Monday, December 05, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO ORCHESTRATES DESTINIES BY ARRANGING SEEMINGLY RANDOM EVENTS

A man from the town of Bethlehem named Elimelek, during a famine, took his wife Naomi and his two sons to the land of Moab to try find a better life there.

While in Moab, his sons married two Moabite women but after a time, Elimelek and his two sons died in Moab.

Three widows remained and for the sake of survival, Naomi told her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, to go back to their own families while she tried to make it back to her homeland in Judah.

Ruth refused to leave Naomi and they traveled back to Naomi's country together. Once back in Judah, Ruth decided to go out into the barley fields after the harvesters had gone through to glean for grains of  barley so that she and Naomi would have something to eat.

Ruth chapter 2 verse 3 continues the story this way;

So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

This verse captures the seemingly fortuitous event of Ruth, the Moabitess, randomly selecting a field in which to glean and going into a field belonging to a man named Boaz who was from the same clan that Elimelek, her father-in-law, happened to be from.

Boaz noticed Ruth and gave her favor and protection among the people working on his land because he had heard of her love and care of Naomi.  

As advised by Naomi, Ruth went to back  see Boaz to make a gesture of goodwill toward him and because he respected her, they solemnly agreed to take the formal steps needed and once complete, Ruth and Boaz married. 

They had a son named Jessie and Jessie had a son named David who became known a king David and the lineage of king David went all the way to down to Jesus our Lord.

By a seemingly fortuitous selection of a field to glean from, a woman from Moab was enjoined to a stream of destiny that placed her in the line of the ancestors of the promised Messiah.

Amen.

Sunday, December 04, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO SAFEGUARDS HIS PEOPLE FOREVER

Psalm 125 verses 1 - 3 says this;

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.

The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.

Verse 1 describes those who believe in the Lord as being like the place of the throne of God (Mount Zion) which is immovable and is eternal. This verse speaks of the eternal life that is granted to those who gain the salvation of God through faith in Christ.

Verse 2 likens how mountains surround the city of Jerusalem to how God surrounds His people. The Lord's protective envelope encapsulates His people presently and for all eternity.

Verse 3 is interpreted in two ways; the most common way of reading the verse is that the scepter of the wicked ( or the rulership of the wicked ) will be removed from the land given to the righteous because if it were not, the righteous might use their hands to do evil.

The other way it is interpreted ( which I believe is correct ) is that the scepter of the wicked will be removed from the land because the righteous do not stretch their hands to do what is evil.

The second interpretation seems to be more aligned contextually with the overall chapter.

The righteous, by not stretching their hands to do evil, cause the scepter of the wicked to recede from the land that is under the influence of the righteous. 

Said another way, because the righteous do not do what is evil, the power of wickedness is curtailed and it is ultimately pressed out of the territory that has been gained by the righteous.

Amen.

Saturday, December 03, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO MADE A WAY

( from Psalm 95 )

Let us shout for joy to Him

The Rock of our salvation

Let us sing with gratefulness

Extol Him with our song


He holds the earth in His hand 

The Lord is great in power

He made the seas and the land

Great King above all others


Let us bow before His throne

Kneel before our Maker

He is our God we are His people

The flock of his own pasture


If you hear His voice today

Do not turn away

For the Lord has made a way

Believe Him and be saved





Friday, December 02, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO RESCUES US

( From Psalm 81 )

Shout for joy to the God of Jacob

Raise a song and blow the trumpet

With the tamborine and harp praise the Lord

Sing with merry hearts to God who strengthens us


You were in trouble, you called and I rescued you;

In the hiding place of thunder; I answered you

I brought you out of Egypt and you were free

Even in the desert I provided what you need


Amen.


Thursday, December 01, 2022

OUR FATHER WHOSE RIGHTEOUS ONES ADORN HIS HOUSE

The book of 1 kings chapter 6 verse 9 says this;

So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks.

King Solomon built the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem and closed the structure in with beams and cedar planks and its interior walls were paneled with cedar.

The cedar tree is a giant among trees and cedar wood is a fragrant and richly colored wood that is resistant to decay.

In Psalms chapter 92 verse 12, the growth of the righteous is likened to the growth of the giant cedars in Lebanon. 

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

The lining of the temple of the Lord with cedar wood symbolizes how the Lord decorates His house with the fragrance and beauty of his righteous ones.

