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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #154

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #154
Description
The rejected stone is Head of the corner
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 118:22-23
The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 21:42-43
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.

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

Conditional Security – Philippians 1:3-11

Philippians 1:3-11

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Recently I attended a Sunday School class that was decidedly of the “once saved always saved” persuasion and we were spending some time in the passage below.  Once we arrived at verse 6, the teacher mentioned how important this passage was and how he found comfort in it.  He was exulting in the good work of God, that is, to supply Christian security to believers based solely on initial faith at the moment of conversion.

But I had questions.

I don’t think Paul is addressing the eternal security of the believers in Philippi.

He is writing to one of his very favorite church groups.  The context is their fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.  Lets break this down a bit.

When Paul mentions fellowship, what is he talking about?  The word Paul uses for fellowship can also be translated as partnership, or participation.  The Philippians were partnering with Paul in the gospel.  Is it simply the fact that they were Christians like he was and therefore they had fellowship?

Possibly.

But why is he defining the time limits so precisely, why does he have the ending clause of “from the first day until now”.  I think when Paul uses “now”, he is referring to a very specific partnering, but is being incredibly delicate.

Out of all the churches planted by Paul, the Philippians had one (of many) qualities that made it stand out from the rest.

They loved Paul.

And he was reminded of this love on numerous occasions.

Consider what we know about the first day of Paul’s experience with this group of people.

Acts 16:15

And when she (Lydia) was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:33

And he (the Philippian jailer) took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. 34 And he brought them up into his house, and set meat before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God.

Also, the last time Paul visited with the fledgling church, after his release from the jail.

Acts 16:35-40

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
36 And the jailor reported the words to Paul, saying, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore come forth, and go in peace.
37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and have cast us into prison; and do they now cast us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and bring us out.
38 And the serjeants reported these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans;
39 and they came and besought them; and when they had brought them out, they asked them to go away from the city.
40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

These three passages teach us a number of important characteristics of the Philippian church.

They were an inviting church.  Both of the main characters of the church (Lydia and the jailer) invited this trouble maker into their homes.  I did a quick review of the book of Acts and could not find another church that was as inviting to the apostle.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t find any church that expressly accepted Paul into their lives as the Philippians did.

Verse 35 to 40 need a bit more background to understand what possibly happened during Paul’s final moments with the church.  You see, the Philippian church was a Roman colony and as such had the Caesar’s eye on it more so than some of the other churches in the area.  A government town.  Paul, I think, used the injustice of the beating and imprisonment to broker a deal with the leaders of the City.  I think it may have went something like this.

Paul “You realize I am a Roman citizen and the beating and imprisonment you subjected us to was highly illegal”

City Official “Please leave our City without tattling on us”

Paul “The law of the Romans strictly forbids the beating and imprisonment of a Roman citizen without trial”

City Official “Please leave our City without tattling on us”

Paul  ” I have friends in the City that I care deeply for”

City Official “?”

Paul “Do we understand each other?”

In the final moments of Paul’s time with the Philippians, he may (or may not have) mentioned that he had discussed some issues with the city officials,  He definitely encouraged the new believers, sharing the love of Jesus with them and saying their goodbyes.

But wait – remember in chapter 1, verse three, where the apostle state they have shared in the gospel from the first day?  It is obvious that the Philippians shared with Paul and his companions their homes, their lives and their goods.

Wow – Carl – there is nothing in the previous passage that says the Philippians gave of their goods to Paul.

Granted, that may be a stretch, but they loved him and I think they gave him some moolah, you know – cash.  Also, if you look at the end of the book, specifically verse 15 of the fourth chapter, you will find that this church was the only church that supported Paul when he left them behind.

Consider

Philippians 4:10-19

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

So lets get this straight.  The Philippians supported Paul at the following times
* When he left the Philippian church the first time
* Twice in Thessalonica
* At least one in Corinth
* At least once in prison (the reason for the writing of this epistle)

Wow – Carl – there is nothing in the previous passage that says the Philippians gave of their goods to Paul in Corinth.  (My my my –  nothing gets by you now, does it?)

Consider

2 Corinthians 11:9

and when I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man; for the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my want; and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

Paul could take gifts from the Philippians since they loved him.  (They were not questioning Paul’s motives or reluctant in supplying his needs as some others were.

So, lets get back to the original issue.

What is the good work that Paul is referring to in the beginning of the book?

I humbly submit that he is referring to the Philippian church actively partnering in the gospel through supplying the apostles physical needs.

The “once saved always saved” teaching simply isn’t there!

Guess we will have to look somewhere else for that teaching!

Maybe a commentary?


