He Has Spoken, He Has Purposed…

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure: calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11 (KJB)

God has spoken, and every word He has spoken shall come to pass just as He has said.  He has purposed, and every purpose will be done.

From F. B. Meyer

“Here is a startling contrast! Babylon is broken up. An invading army of stern monotheists have slain the idolatrous priests at their altars and are engaged in carrying out the idols for the bonfire. And as the Jewish remnant is witnessing the extraordinary spectacle, they are reminded that their God does not require to be borne. Nay, on the contrary He has borne His people from the earliest days and will continue to bear them till the heavens have passed away.

The contrast is a perpetual one. Some people carry their religion; others are carried by it. Some are burdened by minute prescriptions and an external ritual; others yield themselves to God, to be borne by Him in old age as they were in the helplessness of childhood. They are persuaded that He will bear them “as a man doth bear His son,” in all the way that they go, until they come to the prepared place. See Deu_1:31; Isa_63:9. God immediately responds to a trust like that, and His salvation does not tarry.”  From Through the Bible Day by Day – F. B. Meyer on Isaiah 46:1-13

What He has spoken concerning His Son Jesus will come to pass.  What He has purposed concerning you and me will be done.

The LORD is Good

What do you think of when a roaring, howling, powerful storm comes; with flashes, and bolts of lightening, and sounds of crashing, rolling thunder?  It is a fearful thing when we see these things.  Many people have just recently survived such storms, suffering great loss, and we pray for you, and offer condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

I am a strange sort of man I guess; but storms fascinate me.  Lightening is a wonder to behold.  I have been on the edge of a tornado in my car, and kept driving, even though I could not see much past the hood of the car.  It is a fearful thing.  More fearful is to be on the wrong side of God.  Hear the words of Nahum the prophet to the Assyrians, their capital city Nineveh…

“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue His enemies.”  Nahum 1:2-8 (KJV)

It could be said that Nahum’s prophecy is  a continuation of Jonah’s.  When Jonah went to Nineveh and preached of God’s judgment, the people, the whole city repented; yet that repentance was only one generation, and then God sent Nahum to warn them.

Does God, the LORD judge evil?  That is a question that many people ask; even today.  The answer to that is “Yes!”  God does judge evil.  It just is not always according to our allotted time.  Why can a wicked person live for years without illness, or grief, and seemingly be blessed with the world’s riches, and pleasures and never experience God’s justice?  He/She does, or she/he will.

The LORD is Good.  Let us consider this.  It could be that God in His goodness and grace is allowing that individual time to repent and change their way, coming to God through Christ Jesus.

The LORD is mighty, He is Almighty, He holds the storms of this life in His hand.  He knows the beginning and He knows the end.  This life is not about me, or you, or all those who are suffering from sickness, disease, pain, sorrow; from storms or shooters.  This life is about GOD, and His power and glory to Him. He has made a way for sinful humanity to come into His holy presence; and that is through the cross of Jesus Christ who suffered the most horrendous thing any man could ever bear.  Not only did He suffer the physical pain and agony of the cross, but He the holy Son of God was denied the face of His Father as He bled and died for us.  He in fact experienced Hell for us there.

The LORD is Good.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Fifty and Two

“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath…” Isaiah 45:22-23 (NKJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

Seeing how God has spoken His Word, and that not one word He has spoken will ever fail; but all will be fulfilled, just as He has said; I want to live with His Word in my heart, and mind, and seen in my hands and my feet as I live for Him; so that others around me might see Him at work in me; so that they might have the Word of God – the Living Word, who is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, and God the Son – empowering, protecting, loving, and God being glorified in all who will call on His name.

Christmas Day Two Hundred Fifty and Two

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to always live, talk, and walk in the blessings of God the Creator of all things through His Son Jesus who died on the cross for the sins of the world; yours and mine; and to glorify Him forever.

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.” Psalm 24:1-2 (KJV)

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.” Psalm 19:1

Christmas – Day 281

What do I want for Christmas?

