Author Archives: BM

Psalm 80; 2 Peter 2

Psalm 80;

This is a psalm that appears to spell regret from the children of Israel. They had sinned against God time and time again and broken God’s edge of protection over them. We see their appeal to God in Psalm 80:3(NIV) “Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
In Psalm 80:4-6 one can almost touch the agony in their lamentations of God’s punishment and how much Israel had become an embarrassment amongst its neighbours because of God’s affliction on them.

Psalm 80:8-11 describes how God had distinguished Israel and made them the envy of its neighbours after rescuing them from Egypt. The remaining verses up until verse 16 continues to describe God’s punishment and abandonment of Israel.

In the last few verses we see Israel appealing to God to save them as they had learnt their lesson now.

What we can learn from this is if we wonder off from obeying God we only leave ourselves open for the enemy to plunder us because by disobeying God we stray away from His protective arms

2Peter2

From the beginning of this chapter I believe we are being enlighten & warned here that false prophets and blasphemers have always been from time immemorial so there is nothing new there but we need to be aware that they are setup for God’s judgement.

The scripture then continues by assuring us that God like he rescued Noah & his family from the mist of depravity and Lot and his family also from the evil of Sodom & Gomorrah, God will do the same today to protect the righteous from the evil, sin and temptation around them.

There is also a word of caution to us Christians not to be like “a dog going back to its vomit” by living to satisfy the desires of the flesh for the judgment of God will definitely come upon us like it did to Sodom and Gomorrah . The scriptures here describes how devastating backsliding can be by saying “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” 2 Peter 2:21 (NIV)

Let us be very careful to take this word seriously as we can see from the example of the children of Israel the consequences of turning away from God to serve other idols could be eternally devastating.

In Him

BM

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Jeremiah 22, 23, 26; Psalm 77; James 2

Jeremiah 22, 23, 26

The main lessons to learn in these 3 chapters above is God will judge all leaders and those in authority who lead his people if they do not warn them of their evil acts and sin and He will replace them with obedient Shepherds and leaders. I will now analyse each chapter below.

Jeremiah 22 makes a clear comparison between Joash a good King of Judah in Jeremiah 22:16 (NIV): “He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.”

God however was feed up of Kings of Judah that came after Joash like Jehoiachin’s and Jehoiakim. He was angry at their wickedness and their lack of sympathy for the poor while they amassed wealth they didn’t need for themselves. God had sent Jeremiah the prophet to them to spell out His judgment upon them and to highlight their iniquities in verses like Jeremiah 22:17 NIV:
“But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”
We see the consequences of these evil kings actions in
Jeremiah 22:8‭-‬9 (NIV)
“People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?’ And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshiped and served other gods.’ ”
Part of their punishment from God was that they would be taken captive and go into exil in Jeremiah 22:25‭-‬26 (NIV) “I will deliver you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians. I will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die.”

Jeremiah 23
In Jeremiah 23 God vents His anger on the false prophets and priest who led Judah and its people astray.
We can see that clearly in Jeremiah 23:1‭-‬2 (NIV)
“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord.

As they have failed in their responsibility to be God’s mouthpiece to direct and guide His people God’s plan is: “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.” Jeremiah 23:3 (NIV)

He also plans to replace both Prophets and Priest that have led his children astray as can be seen here in In Jeremiah 23:4 NIV-
” I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.”
God makes it clear that His people disobeyed Him and didn’t turn from their wicked ways because “I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.
Jeremiah 23:21‭-‬22 (NIV)
God proceeds to punish the false Priest & False Prophets by saying “Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. I will bring on you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”Jeremiah 23:39‭-‬40 (NIV)

Jeremiah 26
Unfortunately the False Prophets and Priest and the King rose up against Jeremiah and decided he should be put to death because he delivered God’s judgement and condemnation for all their evil work.

This makes it obvious they were not repentant and did deserve God’s judgement in the first place.