Amen.


Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO GIVES WISDOM TO THOSE WHO ASK HIM FOR IT AND LONG LIFE TO THOSE WHO HONOR HIM

In the book of 1 Kings chapter 3 verse 14, we read the words that the Lord said to King Solomon, the son of David, in a dream;

And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”

Leading up to this moment, Solomon had just taken up the throne of his father David over the kingdom of Israel. He went up to Gibeon to honor the Lord by carrying out sacrifices at the high places there.

While Solomon was at Gibeon, he had a dream in which the Lord invited him to ask for anything he wanted the Lord to give him.

Such an open-ended offer could potentially tempt a person to ask for riches or a long life but instead, Solomon asked for enough wisdom to enable him, as a youth, to carry out his duties as the new king of Israel.

Solomon's modest response pleased God and He granted him his request and because he did not ask for great riches and a long life, the Lord told Solomon that he would give him great wealth unequalled in his day.

The Lord also added to Solomon a long life but unlike the other two allotments of wisdom and riches, the gift of a long life was conditional. 

If Solomon walked in obedience to the Lord and kept His decrees and commandments in the  same way that his father David did, a long life would then be granted to him.

This conditional conferring of a long life mirrors the fifth commandment in the law of Moses in Exodus chapter 20 verse 5 which reads like this;

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

The fifth commandment adjures us to honor our father and mother because doing so would add to us a long life.

The condition on the offer given to Solomon appears to be based on the same principle found in the commandment.

If Solomon were to honor his father David by upholding the standards of uprightness that David lived by and if Solomon were to honor the Lord his father by obeying His decrees and commandments, a long life would be granted to him based on the principle set in the Law.

Amen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

OUR FATHER WHOSE ARMY DEVASTATES THE ENEMY BUT WHOSE OFFER OF SALVATION REMAINS OPEN TO ANYONE WHO REPENTS

The book of Joel chapter 2 verse 3 says this;

Fire consumes before it and a flame blazes after it; before it, the land was like the Garden of Eden, and in its wake is a desert wasteland; neither does it have a remnant.

The "it" in this verse is the mighty army of the Lord that has been mustered from every nation to march against the strongholds of darkness.

This army is like none that has ever been amassed before nor will ever be again. The sound of the shofar from Zion summons the army and it begins to traverse the land in a disciplined and orderly way.

As the army travels through enemy territory, a fire incinerates everything in front of it and behind it, a scorched and smouldering  landscape is  left in the aftermath.

Before it is a lush and beautiful land like the Garden of Eden but behind it is left an inhospitable devastation.

But even as the fearsome judgement of God unfolds, the invitation to repent and be redeemed is left open to anyone who would seek the Lord. As Joel chapter 2 verse 13 says;

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Amen.



Monday, November 28, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO IS A SHELTER FOR HIS PEOPLE

Joel chapter 4 verse 7 (in the Hebrew Bible) says this;

Behold I arouse them from the place where you sold them, and I will return your recompense upon your head.

The prophet Joel, writing of the nations who took Israel captive, sold her children into slavery, desecrated the temple at Jerusalem and took away the treasures therein, declared that the Lord would bring judgement upon them for their wicked deeds.

The people of God whom they sold into captivity would be stirred to return home by the Lord and those who sold them would be visited by the same evil treatment that they metted out on the people of Judah

The Lord's great army would be mobilized against them and their mighty men would be broken. 

Even as the power of the Lord breaks the kingdom of darkness with a great shaking, the Lord would be a shelter and stronghold for His people.

Joel chapter 4 verse 16 says it this way;

And the Lord shall roar from Zion, and from Jerusalem He shall give forth His voice, and the heavens and earth shall quake, and the Lord is a shelter to His people and a stronghold for the children of Israel.

Amen.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO REVEALS DEEP AND HIDDEN THINGS FOR OUR GAIN AND PROTECTION

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had a dream that kept him awake and so he summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers and told them that he had been troubled because of this dream and that he wanted them to tell him what the dream was as well the interpretation.

The astrologers responded to the request as recorded in Daniel chapter 2 verses 4 - 5 and they received an unexpected reaction from the king.

Then the astrologers answered the king, “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.

