Thursday, 5 June 2014

TFTD - 05 June 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

05 June 2014

Joshua 23; 24
Isaiah 29
Hebrews 12

“A BOOK THAT IS SEALED”

How many can read the Bible ­ as a whole ­ and really make sense of it, so that it speaks to them in their heart, and stirs them to live their lives really conscious of God and of his Son?  This question came to mind as we pondered the message in Isaiah today ­ parts of it evidently a commentary on the attitudes of many in the prophets’ day, many had failed to develop a real ‘living’ relationship with God.

After recording a vision of what will happen to people at the time when “the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion …”  This vision “shall be like a dream, a vision in the night” [Isaiah 29:8] In verse11 the condemnation is  made, “the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed” [Isaiah 29:11].  The people are like those who refuse to read “when men give it to one who can read, saying ‘Read this,’ he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’”

But it is clear that this is an excuse ­ for a remarkable statement is made in Isaiah 29:13-14  “And the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men …. the wisdom of their wise men shall perish …”  It is human wisdom that perishes, they are told they “turn things upside down!  Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,   that the thing made should say of its maker, ‘He did  not make me’” [Isaiah 29:16] ­ today many would add ­ ‘I just evolved.’

How well these words apply to the human ‘wisdom’ of today ­ God’s word is “a book that is sealed” . We must remember that there is no middle path ­ if we do not apply our minds to the true meaning of God’s words then it “is sealed” for us.  The day is coming, God’s word says, as we read on in Isaiah 29:19-20, when “the meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. For the ruthless shall come to nothing and the scoffer cease.”   There is no point in being aware of the vision of God’s ultimate action against the nations of the earth if we only “honour” God “with our lips” refusing to apply our minds to unseal his book.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

05 June 2014

"Remember what Jesus said of the publican and the Pharisee. The Pharisee said in a very complacent tone that he had not done this and he had done the other, and brought reproach upon him in the words of Jesus our Lord. There is no room for boasting, there is no room for pride, among those who are called to be the servants of the Lord and the guests around his table. We are called to the highest possible virtue, the most exalted thing that God has given to mankind to cultivate, and that is the virtue of humility. So few are equal to these attainments: so few can rise to such heights, and yet it is the outstanding quality in presenting our supplications before the Most High."

- G. Folwell
Breaking of Bread and Prayers (1937)
Joshua 24 we read of the goodness and mercy of the LORD:
"For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and PRESERVED us in all THE WAY wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed"

"Preserved" is the Hebrew samar, which means to hedge about and protect. It is interesting to follow the thread of this Hebrew with the Hebrew for "the way", when used together.

They are 1st used together Gen 3, where it speaks of the angel which was put "to KEEP the WAY of the tree of life". That way to the tree of life which has been preserved

We read in Exodus 23 of the LORD's provision for His people, again an angel is there to 'keep' the 'way':
"Behold, I send an angel before thee, to KEEP thee in THE WAY, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared"

Let us never forget as a people called out, that in whatsoever circumstance we find ourselves in we are not alone.  As we journey to the promised land remembering our Lord's words in his last message to his servants "to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life.

Psalms 34:7
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him..."