They Watched Him

Jesus had a way, His way of aggravating the religious crowd of His day.  That religion was steeped in legalism, and little mercy or grace.  It seemed they knew nothing about grace for their people; but allowed much, with loopholes around some of their traditions for themselves.

When the disciples with Jesus were walking through a field of grain, and they were scooping their fingers through the heads freeing the grains seeds from the tops, rolling the grain in their hands to free the good from the chaff, then blowing the chaff away with a strong breath; and they were doing it on the sabbath day [Saturday]; then, the scribes and Pharisees considered that a violation of the sabbath.

On another sabbath day Jesus had entered a synagogue to worship, and there was a man there with a withered right hand.  The Pharisees and the scribes watched Jesus to see what He would do.  Our verse today…

“And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him.” Luke 6:7  (KJB)

They watched Him with ill intent.  They watched Him to bring harm.  They watched Him to eventually kill Him.  Why?  They hated Him, His life, His teaching, and probably His boldness and authority with which He spoke.  He put religion on notice as well.

Those who follow Jesus, are faithful to Him, and His teaching- His doctrine will be watched too.  Sometimes for the same reasons as those who were watching Jesus. What are we to do?  Live faithfully for Christ.  Put Him on daily (Romans 13:12;  Galatians 3:27;  Ephesians 4:24; 6:11) all the things of Christ Jesus.  Do not fear; be faithful.

I will leave with you a quote from the Matthew Henry Commentary on Luke 6:7…

“Among those who were the hearers of Christ’s excellent doctrine, and the eye-witnesses of his glorious miracles, there were some who came with no other design than to pick quarrels with him, Luk_6:7. The scribes and Pharisees would not, as became generous adversaries, give him fair warning that, if he did heal on the sabbath day, they would construe it into a violation of the fourth commandment, which they ought in honour and justice to have done, because it was a case without precedent (none having ever cured as he did), but they basely watched him, as the lion does his prey, whether he would heal on the sabbath day, that they might find an accusation against him, and surprise him with a prosecution.” From the MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY

Blessed Shoulders

“But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders.” Numbers 7:9 (KJV)

The Tabernacle has been completed and set up. Offerings of carts, wagons, has been brought for the carrying of some of the weightier thing so the Tabernacle for moving. No wagon is given to the sons of Kohath. They must bear the holy thing upon their shoulders.

The altar of burnt offering, though not mentioned as being carried the bronze laver, the table of showbread, the lampstand (Menorah), the golden altar of incense, the Ark of the covenant with the mercy seat; all to be carried with any utensils by the sons of Kohath; upon their shoulders (Numbers 4:1-20). They were not to touch the holy things, “Lest they die”.

How did they carry them without touching them? A description of the process is given in verse 12 of Numbers 4. Each article was to be covered with a “cloth of blue” then “with a covering of badgers’ skins”.

These holy articles had already been built with rings in the sides for poles to be inserted, or as in the case of the Ark the poles were to remain (Exodus 25:14-15).

What does all this have to do with Christians of today; or even the world today? I pray I can answer that. The whole of the Tabernacle is a picture or pattern given to Moses of the Presence of God in heaven. It is a picture for us of God’s indwelling presence. God desires to be in the midst of His people. It ultimately points to Christ Jesus.

The name “Immanuel” means God with us. Jesus Christ is Immanuel. God came in the person of His Son to die for our sins; to reconcile fallen, sinful man unto Himself, that we might be one with Him (John 17:21).

Of this verse Matthew Henry wrote,

“Observe, No sooner is the tabernacle fully set up than this provision is made for the removal of it. Note, Even when we are but just settled in the world, and think we are beginning to take root, we must be preparing for changes and removes, especially for the great change. While we are here in this world, every thing must be accommodated to a militant and movable state. When the tabernacle was framing, the princes were very generous in their offerings, for then they brought precious stones, and stones to be set (Exo_35:27), yet now they bring more presents. Note, Those that have done good should study to abound therein yet more and more, and not be weary of well-doing.”
from Matthew Henry Commentary

These were blessed shoulders. Sons of Kohath – allied with God to bear His holiness on their shoulders.

Holy God; Unholy Me

“And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD. Therefore shall ye keep My commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. Neither shall ye profane My holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you, that brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 22:29-33 (KJV)

At least four times in the above verses above it is written, “I am the LORD”.  Do you have a problem with God being “the LORD”?

