Wednesday, February 28, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO TENDS THE VINEYARD OF JACOB TO YEILD FRUIT FOR THE WHOLE EARTH

The book of Isaiah chapter 27 verse 3 says this;

I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it.

Here, we read that the Lord personally oversees the fruitful vineyard of Israel. He tends to this garden night and day as he waters it and protects if from harm.

The fruit that comes out of the vineyard are that Israel's guilt will be atoned for and his sin removed.

This verse points to the careful nurturing that the Lord undertook to keep Israel safe so that in the correct time, the Messiah could be brought to save not only Israel but the whole world.

As verse 6 says;

In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.

The work the Lord does in His vineyard causes Israel to blossom and yield fruit that goes to the ends of the earth.

Amen.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO GLORIFIES ZION

The book of Isaiah chapter 60 verse 13 says this;

“The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the fir and the cypress together, to adorn my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place for my feet.

The city of Jerusalem had been made desolate in judgement but grace and favour of the Lord had been restored to her and now she has been exalted by the Lord and her light shines brightly at her rising as her walls are restored and the nations of the earth serve her.

In this verse, Jerusalem, as part of her rehabilitation, has the sanctuary of the Lord beautified and adorned with the majestic trees of Lebanon which is known for cypress trees and other conifers.

The place where the Lord sets as His staging area, is glorified by Him.

The city, referred to as Zion, will have the glory of God shining from it and God's people within it will be amplified in God's strength. As verse 22 says;

The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly.”

Amen

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Monday, February 26, 2024

 OUR FATHER WHO DEFENDS HIS PEOPLE

The book of Amos chapter 1 verse 7 says this;

I will send fire on the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses.

This verse, part of a prophecy concerning Gaza, is topical is surprising ways. 

In the prophecy, Gaza had taken whole communities captive and sold them off and for these sins, their judgement was sure.

This prophecy mirrors the recent events where people out of Gaza captured communities of people at the behest of the spiritual powers contending for the land.

In the prophecy, the sponsors of the attack who operated out of Askelon, Ashdod and Ekron ( near Tel Aviv ) were rooted out and eliminated in response to their their attack.

Likewise, Gaza itself faced physical destruction and the land was purged of the infrastructure that protected the enemies of Israel.  That prophecy reads almost like a current news headline.

Have mercy on us oh Lord.

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Sunday, February 25, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO REVEALED THE MYSTERY OF THE UNITY OF THE JEWS AND GENTILES IN CHRIST

Ephesians chapter 3 verse 4 says this;

 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesians, was explaining to them the nature of his mission as a Jew who was sent to them as gentiles.

He said that from the ancient past, the salvation of the gentiles was a mystery that was locked away so that no one could decipher the encoded plan of salvation for the Jews and the gentiles.

Paul reveals that he gained the understanding of this great mystery of God's grace being extending to the gentiles, through direct revelation by the Spirit of God and this revelation was the basis for his ministry.

The mystery, locked up as an enigma for eons, was that the Gentiles would become heirs in the same way that the Jews were and that the two groups would become one body and would share in the promises of Christ. 

This is the great mystery, is hinted at in Isaiah chapter 49 verse 5 - 6 that, written in the words of the coming Messaih, says;

And now the Lord says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength—he says:

 “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant  to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept.

I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

Amen.

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Friday, February 23, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO UNDERGIRDS THOSE WHOSE WALK IS BLAMELESS

Psalm 14 15 verse 9 2 says this;

The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart;

This verse  itemizes the first three among the twelve characteristics that the people who are invited to dwell in the tent of the Lord and to live on His holy mountain possess.

First, those who live by the Spirit of God such that their steps are ordered by the Lord and are blameless in their walk before God, will find themselves granted proximity to God.

Second, those who stay away from evil deeds and only do righteous deeds are marked out for this invitation. 

Third, those who only speak sincerely and truthfully from their hearts. They speak without guile; without hidden motives.

These are the first three character traits that are found in those who will be situated near God's dwelling place and His administrative headquarters.

As verse 5 says;

Whoever does these things will never be shaken.

Amen.

