Weeping

“Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.” Lamentations 3:48-50 (KJB)

Jeremiah is known as being the “Weeping prophet”.  When you read his prophecy, and his laments in Lamentations you can see why he is called that.

As I read the Laments this morning I found myself weeping for the prophets pain, and his laments were just for a caring heart and soul.  He hurt for his people. He hurt because of their forsaking of God, and His way, and His word.

There are other verses which show his grieving, weeping heart.  Consider Jeremiah 4:19 and 9:1.

If I stop to think about what I have wept over I am too often ashamed of it.  What should cause me to weep?

  1. That many who call themselves Christian are departing from the worship of God our Creator through Christ Jesus;
  2. That the word of God is considered by too many as being an antiquated book no longer worthy of following, or believing;
  3. That there are many who are perishing in their sins, and are going untold of the wonderful gift of God displayed upon the cross of Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection;
  4. That there are too many Christians who are in a backsliden condition, away from God, and do not seem to care;
  5. That Christians seem to see no need for the local church, and are forsaking the assembling of themselves together;
  6. That we have brethren in nations which persecute them for their faith in Jesus Christ while we go without any persecution;
  7. That Jesus Christ is not exalted as He should be.

That list is not exhaustive.  If you can think of another let me know in the comments; and let us pray to draw nearer to the LORD our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Would You Like a Visit From The LORD?

“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…

  1. God is speaking to Jeremiah in verse six of the kind of people he is living among;
  2. God is grieved with the people of Judah and Israel because of their lies, deceit, their hypocrisy in worship;
  3. God is grieved because of their personal hypocrisies with one another;
  4. 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,,,

  1. What about the people where I live and what about me; How is my relationship with God and my neighbor?
  2. Do I live honestly with my neighbor, and remember that they also are a people made in the image of God?
  3. 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?
  4. 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.

Blessings Under the Table

“And from thence He arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of Him, and came and fell at His feet: the woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought Him that He would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.
But Jesus said unto her, ‘Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.’ And she answered and said unto Him, ‘Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.’ And He said unto her, ‘For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.’
And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.” Mark 7:24-30  (KJB)

For the commentary today I turn to Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture…

“CHILDREN AND LITTLE DOGS
Our Lord desired to withdraw from the excited crowds who were flocking after Him as a mere miracle-worker and from the hostile espionage of emissaries of the Pharisees, ‘which had come from Jerusalem.’ Therefore He sought seclusion in heathen territory. He, too, knew the need of quiet, and felt the longing to plunge into privacy, to escape for a time from the pressure of admirers and of foes, and to go where no man knew Him. How near to us that brings Him! And how the remembrance of it helps to explain His demeanour to the Syrophcenician woman, so unlike His usual tone! Naturally the presence of Jesus leaked out, and perhaps the very effort to avoid notice attracted it. Rumour would have carried His name across the border, and the tidings of His being among them would stir hope in some hearts that felt the need of His help. Of such was this woman, whom Mark describes first, generally, as a ‘Greek’ (that is, a Gentile), and then particularly as ‘a Syrophcenician by race’; that is, one of that branch of the Phoenician race who inhabited maritime Syria, in contradistinction from the other branch inhabiting North-eastern Africa, Carthage, and its neighbourhood. Her deep need made her bold and persistent, as we learn in detail from Matthew, who is in this narrative more graphic than Mark. He tells us that she attacked Jesus in the way, and followed Him, pouring out her loud petitions, to the annoyance of the disciples. They thought that they were carrying out His wish for privacy in suggesting that it would be best to ‘send her away’ with her prayer granted, and so stop her ‘crying after us,’ which might raise a crowd, and defeat the wish. We owe to Matthew the further facts of the woman’s recognition of Jesus as ‘the Son of David,’ and of the strange ignoring of her cries, and of His answer to the disciples’ suggestion, in which He limited His mission to Israel, and so explained to them His silence to her. Mark omits all these points, and focuses all the light on the two things-Christ’s strange and apparently harsh refusal, and the woman’s answer, which won her cause.
Certainly our Lord’s words are startlingly unlike Him, and as startlingly like the Jewish pride of race and contempt for Gentiles. But that the woman did not take them so is clear; and that was not due only to her faith, but to something in Him which gave her faith a foothold. We are surely not to suppose that she drew from His words an inference which He did not perceive in them, and that He was, as some commentators put it, ‘caught in His own words.’ Mark alone gives us the first clause of Christ’s answer to the woman’s petition: ‘Let the children first be filled.’ And that ‘first’ distinctly says that their prerogative is priority, not monopoly. If there is a ‘first,’ there will follow a second. The very image of the great house in which the children sit at the table, and the ‘little dogs’ are in the room, implies that children and dogs are part of one household; and Jesus meant by it just what the woman found in it,-the assurance that the meal-time for the dogs would come when the children had done. That is but a picturesque way of stating the method of divine revelation through the medium of the chosen people, and the objections to Christ’s words come at last to be objections to the ‘committing’ of the ‘oracles of God’ to the Jewish race; that is to say, objections to the only possible way by which a historical revelation could be given. It must have personal mediums, a place and a sequence. It must prepare fit vehicles for itself and gradually grow in clearness and contents. And all this is just to say that revelation for the world must be first the possession of a race. The fire must have a hearth on which it can be kindled and burn, till it is sufficient to bear being carried thence.
Universalism was the goal of the necessary restriction. Pharisaism sought to make the restriction permanent. Jesus really threw open the gates to all in this very saying, which at first sounds so harsh. ‘First’ implies second, children and little dogs are all parts of the one household. Christ’s personal ministry was confined to Israel for obvious and weighty reasons. He felt, as Matthew tells us, that He said in this incident that He was not sent but to the lost sheep of that nation. But His world-wide mission was as clear to Him as its temporary limit, and in His first discourse in the synagogue at Nazareth He proclaimed it to a scowling crowd. We cannot doubt that His sympathetic heart yearned over this poor woman, and His seemingly rough speech was meant partly to honour the law which ruled His mission even in the act of making an exception to it, and partly to test, and so to increase, her faith.
Her swift laying of her finger on the vulnerable point in the apparent refusal of her prayer may have been due to a woman’s quick wit, but it was much more due to a mother’s misery and to a suppliant’s faith. There must have been something in Christ’s look, or in the cadence of His voice, which helped to soften the surface harshness of His words, and emboldened her to confront Him with the plain implications of His own words. What a constellation of graces sparkles in her ready reply! There is humility in accepting the place He gives her; insight in seeing at once a new plea in what might have sent her away despairing; persistence in pleading; confidence that He can grant her request and that He would gladly do so. Our Lord’s treatment of her was amply justified by its effects. His words were like the hard steel that strikes the flint and brings out a shower of sparks. Faith makes obstacles into helps, and stones of stumbling into ‘stepping-stones to higher things.’ If we will take the place which He gives us, and hold fast our trust in Him even when He seems silent to us, and will so far penetrate His designs as to find the hidden purpose of good in apparent repulses, the honey secreted deep in the flower, we shall share in this woman’s blessing in the measure in which we share in her faith.
Jesus obviously delighted in being at liberty to stretch His commission so as to include her in its scope. Joyful recognition of the ingenuity of her pleading, and of her faith’s bringing her within the circle of the ‘children,’ are apparent in His word, ‘For this saying go thy way.’ He ever looks for the disposition in us which will let Him, in accordance with His great purpose, pour on us His full-flowing tide of blessing, and nothing gladdens Him more than that, by humble acceptance of our assigned place, and persistent pleading, and trust that will not be shaken, we should make it possible for Him to see in us recipients of His mercy and healing grace.” EXPOSITIONS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE Alexander MacLaren