The situation suddenly became very serious for the strata of the society involved in the work of providing spiritual guidance and insight to the ruling class of Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar insisted that the proof that the spiritual advisors were worth anything at all was that they could first tell him what his dream was and then give him the interpretation.

The astrologers said to the king that such a thing could not be done which greatly angered him and he then decreed that the entire community of spiritual advisors be executed and this judgment included the prophet Daniel and his three companions from Judah,  Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

The prophet Daniel, upon learning of the plan to execute them, interceded before the king to request time to get the dream and its interpretation. He then returned to his house and told his three friends to call on heaven for mercy so that they could be saved from the fate of death.

During the night, Daniel received the substance of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the form of a vision and after asking the commander of the King's guard not to kill the rest of the spiritual advisors,  he requested an audience with the King.

When Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel if he could tell him both his dream and its interpretation, Daniel replied that no wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner could do such a thing but that there was a God in heaven who revealed mysteries.

Daniel told the king that it was not by his own  wisdom that God had revealed the mystery of the king's dreams to him but rather it was shown to him so that the King would have an explanation for the things that passed through his mind.

Daniel then proceeded to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and its meaning and the lives of the spiritual advisors were spared.

Bless the Lord who can, for our benefit and protection, reveal mysteries of things that are deep and hidden beyond our reach.

Amen.


Saturday, November 26, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO PROVIDES A WAY OUT OF TEMPTATION

1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 4, speaking of the Israelites moving through the wilderness away from Egypt and toward the promised land,  says this;

and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

The apostle Paul cautioned the believers in the churc222h of Corinth about the need to be uphold the highest levels of conduct for even though though they were saved and had been baptized, it was possible for them to end up out of alignment with God's purposes and falling by the way side.

Paul used the Israelites as examples to illustrate that even though all of them had been delivered out of Egypt and gone through the baptism of the crossing the red sea and then all partook in the eating of the spiritual food of manna and  drinking of the spiritual water that came out of the rock that was with them. 

However, many Israelites still participated in idolatry, immorality, revelry and grumbling  and for these things, many of them were struck down and their bodies strewn in the wilderness.

Likewise, believers should be aware that participating in the  spiritual community does not exempt us from judgement. Paul therefore offers us this counsel out of 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verses 12 and 13;

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Amen.



Friday, November 25, 2022

OUR FATHER IS WORTHY OF PRAISE (from Psalm 92)

It is good to praise you Lord and make music to your name

From early in the morning your love will I proclaim

I  will always sing of you my Lord O most high

I will extol your deeds, declare  your faithfulness at night,

How great are your works O God

You are forever exalted Lord

Amen.


Thursday, November 24, 2022

OUR FATHER'S LEGITIMATE SERVANTS SHOULD HAVE OUR SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT

The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 3, wrote these words;

This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me.

The verse begs two questions. Who was judging Paul and on what basis were they judging him?

At the beginning of chapter 3, we learn that Paul was writing to the people of the church at Corinth many of whom came to the Lord through his ministry and it is to those among them who were judging him  that he was giving a defence of himself.

There appears to have been a consensus forming among them that he was not a legitimate apostle likely because he was not a member of the original twelve apostles. As well,  he was also being judged because he did not carry out his ministry like the other apostles did.

To counter the challenge to his apostleship, Paul began by listing the things that accredited him as a bonafide apostle. Firstly,  he was a free man, secondly, he had personally seen the Lord Jesus, and finally, he had a legacy of those who came to Christ through his work whom he was,  in fact,  addressing in his letter.

To counter the claims against him based on how different his ministry was from the other apostles, Paul described the way the other apostles carried out their ministries as completely legitimate. He asserted that they had a valid scriptural right to make a living from the gospel and to take along a believing wife on mission trips.

As such, Paul argued that being an apostle himself gave him those same rights but he declined to use them in order not to hinder the spread of the gospel in any way.

The apostle Paul forfeited his right to earn wages as a minister as well as the right to be married while serving in the ministry but instead, worked a regular job to pay his own way as he carried out his work in the ministry to believers and as he travelled to expand the reach of the Kingdom of God. 

Thus the apostle Paul demonstrated that the judgements against him were misplaced because they were founded on incorrect conceptions of what apostles were such as the notions that only those who walked with Jesus in Galilee and that only those in full-time ministry could be apostles.

Let us wholeheartedly uphold our Lord's legitimate servants placed in our midst and not sit in judgement of them.

