“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.” Proverbs 24:3-4 (KJB)
“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of Hosts!
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of Hosts, my King, and my God.
Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they will be still praising Thee. Selah.
Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
O LORD God of Hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of Thine anointed.
For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O LORD of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee.” Psalm 84:1-12 (KJB)
“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and He gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
Will the Lord cast off for ever and will He be favourable no more? Is His mercy clean gone for ever? Doth His promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.” Psalm 77:1-9 (KJB)
“A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.” Proverbs 17:2-5 (KJB)
“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but He casteth away the substance of the wicked.” Proverbs 10:2-3 (KJB)
“Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.
Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt. Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.
Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee: and let such as love Thy salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified.’ But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: Thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.” Psalm 70:1-5 (KJB)
“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.
Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee. Thus will I bless Thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips: when I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches.
Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me. But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.” Psalm 63:1-11 (KJB)
“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:3-6 (KJB)
“The elder unto the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:1-4 (KJB)
“Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou Most High.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” Psalm 56:1-4 (KJB)
“Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: both low and high, rich and poor, together.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?
They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: for the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever: that he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for He shall receive me. Selah.” Psalm 49:1-15 (KJB)
“Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: but without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account…” Philemon 1:8-18 (KJB)
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:1-5 (KJB)
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” Philippians 3:17-21 (KJB)
Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Psalm 35:1-3 (KJB)
“Jesus therefore answered and said unto them,
‘Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught of God.’ Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me.
Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that Bread of Life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’” John 6:43-51 (KJB)
“Unto Thee will I cry, O LORD my Rock; be not silent to me: lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto Thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief is in their hearts.
Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up.
Blessed be the LORD, because He hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His anointed.
Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.” Psalm 28:1-9 (KJB)
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1 (KJB)
“The king shall joy in Your strength, O LORD; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. For You meet him with the blessings of goodness: You set a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of You, and You gave it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in Your salvation: honor and majesty have You laid upon him. For You have made him most blessed for ever: You have made him exceeding glad with Your countenance.” Psalm 21:1-6 (KJB)
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21:1 (KJB)
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one.” Psalm 14:1-3 (KJB)
“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1 (KJB)
“O LORD my God, in You do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.” Psalm 7:1-2 (KJB)
We, of Adam’s race are impressed by power and authority. We even crave it for ourselves. We often do not understand that genuine power requires great responsibility, and we see too many times in governments, and presidents, kings, and such that become despots and dictators.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, the governor, asked Jesus,
“Then saith Pilate unto Him, ‘Speakest Thou not unto me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?’ ” John 19:10 (KJB)
He supposed that he was powerful enough to prevent Jesus from the crucifixion. Just where do the ruling authorities get the power, the authority which they have? According to the words of one of the wisest kings,
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21:1
So Pilate needed to realize that he needed to not be prideful, and arrogant about his position of authority, but to submit to the will of the Almighty God.
Jesus Christ as the God-Man had submitted Himself to the Father’s will, His word, and His way all the way to dying on the cross for the sins of the world.
“Thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11
Jesus knew what was taking place was the plan for the redemption of the race of Adam, and was submitted to it. He was the One who could have called twelve legions of angels and stopped it (Matthew 26:53), and a legion of Roman soldiers was about 6 thousand men. He could have stopped it. He did not because of His great love for you and me.
Now, that is Power and authority with responsibility.
“And He said unto them, ‘Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.’ ” Luke 24:38-39 (KJB)
Here we are on the Eve of Christmas and there are many of us who are troubled. Most of our trouble is dealing with material things; such as financial debt, did I get the right gift for some loved one; or could be even troubled because of inability financially to buy gifts for loved ones.
The trouble of which Jesus addresses above is concerning His appearance to His followers whom He has just appeared to in this room. The door was locked, and He came in. Keep in mind all of the life of Jesus was about fulfilling the word and will of His Father, purchase our salvation, our redemption by His death on the cross, be buried – not just to prove His death, but to fulfill the type of the scapegoat of Leviticus 16:20-28. When that portion of the Law was fulfilled He rose from the grave alive with “flesh and bone”.
