On the Threshold

“Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light. And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.” Judges 19:26-27 (KJV)

In reading this story of chapter 19; and I do recommend that you would do so; you will notice that three previous verses have noted that “there was no king in Israel in those days” (17:6; 18:1; 19:1). Which tells us basically that there was no law. The final verse of Judges 21 adds to those words, “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes”.

Another verse of Scripture to think on, and I give the NKJV rendering of is,

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.” Proverbs 29:18 (NKJV)

And so with that in mind we can get a grasp of the vile acts, and consequences of this chapter.

In these events we can see how cheap human life was. That men would throw a woman out to voracious wolves (evil men) to save their own house and lives is next to unthinkable for many men in our day. Yet we are not innocent.

Women and children are fed to the wolves of our society through, husbands, and men who think they own their woman, through sex slavery and human trafficking. Is there any difference? Wives and children live in abusive situations; and treated like property rather than special human beings.

The hands of women and children are on the thresholds of homes today. For some it is too late (like the woman in our story). For others (for the living) there is hope in the cross of Jesus Christ.

If you are one of those people who live in the U.S. of A. and think that slavery is over. You are mistaken; you are deceived. You are part of the problem, need some education on the matter. I know that I need more.

Those of us who are Christian men must commit our lives to Christ, to become more like Him, love Him, His word, and have His compassion for women and children; and be men of God through Him.

The people of this world are enslaved to sin. They go after their own way. We all need a Saviour, and His name is Jesus. He is also the King.

The Pentitents Prayer

“And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.” Judges 16:28-30 (KJV)

The Philistines were the enemy of Israel. They worshipped false deities, and defied the God of Israel, Jehovah. They really thought they had conquered Israel and their God by blinding and capturing their Judge, their saviour. How could Samson save them now.

Samson, the rascal that he was, the sinner that he was realized that without GOD he could do nothing. He had violated his vow. He had been impure, unholy, deceitful, wicked in his life and living. The blind man was blinded by his enemies having his eyes burned from their sockets.

As his hair began to grow, the Philistines in their eagerness to display their victim, defy Jehovah, and celebrate victory, a supposed victory; brought Samson into their grand cathedral of Dagon their god; to mock, and ridicule him and the GOD of Israel.

As the people are loudly mocking, jeering, laughing; Samson prays to the Lord GOD, and God hears him.

There is no level of one’s life that we can reach where God will not hear the cry of the penitent. You may think that you have sinned beyond God’s forgiveness. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary paid the debt for all our sin.

In sorrow for your sin, cry out to the Saviour Jesus and He will hear your cry and forgive your sin.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

Wondrous Act of the LORD

“So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the Angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the Angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that He was an Angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, He would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would He have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.” Judges 13:19-23 (KJV)

Manoah had been prepared to offer a sacrifice unto a mere human messenger; but in verses 15-16 the LORD corrects Manoah, and directs him to offer the sacrifice unto Jehovah. When he does the offering is accepted.

This is a Theophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ appearing as the Angel of the LORD.

This appearance is to tell Manoah and his wife of the coming conception and birth of their son Samson. He was to be dedicated to the LORD; refraining from the fruit of the vine, wines, and from any unclean foods, and his hair was to grow long. Samson was to be a Nazarite under a vow to the LORD.

Up to this point of their encounter with the Angel of the LORD they had only viewed him as a “Man of God”, when they offered to make an offering the Angel of the LORD says to them, “You must offer it to the LORD” (13:16). Where we are told in these verses that the “Angel of the LORD did wondrously” it would seem that that would mean He received the offering; approving it by fire. Then ascending up in the flame Himself. Thus Manoah’s and his wife’s falling on their faces to the ground in an act of worship

Manoah fears death after the LORD’S acceptance of their offering; yet his wife assures him that should not be the case. Manoah’s fear shows that he saw this Angel of the LORD as an appearance of God.

The Lord has appeared to mankind in the person of His Son Jesus to die for our sins, be buried, and rise bodily from the grave; putting away our sins for all eternity. Truly the LORD has done Wondrously.

