God Is a Promise Keeper

Rainbow

Today’s Passage – Joshua 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Philemon – Hebrews 4Proverbs 18Psalms 86 – 90

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 19

Read the “0318 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” – (Joshua 21:45)

In the Book of Joshua, in chapters 19 – 21, we see the continuation of the division of the land among the 12 tribes of Israel. Chapter 20 specifically deals with the six cities of refuge; and chapter 21 reveals the 48 cities that were to be given to the the Levites. These cities were to be given from within the borders of all of the other tribes so that the priests and ministers of the Lord would be nearby all of the people of Israel. The Levites were not really given a possession of land, but they were provided cities to live in, and suburbs for their cattle to graze in. This is probably where we got the idea of the church parsonage; and it is probably also why the United States Government does not tax these dwellings. God made sure that His ministers were well taken care of.

The verses that really captured my attention, however, from this morning’s reading was in chapter 21, verses 43 – 45. Here it says that God held up His end of the bargain. He did everything that He said He would do. He promised them a land, and He delivered. He promised them victory over the inhabitants of that land, and He gave it. He promised them provision all along the way, and they were provided for. In fact, the only time that things did not work out as they were supposed to was when the people did not listen to God’s instruction, and acted outside of His will.

We can trust in the promises of God. There are many promises for us in the New Testament. Some of them are unconditional, like our eternal security once we’ve placed our faith in Christ. However, many of them are conditional upon our obedience and faith. God says that if we will follow Him, He will do certain things for us. For instance He says that He will provide for us, and protect us, and give our lives purpose. These are only a few general samples of what God promises His children today. And God will keep up His end of the bargain. He will do what He says He will do. The question, however, is, will you follow Him? Will you trust Him, and do what you’re supposed to do. If things don’t turn out as He promised, it’s not because God slipped up. It is because we haven’t done what we are supposed to do. Why not find and believe God’s promises for you today; and why not do what He says that you have to do on your end in order for Him to bless you and your family.

By the way, the picture of the rainbow at the top is a reminder of one of God’s promises. He promised back in Genesis that He would no longer destroy the whole earth with a flood. There has been flooding at many times and in many places, but the water never again engulfed the entire earth. He told us that He set His bow in the clouds to remind us of that.


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What Happened To The Maachathites And The Geshurites – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Joshua 13 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 2 Timothy 1 – 4; Proverbs 16; Psalms 76 – 80)

Read the “0316 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” (Joshua 13:1)

“Nevertheless the children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.” (Joshua 13:13)

Good morning. What happened to the Maachathites and the Geshurites? The Maachathites is any body’s guess. They were there, just north of Lake Huleh, (which is just north of the Sea of Galilee). Then it wasn’t. It could have been absorbed by another invading nation. They could have even inter-married with those of surrounding towns, and the people moved out to these other towns. Anyway, it was, and now it is not. Geshur, on the other, was a different story…

“And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee? Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day. And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months. And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt. And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish. And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites. And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines. And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.” (1Sam 27:5-12)

David destroyed all the Geshurites. God would drive them out somehow, and He took them. These people sided with the Philistines: they were against Israel. And now they are gone. There has been much hate against the Jews here in America. We have a President who wants to do what’s right. One act that he did was to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. While other past presidents have given money, and sold missiles to Israel’s enemies. God told Abraham…

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

Is America in trouble? What do you think? It was less than 480 years between the Exodus and when the Gershurites were destroyed.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Judgment is coming. It will be in God’s perfect timing.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Corinthians 6:14-18)

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:7-15)

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

Peace!


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Guest Post by Justin Mears

Today’s Passage – Joshua 8 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Timothy 1 – 3Proverbs 14Psalms 66 – 70)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read the “0314 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night. (Joshua 8:3)

            Joshua has just experienced great failure. He has just had about 36 of his men killed in battle, the people are distressed and discouraged, and to top it all off he had to have Achan, his family, and all he owned stoned to death. This is a hard time in the life of a leader. I’m sure he thought over mistakes that were made, things that should have been done differently. Maybe a little bit of anger with Achan and even himself. Joshua was no doubt tired and deeply discouraged. His head was probably filling with doubts, confusion, and fear. This was a man at a very low point in his life. 

            Now we come to the moment when Joshua is given a second chance. God begins with the words “fear not”. He tells him to go back into Ai, because he has given him the victory. God can bring victory and he can give them the land and he wants to, but Joshua has a decision to make that no one else can make for him. He can either give up or get up. We see his decision in verse 3, “so Joshua arose!”

            Now comes the application:

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. (Proverbs 24:16)

Whether or not we fall is not the question, but rather whether or not we get back up. You may wonder what the point of getting back up is. Easy, there is a whole promised land still out there full of victories that God wants to give you. Failure is all a part of learning how to succeed. God will bring future victories, but you must get back up. 

 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13 – 14)


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Written In Stone – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 27 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Ephesians 4 – 6; Proverbs 9; Psalm 46 – 50

Read the “0309 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Therefore it shall be when ye be gone over Jordan, that ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Ebal, and thou shalt plaister them with plaister. And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them. Thou shalt build the altar of the LORD thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD thy God: And thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eat there, and rejoice before the LORD thy God. And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.” (Deuteronomy 27:4-8)

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:23-28)

Good morning. Is it any wonder why God did not want man to lift a tool in building Him an alter. They were only to plaster it together with plaster, offer a sacrifice upon it, then write all the Words of the Law VERY PLAINLY upon them. But if you advance to the time of Jesus, we find that the religious leaders at that time had added to God’s Law. It was no longer plain, and understandable, but hard to keep them.

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” (Matthew 23:13-15)

How about the New King James Bible, not to mention all the other corrupted versions. The original idea was to change all the thee’s and thou’s. But then they also changed a certain amount of words in order to copy-write it. And many of the new words are harder to understand than those of the King James Bible.

In America, we pass laws to save the whales, and kill babies. When man touches something, it turns to trash. Man created Socialism, so they could have control over the people, and to do away with God. Look what Socialism did to Venezuela. It had a great economy. Their money was ranked 4th in the world. In just 10 years, Socialism destroyed Venezuela. And the Socialist want to do the same thing to America. God help us. Our nation and it’s laws are based on the Word of God. But there are many who don’t want to make America great again: they take their hammers and chisels, and chip away at those laws that keep America safe and free.

So what can we do?

1) Read And Study The Scriptures.

They are written very plainly, and show God’s preferences: He will not change.

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

2) Pray For Understanding.

Don’t let the devil confuse you by blinding you to what is right.

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Corinthians 4:1-18)

3) Vote For Those Who Want To Do God’s Will.

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)

4) Pray For Our Country.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicles 7:14)

Peace!