The disciples, followers were troubled because they thought they were seeing a ghost, a spirit, but Jesus quells that by telling them to look at His hands and His feet. His hands still had the scars from the nails of the crucifixion; His feet as well. Then He confirmed His body by speaking of being flesh and bone. He even invites them to touch Him… “Handle Me”
Why are we troubled? We are not mindful enough of the presence of the Lord Jesus, the bodily resurrected Lord Jesus alive, and seated at the right hand of the Father; and that He has given us the earnest of His Holy Spirit abiding in all those who are His (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5); awaiting that day when we shall be glorified with Him.
The One was born of a virgin, lay in the manger in Bethlehem, grew to be the Man that would give His life as the sacrifice for all our sin. He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He died for you and me. Why? Because He loves us so much He gave.
Child of God; if you are troubled about things in this world, your family situation, your finances, your health, or your eternal condition, then look to the One who has showed Himself alive forevermore.
“And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, ‘Lo here!’ or, ‘Lo there!’ for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.’ ” Luke 17:20-21 (KJB)
Please note who is asking this of Jesus. The Pharisees, a sect of religious leaders who did not even see the signs of the coming of the Messiah. The one’s who should have not missed the obvious.
They were more concerned with rituals, and religious observances, etc. than they were with the presence of God, or the kingdom of God.
To their question Jesus answers. His answer is probably not what the Pharisees wanted to hear. He is basically telling them, “It is here, near you, and you are missing it”. They missed all the Scriptural signs of Jesus’s birth. They are missing the signs they have actually heard and seen Him do.
The kingdom of God is not announced like a business advertisement. It is not brought in by demonstration and fanfare. God is present all around; within His people, and within creation. It is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.
If you refuse and reject Jesus Christ for who He is you miss the kingdom of God. He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose from that grave and forever lives within the hearts and lives of those who love Him, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
“He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” Luke 10:16 (KJB)
Hearing the words and teachings of Jesus, and hearing the gospel is the pathway to knowing the holy, righteous, and Just God. Jesus has pronounced “Woe” upon some cities because of their refusal to hear (Luke 10:13-15).
Many times Jesus says, “He that hath ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; 13:9; Luke 8:18; 14:35). Of course our ears are for hearing. However, too often we do not hear what is being spoken to us by others even though we are looking them in the face, hearing the words, and their sounds; yet we do not hear.
In the verse above Jesus likens hearing the disciple to hearing Him. It would seem that the “Not hearing” is the despising of the disciple, thus the Lord Himself.
The words of the Lord, even spoken by His children; a born again child of God; is as spoken from the Lord Himself. To reject the word of the Lord is to despise Him. The Dictionary.com site defines “Despise” = “Despise = “to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.”
That is certainly not the way a disciple of Jesus Christ should be about hearing the word of the Lord. It is, however, the attitude of many.
Let us who are of Christ Jesus have our hearts and minds and ears open to the word of the Lord. Let us have hearing ears, not despising Him. When we hear Jesus Christ we hear the Father as well.
Hear the word of Jesus Christ the Son of God today. Hearing, call on His name in repentant faith believing that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and He rose again.
“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22 (KJB)
The belief in one God is standard among those who believe in God among Christians, Jews, and Muslims; and there could be others. We begin to part in our beliefs when we as Christians believe that God is revealed in Scriptures as three in One God.
I am not going to try and explain it. It is only fully understood by God Himself, but the answer is the Scripture clearly shows us in the text above, the presence of the Triune Godhead (Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9), at work on the day of our Lord’s baptism.
Jesus the Son of God, God the Son coming up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descending, the voice of the Father speaking, “Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.”
You can believe what the Bible says, or you can choose not to believe, but there it is.
The words of the blessed old Hymn came to my mind as I thought of these Scripture verses this morning. The following are verses 1 and 4 of Holy, Holy, Holy:
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy; Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy; Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:29 (KJB)
In chapters 9 – 11 of Romans the apostle Paul has spoken of his nation of people from which he was born, the Hebrews. They have been a people whose eyes have been blinded to the truth of who Jesus is. Even the great apostle was blinded to that truth until the Lord Jesus Himself put him face down on the ground on his way to Damascus to bring back Christians for trial and death (Acts 9).
