With all of the poling that takes place in America it is easy to fall into wanting to be in the majority or to believe that what the majority believes will carry the day. Neither of these assumptions is true. Being true to what you believe is far more important than being in the majority. A firm faith in the God of the Bible will always carry the day in the end. We as Christians know how the story ends, (or we should if we are in the Word).
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.
It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men.
Good Morning Joes and Janes;
Happy June! Yesterday I competed in my first official run in my adult life. The Missoula Mile is held downtown starting on the North side of town, heads south across the Clark Fork River on the Higgins bridge half a mile and then returns to the start finish line. My time was slower than I had been running last week before I pulled a leg muscle but at least I was able to run. (9:18 compared to a little under 9:00)
So why, at 58 years old did I decide to start running? First, I realized this last fall and winter, that I was really getting in poor shape. Secondly, I have come to understand that one of the first preparedness steps is to be in good physical shape. It doesn’t help to have all the right gear and preparedness items if you are too weak to use them.
So, what does all that have to do with today’s devotional? Not a thing really. Looking at Proverbs 1: 20-31 we will be learning about wisdom.
20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
22 “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.
24 But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
25 since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.
29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD,
30 since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Wisdom in verse 20 is given a personification, as if it were a woman. The questions she asks; “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? The meaning of the word, simple as used here, is lacking in knowledge or expertise, stupid or naïve. In other words how long will you love lacking knowledge, how long will you remain naïve? How long will you take pleasure in ridiculing and treating with contempt others? How long will fools, (people who lack judgment or prudence) continue to hate knowledge?
Invariably at this point the question is asked what is knowledge. What is truth? Man has come up with many answers to these questions but the Lord God is the only source of eternal truth. There is no validity to the answer that there are no absolutes, no truths that can be absolutely known. Proverbs 1:7 says; “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline”
A lack of fear of the Lord causes man to despise true wisdom and discipline. If we respond to the Lord’s call then his response is; “If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.” So what will be the outcome of a lack of fear for the Lord and not heeding the call of “wisdom”?
Verses 26 and 27 says that God will, because of foolish man’s rejection: “laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.”
Things get bad, calamity strikes and then man wants to cry out to God and say help me, fix this. But God says he will let the events happen and not intervene. Is this an act of a vengeful God? Well, you may interpret it that way, but it is also the principle of sowing as you reap. If you plant a field full of weeds and thistles that is what will come up. Verse 31 says “they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.”
There are two dangers talked about in verse 32. The first is waywardness. Waywardness speaks to following one’s own wanton or depraved desires, being ungovernable. Not following a clear principle or law. The second is complacency of fools. This speaks to self-satisfaction while being unaware of actual danger or deficiencies. These will kill and destroy the individuals practicing them.
But, God has a promise for those that seek his wisdom and listen to his words; “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Where are we searching for wisdom today? Who do we rely on for strength?
Welcome Back From The Memorial Day Holiday;
Sunday evening I was catching up on the news with my usual news web sites and ran across a story from Florida that I couldn’t resist commenting on it. I posted Zombie Attack in Florida around 9:30 on Sunday and before the midnight it had received 19 views with 14 more of my original Zombie Apocalypse. Yesterday I received another 271 views and another 45 this morning. My memorial day post got 20 views. I am not complaining really; it’s just that I wonder about people’s priorities. I must also add that my regular readers are the important base and the ones that probably viewed the Memorial Day post while most of the Zombie views were search engine originated. The only comment I received was from Nick who felt that I believed in Zombies and took my article seriously.
Well enough of that! Today we are in part 6 of verses throughout the Bible using the term ”last days”. The last two verses are in James and 2 Peter. James 5:1-6 talk is a warning to rich oppressors.
Good Morning from the Bitterroot Valley;
Today promises to be a repeat of yesterday. Spring in Montana requires being prepared for any kind of weather. Yesterday it was 41 to start the day with rain and wind off and on requiring warm clothes but for a while around 3 pm the sun was out and I was down to my T-shirt and wished I had shorts along. But by 4:30 the warmth was gone and I needed rain gear again.
In round three of looking what the Bible says about the last days we are moving into the New Testament. Acts 2 is the accounting of the believers who were gathered together for the day of Pentecost. This is the time when the Holy Spirit came as Christ had promised them; “the Comforter”.
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
This is one of the most interesting verses in the Bible to me. It says that the events happening are what Joel the prophet was talking about. If you are not familiar with the verses they are found in Joel 2:28-32. Joel, the prophet wrote the book about 800 B.C. during the reign of King Joash. Joel Chapter 2 is talking about a time of future blessing, ‘the last days’ yet Peter says that the events that the Jews were witnessing in approximately 33 A.D. were part of this prophecy! That would mean that everyone alive from the time of Christ forward has been living in the last days. You are living in the last days. No one told me that through most of my life. How can we be living in the last days for 2000 years?
Also notice that not all of the events of the verses in Acts 2 have been fulfilled yet. Tomorrow I will go deeper into explaining what I believe the meanings of these verses are.
I must go out and do battle with rotting siding on an older home to replace it with new. I will meet you here again tomorrow Lord willing.
Good Morning Joes and Janes;
Before heading out to work this morning I wanted to put a few thoughts on paper; well, I guess there isn’t really any paper involved anymore in this process. That’s how sayings can go on in a language even though they are no longer rooted in reality. This thought actually is related to today’s devotional so let’s get started.
A new week begins and as promised in last Friday’s post I will spend some time looking at what the Bible means by “the Last Days”. First let me say that the Bible is written for the common man. The plain and simple meaning is what the text says in the common language. If you believe you have found a contradiction in the Bible then you may need to dig a little deeper, looking at words from the original languages; Greek in the New Testament and Hebrew in the Old Testament. Also just the meaning of words change over time so sometimes you must look at a dictionary for the antiquated meaning of words, particularly if you are using an older translation like the King James Bible.
Are there hidden or deeper meanings in the Bible? Yes, but they will never contradict the plain and simple message at the surface. They may add depth of meaning or more detail but they will never deny the message. I will spend a few days looking at how the words “the Last Days” are used throughout the Bible.
The first use of the term that I found is in Isaiah 2.
1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
5 Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
This is a vision that Isaiah, son of Amoz had. It is also important to look at who the text is talking about. The two major groups throughout the old and New Testaments are:
- The Jews; God’s chosen people. Blood line descendants of Abraham.
- Gentiles; All of the other people of the world regardless of skin color, nationality or ethnic origin. Read the rest of this entry