Sunday, July 31, 2011

God's Answer

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

What God proceeded from there to show is the Kingdom that will come in Israel's future. The glories of that kingdom are the topic of much of the Old Testament prophecies but still we don't comprehend the half of it.
• Jesus Christ ruling in Jerusalem
• Believers ruling along side Him
• Animals being no danger to man
• People living without dying
It truly is a great and mighty thing which we know not.

But I am reminded that even that is not the end of God's future plan. The kingdom pales in comparison to eternity after.

• Calling upon God
• Hearing His Word
• Seeing what He has prepared for us in the future
What a thing to think upon.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

We Have a Gift

Romans 1:11 KJV
For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

Paul was not an arrogant man. It was not that he thought too highly of himself. But Paul was aware of what God had given him.
• He knew the Gospel was the power of God unto salvation
• He knew he had the Word of God and
He longed for opportunities to meet people and give to them the gift he possessed.

Paul was attacked all of his ministry. There was always someone who challenged whether the message he preached was true. But rather than hindering his longing to preach, it made the message that much more urgent. That someone preached a false gospel just made it so much more necessary that he preach the truth.

We must not be boastful or proud; but we must see our message as the truth that must be revealed and therefore find whatever means we might to spread it.
• The written word through letters, internet blogs, or tracts
• The personal visit to a friend or through planned evangelism events
Whatever the means we must understand that we have some spiritual gift to impart and

Friday, July 29, 2011

Eleven Years

Jeremiah 29:1 KJV
Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;

Scofield says the final and complete captivity happened eleven years after this. That means the process of captivity was long and grueling. Can you imagine living under that kind of oppression for more than eleven years?

• For more than eleven years Jeremiah kept the same sort of message going.
• For more than eleven years he was harassed by both prophet priest and king for preaching a message of judgment.

To have remained faithful to God is a wonderful testimony.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

God Has Bigger Plans

Jeremiah 27:12 KJV
I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.

Chapter twenty seven brings Jeremiah's clear instruction to Israel; surrender to Babylon. But I had not considered before that God's pronouncement upon Israel was also upon the nations surrounding Israel.

The reasons for Israel's defeat were clearly preached,
• Rebellion against God and
• Not giving the land its Sabbath rest
The surrounding nations were not subject to the Sabbath but they should have considered themselves subject to God. God's sovereign rule extended beyond Israel so God's use of Babylon as a means of chastisement extended beyond Israel too. It wasn't merely that Babylon was conquering nations and allowed Israel to be conquered too but that God had set up Babylon to conquer all of those lands He had determined. As Daniel will later attest, God sets up kings and puts down kings at His own discretion.

And this is a foreshadow of what will happen during the Tribulation Period that will one day try this planet; God's purpose is worldwide. The Tribulation is Daniel's seventieth week. It is the fulfillment of God's plan for Israel before giving them their promised kingdom. But God also has His sights set on the nations of the world during that same Tribulation. Souls from all nations will be saved and God judgment of unbelievers will be taking place simultaneous to God's work in Israel.

And so it is today. God is at work in the world as a whole,
• Not just Jerusalem
• Not just the Middle East
• Not just the United States
Even in those nations of the world we might think God has completely forgotten, or that have completely forgotten about God, He is at work.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Paul - In Charge

Acts 27:3 KJV
And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.

The fact that Paul was a prisoner with no charges against him explains why Julias would courteously entreat Paul and give him liberty. But it doesn't explain why, in the midst of the storm neither the sailors nor the soldiers were in charge, but Paul was. The circumstances were so terrible that the sailors had no more they could do but abandon ship. The soldiers must have been terrified. They are, after all, not sailors. Into this scene there is one man, despised by the world but whose testimony was true. He had done nothing worthy of the circumstances he was in. And that man knew God. When things got desperate enough everyone else abandoned all hope Paul's faith carried the day.

It can seem like we Christians are out of control of our lives. Circumstances beyond us carry our bodies where we would prefer not to go. But that in no way means our God is not there. If we will but maintain our testimony and keep our eye on the Lord, there will come a point when even those who believe they have the upper hand will appeal to our faith.

Trust God, guard your testimony and leave the rest to the Lord.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unreasonable Things

Acts 26:32 KJV
Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

In the last verse of chapter 25 Festus said it seemed unreasonable to send Paul to Caesar without laying out the charges against him. Now Festus and Agrippa agree that he has done nothing worthy of death and should be set at liberty. This indeed is an unreasonable thing to bring before the court of Caesar. Paul is going to go as a prisoner to Rome, his captors knowing him to be a victim and having no real chargeable offenses against him.