5

OUR FATHER WHO PROVIDES FOR THE DISERNMENT OF SPIRITS

The book of Job chapter 34 verses 1 - 3 says this;

Then Elihu said: “Hear my words, you wise men; listen to me, you men of learning. For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food.

This passage reveals the concept of disernment  which we are given as spiritual gifts.

1 Corinthians chapter 12 contains the listing of the gift of the distinguishing between spirits.

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Continuing to 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 29 says this;

Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 

When Job had rested his case and the three elders had nothing more to say, the young man name Elihu began to speak to them to give the councel of his perspective and chapter 34 begins with him asking the wise men to hear his words for the ear tests words like the tongue tests food.

This request has a two-fold response where the listeners are asked to disern the spirit by which the spoken words are issued and also to weigh the content of the words spoken against existing revelation, knowledge and experience.

Disernment is a spiritual sensory function that is given in order to reduce the ability of nefarious agents to deceive and manipulate the people of God or to stop the errors of well-meaning people from gaining traction in the body of Christ.

In the same way that the tongue senses the sweetness, saltiness and bitterness in food and alerts the one eating to potential dangers in the food if inappropriate flavors are detected, disernment senses the sweetness, saltiness or bitterness of the source of words or atmospheres and measures them against known conditions and detects the spirit by which the words are issued.

Amen.

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Thursday, February 22, 2024

 OUR FATHER WHO SHARED OUR ANGUISH

The book of Job chapter 17 verses 4 - 5 says this;

You have closed their minds to understanding; therefore you will not let them triumph.

If anyone denounces their friends for reward, the eyes of their children will fail.

This passage records some words spoken by Job as he conversed with his friends who had come to comfort him after he was ruined through the loss of his children, his finances and his health.

Speaking of the mockers who jeered at him, Job states that the Lord had closed their minds to understanding and as such, they would not triumph.

And those who turned on their friends for a reward would have their children struck by blindness.

These words of judgment appear to be the words of the Lord Jesus responding to the mockers who jeered at him and spat on him as well as on Judas who had betrayed him for the rewards of money.

As Job recounts his afflictions in this chapter, he alludes to circumstances that transend his own life and speaks the words of the Lord Jesus as He contemplates the nature of hope in the face of death.

Thus Job, enveloped in anguish, speaks as a prophet and pre-records the inner monologue of the Messiah who will go though the anguish of utter destruction even unto death on a cross.

Amen.

7

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO IS DELIGHTED WHEN HIS PEOPLE RETAIN THEIR FAITH THROUGH TRIALS

The book of Job chapter 2 verse 3 says this;

 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

This verse captures the Lord's description of Job to Satan after Job had all his holdings destroyed and all his children killed.

Job was under the microscope and under the extreme pressure of calamity, he had proven to be able to maintain his integrity even though he had been brought to complete ruin.

Because of this, God said that Job was unique in the earth because, throughout the experience of having everything in his life destroyed, he had remained blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. 

May we, as Job did, remain blameless and upright when we encounter trials in our lives.

Amen.

7


Monday, February 19, 2024

OUR FATHER WHOSE ENEMIES ARE LAID LOW

The book of Isaiah chapter 14 verse 10 says this;

They will all respond, they will say to you, “You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us.”

This verse captures the words of the former leaders of the earth who occupied the realm of the dead. 

They stirred to witness the descent of the man of lawlessness named the king of Babylon.

They comment on how the one who had been mighty in power and pomp, was now stripped of everything and rendered as a feeble being who was to reside in the lowest pits of gloom.

These residents, who were formerly  rulers on earth, were now weak and they watched as the one whom they emulated joined them in the same condition as they were.

They may have believed that for all the power he wielded, the king of Babylon would have been able to save them from their abode in the darkness but instead, they saw him to be as helpless as they were.

The finality of their position was confirmed to them when they witnessed this event.


6



OUR FATHER WHO IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISED

From Psalm 148;

All you angels of the Lord

Praise His holy name forever

Praise His holy name and His alone

Heavenly Hosts of the Lord 

Praise His holy name forever

Praise His Holy name and His alone



Psalm 148 verse 2 says this;

Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

This verse calls on the angels and the armies of angels in heaven to praise the God who created them. As part of the rest of creation made by God, they are called to join in with all the other sectors of the created order in praising the Lord.

