Jesus the Messiah · Prophecy · Old Testament in New Testament · Faith · Bible

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #170

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #170
Description
To be born of a virgin
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 1:35
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – To Trust

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

Recently I spoke of meeting a young lady, who almost immediately was one I found trustworthy. Now of course, as you may expect, I am biased in this judgement since she has been by mate for over 40 years, But that wee fact should not take away from the bigger picture of this post.

Let me ask you a question.

Think of one whom you trust. Is it a friend, a brother, a spouse, a co worker?

Now that you have thought about that trustworthy person, define the character traits you recognize in that person that allows you to trust him or her.

Take your time. Let me help with a further question.

Are they judgmental, condemning, condescending, self righteous, a tale bearer, impatient, self centered, dishonest,….

Granted, when you meet a person of these characteristics, they may be fun to hang with, may be the life of the party, and may be great for business connections. But if you had a choice, would you find them trustworthy? Sure, some that are in your circle of acquaintances are in positions that make it so you have to trust them (reluctantly). But that niggling worm in you mind is that they will prioritize their own interest over yours. In my thinking, this is a “forced trust” I don’t want to focus on a “forced trust” in this blog post.

For this post, I would like to consider trust from a purer motive, based only on a person’s character and not on profitability, fear or peer pressure. But first lets consider what it means to trust someone, at least from my understanding.

To Trust Someone

For many, including myself, to trust someone includes an element of fear. A fear of repercussions if I don’t trust. A fear of lost opportunities if I don’t trust someone. Now some may say that to trust someone removes the fear of that person, and to that I heartily agree, if we have known that person for a period of time, went through difficult times trusting that person, and developed an abiding relationship throughout both blessings and trials with that person.

But to trust someone initially carries with it an element of fear, a fear of the unknown. I proposed to my favorite lady after knowing her for only a few weeks, and I should have experienced some fear. I can’t remember any, but I am an ol’ coot and may have forgotten a fleeting fear or two. It would only be natural to have some fear of making a mistake, of trusting another person with your life decisions, of committing to one person. After only a few weeks? Yikes.

But as I look back over the 40 years I have known my lady, the fears have melted away, and the trust remains, the commitment continues and I know she has a heart for me. (Amazing if you knew who I truly was!)

So, is a trust born out of fear a healthy thing? Is it trust at all? Can trust coexist with fear?

It seems a couple verses may suggest otherwise

But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” – Mar 5:36 ESV

But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” – Luk 8:50 ESV

And yet, the fear of the Lord is often combined with trust.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. – Psalm 40:3 ESV

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. – Psalm 115:11 ESV

Given this quick study, it seems apparent that a proper fear is a catalyst for trust, an initial (and enduring) condition of one who has met the One.

As many may know from my testimony, I felt the judgement of God in my life in various degrees for well nigh 15 yrs before I heard the good news. I sometimes wonder if my conversion was based mainly out if fear, (I am 52.4% convinced it was) and was simply a way of finding a fire escape from hell.

Yet to trust is to know someone, to experience their character and to be drawn to them out of respect, or better yet, out of love.

We are to be drawn to the one who is trustworthy in His character, not pushed to Him due to fear of reprisal.

Believers, as we journey our pilgrim path walking (imperfectly at best) with the One who sacrificed Himself for us, we will naturally will grow into a greater and greater trust because of His character, His ways, His mercy towards us.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. – 1 John 4:18 ESV

Unless of course you have experienced Him as judgmental, condemning, condescending, self righteous, a tale bearer, impatient, self centered, dishonest,….

But that is not the way you learned Christ!– – Eph 4:20 ESV

Consider the character of the One you trust, and it may become evident why your trust is difficult to exercise.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #169

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #169
Description
Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 6:9-12
And he said, “Go, and say to this people:
“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
Make the heart of this people dull,
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”
Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
    without inhabitant,
and houses without people,
    and the land is a desolate waste,
and the Lord removes people far away,
    and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
New Testament Fullfillment
Acts 28:23-29
When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.

And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.

And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

“‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Bible · Hymns

O Come, Emmanuel – Simon Khorolskiy

A Christmas hymn in June. But the message is eternal.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Tell me your thoughts, and how this song spoke to you!

Thanks for dropping by.

Sometimes a beautiful hymn is more than enough


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – C

In our previous post, we visited verses 3 and 4, and found keys descriptors of the saints life. Trusting in the Lord and delighting in the Lord. I suggested that this is somewhat of a progression in the saints life, and have found it to be true for myself. But before we get into this post, let’s remember why we are here. Let’s consider the Bible and read the passage for this post

Psalm 37

5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

As mentioned above, in the previous verses, David spoke of trust and delight. In this couplet, he introduces the third, overall characteristic of the saint, and that is to commit to the Lord.

I will try to explain my understanding of these two characteristics of the saint, that is of trust and delight, as it relates to my relationship with my wife. I find this last admonition, of committing that is, to easily and naturally continue this storyline.

Referring to my trust in my wife, and my first understanding of her character, I easily believed her words. I found it to be an enjoyable experience to be around her, to try to understand her and to love her, to grow together and to enjoy each others company. Both of these characteristics (that is trusting in and delighting in) have continued through the years, and generally increased consistently. (Hey we are human we have a had a few bumps along the way – Mostly on me!)

But to commit. This is the topic for this blog, for David instructs the saint to

Commit your way to the LORD;….

To commit. To throw your lot in with, to pledge allegiance to, to do, perform or perpetuate. This is an action word of course, and speaks of our orthopraxy, the way we live.

Let me give a bit of an example.

I am over 60 yrs old and I shall be passing from this sphere soon. My mind tells me that to plant an oak tree would be a task that I would not likely benefit from, and yet my faith tells me that planting trees is a good thing. Now of course this thought must be carried over into every aspect of life, not simply restricted to horticulture. But I hope you see my point.

