It is time for Close Order Drill! Left, Right, Left!

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? Amos 3:3  NKJV.

Agreed, ya’ad, Strong’s # 3259: to fix upon by appointment or agreement. To meet (at a stated time), to summon (to trial), to direct (in a certain quarter or position), to engage (for marriage), to agree (make an).

Amos-3-3

In Amos’s question, the word “together” means to walk as a unit, as one. Two people walk to the same destination at the same pace and with the same rhythm. They also must have “agreed” to take the walk of unity, as unit with oneness.

Amos is not talking about a chance meeting between people taking a stroll, who decide to saunter together. The root word in Hebrew is “agreed” is to “fix upon,” and also means “a summons to a set tribunal at a fixed time and place.” The same word is translated “to betroth,” indicating a mutual commitment.

So the meaning is, “How can two walk in oneness unless they have met and go in the same direction?” Now we are at the heart of Amos’s prophecy. God elected Israel to be His people, but they were not walking in oneness with Yahweh. In fact, they were heading in different directions! They were not walking the walk, or talking the talk.

Amos is quick to point out the inconsistencies in the people’s attitude toward the hungry, the poor, and the disadvantaged. It is a mockery to say we belong to God and then not walk with Him. There can be no unity with one another until we all walk with God.

Growing in Knowing God brings His Delight.

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, justice,  and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23, 24 NKJV.  

Growing by knowing

Growing by knowing

According to the world’s standards, success is usually measured by three criteria: wisdom, power, wealth; George Soros comes to mind. The “successful” communicate insights that influence others (wisdom), gain strategic advantage over others (power), or accumulate and control resources (wealth).

Yet God asserts here that these attainments hold no weight with Him and true success is measured by our knowledge of Him (verse 24).

Delights, chafets, Strong’s # 2654: To be delighted in something; to take pleasure in; to be bent or inclined toward; to cherish; to be favorably disposed toward someone; to love and desire.

Both “understand” and “know” contain the idea of ascertaining something through the process of seeing (Job. 42:5). To know God is to encounter Him (2 Cor. 3:16-18); to receive “revelation” from Him as through Scriptures, He implants His thoughts into our minds (1 Cor. 2:9-12).

Pursue this “knowing,” cultivated in communion with Him as His character engulfs us with the holy wonder of a God who passionately desires intimate friendship with those whom He has created.

The only true reality is to understand and know God. All else is transitory, including wisdom, might, and riches.

But I am Poor and Needy…

   Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” –But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:16, 17  NKJV.  

Poor, ‘ani, Strong’s #6041: Poor, afflicted, needy, lowly, humble, low in status. “Ani may refer to the person whose outward condition makes him poor, afflicted, or depressed. It may also refer to a person who inwardly is lowly, humble, and absolutely not self-exalting.

Remember, it is the great king of Israel who is saying I am poor. That is the true humility that is required when coming into the presence of God.

king-david

God maintains the cause of these afflicted (Ps.140:12).  In Isaiah 61:1, God commissions the Messiah to preach the good news specifically to the poor. To be of a lowly status is neither a crime nor an indication of lack of faith, as the testimony of the heroes of faith amply demonstrates (Heb. 11:36-40).

 

The Plowing of the Wicked.

An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked. There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not loath evil.  Psalm 36:1-4 NKJV.

Wicked, rasha, Strong’s#7563- To be godless, morally wrong, bad, wicked, unrighteousness, lawless, vicious, guilty. The Hebrew Bible states that wicked has two basic meanings: to act wickedly and to condemn as guilty.

Rasha is negative behavior from evil thoughts, words, and deeds which is contrary to God’s character and hostile to the human family (Isa. 57:20). Because of this internal disharmony and unrest, social relationships of all types will be ruptured (1 Sam. 14:47; Ps.94:21). A person who lives like this has a lifestyle which is completely against the laws of God (Prov. 17:15; Dan.12:10).

Only through true repentance, confession, and prayer can it be reversed (2 Chr.6:37; Neh.9:33; Ps.106:6; Dan.9:5).

 

Esther  exposes Haman.

Esther exposes Haman.

A classic example is Haman: We will REAP what we SOW: “You have plowed wickedness; you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men.” (Hosea 10:13)

 

David clothed himself in Sackcloth.

But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; and my prayer would return to my own heart. I paced about as though he were my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother. But in my adversity they rejoiced and gathered together; attackers gathered against me, and I did not know it; they tore at me and did not cease; with ungodly mockers at feasts they gnashed at me with their teeth. Psalm 35:13-16; NKJV.  

sackcloth

Sackcloth, sag, Strong’s # 8242- Sag in the ancient world was thick coarse cloth, usually dark in and made mostly from goat’s hair (though camel’s hair was also used; Matt.3:4).The mention of sackcloth in our text is as a garment of mourning and a sign of sympathy and concern for those suffering (Job 30:25).

King David gives us a picture of a king who humbles himself to bring the needs of individuals to the throne of grace. He shares his concern in a deep and meaningful way, by fasting, prayer, mourning, sackcloth; when David’s prayers seemed unanswered, he continued carrying the burden (v.14).

He submits himself to God as his son Solomon later says of a king yielded to God: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes (prov.21:1).

Then David while in sackcloth hidden from outsiders finds out that these very same people are attacking him and mocking him. David sought to help people and was in return shown ingratitude and betrayal. The word gnashed in vs 16, means David’s reputation was ripped to shreds by unjust slander.

I find it significant that David’s attitude at the end of this psalm is “Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually,’ Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in prosperity of His servant.'”

A Woman of Eternal Importance.

Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:25-27; NKJV. 7559261_m

A virtuous woman not only cares physically for her home, but she is also a “watchman” over emotional and spiritual condition of her family.

  Watches, tsaphah, Strong’s # 6822  She works willingly with her hands, two kinds of which are mentioned in our text. Kaph, symbolizing upturned hands extended in prayer (v. 13), and yad, ministering or serving hands (v.20).

Confident in the God to whom she prays, the effective woman knows she has eternal significance. She not her husband, manages the household.

The high standard for womanhood, apparently drawn not by some romantic male, but by one who was herself a virtuous woman, (King Lemuel’s Mother, Bathsheba), presents an inspiring goal. As is all too obvious the cultural details of her specific tasks are different in our era, but the principles are timeless.

~The Talmud says, “Solomon was called by six names: Solomon, Jedidiah, Koheleth, Son of Jakeh, Agur, and Lemuel.”

Proverbs 31-woman

Proverbs 31-woman

Waiting on the Lord

Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4, 5. NKJV.

Growing in the knowledge of God requires waiting upon Him by disciplining ourselves in cultivating an environment built on love for Him. As used here Wait, Hebrew Qavah Strong’s #6960 means to “bind together” through a process of intertwining, clearly suggesting the virtual envelopment of our soul with God. img_home_06

To wait upon the Lord is to encourage a sensitivity both to His presence and His promptings, which quiets our hearts, focuses our minds through thanksgiving and praise, and allows Him to reveal any subtle attitudes or forgotten sins that would dull our sensitivity to His voice (Ps.66:18).

Accept the NT call to, therefore gird up the loins of your mind,(I like to think of fastening the belt of my mind, calling my mind to attention) be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ 1 Peter 1:13, meditate on God’s Word, and respond with focused worship.

Dedicate times alone with God for waiting and for interaction with Him.

What the Word of God is able to do

To understand the importance of the Word of God in our lives, we must have a sense of all it is able to for us, and in us.

So the Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. Acts 19:20 NKJV.

quotes19

Word, logos, Strong’s #3056: A transmission of thought, communication, a word of explanation, an utterance, discourse, divine revelation, talk, statement, instruction, an oracle, divine promise, divine doctrine, divine declaration.

Jesus is the living logos (John 1:1); the Bible is the written logos (Heb.4:12); and the Holy Spirit utters the spoken logos (1 Cor. 2:13).

Read Psalm 19:7-14, this psalm paints an awesome portrait of the Word of God. Let’s look at the terms it uses to describe the nature of Scripture.

  • God’s law is perfect. –it is flawless and free from blemish. Law is Torah: instruction, teaching, direction.—Perfect here means absolute, complete, entirely trustworthy.
  • The Lord’s testimony is sure—firm and able to support us.
  • His precepts are right-they are straight and upright. A rule of conduct.
  • God’s commandment is pure –unstained and without error. A word to be obeyed.
  • It is clean –the Hebrew word has the idea of being unalloyed. Nothing else is mixed in.
  • The Judgments of the Lord are true—the Hebrew word for true speaks of firmness and stability.
  • God’s truths are more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey. These statements are all focused on what God’s Word offers and is able to do in our lives.
  • The Scriptures can restore our souls—our inner man, and can make wise the simple-minded, give joy to the heart and enlighten our way. They can warn us, but also point us toward reward as we obey what they say. The Scriptures can help us judge error, (see Delight in Truth’s post from Sept. 16), guard us from sinning intentionally, and so work in our hearts that our words and thoughts becoming pleasing to God. What an awesome book we have. A German writer described his relationship to the Word of God like this:” I have read many books, but the Bible stands alone—It reads me.

To be continued tomorrow Lord willing.

Is Your Heart in Sync With Jesus’ Heart?

As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man. Proverbs 27:19 NKJV.

Heart, leb, Strong’s #3820: In the OT is spoken of as, intellect, awareness, mind, inner person, inner feelings, deepest thoughts, inner self. In keeping with Hebrew tradition which defines the whole man the following is given. The heart encompasses both the physical organ (2 Kings 9:24) and a person’s inner yearnings (Ps. 37:4).

There are many Hebrew idioms which are built with Leb (lehv). Wisdom and understanding reside in the heart (1 Kings 3:12; Prov. 16:23).It is almost a synonym for “mind” (2 Chr. 9:23) or “sense” (Prov. 11:12) or “perceptive nature” (2 Kings 5:26). It can be deceived (Isa. 44:20). The heart is the seat of the will (Num.16:28; Jud. 9:3; 2 Chr.12:14).

To refuse to make the proper decision is to harden the heart (Ex. 10:1; Josh. 11:20). Jeremiah 17:9 says, the heart is deceitful ( fraudulent, crooked, polluted; a liar in wait) above all things, and desperately wicked ( a sense of violent internal disturbance may be conveyed, as if to say that a man is wicked because of unresolved inner turmoil): who can know it? Verse 10 shows that our Lord is still able to sort out and analyze what lies with the heart.

Deuteronomy 6:5, (the Shema, meaning to listen with the sense of obeying) is to the Jewish people the most important text in Deuteronomy. Jesus placed great emphasis on this sentence. In Mark 12:29,30.

The NT uses kardia #2588:”to quiver” or to “palpitate.” I once saw an experiment in a lab where two physical hearts were laid side by side and a small wires were attached to each heart. A small current was applied to both hearts, they both began beating, palpating back and forth independent of each other when suddenly one heart touched the other and both began beating in sync with each other.

Are you in sync with Jesus’ heart today?  tumblr_mkv7928Lty1s9rnz8o1_500

 

 

What Authority Rules your Life, is it The Word of God?

89. Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. 90. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. 91. They continue this day according to Your ordinances, for all are Your servants. Psalm 119:89-91 NKJV.submit-to-gods-word

This text declares the all-encompassing, absolutely authoritative Word of God as unchangingly secured in heaven, let us take note of:

  • God’s rule by His Word is changeless and eternal.

In the cycle of life, times and seasons change, though social customs, human opinions, and philosophical viewpoints wax and wane they have no effect on the constancy or authority of God’s Word.

  • Verses 90, 91 show us that God is faithful in applying the power, promise, and blessing of His Word, and also its requirements of justice and judgment. Just as He spoke and the Earth was created and is sustained, so He has spoken regarding His laws for living.

Contrary to today’s relativism, which scream’s a view that ethical truths and moral behavior depend on the individuals and groups holding them. The relativism of human thought does not affect His authority or standards.

  • Creation continues to respond by abiding in his Word (responding as His servant verse 90), man is far too often a study in contrast to this submission to the Creator’s authority. Although, not so for those who have been in rebellion in the past, and forsaken that lifestyle and coming to Christ, these folks receive a practical reinstatement of God’s Word as the governing principle for all of their life.

In John 8:47, Jesus declares “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”  Paul also states that to respond otherwise is to compromise the level of life to which we have been called. Paul points this out in 1 Cor. 2:13-16 as “spiritual” people we are to refuse the “natural” inclinations of fallen men.

 As we hear and yield to the authority of God’s Word, we are living proof that we are no longer dominated by the world’s spirit of error. In 1 John 4:6 the Word of God tells us, We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit error.

There is a fundamental difference, a distinction between the people of the world and the people of God in their respective attitudes toward who Jesus Christ is. Only by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, who is greater than Satan (the spirit of error), will true believers overcome deceiving teachers and false doctrines of man.

Tomorrow: Your Soul’s Nourishment and God’s Word.

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