“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” Psalm 27:1-3 (KJB)
“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1 (KJB)
“The LORD hear you in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend you; send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion; remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice; Selah. Grant you according to your own heart, and fulfil all your counsel. We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all your petitions.” Psalm 20:1-5 (KJB)
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1 (KJB)
“How long will You forget me, O LORD? For ever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:1-6 (KJB)
“A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.” Proverbs 13:1 (KJB)
“O LORD, rebuke me not in Your anger, neither chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but You, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for Your mercies’ sake.” Psalm 6:1-4 (KJB)
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; 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 17:20-21 (KJB)
Though I have changed the title this post is a repost from September 14, 2010. Though there may be many who think Jesus prayed only for Himself, His disciples of that day, it is quite clear to us in the words above that He prayed for those who would believe on Him through their word. Though many years have passed their word is still being passed from one person to another.
There will probably be some who read the posts on Jesus’s prayer for His followers/disciples, and think, and believe, that this prayer was only for those 12 or so disciples who walked with Him through the streets of Jerusalem, along the shores of Galilee, and over the roads of Judea. If that would be the case then, the prayer is almost without merit. That would invalidate the promises, and you had just as well take away the cross and resurrection as well.
Now, hear what Jesus prayed next:
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; 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 17:20-21 (KJV).
There are at least a couple of things which Jesus requests in this portion of the prayer. First He lets it be known that this prayer is not just for Peter, James, and John; but also for Tim, Tom, Jane, and Jill. All those who have believed in Jesus through the words of the disciples. That means all those believers who have believed since the day Jesus prayed this High Priestly prayer.
The second request of this prayer (of these two verses) is that we might be one in Himself and the Father. To begin with; when anyone reads this prayer how can they deny what Jesus asked for. Jesus was admitting to being one with the Father. He has requested that we may all be one in Himself and the Father. Having been separated; in the darkness, on the cross; from the Father because of sin, Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection made this possible for all who will believe and follow Him.
“And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, said unto them, ‘Ye have brought this Man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined before you, have found no fault in this Man touching those things whereof ye accuse Him: no, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him.
I will therefore chastise Him, and release.’ ” Luke 23:13-16 (KJB)
During the first days and months of Jesus’s ministry there were those who despised His life and His teaching. For years they sought how they might destroy Him. When we first note this in Scripture is when Jesus stands in a synagogue and reads the prophecy from Isaiah (Luke 4:17-19; Isaiah 61:1-2). There they tried to kill Him.
There are two gospels that tell us that Pilate saw that it was for envy they sought to kill Him (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10). They were envious of His power, authority, and His closeness with God. He was, and is in fact God become flesh – God Incarnate. That alone sent them into a tizzy fit.
Now, they have succeeded in a trial of their own making, in secret, very early in the morning, and these have found Him guilty based on false witnesses that their testimony did not even agree. Yet the religious leaders can not condemn any to death; they must get Him before the governor, who is by Roman appointment, and he must declare Him guilty and sentence Him to die by crucifixion.
Pilate, nor Herod found any fault, neither guilt for any crime in Jesus. Pilate wanted to release Him. The people cried “Crucify Him. Crucify Him.” They even chose the release of a guilty murderer over the sinless Son of God.
Pilates verdict was “Not guilty”. Jesus the Man who was the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary lived a life without sin, was guilty of nothing, sentenced to die because He was perfect.
Dying on the cross He took the curse that was ours. He was judged by His own Father as guilty, because on the cross He became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). He lives. All who will come to Him He gives eternal life.
Jesus Christ paid the sin debt that was mine and yours. He carried away our sins in His burial. He rose victoriously declaring the sin debt fully paid.
“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” Luke 16:18 (KJB)
Most Christians know the words of Jesus on marriage, divorce, and remarriage, so I am not going to spend a lot of time explaining or demolishing what He said. We Christians of the United States of America have done that quite well.
I would like to remind you though, that John the Baptist went to prison for confronting the wicked Herod for marrying his brother Philip’s wife (Matthew 14:3-6; Luke 3:19). He eventually was beheaded because the adulterous wife called for it. Who am I, or who are we to question the word of Jesus concerning marriage?
Let me end this thought, and the truth of Jesus with the verse previous to this one –
“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17
“And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem.” Luke 9:30-31 (KJB)
Jerusalem. The city of Peace. The city of David. Sometimes called the city of God. It is also a city of great division, scorn, and evil.
It is the city of great admiration of the people of Israel, and the world. It has been said, “As goes Jerusalem; so goes the world”. David in one of his Psalms tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).
Jesus is said to have had His eyes set on Jerusalem (Luke 9:51, 53), and that was due to the calling in His life since before the foundation of the earth was set. In the text before our above verses Jesus is on the Mount speaking with Moses and Elijah about the coming days; and not too far off.
Jerusalem would be the place of His great sacrifice. Jesus would lay down His life for the sins of the whole world; and He would do so because He loved, and revered His Father; and He loved lost, condemned sinners.
In the mind of the ordinary human being, dying does not seem like much to accomplish. Some of the teaching I have heard among the prosperity gospel folks, makes it sound as though Jesus failed in dying on the cross. One of the final statements Jesus made before He died on the cross was, “It is finished” (John 19:30). May I shout with the words…. IT WAS HIS VICTORY… ; and His bodily resurrection is the proof of it (Romans 1:4), and our justification.
Jesus accomplished, at Jerusalem, all that He had came to earth as a man to do. He accomplished in His death all that the Law and the Prophets could not do – the redemption of Israel, and the redemption of all those in the world who will come to Him believing; receiving the blessed gift of His grace.
Call on His name believing. He will hear. He will save.
“And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people…” Luke 2:10 (KJB)
I find it somewhat odd that the scholars, the priest, the religionist of the day in Jerusalem missed the obvious signs. The signs that the Messiah was on the way. I will not get into what those signs were. Others saw them from further away.