Amen.



Wednesday, November 23, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO CALLS US TO OBSERVE SPIRITUAL PROTOCOLS

The book of Jude verse 9 says this;

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

The book of Deutronomy chapter 34 verses 5 - 6 recounts the death and burial of Moses in a valley in the land of Moab as follows;

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day.

In this passage, the Lord himself buried Moses but Jude adds details about a spiritual contention that occured between Michael the archangel and the devil over the body of Moses.

The doctrinal lesson that Jude emphasizes is that believers, when operating in the celestial  realm, should be careful to follow the hierachical protocols related to interactions with spiritual beings.

If great archangels like Michael did not insult or condemn spiritual entities like the devil but rather invoked the rebuke of the Lord to repell him, should not humans, at the very least, follow that example?

Jude sternly warned the people that instinctively insulting celestial beings they knew nothing about would lead to their destruction.

The backdrop of this caution by Jude is the infiltration of the church by evil people who had taught believers to be rebellious, to grumble, and to be sexually immoral, to pursue personal profit and to reject authority.

These false teachers also taught believers to heap abuse on beings of whom they knew nothing and thus they were consequently destroyed.

Let us use disernment to avoid false teachers and always observe proper protocols when walking in the spirit.

Amen.

Reference Sources:  www.gotquestions.org


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO WORKS ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE

Ezekiel chapter 19 verse 4 says this;

The nations heard about him, and he was trapped in their pit. They led him with hooks to the land of Egypt.

This verse speaks of an up-and-coming prince of Israel named Joseph, son of Jacob.

Israel's spiritual meta-kingdom fostered a son whom they hoped would be a great prince among the people but the spiritual nations surrounding Israel heard of his coming and they orchestrated a pre-emptive attack on him where his brothers became his enemies and they conspired to sell him into bondage.

They trapped him in a pit and when traders on their way to Egypt passed by, his brothers sold him to them and they bound Joseph with shackles and led him to Egypt as a slave.

Before this, the young Joseph, under the spiritual  tutelage of his father, had so much promise as a leader that he was seen as a threat to the spiritual overlords of the surrounding nations and they expended a lot of effort to smother his potential. Having him enslaved ensured that he would not rise up as a threat to them. 

However, even this work of darkness could not suppress the plans that the Lord had for Joseph and as time progressed, he experienced  trials as well as increasing responsibilities that  prepared Him for the ultimate purpose the Lord had for him as a saviour of his family and of the neighbouring nations from a devastating drought that brought ruin to the whole land.

Bless the Lord  for "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8 verse 28. 

Amen.



Monday, November 21, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO SCATTERS THE REBELLIOUS

Ezekiel chapter 12 verses 14 - 15, referring to the prince of Jerusalem, says this;

 I will scatter to the winds all those around him—his staff and all his troops—and I will pursue them with drawn sword.

“They will know that I am the Lord, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries.

The prophet Ezekiel was instructed by the Lord to act out a prophetic object lesson where he was to enact the departure of an exile from the city of Jerusalem when the people would be dispersed  among the nations. 

He was to pack his belongings and carry them as he left Jerusalem by digging a hole in the city wall and leaving with his head covered so he would not see his own land as he left.

He was do these actions in the sight of everyone so the rebellious people of Jerusalem would see him and ask what he was doing and he could explain to them that these actions symbolized the judgement that was coming to them because of their rebellion.

Even the prince of the Jerusalem would face the judgement of being exiled to Babylon from where he would never return and all his staff and soldiers would be scattered.

Some of the people said that Ezekiel's prophecies of exile and being scattered to the winds and among the nations were referring things that would happen in the distant future but the Lord warned them that there would be no delay. Ezekiel chapter 12 verses 26 - 28 says it this way;

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the Israelites are saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’

“Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Like this prophecy in Ezekiel's time, the Lord's prophetic words for our present time will come to pass very soon.

Shudder and tremble.

Amen.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

OUR FATHER WHOM WE EXTOL AND WHOM WE EXTOL TO OTHERS

Psalm chapter 99 verse 3 - 4  says this;

Let them praise your great and awesome name— he is holy.

The King is mighty, he loves justice—you have established equity; in Jacob you have done  what is just and right.

This passage exhorts the people of God to praise the great and awesome name of the Lord who is Holy and who loves justice. 