Why live a life of faith? Why continue to commit to a principal, a friend, a mate or the living God, if we seemingly have diminishing returns as we edge closer to our earthly cessation. We need to be reminded that to commit is not a bet with the odds in our favor, or to be dependent on some future occurrence, that if not fulfilled, allows an escape clause to be exercised.

We may never see many of the benefits of a life of faith, of a commitment to a living God, during this 70 odd years on this planet, but that is not the point.

No – Commitment is based on relationship, or better stated (since David said it not I), on trust, for he follows his encouragement to commit with a synonym, that is to

….trust in him…

I left the semi colon in the previous portion of the verse as a reminder to myself that the purpose of a semi colon (;) is to be placed in between a list or series of ideas that are closely related. To commit is closely related to trust, and in my experience, is a fruit of trust.

I will gladly commit to a cause that I trust, that I believe in. I will gladly commit to my wife because she is one I delight in. I will with joy commit to the ever faithful One, the One who fully committed to me in my lostness.

But in all of this discussion, I have accentuated the aspect of trust, delight and commitment, without a corresponding reaction, and yet this is not the God we serve. We can not demand from the King, but we can know his heart and that He is the ever faithful One, One we have learned to trust, that we delight in as we learn His ways and His care for His people.

David continues with the following statement, as God’s response to the saint.

and he will act.

David stated “He will act”. Remember dear friend, that David was pre-cross, a thousand years from that cruel day. And yet the ultimate “act” of God was completed, performed for us. He “acted” by hanging on that cruel cross.

Of course, as we seek to walk with Him during our sojourn down here, He blesses our feeble efforts with acts of mercy, and we surely need the encouragement as we troddle along. But never let the current blessings we may be experiencing (or the burdens either) cloud our view of that day when He acted.

Commit to the Faithful One. Ask Him for the strength to cling to Him, for in ourselves, we surely do not have the ability to.

Praise His name, and be thankful for all His goodness. His mercies extend every day.

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Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – Part C

Psalm 37

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Be still. Rest. Do nothing. Grow dumb, in that no voice may erupt from the mouth. This term actually may be translated as be astounded, or stupified. Keep silent.

Be still before the Lord. No demands or defense. How often do you enter into prayer, whether on your knees or walking into work and you are either defending some action you may be ashamed of (sometimes called confession) or boasting of your latest good deed – don’t deny you do it!

This passage speaks of time again. The lost one has little time. The saint may expect much time. And the Lord isn’t bound by time. Wait patiently for the Lord, for He isn’t on my schedule.

And yet I gotta get the widget sent off, and a dozen doohickies need to be greased, along with the thingamajig and whatchmacallit, both of them are calling to me for answers! Oh the tyranny of the time piece! Oh I am so burdened with the cares of this life and David is telling us to Be still before the Lord and wait. Wait patiently.

If I were to admit to any failure in my Christian life ( and there are many!) this particular blessing of a “timelessness before the Lord” a period of not thinking schedule or duty, of not defending past decisions or worrying about future reactions, of ignoring “possible” outcomes in the coming days.

Be still. A constant attitude of doing, running, moving, thinking, writing, working, hurrying and “being about our Master’s work” may be a trap many of us have fallen into.

Martha was there right with me, getting food ready for the crowd. Doing, scheduling, working and eventually whining to the Lord about some one else.

Mary was before the Lord, being still, waiting on the Lord for His instruction. I imagine she was in a very comfortable mind set, open to His teaching and looking up to Him, seeking to understand and not defend a previous belief. I wanna think this is the condition Mary was in.

Martha seemed to be fretting, and remember this fretting had the component of anger associated with it.

Let’s listen in to Martha’s request as read in a free translation called “The Voice”. I think it expresses Martha’s anxiety

Luke 10:40 – 41 Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.

Martha (interrupting Jesus): Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.

Luke 10:40 – 41 The Voice

Be still Martha. You seem to be exhibiting a bit of rage here with your lazy sister! Your schedule is eating you up, and you are coming off as a whiny nag. As believers, we must remember that those we venerate as saints were humans with the same frailties we experience each day. Martha was struggling, appreciating the situation of having the Messiah in her presence!

David is speaking of fretting not over the success of the evil man, and this doesn’t directly relate to Martha and Mary, yet there are similarities, there are attitudes that seem to parallel David’s concerns.

Be still and fret not.

For me, this is a herculean effort, and even in this closing, I am thinking of doing, working, performing this injunction, of disciplining my life to conform – Oh blasted thoughts.

But wait – It is not about you and I. We are to look to our Savior, and be still before Him, and wait patiently. It is good to look to Him and see how he deals with Martha

Jesus is the Savior and He loves Martha.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. – John 11:5

Jesus is the Savior. Martha was a “woman of action” and went to the Savior – He was approachable, even though He had upbraided her in her little fit above. Yet she expressed a faith in the Savior

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” – John 11:21-23

Did Martha become Mary? No – She still served.

So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. – John 12:2 ESV

It was her nature, even as it may be our nature to be about, working and scheduling, thinking and doing. But this doesn’t negate the need to be still and wait patiently on the Lord.

It is a respite for the soul to be still and to wait.

Do not refuse this great blessing Carl!

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Psalm 37

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

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Psalm 37

10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

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Psalm 37

12 The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.

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Psalm 37

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

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Psalm 37

16 Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

Psalm 37

18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.

Psalm 37

20 But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish–like smoke they vanish away.

Psalm 37

21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;
22 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

Psalm 37

23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.

Psalm 37

25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.
33 The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #168

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #168
Description
Parables fall on deaf ears
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 6:9-10
And he said, “Go, and say to this people:
“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
Make the heart of this people dull,
    and their ears heavy,
    and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 13:13-15
This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘”You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #167

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #167
Description
The One Sent by God
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 6:8
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
New Testament Fullfillment
John 12:38-45
so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;

for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.

