With Authority and Power

And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art; the Holy One of God.” And Jesus rebuked him, saying,
“Hold thy peace, and come out of him.”
And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, “What a word is this! For with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And the fame of Him went out into every place of the country round about. Luke 4:33-37

Let the sighing of the prisoner come before Thee; according to the greatness of Thy power preserve Thou those that are appointed to die; and render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached Thee, O Lord.
So we Thy people and sheep of Thy pasture will give Thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth Thy praise to all generations. Psalm 79:11-13

Many people of today reject any authority. They have problems, of their own making, with police and anyone in authority. They also have much problem with the life and words of God and His Son Jesus. Yet, the legions of hell yielded to Him.

Jesus still speaks with authority and power. The word of God is Living and powerful and sharper than a two edged sword, which is cutting any way it is slashed. Yet, Jesus does not force His way on us. He does address our hearts.

It was with authority and power that Jesus cast out demons. When He saw a human being crying out for help He heard them and He helped. He is still hearing, helping, healing and delivering the desperate and hurting.

With the authority of the death, burial, and resurrection; the power and authority of His word He will hear your cry for help and He will deliver You. Yield your heart to His authority and the power of His word.

Be Of Good Cheer: Come

“And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a spirit;’ and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying,
‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.’
And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.’ And He said,
‘Come.’
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, ‘Lord, save me.’ And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him,
‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.’ ” Matthew 14:22-33

Some things we immediately see as we read this portion of Scripture:1) Jesus orders, commands, or made the disciples get into a boat to go to the other side; 2) After sending them away He went to a mountain to pray, and He was alone; 3) the boat the disciples are in is in the midst of Sea of Galilee tossed by the waves and the wind; 4) It was the “fourth watch” between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. when Jesus went walking to them on the water; 5) When the disciples saw Jesus they thought Him to be a “spirit”, and were afraid; 6) Jesus says to them, “It’s Me. Don’t be afraid”; 7) Peter asked Jesus to allow him to walk to Him on the water, and Jesus says, “Come”; 8 ) Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water, began walking to Jesus, but when he saw the boisterous wind he began to sink, and cried out to Jesus for help; 9) Jesus reached out His hand to Peter, and “caught him”, then says, “O thou of little faith…”; 10) back in the boat the wind ceased; 11) The disciples worshipped him confessing, “Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.”. Quite a few interesting events are taking place here and some which Matthew does not mention as well; according to the other gospels. I will get to those later

Dealing with the matter of JESUS THE KING we can see by this that He is not only the King of men, but also the King of creation, and all created things. Only the sovereign King and God can walk on water, and command the winds and the waves.

Having fed at least 15,000 people with five loaves of bread and two small fish; Jesus has sent the multitudes away with their stomachs full, their hearts should also be full after having been in the presence of our Lord. Being fully God, yet also fully man, Jesus is probably weary, tired and needing some time of refreshment and rest. He needs to be alone. Yet He know that He is never alone; because the Father is always with Him. The multitude sent away and the disciples rowing across the Sea of Galilee he goes up to a mountain to pray, to speak to His Father.

They are on the East side of the Sea of Galilee, and were rowing toward the West side. Matthew says, “Other side”. Mark writes, “Bethsaida”. John says, “Capernaum” was the destination. Matthew’s destination could mean anywhere on the West side, but I think there is more than that meant. Mark’s destination was more definite, yet speaking of an area on the West side. John speaks of the place where Jesus headquartered His ministry. There is not a contradictory statement here in any of them. First of all they are all three mentioning the West side. Secondly, we do name things like this all the time. For instance; when my wife, our son and I lived in California, and we would come back to Missouri; we were sometimes asked where we were going when we were planning on traveling back home. We would say the Southwest Missouri area; and another time we might tell them Barry County in Missouri; and we might be a little more specific and say Jenkins, Missouri. Now, were we making contradicting statements? NO! Where we were coming was to the Southwest part of Missouri and into Barry County, to the community of Jenkins, Missouri. We have three different testimonies as to their destination, and they are all accurate.

It seems to me, that in this historical event in the life of the disciples and the life of Jesus Christ there is a picture of life, its troubles, and trials and our deliverance.

How many times have we heard the phrase, “Other side” concerning the death of someone we know; whether it be a family member, work associate, or a friend? “He/She has gone to the other side”. Could there be a lesson on life and our eternal destination in this event of history? I think we can see it if we look at the situation, and understand the truth that is presented here.

