Jump to content
Kingdom of Adventistan

Days of Praise


phkrause
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members
  January 13, 2022
Abram's Endurance Test
“And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” (Genesis 15:3-4)

Right after Abram’s meeting with Melchizedek, God verified and amplified His promise to him with the added insights that God would be Abram’s “shield” and “reward” (Genesis 15:1). The preceding years had been somewhat difficult for Abram, and he needed assurance that the One he believed in was both his Savior and Provider.

The Lord walked Abram through an elaborate covenant ceremony (Genesis 15:9-21) in which He told Abram much of the future and reiterated the promise that God would give the land to Abram and his descendants. Given the personal visit, Abram would have been expectant of some indication of the fulfilment of the promise of an heir and the coming “nations,” but it would be a total of 25 years before Abram saw the fulfilment of that promise.

Nothing. No visible evidence of God’s promise was forthcoming. Others failed (Lot most noticeably), and Sarai herself gave up after 11 years and insisted that Abram bear her a child through Hagar, her handmaid (Genesis 16:15).

Finally, when Abram was 99, God appeared before him again and issued the command: “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1). Isaac would be born the next year, but the complete fulfillment of that promise is yet to be realized (John 11:25-26; Mark 13:13). HMM III
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 14, 2022
Abraham's Intercession Test
“I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.” (Genesis 18:21-22)

Three “men” stood before Abraham’s tent, two of whom were later revealed to be angels (Genesis 18:2; 19:1). One of them, however, was none other than the Creator Himself (as the visible Word of God), who told Abraham of the beginning of the fulfillment of His earlier promise of a son (Genesis 18:10, 14).

As the Lord reiterated the promise (now nearly 25 years dormant), the confrontation with Sarah began (Genesis 18:9- 15). She “laughs” at the repeated promise, citing her old and “worn out” body as an excuse. Most noteworthy here is the immediate response of God: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14). Although Sarah mocked the Lord’s promise, Abraham reacted with the laughter of joy and anticipation. His faith was now firm and confident (Genesis 18:16-22).

As God told him of His immediate plan to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham began his intercession on behalf of any righteous residents there (Genesis 18:23-32). Yet, even though the Lord yielded each time to Abraham’s limiting request, it was clear that the wickedness of those cities would come under the righteous judgment of a holy God.

Abraham “returned unto his place” (Genesis 18:33), knowing that while he had prayed for God’s grace, he was satisfied that God’s judgment was “righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9). The contrast of attitude toward God’s Word is on display in this section of Scripture. “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3). HMM III
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

January 15, 2022
Abraham's Separation Test
“Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.” (Genesis 21:10-11)

After Isaac had been weaned, Sarah noticed Ishmael mocking her and Isaac (Genesis 21:9). During the years since Hagar had given birth to Ishmael (at the insistence of Sarah), Abraham had grown to love Ishmael and had no doubt treated him and Hagar with respect. Now this sudden banishment was demanded under terms that were both harsh and apparently arbitrary.

Nonetheless, God approved because Hagar and Ishmael had become the specific illustration of a distinction between the “flesh” and the “heir” (Genesis 21:12). Although God would take care of Ishmael for Abraham’s sake, Abraham must separate himself and his family from that which would never become part of the Messianic line (Galatians 4:23-31).

The contrast of the two sons is a major teaching in Scripture. Galatians 3:16-29 provides most of the main biblical information. The promise was made to “the seed” (as singular) and the focus is on Christ, not Isaac. All people are under sin and are given the promise by faith. When we believe, we become children of God, in vivid contrast to the “son of the bondwoman.”

That faith is outside of physical relationships, and we become heirs according to the promise. That sacred relationship has been verified by God Himself (Hebrews 6:17-20), making us nothing less than joint-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17-21). Thus, all who are heirs can never be connected to the “bondwoman” (Galatians 4:30-31). HMM III

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

January 16, 2022
Lot's Fateful Choice
“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere....Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.” (Genesis 13:10-11)

Some otherwise righteous folks are unable to handle wealth. Lot and Abram had become so wealthy “that they could not dwell together” (Genesis 13:6), and Lot fell into the classic temptation—loving “all that is in the world” (1 John 2:16).

Beginning by pitching “his tent toward Sodom” (Genesis 13:12), Lot later “dwelt in Sodom, and his goods” (Genesis 14:12). And even though he was “vexed” by the “filthy” behavior of those with whom he was living (2 Peter 2:7-8), Lot finally “sat in the gate of Sodom”—a Hebrew idiom for holding a political place of power in the city (Genesis 19:1).