On this Palm Sunday, remembering the last days in the life of our Savior before His death on the cross, burial, and bodily resurrection; I want to grow more in love with my Lord and Savior, and to appreciate everyday as a day He has given me to celebrate Him.

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto Me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:1-11 (KJV)

Day Two Hundred Eighty and Five

What do I want for Christmas?

I want people to know that there is no peace to the wicked.

There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22 (KJV)
“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” Psalm 7:11

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Romans 5:1

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?

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.

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

When We Pray God Hears: When We Sin God Chastises

“The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and He was intreated of them; because they put their trust in Him…” 1 Chronicles 5:18-20
“…And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.” 1 Chronicles 5:25 (KJV)

These tribes had their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan River. They had to fight to keep it. It is believed that these Hagarites were a desert people, that were growing restless due to the numbers of Israelites dwelling in the land.

They attack, and by the prayers of God’s people have God’s help in the victory over the Hagarites. “They cried to God in the battle…” He heard them, gave them the victory, because they trusted Him.

The people of God are warned to trust only in Him; remember the first commandment – “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Then these 2 and one half tribes transgress the law.

Because of the transgression God sent Tilgathpilneser to judge and discipline them to bring them back to Himself.

“And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.” (v. 26)

God does not leave His people without discipline, without correction, without judgment. Peter says, “Judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). One thing we must remember; and that is that “God loves us the way we are when we are coming to Him, but He loves us too much to leave us the way we are.” He will accomplish His work in us. He will be glorified.

The Blood of Cleansing

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11 (KJV)

No flesh lives without blood courses through the veins of that flesh. Blood is the source of the human life and the life of other fleshly beings. Therefore, it is commanded by God that we do not eat the blood of the flesh, because it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

“Atonement” is the bringing together of two beings. In our case, because of mankind’s sin we are born into this world separated from our Creator. Since He desires fellowship, and worship from His crowning achievement, then, there must be something done to bring us together. Atonement is the answer.

Atonement is achieved by the shedding of blood. Notice if you will At-one-ment; and by this we can see God’s desired affect is done – making the creature man and God one with one another. This was the prayer of Jesus,

“That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:21 (KJV)

I do not mean making man God, but making us in agreement with God. God is still completely God, the only God; and we are in complete agreement with that.

It was ultimately the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for the sins of mankind, redeeming us, atoning our sins; bringing us into full agreement with God.

In Hebrews we read,

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

Have you been redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? There is no forgiveness with God except by His blood.

The Law…

“This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall, and for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house, and for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot: to teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.” Leviticus 14:54-57 (KJV)

There are all kinds of medical issues. Some relating to heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, and one of the big ones is cancer. None of us are immune to disease, or its consequences.

Leprosy is a plague which may hit the victim, and cause great alarm, and fear. It is a dreaded disease, and no one wants to get it.

In the Bible leprosy is a likeness of sin. Unlike sin though, people are not born with leprosy. Sin is a human problem. No one misses out on the sin problem. With leprosy we can envision how horrid sin is to God.

The oozing sores have a great stench that makes one want to cover their nose, and mouth, and run away. It changes the appearance of the victim. It changes the way the person lives. Sin is also like that with God.

He is appalled by sin. He is grossly offended by sin. With God, for His crown of creation to fellowship with Him, sin must be dealt with. In chapters 13-14 we find how God gives Israel the pattern of dealing with leprosy. It involves blood.

Only the sacrifice of a perfect spotless Lamb can cleanse us of our sin. That Lamb, that ultimate Lamb is God’s own precious, and only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

God hates sin. It is a stench in the nostrils of God. Without coming to Him His way, you will not come at all; because your sin has not been dealt with any other way. Jesus is the only way.

Praising GOD

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power.” Psalm 150:1 (KJV)

One thing a Christian can learn from reading the Psalms, and especially those that express “Praise ye the LORD”; is that we are to “Praise the LORD”.