Capernaum is where the headquarters for Jesus’s ministry is, and possibly in Peter’s home. We can see in Matthew 4:12-16 that Jesus went to Galilee and “dwelt in Capernaum”, and did so that the Scripture might be fulfilled spoken by Isaiah the prophet. Then, in chapter 8 we find Jesus at Peter’s house healing his mother-in-Law (chapter 8:14-15). He dwelt in Capernaum, and when they were there stayed in Peter’s home. Capernaum was home for Jesus on earth. Capernaum, though did not realize who was living among them.

In this act, this miracle of Jesus,  He gives us a picture of His coming for those who are His, and our eternal deliverance.

As Christians go through life, it is sometimes likened to the “Sea of life”, and these seas get very troubled at times. Physically our Lord Jesus is not with us and we row, and struggle and grow fearful that the boat we are in is going to fill with these troubled waters and sink, capsize, and we will not make it. Then Jesus comes, our faith grows, and then, in an instant, we find ourselves on the other side. John writes, “Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going”. Where were they going? to the “other side”, writes Matthew. Where were they going? “Bethsaida”, says Mark (Mark 6:45). Where were they going? “Capernaum”, writes John (John 6:17). Where were they going? Headquarters. Home.

When Jesus comes again, as we struggle in this life we will immediately appear with Him in glory, where we shall forever live with Him. No more struggles with life; no more tears, no more fear, no more death or dying…” Home Sweet Home.

The Anointed One

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’
And He closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them,
‘This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.’ ”  Luke 4:16-21

Scripture Fulfilled

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’
And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them,
‘This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.’ ”  Luke 4:16-21  (KJB)

It was the greatest day in Jewish history. It was, yet some would not recognize the One who stood before them and read from the prophet Isaiah, then told them that that Scripture was fulfilled that day.

The prophecy was one that spoke of the Messiah who was coming, and now had come, and Jesus was Him. He is the Anointed One. He would be the One who was chosen by God because He was perfect, sinless, undefiled; and no one is sinless but God.

The verses which follow 16 – 21 show what they thought of Him. They sought to kill Him by throwing Him off the cliff.

O how the Jewish people had longed for the Messiah. The teachers, the scribes and the Pharisees and priests had taught of the Messiah; but many did not know and/or refused to know Him when He arrived.

Do you know Jesus? He is the One who died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again proving that His work on the cross was finished. The debt of our sin was paid in full.  Call on His name in faith. He will hear and He will save you.

Pleasant Knowledge Delivers From Evil Flattery

“When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: to deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.”   Proverbs 2:10-18  (KJB)

Thanksgiving for Deliverance

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,

“I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death surrounded me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because He was wroth. There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before Him His thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave His voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, He sent out His arrows, and scattered them; and He shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at Your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me.
The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, and I did not put away His statutes from me. I was also upright before Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity. Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His eyesight. With the merciful You will shew Yourself merciful; with an upright man You will shew Yourself upright; with the pure You wilt shew Yourself pure; and with the froward You wilt shew Yourself shrewd. For You will save the afflicted people; but will bring down high looks. For You will light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by You I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him. For who is God except the LORD? Or who is a rock except our God? It is God that girds me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teaches my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation: and Your right hand has held me up, and Your gentleness has made me great. You hae enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued my enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For You have girded me with strength unto the battle: You have subdued under me those that rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but He answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; and You have made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. The LORD lives; and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avengeth me, and subdues the people under me. He delivers me from my enemies: yea, You lift me up above those that rise up against me: You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto You, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto Your name. Great deliverance gives He to His king; and shows mercy to His anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.” Psalm 18:1-50 (KJB)

Consider the Poor

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, ‘LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee.’”  Psalm 41:1-4 (KJV)

In the United States of America we are richly blessed.  We are blessed with the grace of God.  We are blessed with riches.  Yet in the midst of the blessing of riches we are cursed with some levels of poverty; and some of which cannot be avoided.  People often find themselves without an income, due to loss of jobs; or sickness, and/or disease; which has robbed them of the strength to make a living.  These are the poor that the Christian must not neglect.