The shepherds in the field were not the first. They are the first mentioned in our text, but in the totality of the text of the gospel it includes the wise men from the east (Matthew 2:1-12). The wise men would have began most likely weeks before when they saw the “star”, and they traveled together and found the new born King, not in a manger, but a house.
In the birth of Jesus the LORD of Creation is declaring that His Son’s birth is a gift to all who will come to Him and believe in the gift of His grace. The grace that will be displayed by His death on the cross, His burial not only proving He died, but that He also carried all our sin, condemnation, guilt, and shame away, and then He arose leaving all of that behind and He eternally lives. Because He lives all from every nation, every tongue, and every tribe of people who believe in Him have eternal life.
“Fear not” the angel said. The great good tidings to all the earth. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Romans 10:1 (KJB)
The apostle Paul was a Jew. He was a Hebrew, in fact calling himself, “…An Hebrew of the Hebrews…” (Philippians 3:5), and he spent his early ministry endeavoring to win the Jewish people to the Messiah Jesus. He nearly lost his life a few times doing so.
In Romans 9 – 11 we see just how much Paul loves his people it is almost a final plea for them to repent, to turn to the One who is their Redeemer, before it is turned over completely to the Gentiles for the age.
I have a question for myself this morning. Is my heart’s desire, and prayer for my people so powerful, so strong that I would risk my life, my all, my living for a lost soul? I desire, I strongly desire to see a soul come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah the prophet said,
“Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” Jeremiah 9:1
God has given me what I need to lead a lost, condemned, dying man, or woman to Jesus. By the power of His Spirit in me I can and will do it.
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31 (KJB)
Since people are justified by faith without the law does that void the law? Paul says, “NO!” The law was given to show mankind his condemnation; to cause him to fall on his knees before our righteous and holy God in repentance, calling on Him by faith.
In the work of Jesus Christ on the cross the demands of the law were fulfilled, thus, by faith it is possible for a sinner to be made righteous before God; not on his own merit, but on the merit of Jesus Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection.
In Christ the holiness and righteousness of God toward sin is intact. His love for His enemies is shown. All who believe Him are declared righteous. That is an amazing salvation.
Actually the law is firmly established. All God desired is accomplished. Sinners; by God’s declaration; become saints.
When a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ the desire of their heart is to be with Him; to be like Him; to serve Him whenever and however possible. We desire to learn more about Him. We desire to be around others who love Him. We grieve over our sins and seek forgiveness quickly and diligently. We grieve over lost sinners who are condemned and pray for them, witness to them, and lead them to personal faith in Jesus. We seek to worship God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That certainly sounds like the establishment/fulfillment of the law.
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah His portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for He is raised up out of his holy habitation.” Zechariah 2:10-13 (KJB)
Some thoughts from The Biblical Illustrator:
“I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee
The restorer of Israel and Judah
Note that the name of “the Lord,” or “Jehovah,” is applied to two distinct persons; to Him who sends, and to Him who is sent.
Note also that in this prophecy the future restoration of the Jews is spoken of, as well as their settlement at Jerusalem after the Babylonish captivity. The words of the text evidently relate to the future restoration. A period is yet to come, of glory to God, and of prosperity to the people of Israel and Judah; and that the Son of God, the Messiah, will dwell among them, acknowledged and honoured as the Lord of hosts. Note some of the circumstances which will mark that season of the fulfilment of God’s promises to His people.
- The conversion of the people of Israel and Judah.
- The restoration of all the tribes to their own land.
- The people of God will be restored to their native land in the midst of wars and tumults. Their return will be preceded by violent convulsions, and by a season of disaster and tribulation, such as the world has never yet witnessed.
- The first and most remarkable circumstance in the condition of God’s people after their settlement in their own land, is His immediate presence among them.
- God will make a new covenant with them. It will involve a much higher degree of religious knowledge.
- The pardon of sin is mentioned as one of the promises under the new covenant.
- The consequence of this abundant pardon and superior know ledge is the greater practice of virtue. This superior degree of purity and holiness in the people of God, is the gift of God Himself, the effect of that abundant effusion of the Spirit which will adorn the Church under His own immediate care.
- The advantages will not be confined to Israel, but will flow out to other peoples.
- Jews and Gentiles being united as one body of faithful worshippers, a pure and holy service will be paid to God in Jerusalem. The people will enjoy all worldly and spiritual blessedness. Let us seek to attain a share of these coming blessings. (T. Bowdler, A. M.)
The joy of the Divine presence
1 No difficulty or strait can take away from the Church the true cause of her joy, nor excuse her for not rejoicing in it, for when the Jews are now a contemptible handful, deserted by their brethren, vexed by their enemies, and some of themselves conspiring against them, yet she is called to this duty, “Sing and rejoice.”
- The Lord’s own presence in and with His people, is His choice and matchless gift, which He is willing to give before any other thing, and which, as He will not disdain to bestow in His people’s lowest condition, so it is a gift that should occasion much joy and refreshment to them.
- As the Lord’s presence with His own chosen people is perpetual, and will bring intimate familiarity and love; so Himself will be at all the pains to make up this union, He will not, by sin putting Him, as it were, away for a time, be provoked to stay away, and will have this communion still upon the growing hand till they come to full fruition, for He will dwell constantly and familiarly “in the midst of thee.”
- It is the great ground of the Church’s encouragement, and the fountain of all other manifestations of God, that the Son of God became man, that her Redeemer is God, that He came and dwelt in our nature, and was like us in all things without sin; and that we may tryst with God in the man Christ, and know our tender-hearted Surety to be also God over all blessed forever, and able to save to the uttermost. This incarnation of Christ is it which this promise ultimately points at as the ground of their joy. “Sing, for I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith Jehovah.” (George Hutcheson.)
The joy of the millennial Church
The words point to the bright periods when messiah’s kingdom shall so extend as to embrace “many nations.” Three remarks are suggested concerning this joy.