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Guest Post by Justin Mears

‘Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  Galatians 4 – 6Psalms 31 – 35Proverbs 7)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

Read the “0307 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart. (Deuteronomy 20:8)

            As we continue to read about God’s instruction and reminders for His people. We come across these guidelines for battle. God actually says that there are reasons to send someone home from battle and not allow them to fight. One of these disqualifying reasons is fear. 

            Simple thought today is this, are you fearful and fainthearted? Even further than that, are you influencing others to be the same? When the spies went into the promise land there was a report of blessing and bounty, but there was also and report of doubt and fear. The fear spread throughout the people like disease and stole their hearts, bringing them to their knees in defeat. Only they had never fought the physical battle. The devil can keep you from ever fighting in the battle, if he can keep you defeated in your fear. 

            We see another passage of scripture later on in Judges where the Israelites follow this rule mentioned here in Deuteronomy. Gideon is commanded to send those who were fearful of the battle, home. As a result they receive the victory. We learn here that we must cast out all fear and replace it with faith in a God. He has never let us down, nor given us any reason to doubt. Remember, “For God hath not given us the spirit of; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” 2 Tim. 1:7.

            In conclusion, either remove fear or God will remove you from the battle. In the end, if you have fear you do more damage than good. Don’t let fear keep you and others from experiencing victory. 


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Just One Of Life’s Walls – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 3 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16; Proverbs 2; Psalms 6 – 10

Read the “0302 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.” (Deuteronomy 3:1-5)

Good morning. Let me ask you a question: Is your God powerful enough to bring down a wall that you came up against? In our passage here we see that the Israelites came against sixty cities, all fenced with high walls, gates, and bars. There were also a great many unwalled towns too. Many times in our lives, walls spring up and block us: keep us from our goal. Moses told Joshua…

“And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest. Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:21-22)

Have faith. God will fight for you. Let’s fast forward to Joshua at Jericho. If someone told you that you had to march around Jericho for six days, once each day; and then on the seventh day march seven times around, and shout so the walls would fall, you would look at them kind of strange. But Israel did it by faith in God, and the walls came tumbling down.

Wait for God. He is probably waiting for you to obey. Think about Naaman the leper. Naaman’s wall was his leprosy. What could he do?

“So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (2Kings 5:9-14)

Have faith, wait for God and…

Watch God work. Peter was chained up in prison. His problem was the prison walls: and his freedom was right on the other side of those walls.

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” (Acts 12:1-11)

The church was praying for Peter, and Peter saw first-hand God working. Sometimes God will test our faith. Sometimes we have to wait for God. And sometimes we have to just hold our place and watch God work. Our wall, or problem, can be our own worst enemy. Sometimes we have to ask the Lord to take it away. Paul said…

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2Corinthians 12:7-9)

God gives us grace in dealing with our walls. Without the walls in our lives there would be no need for His grace to make the walls tumble down. Praise the Lord for the walls in your life.

Peace.


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Guest Post by Justin Mears

Today’s Passage – Numbers 34 – 36 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 5 – 8Proverbs 28Psalms 141 – 145)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song  – Deuteronomy 32:4

Read the “0228 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“These are the commandments and the judgments, which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.” (Numbers 36:13)

Numbers 34-36

            These chapters are God’s instructions to Moses for the congregation when they enter the promise land. As I read these chapters I think about all this effort he continues to put forth for a place he will not be going to. At one time Moses was the man that was going to take them into the promise land. They actually where there at one point on the verge of going in, but the people lost faith and rebelled against God. Now they had been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years for something Moses didn’t do! Now to make things worse he can’t even go into the promise land because of a bad decision he made in a moment of anger. What a devastating thought! Yet Moses doesn’t let that stop him from serving God today. 

            This morning I thought of two reasons as to why I might not continue if I was Moses.

            First I might not continue simply because I messed everything up! I would be discouraged and down in the dumps. It’s almost like setting the table for dinner and making it look beautiful with the fine china. Only to not realize the table cloth caught on your shirt as you walk away as all the fine china falls to the floor and shatters, or painting an intricate masterpiece, just to knock it to the floor with the slight brush of your knee. I think we’ve all messed something up before. Even worse than that, there have been times where we have probably messed up God’s picture or plan for our lives. Moses did too and it was a pretty big price tag as well, but he didn’t let that stop him from serving God today. He knew God still had a plan today.

            The second thought was that, this could have been a temptation for Moses to get bitter. I don’t know about you but sometimes, in my humanity, I look at this and kind of scratch my head. I hear myself thinking “come on Lord, couldn’t you give him a break?” The people got him mad because of their complaining! If I were Moses I could have found a reason to question God. Maybe there have been things in your life that you think are just unfair and you have a problem with God about it. In this situation Moses doesn’t give in to those thoughts because God isn’t and never will be the one who has done wrong. Moses sinned against God by disobeying his word. Everything Moses has today is because God gave it to him. Think of everything good in your life and remember that’s from God not you (James 1:17). 

            I think for Moses one thing kept him in this area we call contentment. The promise land would be nice and all, but nothing compares to an eternity with my Savior! I’m sure Moses was tired and so are many of us, but one day it will be worth it all as the song says. There will be no more battling the flesh, no more sin, no more pain, no more weariness, and for Moses no more complaining! I think Moses was looking forward to some rest without the heartaches of this world. Serve God till the end like Moses, so you too can hear the words well done.   


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In Man We Trust? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Numbers 22 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 1 – 4; Proverbs 23; Psalms 116 – 120)

Read the “0223 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.” (Numbers 22:1-6)

Good morning. Balak, king of the Moabites, had a problem: Israel was coming. Balak was probably a Baal worshiper. Numbers 22:41 tells how he viewed the uttermost part of Israel from the high place of Baal. So he did not know the One, True, Living God. Baal never answered Balak’s prayers, so he turned to a man: Balaam. The king noticed that whoever Balaam blessed was blessed, and whoever Balaam cursed was cursed. Balak told Balaam to curse Israel. Balak put his trust in a man. What’s wrong with that? Everybody needs to trust somebody sometime, right? I like the sign in a store I saw once. “In God we trust, all others pay cash!”

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…” (Romans 3:10)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)

You can’t trust a sinner, and even the best man is liable to mess up.

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” (Psalm 118:8)

Jesus even mentions Balaam in the New Testament…

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” (Revelation 2:14)

It appears that Balaam got into trouble with the Lord…

“And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand. And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.” (Numbers 31:6-8)

Today in America, those who don’t believe God are clinging to godless Socialism, which includes Fascism (Nazis) and Communism. And what do you get from godless Socialism? Lies, murders, schools teaching you are evolved from a glop of goo, and not made in the image of the Living God. In some states you can abort a baby anytime in the womb. Some states will even abort after the baby comes out of it’s mother.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2Timothy 3:1-5)

Don’t trust men.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8)

Peace.


