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Showing posts from July 21, 2013

Knowing God

How do people separated from God in the far reaches of the world ever hear about God? Here is a great example of how he works that out.

The king of Assyria has an army that has conquered many nations. To keep these conquered peoples from revolting he takes portions of their population and moves them to other countries. Then, they are monitored regularly.
In one such incident, many are moved to northern Israel and are continually menaced by lions sent among them by God. So, it is explained to the king, "The people you deported and settled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires…So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the Lord." (2 Kings 17:26-28)
Isn't that amazing! God allows peoples that do not know Him to be conquered and moved to a location. Then, He makes the conquering King of Assyria aware of their situation where lions are destroying them. The assumption of these p…

Gaining Perspective

Often we lose perspective on what is right and important and it challenges our life. Here is the story of one person who lost it for a moment:

"I envied the arrogance and prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Pride is about their necks; they clothe themselves with violence. Their hearts are calloused and evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They scoff and speak with malice, even threaten oppression. Others turn to them and are rewarded. This is what the wicked are like—always carefree, they increase in wealth."
My thought was, "surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I been innocent. I was plagued and punished all the day long and every morning with this thought. I tried to comprehend this but it was oppressive to me."
"Then, I entered into the sanctuary of God; then I got perspective by seeing their final desti…

Getting Glory

Who gets the glory in your world? There is a selfishness that causes us to desire fame, honor and glory. It desires we be the center of attention in our world.
Both great and small that have come to faith have learned that God is the only One who deserves glory and praise. And, when He receives this our lives are the better, no matter what the circumstances.
Good King Hezekiah of Judah came to this understanding when he was confronted with a letter from Rabshakeh the representative of the King of Assyria. He sent a letter suggesting that Judah's God was deceiving His people by saying He would deliver them from Assyria's hands. Rabshakeh reviewed the conquests of many nations by Assyria and the defeat of their gods by saying, "Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver them: the gods of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, or of Hen…

Required

Whether we actually think it or whether it just rolls around in our non-conscious mind, there is a question that we ponder. It is a question of necessity; a question of requirement.
Man has forever been obsessed with this question. What is the perfect sacrifice that God will accept to allow me into His presence; to be with Him for my eternal future? Man has answered this by providing a variety of suggestions. It started back as far as Cain and Abel. Cain brought a sacrifice of his crops and Abel brought a sacrifice of a lamb. With his finite mind man has presumed the kinds of sacrifice that would be required, from animals and vegetables, to money, to works, even to human sacrifice would be what it takes to gain audience with or the attention of God. We have to do something desperate to gain His attention
But what does The God really want? Is it an outward sacrifice, a calf, a lamb, a burnt sacrifice, a child, money, or possessions? No, there is nothing we possess that is valuable enough…

Small but Significant

If nothing else would make us aware of God's continued plan for mankind it should be the prophecies concerning Christ. There are over 300 different prophecies (meaning they were spoken before their time) that relate to Jesus' birth, life, death, resurrection and rule. Micah 5:2 says, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
Micah spoke this and wrote it down just over 700 years before Christ was born, during the reigns of the last kings of Israel before they were taken into captivity by the empire of Babylon. Keys in this verse that focus it on Jesus Christ are: 1) Bethlehem is specifically identified as the birthplace of the future ruler of Israel. It could be suggested that this is King David who was also from Bethlehem except he doesn't match the further description at the end of the verse. 2) This king is "…

Deciding Right

Many have taught that true and full freedom comes only when you live without restraint. America in the 1960's advertised its "free love" emphasis. Situational ethics was espoused where every action and thought was evaluated on the basis of its circumstances rather than the law. All restraint was removed and what was supposed to be the best of ways turned into the worst of ways.
In the last verse of the book of Judges the writer defines his time. It was the time after the entrance into and conquest of the promise land and before the time of the kings of Israel. In this interim time called the time of the judges (not the law kind of judges but men and women who led the people kind) "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25) Right in your own "eyes" was not the physical eye but the eye of the soul; the heart and what it saw and wanted.
It is interesting to note that The Law, the ten commandments, which explained how to live toward…