1844.) 2 Peter 2

May 26, 2016

DANGER to growing Christians!

2 Peter 2 (English Standard Version)

False Prophets and Teachers

1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Even as there were holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), so also there were false prophets – and false teachers today. Peter stated this as a fact and not as a possibility; and he said they were among you, not only on the outside of the church.

“There were not only holy men of God among the Jews, who prophesied by divine inspiration, but there were also false prophets, whose prophecies were from their own imagination, and perverted many.”   — Adam Clarke

 False teachers work secretly. It isn’t that their teaching is secret, but the deceptive nature of their teaching is hidden. No false teacher ever announces himself as a false teacher.

 False teachers bring in destructive heresies that destroy by telling lies about Jesus Christ and His work for us and in us. By these heresies people are hurt and destroyed. Heresy isn’t harmless.

— David Guzik

2And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

These three examples of judgment show us the important principle that Peter wants to highlight.

  • God judged the angels who sinned, so no one is too high to be judged.
  • God judged the ancient world before the flood, so God doesn’t grade on a curve.
  • God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, so even the prosperous can be judged.

Therefore, what makes the ungodly think they can escape God’s judgment? Their coming judgment is certain. As Jesus said in Luke 10:10-12, for those who reject the truth it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom.

 — David Guzik

7and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,

“St. Peter freed by an angel” -by Jusepe de Ribera (1639)

Peter, as much as anyone, knew how true it is that “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,” because the Lord had sent an angel to jail to bring Peter out (Acts 12).

and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 14They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!

Let’s talk about sin.

He that falls into sin is a man; that grieves at it, is a saint; that boasteth of it, is a devil.
–Thomas Fuller

I would rather die than do something which I know to be a sin, or to be against God’s will.
–Joan of Arc

You sin in thinking bad about people — but, often, you guess right.
–Giulio Andreotti

Sorrow is held the eldest child of sin.
–John Webster

15Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

Balaam was hired by a pagan king to curse the people of Israel.  For a while he refused, out of obedience to God — but eventually his greed overpowered him:  “he loved gain from wrongdoing.”  His donkey had to try to talk sense into him!

17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.

Jude 1:12 (NIV)

These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.

18For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Christians warmly debate the issue of whether or not it is possible for a true Christian to ever lose their status as a true Christian and fall away to damnation. Perhaps the best way of understanding the issue is to say that it is certainly true that those who appear saved – those who fit the description of Peter here – can end up in a place where it would have been better for them not have known the way of righteousness.

Regarding these, those with a Reformed perspective will say that they were actually never saved; those with an Arminian perspective will say that they were actually saved and lost their salvation. To divide along the lines of this debate – which focuses on things that are unknowable to outside observation – seems to fall into the category of being obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, as in 1 Timothy 6:4.

–David Guzik

22What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

_________________________

Music:

Ick! I don’t want to return to my vomit!  Leave the past and all its sin alone!  Instead, “Take me to the cross again,” for there is where I see most clearly Christ’s redeeming love and find my new life. Listen and rejoice  HERE.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
2 Peter title.  http://calvarychapelsavinggrace.com/teachings/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/2_peter_title.jpg
heresy stamp.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/heresystamp1.png
de Ribera.   http://render.fineartamerica.com/images/rendered/medium/greeting-card/images-medium-5/saint-peter-freed-by-an-angel-jusepe-de-ribera.jpg
apple.  http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/images/apl-bite.gif
Balaam and his donkey.   http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2010/248/f/5/balaam_and_talking_donkey_by_miguel0100-d2y3rmu.jpg
eternal security.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/eternalsecurity.jpg

1843.) 2 Peter 1

May 25, 2016

GUIDANCE for growing Christians!

2 Peter 1 (English Standard Version)

The date and destination of this letter are uncertain, and the authorship has been disputed. Because of this, 2 Peter was the last book admitted to the canon of the New Testament Scripture.

In an culture that places decreasing value on God’s Word as “the” single authority of truth, Peter’s second letter is a timely series of reminders to help followers of Jesus guard against false teaching that proliferates in a truthless society.

Greeting

1Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Make Your Calling and Election Sure

3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises,

“He tells us too, that faith is ‘precious;’ and is it not precious? For it deals with precious things, with precious promises, with precious blood, with a precious redemption, with all the preciousness of the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Exceeding great and precious promises. — 2 Peter 1:4

“Promises precious and supreme,” “precious and wondrous,” “precious and very great.” To read the different translations is like turning a jewel in the light. Each turn shows some new beauty.

