firm, solid, and sure? The Word of God is sure, and will forever stand (Psalm 119:89). It is just as relevant today as it was the day it was penned by the inspired men God used to speak it.

The LORD is our “buckler” our shield. The shield is used to guard the soldier from the blows of the enemy’s weapon, such as a battle axe, or take the blows of the fiery darts which are fired from a distance. The shield of God’s protection will not fail to protect; as long as we are in His way.

Jesus said,

I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. John 14:6

His way is perfect. Walk in Him.  Not one word He has spoke will fail.

When You Sing unto the LORD

“But I have trusted in Thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because He hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6 (KJV)

David is noted as being the author of this Psalm. In the beginning of it he has questioned “How long will You forget me, O LORD?”, and “How long will You hide Your face from me?” He has felt as though the LORD has neglected him, and is not listening to his pleas.

He has felt that his enemy is being exalted over him, and he is the one suffering for it. Does it ever seem that way for you? I must admit I have had my moments of despair, doubt, and fear.

Notice though how David ends this prayer song. “I have trusted in Thy mercy, my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.” How quickly things can change when you find yourself before the face of God; and all the questions seem to fade away.

When you get before the face of God the questions no longer matter. Have you ever heard someone say; or maybe you have said it yourself: “When I get to heaven I have a lot of questions I want to ask God?” I have thought that in years past, but I have learned also that when I get to see God face to face all the questions that I have thought I would ask will not even matter then. I believe that because when I have asked them here, and received the peace and comfort of God; the questions no longer mattered.  They certainly will not matter then.

Why does David place His trust in the LORD? “…Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” When we see God, His grace, His work in us where else is there to place our trust? Nowhere else; and No other One. He is our mercy and our salvation.

You will not begin to see His wondrous bounty, mercy, grace; until you come to Him through His Son Jesus who bled and died on the cross, was buried and bodily arose from the grave.  Trust Jesus Christ and His finished work; then witness the greatness and power and bounty of God as one of His own.

Trust in GOD: Rejoice

“But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee. For Thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt Thou compass him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12 (KJV)

One of the most glorious things about the Bible, and it is the Word of God; is that right in the middle of it is a Song Book. One hundred and fifty of the most wonderful songs that have ever been written. Most of them probably written by David.

Psalm 5 shows David’s anger toward evil, and that God is angry toward evil. We can understand that their is none righteous except those whom God declares righteous. We cannot declare ourselves as righteous. That is an empty endeavor. A vain thing.

“Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice” Yes! All trust must be placed in Jehovah [YHWH]. He is a Jealous God; and is worthy of all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Jehovah is our Defender; our Righteousness; and our Shield. Let us shout for joy. Let us rejoice every morning when we awake. When we roll from our beds, and our feet hit the floor let our first thoughts be of Him; and not the dread of the day ahead.

Do you have God’s favor today? When you come to Him through His Son Jesus who is Righteousness in person; through the cross – His death, burial and resurrection – you have His favor.

Let all those who put their trust in God rejoice.

Now My Eyes See

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that Thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto Me. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6 (KJV)

Job is not told why he has been through the trials, pain, sickness, loss, despair, which he has endured. We simply see in these verses that he has his chance to speak with God.

God, the LORD, has spoken in chapters 38 – 41, and He has asked Job the question stated above; “Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge?” Job confesses, “I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.”

We can learn from this that when we have truly seen God through faith, His Word, and His Son, then all our questions cease.

There has been many a time that I have questioned God; fallen before Him in prayer with fear and trembling; and arose without an answer, but I did not need one any longer. I had seen God; heard Him and that was sufficient.

When I say “I had seen God”; I mean that I had seen Him through eyes of faith, through His Word. One day I will look into the eyes of my Lord and Saviour, and I so long for that day.

Like Job, when we see God, we will see ourselves as we truly are. In need of repentance and forgiveness which only God gives through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

That the Earth May Know

That The Earth May Know…
1 Kings 8:1-61

“And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant. The LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers: let Him not leave us, nor forsake us: that He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that He maintain the cause of His servant, and the cause of His people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes, and to keep His commandments, as at this day.” 1 Kings 8:54-61 (KJV)

Prayer was given by Solomon in veres 15-53, a prayer of dedication for the Temple. The above verses are a blessing on the people, and what is required of them.

The ultimate responsibility of the people of God, Israel, is found in verse 6o “….That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.” That is the desire of God through the cross of Jesus Christ and through those who are Christians; through the Church, the Body of Christ on earth.

The Christian’s life lived is to show forth to the world that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. We do that through the Spirit of Christ Jesus who is in us. Our lives are to be a continuing, growing testimony of the glory and power of God. Is it?