It is the light of Christ Jesus that shines in our hearts that causes us to see others as being better than ourselves; and that includes the poor.  Paul the apostle writing to the people of Philippi…

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  Philippians 2:3 (KJV)

As Christians the love of Christ will reign supremely in our hearts; and others will be blessed by our lives and our conduct:  even though they may not always realize it.  John the apostle wrote the following…

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”  1 John 3:17 (KJV)

Be a blessing today.

This post is one written in July of 2013.

When You Reach the Bottom in Despair

“O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure.  For Thine arrows stick fast in me, and Thy hand presseth me sore.
No soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither rest in my bones because of my sin.  For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.  My wounds stink, are corrupt because of my foolishness.  I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.  For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.  I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.  My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.  My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.  They also that seek after my life lay snares, and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.  But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.  Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
For in Thee, O LORD, do I hope: Thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.  For I said, ‘Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.’  For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.  For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.  But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.  They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow good.
Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.  Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.”  Psalm 38:1-22 (KJB)

The following commentary is from F. B. Meyer’s Through the Bible Day by Day…

A long drawn-out sigh of pain. Some think it should be classed with Psa_32:1-11; Psa_51:1-19, as belonging to the time of David’s fall and repentance. It is filled with a sense of God’s judgments and the profound consciousness of sin. Perhaps David was suffering physically, or he may be describing his spiritual maladies in terms borrowed from that source. His friends stood apart and his enemies were near. But it was wise to refrain from man and to wait only on God. When we are buffeted and derided, the true attitude is our Lord’s. As the dumb sheep before her shearers, He opened not His mouth!
In Psa_38:15 the tone becomes calmer. The soul begins to recover its center of gravity in God. Notice the fourfold repetition of For, Psa_38:15-18. Faith marshals her arguments. Out of “stony griefs” she builds “Bethels.” Like Samson, she finds honey in the lion’s carcass. But God will not forsake. He never for a moment withdraws His close attention. The Refiner sits by the crucible, and will cool down the heat the moment it has done its work.

Jesus Christ is the only hope for all Adam kind.  We have sinned.  When we get to the place of despair over our sin, its pain and disease, its death, and destruction; its theft, and hatred; then we will call on the name of the Lord, and He will hear us.

Jesus came and died on the cross in our place; He was buried carrying away all our sin, death, condemnation, shame; and then He left those things in the grave, and arose to show His victories.  He lives today.  Call on Him and be saved. Be born again.

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

Deliverance from the Evil, and from the Strange

The notes below are taken from the BELIEVER’S BIBLE COMMENTARY.

Deliverance From the Evil and the Strange – Proverbs 2:10-22

Verses 10 – 11 –   “The reason this happens is that wisdom takes control of one’s mind or heart, and the knowledge of what is right becomes pleasant rather than distasteful. To the true believer, God’s commands are not irksome. Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.

2:11  Discretion, or the ability to make wise decisions, saves a person from many a “bad trip.” Sound judgment delivers us from involvement with wicked men. None of us realizes the extent to which we are daily preserved from spiritual, moral, and physical perils. The Christian enjoys a well-guarded life, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” From the Believer’s Bible Commentary – Libronix Digital Library System

Verses 20 – 22 –  “Link verse 20 with verse 11. Wisdom preserves not only from evil men and the strange woman, but, on the positive side, it encourages companionship with those who are worthwhile and upright.

2:21, 22  Under the Law of Moses, men of integrity—the upright and the blameless—were rewarded with a secure place in the land of Canaan. When we come over to the NT, these material blessings in earthly places give way to spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. But the fact remains that righteousness and decency are rewarded in this life as well as in the life to come.
It is equally true that the wicked will be cut off from the land of blessing. There is no lasting inheritance there for the treacherous.”  Ibid.

-Tim A. Blankenship

When People Get Right With God

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE GET RIGHT WITH GOD
Romans 5:1-11

OUTLINE –

I. THEY HAVE PEACE WITH GOD (v. 1).

II. THEY HAVE ACCESS TO GOD (v. 2a).

III. THEY HAVE A GLORIOUS HOPE (v. 2b).

IV. THEY HAVE A DEVELOPING CHRISTIAN CHARACTER (vv. 3-4).

V. THEY HAVE GOD’S LOVE WITHIN (vv. 5-8).

VI. THEY HAVE DELIVERANCE FROM FUTURE WRATH (vv. 9-10).

VII. THEY HAVE ‘ATONEMENT’ WITH GOD (v. 11).

Warren W Wiersbe’s Bible Exposition Commentary is mostly responsible for the above outline.

