WHAT DO YOU SEE?

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.2 And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. 3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. - Habakkuk 2:1-3

The Prophet Habakkuk

I have written these past few days on Psalm 1, and spoken of both the blessed person and that who is wicked. This morning as I was reading some commentary on Psalm 1, I came across some interesting points to help drive these points home, and hopefully give you, the reader, some things to ponder for your own walk with God. We are going to look at two different viewpoints from two different prophets, Habakkuk mentioned in the opening quote, and from Elijah in 1 Kings. I will use Habakkuk to set the stage and Elijah and Psalm 1 to bring it all together.

Have you ever finished watching the evening news with all the violence and injustice in the world and in frustration asked, Why isn’t God doing something? Why do the wicked and the dishonest people prosper. Why do they get elected to the White House? Well, that is not a new feeling. A prophet named Habakkuk felt that way around 620 B.C. and wrote a book about it.

Habakkuk’s name means to “embrace” or “wrestle.” As is usually the case, his name has something to do with the message of the book. I think it relates to the fact that he was wrestling with a difficult issue. If God is good, then why is there evil in the world? And if there has to be evil, then why do the evil prosper? What is God doing in the world? We discussed a similar thought coming from the Israelites in Zephaniah 1:12. They said God did not do good or evil. They thought God was not involved and so continued in their sin. Habakkuk is one of the good guys. He fears God and does what is right, but it is getting him no where. (Taken from Bible.org – https://bible.org/seriespage/8-habakkuk)

Here is also an outline we can use as we read for ourselves the Book of Habakkuk.


Title (1:1)

Habakkuk’s First Complaint: Why does the evil in Judah go unpunished? (1:2-4)

God’s Answer: The Babylonians will punish Judah (1:5-11)

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint: How can a just God use wicked Babylonia to punish a people more righteous than themselves? (1:12;2:1)

God’s Answer: Babylonia will be punished, and faith will be rewarded (2:2-20)

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)
(https://www.biblestudytools.com/habakkuk/)

So how does all of this matter between the Book of Habakkuk, Elijah, and Psalm 1? Patience dear reader, patience!

So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. 44 And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” – 1 Kings 18:42-22

Two things I would like to point out in these verses in 1 Kings. The first being at the end of verse 42 “And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees.”

Not only did this prophet know what it took to be alone and away from the world and the problems therein, but Christ Himself, the GREAT Prophet, Priest, and King do likewise. Many times He would seek to get away to be with and commune with His Father (and ours who are truly saved), should we not be doing likewise if we are following Christ? The prophet Elijah also submits himself humbly. Not only did he bow his knees, but put his face between his knees. Could it be that he was so ashamed of his sins and that of his countrymen Israel? If so, when we seek God, should it not be the same for us, that we humbly submit and not hide our sins, rather our faces from He who is Holy?

The other part I want us to see and mediate upon is that at the end of verse 43 and the first part of verse 44 “And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. 44 And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”

It has been said that at times, the number 7 mentioned in the Bible is referenced as that God is communicating the idea of divine completeness, perfection, and wholeness by means of the number 7, and I do believe this one of those times that God used Elijah to teach his servant how to look for God, wait on God, and that things happen in God’s timing.

Okay, great! So how does all pertain to Psalm 1?

Well, as we saw the past couple of days the compare and contrast of the blessed man and the evil man, we can conclude the following. The blessed man knows God for that is from whom all blessings flow, and he desires to spend all his time with God, not because of worldly blessings, but spiritual, whereas the wicked man is not interested at all in the things of God, but the things of the world are his false god.

2) In both Habakkuk and 1 Kings, we see there are times of properly questioning God, seeking His will and wisdom in what is going on in His creation, and waiting on His timing in all things, especially when it comes to; reading, knowing, and understanding His Word.

Let us learn from these two prophets and see what it means to truly be blessed by God! Are there times of struggle, doubt, fear, anxiety, anger, disappointment, regret, etc. You bet!! But I dare say it is because we do not know God, trust God, spend much time with God, pray to God, etc. For it is these doings that bring peace by God, through God, and for our comfort. So the question still remains, are you spending time with God during these difficult times in the world today, or do we start out in frustration like Habakkuk did? Thankfully there is daily grace and mercy, that we can turn from our doubts and fears because of the world, and trust God, who is Sovereignly in control.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

WHO DO YOU TRUST?

WHO DO YOU TRUST?

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

Corrie Ten Boom

Suffering is not fun! I know suffering, because that is what I was doing before that nice lady rescued me from my demise. I was neglected, malnourished, unloved, no one cared. All I was good for was to be raised for money for drugs and eventually be sold into slavery of being a bait dog for dog fighting.

Christians were made for suffering! Rather we like to believe that or not is between you, God, and His Word. If Christians were not made to suffer, we would have the good life with no problems whatsoever. Snap our fingers and God would give us our hearts desires. Glory be to God that He does NOT operate that way as so many false converts make Him out to be.

This mornings readings were in the books of First and Second Peter, and boy you want to talk about some suffering! We are even told beforehand that they will come in and during our lives. Now these words the Apostle Peter was writing to the persecuted Jewish, but is for our benefit as well. For we are one people under one God.

1 Peter 1:6 – In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.

More importantly, we are not to be worried or focused upon these trials and tribulations (some say easier said than done), this is why we need to daily be dependent upon God for ALL things! We need to be in is Word, we need to be in prayer, we need to be seeking always to do His Will and honor Him, and we cannot do this if we do not fully trust God.