When the Church ceases to fear God; we cease to fear sin. When we have ceased to fear sin, then we have adopted the gods of the world around us, and there is no differentiation between the two. Then, the people of the earth have no motivation to fear God, or to know Him.

The True King Shall Reign

The True King Shall Reign
1 Kings 1:1-53
1.  There Are Some Who will Presume to be Kings (vv. 1-10; 2 Sam 15:10-12).
2.  There Are People Who are Loyal to the True King, and His Dynasty (vv. 11-27)
3.  The King is Made King by a Decree of the King, Anointed by God, and His Servants (vv. 28-40).
4.  The Presumed King and His Devoted will Tremble at the News of the True King (vv. 41-49)
5.  The True King Will Show Mercy – He Has Shown, Does show, and Will Show Mercy (vv. 50-53).
6.  Jesus Christ is the True King Who is Coming Again.

Excellent in Power and in Judgment

“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: He will not afflict. Men do therefore fear Him: He respecteth not any that are wise of heart.” Job 37:23-24 (KJV)

The three friends of Job have spoken. Job has finished his speaking. Now a fourth man; who is the younger of the other four; now speaks. Job 32-37 covers the speeches of Elihu.

We know nothing much of him except he was a Buzite, of the kindred of Ram. Does not tell us much. We can tell that he is ignorant of the events of heaven in chapters one and two. We know this because he is still accusing Job of unrighteousness which God has not.

One thing I like about Elihu is that most of what he says seems to exalt the Almighty, as in these final words of his speeches.

Reminds me of some of the apostle Paul’s words that God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25), and that of the apostle Peter (1 Peter 1:17).

Elihu, though young, and verbose reminds us that this story in Job’s name, and these events are not really about Job; but about the Almighty God.

The events, challenges, trials, friends, enemies, good times, bad times are not about me; they are about the work of God in me. He is working to make me more into His image and likeness (Romans 8:29). The likeness of His Son Jesus Christ who bled and died on the cross for our sins.

Will the Almighty Hear Me?

“Oh that one would hear me! Behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine Adversary had written a book. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. I would declare unto Him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto Him. If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; if I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.” Job 31:35-40

The last friend to answer Job was Bildad the Shuhite (chapter 25). All three of the friends had condemning comments, rather than words of comfort or encouragement. When you are down you do not need someone to drive you down further.

For Job, God has been silent. He is asking for a chance to appear before the Great Judge, and Prosecutor to clear his name. To Job at this time the Almighty is the Judge and Prosecutor (Adversary) rather than the Advocate. Remember, Job does not know the scene, or the events in heaven before all his pain began.

As you read the above text for today you can see some confidence in Job. There is confidence that if he could just see the charges against him he would be vindicated through this case. “Let the Adversary write a book” bring the charges against me he says, and I will be wearing them on my head as a testimony of my faithfulness.

There is a bit of arrogance in his statement. The Almighty does address this matter later in His words to Job.

We can have confidence that the Almighty hears us. We can be confident that we will be cleared of all charges of guilt against us. Not because we are guiltless, but because of the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. With Christ there is no room for arrogance, pride, or a self-righteous attitude. We appear before the Almighty by His grace.

Kentucky State Clerk Kim Davis and the Christian moral conscience

Here is a blog post worth the reading.

Christian Theology

In regard to the Kim Davis imprisonment the matter is much simpler than some imagine:

  • A Christian is under a constant and invariable duty to the moral law of God (as fallibly as we live that out).
  • That law is summed up by Jesus as loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
  • The laws of men are subsidiary interpretations and applications of this higher law.
  • When they are contrary or contradictory to the laws of God, the laws of men are invalid.
  • They are false assertions of power without the authority of law.

Here’s a great example of this kind of moral thinking from one of the most influential American Christian ethicists:

“One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate…

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Better Than Gold

“Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: on the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him: but He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:8-12 (KJV)

There is an attitude in the minds of many people; and it affects us all at times; that we are “it”. We are what God is about. He has an obligation to love us, care for us; and to bring it down personal; He has an obligation to love me, care for me. Is that about how we are? I see it in me. I see it in others.

Something we need to realize is that God is about His own glory. He has no obligation to love us, or to care for us. He is about getting His people into His glory; and He will do it His way, not my way; and He will do it in His time.

Look at Job. He was a wealthy, healthy, family man who was loved by his family, the servants of his household, and his neighbors. Then, he lost everything; even his self-respect. He did not lose his faith in God.