It does not matter the time, the place, life’s situation or circumstances; the child of God is to praise the LORD.  Why?  Because He is worthy.  That is reason enough.

Let me have Charles H. Spurgeon give you his words concerning Psalm 150:1;

“Praise ye the Lord.” Hallelujah! The exhortation is to all things in earth or in heaven. Should they not all declare the glory of him for whose glory they are, and were created? Jehovah, the one God, should be the one object of adoration. To give the least particle of his honour to another is shameful treason; to refuse to render it to him is heartless robbery. “Praise God in his sanctuary.” Praise El, or the strong one, in his holy place. See how power is mentioned with holiness in this change of names. Praise begins at home. “In God’s own house pronounce his praise.” The holy place should be filled with praise, even as of old the high-priest filled the sanctum sanctorum with the smoke of sweet-smelling incense. In his church below and in his courts above hallelujahs should be continually presented. In the person of Jesus God finds a holy dwelling or sanctuary, and there he is greatly to be praised. He may also be said to dwell in holiness, for all his ways are right and good; for this we ought to extol him with heart and with voice. Whenever we assemble for holy purposes our main work should be to present praises unto the Lord our God. “Praise him in the firmament of his power.” It is a blessed thing that in our God holiness and power are united. Power without righteousness would be oppression, and righteousness without power would be too weak for usefulness; but put the two together in an infinite degree and we have God. What an expanse we have in the boundless firmament of divine power! Let it all be filled with praise. Let the heavens, so great and strong, echo with the praise of the thrice holy Jehovah, while the sanctuaries of earth magnify the Almighty One.
from the TREASURY OF DAVID, e-Sword edition

We ought always Praise the LORD; for He is worthy of praise, worship, and adoration.

His Sanctuary; His Dominion

“When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.” Psalm 114:1-2 (KJV)

The Psalmist; probably not David, but another of a later time acknowledges GOD as the Ruler of the nation.

The LORD is the One who delivered Jacob [Israel] out of Egypt.  Judah is the sanctuary of God’s abiding.  It is from Judah which our Saviour Jesus the Christ came.  It is in Judah where Jerusalem is.

Israel the new name for Jacob is the place of God’s rule; and covers the entirety of the kingdom.

It is Christ Jesus who is the King.  It is within His people that He is abiding; His sanctuary.  Yet He has a plan for Israel.

Just as the LORD delivered Jacob out of Egypt; so too does He deliver sinners out of sin, and death.  He has sent His Son Jesus who died on the cross, was buried, and He rose from death, and forever lives.  Believe Him and live forever with Him.

Vengeance and Justice

“O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew Thyself.” Psalm 94:1 (KJV)

“I don’t get mad; I get even.”  A statement I have heard from others at time.  That thought is one of vengeance.

Our world cries out for justice.  We think of justice as being what is fair and just in payment for a crime that has been done.  We have seen that recently in conflicts where white police officers have killed young black men in the line of duty.  Justice is almost a war cry; and yet in their protest they are not doing justly themselves.

We long for justice; but we ought never take vengeance into our own hands.  We are prone to act with high emotion; especially anger; and when we are angry we sometimes act without thought.

The Bible tells us that “Vengeance is Gods”.  True justice also belongs to God; and in the final assessment justice will be done (Leviticus 19:18;  Deuteronomy 32:35; Isaiah 63:4;  Romans 12:19).

The Psalmist recognized to whom vengeance belonged.  In this day of darkness and evil as followers of Jesus Christ we too must acknowledge that justice and vengeance is God’s.  In too many cases we take vengeance when it is God’s to have.  Remember to “Love your neighbor as you do yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

The Secret Place of the Most High

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 (KJV)

