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Psalms 107: Four times this psalm says that men cried out to God and God delivered them from their distress. However, it also says each time that men should thank God for His goodness and wonderful works. Psalms 107:43 concludes this psalm by saying “Whoever is wise will observe these things.” Just as we are to call out to God during times of distress, we are also to give Him the credit for answering our call. Sometimes we call out to Him but then we fail to give Him the credit and thanks He is due. It’s a two-way street and the wise will travel both directions – (1) ask for God’s help and guidance and (2) give Him ALL the credit for answering our prayer.

God Bless!

heh mike, I applaud your conviction about how you use your 'sabbath'. Reading your post I was reminded of Eric Liddell the scottish olympic runner who chose not to run his race because it was scheduled on the 'sabbath'. Whether one agrees with the interpretation is one matter, but one cannot argue with the loving, bold tenacity of the commitment to live by your convictions. The key is as Parker Palmer says, "Let your life speak." By making such a choice re your use of sunday "your life is speaking' good things. Bless you bro.

It's a great thing to have a heart longing for God and wanting to devote a sabbath day to the Lord. we must make sure we do it for Him, cause we truely want to, not for other reasons....not out of pride as the pharisees did in the gospels, how they always tried to trap Jesus for healing on the sabbath or simply cause we want to play hookey on that day to get out of something, 'oh, i cant, its the sabbath'..haha.
the sabbath was made for man and not man made for the sabbath. As we draw closer to the Lord, our desires change. we want to please Him and spend time with Him. Its most important to have a real relationship with Him....then everything will fall into place. Forget rules and traditions, when you come to know the true and living God, He guides you and changes you.

Tithing is a wonder thing, its an honor to do so, that means we have an income in the first place! All we have is His and comes from Him, its very imposrtant to recognize this. Tithing has so many benefits. But what is our motivation for tithing? If its to be seen by men (a prideful heart) or done with a bitter heart, i would think its best not to tithe. In 2 Corin 9:7 it says, "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver".
We are to give with a joyful heart. there were times in the past i didnt want to give, i had a sour heart...'i have to give all my money away?' (i thought in my heart). And i heard the pastor say, 'If you are giving cause you feel you have to, not cause you want to, put your money away, God doesnt want it! He can accomplish His purposes without your money! It benefits you, not God! He doesnt need your money!' slap on my face, haha...I thought that was good...I love boldness and truth.
So, 10% or whatever more we want to give with a grateful heart....emphasis on the last part.

Ps. 107...of course I cant help but sing that =). I didnt know that was M.W. Smith...shouldve guessed, he sings everything. We sing it at church a lot, its a beautiful song and beautiful praise!

My pastor was talking about wisdom in my church service tonight. Wisdom is from above, from God. Knowledge is from the world. James 3:13-17 gets into it.
I also just love Luke 10:21, it really blesses my heart!

Ezekiel 20:1-49

As I read through today’s Old Testament reading for the third time today, I realized that I am witnessing God laying out proof to His people that He is worth of our trust. He is stating that He, Himself is faithful to His character, His Word and He is faithful to us even when we are faithless.

When I chose Israel—when I revealed myself to the descendants of Jacob in Egypt—I took a solemn oath that I, the Lord, would be their God. I took a solemn oath that day that I would bring them out of Egypt to a land I had discovered and explored for them—a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere. Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols [b] of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’ (NLT 20:5b-7).

If we really examine ourselves we will realize that not only are we NOT faithful to God, we are not faithful to our children, our spouses, our family and friends, yet we bristle at those who are not faithful to us. We demand from God His faithfulness, and rightly so because that attribute is part of who God is and He would cease to be God if He were not; we demand from others what we are unwilling to be ourselves and we demand from others what only God can be, faithful. We need to get some smarts, buy a vowel and get a clue.

They refused to keep my laws and follow my instructions, even though obeying them would have given them life.

Just thinking about the above verse and the question I was asking a friend about some kids at our club. They have shocking behaviour yet punishment seems to have no or very little effect. My friend mentioned how sin has this blinding effect on us. We cannot see that it destroys and harms us and that it is foolishness to follow in its ways. Even as Christians we can continue in sin, in something that is harmful or disrespectful to God. This verse is a perfect example of sins blinding effect on our lives - we can be looking death in the face and have the opportunity of life presented to us yet we can still turn away. I rejoice that God has opened my eyes an I pray that for others. Here's another verse I read today: God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. He who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:8

Ezekiel 20:1-49

In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, some of the elders of Israel came to seek the Lord, and they sat down in front of me. The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and tell them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Why do you come seeking me? As surely as I live, I will not allow you to seek me, declares the Sovereign Lord.' (Ezekiel 20:1-3 NET.)