Many legalist of Paul’s day may have asked the question, “If justification/salvation is by grace through faith alone, then, how can they remain saved without keeping the law?” Is it not flabbergasting how people do not understand that the law condemns? It offers us no hope at all. Yet, there are those, even professing Christians, who believe that the keeping of our salvation is by the works of the law.

Now we must understand that the person who is justified by grace through faith is now free to obey and keep the law to the honor of Jesus Christ. Where once we were bound by sin, we knew nothing else, now in Christ we can freely choose to obey and follow Jesus.

Did you know that sinful, unredeemed people are at war with God? Early in the Romans letter Paul shows us the war all sinful people have declared against the all powerful, all knowing, and all present God (Rom. 1:18-32). Continuing in that state of war brings utter disaster and destruction. It does not need to end that way.

In these first eleven verses of chapter five we will see some of the fruit of justification or “What Happens When People Get Right With God”.

JUSTIFIED PEOPLE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD (v. 1).

These people are precious in God’s eyes and He is glorious in their eyes. They are no longer at war with God. They are at peace with Him.

The person who is right with God desires to please God. They are no longer seeking to rule and reign their own lives, and the lives of others, bur are rather seeking God’s rule and reign in all things.

The person who is at peace with God also seeks peace with his brothers and sisters in Christ. He does not sow seeds of discord, and if he sins he asks God’s forgiveness, and the forgiveness of those he/she has wronged. No individual who is at peace with God can hate others – especially a brother or sister in the family of Jesus.

The people who are right with God no longer kick, bite, scream, and fuss against the direction of God or the Word of God. They recognize God has placed a man as the leader of the local church, and that he is the one who leads them to follow God’s direction. The justified individual follows God’s leadership He has called to their church. The fight against God’s leadership is sure evidence that there is no ‘peace with God’.

Those who are in this peace relationship with God love Him. They adore, admire, worship, praise, and live for Him from that love. They want others to know Him and have this peace relationship also.

Can justified people, can Christians lose this peace? YES!!! Can they lose the justification? NO!!! Christians, because of worldly influences, lack of prayer, lack of Bible study, and lack of spending personal time with God can again be at war with Him. God will not, however, let it continue without discipline and correction. If you can fight against God, and not experience His chastisement you are not His child (Heb. 12:8).

JUSTIFIED PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO GOD (v. 2a).

In the Old Testament there are many pictures of Jesus and God’s glorious salvation. There are also pictures of man’s way to God being blocked. One of those pictures is the veil of the tabernacle and the Temple. The veil being between the holy place and the most holy place where the Ark of the Covenant was placed which was a picture of the abiding presence of God.

The priests were at work daily in the holy place. They placed the ‘shewbread’ on the table, and would eat it at the required time; they kept the menorah lit for light, they offered up prayers for the people at the altar of incense. They could not enter the most holy place; through the curtain, but once a year on the ‘Day of Atonement’; and then, only the high priest could do so, but not without blood.

The veil was thick and heavy. I have heard that it was as much as six inches to one foot thick. It speaks of man’s inability to approach a holy God.

On the day Jesus died on the cross, that veil was torn from the very top to the bottom by the hand of God; showing that by way of His Son Jesus we can have access to God (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45). How important do you think this access is to God? It was important enough to God that the only means to open the way was for Him to sacrifice His only Son. How important is this access to you? Is it important enough to give up the condemnation of sin? Is it important enough for you to give your whole self to Him? Is it important enough to consider your life, but only a garbage heap without Jesus?

JUSTIFIED PEOPLE HAVE A GLORIOUS HOPE (v. 2b).

Those who have peace with God are also people who have a hope that is established upon the promises of God. This hope is not ‘Wishful thinking’. It is substantial, and the evidence is the fulfillment of promises God has made and kept. He does not break His promises.

This is a glorious hope. God promises glory – His glory – to all those who will trust in Him, and to those who trust in Him.

JUSTIFIED PEOPLE HAVE A DEVELOPING CHRISTIAN CHARACTER (vv. 3-4).

For the person who has peace with God they are also at peace with their circumstances. When we rest in God we can ‘Glory in tribulations’. That does not mean that we enjoy our troubles and sorrows, but that we, by faith, are trusting God to do what is best for our lives.