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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – Head Coverings

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

In my pilgrimage through this Christian life, I have attended a number of denominational churches, some of which adherer to the practice of a head covering of the ladies heads.

The passage referred to by my brethren friends is found in 1 Corinthians 11:13-15.

Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. – 1Co 11:13-15 ESV

Many times I discussed this topic with a good friend who believed it’s modern application, and though I never fully understood both sides of the argument, I did seek to come to a settled conscience.

Of course, their were distractions, such as the couple who strictly followed this practice, but when out of the church meeting, it was obvious who was the head! Or when a fellow believer could not worship since I was not leading my wife into submission by forcing her to wear a covering.

But as I said, these were distractions, and not a basis upon which to understand the text. Eventually we moved from the town we were in, settled in Texas, and the issue faded away since we no longer attended this type of church.

Fast forward over 20 years, and as I was driving home from work on a Tuesday afternoon, lo and behold, I tripped over a podcast call “The Naked Bible” by Dr. Micheal Heiser. The podcast intrigued me since I understand our modern thinking is not what the prophets and apostles were speaking to, and if I can understand the audience the Bible writers were speaking to, I might find better understanding for myself. This is Dr. Heisers intent. And this is where the podcast on 1 Corinthians 11:13-15 gave me some clarity.

Dr. Heiser’s message speaks of the 1st century’s Greco-Roman’s understanding of a persons hair in relation to reproductive activity. It is an amazing study of which I am thankful to have found. Note that the material in this podcast is sexual in content and it may be wise to restrict it to times when no children are present.

Naked Bible 86: The Head Covering of 1 Corinthians 11:13-15

The relevant information begins about 10 mins in, and although the discussion is close to an hour long, I found it to be very illuminating.

Let me know if you listen and of your thoughts. Perfect for a listen as you travel on your way to or from work.

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #153

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #153
Description
Messiah’s Resurrection assured
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 118:17-18
I shall not die, but I shall live,
    and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has disciplined me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 24:5-7
And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,

that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
 1 Cor 15:20
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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

What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean –Who is Glorified?

Decades ago, when I was just a youngin in the Lord, I was befriended by a mature believer. Golly, it was so long ago, I forgot his name, and yet his witness has stuck with me.

He was a safety shoe salesman, hocking his wares from construction site to construction site in a large panel van. He covered a large geographical region, and was often on the highway. As we got to know each other, he would find me occasionally reading my little New Testament, and would help me in understanding the Word.

One passion Frank had (let’s call him Frank), one passion he had was to speak in tongues. Now remember, I was very young in the Lord, and primed for any teaching. I had little to no discernment and found I gave men much freedom in their influence over me. (In other words, I didn’t test the teaching like I needed to!). I was entranced by his witness, listened to his stories and enjoyed his friendship very much.

Frank would drop by and tell me glowing stories of the Lord personally teaching him mysteries and truths that were modern day messages for him, and all he could reach. He was so charismatic (I mean that in both his personality and theology), it was hard to think objectively.

Until he spoke of a time he was driving down the 401 (North America’s busiest freeway), between Windsor and London Ontario, and was slain in the Spirit. Wow! What is it to be slain in the Spirit Frank?

Frank described the utterances he spoke, of his shaking and his visions. His visions, that required his eyes to be closed. While on the busiest highway in North America. While travelling 100 km/hr. In a large panel van!

Golly. Something don’t sound right!

He spoke of the Spirit guiding him into all truth and of the mysteries the Spirit was revealing in the last days, of the Spirit working through the gift of tongues to bring about revival and renewal, of the Spirit Spirit Spirit.

Such heady stuff!

Enter George.

I may have spoke of this fine believer earlier (See Story Time – Christian Accountability – Obey) He is a humble man that loved the Scriptures and I appreciated his willingness to discuss topics or questions I had. I described my relationship with Frank, and some of the stories he had told me. George simply took me to John 16.

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:13-14

He mentioned that according to this passage, Jesus describes the Spirit of God as the shy member of the Trinity, One who emphasizes Jesus and not Himself. He will guide, speak, declare and glorify the Son. Self speaking seems to be omitted from the list of tasks the Spirit will perform, since the Master tells us that “he will not speak on His own authority”

Chatting with and listening to Frank was exhilarating, mystifying and attention grabbing. But there seemed to be a bunch of self in the story.

Let us look to the Lord Jesus, and let Him determine who is to be magnified. And who is to guide, direct, speak and glorify Him.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #152

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #152
Description
His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 112:4
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 9:36
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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 · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 36 – F

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 36

10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11 Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

David breaks forth in prayer. He is walking in the steadfast lovingkindness of the Lord, and is asking for a continuance of this love for the ones who know Him.

