Rock and sand…

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.

marli-miller-jointing-in-granite-bedrock-acadia-national-park-maine-usa[1]    e1[1]

singing-sand[1]     hands-sand-cropped1[1]

Matthew 7:24-27

 

So, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on bedrock. The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. The rains fell, the rivers flooded, the wind blew and beat against that house, and it collapsed–and its collapse was horrendous. – Jesus

 

Are we building our ‘houses’ on rock or sand? Are we investing our time, money and the future of our children on rock or sand? Jesus says anyone who hears his words and acts on them is building on rock. Storms of life, lifestyles, manners of behaviour will not prevail. As a nation, are we building futures on rock, or sand which is soft and erodes out from under bringing a collapse. Sand comes from rock, but the rock has been broken…think on that…we cannot build anything of value or stability on that which is broken…it will collapse. Small children learn this young with their experimental building… Yet we as adults are no better, often, and have forgotten the wisdom of time before– we embrace the ‘new improved revelation’ which is often deception wrapped in a pretty package.

 

So we turn from the eternal, the strong which has weathered storms to a new concept and now we see an imminent collapse. From a natural, inborn desire for life to people who only care for self and even go beyond to a disregard for any life, embracing death.

 

The spirits of despair, fear, and destruction run rampant among God’s creation. It is time to resist, to embrace God and His Word, to tear down that which will collapse and rebuild on the Rock, the Rock of our Salvation.

house-on-sand[1]

 

San Antonio:  Mission Concepcion, dedicated in 1755. Built on bedrock and never lost its roof or integrity. Colonial Spanish design. These Franciscans were active, not contemplative.

Mission built on bedrock

 

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Details, details…

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.

Joshua 15:1-11

 

 The allotment for the tribe of the people of Judah according to their clans reached southward to the boundary of Edom, to the wilderness of Zin at the farthest south.

 And their south boundary ran from the end of the Salt Sea, from the bay that faces southward.

 It goes out southward of the ascent of Akrabbim, passes along to Zin, and goes up south of Kadesh-barnea, along by Hezron, up to Addar, turns about to Karka,

 passes along to Azmon, goes out by the Brook of Egypt, and comes to its end at the sea. This shall be your south boundary.

 And the east boundary is the Salt Sea, to the mouth of the Jordan. And the boundary on the north side runs from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan.

 And the boundary goes up to Beth-hoglah and passes along north of Beth-arabah. And the boundary goes up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben.

 And the boundary goes up to Debir from the Valley of Achor, and so northward, turning toward Gilgal, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south side of the valley. And the boundary passes along to the waters of En-shemesh and ends at En-rogel.

 Then the boundary goes up by the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the southern shoulder of the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem). And the boundary goes up to the top of the mountain that lies over against the Valley of Hinnom, on the west, at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim.

 Then the boundary extends from the top of the mountain to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, and from there to the cities of Mount Ephron. Then the boundary bends around to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim).

 And the boundary circles west of Baalah to Mount Seir, passes along to the northern shoulder of Mount Jearim (that is, Chesalon), and goes down to Beth-shemesh and passes along by Timnah.

 The boundary goes out to the shoulder of the hill north of Ekron, then the boundary bends around to Shikkeron and passes along to Mount Baalah and goes out to Jabneel. Then the boundary comes to an end at the sea.

 And the west boundary was the Great Sea with its coastline. This is the boundary around the people of Judah according to their clans.

According to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the people of Judah, Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak).

And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak, Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the descendants of Anak.

And he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir. Now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher.

 

What we  have here is detailed documentation  to be placed in memory for future generations. Nothing is left to chance or argumentation. God’s character of order and detail that can be seen in creation is apparent here. Do the little things in our lives matter? The little details of everyday life are also taken care of by Him. Jesus said don’t be concerned over what to wear or what to eat for our Father supplies what we need down to the smallest detail. In all things give thanks.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Give ear to my words…

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 5

Give ear to my words, O LORD,

​​Consider my meditation.

Give heed to the voice of my cry,

​​My King and my God,

​​For to You I will pray.

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;

​​In the morning I will direct it to You,

​​And I will look up.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,

​​Nor shall evil dwell with You.

