Thus saith the LORD of hosts… 012514

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; ‘In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.'” Zechariah 8:23

To Know the LORD

Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed My covenant, and trespassed against My law.  Israel shall cry unto Me, ‘My God, we know Thee.’  Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.  They have set up kings, but not by Me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.”  Hosea 8:1-4 (KJV)

Hosea is speaking to the people who claim to be God’s children.  Those who claim to know God, “My God, we know Thee.”  Yet, they do not keep His law.  They do not heed His word.

The LORD counts it a vile, wicked and unruly thing for those who claim to know Him, and do not obey His law, nor keep His Word.  There is judgment for those who claim to be God’s people, yet live as the people of the earth.

GOD is full of mercy and grace which is found and received only through the death, burial and bodily resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.  Hear Him.  Believe Him.  Be saved today.

-T.A.

For Lack of Knowledge

It seems there are many who are desirous for much knowledge in the world of 2012.  We are more knowledgeable today than at any time in the history of mankind.  We have learned the chemical makeup of water and salt; and a whole lot of other things too.  Some of which are or have been destructive.  We have even gained the knowledge to split the invisible atom, and make nuclear weapons and power plants.

The knowledge of these things; good or bad; has made us appear to be up and coming onto being gods of our own lives.  Many are; in their own eyes “In control” and “In charge” of their own destiny.  They assume these things because of “Lack of Knowledge”.  It is the knowledge of God; knowing God, and being known by Him which really counts for eternity.  Hear what the prophet Hosea has written,

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:6 (KJV)

You may have gained the knowledge of God and His love at an early age, but you have gone your own way.  God is calling you to return to Him.  You may have the knowledge of great things which man has made, but do you know the One who has made man, and holds us in His hands?  He loves you, and sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for you, was buried and He rose again.  One day He is returning.  Call on His name.  He will hear.  He will save.

-T.A.

Day 34 – The Confidence of Job

Confidence is a good thing to have.  Confidence is defined in The Mirriam/Webster Dictionary as, “Trust, reliance”; 2. SELF ASSURANCE, BOLDNESS; 3. a state of trust or intimacy”.  Job had confidence that he was in the right with God, and no one was going to change his mind.  Not his three friends. Not the young man who comes on the scene later [Elihu]; and it would almost sound as though, even God would have a hard time convincing Job of any wrong doing on his part.

Today’s reading consisted of Job 24 – 37.  There are only three characters who speak in these 14 chapters.  Job’s speech following Eliphaz’s final address continues in chapter 24.  In chapter 25 Bildad gives us a final speech of short duration.  The friends have run out of steam it seems.  The remaining chapters are taken by Job (26-31), and we see some words of wisdom and knowledge from his words; such as involving science;

“He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” 26:7 (KJV)

I include this to show that his faith in God has not wavered, and that it was known at that time that the earth was not suspended by some guy holding the earth on his shoulders, standing on a turtle, swimming in some cosmic sea.  Job even goes into some details about the clouds and rain in chapter 26; and the oceans of the world, and their boundaries.  He attributes these things all to the hands of God. “But the thunder of His power who can understand?” (26:14b).

Job knows from whence all things come.  He even attributes wisdom and knowledge as coming from God, the LORD.  That wisdom is greater than “rubies” (28:18).  He assures the reader that the fear of the Lord is wisdom,

“And unto man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'” 28:28

Chapters 32 – 37 are given to a young man who has evidently been standing by listening to  the words of all four of these elder men; keeping silent himself, and waiting for an opportunity to speak.  His name is Elihu; and he does seem wise for his younger years, yet he is probably ignorant of Job’s life and works.

Elihu seems a bit arrogant in some of his talk.  Of course you can see an arrogance in the four elder men and their responses as well.  It is amazing how when men get together, myself included, that talk keeps on getting louder, bolder, and more braggadocios.  Often when stories are being shared and told, the next one has to be even better.  It can be that way with the spiritual matters as well; if we are not cautious.

Were Elihu’s words helpful?  In his words he does magnify the LORD.  He shows us the difficulty of knowing God, especially in our own ways in 37:23,

“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: He will not afflict.” 37:23

By the word of God we are told that no man can see God and live.  If we were to turn our opened eyes toward the glowing, glaring noon day sun we would be blinded by its rays.  How can we see God?

Job was confident that he would one day see God, through a mediator, and dear reader our Mediator is Christ Jesus.

Job had confidence in God.  His faith was in God.  There is yet one character in this story of Job to speak; His name is the name that is above every name. He is GOD.  The Lord willing we will hear those words next time.

Be careful to listen as He speaks to you today; hear Him and do His will.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 13 – The Curse of the Tree

In reading Deuteronomy 15 – 28 today I came across these familiar verses,

 “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” Deuteronomy 21:22-23 (KJV)

To hang a man on a tree was a form of what we call “capital punishment”; an offense worthy of death.  A penalty that today is frowned on by many.  The arguments go something like this; “It doesn’t make sense to kill one human being because they killed one.”  or maybe “Violence begetteth violence.”  Some might even say “The death penalty is not for a cultured, modern, educated people.”

When we, however, consider the Word of God and His commands for the death penalty and why we can have no legitimate argument against God for this divine punishment.  God says every human being is made in His image.  There is not one who is more or less in the image of God.  For one to take a human life maliciously, with hatred, and forethought is murder; and God says this requires “Life for life”.  If the murderer is allowed to live it broadcast to the community that this life is of more value than the life that was maliciously taken.

