Walk humbly before our God…

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.

Ezra 9:8-15

 But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery.  For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem. 

“And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments,  which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness.  Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’  And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this,  shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?  O LORD, the God of Israel, you are just, for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is today. Behold, we are before you in our guilt, for none can stand before you because of this.”

It is a fearful thing to break the commands of God…  It is good to know that when we humble ourselves and beg forgiveness, praying for salvation from the penalties that are just, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.  What a God we serve!

 

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Nations are but men…

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.

Psalm 9

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart;

​​I will tell of all Your marvelous works.

​​I will be glad and rejoice in You;

​​I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

​​When my enemies turn back,

​​They shall fall and perish at Your presence.

For You have maintained my right and my cause;

​​You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.

You have rebuked the nations,

​​You have destroyed the wicked;

​​You have blotted out their name forever and ever.

​​O enemy, destructions are finished forever!

​​And you have destroyed cities;

​​Even their memory has perished.

​​But the LORD shall endure forever;

​​He has prepared His throne for judgment.

 ​​He shall judge the world in righteousness,

​​And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,

​​A refuge in times of trouble.

​​And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;

​​For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion!

​​Declare His deeds among the people.

 ​​When He avenges blood, He remembers them;

​​He does not forget the cry of the humble.

 ​​Have mercy on me, O LORD!

​​Consider my trouble from those who hate me,

​​You who lift me up from the gates of death,

That I may tell of all Your praise

​​In the gates of the daughter of Zion.

​​I will rejoice in Your salvation.

The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made;

​​In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught.

The LORD is known by the judgment He executes;

​​The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.

Meditation.  Selah

 ​​The wicked shall be turned into hell,

​​And all the nations that forget God.

 ​​For the needy shall not always be forgotten;

​​The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.

 ​​Arise, O LORD,

​​Do not let man prevail;

​​Let the nations be judged in Your sight.

Put them in fear, O LORD,

​​That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Psa&c=9&t=nkjvp>

The Lord is just, judge, ruler, a destroyer of evil, avenger of  the oppressed, provider of salvation.  The conflict seen here is between humanity and God.  When there is truth and proper perspective the picture comes into focus.  Who God is and who we are in relation to him.  Where would we want to be?

Why would humanity want to take on God?  What have they achieved; that cannot be attributed to the gifts he has given?  How skewed is their view?  Who among us can create what the Creator has created without using something he has created?  Those functioning without belief in the Creator are open to selfish desires and often those desires bring harm to others.  The truth presented here is that when one plans for someone’s harm; those doing the planning are harmed.  The truth here allows that  there is a death that is forever; there is a life that is forever.  We can choose.  Life or death?

“It’s not fair…God is not just…” — He … WILL … judge.

Ezekiel 33: 12 -20

“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ 13 When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. 14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=33&v=1&t=NKJVP>

“…The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair!…”  Do we hear this today?  The grumbling and complaining, the pointing of fingers, the lack of responsibility.  A phrase that seems to go along with this is:  “It’s not my fault.” Blame goes in all directions away from the individual speaking.  Will this be judged?  God’s Word is true and just.  It does not fail.  On which side of the coin would we like to be?  Obedience to His commands, or disobedience with the complaining and lack that come with it?

Obey or disobey, all of humanity’s living or dying flows from this.  Who will judge, man or God?  Have we obeyed or not?  Obedience brings life, disobedience brings death.  We are judged, not by each other but by the one, the only one, who has the power to destroy the soul, which lives for eternity. And that would be God. – Jesus

“..Luke 12:5  “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!…”

Obedience that flows from love, love of the Master and love for our fellow humanity will ensure life.  When we stand before God, and we will, he will look for the blood of Christ upon us and our obedience to his commands.  When we love in this way in is not difficult to obey because it becomes what we want to do!

“…Matthew 7:21-24 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:…”

Jesus was the supreme example of obedience – even to the cross.  Thankfully, his obedience brings redemption to those who embrace the cross.  Embracing the cross is taking on Christ and so we are changed to righteousness in him and obedience will flow.  When others look at us and our words and actions, do they see Jesus?  Search our hearts, O Lord, and know our thoughts.

“…Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!…”

May we see Jesus in each other, the righteousness of God, not man.  May we follow His teachings, not man’s.

“… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, …” – Jesus.

by Maranatha Singers