Monday, December 28, 2015

The Reasons Why I Cherish This Season

I was the typical American child. Treasures found under the tree on Christmas morning were the focal point of my holiday season. I have fond memories of our little family - Dad, Mom, and I - going to purchase a real tree in preparation. Then came the fun of decorating it with our treasured ornaments and tinsel placed one strand at a time. (I hated that part! Why couldn't I just put it on one handful at a time?! Patience was never my virtue.) We also decorated each other and our dog, the black poodle that ran around us like a maniac as she sensed our excitement.

I remember getting up in the early  morning hours and being mesmerized by the gifts under the tree. Being an only child meant that things did not need to be wrapped or labeled. If they were suitable for a child they obviously were for me. There was always the latest baby doll and her accessories there. After a few years I had quite a large family of children in my downstairs playhouse and I dutifully and lovingly cared for each one while playing. (Hmm. Talk about foreshadowing!)



An only child, her treasured spouse, and two generations of doll babies

I knew as a young child about the Christ-child coming as a baby. And I loved Him. I just didn't have a firm grasp of how everything fit together. Still, the scriptural seeds were planted and watered. One Christmas season they bore fruit.

When I was 14 years old my pastor took us to a retreat at Tennessee Temple University. It was there on the night of December 28th I trusted the baby born in Bethlehem as my Savior. (Oh, look! Today is my spiritual birthday!!!!!)

I saw the real treasure of Christmas was the truce offered to me by the Eternal Father! I laid down my arms. The battle was over. That is the image I see whenever I read Luke 2:14.


". . . peace, good will toward men."

The treasure offered is peace. Oh, how I needed it! Spiritual turmoil had been mine for several years. "Good will toward men." Toward me. The God of glory offered me His good will and I took Him at His Word. 

I'm so happy that God came in the flesh! From that night forward I have treasured the gift of the Son that came as a baby, lived a sinless life, died for me, and was resurrected three days later as the payment for my sins so I could experience eternal peace with the Father.

A few years passed. . .

I found myself in another Baptist college, this time as a student. It was there that I met the young man that was to be my husband. We began dating in mid-October and during that Christmas season in 1977 he told me that he loved me and hoped that we could be married sometime in the next year. If you paid any attention at all to the Yule Moon phenomenon last week you know that its last occurrence was in 1977. Now you know why Pastor Dad confessed his love for me when he did: He was moonstruck.  :)

Like all great marriages, ours has had its ups and downs, its joys (example: see picture above) and its heartaches, but since it is built upon a firm foundation of faith it has endured all hardships and celebrated all happy events with eternity in mind. I treasure the gift God gave me when he gave me my husband.

Thank you, God, for making me part of your family that Christmas season when I was 14 years old. Thank you, Pastor Dad, for promising to make me part of your family when I was 18 years old. As much as I loved Christmas when I was a child, these treasured relationships are why I cherish the season even more now. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 106 Wednesday

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Psalms 11 and 12


Psalm 11

Does God issue any commands?

  • No.


Does God make any promises?

  • Upon the wicked God will rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest. He promises that this shall be the portion of their cup.


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • The LORD is in His holy temple in heaven beholding the children of men. (Jesus is at His right hand.)


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God will behold the countenance of the upright. And conversely the upright shall behold His countenance, too.






Psalm 12

Does God issue any commands?

  • No.


Does God make any promises?

  • The LORD will cut off those with flattering lips and tongues that speak proud things.
  • The LORD promises to arise for the oppression of the poor and for the sighing of the needy.
  • The LORD will set the oppressed in a safe place.
  • The LORD will preserve His words.


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • The LORD will preserve his words. Jesus is the eternal word of God. 


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God watches and waits in patience but the day will come when He will arise and rescue His oppressed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 106 Tuesday

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Psalm 10

Have you ever wondered why God does not immediately act when the wicked terrify the righteous? So did the psalmist. The answer to the psalmist's question comes in verses 16-18.


Does God make any commands?

  • No


Does God issue any promises?

  • God promises to hear and answer the prayers of His people. 


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the King forever and ever. The heathen will ultimately answer to Him.
  • Jesus is the judge.


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Chaos seems to be in control now but this psalm says that while the wicked think God is not watching He actually is and will one day answer the prayers of those whom the wicked afflict.

2016 Bible Reading Schedule Now Available

It's December already folks! That means January and the New Year are right around the corner. Plan now to read the Bible each day in 2016. I've got a plan that I developed several years ago to accommodate my own history-driven learning style. Scriptures are not read sequentially but in a more chronological order. I share this each year for those who might want to read along.

The pdf version of the 2016 is now available for download. Copy it onto legal size paper and then fold it to keep it in your Bible.

(The complete schedule will also appear in the link at the top as we get closer to January. Thanks for reading!)


(Click photo to access file )
Permission: As always, you have my permission to copy and distribute the schedule as long as no changes are made. The instructions, credits, and blog information should also remain intact.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 106 Monday

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Psalm 9

Does God issue any commands?

  • Verse 11 - We are told to sing praises to the LORD.


Does God make any promises?

  • Verse 18 - The needy shall not be forgotten forever.


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • The early part of the psalm reminds me of the triumph of the resurrected Christ. The Son praised the Father continually.
  • Verse 5 reminds me of the description in Revelation of the destruction of Jesus' enemies.
  • Verse 8 - Jesus shall judge the world in righteousness and minister judgment ot the people in righteousness.
  • Verse 9 - Jesus will be a refuge for the oppressed in times of trouble.
  • Verse 11 - The Messiah will dwell in Zion.
  • Verse 13 - The Father raised the Son after He suffered death.


