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I think the Israelites lost their fear of God.The Levite knew he was called to be a priest as did Micah.The Danites knew as a Levite he was supposed to hear from God yet they had no regard for God or his commandments.To me it seems more like the Danites went to a fortune teller.They had a few facts:the people of Laish were secluded so nobody could help them and they were unsuspecting(even trained armies are vulnerable to a suprise attack how much more these people)...could they have thought in their hearts "who needs God's approval when we can wipe out these people without breaking a nail".They obviously heard about God even went to hear from Him but their actions show they didn't fear God.This still happens today..we go to church to hear from God,maybe even get a blessing but as soon as we get out of church our light shines dimmer that that of an unbelievers.
When Nicodemus spoke to Christ he said "we" kinda makes me wonder if the rabbi's saw the truth but as John said were too full of Zeal for the house of God:it paid well,gave them respect etc.Some of them didn't even believe in resurrection so they wanted to get the best out of life on earth.When they arrested Jesus,they broke a lot of the rules they so meticulosly taught.Like the Levite priest,they only did what paid them well.When Jesus came with the truth it felt bad so they refused to listen.They let their passion for money and power blind them.The pull to listen to our passions,to live it out,to get so involved with our work or problems is sometimes much louder than the voice of the Holy Spirit.I need the fear of the Lord in my life..to know that even though nothing can take away his love for me,my lack of reverence for him will eventually make me loose my love for him then take me on a self distructive path of condamnation.********************************************************************
Jan
May God comfort you in your grief and may your prayers for your family be heard.
God bless you all

My prayers to your family, Jan. In darkness comes the LIGHT!

Judges 17:1-18:31

Reading today’s Old Testament passage reminds me that things are pretty much the same today as they were 3-4 thousand years ago, nothing new under the sun. Here we have pictured some family dynamics that have gone awry. We have a son who has stolen from his mother and the return of the money, under threat or fear of a curse, is seen as time to get “religious” and honor the son who stole it. As we read on, we find out that the son’s mother is a grandmother because this man Micah has a son; what a godly example he is for his offspring, NOT.

Superstition, and superstitious have permeated Israel, not only is the God who protected them in the desert, the God who brought them out of Egypt with a might hand not served, he is looked on as one of many gods to be manipulated, a god that can be transferred from one person to another. When a nation falls into this kind of thinking, the children and other family members are used as a means of protection by the head-of-household, or the ones with the biggest posse and the greatest forth of strength. Three times, we read that either the son (1 time) or the priests (twice) were set-up to be “protection” for grown men. (17:5, 10; 18:19). Is this not what Abraham and Isaac subjected their wives too but magnified?

Whether we actually install our children as priests and give them a title as father, when we instruct our children to tell the Bill Collector on the phone that we are not in, when we stand back and send our children to the front of the line so that people will give them preference and force “mercy and grace,” we are setting up our children to be proctors like Micah and the men from Dan. When God moves from being our protector, our provider, our strong tower, when God moves from being a personal God to just a god, our children and relationships become a tool to be used to get what we want. We in effect, like Micah, like Dan establish our own religion build our own idols, even if it is not metal or stone, and offer up our children, spouses, and “friends” and other relationships on the alter of our fears.

Love desires to benefit others at the expense of self – for God so loved the world …; Lusts desires to benefit self at the expense of others. What is it? Do we love or lusts? Some very tough questions that I need to answer.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

The question do I think Jesus is my king? I have never thought of Jesus as my king. I know that He is the King of Jews. However, when I think of Jesus I think of Him as my Father.

I believe despising your neighbor is a sin. Also you have to remember, who your neighbor? It is not only the person next door, but EVERYONE. I reach out to my neighbor when they need things, I give to the needy, but I know myself I fall short in this area. I feel I am very blessed and I continue to look for areas in my life to help others. God said we are to help the widows, poor and needy, and I try do do as He says. Have a blessed day. Peggy

John 3 (NKJV)
14
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

NOTES:

Question: Are serpents (snakes) and dragons evil? I recall in a world religions class I took in seminary, and the question of the interpretation of whether dragons and serpents (snakes) came up. In many cultures the dragon is a being (whether real or imagined) which provides blessing and fortune.

Obviously, in God’s Word, dragons and serpents are associated with Satan. The difference in interpreting dragons and snakes can be a barrier to understanding and receiving the Gospel in the minds of unbelievers from other cultures.

However, I see something in John chapter where our Lord Jesus uses the serpent as an example of His Love and His Atoning death on the Cross. This is the only case I know of in the entire Bible where serpents are understood in a good way.

This is how I interpret this passage in John 3. Let us start with how Jesus Himself began to explain in verse 14:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”.

Note the original event in the lives of the Israelites.

Numbers 21 (NKJV)
4
Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way.
5
And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”
6
So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.
7
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”
9
So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Note these facts we can learn for ourselves from the Israelites:
1. There is nothing wrong in discouragement, itself.
2. However, the emotion of discouragement not handled properly can lead to sin. The people of Israel choose to allow discouragement to lodge deep within them so they consistently complained against God. Discouragement leading to murmuring is not just an “emotional issue” of relating to “not being fulfilled”. Rather, murmuring is a sin against God.
3. Their sin opened up the children of Israel to being bitten by snakes. When we consistently sin and do not repent, it opens us up to the destruction of the enemy.