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Guest Post by Justin Mears

Today’s Passage – Numbers 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 22 – 24; Proverbs 21; Psalms 106 – 110)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 121

Read the “0221 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

A passage in scripture in which a family of the Levites named Korah, is filled with pride and begins to question the authority of the leader, Moses. When push comes to shove, God allows the earth to swallow them up whole! You would think the conflict would end there, however the next morning the people awoke with the sin of Korahs original rebellion in their hearts. God’s wrath immediately pours out in the form of fire consuming the people. As Moses and Aaron sat before the tabernacle, Moses turns to Aaron and commands “get you up”, Moses proceeds to tell him to get a censer and light incense on it quickly to make atonement! As the scripture reads “Aaron stood between the dead and the living” and the fire ceased.

            As I read the passage I cannot help but see many correlations between Korah’s rebellion and exaltation over Moses and Lucifer’s rebellion and exaltation over God as seen in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:13-17. I also see that they both seem to be musically inclined, maybe even the leaders of praise. A number of the psalms, Korah seems to have a part in, such as Psalm 42-49,84,85,87,and 88.

Lucifer also seems to have had some part in the music as seen in Ezekiel 28, it mentions tabrets and pipes which gives the sense of musical instruments. They also are comparible in that they both were set apart for a specific duty wholly devoted to God, yet were filled with pride because of the position God gave them, and eventually were down cast down.

The story continues after this when a new day comes and the sons of man awake afresh and anew with the ability to live in harmony or give in to the temptation of eating the fruit of rebellion. They choose there fate and begin to murmur as a result of the disease passed on from the words of Korah. 

This then results in condemnation by fire because the wrath of God went out on the people in their sin. In this moment Moses and Aaron sit in a safe place apart from the chaos and sin of the camp. Much like God the Father sat in heaven with God the Son at his right hand. Moses then turns to Aaron the High priest like the Father turned to Jesus our High Priest and said “get you up”. He tells him to leave this place and make an atonement for them quickly! Aaron like Jesus went out and stood in the midst of the living and the dead and burnt a sweet smelling savour unto the Lord. Only Aaron’s sweet smelling savour was incense, While Jesus’ was himself. This appeased the wrath of God and Aaron heads back to Moses just as Jesus went back to his place by the Fathers right side because it was finished! 

What an amazing thought that we were in the same position. This gives us just another picture as to how great the grace of God was and is toward us! Praise the Lord!


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Cleaning House – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Numbers 5 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 7 – 9; Proverbs 16; Psalms 81 – 85)

Read the “0216 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the LORD spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.” (Numbers 5:1-4)

Good morning. God told Israel to remove every leper, every one that has an issue, and whoever is defiled by the dead from the camp. Why? That they defile not their camps where God dwells.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Corinthians 6:14-18)

It may seem unfair for a loving God to have these people removed from the camp, but God is not willing that any should perish. If their condition changed, they would be allowed back in camp. Leviticus chapters 13-14 instruct the priest and the leper in how to spot leprosy, and how to tell if it was cured. Chapter 14 explains what the leper must go through and the sacrifices that need to made for him to be pronounced clean. Leviticus chapter 15 explains about he who has an issue from his or her body. And Numbers chapter 19 gives instructions for anyone touching a dead body. The leper, the issuer, and the toucher all had a chance to come back into camp. What about us today. Where would we be?

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

We are no better than those outside the camp. In our natural state there is no way we can get into the camp, or in our case Heaven.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

You can try and clean your own house or body, but look what happens…

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

You may be able to clean up your act for a little while, but without Jesus, you’ll return to your old ways and the end result will be worse than at first. Without Jesus you can do nothing.

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1John 5:12-13)

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:46)

You can clean your house, or you can receive Jesus as your Saviour, and allow the Holy Spirit to clean your house from the inside to the outside. Not only that He will seal you and keep you until the day you enter into heaven. The choice is yours.

“And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:2-3)

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Peace.


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The Center of the Camp

Today’s Passage – Numbers 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 1 – 3; Proverbs 14; Psalms 71 – 75)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 51

Read the “0214 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.” – (Numbers 2:17)

In Numbers chapter 2, God gives us a description of what the camp of Israel looked like when they were not on the move. A careful reading of this chapter will reveal that the nation of Israel was divided into 13 different groups, which included 11 of the original 12 tribes; and also the two half-tribes of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim). These groups were all strategically placed around the tabernacle. Immediately surrounding the tent on all four sides was the tribe of Levi. They were placed there as closely as possible to the tabernacle because that was their place of service. They were the ministers and priests of the Lord. Beyond the Levites the remaining twelve tribes and half-tribes were positioned by threes in each direction. For instance, on the east side of the tabernacle, beyond the Levites, were the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon. There were also three tribes on the west, south, and north. The thought that I am trying to develop here, however, is that the tabernacle was in the very center of the congregation. The tabernacle was the place where God dwelt, between the cherubims on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. God, and His chosen place of worship was the very center of the lives of the people of Israel.

Now let’s fast forward a few thousands years to the time of the local church. I realize that today God dwells in the hearts of His children, but the local church is God’s chosen place for corporate worship, and it is the place where we are to be organized in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” – (1 Timothy 3:15)

God should still be at the center of our lives; and the local church should be at the center of the life of our family. I have been a pastor now for many years, and I have been involved in God’s work as a layman even longer. I have observed that the families who place a high value on the local church, recognizing it’s importance, tend to be stronger and happier than the families that do not. Don’t misunderstand, I do not think that the church has a higher priority than the home but I do believe that successful homes are built around a strong, Bible believing, New Testament church. The church’s role is critical to healthy marriages and to the spiritual development of our children.

Take a moment to consider the role that the local church plays in your life; and then consider the role that you play in your local church. We need to keep our local churches strong, and I believe that there are many ways that you can help:

1 Participate in the local church – attend the services and find something that you can do that will serve others. God has uniquely equipped you in certain areas that can be used in the local church.

2 Pray for your church and your pastors and leaders. The ministry can be very discouraging, but you can be an encouragement to the people that minister to you simply by lifting them up in prayer. It wouldn’t hurt for you to let them know on occassion that you are praying for them.

3 Support your church with your tithes and offerings. The work of God cannot go forward without the tithes of God’s people. When you don’t give you are telling God and the church that they have no place of value in your life. You can also support the church by not bashing it. Let people know where you stand. If you are for the ministry, speak out for it, and don’t let others run it down in your presence. Negativity and complaining are like cancers inside the church that will destroy it from within.