Of course, there is also the requirement of evidence of guilt.  A murderer can only be found guilty by the testimony of at least two witnesses.  We read these things in the reading of God’s laws; as recapped in Deuteronomy, and previously in Exodus and Leviticus.

One of the things we learn from this is that each human life is valuable.  None less and none more so than another.

Now, back to “The curse of the tree”.  This verse is even mentioned in the New Testament from Paul’s epistle to the Galations;

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:'” Galations 3:13

We are all guilty of offending God, His holiness, His righteousness, and His law.  We are guilty and worthy of death.  We are just as cursed as the man who hangs on a tree.  We read, however, that “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…”  When Jesus Christ died on that cross [the tree] he became our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), and because He became the curse of sin for us; we were given His righteousness, thus we now have access to the very throne of God (Hebrews 4:16).

Through His burial the guilt and condemnation of sin was carried away; and by His resurrection He bodily arose victorious over death’s condemnation and overcame the curse of the tree.

Blessed be the name of the Lord our God, Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Seven Things Which God Hates

Some want to think that God hates nothing.  However, if there is not hate, then what is love, and the apostle John says that “God is love”.  Since God is love there must of necessity be some things which He hates, and the Bible in Proverbs gives us seven of them; which seems to cover every gamut of evil in the world.

Hear the wisdom of the ages –

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”  Proverbs 6:16-19 (KJV)

I preached a seven part series of sermons in 2006 on this and you can find them by clicking on this sentence.

I do not believe I have ever seen a time in my life when there is such a pride and arrogance, especially among leaders.  Leaders in the business world, leaders in politics, leaders of Nations; and even leaders in churches who profess to know God and His Son Jesus.  With noses in the air they walk around defying God and His Word.

Lies, lies, and more lies are seen.   A person can tell a lie until it becomes the truth in their own mind.  The lying tongue has intent to deceive and defraud.  “Lie” – any statement or act designed to deceive another person, and or harm them, their reputation or possibly even bodily.

There are hands shedding innocent blood.  Mothers killing their own babies; before they are born and after they are born.  Sons killing fathers; fathers killing sons – sometimes neither are not so innocent blood.  Governments killing Christians for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Husbands and wives killing the innocent spouse for insurance money or to get another spouse.

With the heart of imagination men have designs against God, His Word, His people, His land, and His future.  “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1).  I have news for the ones imagining to overthrow Israel, and set up a quote “Palestinian Nation”.  It will not succeed.  God’s covenant stands forever.  The United Nations will fail.  Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, Libya, the United States of America, etc. will all fail and fall; but our God and His Word will stand forever.

There are feet that are swift for destruction.  Evil feet are feet that move with haste without much thought as to its outcome and destruction of life to oneself or others.  Mostly for acquiring material gain.  Swift at running to mischief.  Looking for the next party; the next drunken brawl; the next adulterous affair.  Swift to move toward evil.

A false witness speaks lies in order, usually, to gain for ones self.  There is usually a malicious – intent to do harm – cause behind a false witness.  Jezebel lied about Naboth in order to gain his vineyard for king Ahab, and caused Naboth’s death (1 Kings 21).  Does that happen in courts and politics today?  Does that happen in families today?  Has that happened to you?  Have you been the one who committed the abomination?

Sowing seeds of discord is an act of  “terrorism” among families.  It does not do any good for churches neither.  If it is no good for these then, why would it be good for Local governments, State governments, or federal governments?  It is not.

If you will notice all of these are called an “Abomination unto Him”.

There is only forgiveness and eternal life through the One who died on the cross for our sins; was buried taking away our sin, guilt and condemnation; and rose bodily from the grave, and is one day soon returning to set things right in this world and the hearts of men.  His name is Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Charles H. Spurgeon 081411

The following is the evening reading from C. H. Spurgeons MORNING AND EVENING devotional readings for August 13.  It is about God’s memory.

Evening …

Genesis 9:15
‘And I will remember My covenant.’

Mark the form of the promise. God does not say, “And when ye shall look upon the bow, and ye shall remember My covenant, then I will not destroy the earth,” but it is gloriously put, not upon our memory, which is fickle and frail, but upon God’s memory, which is infinite and immutable. “The bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant.” Oh! it is not my remembering God, it is God’s remembering me which is the ground of my safety; it is not my laying hold of His covenant, but His covenant’s laying hold on me. Glory be to God! the whole of the bulwarks of salvation are secured by divine power, and even the minor towers, which we may imagine might have been left to man, are guarded by almighty strength. Even the remembrance of the covenant is not left to our memories, for we might forget, but our Lord cannot forget the saints whom He has graven on the palms of His hands. It is with us as with Israel in Egypt; the blood was upon the lintel and the two side-posts, but the Lord did not say, “When you see the blood I will pass over you,” but “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” My looking to Jesus brings me joy and peace, but it is God’s looking to Jesus which secures my salvation and that of all His elect, since it is impossible for our God to look at Christ, our bleeding Surety, and then to be angry with us for sins already punished in Him. No, it is not left with us even to be saved by remembering the covenant. There is no linsey-wolsey here-not a single thread of the creature mars the fabric. It is not of man, neither by man, but of the Lord alone. We should remember the covenant, and we shall do it, through divine grace; but the hinge of our safety does not hang there-it is God’s remembering us, not our remembering Him; and hence the covenant is an everlasting covenant.

I pray it is a blessing to your heart and life today

-Tim A. Blankenship