GOD’S Justice

“Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: and all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.” Judges 9:56-57 (KJV)

Jerubbaal is Gideon (Judges 7:1). Who had at least seventy sons, and one by a concubine (Judges 8:30-31) whose name was Abimelech, and he was evidently very jealous of the other sons of Gideon.

Gideon would not accept the position of ruler of Israel; he said “The LORD shall rule over you (8:23). He never intended for any of his sons to be ruler, yet that was what Abimelech desired; and he killed all the sons of Gideon, except for Jotham (9:5).

Jotham warned the people of the plight of Abimelech (vv. 7-21). The above verses confirm that what he said came to pass. There is a Just Reward for all who will destroy those whom God has blessed; and that reward is death.

Lust for power in rule is a sad thing, yet our world is full of it. It is seen in homes, churches, local governments, State governments, Federal governments; and it comes from an evil heart. Even a redeemed heart who leads must keep guard against this lust to rule people.  Jesus warned His disciples against seeking to be “first”, and He said if one wanted to do so to be a servant (Mark 9:35).

As followers of Christ, Christians, let us have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:1-7) who did not seek to be served but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). The Just Reward for following Christ is eternal life; given by God’s grace.

To Rule

“Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.” Judges 8:22-23 (KJV)

The people of Israel had been under the rule of the Midianites; a ruthless, demon worshipping body of people who caused fear in God’s people because they were not right with God due to disobedience.

Gideon had been threshing wheat, which had been grown secretly, then was being threshed secretly (6:1-24). At our current reading we find Gideon through the power of God had defeated the Midianites, set them to flight, and destroyed many of them. Gideon knew from where the victory had come.

The response of the Israelites was to make Gideon their ruler; maybe their king; but Gideon would have none of it. He made the correct decision: “The LORD shall rule over you”.

As followers of Christ today we must realize it is not for men to rule others. The rule of mankind must be God’s. The Great Leader of all times – the King of kings and Lord of lords is coming soon.  Mankind may have leaders; but godly leaders lead others to God, not themselves; and not by force.

Nations today cannot prosper with despots and dictators; nor do men or women want weak leaders.  People need leaders, but leaders who will not lie, cheat, steal; but who live on the same level, go by the same rules, and laws as we all do.

What are the implications of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision? Four key things to consider.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

The latest polls show nearly 60% of Americans support the legalization of same-sex marriage. (graphic credit: Five-Thirty-Eight) The latest polls show nearly 60% of Americans support the legalization of same-sex marriage. (graphic credit: Five-Thirty-Eight)

(Washington, D.C.) — What are the implications of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday to make same-sex marriage a Constitutionally-protected civil right? Is the Court’s decision to change the definition of marriage really such a big deal, or are Christians hyperventilating over the issue for nothing?

Unfortunately, yes, this is a very big deal, and it puts America on a perilous path. Unless we change course soon, this could accelerate the nation’s judgment andimplosion.

Let me walk through four key things Christians ought consider at this critical time.

First, the Supreme Court is overreaching its Constitutional authority, and is thus undermining its own legitimacy and pouring gasoline on a highly-politicized issue that will deeply divide Americans for years to come.

If the Constitution even mentioned the word “marriage,” the Court might theoretically have the right to address the subject. But the word is…

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Fear Not the gods of America

“And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, that the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; and I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed My voice.” Judges 6:7-10 (KJV)

We need to remember what God had done for Israel. Israel needed to remember what God had done for Israel; and to see what He was doing for Israel. God does not forsake His covenant with His people. God’s people often forsake Him, though.

There had been several years from the previous Judge of Israel. A Judge was simply a leader chosen by God to deliver Israel from their oppressors. He or she was chosen by God when the people were crying out for God to help.

In this case God sends them a prophet. God will very often not make a move until He sends a prophet to let the people know of their sins, and what He is about to do.

“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

Note the message of the prophet to Israel, “…Fear not the gods of the Amorites…” They had turned their backs on the One who had blessed them to the surrounding deities which put them into the bondage of the surrounding populace.

Just for thought. Has that happened to today’s professing Church?  Turn back to GOD the Lord of the Universe who has made all things.  Repent of your sins, believe Him.