Is the local church important to you, or isn’t it? God says that it should be. Remember, He died for the church. It’s His body. He places a great value on it, and so should we.


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Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 13 – 14Proverbs 10Psalms 51 – 55)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 34:1 – 4

Read the “0210 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “What’s the Difference

“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18)

We read the commandment, “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” often in the Scriptures, especially in the New Testament where it appears seven times. Leviticus 19, however, is where this phrase appears first. The context surrounding verse 18, is replete with laws for Israel, many of which have to do with how the people of God treat one another.

In verses 9 and 10, God tells the people to make sure that they leave a little food for the poor:

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:9-10)

In verse 13, God warns them not to take advantage of people who work for them:

“Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.” (Leviticus 19:13)

God was very concerned that His people be different from other people who did not know Him. The principles that God gave in the Law were not given to put an unreasonable burden on the people, but rather were given to help them to live selfless, yet profitable and abundant lives. As long as God’s people continue to love Him, live for Him, as well as loving their neighbors, God abundantly blessed them.

Maybe this is why America is struggling so much today. We have long ago cast God and His Word aside, and, as a result, we have become a very selfish and materialistic nation. Perhaps, if we could learn to love God and our neighbors again, God would see fit to bless us once again.


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What Sin? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 11 – 12; Proverbs 9; Psalms 46 – 50)

Read the “0209 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.” (Leviticus 16:7-10)

“And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” (Leviticus 16:20-22)

Good morning. What an awesome picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. All the iniquities of the children of Israel were placed on the head of the scapegoat. The scapegoat was then taken into the wilderness and released, taking Israel’s sins with him. God did the same thing for us. In Isaiah chapter 53 we find the prophecy of the Suffering Servant (Jesus)…

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

The scapegoat took Israel’s sins into the wilderness, a place that was not inhabited. Where did Jesus take our sins?

“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19)

Jesus took our sins as far as the east is from west, and cast them into the depths of the sea. A place uninhabited where we cannot get at them. Here is the thing though, many times we carry this bucket around with us: a bucket of guilt, filled with unconfessed sin. For some it is a heavy burden because they carry not only unconfessed sin, but confessed sin that the refuse to forgive themselves of. This load can be extremely heavy for the Christian to carry, especially when he doesn’t have to…

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)

Instead of trying to carry such a heavy load, believe God, and give the bucket to Him. After you give them to Him, pray and ask Him what He did with your sin. His answer will be the same, “What sin?”

Peace.


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Chosen, Royal, Holy, and Peculiar

oday’s Passage – Leviticus 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 11 – 12Proverbs 9Psalms 46 – 50)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 25

Read the “0209 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this morning’s passage – “It’s Still in the Book“ and “There is a Fountain

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 18:2-5)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)


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Connecting the Old to the New

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 14 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 9 – 10Proverbs 8Psalms 41 – 45

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

Read a previous post from this passage – “Leprosy in the House

I thought it would be interesting this morning to connect the instruction of the Old Testament Law given through Moses to a New Testament passage that discusses the same topic.

“This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:” (Leviticus 14:2)

Leviticus 14 deals with the offering that was given to the priest by a leper if his leprosy was cleansed. In the New Testament, in Luke 5:12 – 15 , we read an account where Jesus healed a leper. There are a couple of interesting points from the passage in Luke that help us to better understand these Old Testament readings. First of all, we read in Luke that Jesus “put forth his hand and touched” the leper. Leviticus 13 tells us that lepers were forbidden to come into contact with anybody, but Jesus apparently was not afraid to get close to this needy man. A second observation from the passage in Luke’s gospel is that Jesus told the cleansed leper to not tell anybody what Jesus had done for him, but instead go to the priest and “offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded” in Leviticus 14. I am not sure that the man who was cleansed was obedient to the Lord in not telling everybody what Jesus had done, but he had to tell the priest. I am also fairly sure that the priest had never before seen someone healed who was “full of leprosy.” No doubt, even if the cleansed leper kept his mouth shut, the priest would tell many people of this miracle.

The second connection that I would like to point out this morning is from Leviticus 15 to Luke 8

“And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.” (Leviticus 15:25)

And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” – (Luke 8:43-48)

Notice in chapter 15 the instructions given regarding a woman who had “an issue of blood” that continued beyond the normal period. She was to be separated from everybody, and had to constantly wash everything she came in contact with. Notice the New Testament reference (above) of the woman that was healed by the Lord Jesus after having an issue of blood for twelve years. I am not sure if she strictly observed all of the rules mentioned in Leviticus involving her separation, but I am very sure that her disease was not only very debilitating physically, but also caused her a great deal of problems with her relationships with people. I am sure she was somewhat isolated from family and friends. Can you imagine finally being pronounced “clean” by the Lord Jesus Himself, after twelve long years. By the way, Jesus wasn’t troubled at all by the touch of this “unclean” woman. Sometimes we have to rub shoulders with people that are “unclean” in order to help them. Just a thought.


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Priest or Doctor

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 7 – 8Proverbs 7Psalms 36 – 40)

Read a previous post from this morning’s reading – Unclean

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 19

Read the “0207 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy.” (Leviticus 13:8)

I never really made this connection before I read this passage today, but the Old Testament priests had so many more responsibilities than just ministering spiritually to the people of God. As we can see from today’s reading, the priests were also the doctors for the congregation, and they also served as the Board of Health or Center for Disease Control (CDC).

In Leviticus 13, we read that the priest had the responsibility of diagnosing and distinguishing leprosy from other, less dangerous diseases. Leprosy is known today as Hansen’s disease and can be cured with a multi-drug therapy. In Bible days, however, it was slow and debilitating, and ultimately, a death sentence. It was also, in most forms, very contagious. The priest, while determining the condition would isolate and observe the patient until determination could be made. If leprosy was the final diagnosis, however, the patient would then be permanently separated, not only from the congregation, but also from his family. They would have to dwell outside the camp or city, and if anyone approached them, they were to cry out, “unclean, unclean.” It was up to the priest to make that determination. As far as I can see, the only mention of medicine or physicians other than the priests in the Old Testament was in Jeremiah:

“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jeremiah 8:22)

In Old Testament Israel, it was up to the priests to oversee the health of God’s people. Today, the pastor / preacher would certainly not be the primary choice for health needs, but the Bible still is a tremendous source of principles for healthy living, both in the spiritual and physical sense. A person can not be wholly healthy, unless they are spiritually well, and it is the preacher’s job to give out God’s prescription – the Word of God – in order to minister to God’s people.

By the way, the Old Testament priest was also the local butcher, and was an expert in the anatomy of the animals used for sacrifice. But, that is a subject for another blog article.