We are told that Lot was a just and righteous man (2 Peter 2:7-8). But ungodly choices always produce tragic results. When the angels arrived to bring God’s judgment, his children had intermarried with Sodomites and had been lost (Genesis 19:12-14). His wife wouldn’t leave (Genesis 19:26), and his wealth was destroyed with the destruction of the cities.

Lot’s reputation and eternal place in Kingdom history are equally tragic. Although rescued by the angels, his legacy is “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). Although granted his wish to live in a “little” city (Genesis 19:20), his daughters corrupted themselves with him, and the pagan nations of Moab and Ammon were the result (Genesis 19:30-38). Although we will see Lot in heaven, he became the epitome of one whose works are “burned,” and he is saved, “yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). Even small ungodly choices can cause us to lose “a full reward” (2 John 1:8). HMM III

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

January 17, 2022
Eliezer's Faithful Service
“And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had...go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.” (Genesis 24:2, 4)

Abraham required a most sacred vow from Eliezer (Genesis 15:2) to secure a bride for Isaac from the line of Shem rather than from the Canaanites (Genesis 24:3-4, 9). Eliezer had Abraham’s complete trust, with access and permission to all of his wealth (Genesis 24:10).

The Bible notes how Eliezer prepared for the success of the mission with adequate resources (employees, wealth, etc.), and went straight to his destination with no wasted time en route. Along the way he must have anticipated how to discern a proper wife and asked God for verification that He approved of the selection.

Eliezer’s request indicated he had in mind a lady who must be strong, healthy, and industrious, with no delusions of a life of ease. She must also be gracious, sensitive, and compassionate. Eliezer’s prayer did not presume. He knew the assignment and was asking for guidance on how to “see” the character of the potential wife (Genesis 24:12-14).

Eliezer was further aware of his being “in the way” (Genesis 24:27). That is, he was clearly aware that he was acting under godly authority and was seeking the leading of the Lord Himself. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD” (Psalm 37:23), and our paths are directed when we “acknowledge him” (Proverbs 3:6).

After Eliezer completed defining his task, he insisted that an immediate decision be made so that he could finish his assignment. Once the family and Rebecca agreed, Eliezer made sure that the mission was completed by bringing the new bride home to Isaac (Genesis 24:32-67). Would to God that all of us were as faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). HMM III

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 18, 2022
Isaac's Life of Contrast
“And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.” (Genesis 25:27-28)

Isaac’s early life became the biblical picture of Christ (Genesis 22:7-9). Not only did Isaac lay down his life voluntarily, but he continued to show great evidence of God’s presence and promise. He had personal instruction in faith from Abraham (Genesis 18:19) and had been given direct evidence of God’s sovereignty in his life (Genesis 24:67).

Even before the birth of his sons when he was 60 years old, Isaac interceded for Rebecca and the children (Genesis 25:21). It is certain that he had firsthand knowledge of God’s plan for the boys (Genesis 26:2-53; 28:1-4), yet in spite of his knowledge, Isaac “loved Esau” (our text).

He knew that God had chosen the younger child to rule (Genesis 25:23). He knew that Esau was an ungodly man (Genesis 27:46), and he knew that Esau had married pagan wives (Genesis 26:34) in spite of God’s command to the contrary. But Isaac was determined to give the birthright to Esau. The single reason Scripture cites for Isaac’s irrational behavior was that he loved Esau and the savory meat Esau brought in from hunting (Genesis 27:1-4).

Isaac finally gave the blessing to Jacob, but he would have blessed Esau; he would have gone against God’s command, and he “trembled exceedingly” when he knew that he had been overruled by God (Genesis 27:30-33). Ultimately, Isaac submitted to God and instructed Jacob in righteousness (Genesis 28:1-5). The pain in Jacob’s life, the agony of Rebecca’s separation from her son, and the torn testimony of Isaac were all caused by an incorrect “love.” HMM III
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 19, 2022
Jacob's Plain Life
“Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.” (Genesis 25:27)

Jacob has often been given a bad reputation for his deception of Isaac. He is branded a liar and worse, while the Scriptures describe him very differently. To begin with, the Hebrew word translated “plain” in our text is tam, everywhere else rendered as “perfect” or “upright.”