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • This psalm describes the future triumph of Jesus as judge of the earth.
  • This psalm also testifies of the future eternal damnation of the wicked.

Monday, November 23, 2015

TAKE TIME: Week 106 Assignment

Introduction:  We continue this week with more psalms. The book is divided into 5 parts, much like the Pentateuch, and the psalms we are reading now are from the first book.
 Assignment:
  • Monday - Psalm 9
  • Tuesday - Psalm 10
  • Wednesday - Psalms 11 and 12
  • Thursday - Psalms 13 and 14
  • Friday - Psalms 15 and 16
  • Saturday - Psalm 17
Memory Verse

 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 
Psalm 14:1


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God for the refuge for the oppressed.
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action
Several of the psalms we will be reading this week have questions in them including the question, "Why?" because the writer did not understand why certain things were happening. The psalmists often asked, "When?" or "Who?" or "How long?" It is not wrong to seek God for answers. Do you find yourself in a season of waiting? Or are there difficulties in your life that you do not understand? Try pouring your heart to the LORD in a psalm of petition bathed in praise like the psalmists did.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 105 Saturday

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Psalms 7 and 8

Psalm 7

Does God issue any commands?

  • David requested that the LORD arise in His anger and lift up Himself because of the rage of David's enemies and awake for him to the judgment that God had commanded. (Verse 6.) David was seeking the help in fulfilling a commandment God had made.


Does God make any promises?

  • David said in verse 8 that the LORD shall judge the people. 


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • David was falsely accused of some imagined slander. This is a foreshadowing of the treatment Christ received.


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The judgment of God is prophesied, including the whetting of His sword and the bending of His bow.





Psalm 8

Does God issue any commands?

  • The psalmist quotes God's creation mandate to His creation.
  • The psalmist quotes God's mandate to man to have dominion over His creation.


Does God make any promises?

  • Babes and sucklings are ordained to have strength that God might still the enemy and the avenger. (verse 2)


Does this psalm teach anythings about Jesus?

  • Jesus quoted verse 2 when cleansing the temple. (See Matthew 21:16)
  • Jesus is the One that visited man. (verse 4)


Does this psalm teach anythings about yet-future events?
Not that I identified.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 105 Friday

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Psalms 5 and 6

Both of these psalms are prayers.


Psalm 5

This is the first of the imprecatory psalms.

Does God make any commands?

  • No


Does God make any promises?

  • Not specifically, although the psalmist says that the LORD will bless the righteous and will surround him as with a shield. (verse 12)


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the King to whom the psalmist is praying.


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.



Psalm 6

This time the psalmist is asking for mercy.

Does God make any commands?

  • No


Does God make any promises?

  • No


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus quoted the first half of verse 8.


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • When Jesus quoted the first part of verse 8 it was in the context of everlasting damnation following judgment.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 105 Thursday

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Psalms 3 and 4

Psalm 3

Does God issue any commands?
No

Does God make any promises?
No

Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • The psalmists experiences with his many enemies is a type of the hatred the world has for Jesus. (verses 1 and 2)
  • Jesus was shielded by the Father often in His early life. For instance, Joseph was told to take Him to Egypt for His protection as a small child. (verse 3)
  • Jesus cried to the LORD from the holy hill and God heard Him. (verse 4)
  • Jesus laid Himself down and slept. Then He awaked. No man took the life of Jesus. He laid it down. Then He took it up again 3 days later. (verse 5)


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God will arise and even though ten thousands come out against Him they will be defeated. The blessing that is upon God's people because salvation belongs to the LORD will ultimately be fulfilled when all the enemies are smitten. (verses 6, 7, and 8)





Psalm 4

Does God issue any commands?

  • Through the psalmist we are told to stand in awe, sin not, commune with our own hearts upon our beds, and be still. (verse 4)
  • We are also told to offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put our trust in the LORD. (verse 5)


Does God make any promises?

  • God gives gladness, peace, and safety so that the believer can rest. (verses 7 and 8)


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • "God of my righteousness" is the same as Jesus, our righteousness. (verse 1)
  • Jesus' glory was turned to shame. He left Heaven and took on the form of human flesh. Then He suffered, bled, and died for us. (verse 2)


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God has set apart him that is godly for himself. In this verse the LORD heard when the believer prays. One day those "set apart" ones will talk with Him face to face. (verse 3)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 105 Wednesday

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Psalms 1 and 2


Psalm 1

Does God issue any commands?

No, not specifically.

Does God make any promises?

  • Although written by the psalmist, because of Divine inspiration God promises that the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful will be blessed.
  • The Divine promise of blessing continues in verse 3. The godly person will be like a tree planted by rivers of water that brigns forth fruit in his season, his leaf will not wither, and whatever he does prospers.


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • When Jesus walked the earth he did not walk in ungodly counsel, nor stand idly around with sinners, nor sit around scorning God. (verse 1)
  • Jesus delighted in the law of the LORD and meditated on it day and night. He made this clear when He told His disciples that it was His meat to do the will of His Father.


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not only does the righteous person receive a measure of God's blessing upon this earth there is an implication of eternal blessing in this psalm. (Verses 1 and 3)
  • The ungodly will not be able to stand in the judgment (remember that every knee shall bow); sinners will not stand in the congregation of the righteous (remember that the judgment of the righteous and the judgment of the wicked are separate events). The ungodly shall perish, which means eternally. (verses 4-6)



Psalm 2

Does God issue any commands?