And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Acts 11:23

And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, Acts 11:21-23

Why exhort to remain faithful?

And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. Acts 11:21-23 NKJV

Why cleave to the Lord?

And the presence of the Lord was with them with power, so that a great number [learned] to believe (to adhere to and trust in and rely on the Lord) and turned and surrendered themselves to Him. The rumors of this came to the ears of the church (assembly) in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what grace (favor) God was bestowing upon them, he was full of joy; and he continuously exhorted (warned, urged, and encouraged) them all to cleave unto and remain faithful to and devoted to the Lord with [resolute and steady] purpose of heart. Acts 11:21-23 Amplified Version

If eternally secure,

  • Why the continuous exhortation?
  • Why the continuous warning?
  • Why the continuous urging?
  • Why the continuous encouragement?

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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – Trials and a Ton of Gold

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

My wife and I are entering our retirement years and we are looking at moving out of the city. With that goal, we have been looking for a patch of land to build a cabin on, add a porch (to learn how to whittle) and throw a tire swing in the back yard for when the grandkids come to visit.

We have been searching for about a year, with land being rarer than hens teeth. Eventually we found a patch we put an offer on.

Of course, during the waiting period, I reached out to well drillers, septic installers, builders and finally earth movers. You see, we wanted to install a pond on site, for numerous reasons, and in my research “tripped” over Dan.

Dan is a local contractor that provides excavation and grading services for raw land, and in my discussions, found a man who had turned to Jesus. We chatted for quite a while, and he spoke of a two yr anniversary of a diagnosis. You see he had been given 2 to 6 months to live, having both brain and lung cancer.

His story was amazing, and through brain surgery and prayer, he is now back to work.

The point he drove home is that the cancer was the test that proved his faith. He said he believed in the Savior before the diagnosis, but the trial of his life was the vehicle to show him his faith. No self deception, no hypocrisy, no false hope. He knew the Master and Jesus healed him. And he wouldn’t trade that experience for a ton of gold.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2‭-‬4

He had served Satan for most of his life, until bout 5 yrs ago, when he turned to the Messiah. Since then, he has experienced multiple trials, cancer being “the big one”! The trial not only provided a confidence in his relationship with the One who is kind, but pulled him back from the precipice of the grave.

Only Jesus, the God-man can take a trial and make it worth more than a ton of gold. My mistake – He provides the trial and the blessing – How limited I am in my view of Him!

He is good!

One additional praise, in that my current supervisor, who has battled cancer for the last 18 months recently was given an “all clear” from his doctor this week. Although he suffered through horrendous pain, he attributed his success to God. He has often mentioned the peace he experienced, and became vocal of his faith amongst his peers.

God truly is good. Tell others of His kindness through your own acts of mercy, and by the story’s of His working in your life

By the way, in meeting with Dan, we were introduced to another fellow that provided information about the property that only a local might have know. Critical information that helped our decision making process.

We are now on the search for a different patch of land and we are thankful for the hand of God giving us direction through one of his servants I was blessed to meet.

God is good.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #166

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #166
Description
When Isaiah saw His glory
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 6:1
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 12:40-41
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Thankfulness

400 Followers

We just broke 400 followers.

Thank you all for spending a few moments with Considering the Bible, and following the blog. It is very humbling that there are some who consider the blog worth reading and discussing with others.

On that note, if you know someone that may gain some profit from receiving the blogs posts via email or some other method, please forward the blog link to your friend

I have been blessed as I sit to write, asking for the words and thoughts to communicate to those who read this blog. I especially enjoy receiving comments back, and challenges to the message, for my thoughts surely need sharpening.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. – Pro 27:17 ESV

Let me know – your encouragement is greatly appreciated.

Thanks again – Carl

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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – B

In our last post, we discovered that David was speaking to us of anger and envy in the believers life, or to be clearer, of the rejection of anger and envy in the saints life. It is to be replaced with a realization that the evil doer, the one who does wrong to succeed, has a short time left. Shortness of time. No longevity, no duration, no constancy. A soon coming end of their success.

Let’s consider our next couplet of verses.

Psalm 37

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

David begins this couplet with the penultimate desire of the saint – to trust in the Lord. Trust in the Lord, and out of this trust, do good in the land, as opposed to those evil doers, those who do wrong. Do not base your life on the apparent results of the evil doers, those who find success by abandoning truth. No, focus on the type of God we have. One who is all wise, ever powerful, and yet meek, willing to bend down to our condition, to our failures and feebleness. One who is trustworthy, who exhibits His trustworthiness as we trust Him. Each time we cling to His principles, each time we believe His Word, each time we stand against the wind of public opinion or the evil doer who mocks and persecutes, He shows Himself to be trustworthy. But we must stand. We must trust in the Lord.

A brother years back tried to explain trust to me and it was when the popular slogan “If God said it I believe it’ was influencing the church. It is the very definition of trust, is it not? Sorry to say, I do not believe (trust) that it is a helpful definition.

This brother added one critical term to the saying that I have never forgotten. Trust is hearing God’s Word, understanding God’s Word and then obeying God’s Word.

We need to understand God’s word, in order to have faith. With a faith that includes understanding, or better yet, because of a faith that includes understanding, we are to do good in the land. We can have an understanding that evil doers have a limited time of enjoying their success.

What is it that David speaks of as the expectation, or reward of the saint who trusts in the Lord and does good?

He describes the saint as “dwelling” in the land. To “dwell” in the land implies an expectation of long duration, of a settled condition. Synonyms such as to settle down, to abide, to continue or to remain are found in the Hebrew dictionaries. David is not giving the impression that the saint is to expect a short lived experience, like the evil doer!

He then goes on to emphasize the duration of the saints expectations by describing the dwelling with living securely (CSB), enjoy safe pasture (NIV), prosper (NLT), enjoy security (RSV), be fed (KJV). Each of these translations give us added encouragement to expect not only a long duration, but a fruitful duration.