- It is righteous. It is not only Divinely authorised, but commanded. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion.” Often we are informed by religious teachers that joy is a privilege, but seldom told that joy is a duty. It is as truly a sin against heaven to be spiritually gloomy and sad, as to be socially false and dishonest. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion.” Similar commands are found elsewhere on the pages of Holy Writ. “Break forth into joy, sing together” (Isa_52:9). “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion” (Isa_12:6). Gratitude is joy; and ought not gratitude to fill every soul? Admiration is joy; and ought not every soul to be filled with admiration of the Divine excellence? Love is joy; and ought we not to love all creatures with the love of benevolence, and the Creator with the love of adoration?
- It is reasonable. But here are reasons suggested for this joy. What are they?
- The presence of God. “Lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” The highest happiness of an intelligent creature, is the presence of the object it supremely loves. “In Thy presence is fulness of joy.”
- The increase of the good. “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day.” Is not this a good reason for joy—to see the clouds of error in the human sky breaking, dissolving, vanishing, and the Sun of Truth rising, spreading, and penetrating the whole earth with its lifegiving beams? Is not this a sublime reason for lifegiving joy—“Many nations shall be joined to the Lord,” as the branches are joined to the roots of the tree, as the members of the body are joined to the head?
- The restoration of the Jews. “For the Lord shall inherit Judah His portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.”
III. It is reverential. “Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for He is raised up out of His holy habitation.” “The Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him.” The profoundest emotions of the Soul are always mute. Superficial feelings are noisy and chattering. The shallow stream rattles amongst the hills. The deep river rolls by unheard. Deep joy is silent as the stars. It is so with the godly soul. In the presence of the supremely beautiful, it is filled with a joy that cannot speak. If we are loyal subjects of the great spiritual empire, we might well be happy. (Homilist.)” From THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR on Zechariah 2:10-13
“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, ‘I pray Thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech Thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.’ ” Jonah 4:1-3 (KJB)
It do not know, and yet I do know; I believe God was displeased with Jonah’s attitude; and he had to be disciplined. I am not sure by the end of the chapter and short book that Jonah had learned about mercy and grace.
The prophet Jonah was a patriot to the nation of Israel. It was the godly nation. It was the nation of God’s people. Here he is angry because God had mercy on a heathen people.
Let us who are saved by the grace of God through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; the only begotten Son of God; was buried, and He rose from the grave, always remember that God desires the whole world to know that He is the LORD God. That is stated again and again through out Scripture.
Let us rejoice that enemies of God and our faith become our brethren, and love the Lord just as we do. We too, were once enemies of God, and the cross of Christ (Romans 5:8-10).
Rejoice every time a soul is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, who is Jesus Christ.
“Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
‘Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face. Should I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from Me through their idols.’ ” Ezekiel 14:1-5 (KJB)
In the United States of America we love our cars, our houses, our freedoms, and just about anything else including sports and education. We far too often give more attention to those things than we do to the One who created us; and who has provided our eternal salvation.
Remember Ezekiel, and those “elders of Israel” who came to him were in Babylon; captives of Nebuchadnezzar. These men were coming to ask the prophet to seek God for them, but God knew their hearts.
“Should I be enquired of at all by them?” Did you catch that question from the LORD? That gets me to thinking of what prayers God will hear.
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17
The broken heart is the one who realizes there is no help, no hope, no Savior but in the Lord. The contrite one is is one who is physically and mentally and spiritually collapsed. These are the sacrifices; the prayers God will hear.
The one’s who come to God in the pretense of worship, with feigned words and empty acts of reverence will not be heard.
Remember this. God knows your heart, and your mind. There is nothing about you that is a secret to Him.
Turn to the One [Jesus Christ] who died for your sins. Turn to the One who died on the cross, was buried and He rose again. Come to Him with a broken, contrite, and surrendering heart.
” There shall be lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD.
They shall howl, ‘How is it broken down! How hath Moab turned the back with shame!’ So shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him. For thus saith the LORD; ‘Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.” Jeremiah 48:38-40 (KJB)
The Moabites hated the Israelites. As Israel was traveling through the wilderness following their deliverance from Egypt the king of Moab hired a false prophet named Balaam to curse them (Numbers 22-25). When Balaam realizes that God will not allow the cursing of Israel he tells Balak, the king of Moab how to cause them to fall. Be sure you read the story. Moab hated Israel, and Israel’s God who is the LORD of Hosts – YHWH.
The judgment that was coming on Moab at this point in time was Babylon. The same one who was used by Holy God to judge His own people because they had turned their backs on Him.
While God desires that the world knows Him to be God, the LORD God, He still judges iniquity, and those who defile and hate His people.
At the time of Jeremiah’s prophecy it has been hundreds of years since Balak’s hatred has been displayed. That hatred had continued through the many years.
There are those in our government of the United States of America and other governments of men who want nothing more than to see the demise of the nation of Israel; and for that matter all those Christians also who love Israel.
A word of warning to you who hate Israel, and who hate Christians because of our faith in the God who loves us, and showed it by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins; if you continue in your hatred you will come to an end, and that end will be eternity in the fires of a burning Hell.
God who is the Creator of all things has loved you, offers you forgiveness, salvation, grace, love, and peace through the cross of Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection.
Turn from your hatred to Jesus Christ and live.
“In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying,
‘Thus saith the LORD; ‘Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: if so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to Me, to walk in My law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.’
So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.” Jeremiah 26:1-7 (KJB)
Shiloh is the place where the ark of the covenant was kept in the Tabernacle in the wilderness which Moses had made after the pattern of God’s in Heaven. Shiloh was the place from which it was taken foolishly by the priest thinking it had special powers even when the hearts of the people had turned against hearing the word of the LORD. It would do the reader good to read 1 Samuel 1 – 4 to get the background of what Jeremiah is saying.
When people will not hear the word of the LORD, and do what He says then you can be sure no amount of prayer, special offering, sacrifice will suffice to please God. He is pleased when we hear His word, and do it.