How can a Christian be unthankful, and be at peace with God? That is why Paul wrote,

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thes. 5:18).

Only the person who is right with God can be at peace with God, even during times of sorrow and tribulation.

“Tribulation” is the mans God uses to build a patient Christian. One Christian lady who saw her son dying, in anger cried out, “God you do not know what it is like to lose a son”, but she had no sooner finished the statement when she clasped her hands over her mouth realizing it was God who saw His perfect, sinless Son die.

Jone Eareckson Tada in her book co-authored by Steven Estes wrote,

“The greatest good suffering can do for me is to increase my capacity for God” From the book “WHEN GOD WEEPS” pg. 137.

If you are a Christian we need to realize that the words of John MacArthur, “God will do whatever it takes to make us holy” is true. You can yield yourself to God and be at peace in every trial, or you can continue the warfare with God and lose.

Patience is a characteristic we all need. God is certainly patient. He is patient to let sin run its course (Gen. 15:16; 2 Peter 3:9; Rom. 11:25). The Scriptures of the last sentence show two examples of God’s patience and the other words of His patience. Jesus was patient as He walked among us on earth. It was a quality, a characteristic of His Father. It must be a character trait of those who believe Him also.

The character we have shows our experiences and how we have responded to them. If during trials and tribulations you grow cold hard, and bitter; you will be cold, hard and bitter toward those who are joyful; especially toward those who are trusting and serving the Lord. If, on the other hand, you yielded to God, and was thankful during those troubled times you will be patient and kind to others, and will love those who are trusting and serving the Lord.

There is a vast difference between the former and latter person in the above paragraph. The former has no hope, but is resting in his own strength, doomed to failure. The latter has every hope in God, His Word, and is certain of eternity with God.

JUSTIFIED PEOPLE HAVE GOD’S LOVE WITHIN (vv. 5-8).

With our hope in God there is no reason to be ashamed. Having peace with God we are unashamed to tell others of His grace. We are unashamed to let others see the love of God in us.

The love of God is seen as sacrificial. God was willing to give the very best in order to redeem us. If we have that type of love we too will do, and give our very best to see others justified by faith. Only the love of God could send His Son to die for His enemies.

God does not desire man to remain His enemy. He demonstrated His love by sending His Son to die. “While we were yet sinners [God’s enemies], Christ died for us.”

The person who is at peace with God will express that love toward others in the likeness of Christ.

JUSTIFIED PEOPLE HAVE DELIVERANCE FROM FUTURE WRATH (vv. 9-10).

The justified person who is in right fellowship with God need not fear the wrath of God. If a justified person is not in a right fellowship with God they probably will fear the future wrath. That ought to be a warning signal to them of their broken fellowship.

The future wrath of God is withheld from all who believe as in the example of Abraham. The blood of Jesus Christ was shed for our justification. In God’s eyes, because of faith in Christ, He sees only the righteousness of His Son.

The wrath of God awaits all who are unbelieving; all those who reject God’s grace and trust their own morality, goodness and sense of decency. The enemy of God is one who aserts his own efforts over the goodness of God and thumbs his/her nose and says, “If God cannot accept me on my terms then, phooey on Him.” There is no bargaining with God. The unbeliever comes out the loser.

Unredeemed people hate God, or they would believe Him.

God, in His love, reconciles us to Himself. It is the “Goodness of God” that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4b). We are reconciled to God by the death of Jesus on the cross. Our sins kept us from the presence of God. We were deserving of eternal judgment. God must judge sin. He judged sin while Jesus was dying on that cruel, old wooden cross. Because sin is judged God can now accept us on the merit of the work of Jesus Christ.

If we are reconciled by the death of Jesus, then, certainly we are kept through all eternity because Jesus lives. He lives never to die again. If Jesus cannot keep us, then, His death and living is powerless and vain.

JUSTIFIED PEOPLE HAVE ATONEMENT WITH GOD (v. 11).

Christians should be the most joyous people on earth. We have reason to rejoice. That reason is Jesus died to save us. That salvation means we have been brought to a place where we can know God personally.

“Atonement” is also reconciliation. To reconcile is to bring two opposing parties together. God did this for us, because He is the only One who was able to do so. He was the offended party, and He is the One who opens the way for reconciliation.