Psalm 77
This Psalm is about finding peace, assurance, trust and safety in remembering what God had done to rescue the Psalmist in the past. This is why in
Psalms 77:11‭-‬12 NIV he says: “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Remembering how God has delivered you in the past and how He has delivered others in the scriptures in the past brings peace and assurance that we are not alone and if He did it then, He can and will do the same now…let not your heart be troubled

James 2

Once again here God emphasise the importance of demonstrating love to the poor and needy in our actions and not just mere words or hiding behind a religious spirit that only offers to pray for them.

We also see God frowning at favouritism especially when it’s in favour of the rich because of their wealth.

God wants us to honour both the poor and rich and not to discriminate against the poor.

We must back up our spirituality with godly action because “faith without corresponding action is dead!!”

In Christ

BM

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2 Kings 22-23;Psalm 73;2 Corinthians 5

2 Kings 22-23

Josiah was one of the youngest Kings in Israel and he followed the good example and legacy David left by serving God from a very young age. There is a lot to learn from both his achievements and his mistakes.

We can see a demonstration of his zeal and love for God when he decided to restore the Temple and also when he cleaned up the land of all idol worship and paganistic practices.

He also asked Hilkiah the Priest to interceed, for him and the nation of Judah when the scrolls the law of God were found and the prophetess Huldah revealed that the whole nation and its ancestors had departed from God.

Josiah was repentant and tore his cloths in sorrow and repentance and God who saw the genuineness of his repentance decided to hold back on the disaster He was to bring on the nation until after he died. Josiah went on an aggressive exercise to turn Judah back to God all across the land by removing and tearing down all that had been done and established by other Kings and the people to worship other gods and to adapt other pagan practices. In 2 Kings 23:25 (NLT) the Bible says “Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.”

It’s sad to see though that despite all Josiah did to clean up the land of Judah God was still very angry with Judah and in 2Kings23:26 He reteriated He had rejected Judah and was still going to punish Judah for the wickedness of Manasseh.

The lesson to learn here is no one knows the extent of God’s patience or when it will run out and we must live our lives in accordance with His word and also appreciate His love for us.

Josiah made one last mistake which cost him his life. He should have sought God’s face before rising up against the king of Egypt who was on his way to help Assyria, as this action cost him his life. We need to learn to pick our battles by asking God first before stepping out to fight just like David always did.

The sad part about all this is Josiah’s children who were Kings after him didn’t follow their father’s good example instead they did what was evil in God’s sight. Could this be another mistake Josiah made by not bringing them up in the ways of The Lord while he was alive? It is important as parents to ensure we do not only serve the Lord but also encourage and command our household to do the same.

Psalm 73

This scripture warns us about the danger in envying the wicked.

Things are not always what they seem and here we can see the Psalmist sharing that he almost lost his footing, he almost slipped because he took his eyes off God and started admiring the wicked and listening to their empty boasts.

When he looks to God the Psalmist to finds an answer to why the wicked appear to prosper. God reveals their end to him and he realises his foolishness and begins to value the benefits of resting in The Lord like in Psalms 73:23‭-‬24 (NLT)
“Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.”

The whole scripture gives us a catalogue of why we must never take our eyes of God for He is the reason for our existence, He is our ultimate source and without Him we are nothing.

2 Corinthians 5

This scripture is meant to refocus us on having the right mindset and how we should live our lives as Christians.

It talks about how living in our present bodies is only temporal as heaven is our home but while we live here on earth we should be dead to ourselves but alive to Christ.

We read of how we always need to bear in mind God will judge us for all our actions in our body so we must draw grace from Him to live our lives according to His word and to please Him. So in 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NLT) the Bible says “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” We also know that we have a brand new way of living for Him hence in
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
The Bible says “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

In Christ

BM

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Isaiah 17-19; Psalm 62; 1Corinthians 1

Isaiah 17-19

God is a God of vengeance when it comes to the enemies of His children. God calls His children the apple of His eyes, so anyone who messes with them will be accountable to God. In Isaiah 17-19 we see God venting His anger and spelling out how He was going to punish three heathen nations that had troubled Israel.  God is declaring what He would do to Damascus, Cush and Egypt. This is why as Children of God the same principle remains today God expects us to leave vengeance to Him as He says in Deuteronomy 32:35(NKJV) – “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time ;For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them” This is because as the scriptures also says in 2Thessalonians1:6(NIV) “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you” This gives me assurance that God has my back, I can wade through life knowing with assurance that God will protect me from evil as He fights and wins battles against the enemy on my behalf that I may never even be aware of.