The sun, moon and stars are called to praise Him along with all the beast and animal orders.

All the heirachical structures of kingdoms and nations and their sub-jurisdictions are called on to praise God along with all the phenomena like lightening, hail, wind and fog.

All people on earth both great and small are also to praise God.

Verse 7 says this of God;

His glory is far greater than all of earth and heaven.

This means that His refulgence greatly exceeds the glory of the earth and of heaven and as such is to be the focus of all praise and honor of all that exists.

Hallelujah.

Amen.

5


Sunday, February 18, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO IS HIGHLY EXALTED AND YET HE ATTENDS TO THE POOR AND LOWLY

Psalm 113 verses 4 - 5 says this;

The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, 

This passage speaks of the singular supremacy of the God of Israel.

He holds the loftiest position over every nation on earth and His refulgent radiance is above the heavens.

He is the One who uniquely occupies the highest throne and, as verse 6 says;

who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

The Lord is exalted above all and yet He concerns Himself with the poor and needy. He provides pathways for their elevation by ensconcing them among His princes.. 

He knows the aching hearts of those who are childless and who yearn to have children of their own and He places them in happy homes bustling children.

Amen.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO GIVES LIVING WATER TO THOSE WHO ARE THIRSTY FOR LIFE

Psalm 104 verse 10 says this;

He makes springs pour water into the ravines;  it flows between the mountains.

This verse speaks of the water that the Lord makes fall from His upper chamber and it flows as springs into the ravines between the mountains.

This water then flows down to the fields where the wild donkey quenches it thirst and the birds of the air (spirits) inhabit the space around them and lift their voices to sway their lives.

Verses 11 and 12 say it this way;

They give drink to every animal of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the sky dwell beside them; They lift up their voices from among the branches.

This process is emblematic of the way that the Lord makes living water available to the marginalized peoples and those lowest in the heirachies of men.

The wild donkey represents the untamed men who dwell in the land subject to the vagaries of the  seasons for their survival. Their own fallen nature makes them subject to the spirits of the air (birds) who operate in their midst and work to destroy their lives and destinies.

They are the ones to whom the living water from God is made available so that they may quench their thirst and be revived to a life in God.

John 4 verse 10 is an important convergence of this principle where the woman at the well, in the ravines, so to speak, of the social hierarchy, is offered a chance of revival by the Lord Jesus.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

This woman, who had been subject to the influences of the spirits that plagued her life with one broken relationship after another, encountered Jesus when she came to the well to quench her thirst.

He knew details about her life and surprised her with His words about her situation and she was suddenly enraptured by the reality of the eternal life that Jesus offered her.

He makes springs pour water into the ravines;  it flows between the mountains.

Amen.

4

Thursday, February 15, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO RESCUES OUR FALLEN RACE

We are going look at Psalm 14 verse 3 again but in greater detail in order to understand the axioms listed;

All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

The verse lists 3 absolute statements;

  • All humans have turned away from God
  • All humans have become corrupt
  • Every single human does not do good

This listing reveals a cause-and-effect sequence of events. 

First, we all turn away from God. We then become corrupt after we de-couple from God's life. Once we become corrupt, our actions degenerate and become altogether sinful.

Thus we all manifest our fallen nature and it is only by the mercy of God that He brought about the possibility of our salvation through the sacrifice of the perfect sinless life of the Lord Jesus.

Amen.

5



Wednesday, February 14, 2024

OUR FATHER WHOSE SON RULES IN THE MIDST OF HIS ENEMIES

Psalm 79 verse 4 says this;

We are objects of contempt to our neighbors, of scorn and derision to those around us.

This verse alludes to the hostility faced by God's people by the people who dwell around them.

They are surrounded by scoffers and those who are pleased to see God's people suffer. These enemies are those spoken of in Psalm 110 verse 2 which says;

The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of your enemies!”

The people of the Lord's kingdom is described as being embedded in the midst of His enemies as opposed to being geographically segregated from them.

It is while they are in this precarious position that they are ruled by the mighty scepter of God.

This mighty scepter of authority rules God's people unto judgement and unto righteousness and brings occasion for them to be derided and held in contempt by those in whose midst they dwell leading to persecution and attacks.