The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;

​​You hate all workers of iniquity.

You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;

​​The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

​​But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;

​​In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.

Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;

​​Make Your way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;

​​Their inward part is destruction;

​​Their throat is an open tomb;

​​They flatter with their tongue.

Pronounce them guilty, O God!

​​Let them fall by their own counsels;

​​Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,

​​For they have rebelled against You.

 ​​But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;

​​Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;

​​Let those also who love Your name

​​Be joyful in You.

​​For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;

​​With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Psa&c=5&v=1&t=NKJVP>

We can come to our Lord without fear.  We can bring our requests to him.  We begin with acknowledging who he is and what he does.

“…Give heed to the voice of my cry,

​​My King and my God,…”

Who among us does not enjoy the love that comes to us from our children.  We come in reverence seeking his guidance.

The psalmist explains why our trust is in the Lord and not in mankind.

“…For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;

​​Their inward part is destruction;

​​Their throat is an open tomb;

​​They flatter with their tongue.

Pronounce them guilty, O God!…”

Why would anyone, knowingly, go to a source that wishes only ungodly results? Why would anyone go to those who only have selfish interests?  The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is the direction of their focus.  A believer is God-driven, an unbeliever is self-driven.  The motives are opposite.  The psalmist wishes upon the unbeliever are designed to bring them face to face with their position.

“…Pronounce them guilty, O God!

​​Let them fall by their own counsels;

​​Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,

​​For they have rebelled against You….”

We can rejoice that we rest in the Lord.  It is hard to see others outside the Lord’s protection and love.

“…​​But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;

​​Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;

​​Let those also who love Your name

​​Be joyful in You.

​​For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;

​​With favor You will surround him as with a shield….”

Psalm 5

Psalm 5

Click on image to enjoy Psalm 5 sung by Chuck Girard

We reap what we sow…

Hosea 4:1-9

 

Hear the word of the LORD,

​​You children of Israel,

​​For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land:

​​“There is no truth or mercy

​​Or knowledge of God in the land.

​​By swearing and lying,

​​Killing and stealing and committing adultery,

​​They break all restraint,

​​With bloodshed upon bloodshed.

Therefore the land will mourn;

​​And everyone who dwells there will waste away

​​With the beasts of the field

​​And the birds of the air;

​​Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.

 ​​“Now let no man contend, or rebuke another;

​​For your people are like those who contend with the priest.

Therefore you shall stumble in the day;

​​The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night;

​​And I will destroy your mother.

​​My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

​​Because you have rejected knowledge,

​​I also will reject you from being priest for Me;

​​Because you have forgotten the law of your God,

​​I also will forget your children.

 ​​“The more they increased,

​​The more they sinned against Me;

​​I will change  their glory  into shame.

They eat up the sin of My people;

​​They set their heart on their iniquity.

And it shall be: like people, like priest.

​​So I will punish them for their ways,

​​And reward them for their deeds.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Hsa&c=4&v=1&t=NKJVP>

The first stanza sounds like a description of now, here, today.

“…“There is no truth or mercy

​​Or knowledge of God in the land.

​​By swearing and lying,

​​Killing and stealing and committing adultery,

​​They break all restraint,

​​With bloodshed upon bloodshed….”.”

The second stanza is also typical of today; passing the blame to others,  no one taking responsibility for their own actions.

“… ​​“Now let no man contend, or rebuke another;,,,”

The third stanza can be applied to today.  There is a definite lack of knowledge of the true God and His word.  We have become complacent in our own study and are willing to take the word of others.

“…​​My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

​​Because you have rejected knowledge,

​​I also will reject you from being priest for Me;

​​Because you have forgotten the law of your God,…”

“…Jeremiah 17:10 NKJV – I, the LORD, search the heart, [I] test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

John 5:39 NKJV – “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me….”

We give them degrees and certificates and say now they are the expert it is only for us to follow their teaching.  Not what the Word says.  Each man is to teach themselves from the word and their own personal conversation with the Lord.

“…1Thessalonians  4:9 NKJV – But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;…”

“…1Thessalonians  5:1 NKJV – But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.

1Thessalonians  5:2 NKJV – For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night….”

“…1Corinthians 14:26 NKJV – How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification….”