One of the things that stands out to me as I read Leviticus is that since God is holy He demands holiness from His people.  Holiness is nothing less than perfection.  Well!  I do not meet God’s requirements.  I do not know anyone who does.  That leaves me in terribly bad shape with God.  That is probably not good English, but I am not perfect there either.

I was born into this world in a condemned, unholy state with God.  When I look at His law, His Word I am condemned by it, and find myself totally separated from holy God.  By these laws I see what God commands, and I realize my need.  My need is God.  On my own I cannot have Him.  I also find that He loves me.  Why else would He give these laws?  Most of all why would He, with all these sacrifices, show us that there is a way to Himself, except that He loves us?

All of these sacrifices of lambs, bulls, goats, etc. are pictures, shadows, types of the anti-type who is Christ Jesus.  I no longer am condemned by the law, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, but through the death of Christ, and His bodily resurrection, I have access into the very throne room of holy God.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Now if I were to tell you that I do not know Him; if I were to live my life as if I did not know Him, then I would profane His name.

The following are the written words of Matthew Henry on the above verses,

That the flesh of their thank-offerings should be eaten on the same day that they were sacrificed, Lev_22:29, Lev_22:30. This is a repetition of what we had before, Lev_7:15; Lev_19:6, Lev_19:7. The chapter concludes with such a general charge as we have often met with, to keep God’s commandments, and not to profane his holy name, Lev_22:31, Lev_22:32. Those that profess God’s name, if they do not make conscience of keeping his commandments, do but profane his name. The general reasons are added: God’s authority over them – I am the Lord; his interest in them – I am your God; the title he had to them by redemption – “I brought you out of the land of Egypt, on purpose that I might be your God;” the designs of his grace concerning them – I am the Lord that hallow you; and the resolutions of his justice, if he had not honour from them, to get himself honour upon them – I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. God will be a loser in his glory by no man at last; but sooner or later will recover his right, either in the repentance of sinners or in their ruin.

from Matthew Henry Commentary

Without Jesus Christ you are a condemned, dying soul, headed for an eternity of torment and away from God.  Is that really what you desire?

The Incense of Prayer

“LORD, I cry unto Thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto Thee. Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:1-2 (KJV)

Within the tabernacle in the wilderness, and the temple of Solomon just outside the veil of the temple which separated the table of shewbread, the menorah, from the ark of the covenant there also stood the altar of incense; made of gold.  It offers us a picture of prayer and approaching the GOD of glory, coming into His presence.

I will let Matthew Henry comment on these verses today, and pray they are a blessing to you.

David loved prayer, and he begs of God that his prayers might be heard and answered, Psa_141:1, Psa_141:2. David cried unto God. His crying denotes fervency in prayer; he prayed as one in earnest. His crying to God denotes faith and fixedness in prayer. And what did he desire as the success of his prayer? 1. That God would take cognizance of it: “Give ear to my voice; let me have a gracious audience.” Those that cry in prayer may hope to be heard in prayer, not for their loudness, but their liveliness. 2. That he would visit him upon it: Make haste unto me. Those that know how to value God’s gracious presence will be importunate for it and humbly impatient of delays. He that believes does not make haste, but he that prays may be earnest with God to make haste. 3. That he would be well pleased with him in it, well pleased with his praying and the lifting up of his hands in prayer, which denotes both the elevation and enlargement of his desire and the out-goings of his hope and expectation, the lifting up of the hand signifying the lifting up of the heart, and being used instead of lifting up the sacrifices which were heaved and waved before the Lord. Prayer is a spiritual sacrifice; it is the offering up of the soul, and its best affections, to God. Now he prays that this may be set forth and directed before God as the incense which was daily burnt upon the golden altar, and as the evening sacrifice, which he mentions rather than the morning sacrifice, perhaps because this was an evening prayer, or with an eye to Christ, who, in the evening of the world and in the evening of the day, was to offer up himself a sacrifice of atonement, and establish the spiritual sacrifices of acknowledgement, having abolished all the carnal ordinances of the law. Those that pray in faith may expect it will please God better than an ox or bullock. David was now banished from God’s court, and could not attend the sacrifice and incense, and therefore begs that his prayer might be instead of them. Note, Prayer is of a sweet-smelling savour to God, as incense, which yet has no savour without fire; nor has prayer without the fire of holy love and fervour.

from Matthew Henry Commentary e-Sword edition

Now the veil has been taken away by the cross, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  You have access to the very throne of God through Christ Jesus.  Our prayers are still as sweet incense unto the Father in heaven (Revelation 8:4).