There are many places that are alive with activity in the name of the Lord, but full of ignorant, disobedient, sacrificing, giving people; separated from God, and do not even realize it. Their lives are empty and without meaning, because these places have a whole lot of fire, but not fire from God in Heaven. They will not hear and heed the word of the LORD.
“Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name,…. The temple, as in Jer_7:11, for though it was called by his name, and his name was called upon in it, yet this could not secure it from desolation; for so the name of the Lord was set in the tabernacle at Shiloh, and yet he forsook it through the wickedness of the people:
wherein ye trust; they trusted in the sacrifices there offered up, and the service there performed; in the holiness of the place, and because it was the residence of the divine Majesty; wherefore they thought this would be a protection and defence of them; and this was trusting in lying words, as in Jer_7:4,
and unto the place which I gave unto you and your fathers; meaning either Jerusalem; and so the Syriac version renders it, “and to the city”; or the whole land of Judea, as in Jer_7:7,
as I have done to Shiloh; See Gill on Jer_7:12.” From John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible on Jeremiah 26:6
O hear the word of the LORD. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. That is a starting place.
Destruction happened at Shiloh. Life eternal happens at the cross of Jesus Christ. Hear the word of the LORD.
“Neither say they in their heart, ‘Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in His season: He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
For among My people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jeremiah 5:24-31 (KJB)
From F. B. Meyer…
“Diogenes, the cynic, was discovered one day in Athens in broad daylight, lantern in hand, looking for something. When someone remonstrated with him, he said that he needed all the light possible to enable him to find an honest man. Something like that is in the prophet’s thought. God was prepared to spare Jerusalem on lower terms than even Sodom, and yet He was driven to destroy her. Both poor and rich had alike “broken the yoke and burst the bonds.” The description of the onset of the Chaldeans is very graphic. They settle down upon the land as a flock of locusts, but still the Chosen People refuse to connect their punishment with their sin. It never occurred to the Chosen People that the failure of the rain, the withering of their crops, and the assault of their foes, were all connected with their sin. There is nothing unusual in this obtuseness for as we read the history of our own times, men are equally inapt at connecting national disaster with national sin.
How good it would be if the national cry of today were that of Jer_5:24 : Let us now fear before the Lord our God! Notice the delightful metaphor of Jer_5:22. When God would stay the wild ocean wave a barrier of sand will suffice. The martyrs were as sand grains but wild persecutions were quenched by their heroic patience.” F. B. Meyer’s THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY titled “Widespread Corruption”
And with these words I say Amen. “Let us now fear the LORD our God”. Begins by humbling ourselves at the cross of Jesus Christ.
“I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not My face from shame and spitting.” Isaiah 50:6 (KJB)
This is a prophecy of the trial, pain, beating, the suffering of the sinless Son of God as He gave Himself as the propitiation for our sins. A prophecy given to the prophet Isaiah around 700 years before Jesus was even born in the manger.
From Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary on verse six…
“smiters — with scourges and with the open hand (Isa_52:14; Mar_14:65). Literally fulfilled (Mat_27:26; Mat_26:27; Luk_18:33). To “pluck the hair” is the highest insult that can be offered an Oriental (2Sa_10:4; Lam_3:30). “I gave” implies the voluntary nature of His sufferings; His example corresponds to His precept (Mat_5:39).
spitting — To spit in another’s presence is an insult in the East, much more on one; most of all in the face (Job_30:10; Mat_27:30; Luk_18:32).” From the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
O, come to Jesus Christ who loved us so much He gave Himself to redeem us to the Father God in Glory.
“Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, ‘Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of Mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify My name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.
They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.’ ” Isaiah 29:22-24 (KJB)
For further thought see Romans 1:16; and Romans 9 – 11.
“And when they shall say unto you, ‘Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter:’ should not a people seek unto their God for the living to the dead?
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.” Isaiah 8:19-22 (KJB)
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And this voice which came from Heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Daystar arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake, moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:16-21 (KJB)
“For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on the seed of Abraham.
Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:16-17 (KJB)
As I read these words this morning the word “behoved” asked the question, “What is the meaning of this word?” Behooved is the modern spelling. I found this…
“BEHOOVE, v.t. behoof’. To be necessary for; to be fit for; to be meet for, with respect to necessity, duty, or convenience.
And thus it behooved Christ to suffer. Luke 24.” 1828 Websters Dictionary
So we can learn from these verses above that Jesus our Savior saw it as necessary that He die for the sins of the world that He might redeem unto Himself a people. There was, and there is no other way of redemption.
When God says there is no other way; whether it involve the giving of His son, or the salvation of Adam kind; then there is no other way.
Jesus Christ died for our sins; He was buried carrying away all our sin, shame, guilt, and condemnation; then He rose victorious over the grave. Call on His name He is the only Savior of the world.
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:2-4 (KJB)
The Apostle has just dealt with Christians who have in their employment people of lesser wealth. Masters were to treat their servants or employees rightly (Colossians 3:22-4:1). The verses above could also be Paul’s words for them; but even the words of Paul in the previous chapter are words for Christians in every age.
What was the Apostle encouraging the saints at Colossae to do? To continue in prayer. The request was for Paul to have an open opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that all about Jesus would be revealed as the word went forth.
How we need that continuing prayer today.
As I read these words this morning I got to wondering about the phrase the apostle Paul used “Pray without ceasing”. Is there any difference between “Continue in prayer” and “Pray without ceasing”?
I found this note from the Matthew Henry Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing…
Note, The way to rejoice evermore is to pray without ceasing. We should rejoice more if we prayed more. We should keep up stated times for prayer, and continue instant in prayer. We should pray always, and not faint: pray without weariness, and continue in prayer, till we come to that world where prayer shall be swallowed up in praise. The meaning is not that men should do nothing but pray, but that nothing else we do should hinder prayer in its proper season. Prayer will help forward and not hinder all other lawful business, and every good work.