In the end we shall find every promise perfectly fulfilled. Then why should we not let our hearts rest in peace about everything that happens? For nothing can happen that can break a single one of these precious and exceeding great, supreme, and wondrous promises.

What depth it gives to Peter’s words when we remember that he was to die by crucifixion, and knew it. There is no promise of an easy passage, but there are countless promises for every day of the voyage, and for a welcome when He brings us to our desired haven (as Psalm 107:30 puts it).

Let us take one promise for our own today, live on it it, test it and prove it — and thank Him for it.

so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Galatians 4:4-7 (NIV)

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.  Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

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5For this very reason, make every effort (= giving all diligence!) to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

10Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“There are two ways of entering a port. A ship may come in, waterlogged and crazy, just kept afloat by continual working at the pumps; or it may enter with every sail set, her pennon floating at the mast-head. The latter is what the apostle desires for himself and those who he addresses. He desired that an entrance abundant should be ministered unto them.

“An ‘abundant entrance’ was really a choral entrance. The idea was of a Roman conqueror coming into his city, welcomed by singers and musicians who would join him in a glorious, happy procession into the city.

“Will your entrance into heaven be like that? Will you enter it, saved so as by fire, or to receive a reward? Will you come unrecognized and unknown, or be welcomed by scores and hundreds to whom you have been the means of blessing, and who will wait you?”

— F. B. Meyer

12Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.

A sports team going for the championship will practice the same fundamentals over and over again. They do this, even thought they know the techniques, because they know what is at stake. (Although when my husband watches sports on television, I often hear him getting irked by the carelessness of players regarding the basics that even kids ought to know!) In the same way, we Christians should never get tired of hearing and reviewing the rudiments of the Christian life. 

13I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

Established is the same word translated strengthen in Luke 22:32, when Jesus told Peter “when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Here, Peter fulfilled that command of Jesus. He would establish and strengthen us by reminding us of the basics of the Christian life.

–David Guzik

Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word

16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

Mark 9:2-8 (NLT)

The Transfiguration

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed,  and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.

Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t really know what else to say, for they were all terrified.

Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.”  Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them.

19And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,

Morning Star so radiant and holy
Shine on me in my great hour of need
Jesus Christ so beautiful and lovely
Shine over me

20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

_________________________

Music:

How grateful I am for Scripture, a love letter from God which illuminates my way through all of life’s vicissitudes and helps guide me to eternal life.   HERE  “Thy Word”  is sung by the Maranatha Singers.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
2 Peter title.  http://calvarychapelsavinggrace.com/teachings/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/2_peter_title.jpg
precious promises.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/2-peter1-4-precious-sm.jpg
pyramid.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/marriagemountain.gif
sailing into port (Cleveland Tall Ships Festival 2010).    http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/replicate/EXID37922/images/575-100707_3CS8090.jpg
Transfiguration.   http://www.gerhardy.id.au/images/transfiguration2.jpg
morning star.   http://www.torchleader.com/tl/3975199949_668c3575ff.jpg

1842.) Proverbs 8

May 24, 2016

In this Greek icon, Lady Wisdom is presented with her three daughters, Faith, Hope, and Love.

Proverbs 8 (The Message)

Lady Wisdom Calls Out

1-11 Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?
She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square
where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
“You—I’m talking to all of you,
everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
I’m telling you how to live at your best.
My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—
I can’t stand the taste of evil!
You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth;
not one syllable will be twisted or skewed.
You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds;
truth-ready minds will see it at once.
Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,
and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.
For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.

from Whistling in the Dark:  An ABC Theologized
by Frederick Buechner

In the Book of Proverbs, Wisdom is a woman.  “The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,” she says (Proverbs 8:22).  She was there when he made the heaven, the sea, the earth.  It was as if he needed a woman’s imagination to help him make them, a woman’s eye to tell him if he’d made them right, a woman’s spirit to measure their beauty by.  “I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,” she says (Proverbs 8:30), as if it was her joy in what he was creating that made creation bearable, and that’s why he created her first.

