Sunday, 8 June 2014

TFTD - 08 June 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

08 June 2014

Judges 4; 5
Isaiah 32
James 2

“A KING WILL REIGN … PRINCES WILL RULE …”

Our chapter [Isaiah 32] in Isaiah starts, “Behold a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice.” This surely visualises God’s king, the Lord Jesus, at last reigning over the earth. There will also be “princes” reigning who ”will rule with justice.” At last the world will experience true justice. The words of the prophecy imply the “reign” will initially be against a scene in which the world has become “a dry place” and “a weary land” [Isaiah 32:2]

The “princes” who “will rule” will provide “a shelter from the storm” that occurs as the world is transformed and comes to accept the fact that there is an all-righteous king reigning. True justice will at last happen, “the fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrel said to be honourable.” [Isaiah 32:5] Human hearts will no longer be “busy with iniquity to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the LORD.” [Isaiah 32:6] May we, by the grace of God, be there among the “noble (who) plan noble things…” [Isaiah 32:8] The time will then develop “when the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness quietness and trust forever” [Isaiah 32:17]

Jesus told his disciples, “when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28] In Revelation he said, “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” [Revelation 2:26], surely these are the “princes” mentioned in our Isaiah chapter who “will rule with justice” as we read in Isaiah 32:1.

We must make sure we are God’s people now who “hold the faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory” [James 2:1, also today’s reading]. And then in that day, looking at verse18 in our Isaiah chapter, we will be among those of whom God says, “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” [Isaiah 32:18]
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- DC


Thought for the Day

08 June 2014

"Being justified we have peace with God.” “Peace” is a constant element in all Paul's salutations. When the gospel is truly and earnestly believed, although there is no audible expression on God's part of His favour, there is an attainment of peace. It is sin that separates from God. This was literally illustrated in the exile of Adam and Eve from Eden, and is not less actually so in the state of all their children. Justification-the forgiveness of sins-brings peace. Increasingly valuable then becomes the designation of God as the God of peace. This peace, stilling troubled thoughts, and making conscience quiet, is fully experienced in fellowship with God. “In everything,” says Paul to the Philippians, “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus ... These things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:6-9)

- John Carter
Paul's Letter to the Romans

Judges 4 & 5 we read of Jael who killed Sisera as he fled from Israel:
"Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground:for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died"

When we read this account, it does not portray the real struggle and effort that Jael had go through to kill this man.

The song in chapter 5 amplifies and expounds this incident for us. When we read a more literal emphasised translation such as Rotherhams it helps us to understand the struggle and effort that Jael had:
"Her hand, to the tent- pin, put she forth, and, her right hand, to the toilers 'mallet,-- Then smote she Sisera, She shattered his head"
(this is first thing she had to do, she had to smash open his skull, before she could then use the tent peg)
"Yea she split open and pierced through his temples"
Between her feet, he bowed-- he fell, he lay,-- Between her feet, he bowed-- he fell, Where he bowed, There, he fell-- destroyed!
(Again this suggests that it was not just one smite to the head, but that Sisera struggled to get himself up to defend himself, as Jael struck his head with the hammer before being able to finish him by driving the nail through his head).

This is symbolic of the struggle over the sin and the flesh (Sisera), this is the struggle and fight we have every day of our lives. We need the same faith, courage, strength and endurance that Jael showed.

Let us remind ourselves of the words of exhortation from Paul:

1 Timothy 6:12
Fight (gk - agonise) the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.