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Re the wedding feast, where Mike experiences a sense of conviction about whether he found time to accept the invitation, I get nervous reading about the poor guy in verse 11 who got thrown out again. He was gathered in by the kings servants, but gets picked on because he does not have the right clothes on. Is that me? What clothes should I be wearing? Help!

There is quite some discussion about this in the commentary on bible.org at http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2271
Among other things it turns out that the word 'friend' is a tricky one in Matthew. 'In Matthew, this is a term of distancing and condemnation. It’s like “Hey, Buddy” or “Hey, Lady.”'

But in the end the conclusions seem to be:
"God is gracious and patient and keeps on offering the invitation. God has made the offer to everyone. Do not presume on the patience of God. A time will come when it will be too late. Do not be caught unprepared (i.e. not believing) when the feast begins."

And about the 'friend' who got thrown out:
"Self-righteousness - The guest wouldn’t wear his robe. He was independent."

Ouch, maybe that IS me!

Matt 22:11-13

The man without a wedding garment is one who professes to be ready for the kingdom but who has never been clothed in the righteousness of God through the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Actually there was (and is) no excuse for the man without the wedding garment. As Ryrie notes, it was the custom in those days to provide the guests with a garment if they had none. The man obviously did not take advantage of the offered provision. Without Christ, he is speechless when challenged as to his right to enter the kingdom (Rom. 3:19).
MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. 1997, c1995. Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

Matthew is the Gospel written for the Jewish nation. To gain deeper insights into this gospel one must become familiar with Jewish customs and culture. You must ask yourself, 'what does this passage mean to a Jewish person?' Or at least read some commentaries from those that know the Jewish connection. :)

oops - I went away from computer for awhile and did not realize andrew commented on these verses.

To me as the "Believer's Commentary"states: The clothes are the "clothes of righteousness" which only the Lord can provide.

"The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes."
Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you." Zech 3:4

(Notice the words "I have" and "I will")

Verse 14 refers to the whole parable and not just to the incident of the man without the wedding garment. Many are called, that is, the gospel invitation goes out to many. But few are chosen. Some refuse the invitation, and even of those who respond favorably, some are exposed as false professors. All who respond to the good news are chosen. The only way a person can tell whether he is chosen is by what he does with the Lord Jesus Christ. As Jennings put it, “All are called to enjoy the feast, but not all are willing to trust the Giver to provide the robe that fits for the feast.”

MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. 1997, c1995. Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

I love the idea that God gave us the gift of the sabbath. Jesus said that people were not made for the Sabbath but the Sabbath was made for people. Thank You Jesus for having the last word on this subject. (Mark 2:27) So often religious people take the "Lord's day" and turn it into a form of legalism as opposed to experiencing the Lord's day as time to recalibrate and push the 'refresh' button on our lives.
And Hebrews 4:11 exhorts us to "make every effort to enter that rest." Isn't that encouraging? He makes this comment in the context of people hardening their hearts to the voice of God which implies that when we fail to enter God's rest, our hearts inevitably become hardened to God's voice.
Somone has said, 'The way I was doing the work of God was destroying the work of God in me." How true. It's possible to throw ourselves into the "Lord's work" and destroy ourselves in the process. I don't think that approach to self management honours God. I heard an old school preacher say, "I'd rather burn out than rust out." I say, either way 'you're out." How about another option---try 'living out'. And part of that includes for me anyways, to 'divert daily, to withdraw weekly, and to abandon annually.' I find time every day to 'divert' with bible reading/journaling but also with physically working out. Each week I take an extended time to refuel my emotional, physical and spiritual 'gauges', and once a year I love to take off with my whole family and hit the Great Lakes near where I live in Canada and enjoy God's wonderful creation.


Exodus 15:19-17:7

Praising God one minute then bitterly complaining to Him the next, although it was by way of Moses and Aaron. Fickle people serving an all-powerful God. That is the way I am. I am thoroughly convicted by the following passage.

And Miriam sang in response to them, "Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea." Then Moses caused Israel to journey from the Red Sea, and they went out into the desert of Shur. They went three days into the desert, and they found no water. Then they came to Marah, but they were not able to drink the waters of Marah, because they were bitter. (That is why its name was called Marah.) So the people murmured against Moses, saying, "What can we drink?"
(Exodus 15:21-24 NET.)

There are times in our lives, especially when we are new believers, when God moves mightily in our lives to get our attention, to make us go, “Hmmm,” when we experience His signs and wonders. Yet after our faith begins to grow and He does not move in the same way as before when we experience crises, we complain bitterly. We understand that with our children as they grow, we shouldn’t be tying their shoes at twenty. We at first feed them but we should be teaching them how to feed themselves. God brings us out to feed ourselves, to face crises with the skill sets He has developed in us, yet we cry out, “Where are you God?” when crises come.

I’ve heard it said that crises do not come to destroy us they come to reveal the cracks in our lives. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way,

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. (Proverbs 24:10 AMP)

I think we struggle with this because of fear: fear of being thought of as stupid, inept and just plan weak by others; and the others are not God. If our cracks are revealed in the time of crises then we have an itemized list of things to present to God, not things to cover up with white wash or things to throw back in the face of God.