Delight yourself in the LORD. With verse 4, it appears David is building upon the former action of trust. Consider my earthly condition with my favorite wife.

I met my lady years ago on a bus, and her character was one of truth and conviction. I found her word to be trustworthy. I could easily trust her, understanding that what she said she meant, and what she promised she would do. Trusting her was a first step in my relationship with my wife. It is the bedrock of our marriage and as we grew together as a couple, our unfamiliarity with each of others foibles fell away and we entered into an existence of simple enjoyment. This enjoyment, as last night when she came in the door, I found myself smiling. You know, I have found myself smiling much these last years when I think of her, look to her, hear her voice on the phone. I believe this is the condition of the saint David is describing. Not something we are to work up, sweat over to create a feeling of enjoyment. Be faithful, be thankful, know the Lord and His goodness. Constancy in knowing the true God will create this feeling of enjoyment, this phase of delighting in Him. I do have to admit, this delighting, as describing in the Old Testament, has an intimate connotation. To delight is to enjoy.

In our next post, we will consider the third admonition David gives in the saints experience. For now, consider how you trust Him.

Remember that trusting is to hear a message, understand it, and to comply. Trust is a response to a faithful person, a natural response to someone who has proven Himself over and over again. Consider the many times the Father has given you direction, guidance, encouragement, strength, and deliverance. He has provided a Savior that not only humbled Himself to shame, but suffered an unjust torture and death for your salvation and deliverance. He is easy to trust if the message is not silenced with the raging voices of the world, if it isn’t garbled with the religious raucous we live in, and is not nullified by that self hating voice we sometimes hear.

Delighting is an enjoyable experience, an experience that is not a drudgery or a “grinding of the teeth” to endure. simply , and I have found that the trust has grown into a delight, into a sense of inner happiness, for I know she is always on the lookout for me. The

Try to listen to Him today. and tomorrow. And the next day. And find the delight David speaks of

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Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – Part B

In our previous post, we visited verses 3 and 4, and found keys descriptors of the saints life. Trusting in the Lord and delighting in the Lord. I suggested that this is somewhat of a progression in the saints life, and have found it to be true for myself. But before we get into this post, let’s remember why we are here. Let’s consider the Bible and read the passage for this post

Psalm 37

5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

As mentioned above, in the previous verses, David spoke of trust and delight. In this couplet, he introduces the third, overall characteristic of the saint, and that is to commit to the Lord.

I tried to explain my understanding of these two characteristics of the saint, that is of trust and delight, as it relates to my relationship with my wife. I find this last admonition, of committing, to easily and naturally continue this storyline.

Referring to my trust in my wife, and my first understanding of her character, I easily believed her words. I found it to be an enjoyable experience to be around her, to try to understand her and to please her, to grow together and to enjoy each others company. Both of these characteristics (that is trusting in and delighting in) have continued through the years, and generally increased consistently. (Hey we are human we have a had a few bumps along the way – Mostly on me!)

But to commit. This is the topic for this blog, for David instructs the saint to

Commit your way to the LORD;….

To commit. To throw your lot in with, to pledge allegiance to, to do, perform or perpetuate. This is an action word of course, and speaks of our orthopraxy, the way we live.

Let me give a bit of an example.

I am over 60 yrs old and I shall be passing from this sphere soon. My mind tells me that to plant an oak tree would be a task that I would not likely benefit from, and yet my faith tells me that planting trees is a good thing. Now of course this thought must be carried over into every aspect of life, not simply restricted to horticulture. But I hope you see my point.

Why life a life of faith? Why continue to commit to a principle, a friend, a mate or the living God, if we have seemingly have diminishing returns as we edge closer to our earthly cessation. We need to be reminded that to commit is not a bet with the odds in our favor, or is it to be dependent on some future occurrence, that if not fulfilled, allows an escape clause to be exercised.

We may never see many of the benefits of a life of faith, of a commitment to a living God, during this 70 odd years on this planet, but that is not the point.

No – Commitment is based on relationship, or better stated (since David said it not I), on trust, for he follows his encouragement to commit with a synonym, that is to

….trust in him…

I left the semi colon in the previous portion of the verse as a reminder to myself that the purpose of a semi colon (;) is to be placed in between a list or series of ideas that are closely related. To commit is closely related to trust, and in my experience, is a fruit of trust.

I will gladly commit to a cause that I trust, that I believe in. I will gladly commit to my wife because she is one I delight in. I will with joy commit to the ever faithful One, the One who fully committed to me in my lostness.

But in all of this discussion, I have accentuated the aspect of trust, delight and commitment, without a corresponding reaction, and yet this is not the God we serve. We can not demand from the King, but we can know his heart and that He is the ever faithful One, One we have learned to trust, that we delight in as we learn His ways and His care for His people.

David continues with the following statement, as God’s response to the saint.

and he will act.

David stated “He will act”. Remember dear friend, that David was pre-cross, a thousand years away from that cruel day. And yet the ultimate “act” of God was completed, performed for us. He “acted” by hanging on that cruel cross.

Of course, as we seek to walk with Him during our sojourn down here, He blesses our feeble efforts with acts of mercy, and we surely need the encouragement as we troddle along. But never let the current blessings we may be experiencing (or the burdens either) cloud our view of that day when He acted.

Commit to the Faithful One. Ask Him for the strength to cling to Him, for in ourselves, we surely do not have the ability to.

Praise His name, and be thankful for all His goodness. His mercies extend every day.

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Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – Part C

Psalm 37

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Be still. Rest. Do nothing. Grow dumb, in that no voice may erupt from the mouth. This term actually may be translated as be astounded, or stupified. Keep silent.

Be still before the Lord. No demands or defense. How often do you enter into prayer, whether on your knees or walking into work and you are either defending some action you may be ashamed of (sometimes called confession) or boasting of your latest good deed – don’t deny you do it!