The same word is used most often by God Himself of Job—a “perfect” and “upright” man (Job 1:8). All other references in the Bible where tam is used verify this upright and undefiled character. The deception is not rebuked by God, and Jacob is honored by God far more than Isaac. In fact, Jacob is renamed “Israel” by God—hardly a punishment for a bad life, but rather a recognition of a great life (Genesis 32:28).

The sin of Isaac and Esau is infinitely greater. Esau has “sold” and “despised” the birthright (Genesis 25:33-34). Isaac would have given that blessing to Esau (Genesis 27:1-4) in spite of God’s plan (Genesis 25:23). The intention of Jacob and Rebecca was to prevent a horrible disobedience and catastrophe.

Jacob’s action gave him no temporal advantage and was taken at great personal risk. Jacob spent 20 years in exile and servitude to his wicked uncle Laban, 14 of them for Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29:20-29). While there, he endured the awful trickery of Laban, but God gave him 12 sons and at least one daughter (Genesis 29:31–30:24).

God’s intervention and Jacob’s careful attention to detail brought wealth and a growing confidence that God had turned his life around, providing the leadership his family needed to leave suddenly and go with confidence back to the land of Abraham (Genesis 31), having received personal assurance from God (Genesis 32:24-30).

May we all have the reputation of a “plain” life. HMM III
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 20, 2022
Jacob's Ladder Dream
“And Jacob went out from Beersheba....And he lighted upon a certain place...and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:10-12)

Prophetic dreams were uncommon even in ancient times (Hebrews 1:1) and were never for personal use (Jeremiah 23:16-32; Jude 1:8). Such dreams were rare until the book of Revelation.

Jacob had the most personal encounters with God recorded in Genesis, more than Abraham or any other patriarch. Jacob’s ladder was much more than a human construction. The Hebrew word cullam is used only this once. The root Hebrew word, culal, is similar, with the basic meaning of “highway” or “corridor” or “pathway.” The word carries the connotation of “lift up” (see Psalm 68:4).

Jacob’s “ladder” was probably a highway/causeway to and from the presence of God. Perhaps it was something like our science fiction ideas of a wormhole—a time warp in the fabric of space that permits nearly instantaneous movement from one spot in the universe to another.

The Creator would certainly be able to make a time warp channel for His messengers to get back and forth to Earth quickly. There may be many such channels. This cullam was “fastened” on the earth with its “source” in heaven. The angels of God were speeding up and down (through? on? in?) it.

At the source, Jacob saw none other than the Yahweh (the I AM) of eternity standing in His “official” glory (compare Revelation 1:10-16). This vision verified to Jacob that God was with him and that God Himself would secure the eternal promises made to Abraham. This dream is unique in all Scripture. Jacob was an unusual man. HMM III
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

January 21, 2022
The Mercy Seat
“And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat.” (Exodus 25:21-22)

In the “holy of holies” of the tabernacle, God would meet with Israel’s high priest once a year to commune with His people at a meeting place called the “mercy seat.” The Hebrew word was derived from the word for “atonement,” which in turn meant essentially a “covering” for the Ark of the Covenant. On the great day of atonement each year, the high priest was commanded to sprinkle the blood from the sin offerings on the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:14-15) to make an atonement for all the people.

This annual ceremony, of course, merely prefigures the full atonement that Christ would make one day when “by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). Since this blood has been sprinkled once for all on the heavenly mercy seat, as it were, we are now “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:24-25).

In this verse, the word “propitiation” is the Greek word for “mercy seat” (and is so translated in Hebrews 9:5). That is, Christ Himself, with His atoning blood, is our mercy seat, where we can meet with God. Thus, the golden, blood-stained mercy seat becomes the very throne of God Himself, where He meets with those who believe on Him for salvation. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (4:16). HMM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 22, 2022
The Psalm of Life
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Psalm 91:2)

This marvelous psalm of life and security follows a psalm of frailty and death (Psalm 90) written by Moses, who may have been the author of this psalm as well. For our devotional study today, attention is called to the change of personal pronoun throughout, implying a dialogue between three speakers.

The psalm begins as a godly teacher, or prophet, or perhaps an angel bestows a benediction upon the believer: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1), ascribing the security of the believer to the character of God.

The believer responds to this blessing by avowing his trust in God and in His character (v. 2).

To the testimony of the believer, the first speaker replies, expounding on the former blessing, detailing the protection provided by God (vv. 3-8) and the blessings of that care. Note, “because thou [the believer] hast made the LORD [Jehovah], which is my [the speaker’s] refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (vv. 9-12).