O, how we need to turn to Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God; believe Him, and He alone will deliver us.

When the Enemy is not Driven Out

“And an Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break My covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed My voice. Why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the Angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.” Judges 2:1-5 (KJV)

“Bochim” means weeping, thus the title. When you read these verses you see the reason for their weeping.  When the “Angel of the LORD” makes an appearance with a message such as this, then, we should know that we need to be weeping.

The “Angel of the LORD” is most likely a theophany. A pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. He was, He is, and He always will be (Revelation 1:4, 8, 18).  That is why He would be speaking authoritatively the word of God. The Israelites had violated the word of God in disobedience (Exodus 23:32), and now they were beginning to suffer the consequences for it.

The above verse says “I will never break My covenant with you”, thus the disobedience of the people is their own judgment. The failure to drive out the enemy would be a snare to them. It is so with the follower of Jesus Christ today as well. This is cause for weeping.

The prophet Jeremiah tell us of this too (Jeremiah 2:19). Paul the apostle tells us,

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galations 6:7

When the unredeemed are living their own lives, their own way they reap the harvest of what they have sown. When the redeemed turn from walking with God, disobey His word, we too will reap the harvest of what we have sown. Disobedience reaps thorns, sorrows, and snares.

It is a time for weeping. Weeping over our disobedience; our sin.

Many Great Things Has God Done for His People

“And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; for the LORD our God, He it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: and the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for He is our God.” Joshua 24:16-18 (KJV)

Many great things has God done for His people Israel. Joshua, Caleb, and all the people of Israel who had came through the wilderness, had experienced the mighty hand of God; and they had received the Promise of God to their fathers. After they had received the promise how would they live?

That is a good question for followers of Christ in 2015. How will we now live? How will I now live?  Will we turn away from God? Will I turn away from God?  Will we continue to believe God and live for Him? Will I continue to believe God, and live for Him?  My answer to those questions is that; I will strive through the working of the Spirit of Christ Jesus to please the Father. I will not turn away from Him. I will live for Him. May my life be lived that others may see Christ in and through me. Yes I will live for God, His Son, and His word. There is no other God.

How about you?

What GOD Has Spoken GOD Will Do

And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that He sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:43-45 (KJV)

For the follower of Jesus Christ today these verses serve to remind us that God fulfills His Word. No word He speaks ever goes unfulfilled, or undone. It may seem slow in coming at times, but it will come (Jeremiah 1:12; Matthew 24:35).

God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He later told it to Moses who had led Israel out of Egypt; then spent 40 years getting Egypt out of Israel through the wilderness experience.

Remember God will fulfill every word He has spoken.

Is Bible prophecy relevant for our troubled times? (7 videos from a seminar I co-taught with Anne Graham Lotz on Bible prophecy.)

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

(Washington, D.C.) — Last October, President Obama gave an interesting speech in New York City. At one point in his remarks, the President said, “[T]here’s a sense…that the world is spinning so fast and nobody is able to control it.”

Events are moving fast — here at home and around the globe. The world does seem to be spinning out of control. Economically, socially, geopolitically, environmentally, we just keep experiencing one trauma after another, and no one seems to know what to do.

Yesterday, I wrote a column that raised this critical question: “Is America heading for a terrible implosion or a great awakening?”Specifically, I noted that “the United States is hurtling towards severe trouble, and the events of the past few months — and what may be coming over the next few months — grieves me a great deal. Something is coming. I don’t know what. But we all must…

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Something is coming. I don’t know what. But we must be ready. Here’s the key question: Is America heading towards a terrible implosion or a great awakening?

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

implosion-simulcastphotoUPDATED:(Washington, D.C.) — I feel a tremendous sense of urgency about this column.

The United States is hurtling towards severe trouble, and the events of the past few months — and what may be coming over the next few months — grieves me a great deal.

Something is coming. I don’t know what. But we all must be ready in every possible way.