The passage then addresses the Lord, the King of Zion,  with honor for the things He has done for Jacob that are Just and right.

The whole chapter alternates between speaking of the Lord in third person (He loves justice) and addressing him in second person (you have established equity).

The Psalmist is pivoting between addressing the people about the Lord and addressing the Lord directly. Following, is the whole of chapter 99 color coded to show this pattern. 

The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations.

Let them praise your great and awesome namehe is holy. 

The King is mighty, he loves justiceyou have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right.

Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,  Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the Lord and he answered them. He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.

Lord our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.

Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.

This Psalm give us a model for our lives where we honor the Lord by speaking to Him directly with praise and affirmations of His greatness and goodness. 

Then we also honor the Lord when we speak to other people of His greatness and goodness and when we exhort others to honor and praise Him.

Amen.



Saturday, November 19, 2022

 OUR FATHER WHO SPARES HIS REMNANT

(From Ezekiel chapter 9 verse 2 );

The prophet of old, Ezekiel

Saw a vision of Jerusalem

Great judgement was coming, no mercy and no pity

A man dressed  in linen was to insribe

A mark on the foreheads of those who cried

About the detestable things going on in the city

Then six bearers of judgement were called

First unto the house of God

Those who did not have the mark were found

And slain by the sword and left on the ground

"The Lord had forsaken the land" they said

We are free to do what we want instead

So they worshipped animals, worshipped the sun

Till the Lord was provoked and His wrath begun

Only a remnant survived that day

The very high cost the rest had to pay

For the city was filled with blood they had spilled


Friday, November 18, 2022

OUR LORD WHOSE GLORY WILL FILL THE TEMPLE AGAIN

Ezekiel ( x chapter 9 verse 13 - 14 ) chapter 10 verses 2 - 3 says this;

The Lord said to the man clothed in linen, “Go in among the wheels beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And as I watched, he went in.

Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court. 

This passage is an excerpt of the vision that the prophet Ezekiel saw while he was in his house and the elders of Judah were sitting before him.

Ezekiel was taken up into the vision where he saw many astonishing things which he recorded in the book of Ezekiel from chapter 8 through to chapter 11.

Ezekiel was first shown the dreadful things like the worshiping of demonic gods and the violence and bloodshed that was going on in the kingdom of Judah and that were driving God out of His sanctuary which was the temple in Jerusalem. Ezekiel chapter 8 verse 6 says it like this;

And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.”

Ezekiel then witnessed when six men were summoned. XFive of them carried a deadly weapon but the sixth man, dressed in linen, was carrying a writing impliment at his side.  Each of them carried a deadly weapon but there was a man with them, dressed in linen, who was carrying a writing implement at his side.

He was given the task of marking the forehead of every person in the city who grieved over the detestable things that were going on in their society. 

The rest of the men were to follow him and kill everyone in the city who did not have the mark placed upon them.

After the marking of the people to be preserved was complete, the man in linen was then commanded to collect some burning coals from the cherubim and scatter them over the city of Jerusalem and he went into the temple.

At this time, the glory of the Lord rose from above the cherubim in the inner court of the temple and moved to the threshold of the temple.

The man dressed in linen then went to the cherubim and stood beside a wheel. One of the cherubim reached into the fire that was burning among them and took some coals and gave them to the man in linen who took the coals in his hands and went out of the temple. 

(Although not stated in the scripture, because the man in linen is shown to follow the commands of the Lord, I infer that he then scattered the coals on the city as he was instructed.)

This event marked the time in Israel's history when the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and rose above the cherubim who spread their wings and moved to the east gate at the edge of the temple complex. The cherubim, with the glory of God above them, then left Jerusalem altogether and moved over a mountain east of the city.

This heartbreaking departure of the glory of God from the temple in Jerusalem is prophecied by the Apostle John to be  reversed when the Lord wonderously returns in power. 

The new Jerusalem will descend from heaven  filled with the glory of God as described in the book of  Revelation chapter 21 verses 10 - 11 which reads this way;

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

Amen.


Corrected version with revised interpretation of the 6 men with weapons and the one who was with them with a writing implement.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

OUR FATHER IS NOT SILENT AND HIS WORD IS TRUTH

Ezekiel ( x chapter  5 verse 9 ) chapter 6 verse 1 says this;

 The word of the Lord came to me

Psalm chapter 3 verse 4 - 5 says this;

I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

These two passages from Ezekiel chapter 6 and Psalm chapter 3, show two scenarios in which the word of the Lord is heard.

