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Judges 5 (NKJV)
23
‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel [or Angel] of the LORD, ‘Curse its inhabitants bitterly, Because they did not come to the help of the LORD, To the help of the LORD against the mighty.’

NOTE: If the phrase "angel of the Lord" is in fact properly translated "Angel of the Lord", then this shows that the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Himself is once again appearing to come to the aid of His people.

Jesus is God's seal of His covenant with His people.

Luke 22 (NKJV)
36
Then He said to them, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.
37
For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: "And He was numbered with the transgressors.' [Isaiah 53:12] For the things concerning Me have an end."

NOTE:
This puzzling event in the history of the life of the Lord Jesus might seem at first glance to contradict what Jesus said to Peter as seen in the following verses from the Gospels of John and Matthew:

John 18 (NKJV)
10
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
11
So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"

Matthew 26 (NKJV)
52
But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

~~~
Yet, looking at the entire event in context shows there is no contradiction.

One particular phrase from verse 37 seems to be the key in understanding this passage from Luke 22:
37...
FOR THE THINGS CONCERNING ME HAVE AN END."

~~~
Jesus simply seems to be saying that the phase of His ministry on earth is soon to come to an end. While He was alive, His physical Presence was protecting them as the Jewish leaders feared the Personality and influence of Jesus on the crowds.

Yet, since His time on earth was coming to an end, He could no longer be like a mother hen physically gathering and protecting His beloved disciples.

His disciples would have to learn to rely on the Spirit of Jesus for themselves.
They would have to learn to use their faith in a new way, and they would need to grow up.

That Jesus never intended them to use force and arms to kill people or expand the Kingdom of God is clear from Scripture. Jesus seems to be simply saying that they must be on their guard for the enemies of Jesus would now be after them.

Psalm 94 (NKJV)
12
Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, And teach out of Your law,
13
That You may give him rest from the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked.
14
For the LORD will not cast off His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
15
But judgment will return to righteousness, And all the upright in heart will follow it.
16
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17
Unless the LORD had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence.
18
If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.
19
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

NOTE: This is such a wonderful passage. Do I daily allow myself to participate in the Lord's rich blessings?

I really like verses 12 and 13 in the Message:
12
How blessed the man you train, GOD, the woman you instruct in your Word,
13
Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil, while a jail is being built for the wicked.

I also really like verse 19:
19
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

~~~

This brings me back to the Garden where the Lord Jesus where He was about to be betrayed by Satan through Judas. Jesus said this twice in Luke 22, and we would do well to heed it.

Luke 22 (NKJV)
39
Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
40
When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation."
46
Then He said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation."

We need to stand against evil. We cannot do it alone:
a. We need to position ourselves to constantly receive the "comforts of the Lord that delight our souls in the midst of anxieties".
b. we need each other.

I found a really excellent quote from "Tehillim" which is the Jewish Psalms with rabbinic notes. Jesus studied and knew the Psalms, showing that God really wants to be our delight.

"The basis of all prayer is to allow the heart to find happiness in God."

Vance

Judges 4-5:31


Today’s reading reminded me of one of my favorite verses from Proverbs. It is one I’ve mediated on a great deal and I’m sure I’ve not fully mined its full meaning and implications:

He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls. [Prov. 16:32.] (Proverbs 25:28 AMP),

In The Message it reads,

A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.
(Proverbs 25:28 MSG)

Israel as a nation had no self-control, so she “leaked” and “absorbed” everything around her and in her. When one has no self-control, external controls, whether for good or evil, will put you under their control. Crooks experience the concrete and steal control of prisons because they cannot control themselves. One of the Fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23).

I’m seeing in my minds eye the Judges of Israel as a form of external control placed on them by a person who may or may not have their on set of internal controls; yet, either way God uses them to get the job done. In fact, God, when He so chooses, extends His own set of controls to bring His purpose to pass.

Barak, son of Abinoam, may have felt inadequate and, yes, too sinful, to get the job done without Deborah. He trusted her; however, he did not trust the God who gave her the Words to give to him. Are we like that? Do we attach ourselves and/or demand that those who we believe are “closer” to God join us in a God appointed assignment? What does that say about us? If we believe are own “doors” and “windows” are knocked out so that we need some external controls, then we need to work on putting our house in order and hang some doors and put in some windows.

Yet even when we fail at our own controls, God’s controls will only allow us to go so far before He limits our oppressions because He is merciful.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

This is a memorable part of Scripture isn't it--of Jael. I think of her as a kind of frontiers woman, smoking a cigar, deep voice. It is interesting that she killed Sisera when he was sleeping though. Yet it is very womanly the way she did it, giving him the milk---was it fermented so it made him sleepy? And then killing him when he was asleep.

It's interesting the lack of male leadership in Israel at this time. Men not wanting to obey God and lead an army to fight. Being in servitude to people you were supposed to have conquered long ago. Jael's husband moving away and making a deal with the Canaanite king. The men were in avoidance of godly responsiblity mode!

Mike thanks for keeping up the posts.

Since I have been away a few days: Is the "two post per day" limit on an acrrual basis or "use it or lose it" basis? :)

Regardless, I read thru all Bob's commentaries and really have nothing to offer that he has not covered.

I did notice in the psalm commentary that Bob touched on something our forgiveness/justice discussion covered a few days ago.

For those that did not have time to go read. In Bob's conclusion to Psalm commentary:

"The most impressive feature of this psalm is its breadth and its balance concerning the attitudes and actions of the righteous in response to the wicked. The psalmist recognizes that revenge is not our responsibility, but God’s. Repaying men for their evil deeds is God’s responsibility. We may appeal to Him to act, knowing that He is the “Judge of the earth” (v. 2), that He is fully aware of men’s deeds, and that He is concerned with the welfare of His people and the upholding of His reputation. Committing the destiny (or the destruction) of the wicked to God is not only the right thing to do, it relieves the righteous of feelings of bitterness and hostility which are self-destructive.

Committing the fate of wicked men to God does not mean that we are to be entirely passive concerning evil. Verses 8-11 instruct us that we should speak out against evil and that we should seek to show the wicked the folly of their thoughts and deeds. I personally believe that leaving the punishment of the wicked in God’s hands also frees the righteous to appeal to the wicked to repent of their evil and to turn to God in faith. Evangelism is promoted by the righteous, who commit vengeance to God."

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=523

(same link as Mike has for Psalm)

Your comments in the Proverbs area were great. It is so so true. I know many times I'd get frustrated at things going on at church or at the way people acted. My husband always reminded me that church was for people and people aren't perfect and if we were, we wouldn't need church. Some of those times during our church were when people were growing. Thanks so much!

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