August 12, 2017
August 12, 2017
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises. (2 Peter 1:4)
When a shipwright builds a vessel, does he build it to keep it upon the stocks? Nay, he builds it for the sea and the storm. When he was making it, he thought of tempests and hurricanes; if he did not, he was a poor shipbuilder.
When God made thee a believer, He meant to try thee; and when He gave thee promises, and bade thee trust them, He gave such promises as are suitable for times of tempest and tossing. Dost thou think that God makes shams like some that have made belts for swimming, which were good to exhibit in a shop, but of no use in the sea?
We have all heard of swords which were useless in war; and even of shoes which were made to sell, but were never meant to walk in. God’s shoes are of iron and brass, and you can walk to Heaven in them without their ever wearing out; and His life-belts, you may swim a thousand Atlantics upon them, and there will be no fear of your sinking. His Word of promise is meant to be tried and proved.
There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for His people to make a show-thing of Him, and not to use Him. He loves to be employed by us. Covenant blessings are not meant to be looked at only, but to be appropriated. Even our Lord Jesus is given to us for our present use. Thou dost not make use of Christ as thou oughtest to do.
“O man, I beseech you do not treat God’s promises as if they were curiosities for a museum; but use them as every day sources of comfort. Trust the Lord whenever your time of need comes on.”
~C. H. Spurgeon
Go to the deeps of God’s promise,
And claim whatsoever ye will;
The. blessing of God will not fail thee,
His Word He will surely fulfill.
How can God say no to something He has promised?
August 12, 2017
1 Samuel 2:35
If Hannah is put forward as a model for godly parenting, the second half of 1 Samuel 2 reveals the priest Eli as a model for negligent parenting. Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are worthless men who do not know Yahweh (1 Sam. 2:12). They steal for themselves the choicest parts of the sacrifices that people bring to the tabernacle (1 Sam. 2:13–17), and they abuse their priestly authority by seducing the women who serve at the entrance of the tabernacle (1 Sam. 2:22).
Certainly, Eli tries to stop his sons from treating Yahweh with contempt. In 1 Samuel 2:23–25, Eli confronts them, warning that, “If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” (1 Sam. 2:25). Eli’s sons do not, however, listen, “for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death” (1 Sam. 2:25).
Because Eli does not remove his sons from the priesthood, Yahweh declares that he himself will put Hophni and Phinehas to death on the same day (1 Sam. 2:34). Yahweh rejects Eli’s house from the priesthood and instead promises to raise up a new house to serve him as priest forever: “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever” (1 Sam. 2:35).
On one level, Yahweh keeps this promise by raising up Samuel as the faithful priest who will do everything in Yahweh’s heart and in his mind. But on the other hand, Samuel cannot be the ultimate fulfillment of this promise, for two reasons. First, while Samuel is a Levite (1 Chron. 6:27, 33), he is a descendent of Korah and not of Aaron (1 Chron. 6:33–37), and we do not see any long-term justification for Samuel’s irregular priesthood. Second, Samuel’s sons do not end up walking in the ways of their father, but instead they take bribes and pervert justice (1 Sam. 8:1–5). Ultimately, Samuel’s house is not a sure house, to go in and out before Yahweh’s anointed forever.
Instead, Yahweh will later send another priest to mediate and to intercede for us with God—a priest who also could not claim Aaron as his ancestor. Instead, this priest arises from the order of Melchizedek (Gen. 14; Ps. 110:4; Heb. 7). Furthermore, we read that, through his perfect priesthood, this priest has made his entire people into a holy priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6).
In Christ, not only have have you been blessed by Yahweh’s fulfillment of his promise in 1 Samuel 2:35, but you are the fulfillment of that prophecy as well
August 12, 2017
(8) I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The churches of this world generally teach that all a person has to do is to believe on Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, intellectual and even emotional beliefs on their own produce the static, idle faith that James speaks about—dead faith. However, in one who is truly called by God—an individual who has living faith—his belief galvanizes into a conviction that will produce righteous works. These works ultimately produce the “much fruit” that will glorify God the Father (John 15:8).
Just what is the faith that Jesus Christ is looking for? It is a faith far greater than we might imagine. It is faith, not just in individual truths or doctrines, but in an entire way of life—the righteous, holy way that God Himself lives. God wants us to accept and follow the whole package of Christian living that He reveals in His Word.
Granted, it is very hard to do. We live in one of the most sinful, evil, corrupt, self-centered societies of all times, and our patience and conversion are being severely tested. The world wants us to come out of the narrow way that protects us, teaches us, and prepares us for our future. It is pushing and enticing us to accept the broad way that will pull us down to failure and destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
But the life that God has called us to is truly awesome! In John 17:3, Jesus declares the kind of life we have been chosen to live by faith: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Living this eternal life gives us the ability to know God: how He thinks, makes decisions, shows His love, feels for others, extends mercy and forgives, etc. In other words, living God’s way now allows us—as much as is humanly possible—to know the mind and ways of God. It is in God and His incredible way that we must have faith.
Because our calling and potential are so tremendous, God gives us a warning to consider in II Peter 2:20-21:
For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
Once we start down this road, we have committed ourselves to following it to the very end.
For this reason, Paul challenges us in II Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves as to whether we are in the faith. He tells us to test ourselves to prove that Christ lives in us. We will not fail the test if we draw close to Him and truly work to make the changes we need to make as individuals to take on the very nature and life of God.
Then, when the question arises, “When the Son of man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” the answer will be a resounding, “Yes!”