In Ezekiel's case, the word of the Lord came to him as a prophetic declaration which he recieved with an instruction to prophecy against the kingdom of Israel.

In the case of Psalm 3, the Psalmist cried out to the Lord for help and the Lord responded and that response assured him that the Lord would sustain him so that when he went to sleep, he would rise up again. 

In fact, this Psalm could be read as a record of the inner monologue of Jesus when He was dying on the cross and it reveals the immense pressure that Jesus was under because he was surrounded by a myriad of spiritual enemies who were assailing Him.

The Lord Jesus counted on the response from God and He did rise again and was exalted.

The word of the Lord is true and can be relied upon whether the word is of  judgement or of assurance and blessing.

Amen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO RISES TO THE DEFENSE OF HIS PEOPLE

Ezekiel chapter 35 verse 9 says this;

I will make you desolate forever; your towns will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

The word of the Lord came through the prophet Ezekiel to the kingdom of Edom.

Edom, Israel's neighbouring country, had undertaken to invade the kingdom of Israel at a time when  Israel was suffering a great calamity.

Because the kingdom of Edom had mired themselves in the hatred of Israel and had spoken contemptible things about her  and had boasted against the Lord and had chosen a course of bloodshed and violence to gain possesion of Israel,  Edom would be visited with judgement which would be so severe that the whole kingdom would be left  in a state of uninhabitable desolation.

The bellicose attitude of Edom towards Israel while Israel was undergoing  her own tribulations earned Edom the disfavour of the Lord.

Amen.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO FORGIVES, REDEEMS AND HEALS US

Psalm 103 verses 3 - 5 exhorts us to praise the Lord;

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

This passage reveals the extravagant love that the Lord has for His people.

He forgives our sin and heals our afflictions and redeems us from the pit and crowns us with love and compassion and satisfies our desires with good things and renews our youth.

For even though we were all lost in our sins and hostile to God, He paid the extremely high price to redeem us and heal us by giving His body to be broken for us and by giving up His life that we might live.

As well as saving us, the Lord made extraordinary provisions for those who fear Him and believe in Him by loving us with an immeasurably great love and by removing our sins far away from us. Psalm 103 verses 11 - 12 says it this way;

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Let us bless our God who so lavishly loves us.

Amen.

Monday, November 14, 2022

 OUR FATHER WHO FAVOURS THE HUMBLE

Psalm chapter ( x 4 verses  10 - 11) 5 verses  2 - 3 says this;

Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

In this passage, the psalmist who in this case is King David, revealed his morning routine. 

He first implored his King and his God to hear his prayer.

He sensed when the Lord was hearing his voice and when he got this assurance, he then laid out his requests before the Lord.

After making his requests known to God, he then took a posture of waiting expectantly where he anticipated the Lord's response with joy.

King David, in verses 4 - 7, made a distinction between the people who could stand before God with requests and those who couldn't;

For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 

The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies.

The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest.

But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.

Here, those who are reverent and humble before God can enter His house and make requests of Him.

Those who delight in wickedness, those who are arrogant and those who are violent and deceitful are excluded.

We can approach the Lord with repentant and humble hearts and be able to anticipate the Lord's answers to our requests.

Amen.


Sunday, November 13, 2022

OUR LORD WHOSE SCRIPTURE IS ALWAYS FULFILLED

The city of Jerusalem was surrounded by Nebuchadnezzar's army. The prophet Jeremiah warned the king of Judah to surrender to the invading forces or else their city would be destroyed, many people would be killed and the rest would be taken as captives back to Babylon.

The king of Judah refused to surrender and the city was overrun. Nebuchadnezzar had the city destroyed and took many captives back to Babylon.

Jeremiah's prophetic writings also foretold, in Jeremiah chapter 25 verse 12,  that the bondage to Babylon would last 70 years.

When 70 years had passed, the prophet Daniel, who was among those held in bondage in Babylon, asked the Lord to remember His people when he realised that their time in bondage was completed.

It turns out that the Lord already had a plan in place to redeem His people and it is found in Isaiah chapter 45 verses 12 - 13 which says this;

It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens;

I marshaled their starry hosts. I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight.