At the end, Jehovah Himself responds, confirming all that the speaker has said: “Because he [the believer] hath set his love upon me [Jehovah], therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation” (vv. 14-16). JDM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

January 23, 2022
The Queen of Sheba
“And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.” (1 Kings 10:1)

A thousand years after the famous visit of Sheba’s queen to the court of King Solomon, Jesus made a remarkable spiritual application of her experience. “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:42).

Solomon had prayed for wisdom, and the Lord gave him such legendary wisdom that the news even reached the distant land of Sheba, south of Ethiopia. We do not know what hard questions were confronting Sheba’s queen, but she finally decided she must find their solutions through Solomon and his God. God honored her searching faith, “and Solomon told her all her questions,” so that she could testify that “the half was not told me....Blessed be the LORD thy God” (1 Kings 10:3, 7, 9).

In Jesus Christ “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). He who had given Solomon his great wisdom promises us that “if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

Truly the queen of Sheba will be a witness against our present generation in the coming day of judgment. People today turn to every variety of humanistic counselors for their training and guidance but refuse to come to the one who is “made unto us wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). The “Wonderful Counsellor” (Isaiah 9:6), who is far greater than Solomon, who said “I am...the truth” (John 14:6), and who promises that “the truth shall make you free” (8:32), is still inviting all from the uttermost parts of the earth to come. HMM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 24, 2022
Moses and the Shining Face
“And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand...that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.” (Exodus 34:29)

Moses had been alone with God 40 days and 40 nights, simply communing with God and receiving the tables with the Ten Commandments. When he finally descended, the glory of God so radiated from him that the people could not bear to look at his face, and he had to wear a veil even to speak to them.

The council of Jewish leaders had a similar experience as they interrogated Stephen concerning his Christian testimony: “And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel” (Acts 6:15).

None of us today ever seem to exhibit such glowing faces, nor is anyone likely to mistake us for an angel. But perhaps this is because we have not spent the time in His presence that Moses did, nor preached the Word in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit as Stephen did. Nevertheless, we should have a different countenance than before we met the Lord. Men should be able to say of us as it was said of Peter and John: “They marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (4:13).

In fact, God even promises that this will be so to the extent that we spend time in His Word, which itself is alive with the light of His glory. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

May God enable us, therefore, to be “holding forth the word of life,” even “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15-16). HMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 25, 2022
Threefold Deliverance
“For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” (Psalm 116:8)

This is the beautiful testimony of the psalmist when the Lord answered his prayer: “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O, I beseech thee, deliver my soul” (vv. 3-4). The Lord does, indeed, deliver our souls when we call upon Him for salvation in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

Divine deliverance, however, is more than deliverance from death and hell. “Therefore the redeemed of the LORD...shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11). “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying” (Revelation 21:4). God delivers us from the penalty of our sins, from death and hell, right now, and then from all our sorrows and tears in the age to come, delivering us even from all the effects of sin forever.

But He also delivers us right now from the power of sin in our lives, which would otherwise come again to cause our downfall even after we have been saved. Many a fearful Christian, afraid that he is unable to hang on to the Lord, needs to know that it is the Lord who hangs on to him! “For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” (Psalm 56:13). Our Savior, who died for our sins and rose again for our justification, promises this. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall [anyone] pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). HMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 26, 2022
Altar Building
“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.” (Genesis 12:7)

This is the first reference to Abraham building an altar in Scripture. Building an altar and making sacrifice to God denotes total dependence and reliance on Him. It implies saying no to self and yes to God—in effect presenting one’s self in submission to God as a sinner, trusting Him for gracious handling of one’s sin, and discounting one’s value apart from His work. Building altars became a habit with godly Abraham, the “friend of God” (James 2:23), and he practiced it many times during his life (see also Genesis 12:8; 13:4, 18).

We can surmise that at an early age, Abraham’s son, Isaac, was taught this same practice. It doesn’t seem that Isaac misunderstood or debated the situation, even when he himself was identified as the sacrifice to be slaughtered (Genesis 22:9). He fully trusted and worshiped the same God, and evidently agreed with Abraham’s obedient act. Later, Isaac himself practiced altar-building at least once on his own (26:25).

