“Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:7-9 (KJB)
“Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.
Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, ‘Return, ye children of men.’ For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:1-4 (KJB)
“Keep not Thou silence, O God: hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, Thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Thy people, and consulted against Thy hidden ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.’
For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against Thee: the tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.” Psalm 83:1-8 (KJB)
“Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: ‘Eat and drink,’ saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” Proverbs 23:4-8 (KJB)
“The LORD hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:4-7 (KJB)
“In Judah is God known: His name is great in Israel.
In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion. There brake He the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.
Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.
The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.
At Thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
Thou, even Thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in Thy sight when once Thou art angry?
Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still, when God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.
Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain.
Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about Him bring presents unto Him that ought to be feared. He shall cut off the spirit of princes: He is terrible to the kings of the earth.” Psalm 76:1-12 (KJB)
I would like to recommend that you would go to the EzerWoman blog, and read this article considering the pregnant woman and the placenta.
It is quite informative.
“Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
O God, Thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from Thee.
Let not them that wait on Thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek Thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. Because for Thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.” Psalm 69:1-7 (KJB)
“He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.” Proverbs 9:7-11 (KJB)
“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.” Proverbs 2:6-9 (KJB)
“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? Ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.
They only consult to cast down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.” Psalm 62:1-4 (KJB)
“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not Thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.” Psalm 55:1-7 (KJB)
“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment. That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” 2 John 1:4-11 (KJB)
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” Titus 2:11-15 (KJB)
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw, so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.
As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.
We have thought of Thy Lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple. According to Thy name, O God, so is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth: Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
Let Mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of Thy judgments.
Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.” Psalm 48:1-14 (KJB)
“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. But Thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
By this I know that Thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, Thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before Thy face for ever.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.” Psalm 41:9-13 (KJB)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:3-14 (KJB)
“I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3 (KJB)
“There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And Jesus answering said unto them,
‘Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’” Luke 13:1-5 (KJB)
“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.