That ‘atonement’ was not without price. Because God is holy, righteous, and just He could not simply declare us righteous, and be righteous Himself. Sin’s debt had to be paid, and be paid in full. The only wages for sin is death (Rom. 6:23). In order to pay that debt in full and defeat the power of sin was for a sinless person to die. That sinless man was Jesus. He died as our sin, received our judgment, was buried, and rose again, thus defeating sin’s power to hold anyone again.

The only way of salvation is God’s way. Agree with God and eternity will agree with you.

AT – ONE – MENT = By the grace of God we are at peace with God through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. The peace of God is peace with God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Power of GOD Over the Enemy

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 my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.”  Psalm 27:1-2  (KJB)

The commentary today is from Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David on Psalm 27:2…

This verse records a past deliverance, and is an instance of the way in which experience should be employed to reassure our faith in times of trial. Each word is instructive. “When the wicked.” It is a hopeful sign for us when the wicked hate us; if our foes were godly men it would be a sore sorrow, but as for the wicked their hatred is better than their love. “Even mine enemies and my foes.” There were many of them, they were of different sorts, but they were unanimous in mischief and hearty in hatred. “Came upon me” – advanced to the attack, leaping upon the victim like a lion upon its prey. “To eat up my flesh,” like cannibals they would make a full end of the man, tear him limb from limb, and make a feast for their malice. The enemies of our souls are not deficient in ferocity, they yield no quarter, and ought to have none in return. See in what danger David was; in the grip and grasp of numerous, powerful, and cruel enemies, and yet observe his perfect safety and their utter discomfiture! “They stumbled and fell.” God’s breath blew them off their legs. There were stones in the way which they never reckoned upon, and over these they made an ignominious tumble. This was literally true in the case of our Lord in Gethsemane, when those who came to take him went backward and fell to the ground; and herein he was a prophetic representative of all wrestling believers who, rising from their knees shall, by the power of faith, throw their foes upon their faces.

Whenever we are in the throes of the wicked, the enemy of God and all that is righteous and holy we can trust in the LORD to see us through.  God will not allow the wicked to triumph ultimately.

Jesus Through the Bible – The Lamb of God

“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” Exodus 12:5-7

The final plague was coming upon Egypt. Moses had received instruction from the LORD for the deliverance from this final form of judgment on Egypt; it would affect all in the land of Egypt, even Israel. None can stand before the final judgment without the redemptive power of the blood of the lamb.

Note in the above verse the placing of the blood on the “two side posts”, and on the “upper door post” of their homes. Within that alone we have the sign of the cross. It was on the cross of Calvary where our blessed Savior bled out His life’s blood for our redemption. The perfect Lamb of God who willingly gave His life for my sin and yours.

John the apostle wrote of John the Baptist as he said,

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

Your sins and mine have been paid for by the blood of the perfect, sinless Lamb of God Jesus Christ. You are lost and condemned without Him. Repent, believe Him, and be saved, today.

From Feb 4, 2014

Deliver Us From Evil

“Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.” Psalm 140:1-2 (KJV)

There is evil all around us. It would not at all be difficult to name evil.  I think I have defined “evil” before here, and I will do it again.  Evil is what God says is evil; not what man calls evil.  Men and women today call evil what God says is good; and call good what God says is evil (Isaiah 5:20).

Deliver us from evil is what Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:13.  There are evil people  who seek to destroy all that is good, godly, righteous, and holy.  They seek to destroy you and me who follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are many who care nothing for the life of another.  Whether it is the unborn in the womb of the mother; or the elderly individual in a nursing home; their lives, to the unloving, the uncaring, the hateful, evil men and women are worthless, and of no further benefit to society.

As Christians we can confront the evil by doing right, doing good anyway. “Overcome evil with good”, said the apostle Paul (Romans 12:21).

The greatest deliverance from evil was the day Jesus became my sins and yours.  He bore our sins, died for us on the cross, was buried, and bodily arose from that grave.  Victory over sin, death, and evil.  It is ours through faith in Him.

I Was Glad…

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1 (KJV)

To the Israelite the house of God was the Tabernacle in the wilderness during their journey to the Promised Land after deliverance out of Egypt;  it was Shiloh up intil David was king; and after David became king the ark of the covenant was moved to Jerusalem, so that was the house of God.