Many people struggle with this concept because they are trusting in who they might refer to as a “someone” or a “something” because they d not see God, they do not audibly hear God, and they may not be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. When one comes to faith, these are the things, the signs they do trust God, because they are given peace and hope by the Holy Spirit, words that comfort us that we do not have to worry anymore. We learn to trust a Savior who suffered far greater than any of us ever will. If we cannot trust in God, then there is no hope for us some day.

We need to get out of ourselves, our mindsets, our thoughts and learn God’s will, and yes, we will suffer, some greater than others. But when we think of suffering, we always think of the worst right away, but when we realize it is for our benefit and God’s glory, it is worth it. Say for a (bad) example, we quit using media. The suffering would be withdraws at first, but the benefits would be more time with God and less stress of the things going on in the broken world.

I leave this with you today. I highly encourage us all to read all of the book of 1 Peter, and ask God to show us how to live for Him, honor Him, suffer for Him, glorify Him. Ask Him to purge the things, the cares, the concerns of this world from us and that we seek to do His will and walk in the ways of holiness we are called to do in 1 Peter.


#ToGodBeTheGlory

WE MUST ALL EXERCISE… BY FAITH

WE MUST ALL EXERCISE… BY FAITH

Happy Lord’s day everyone!

Daddy and I spent some our time in the Word this morning finishing up the Book of Hebrews, and spent much time in the commentary on Hebrews chapter 11. God graciously showed daddy the importance of faith; why we need it, why we must exercise it, why we must live in it, and how we can depend on it.

I am still a puppy, I love to play (exercise) and should do so in that I grow up to be strong and remain healthy. And so should you in your faith, and MANY Christians; are weak, fail, fallen, depressed, have no spiritual power or energy, and many other spiritual health issues, because of their faith!

Think of this analogy for a moment. Each new year passes and lots of people make resolutions, and one of the most popular ones is to lose weight for whatever reason. So say one day someone gives you a lifetime membership to the best health club in town, and it is all inclusive. You get all the workout equipment, you get free exercise drinks to help boost you, you get free massages to relax you or help and injuries, you get the works.

So one day you go check this place out and are absolutely amazed at this gift you have been given, and feel super blessed. In fact, you are so overwhelmed, you just stand there in awe for a long time taking it all in, and then eventually leave. Of what benefit did you receive from this gift by doing that?

So you got busy with things of the world, some time has passed by, maybe another year has rolled around to that same resolution, so you decide it’s time to go back to the club. This time however, you know what to expect, and go in with a different mindset and attitude. So you go in and just start going at what “you think” is your best way to workout, however, you have never worked out seriously in this kind of environment before, and suddenly you got hurt, so you leave and go home, probably swearing that you will never set foot in that club again. Did you still receive any benefits from your membership? No, and probably more bitterness, resentment, and lack of motivation to exercise at all.

So what does all of this have to do with faith? A LOT!

Does this analogy sound a lot like how many of us exercise our faith? C’mon, be honest with yourself, for God already knows. I know I was heavily convicted this morning as I read the 11th chapter of Hebrews and Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary along with it. This Lord’s day, if you are not going to church anywhere, or after you are done with online church, I HIGHLY encourage you to read both Hebrews chapter 11 and Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the chapter.

Remember these important things as you do. Why? Because maybe you have forgotten, maybe you never understood to begin with, maybe you truly never believed!

Matthew 27:51 – And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

This tearing down of the veil is both so symbolic and specific for the believer. As many of you know (but may have forgotten) the veil in the Old Testament separated not only the people from God at the ark of the covenant, but more specifically, a Great High Priest who could only enter the holy of hollies, and once a year at that. But Christ being the greater high priest, the name above ever name, fulfilled what human priests could not and were not meant to do, thereby tearing the veil in two, we now have direct access to the Great High Priest, who sits at the right hand of the Father Interceding on our behalf, by this faith given to us as a gift.

In case you don’t get to the commentary, I want to give you a few nuggets to whet your appetite and to encourage you to do so more this day, and that going forward your faith will continue to be strengthened. All of these are taken directly from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

“Faith was the principle of their holy obedience, remarkable services, and patient sufferings.”

“We cannot come to God, unless we believe that he is what he has revealed himself to be in the Scripture. Those who would find God, must seek him with all their heart.”

“If heirs of Abraham’s faith, we shall obey and go forth, though not knowing what may befall us; and we shall be found in the way of duty, looking for the performance of God’s promises.”

“All true believers desire the heavenly inheritance; and the stronger faith is, the more fervent those desires will be.”

There is so much more that I could go into, and I will stop here for now before this turns into a mini novel. There are also two resources I found this morning that I pray you will also use in your daily devotional and prayer times (this is where many of us need to increase our time in worship, adoration, and prayer) and He will strengthen us.

Scripture promises and prayers

The Book Of Bible Promises – George Mueller

Summing this up, faith given by God is one of the greatest gifts given the Christian, and was not meant to be pushed aside or squandered, as this is the lifeline and hope to the things above in heaven. This is a part of our many duties unto Him who gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for the remission of sin. This should cause us to lay aside the things of this world, and to exercise daily in faith. Many of us fear the things of this world because we do not know from day to day what may come, even death. But this faith hoped for, the things not seen, are secured in the Godhead who promised us so much (please see the PDF’s in this article for more), we can trust and count on them to do all things possible, and NEVER fail!

Let us then pray continually for the increase of our faith, that we may follow these bright examples, and be, with them, at length made perfect in holiness and happiness, and shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father for evermore. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

#ToGodBeTheGlory