Wisdom is a matter not only of the mind but of the intuition and heart, like a woman’s wisdom.  It is born out of suffering as a woman bears a child.  It shows a way through the darkness the way a woman stands at the window holding a lamp.  “Her ways are ways of pleasantness,” says Solomon, then adding, just in case there should be any lingering question as to her gender, “and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17).

12-21 “I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
The Fear-of-God means hating Evil,
whose ways I hate with a passion—
pride and arrogance and crooked talk.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Proverbs 8:14 — Counsel is Mine and sound wisdom:  I am understanding; I have strength.

Job 28:23 — God understandeth the way thereof and He knoweth the place thereof.

God understands. There are no ways and no places that He does not understand.

Have you ever thought what a tremendous difference it would make to our lives if this were not true? Imagine the feelings of a soldier if he had good reason to doubt that his commanding officer understood the situation. We are soldiers. Our Commander understands. His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5). Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident (Psalm 27:3).

Because of His infinite understanding, God knows that we want to be sure that the One who says He understands has been through the mill Himself. And so we have this wonderful touch of His special understanding in Proverbs 8, where it is clear that the speaker is our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. I am Understanding. I, the man of Sorrows acquainted with grief, I who was tempted in all points just as you are, I am Understanding.

It is restful to be understood, to be with one who never misjudges. Let us rest in his presence today.

With my help, leaders rule,
and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me;
those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me—
also substantial Honor and a Good Name.
My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
filling their arms with life—armloads of life!

Though described as with God, wisdom is not asserted to be God. Such a presentation is consistent with personification, a literary metaphor in which a thing or an abstraction is represented as a person. (Common examples of personification in our ordinary lives include Mr. Clean, Aunt Jemima, the Jolly Green Giant, etc.) So “Lady Wisdom”  is not the female side of God, nor is she a feminine deity in her own right. Instead she praises God; she calls people to heed her teachings and so to find life. Wisdom shows the character of God, and God will give wisdom to all who learn from the Proverbs.

22-31 “God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—
before he did anything else.
I was brought into being a long time ago,
well before Earth got its start.
I arrived on the scene before Ocean,
yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes.
Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape,
I was already there, newborn;
Long before God stretched out Earth’s Horizons,
and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather,
And set Sky firmly in place,
I was there.
When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean,
built the vast vault of Heaven,
and installed the fountains that fed Ocean,
When he drew a boundary for Sea,
posted a sign that said no trespassing,
And then staked out Earth’s Foundations,
I was right there with him, making sure everything fit.
Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause,
always enjoying his company,
Delighted with the world of things and creatures,
happily celebrating the human family.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  Hillsong sings  “God Is Great.”  The whole earth sings to the glory of the Creator!

_________________________

32-36 “So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.

“Mother Jeanne Nursing Her Baby” painted by Mary Cassatt, 1907

Luke 11:27-28 (ESV)

As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said,  “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
don’t squander your precious life.
Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
awake and ready for me each morning,
alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.
But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”

_________________________

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
Lady Wisdom.    http://hindsfoot.org/xsophia3.jpg
painting by Arthur Douet.    http://www.arthurdouet.com/gallery/goddess_463x600.jpg
“He Cares” by Valeria Jean Marcus.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/9-he_cares.jpg?w=450
Aunt Jemima.    http://darwen.us/darrell/blographics/080325d.jpg
Cassatt.    http://www.wikiart.org/en/mary-cassatt/mother-jeanne-nursing-her-baby-1908?utm_source=returned&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=referral

1841.) David in the New Testament

May 23, 2016
King David by Adamo Tadolini on the base of the Colonna dell'Immacolata, Rome Italy

King David by Adamo Tadolini on the base of the Colonna dell’Immacolata, Rome Italy.

1841.)   David in the New Testament

You may find it interesting to know that David is mentioned 54 times in the New Testament — 35 times in the Gospels, 10 times in Acts, and the remainder in the letters. David bookends the New Testament, mentioned in the first and last chapters. In Matthew 1 he is noted as an ancestor to Jesus:

Matthew 1:1

[ The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah ] This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
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At the close of Revelation Jesus calls himself both an ancestor and a descendant of David:

Revelation 22:16

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
.
When an angel comes to tell Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy is not to be feared, the angel addresses him by his connection to David:

David Joeseph's dream

Matthew 1:20

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
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On the night of Jesus’ birth, angels announce the good news to shepherds and send them to Bethlehem, also known as the City of David:

David angels sing to shepherds

Luke 2:11

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

.
Even foreigners knew the connection between David and Jesus:

David Canaanite woman

Matthew 15:22

A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
.
When Jesus was passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem and the cross, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus shouted out to him. Jesus asked him what he wanted and then restored his sight:

David Bartimaeus

Mark 10:47

When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
.
The people in the crowds who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem on his Triumphal Entry called him by David’s name:

David triumphal-entry

Matthew 21:9

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
.
On Pentecost, Peter contrasts the death and burial of King David with the death and resurrection of Jesus:

David Peter Pentecost

Acts 2:29-32

My friends, it is right for me to speak to you about our ancestor David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is still here. But David was a prophet, and he knew that God had made a promise he would not break. He had told David that someone from his own family would someday be king. David knew this would happen, and so he told us that Christ would be raised to life. He said that God would not leave him in the grave or let his body decay. All of us can tell you that God has raised Jesus to life!

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On Paul’s First Missionary Journey, he preached to a crowd at Pisidian Antioch. His sermon displays a pattern he often followed — giving a brief account of Jewish history and religious beliefs, and then showing that Jesus is the fulfillment of their story:

David Paul preaching

Acts 13:22

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
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The writer of Hebrews includes David in his famous chapter of the faithful:

David King

Hebrews 11:32

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets.
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Finally, in the last book of the Bible, Jesus is noted as the ultimate Victor and associated forever with David:

David Lion of Judah

Revelation 5:5

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
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So we see the life of David as foreshadowing the life of Christ. Born in Bethlehem, shepherd, king — clearly there are similarities. Yet David, great as he was, bows to a greater one, the Messiah, while singing the praises of the Most High!
_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a song that goes with the story of the healing of blind Bartimaeus.  Certainly our souls cry out with him:  “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

_________________________
Images courtesy of:
statue of King David in Rome.  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Adamo_Tadolini-David-Colonna_dell’Immacolata.jpg
Joseph’s dream.   http://www.bibleimages.ca/images/josephdream1/dwnload4.jpg
angels sing to the shepherds.   http://www.layman.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/angels.jpg
Canaanite woman appeals to Jesus.   http://www.trentonmonitor.com/SiteImages/Article/2555a.jpg
blind Bartimaeus.   http://maryricehopkins.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Bartimaeus3.jpg
Triumphal Entry of Jesus.   http://www.dondetrick.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/triumphal-entry-jesus-.jpg
Peter preaches at Pentecost.   http://www.tolleetlege.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/St.-Peter-Preaching-in-Jerusalem-Poerson-1642-e1365780433925.jpg
Paul preaching to the Greeks.   https://i1.wp.com/stpaulsseminary.in/wp-content/gallery/seminary-pics/st_paul_preaching.jpg
King David and his harp.   http://cdn.timesofisrael.com/uploads/2014/10/shutterstock_52352260.jpg
Lion of Judah.   http://www.shoutsofjoyministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Lion-Of-Judah-HD-Wallpaper.jpg

1840.) Psalm 69

May 20, 2016

“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.”

Psalm 69 (English Standard Version)

Save Me, O God

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David.

As with Psalm 45, this Psalm is Set to The Lilies. The phrase may refer to general beauty of the composition, to the tune, or even to a six-stringed instrument known as the Shoshannim (the literal translation of the Hebrew).

“Perhaps in no psalm in the whole psalter is the sense of sorrow profounder or more intense than in this. The soul of the singer pours itself out in unrestrained abandonment to the overwhelming and terrible grief which consumes it.” (G. Campbell Morgan)

–David Guzik

1Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
2I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.

DEEP WATER
by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

“I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where floods overflow me”
(Psalm 69:2).

Save me, O God,
For my soul is being flooded
With foolishness.
My sins are not hidden from Thee.
I am sinking
With no place to stand;
I am in deep water.
Floods overflow me;
I wait for God to rescue me.
My throat is dry
From calling on Him.
I weep and chasten my soul,
Mocking my own weakness.
Hear me speedily, God,
And don’t hide your face.
I need a comforter:
Turn to me with tender mercy.
Deliver me out of this mire.
Let me not sink.
Save me from this deep water:
I am in real trouble—
Danger.
Don’t let the deep swallow me up.
Let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Make haste, O God,
Tarry not;
You are my help
And deliverer.