Pray for those who are standing in the place of sharing, of preaching the gospel of Christ. Pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit, for an open door of opportunity, and His work in revealing the word of God to the hearers.
In Jesus Christ alone is there honest sincere prayer heard by the throne of God; and that through the blood of Christ shed at Calvary’s cross, His burial, and resurrection.
The info which others give is there for us to learn and use. As long as we credit where credit is due; and do not violate any copyright laws. Thanks Wally.
First, let me caveat all that follows if I may. I am NOT a historian, and we won’t be covering anything not readily available from hundreds of sources. All I am is a guy doing some studying, writing some notes and thoughts, and sharing those with readers. Before we dive into the letters to each church, we are just going to review some of the cultural-historical backgrounds for each. As He did in His parables, Jesus often made reference to things based on the real situation in each location that would have instantly made sense to readers, and also help really illustrate the points He was trying to make with each.
Ephesus the city figured fairly prominently in both the Roman empire at the time, as well as in the early spread of the Christian churches in Asia Minor. As we covered earlier Ephesus received more note in Scripture than…
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“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJB)
Many of the Christians in Corinth seems to have been indifferent to the culture in which they lived. Sexual immorality was rampant in the city, and Christians were participating in the sin as well becoming more and more bound by their sinful actions; and thinking nothing of it.
It does the Christian of 2019 and every age to read the words of Paul in this chapter concerning these matters.
As Christians we are to live a life that honors, edifies, and glorifies the Holy and Righteous God who has purchased us through the blood of Jesus His Son. That is done through the Holy Spirit and the word of God; applying His teachings and commandments to our lives. We are not part of the evil world culture.
To yield to the temptation of the world is to be brought under the power of sin. There is gross sexual immorality in the Christian community. Eagerly participating in sexual intercourse before marriage; some after marriage who have no problem with sleeping with as many women or men as they can find. God is not pleased with this. He is not honored, He is not glorified; and neither is the Christian living such a licentious life a faithful witness for the Holiness of God.
Let me leave you this morning with the commentary of the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:
“1Co_6:12-20. Refutation of the antinomian defense of fornication as if it was lawful because meats are so.
All things are lawful unto me — These, which were Paul’s own words on a former occasion (to the Corinthians, compare 1Co_10:23, and Gal_5:23), were made a pretext for excusing the eating of meats offered to idols, and so of what was generally connected with idolatry (Act_15:29), “fornication” (perhaps in the letter of the Corinthians to Paul, 1Co_7:1). Paul’s remark had referred only to things indifferent: but they wished to treat fornication as such, on the ground that the existence of bodily appetites proved the lawfulness of their gratification.
me — Paul giving himself as a sample of Christians in general.
but I — whatever others do, I will not, etc.
lawful … brought under the power — The Greek words are from the same root, whence there is a play on the words: All things are in my power, but I will not be brought under the power of any of them (the “all things”). He who commits “fornication,” steps aside from his own legitimate power or liberty, and is “brought under the power” of an harlot (1Co_6:15; compare 1Co_7:4). The “power” ought to be in the hands of the believer, not in the things which he uses [Bengel]; else his liberty is forfeited; he ceases to be his own master (Joh_8:34-36; Gal_5:13; 1Pe_2:16; 2Pe_2:19). Unlawful things ruin thousands; “lawful” things (unlawfully used), ten thousands.” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Be sure to read the whole chapter six. Let those of us who name the name of Christ Jesus live the name as well.
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:18 (KJB)
Our master was once sin. We were enslaved to it, bound to do whatever the evil of our hearts desired. Sin kept us from doing the righteous thing; the thing that would bring honor and glory to God (Romans 3:23).
I am speaking of the redeemed, the regenerated believers, followers of Jesus Christ. We were one “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1), but have been made alive through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Righteousness in the Person of Jesus has become our new Master. We are no longer bound in the dregs, darkness, despair, and drudgery of sin; but we have been set free to do what is good, right, holy, and just. We can now walk with God, hear His voice, see Him work in our lives and in people and things around us.
Sin causes endless fear, doubt, despair, and hopelessness. Faith in Christ Jesus takes that all away. I do not intend to mean that you will not have moments of those things; but that in those moments you do fear, doubt, and feel hopeless you will fall on your knees before your God and Savior in continued faith knowing He will care for you and meet your need.
The Christian is not without sin. We do know where to go when we sin. We are not free to live in sin. We are free to live in righteousness.
Will you turn your life over to the One who died that you might be free from sin’s bondage and become a servant to righteousness. That One who died was Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son who forever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).
“And he said, ‘The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth. For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.'” Acts 22:14-15 (KJB)
“And he said…” that is Ananias, the one who ministered to Saul who became known as Paul the apostle after the Damascus road encounter with the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, the Just One.
Those who have been redeemed through the death of Christ have also been freed from the power and penalty of sin, its shame, condemnation and guilt through His burial; and He is alive as evidence that all has been paid to the full.
We are witnesses as well. We too are expected to know His will, see His face, and hear the voice of His mouth.
The following are the words of F. B. Meyer in his closing comments of Acts 22:1-16…
“We are chosen of God for three things: to know His will; to see Him; and to hear His voice, Acts_22:14.”
Let us as we go be faithful to be the witness that honors and glorifies His holy name.
“Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Acts 11:22-26 (KJB)
The word of the Lord, the gospel of Jesus Christ was spreading, growing, lives of Jews and Gentiles alike were being changed by the power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16). Some changes were not good for the one’s preaching the gospel; because sometimes hearts grow hard against the gospel, and their lives are darkened with their minds and souls.
When the word of God and the gospel is preached there is always a response. Some will just say “No! Not now”, Some will give positive acceptance to Christ with a “Yes! I believe”; then there are those who are angered by it and set out to destroy the messenger. You will also have the passives who will do nothing with what they hear.