The Children’s Crumbs Under the Table

There is a need for genuine faith. The faith that trust the Lord, and no one, or nothing else. The faith that a Christian has is not based on assumptions, or myth, but substance and evidence provided us by God Himself (Hebrews 11:1).

The verses we look at today tell us of a Gentile woman who trusted the Lord Jesus, for just the crumbs from the table:

“And from thence He arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but He could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of Him, and came and fell at His feet: the woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought Him that He would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto Him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.” Mark 7:24-30 (KJV)

There are some who think as they read the above verses that Jesus was being cruel. It certainly would not be politically correct in the U. S. of A. today. It is not cruelty; but a test to show that she truly has faith in Him, His word, and His mission.

First of all Jesus had came to the people, the nation of Israel. He in fact was Jewish Himself; was one of them. He was come to redeem the house of Israel. Did she know and understand that? Evidently so.

She was willing to believe the Lord, His word and work, and to receive only the “Crumbs” from the children’s table. You will notice that He spoke words of healing to her. The demon departed from her daughter, and there was a Gentile woman redeemed by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Believe Him. Trust Him; and His Word today.

Robes of Priests and Kings

“And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen. Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.” 1 Chronicles 15:27-29 (KJV)

The “linen robe” and the “ephod of linen” were garments of the priests (Exodus 28:5-14). King David was celebrating the bringing of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem because in his first attempt he had failed to consult the LORD and His word on the matter (15:13).

There was singing. There was dancing. There was such a jubilant celebration of worship to the LORD as the ark is brought into the city.

Michal, David’s wife, was not pleased with David. What was her problem. It was not because he was actually naked as what some suppose; but it was because he had stripped off his robes, the garments of being king, and put on the garments of a priest.

On David’s part it was an act of humility. On Michal’s part it was vanity and pride. Because of Michal’s act she would never have children.

David is representative of all Christians, in that when we come to God through His Son Jesus we are made priests ourselves and can through the blood of Jesus go directly to the throne room of the Most High (1 Peter 2:9;  Hebrews 4:16).

For further reading you may want to check out Shoulders of Blessing and On a Cart

Councils, Sparrows and Enemies

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ‘Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.’  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?  Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”  Matthew 10:16-39 (KJV)

Notice the three “Fear nots” in the text above.  The word also of Whom we are to fear.

-T.A.