But on the Lord's day, the kingdom of darkness will be uprooted and cast down.

Amen.

4

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO SEARCHES OUT HIS PEOPLE AND BRINGS THEM TO HIS SALVATION Part 2

Continuing with Psalm chapter 14, verses 3 - 4 says this; 

All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord.

This passage declares the totality of the corruption of the human race. Among the myriad of members of the human race alive now and who have ever lived, not a single example of a sinless person exists.

All who do evil are marked by their lack of knowledge of their predicament and so act against God.

They mindlessly attack and tear apart God's people and it never occurs to them to call on their creator.

Verse 5 goes on to say;

But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.

This means that the presence of God among His righteous people stirs up dread and conviction in the hearts of the evildoers and this is the prompt by which sinful men may lift their eyes to God and receive salvation.

Amen.

4

OUR FATHER WHO SEARCHES OUT HIS PEOPLE AND BRINGS THEM TO HIS SALVATION

Psalm 14 verses 1 - 2 says this;

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

This passage points to the mode of existance many of us humans beings operate by.

We are undiserning and dismiss the possibility that God exists and thus, feeling unsupervised and unaccountable to anyone, we conduct ourselves in whatever way our flesh is led and corruption sets in.

Above this miasma of humanity, the Lord looks down to discover any people who percieve and understand their true condition and are thus seeking transendance from their fallen state.

The Lord, upon detecting these people, brings them into proximity of His righteous ones who carry God's presence and when they are exposed to the presence of God, they are overwhelmed with dread and they are convicted of their sin.

This is mainly the way that God separates out those whom He chooses for salvation and brings to repentance.

As verse 7 says;

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

Amen

2

Monday, February 12, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO RESISTS PRIDE

The book of Isaiah chapter 15 verses 3 - 4 says this;

In the streets they wear sackcloth; on the roofs and in the public squares they all wail, prostrate with weeping.

Heshbon and Elealeh cry out, their voices are heard all the way to Jahaz. Therefore the armed men of Moab cry out, and their hearts are faint.

Judgement was brought upon Moab and their towns and cities were suddenly ruined overnight.

In dismay, the people wailed and cried out so loudly that neighbouring towns could hear them and the soldiers, in fearful response, themselved cried out and their hearts were shaken.

Moab's judgement had been brought against them because they had risen up in pride and they were brought down.

5



Sunday, February 11, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO REACHES OUT TO HIS PEOPLE TO SAVE THEM EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE STUBBORN

The book of Isaiah chapter 65 verses 2 - 3 says this;

All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good,  pursuing their own imaginations—

 a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick;

This passage reveals the persistent efforts that the Lord invested in order to win over His people. He held out His hands to offer salvation to them  but they were stubborn and insisted on following their own evil  paths.

The people ignored the Lord's entreaties of reconciliation and instead, insulted the Lord by practicing the dark arts of necromancy and sacrificing in graveyards.

Those who practiced the unrepentant defilement and rebellion did so with a sense of superiority over others which was galling to the Lord as it says in verse 6; Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day. a fire that keeps burning all day.

Severe judgement was thus invited into the land as verse 7 says;

“Because they burned sacrifices on the mountain  and defied me on the hills, I will measure into their laps the full payment for their former deeds.”

2

Saturday, February 10, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO SAVES HIS PEOPLE FROM THE SCHEMES OF DARKNESS

Psalm 64 verse 9 says this;

All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done.

In this psalm, David writes of a time when the kingdom of darkness plots against the kingdom of light and lays down plans for the destruction of the righteous and for the triumph of evil on the earth.

He says in verse 2, "Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers."  And in verse 6, "They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning."

In secret, the agents of darkness scheme to ruin the innocent but those who call on the Lord for help will see His salvation for He will arise and pinpoint those who conspire and fold their words back against them to bring them to ruin.

In the aftermath of the destruction of the conspiracy against the innocent,  "All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done."

The righteous whom the Lord has saved will rejoice in their God and take refuge in Him. The upright will glory in Him.

Amen.

5



Friday, February 09, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO SILENCES THOSE WHO SLANDER OTHERS AND RESISTS THE PROUD 

Psalm 101 verse 5 says this;

Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.