Compare Abraham and his family to Lot and his family. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Lot built an altar and recognized God as worthy of worship. No doubt as a direct result, Lot’s wife, sons, and daughters totally rejected these ideas, preferring the sinful practices and mentality of Sodom. Lot was a true believer (2 Peter 2:7-8), but his lifestyle and lack of “altar-building” rubbed off on his family, to the detriment of himself and the people of God ever since.

Here is the question: Do we want to be Christians who ignore proper worship and total submission to God and have families who do likewise? We don’t build physical altars today, but we do need daily times of family prayer. JDM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 27, 2022
Rest Only in Christ
“But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” (Genesis 8:9)

Unlike the raven, which Noah had sent out first, the dove could not live on the carrion floating on the floodwaters. After nine months cooped up in the Ark, she had reveled in her freedom when Noah first released her from the window of the Ark. Unaware of the outside perils while safe with Noah, she flew gaily off into the open spaces beyond, just like many a professing Christian, eager to cast off the constraints of his or her parental religion. “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness” (Psalm 55:6-7).

But the dove could find no rest away from Noah, whose very name means “rest”! His father, Lamech, by prophetic inspiration, had called his name Noah, saying, “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed” (Genesis 5:29). So, she finally returned, finding rest once again in Noah’s outstretched hands.

Just so, the Lord Jesus, in His greater ark of secure salvation, is waiting at its open window with arms outstretched, inviting all those weary of the doomed world outside to return to Him. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Christ’s message to the weary wanderer is: “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions,...return unto me; for I have redeemed thee” (Isaiah 44:22). HMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 28, 2022
The Folly of Humanism
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1)

Despite all their pretense of scientific intellectualism, those who deny the existence of a personal Creator God are, in God’s judgment, nothing but fools. The 14th Psalm, the 53rd Psalm, Romans 3, etc., all describe the inner character of all such people—whether they call themselves atheists or humanists or pantheists or whatever. This repeated emphasis indicates how strongly God feels about those who dare to question His reality. It is bad enough to disobey His commandments and to spurn His love; it is utter folly to deny that He even exists!

The Bible describes the awful descent from true creationism into evolutionary pantheistic humanism. “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:21-22, 25).

Certain atheists/humanists claim to be moral people, though their criteria of morality are often quite different from those of the Bible. No matter how admirable their humane acts of “righteousness” may seem, however, they are guilty of the sin of unbelief, the greatest sin of all. “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is” (Hebrews 11:6). With all the innumerable evidences of God’s reality as seen in the creation and throughout history, and then especially in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, it is utter foolishness to plunge blindly into eternity to meet the God whom they deny. HMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  January 29, 2022
Lovingkindness and Tender Mercy
“Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” (Psalm 25:6)

These beautiful words, “tender mercies” and “lovingkindness,” may sound somewhat old-fashioned in today’s sophisticated jargon, but the divine attributes they represent have been “ever of old” and will continue to characterize our tender and merciful, kind and loving God of all grace forever. Dropping them from our conversation (even in most newer translations of the Bible) is a sad loss that, to some degree, has impoverished our speech and, perhaps, our souls.

Note some of the rich scriptural testimonies associated with them: “[The LORD] redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Psalm 103:4). “Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me” (Psalm 40:11). “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1). “Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good; turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies” (Psalm 69:16).

Other than Proverbs 12:10 (“the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel”), all the occurrences of these two terms, either alone or together, are applied by the translators only to the Lord, never to men (the Hebrew words are rendered by other words in the King James when applied to people). This is beautifully appropriate, for our gracious God is uniquely the God of love and mercy. In spite of the fact that none of us deserve His lovingkindness or tender mercy, “the LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145:8-9). HMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

January 30, 2022
A New Song
“O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” (Psalm 98:1)

The theme of singing is frequently found in the Bible. Probably the first song ever sung was by God’s angels at the time of creation as God laid the cornerstone of the earth, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).

There are nine occasions when a “new song” was to be sung by the people of God. The very first, appropriately, was to extol God’s Word and His creation. “Sing unto him a new song;...For the word of the LORD is right,” and then “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made” (Psalm 33:3-6). Then the second new song is placed prophetically on the lips of Christ, representing His thoughts on the cross after His sufferings were finished and He had paid the redemption price for all our sins. “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit,...And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God” (Psalm 40:2-3).

The next has to do with spreading the good news. “O sing unto the LORD a new song:...shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people” (Psalm 96:1-3). The fourth is our text, focusing on Christ’s future coming as King. The next three new songs (Psalms 144:9; 149:1; Isaiah 42:10) continue that great theme.