I will let John Gills commentary speak with you concerning this verse today.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High,…. Or the Supreme; a title of God, who is superior to all beings, the Creator and Preserver of them, God over all, higher than the highest of angels or men; see Gen_14:22, “his secret place” is his heart, his bosom, where his only begotten Son lies; and into which he takes his people, where they are set as a seal, and who enjoy intimate communion with him; which is no other than his gracious presence, called “the secret of his presence”, Psa_31:20, which none but saints are admitted to, when his everlasting love, which was a secret in his heart, is made known unto them, and in which they also dwell, 1Jo_4:16, as they likewise do in the eternal decree of election; which perhaps is meant by “the clefts of the rock, and secret places of the stairs”, where the church is said to dwell, Son_2:14, unless rather Christ the Rock, and who may be signified by the cleft of that Moses was put into, when the goodness of the Lord passed before him, is intended; and who is the hiding place from the wind: mention is made of “the secret” of God’s “tabernacle”, Psa_27:5, in which he hides his people; alluding to the tabernacle, or temple, and the most holy place in it, called his secret place, Eze_7:22, and may refer to the ministry of the word and ordinances, where saints dwell, and enjoy much communion with God; and who are particularly under his special providence, protection, and power; which may here be designed:

shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty: who is able to do all things for his people, and is “Shaddai”, all sufficient, as this word is thought to signify; has a sufficiency of happiness in and for himself, and of provisions for all his creatures, and of power and grace for his own children: his “shadow” may be the same with his secret place, his power and protection, often in this book of Psalms called “the shadow of his wings”, Psa_17:8, in allusion to birds that overshadow and protect their young with their wings; though perhaps the allusion here may be to the shadow of a tree, and design the word and ordinances of the Lord’s house, which are a delightful, refreshing, reviving, and fruitful shadow, Son_2:3, where gracious souls dwell, and abide with great delight and pleasure. Christ, the Son of God, is sometimes compared to the shadow of a rock, or tree, which screens and shelters from heat; as he preserves his people from the heat of a fiery law, the flaming sword of justice, the wrath of God, the fiery darts of Satan, and the fury of persecutors: under this shadow do they abide or lodge all night, safe and secure, as the word (o) signifies: the Targum calls this shadow the shadow of the clouds of glory; the Arabic version, “the shadow of the God of heaven.”

From e-Sword John Gill Commentary.

It is in the heart of every believer to desire to dwell in that Secret Place.

Dwelling in the Lord

“Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” Psalm 90:1-2 (KJV)

This Psalm is called “A prayer of Moses the man of God”.  Though I cannot prove it; I personally believe that Psalms 90 -100 are Psalms of Moses, because of the way they are written and references to the wilderness, and to God; that only a man who lived there would know.

The best place for any generation, for any individual to dwell is in the Lord.  He has made that possible through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.  How was Moses, the children of Israel able to dwell in God?  Today we are saved, and dwell in God because we look back to the cross, and believe.  The children of Israel, Moses, and all the believers of the Old Testament looked ahead to the cross of Christ and believed., and dwell in God

Moses, and all who believe in Him, dwelling in Him, knows that He is everlasting; that He is God, and we dwell in Him.  He is the Sovereign; the Almighty.  In Him we can trust.  In Him we dwell.

The Enemy of God

“Keep not Thou silence, O God: hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, Thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head.” Psalm 83:1-2 (KJV)

This song of Asaph is directed toward the Godhead (Colossians 1:16-19), to ‘El, the Mighty One of the Godhead.  It appears that Asaph has been feeling like God is being silent, in the midst of facing the enemy of Israel.

Like Asaph when we feel like God is being silent we need to see our enemy as God’s enemy; and God’s enemy as our enemy.  The Prime Minister of Israel in his recent speech to a Joint Session of Congress made the statement, “So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy”.  Christian the enemy of God is definitely your enemy.

The psalmist calls for God to fight against His enemies. Do you desire to hear God speak on the matter of your troubles and heart aches; even sometimes of our own making?  Then, you can cry out to Him.We must understand though that the enemies of God are not our troubles.

The enemies of God are those who seek to through down every principle of holiness, godliness, righteousness, justice, peace, and love of God.  The enemy of God is evil, and unrighteousness, and every vain thing that seeks to exalt itself against the LORD (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).  We must not rely on the flesh of men – even our own – to deliver us from the enemy of God.