These three verses and a fourth, 13, have given me food for thought and causing me to ask questions about the intent of the entire chapter. Men come to Ezekiel to seek God, and God tells them he will not tell them anything, and then states His case against them: the sins of their fathers/ancestor are being held against them. We have read in a previous chapter, Eighteen, that the soul that sins is the soul that will die (verses 4, 20). No longer will the proverb be true, that the Fathers eat sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge. (Eze 18:2). So what is God up to is He contradicting His Word? What does God know about these people that He brings up a charge against them from the near and distant past?

If God is not a man that He should lie (Num23:19), then it is our understanding, to be more correct, it is my understanding that is “off” and I must do some intense studying.

Because God has Foreknowledge of our actions and activities, He must know that whatever He tells this group they will not listen, much less obey. If He is bringing up their ancestors sins than I believe the group before Ezekiel, who would know their father’s traditions, will weigh whatever God would have told them against their father’s customs and side with their fathers. One of the hardest things for us to do when we become Christians is to break away from the things we have traditionally followed and choose the path of God. Even when our entire family goes to “church”, many of the traditions of the churches we have found ourselves growing up in or currently attending are not the traditions of God. The thirteenth verse in this chapter, 20, states that clearly,

"But the people of Israel rebelled against me, and they refused to obey my laws there in the wilderness. They wouldn't obey my instructions even though obedience would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So I threatened to pour out my fury on them, and I made plans to utterly consume them in the desert.

I don’t believe it was just the breaking of the Sabbath day that got them into trouble, it was their disobedience and rebellion against God that caused them to break the Sabbath. One could conceivable keep the Sabbath and break every other law that God made.

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
(Joshua 24:15 AMP)

Psalm 107:1-43

In reading this Psalm, I realized that this is broken up into four sections. Each section describes four types of people who find themselves deep in the consequences of their sin. They may have gotten in their mess by holding different thoughts and views about life, and how to live it but they all found themselves in the same place, despair.

I’m not sure if this classification is right but I will give it a try.

The first group mentioned is in verses 4-9

Some wandered in the wilderness in a solitary desert track; they found no city for habitation. Hungry and thirsty, they fainted; their lives were near to being extinguished. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them forth by the straight and right way, that they might go to a city where they could establish their homes. Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord for His goodness and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good. (Psalms 107:4-9 AMP)

These guys and gals are the ones trying to get away from evil society thinking if they can just get away from folk, evil sinful folk they will be alright and free from temptation. I guess maybe I see them as isolationist, running from sin into sin: the sin in their own hearts.

Second group: (10-16)

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and in irons, [Luke 1:79.] Because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He bowed down their hearts with hard labor; they stumbled and fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke apart the bonds that held them. [Ps. 68:6; Acts 12:7; 16:26.] Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord for His goodness and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men! For He has broken the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron apart. (Psalms 107:10-16 AMP)

For me the clue to the type of people mentioned here is the word “darkness.” Those without God have no light. So there are the folks who have rejected God. This group was the one I belonged to. Having been hurt by Christians and then out of my pain, hurting others, I walked in darkness bumping into every thing in site.

Group Three: Fools (17-22)

Some are fools [made ill] because of the way of their transgressions and are afflicted because of their iniquities. They loathe every kind of food, and they draw near to the gates of death. Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivers them out of their distresses. He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction. [II Kings 20:4, 5; Matt. 8:8.] Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord for His goodness and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men! [Heb. 13:15.] And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and rehearse His deeds with shouts of joy and singing!
(Psalms 107:17-22 AMP)

Well this seems to be quite clear on this group, fools. The Book of Proverbs is full of descriptive adjectives and behaviors of fools. In fact in the very beginning of Proverbs, in the Amplified, we are given an understandable description of a fool.

but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline. (1:7); And the scoffers delight in scoffing and [self-confident] fools hate knowledge?(1:22), and For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, and the careless ease of [self-confident] fools shall destroy them. (1:32).

Fools reject and despise godly wisdom, instruction, discipline and knowledge and they are carelessly self-confident.

The fourth and final group (23-30)

Some go down to the sea and travel over it in ships to do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep. For He commands and raises up the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. [Those aboard] mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the deeps; their courage melts away because of their plight. They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits' end [all their wisdom has come to nothing]. Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still. [Ps. 89:9; Matt. 8:26.] Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven.
(Psalms 107:23-30 AMP)

These are the folks who are always looking for and believing that the grass is always greener over there somewhere. Everything is better some where else but here.

What do you see in these four groups of text? Or maybe I’ve just gone off on a tangent.

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