This passage speaks of time again. The lost one has little time. The saint may expect much time. And the Lord isn’t bound by time. Wait patiently for the Lord, for He isn’t on my schedule.

And yet I gotta get the widget sent off, and a dozen doohickies need to be greased, along with the thingamajig and whatchmacallit, both of them are calling to me for answers! Oh the tyranny of the time piece! Oh I am so burdened with the cares of this life and David is telling us to Be still before the Lord and wait. Wait patiently.

If I were to admit to any failure in my Christian life ( and there are many!) this particular blessing of a “timelessness before the Lord” a period of not thinking schedule or duty, of not defending past decisions or worrying about future reactions, of ignoring “possible” outcomes in the coming days.

Be still. A constant attitude of doing, running, moving, thinking, writing, working, hurrying and “being about our Master’s work” may be a trap many of us have fallen into.

Martha was there right with me, getting food ready for the crowd. Doing, scheduling, working and eventually whining to the Lord about some one else.

Mary was before the Lord, being still, waiting on the Lord for His instruction. I imagine she was in a very comfortable mind set, open to His teaching and looking up to Him, seeking to understand and not defend a previous belief. I wanna think this is the condition Mary was in.

Martha seemed to be fretting, and remember this fretting had the component of anger associated with it.

Let’s listen in to Martha’s request as read in a free translation called “The Voice”. I think it expresses Martha’s anxiety

Luke 10:40 – 41 Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.

Martha (interrupting Jesus): Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.

Luke 10:40 – 41 The Voice

Be still Martha. You seem to be exhibiting a bit of rage here with your lazy sister! Your schedule is eating you up, and you are coming off as a whiny nag. As believers, we must remember that those we venerate as saints were humans with the same frailties we experience each day. Martha was struggling, appreciating the situation of having the Messiah in her presence!

David is speaking of fretting not over the success of the evil man, and this doesn’t directly relate to Martha and Mary, yet there are similarities, there are attitudes that seem to parallel David’s concerns.

Be still and fret not.

For me, this is a herculean effort, and even in this closing, I am thinking of doing, working, performing this injunction, of disciplining my life to conform – Oh blasted thoughts.

But wait – It is not about you and I. We are to look to our Savior, and be still before Him, and wait patiently. It is good to look to Him and see how he deals with Martha

Jesus is the Savior and He loves Martha.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. – John 11:5

Jesus is the Savior. Martha was a “woman of action” and went to the Savior – He was approachable, even though He had upbraided her in her little fit above. Yet she expressed a faith in the Savior

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” – John 11:21-23

Did Martha become Mary? No – She still served.

So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. – John 12:2 ESV

It was her nature, even as it may be our nature to be about, working and scheduling, thinking and doing. But this doesn’t negate the need to be still and wait patiently on the Lord.

It is a respite for the soul to be still and to wait.

Do not refuse this great blessing Carl!

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Psalm 37

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

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Psalm 37

10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

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Psalm 37

12 The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.

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Psalm 37

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

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Psalm 37

16 Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

Psalm 37

18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.

Psalm 37

20 But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish–like smoke they vanish away.

Psalm 37

21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;
22 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

Psalm 37

23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.

Psalm 37

25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.
33 The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #165

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #165
Description
He shall judge among the nations
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 2:4
He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war anymore.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 5:22
For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Acts 5:32

And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” – Acts 5:32 ESV

Obey Him.

That is the issue in this verse.  Of course some could say the initial belief is the act of obedience that is being referred to in this verse, but I wonder.

Some questions arise in my mind though.

  1. Does God give the Holy Spirit to those who do not believe?
  2. Does God give the Holy Spirit to those who do not obey Him?
    1. Are these the same question? Is believing the same as obeying?
  1. Is this an unconditional gift of the Holy Spirit to anyone who at one point believes?
    1. If so, is one act of obedience/belief all that the Lord is looking for from us?

The Greek verb edoken (has given) is in the aorist tense. “Obey” is a translation of peitharchousin, which is a present participle. The literal translation is “obeying.” According to Robertson (Grammar, pp. 891-892) the “obeying” can come before, at the same time, or after the act of giving. It can even refer to past action still in progress. Obviously, much depends on the context.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #164

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #164
Description
He shall teach all nations
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 2:3
    and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,[a]
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 4:25
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – Test All Things

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

I suppose it has been a few months since I have told y’all a story so I’m about to tell you an old one.

It turns out, all long time ago, in a country far to the north, a young hippie drug pusher got saved and got excited about the Savior, Jesus Christ. Rescued from a life of wandering in darkness, full of fear and surrounded by a desperation to have some purpose, this youngin was willing to do anything to try to please the Savior.

He happened to be attending a small Baptist church, having been delivered from a wasted life for well nigh onto 2 months, when the Pastor fellow came up to him and asked him if he wanted to serve the Lord. Obviously, this youngin’ jumped at an opportunity, especially if a pastor was asking.

“What can I do for the Lord pastor?”

Pastor set his hook and pulled – “Well we are having choir practice on Wednesday night – Come on over and join in, you may be surprised at the joy you find in singing for the Lord!”

Youngin didn’t understand his place in the kingdom, and his fervor to serve overtook his obligation to love others, for you see this youngin couldn’t sing his way out of a paper bag – dang – not even a wet paper bag!

And this story reminds me of a passage from the ol’ Book, that seems to relate in my mind to this youngin’s experieince.

21 … test everything; hold fast what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:21

This youngin’ was willing to test this opportunity, to prove that he either had it or didn’t, to see if he could sing for the Lord, or “be better used elsewhere”. (Many saints are surely blessed by the fact this youngin did not pursue a singing ministry!!!)

It is interesting that Paul told his children to test everything. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say this youngin’s singing is sinful, (if might seem like that to those who heard it!) but Paul seems to want Christians to get out there, test or prove aspects of life, opportunities to serve, in order to see, to explore and to find their place in the kingdom.

