Friday, December 27, 2013

Gideon Tests the Lord!

Mo. 12/30/13: Judges 6:11 – 12                           Who appeared to Gideon?
Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Who appeared to Gideon? The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon.
Tu. 12/31/13: Judges 6:36 – 38                               What was the first test?
So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said—look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water.
What was the first test? The wool fleece was to be wet, the ground dry.
We. 1/1/14: Judges 6:39 – 40                              What was the second test?
Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.
What was the second test? The opposite: two days went by! God waits.
Th. 1/2/14: Judges 7:19 – 22                      What weapons did the 300 use?
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp … and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands … and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” And … the whole army ran and cried out and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled.
What weapons did the 300 use? They used trumpets, pitchers and voices.
Fr. 1/3/14: 1 John 4:1 – 2                                            Are we to do likewise?
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God
Are we to do likewise? Yes, we are to test spirits: the test is Christ.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ruth and Christmas

Mo. 12/23/13: Ruth 1:1 – 5                               How do we counter famine?

Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons … Elimelech, Naomi, and Mahlon and Chilion — Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. Then Elimelech died; … her two sons … took wives of the women of Moab … Orpah, and … Ruth. … Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died.

How do we counter famine? We keep faith and turn not from the Lord.

Tu. 12/24/13: Ruth 1:6 – 8, 14 – 17                 What was Ruth’s response?

Then she arose (to) return … for she had heard … that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house.” … Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth … said:

“Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you;

For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;

Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.

Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”

What was Ruth’s response? Ruth responded in faith, clear and radiant.

We. 12/25/13: Matthew 1:1,  5 – 6, 18                       What was the result?

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham … Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king … David the king begot Solomon … and Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

What was the result? Ruth became part of the Royal lineage of David.

Th. 12/26/13: Ruth 4:9 – 10                                             What did Boaz do?

And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife … you are witnesses this day.”

What did Boaz do? He became Kinsman Redeemer and husband to Ruth.

Fr. 12/27/13: Ruth 4:11              What was the response of the witnesses?

And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.
What was the response of the witnesses? It was prophetic of the Messiah!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Courage and Confidence

Mo. 12/16/13: Joshua 1:5 – 6                  What was God’s promise?
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
What was God’s promise? God promised an inheritance: are we confident?
Tu. 12/17/13: Joshua 1:8 – 9                  Where is God’s promise?
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Where is God’s promise? In the Bible, God’s Word: do we read it?
We. 12/18/13: 2 Corinthians 10:1 – 2                  What was Paul’s attitude?
Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
What was Paul’s attitude? Meekness towards those who walk by the Spirit, boldness towards those who walk by the flesh.
Th. 12/19/13: 2 Corinthians 5:6 – 8                  How should we walk?
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
How should we walk? We ought to walk by faith with confidence.
Fr. 12/20/13: Hebrews 13:5 – 6            What are we NOT to do?
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
What are we NOT to do? We are not to be fearful; what can man do to us?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

He comes from heaven

Mo. 12/9/13: 1 Thessalonians 1:9 – 10                  Who do we wait for?
For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Who do we wait for? We wait for God’s Son who will come from heaven.
Tu. 12/10/13: 1 Thessalonians 2:19 – 20                  Why does Paul rejoice?
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.
Why does Paul rejoice? The Thessalonians are his joy.
We. 12/11/13: 1 Thess. 3:12 – 13                  What happens at His coming?
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
What happens at His coming? We will be blameless in holiness.
Th. 12/12/13: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 17                  How will He come?
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
How will He come? He will descend from heaven with a shout and a trumpet of God.
Fr. 12/13/13: 1 Thess. 5:23 – 24                  How will we be at His coming?                 
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
How will we be at His coming? Our body, soul and spirit will be blameless.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

This week’s blog is a condensation of a Thanksgiving message by Dr. Michael Harris in Wisconsin.

Mo. 12/2/13: John 10:22 - 23                  What was the Feast?
Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.
What was the Feast? The Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights. This year Thanksgiving coincides with the first day (of 8) of Hanukkah. This will not recur.

Tu. 12/3/13: John 10:24                  What was the question?
Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
What was the question? The Jews asked Jesus Christ if He was the Messiah, the Anointed of God.

We. 12/4/13: John 7:45 - 46                  Why was the question asked?
Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”
The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
Why was the question asked? Earlier, in the Feast of Tabernacles, Christ claimed this and was to be taken prisoner by officers of the Temple. They returned empty-handed with this comment.

Th. 12/5/13: John 7:37 - 38                  What was Christ’s invitation?
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
What was Christ’s invitation? Jesus Christ offered them the Holy Spirit who was yet to come.

Fr. 12/6/13: John 10:30 - 31                  Where did they find stones?
I and My Father are one.”
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.
Where did they find stones? This must have been the plan all along: stone Him! They could have collected stones for this purpose beforehand.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Judges as Deliverers!

