Good Morning Joes and Janes;
Tuesday was in the low 80’s but today is only supposed to top out at 56. This is probably a blessing as the rapid rise in temperature has brought an equally fast rise in the water on the Bitterroot River.
Though written over 3500 years ago the promises and warnings are as fresh today as they were then. Today I have chosen some text from Proverbs 11. This is a bit of text but I trust you will take a few minutes to read it along with my thoughts that follow.
1 The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. 2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. 3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. 4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. 5 The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. 6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. 7 When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes; all he expected from his power comes to nothing. 8 The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead. 9 With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape. 10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. 11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed. 12 A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. 13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. 14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure. 15 He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe. Read the rest of this entry
Good Morning Joes and Janes;
Time to wake up, and start another day. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s take a look at God’s Word. This morning I was contemplating all the bad things that go on in our country and how they can be stopped. When we see the direction the country is headed we can get depressed, feel frustrated, small and ineffective. But we are not the first in the world to have these feelings. I was looking at the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. You might be asking; “where is that one at?” Well, if you go to Matthew, the first book in the New Testament and go back 5 books you will be there.
This was written by Habakkuk in around 607 BC shortly before the Chaldeans, (controlling Babylon) came in and conquer Judah.
1. The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.
2. How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? 3. Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. 4. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.
I can really relate to Habakkuk’ complaint. So many things go on like abortion, violence and unjust laws. At the same time it seems like often the law is paralyzed and ineffective and justice is forgotten. It seems, sometimes like the wicked are winning. Where is God? Why isn’t he coming to the rescue? When is he going to do something to fix this mess?
God is sovereign and does bring both judgment and justice to the world. But also his ways are not our ways and sometimes his timing and methods are not what we think they should be. Look at Gods answer to Habakkuk’s prayer.
The LORD’s Answer
5. “Look at the nations and watch– and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own. 7. They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor. 8. Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like a vulture swooping to devour; 9. they all come bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand. 10. They deride kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; they build earthen ramps and capture them. 11. Then they sweep past like the wind and go on– guilty men, whose own strength is their god.”
Wait a minute! Hold the phone! Whatch you talkin’ about Willis? God is going to use these Chaldeans to judge the Judeans. The Chaldeans are way bad! The Judeans are not that evil! They haven’t been taking over their neighbors. These Chaldeans are feared and dreaded by everyone. They are really guilty men who don’t look to God at all and only rely on their own strength.
Why would God allow these people come in and bring judgment on the Judeans? Habakkuk’s response was about the same as you can read in verses 12 through 17.
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12. O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. 13. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? 14. You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler. 15. The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad. 16. Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food. 17. Is he to keep on emptying his net, destroying nations without mercy?
Now Habakkuk is questioning God’s answer to his prayers! Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? God, how can you use these really evil people to discipline us? Are you going to allow these evil people to just go around destroying all the nations without mercy?
Suddenly Habakkuk’s concerns have broadened! While still worried about justice for Judea, now he is asking how many nations is God going to allow to be destroyed by the evil Babylonians. How can this be Gods answer to Habakkuk’s prayers?
As Christians do we have faith in God’s actions? If things seem to go from bad to worse, will we question God’s power and control over the situation? Will we have the faith to believe in our hearts that the Creator of the Universe really has everything under control? We do not know what the future holds in the near term but we do know the final outcome of world events. We must have faith that the God who created the Universe is just and has both the present and future in his control. God has a perfect plan and we must play our part in that plan. To know what part we play we need to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Not an “I’ll call out to you if I get in trouble” relationship; but a daily conversation, seeking his guidance step by step kind of relationship.
Then when we see God’s hand moving in world events we can say; “Praise God for his power and glory and answers to prayer!”
- Sermonette: God’s Use For Evil (worthyofthegospel.wordpress.com)
- A Minor Prophet with a Major Message (anotherchristianblog.org)
- Scary Bible Verses We Love to Quote (A Case for Context) Part 2 (thesalvationtimes.wordpress.com)
Good Monday Morning!
Well, we are almost a quarter of the way through 2012! If you are not an Ostrich (with you head buried in the sand), it can be a little scary reading the paper listening to the news or surfing the internet.
What will happen in the November election?
$15,599,542,568,541.15 US Government Debt (26 Mar 2012 at 01:19:19 PM GMT)
Obama’s Latest Executive Order
Rising Gas Prices
Continuing Inflation and Unemployment
One World Government
New Wars Looming in the Middle East
Is the world spinning out of control? What can be done? Who will fix it? What will happen to our freedoms if someone is strong enough to fix it? In the midst of all this I read Psalms 46 this morning.
1. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3. though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. “Selah” 4.There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. “Selah” 8. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. 10. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. “Selah”
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior then this Psalm can give you peace in a troubled world. I don’t know what to expect when I get up in the morning. Not too much would surprise me anymore, (but be wary what you read on April 1st!) God is always present, always in control, nothing happen that is out of his control. If we truly understand this in our hearts as well as our minds, then we can have a peace in times of great trouble.
Even when mountains are shaking and falling into the sea, even when the sea is roaring, high waves crashing and nations are at war, we do not have to fear. If we have our faith in worldly, man made things, as they are shaken, we too will be shaken. We are entering a time in human history when all things will be shaken and sifted out. But if we have our faith in the Lord God who created all of these things, controls all of these things then he will be our Rock, our refuge and our strength.
Verse 8 says: “Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.” In the last days of this age God will bring judgment on the earth. “But isn’t God a loving God?” Yes, absolutely, but he is also a God of justice. As we approach the end of this age the earth will be as it is a woman in labor. In increasing waves that get stronger and stronger, the world will appear to be coming apart. Everyone on the planet will have an opportunity to make a choice of where their allegiance lies.
But this will pass. In verse 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. God will be exalted in all of the earth! Jesus Christ will reign as divine ruler on the Earth and all of the nations will exalt him. They will come and bow at his feet.
But in the meantime things will get very bad! It will look like the train is coming off of the tracks, and it will. Remember when you see all of these things happening: The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. “Selah”
Through all of these events we see God is revealing himself to the world and giving those who have not accepted him as Savior, Redeemer an opportunity to do so. This can be an exciting time to see God’s hand at work. Probably at no time in history since the time of Christ have people had the opportunity to see fulfillment of Bible prophecies like today. That is exciting!
- Noisy Room Apocalypse – Nowish
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (9millionvoices.com)
- I’m in Trouble… (wellbymel.com)