Many times, opportunities will be provided but due to religious or cultural bias’s, these opportunities may be abandoned or even rejected.

A case in point. A bright sunny Sunday and you on on your way to church when you see a person that is suffering, that may be without food or shelter, that may have fallen down, and you sense the Lord’s leading to stop and at least offer some assistance in this souls plight. But Sunday School starts in ten minutes and you don’t wanna be late, or maybe your boss lives close by and the association may hurt your standing in the office. So your drive by.

Opportunities are out there and we are to test them, and many of these opportunities may test out to be of no success, not of your station in life, and that is fair. As a matter of fact, you should expect it, for Paul anticipates this situation when he continues in the next verse, informing believers to ….

22 Abstain from every form of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:22

Some opportunities may turn out to be evil in a believers life. As you may have guessed by now, choir ain’t for me. I don’t sing within 50 feet of anyone that I love. (Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not stating singing in a choir is evil, but my being in a choir may come close to it for the hearers!)

Anyway you slice it, we are provided opportunities throughout our day. Test them out – they may be the back door to some great adventure for you. (Or you may have to abandon them as evil, but your understadning of the Lord’s will will have expanded!)

Either way, your intent is that of a believer that desires to please the Lord, and I think that counts.

I look forward to comments or questions – Use the box below, and thanks for reading!


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #163

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #163
Description
The altogether lovely One
Old Testament Prophecy
 Song 5:16
His mouth[a] is most sweet,
    and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
    O daughters of Jerusalem.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Bible · Hymns

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

One of my precious grandchildren came to stay the night and I was granted the blessing of rocking this youngin’ to sleep. We got up into “gampa’s” chair, snuggled together, and the first thing that came to mind was the children’s hymn “I have decided to follow Jesus”.

Such a simple hymn, and simply humming it to the little one blessed me so much. (Remember I am not a singer!) Eventually to day caught up to the youngin, and I put him to bed. But I couldn’t put the song to bed. It kept echoing in my head and eventually I searched out it’s history.

Take a few minutes of your day to listen to the story of this fantastic hymn.

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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – A

There was a time in my Christian walk when I first read Psalm 37 in it’s entirely and was literally amazed at the number of familiar verses I found in the passage. It seemed like I had heard each of these verses in conversations or sermons, study books or devotionals. Bumper stickers, bookmarks, posters, book titles – you get my point. I suppose this statement reveals that the Old Testament did not hold a place of priority for myself in my early Christian walk, and to that truth, I admit it, – I am guilty. But no more.

Our first two verses describe the content of the psalm, and the two parties discussed, that is the believer, and the evildoer. Throughout this psalm, David speaks of the characteristics that are to belong to the believer and the fruit of the life a believer is to live.

David also speaks of the evil doer, the characteristics of the life of an evildoer, and the end he will experience.

An an introduction, lets read the first two verses and consider the message the King of Israel is providing us.

Psalm 37

1 Of David. Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.

David is directing himself, and by association ourselves, not to fret.

To fret. What is tarnation is it “to fret”. My son is a guitarist and when I hear of fret, I think of the neck of a guitar. A secondary definition, I suppose is that to fret is to worry. That is so applicable to my station in life – I am a chief worrier, I actually worry about worrying too much! (I gotta get a life!)

David instructs his soul not to fret, or as I imagined, not to worry. But dang it all, according to a quick study, worry is not the way some understand this term.

The term “fret” is a translation of the Hebrew word “ḥārâ”, Strongs H2734 The good ol’ KJV translates this term in the following ways.

Worry, or any synonym of worry isn’t popping up in the list now is it? It seems synonyms for fret settle around a word meaning anger, wrath or hot displeasure. Not a description of a man in a corner, sitting quietly and worrying.

Isn’t that interesting. David is telling himself not to be angry, displeased, burn up or grieve out over the actions and seeming success of the evildoer. Not to quit worrying. Remember who we are talking of here, the great King of Israel, the man of action that took on any enemy God pointed at. He wasn’t characterized by worry.

He goes on to describe a second response of the human heart, that is of envy. Envy, the green eyed monster. Envy also has a component of a burning with zeal to it, but envy is strictly not equal to jealously. (A previous post on envy, Love Like Jesus – Without Envy may be of interest to the reader.)

Why David? Why should we reject this seemingly righteous feeling of anger and envy towards this apparent success of those who disobey and reject God’s way? Why David – It just isn’t fair!

The best way to bring justice into this condition of apparent success of the lost is to consider their end. They will burn in hell and suffer for all eternity, with no relief and no hope, writing in pain and hating God.

Wow Carl – Are you sure this is David’s message? Ok Carl – let’s just read the passage without dragging some end time theology into it. David is bringing to our attention the shortness of their time, not the result of their crime. (Wow – a poet and didn’t even know it.) David uses terms like fade and wither, an eventual ending of their success, not writhing and screaming in some afterlife that may not have been very clear to the Old Testament saint.

David is describing the here and now, and of the basis of the saints peace in that the success of the evil man will be short lived. Later on in this fantastic passage, David describes the rewards of a saints confidence in the Lord, of the fruit of a settled trust in Him, of the trophy of God’s blessing on a man or woman who shuns anger and envy, (along with a host of additional attitudes David will teach us).

What a fantastic psalm. I am looking forward to our foray into this psalm, but for now I need to close, since if I continue with the verses 3 & 4, I will surely be found to be long in the tooth. In conclusion, consider David’s admonition for the saint.

Fret not

Don’t be angry over the apparent (and seemingly very real) success of evil doers. Their day will come and we will sorrow when it does, for the very real loss they will experience.

Do not envy

Don’t long for the fruit of wrongdoers, but enjoy the blessings that God has provided. Look to Him for your source of joy. Don’t look to what others have, and envy. (The advertising industry understands the power of what “other’s have” over our desires, and we know the advertising industry is not working for the Lord, now are they?)