To ask God to “continue” His steadfast love is to ask God to “stretch it out”, or to lengthen out this steadfast love David experienced. And yet the psalmist, David himself, speaks of the steadfast love of the Lord as being from everlasting to everlasting in Psalm 103:17.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, – Psalm 103:17 ESV

Here we see a glimpse of a saint praying for something that is a reality. David is praying for the extension of the Lord’s steadfast love into the future in our verse above, and yet in the 103rd psalm, David teaches us that the same steadfast love is constantly on those who fear Him. Is this some sort of contradiction?

Lets read the two passages side by side and consider the message of both.

Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you… Psalm 36:10

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him… Psalm 103:17

This “contradiction” disappears in the careful reading of the two texts, as it often is true of apparent contradictions in the Word. Notice that David is praying in Psalm 36:10 for the experience of the steadfast love of the Lord to be stretched out, to continue with the saint who knows the Lord, who is in relationship with the Alpha and Omega.

In Psalm 103:17, David is stating a fact of the steadfast love of the Lord as being “on” the saint. Experience of the saint is not considered in this verse, simply a statement, awesome as it is, of the constant, continual truth of the love of God towards those who fear Him. The lovingkindness of the Lord is on those who fear Him. A fact we can depend on, believe in, find comfort with, even if may not be experiencing the steadfast love of the Lord.

And yet we sometimes (often?) find that our thinking of the lovingkindness of the Lord is distorted, somewhat stilted or twisted. Sometimes, in our “fear of the Lord”, we see Him as One who “lords it over us”, who is scary, somewhat unapproachable, far far away, and even dangerous.

But if I am reading David’s prayer of the 36th psalm correctly, this experience of the steadfast love of the Lord must be a pleasurable, fulfilling, desirable, enticing experience. Else why would he beg for the continuance? And this continuance of the experience of the steadfast love of the Lord is the subject of his prayer, he is seeking to continue to experience this love in his life.

Fear and love, both combined in our experience with the Lord. Fear of the Lord and the steadfast love of the Lord. The fact of His continual love and the desire for the continuance of experiencing His love.

What is missing in my thinking? We all know that our experience and the truth may be completely at odds with each other. I think this is the issue I am considering. Many of my times of living in fear has taught me that it is often not based in truth. I recently posted a time in my life of learning this relationship of fear and truth in Let Me Tell You a Story – Horsehair. In this experience, a single lie settled in my thinking and controlled my thoughts for weeks!

To experience the steadfast love of the Lord is dependent on truth. Imagination, group think, logic and reasoning on their own may only cripple us regarding God and His ways with us. For us to continue to experience the steadfast love of God requires our fear to drive us to truth, to the Word where we find One who approached us, entered a dangerous condition, suffered through terrors, fears and torture, offered up His very life and finally died a cruel death on a bloody cross.

His is the life that had the steadfast continual love of the Lord on Him. He feared the Lord, and the Lord’s love was on Him. He trusted in this truth, even when the experience was excruciating, dealing a death blow to His life.

As we walk this pilgrim way, we need to remember this double pronged truth. Truth that the steadfast love of the Lord is on those who fear Him, and of our need of prayer to experience His love, to be controlled, filled and rejoicing in His love.

He is good.

Let us remember He is a completely different type of love than we naturally understand.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #151

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #151
Description
A priest after Melchizedek’s order
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 110:4
The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
    after the order of Melchizedek.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Heb 6:20
where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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

Simple Thoughts – Ignorance

Occasionally I will be dwelling on a verse or passage, ruminating on the message, (or to be honest, wandering off into some undisciplined daydreaming), and the Lord will bless me with a truth that is so obvious, so fresh and such a blessing that I just want to share it with you.

I will admit it. This is a post concerning ignorance, of my ignorance, or at least of my realizing my ignorance about ignorance. What are you talking bout Carl? Give me a chance to try to explain!

I was recently listening to a podcast called the Naked Bible, and the commentator (Mike Heiser) was describing how the Messiah was not clearly defined in the Old Testament.

Now, as a believer, looking back at the Old Testament and considering passages such as Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Genesis 22, passages such as these shout to me of the One who came to deliver us. But hindsight is 20/20, my friends, and to a first century Jew, who knew the Old Testament, the clues were not so obvious! We must remember they did not have the privilege of the understanding the Messiah while on earth, the Spirit of God to enlighten us, the resurrection event, or any historical teaching that has given us this clarity.