Remember that God loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day.  He is returning soon to rid the word of all unrighteousness.  Trust Him today.

Shepherd

“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.” Psalm 80:1 (KJV)

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus sweetest name I know.  He fills my every longing.  He keeps me singing as I go.

The Shepherd of Israel is none other than Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God.  Jesus can be seen as the Shepherd as He feeds the five thousand men (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:44; Luke 9:14; John 6:10), and as He fed the four thousand men (Matthew 15:38; Mark 8:9).  Notice in those verses where He commanded that they sit down on the grass.

His glory is seen as the one who dwells betwee the cherubims.  They were the ones who are formed bowing on the mercy seat facing one another with their faces toward the ark of the covenant, which represents the presence of GOD.  The ark itself is the representation of the fulness of the Godhead.

“The LORD is my shepherd;  I shall not want.”  Psalm 23:1

Is the Lord Jesus your Shepherd today?  He will give ear to you when you call on Him.

Words for Instruction

“Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.” Psalm 78:1 (KJV)

We all need instruction.  Some of us are not always open to instruction.  We can see that as we read the first five books of the Bible; the writtings of Moses as he is inspired by the Spirit of God.  This Psalm is once again the writing of Asaph.  Called a Maschil of Asaph.  Of this Psalm Spurgeon has written of the title:

“This is rightly entitled an instruction Psalm.  It is not a mere recapitulation of important events in Israelitish history, but is intended to be viewed as a parable setting forth the conduct and experience of believers in all ages.  It is a singular proof of the obtuseness of mind of many professors that they will object to sermons and expositions upon the historical parts of Scripture, as if they contained no instruction in spiritual matters: were such persons truly enlightened by the Spirit of God, they would perceive that all Scripture is profitable, and would blush at their own folly in understanding any portion of the inspired volume.”

from the title. –Maschil of Asaph. THE TREASURY OF DAVID

Even though these are Asaph’s words to the people of God they are also God’s word for His people of all ages.

Asaph’s law would have been God’s law for Israel.  The “words of my mouth” which Asaph writes would have been the words of God.  Asaph speaking according to the word of God.  Christians are to give ear to the law of God.  The Christian is to always have an ear to hear the words of God which proceed from the teachers and preachers who preach the whole counsel of God.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This could even imply that we are to hear the wise, godly, Biblical counsel of the founding fathers of our nation.  Something to think about.

The Scriptures speak clearly of who Jesus is.  He is more than a teacher. He is more than a prophet.  He is more than a good man.  He is the Son of God, and God the Son.  He is the Lord and Saviour of all the world.  Hear His word.

Thirsting for GOD

“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.” Psalm 63:1-2 (KJV)

A declaration of faith.  A lived faith. A faith  that is walked in the LORD.  That was David.  He had the desire, and heart to seek God at every opportunity of his life; even while hiding from Saul in the wilderness. 

Though separated from the sanctuary; the Tabernacle; David still desired to seek God.  “Early” is not necessarily a time of day or morning; it expresses eagerness to be with God, in the quiet and still of the day.

Being with the LORD in His word, in prayer, hearing Him helps the Christian deal with life.  If we have problem people we can love them with the love of God, and show them the love of Christ as we journey through our day.

I have never experienced a really dry mouth; having never been too far from a source of water; however, I have heard that it is a horrible thing.  That is the comparison the Psalmist uses to say that he desires GOD, and to see His power and His glory.

We can see the power and the glory of God when we look upon the cross of Jesus Christ.  It is a wonderful thing to have a place of worship, and know that you can meet GOD there.  The Christian, however, needs to know, that, no matter where we are He is there with us.  As a matter of fact we must worship Him; not once a week; but everyday, throughout the whole day, praying without ceasing, walking with Him, praising Him.