God is Good

“Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can shew forth all His praise?” Psalm 106:1-2 (KJV)

There are not enough words to describe the goodness, and worth of God.  I will let you hear the words of Matthew Henry on these verses…

We are here taught,
I. To bless God (Psa_106:1, Psa_106:2): Praise you the Lord, that is, 1. Give him thanks for his goodness, the manifestation of it to us, and the many instances of it. He is good and his mercy endures for ever; let us therefore own our obligations to him and make him a return of our best affections and services. 2. Give him the glory of his greatness, his mighty acts, proofs of his almighty power, wherein he has done great things, and such as would be opposed. Who can utter these? Who is worthy to do it? Who is able to do it? They are so many that they cannot be numbered, so mysterious that they cannot be described; when we have said the most we can of the mighty acts of the Lord, the one half is not told; still there is more to be said; it is a subject that cannot be exhausted. We must show forth his praise; we may show forth some of it, but who can show forth all? Not the angels themselves. This will not excuse us in not doing what we can, but should quicken us to do all we can.
From the MATTHEW HENRY Commentary

Waiting

“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation.” Psalm 62:1 (KJV)

There is much said in Scripture of waiting.  Patience is the key to this word, and I do not know about you, but I am not often a patient person.  I believe The Lord has taught me patience over the years I have grown in Him.  Today, as I have in the past I will let someone else do the commentary on this verse.

From the Matthew Henry Commentary we read,

David’s profession of dependence upon God, and upon him only, for all good (Psa_62:1): Truly my soul waiteth upon God. Nevertheless (so some) or “However it be, whatever difficulties or dangers I may meet with, though God frown upon me and I meet with discouragements in my attendance on him, yet still my soul waits upon God” (or is silent to God, as the word is), “Says nothing against what he does, but quietly expects what he will do.” We are in the way both of duty and comfort when our souls wait upon God, when we cheerfully refer ourselves, and the disposal of all our affairs, to his will and wisdom, when we acquiesce in and accommodate ourselves to all the dispensations of his providence, and patiently expect a doubtful event, with an entire satisfaction in his righteousness and goodness, however it be. Is not my soul subject go God? So the Septuagint. So it, certainly so it ought to be; our wills must be melted into his will. My soul has respect to God, for from him cometh my salvation. He doubts not but his salvation will come, though now he was threatened and in danger, and he expects it to come from God, and from him only; for in vain is it hoped for from hills and mountains, Jer_3:23; Psa_121:1, Psa_121:2. “From him I know it will come, and therefore on him will I patiently wait till it does come, for his time is the best time.” We may apply it to our eternal salvation, which is called the salvation of God (Psa_50:23); from him it comes; he prepared it for us, he prepares us for it, and preserves us to it, and therefore let our souls wait on him, to be conducted through this world to that eternal salvation, in such way as he thinks fit.

from the Matthew Henry Commentary

Hear this from the prophet Isaiah,

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

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.

Friends and Enemies

It seems that we are all a bit fickle.  We love our friends; as long as they are kind and never say a harsh or critical word to us.  Yet that is not friendship.  I will not spend a lot of time or words with this, but really, a true friend should be someone who will tell you your weaknesses, when you have done something wrong.  A friend is someone who will sharpen your ax blade, so to speak; or at least aid you in doing so yourself.

Is it a friend who is always telling you the good things you do?  How bright you are?  How handsome or beautiful you are?   A friend will appreciate the good and great things about you, and tell  you so; however the friend will also pick you apart, and cut away, and may hurt you to help you.  There; I said it. Now let us see what the wise man of Proverbs says.

“Open rebuke is better than secret love.  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”  Proverbs 27:5-6

There will be those who call themselves friend, but never really help you shine.  They are really your enemy; never wanting you to improve; wanting you to remain in their league.  Their kisses are venom, poisonous and deadly.