Mo. 11/25/13: Judges 2:8, 10                  What arose after Joshua’s death?
Now Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died when he was one hundred and ten years old.
When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.
What arose after Joshua’s death? A generation arose that knew not God.
Tu. 11/26/13: Judges 2:11 – 12                  What did the children do?
Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger.
What did the children do? They became idol worshippers.
We. 11/27/13: Judges 2:14 – 15                  What was the result?
And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.
What was the result? The Lord gave them into the hands of their enemies.
Th. 11/28/13: Judges 2:18 – 19                  What did their groaning do?
And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
What did their groaning do? The Lord pitied them and gave them a Judge as a deliverer.
Fr. 11/29/13: Galatians 1:3 – 5                   What about us?
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
What about us? The Lord Jesus Christ will deliver us from this evil age.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

An Altar named Witness

Mo. 11/18/13: Joshua 22:10, 12                  What did Reuben and Gad build?
And when they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan—a great, impressive altar.
And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered together at Shiloh to go to war against them.
What did they build? They built an altar outside Jerusalem.
Tu. 11/19/13: Joshua 22:16, 20                  Why was Israel inflamed?
… They (a delegation of leaders) spoke with them, saying, “Thus says the whole congregation of the Lord: ‘What treachery is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that you have built for yourselves an altar, that you might rebel this day against the Lord?
Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.’”
Why was Israel inflamed? Israel recalled the nationwide penalty at Ai-Ai.
We. 11/20/13: Joshua 22:22                  What was Reuben and Gad’s answer?
“The Lord God of gods, the Lord God of gods, He knows, and let Israel itself know—if it is in rebellion, or if in treachery against the Lord, do not save us this day.
What was Reuben and Gad’s answer? If the claim of rebellion was correct, they were willing to die.
Th. 11/21/13: Josh. 22:23, 26 – 27                  Why did they build the altar?
If we have built ourselves an altar to turn from following the Lord, or if to offer on it burnt offerings or grain offerings, or if to offer peace offerings on it, let the Lord Himself require an account.
Therefore we said, ‘Let us now prepare to build ourselves an altar, not for burnt offering nor for sacrifice, but that it may be a witness between you and us and our generations after us …
Why did they build the altar? They built a witness for their children, not sacrifice.
Fr. 11/22/13: Joshua 22:33 – 34                  How did it end?
So the thing pleased the children of Israel, and the children of Israel blessed God; they spoke no more of going against them in battle, to destroy the land where the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt.
The children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar, Witness, “For it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”
How did it end? Israel was satisfied: the altar was named ‘Witness.’

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thorns In The Eye

Mo. 11/11/13: Joshua 16:10                  Who did not drive out the enemy?
And (the children of Ephraim) did not drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites to this day and have become forced laborers.
Who did not drive out the enemy? The Ephraimites willfully did not drive out the Canaanites but enforced them to labor.
Tu. 11/11/13: Joshua 15:63, 17:12 – 13                  Who could not drive out the enemy?
As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.
Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land. And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.
Who could not drive out the enemy? The children of Judah and Manasseh were unable to drive out the Jebusites and the Canaanites.
We. 11/11/13: Joshua 21:43 – 45                  Who delivered all enemies into Israel’s hand?
So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
Who delivered all enemies into Israel’s hand? The Lord God.
Th. 11/11/13: Josh. 23:11 – 13                  What warning did Israel receive?
Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God. Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, … know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
What prophetic warning did Israel receive? To love the Lord their God or their enemies would be thorns in their eyes.
Fr. 11/11/13: Matthew 13:22                  Do we have a similar warning?
Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Do we have a similar warning? Yes, in the parable of the sower.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Our Battle

Mo. 11/4/13: Joshua 11:16 – 17                  What are we to capture?
Thus Joshua took all this land: the mountain country, all the South, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, and the Jordan plain—the mountains of Israel and its lowlands, from Mount Halak and the ascent to Seir, even as far as Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings, and struck them down and killed them.
What are we to capture? Here are areas that our Lord wants us to capture: our testimonies before family, friends and neighbors.
Tu. 11/5/13: Joshua 11:18 – 19                  How long will the battle last?
Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. All the others they took in battle.
How long will the battle last? The battle will neither be short nor life-long.
We. 11/6/13: Joshua 11:20                  Are we to be merciful to the enemy?
For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Are we to be merciful to the enemy? No, the Lord wants us to take our inheritance in battle: He fights for us, so victory is assured.
Th. 11/7/13: Joshua 11:21 – 22                  Do giants oppose us?
And at that time Joshua came and cut off the Anakim from the mountains: from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel; Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. None of the Anakim were left in the land of the children of Israel; they remained only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod.
Do giants oppose us? Yes, we have besetting sins but can destroy them in our territory.
Fr. 11/8/13: Joshua 11:23                  Can we capture our inheritance?
So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war.
Can we capture our inheritance? Yes, we can, and have rest from war in our lifetime.


Mo. 10/28/13: Proverbs 9:8            What’s the antonym of scoffer?
      Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
      Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
What’s the antonym of scoffer? A wise man, reading the Bible

Tu. 10/29/13: Proverbs 13:1            How can sons be different?
      A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
      But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
How can sons be different? A scoffer does NOT listen.

We. 10/30/13: Proverbs 15:12            Will the scoffer see love?
      A scoffer does not love one who corrects him,
      Nor will he go to the wise.
Will the scoffer see love? No, not in one who wishes him well.

Th. 10/31/13: Prov. 21:11            What does a scoffer understand?
      When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise;
      But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
What does a scoffer grasp? Punishment and to avoid it.

Fr. 11/1/13: Prov. 21:24            How does a scoffer act?
      A proud and haughty man—“Scofferis his name;
      He acts with arrogant pride.
How does a scoffer act? A scoffer is arrogant and proud.