Tag Archives: judgement

Habakkuk; 2 Corinthians 7

We come across a shorter book in the Bible and a dilemma that even we in this day and age may find hard to comprehend. Habakkuk is a prophet pleading to God for a revival to take place in Judah. And God’s answer is that He will send an invading army even more evil that Judah to bring about that restoration. Habakkuk can’t get his mind around that idea. God even states, “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told (1:5 [NIV]).” Then God shows him that even this invading hoard will be destroyed, but Judah will return to God through all of this.

There is a promise to those who stay faithful in all this carnage. In Habakkuk’s prayer we read the following, “1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth. 2 LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy (3:1&2 [NIV]).”

Look at the outline below of this very interesting, challenging and short Minor Prophet.

Outline

  1. Title (1:1)
  2. Habakkuk’s First Complaint: Why does the evil in Judah go unpunished? (1:2-4)
  3. God’s Answer: The Babylonians will punish Judah (1:5-11)
  4. Habakkuk’s Second Complaint: How can a just God use wicked Babylonia to punish a people more righteous than themselves? (1:12;2:1)
  5. God’s Answer: Babylonia will be punished, and faith will be rewarded (2:2-20)
  6. Habakkuk’s Prayer: After asking for manifestations of God’s wrath and mercy (as he has seen in the past), he closes with a confession of trust and joy in God (ch. 3)

What are the applications for us? I see several:

  • When we pray for something we need to be ready to have our view of God’s ways stretched. We may find His promises and truths on their heads when it comes to conventional wisdom.
  • Restoration may come with a price. God’s winnowing ministry can hurt as much as destroy, but as Habakkuk prays, mercy is found in judgement as well.
  • God still amazes us in our prayers. We are too many times like the prayer meeting for Peter. When their prayers were answered they didn’t believe it. How are you in that category. I can some times be like those prayer warriors in the first century.

Through restoration and judgement we see God in a new and amazing way. Let’s hold on to that for sure.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Habakkuk, Uncategorized

2 Samuel 8,9; 2 Corinthians 2; Ezekiel 16; Psalms 58,59

My wife and I were watching a sermon on grace a few days ago and halfway through she said, “Isn’t this to simple?”  We dialogued afterwards and realized how glad we were that it was.

Can you imagine Mephibosheth’s reaction to grace?

David said to him, “Do not be afraid, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan; I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you yourself shall eat at my table always.” 2 Samuel 9:7 NRSV

Do I want that kind of grace, that kind of kindness – for sure I do – for I clearly am a fallen sinner in need of this kind of God’s grace – one who does not deserve it, could never earn it and would never be able to repay it.

My wife and I were also challenged in how we communicate grace to others – and we named a few people in our lives where that needed to be our focus.

For I wrote you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you. 2 Corinthians 2:4 NRSV

We affirmed that there definitely is a grace that needs to be exhibited in our communication styles for at some point we too have come from a place of joy received from the recovery of grace.

I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, in order that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I forgive you all that you have done, says the Lord God. Ezekiel 16:62-63 NRSV

Yes, my wife and I had the same trouble most of us have – cannot talk about grace without talking about judgement. We both concluded that the all-important work of atonement was not overlooking sin, but our sin being covered by God’s marvellous grace.

O my strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.  Psalm 59:17 NRSV

With a bit of study, I found the Aramaic Bible translates that last part of this verse as, “and the God of my grace!” Yes, there my wife and I have found our joy as followers of Christ.

When I think of grace, I think of Your presence.  Wherever we may be found today and in whatever activity we may be engaged in, may we gather there with Your favour.  Lord, by Your favour, we mean favour us with Your grace, and with the love of God the Father, and with the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

evanlaar

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 2 Corinthians, 2 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Genesis 6-8; Matthew 3

Sin. Judgement. Repentance.  Those are Biblical themes I generally want to avoid. My husband and I recently drove through the deep South where it wasn’t unusual to see signs saying, “Repent! The End is near” or “Jesus Saves!” My tendency is to be a bit smug and think of those signs as being unsophisticated, but the fact of the matter is that both signs are biblical.

Noah lived in a world so corrupt and sinful that it was as good as living with the walking dead. God was so grieved by what He saw that he preserved  Noah and his family and sent the Flood to cleanse the broken world. The question that I ask myself is if I really believe that my sin is as odious as the sins of Noah’s neighbors. Do I try to rely on my “goodness” and see myself as better?

I can see myself with the band of Pharisees and Sadducees who traveled out to the desert to see the rustic John the Baptist. They probably considered him a half mad curiosity. John immediately saw them for who they were, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to  flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance…”

What John said to them, to me, is a warning and a gift; don’t consider my sin as inconsequential and nothing short of horrific. Enjoy the cleansing baptism of sincere repentance and forgiveness. Just as the priests cleansed themselves before serving in the Temple and awaited God’s presence in that physical space, my repentance prepares the way for Jesus to cleanse me from my sins. The difference is that now, the Holy Spirit comes and lives in me, not in some building. May I never forget who now lives, moves and breathes within me and at what cost. These aren’t just empty words that are supposed to make me feel better; they are reality.