Let’s hear what Matthew Henry has written of these two verses;

Note, 1. It is good for us to be reproved, and told of our faults, by our friends. If true love in the heart has but zeal and courage enough to show itself in dealing plainly with our friends, and reproving them for what they say and do amiss, this is really better, not only than secret hatred (as Lev. 19:17), but than secret love, that love to our neighbours which does not show itself in this good fruit, which compliments them in their sins, to the prejudice of their souls. Faithful are the reproofs of a friend, though for the present they are painful as wounds. It is a sign that our friends are faithful indeed if, in love to our souls, they will not suffer sin upon us, nor let us alone in it. The physician’s care is to cure the patient’s disease, not to please his palate. 2. It is dangerous to be caressed and flattered by an enemy, whose kisses are deceitful We can take no pleasure in them because we can put no confidence in them (Joab’s kiss and Judas’s were deceitful), and therefore we have need to stand upon our guard, that we be not deluded by them; they are to be deprecated. Some read it: The Lord deliver us from an enemy’s kisses, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
From the Matthew Henry Commentary – Libronix Library

Remember too, that a friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17).  Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God is your dearest friend.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Cautious Eye

In a day when there are people who think they are doing good by deceit and fraud; though they definitely would not see it as deceit and fraud; it is imperative that the people of God; those who are Christians be prudent in their lives.

The word means Cautious or discreet, cunning is even a good definition of prudent.

The wisdom of Solomon is found in Proverbs 22:3,

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”  Proverbs 22:3 (KJV)

Of course this is mostly having to do with having an eye against that which is evil, and not just letting it creep up on you.  Be aware, be alert; and that is probably what Peter had in mind as he was inspired to write,

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8

I will let a couple of the sages of the past give their comments on this verse:

See here, 1. The benefit of wisdom and consideration: A prudent man, by the help of his prudence, will foresee an evil, before it comes, and hide himself; he will be aware when he is entering into a temptation and will put on his armour and stand on his guard. When the clouds are gathering for a storm he takes the warning, and flies to the name of the Lord as his strong tower. Noah foresaw the deluge, Joseph the years of famine, and provided accordingly. 2. The mischief of rashness and inconsideration. The simple, who believe every word that flatters them, will believe none that warns them, and so they pass on and are punished. They venture upon sin, though they are told what will be in the end thereof; they throw themselves into trouble, notwithstanding the fair warning given them, and they repent their presumption when it is too late. See an instance of both these, Ex. 9:20, 21. Nothing is so fatal to precious souls as this, they will not take warning.

Matthew Henry Commentary.

and now John Gill,

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself,…. A wise man, whose eyes are in his head, who looks about him and before him, and is cautious and careful of his conduct and behaviour; he foresees the evil of sin he is liable to be drawn into by such and such company, snares, and temptations; and therefore he keeps from them, and abstains from all appearance of evil, or what would lead him to it; and he foresees the evil of punishment, or the judgments of God that are coming on for sin; and he betakes himself to the Lord, to those hiding places and chambers of retreat and protection he has provided for his people, till the indignation be overpast; see Isa_26:20;

but the simple pass on, and are punished: foolish persons, devoid of the grace of God and the fear of him, go on careless and unconcerned in their sinful course of life, transgressing the law of God; they proceed from evil to evil, from lesser to greater sins; they go on in the broad road to destruction, and are punished with temporal judgments here, and with everlasting destruction hereafter.

John Gill’s e-Sword Commentary

Be watchful, but trusting the LORD through it all to protect and keep you.

-Tim A. Blankenship

 

Listen Up

It is imperative that God’s people listen to Him and His Word.  We will look at Psalm 78:1 today, however I will let some of the preachers of decades, even centuries past give their exposition of this verse:

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

The first is Matthew Henry,

These verses, which contain the preface to this history, show that the psalm answers the title; it is indeed Maschil—a psalm to give instruction; if we receive not the instruction it gives, it is our own fault. Here,
I. The psalmist demands attention to what he wrote (v. 1): Give ear, O my people! to my law. Some make these the psalmist’s words. David, as a king, or Asaph, in his name, as his secretary of state, or scribe to the sweet singer of Israel, here calls upon the people, as his people committed to his charge, to give ear to his law. He calls his instructions his law or edict; such was their commanding force in themselves. Every good truth, received in the light and love of it, will have the power of a law upon the conscience; yet that was not all: David was a king, and he would interpose his royal power for the edification of his people. If God, by his grace, make great men good men, they will be capable of doing more good than others, because their word will be a law to all about them, who must therefore give ear and hearken; for to what purpose is divine revelation brought our ears if we will not incline our ears to it, both humble ourselves and engage ourselves to hear it and heed it? Or the psalmist, being a prophet, speaks as God’s mouth, and so calls them his people, and demands subjection to what was said as to a law. Let him that has an ear thus hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, Rev. 2:7.