The key to our handling the kitchen sink when it is throw at us is the verse that caught Mike’s attention, verse 26th of chapter 15, is in the middle of that verse,

Saying, If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and will do what is right in His sight … (Exodus 15:26 AMP). Doing what is right in His sight, not our sight or the neighbor, yes even not our parents or pastors’ sight, but His sight. In order to accomplish that we must know what is right in His sight by knowing intimately God’s Word. God and His Word are one as stated in the first verse of the first chapter of the Book of John. I had a crisis this week and I did not adhere to this concept. I forgot what God had done in my life. Not only did I forget I counted His past works as moot.

Grace and Peace,
Ramona

P.S. At the beginning of the year I informed Mike though e-mail that because there were so many posters to the sight I would concentrate on the Old Testament readings. The following year I will deal with the New Testament then go to Psalms and Proverbs the year after that. So I’m not trying to escape or by pass the questions of the day, some, perhaps many I dealt with last year, but I’m just sticking to the plan.

Satan is the Great Imitator. Before I was saved, when I was a heavy drinker, Sunday was my Day of rest. I slept from 16-20 hours on Sunday which compensated for the lack of sleep, heavy drinking, and excessive partying I did during the previous week.

My Sundays now are filled with Sunday School, Worship, lunch with different people from Church, Evening worship, Dinner and talk with non-believers, and Phone talk with family out of the area.

Sunday is a fun day for me, whereas it used to be a blur. When Monday comes I do feel refreshed, not because of a lot of sleep, but because my soul and spirit have been nourished by almost a complete focus on God, Jesus , and the Holy Spirit.

P.S. I do manage to get a nap on Sunday - but it is less than an hour these days. :)

I think the Sabbat is a deep personal expression of love for God. It means different things to different people depending on individual lifestyle. I enjoy heading out to Church on Saturday evenings with the family and afterward (in the summer) heading to the local speedway and taking in a night of racing. My son and I connect like no other event in our week. Luciano my Brother you are "right on" when you speak of diversions, withdrawls and abandonments. As my spiritual relationship with Jesus and God matures I discover the act of PRAYING evolves as well. Our reading today in 15:26 has God begging us to listen CAREFULLY to the voice of the Lord your God. Don't let your words get in the way of prayer. Take a moment to just sit and say nothing. Feel what your heart is trying to communicate to you. This is the voice of the Lord! My wife catches me in this state sometimes and she is reminded of Spok's meditation in the Star Trek series.

As a recovering bulimic of course the manna bit struck me.God told them not too hoard,they disobeyed.Maybe they didn't believe God would keep his word and give them more food the next day.So they prefered to ignore God who parted the red sea and did so many other things and listen to their god...their tummy.I'm sure in egypt there must have been times when they weren't allowed to eat until they finished working...it didn't kill them.There were times I worked so hard I just couldn't stop to eat...it wasn't hard...when I'm fasting I have a hard time ignoring my stomach.
Self control...I often wondered why the Israelites didn't just ask God nicely...didn't they see what he did to those who didn't fear him.Sometimes I got so fixed on the God is love that I forgot he is also GOD.My prayers today now include "please give me a healthy portion of Godly fear" and "burn away my idols"(food in this case).
God bless you all

A quick comment about yesterday's topic of music - my goal for this year is to try and run more of my decisions through the lens of Philippians 4:8 -"Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy..." While there is still some subjectivity on my part in my application of that verse and what those words mean to me, I hope I will allow God to teach me what they mean to Him and allow Him to direct my buying decisions or help in purging my collection of stuff that doesn't fall into those categories.

I am involved in a Precept study on the book of Leviticus and we are learning what it means to be holy and pursue a holy life. I used to think I could ride the fence and rationalized that I needed to be in touch with current and poplular music so that I could "fit in". Through Leviticus, I am learning that God has called me to be different...to be separate. I don't know if I will ever learn how to be in the world but not of it...but a pursuit of God's holiness seems like a great place to begin.

Lisa

Chip Bennett,

Great catch on Exodus 15:17 - never noticed those numbers.

12 and 70, in Hebrew culture are images of perfection. Found it in hardcopy of Bullinger "The Companion Bible" and these two links:

http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/numscript/70.html

http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/numscript/12.html

As to tithe, my understanding is that it applies to Gross income. Like you I feel the call to do more (proportionately) so I offer tithe to my church, and the over and above to other ministries.

I know that there are some places where there is concern about how the money is spent. My take is: it is God's to begin with, I give it, it is up to the hierchy to spend it, if they screw up, then God will deal with them.


To Ramona,
Please reconsider. Missing your Good News insights.

Hi,

I was just wondering what people make of this passage Matt 22:32, where Jesus says that our God is the God of the living and not of the dead. Is this referring to those who are not saved? And if we will not marry after we have risen from the dead, is this supposed to mean that those we marry in this life will not be our spouses in the next life?
Sorry if this is real obvious stuff, it just confused me a little!

Emma,

You must look at that passage in the light of the entire converstaion Jesus had with the ones who asked the question, and the motivation of the ones who asked that question. If you still have questions after reading, come back and repost.

Ramona

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