But people do unreasonable things. People do things that make no good sense except that they have set a course and generally don't change from it. Any reasonable person knows his sin is dangerous to himself and his family and probably to others as well. But he stays his course. He may have several times when he comes under the conviction that he should turn. He may have many people give testimony that his course is unreasonable. Still he remains on course.

God grant many more would see the need to turn to a course for Christ. And God grant the Christian faith to trust that God's plan is working out regardless of and even through the course of men.

Monday, July 25, 2011

But Jeremiah Was Right

Jeremiah 20:3 KJV
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib.

Jeremiah was going to the stocks, a humiliating experience. His only crime was preaching against sin. But he was going to be punished for it. As Pashur came to pronounce the sentence Jeremiah pronounced judgment upon him.

I am curious, though the Bible won't answer my curiosity, what was Pashur's reaction to Jeremiah's judgment. Pashur was certainly the man in charge, Jeremiah's judgment did not come immediately to pass, and Jeremiah did go to the stocks and worse. Pashur must have thought Jeremiah's emotional outburst, coupled with his "obvious" impotence to fulfill his judgment was evidence that he was right and Jeremiah was wrong.

But Jeremiah was right.

Some criticize a preacher for calling down judgment. We are supposed to be a loving and forgiving bunch. They see that our pronouncements have no obvious weight and judge us as having no right to make those judgments. But right is still right and, though it will be heaven before we see the revelation of truth fulfilled, a child of the Lord still ought to name sin for what it is.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Who Knows the Heart?

Jeremiah 17:9 KJV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The next verse answers the question as the Lord searches the heart and tries the reins.

God knows the heart. And it is to God we must appeal.

Though He sees all that is in our hearts His nature is that of mercy. If we will but seek His grace, which is Jesus Christ and if we will but trust in Christ, the God who knows our hearts will be gracious and merciful.

The prophet knew that judgment was coming. But he affirmed his appeal to be spared in
Jeremiah 17:16-18 KJV
As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee.
Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil.
Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.

We may do the same so long as we trust in the mercy of the Lord and not in our own works.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Alone

Jeremiah 15:16-17 KJV
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.

By the time Jeremiah is ministering for the Lord Jerusalem was pretty much a shambles spiritually. God told Jeremiah to cast them out of his sight.

And Jeremiah? His love for the Word of God had made him an outcast. Though we know there were others who followed the Lord in Jeremiah's, Daniel for instance. Still a man would feel very alone when nearly everyone around mocks that which he loved so dearly.

There have been many times in history that being a Christian has been mocked and even targeted. It should not shock us, nor turn us from the Lord. It should cause us to pray and encourage one another more in the Lord.

God help us to find our real rejoicing in the Bible and sit alone if need be, for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Friday, July 22, 2011

No, He Can't

Jeremiah 13:23 KJV
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Here is a very strong passage on the helplessness of man to fix the separation between him and God. No, the Ethiopian can't change his skin. But Acts chapter eight assures me that the Ethiopian can be born again.

The hope of any man is not in changing his ways. Even if he is successful in overcoming a bad habit, another and perhaps many other more evil habits will follow.
• The answer is not in reformation of the old man. The answer is in the birth of a new man.
• The answer is not in the strength of the flesh to change our ways; the best we will ever do is cover up the sinful nature (and that has merit in society, but not before God). The answer is to find peace with God despite our ways.
• The answer is not in a new way of life. The answer is in faith and hope in Jesus Christ.

It is to Christ I then appeal.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In the Iron Furnace of Our Own Making

Jeremiah 11:4 KJV
Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God:

Deuteronomy 4:20 KJV
But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

1 Kings 8:51 KJV
For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:

Three times the Bible calls Israel's experience in Egypt an iron furnace. Gill says Egypt is, "…compared to an iron furnace for the grievousness of it, its long continuance, and the use of it to try and prove them…"

• Israel was in Egypt 400 years
• They entered 70 souls, they left in the millions
• Their stay began in comparative favor
• But as time went on, people forgot why and how they got there
• Slavery appears to have been a slow progression until Israel had no idea how to leave
• In the end they were baking bricks in the furnace

How often is it we are trapped in a manner of living, not because we have to be but because it never occurred to us we could change? God brings to us a deliverer to lead to where we ought to be so we may escape where we have found ourselves.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So Many Reasons to Weep

Jeremiah 9:1 KJV
Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. But here he says he cannot weep as he would. The tragedy that was the rebellion of Israel had left him incapable of shedding the tears that ought to have been shed. Not that he did not care; mind you, but that the circumstances were so dire he hadn't enough tears to cover them all.