Barnabas was sent to go as far as Antioch. He saw the grace of God and was glad; that is that the grace of God was working wherever he went on the way. He must have arrived in Antioch and realized there was so much work to do that he needed help; so he went to find Saul to come and help.
Saul joined with Barnabas and they taught much of the people there. Some where in the ministry of these two men of God the name “Christian” came to be what they called a follower of Jesus Christ. Whether it was a derogatory term or just a name that seemed to fit is probably not even needed to know. The name “Christian” has stuck, and it is a good name. It simply means “Follower of Christ”.
Yes I am a follower of Christ. I want to pattern my life, my actions, my words, my heart, and my soul to His way. I am one of those Christians who believes that when you meet Jesus your life is changed. I am one of those Christians whose whole life is affected by the Spirit of Christ in me. I still commit sin, but I am ashamed of my sin, repent and He forgives me.
The Christian life is one to live inside the church house, the family house, on the city square, the traffic jammed highways and freeways, grocery check out lines, theme park lines, the voting booth, and as a politician too.
May God give me; may God give us all the strength and boldness to be like Jesus Christ. Yes, I am one of Those Christians.
“I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” John 17:4-5 (KJB)
Glorify the Lord. Now that is a grand statement, and it is one that describes how our lives are to be. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” How can we who are born sinners, then, glorify the Lord? Of ourselves we cannot.
Now that is a bold statement coming from a man who some would say, and are saying that He is not deity. No mere man could make such a claim, but Jesus does in His prayer to the Father. How could He make such a claim were He not equal with the Father? He could not. It would be the height of pride and arrogance for anyone else to say such a thing. It would be next door to blasphemy.
To glorify the Lord would be to be obedient to Him in all things, and fulfill every thing that God has for you and me to do. There would be no disobedience. There would be no mistakes. There would be a life completely “Sold out” to doing the Father’s business. Jesus has lived a life of complete obedience to all the Father had for Him to do, and all the way to Calvary; the cross of sacrifice.
The desire of every Christian is to live for the glory of the Lord. The only way of doing that is to live the life of Christ in you, the hope of glory. We do that by realizing that it was by the sacrifice of the life of Jesus that God has reconciled us to Himself, and given us means to glorify Him in Jesus.
Notice the faith and confidence in Jesus’s praying. He is eternal with the Father. He possessed glory before the world, or the universe ever was. His glory is His greatness, His power, His strength, His song, His priority. His Father’s glory. Where I have fallen short; where you have fallen short of His glory; Jesus is the Father’s glory.
Jesus is praying for His own glory. It seems quite clear. This is His High Priest prayer, and He has come to accomplish His Father’s glory by the sacrifice of Himself for all the world. The task He came to do required that He lay His creation glory aside, take on the flesh of man, and die. How can God die? He cannot. Becoming flesh He could become sin, paying the price of sin, being put to death – the penalty for sin – and then rise again victoriously over death.
The glory is seen by His resurrection from the grave. The Father restores His glory in the resurrection, and He is alive for all the world to see. Did the Father answer His prayer; this prayer? Most assuredly He did; and is every day.
Jesus is alive and in His glory.
“And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him. But Jesus turning unto them said,
‘Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.’ Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us;’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?’” Luke 23:27-31 (KJB)
This event and Jesus’s words are only spoken here in Luke’s account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has spoken similar words in teaching the disciples in Matthew 24 – 25, and in portions of Mark, and John; but not directly as a warning for those who are following behind Him as He goes to His death.
These “Daughters of Jerusalem” are not of those who love Him, and have spent time with Him for verse 49 of this same chapter says,
“And all His acquaintance, and the women that followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.” v. 49
These were women of the city of Jerusalem who had heard of His mighty works, His authority in God’s words, and His deeds; but had never committed to Him. Jesus warns them of a time coming in the not distant future for them that would cause them to cry for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them, because the judgment was so severe.
If you would read the prophet Isaiah, and chapter 2 you would see some of these same words from the word of God spoken by the prophet.
Just to explain the “green tree” and the “dry”…. Jesus is the green tree and they were killing Him, He is alive. The dry was Israel or Jerusalem; a worse time was coming for them.
Why are these words important for the Christian of 2019? Do they have any importance for the unbelieving of 2019?
To answer the first question for the Christian it should be a wakeup call for us to be diligent in living for Christ, reading the Scriptures [Holy Bible], applying its teachings to our lives, praying for daily filling of the Spirit of God, and being a vibrant witness for Jesus to a lost and dying world. Remember the words of Jesus,
“…Lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.” Luke 21:28
To answer the second, it is important for your life, your eternal soul that you heed the words of Jesus. Those women of Jerusalem had heard of Jesus, maybe even recognized Him as a good man, great teacher and prophet, but were experiencing great emotion about His death; but yet did not believe Him. Maybe one reading this feels badly concerning the illegal, manufactured, lying judgments brought against Jesus, and the sentence given this guiltless Man; yet, you have not called on His name for salvation. Will you do so today?
Jesus went on to the cross, laid Himself down on it, and died for our sins. He was taken down from the cross dead, and was buried in a borrowed tomb. Three days later He came out of that grave alive. You can trust Him. Believe Him. Receive Him.