Psalm 62

I love this scripture as it gives hope to them who seem hopeless. It starts off in Psalm 62:1(NIV) “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” “Rest” is a place where turmoil ceases, a place of calmness and serenity and the reason why rest comes is because God is the source of our salvation, our very help in the time of trouble, we can rest in His arms of safety were He protects and shields us from calamity and danger. God to the Psalmist and also to us is a fortress, a rock of safety were the enemy can’t reach us. We must let this scripture bring assurance and hope when the stresses of life seem to want to overwhelm us…let it bring calmness to our souls.

1Corinthians 1

I love the assurance God gives us in 1 Corinthians 1:8 (NIV)”He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This paints the picture of a God who wills us to win..who passionately watches over us and because of His love for us would do what He can within His mighty power to present us as a winner, blameless on the day of judgement…this brings joy to my heart and confidence that “….If God is for us,who can be against us?” Romans 8:31(NIV). 1 Corinthians 1 also brings our focus back to God who chose the foolish things to bring forth His glory taking the focus off those things and putting the focus on His wisdom, His strength and His splendour. This is why the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:27‭-‬28 (NIV) “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,”
So in 1 Corinthians 1:25 (NIV) “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” Hence God chose the Cross as a place of salvation, a place of deliverance, the beginning of a new relationship with God and a transformation of our lives…this the world sees as “foolish” but God’s “foolishness” is wiser than man’s “wisdom”. The reason for this is “so that no one may boast before him.” -1 Corinthians 1:29 (NIV) and also that “Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31 (NIV)

In Christ

BM

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Hosea 11-13;Matthew 19

HOSEA 11-13
It is so sad to read in this scripture how God laments about the unfaithfulness of Israel despite all He had done for them. God here keeps making reference to what He had done in the past to rescue them from disaster just in case they had forgotten!!. This same nation He had chosen as a template to showcase His glory and favour to the rest of the world turned their back on Him despite all He had done for them. They started worshipping other gods & idols and committed sin continously on God’s altar. They also became arrogant and proud too, forgetting that it was The Lord who took them out of slavery and established them in wealth.

Let’s pause here before we start throwing stones at the Israelites. Don’t we do the same thing today? Aren’t we guilty of the exact sin too? Don’t we cry to God when we are in trouble and when He rescues us don’t we suddenly become “too busy” to go to church or to serve Him? Don’t we prefer to go to parties than being excited about going to the house of God? Don’t we worship the “modern day idols” like money, cars, our careers, business, our hobbies, our houses and more. These things in themselves are not bad but when your business,  your career, your hobbies, your car or your house takes God’s place or you spend more time on them than the things of God, I’m sorry to say to you they have become your idols.

So let us learn from the mistake of Israel and not go down the same route…let us stay Intune and connected to God, let us appreciate Him and let us not forget our humble beginnings or what God has done for us and become puffed up with pride for God resist the proud but gives grace to the humble.

MATTHEW 19
In this scripture Jesus once again is challenged by the Pharisees with ulterior motives.

Jesus with wisdom responds to them by explaining the spirit of the law and God’s  intentions and the exception for divorce as opposed to willy-nilly divorcing ones spouse. He also talks about how remaining single is a gift if one is graced for it.

He also talks to them on how the simplicity of children and their qualities are a good template for anyone who wants the kingdom of God

Jesus goes on to talk about riches and how with God it is possible to serve God and please Him even if one has great wealth.

He rounds His teaching up by highlighting the great sacrifices that may be necessary to serve Him and the eternal reward it attracts.

In Him
BM

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