A thinking Christian could feel the same way today. The is so much to weep over in our world, there is so much sin of such a huge variety it is as if a Christian doesn't know where to begin weeping.
• Could it be the ungodly politics?
• Should we start at the maddening rise of non Christian religions?
• Is the carnality of the average professing believer where our tears might be focused?
• How about the fact that the vast numbers of living will end up eternally in hell?

There are reasons aplenty to weep. God grant us hearts to weep for those who share in the trials of this life, but do so without the peace that comes through knowing Christ.

Oh that our heads were as waters that we might weep for souls away from the Lord.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Step in the Right Direction

Jeremiah 7:24 KJV
But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

Scofield points out that God did not command Israel concerning sacrifices until after they had broken the Ten Commandments.

The original appeal of the Lord was, "…Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you." After breaking that commandment God then established the system of offerings and sacrifices.

It was a step backward for Israel, not a step forward.

And so it is in our day. This highly organized and ornate system of religious works that has been devised by men is a step back. God's intent is that we simply meet with Him (on the basis of the shed blood of Christ) and obey His leading. Anything more structured than that is a step in the wrong direction.

One might argue that because we have already stepped back this structure is necessary to bring us back into obedience. I suggest that such an argument is only another sign of backward progression.

We need to get back to obedience to Christ's two great commandments,
• Love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and
• Love our neighbor as ourselves

That will be a step in the right direction.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Someone, Somewhere

Jeremiah 5:1 KJV
Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.

Having read the book of Jeremiah, I know that the outcome is not an excellent one. Jerusalem is to the place spiritually where they just cannot hear God. They have become so deafened to the truth and so blinded by their pride that they will seek the truth. They believe they already have it.

Still there is in Jeremiah this constant appeal to find someone who may be pardoned. Jeremiah himself is commissioned because God seeks a man seeking the truth, that He may pardoned him.

It is not difficult today to feel as if there is no hope
• No hope for America
• No hope for the world

And that may be the case. It is possible that we are so far down the road of blind sin that there is no return.

But that is no reason to believe there cannot be someone, somewhere, still seeking the truth. There is very possibly someone near each one of us ready to be pardoned, if we will only run through the streets looking for them.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our Message is Encouraging

Jeremiah 3:12 KJV
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

What a powerful passage of Scripture.

Regardless of the backsliding of the people, God offers them to return and He will not be angry.

What an encouraging message we have to preach.

There is no reason but that anyone, under any circumstances, could not return to the Lord and find mercy and learn that He is not be angry with them.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

That's No Excuse

Jeremiah 1:7 KJV
But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

My son, Bohannan, just preached to a group of teens last night. He spent a good deal of time proving that the most mature Christians are still only little children so far as the Scriptures teach.
• We have so much to learn
• We have so far to travel on this Christian way
None of us can rightly say that we have arrived.

But Jeremiah adds to that truth that we must not use our childhood as an excuse.

God's intent is to use those who are least likely to be thought of as able without God to do the work of God. We must always see ourselves truthfully; as weak vessels and mere children in the faith. But we must never allow that to be an excuse for doing nothing in the fields for the Lord.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rejoice in This

Isaiah 65:18 KJV
But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

There is a truth in this that Christians may rejoice in all of God's creation. The,
• Mountains and rivers
• Lakes and oceans
• Vast deserts and great plains
• Ice packed polar caps and tropical forests
are all glorious to behold, and that, not to mention the animal life that God has created.

But God is specifically speaking here of the creation of His people who will bring into the world our Saviour Jesus Christ. Man has, many times over, taken the rejoicing in God's creation to an idolatrous extreme. We have worshiped the creature rather than the creator.

God calls us to rejoice in His creation that produces the means of salvation.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wait

Isaiah 64:4 KJV
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

Waiting is such a challenging thing. I doubt that any have ever really fully done it. Someone, they say, challenged D.L. Moody once by saying "The world has yet to see what God can do through one man fully surrendered to Him." Similarly the world has yet to see what God will do in a people who truly wait for Him.

Every one presses us to do. And we do not escape it in the Christian faith, we may have more pressure here than in other areas because here they place upon us the onus of God's displeasure with our waiting. I understand that Paul labored more abundantly. But I think it might be a matter of in which areas of the faith we labor.

I want to see what God will do.