Now, there are many who tell us that God is finished with the Jewish people. Reading this verse alone (11:29) should be ample evidence that God does not go back on His promises. If not read the whole of chapter 11. If that does not suit your appetite then read chapters nine through eleven thoroughly. If you are still not satisfied read the Old Testament through.
The Promises of God to Israel are irrevocable. They will not be recalled; because God does not recall His promises.
God will finish His work with Israel when He has taken the Church to her reward (“…the fulness of the Gentiles be come in”).
The Christian should be able to rejoice in the fact of this irrevocable promise of God. Knowing this gives us the assurance that what He has began in us He is able to complete as well (Philippians 1:6).
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is an irrevocable promise of God, that whosoever believes on Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life.
“Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:23-25 (KJB)
For our understanding of the word impute –
“IMPU’TED, pp. Charged to the account of; attributed; ascribed.” WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN ENGLISH (1828)
Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (or imputed) to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3). The salvation of Adam’s race has never been any different than it is today.
For the people of the Old Testament period of time imputation of righteousness was on credit waiting for the coming of the Messiah to die for the sins of the people, having all our sins imputed onto Him; while on those who will believe He imputes His righteousness.
For those who believe today it is a debt that has already been paid. All our sins and trespasses were laid on Him, He died for our sins, was buried, and as the Scripture above says, “…was raised again for our justification”.
Being declared “Just” and “Righteous” by God is His work of grace; and that comes only by way of the cross of Jesus Christ.
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
‘Take of them of the captivity, of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah; then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; and speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus speaketh the LORD of Hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the LORD: even He shall build the temple of the LORD; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD. And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of Hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.’ ” Zechariah 6:9-15 (KJB)
STUDY HELPS: Zechariah 3:8; 6:1-8; Exodus 29:6; 2 Samuel 12:30; Psalm 21:2; Haggai 1:1; Isaiah 22:24; 57:19; 58:10-14; Hebrews 3:1
“But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.” Micah 3:8 (KJB)
The prophet of God is called to give the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) whether that be good and positive, bad and negative. The preacher of today if called by God is called to do the same.
At times the preacher is given a message of comfort, hope, encouragement, and strengthening of faith. At other times he is given a message of judgment, and can cause, by the Spirit of the LORD, great fear and trembling and should lead the people to repentance, and faith toward Jesus Christ.
Micah’s message seems to be a doom and gloom message at the beginning, but as you read on into the message there is hope, blessing, encouragement, and words to strengthen one’s faith.
If the prophet is only defying the truth of God’s word, leaving out the warnings, the judgments, the negatives; then that prophet/preacher is not worth listening to; and you better go somewhere else. They are not a man of God.
We can certainly judge what the preacher says and/or does not say when we read the Scriptures. The Bible is our guide; our only source for judging what is true and right; or what is lies and deceiving.
When in doubt you can trust the words of the Lord Jesus when He said, “Judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
‘Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; ‘Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee in thy blood, ‘Live;’ yea, I said unto thee in thy blood, ‘Live.’ ” Ezekiel 16:1-6 (KJB)
Ezekiel’s word from God for Israel is that “You were found by Me in a state of death, and dying. No one else took pity on you. There is no other god who found you, and gave you life. I said unto you, ‘Live’ and gave you My grace and mercy.”
The condition of every man, woman, boy, or girl who has ever been born is death. Apart from the grace of God, and the blood of the Lamb of God, who is Jesus Christ there is only death for all.
The only Man who ever lived without sin died for us all, that we might have life through His name. His name is Jesus.
May we not flaunt His grace through licentious, debaucherous, hate filled living which comes from death.
Paul the apostle tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and he also tells us that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
The Lord GOD through faith in Jesus Christ is the only One who gives life. Call on His name.
“For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of Hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.
Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; He will render unto her a recompence.” Jeremiah 51:5-6 (KJB)
Though the land, the people of Israel and Judah had sinned greatly against the LORD of Hosts His grace is sufficient to bring them back. More than sufficient to judge those who had treated them so viciously and vilely.