Finally, there are two new songs to be sung by the redeemed in heaven (Revelation 5:9; 14:3). We shall then all be singing to the Lord Jesus Christ: “Thou art worthy...for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10). HMM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

January 31, 2022
Unbreakable Love
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23-24)

When the Pharisees asked for His view on divorce, Jesus replied by quoting our text, giving the Creator’s view on marriage and how men and women should approach it if they are to function as they were designed (Matthew 19:4-5). He added, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (v. 6).

In some special way, known fully only to Him, a man and woman in a marriage relationship can truly become one flesh, just as Adam and Eve were one flesh after Eve had been fashioned from Adam’s side. (Christ’s doctrine of marriage has no logical foundation, by the way, nor do we have any reason to marry if Adam and Eve were not real, specially created people.)

Our text was also quoted by Paul as he more fully explained the marriage doctrine (Ephesians 5:31), prefacing it with a brief discussion of the relationship between the Lord and His Church (v. 30). Just as we are inseparably “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones,” He designed each of us to be inseparably “one flesh” with his or her spouse.

Paul uses a forceful word for “leave,” meaning to completely leave one’s parents and “be joined” to the spouse. This word is equally forceful and leaves no room for a half-hearted commitment.

Marriage partners, in the eyes of the Creator, should be inseparable, just as the bones and flesh of a body cannot be separated, and just as we cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:35-39). JDM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  February 1, 2022
We Soon Fly Away
“For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4)

In this unique psalm, Moses is stressing the brevity of even the longest human life with the everlasting nature of God. In the pre-Flood world, men were able to live many hundreds of years, but no one ever lived as long as 1,000 years. By Moses’ time, the typical lifespan was 70 or 80 years (v. 10), much the same as today. Moses lived to age 120, but he was twice as old as most of his contemporaries when he finally died (note Numbers 14:29, 34; Deuteronomy 34:7).

Moses, therefore, was profoundly impressed with the ephemeral nature of a person’s time on Earth. Even if someone had lived a thousand years, this was only a little while in God’s sight, and his life would soon “fly away” (Psalm 90:10) and be forgotten.

There is nothing in this passage, incidentally, or in 2 Peter 3:8 (“one day is with the Lord as a thousand years”) to justify the misinterpretation that attributes billions of years to God’s creation week. In context (and one must always be sensitive to the context if he wants to understand any passage of Scripture), neither Moses nor Peter was referring to the creation week at all. Moses was stressing the brevity of human life, even that of the antediluvians, while Peter was rebuking the latter-day uniformitarians who would come denying the catastrophic effects of the great Flood. It is too bad that so many Christians are willing to distort Scripture like this in order to accommodate the imaginary ages of evolution.

The message we should really get from this Mosaic observation is the application He Himself makes. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12)! HMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  February 2, 2022
God's Presence in Flood and Flame
“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:2)

Although this tremendous promise is primarily to be understood in a spiritual sense (deliverance through overflowing sorrows and fiery trials), God has demonstrated His ability to fulfill the spiritual aspects of the promise by its miraculous, literal fulfillment in the physical realm on special occasions. The crossing of the Red Sea by the children of Israel is an obvious example of safe passage through deep waters.

The amazing experience of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace is the most spectacular example of deliverance from burning. As the three emerged unscathed from the “exceeding hot” flames, the king was astounded when he “saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them” (Daniel 3:27).

The entire world once was caused to pass through the Flood and one day must be destroyed by the fire (2 Peter 3:6, 10), but “eight souls were saved by water” (1 Peter 3:20) as the Flood carried them safely away in Noah’s Ark from the violent world of the antediluvians, and all those truly trusting in Christ will be “saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15) when He comes again.

These great experiences of the past and promises of the future assure us that God is able to deliver us through the deep waters and burning trials of this present life. “That the trial of your faith,...though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). HMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

February 3, 2022
Joint Heirs with Christ
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17)

Modern-day humanists and unbelievers take great sport in belittling Christians, but despite their estimate, and even despite whatever humble view Christians may entertain of themselves, the fact remains that the Bible clearly declares believers to possess a position of preeminent standing and blessing.

Consider the wondrous fact that we as believers are “children of God.” “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26). We are His offspring, for “according to his abundant mercy [he] hath begotten us again” (1 Peter 1:3). As His children, we even look like Him, in a spiritual sense, “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), and His Fatherly love surrounds us.