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Provision for the Poor

Today’s Passage –Leviticus 11 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 5 – 6; Proverbs 6; Psalms 31 – 35)

Read a previous post from this passage – Creeping Things

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read the “0206 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.” (Leviticus 11:2)

Our reading in Leviticus 11 records the dietary requirements for Israel. As I read this passage, I asked myself the question: why did God have all of these rules regarding eating? I am sure that there are many reasons, but one of them must be that God was concerned about the health of his people. The creatures that God permitted them to eat were healthier for them.

Leviticus 12 discusses the laws for women regarding purification after giving birth. If she had given birth to a boy, she would be separated from the rest of the congregation for a total of 41 days. For the birth of a baby girl, the time of her separation was even longer, totaling 80 days. Again, I am not sure as to why God required these specific numbers of days, but I think it provided the mother with a sufficient time for rest and recuperation, as well as a period of needed bonding with her child.

The thought that captured my attention from this passage, however, was the fact that God made provision for those that were poor among his people when it came time to offer their sacrifices for ceremonial cleansing after giving birth. Typically, a lamb was required along with a turtledove or pigeon; but for the poor, two turtledoves or two pigeons were all that was required:

“And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.” (Leviticus 12:8)

Mary and Joseph must have been pretty poor, because there is no mention of a lamb being offered at the time of Mary’s purification at the Temple:

“And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” (Luke 2:22-24)

It’s hard to believe that the God who owns all the silver and gold, and a cattle on a thousand hills, was born into poverty; but He was.

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

God did not demand unreasonable expectations on the poor. Even the system of tithing was not unreasonable. Both rich and poor were to give a percentage, and percentages are fair to everyone.

God loves all people, the rich as well as the poor, and God does not want the poor to be neglected as far as ministry is concerned; nor does He want them to be excluded from participation in worship. The New Testament church opens its doors wide to everyone:

“My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2:1-5)


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Real Men Don’t Read The Instructions? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Exodus 39 – 40 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 21 – 22; Proverbs 2; Psalms 11 – 15)

Read the “0202 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.” (Exodus 40:35-38)

Good morning. At the end of the passage here, God gives Israel a simple command: if there is a cloud over the Tabernacle, camp. If the cloud was taken up, Israel was to break camp and journey on. And they did. Our God is a God of perfect timing. One who knows what we need and when we need it. It’s just simple obedience. But what happens if we don’t obey, or do things our own way. Take for example when God gave Israel manna to eat…

“And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” (Exodus 16:15-30)

They got all the food and the rest they needed, when they needed it: in God’s perfect timing. Even when God led His people, Israel, into the promised land.

“Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.” (Joshua 6:1-5)

“So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.” (Joshua 6:20-21)

“So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.” (Joshua 6:27)

The LORD was with Joshua. Dr Jack Hyles is quoted as saying…

“If I labor for God, I fail. If I labor with God, I succeed.” (Dr Jack Hyles)

Then there was Gibeon…

“And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth. Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them. And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them. And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them. And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us? Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.” (Joshua 9:3-23)

God has His instructions. Joshua should have asked God first.

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy 3:15-17)

God gave us a book of instructions: instructions for whatever life throws at us. Real men read the instructions.

Peace.


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The Ten Commandments Are Not Suggestions – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Exodus 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 7 – 8; Proverbs 26; Psalms 126 – 130)

Read the “0126 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:1-3)

Good morning. God is giving Moses the Ten Commandments to give to His people: Israel. They are Ten Commandments, not suggestions. The government took them out of the schools, out of their office buildings, but that’s what godless socialism does: it elevates the state, not God. So now you have kids killing kids. Kids killing teachers, and a total disrespect for authority. America, you reap what you sow. Number one…

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)

When we put ourselves first, we become our own god.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)

Number two…

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:4-6)

“Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Psalm 115:2-8)

I see them in people’s yards. I see them every time I drive by the Hindu Temple. I see them on TV and hear them on the radio. How we can bow down to them, I don’t understand, especially in light of what Psalm 115 says. Many children and adults will bow an ear to hear what their favorite entertainer has to say about the leadership of America. They follow their idols blindly and believe what they say. Jesus said…

“Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)

Number three…

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)

OMG. What can I say about this one? How many times have you used those three letters in your texting today? Or have you ever heard anyone hit their finger with a hammer and cry out $@#&!!!!! Buddha? No? That’s because Jesus Christ is the LORD.

“And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.” (1Kings 18:26-29)

Number four…

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8)

“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:9-11)

Many stores are open on Sunday in search of the almighty dollar. Many of their employees have to work and miss church, but some choose to. Why? Do they need extra money? Are the bill collectors knocking at the door? Is money tight? If you’re not there, how can you tithe?

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:8-12)

Number five…

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

Many times, while in a grocery store, I see children giving their parents a hard time. I would love to go over to the parent and volunteer to beat his butt for them. They need that. It shows them you love them.

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)

Or you can take the Deuteronomy chapter 21 approach…

“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

Number six…

“Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13)

This is a very famous photo taken during the Vietnam War. When it was published, the photo disgusted many people. I wonder if those same people are disgusted with the drive-by shootings, and all the other murderous activities happening today? Speaking of murder, the Socialist State of New York just passed a law allowing the abortion of a living baby from conception to partial birth.

“Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:1-2)

Number seven…

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

Porn shops, adult book stores, x-rated movie houses, bordellos: there is at least one in every city across the country. One is too many. Catering to the lust of the people, they down-grade women to sex slaves instead of people. TV pushes it. Music pushes it. Movies push it. Sex sells. Is it any wonder that adultery is rampant today? Jesus said…

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Number eight…

“Thou shalt not steal.” (Exodus 20:15)

A burglar trying to get into a house by the backdoor

In 2017 there were almost 300,000 robberies committed. That’s over 800 per day, every day of the year.

Number nine…

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” (Exodus 20:16)

When you bear false witness, you become a liar. Hitler believed in and practiced the Big Lie: if you tell a lie often enough, the people will believe it as truth.

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5:33-37)

Number ten…

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Exodus 2017)

I have a 2007 Ford F150 pickup. Why anyone would want it is beyond me. Did you know that when the hanger bearing on the drive shaft goes, the whole drive shaft needs to be replaced as a module? You look at your own stuff and see the problems you have. You look at your neighbor’s stuff and say I wish I had that. You have no idea of the problems your neighbor is having with it.

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:12-15)

These are God’s Ten Commandments. They are not suggestions. They were made by God to help you see that you can not keep them all. And if you are guilty of breaking one, you are guilty of breaking them all. The Commandments tell you that you need a Saviour. John said when he introduced Jesus…

“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)

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Peace!


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Now Do I Have Your Attention?