The “House of God” is the place where God dwells.  In all of God’s Word the plan of God is that He dwell in the hearts of His people.  That was impossible with a holy God.  Yet, God Himself made it possible.  When Jesus Christ walked on earth He was and is the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9).  He was without sin in the midst of the sinful, the vile, the corrupt; He remained incorruptible.

Because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ when we trust in Him He comes to live within us in the person of the Holy Spirit.  Those who know Jesus, and are known of Him have only to go to His Word, and hear the Holy Spirit within themselves to worship God.

The follower of Christ still desires to go and meet in places of worship with God’s people.  We call those places “Houses of worship”, even “House of God”; and that is not wrong.  Rest assured that where ever you are as a believer; a follower of Jesus Christ He is there with you.

Like the Psalmist says, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.”  Let us always be glad to go into the place of worship.  Like the writer of Hebrews has said,

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

If you missed joining with brothers and sisters in Christ yesterday, or have for several weeks; be sure you commit yourself to renewing that bond next Sunday.

In Distress

“In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and He heard me. Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:1-2 (KJV)

We all experience distress.  Distress is defined as; “great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.”  It had the same meaning to the Psalmist; probably David.

Being slandered, falsely accused; we have all had it happen one time or another.  If you have not; then you will.  It is not pleasant.  It can make you want to just curl up in a corner, and never see anyone again.  That is what the culprit who spreads it wants.

Christian, when it happens to you do as David.  Cry unto the LORD.  He will hear you.  Look the enemy, the liar, the culprit in the face; in the midst of others, and make them come clean.

The LORD will hear your cry.  He will deliver you.  Liars, slanderers, can never stand up to the truth.

One thing for certain; Christian, those things best not be coming out of your lips or mouth concerning someone else.  Be an encouragement even to those who might be  your foes, your enemies; but especially to those who are your friends.

In your distress cry unto the LORD.  In your distress praise the LORD.  In your distress stand your ground, and pray for those who offend you.

To GOD for Deliverance

“Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.” Psalm 59:1 (KJV)

Oh that I had a heart like that of David.  David often; as we read in the Psalms; would go to God when he found himself in peril.  I try too often to deliver myself, and that is usually to my own peril until I plead for God’s help, God’s deliverance.

Here are Spurgeon’s words on this verse,

“Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God.” They were all round the house with the warrant of authority, and a force equal to the carrying of it out. He was to be taken dead or alive, well or ill, and carried to the slaughter. No prowess could avail him to break the cordon of armed men, neither could any eloquence stay the hand of his bloody persecutor. He was taken like a bird in a net, and no friend was near to set him free. Unlike the famous starling, he did not cry, “I can’t get out,” but his faith uttered quite another note. Unbelief would have suggested that prayer was a waste of breath, but not so thought the good man, for he makes it his sole resort. He cries for deliverance and leaves ways and means with his God. “Defend me from them that rise up against me.” Saul was a king, and therefore sat in high places, and used all his authority to crush David; the persecuted one therefore beseeches the Lord to set him on high also, only in another sense. He asks to be lifted up, as into a lofty tower, beyond the reach of his adversary. Note how he sets the title “My God,” over against the word “mine enemies.” This is the right method of effectually catching and quenching the fiery darts of the enemy upon the shield of faith. God is our God, and therefore deliverance and defence are ours.

from THE TREASURY OF DAVID

Do you find yourself in a world of hurt, pain, despair, doubt, fear, anguish?  Your only help that will give you peace, and comfort is found in the One who made you from the dust of the earth.  He may not end the trouble or trial; but He will give you peace through it.

Consider the Poor

Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. Psalm 41:1 (KJV)

How many times have you heard something like this said, “They are only poor because of foolish spending”  There are many various phrases similar to that one we have heard, or maybe even used ourselves.

The topic of poverty, and the poor is not an easy subject to address, or to deal with.  There are folks who have not thrived in an affluent society due to misuse, and abuse of finances.  I know that I have done my share of that as well.

Let us address who are the poor of the above text?  The Psalmist is addressing the lowly, the poor, the physically weak, and ill.  The Bible addresses poverty many more times, and how we are to help them.  When harvesting fields the land owner was to leave a corner for the poor to glean, so they too would have something to eat.  That included the orchards and other things too.

One thing I know about providing aid for the poor is that it should not be seen as a burden, but a result of our blessings; and being a blessing to those less fortunate.