God is good and His people have much to be thankful for. May His name be honored in our daily lives, and may we reflect the character of our God, and not of this world.


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Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – Part A

In our last post, we discovered that David was speaking to us of anger and envy in the believers life, or to be clearer, of the rejection of anger and envy in the saints life. It is to be replaced with a realization that the evil doer, the one who does wrong to succeed, has a short time left. Shortness of time. No longevity, no duration, no constancy. A soon coming end of their success.

Let’s consider our next couplet of verses.

Psalm 37

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

David begins this couplet with the penultimate desire of the saint – to trust in the Lord. Trust in the Lord, and out of this trust, do good in the land, as opposed to those evil doers, those who do wrong. Do not base your life on the apparent results of the evil doers, those who find success by abandoning truth. No, focus on the type of God we have. One who is all wise, ever powerful, and yet meek, willing to bend down to our condition, to our failures and feebleness. One who is trustworthy, who exhibits His trustworthiness as we trust Him. Each time we cling to His principles, each time we believe His Word, each time we stand against the wind of public opinion or the evil doer who mocks and persecutes, He shows Himself to be trustworthy. But we must stand. We must trust in the Lord.

A brother years back tried to explain trust to me and it was when the popular slogan “If God said it I believe it’ was influencing the church. It is the very definition of trust, is it not? Sorry to say, I do not believe (trust) that it is a helpful definition.

This brother added one critical term to the saying that I have never forgotten. Trust is hearing God’s Word, understanding God’s Word and then obeying God’s Word.

We need to understand God’s word, in order to have faith. With a faith that includes understanding, or better yet, because of a faith that includes understanding, we are to do good in the land. We can have an understanding that evil doers have a limited time of enjoying their success.

What is it that David speaks of as the expectation, or reward of the saint who trusts in the Lord and does good?

He describes the saint as “dwelling” in the land. To “dwell” in the land implies an expectation of long duration, of a settled condition. Synonyms such as to settle down, to abide, to continue or to remain are found in the Hebrew dictionaries. David is not giving the impression that the saint is to expect a short lived experience, like the evil doer!

He then goes on to emphasize the duration of the saints expectations by describing the dwelling with living securely (CSB), enjoy safe pasture (NIV), prosper (NLT), enjoy security (RSV), be fed (KJV). Each of these translations give us added encouragement to expect not only a long duration, but a fruitful duration.

Delight yourself in the LORD. With verse 4, it appears David is building upon the former action of trust. Consider my earthly condition with my favorite wife.

I met my lady years ago on a bus, and her character was one of truth and conviction. I found her word to be trustworthy. I could easily trust her, understanding that what she said she meant, and what she promised she would do. Trusting her was a first step in my relationship with my wife. It is the bedrock of our marriage and as we grew together as a couple, our unfamiliarity with each of others foibles fell away and we entered into an existence of simple enjoyment. This enjoyment, as last night when she came in the door, I found myself smiling. You know, I have found myself smiling much these last years when I think of her, look to her, hear her voice on the phone. I believe this is the condition of the saint David is describing. Not something we are to work up, sweat over to create a feeling of enjoyment. Be faithful, be thankful, know the Lord and His goodness. Constancy in knowing the true God will create this feeling of enjoyment, this phase of delighting in Him. I do have to admit, this delighting, as describing in the Old Testament, has an intimate connotation. To delight is to enjoy.

In our next post, we will consider the third admonition David gives in the saints experience. For now, consider how you trust Him.

Remember that trusting is to hear a message, understand it, and to comply. Trust is a response to a faithful person, a natural response to someone who has proven Himself over and over again. Consider the many times the Father has given you direction, guidance, encouragement, strength, and deliverance. He has provided a Savior that not only humbled Himself to shame, but suffered an unjust torture and death for your salvation and deliverance. He is easy to trust if the message is not silenced with the raging voices of the world, if it isn’t garbled with the religious raucous we live in, and is not nullified by that self hating voice we sometimes hear.

Delighting is an enjoyable experience, an experience that is not a drudgery or a “grinding of the teeth” to endure. simply , and I have found that the trust has grown into a delight, into a sense of inner happiness, for I know she is always on the lookout for me. The

Try to listen to Him today. and tomorrow. And the next day. And find the delight David speaks of

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Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – Part B

In our previous post, we visited verses 3 and 4, and found keys descriptors of the saints life. Trusting in the Lord and delighting in the Lord. I suggested that this is somewhat of a progression in the saints life, and have found it to be true for myself. But before we get into this post, let’s remember why we are here. Let’s consider the Bible and read the passage for this post

Psalm 37

5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

As mentioned above, in the previous verses, David spoke of trust and delight. In this couplet, he introduces the third, overall characteristic of the saint, and that is to commit to the Lord.

I tried to explain my understanding of these two characteristics of the saint, that is of trust and delight, as it relates to my relationship with my wife. I find this last admonition, of committing, to easily and naturally continue this storyline.

Referring to my trust in my wife, and my first understanding of her character, I easily believed her words. I found it to be an enjoyable experience to be around her, to try to understand her and to please her, to grow together and to enjoy each others company. Both of these characteristics (that is trusting in and delighting in) have continued through the years, and generally increased consistently. (Hey we are human we have a had a few bumps along the way – Mostly on me!)

But to commit. This is the topic for this blog, for David instructs the saint to

Commit your way to the LORD;….

To commit. To throw your lot in with, to pledge allegiance to, to do, perform or perpetuate. This is an action word of course, and speaks of our orthopraxy, the way we live.

Let me give a bit of an example.

I am over 60 yrs old and I shall be passing from this sphere soon. My mind tells me that to plant an oak tree would be a task that I would not likely benefit from, and yet my faith tells me that planting trees is a good thing. Now of course this thought must be carried over into every aspect of life, not simply restricted to horticulture. But I hope you see my point.