The LORD calls for them, during the time of His visitation upon Babylon to flee. “Come out of her My people” (Revelation 18:4).
Christian of 2019 and beyond; God does not forsake His people. The reason for the captivity of Judah and Israel is due to their forsaking God. Christian let us never think that God who is Holy, Righteous, and Just will overlook our sin. NO! He will still hold us accountable for our forsaking Him.
We can rest assured by the cross and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection that our sins are forgiven, yet there is discipline, chastisement for sin. If you are without the chastisement of the Lord, you are not His.
Rest and grow in His grace.
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
‘Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, ‘Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’ And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
For thus saith the LORD; ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of Hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: but they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.
Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.’ ” Jeremiah 30:1-11 (KJB)
God was not at all pleased with the nation of Israel. He was sending them into captivity to bring out a people who were holy, and wholly given to Him, had a heart for Him, His word, and were obedient to all that He commanded.
The above words of the prophecy have not yet been fully fulfilled. They will be at the end of Jacob’s trouble.
“David their King” is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. They have had no king since the return from Babylon; with the exception of maybe puppet kings of Rome.
This should give every Christian assurance. God is working in us as well to complete what He has began in us (Philippians 1:6).
“Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me, saith the LORD.
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, ‘Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of My people? Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.
Shall I not visit them for these things?’ saith the LORD: ‘shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?'” Jeremiah 9:6-9 (KJB)
My answer to the title question is; Not the kind of visit verse 9 is speaking of. I enjoy and I am blessed when I really see that God has come visiting me. Yes! I know He is with me always.
We need to see a few things about the above verses…
- God is speaking to Jeremiah in verse six of the kind of people he is living among;
- God is grieved with the people of Judah and Israel because of their lies, deceit, their hypocrisy in worship;
- God is grieved because of their personal hypocrisies with one another;
- God says that He will come visit them (meaning of course in judgment) if they do not change their ways.
These thoughts lead me to ask,,,
- What about the people where I live and what about me; How is my relationship with God and my neighbor?
- Do I live honestly with my neighbor, and remember that they also are a people made in the image of God?
- Is there anything in our lives that resembles false worship? Do we have a passion for something else more than God; forsaking the assembling of ourselves with other believers in Christ Jesus; or maybe assembling but living a different life the other days?
- Do we want the visitation of God on us for the kind of living that does not honor and glorify Him?
No! We cannot live a sinless life. We can live a redeemed life because of the cross of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son. He is God’s greatest, and gracious visitation to all Adam kind.
“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.
The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.
The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.
But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.” Isaiah 32:1-8 (KJB)
From the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary on Isaiah32:8…
“liberal — rather, “noble-minded.”
stand — shall be approved under the government of the righteous King.”
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10
“And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; and shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.” Isaiah 10:17-19 (KJB)
In this reading I want us to remember that the Light of the world is Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son,
These words of Isaiah were spoken by God to him of the judgment God was bringing on the nation He was using to judge His own people because they had turned from the LORD God. This judgment is against Assyria whose ruler thought he was in charge, he was no one’s servant, that he was so powerful he had done all the conquering on his own. God was set to show him other wise.
The judgment of God is always for the cleansing of His people.
I am going to close with the words of the Matthew Henry Commentary…
“How this destruction is represented. It shall be, First, As a consumption of the body by a disease: The Lord shall send leanness among his fatnesses, or his fat ones. His numerous army, that was like a body covered with fatness, shall be diminished, and waste away, and become like a skeleton. Secondly, As a consumption of buildings, or trees and bushes, by fire: Under his glory, that very thing which he glories in, he will kindle a burning, as the burning of a fire, which shall lay his army in ruins as suddenly as a raging fire lays a stately house in ashes. Some make it an allusion to the fire kindled under the sacrifices; for proud sinners fall as sacrifices to divine justice. Observe, 1. How this fire shall be kindled, Isa_10:17. The same God that is a rejoicing light to those that serve him faithfully will be a consuming fire to those that trifle with him or rebel against him. The light of Israel shall be for a fire to the Assyrians, as the same pillar of cloud was a light to the Israelites and a terror to the Egyptians in the Red Sea. What can oppose, what can extinguish, such a fire? 2. What desolation it shall make: it shall burn and devour its thorns and briers, his officers and soldiers, which are of little worth, and vexations to God’s Israel, as thorns and briers, whose end is to be burned, and which are easily and quickly consumed by a devouring fire. “Who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? They would be so far from stopping the fire that they would inflame it.