  • God commands the kings to be wise and the judges of the earth to be instructed.
  • God commands everyone to serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.
  • God commands all to kiss the Son.


Does God make any promises?

  • Those who "kiss the Son," which means submit to His sovereignty, will be blessed. Those who do not make Him angry and they will perish when His wrath is kindled.


Does this psalm teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the anointed of verse 2.
  • Jesus is the king upon the holy hill of Zion that is "set" or offered there as the atonement. He will finally be "set" there as the ruler.
  • Jesus is the speaker of verses 7-9. He is the Son, begotten of the Father of verse 7. (Which means the firstborn of the dead. He held the keys to death so He was resurrected three days after His death.)
  • The son is the heir of verse 8.
  • Jesus is the Son of verse 12.


Does this psalm teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The heathen have always raged against God but the time is coming when verses 1-3 will be fulfilled. Nations and armies led by Satan will assemble against Christ and His army at the end of the Millennium. Then the events of verses 4-6 will happen (as a parallel event; Christ has already been set upon Mount Zion once as an offering for the debt of sin). Jesus will defeat them with nothing more than a word. He then will reign forever on Mount Zion.
  • It is Jesus that will rule with a rod of iron. Verse 9

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 105 Tuesday

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Nehemiah chapter 13

Just as Nehemiah promised the king, he returned to Babylon at the time appointed. Nehemiah then obtained permission of the king to return again to Jerusalem. During his absence from Jerusalem Eliashib the priest had allied himself to Tobiah and had even given him one of the large temple storerooms for his headquarters. Nehemiah quickly dispatched Tobiah's belongings and returned the temple vessels to their proper location in that room.

Another thing that Nehemiah needed to set right upon his return was the peoples' apparent neglect of the Levites. Not only was the temple being used inappropriately but its ministers were also being ignored. Nehemiah instituted the temple tithe once more.

The next thing that Nehemiah set right was the observance of the Sabbath. The gates were shut in order to keep the vendors outside on the seventh day. Eventually the Levites were given the task of keeping the gates so that no one would profane the holy day.

Finally, the people and the priests were rebuked for marrying Ammonite and Moabite wives. Even Eliashib's grandson had married the daughter of Sanballat, the leader of the opposition against Nehemiah and the builders of the wall.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak, but this chapter is full of incidents describing how the law of God was being broken.


Does God make any promises?

  • Nehemiah described the promised curse of God upon their fathers that they were in danger of experiencing for themselves because of their disregard for God's law, including ignoring the Sabbath.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Nehemiah is a type of Christ. He set out to purify Jerusalem, the priesthood, and the inhabitants of the land.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • At the end of the book (verse 30) Nehemiah said, "Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business." Jesus cleanses those that are His from all strangers and one day He will appoint the ward, or assign the inheritance, of each one of us, the believer-priests. This summary comes at the end of the book of Nehemiah. Likewise, the summary of all history is contained at the end of the Bible in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 105 Monday

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Nehemiah chapter 12

This chapter begins with a list of the priests that traveled with Zerubbabel and Jeshua to Jerusalem. This is an expanded list from that given in Ezra 2:36-39. Ezra's list gives the names of 4 priests and numbers that came with each priest. Nehemiah lists 22 names within the priests' families. The sons of the 4 priests would also be priests and Levites. The names of Levites follow the names of the priests. Some of the Levitical assignments are listed as well as family information and the names of the chief priests, Levites, and chiefs of the tribe.

The Levites were called up to Jerusalem at the time of the wall dedication ceremonies. Some blew trumpets, some played  musical instruments, some offered prayers of thanksgiving, some sang psalms, and some offered sacrifices. All rejoiced!

At this time some were appointed to care for specific needs in the temple. This included keeping the treasures, offerings, firstfruits, tithes, and making sure the priests and Levites, including the musicians, received the portions set aside for them. The framework originally fine-tuned by David and Solomon during their reigns was again implemented.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God did not speak.


Does God make any promises?

  • God did not speak.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The high priests were types of Christ.
  • The first fruit offerings were types of Christ.
  • The walls of Jerusalem themselves were a type of Christ.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • There was great rejoicing at the dedication ceremonies when the people dedicated the wall of Jerusalem. The women and children shouted so loudly that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off. This is only a foretaste of the coming celebratory shouting when the New Jerusalem is dedicated!
  • The singers sang the psalms of David and Asaph at the dedication. Since these are scripture, and we are told that scripture abides forever, we will most likely sing the same songs of praise and rejoicing at the New Jerusalem's unveiling.

Monday, September 21, 2015

TAKE TIME: Week 105 Assignment

Introduction:  This week we conclude the major portion of the Old Testament chronology and segue into reading any poetical literature not previously covered. This includes most of the Psalms and all chapters of Proverbs. There were a few psalms that were covered in their chronological context and those will not be repeated. (Check the index.) I do not consider it improper to study a psalm or proverb outside of the original chronology since these were used by the Hebrew people very much like Christians sing "Amazing Grace" now, a hymn penned by John Newton in approximately 1779. Can you imagine how fervently the post-exilic Hebrews sang the Psalms of Degrees written many years prior by David as they traveled to Jerusalem? Having the opportunity to attend feasts and holy days once more must have been a poignant experience indeed for those who had returned to the land after 70 years of captivity!