The second C. H. Spurgen from the Treasury of David,

“Give ear, O my people, to my law.” The inspired bard calls on his countrymen to give heed to his patriotic teaching. We naturally expect God’s chosen nation to be first in hearkening to his voice. When God gives his truth a tongue, and sends forth his messengers trained to declare his word with power, it is the least we can do to give them our ears and the earnest obedience of our hearts. Shall God speak, and his children refuse to hear? His teaching has the force of law, let us yield both ear and heart to it. “Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.” Give earnest attention, bow your stiff necks, lean forward to catch every syllable. We are at this day, as readers of the sacred records, bound to study them deeply, exploring their meaning, and labouring to practise their teaching. As the officer of an army commences his drill by calling for “Attention,” even so every trained soldier of Christ is called upon to give ear to his words. Men lend their ears to music, how much more then should they listen to the harmonies of the gospel; they sit enthralled in the presence of an orator, how much rather should they yield to the eloquence of heaven.

There is much in Scripture for calling the people of Christ to hear His Word and the Law.  It is necessary in days of darkness for God’s people to be enlightened, because we are people of the light, not of the darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Greed is Not Good

In my way of thinking “Greed” is the unethical gain of power and wealth.  Gain by unethical means is always evil.  Unethical could be defined as taking from those who cannot afford the loss.  Using words of malice to destroy another’s reputation, character, or taking life to gain their possessions or power.

The desire to earn for the purpose of caring for your family is a god-given desire; and even to better one’s own situation in life.  The object is being content with what you are doing and your present situation.  Content with God’s direction for your life is probably what is meant by being content.

The writer of Proverbs; probably Solomon says,

“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.”  Proverbs 15:27 (KJV)

This coming from a man who had more wealth than, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates combined, for the time he lived in.

It is implied by the latter part of the verse that this “greedy gain” has been gotten by the receipt of “gifts” or “bribes”.  A bribe is given to get an individual or possibly a company, or someone in power to “look the other way” when an evil deed is taking place, is about to take place or will take place.  A decision by a judge, law enforcement officer, or business associate, etc.  Sometimes even a friendship can cause one to be “bought”; or even a family relationship.

It should be the heart of the Righteous to hate “Gifts”; the giving or receiving of “bribes”.  Bribery will destroy the giver and the receiver ultimately.  It may line the pockets of the bank account temporarily; but it will also work as a cancer in the heart, and destroy that life and loved one’s lives.

The following is commentary from Matthew Henry of Proverbs 15:27,

Note, 1. Those that are covetous entail trouble upon their families: He that is greedy of gain, and therefore makes himself a slave to the world, rises up early, sits up late, and eats the bread of carefulness, in pursuit of it—he that hurries, and puts himself and all about him upon the stretch, in business, frets and vexes at every loss and disappointment, and quarrels with every body that stands in the way of his profit—he troubles his own house, is a burden and vexation to his children and servants. He that, in his greediness of gain, takes bribes, and uses unlawful ways of getting money, leaves a curse with what he gets to those that come after him, which sooner or later will bring trouble into the house, Hab. 2:9, 10. 2. Those that are generous as well as righteous entail a blessing upon their families: He that hates gifts, that shakes his hands from holding the bribes that are thrust into his hand to pervert justice and abhors all sinful indirect ways of getting money—that hates to be paltry and mercenary, and is willing, if there be occasion, to do good gratis—he shall live; he shall have the comfort of life, shall live in prosperity and reputation; his name and family shall live and continue.

FROM Matthew Henry Commentery; e-SWord edition

Even if someone has fallen for the lie and given in to the temptation of this greed, there is forgiveness and cleansing through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; His death, burial and resurrection.  Be clean and go and sin no more in this evil.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Foolish Anger

I have said it here before that there are some who find fault with anger of any kind.  Anger, however, is a god given emotion.  I do believe that you can judge the character of a man or woman by what makes them angry.  Paul the apostle did say, “Be angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27).  There is a place for anger.