Job did not understand his dilemma; yet he trusted, though he would have liked to appear before the Court of God, and present his arguments on his own behalf.

Job states in the text above that he had not witnessed the presence of God, could not feel the presence of God, nor seen His work. Yet, we hear this testimony, “When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold”. Though he had no understanding of the events that happened in the court of heaven Job knew, believed, trusted that the trials he was going through was as the refiners fire, and that God was perfecting him, fitting him for the glory of God.

How can this be? How can it be that even though we may have no understanding of the troubling events of our life, of life, that we can still trust that God is working in us to make us “come forth as gold” tried in a furnace of fire? Note Job’s words, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food“.

That reminds me of Jesus’s own words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).

Remember this dear believer. We are not called to understand; we are called to be faithful.

The Redeemer Who Lives

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Job 19:25-27 (KJV)

Job had been falsely charged by his friends. He also felt neglected, despised even by God; but Job still trusted the love, grace and mercy of God.

Are you beaten, battered, bruised, sick or diseased? Do you feel you have been forsaken by God, your family, your friends? Do you believe that no one cares? God does care. God does love you.

Even the righteous (those declared so by God Himself) suffer. Job is a great example of that; yet, Job’s faith went on trusting and believing in God.

Job believed that he was probably going to perish; was going to die; that his body would decay, and be eaten by the “skin worms”. Yet, he believed that his Redeemer lived, and that he would see Him stand upon the earth.

That Redeemer is none other than the One who died for the sins of mankind upon a cruel, old rugged cross, was buried, and arose bodily from the grave. He (Jesus Christ) will one day return to rule and reign as King of the earth from Jerusalem.

My Redeemer Lives….

Plead For Your Neighbor

“O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!” Job 16:21 (KJV)

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar had come to Job with good intentions. Their silence for those first seven days was more comforting, caring, and supportive than any of the words they spoke thereafter. Job even states in verse 2; “Miserable comforters are ye all.”

Job’s words in the text is as a man, or a woman could stand before God; like in a court; and plead for their friend or neighbor. Job’s thoughts were pleading for a reprieve from suffering, judgment, pain. If the shoe was on the other food, that is what Job would have done; if it were possible.

Can we make a plea to God in behalf of our friends, neighbors; even our enemies? If we can should we? The answer is yes on both counts.

Because of the wondrous grace of God through the cross of Jesus Christ we have access to the very throne and presence of God. Those who have come to God through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the priests of God; therefore we can come before Him with our pleading, supplications, prayers, and petitions.

We come before the court of our LORD, and plea for our neighbor’s salvation; their health which may be failing; their wealth; their family; and any other thing or need they may have. It should be a privilege, honor, and duty of love to do so. Even if your neighbor is an “Enemy” we still must pray, and plead for them.

Will You Live Again?

“If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee: Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands.” Job 14:14-15 (KJV)

As I was reading Job 11 – 14 I found myself laughing. Laughing at the way Job uses sarcasm to rebuke his friends (12:2-3), and tells them that he would have been better off if they would have kept their mouths shut (13:4, 5, and 13).

Then I was brought to tears. Mostly tears of joy due to Job’s faith, as he states, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”, and again in the above verses of our text.

It can be seen that he looks at the created order of things, and realizes that a tree can be cut down, and it sprouts again to life. Is it not amazing how God has built into the creation the hope of resurrection; living again. Job, may have very well been thinking that the tree had more hope than he did; but then, he states the above.

“All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” What change? The change of the resurrection of the body.

The whole created order of things is a testimony of God, and His promises to fulfill all His word.

The greatest hope ever given was when Jesus became our sin on the cross; was judged for our sin, put to death; and then bodily arose from the grave to show that the cross was the place of defeat for sin, death, hell, the grave, and the devil. The Courts of heaven, by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ rules today. By His resurrection there is a resurrection to life in His presence for all eternity.

Be Just With God

“I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? If he will contend with Him, he cannot answer Him one of a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against Him, and hath prospered?” Job 9:2-4 (KJV)

Remember Job’s three friends who came to comfort and encourage him are now speaking after seven days of silence.

Bildad the Shuhite has spoken, and just as Eliphaz has done; so does Bildad; accusing Job of unrighteous deeds, because of his loss, sickness, and disease. Has anyone noticed that is still a problem in our world? Even among Christians? Maybe especially among Christians? May God forgive us.

Job raises a very good question, “How should a man (anyone) be just with God?” We are told in the Psalms, and the apostle Paul writes it in Romans; “There is none righteous; no not one” (Psalm 14:1-3; Romans 3:10-11). “Just” means righteous, or blameless.

