Posts from June 2021
Psalms 120-134 are called Songs of degrees or Songs of Ascents. It is generally agreed upon that these Psalms were sung by pilgrims on the ascending march from the Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem. The Hebrew word for glad conveys that of a joyful or cheerful countenance, perhaps even the making of merry voices and leaping for joy! Wow! Do you get that excited when Sunday rolls around and you have the opportunity to worship in the house of God? Let us rejoice with praise and thanksgiving, with BIG smiles on our faces and a spring in our step as we congregate this Lord’s Day to worship our God and King, our Savior!
C.S. Lewis once said of pride, “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.” Pride manifests itself in many ways. One way of identifying pride is when one spends all their time talking about themselves and feigns giving God any credit by an obligatory mention of Him here and there. Listen to what Solomon says! Destruction is the result and a fall is sure to come.
In days past, we looked at “what is love?”, “what is truth?” now let’s look at “what is right?” So, “right” can be defined as morally good, justified or acceptable. The word employed in our text conveys the thought of doing what is right in my own eyes, i.e., what pleases me, what I approve rather than what God approves or what pleases Him. In other words, “right” became relative rather than absolute, subjective to how one may feel about a certain situation rather than objective. The line of demarcation between right and wrong has been blurred by moral relativism. Today, as in the days of the Judges of Israel, nearly everyone advocates this “to each their own” philosophy. The standard for what “right” is, is found in God’s unchanging, forever relevant, forever settled Word, the Bible. As the moral fabric of our society continues to decay, we can be sure of this, the Word of God will never change! It’s not fluid where it will somehow adapt to changes we see in our society where once what was held as being right or sacred has now become wrong or profane.
The apostle Paul had a great passion to share the gospel with the world. In his endeavors to do so he realized that the great treasure that he wanted to share was held within a weak vessel, his body. He wanted everyone to know that the power he had to serve did not come from himself, but from God.
Wow! Talk about rightly dividing the word of truth! As Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2, he stopped at “the acceptable year of the Lord,” which is connected with the first advent and His gracious offer of Himself, “the day of vengeance of our God” belongs to the second advent and judgement. As we study the Bible and share our thoughts with others on social media where it’s forever recorded in cyberspace, let’s be very sure to rightly divide the word of truth. We mustn’t offer our own opinion of what a passage may say but employ proper biblical exegesis as we share the Scriptures and it’s meaning.
Dear Christian, do you find it difficult to sing the Lord’s song? Do the cares of this life have you weighed down? We have just experienced a year that took us by surprise and brought with it sickness, separation, death, loneliness, isolation, unemployment, division, bitterness and a myriad of other problems! The pain is real, often seen etched in the face of those that have been hit the hardest. This world isn’t our home! We are in a strange land, a land that is becoming day by day more inhospitable for those whose real home is beyond the Jordan. Let’s keep our eyes as Abraham did on the City whose builder is God. Soon my dear friend, we’ll see as John the Revelator did, a new heaven and a new earth. Then and only then will we be able to sing the Lord’s song because we’ll be at home with Him, rejoicing evermore!
The proverbial question: “What is truth”. Muse on this a spell, after all, this is a meditation. Blush It seems to me that everyone has their own truth. There’s “The Four Truths” Objective Truth: what exists and can be proved in this physicality Normative Truth: what we, as a group, agree is true Subjective Truth: how the individual sees or experiences the world Complex Truth: recognizes the validity of all those truths and allows you to focus on the one that is most useful at any given time.
Have you ever wondered as you’ve read this text what on earth does it mean? Apparently, Israel was using this proverb, complaining that what they were experiencing in terms of judgement or discipline from God was due to the sins of their fathers thus exonerating themselves of any culpability. However, God was demanding that they stop employing this proverb to explain their current state of affairs. They were not being judged due to the sins of their fathers, they were being judged for their own sins! I believe many Christians have the same mind-set as Israel. Rather than taking personal responsibility for our sins, we try to blame our adversities on the sins of others. It’s true that we are heavily influenced by our parents and can learn from them bad or sinful behavior but we have the choice to do right or wrong. Just because our parents were bad doesn’t mean we have to follow their footsteps. God will not chastise us for the sins that others may commit but He will for the one’s we commit.
Have you ever been in a situation, a difficult spot, a hard place in your life when you thought that there was no way out, no answer to your problem, no deliverance from your dilemma? I’m sure that Abram felt somewhat like that when God promised to make him a father of many nations at the age of 75. As Abram waited on God to fulfill His promise he wasn’t getting any younger nor was his wife Sarai. Tick, tick, tick, tick…..so the time went. Abram eventually took the matter into his own hands and out of God’s. However, Ishmael was not the son of promise. At the ripe old age of 99, God reveals Himself to Abram as El Shaddai, God Almighty in Genesis 17:1 reaffirming the promise to make Abram the father of many nations and God did fulfill that promise with the birth of Isaac. WOW! Going back to our text, “Is there anything too hard for Almighty God?” Emphatically, unequivocally no!
The Scripture has much to say about praying for one another. Prayer is the absolute best thing we can do, not just because it’s commanded but because it can accomplish much (James 5:16). Prayer for Peter set him free from prison (Acts 12:5). Just as Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands during battle gave Israel victory (Exodus 17:12), sometimes we need to help support those around us in need (Galatians 6:2).