Consider where we are in the summer of 2015:

  • Violence is exploding in our cities, schools and churches. The horrific mass murder inside the church in Charleston would be bad enough if it wasn’t just one of innumerable mass killings that have become epidemic in America.
  • Racism is tearing us apart, and it appears things are getting worse, not better.
  • The Supreme Court is poised to rule any day now on the definition and future of marriage — and if the Court rules against Biblical marriage I believe this could cause the…

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Children of Victory

“And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel. And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: but the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.” Joshua 17:16-18 (KJV)

Dividing the land was no easy task for the people of Israel. Some of the divisions of land remained unconquered, and it was up to the tribe inheriting the land to conquer it. Some of the inhabitants of Canaan were not driven out as God had commanded (vv. 12 – 13), but later came under tribute or a tax burden.

The Canaanites that lived in the valley they spoke of had great iron chariots; one of the most feared military vehicles of the day. The horses alone could trample, stomp and kill the enemy; and that does not even match what was on the wheels of the chariots. Whirling, spinning knife like blades slicing, killing, maiming anything that was too close.

Joshua’s message to to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh was “You are a great people with great power. You shall have the mountain, and you will be able to drive out the Canaanites of the valley, even though they have chariots of iron.” Encouragement is powerful when the person receiving it takes it to heart.

For you and I today; we can see that for the Christian there is no enemy of God that cannot and will not be stopped and destroyed (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are a great and strong people. Not because of our own doing, but because of Jesus Christ and His cross. No enemy within or without can defeat us.

Occupy

“Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” Joshua 13:1 (KJV)

Joshua was probably near 100 years of age. Caleb was 85 years of age, yet said he was as strong as when they searched the land of Canaan forty years before (Joshua 14:7-12).

One of the things I see about this verse is that even though we age we ought never retire from the ministry of the LORD. The ministry to which Jehovah has called us through His Son; and that is possessing the possession He has given us. We all have enemies to conquer – in our personal lives. Be they run away emotions, fear, doubt, anger, family issues that tear us apart; and those we see in others. We need to help others too.

The other thing is to warn others who are on the wrong path of life of the life hereafter without Christ in their lives; and to tell them of the blessings of life with Christ now, and hereafter. We have been given a parable of illustration by Jesus to motivate us;

“A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” Luke 19:13ff

That word “Occupy” means “Stay busy caring for My stuff until I come” and it does not matter how old you get.

“Joshua you are getting old; but your life is not over. You got years of ministry left. You have land to conquer. Get going. Get with it.” I can insert my name there. How about you?

Let’s begin with knowing Jesus, and being known by Him.

Not That the Sun Stood Still

“Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.” Joshua 10:12-14 (KJV)

This deals with a great miracle. This was a miracle of cosmic proportions. We are asked in Scripture “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” For the one who believes the Bible to be the Word of God we must say “Nothing is too hard for the LORD.” Nothing.

Yet there is something greater here than the sun standing still for about a whole day. “Something greater?” Yes!

Verse 14 for instance. The importance is not that the sun stood still; we ought not be so awed or wondering about that, but “…that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man”. As I read this I also thought of what Jesus told the disciples after they returned from their mission:

“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20

We are unworthy of approaching the Lord GOD, except through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Just as the Jehovah answered Joshua, and extended the day we ought to be in more awe that the Creator of all that is would even hear our prayer. Bless the name of the LORD.

Laying Ambush to Sin

“And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: and thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.” Joshua 8:1-2 (KJV)

Sin had entered the camp of Israel through the disobedience of one, Achan, of the tribe of Judah. Joshua chapter 6 shows the great victory over Jericho, and chapter 7 the defeat of a smaller city due to one man’s sin.

We ought never think that our sin affects no one else. It does. No matter how much we think no one else will ever find out about it. God knows. Due to guilt, shame, and fear we will continually know and will cause separation from family and friends.

Following the revelation of Achan’s sin, the people dealing with the sin then, God speaks to Joshua reassuring him to “Fear not, neither be dismayed…” Now there would be victory over the small city of Ai.

Sin is dealt with by the Christian by going through the Son of God to the throne of God confessing our sin.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

We ambush sin by confronting it, cutting it out, and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ; not coddling, cherishing, and making love with it.

“Fear not” seek God’s face through the cross of Jesus.