Today’s Passage – Exodus 10 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 1 – 2; Proverbs 23; Psalms 111 – 115)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Isaiah 40:31

Read the “0123 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage in Exodus – “Your Free To Go” and “What Can Wash Away My Sin?

“And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.” – (Exodus 12:30-33)

Flies, frogs, locusts, darkness, hail. All of these and more sent by the hand of God in order that the Egyptians, as well as the Israelites, would know that there is an awesome and powerful God in Heaven. God’s command to the king of Egypt was simple: “let my people go”. However, Pharaoh was not too willing to heed the request of God. He seemed to be more willing to endure all of the plagues that God was sending his way. That is, all until his first born son was taken from him at the hand of God. God finally got his attention. He was finally ready to yield his stubborn will to the will of God.

There was a lot to think about in the passages of Scripture that we read this morning and I understand that there are deeper theological truths behind the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart, but I couldn’t get past the thought that sometimes God has to allow some especially painful things in our lives in order to get our attention. We are sometimes like that hard clay that the potter must soften before he can use it. I’m just wondering this morning, is there something that the Lord has been trying to do in your life that you have been resisting. Have you hardened yourself to the point where, in order for God to accomplish His will, He will have to break you. What will God have to do to get your attention?  I suppose this thought applies just as much to the Christian that is fighting against God’s perfect will as it does to the lost person that is resisting salvation. Whichever your case is, the remedy is the same. Soften your heart, and yield to God’s will. Is there some sin that you are holding on to? God will do what He has to do in order to get you to repent of it and forsake it. Whatever it takes, God will accomplish His will for your life. You cannot win in a battle with God.


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Even A Child Is Known By His Doings – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Genesis 48 – 50 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 9 – 10; Proverbs 19; Psalms 91 – 95)

Read the “0119 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.” (Genesis 49:1-2)

Good morning. In Proverbs 20, the Bible says…

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (Proverbs 20:11)

Jacob was about to tell his sons what would happen to them in the last days. The works that they did before their fathers gave Israel a good indication as to what would happen to them in the future.

“Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Genesis 49:3-7)

Then he come to Judah…

“Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Genesis 49:8-10)

Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah…

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Revelation 5:1-5)

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Revelation 5:9-14)

Judah would excel and bring forth the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Jesus is worthy. Why? Not because He was a good kid, did what was right, and never sinned. Why? Because He is God, and gave Himself sacrifice for us…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

Peace.


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Give God the Glory

Today’s Passage – Genesis 41 – 42 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 3 – 4; Proverbs 16; Psalms 76 – 80

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32

Read a previous post from this passage – “In His Time

Read the “0116 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” (Genesis 41:16)

In chapter 41 of Genesis, we hear about Pharaoh’s dreams of the corn and the kine. He know that these dreams mean something, but he has no clue what the significance of them is. He learns that there is a man named Joseph down in the dungeon that has been known to interpret dreams for other people. Joseph is hastily summoned to appear before Pharaoh, and Pharaoh questions Joseph about “Joseph’s: ability to explain the meaning of these of these dreams. Joseph is very quick to deflect the focus from himself to the Lord. He doesn’t take any credit for his gift but immediately gives the glory to God. In fact, five times in Joseph’s discussion with Pharaoh Joseph mentions God to Pharaoh. (vs. 16, 25, 28, and 32) Pharaoh gets the message also, because in vs. 38 and 39, he acknowledges that the interpretation of the dream can from God also:

“And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:” (Genesis 41:38-39)

This heathen king was introduced to the God of the Universe all because Joseph took an opportunity to use a gift that was given to him by God and acknowledge the fact that it was God who enabled him to do it. 

How many opportunities do we get each day to display our God-given abilities to the lost world around us? But, when we do a good job and we are recognized, do we give God the glory by letting everybody know that it is God who is working through us. Let’s not steal God’s glory, and let’s not waste opportunities to be witnesses for the Lord. Our sole purpose in life is to make God look good; to glorify Him in front of a lost and dying world. If we meet Pharaoh in Heaven someday, it will be because Joseph made God look good. How many people do we point to God?

By the way, the opposite of this story is also true. When we do wrong things in front of the lost people around us, we are making God look bad. What an awesome responsibility and privilege we have to represent the Lord in this world. Let’s be sure to give Him the glory when we get things right, and take the blame when we do things wrong. Let’s make God look good to the world around us.


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Still A Liar – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passages – Genesis 31 – 32(Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 23 – 24; Proverbs 12; Psalms 56 – 60)

Read the “0112 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.” (Genesis 32:1-20)

Good morning. Jacob was getting ready to meet his brother Esau. After taking Esau’s blessing and birthright, Jacob was afraid of what Esau might do. But God made this promise to Jacob…

“And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.” (Genesis 31:3)

Jacob had this promise from God. By obeying God and returning to homeland, Jacob was in the center of God’s will. And, as the Bible says in Romans 8…

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Mahanaim means double camp. Jacob could have been referring to himself as one camp, and a company of 100 to 200 angels he saw as the other camp. Or he may have saw 2 companies (200 to 400) angels. Even though God let Jacob know He was there with him, Jacob still feared his brother.

“Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.” (Genesis 32:7-8)

So, what happened?

And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves. And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself. And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it. And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord. So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.” (Genesis 33:1-17)

Jacob lied to Esau? But didn’t the second milers read today in Proverbs chapter 12…

“The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” (Proverbs 12:19)

And

“Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” (Proverbs 12:22)

Jacob was human just like the rest of us. He sins just like the rest of us. But God is true to His Word. He delivered Jacob from his brother Esau. There is nothing about this lie bothering Jacob. When Moses was leading Israel out of Egypt, Edom (Esau’s country) would not let Israel pass their boarder on the king’s highway. It makes me wonder what would have happened here if Israel did not lie to Esau and met him at Seir. Maybe the Edomites would have trusted them, and allowed them to pass through the land. When we lie, it’s because we are not trusting God to take care of us: we don’t want to take the responsibility for what we’ve done. Jesus said…

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

If you told anything but the truth, you told a lie. It doesn’t matter if it is a little white lie, or a great BIG lie, it’s still a lie. That would make you a liar, and headed for that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. But…

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:8-11)

God showed us His love by diing on a cross, shedding His precious blood for our sins. Before it’s too late, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, call on Him to be your personal Saviour.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Peace.