The child of God should be angry by evil in the world, personal sin, and the destruction that sin, and its cohorts inflict on the world.  Anger because a business wants paid and will not bring you any propane until you pay your last bill is pointless anger, and is certainly not holy.  For a person to become angry for another whose power has been cut off in the cold and the power company will not leave the power on is possibly a good anger; as long as it  is controlled anger.  Controlled anger might mean going and paying up the bill for the one who owes it; if possible.  If not possible find a way to help.

I was reading Proverbs 12 this morning and the following verse caught my attention,

“A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.”  Proverbs 12:16 (KJV)

There are some who get angry about the smallest things, and will voice their anger in public, private, business, home, church, etc., and just let their foolishness be seen by all.  It is one of those occasions where you remember the saying, “It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

It is kind of sad, but you can tell people who are angry.  Their countenance tells me they are angry.  Bitterness, anger not dealt with, envy, hatred, malice seem to all fit together.  Let me leave you with the commentary of Matthew Henry on Proverbs 12:16 :

Note, 1. Passion is folly: A fool is known by his anger (so some read it); not but that a wise man may be angry when there is just cause for it, but then he has his anger under check and direction, is lord of his anger, whereas a fool’s anger lords it over him. He that, when he is provoked, breaks out into indecent expressions, in words or behaviour, whose passion alters his countenance, makes him outrageous, and leads him to forget himself, Nabal certainly is his name and folly is with him. A fool’s indignation is known in the day; he proclaims it openly, whatever company he is in. Or it is known in the day he is provoked; he cannot defer showing his resentments. Those that are soon angry, that are quickly put into a flame by the least spark, have not that rule which they ought to have over their own spirits. 2. Meekness is wisdom: A prudent man covers shame. (1.) He covers the passion that is in his own breast; when his spirit is stirred, and his heart hot within him, he keeps his mouth as with a bridle, and suppresses his resentments, by smothering and stifling them. Anger is shame, and, though a wise man be not perfectly free from it, yet he is ashamed of it, rebukes it, and suffers not the evil spirit to speak. (2.) He covers the provocation that is given him, the indignity that is done him, winks at it, covers it as much as may be from himself, that he may not carry his resentments of it too far. It is a kindness to ourselves, and contributes to the repose of our own minds, to extenuate and excuse the injuries and affronts that we receive, instead of aggravating them and making the worst of them, as we are apt to do.

Remember the Proverbs advice and be prudent.  When you are angry; deal with it, and cover the shame.

-Tim A. Blankenship

What Has Happened to Godliness

When I read Psalm 12:1 this morning my first thought was that it sounds as though David was living in 2012.  That may be a bit cynical, but I do not think too much so.  I do know some people I consider to be godly and they are Christians.  I do not consider any one who know not Christ to be godly.

The Psalmist cries out for help from the LORD.

“Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.”  Psalm 12:1 (KJV)

It is a grievous thing to look at our Nation (the USA) and see so much degradation; such flaunting of unrighteous, ungodly behaviors, drunkenness, gluttonness feasting, and much gluttony without any thankfulness to the One who provided it.

David saw that the “godly man ceaseth”, that “the faithful fail”, and he asks GOD for “Help”; and so must the follower of Christ Jesus today.

The following is a quote from Matthew Henry’s commentary on Psalm 12:1-

“When there is a general decay of piety and honesty among men the times are then truly bad (v. 1): When the godly man ceases and the faithful fail. Observe how these two characters are here put together, the godly and the faithful. As there is no true policy, so there is no true piety, without honesty. Godly men are faithful men, fast men, so they have sometimes been called; their word is as confirming as their oath, as binding as their bond; they make conscience of being true both to God and man. They are here said to cease and fail, either by death or by desertion, or by both. Those that were godly and faithful were taken away, and those that were left had sadly degenerated and were not what they had been; so that there were few or no good people that were Israelites indeed to be met with. Perhaps he meant that there were no godly faithful men among Saul’s courtiers; if he meant there were few or none in Israel, we hope he was under the same mistake that Elijah was, who thought he only was left alone, when God had 7000 who kept their integrity (Rom. 11:3); or he meant that there were few in comparison; there was a general decay of religion and virtue (and the times are bad, very bad, when it is so), not a man to be found that executes judgment, Jer. 5:1.”

What is godliness?  To live as God would live; or at least work at doing so.  Will that save you for all time and eternity? NO!  Only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work can save you eternally.  When you are saved for eternally you will desire to be godly.  We are called to live godly even when ungodliness seems to rule the world.

-Tim A. Blankenship