New life…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

shoot from the stump

Isaiah 11:1-5

 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,

and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,

the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and might,

the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

  And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,

or decide disputes by what his ears hear,

  but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,

and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;

and he shall strike the earth

with the rod of his mouth,

and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,

and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

Any who garden know that cutting down a tree is not the end of it.  New life will spring from the stump and the roots will continue to nourish it.  The proud and the arrogant, those trusting in their own abilities and designs as if they were of their own creation will be cut down.  This comes as a consequence of a turning away from their God and Creator.  But from the stump that remains, new life springs forth.

That tree, that nation, that people had their roots in the knowledge of their Creator and God and in their living according to His commands; loving their God above all others and loving their fellowmen, women and children.  Our nation has the same roots.  Whatever comes of our present day arrogance and turning away from those beginnings we can be sure that we who remain true to those beginnings, that knowledge will see new life.

We may see the tree of our nation cut down; we can be the stump that remains true to our God and brings forth new life.  This shoot of Jesse is thought to be the Christ who brings new life to all who believe in him.  Let us remain true to Him, love our God and our fellow man, woman and child.  Let us be a shoot also of new life as we shine His light into our dark world.

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Honor and faithfulness rewarded…

Ezekiel 48:

1 “Now these are the names of the tribes: From the northern border along the road to Hethlon at the entrance of Hamath, to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus northward, in the direction of Hamath, there shall be one section for Dan from its east to its west side; 2 by the border of Dan, from the east side to the west, one section for Asher; 3 by the border of Asher, from the east side to the west, one section for Naphtali; 4 by the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, one section for Manasseh; 5 by the border of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, one section for Ephraim; 6 by the border of Ephraim, from the east side to the west, one section for Reuben; 7 by the border of Reuben, from the east side to the west, one section for Judah; 8 by the border of Judah, from the east side to the west, shall be the district which you shall set apart, twenty-five thousand cubits in width, and in length the same as one of the other portions, from the east side to the west, with the sanctuary in the center.

9 “The district that you shall set apart for the LORD shall be twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width. 10 To these—to the priests—the holy district shall belong: on the north twenty-five thousand cubits in length, on the west ten thousand in width, on the east ten thousand in width, and on the south twenty-five thousand in length. The sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the center. 11 It shall be for the priests of the sons of Zadok, who are sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. 12 And this district of land that is set apart shall be to them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites.

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This is a listing of the tribes of Israel and their portion of the promised land.  In the listing is included the portion of land set aside for the temple.  Of that portion there is a special gift given to the priests who remained true to the Lord.  Their portion is called most holy. Faithfulness is of value to the Lord and He rewards it.  Another view of this could be that, of the total, a percentage is given back to the Lord.

He has made it clear how important honor is to Him, how important faithfulness is to Him.  If you love someone and want to please them, it is good to find out what they appreciate and give that or be that to them.  We can return to the Lord for what He has done for us, out of our love and gratitude to Him, the gifts of faithfulness and honor.  We do it out of love not out of gain.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Protection, prosperity and health…

Ezekiel 41:13-26

So he measured the temple, one hundred cubits long; and the separating courtyard with the building and its walls was one hundred cubits long; 14 also the width of the eastern face of the temple, including the separating courtyard, was one hundred cubits. 15 He measured the length of the building behind it, facing the separating courtyard, with its galleries on the one side and on the other side, one hundred cubits, as well as the inner temple and the porches of the court, 16 their doorposts and the beveled window frames. And the galleries all around their three stories opposite the threshold were paneled with wood from the ground to the windows—the windows were covered— 17 from the space above the door, even to the inner room, [fn2] as well as outside, and on every wall all around, inside and outside, by measure.

18 And it was made with cherubim and palm trees, a palm tree between cherub and cherub. Each cherub had two faces, 19 so that the face of a man was toward a palm tree on one side, and the face of a young lion toward a palm tree on the other side; thus it was made throughout the temple all around. 20 From the floor to the space above the door, and on the wall of the sanctuary, cherubim and palm trees were carved.

21 The doorposts of the temple were square, as was the front of the sanctuary; their appearance was similar. 22 The altar was of wood, three cubits high, and its length two cubits. Its corners, its length, and its sides were of wood; and he said to me, “This is the table that is before the LORD.”

23 The temple and the sanctuary had two doors. 24 The doors had two panels apiece, two folding panels: two panels for one door and two panels for the other door. 25 Cherubim and palm trees were carved on the doors of the temple just as they were carved on the walls. A wooden canopy was on the front of the vestibule outside. 26 There were beveled window frames and palm trees on one side and on the other, on the sides of the vestibule—also on the side chambers of the temple and on the canopies.

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Lets consider the use of cherubim with two faces, one of a man and one of a lion and the use of palm trees to decorate the interior.  Jesus was God come to us as a man; he was also called the Lion of Judah.

“…1John 4:2 and 3 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,  and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the [spirit] of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

John 1:10 – 12, 14 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.   But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth….”

Revelation 5:5  But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”…”

The palms were used at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem to pave the road.  They are seen as a symbol of health and prosperity.

“…Psalm  92:12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon….”

Through Christ we have protection, note reference to the lion, and we have prosperity and health, note the palm.  We have much to be thankful for as His people.  The promise is so genuine and lasting the symbols are used to decorate the temple, reminders of His faithfulness to us.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

power of One…

Acts 2:1-13

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

 They were together in one place; no longer scattered each one to his own home.  Jesus was gone, this time not due to death.  The effect was not the same for now there was a knowledge and understanding that although gone from them physically he was still present spiritually. They were acting on their faith and being faithfully obedient to his instructions to go to Jerusalem and wait.  He then honored them with the Holy Spirit’s presence.  This presence was great enough to speak to all present in Jerusalem, glorifying God.  And now the seeds planted by one, Jesus, are growing and bearing fruit.  Each of us is one, who can spread the spiritual seeds of faith in God to those around us and watch it grow through the power of the Holy Spirit.