This Psalm begins with a Beatitude “Blessed” which is a happiness we are to enjoy.  Those who cause the poor to prosper will be happy, and are recipients of protection and keeping from the LORD themselves.

Be “Blessed” today.

Trust

“O LORD my God, in Thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:” Psalm 7:1 (KJV)

We people put our trust in things and people everyday.  Every time we sit in a chair we are trusting that the chair will not fall or break in pieces.  We get in our cars, and trust that it will start (of course sometimes they do not). We do those things without so much as a second thought most of the time.

Is it not amazing that we can put so much trust in things made and built by human kind, but when it comes to God we cannot trust Him to the same extent.

The Psalmist did.  God is more trust worthy than any object made by man.  He may not always deliver us from our situation, tragedy, or circumstance in life; as we ask Him to, but trust goes much further than deliverance from situations.  With God it goes to His character, and who He is.

There is a question which has been asked:  “If God never answered another one of your prayers would you still trust Him?”

My answer to that question is Yes.  He is still God.  He still loves me.  I can still trust Him for my future, and for today.  He knows what is best for you and me.

Be as the Psalmist.  Put your trust in the LORD God through the death, burial and bodily resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

Invitation and Redemption

Sermon Points –

Invitation and Redemption

Genesis 7:1-24: 8:1, 20-22; 9:8-17

1. The Invitation is To Come Into the Ark of Safety (7:1).

2. God Remembers His Promises to Those to Whom He Gives Them (8:1-5).

3. Recognizing God’s Grace, Deliverance and Redemption (8:20-22).

4. Unconditional Promise (9:8-17).

 

Preached in the evening service @ Shiloah Baptist July 13, 2014

Thus Saith the LORD God… 012414

“And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, that the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; and I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed My voice.'”  Judges 6:7-10

Thanksgiving Sermon 112413

Thanking the LORD for His Goodness

Psalm 107:1-43

First we must note that the LORD is worthy of thanksgiving; who it is that ought to be thankful; and from whence the deliverance has come (vv. 1-3).

There are four groups of people which should be thankful to the LORD;

1.  THOSE WHO HAVE A LONGING SOUL (vv. 4-9);

2.  THOSE WHO ARE BOUND IN DARKNESS OF SOUL AND SPIRIT (vv. 10-16);

3.  THOSE WHO ARE FOOLISH IN THEIR INIQUITIES AND TRANSGRESSIONS (vv. 17-22);

4.  THOSE WHO ARE CAUGHT UP IN THE SEAS, AND STORMS OF LIFE (vv. 23-32).

5.  NOTE – THE WORKS OF THE LORD IN THE LIVES OF ALL OF THESE (vv. 33-43).
-Tim A. Blankenship

A Bite And A Look

“And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived”  Numbers 21:9  (KJV).

Many people do not realize the dangers of complaining.  Anyone who has ever read this chapter in Numbers realizes that God does not delight in complaints from His people.  He despises complaining, or murmuring.  In chapter eleven and verse four of Numbers there is the mention of “a mixed multitude”, and these were probably a source of the complaints, though God’s people often need no help in complaining.

The result of their complaining was that “fiery serpents” came into the camp and bit people and they began dying from the poisonous bites.  Do we realize just how poisonous or deadly complaining really is?  I don’t think so.  The individual who complains is spreading a deadly toxin throughout their body.  It may take many years for it to show up, but can lead to death earlier.  It is probably toxic to the people who hang around the complainer as well.  If we are not careful about hanging around complainers we will find ourselves complaining.  This is a complaint that robs us of faith, and puts more trust in self, or selfish desire than in God.  Complaining may come because of fear.

The people, or our text, grew quite fearful, and came to Moses for help, even confessing “We have sinned” (v. 7).  Moses prayed for the people and God gave Moses answer.  The answer was to build the brazen serpent on the pole.

The promise is, “Any man [anyone], when they beheld the serpent of brass, she/he lived”.  This serpent on the pole is a picture of a New Testament truth, with a present reality to the text.  There was deliverance that day for all who believed and looked.

Today, our hope is in Jesus Christ.  Sin was placed on Christ as he hung on the cross, becoming our sin, receiving God’s judgment [brass], and when we realize our sin and its death, we can look to Him and live.  “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life”  John 3:14-15 (KJV).  Look to Jesus and live.

-Tim A. Blankenship