Why life a life of faith? Why continue to commit to a principle, a friend, a mate or the living God, if we have seemingly have diminishing returns as we edge closer to our earthly cessation. We need to be reminded that to commit is not a bet with the odds in our favor, or is it to be dependent on some future occurrence, that if not fulfilled, allows an escape clause to be exercised.

We may never see many of the benefits of a life of faith, of a commitment to a living God, during this 70 odd years on this planet, but that is not the point.

No – Commitment is based on relationship, or better stated (since David said it not I), on trust, for he follows his encouragement to commit with a synonym, that is to

….trust in him…

I left the semi colon in the previous portion of the verse as a reminder to myself that the purpose of a semi colon (;) is to be placed in between a list or series of ideas that are closely related. To commit is closely related to trust, and in my experience, is a fruit of trust.

I will gladly commit to a cause that I trust, that I believe in. I will gladly commit to my wife because she is one I delight in. I will with joy commit to the ever faithful One, the One who fully committed to me in my lostness.

But in all of this discussion, I have accentuated the aspect of trust, delight and commitment, without a corresponding reaction, and yet this is not the God we serve. We can not demand from the King, but we can know his heart and that He is the ever faithful One, One we have learned to trust, that we delight in as we learn His ways and His care for His people.

David continues with the following statement, as God’s response to the saint.

and he will act.

David stated “He will act”. Remember dear friend, that David was pre-cross, a thousand years away from that cruel day. And yet the ultimate “act” of God was completed, performed for us. He “acted” by hanging on that cruel cross.

Of course, as we seek to walk with Him during our sojourn down here, He blesses our feeble efforts with acts of mercy, and we surely need the encouragement as we troddle along. But never let the current blessings we may be experiencing (or the burdens either) cloud our view of that day when He acted.

Commit to the Faithful One. Ask Him for the strength to cling to Him, for in ourselves, we surely do not have the ability to.

Praise His name, and be thankful for all His goodness. His mercies extend every day.

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Psalms for Psome – Ps 37 – Part C

Psalm 37

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Be still. Rest. Do nothing. Grow dumb, in that no voice may erupt from the mouth. This term actually may be translated as be astounded, or stupified. Keep silent.

Be still before the Lord. No demands or defense. How often do you enter into prayer, whether on your knees or walking into work and you are either defending some action you may be ashamed of (sometimes called confession) or boasting of your latest good deed – don’t deny you do it!

This passage speaks of time again. The lost one has little time. The saint may expect much time. And the Lord isn’t bound by time. Wait patiently for the Lord, for He isn’t on my schedule.

And yet I gotta get the widget sent off, and a dozen doohickies need to be greased, along with the thingamajig and whatchmacallit, both of them are calling to me for answers! Oh the tyranny of the time piece! Oh I am so burdened with the cares of this life and David is telling us to Be still before the Lord and wait. Wait patiently.

If I were to admit to any failure in my Christian life ( and there are many!) this particular blessing of a “timelessness before the Lord” a period of not thinking schedule or duty, of not defending past decisions or worrying about future reactions, of ignoring “possible” outcomes in the coming days.

Be still. A constant attitude of doing, running, moving, thinking, writing, working, hurrying and “being about our Master’s work” may be a trap many of us have fallen into.

Martha was there right with me, getting food ready for the crowd. Doing, scheduling, working and eventually whining to the Lord about some one else.

Mary was before the Lord, being still, waiting on the Lord for His instruction. I imagine she was in a very comfortable mind set, open to His teaching and looking up to Him, seeking to understand and not defend a previous belief. I wanna think this is the condition Mary was in.

Martha seemed to be fretting, and remember this fretting had the component of anger associated with it.

Let’s listen in to Martha’s request as read in a free translation called “The Voice”. I think it expresses Martha’s anxiety

Luke 10:40 – 41 Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.

Martha (interrupting Jesus): Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.

Luke 10:40 – 41 The Voice

Be still Martha. You seem to be exhibiting a bit of rage here with your lazy sister! Your schedule is eating you up, and you are coming off as a whiny nag. As believers, we must remember that those we venerate as saints were humans with the same frailties we experience each day. Martha was struggling, appreciating the situation of having the Messiah in her presence!

David is speaking of fretting not over the success of the evil man, and this doesn’t directly relate to Martha and Mary, yet there are similarities, there are attitudes that seem to parallel David’s concerns.

Be still and fret not.

For me, this is a herculean effort, and even in this closing, I am thinking of doing, working, performing this injunction, of disciplining my life to conform – Oh blasted thoughts.

But wait – It is not about you and I. We are to look to our Savior, and be still before Him, and wait patiently. It is good to look to Him and see how he deals with Martha

Jesus is the Savior and He loves Martha.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. – John 11:5

Jesus is the Savior. Martha was a “woman of action” and went to the Savior – He was approachable, even though He had upbraided her in her little fit above. Yet she expressed a faith in the Savior

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” – John 11:21-23

Did Martha become Mary? No – She still served.

So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. – John 12:2 ESV

It was her nature, even as it may be our nature to be about, working and scheduling, thinking and doing. But this doesn’t negate the need to be still and wait patiently on the Lord.

It is a respite for the soul to be still and to wait.

Do not refuse this great blessing Carl!

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Psalm 37

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

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Psalm 37

10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

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Psalm 37

12 The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.

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Psalm 37

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

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Psalm 37

16 Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

Psalm 37

18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.

Psalm 37

20 But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish–like smoke they vanish away.

Psalm 37

21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;
22 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

Psalm 37

23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.

Psalm 37

25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.
33 The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #162

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #162
Description
Foreordained from everlasting
Old Testament Prophecy
 Prov 8:23
Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
New Testament Fullfillment
Rev 13:8
and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
 1 Pet 1:19-20
but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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