This verse is an excerpt from a set of rules that king David prescribed for how his kingdom would be governed and by extension, they are the words of the Lord Jesus pertaining to the spiritual governance of His kingdom.

In the kingdom of God, slandering our neighbours by secretely diseminating false information about them is forbidden and will be discovered and silenced.

If any person in the kingdom of God develops a  haughty and proud attitude and looks down on others while seeing themselves as elevated, they will be resisted by the Lord. As the Book of James chapter 4 verse 6 says;

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Amen

10

Thursday, February 08, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO WILL INTERVENE TO SAVE US 

Psalm 79 verses 3 - 4 says this;

Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem; no one is left to bury the dead.

We are mocked by our neighbors, an object of scorn and derision to those around us.

The catastrophic attacks on God's people by foreign nations leaves blood on the streets and there is no one left to bury the dead.

In this state, they are derided and treated with scorn.

The nations ask where the God they proclaim is.

Oh Lord, save you people for if you do not intervene, we will be engulfed and be erased from the face of the earth.

5




Tuesday, February 06, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO WILL JUSTLY JUDGE HIS OWN PEOPLE

In His perfect beauty and bright glory, the Lord will approach the place of judgement and all around Him, the atmosphere will be tumultuous and tempestuous.

Psalm chapter 50 verse 5 says this;

“Assemble before me, my saints, who have entered into my covenant by sacrifice.”

This verse captures the moment when the Lord, at a time of judgement over His people, summons them all together to assemble before Him.

The ones who are being singled out for this judgement are the ones whom the Lord calls His saints and these are the ones who have signed His covenant by sacrificing to the Lord in their lives.

Amen.

5

Monday, February 05, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO GIVES HIS SON JESUS DOMINION OVER THE WHOLE EARTH

Psalm 47 verse 9 says this;

The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God;  he is greatly exalted.

The Living bible version  reads this way;

The Gentile rulers of the world have joined with us in praising him—praising the God of Abraham—for the battle shields of all the armies of the world are his trophies. He is highly honored everywhere.

This chapter looks ahead to the settled victory of the Lord Jesus when He has occupied the ancient throne of king David from where He exercises authority over the entire earth.

The kings of all the nations gather worshipfully  at the place of the Lord's capital city and they join in with the children of Abraham in praising yhe God of Israel.

In victory, the Lord has subdued all the warring nations and has taken ownership of their shields as trophies to the establishment of His dominion.

He is greatly exalted and honored in every corner of the earth.

Amen.

1

Sunday, February 04, 2024

OUR FATHER WHOSE GREAT POWER CAUSES HIS ENEMIES TO FLEE

Psalm 21 verse 12 says this;

You will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow.

This verse speaks of the power and sheer might of the Lord.

His enemies plot against Him with wicked schemes but the Lord Jesus is victorious over them and their plans are brought to nothing.

When they array themselves against the Lord, the Lord turns a drawn bow towards them and this alone causes His enemies to turn their backs and flee.

As verse 13 says;

Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might.

Amen.

11

Saturday, February 03, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO RESCUES US IN TIMES DIRE NEED

Psalm 17 18 verse 19 4 says this;

The cords of death entangled me;  the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

This verse is a detail excerpted out of Psalm 18 by King David which records the narration that the Lord Jesus recounts from the time He was dying on the cross and as He began to descend into hell.

The phrase "cords of death entangling Him ",  evokes the image of a net that had entrapped Him and rendered Him helpless as the cords wrap tighter around Him and His life ebbed away.

As His body began to fail due to the accumulation of physical trauma that He had been subjected to, He could sense that the forcefull flowing water in the spiritual realm was aimed at Him as His condition worsened and He was dislodged as the pressure overcame His ability to hold onto life.

In the end, the Father intercedes and rescues the Lord Jesus and the Lord Jesus praises the Father with exuberation as it says in Psalm verse 46.

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock  Exalted be God my Savior!

Amen.

2


OUR FATHER WHOM WE CALL UPON IN TIMES OF TROUBLE

Psalm 74 verse 9 says this;

We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.

This verse captures God's people in a catastrophic situation.

They have no indication that their God is with them because no signs are being detected in their midst and no prophets remain and there are none among them who is able to give guidance on the duration of their circumstance.