I am sure it is bigger than my mind can contrive. I have seen enough of what men do;
• Striving with one another
• Justifying all sorts of worldliness for what they believe is the cause of the Lord
• Bickering with one another
• Stealing members from each other's flocks and
• Refusing to train people in ethical and Christian behavior because letting them remain as they are helps the cause of their own church (even if it does not help the cause of Christ.)
We are James' epistle fleshed out.
James 4:1-3 KJV
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

I want to see what God will do for those who wait upon Him.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Constant Explanation

Acts 14:15 KJV
And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

Paul and Barnabas had come to town to preach the Gospel and point souls to Christ. They had preached and they had healed a crippled man.

But their ministry had been misinterpreted. The fleshly and pagan minds of the citizens had not grasped the gospel. But they had latched onto the miracle and assigned to it a meaning that was opposite and abhorrent to the gospel.

And so must we be careful with our own ministries. The nature of the flesh, even among those who are saved, is such that it seems much easier to conceive the false thing behind the ministry instead of the truth.

Our task must not be to merely perform a ministry but to constantly explain the ministry clarify misunderstandings and ask questions to be certain that the message both of word and deed was properly understood.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Not God's Problem

Isaiah 59:1 KJV
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

They say the only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.

The people of Israel were asking the same questions six hundred years before the birth of Christ that people in America are asking two thousand years after the resurrection of Christ. Namely;
• Why isn't God helping us?
• Where is God?
• If He is all that the Word claims Him to be, why can't I seem to get answers for my prayers?
• Why do I feel so far from Him?
The answer to these questions just as the answer to our questions, is the same as it was then; the trouble is not with God but with us.

We are such a blind and one sided people. We see what we want in the Bible and we don't see what we choose not to see. So
• We see that God is powerful
• We see that God can bless people
• We see that there have been those who have communed with God
And we want all of that. We get discouraged and disillusioned with God when we do not get those blessings. We see it as a failure on God's part. What we do not see is that the failure is, as it has always been, on our part. It is our iniquities and our sins that have separated between us and our God.
• Our hands are defiled
• Our lips have lied
• Our tongues have spoken perverseness


• We have not called for justice
• We have not pled for truth

We don't like to admit it but the trouble is with us, not God.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lay This To Heart

Isaiah 57:1 KJV
The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

This verse and the one following are reminiscent of the rapture of the living believers into heaven and of the resurrection of those who have died into the same.

Even though the children of God go through the pains of death few think of the rescue God is taking them through. Lost people look at their death as a loss: life once lived will never again be.

But the child of the Lord sees death in a different light.
• Death delivers us from the troubles of this life
• Death frees us from the sin nature of this flesh
• Death spares us from the Tribulation that will try this earth, but greater than all of that,
• Death brings us into the glorious presence of God

Sunday, July 10, 2011

You Have to Get It

Isaiah 55:1 KJV
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

The invitation of God is for salvation freely offered.
• It must be obtained
• It will not come to us by accident
• We must come to get it
But we get it without price.

Why then do so many spend of their lives to buy something that does not save?

The need of the nations is that they would incline their ear to God; to abandon that way which seems right to a man and accept that higher way which comes from the Lord.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Don't Forget the Cross

Isaiah 53:1 KJV
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

The content of chapter fifty three ought to be taken as the continuation of fifty two verse fourteen; His visage so marred more than any man. It was then He was despised and rejected and we hid our faces from him.

The report that the prophet wants believed is that the death and suffering of the Saviour is the saving message.

We have missed the point, as did the Jews, if we only think of the Saviour in terms of riding out of heaven to destroy the armies of this world. And we can make that same mistake. We can forget the Cross for the second coming. There is no blessed hope in the coming of Christ until there has been time at the Cross.

• May we gaze into that crucified face before we gaze into heaven
• May we linger at the blood stained tomb before we go on to sing of victory
• May our hearts be broken at the price that was paid for our soul's redemption before we go away rejoicing that our sins are remembered no more

Friday, July 08, 2011

Christ Exalted

Isaiah 52:13 KJV
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

The next two verses describe first the terrible suffering of Christ, being marred more than any man, then that kings shall shut their mouths at him.

The word that struck my attention today is the word sprinkle. "So shall he sprinkle many nations..." That draws my mind to the Old Testament offerings where the blood was sprinkled out as an atoning agent. So too, when Christ was crucified, His blood was sprinkled on the nations of the world so that any who would be could be saved.
• People who had not seen, would see Christ
• People who had never heard, never had any contact with the God of Israel would consider Christ
and many will come to know Him.

Sprinkling is different than pouring in that not all are covered. In like manner the sprinkling of Christ reaches many nations but not everyone in those nations is touched. This is exactly what we have seen. The message of the Gospel has gone out to all the world but not all have heard and not all who have heard have been converted.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Never Forsaken

Isaiah 49:14 KJV
But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

Israel's removal of true faith has led them, to this very day to have almost no real faith in God. It is not that God has forsaken and forgotten them; it is that they have forsaken and forgotten God.