If you are not worshipping Him throughout the week what makes you think you can catch up on your worship on Sunday.  No worship through the week.  No worship on Sunday.  Maybe that is why you go to Church on Sunday, and do not give anything, or receive anything from it. If you know Jesus worship Him.  He is with you always.

 

The Mighty, and the Goodness of GOD

“Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually.” Psalm 52:1

This Psalm’s title says,

“To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.”

The events of the evil of Doeg are recorded in 1 Samuel 22.  He was a very brave man to slay priests who were not soldiers, and could not defend themselves.  Of course I am being sarcastic here.

Why would evil boast of its “great” prowess and power against those who are weak?  There is no goodness, power or prowess in evil.  However, the goodness, the kindness, and the faithfulness of God is forever.  On Him we can trust and depend.

The Holy and the Most Holy Place

“And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: and thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the Testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the Most Holy. And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy place.” Exodus 26:31-34 (KJV)

GOD was giving Moses instructions on the proper worship of Himself, and His holiness.  To approach God any other way than God’s way is a terminal endeavor.  You will die.  You will perish, and still not see God.

The ark of the Testimony above is a representation, or symbol of the presence of God.  This pattern was given to Moses, and is a pattern from heaven itself (Hebrews 8:5; 9:22-28).  In the tabernacle of the wilderness only the priests had access into the holy place, and only the High Priest had access to the Most Holy place, and that only one day in the year, and not without blood.

As we consider this today we have one access to GOD, and that is through the cross of Jesus Christ of whom the ark of the Testimony represents.  It was His own blood that was shed.  It was while Jesus was on the cross that the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom showing that GOD had made the way for all who will believe to come to the very throne of grace to find mercy in our time of need (See Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38 and Hebrews 4:16).

May the GOD of all glory give you peace through His Son Jesus today.

Israel; Jacob’s Fear Not

“And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And He said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.” Genesis 46:2-4 (KJV)

Israel is the new name God had given to Jacob.  Jacob had been a “supplanter” a deceiver; and had tried to have things his own way.

Jacob’s life had now changed at the end of his life.  He had just heard that his son Joseph was not only alive, but was a ruler in the land of Egypt, and due to famine throughout the Middle Eastern countries was being invited by that son and the Pharaoh of Egypt to come into the land and dwell there.

Now there was no more scheming, no more planning and or plotting to achieve his desired path, but now Jacob was in the hands of the Sovereign hands of GOD.  “Fear not to go down into Egypt…” were the words of God to Jacob.

God promised Jacob that when he died Joseph would be at his side.  He also promised that it would be in Egypt that “I will there make of thee a great nation”.  He also promised that they would come out of Egypt, to the land He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

We can learn from these passages; as Joseph’s brethren had learned – You cannot thwart the  plan of God.  Instead they were used in their evil plot to work the plan of God.  How do I explain that?  I do not even try.

It is best for me and all God’s children to leave these matters in His hands; to trust Him, and believe that whatever happens is going to be for our good and His glory.  It was, for example, our evil that caused Jesus to be nailed to the cross; however it was the plan of God that His Son die for our sins, that we might have access to the very throne of God.

God speaks, and He sees to it that what He speaks comes to pass just as He has spoken.  Just as Jacob/Israel saw his son Joseph again; so too will Jesus come again.

Believe God and trust Him today.

The LORD Has Spoken

“The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.” Psalm 50:1 (KJV)

Of this Psalm, and of this verse Matthew Henry has written,

It is probable that Asaph was not only the chief musician, who was to put a tune to this psalm, but that he was himself the penman of it; for we read that in Hezekiah’s time they praised God in the words of David and of Asaph the seer, 2Ch_29:30. Here is,
I. The court called, in the name of the King of kings (Psa_50:2): The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken – El, Elohim, Jehovah, the God of infinite power justice and mercy, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. God is the Judge, the Son of God came for judgement into the world, and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of judgment. All the earth is called to attend, not only because the controversy God had with his people Israel for their hypocrisy and ingratitude might safely be referred to any man of reason (nay, let the house of Israel itself judge between God and his vineyard, Isa_5:3), but because all the children of men are concerned to know the right way of worshipping God, in spirit and in truth, because when the kingdom of the Messiah should be set up all should be instructed in the evangelical worship, and invited to join in it (see Mal_1:11, Act_10:34), and because in the day of final judgment all nations shall be gathered together to receive their doom, and every man shall give an account of himself unto God.
Matthew Henry Commentary

God is LORD of all the earth.  From the rising of the sun until its going down He rules, and sets the rising and the fall of kings and kingdoms.  His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom.