He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the Lord Almighty.”

Chapter 45 of the book of Isaiah is a prophetic announcement of the coming of a man named Cyrus who would be guided by the Lord in paths of righteousness.

Even though this man Cyrus would not know God, he would do the will of God and free God's people from bondage in Babylon and rebuild the city of Jerusalem.

In 2 Chronicles chapter 36 verses 22 - 23, this prophecy was fulfilled where Cyrus, as conquerer of Babylon, gave the order to rebuild the city Jerusalem and he also released God's people to return home. The passage reads as follows;

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”

This astonishing prophecy where Cyrus was called out by name many years before he was even born, was likely shown to Cyrus by the prophet Daniel when Cyrus conquered Babylon.

The Lord had prepared a man of great military power to rise and to charge into Babylon where God's people were being held captive.

Cyrus, who himself was a fulfillment of scripture, freed the children of Israel in Babylon to return home which was a fulfillment of the scriptures written by the prophet Jeremiah.

Amen.

References; www.Gotquestions.org

Saturday, November 12, 2022

OUR LORD WHO EXPECTS US TO RATIONALLY EVALUATE OUR ACTIONS

Isaiah chapter 44 verse 14 says this;

He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.

The prophet Isaiah, writing the words of the Lord, records His assurances that He will save His people. He promised that he would pour out His Spirit on their offspring and blessings on their descendants.

However, the Lord mentioned that there were some people among them who were making idols out of wood and worshiping them.

The verse describes how the makers of idols would select a tree that had grown on its own in the forest or in some cases,  they would plant a pine tree and the rain fell on it and made it grow.

Once they had logged the tree, they used part of it for fuel to warm themselves and to cook food upon. With the rest of the log, they then carved an idol shaped like a human figure and they bowed down to worship the idol that they had just created.

The Lord asked this of the idol makers in verse 19;

No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I used for fuel;  I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”.

The Lord expects us to stop and think about the things we are doing to make sure that they are rational and worthwhile.

Amen.


Friday, November 11, 2022

OUR LORD WHO PROTECTED HIS SERVANT

One evening, Lot, Abraham's nephew, was sitting at the gates of the city of Sodom when two visitors arrived.

Lot, recognizing a certain quality in them, bowed before them and asked them to come to his house to refresh themselves and spend the night so that they could resume their journey the next day.

The visitors initially refused Lot's offer of hospitality saying that they would just spend the night in the town square but Lot must have known of the security hazards of his own city and he insisted very strongly that they stay with him. 

They ultimately relented and went with Lot to his house where he prepared a meal of bread without yeast for them as Genesis chapter 19 verse 3 reveals;

But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.

By serving his guests bread without yeast, Lot was illustrating that he was trying to prevent them from coming into contact with the contagion of the uncontrolled laciviousness in the city where innocent travellers were seen as prey to be exploited.

The whole city had become a lair for predators and Lot knew that the only place the visitors would be safe was in his own household.

Lot's efforts were valiant but when the whole town came to his house to drag away his guests, he was powerless to save them. The travellers had to deploy supernatural power of their own to fend off the attacks of the men of Sodom by temporarily blinding them.

The visitors were then able to fulfill their mission of taking Lot and his family out of Sodom when the judgement from heaven befell the city.

Amen.


Thursday, November 10, 2022

OUR FATHER WHO HOLDS US TO OUR VOWS

The city of Jerusalem was in a precarious state. She was surrounded by the armies of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was planning to invade the city and burn it to the ground.

Zedekiah, the king of Judah, was given a word from the Lord by the prophet, Jeremiah, declaring that Nebuchadnezzar was going to successfully take the city and burn it down and that Zedekiah would himself be captured and brought face to face with Nebuchadnezzar before he was taken off to Babylon.

Zedekiah along with other leaders in the city had made a covenant to release their Hebrew slaves so that they could go where they wished. Jeremiah chapter 34 verse 9 says it this way;

Everyone was to free their Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Hebrew in bondage.

However, after freeing their slaves, they changed their minds and re-enslaved the people they had just set free.

The Lord responded to the reversal in verse 18;

 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the Lord—‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth

The violation of the covenant that the people of Judah had made before God regarding  the release of their slaves, brought down judgement upon judgement on them that amplified the misery of being successfully invaded by a foreign army.