 Assignment:
  • Monday - Nehemiah chapter 12
  • Tuesday - Nehemiah chapter 13
  • Wednesday - Psalms 1 and 2
  • Thursday - Psalms 3 and 4
  • Friday - Psalms 5 and 6
  • Saturday - Psalms 7 and 8
Memory Verse

 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psalm 1:1


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God for being the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even the psalms declare the distinctions of this awesome 3-in-1!
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action
The psalms open with the word "blessed" or happy. Specifically, a man is blessed if he does not walk after ungodly counsel or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. (See the progression? First we walk in the way of bad counsel. The next thing we know we're standing with the rebellious know-it-all crowd and finally we find ourselves sitting there with our arms folded across our chests looking down our noses at all those "ignorant people who don't know any better.") This week's assignment is a "spiritual map-check."  Have you taken ungodly counsel and have found yourself walking in it? (Usually you'll find yourself trying to justify something the Bible clearly says is wrong.) Are you finding comfort in the company you keep? (We tend to want to find others to help us justify our sinful behaviors or beliefs) Or have you already firmly planted yourself upon a seat where your opinions determine your attitude and actions? (We tend to argue incessantly for our "right" to do, think, believe something, etc. etc. etc. even if it specifically goes against the Word of God.

Check your map. Then change course if necessary.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 104 Saturday

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Nehemiah chapter 11

A plan to resettle Jerusalem began to be revealed in chapter 7 when we were told that the walls were completed. It was then that it was noted that the houses were not yet built and the inhabitants were few. This led to the searching of the genealogy records for those living in the surrounding area.

In this chapter we are told that the rulers were offered permanent housing within the city. Some families volunteered to move there. The remaining homes were filled by drawing lots. Ten percent of the area population was then able to move within the confines of the walls. Evidently it was not something that everyone desired to do since the people thanked those who voluntarily made the move. We are given the names of certain men of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi that moved into Jerusalem.

The Nethinims and the musicians such as the sons of Asaph returned to the ceremonial duties of their ancestors as originally appointed under the kings of Judah beginning with King David. Many of them dwelt at Jerusalem with the priests and Levites since they were involved in Temple service. The rest lived upon their family inheritances in the outlying towns.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak.


Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • A portion of all inhabitants of the earth will inherit the New Jerusalem because Jesus has made provision for them. We do not know what percentage of all humans will ultimately be there, but it is sure to be a small percentage such as happened in the time of Nehemiah.
  • The Nethinims and sons of Asaph continued their appointed positions as assigned by the king. Jesus is our King and He has assigned His followers a work to be done. That assignment has not been revoked even though 2000 years have passed since Jesus gave the Great Commission.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Many of the Hebrews returned to the lands of their ancestors, lands passed down through generations since the time of the conquest of Joshua following the Exodus. Although it seems hard to believe, Revelation tells us that God has not forgotten the 12 tribes nor their possessions and inheritance. They will one day inherit all that God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We may not be able to trace the tribal lineages but God's records are perfect!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 104 Friday

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Nehemiah chapter 10

Does God issue any commands?

  • God did not give new commandments here but the people had recently heard those that were given in the law of Moses. Many of the leading men signed a covenant promising to keep God's commandments. As governor, Nehemiah's signature was first.  
  • The people specifically mentioned the laws that God had given Moses concerning the Sabbath day, the Sabbath year, not intermarrying with their neighbors, the Temple upkeep, and the system of sacrifices and offerings.


Does God make any promises?

  • Not specifically but the implication is that if the people kept the covenant, which their ancestors had not done, they would not suffer punishment such as had befallen the generation before them.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath.
  • Jesus sets us free (as illustrated by the Sabbath year).
  • Jesus is God and He and as Light He has no fellowship with darkness (as per not intermarrying; He remained pure in spite of living among men).
  • Jesus is our Temple.
  • Jesus is our sacrifice, our offering, and the first-fruits.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God is the great covenant-keeper. One day the testament signed in the blood of His Son will be ratified and those under the covenant will inherit the land that has been promised to them. Not only does this mean that the Jewish nation will be given all that has been promised to them (it does mean that, too) but as the Apostle Paul told the Gentile believers, we also will inherit as the people of God based upon the merits of Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 104 Thursday

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Nehemiah chapter 9

Following the reading of the Word, the time of repentance, and the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles that we read about in the previous chapter we find that they spent 1/4 of each day in the book of the law and 1/4 in confessing their sins and worshiping God. Now that was quite a revival!

It should be noted in this passage that the Jews affirmed their belief in the literal creation of the world by the Creator as well as all the events of the Exodus, including the drowning of their enemies in the "deeps" (verse 11) which had to have been the Red Sea and not the shallow Reed Sea. As a matter of fact, they affirmed all of the Biblical events that many say just could not have happened in the way the Bible said they did.

One event mentioned in this account was the inheritance of the land of Canaan. It was a poignant reminder to the people that their ancestors had taken over a land bursting with food. It was ready and waiting for them! Then many years later their ancestors gave over this land and its food to the invading Assyrians and Babylonians. Only when they were obedient to God did they dwell in safety. It was a lesson for them all. They were now basically sharecroppers.

Does God issue any commands?

  • The people read the Law of the Lord. The law is not spelled out in this chapter but since we have access to the same Old Testament we know what they read and what the commands are within the law given to Moses.


Does God make any promises?