3 I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.

4 More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
those who attack me with lies.
What I did not steal
must I now restore?

John 15:18-25 (NLT)

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.  The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.  Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.  They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the One who sent me.  They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.  Anyone who hates me also hates my Father.  If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father.  This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.'”

5O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

6Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
O Lord GOD of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
O God of Israel.
7For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
that dishonor has covered my face.
8I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my mother’s sons.

John 7:1-5 (NLT)

After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death.  But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters,  and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles!  You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!”  For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

I am grateful that Jesus understands the alienation we face.

9For zeal for your house has consumed me,
and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
10When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,
it became my reproach.
11When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
12I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
and the drunkards make songs about me.

13But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
14Deliver me
from sinking in the mire;
let me be delivered from my enemies
and from the deep waters.
15Let not the flood sweep over me,
or the deep swallow me up,
or the pit close its mouth over me.

16Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good;
according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
17 Hide not your face from your servant;
for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.
18Draw near to my soul, redeem me;
ransom me because of my enemies!

19You know my reproach,
and my shame and my dishonor;
my foes are all known to you.
20 Reproaches have broken my heart,
so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none,
and for comforters, but I found none.
21They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.

John 19:28-30 (NLT)

Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”  A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.  When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

22 Let their own table before them become a snare;
and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
and make their loins tremble continually.
24Pour out your indignation upon them,
and let your burning anger overtake them.
25 May their camp be a desolation;
let no one dwell in their tents.


Acts 1:15-20 (NLT)

During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them.  “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David.  Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”

(Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines.  The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)

Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’

26For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
27 Add to them punishment upon punishment;
may they have no acquittal from you.
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

29But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

30I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

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Music:

HERE  is “Rise Up and Praise Him.”  This should raise your energy level!

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31This will please the LORD more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
33For the LORD hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

34Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.
35For God will save Zion
and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

The lovers of His Name shall settle down therein is written of His people find their home in their own land.  We are lovers of His Name.  Let us settle down in peace as a bird settles down in its nest, not wanting any other nest, not wondering why the wind blows our tree so fiercely sometimes, or why the sky is sometimes dark and the rain fall heavily.  All that comes—by the time it touches us—is His holy providence, His beneficent care.  It will only cause to shine forth more clearly the truth of His words of strong consolation.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
high water.     https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-GPuV7MUpAes/TXbipMmtUxI/AAAAAAAAATI/km4MJXBNhbM/s1600/PSALM+69A.jpg
hate tattoo.    http://www.creativeclass.com/creative_class/_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/hate.jpg
Jesus’ brothers and sisters.    http://www.goodnews.ie/famjesus.gif
I thirst.     http://wheat4paradise.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/i-thirst2.jpg?w=500&h=329
Judas betrays Christ with a kiss.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/judaskiss.jpg
robin on nest.    http://ibc.lynxeds.com/files/pictures/Robin_on_nest.jpg

1839.) Psalm 64

May 19, 2016

 

Psalm 64 (English Standard Version)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

As with many of David’s Psalms, this one concerns a crisis that made him cry out to God. It is impossible to connect this Psalm to a specific event in David’s life with certainty.

–David Guzik

1Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
preserve my life from dread of the enemy.

“We need to pray as the psalmist does, not so much for the deliverance from enemies as for deliverance from fear of them.” 

–G. Campbell Morgan

2Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
from the throng of evildoers,
3who whet their tongues like swords,
who aim bitter words like arrows,
4shooting from ambush at the blameless,
shooting at him suddenly and without fear.

. . . the throng of evildoers . . . 

Mark 15:12-14 (NLT)

Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

“Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

5They hold fast to their evil purpose;
they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see them?”
6They search out injustice,
saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.”
For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!

How often we as believers lack an encouraging spirit. But look at these evil doers! They are constantly coming up with new plans and new attacks, keeping each other’s spirits up in their wicked deeds!

7 But God shoots his arrow at them;
they are wounded suddenly.
8They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them;
all who see them will wag their heads.
9Then all mankind fears;
they tell what God has brought about
and ponder what he has done.

To ponder, to consider carefully, to reflect deeply — it runs both ways!

Proverbs 21:2 (KJV)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

10Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD
and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart exult!

God’s dealing with the wicked will be a lesson to all people, but it will be special joy to the righteous!

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Music:

HERE  is Hillsong and “Came to my rescue.” Indeed, He never fails!

