Sunday, May 25, 2008

God's command, then and now

God's command, then and now
Josh 1:9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

First we know if God commands something, that it is his will. Who is he commanding? In this verse it applied to Joshua going into enemy territory to battle the enemy and to take an inheritance. The inheritance was place for himself and his people. Jesus has already fought the battle for our inheritance, a spiritual dwelling place. Now with the inheritance secured by faith we are still commanded to go forth into the world, this time with the message of hope and salvation. There is still a battle , this time for the souls of those lost. We will encounter the enemies of God, who will say things to kill our faith, but we hear the Good Shepherd say...
Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Go ye and teach, baptize; teach them my commands, (fear not), I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Jesus said amen to this, He will be with us in the Holy Spirit, fear not what is coming in this world. Trouble is coming to the nations, false teachings; go ye and teach them the truth, the commands of Jesus.

Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
What the LORD spoke to Joshua concerning facing the worldly battles, we hear from Jesus. Go Ye, I will be with you all the way to the end. Then what? Then he comes for us, either by the rapture or by our death, or sleep.
1 Cor 15:51  Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1 Cor 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Cor 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Cor 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1 Cor 15:55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1 Cor 15:56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1 Cor 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Another Command for us: be stedfast, being strong in faith, used as a military term: to have a solid front. This is necessary when facing an enemy.
James 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
James 4:5  Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
James 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
James 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
From these verses, we see that our faith requires that we not have friendship with the evil things of the world, or those who would draw us to them.
be unmovable, be not moved
Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

In this, we see we are to be built up in faith through the gifts of the five-fold ministries: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. How should we go forth? We are all commanded to teach, we should no the way of salvation and each has a personal testimony. Walk in your Spiritual gift(s). See 1Cor 12 and Romans 12, for listings of gifts.
always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
abounding, to increase to overflowing, let God's Spirit it work through you, overflowing as rivers of living water. The source is through drinking of the Living Word.
John 7:37  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
John 7:38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly
shall flow rivers of living water.
Col 2:5  For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
Col 2:6  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Heb 4:10  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Heb 4:11  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (As the children of Israel in the wilderness)
Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Heb 4:13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Our labour is not in the flesh, but by the Spirit of God, through Jesus Christ and our powerful message is the word of God.
Rom 1:14  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
Rom 1:15  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Go ye forth, be strong in God's Spirit for Jesus goes with you. Be not afraid of their faces.
Jer 1:5  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.
Jer 1:6  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
Jer 1:7  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
Jer 1:8  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
Jer 1:9  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
Jer 1:10  See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
I am with you always
John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:2  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
John 14:25  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
John 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Dinah - Genesis 34

Gen 34:1  And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
Gen 34:2  And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
Defile: He had sexual relations with her. Dinah wanted girl friends from the world, that's what the verse says. It doesn't say that she was looking for a boyfriend. Jacob had settled at Schechem instead of with his Father's people, now trouble has come. We are to seek God's will about places we move to. Jacob had settled in a place not of God's choosing. Dinah was out in the city alone and was molested.

Gen 34:3  And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
Rape is a violent act, not followed by commitment. When David's son Amnon forced his half sister Tamar, there was no love or comitment following.
2 Sam 13:14  Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.
2 Sam 13:15  Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.

Gen 34:4  And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
He wanted to marry Dinah. It was a soulish love Shechem had for Dinah, not a spiritual or godly love. He loved her for what she could be and give to him, not for what he could be and give to her. His heart is shown in the words get me this young woman as a wife. It was a soulish "get me" kind of love. This is the kind of love that many have in the world. God's love is sacrificial, caring more about the other. Lust love, seeks personal pleasure.
Gen 34:5  And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
Gen 34:6  And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
Gen 34:7  And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
There is no outrage or action taken by Jacob, he is passive about this incident. The sons are grieved and angry. Perhaps they were feeling the rejection of Dinah and their own rejection, because Jacob only seemed to care about Rachel and her offspring. Anger seeks an outlet and two of the sons of Leah would seek to avenge their sister.

Gen 34:8  And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
Gen 34:9  And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
Gen 34:10  And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
Gen 34:11  And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
Gen 34:12  Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
Jacob and Hamor seem to come to an agreement, marriage a dowrey and gift, as well as intermixing the tribes. This would destroy the separated lineage of the Messiah to come. The promise through Abrahan, Isaac and Israel, was to a chosen and separated people. A people that would receive and share the will of God. When God's people mix with the world, the message of God and the witness of God is compromised. As bad as the defiling of Dinah was, it would be even more defiling of the uniqueness of God's covenant people. God would call this spiritual adultery.
Jer 3:6  The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
Jer 3:7  And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
Jer 3:8  And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
Jer 3:9  And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
(Stones, like crystals and stocks, worship of trees.)