The Man…

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou for us, or for our adversaries? And He said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto Him, What saith my Lord unto His servant? And the Captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:13-15 (KJV)

Joshua had just led the children of Israel across the Jordan River on dry ground. The River had been stopped upstream by the Almighty hand and power of God. The conquest of the Promised Land was about to begin.

I am almost positive Joshua may have had some thoughts of his own inadequacies for the journey that lay ahead.

Note though who appears to him. A Man; but not just any man; dressed in military armor, and carrying a sword, drawn and in His hand. The drawn sword means that He was ready to fight and defend the people of God.

This Man can be none other than a Christophany – a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Notice how Joshua fell with his face to the earth, and worshipped. The Man allows it, receives it; and if it would have just been an angel he would have corrected the error.

Paul the apostle recognized a Man in heaven. In 1 Timothy 2:5,

“For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”

O what an assurance of victory this would have been to Joshua. What an assurance the Christian can have knowing that we are victors through our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is nothing this world and its evil can throw at us, that we cannot overcome through Him.

Wherever We Go

“Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:6-9 (KJV)

Moses was dead, and buried by God. No one knew the burial spot, nor does anyone know to this very day. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because in anger he struck the rock rather than speaking to it as God had spoken (Numbers 20:8-13).

Now Joshua by God’s decree and anointing is the leader to lead the children of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

We all need encouragement from others at times. It is always great to get encouragement from the Lord’s commands; from the Lord’s word.

We see in the death of Moses what the Law could not do. It could not get them into the place of God’s promise. The name “Joshua” means “Jehovah is salvation”, and the name “Jesus” is the Greek name for Joshua. “Jesus” means “Jehovah is salvation”.

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

When Joshua led the children of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land he was fulfilling the Law. When Jesus came he came to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17-18).

We have God’s promise through the death, burial and resurrection that we have nothing to fear, and that with Christ living in us He is with us wherever we go.

It Is Not Hidden

“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (KJV)

There is nothing secret about the word of God. Something I do not understand is why some want to seek out some “code” to “hidden things” or whatever; especially since we do not practice much of what we do know of God’s word.

The verses for today tell us that we do not need to go to heaven to know God, or to find His way. It is near. He gave it to Moses, revealed it to the people, and Christians have it today as well. It is easy to understand. All it takes is to read it, to hear it, and to heed what God says.

If this holy word of God was in the mouths and the hearts of the children of Israel; how much more is it in the hearts of those who are born of the Spirit of God today – the Christian.

There are some who say, “If God would just reveal Himself to me I would believe Him.” Really? He has done that, and we crucified Him. Yet you will not believe.

The apostle Paul quotes these verses in Romans 10:6-8. These words; all the words of Moses speak of the One to come; He came, He bled, He died, He was buried, and He arose bodily from the grave, and forever lives. He will save you as you cry out to Him.

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13 That is how very near He is to you. His name is Jesus.

The Revealed Things

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29 (KJV)

There are many things which belong to God that He has not revealed to us in His word or in any other way. We have been given the things we need to know that we may obey Him and His word.

Someone has said, “It is not the things I do not understand about the Bible that causes me problems; it is the parts I do understand.” At least something similar to that, and with that I sympathize. The parts we do understand are the ones we do not practice as we ought.

So why should we spend time trying to understand the “secret things that belong unto the LORD”, and leave undone the things we do understand? That is to our shame.

God has revealed to us His Son Jesus Christ. He [Jesus] is the fulness of God revealed to creation . Let us follow Him, walk in His footsteps and by the power of His Spirit within us be like Him in our living; in our words, our walk, our witness.

When Stones Cry Out

“And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day. And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaister them with plaister: and thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee.” Deuteronomy 27:1-3 (KJV)

These are stones which the children of Israel are being commanded to place on the other side of Jordan, after they have crossed over into the promised land. They may be the stones which John the Baptist addresses in Matthew 3:9.

They were to remind the people that they were a people of the word of God, and it was to have a firm place in their hearts and lives. It was not to be just in their mouth, but come from their hearts, and lived, shown in their lives. Ditto for the Christian today.