“…2Timothy  2:15 NKJV – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2Timothy  2:19 NKJV – Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

2Timothy  2:21 NKJV – Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work….”

Be aware that much that comes from the platforms of the churches in our land today is identical to what existed in the land during Hosea’s time and Jesus’ time.  We are to be alert, knowledgeable as individual believers so that we are not deceived by what is spread from some pulpits.

“…My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

​​Because you have rejected knowledge,

​​I also will reject you from being priest for Me;

​​Because you have forgotten the law of your God…”

Look closely, this is spoken to the priests of the land who looked, acted and thought no different from the people they were to lead.  “Like people, like priests.”

“…They eat up the sin of My people;

​​They set their heart on their iniquity.

And it shall be: like people, like priest….”

Jesus said this:  “.. “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.  I do not receive honor from men.  But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.  Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is [one] who accuses you–Moses, in whom you trust.  For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”.  John 5:40-42,45-47 NKJV

We suffer from the disease of lack of knowledge and this refers to knowledge of God.  We are seeing the results of this disorder today.  The despair in our land has answers for the ‘why’s’ being asked.  This is not the first time this type of despair has visited God’s people.

“…They break all restraint,

​​With bloodshed upon bloodshed….” 

and so;

“…​​Because you have forgotten the law of your God,

​​I also will forget your children….”

Reading this last line made my heart ache; I froze as it’s message enveloped me.  Do we think we can do as we please, with no regard for the laws God has set in motion, with no regard for the one who loves us, laying blame on everyone and everything other than ourselves?  Do we think we can continue to conduct ourselves as a nation that willingly kills the unborn child but is appalled at the wanton murder of children in a schoolroom?  There is a piper to be paid.  We are seeing the fruit of the wantonness in our land.  We are repeating history.  This is a call to prayer, reconciliation and restoration with the God who loves us.  Do not be deceived; God did not do this, we did.  Let us hear the call, turn from our ways, fall on our knees and pray.  He promises He will hear and heal.

 ​​And reward them for their deeds.

There is comfort in the knowledge that the innocent rest with Him.

Jesus--Children[1]

Fruit of pride…effects of silence

Ezekiel 7:23-27

‘​Make a chain,

​​For the land is filled with crimes of blood,

​​And the city is full of violence.

Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles,

​​And they will possess their houses;

​​I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease,

​​And their holy places shall be defiled.

​​Destruction comes;

​​They will seek peace, but there shall be none.

​​Disaster will come upon disaster,

​​And rumor will be upon rumor.

​​Then they will seek a vision from a prophet;

​​But the law will perish from the priest,

​​And counsel from the elders.

​‘​The king will mourn,

​​The prince will be clothed with desolation,

​​And the hands of the common people will tremble.

​​I will do to them according to their way,

​​And according to what they deserve I will judge them;

​​Then they shall know that I am the LORD!’ ”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=7&v=1&t=NKJVP>

“..the land is filled with crimes of blood,..”

Reading Ezekiel couldn’t be more timely.  What parallels we see between this time in Israel’s history and ours!

 “…the city is full of violence…” 

And to what is this attributed?  Pride.  It’s what goes before a fall we are told.  What is the foundation for their pride and ours?  The works of their hands.  They gave no credit to the source of their abilities.  They forgot who gave them the ability to do that work, who gave them the skill and intelligence to create.  This fall hurt all in that place and today we see so clearly how our fall can hurt those around us.  Innocent and guilty alike are in the line of fire.  Who is responsible?  Is it God?  Isn’t that just like the child who has done wrong, been disobedient and blames the punishment for the crime on the parent or teacher or principal or as an adult the boss?  Eyes but can’t see, ears but can’t hear.  Truth evades them in their self-absorption. Society buys into this manner of thinking and it teaches the same to its children.  The children take it one step further.