Furthermore, we are the inheritors of all good things, just as a human child can expect to inherit from his or her human father. Christ is the Son of God, but He is also “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). Our inheritance is nothing less than God Himself: all that He is and has is ours, and we will share it all with Christ, our elder brother. “The glory which thou [the Father] gavest me [Christ] I have given them [all believers]” (John 17:22).

This standing and privilege is ours, but we must not forget it is ours as a result of His doing, not our own worth, lest we become prideful. Nevertheless, it is ours. So let us believe it, accept it, and present it in such a way that others will want to share in it. JDM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

February 4, 2022
The Pattern in the Mount
“And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.” (Exodus 25:40)

Nothing that God does is capricious or accidental. A remarkable object lesson of His attention to every detail in the plan of salvation is the tabernacle in the wilderness. The divine blueprint for this structure and its attendants, followed by its construction and dedication, occupy no less than 13 chapters of Exodus. Then the exposition of the symbolical meaning of “the pattern” shown to Moses “in the mount” occupies a major part of three chapters in the book of Hebrews. At least in terms of space allocated to the tabernacle, it seems to constitute the major “type” of the Bible, speaking in many ways of the Lord Jesus Christ. Numerous authors have devoted entire volumes to its exposition. The brazen altar, the laver, the mercy seat, the high priest—all “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount” (Hebrews 8:5).

The God of the infinite cosmos is also the careful designer of every detail of His tabernacle and every moment of our days. “In thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16). Just as it was vitally important for the builders of the tabernacle to follow God’s pattern precisely, so it is essential that we also follow His blueprint for our own lives, and that pattern is Christ Himself. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). If our lives are to speak of Christ, as did the tabernacle, we must “walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). HMM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
  February 5, 2022
Working by Faith
“So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.” (Matthew 20:8)

This parable has long caused perplexity, not only among the workers in the parable, but also among readers ever since. Why would the Lord teach that wages paid for a given type of work should be the same for one hour’s work as for 12? His only explanation was that it was the owner’s right to do what he wanted with his own money, and that “the last shall be first, and the first last” (v. 16).

He also pointed out to the complaining workmen that he had completely fulfilled his contract with them. Early in the morning, this group of laborers had negotiated their own terms with him, and “he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day” (v. 2). Those he hired later in the day had said nothing at all about pay, being glad merely to work and willing to trust the lord of the vineyard to treat them fairly. This most probably means that the owner had first approached the early morning workers on the same basis, but they were unwilling to work without a contract negotiated on their own terms.

This is the difference. The first group insisted on a firm contract, and the owner therefore insisted on honoring it. The others worked by faith, trusting in the lord, knowing him to be a man of integrity and justice. Furthermore, they would have been willing to work all day long on this same basis, but they had no opportunity. They needed the job, and the owner, knowing their needs and their willing hearts, decided to pay them on the basis of what they would have done had they had the opportunity.

In any case, the parable surely teaches us that our heavenly rewards are not based on quantity of services rendered but on quality, with full account taken of opportunities, motivation, and trust in the Lord. HMM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

February 6, 2022
Beware of Balaam
“O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.” (Micah 6:5)

Three New Testament writers have left us sober warnings concerning Balaam. Peter warned against “the way of Balaam”; Jude against “the error of Balaam”; and John against “the doctrine of Balaam” (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14). God evidently considers these warnings necessary and appropriate for Christians even today. Yet Balaam, in his day, was a genuine prophet (note 2 Peter 2:16), possessed great knowledge concerning God, and even received direct revelations from God. What, therefore, were his way, his error, and his doctrine?

“The way of Balaam” was a readiness to prostitute his high spiritual gifts and privileges for “the wages of unrighteousness” (v. 15); being willing to preach something contrary to God’s Word for personal gain.

“The error of Balaam” was evidently his willingness to compromise his own standards of morality and truth in order “greedily” to accommodate those of his pagan patrons (Jude 1:11). Finally, “the doctrine of Balaam,” which even in John’s day was already infiltrating the church, was to use his own teaching authority to persuade God’s people that it was all right for them also to compromise their standards, even “to commit fornication” (Revelation 2:14) with their idol-worshiping enemies.

The notoriously corrupt state of much that is counterfeiting true Christian ministry today is clear evidence that those warnings against “Balaam-ism” are still urgently needed. No wonder Micah (the faithful prophet) urged God’s people to “remember” Balaam and his tragic end (Numbers 31:8). HMM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...