  • The sermon preached by the Levites included a recitation of the blessings of God upon the nation throughout their history beginning from the time of creation. These were promises fulfilled.
  • One of the promises mentioned as being fulfilled is that they would be multiplied like the stars of heaven. (verse 23)
  • Another promise fulfilled is that God gave them the land He promised Abraham.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the fulfillment of the Covenant between God and man.
  • Jesus is the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire that led the people by day and night because He is the light. (verse 12)
  • Jesus is the bread from heaven. (verse 15)
  • Jesus is the rock. (verse 15)


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God is said to be forbearing, gracious, and merciful while His people turned their backs on Him. Then when their iniquity was full God judged the people and their land. The same God is forbearing, gracious, and merciful today even as His people turn away from Him. One day the world's iniquity will be full and God will judge it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 104 Wednesday

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Nehemiah chapter 8

Picture the scene described here. The people had completed the arduous task of clearing the rubble, rebuilding the walls, and setting up the city gates all while standing guard duty against the enemies that wanted to stop them from completing their mission. Then it had been determined that there were not enough people living in the city so a census of the local populace had been taken. The implication is that those from the surrounding area were offered refuge within the now-completed walls.

It had been hard work! And a month after it was completed the people gathered to hear Ezra, the priest and scribe, read the book of the Law. Most of those people had been born during the 70 years of captivity and were children or young adults. Perhaps some had wondered why all that work of rebuilding had been necessary in the first place. The reading of the Law answered that question unequivocally. Situated among the people were Levites who explained the law as Ezra was reading it. This may have included translating the text if any of the foreign-born Jews were not fluent in Hebrew!

Can you imagine the conviction of the people coupled with thanksgiving as they heard the ancient words that had determined both their punishment and subsequent restoration? This passage says they wept openly.

Notice how the worship of the people progressed. They stood respectfully when Ezra opened the scroll and read the scripture. After he finished reading, Ezra prayed. The people responded by saying, "Amen! Amen!" in unison while lifting up their hands toward heaven. Then they bowed their heads and the next thing mentioned is that they have their faces on the ground, presumably kneeling.  When one becomes convicted by the Word of the LORD it automatically humbles him. A person can find himself kneeling or prostrate before the God of the universe in repentance and praise.

I suggest becoming familiar with this attitude and posture. It is something we God-worshipers will be doing throughout eternity so why not get in practice now?

Does God issue any commands?
  • Generally, the law that Ezra read contained the commands of God.
  • Specifically, they found written in the law that the LORD commanded Moses that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the Feast of Tabernacles during the seventh month. (It was in the seventh month that they read this passage in the Law. See verse 2.)  The people gladly followed this observance that both commemorated their Exodus and the Messiah that would one day come to "tabernacle" with them.

Does God make any promises?
  • The law that Ezra read contained the promises of God, too, including the promise of restoration such as the people were experiencing at that time. They were witnesses of God's promises being fulfilled.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The Feast of Tabernacles as observed by the people in the latter part of the chapter was a portrayal of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He "tabernacled" (took on our humanity) when He became man and dwelt among us.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The people wept when they considered the results of sin but the Levites told them the time for weeping was over. Now was a time of celebration because the joy of the Lord was their strength! They shared gifts of food with each other as they celebrated. This is a foreshadowing of that great day when all God's people will gather together. All earthly struggles will be over. There will be no more crying. All will share the goodness of the Lord together. The joy of the Lord is our strength!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 104 Tuesday

Nehemiah 7:39-73
A detail of the priestly garments infographic
provided via Faithlife Network.
Lexham Press. Logos Bible Software Infographics.
Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2009. Print.


This is a continuation of the list of people that returned from captivity. We are given the names of the priests, specifically 4 of them. (These later divided into courses of service again as was shown when Zechariah was serving in the Temple when he had his meeting with the angel concerning the birth of John the Baptist.)

The Levites are also mentioned here as are the Temple servants (Nethinims) of Solomon. These were probably originally conquered Gentiles who assimilated into the Jewish culture by intermarrying with the Jews. After all, they could prove their genealogy whereas certain supposed men of the tribe of Levi could not and were therefore removed by the governor as priests until they had access to Urim and Thummin.

Does God issue any commands?

  • No, God does not speak, however this is a continuation of the leading of God to Nehemiah that was mentioned earlier in the chapter. (verse 5)


Does God make any promises?

  • No, God does not speak.


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • The Urim and Thummin was a tool  that pertained to the priest and was used for judgment and discerning God's will. No one today seems to know exactly what it was or how it worked but it was one of the means by which God communicated with His people before the law and prophets were complete. Jesus is our High Priest. He is also the Perfect Judge. Therefore, the Urim and Thummin is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One Who always did the Father's will and made it known to us.
  • There are some similarities between the people who had assumed a right to be in certain positions without proper verifying documents and the parable that Jesus told about the wedding where people presumed to participate without proper wedding garments. Proper accreditation is necessary in the kingdom of God.


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Only those with proper credentials (robes of righteousness as supplied through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ) will be priests in God's future kingdom and Jesus will be the judge of who that is. Only those who are His can be priests in His Kingdom. (Priesthood of believers is one of the positions a person obtains when he or she trusts Christ. This means Christians have direct access to God. One day that access will be face-to-face communication while now it is by prayer through the Lord Jesus Christ, our mediator through Whom we have access to the very Throne of God the Father.)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 104 Monday

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Nehemiah 7:1-38

After the gates were installed Nehemiah set up a system for guarding the city. It was a bit difficult since there were few people actually living inside the walls. The city was large but the houses had not yet been built.

Nehemiah consulted the genealogy records of those who returned from the exile. A similar list had been compiled by Ezra earlier. Nothing like records to provide people with a feeling of "ownership!" We will only read the lists of leaders and men who returned with Zerubbabel today. Note that when it says "the children of _______" followed by a number it means the children of a particular city or location, not the children of a man so named, although verse 21 lists the people from Ater that evidently descended from the former king Hezekiah.

Does God issue any commands?