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English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
flowers.    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/95/5a/dd/955adda74edf6c49357d4348ca309d39.jpg
crown of thorns.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/jesus-crucified.jpg
pondering statue.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/ponder1.jpg

1838.) Psalm 62

May 18, 2016

 

Psalm 62   (Good News Translation)

The title of this Psalm is, To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

The Chief Musician is thought by some to be the Lord God Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in Davids time, such as Heman the Singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:33, 16:17, and 25:6).

Jeduthun was one of the musicians appointed by David to lead Israel’s public worship (1 Chronicles 16:41; 25:1-3). Charles Spurgeon wrote regarding Jeduthun: “The sons of Jeduthun were porters or doorkeepers, according to 1 Chronicles 16:42. Those who serve well make the best of singers, and those who occupy the highest posts in the choir must not be ashamed to wait at the posts of the doors of the Lords house.”

–David Guzik

1 I wait patiently for God to save me; I depend on him alone.

“The natural mind is ever prone to reason, when we ought to believe; to be at work, when we ought to be quiet; to go our own way, when we ought steadily to walk on in Gods ways.” 

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

2 He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.

“He alone is my rock and my salvation.” — Psalm 62:2 (NIV)

3 How much longer will all of you attack someone who is no stronger than a broken-down fence?
4 You only want to bring him down from his place of honor; you take pleasure in lies. You speak words of blessing, but in your heart you curse him.

5 I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him.

Ps62 5 hope

WHERE IS YOUR HOPE?

It is the believer’s privilege to use this language. If he is looking for anything from the world, it is a poor hope indeed. But if he looks to God for the supply of his needs, whether temporal or spiritual blessings, his hope will not be in vain. He may constantly draw from the bank of faith and get his need supplied out of the riches of God’s loving-kindness. I know this: I would rather have God for my banker than all the Rothschilds.

My Lord never fails to honor His promises; and when we bring them to His throne, He never sends them back unanswered. Therefore I will wait only at His door, for He always opens it with the hand of abundant grace. At this hour I will turn to Him afresh.

But we have “hope” beyond this life. We will die soon; and still our “hope is from him.” May we not expect that when we face illness He will send angels to carry us to His bosom? We believe that when the pulse is faint and the heart is weak, some angelic messenger shall stand and look with loving eyes upon us and whisper, “Come away!” As we approach the heavenly gate, we expect to hear the welcome invitation, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We are expecting harps of gold and crowns of glory; we are hoping soon to be among the company of shining ones before the throne; we are looking forward and longing for the time when we shall be like our glorious Lord–for “We shall see him as he is.”

Then if these are your hopes, O my soul, live for God; live with the desire and resolve to glorify Him from whose grace in your election, redemption, and calling you safely “hope” for the coming glory.

–Charles Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg

6 He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.
7 My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; he is my shelter.

“Observe how the Psalmist brands his own initials upon every name which he rejoicingly gives to his God — my expectation, my rock, my salvation, my glory, my strength, my refuge; he is not content to know that the Lord is all these things; he acts in faith towards him, and lays claim to him under every character.”

–Spurgeon again

8 Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for he is our refuge.

9 Human beings are all like a puff of breath; great and small alike are worthless. Put them on the scales, and they weigh nothing; they are lighter than a mere breath.
10 Don’t put your trust in violence; don’t hope to gain anything by robbery; even if your riches increase, don’t depend on them.

Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

11 More than once I have heard God say that power belongs to him
12 and that his love is constant.  You yourself, O Lord, reward everyone according to their deeds.

“David says that he has learned two lessons: that God is strong and that God is loving.”

–James Montgomery Boice (pastor of Tenth Pres in Philadelphia for over 30 years)

Psalm 62 seems to come from a time of trouble, yet it asks God for nothing. It is full of faith and trust, but has no fear, no despair, and no petition. Oh, let me have such a faith!

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Music:

HERE  is a musical version of Psalm 62.

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Scripture taken from the Good News Translation – Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society.

Images courtesy of:
engraved stone.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/psalm62_11.jpg
big rock at the beach.    http://www.trinityinspirations.com/images/Haystack2.jpg
Psalm 62:5.   http://arkangel.godinterest.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/220/2015/06/psalm-62-5.jpg
hearse with uhaul.    http://spiritualblueprint.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/hearseuhaul01-300×225.jpg?w=300&h=225

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