“But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.” Luke 10:10-12 (KJB)
“And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast out? Therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” Luke 11:19-20
Leaving with you today the words of Matthew Henry from the commentary named for his work…
““Say to them, not with rage, or scorn, or resentment, but with compassion to their poor perishing souls, and a holy dread of the ruin which they are bringing upon themselves, Even the dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you, Luk_10:11. From them do not receive any kindnesses at all, be not beholden to them. It cost that prophet of the Lord dear who accepted a meal’s meat with a prophet in Bethel, 1Ki_13:21, 1Ki_13:22. Tell them that you will not carry with you the dust of their city; let them take it to themselves, for dust they are.” It shall be a witness for Christ’s messengers that they had been there according to their Master’s order; tender and refusal were a discharge of their trust. But it shall be a witness against the recusants that they would not give Christ’s messengers any entertainment, no, not so much as water to wash their feet with, but they were forced to wipe off the dust. “But tell them plainly, and bid them be sure of it, The kingdom of God is come nigh to you. Here is a fair offer made you; if you have not the benefit of it, it is your own fault. The gospel is brought to your doors; if you shut your doors against it, your blood is upon your own head. Now that the kingdom of God is come nigh to you, if you will not come up to it, and come into it, your sin will be inexcusable, and your condemnation intolerable.”” MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY on Luke 10:11
“That, in opposing the conviction of this miracle, they were enemies to themselves, stood in their own light, and put a bar in their own door, for they thrust from them the kingdom of God (Luk_11:20): “If I with the finger of God cast out devils, as you may assure yourselves I do, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you, the kingdom of the Messiah offers itself and all its advantages to you, and, if you receive it not, it is at your peril.” In Matthew it is by the Spirit of God, here by the finger of God; the Spirit is the arm of the Lord, Isa_53:1. His greatest and most mighty works were wrought by his Spirit; but, if the Spirit in this work is said to be the finger of the Lord, it perhaps may intimate how easily Christ did and could conquer Satan, even with the finger of God, the exerting of the divine power in a less and lower degree than in many other instances. He needed not make bare his everlasting arm; that roaring lion, when he pleases, is crushed, like a moth, with a touch of a finger. Perhaps here is an allusion to the acknowledgment of Pharaoh’s magicians, when they were run aground (Exo_8:19): This is the finger of God. “Now if the kingdom of God be herein come to you, and you be found by those cavils and blasphemies fighting against it, it will come upon you as a victorious force which you cannot stand before.”” MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY on Luke 11:20
“And He said unto them, ‘Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed?, and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.’
And He said unto them, ‘Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.’” Mark 4:21-25 (KJB)
Since Jesus had just explained the parables mentioned before, now Jesus it telling them the importance of giving these words, telling them to others. Jesus has revealed to them the light and power of the gospel. Now the apostles have the responsibility to share the gospel with others.
So as we who have believed; because the Spirit of God has opened our understanding, revealed to us the gospel of Christ; so also do we have the power and calling to let it shine and endeavor to give it to others.
Let us take note of the caveat’, “For he that has, to him shall be given: and he that has not, from him shall be taken even that which he has.” If God gives me the ability to understand, and I share it, I am faithful in giving it away, then He will give me more understanding; but if I keep it all to myself, and do not share it, then He will take away even what I have.
Nothing was held back in giving understanding of the mystery of the gospel; its light, power, and glory; neither did they put it under a bushel to hide it. Neither should the Christian of today.
“O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure. For Thine arrows stick fast in me, and Thy hand presseth me sore.
No soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink, are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares, and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
For in Thee, O LORD, do I hope: Thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, ‘Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.’ For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow good.
Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.” Psalm 38:1-22 (KJB)
The following commentary is from F. B. Meyer’s Through the Bible Day by Day…
A long drawn-out sigh of pain. Some think it should be classed with Psa_32:1-11; Psa_51:1-19, as belonging to the time of David’s fall and repentance. It is filled with a sense of God’s judgments and the profound consciousness of sin. Perhaps David was suffering physically, or he may be describing his spiritual maladies in terms borrowed from that source. His friends stood apart and his enemies were near. But it was wise to refrain from man and to wait only on God. When we are buffeted and derided, the true attitude is our Lord’s. As the dumb sheep before her shearers, He opened not His mouth!
In Psa_38:15 the tone becomes calmer. The soul begins to recover its center of gravity in God. Notice the fourfold repetition of For, Psa_38:15-18. Faith marshals her arguments. Out of “stony griefs” she builds “Bethels.” Like Samson, she finds honey in the lion’s carcass. But God will not forsake. He never for a moment withdraws His close attention. The Refiner sits by the crucible, and will cool down the heat the moment it has done its work.
Jesus Christ is the only hope for all Adam kind. We have sinned. When we get to the place of despair over our sin, its pain and disease, its death, and destruction; its theft, and hatred; then we will call on the name of the Lord, and He will hear us.
Jesus came and died on the cross in our place; He was buried carrying away all our sin, death, condemnation, shame; and then He left those things in the grave, and arose to show His victories. He lives today. Call on Him and be saved. Be born again.
“The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
What, my son? And what, the son of my womb? And what, the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:1-9 (KJB)
Man of Virtue; Woman of Virtue – Proverbs 31:1-31
No one is for certain who Lemuel was. The name means “Belonging to God”, and could be another name for Solomon.
We often hear about the woman/wife of verses 10-31, but little about the virtuous king/man in verses 1-9.
According to Strongs Dictionary of the Hebrew language “Virtuous” means ‘a force’ or ‘valour’, ‘strength’. Probably referring to moral excellence and strength or power.
1. The king should be virtuous in his judgment/justice and other decisions. He is to stand for the weak and defenseless.
The word “strength” (v. 3) is the same as the word “virtuous” of v. 10 [chayil; khah’-yil]. Not controlled by unethical women, nor by power, neither by mind altering drink or drugs. Only a virtuous/strong man or king can make righteous judgments. (vv. 1-9)
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.” Proverbs 31:10-22
2. The woman/wife of virtue. A force of moral integrity. Look at her value “far above rubies”. She has the “trust” of her husband; he knows she will not bankrupt their home and family – morally or financially (vv. 10-12).
She is a hard and diligent worker and wise shopper (vv. 13-15). She endeavors to increase her resources (vv. 16-19) She is thoughtful of others, and cares for her own (vv. 20-21).
The wife of virtue is an artist, designer, homebuilder, etc. (vv. 22-24).
“Strength” (v. 25) is a different [‘oz; oze] meaning “force, security, majesty, praise”. And honour are her clothing; her covering; her unashamed quality. This virtuous woman is honoredby her neighbors, her husband, her children.