  • Nehemiah stated that God put it into his heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy.


Does God make any promises?

  • Not that I identified.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Nehemiah appointed faithful men to be the watchmen over the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jesus is the Watchman over all who will inhabit the New Jerusalem.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The wall was built and the gates were installed. The singers and porters were given their assignments. Then the gates of Jerusalem were to be shut for the protection of the city. In the New Jerusalem the walls are built and the gates are installed but they are never to be closed! All attendants will fulfill their assignments but with Jesus as the Watchman and with sin vanquished there will never be a chance of attack against it. (You can be there! Even now the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" Revelation 22:17)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 103 Saturday

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Nehemiah chapter 6

Nehemiah had enemies. People doing the work of God always do. (They are usually people being used by those principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places that Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we wrestle against.)

How grievous it must have been for Nehemiah to constantly listen to the chatter of those around him declaring the virtues of Tobiah and his family. These same people in turn reported every word uttered by Nehemiah to Tobiah. With friends like this, who needed enemies?

Does God issue any commands?

  • God did not speak.


Does God make any promises?

  • God did not make any promises, but the fact that the work was done in only 52 days substantiates Nehemiah's claim in verse 16 that "this work was wrought of our God."


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • I find it interesting that the tactics the enemies used on Nehemiah are similar to the tactics Satan used with Jesus. First there is a meeting. Nehemiah refused the invitation to meet. On the other hand, Jesus met Satan one-on-one and faced temptation. Nehemiah knew that they meant to do him mischief and that he probably could not win against them at least physically which would put his own life in jeopardy. Jesus faced Satan because He knew He would win and His life was not in jeopardy at that time. The next salvo was the "discredit" phase. Nehemiah's enemies produced false witnesses to slander him and make him appear as an opportunist. Satan stirred up false witnesses against Jesus all through His earthly ministry designed to make Jesus appear as either a lunatic or a liar with a god-complex! The following attack was in the form of entrapment. A false prophet hired by the enemy tried to place Nehemiah in a position where attackers could assassinate him. Several times the people were stirred up by false prophets (usually the religious leaders) to attempt to kill Jesus, once by pushing Him off of a cliff. Since it was not Jesus' time to die He passed through the crowd and went His way unharmed.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I noticed, except to say that when God is in the work it gets done in God's timing. We're still waiting for that city not made with hands and it may seem like a long time to us but God has a timetable and He is keeping track of it. And when the time has come for it to be revealed to us "time shall be no more."

Monday, August 31, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 103 Friday

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Nehemiah chapter 5

In this chapter it is brought to Nehemiah's attention that the rich had been preying upon the poor. And these were not foreigners. These were other Jews. It made him very angry.

Nehemiah was appointed governor of the province at this time. Nehemiah set a good example by not making the people pay taxes for his own upkeep. And yet Nehemiah was able to set food before 150 people each day because God provided for him.

Does God issue any commands?

  • No, but God had given specific directions concerning the care of the poor within the nation. The rulers, noblemen, and priests were grievously ignoring these directions.


Does God make any promises?

  • Nehemiah told those who were extorting the lands, crops, and money from their brethren that God would shake them out of His house if they did not keep their promise to restore to each  man his possessions.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Although Jesus did not come to earth to be the champion of the poor, it was mainly the poor that flocked to Him because He taught about all being equal before God. Everyone needs a Savior because no one has enough material goods to buy their way to Heaven. As God, Jesus is the Author of the commands given to Moses concerning the welfare (or workfare system) that was to be instituted within the nation for the care of the poor, the elderly, the widows, orphans, and travelers. All aid was to be given without interest.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The riches of God's storehouse seemed to be at Nehemiah's disposal and he was able to feed at least 150 people each day without depending upon the people to pay taxes for his upkeep. We have access to the provisions of God now, too, but especially will this be so in the Millennial and eternal kingdoms.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

TAKE TIME August 3-8, 2015 Schedule

Introduction:  Nehemiah saw the building of the wall through to completion but there was more work to be done. The people needed to be prepared to enter into the covenant relationship with the LORD once more.

 Assignment:
  • Monday - Nehemiah 7:1-38
  • Tuesday - Nehemiah 7:39-73
  • Wednesday - Nehemiah chapter 8
  • Thursday - Nehemiah chapter 9
  • Friday - Nehemiah chapter 10
  • Saturday - Nehemiah chapter 11
Memory Verse

 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 
Nehemiah 8:6


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God for being the Covenant Keeper. We have read over and over again that He allowed the people of Israel to return multiple times to a covenant relationship with Him in spite of the fact that they kept breaking it. (He has made a covenant with us, too, sealed by the Holy Spirit through the blood of Jesus Christ. He keeps the Covenant even when we are unfaithful.)
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action
After the work on the wall was complete God put it into Nehemiah's heart to purge the ranks by checking everyone's credentials, in the case of the Jewish priests and nobles it was their genealogies. Although we cannot look upon the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls, to see if their professions of faith are real there should be some evidence that they have the proper "credentials" attesting to a new birth. Take time this week to begin to disciple a new convert. The work is not done when someone says they believe. The next step is to teach them just as Jesus said to do in the Great Commission. (And this is not just a one-week assignment either! It takes time to properly train a disciple.)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 103 Thursday

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Nehemiah chapter 4

Does God issue any commands?

  • God did not speak.


Does God make any promises?