Lord, I want to live in the truth.  I ask that you keep this heart of mine from being arrogant. May I understand the ugliness of my sin and turn from it so that I humbly and gratefully receive the wonder of your grace and presence. Thank you for never leaving. Amen.

Kathy

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year

2 Samuel 11; 2 Corinthians 4; Ezekiel 18; Psalm 62,63

Therfore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Ezekiel 18: 30

Each morning begin an account of your “ways”…at the end of the day count the fruit you have produced.  I often fall short.  Not intentionally, I am human, I am a sinner, but at some point I must take an account for my ways and keep my feet planted in the word so my ways will be productive and not harmful.

Rid yourself of all offenses  you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.  Ezekiel 18: 31

Simply ask for forgiveness before the Lord and surrender yourself to him.  For me to rid myself of all my offenses would be like beginning a diet after just one more doughnut.  How’s that work’n for me? Not at all.  I have to walk away…flee from the root of my offense and allow God to work and mold my heart and spirit.

For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign  Lord, Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:32

To try and grasp the magnitude of this verse; you would have to recall how you felt the last time you really had to discipline your child for their deliberate disobedience and multiply by thousands or more.  You  hold your children after the discipline and love on them, reassure them and explain how life in your home would be a lot easier if the child would just obey and make better choices.  So easy, right?  God created us and He loves us.  I know no other who would sacrifice their child so I could live.  He takes no pleasure in our death, He has given for us, more than we deserve.

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.  Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.  Psalm 62:11-12

Surely He will.

Father prepare my heart and spirit to do your will today and everyday.  To be your light through my words, my actions and my service to others.  In your Son’s precious name, Amen

Cindi

Leave a comment

Filed under Ezekiel, Psalms

Numbers 23, Psalm 64 and 65, Isaiah 13, 1 Peter 1

“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”  Numbers 23:19

                    They devise iniquities, … But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; Suddenly they shall be wounded. Psalm 64:6-7    

           Blessed is the man You choose, And cause to approach You, … By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, Psalm 65:4-5

 ~ I pray for Your Love in my heart, Your Word in my spirit, and obedience to You in my soul.~

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Num.%2023;Ps.%2064-65;Isa.%2013;1%20Pet.%201&version=NKJV  

Numbers 23 

 27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Please come, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.” 

             King Balak tried to manipulate God to curse God’s own people by using God’s prophet Balaam. It backfired! Only the Lord God has the Sovereign Right. No one can manipulate the Holy Omniscient Omnipotent One!  8 “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?”

             God’s reply to the earthly king was, “Rise up, Balak, and hear! “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” … “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The LORD his God is with him,”  v.18-21

             Oh Sovereign Lord God, may I never curse those who are the apple of Your eye! Keep me from willful and unconscious sins against Your chosen. Keep my mind, mouth and attitudes pure by Your Holy Spirit and Word!

             Father, thank You for Your faithful protection for me and all of us who walk by Your Spirit following You!! No one can effectively curse or condemn us (Romans 8:1). What a freedom of Love to be Your child through Your Son Jesus Christ!!

             Lord God, please bring more people to Yourself so that this world would reflect Your kingdom in heaven ever increasingly! I want to see Your Glory!!

Psalm 64

             Lord God, the wicked abound, but greater are You Who is in Your adopted children! Let me never fear of what man can do but fear You, the Almighty. The workers of iniquity plot evil blindly. The world’s news reports it without restraint. But Your judgment and condemnation on them is swift (v.7-9) and permanent. Lord God have mercy on them just as You have had it on me! Please open their eyes, mind and heart to Truth, to You before it is too late for each of them. Please change them into New Creatures by Your Word and Holy Spirit! I am at peace trusting in You Lord, eager seeing Your Glory!

 1 John 4:4; John 1:1-5; John 1:12-13; John 1:16-18; John 1:29, John 8:44, Proverbs 29:25; Luke 12:4-5; Proverbs 9:10, Job 28:28, Proverbs 3:7, Psalm 111:10, John 14:6; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 19:17-21; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:5-8; Jeremiah 17:9; Ezekiel 11:18-20; Ezekiel 36:25-39; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:3; John 3:5-6; 1 Peter 1:22-23

Psalm 65

             You Do so Much all the time!! Lord God, You are active in all areas of Life and Throughout the earth! The Lord God Almighty loves No matter what, faithful to provide, giving people free invitation to choose Him by displaying His Awesome Character incessantly!! Romans 1:20    There is no mother nature, but only God the Creator. All peoples, Your children and foes (Romans 5:10), receive Your benefits through nature.