During this discussion on the podcast, Dr Heiser reiterated the ignorance of the first century population, especially of God’s nation being ignorant, as being an intentional act on God’s part. The message to the Old Testament saint came in small spurts of shaded truth describing the Coming One, often identifying a particular aspect of a His life or mission, or was a description of an earthly messiah like King Cyrus, that a New Testament author could refer to as a shadow of the True Messiah.

This provision of truth for the first century Jew created numerous religious thought, each religious group looking to their favorite passages to support their thinking. And ignorance was rampant!

And Jesus came to the middle of this ignorance and shone a light so bright, no one could take it in! The light was blinding, to the point that no one could clearly see the truth. And this was intentional on God’s part.

What?

Consider 1 Corinthians 2:6-8

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. – 1Co 2:6-8 ESV

Did you catch it? None of the rulers of this age understood the wisdom of God which was decreed before the ages.

But why Paul? Why was this wisdom of God not comprehended, understood or perceived by the rulers of this world?

This was intentional on the part of God. If they understood, they would NOT have crucified the Lord of glory. When this “penny dropped”, my mind exploded!

As an aside, as believers, we do have the capacity to frustrate Him.

Find peace with Him.

If the Father had clearly revealed the plan of rescuing the world, the world would have frustrated Him! In the world’s wisdom, we would have frustrated God in our own rescue!

Isn’t this a common refrain? Consider Peter when he heard of the Master’s death.

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” – Mar 8:31-33 ESV

If Peter had his way, he would have frustrated the will of God.

How incredible is the wisdom and love of God towards us who know so little, who think so wrong, who trust so poorly and who love so weakly. He is good, even in areas he restricts from us.

Let us not forsake His loving kindness and remember that love is for others and not ourselves.


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 36 – E

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 36

7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

God’s Goodness to His Own People

David now breaks forth with the experience of the saint, the one who knows the steadfast love of the Lord, and how precious this love is to the saint. The earlier verses described a state that creation existing in, and yet did not appreciate the love of the Lord, those who did not understand or accept this love.

David now speaks of those who have come into covenant with the Lord, whose steadfast love is a constant in their lives. How precious this love is.

Precious

This particular word David uses (yāqār), refers to something that is rare or costly. Let’s consider what David may be saying.

Rare

The first time this word shows up is in 1 Samuel 3:1, where the word of the Lord is described as rare.

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision. – 1Sa 3:1 ESV

Is David seeking to inform us that the lovingkindness of the Lord is “rare”?

In the time of Eli, the word of the LORD was precious / rare, in that it was uncommon, not a recurring, consistent occurrence. No word of the LORD had been given to man for quite a while, as a matter of fact for decades, and it was precious or rare. To be precious does have a component of rarity, but I see this rarity in that the love of God is of a completely different quality than that of any other love.

God’s lovingkindness is not rare or precious simply because it appears unavailable. This is the result of our blindness and rejection. No, the lovingkindness of the Lord is bountiful. The very next two verses in our psalm speak of the abundance of a feast, and of drinking from a river. These are not descriptions of scarcity!

Costly

This same word that David uses in describing the lovingkindness of God in Psalm 36, is also used of Solomon’s palace foundations. The foundations of the palace were costly stone.

The foundation was of costly stones, huge stones, stones of eight and ten cubits. And above were costly stones, cut according to measurement, and cedar. – 1Kings 7:10-11 ESV

So what is David trying to communicate to us? The steadfast love of the Lord is precious, (of a different quality) and costly.

Costly. To be expensive. The lovingkindness of the Lord is costly, but to whom is the cost associated. During the time of David, for the Lord to provide guidance or protection, cost Him. His honor and glory were often dragged through the mud in being associated with the nation of Israel, and with the occasional actions of His greatest saints. He is a God who stoops down to His creation, who associates with the lowly and poor, who exercises a patience and care for His people that we do not understand or often consider.

Of course the saint, as a beggar looking to the Master, could claim a cost in exercising patience for the Lord’s assistance, but we often forget that any assistance is an act of love toward us. Maybe the saint could claim a cost related to discipleship. This is and always will be a reality. This may be an accurate statement, but I’m not sure this is where David is going.

The cost associated with the lovingkindness of the Lord is the cost that the one who loves pays. For the Lord of glory to humble Himself for a small nation in the middle of three continents, with a young shepherd boy raised to King, and promised an never ending dynasty. This is a costly love committing to a young shepherd boy, whose children would eventually commit acts so vile that the kingdom would be lost, and one of those children would be born in a nation under the thumb of Rome, in a manger, with a cross in His path.