4. God the Father used the very snakes that destroyed the people by PLACING A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SNAKE ON THE POLE. This is a very important point. When the people looked at the REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SNAKE ON THE POLE established by God, they were healed.

In short, I see our Lord Jesus using a wonderful word picture of the following verses:

Galatians 3 (NKJV)
10
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” [Deuteronomy 27:26]
13
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” [Deuteronomy 21:23] ),
14
that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

JESUS CHOSE TO BE OUR REPRESENTATIVE. Also, Jesus chose to take on Himself all of Satan’s schemes, deceptions, and sin. Satan believed he was defeating God’s purposes when He used Judas and the religious leaders to kill Jesus on the Cross. However, when the Lord Jesus died, He took on the curse and all the sin Satan was. When Jesus died, He also died as our representative, so we would not have to die for our own sin.

We are redeemed from the curse because Jesus paid for it! God has joined us to His Son, the Lord Jesus in this way:
a.
When Jesus died, we died to our sin.
b.
When Jesus died, blood covenant was cut so we are forever bound to God.
c.
When Jesus rose, we rose with Him, as new creations, raised to a new life
d.
When Jesus ascended into the heavens next to the right hand of the Father, we were raised and seated with Him.

MAY WE USE OUR SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY to pray out and live out God's purposes on the earth. This is how many will see the glory of God in Jesus and in the Body of Christ.

Vance

I was always taught that the very next person you see is your neighbor-so I guess that does mean everyone! Jesus is my Father, brother, savior and yes-King. We are called to serve him, as well as serve others in his name.

Matt 28:18

"Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."

authority is "exousia" that same delegated power or authority from God discussed in John 1. So God, the Father, bestowed this authority on Christ.

I know what Peggy means as I catch myself concentrating on Jesus in his High Priest role. It seems at worship I can relate to the Father "abba" role, but I don't acknowledge enough the role of Christ as the "King of Kings - Lord of Lords".

I think it will all be pretty clear at the Second Coming.

John 3 - Doctrine of Salvation

I read through all Bob's commentary, and I have nothing to add.

I am glad Mike included the commentary on the "Doctrine of Salvation"

http://bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1519

I hope it is pretty clear that I believe in this Doctrine. None of my family and friends do, but I know what happened to me, and the results. My family does not even know what it is that they do not believe. All they know is it is different from the Roman Catholic Church we were all raised in from Birth. That is unacceptable to them.

I know there are people reading this site, who do not believe in the "Doctrine of Salvation". I will implore you, like I do my family. Read the link provided here. At least know what it is you do not believe. Bob D. does a pretty good job of spelling it all out and providing some good commentary to the topic.

Update on Today’s Postings

If people don’t know it, I’ve dedicated myself to focus on and post on the Old Testament readings this year; however, from time to time I will do “hit-and-run” comments on the New and today is one of those days. I read something as per the NLT translation that gave me a new perspective and deeper understanding of something I struggle with, “What does true repentance look like?”

Some background information: The first church I attended after my salvation had, what appeared to me in the beginning, a genuine love for Jesus, but something went wrong, arrogance developed. What had been a church with a humble heart and core became one that screamed “entitlement” because we are God’s people. They forgot about the Mercy of God. Because I wanted to be “loyal” to my church, I turned a blind eye to the things that I saw happening. My son didn’t want to attend the Youth group, and I didn’t force him because a succession of leadership, male and feemale where living together outside of marriage. When I left, after getting a revelation of Jeremiah 14:16, I asked what thing, if any, had I gotten out of being in that church and the only thing I heard was this, “You know what not to do if your kids go to jail.”

What that “knowing” was, was this: Jailhouse conversion doesn’t equal real conversations. Jailhouse conversions are precipitated from the state of “I’m sorry ‘cause I got caught.” It seemed that everybody and his brother/sister was going to jail from some crime, white collar and blue collar. An, “I’m O.K. cause God has my back no matter what I do,” mentality ran amuck. I wasn’t sure if there was ever any scripture to back up what I had discovered until now and it comes from the Words of Jesus, King James style,

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (Joh 3:21)

Since everything that is done in the dark, will come to the light of day, just because something is illuminated doesn’t mean that the person saying, “I’m sorry” is sorry because of his/her behavior, they more than likely are sorry because they got caught. The key is in the first half of Jesus words, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light …”

Coming into the light after having been in the dark causes your eyes to hurt; you are blinded by that light until your eyes adjust. Coming into the light exposes the sin for what it is, ugly and rotten. While in the dark, what is ugly, gaudy and worthless, can give off the appearance of beauty and value. In the dark the things that are gray and shady, blend in and are hidden by the dark, but in the light everything is exposed.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17 KJVR)

Godly sorrow says, I didn it and I’m repentant and I am willing to pay the cost, and if there is anything else that needs to be exposed, God please show it to me no matter the pain or embarrassment. Worldly sorrow (jailhouse conversions) says, “O.K. I said I was sorry so where is the key so I can get out,” showing an unwillingness to pay the price or change directions.

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