             Lord God Almighty YOU: hear prayer, call flesh to come to Yourself, provide atonement, choose and cause people to approach You, answer us and save from hell, established the mountains, are clothed with power; still the noise of the seas and the tumult of the peoples, make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice, visit the earth and water it, greatly enrich it; provide the grain, have prepared it, water its ridges abundantly, settle its furrows, make it soft with showers, bless its growth, and crown the year with Your goodness. Thank You!! I rejoice in Your gifts! But I cherish You my Giver!!

 Isaiah 13

             Oh Holy God, those who cursed Your people You now curse, Numbers 23. Just as good and kind as You show Yourself in Psalm 65, are You harsh and merciless in Isaiah 13. And Why? Because after all Your kindness and grace, the wicked still choose to NOT surrender their heart, will and minds to You, their Creator and God. Deuteronomy 28

       Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, “I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”  Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man’s heart will melt, And they will be afraid. Isaiah 13  

             Lord God Almighty, Your wrath is certain. Your day of destruction is sure. No one can hide from Your mighty arm unless they hide beneath the Priestly garments of Your Holy Son Jesus. No one can escape Your fierce wrath in their soul or outside except by surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and asking to be covered by the Atonement Blood of Jesus Christ.

 Matthew 27:50-54, Hebrews 6:19-20, Hebrews 7:20-28, Hebrews 12:24, Hebrews 13:20-21, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 1:7, Revelation 5:9-10

1 Peter 1

             The Great News!! God protects His Own people from His Own wrath! The elected by God the Father are sprinkled by the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of obedience to the Lord God Almighty! 

             We are given “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven” for those in Christ Jesus.  We “rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” We have “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  

             So what are we to do about this now? While we wait for heaven? Be sober minded, and obedient to the living God Who transformed us and saved us from hell. I am not to conform myself to my former lusts but be holy as God is Holy! God will judge me according to my work with Him and without Him. I am to live in fear and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. I must obey the Truth through the Spirit in sincere love, fervently and with a pure heart.

             I have my marching orders: Blessed to be a blessing. I am protected in order to obey God’s Word and God’s will. Earth is not a playground, but the war zone. No where else do curses and blessings mix together on the same playing field!! After this life, there are only two places and the Deuteronomy 28 items do not intermingle. There is fixed a great chasm between hell and heaven. Luke 16:19-31  Hell is the cursing. Heaven is the blessing. Never the two shall meet. Matthew 13:36-43; Matthew 25; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21-22

             Jesus Christ commands and compels me to pick up my cross, follow His marching orders, and be used by God to seek and save the lost. To be an ambassador for Christ, to snatch sinners from the fire just as I was rescued! Sitting around comfy and complacent does not bring God glory and perpetuates the evils within and around me. God’s heart IS in me. May it burn with desire and love for people to know, love and serve the living King Jesus Christ!! To be a vessel God uses to set captives free from being cursed. 

 Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 19:10, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Jude 1:20-25, Matthew 25:14-30, Matthew 7:15-23, 2 Timothy 2:20-21, 2 Corinthians 4:7-11, Romans 9:19-21, Luke 8:16-18

             Only two things are eternal here – the Word of God and people. I must live deliberately, Conscious of loving the First so that God can love the second well through me. 

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

1 Comment

Filed under 1 Peter, 66 Books, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

2 Samuel 11; 2 Corinthians 4; Ezekiel 18; Psalm 62 & 63

You, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done. Psalm 62:12

“Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Ezekiel 18:30

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 4:1-2

David’s secret and shameful behavior in his fleshly body led to his downfall. It’s tough seeing something beautiful and not wanting to get with it. That’s just human nature 101. David knew he should have been about the business of his kingdom. His deception would garner judgment, brokenness and eventually lead to a divided kingdom.

These bodies of ours – jars of clay as Paul calls them in 2 Corinthians 4, hold the treasure of God’s power that we have in Christ Jesus. But like David our sinful natures can lead to an abuse of power. Thankfully under Christ we do not bear the penalty for our sin, however we still have to deal with the consequences.

The world lies to us and tells us that if we go after what we want, that a vast inheritance of wealth, success or happiness awaits. After a trip through the dry and weary vastness of sin, we will go on the hunt again, longing for real satisfaction. But in order to inherit anything, someone always has to die. If every sinful soul must die and be judged for what is done in the body then who gets all the toys in the end?

Jesus died in the prime of his life, so that we could have life for all time. He is the way to heaven, the only truth, the everlasting life, our inheritance of joy. Unlike David our repentance and brokenness can lead to forgiveness, new life and unity in the kingdom of God.

yicareggie

Leave a comment

Filed under New Testament, Old Testament