God’s plan is being fulfilled today, His will for you and me today is to hear Him, and follow His direction and His Holy Spirit.  If you have no ear for GOD or His Word; repent, and believe Him.

Has God Forsaken His Own???

“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Psalm 22:1 (KJV)

The writer of this Psalm was feeling as though Go had forsaken him.  David is the Psalmist who was feeling so.  It must have been a trial of epic proportions.  Let us remember that it is faith which  causes him to cry out to God at this time.

This Psalm, at least the first verse, was quoted by our Saviour while He was hanging on the cross (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).  It was as He came through the darkest part of the crucifixion.  For three hours there was a complete and total darkness, which the earth experienced during those hours; but O the darkness which our Lord endured was far greater than any physical, or temporal darkness of the earth.

Jesus had taken upon Himself the sins of the whole world.  We are told in Scripture that God does not look on sin with favor; thus the judgment of God was upon His Son.  There is no way we can understand the events of that dark time in our Lord’s dying; however I believe I can say that it was the most dark time of His life and death.

Because Jesus was forsaken by His Father for that time He will never forsake those who are His own.  We can hear the promise, “I will never forsake you or leave you”, and know that He is always with us.

You are His only when you come to Him believing that He died for you on the cross, was buried, and rose again bodily from the grave.  Believe in Him.  Call on Him believing.

The Glory of God

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.” Psalm 19:1 (KJV)

The Bible speaks of the “Glory of God” quite frequently.  As I read the Scriptures it seems to me that is what the Bible is all about.  The GOD who has made all things, including humanity, wants us all to know Him and His glory.  He even has provide the fallen race with the way to Himself.

The Psalmist saw it in his day.  David was out under the stars most of the time as a shepherd boy guarding sheep, protecting the sheep, and leading them to clean water.  Every evening as the sun would be setting in the west he could and would lift up his eyes and watch for that first star; and behold it in wonder.

People who love God have an appreciation for God’s handiwork.  We can see it in the stars.  We see it in all of creation.  We see God’s working even in our farm animals, our pets, and the people who are our neighbors.

I love watching the stars.  I sometimes refer to them as “The floor joists of heaven”.  If the floor joists of heaven are so beautiful; I cannot begin to imagine what God’s heaven is like, except for what we are told by Scripture.

As I am writing this it is still dark out, the sky is partially clear, the moon is hanging in the west, and there are a few stars which can be seen.  “The heavens declare the glory of God…” and so will I.  Will you join me today in declaring the glory of God.

Begin by believing God.  His Son Jesus tells us, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.”  And He also tells us, “This is the work of God; that you believe on Him whom He has sent.”  Do so today declaring the glory of God.

The One Who Keeps

“Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust.” Psalm 16:1 (KJV)

Of this Psalm it is written in The Treasury of David that it has been called “The Psalm of the Precious Secret” explaining the title “Michtam of David”.  Yet the meaning of the word is not fully known.

However, the secret, even the precious secret is one which is found only in trusting the God to whom David is praying.  He is the living God.  He is the God of the living.  He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all who will trust in Him.

“Preserve me” is request for the keeping hand of God.  Does God hear such requests?  Most definitely.  When God begins a work in you or me He never quits it.  Jesus Christ God’s holy Son went all the way to the cross to finish the work He came to do.

Just as there is grace for salvation; there is grace in sanctification so that we might finish our course.  Trust in Him. Believe Him and live.