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I Am With Thee

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 27 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 19 – 20; Proverbs 10; Psalms 46 – 50)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

Read the “0110 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “The House of God” and “Savory Meat

“And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” (Genesis 28:13-15)

In today’s passage we read about Jacob fleeing from his brother Esau into the land of Mesopotamia (Padanaram) where he will live for twenty years with his Uncle Laban. Along the way he stops at a place that he would later Bethel, which means “house of God”. There the God of his grandfather Abraham meets with him personally for the first time, and there God will confirm His covenant with Jacob. God now makes the same three promises to Jacob that He originally made to Abraham back in chapters 12 and 15. The covenant includes:

Provision of Land (v 13)

Progeny (Children – v 14)

Protection and Prosperity (v 15)

My thought this morning surrounds the phrase, “I am with thee”. Jacob had certainly done nothing to deserve God’s presence in his life. His history thus far has only demonstrated that he was a deceiver. Yet, God promises to bless him and go with him. God can do what He wants to do, and He sees what we cannot see. He sees beyond the mistakes that we have made in our past. He sees what we will be, what He will mold us to be. God made the very same promise to Isaac back in Genesis 26:24. God would later repeat the phrase several times in regard to the entire nation of Israel. The only other time the exact statement is made is in the New Testament to the Apostle Paul. (Acts 18:10)

What an awesome privilege it is to have God’s presence with us. He indwells the believer today with His presence:

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17)

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13)

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

As you go through your day today, go with the assurance that the same God that was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so many years ago is also with you. He will “never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)


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Praying for Clear Direction

Today’s Passage – Genesis 23 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 15 – 16; Proverbs 8; Psalms 36 – 40)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 34:6

Read the “0108 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage – “The Bride of Christ” and “Taker or Giver

“And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. … And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master. … And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” (Genesis 24:12, 14, 27)

Genesis 24 is an awesome portion of Scripture, especially from a theological perspective. I have previously done devotions discussing some of the many types or pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ found in this chapter. (See “The Bride of Christ“) This morning, however, I would like to discuss how God guided Abraham’s servant to the perfect will of God regarding Isaac’s bride, Rebekah.

Abraham’s servant was given the awesome responsibility of finding the bride for Abraham’s son, Isaac. He obviously wanted to find the right one. We would all agree that one of the most important decisions in life is choosing the right spouse. The servant did not want to mess this up, so he prays and asks God to guide him to the right girl. He is very specific in his prayer request. He does not want there to be any doubt at all about the matter. The servants prayer here reminds me of Gideon’s “fleece prayer” in Judges 6:36 – 40:

“And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.” (Judges 6:36-40)

Gideon also wanted to be perfectly sure, without any doubt whatsoever, that he was doing exactly what God wanted him to do.

It is important to note that in both of these examples, God wanted the men to be sure about His will also. I do not believe that God wants us to wonder about His will. He wants us to be sure that we are where we are supposed to be, doing exactly what He wants us to do. Too many of us jump ahead of God’s will before He shows it to us.

Notice also from this passage that when God answered the servants prayer regarding His perfect will, it strengthened the servant’s faith and caused him to worship his God:

“And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son.” (Genesis 24:48)

Years ago, I asked the Lord to reveal His will for my life regarding where I should serve Him after Bible College. God answered my prayer so specifically and miraculously that I have never since doubted that I am exactly where God wants me to be. When problems arise and I am tempted to quit, I go back in my mind, remembering the way God answered my prayer, and it keeps me from straying out of God’s will. I figure if God miraculously revealed to me that Jersey Shore Baptist Church was where He wanted me to be, then He will also have to do something just as miraculous to tell me that it’s time to leave.

One final, important point regarding this passage is that the way that God miraculously answered the servants prayer convinced everybody else that Rebekah was the will of God for Abraham’s son. Notice in v. 50:

“Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.” (Genesis 24:50)

Folks, I believe that God still answers these prayers regarding His perfect will for our lives. Before you make any major decisions, why not ask God to clearly direct you in His will and show you exactly what He wants you to do.

 


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The Whole Truth

Today’s Passage – Genesis 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 13 – 14; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7

Read the “0107 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage: God Will Provide Himself a Lamb

In Genesis twenty, we read that Abraham was up to his old tricks again, and not delivering the complete truth; this time to Abimelech, regarding his wife, Sarah. He told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister, which was technically true; she was the half-sister of Abraham, being the daughter of his father, but not his mother. If Abraham was to tell the whole truth, however, he would have had to declare that Sarah was his wife.

The reason that Abraham left out this important little nugget of truth to Abimelech here in chapter twenty, and to Pharaoh, previously in chapter twelve, was because he was afraid that these men would kill him in order to take his wife. This was certainly possible as these men were godless men who were both capable and willing to do whatever they pleased. However, Abraham should have trusted God. In both of these instances God protected Abraham and Sarah anyway, even though he had lied. In both of these instances, God also warned the men not to sin against Him by taking Sarah as their wife.

What is is about us, about our fallen, human nature, that we are prone to dance around the truth, either by outright lying, or by leaving out pertinent information? Is it because we, like Abraham, are afraid that we cannot trust God with the possible consequences of the whole truth? Even if there are real, potential negative consequences associated with telling the whole truth, are we not better off still declaring it. We need to trust God with the outcome. Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


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Don’t Look Back

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 17 – 19 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 11 – 12; Proverbs 6; Psalms 26 – 30

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 25

Read the “0106 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage –“Abraham Did a Little Walking With God, Too” and “The Prayer of a Friend”

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Genesis 19:26)

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Our passage today contains the familiar story of the deliverance of Lot and his family from the city of Sodom just before God destroyed it. After they had travelled a good distance away from the city, Lot’s wife looked back at the destruction, and God turned her into a pillar of salt. I have done a little thinking through the years as to why Lot’s wife had turned her head back to gaze upon the life she was leaving behind. Though there may be many reasons, I have concluded that three possible explanations are these:

1  She had people that she loved that were still back in Sodom.

2  Everything that she knew was behind her, and the future was unknown.

3  There was a lot about Sodom that she really enjoyed. Like the Israelites who left the bondage of Egypt who lusted after the leeks, onions, and garlic that they used to enjoy on the other side of the Red Sea, Lot’s wife was definitely going to miss some of the old life.

Have you made the spiritual connection here from this passage to what a believer goes through after being saved? Sodom represents our old life. Our old life contained people we loved who choose not to enter into the journey of salvation with us; at least not yet. We love them, and we long for them to be a part of our new family of faith with us. We also remember some things that we used to do before our salvation that we really enjoyed, and we reluctantly give them up because they are not what God would have for us today.

God wants us to move forward by faith, leaving behind the old man, and the old way of life; and though the future has not been completely revealed, we know that God wants to give us a far more abundant, joyful, and fulfilling life than anything we had before.

As God brings us forward down the road of faith, let us enjoy the ride as much as we will someday enjoy the destination. And don’t look back. Looking back is the first step toward going back. You cannot possibly enjoy the journey that God has set before you if you are constantly looking back at what used to be.


