When Faith Stumbles

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FROM THE MIND OF WEBSTER

Enough – to a degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary.

Time – an opportune or suitable moment.

Conquered – to defeat through the use of force.

Kingdom – a politically organized community or major territory.

BACKSTORY – A TALE OF TWO CONQUERORS

Both Had A Calling

SaulSamuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel.”

David – I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.

Both Had A Mission Continue reading “When Faith Stumbles”

Remembering Our Upbringing

Esther 2:2She [Esther] continued to follow Modecai’s [adoptive father of Esther] instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.

My Musing – When we grow up and become our own masters, there is much that we should continue to follow and do from what we learned from our parents and grandparents.

My Advice – Remember the instructions in the faith that you learned from your mother and me. Things we taught you and things you saw in us. To the extent we were faithful in doing that, follow what we taught you.

The Worthiness of God

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WORTHINESS OF GODThey lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 10b, 11)

The Greek word translated “lay” is better translated cast or throw. The phrase ultimately describes submission. The twenty-four elders, though wearing crowns themselves, acknowledge that the ultimate source of their power is Continue reading “The Worthiness of God”

Do Not Neglect

Nehemiah 10:39 – “We will not neglect the house of our God.”

My Musing – While this verse is talking about physical provision for the temple, we often neglect God’s house in another way. Failing to faithfully attend worship services and fellowship with other believers is a way that we neglect God’s house.

My Advice – Make it your habit to attend church regularly and to associate often and freely with other believers.

Praise of God

PRAISE OF GODDay and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. (Revelation 4:8b – 10a)

The stage is now set: The Church has possibly been taken to Heaven (the Rapture); the Lord is on His throne; and all of heaven praises Him as they await the outpouring of His wrath (the Tribulation).(1)

His Holiness – What we are about to see in the events of “history to come” is a revelation of the Holiness of God. God is praised as thrice Holy (“holy, holy, holy”) on account of:

His Mercy (Revelation 4:6–8) which displayed itself in times past (“who was”);

His Majesty (Revelation 4:1) that is (“who is”) on display; and,

His Justice (Revelation 4:4) that is about to be displayed (“who is to come”).(2)

This revelation of holiness does not repel those who know Him. It stimulates those who live in His presence to worship Him and give Him “glory, and honor and thanks.” In the following chapters of Revelation, we will see an entirely different reaction from those who stand in rebellion against Him.(3)

His Sovereignty – It is interesting to note that the name of God used here is “Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8). History tells us that this was the official title used by the Emperor Domitian, who was likely responsible for the persecutions that sent John to Patmos. Men and women may honor themselves today, but the day will come when everybody—great and small—will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord of all.(4) Prostrating on one’s face was a form of homage offered to “gods” and rulers in antiquity.(5) Here the Ancient of Days, in a prelude to when “every knee will bow,” receives this honor from the twenty-four elders.

Up Next – Worthiness of God.

Want to Read Ahead – Don’t want to wait for future blogs? Click on “Store” to purchase the book “Studies in Revelation.”

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References

  1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 809). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 565). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  3. Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher’s commentary (p. 1078). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  4. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 809). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  5. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 4:9–10). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Gracious Discipline

Nehemiah 9:30,31 – “For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so You handed them over to the neighboring people. But in Your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for You are a gracious and merciful God.” (NIV 1978)

My Musing – God will deal with our sin and rebellion. Like a loving father it may be severe at times, when it has to be. But He will not give up on us. The severity of His discipline is merely a reflection of His grace and mercy. If He did not care for us, He would not deal with us.

My Advice – When you are being disciplined by God, and we all go through this at times, be thankful that He cares enough about you to bring correction.

No Other Sign

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Matthew 12:38-41Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.  (NIV 1984)

My Musing – The religious leaders were looking for a sign that would prove to them that Jesus was the promised Messiah.  Of course, Jesus had already provided numerous signs and miracles that did just that.  The final sign, the sign of Jonah, was a foreshadowing of the three days that Jesus spent in the grave, culminating in His resurrection from the dead – the ultimate validation from the Father that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was accepted and that He was indeed the promised Savior.  As we know, the religious leaders by and large rejected the resurrection and Jesus’ claim.

Today we live in an increasingly “wicked and adulterous generation” as well, and the  “sign of the prophet Jonah” needs to be heeded more than ever before. Will our generation repent, or will “the men of Nineveh”  “stand up at the judgment with” it and “condemn it” as well?

My Advice – Today, on palm Sunday, let’s proclaim “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” and celebrate the “sign of the prophet Jonah” this Easter season.   Believe the prophecies.  Believe the signs. For no other signs “will be given.”