Whereas prior to rescinding the freeing of their slaves, the king of Judah and the officials would have gone to Babylon and survived, now, they were condemned to be harshly treated by their conquerors and some would even die.

Such is the hazard of breaking formal covenants made before God.

May we always keep our vows.

Amen.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

OUR FATHER WILL BE HIGHLY EXALTED

Isaiah chapter 33 verse 10 says this;

“Now will I arise,” says the Lord. “Now will I be exalted; now will I be lifted up.

This prophecy is of the Messiah who returns in power and authority. His spiritual army causes people to flee and when He arises, nations scatter.

In the passage, the Lord declares that the time has come for Him to arise. The time has come for Him to be exalted and elevated.

Those who fear Him will have access to the treasures of His salvation, wisdom and knowledge as verse 6 says;

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

The ones who defy Him will be helpless before Him as their brave men cry and the envoys weep.

Our mighty God will have full authority over the nations of the earth. As verse 22 says;

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.

Let us bless the Lord who will reign in righteousness.

Amen.



Tuesday, November 08, 2022

OUR FATHER WHOSE REIGN BRINGS PEACE AND REST

Isaiah chapter 32 verse 1 says this;

Behold, a king will reign righteously, And officials will rule justly.

The hallmark of the reign of the Lord will be righteousness and his officials will be just in all their dealings.

They will be like shelter for the people against the storms and streams of water in a dry land.

Accurate perception anpob4dpd understanding will be widespread among the people because they are not deceived.

In this new atmosphere, Isaiah prophecies in verses 17 and 18 saying;

And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

Then my people will live in a peaceful settlement, In secure dwellings, and in undisturbed resting places;

Thus is result of the reign of our Lord.

Amen.


Monday, November 07, 2022

 OUR LORD IN WHOM WE MUST BELIEVE

Numbers chapter 14 verses 4 - 5 says this;

And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt." Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.

As the children of Israel approached Canaan from Egypt, the Lord instructed Moses to send twelve men, one from each tribe, to explore the land.

When the men returned, they showed the people the extraordinary agricultural produce that came from the territory and Caleb, one of the expedition members, exorted Israel to go and capture the land because they could easily do it.

However, the rest of the men in the expedition party reported to the people that the land was full of giants who saw them as grasshoppers and that they couldn't attack the inhabitants of the land because, they said, "they are stronger than we are.”

 It was in response to this negative report that the children of Israel began talking about finding a leader to take them back to Egypt. 

When Moses and Aaron heard what the children of Israel were saying, they immediately fell facedown to the ground in front of everyone assembled there.

They must have know how displeasing such attitudes were to the Lord and they instinctively fell to the ground to intercede on behalf of the people before the Lord struck them and maybe even to avoid being struck themselves.

The Lord was angry with the people and asked Moses why they treated Him with such contempt that they would not believe in Him even after all they had seen Him do for them.

The Lord wanted to wipe them out and start again with Moses but Moses interceded and pleaded with God to spare the people and he pointed out to God that if Egypt and the surrounding nations heard that the Lord had slaughtered His people, they would say that the Lord was unable to successfully bring His people through the wilderness inspite of His oath.

The Lord listened to Moses and He relented and forgave the people but promised that not a single person who murmured against Him would see the promised land. Thus the tribe of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years until every last one of the grumblers who was over twenty years old at the time of the expedition, died off.

The Lord sees unbelief in Him as insulting and  contemptuous of Him. Trust in the Lord.

Amen.


Sunday, November 06, 2022

OUR LORD WHOSE PROMISE TO ISRAEL AND JUDAH WILL BE FULFILLED

Jeremiah chapter 33 verses 14 - 15 says this;

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.

“‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote this Messianic passage fortelling the time when the Lord would fulfill the good promise that He made to the people of Israel and Judah.

From the line of David, the Lord would bring forth a righteous Branch who would do what was just and right in the land.

Verse 16 continues this way;

In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety . This is the name by which it  will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’

The prophetic word looked into the far future when the Branch from  David's line would be the  salvation  of Judah and the security of Jerusalem and who would eternally occupy the throne of David and would also eternally occupy the office of the Levitical priest standing before God continually.

Bless our Lord Jesus who first came as a suffering servant to save us and who now stands as our a righteous and eternal King and Priest and who will return to save Judah and secure Jerusalem.

Amen.