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He Pitched His Tent Towards Sodom – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passages – Genesis 13 – 16 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 9 – 10; Proverbs 5; Psalms 21 – 25)

Read the “0105 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” (Genesis 13:12-13)

Good morning. This passage from Genesis chapter 13 marks the downfall of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. He would move into a city of exceeding wickedness. He would loose his wife. He would father a child by each of his two daughters. He would loose everything he had.

“And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” (Genesis 13:7-13)

The beautiful picture of Christ’s love for His church has been trampled upon by thirty-seven states. There are still 13 states that proclaim that marriage is only between a man and a woman. But how long will this thirteen last? The perverted, lustful union between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman is an abomination to the Lord.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.” (Leviticus 18:22-23)

America is getting ready to puke. The truth about Homosexuality is found in Romans chapter 1…

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:18-32)

But there is hope. You see all sins can be forgiven. The sin of sodomy is just as bad as the sin of over eating, murder, or telling a lie. All sin condemns a person to death.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Jesus loves the Homosexual. He shed His precious blood to forgive the sin of Homosexuality as well as any other sin you can think of. If you are trapped in this ‘lifestyle’, you can be set free. That’s why Jesus came: to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). And…

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (1Corithians 5:17)

Peace!


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The Land Belongs to Israel

Today’s Passage – Genesis 10 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 7 – 8; Proverbs 4; Psalms 16 – 20)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89:1

Read the 0104 Evening and Morning devotion for today by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “Don’t Move Unless God Moves You“ and “The Beginning of Globalism”

“And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.” (Genesis 12:6-7)

But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” (Genesis 17:21)

“And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.” (Exodus 6:8)

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:” (Exodus 33:1)

“Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Leviticus 26:42)

Biblically, there is no disputing the fact that God gave the land of Canaan to Abraham, and through Abraham to Isaac, and through Isaac to Jacob (or Israel), and through Jacob to his twelve sons, the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. There is also no disputing of the fact that there have been other people groups living within the borders of Israel throughout its history, whatever those geographic boundaries may have been at any particular point in time. According to Genesis twelve, when God gave the land to Abraham, there were Canaanites already there. But that does not change the fact that, according to the Bible, that God gave the land to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his sons. You may argue that the Bible is irrelevant or even incorrect, but you cannot argue that the Bible does not teach that the rightful owners of Canaan / Palestine / Israel, or whatever you wish to call it, are the Jewish people. By the way, I wholeheartedly believe the Bible.

The question is this: will you follow the teachings of Scripture and side with Israel regarding their land, or will you take the position as many in the world are doing that the Jewish people have no claim, or possibly, just a partial claim to the land?

Another question you may ask yourself is: if the Jews do have sovereign right to the Land of Israel as the Bible teaches, do they then have the right to choose their own capitol? I contend that they do have the obligation to recognize God’s choice of Jerusalem as the Capitol of the Jewish People and someday, according to the Bible, the Capitol of the entire world:

“Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.” (Zechariah 8:3)

“Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:5-6)

“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16)

I wholeheartedly support President Trumps recent recognition of Israel’s sovereignty, and his decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem. I believe that he is in complete agreement with the Bible regarding the Jewish people and their right to choose the capitol of their own land. I also believe the president’s decision will be a great source of blessing to American people:

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

I am thrilled that America has chosen to bless the Jewish people and the Nation of Israel.

 

 

 

 


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The Law of First Mention Regarding Wine

Today’s Passage – Genesis 7 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 5 – 6; Proverbs 3 ; Psalms 11 – 15

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read the “0103 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage – “It Doesn’t Take Long, Does It?“; “A Token“; and “Too Old To Do Something for the Lord?”

“And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.” (Genesis 9:20-21)

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18)

“A bishop then must be blameless, … Not given to wine” (1 Timothy 3:2-3)

There is a principle of hermeneutics, which has to do with Biblical interpretation, called the law of first mention. According to this law, if we want to find out the correct meaning or use of a word, phrase, or doctrine, we should go to the first time that it is used in the Bible. In Genesis 9:21, we see the first recorded use of the word “wine”. Noah planted a vineyard and drank of the wine, and became drunk, which ultimately led to him passing out naked in his tent. His son, Ham, then went into the tent and saw his naked father, and apparently went out and told his brothers, instead of just covering his father. Some theologians have stated that Ham did more than just look at his father, but the Scripture does not say that he “uncovered” his father’s nakedness, just that he “saw” it. (See Leviticus 18) Seeing his father in that condition without covering him, and then reporting it to others was considered horribly disrespectful and when Noah found out about it, he was very angry with his son. Perhaps his anger toward Ham was justified but he also should have been very upset with himself for getting drunk in the first place.

Later on in the Book of Genesis, we see the third use of the word “wine” in the Scriptures. (Genesis 19:30. 36) This time, it is Abraham’s nephew Lot that gets drunk and he ends up sleeping with both of his daughters. Drunkenness is often associated with loose morals:

“Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.” (Proverbs 23:33)

Though I will not make the argument that every time somebody drinks wine in the Bible a sin is being committed, I can state confidently that drunkenness is clearly sin; and, you can’t get drunk if you stay away from alcohol. By the way, the wine that is being sold today, would probably have been considered “strong drink” in Bible days. So many problems are caused from alcohol consumption. In a recent study that I was doing on the Book of Habakkuk, I came across some research on the problems that alcohol consumption has caused in America:

According to The Centers for Disease Control, there were 88,000 alcohol related deaths in the United States, making it the number three cause of preventable cause of death in the United States. One third of all traffic fatalities (9,967 in 2014) were alcohol related.[1]

  • 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.[2]
  • 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.[3]
  • 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.[4]

Christians, we need to just separate ourselves from drinking alcohol. Though we have liberty in Christ, we have the responsibility, or I should say the privilege, of shining the light of His gospel. Let us not dim that light by dulling our senses with alcohol or drugs.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI). Average for United States 2006–2010 Alcohol-Attributable Deaths Due to Excessive Alcohol Use. Available at: https://nccd.cdc.gov/DPH_ARDI/Default/Report.aspx?T=AAM&P=f6d7eda7-036e-4553-9968-9b17ffad620e&R=d7a9b303-48e9-4440-bf47-070a4827e1fd&M=8E1C5233-5640-4EE8-9247-1ECA7DA325B9&F=&D=

[2] Hingson, R.W.; Zha, W.; and Weitzman, E.R. Magnitude of and trends in alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 18–24, 1998–2005. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (Suppl. 16):12–20, 2009. PMID: 19538908

[3] Hingson, R.; Heeren, T.; Winter, M.; et al. Magnitude of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 18–24: Changes from 1998 to 2001. Annual Review of Public Health 26:259–279, 2005. PMID: 15760289

 [4] ibid.


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