God demonstrates the error of their thoughts in three arguments;
That of a mother's love for her child
Can she forget the child she has born? Because of the sin nature, as unlikely as it is she might, but God says He will not forget Israel.

He says we are engraved in the palm of his hand
So that no matter how far they might remove themselves from God, they are continually in His sight.

God promises that their enemies will flee and exhorts them to lift up their eyes and see the multitudes coming from every land
Those Gentiles who have trusted Christ become an adornment like a wedding dress upon Israel. It is to their honor that Christ has redeemed and called and separated out of this world such multitudes from the nations.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

What God Will Do for His Name

Isaiah 48:9 KJV
For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.

I call attention also to verse eleven.
For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

• For God's own name He defers His anger, yet
• He will not allow His name to be polluted

I take His name to be a reference to Jesus Christ. The Father's wrath has been at refrain for the sake of Jesus Christ. His work and, in the Old Testament; the promise of His work, has stopped the judgment of God.

The name of God has been vilified in our world for centuries. God has held His hand of wrath and allowed the heathen to mock His name and the people, who profess His name, but not in truth and righteousness (vs. 1) to continue to do so.

But this must not always be the case.
For the sake of Christ God has withheld judgment; but again for His own sake God will refine His own so that no glory goes to another. For Christ's sake we receive mercy. In exchange, only Christ receives glory.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Building On Love for God

Isaiah 45:6 KJV
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

This chapter emphasizes God as the only God
• Our Maker vs 9
• Our guide vs 11
• Our rewarder vs 14
• Our confidence vs 18
• Our Saviour vs 22

What a glorious chapter to enhance the believer's love for the Saviour. It is a chapter I look forward to coming to time and time again.

Monday, July 04, 2011

What God Does Not Know

Isaiah 44:8 KJV
Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

Here is something that the all knowing God does not know.

God is omniscient, infinite in knowledge. All that can be known, He knows. If I were to say, "I do not know of any god besides God." all it would mean is that I have not been exposed to that knowledge yet.
• There are so many things I don't know.
There is so much I have not learned, indeed so much I never will learn, that the fact I don't know of any other god means nothing at all.

But this passage does not come from the likes of me. This comes from the One who knows all things and is the source of all knowledge. When God says He knows of no other god it stands as irrefutable proof that there is no other god to be known.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

My Patriotic Thought

Isaiah 41:5 KJV
The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.

I am not one given to finding things that are not specifically in the Word of God. However I am aware that some have suggested that various references to the islands in the Scriptures could be prophetic of England and then of the United States. I can see that in this passage.

The timing is after the Babylonians captivity.
• The Isles are instructed not to boast in their might and accomplishments; these have all been orchestrated of the Lord.
• The Isles feared, and from them, the nations to the ends of the earth feared the Lord and drew near to God.
• People from around the world came together and forged a powerful union, which could indicate the United States.

But I note in verse eight that God's attention is still on Israel and what follows sounds like the Kingdom. The Lord will gather people of all nations to Himself.

America has been a powerful figure to bring people to know the Lord: but God's plan remains to bless Israel and from her to bless all nations.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Christ; Equal with God

Isaiah 40:25 KJV
To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

It is significant that this question and the one like it in verse eighteen, are written in this chapter. The key of the chapter (and really, of the rest of Isaiah) is the comfort found in the Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Men try to carve out the image of God.
• They attempt to fashion some likeness of God
• They look for some means to know God
But they so often do not see that God has given them the answer to their search. It is the Person of Jesus Christ who is the express image of God. When we have seen Christ, we have seen the Father. It is
• In Christ that we meet God
• In Christ we obtain comfort
• In Christ we find strength in times of weakness

Friday, July 01, 2011

The True Miracle

Acts 2:24 KJV
Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead and loosed the pains of death because it was not possible that He should be holden of it.

The miracle was that He died at all because, as God, death had no mastery over Him.

It is appointed unto men once to die, but that is because of our inherited sin nature. Jesus had no such nature. Death had no hold upon Him. God did not have to die but chose to die in our place.

The very choice required that God
• Identify with sinful man
• Lay aside His eternal glory (though He did not lay aside His deity)
• Accept the abuse of sinful man and
• Of His own self give up the ghost
Man slew Him, but man did not take His life from Him.

I say again, the miracle is not that He rose. It was impossible for death to keep Him. The miracle is that He died.

And that He died for me.