Lest… I take the name of my God in vain

“Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: ‘Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.’ ”  Proverbs 30:7-9

Prayer for needs, not wealth or riches, neither poverty lest we be poor and steal and take the name of God in vain. Pray also to be delivered from vanity and from lies – personal lying and deceiving lies of others.

So let us pray, not only for self, but also for one another; our neighbor – be they friend or foe.

Be Merciful To Me, and Raise Me Up

“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. But Thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
By this I know that Thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, Thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before Thy face for ever.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.”  Psalm 41:9-13  (KJB)

Deliver Yourself

“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” Proverbs 6:1-5 (KJB)

Security

The Security of The Word – Proverbs 6:1-35

Verses 1 – 5 –  Warning or caution against being the security for anothers debt; or “co-signing” for others.  From the ESV Study notes,

“The main point of the appeal begins in v. 3: save yourself from the whim of the one in debt and plead urgently with him. The point of such pleading is made clear by the comparison to game caught in a trap: focus all your energy and seek to get out of such a situation and thus save yourself (v. 5) from ruin.”

See Proverbs 11:15; 17:18; 20:16;  22:26; and27:13

Verses 6 -11 –  Sloth or laziness is not commended by the wise.  God has created that human kind be the intelligent ones; however the wise can also learn from the creatures of God’s creation.  It should have a humbling affect on us.

If there is a tie between verses 1-5, and verses 6-11; it is in that the “ant” needs no surety from another; but is wise to save for that “rainy day”.

There is no wrong in providing a co-signature for a friend; not so wise in providing one for a stanger; and even more foolish to provide one for a slothful and lazy individual.

See Prov. 10:5;  24:33-34.

Verses 12 – 15 –  The walk of the wicked leads to destruction.  The whole body of the wicked man or woman communicates evil.  His mouth, eyes, feet, and hands [fingers].  It begins in the heart.  Jeremiah the prophet said,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  Jeremiah 17:9

Prov. 10:10;  16:27;  Psalm 35:19.  See also Matthew 6:31;  12:35.

Verses 16 – 19 –  Seven things which God hates.  These seven things are directly related to the heart of evil.

From the ESV Study notes we read of verse 16,

“This numeric literary device presents a representative rather than exhaustive list (cf. 30:15–16, 18–19, 21–31) that seeks to draw particular attention to the final item as the focus of God’s hatred. It is easy to agree that God hates the first six items; it is also easy to overlook the seventh (v. 19b), and thus the author pulls the reader up short.”

From the Matthew Henry Commentary we find,

“God hates sin; he hates every sin; he can never be reconciled to it; he hates nothing but sin. But there are some sins which he does in a special manner hate; and all those here mentioned are such as are injurious to our neighbour. It is an evidence of the good-will God bears to mankind that those sins are in a special manner provoking to him which are prejudicial to the comfort of human life and society. Therefore the men of Belial must expect their ruin to come suddenly, and without remedy, because their practices are such as the Lord hates and are an abomination to him, v. 16. Those things which God hates it is no thanks to us to hate in others, but we must hate them in ourselves.”

Verses 20 – 35 –  Make the Word of wisdom and of God familiar, that sin be not familiar.  We are told often about the preciousness of the Word of God.  It is valuable.  It is eternal.  It is to be cherished and counted a treasure.

These verses show why.  The words of wisdom from parents, received from Scripture, are eternal gifts to be received and practiced.

See these Scriptures:  Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25;  Psalm 19:7-11;  Psalm 119:9, 11, 89, and 105

-Tim A. Blankenship

Glad and Rejoicing in GOD

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all Your marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You: I will sing praise to Your name, O You Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2 (KJV)

When one praises the LORD with the whole heart; with the life, in words, actions, devotion, commitment, and love; then, there will also be gladness and rejoicing.

When we praise Him, we see Him for who He says He is, and we recognize Him to be.  He is our Creator, He is our Sustainer, He is our Great Physician, He is our Advocate with the Father, He is our very bestest Friend, He is our Savior, King, and Lord;  just to give a few.  The next time you approach the LORD in prayer begin with words of praise, then Thanksgiving, then request, and end the prayer by again recognizing who He is.  This is very much the same way Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:8-13.

Let the people of God everywhere praise the LORD.  He is worthy of praise.  And when we praise Him with a sincere heart of  we will sing praises to His name.  To the name of the Most High GOD.

Be glad and rejoice in the LORD who is the Most High.

Christmas Day 4 (3, 2, Christmas Day)

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to renew friendships with people I have considered friends, and endeavor to be the friend to them that I have not been; and I want to be a friend to any who are friendless, or feel that way.

I read the first two chapters of Job this morning, and saw how Job’s friends had responded to his tragedies.  They came and sat with him for 7 days and nights.  I only pray that I never stay too long as they did.

“So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.” Job 2:13 (KJV)

Christmas Day Twenty and One

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to be a friend to the friendless, bring hope to the hopeless, bring a smile to the faces of those who are down and discouraged, and to be the light of Christ in the dark  places of this world.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” Matthew 5:14 (KJV)

Christmas Day One Hundred Eight

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to be a blessing to those around me; to be an encourager, to be a friend to all I meet, and to instill in them the desire for living right, to always point them to the Creator; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.” Hosea 14:4-7 (KJV)

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 359

What do I want for Christmas?

Like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; I want to be a friend to the friendless, the oppressed, the fatherless, the poor, the hopeless, and the helpless, and by His grace and provision do what I can for them.

LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.”  Psalm 10:17-18 (NKJV)

I Will Show You Kindness

The following are notes from a recent message preached at Shiloah Baptist Church

I Will Show You Kindness
“Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” 2 Samuel 9:6-8 (KJV)

The son of Jonathan; David’s best and dearest friend; comes before David the king at his direction, and bows before him in fear and out of humility.

The king’s first word, after speaking his name is, “Fear not…”. Mephibosheth is crippled from a childhood accident while being carried by an adult (2 Samuel 4:4), fell and left him crippled. He sees himself as unworthy of the king’s attention; a dead dog.

In this moment is seen the mercy and grace of God. David knew of these. He himself was a recipient of both. He displays them both. In the name of Jonathan he gives all the lands back to Mephibosheth which had belonged to Saul.

Mephibosheth was also at David’s table continually.

O, the grace and mercy of God shown to us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Son of God. In His name, for His name’s sake we are made “joint heirs with Him” (Romans 8:17).

For Sale: One Soul

“And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.” 1 Kings 21:20 (KJV)

The confrontation of Ahab by God’s prophet Elijah was following one of the most horrendous acts of murder and treachery in history and Scripture. With the direct scheming, plotting, and lies of Jezebel; to which Ahab was complicit; to murder, and rob citizen Naboth the Jezreelite, of his vineyard.

Note that Ahab considers Elijah an enemy. That in itself speaks volumes of Ahab’s heart. King David; even following his heinous acts of deceit and the murder of Uriah; welcomed the prophet Nathan into his courts (2 Samuel 12:1-14). Anyone who speaks the word of God should be our friend.

How does one begin to sell themselves? The selling of oneself to evil or good is up to that individual. To sell oneself to evil begins with the lust of the eye; the lust of the flesh; and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Jesus Himself was tempted in these three things; from which all sin comes; when He went into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11)

All it takes to sell yourself to evil is to see God and His word as antiquated, and without merit in the world; or personal life and living. To see God as a liar; or even non-existent; and to make your own deities.

Hear the words of Jesus,

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37

Sell yourself rather to the Lord Jesus Christ. He has paid for you with His own life.  Call upon His name, trusting in His death, burial and resurrection, and He will deliver you from your sin and condemnation.

The Preacher in Power With God

The Man in the Wilderness

“And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” Matthew 11:7-19 (KJV)

Jesus makes a declaration about the prophet who showed the way to Himself. Jesus’s word is that John was a prophet who stood, and was not swayed by the tide of public, or popular opinion. The “Reed” spoken of by Jesus was native to the country, and was easily bent in every slight breeze. He would not bend to the winds of conformity of the flesh. He would not win any elections. He would not even allow his name to be submitted to any office.

John was not a man who would attend the social events of the season (v. 8). He was not out to win any popularity contest. The people would not have gone to the wilderness to seek the finely dressed. He dressed in “camel’s hair” very similar to Elijah’s apparel. Not the garment of a popular individual, or one seeking popularity.

A prophet of great esteem, that esteem was from the Lord, not men. To be esteemed “the greatest” by the King Himself is certainly the highest of honors. The esteem of man is useless in eternal matters. Because John was the herald of a new covenant, a better way, those in the new are counted greater. John is counted only as a friend of the Bridegroom. Those in the new covenant are the Bride of the Bridegroom.

The people to whom John preached, and to whom Jesus preached were mostly a people who committed a Dereliction of duty. They heard the voice, but the words were of none effect. The nation neglected to heed the message of the prophet (v. 12). Their opinions were on equal ground with the Word of God. Their attitude was, “We will have the kingdom in our own way”. They hated the prophet and this eventually showed up in their hatred for the King. It seems that the message of all the prophets were despised by the nation (v. 13). John’s message is on equal footing with that of Elijah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah to Malachi. His persecution was on equal footing as well. Here are some similarities. 1) John was fearless before Herod – Elijah was fearless before Jezebel’s prophets; 2) John was locked in prison – Jeremiah was put in a pit; 3) John lost his head – Isaiah was probably sawn in two. John preached against the adultery of Herod; as pointed out earlier (14:1-12).

John would have been the one “In the spirit and power of Elijah” if he would have been received (vv. 14-15; Luke 1:16-17). His ministry would have been to turn the hearts of the people back to God. This was accomplished in a small way. There is yet to come another “In the spirit and power of Elijah” who will accomplish his task (Revelation 11:1-14). The message of the prophet is one people must hear and take heed.

This generation of people was likened to spoiled, uncooperative children (vv. 16-17). Likened to children playing wedding game, then others come into the picture, and declare they want to play the funeral game instead. They want to mourn at a time for rejoicing. They want to rejoice at the wrong time and weep at the time of rejoicing. John’s message was one that the Messiah has come, and the people refused to hear it, tearing their garments in grief. When it was declared to them the time for mourning, then they were rejoicing. There is a whole lot of that in the world of 2008.

It seems the religious leaders had no desire for hearing the truth of God’s message from His prophet John. When they did not want to hear they set out to find fault. The prophet because of his “self-control”, lack of fleshly desires, sometimes loud, and “rude” preaching is accused of being demon possessed. Jesus, because He sits and dines with “tax collectors and sinners” is accused of gluttony and drunkenness. By these accusations they are only endeavoring to cover their own sins that have been exposed for what they really are.

Truth always bears fruit. Lies also bear fruit, but none worth having. Truth reveals the good, and exposes the bad. The children of complainers and accusers continue complaining, accusing lives – to eternal condemnation. The children of wisdom are drawn to the Savior. If Jesus and John were the way of these accusations, then, why are lives changed by faith in Jesus. The resurrected, changed life is evidence that the claims of Jesus and John are true and not the claims of the complainants.

-by Tim A. Blankenship