Let us remember the preciousness of the love of God, of the quality of the love He has for us, and the cost He paid to flood our lives with His lovingkindness. Let us not consider our cost to high, for if we do, it may be that we have forgotten of the preciousness of the love of God. His love is of a completely different character than our understanding of love, and the cost of His love was His very life.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #150

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #150
Description
David’s son called Lord
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 110:1
The Lord says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 22:44-45
“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”‘?

If then David calls him Lord, how is he his 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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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

Simple Thoughts – Self Esteem

Occasionally I will be dwelling on a verse or passage, ruminating on the message, (or to be honest, wandering off into some undisciplined daydreaming), and the Lord will bless me with a truth that is so obvious, so fresh and such a blessing that I just want to share it with you.

Recently, I posted a “What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean” post, a post that speaks of the humility of the Holy Spirit. During the writing of that post, I got to thinking about an old teaching that was associated with an earlier post in the series, a post that speaks of loving our enemies.

To top off this emphasis of a particular truth I have been thinking on, a certain Bible passage has “inadvertently” been grabbing my attention. Let’s consider a number of translations for this passage

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. – Phl 2:3 KJV

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Phl 2:3 ESV

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, – Phl 2:3 NIV

The key phrase that stuck in my “craw” was “in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves”, and this phrase, along with the previously mentioned influences, reminds me of the importance of others in relation to me, myself and I.

How do you relate to you?

  • Do you think highly of you? Are you smarter, stronger, wiser, prettier…. than everyone else?
  • Do you treat yourself better than the non-you out there?
  • Do you seek to love you in order to love others?
    • This is actually encouraged in some Christian circles under the guise of the self esteem teaching. Self love is the very antipathy of Christian discipleship, and is a struggle to be fought, not a goal to be pursued.

The number of verses that speak to how we relate to ourselves, to other believers and those outside the Body are scattered throughout the New Testament, dang the Bible is chock full of ’em. Humility and a preference for others is a hallmark life characteristic of the Master. He gave up comfort for others, sleep, dinners, convenience, – He gave up His life in order for others to have life! His actions show His attitude towards His own self.

As a matter of fact, Matthew provides the only self description Jesus gave of Himself that I can find in the Word.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Mat 11:29 ESV

He does not describe Himself as omnipotent, all wise, God in the flesh, holy, eternal or any of the terms we might ascribe to the One who walked among us. No – He says He is gentle. He says He is lowly in heart. He opens up and describes His inner person to us.

Lets take a moment to consider both of these terms.

Gentleness

As many may know by now, my first research tool is Blue Letter Bible for searching, word studies, definitions and additional information. In researching “gentleness” I tripped over the following paragraph from “The Outline of Biblical Usage, by Larry Pierce”. (Meekness and gentleness are the same Greek word in this description.)

Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23). (emphasis mine)

Nuff said. Mr. Pierce stated the point that needed to be said!

Lowly in Heart

Lowly in the greek is the word ταπεινός (tapeinos), and has the complex meaning of – wait for it – lowly. Or of low degree, cast down, of low estate.

The word itself doesn’t seem complicated, but it is hard to accept for us who seek to find significance in our world, to find our place in our world in relation to others. Where do we fit in and where is our “position” amongst others. How “high” do you consider yourself in relation to your peers?

My friends, consider yourself and how you relate to others. When someone is talking, do you interrupt and tell YOUR story? Do you ignore offering the last piece of pie to others prior to consuming it for YOURSELF? Do you grumble inside because Aunt Bertha came over during the time YOU wanted to watch the football game?

Many moon ago, the prophet Jeremiah had an assistant, by the name of Baruch. This fellow was known by all to be sympathetic to the “traitor” Jeremiah, and had delivered Jeremiah’s message of King Jehoiakim’s dethronement and death twice to the King! He was the prophet’s assistant and had placed himself in great danger. But at one point, Baruch had fallen into a “Woe”

“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: You said, ‘Woe is me! For the LORD has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.’ – Jer 45:2-3 ESV

If only Baruch knew he needed to love himself more, to esteem his own self greater than others in order to find self fulfillment and satisfaction.

Or could that be the problem? Is Baruch thinking of himself only, or at the least that his own self is the highest focus of his thoughts?

I think maybe so, since the Lord Himself comes back to Baruch with the following injunction.

Jeremiah 45:5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not… 

My friends – self love is a trap that constantly needs more and more attention – it can never be satisfied! I can’t help but think of Proverbs 27:20 when I consider loving me.

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man. – Pro 27:20 ESV

Feeding an animal that is never satisfied is a loosing battle. Give up now, and consider others for the Lord Jesus sake. Do not seek great things for yourself, but walk humbly with God.

Love Him and not yourself

One final verse for my gentle readers to consider.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. – Rom 12:16 ESV

How utterly backwards to the message we hear from our culture!!!


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #149

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #149
Description
To ascend to the right-hand of the Father
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 110:1
The Lord says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Mark 16:19
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand 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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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Cultural Jesus · Interpretation · Understanding

What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean – John 16:13-14

Decades ago, when I was just a youngin’ in the Lord, I was befriended by a mature believer. Golly, it was so long ago, I forgot his name, and yet his witness has stuck with me.

He was a safety shoe salesman, hocking his wares from construction site to construction site in a large panel van. He covered an immense geographical region, and was often on the highway. As we got to know each other, he would find me occasionally reading my little New Testament, and would speak of his experiences with God.

One passion Frank had (let’s call him Frank), one passion he had was to speak in tongues. Now remember, I was very young in the Lord, and primed for any teaching. I had little to no discernment and found I gave men much freedom in their influence over me. (In other words, I didn’t test the teaching like I am instructed to!). I was entranced by his witness, listened to his stories and enjoyed his friendship very much.

Frank would drop by and tell me glowing stories of the Lord personally teaching him mysteries that were modern day messages directly from God, directed for him, and all he could reach. He was so charismatic (I mean that in both his personality and theology), it was hard to not be swept away with the excitement.

Until he spoke of a time he was driving down the 401 (North America’s busiest freeway), between Windsor and London Ontario, and he was “slain in the Spirit”. Wow! What does that mean Frank?

He described the rapturous utterances he spoke, of his shaking uncontrollably, and of his visions. His visions, that required his eyes to be closed. While on the busiest highway in North America. While travelling 100 km/hr. In a large panel van!

Golly. Something just don’t sound right!

He spoke of the Spirit guiding him into all truth and of the mysteries the Spirit was revealing in the last days, of the Spirit working through the gift of tongues to bring about revival and renewal, of the Spirit Spirit Spirit.

Enter George.

I have spoke of this fine believer in an earlier post. (See Story Time – Christian Accountability – Obey) During one of my visits with George, he spoke of a “shy” member of the Trinity, a member of the trinity that seeks to be in the background. What heresy am I hearing now? Golly, what is a young believer to do with so many influences?

George wasn’t in the habit of telling me magnificent stories of personal revelations, of visions and utterances. He simply sat down with me, and opened up the Word to the following passages.

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. – John 15:26

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:13-14

George looked at me, and spoke of the witness of the Spirit to be of Jesus, not of the Spirit. Whoa – coming from my time with Frank, it only made sense that the Spirit would speak of itself – how could we as believers not admit the message, visions and utterances were not from the Spirit? Why, that is simply logical, reasonable and popular!

But George challenged me with the written Word, and not with his feelings or his personal testimony in this area of faith.

Did Jesus want us to focus on the Spirit of truth? Is His message to His followers to focus on the Spirit, or to judge the source of the message by the content of the message. In other words, if it bears witness to the Savior, and glorifies Him, it is from the Spirit. The Spirit is the “shy” person in the Trinity, seeking to show off Jesus, and not Himself.

Golly, even though the Spirit has the authority of the Godhead, Jesus reveals that He (the Spirit) will not speak of His own authority. During this age of the Body of Christ, the Spirit mimics Jesus’ self humiliation while He was on the earth, and steps back from any attention grabbing, in order for all the glory to go to the Risen Savior.

My friend – consider your focus, who you are looking to. Looking for the gifts of the Spirit is misdirected, has caused trouble in the church before and will cause divisions in the Body today. It is abundantly clear in the written Word, that the Savior is the Lord, and that as we look to Him (and no other) that we will understand His will and know the truth.

But be warned. To walk as He walked includes a humility and servanthood that is not popular amongst many in the church, many who are supposedly providing glorious messages that God personally provides to them. Those who provide messages directly from God actually become the focus of the message, and the Lord is simply a means to an end for these messengers. I am convinced that the mystical messages are at least a distraction for the believer, for any mystical message that speaks the same as the Bible is unnecessary, and any message that speaks differently than the Word should be rejected.

His message has been given to us. Crack a Bible and read it. Keep your eyes on Him. And let the Spirit do what He desires, and not what you want!


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #148

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #148
Description
Son of David
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 110:1
The Lord says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 22:42-43
saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.”

He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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End Times · Eschatology · Letters to the Churches · Old Testament in New Testament · Revelation

History Letters – Revelation 2 & 3 – Laodicea

As considered in my introduction to this series, I would like to look at each of the letters to the churches of Revelation from a different viewpoint than I have had much of my life.

