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Showing posts from September 1, 2013

Watchful Servant

The eyes can discern so much more than we realize. They draw in all the data that we put before them. Even our peripheral vision is gathering in movement and drawing us to it.
The Psalmist used the eyes as a way to show the attentiveness of a servant to his master. He said, "As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy." (Psalm 123:2)
Is this the servant looking to have his needs fulfilled or is this the servant looking to fulfill the master's needs? The prospective is totally different. Some have said the servant is looking at the master because it is through his master that his own needs are fulfilled. This is true but the essence of a silent and watchful servant is never first about his own needs but primarily about the needs of his master.
The servant in waiting is watchful of the slightest movements of the master, whether that is a win…

Humility

What's it like to eat grass? I'm sure you have probably seen a child do this but for most adults grass is not on their plate at all, any time. King Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler of the Babylonian Kingdom. It was stretched from Babylon under his direction eastward into India and westward into Israel and Egypt. He felt powerful and he was, but when he lifted up himself in pride God brought him down. (Daniel 4:4-34)
He walked in the palace one day and said "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:30) And at that very moment he was driven away from his authority and ate grass like cattle. This was the king's life for seven years until his faculties were returned to him by God.
When he did reassume the leadership of the Kingdom he praised the Most High and honored and glorified God who lives forever. He said, "His dominion is an eternal dominion…he does as he pleases with th…

Wealth and Death

It is natural to look at those who are wealthy and admire them and desire the same for yourself. In fact, our culture promotes this envy on a daily basis. The lure of comfort in wealth and the certainly, however misplaced, in its ability to obtain whatever you want is man's dream. But can wealth stand the test of death?
The writer of Psalm 49 saw "those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches." (49:6) They trust in themselves and "their followers, who approve their sayings" (49:13) also trusted in them but their wealth is impotent to keep them from dying.
He says, "No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough." (49:7-8)Not only is wealth unable to stop the act of death from occurring but it must be left behind when death does come.
Here is where the confidence of the Psalmist in regard to death is made evident. Although death comes to both rich and p…

Oppression and Bribery

How can these two seeming opposites find the same end?
Solomon spoke of this so simply and plainly that there is no argument against his words. He said, "He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty." (Proverbs 22:16)
To be one who oppresses the poor is to obtain riches at the expense of those who are less fortunate. This attitude rejects the general nature of the command to love your neighbor as yourself. It reveals greed in the heart and destroys community.
To be one who gives gifts to the rich, who do not need them, is a person in need of something and hoping their bribery will turn the heads of those who are genuinely wealthy. Their gifts will be accepted but their benefit will be short lived because the rich will see through their ruse to their desire.
Both actions, oppressing and bribery, bring the doer to poverty financially, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. He not only is destroying community bu…

Love and Faithfulness

These two actions of God will always be necessary.
Psalm 117:1-2 says, "Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever".And, 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
In Psalm 117 we find that Gentile nations as well as the Jewish nation are encouraged to join in praise to Jehovah. This is the name of God that means revealer and One who is full of grace. He dwells with His people guiding and delivering them and receiving their worship. The One's faithfulness "endures forever" (Ps. 117:2) and the One's love remains above all other actions (1 Corinthians 13:13). Faith becomes sight and hope becomes fulfilled in eternity but the love of God continues on in order for us to remain with God. His faithfulness to His promises is required also for us to inhabit eternity.
If the actions of…

War

The earth has had to endure many wars in every century. The First World War in the twentieth century was called the Great War but the Second World War was even greater with the release of atomic weapons on Japan. Fire and destruction were the result of that event.
Ezekiel describes the days leading up to a great war that is still future to him and to us as he prophesies about it in 580 B.C. Magog, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya and Gomer, names for nations of his era and still present today only some with different names, all will join forces to surround Israel and destroy it. (Ezekiel 38:4-17)
The description of this war is found also in chapters of the book of Revelation. Ezekiel says it will be a cataclysm of epic proportion with a great earthquake, pestilence and blood plus monsoon like rains, hailstones, fire and brimstone. Revelation 8:5-7 describes it as full of loud prolonged thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. It goes on to describe it as filled with hail an…