In the first two chapters of Job we see events take place in heaven where God declares Job as righteous, blameless, just –“a perfect and upright man…” (1:8; 2:3). The only way for anyone to be “Just” with God is by God’s own declaration.

Because God Himself is holy, and righteous He cannot just overlook our sin. There must be a sacrifice for sin; and God Himself provides the sacrifice. That ultimate sacrifice was/is His own only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus was our payment for our sin upon the cross where all our sin was laid on Him; the Just for the unjust. He took our sins upon Himself, that He might place on us His own Righteousness; declaring us righteous when we trust in Him.

How should you be just with God? Through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Chastisement, Correction or Testing?

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: for He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hands make whole.” Job 5:17-18 (KJV)

These words are from the first speech of Eliphaz the Temanite; one of Job’s three friends who had heard of Job’s plight, and came to comfort and encourage him. They had sat with him for seven days in silence, never saying a word. Maybe they should have remained silent; but that was not to be.

The words of the verses above are true. It is a blessed, a happy thing to know that God chastens those He loves (Hebrews 12:7-8). However, Job was not being chastised for any evil, any wrong he had done.

Job, nor his friends knew to the scene that had taken place in heaven. God was placing trust in Job, and his faith.

Remember when you are disciplined by the Lord that He loves you. That is a great encouragement. Let us also remember when it comes to the trials of another that silence is sometimes the best encouragement and comfort that we can give.

We are too prone to the fallacy of thinking that goodness never suffers; and evil always suffers.

We can be encouraged by the fact of knowing that when we err in sin, as one of His children, He chastens us; but all trials, and suffering are not the result of sin.

The answer is that in blessing and in pain rejoice in the LORD, and be a blessing to His name. Praise Him

Receiving From God

“Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” Job 2:8-9 (KJV)

Job was a blessed man with a large family, loving wife, much land, cattle, camels, sheep, oxen, donkeys, and many servants who were loyal to him. He was one of the wealthiest men who ever lived.

The book of Job is believed to be the oldest of the Old Testament books. He is believed to have lived around the time of Abraham, and possibly sometime before. The book was written sometime before Moses wrote Genesis and the rest of the Law. Job believed in God, and he believed God.

Satan, the devil, that old serpent sought to cause Job harm by seeking God’s permission to cause Job suffering, loss, trial, and pain. Just a thought here to the child of God: Satan can never touch you unless he gets God’s permission first; and if God gives him permission to touch you it is because God knows you can handle it.

Notice this about Satan. He is always going from the presence of the LORD (1:12; 2:7).

I said Job had a loving wife above. She did not enjoy the pain and suffering that had come to them. She was suffering too with the loss of their children, all their wealth; and then the skin diseases with boils, and such. It was, she thought, more than she could bear; so she said to Job, “Curse God and die”.

Job understood her pain. He also had a heart for God, and believed that the blessings he had lived with were from God, and that the suffering was allowed by God.

Are you suffering today? Think about Job. Think about God’s goodness, grace and love. When you love God there is nothing that can cause you to curse God; but thank Him, praise Him, love Him; because there is no other who can hold you and keep you.

God loves you. He has proven that love by the cross of His Son Jesus who suffered, beatings, mocking, rejection, and loss. He was put on display to show the wondrous love of God.

Standing Before the Throne

“Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.” Esther 5:1-2 (KJV)

A decree had been written by Haman, approved by king Ahasuerus to kill all the Jews in the land of Persia.

The LORD God of Israel (though His name is never mentioned) had sovereignly placed Esther, a Jewish young lady as queen of Persia. Mordecai, the Jewish uncle to Esther, was a man who honored the king, but would not honor the man Haman. Esther has been given a challenge to approach the king while in the court of his throne, and risk her life for the attention of the king in the matter of the decree.

Esther stood in the court, was seen by the king; he held out his scepter. She had found favor in his sight. She approached the king, and touched the top of the sceptre. It was the law of Persia; no one came into the court of the king, approaching his throne without an invitation from the king; on punishment of death, unless the king held out his sceptre.

Due to this bold, and courageous stand by Esther the plot of Haman is exposed, he is hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai, and his ten sons are hanged on it too (Esther 9:10, 13). The Jewish people receive a decree which allows them to protect themselves against any Persian who would attack, and kill them.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our king. We have immediate access to the very throne of God. The sceptre of His throne is always held out for one of His princes, and princesses – those who are born again through the blood of Jesus Christ. You, by His blood shed on the cross approach the throne of God. You need no one to go for you.

To try and approach God without Christ Jesus is a death sentence. No one can see God and live; except through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son.

See Hebrews 4:16