Author Archives: evanlaar1922

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Have you ever noticed how many special ways God refers to us, His dear children? He calls us His beloved sons and daughters, the righteous, children of the kingdom, His anointed, royal priesthood, the faithful in Christ, His temple, His friends, and so many other loving names that speaks to who we are in Him. Also in many cases, the names we are given at birth have both biblical and heavenly identities tied into them. Our Heavenly Father who watches over us daily has created the ideal path for each of us to take to travel the journey of life, just as a father will make plans for his own child by putting things in place at a very early age for education, health, graduation, and marriage. God has predestined and equipped each of us to carry out a specific purpose that will create the design He desires to be in place for His kingdom to be effective in the earth.

Nehemiah 13:23-31; Esther 1-4

I enter the story that introduces Esther to me with a king, King Ahasuerus, who was parading his magnificence for 180 days before everyone. His glory and honour were on full display and there must have been a lot of oohing and awing.

 For six months he put on exhibit the huge wealth of his empire and its stunningly beautiful royal splendors. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the king threw a weeklong party for everyone living in Susa, the capital—important and unimportant alike. – Esther 1:4 MSG

There was no end to his extravagant generosity towards those in attendance as he must have felt proud being the top person in the kingdom, a place of absolute honour.

The king did something next that he would not have done if he was not drunk. He dishonoured himself as a husband (called to protect the modesty of his wife). He diminished himself as a king when he asked her to do something that she would refuse because of her own virtuous honour. What he would ask her to do was against the custom of the Persians for women to appear in public.

 On the seventh day of the party, the king, high on the wine, ordered the seven eunuchs who were his personal servants (Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas) to bring him Queen Vashti resplendent in her royal crown. He wanted to show off her beauty to the guests and officials. She was extremely good-looking. – Esther 1:10-11 MSG

Bad news for the queen for there was a law, as opposed to a custom, for not honouring the king. I am amazed at the brazen advice the king received on how to deal with her.

Lot’s of words describing what honour and dishonour looks like. They did not get the idea of what real honour looked like. In fact, it was the wrong way to gain honour – laws do not promote honour, relationships do.

The king and the princes liked this. The king did what Memucan proposed. He sent bulletins to every part of the kingdom, to each province in its own script, to each people in their own language: “Every man is master of his own house; whatever he says, goes.” – Esther 1:21-22

While I learned a lot about how not to treat my wife and a lot of what it would look like to honour her – the story sets up the most dramatic events of honour that put this book in the Bible even though God’s name was not mentioned once. Honouring God was deemed the same as mentioning His name.

I love the reminder that when I honour God, am bold in the tasks that I have been called to do, in the positions I have been placed, then God is honoured and His deeds remembered for eternity.

Father, thank You for the kind reminders of what honour does not look like. Thank You for the kind reminders that You control the destiny of the world. Thank You for the kind reminders that Your plan is constantly unfolding. Thank You for the kind reminders that I need to seek to do Your will and follow Your plan.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Chronicles 35:20-36:23; Ezra 1-3

Before I read about how Israel returns to the promised land, I want to make sure I understand what caused them to leave in the first place. Then, if I can apply that to my life, I will not have to worry about having to leave at all, when it comes to the presence of God in my life.

I start with King Josiah. It was a simple life – he came to cleanse the land and then he died. I am not too sure why his journey to death is so detailed in 2 Chronicles 35:20-27 I can only imagine that it was the method of his death that mattered. For a king to die of sickness or disease or to be murdered by a servant or family member would not be honourable, but to die, with honour on the battlefield, there is some glory in that for them.

Lastly and most significant is the last chapter leading up to the exile and so descriptive of God’s perspective and I read those words here in 2 Chronicles 36:11-21

Right now I just want to preach at myself, to get it out of my voice box. There is only one claim of God on me and that is simply this – to worship and glorify Him. The honoured word “worship” is too often dishonoured when I do not keep in my vivid memory what it is. This is what it is – “to love supremely, to obey perfectly, to serve perpetually, to express praise and render homage intelligently, and to say without a reserve that all this is the simple due of the object adored.”

There is something to the word “eternity.” I think the word to best describe it is “immortality.” There is immortality to honour and there is honour of immortality itself. My lesson, my takeaway, is along those those lines – Judah never learned that she was not her own. I need to ensure that I do not forget this lost lesson.

I rarely define what happiness is, but I know that I am happy when I am full of life, patience, strength, and confidence knowing that when I am on my journey in this life that I am not my own. I do not belong to sin or Satan either, but rather am the property of God and I am loved, adored, and prized by that God! The only time that is not true is when my gift of free-will becomes infatuated will, perverse will, self-will – there is no glory there.

It is my turn to do what Judah could not – I will be studious in remembering that I am God’s and belong to Jesus – I am not my own, to do with myself, my lifetime, my powers, my heart and my tongue whatever I like.

Father, thank You for these powerful words and expressions of what it means to be walking with You. No confusion here.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Chronicles 8:1-11:12 

Marriage is a topic of incredible importance. Most churches hold counselling sessions for the upcoming bride and groom in order to see if they can properly prepare them for the moments of truth. I believe I have read 52 books on the subject as part of my growth in understanding my role in our marriage. It is no wonder that there are many warning signs in the Bible suggesting that your marriage partner is one of the most important partnership one could make. It is one made with a lifetime commitment.

So when Solomon comes down to the day of decision, it is here I have the opportunity of watching him make decisions. He is the wisest person on earth, making the simplest mistake, and covering it up with reasons that do not make sense.

Here is the slippery slope Solomon found himself on.

 Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter from the City of David to a house built especially for her, “Because,” he said, “my wife cannot live in the house of David king of Israel, for the areas in which the Chest of God has entered are sacred.” – 2 Chronicles 8:11 MSG

Solomon knew beyond a doubt that this new wife was not a sacred relationship. It begs so many questions but I think we all know most of the answers. It can be explained away with so many excuses but at the end of the day, the core of who I am as a follow of Jesus, it does not measure up. It is a warning for me and for others that I come alongside – I think I will influence them, most likely they will influence me.

What was missing in Solomon – probably the passion that his father had. Definitely the need to repent was not seen or heard of. At least he honoured his father’s memory by making sure these women who did not honour God would not reside in the same house his father had resided in. It was a sacred place, a place where David prayed and where he worshipped.

Marriage is where principles and spiritual affinities are the basis of the alliance, the foundation to build on. If the marriage partner is unworthy to live in the palace, then it is known that she is morally unworthy and whatever her practices are, would dishonour rather than adorn the rooms where portions of the Bible were written and sung.

 Marriage is honourable in all. Solomon knew this and just chose to ignore it.

Father, while I am enjoying 40 years of marriage, I still come across moments where I think a basic principle of partnership is not important, that it really does not matter. Moments later I am being screamed at by the Holy Spirit calling into questions my thoughts and my motives. I am so thankful that I have You walking with me. I could not be the man of God You have called me to be without You walking with me. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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 1 Chronicles 11:22-15:29 

I can still remember where I was sitting, the room I was in, my age, why I was attending this class at Tyndale University & Seminary and the speaker, Howard Hendricks, as he captivated me with the story of Benaiah. Not just any story, for there are many, but the summary of things Benaiah did that captured David’s heart.

Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a Mighty Man from Kabzeel with many exploits to his credit: he killed two famous Moabites; he climbed down into a pit and killed a lion on a snowy day; and he killed an Egyptian, a giant seven and a half feet tall. The Egyptian had a spear like a ship’s boom but Benaiah went at him with a mere club, tore the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with it. These are some of the things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did. But he was never included with the Three. He was highly honored among the Thirty, but didn’t measure up to the Three. David put him in charge of his personal bodyguard. – 1 Chronicles 11:22-25 MSG

Today there are books written on this passage and it is no longer “new,” but that day changed my life and I wanted to be as bold, brave and fearless as Benaiah was in his day to day life. It had to matter because look how much attention is given to him in these verses. I want to be that servant of Jesus who is faithful and I know my name is registered in a book that will have much more honour than having my name recorded in a book of fame.

This may be odd and I hope no one takes offense to this – but I do notice something here and I believe it has to be noted – the military – a great and honourable profession. Here is a list of military men under David’s command. I try to wrack my brain – is there a list of great pacifists in the Bible?

I believe what makes Benaiah and these other men so honourable is that David was honourable in his leadership position and they followed in his footsteps with great respect. These names are placed here by the Holy Spirit with personal honour and are for me to grab its truth and essence as I consider who I am following and I ask myself – do I look like Him?

I little diversion of thought, but this struck me hard – take a slow read through the list of mighty men – do you see a name that you can say you know? For me, it was Uriah. Seriously, this is how great of a soldier he was. One of David’s greatest and most honourable men, one who would die for David in an instant. This will take some time to process.

Father, I am so glad how I have been encouraged today by Your Word – it has become alive in me – how deep and real I want my honour for You to be.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Kings 17:19-19:24 

When God has to start using the heathen to get His message across, it is an act of wonder. I think of Balaam and the donkey, I think of Jonah on the ship and here I find Israel being taught by the Assyrians and lions.

The king of Assyria brought in people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and relocated them in the towns of Samaria, replacing the exiled Israelites. They moved in as if they owned the place and made themselves at home. When the Assyrians first moved in, God was just another god to them; they neither honored nor worshiped him. Then God sent lions among them and people were mauled and killed.

This message was then sent back to the king of Assyria: “The people you brought in to occupy the towns of Samaria don’t know what’s expected of them from the god of the land, and now he’s sent lions and they’re killing people right and left because nobody knows what the god of the land expects of them.” – 2 Kings 17:24-26 MSG

Then something amazing happens. I recall writing about black sheep in good families – miracle of miracles – what about a godly offspring from very wicked parents. A sweet hope indeed.

In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz began his rule over Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king and he ruled for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. In God’s opinion he was a good king; he kept to the standards of his ancestor David. He got rid of the local fertility shrines, smashed the phallic stone monuments, and cut down the sex-and-religion Asherah groves. As a final stroke he pulverized the ancient bronze serpent that Moses had made; at that time the Israelites had taken up the practice of sacrificing to it—they had even dignified it with a name, Nehushtan (The Old Serpent). – 2 Kings 18:1-4 MSG

I love the passion of wanting to honour God over the choice to dishonour his parents. This “Nehushtan” and its destruction could have been a stumbling block. It was an important artifact from history. But to honour God, it had to be destroyed. It was only a piece of brass. It was not just destroyed, it was pulverized, ground into powder, never to be heard or seen again until Jesus was made reference to it.

Hezekiah put his whole trust in the God of Israel. There was no king quite like him, either before or after. He held fast to God—never loosened his grip—and obeyed to the letter everything God had commanded Moses. And God, for his part, held fast to him through all his adventures.

He revolted against the king of Assyria; he refused to serve him one more day. And he drove back the Philistines, whether in sentry outposts or fortress cities, all the way to Gaza and its borders. – 2 Kings 18:5-8 MSG

Hezekiah’s faith in God was honoured.

Father, thank You for seeing and recognizing my faith in You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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