Friday, April 28, 2017

David's Sin in numbering Israel

I Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. 3 And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?

I have heard sufficient discussion of this subject over the years. Obviously, Israel had been numbered many times before. That is the purpose of the book Numbers. But, what is different this time? Was pride or vanity the reason for this census? Self aggrandizement?

The answer is very simple: This poll was satanically inspired! Look again at verse one..."And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel."

As New Testament Christians, we are afforded great leeway and grace in making decisions. But we must discern the inspiration behind and end goal of our activities.

Our prime concern is that God be glorified. You can be assured that anything satanically inspired is not designed to the end of glorifying God. The evil one's goals are to thwart God's work, short circuit His will, keep the sinner lost and stymie the Christian's walk.

Here is just one example that has bred many discussions: I have had two brothers try to convince me lately that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is not only allowable, but even encouraged in the Bible.

I understand their arguments but remain a tee-totaling despiser of all drinking because of Satan's design for the fall of the culture and the decimation of the family. God receives no glory when moderate drinking morphs into broken homes. Perhaps you've heard about the guy who was addicted to drinking brake fluid saying, "I can stop anytime I want."

We all understand, or we should, about gateway habits. Every junkie started out with one harmless joint. Every boozer started with just "a cold one." Every porn addict began with one "innocent peek" at a girlie magazine.

But there are those who would argue that such a line of reasoning extrapolated could include the glutton and his first drink of mother's milk. Good point!

I know, I know! There are those who are still drinking just that one glass of wine, having that single cigar after dinner, or taking the occasional pain med to take the edge off.

But what I am asking is, what is the source of the provocation?

Please don't discount that the devil and his imps are present at every turn and are actively engaging on a mission to rob God of His glory, to reverse His agenda, to keep the lost lost and to hinder your Christian progress.

Discern the motives and possible results for all of today's undertakings. Do God's bidding rather than your own, or worse, the devil's.

Addendum: verse 7, And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Qisma is the Arabic Word

Truly, you just can't make this stuff up! ISIS was setting up an ambush against local tribesmen who opposed them in Iraq. ISIS had executed 25 of those rebelling against them. As the jihadists were setting up an ambush among the reeds, they were attacked by a herd of wild swine. 3 were sent on to the next world, which would be hell according their theology, because their last contact was with pigs. 5 others were injured. 

ISIS claims that they had revenge on the swine (???). 

You may call this cosmic alignment, kismet, qisma, or karma, I call it Gal. 6:9 - you reap what you sow. (You may pronounce that sew or sow, as in a female pig). Yes, what goes around comes around. Righteous retribution. And God does seem to have a sense of ironic humor.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The After-Effects of the Resurrection

Ever thought much about the days and weeks after a major event?

The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the most significant event in history. But there was no post-Easter letdown. Our official celebration of the occasion is over, but, what next? Do we take it easy until the next big day on the church calendar? You may have celebrated Easter with a SONrise service, church attendance, a day spent with family. Some used the occasion to don new clothing, hunt eggs, watch religious programming on tv, etc. Have you suffered a bit of a letdown?

Do we now just move on with other things? I contend that we use the Resurrection as a springboard for great things, as happened in the Gospels and the book of Acts.

In the Bible, the glorious Resurrection was followed by the metamorphosis of the Disciples, the exponential explosion of the church, the emboldening of believers and the spreading of the Gospel, the preponderance of miracles. It was called, the Acts of the Apostles, or more correctly, the Acts of the Holy Spirit.

We could well use the tremendous afterglow afforded by the Resurrection. Let’s use the victory of that great event to encourage and propel us to transformation, holy boldness, godly, victorious living, soul-winning, church growth and mission endeavor.

We serve a risen Saviour!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Indications of the Empty Tomb

The Empty Tomb Indicates:
Sins Forgiven
Hearts Full
Tears Dried
Satan Obliterated
Holy Spirit Imbued
Prophecy Fulfilled
God Vindicated
Hope Secured
Blood Presented
Paradise Emptied
Heaven Opened
Christ Victorious
Life Worth Living
Church Empowered
Gospel Completed

Gary Fuller 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Obededom's blessings

II Samuel 6:11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.

12 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.

By virtue of the presence of the Ark of God in this man's house, his home was blessed by God.

I contend that we may all secure these same blessings by housing the presence of God in our homes.

The Ark of the Covenant contained three items:
1. The tables of the ten commandments, or, the law of God,
2. Aaron's rod that miraculously budded almond flowers. Representative of the miraculous works of God.
3. The Golden pot of manna, which speaks to the miraculous provision of God.

In short, when our house becomes a place where God can feel at home amongst a family under His rule, His mighty work and His abundant provision, our abodes will be blessed beyond measure.

Can God make Himself at home dwelling in your house and blessing your family? Is He welcome in your home? Do you desire His blessing at your house?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Achin' because of Achan

I gotta tell you, I am so glad we live under the economy of grace and not under the law! Had I lived in Old Testament times, by now I would have been stoned, ran through with a sword, hanged on a tree until evening and had my eyes poked out. And that's all before dinner. The standards were exacting, no room for error.
Thank God for grace!

So here's the end of the trail for Achan...

Joshua 7:18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. 20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. 23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. 24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger.

We are pretty hard on Achan, and rightfully so. His selfishness and disobedience put millions of lives at risk. Indeed, several innocent men died because of his actions. Israel had lost God's favor because of this one heinous act.

Before we are too hard on him, let's think about his mindset. He had been in the wilderness for decades. He had only known one set of clothing, one pair of sandals. The goodly Babylonish garment was quite the temptation. Imagine having to wear one tattered outfit everyday and then getting the chance to snag an Armani suit!

And then he laid eyes on the gold and silver, multiplied thousand of dollars worth of it. Everyone was about to get a new start in the promised land. He must have considered how he could set up shop with a nice home, a good business and some influence being this flush with cash. After all, the wilderness was nothing but deprivation for him and his family.

And so, he saw, he was tempted, he took, he sinned, and he died.

We gotta confess, most have justified a lot of bad behavior in their lives. We have felt cheated, denied, deprived. We've been tempted to bend truth, enrich our coffers in less than ethical ways, cover up sin, get ahead by harming others, and lust after loot.

For these selfish sins, Christ gave Himself. He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.

Because of our guilt, we deserve to be dragged to Achor's valley, stoned with stones and have a heap of rocks piled upon us. But Jesus' life was forfeited so we could go free to enjoy the Promised Land by the righteousness of our Savior.

Sin destroys. Jesus heals.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

When I see the blood

When the children of Israel were about to exit Egypt, it was the blood placed on the doorpost and the lintel of believers that's saved that household from destruction.

 And when the Jews entered into the Promised Land, it was a red cord hanging from the window of Rahab the Harlot that kept her household from being destroyed.

Both of these instances signify to us the importance of the blood of Christ covering the believer. When the Judgment of God Falls, it is the blood of which delivers us from destruction.

It is as the song writer said, Christ Our Redeemer died on the cross, died for the sinner, paid all his due. Sprinkle your soul with the blood of the Lamb, and I will pass, will pass over you. When I see the blood, when I see the blood, when I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.