  • God did not speak, but it will be interesting to see how He answers the prayer that Nehemiah prayed in verses 4-5! After all, Nehemiah claimed that these who mocked the work of the Jews who were building the wall of Jerusalem were actually provoking God to anger.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Nehemiah set a watch and he also prayed. Jesus told His followers to watch and pray also. We are to be busy about His work while being aware of what is going on around us, but we are to pray without ceasing also.
  • Just as Nehemiah told the working people not to be afraid of their enemies, Jesus has told His workers not to fear the enemies round about, too. 
  • Nehemiah armed the people with weapons of warfare that they were to use right along with their tools for building. Jesus gives us spiritual armor to prepare us for battle while we labor to build churches pleasing to Him.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Nehemiah had his messenger beside him in order to be ready to sound the trumpet whenever Nehemiah said. According to Revelation a messenger is ready to sound the trumpet when the Lord tells him to do so.
  • When the trumpet sounded the people were to come to the place where it sounded. Then they were to watch and see God fight for them. When we hear the trumpet sound we will go to where the Captain is awaiting us and we will see God fight the battle for us.
  • Nehemiah kept the people always at the ready! They only put off their clothing long enough to wash. We are to be well-washed, have our garments ready, and be watching, too. We should be clothed in the spotless robes of righteousness provided through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and we should be prepared for the time when He comes for us because we know not the moment when we will be called to Him.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 103 Wednesday

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Nehemiah chapter 3

The occupations of the men (and women!) working on the wall are amazing. People from all walks of life - from the nobles and goldsmiths on down - worked on the wall. Although reading the list of workers might be considered by some to be as boring as reading genealogies, it is really quite interesting to see how God used so many people to restore the walls of Jerusalem.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God does not speak.


Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • It isn't a harvest that Nehemiah's workers are working, but it is an important assignment given to the people of God. Jesus calls workers as His laborers, too. It doesn't matter whether we use the analogy of working in the fields or building the Kingdom, our Master told us to work!


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 103 Tuesday

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Nehemiah chapter 2

Nehemiah had been praying about 4 months when he was given the opportunity to speak to the king about the need in Jerusalem. His first prayer, the one found in chapter 1, was probably prayed many times during those months, but his second prayer, the one found in chapter 2, was devised hurriedly. Even if it was a quick prayer it seems obvious by the answers that Nehemiah gave to the king and the requests he made of Artaxerxes that he had been considering travel plans and material lists prior to this opportunity. He was ready when God opened the door for him to make his petition to the king.

Once he was in Jerusalem Nehemiah made a preliminary survey on the third evening after entering the city. He had not yet told anyone his purpose for being there. He waited until he had grasped the situation before telling the officials, priests, nobles, and other Jews why he had come.

Does God issue any commands?

  • No, God did not speak in this chapter.


Does God make any promises?

  • God made Nehemiah no promises, but He did grant him favor with Artaxerxes when he made his request. (2:8, 18)
  • When confronted by adversaries in Jerusalem, Nehemiah believed that God would prosper the builders. His belief was based upon the prayers that God had answered.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the God of heaven.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Nehemiah told the foreigners that attempted to discourage the builders that they had no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem. The same is true about the New Jerusalem. Those who have no citizenship in Heaven have no portion, nor right, nor memorial there. Only those who are God's children, meaning those who have been made citizens through the blood of Jesus Christ, will inherit the New Jerusalem.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 103 Monday

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Nehemiah chapter 1

Ezra had already been in Jerusalem for a few years when Hanani and certain men of Judah returned to Shushan with news of the broken walls and burned gates.

There is a great lesson to be learned from Nehemiah: When something burdens an individual so much that he or she mourns, fasts, and prays about the situation for several days it seems likely that God will put that person in a position to make the needed change.

Notice that Nehemiah did not just make his request known. He also confessed his sins and those of his nation. He followed the ACTS of prayer formula! (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication)

Does God issue any commands?

  • No, but Nehemiah referenced God's commands in his prayer.


Does God make any promises?

  • No, but Nehemiah referenced God's promises in his prayer.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • In this passage Nehemiah was the intercessor for his people. Jesus is our intercessor.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • This chapter talks of sins, repentance, and better days to come for those who are God's children. All are based upon the hope Nehemiah had in God as a promise-keeper. When we confess our sins we become God's child which entitles us to a glorious future. We believe this because we believe God keeps His promises as given in the scriptures.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

TAKE TIME: July 27-August 1, 2015 Schedule

Introduction:  Nehemiah is the last book we will read in the Old Testament chronology. After this we will read any psalms that we did not study previously and Proverbs. Nehemiah was the contemporary of Ezra and Esther.Nehemiah was actually the king's cupbearer. He makes reference to Queen Esther in 2:6.

 Assignment:
  • Monday - Nehemiah chapter 1
  • Tuesday - Nehemiah chapter 2
  • Wednesday - Nehemiah chapter 3
  • Thursday - Nehemiah chapter 4
  • Friday - Nehemiah chapter 5
  • Saturday - Nehemiah chapter 6
Memory Verse

 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me, And they said, Let us rise up and build. so they strengthened their hands for this good work.
Nehemiah 2:18


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God for being the Great Remodeler! He rebuilds broken lives and makes all things new!
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.

Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?

Putting the Word into Action
It is time to rise up and build. The work is never easy but the needs of the Kingdom are great! One day the New Jerusalem will appear on the New Earth and we will not need to work on its walls. But for now there is a great amount of work to be done. Find your place on the wall and begin to work there. (The opportunities are available for great mission work to be done. Don't let the obstacles keep you from doing the work of the Great Commission, the commandment for building that Jesus gave to us before He returned to Heaven.)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 102 Saturday

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Malachi chapter 4 

Does God issue any commands?