The psalmist calls to God to save them from the ruination that surrounded them.

Amen.


4

Thursday, February 01, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO RESCUED HIS SERVANTS WHEN THEY CALLED TO HIM

The book of Obadiah Jonah chapter 2 2 verses 1 - 2 says this;

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said:

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry..

This passage, catches up with the prophet Jonah when he had been given a mission by God to go to Nineveh to warn them. He attempted to escape God's calling and fled by ship only to have a storm rise up against the ship and when all was but lost, Jonah was tossed over the side of the ship into the water and he was engulfed by a large fish.

While in the belly of the large fish, Jonah prayed to God and God heard him.

Closely looking at the prayer that Jonah uttered, one can see that there is a switch of realms from the natural sea into which Jonah was thrown to the realm of the dead and this prayer now becomes a proxy for the prayer that the Lord Jesus called out after He had died on the cross and was descending into hell. As Jonah's prayer continued in verses 5 - 6;

The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.

To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.

This reference details the descent into the depths and sinking down to the roots of the mountains which is a permanent prison for all who go there.

But the prayer was answered by the Lord who retrieved Jonah (  and by extension the Lord Jesus )  after three days and three nights from the pit.

This scenario and topography is echoed in Psalm chapter 18 verses 15 - 16  where, speaking of God rescuing the Lord Jesus,  it says;

The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

The definitive validation that the prayer in Jonah was a pre-iteration of the prayer that the Lord Jesus Himself prayed is found in Mathew chapter 12 verses 38 - 41 where Jonah's 3 day and 3 night ordeal in the belly of the fish is explicitly linked to the Lord's 3 day and 3 night ordeal in the heart of the earth.

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 

The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 

Amen.

2

OUR FATHER WHO BRINGS JUDGEMENT TO PURIFY

The book of Ezekiel chapter 24 verse 10 says this;

So heap on the wood and kindle the fire.

Cook the meat well, mixing in the spices; and let the bones be charred.

This verse depicts a metaphor of meat being cooked in fire till the bones are charred. Later, thepot was super-heated till the metal glowed.

This image is of the judgement of Jerusalem that was spoken of by the prophet Ezekiel.  He described the scenario to the people so that they could visualize the cooking the meat and the burning of the bones and the pot and hear him explain how their city would be judged.

The judgement of a pot on the fire was aimed at cleaning Jerusalem of its impurity which was its lewdness but as verse 13 says,  the cleansing effort was not immefiately effective;

 “‘Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided.

1

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO FAVORS THE HUMBLE

The book of Isaiah chapter 66 verses 1 - 2 says this;

 This is what the Lord says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.

Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?

Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord.

“These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.

This passage, capturing the words of the Lord, establishes that the Lord does not need anything made by the efforts of human beings.

Being the maker of all things, there is no dwelling place that can be made for God by any created being.

The Lord does not seek anyone with aspirations of building anything for Him but rather, His favor is towards people who are  humble before Him and who are contrite in spirit and who highly revere the word of the Lord.

Amen.

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Monday, January 29, 2024

OUR FATHER WHO GIVES SILENT GUIDANCE FROM THE HEAVENS

Psalm chapter 19 verse 14 says this;

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

The psalmist David, having systematically thought through the nature of the revealed knowledge and understanding from the heavens, concludes with this verse that offers up to God his words and thoughts in the hope that they are pleasing and acceptable to Him who is His steadfast Lord and saviour.

Starting with the understanding that the heavens declare the glory of God, David marvels at the silent transmissions of knowledge from the heavens that reveal the Lord's directives and guidance for His people. 

David examines the different types of knowledge and understanding that are transmitted and what value they bring to the receivers;

  • Law of the Lord - Refreshes the soul
  • Statutes of the Lord - Makes wise the simple
  • Precepts of the Lord - Bring joy to the heart
  • Commands of the Lord - Bring light to the eyes
  • Fear of the Lord - Teaches an eternal wisdom
  • Decrees of the Lord - Guide in righteousness
David evaluates the totality of this knowledge and declares that it is highly valuable ( precious ) and sweet and abiding by it exposes hidden danger  and yields great reward.

May the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts be pleasing and acceptable in the Lord's sight.

Amen.

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