Much could be written on each of the churches, but my intent is to give an overview of Old Testament motifs and pictures that John may have drew on from the Old Testament when he was penning the letters through the Holy Spirit

Our seventh and final letter is to the Church of Laodicea

John reaches back into the last days of Israel for this church. At the risk of being too specific, this may refer to that last generation prior to the fall of Israel in 70 AD.

Lets read the passage to get our thoughts aligned.

Rev 3:14-22

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”

Consider the following

  • Wealth and self sufficiency was a fitting description for pharisaical Israel of the last days. (Luke 18:9-14)
  • The nation of Israel was about to be “spewed out” of the land in fulfillment of the curse (Lev 18:24-28, Luke 21:24)
  • Israel is urged to repent and accept Jesus as Messiah.
  • Overcomers are promised the blessing of ruling with the Messiah, as the New Covenant promise was originally given to the people of Israel

Give me your thoughts. Do you see parallels I have missed? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you.


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 36 – D

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 36

5 Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.

David begins such a wonderful description of our God, with the backdrop of the wicked man, showing our Gods beauties for all of creation in these two verses.

This post will spend a few minutes in verse six.

Righteousness

When I mention righteousness, what do you think? Is it the idea of always being right? Of never having to say you are sorry?

When I think of righteousness, I think of balance.

Let me explain

God is holy. God is love. God is good. God is gracious, God is mighty, God is great, God is pure, God is jealous, God is true, God is faithful, God is light…. And God is One, perfectly aligned within Himself with each of His attributes, with each of His characteristics. I fear I am speaking foolishly here, but consider. He is not in tension within Himself as to what is a correct action, or struggles with a decision, experiencing inner turmoil as to the proper way to proceed. No, He is at peace within Himself.

Each of these characteristics of our God is not in conflict with one another, where His love is arguing with His purity, (rescue or condemn the sinner) or His holiness is struggling with his mercy (remain separate or join fallen humanity) Each characteristic provides potential conflict for us, if we seek to live within these bounds, but not so with God.

You see, He is righteous, that is, He is not in conflict within Himself, and this balance, this peace is the essence of His righteousness. He is righteous, and performs all things righteously, since He is the standard of all existence. His holiness is not ignored in order to love His creation. His jealously is not staining His faithfulness. No – all of God’s characteristics are in balance, in harmony.

Mount Hermon

This righteousness that belongs to the Lord is solid, without wavering and is a constant within the life of David. David, as he looks to the mountains, sees what he has always seen, a solid mass of immovable rock.

God’s righteousness is visible to all, for the mountains are of the greatest geological formation on the earth, and cannot be hidden.

Judgements

If you are like myself, (which, if you are, try to find a way to change!!) when you hear of “judgement” you automatically think of condemnation. But a “judgement” is simply a decision that is made based on knowledge received, upon which a course of action will be pursued.

If I see an ice cream stand on the side of the road, I judge that it would taste great to have some ice cream, and based on that decision, I slam on the brakes, backup and pull into the parking lot. Although this judgement may satisfy my desire for yummy ice cream and cause a fender bender, my point is made. The results of the judgement may be positive or negative, depending on the recipient!

God’s judgements, His decisions are mysterious. His judgements are past finding out.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! – Rom 11:33 ESV

A number of these decisions may seem to have a negative impact in our experiences, but our interpretation of the judgement may, and usually is, far from the intended purposes designed by God.

You see, God’s judgements, His decisions are like the great deep. David could see the mountains, for the mountains were ever before the psalmists eyes, but the great deep was a massive mystery. Whether he is speaking of the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, or the Mediterranean, the Old Testament prophets knew very little of life in the great depths. Admittedly, the culture was dependent on the sea in many ways, yet the ancient Israelite floated on the sea, and did not delve into the depths. Mysterious, like the judgements of God. Even the great man of God David admitted to his lack of understanding the judgements of our God.

Truly, it is good to remember that there is mystery in our relationship with God, and His Son Jesus Christ. As we walk through our pilgrim way, let us remember that God does mysterious feats that we cannot predict within our lives and the lives of others. And let us be thankful for the mystery, for in all His ways, He is perfectly righteous in all His judgements.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #147

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #147
Description
Ridiculed
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 109:25
I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
    when they see me, they wag their heads.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 27:39
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Bible

Simple Thoughts – The Goodness of God

Occasionally I will be dwelling on a verse or passage, ruminating on the message, (or to be honest, wandering off into some undisciplined daydreaming), and the Lord will bless me with a truth that is so obvious, so fresh and such a blessing that I just want to share it with you.