“… they shall know that I am the LORD!’ ”…” 

Knowing he is Lord is not synonymous with saying he is Lord and following him.  For some it was too late.  What have we learned about him here?  He doesn’t like pride in something other than Him.  He will put an end to it by destroying its base, its cause.  We live in a day just like this.  Evil abounds, men do what is right in their own eyes with no regard or respect for others.  Responsibility is a foreign word.  Jesus said:

  “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

Found in  Matthew 10:15 KJV.  He was speaking directly to those who had rejected the message of the kingdom of God.  Not any different from what Ezekiel saw and what we see today in our cities, towns, country, nation.  Do we think we will escape judgment?  Do we think we are?  Do we not see the hand of a just God?  Why is there a fall?  A law was spoken into being and its consequences will come about.  What is sown is what will be reaped.  Thankfully we are in the world but not of the world.  If we see any similarity in our own way of thinking and that of those who do not believe, we need to  ask ourselves why?  We need to seek the face of God, ask forgiveness, and get right with him.  It rains upon the just and the unjust we are told.  The difference is we have an umbrella of hope and help in the power of the blood of Jesus.  We are covered by His blood.  We can rest in Him, no matter what occurs to us, around us, beside us.  We can be beacons of light in the darkness. We must continue to share what we know.

 We know He is Lord!!

Judgment will come…

Ezekiel 4:1-17

“You also, son of man, take a clay tablet and lay it before you, and portray on it a city, Jerusalem. Lay siege against it, build a siege wall against it, and heap up a mound against it; set camps against it also, and place battering rams against it all around. Moreover take for yourself an iron plate, and set it as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face against it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.

 “Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.

 “Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem; your arm shall be uncovered, and you shall prophesy against it. And surely I will restrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the days of your siege.

“Also take for yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread of them for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it.  And your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat it. You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink.  And you shall eat it as barley cakes; and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight.”

 Then the LORD said, “So shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them.”

So I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now; I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth.”

Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.”

Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity.

What a price to pay for disobedience!  Punishment was not swift by man’s standards.  The people had been disobedient for centuries  with no apparent destruction.  God’s longsuffering nature gave ample time to repent.  The time given to repent and return to Him as Sovereign Lord that could have been viewed as a silent God or a God who is like an absent landlord.  We would do well to take note of this.  Lack of immediate judgment does not indicate an absent Lord.  Neither does it validate sin, nor does it indicate judgment will not be delivered.  Ezekiel’s assignment gave them further opportunity to repent.  Death and deprivation were the price for the sin committed.  They were warned of the coming siege, the lack of food and water.  They were given time to prepare.  God is the same, his judgment remains.  Time is provided today for the opportunity to repent.  This warning was given to the Israelites.  And this warning remains for us; we can read it and receive it.  Christ has since come and paid the price for the sins committed against the Lord.  However it is still required of us to accept and receive.  Acknowledge, repent, confess, and accept.  Acknowledge our sin, repent of it, confess that sin and the name of Jesus as covering it, and accept Him as Lord, receive His redemption and with it the freedom from the penalty of sin, death.  The purpose for all of this is not to be lost in the discussion over sin and redemption and that is the reunion of God’s creation, mankind, to him.  He looks for our obedience as he did in the garden of Eden.  He looks for our faithfulness.  He has gone to great lengths to provide the means to return to him.  Acknowledge Him, give Him glory; for who among us is capable of what He has done?

“I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. Ezekiel 39:21

 

Sit, absorb, know…then share

Ezekiel 3:1-15

Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.

And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.

Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel,  not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you.  But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted.  Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”

Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears.  And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”

Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: “Blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!” I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise. So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

“And I sat where they sat; overwhelmed.”  Most translations state it this way.  Overwhelmed.  By the task given?  By the vision?  By the words of woe, lament and mourning?  By the rebelliousness of the people?  The scroll itself was sweet like honey but the prophet left that place in bitterness and in the heat of his spirit, translated also as anger.  Again the questions come, bitterness and anger, because he had to leave?  Part of the hardening process?  A result of the words of sorrow?

Sent, filled, given the message to deliver, obedient.  And when we are with those to whom we are sent with the Words of God and find they are filled with sorrow, it is best to just sit with them.  He did not speak at first, he sat.  For seven days.  Can we become so sensitive to the place where others are, so in tune in spirit, that we are touched, filled with the emotions and just sit with them, just be?  We have a message of hope and there is a time to deliver it, but first we need to be in touch with the spirit and place of those who cross our path.  The hand of the Lord was upon him and he began by sitting in their place, absorbing where they were.

“And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.”