Tuesday, 11 February 2014

TFTD - 11 February 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

Exodus 21
Psalms 74
Mark 7

"HOW LONG?"

Our Psalms reading today [Psalm 74] was obviously written when God's nation was in distress and their temple destroyed. In some ways it has application to our situation now. The faithful were surrounded by scoffers, not dissimilar to what we will soon read about in Exodus. Real faith in God is a challenge, God does not make his presence so evident so that there is no need for real faith, but the evidence is there for those who apply their minds. The writer of this Psalm (Asaph) had to cope with a lot of scoffers.

"There is no longer any prophet and there is none among us who knows how long" [Psalm 74:9] Today we also ask, "How long?" The Psalm continues, "Is the enemy to revile your name for ever?" [Psalm 74:10] The Psalm becomes a petition, "Remember this, O LORD, how the enemy scoffs and a foolish people reviles your name" [Psalm 74:18] So also today, the very existence of God is reviled and scoffed at - and more and more of the mass of people accept this and believe they are only the highest form of animal and therefore serve their baser instincts.

So the plea to God is, "Arise O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day long!" [Psalm 74:23] This is rather parallel with how we feel when we encounter those who doubt that any God exists and may scoff at those who declare their belief that he does - and what's more that he is actively involved in life on earth and soon all people will be made aware of that.

The next Psalm gives God's answer, "At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars" [Psalm 75:2,3] We must not let our faith be undermined by the scoffing of the foolish.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

11 February 2014

"The Psalmist could see for himself as others in his place, seas roar and mountains tremble, and yet be still, and know that "there is a river, whose streams make glad the city of our God"; and we can echo his words when the sea and the waves roar now, and some men fear, and some men doubt and some blaspheme, and we can be still and know, "that our redemption draweth nigh."

- A. Norris, Jun.
Be Still and Know (1939)
Mark 7 we read of the devastating effect of mans traditions:

"ye reject the commandment of God, that (when) ye may keep your own traditions"

"making the word of God void (of no effect), through your tradition"

In contrast Paul teaches that we are to keep hold of scriptural traditions which we must follow:

"brethren, stand fast, and hold (lit = hold fast) the TRADITIONS which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2 Thess 2)

And we are reminded by Peter how we have been redeemed and by whom:

"Forasmuch as he know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (way of life) received by TRADITION from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot"

Peter continues of the foundations which our lives must be built upon every day:
"being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever".