Friday 14 February 2014

TFTD - 14 February 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

Ps 78 we read of Israel's history, one of continued sad turning away from their Heavenly Father. We read all they did against God (I have highlighted in my Bible as red), and all that God did for them (again highlighted in my Bible), we have in this Psalm the cycle as we do in the book of judges of sin, salvation and judgement.

As we read all that the LORD did for them, we are reminded of His character v38:
"But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not:
yea, many a time turned He his anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath".

The Heb here "full of compassion" is 1st used Exodus 34, the chapter of God manifestation, and which shows the attributes of Gods name.

"And YAHWEH passed by before him, and proclaimed, YAHWEH , YAHWEH God (El = power, might and strength), merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth..."

The name YAHWEH El = He who will be strength, the fulfilment of which is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He who was made was strong (Ps 80:17):

"Let Thy hand be upon the man of Thy right hand, upon the son of man (Christ) whom thou madest strong for Thyself".

We are reminded of Paul's words (Phili 4:13):
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"

Paul says this in the context of whatever situation he finds himself, good or difficult. He knows he has strength through Christ.

May we be of the same mind, and remember from whence cometh our strength, that we can do all things unto the praise and glory of YAHWEH, or gracious and merciful Heavenly Father.

Exodus 24; 25
Psalms 78
Mark 10


Scanning our eyes through today's reading of Psalm 78, our attention was arrested by the many references to God's people Israel that - they did this, and they did that. We counted 27 times the word "they" occurred! The word "they" was used in reference to things they did - or did not do. We meditated on this. God's eyes are on Israel because they are his chosen people! So what did his angels see as they looked into their hearts? There were times, we read, when "they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly. They remembered that God was their rock, the most High God, their redeemer" [Psalm 78:34,35] That is all to their credit and the same can be said of followers of Christ in all ages, when they started to follow him. Are the next 2 verses equally true of Jews and Christians?

We read - "But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. Their heart was not faithful toward him; they were not faithful …" [Psalm 78:36-37]

What would you expect God's reaction to be to this behaviour? We read on ... "Yet he, being compassionate … did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often … " [Psalm 78:38] This is evidence of the God of love that many Christian leaders talk about, portraying him as ever merciful, that believers are once saved, always saved! That is the slogan, you don't have to worry about sin! But isn't it human nature, the more you get away with something, the more you do it!

It seems as if that is how human nature worked with the Jews, they even killed their Messiah! But back to the Psalm, ultimately the time came, the Psalmist has to say, when God "was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel" [Psalm 78:59]. Here is a very sober warning for Christian believers today. Could worship be just "flattery" from a heart that is not genuinely "steadfast"? We read in Hebrews 3:13, "exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today', that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we share in Christ if … " [Hebrews 3:13,14] Turn it up and read the rest.

It seems clear that the world of 'today" is not going to last much longer.
- DC

Thought for the Day

14 February 2014

"Preserving the way of the saints is central to our remembrance of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. He, whose death we commemorate in bread and wine, not only “pondered the path of his feet” but fulfilled all that His Father asked of him, to such an extent that he became the very Way itself. He is the one of whom Peter wrote, “For even hereunto were you called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). These are the steps to watch and follow."

- John Parry
Watch Your Step (2000)

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