Jer 3:10  And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.
Jer 3:11  And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
Jer 3:12  Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.
We are God's people and are not to compromise with the world. We are not to tolerate and be in agreement with those who practice spiritual adultery.

Gen 34:13  And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
Gen 34:14  And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
Gen 34:15  But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
Gen 34:16  Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
They were indeed sons of the old Jacob, the deceiver, for they had another sinister plan.

Gen 34:17  But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
It was the sons of Jacob who took leadership, not Jacob. They should have left the land at this time. Circumcision was a sign between God and Israel of the covenant. It was also a sign of a clean heart.
1 Cor 7:19  Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Phil 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
They were defiling God's covenant sign, by having the gentiles who they despised to be circumcised, not for righteousness, but for lust, anger, vengence and murder.

Gen 34:18  And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
Gen 34:19  And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
Gen 34:20  And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,
Gen 34:21  These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.
Gen 34:22  Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
Gen 34:23  Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
Gen 34:24  And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
All the men agreed, so they could takle their wives and their cattle, substance and every beast, for their own. The agreed for promises of wealth and gain. What does the devil tempt us with? Probably similar things, wealth is power.

Gen 34:25  And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
Simeon and Levi, showed that they were wicked and heart hearted. Using the holy sign of the covenant to weaken a people and then to destroy them.This was not God's plan, yet neither was it's God's will to intermarry with this heathen nation. It seems evil now, but later God ordered nations to be slain because of their evil and commanded Israel to not marry the pagan women.
Exo 23:27  I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.

Gen 34:26  And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
Gen 34:27  The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
Gen 34:28  They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
Gen 34:29  And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
The son's of Jacob rescued Dinah, killed all of the men and took the wealth of the city, including the women and children.

Gen 34:30  And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.
Me, me, me, I,I, Jacob was onlyconcerned with himself it would seem. His reputation was destroyed and he feared the surrounding nations.

Gen 34:31  And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?
They responded, that Dinah was not to be sold, as a harlot. They would look out for their own, because they saw no leadership or love from their father. Jacob would prophesy of these two sons when he was about to die.
Gen 49:5  Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
Gen 49:6  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.
Gen 49:7  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.
The tribe of Simeon because of unfaithfulness would be scattered and joined with Judah. The tribe of Simeon would not own land, but be scattered as servants of the priests and a blessing to the people of Jacob.
The break down of the family started long ago. Malachi propesied about this:
Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
In Messiah Jesus, there is restoration of families and relationships.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

No escape - Isa 30

No escape

Isa 30:15  For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
Isa 30:16  But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.

Trusting in your own might and strength will fail. No horse, no car, no jet can keep you safe from your enemies if you are separated from God. We must see that all things are spiritual. The just shall live by faith.

Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Knowing to do good will not save you.

Rom 14:23 ...for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

The unbelievers and rebels go down to destruction.

Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
Luke 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Isa 30:17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

The LORD had promised that Israel would prevail if they followed him and obeyed him.

Lev 26:6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
Lev 26:7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

Those ofGod's people who rebel, shall flee from their enemies. They were to rest in the their LORD and be saved, instead they ran and were filled with fear. One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill. How sad, for the LORD's people should be the strong ones. For in truth if they had of trusted the LORD, these things would be turned around.

At the time of the exodus from Egypt, the people of God were told to go into the promised land, but they had no faith, they were afraid. Afterwards the door was shut to this generation.

Num 14:40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.
Num 14:41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.
Num 14:42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.
Num 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.

Will the door be shut to our generation of rebels? The door is Jesus, it requires faith to enter the gateway to God.

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

If we are to be protected we must have God with us. We must obey him, go through the door and do what he says. If we are his people and trust in him, then we are as those in Psalms 91.

Psa 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Psa 91:6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Psa 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Psa 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Psa 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

Do we see this? We must live by faith in Jesus and be close to God. We must follow him and obey him and wait quietly upon him. If we trust in anything else it is rebellion. Will you be as the one who sends a thousand to flee? Or will you be in the thousand running from God and the enemies will come after you? I will trust the LORD and stay close to him for he is my strength and my shield. In him I have perfect love and peace.

1 Cor 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
1 Cor 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Rebellious people - Isa 30

A Rebellious people

Isa 30:8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

Listen and write this in a book for now and forevermore. For this rebellious prople of Israel and Judah and for all who were in a covenant relationship with me.

Isa 30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

God sees the hearts: a rebellious people, his children are lying, and listen to liars and will not hear the word of the LORD.

Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

They will not hear God's word, as in the Christian chats, but they will go to false seers and psychics to hear a good word about themselves. We are to continue in the word, warning them and encouraging them to stay in God's whole word of truth.

2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2 Tim 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2 Tim 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2 Tim 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

As in our nation, founded under God, they want no part of him, because they are a wicked selfish people. They look to eastern mystics and new age fantasies and claim a Jesus of their convenience, who does not die for their sins, for they think they are good and that Jesus dwells within.

Isa 30:11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
Isa 30:12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

They trusted more in corrupt Egypt, then in the LORD God.

Isa 30:13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

Destruction will come suddenly, as a mighty dam that breaks. Jeremiah continues the warning.

Jer 6:13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
Jer 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
Jer 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Isa 30:14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

The potter who made the vessel, can also break the vessel. A sherd is a clay vessel.

Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

They would have been saved in quietness, in waiting upon the LORD, being confident in Him. That is so true, in the midst of danger and fear, we have the peace of God. We prepare for the battle, and trust in the LORD. Unfortunately, they would not. They were a rebellious people as many are today. Nothing has changed, our confidence is in waiting upon the Lord.

Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Meeting Esau, finding grace - Gen 33

Meeting Esau, finding grace

Gen 33:1 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.
Gen 33:2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.

He put them in the order of importance to him. I am glad that man's ideas of worth are not God's thoughts. He looks upon the heart, not appearances.

Gen 33:3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

Out of respect and submission he bows seven times, perhaps more a formality then a heartfelt submission. Seven is the fulness, so he wanted to do all that would be required of him to gain acceptance from his brother.

Gen 33:4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.

Wow, God had been working in his heart too. Esau had sworn that he would kill Jacob. This was their first meeting after twenty years and Jacob was prepared for the worst. Instead, God blessed them for there was grace and forgiveness, the two important qualities that God expects from us. This is close to the story of the prodigal son.

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luke 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Luke 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Our Father God loves us and wants us to be restored. We are to give out what we have received: love, grace and forgiveness. This comes when we humble ourselves and trust him. The greater giving grace to the lesser. Jacob actually was the greater in position, having tricked his fatherfor the blessing:

Gen 27:29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

He submitted to his brother in a desire for restoration. Jesus spoke of the greatest, being the servant of all.

Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. These were old testament types of grace and forgiveness, humility and service.

Gen 33:5 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.
Gen 33:6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
Gen 33:7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
Gen 33:8 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.
Gen 33:9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.

I believe this was just eastern manners and customs. To refuse a gift and to wait for a response.

1 Tim 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
1 Tim 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Gen 33:10 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.

Jacob offers again, flattering his brother and exalting him as if he were filled with God. In truth we are to be as one filled with God.

Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Gen 33:11 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.

I have "enough", translates, I have exceeding abundance. The abundant blessings promised through Abraham.

Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Paul gives us the spiritual explanation

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Esau agreed to receive the gift. It was the custom to only receive a gift from a friend. Jesus says more about this.

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

We can see in this story, how wonderful forgiveness and grace are. We are to be like Jesus, giving grace, doing good even to our enemies.

Gen 33:12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.

Esau wants to escort His brother and all his possessions to where he will be.

Gen 33:13 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.
Gen 33:14 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.

Jacob says, no, because the children are young and the flocks and herds have nursing young. We will go at a slower pace, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. Mount Seir was Esau's dwelling place.

Gen 36:8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.

Gen 33:15 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.

Esau asked if he could leave some of his servants with him, to help him in his journey. Jacob said, they were not needed, and let me find grace in the sight of my Lord, my brother. Let me have the freedom to go at my own pace. You know often times we use grace as a cloak, to cover up our willful disobedience. Jacob had no intention of following his brother. He lied to him when he said he would come to him on Mount Seir.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

There is a very human understanding in this. It is one thing to forgive, but often trust is not regained. Why go with Esau and chance his changing his heart again?

Gen 33:16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.

Esau headed south to Mount Seir, not seeking revenge when his brother did not follow.

Gen 33:17 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.

Jacob headed north away from Esau. He built a house and booths for his cattle. Succoth means "booths".

Gen 33:18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.

Jewish writers generally understand it of his coming in peace, health, and safety: which [is] in the land of Canaan; to a city of Shechem.

God had told him to return unto the land of his Fathers, so why did he settle in another area?

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

We get into trouble when we go our own way. Jacob had gained the title, Israel, "God prevails," and now he is off on his own way again. It takes time to get the jacob, "deceiver", title removed. We also are given a new name, Christian, son of God and saint, but we often do things as the old man wants and not God. It takes time for us to conform to our new titles.

Gen 33:19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.