Such is the following passage, found in the book of Nahum

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. – Nah 1:2-3 ESV

Let’s remember some background to Nahum’s mission. It was close to 150 years prior to Nahum preaching against Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, that the Lord sent a reluctant prophet to the shores of Assyria, with a stench on his body, with a raggedness of appearance, and with a message of doom that the people of Nineveh heard. Repentance swept through the city, a repentance that began with the people, and incredibly impacted the very throne of the city. The King sat is sackcloth and ashes. God relented of the judgement.

Truly an amazing God, and yet Nahum was at the Ninevites doorstop one more time. The initial message from this Israeli prophet sent to “dirty” gentiles is of vengeance, that God will avenge, He is wrathful. Vengeance is repeated three times in the second verse. The message is clear.

Before we go much further, we need to understand this jealous thing. How could the prophet ascribe jealousy to the Lord? Isn’t jealousy a result of insecurity, fear and concerns of loss? Do you see the God of creation as one who can’t handle competition for the affection of His people? Is He unsure of our love toward Him, and therefore jealous of us? I spent a bit of time looking at this term in relation to God and found it to be illuminating. You may want to check it our at A Jealous God

Back to Nahum. God is jealous – thankfully! Due in part to this jealousy, God is described as an avenging God and is currently in the process of avenging. To avenge describes our God and His actions towards the Ninevites. The Lord is an avenging God, and during the time of Nahum’s preaching, Assyria was at it’s greatest glory. Assyria was the lone superpower, had experienced victory over it’s enemies and had stockpiles of wealth.

What a different situation Nahum found himself in than Jonah. I imagine Jonah, after his near death experience in the belly of the great fish, was a sight to be seen! This visual condition may have brought attention to the people of Nineveh and begun the revival. A grass roots revival that overtook the government.

Assyrian Empire

Nahum’s message was not met with such humility. The Assyrians had experienced stunning success on the battle field and was at their apex of kingdom, stretching their influence far and side.

Who is this Israelite that speaks such words of vengeance. The Assyrians knew of vengeance! The empire of Assyria was built on violence and terror, as every world power is established. But it seems that Assyria was especially vicious.

The Assyrians were masters of chariot warfare, in that they added scythes to the axles of their chariots. They literally mowed down their enemy when in battle.

When the Assyrians would attack a walled city, soldiers were commanded to dig under the city walls to weaken the foundations, many times dying in the effort when the tunnels caved in on them. An early style of harikari, I suppose. The Assyrians were brutal to their own soldiers!

The Assyrians did much to intimidate their enemies. and were the culture that invented crucifixion. This method of death began with impalement of their enemy, with the spiked pole inserted under the ribs and the victims body weight inflicting the slow agonizing death.

The Assyrians flayed the skin from their enemies. I’m not going to describe this as it is a horrendous practice and the intent of speaking of it, is to solidify our understanding of the culture Nahum was entering when he spoke the oracle of God the the Ninevites!

The Assyrians were ruthless. The Lord is a jealous God, avenging and wrathful toward His adversaries.

This passage reminds me of a New Testament passage.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. – Gal 6:7 ESV

Paul spoke this truth to the church of Galatia, but it is an eternal truth. The Assyrians will receive what they have given out, and their violence will come upon their heads. Vengeance is the Lord’s – it always has been and it always will be.

Not a half dozen verses after Nahum introduces the vengeance of God that shall visit His enemies, Nahum sneaks the following verse in.

The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. – Nahum 1:7 ESV

In the midst of Nahum’s description of the Lord’s vengeance, wrath, anger and indignation, of the Lord pursuing His enemies into darkness, of the Lord making a complete end of the nation of Assyria, Nahum reminds the saint of a truth.

The Lord is good!

In the midst of destruction and ruin, the Lord is good. For the saint who finds their refuge in Him, their place of safety, the saint will find that the Lord knows them. And that the Lord is good. Vengeance and goodness, both characteristics of the Lord, and both dependent upon relation to the will of God.

The Assyrians did not know of the way of the Lord, for they lived lives of extreme violence, hatred, and domination. Not so for the saint who seeks to follow the way of peace, who seeks to love our enemy, and serve those around us instead of demanding our way.

Two ways of life. Two paths. Two destinies.

May the Lord give us the strength to be the peacemakers, the servants, the ones whom He knows. During this time of upheaval and uncertainty in this world, may we find grace to live properly and to be known of the Lord.

But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” – 2Ti 2:19 ESV


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #146

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #146
Description
Messiah is the Preexistent Son
Old Testament Prophecy
 Psalm 102:25-27
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
    but you are the same, and your years have no end.
New Testament Fullfillment
Heb 1:10-12
And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;

they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment,

like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.