It could also be the stones of which Jesus referred when we read,

“And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as He went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when He was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:35-40

The word of God is the source of our spiritual food.  Even we do not eat it we grow weak, sickly, and poor.  Will you make the Word of God your most important meal today?  Will you hear God; or will the stones cry out?  Creation still declares the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).

Caring for the Stranger, the Orphan, and the Widow

“When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.” Deuteronomy 24:19-22 (KJV)

It is said elsewhere that they were to even leave the corners of their fields (Leviticus 23:22); and in these verses it includes the widow. It is called “gleaning” for the widow, the orphan and the stranger of the land to go out into the fields and the orchards, and the olive groves, and the vineyards to harvest what they could find.

This was a command of the LORD, and was a blessing from God to do so. The commandments of the Lord are not grievous (1 John 5:3). We are blessed by God in keeping His commandments. We bless others by keeping these commandments. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The above is a good thing for a Christian business man to follow today.  Sure the practice of the law above involved agriculture, farming, sowing and reaping; however these same principals can apply to any legitimate business.  There are many businesses who have more profits than they need; many CEO’s who make exorbitant salaries, bonuses, etc. why not make some of that available to their employees, and neighborhood people in need?  Gleaning does not need to be just agricultural.

If you are a Christian business man consider this way, and when you do I can see you being blessed by God greatly.

Things and People

“Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again. In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother’s, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself. Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.” Deuteronomy 22:1-4 (KJV)

Jesus has combined the Ten Commandments into two. He said,

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

Loving our neighbor means that we will take care of his/her livestock and belongings in the same fashion we would want them to watch out for our own things.

It all begins with how we love God.

For further study on the Ten Commandments follow this link.

Taking It to the Streets

Tim A.:

Readers of Broken Pieces you would be greatly blessed to read and follow this blog and the writer.

Originally posted on One Thing:

I just love Jesus, don’t you? I love how He walked and talked with people – just common people, sinners, those the religious leaders least expected Him to interact with. I love how He often withdrew to lonely places to be with His Father. I love how He was so moved with compassion that He touched people, healed people, called them out of sin and into peace. He taught in the synagogues, but He didn’t stay there.

View original 564 more words

The Prophet of God, and God’s Word

“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (KJV)

Moses has just spoken to them of a Prophet to come (verses 15-19) and that Prophet was one who was more than a prophet. He would be the Son of God; the promised and coming Messiah of Israel. We know Him as Jesus Christ. We know that He spoke all that the Father gave Him to speak; even unto His life.

The above verses are guidance to the people of God for all ages to discern the true from the false prophet. It makes no difference if they speak in the name of God. What matters is that what they speak come to pass even as they spoke it. If it fails that test; it is not, and they are not from God.

We have been given a two fold test thus far to determine whether a prophet or a preacher is from God. Yesterday’s post (Deut. 13:1-5) deals with the prophet who speaks, what he speaks comes to pass, but he leads people away from God. Today of the prophet who claims to speak for God; or not; and what he says does not come to pass. The words the prophet of God speaks comes to pass, and do not fail.

God will always fulfill His word. Not one word will fail (Matthew 24:35).

Putting Evil Away

“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.” Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (KJV)

The prophet or preacher of God, the man of God is to speak the word of God. Anything contrary to the word of God is a lie. The man or woman who says God said something which God has not said is worthy of death.

I would say that God gave these verses partly due to men like Balaam who sought reward from Balak the Moabite king and people who sought to curse the children of Israel, and to lead them astray at Baalpeor (Numbers 25).

I have in my mind another prophet who stood against the prophet of God, Jeremiah. Hananiah stood against Jeremiah, and the word of God. Jeremiah pronounced that Hananiah would die within the year; and Hananiah the false prophet died that year (Jeremiah 28:11-17).

Putting evil away is through the preaching of the Word of God, and doing what God says.  The man of God has a great responsibility with the word of God. We are not to twist it to please people; including ourselves. We are to proclaim it as God has spoken it. Pleasing the people to draw a crowd does not please God. The word of God is written for us to read, to hear, and to heed. See 2 Timothy 2:15.