He bought a parcel of land for a hundred shekels. He spread his tents towards the children of Hamor. Shechem's father. Somewhat like Lot, who spread his tents towards Sodom. They would stay there until most of his children were grown.

Gen 33:20 And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.

The altar was named " the God of Israel ". The God of Abraham, Isaac and now the God of Israel. He is not a false god of the pagan nations. Elijah spoke his name:

1 Ki 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

The God of the three patriarchs we know as the triune God: One God in three persons: the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Jacob's daughter Dinah, would come of age in this land of the Hivites. The children of Hamor, meaning "he-ass". There was trouble coming to Dinah. A son of Hamor would live up to his title.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Do not Trust in Egypt - Isa 30

Do not Trust in Egypt

Isa 30:6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.

Woe to the beasts of burden, the donkeys and camels who are loaded down with the riches of Israel, to buy protection. All that work for nothing. They will travel to Egypt a place of lions and snakes; some of these were worshipped as gods by the Egyptians. These people will not help them or profit them. Israel and Judah are God's covenant people, yet they trusted in riches and in an idolatrous nation who has no regard for them.

Applying this to our country, how many countries that we give our money too will come to our aid if under attack? Most would probably celebrate. The hope of God's people who are in a covenant with him, is not a pagan nation, but the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Give our treasure to Him. What is it that he wants? Our hearts and obedience to His will.

Isa 30:7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.

The Egyptians would help in an empty way, to no purpose; what's the use? God had spoken to them, for their power was to sit still and do nothing. Sometimes we pour out our resources out of fear, as Jacob sent his fortune to Esau, out of fear. It was the waiting on the LORD that saved Jacob. The LORD changes circumstances.

Isa 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

Isa 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Isa 40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

We wait upon the LORD, as Jacob waited. He prayed and wrestled with the angel of God until he was blessed and had overcome. We are to wait like this, upon the Lord. Our ownmind, our flesh, our riches are not enough. We wait upon the LORD for he is our strength and our deliverer. We are not unlike Israel as a nation at that time. Yet, we are the people who trust in the LORD. We are not without strength and purpose. Wait upon the Lord and he will arise in us and through us.

2 Sam 22:2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
2 Sam 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
2 Sam 22:4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
2 Sam 22:5 When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
2 Sam 22:6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;
2 Sam 22:7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

Thank you Father for hearing us and forgiving our sins, through Christ Jesus. We want your strength and wisdom for our burdens were lifted at Calvary. Rise up Holy Spirit and flow through your vessels, your temples. We are nothing without our Father's help. Amen

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Seeking Help from Egypt - Isa 30

Seeking Help from Egypt

Isa 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
Isa 30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

This prophecy was given when Israel and Judah were under attack by the Assyrians. Woe to the rebellious children. It was rebellion that took away God's protection from them. It is rebellion that takes away God's protection from the United States. They sought counsel from Egypt and men, but not from God. They covered themselves with bribery and things of the world to escape, but not with the Spirit of God. They did fleshly things and did not seek the counsel and help that comes only from God. God is speaking to them, he sees their desperate condition and he sees their trust in things and not him. They looked for alliances with Egypt, a nation who does not worship their God. Who will our nation turn to? We have no friends and most of the world does not seek God. Our own people are divided as were Israel and Judah. WE seek to be covered by military strength, but many add sin to sin.

Isa 30:3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
Isa 30:4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.
Isa 30:5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

Egypt was not their strength. The Egyptians were ashamed of them, for they had nothing in themselves. They bought and consumed things from Egypt but they produced little of worth. We can apply this to our country, once the greatest producer of all things and a supplier to the world. We helped our enemies and rebuilt their lands. Now, we have little industry, for we have invested in foreign countries. Our enemies are our providers, China produces most everything we need. In time of trouble will they come to our aid? We are despised by all the world. We export pornography and immoral entertainment. A generation has turned from the values and the God who made us a prosperous and good nation. Will we face the invaders as did Israel and Judah. We can't keep our borders closed from illegal smuggling of people and dangerous drugs and possibly terrorists.

We who trust the Lord are the help of our nation. Our prayers are our protection. We trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are to witness the gospel to bring life to a spiritually dead people. Our sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb; they are no more. Do we hide from what is coming? We shall trust in God, through the Holy Spirit, being made the children of God through trusting in Jesus Christ, our savior.

Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul was executed by the Roman emporer, Nero, but he left behind the example and good counsel given through the Holy Spirit. He lives today with Jesus. Where is Nero? His life was a zero. We will be as Paul and Jesus.

Onward Christian soldiers, march forward into the future, you are with Christ Jesus in heavenly places.