“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:29-31
The virtuous woman is more concerned with the way her life and family appears, than her personal beauty. A woman who has the adoration of her family, friends, and neighbors due to her strength in the Lord has much, very much, and is praised by others (vv. 26-31).
“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men. If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it, and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: for a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.” Proverbs 24:1-18 (KJB)
Envy, Evil, and Poverty – Proverbs 24:1-34
VERSES 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 19-20, 24 – The evil and the wicked. The wise are instructed to not envy the evil. The devices of the evil and the wicked are contrary to God, and the wise.
Those who are just and righteous (v. 16) when they are knocked down, will get back up; but he wicked “shal fall into mischief”.
“Candle of the wicked” (v. 20) probably refers to the spirit within every man, which is the door way to knowing God. Look at these verses… Job 21:17; Psalm 18:28; Proverbs 20:27.
To call the wicked “righteous” is to bring a curse on the one who does it (v. 24).
VERSES 3 – 7, 27 – Wisdom is needed in building a house and a home; in filling that home with material blessings as well as true riches.
The foolish man does not know what to speak when it is time for good judgment (v. 7).
There is wisdom in being prepared before one builds a home (v. 27).
VERSES 10 -14 – Wisdom leads to strength to stand in times of adversity. Understanding will help us make the right decision at important, difficult times; for ourselves and others (vv. 11-12).
On verses 13-14 – The ESV Study Bible notes state… “Prov. 24:13–14… …Just as honey is sweet to the taste and good for the body, so wisdom is pleasant to the soul that feeds on it, fostering a secure hope (cf. v. 20; see notes on 23:17–18; Ps. 37:9).”
VERSES 17 – 18 – It is not wise to rejoice when we see an enemy, or a foolish individual fall.
Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; for there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: for their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, ‘Thou art righteous;’ him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: but to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
Be not a witness against thy neighbor without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. Say not, ‘I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.’
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man. Proverbs 24:19-34
VERSES 28 – 34 – We ought always to refuse to return evil for evil (vv. 28-29; Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9). The wise man or woman will not allow themselves to grow slack in following that which is good.
One thing to keep in mind the poor are just as prone to greed and lust for more; as are the rich.
The Power and Weakness of the Mind – Proverbs 20:1-30
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul. It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. Proverbs 20:1-3 (KJB)
Verses 1 – 5 – Wine, any beverage alcohol will affect the thinking and actions of any who allow it to. Those who would allow it to are not wise affecting their relationship to leaders (v. 27).
It will also affect them in matters of strife, and work plans (vv. 3-4).
It will take a clear mind – understanding – to bring out wise counsel in one’s inner being.
Verses 6 – 11 – In many cases it is also true that beverage alcohol will give a man or woman an higher opinion of themselves; high thoughts of themselves that they do not normally have.
There is an arrogance in humankind which causes most of us to exalt ourselves anyway.
Faithfulness, integrity is a rare find. It would be especially rare among those who stimulate their minds with drugs, or other stimulants.
Those who walk in their integrity will have a good example for their children to follow.
The king whose mind is not messed up by booze or other drugs will have good judgment and scatter away evil with just his “eyes” (vv. 26; 25:5; Revelation 1:14) “Winnows all evil” (ESV)
It is an evil mind who misuses measures to gain mammon for themselves without considering their neighbor (v. 23). We all also know children by their behavior; whether it is pure and right.
Verses 12 – 17 – While verse twelve seems to stand alone by telling us who made the ear and the eye verses 13 – 17 deal with wealth. The ear allows us to hear and learn. The eye allows us to see, learn, and enjoy what we see.
One who loves sleep will never be wealthy; nor will they ever be a happy, satisfied individual (v. 13).
In order to get something at a lower price the buyer will make little of an article they desire; then after the purchase build up the item, and make much of the value, and his/her cheap purchase (v. 14).
There is value in rubies; there is “Precious” value in the “Lips of knowledge” (v. 15).
The use of collateral was a part of early systems of finance; even one’s garment. Receiving collateral is good advice if one secures a debt for another; especially if the other person is an immoral individual (v. 16).
Deceit may be “sweet” at the beginning but in the end it will be like “gravel” (v. 17).
Verse 18 – Good planning comes by wise counsel. The wise individual will seek counsel in matters of person, state, or nation.
Verse 19 – The gossip or “talebearer” will be sure to tell one thing and another. What someone says to you about someone else he/she will probably tell someone else of you.
Verse 20 – For a child to curse parents is a sure warning of darkness in that life.
Verse 21 – This verse could be also pointing to any wealth gotten quickly; such as lotteries, gambling, or thefts. Since it was not worked for it has little meaning.
Verse 22 – Recompense belongs to the LORD. It is of great benefit to the child of God to wait for His “vengeance”. See Romans 12:19 and Deuteronomy 32:35
Verse 24 – Though a man or woman is led by the LORD we may not know our path ahead. We walk by faith, not by sight.
Verse 25 – Be careful when vowing something to God.
Verse 28 – Mercy and truth are good and godly qualities of a great king or a great leader.
Verse 29 – Strength is the blessing of the young; while wisdom grows in the aging of mankind.
Verse 30 – Probably referring to discipline, punishment in some cases. The right use of corporal discipline/punishment will deter much evil behavior. See Proverbs 10:13.
All of these ways of life have to do with the power and/or weakness of the mind. The mind that is in the “Mind of Christ” will prosper in righteousness.
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into different temptations; knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all liberally, and reproaches not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower of it falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
Blessed, the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted of God:’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and overflowing of evil, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholds himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was. But who ever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, to keep himself unspotted from the world.'” James 1:1-27
REFERENCES: 4:8; Deuteronomy 32:26; Acts 2:5; 13:26; 1 Kings 3:9; Mark 11:24; Job 5:17; 14:2; Numbers 23:19; Jeremiah 2:3; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 15:2; Matthew 7:21; Romans 2:13; Luke 6:47; Isaiah 1:16; John 8:31-32