I would go through them and burn them together (Isa_27:4); they shall be devoured in one day, all cut off in an instant.” When they cried not only Peace and safety, but Victory and triumph, then sudden destruction came; it came surprisingly, and was completed in a little time. “Even the glory of his forest (Isa_10:18), the choice troops of his army, the veterans, the troops of the household, the bravest regiments he had, that he was most proud of and depended most upon, that he valued as men do their timber-trees (the glory of their forest) or their fruit-trees (the glory of the Carmel), shall be put as briers and thorns before the fire; they shall be consumed both soul and body, entirely consumed, not only a limb burned, but life taken away.” Note, God is able to destroy both soul and body, and therefore we should fear him more than man, who can but kill the body. Great armies before him are but as great woods, which he can fell or fire when he pleases.
[3.] What would be the effect of this great slaughter. The prophet tells us, First, That the army would hereby be reduced to a very small number: The rest of the trees of his forest shall be few; very few shall escape the sword of the destroying angel, so few that th ere needs no artist, no muster-master or secretary of war, to take an account of them, for even a child may soon reckon the numbers of them, and write the names of them. Secondly, That those few who remained should be quite dispirited: They shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth. When he either falls or flees, and his colours are taken by the enemy, this discourages the whole army, and puts them all into confusion. Upon the whole matter we must say, Who is able to stand before this great and holy Lord God?” MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY
Turn to Jesus Christ the Light of the world. Without Him there is no light. He died for you, He was buried, and He rose again; and He forever lives and hears us when we pray trusting Him.
“…Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:13-18 (KJB)
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (KJB)
The Holy Bible is the written word of God, verbally inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), penned down by common men chosen by God, and upon whom the LORD had poured His Spirit upon. Around 40 of these men from Job and Moses to the apostle John; and over a period of many hundreds of years; were called by God to write these words for the guidance, direction, conviction, inspiration, encouragement and comfort of His people.
With the word of God being questioned by so many it reminds me of the first question ever asked to turn a couple of people away from what God had said. That question was, “Yea, has God said…?” (Genesis 3:1). That tells me where the questions of doubt; and it is not honest doubt; but doubt which leads to the destruction of faith in God.
Honest doubt and questions of such are to gain knowledge and wisdom concerning God and His word. The enemy’s question was meant for destruction, not learning and growth.
Now, I will get to the above text for today.
- The word of God is living and that means it is set, it is settled in Heaven (Psalm 119:89), it is immutable – never changing; it is God’s word, and is just as reliable as God Himself;
- It is powerful/active; through this living word God changes lives; He has sent His son who is the physical incarnation of His word, Jesus Christ, and is the Living Word of God, and cannot be separated from the written word; the word of God has power to give life and to take away life;
- Sharper than any two edged sword; the sword of the soldier of the day was one with a double edge; it cut which ever way it was swung; in a forward thrust it pierced with great fierceness; the word of God is likened to that, but is said to be sharper, and is a divider of the soul and spirit, on “the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,” John Gill’s Exposition says, “…the apostle’s meaning seems to be this, that whereas the soul and spirit are invisible, and the joints and marrow are covered and hid; so sharp and quick sighted, and so penetrating is the divine Word, that it reaches the most secret and hidden things of men: and this sense is confirmed by what follows,” John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible;
- The word of God is also a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart of men, women, and children; the psalmist prayed in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts…”; O how wicked and vile the human heart and mind can be.
When we know God, and trust His word we can trust Him to reveal our wickedness to ourselves; and that leads the heart of the child of God to repentance, and forgiveness.
The word of God is living, and active, never changing. We must pattern our lives after the Book; not try changing the book to fit our lives.