  • God tells those of Israel to remember the law of Moses that was given to him in Horeb.


Does God make any promises?

  • God promises healing through the Sun of righteousness for those who fear His name. He also promised that they shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall.
  • God promised to send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the Sun of righteousness in verse 2.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Verse 1 describes a future event that will overtake the wicked. See Revelation chapters 8 and 9 for comparison.
  • Verse 2 also describes a future event. This one is what happens to those made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ.
  • Verse 3 describes the ashes under the feet that result in the destruction of the wicked. The Bible declares in several places that the earth is God's footstool, and sometimes it specifically means the Son's, footstool. See Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:49, Matthew 5:35, Psalm 110:1 for examples. Ashes of the burnt sacrifices were also to be taken outside the camp. These sacrifices represented sins and their ashes were to be taken outside of the main camp and deposited there. In verse 3 we see that the wicked will finally be sacrificed and the ashes will be underfoot.
  • Elijah is yet to come as the forerunner of that great and terrible day of the LORD. After Elijah's ministry in the last days the Day of the LORD will come and the earth will be destroyed before the New Earth and Heaven are ushered into existence. See Revelation 11:3-14 for more information. 
  • When Elijah comes he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers. This will be during the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. Some obviously will be reached by his message and ministry before his death and resurrection in Jerusalem. (Remember that he has not yet died but was translated to Heaven awaiting his final ministry upon the earth in the last days.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 102 Friday

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Malachi chapter 3

Does God issue any commands?

  • God commanded the people to return unto Him.


Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that if the people returned unto Him He would also return unto them.
  • If the people would bring their tithes into the storehouse God would open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (I feel the fulfillment of this promise myself every time I reorganize and donate the excess to a charitable organization.)
  • God promised if people would return to Him and tithe He would rebuke the devourer and also protect the crops. All nations would call Israel blessed and a delightful land because of her blessings.
  • God keeps a book of remembrance of those who fear Him and speak often one to another about Him. (This reminds me of the book of remembrance Ahasuerus kept where Mordecai's good deed was written. It foreshadowed the downfall of the evil Haman and the rising of the righteous Mordecai. Can God's book of remembrance be any less significant?!) God promised that those whose deeds are kept in His book of remembrance shall be His on the day when He makes up His jewels. This will lead to discerning between the righteous and the wicked.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Verse 1 is Jesus talking about His forerunner, John the Baptist, and His own incarnation. He says, "Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. Obviously, this is the LORD talking here (Jehovah) but since the speaker claims that the messenger would come "before me" this is Jesus speaking. That means Jesus is also the LORD of hosts. There is no way around it: Jesus claimed to be Deity in both testaments!
  • Jesus is like a refiner's fire and fuller's soap. (Remember the old hymn? "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow!")
  • Jesus shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
  • Jesus is the judge of all the unrighteous (such as are listed in verse 5).


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The last few verses imply a time of rehearsing the deeds written in God's book of remembrance. This book will lead to discerning between the righteous and the wicked.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 102 Thursday

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Malachi chapter 2

Does God issue any commands?

  • God commanded the priests to hear His words, lay the offering of sacrifice to heart, and give glory to His name.
  • God commanded them to stop putting away the wives they had taken in their youth. (The Morris study Bible notes say that the priests who married foreign wives - as in the book of Ezra - may have divorced their Jewish wives, the ones they married as young men, and taken the Canaanite women as their wives. Their sin would then be two-fold.)


Does God make any promises?

  • God said that if the priests would not listen He would curse them. They would be corrupted through the excrement of the animals for sacrifice. (Most likely the phrases "spread dung upon your faces" and "one shall take you away with it" mean that their dead bodies would lie in the filth of the slain animals.) Those that witnessed this curse would know that God had made a covenant with Levi of life and peace that his descendants had broken.
  • God promised to cut off the man that profaned the holiness of the LORD and married the daughter of a strange god. (verses 11-12)


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The priest's lips should keep knowledge and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. (verse 7) The Levitical priests had not done this but Jesus is our High Priest and He fulfilled these requirements.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The last verse implies that judgment is coming to those who do evil but say it is good in the sight of the LORD or who do whatever is right in their own eyes because they do not think there really is a God of judgment. This was true in the days of Malachi and it is true today. One day the LORD will appear and will judge us all.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 102 Wednesday

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Malachi chapter 1

"Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD." (verse 13)

Things do not change very much over time. Many consider it "weariness" to take the time to worship God properly. It's just like us to look for shortcuts so that we can follow our own pursuits.

I like the following verse, though.
"For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts." (verse 11)
What a contrast there is between  these 2 verses!


Does God issue any commands?

  • Malachi received a "burden" from the LORD to Israel. It is implied in this that God told Malachi to deliver the message to Israel.
  • Malachi delivered a message from the LORD to the wicked priests who offered defiled food and animals for the sacrifices.


Does God make any promises?

  • After Edom was wasted they promised to return and rebuild. God promised that He would throw down anything they put together. He called them "the people against whom the LORD hath indignation forever." Israel would be witness to this.
  • God promised that He would not accept an offering at the hand of the wicked priests who offered sickly and defiled animals as sacrifices.
  • God promised that His name would be great among the Gentiles.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The offerings and sacrifices were to be pure and holy because they represented the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. This is also why the elements we use for the Lord's Supper are to be unleavened since leaven is a symbol of sin. We must keep the Lord's table above contempt.
  • Jesus is "the great King" of verse 14.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God promised to do a great work among the Gentiles "from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same." The sun has not yet set on this work.