God’s Requirements

“And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.” Deuteronomy 10:12-14 (KJV)

You, nor myself can meet these requirements.  We have no heart for God, except by God’s grace He give it to us.

This is one of the reasons we so need grace. When we by grace receive the gift of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then we have a heart to fear the LORD, to walk in His ways, and love Him. Without a changed heart through the work of Jesus Christ there is no hope of loving God.

If you have no heart for these things, then, it is due to the fact of you walking in darkness of sin, not in the light of Christ. Call on Him now; believe Him, trust Him with your heart, your mind, your soul, and your strength.

Here are a couple of verses that come to my mind as I read the above text:

“The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8

Follow the link of Psalm 24 for a few more thoughts.

What Is In Your Heart?

“Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to fear Him.” Deuteronomy 8:5-6 (KJV)

The book of Deuteronomy was written shortly before Moses would go upon the mount to die; and shortly before the children of Israel would cross into the Promised Land. It is basically a book, not of new laws, but a reminder of the past forty years; and their journey in the wilderness.

God’s heart for His people is that they walk with Him, that they love Him. It has greatly grieved the heart of God when He sees His people violate His standards of holiness and righteousness.

When God’s people love Him they will walk with Him, and fear Him. We need not, as Christians, struggle with the matter of obedience to the law. It has been written in our hearts, because of the work of Jesus Christ. The Christians greatest desire is to love God, obey Him, and walk with Him. When we fail, and our heart reminds us of our failure; and many times before our hearts remind us; the LORD disciplines those who sin.

The writer of Hebrews addresses this matter of discipline or chastening;

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Hebrews 12:5-8

We ought to rejoice in the fact that we are chastened. It is one evidence that we are God’s child. Like the presence of the Spirit within the life of the Christian (Romans 8:9); so the presence of the chastening of the Lord is evidence of your faith in God.

The heart that loves God does not seek to excuse sin, personal sin, nor to condemn others who may oppose their sin; but rather submits to the word, way and law of God.  That heart that loves God confesses their sin, repents of the sin, and hates their sin.

Listen to the law of God written in your heart, and obey Him. Not to gain His favor, but because you already have His favor through grace, by His Son Jesus Christ.

Adding and Taking Away

“Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:1-2 (KJV)

Learning mathematics is a good thing for helping one deal with life situations; such as financial matters, building equations, and such other things. However, addition to the word of God, or the taking away from it is a dangerous matter.

When Jeremiah the prophet was told to deliver the word of God he was told,

“Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word…” Jeremiah 26:2

When people, preachers, prophets, add to the word of God, and His commandments it is cheapened giving undue authority to the one adding to it. The Christian has no authority above that which God has given us. To diminish from the word of God withholds from those who need to hear it, those things that are diminished.

We have assurance from Jesus, that no matter what man may do with the word of God;

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

And in the final analysis we find John the apostle inspired by Jesus and the Holy Spirit warning us:

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19

Though these verses are written for the Revelation, I do not think it would be in error to say it involves the whole of the Word of God.

As followers of Jesus Christ we must hear only what God says; and teach only what He says. The words of men do not have the same authority.

The Dread of Nations

“Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.” Deuteronomy 2:24-25 (KJV)

It is not for the children of God; it is not for Christians to walk in fear. We are to walk in God, and to fear Him. To walk in fear is not walking in love (1 John 4:18).

You will note in the above verses that God does instill fear in people who do not know God, or love His people.

As a Christian I do not want or need people to fear me; I do want them to fear God; but most of all to come into a personal relationship with Him. The people of the world whose habitation is of this world will not understand God, His holiness, righteousness, or His love and grace until they by the grace of God are led to Him, receive Him and believe Him.

Of the above verses we can think of Jericho. We are told that they had shut up the city as the children of Israel were preparing to cross the Jordan River; for fear of Israel, and their GOD (Joshua 5:1; 6:1). They had heard of all that God had done for Israel in the wilderness and the drying up of the Jordan River for them to cross.

For you Christian we have the word of Jesus Christ which He told the disciples as He sent them out,

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:19-20

In the Proverbs it is written,

“When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7

Remember this, When the Christian walks in the fear of God she/he needs to fear nothing else.