A cry for justice and safety…

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.

Isaiah 16:1-5

  Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Zion.

  Like fleeing birds,

like a scattered nest,

so are the daughters of Moab

at the fords of the Arnon.

  “Give counsel;

 grant justice;

 make your shade like night

 at the height of noon;

shelter the outcasts;

do not reveal the fugitive;

  let the outcasts of Moab

sojourn among you;

be a shelter to them

 from the destroyer.

 When the oppressor is no more,

 and destruction has ceased,

 and he who tramples underfoot

 has vanished from the land,

  then a throne will be established in steadfast love,

and on it will sit in faithfulness

in the tent of David

 one who judges

 and seeks justice

and is swift to do righteousness.”

What does humanity cry for?  It cries for justice, peace and safety from the oppressor.  It cries for righteousness, a way of living that demonstrates love for one another.  And where will this be found?  Is there any place upon this earth that is free of oppression, free of destruction?  Only in Christ is this found.  There is a place in the spirit that transcends the physical and outlasts the temporal. Only in Christ, sent by God to establish a kingdom ruled by love, faithfulness and right living.  A place of justice where there is no oppression and no destruction.  This is a promise we can hold onto.  In Christ we are found in that safe place with a promise of good not evil, of eternity with God that starts now.

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Claim righteousness…

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 18:20-36

The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;

​​According to the cleanness of my hands

​​He has recompensed me.

 ​​For I have kept the ways of the LORD,

​​And have not wickedly departed from my God.

 ​​For all His judgments were before me,

​​And I did not put away His statutes from me.

​​I was also blameless before Him,

​​And I kept myself from my iniquity.

​​Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,

​​According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;

​​With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;

With the pure You will show Yourself pure;

​​And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.

​​For You will save the humble people,

​​But will bring down haughty looks.

For You will light my lamp;

​​The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

 ​​For by You I can run against a troop,

​​By my God I can leap over a wall.

As for God, His way is perfect;

​​The word of the LORD is proven;

​​He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

​​For who is God, except the LORD?

​​And who is a rock, except our God?

It is God who arms me with strength,

​​And makes my way perfect.

 ​​He makes my feet like the feet of deer,

​​And sets me on my high places.

 ​​He teaches my hands to make war,

​​So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;

​​Your right hand has held me up,

​​Your gentleness has made me great.

 ​​You enlarged my path under me,

​​So my feet did not slip.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Psa&c=18&t=nkjvp>

We are well aware of David’s sin yet he says he has not done evil.  He doesn’t stop there; he continues, “by turning away from my God.”  Sin is cast in this passage as encompassing all that constitutes turning away from God–a denial of God.  David states he has not done that and so can claim righteousness and cleanliness.  Do we see the absence of sin referenced as  obeying a list of do’s and don’ts?  When did we get away from the first commandment to love our God and the second, to love our neighbor;  when did we develop a list of criteria to be met in order to be ‘Christian’?  Non-believers can cite a list of behaviors that are expected of believers in Christ.  At what point did those behaviors become synonymous with loving Christ and accepting His salvation for us?  Something is askew here.  Twice the psalmist states “according to my righteousness; according the to the cleanness of my hands.”   Salvation brings to us His righteousness  and our hands are cleansed.  We can say this with the psalmist

“…The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;

​​According to the cleanness of my hands…”

We become a new creature with an attitude change.

“…You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;

​​Your right hand has held me up,

​​Your gentleness has made me great.

 ​​You enlarged my path under me,

​​So my feet did not slip….”

The attitude change is what can be seen by others as evidence of the life change brought by Christ; not adherence to a list of behaviors.  That list is unique for each individual as the Holy Spirit sees fit.

With that said, look at the list of blessings that follow:

He gives life

“…For You will light my lamp;

​​The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness….”

He gives health

“…And makes my way perfect.

 ​​He makes my feet like the feet of deer,…”

He gives success

“…And sets me on my high places.

 ​​He teaches my hands to make war,

​​So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze….”

What forces of darkness are we fighting in our daily walks?  We are enabled to defeat them.

He lifts us up

“…Your right hand has held me up,

​​Your gentleness has made me great…”

He keeps us from falling

“… ​​You enlarged my path under me,

​​So my feet did not slip….”

What more could we ask for?  Stand with the psalmist and state the truth that we are changed not by what we do but by what he has done.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Taking what isn’t ours…

Ezekiel 38:1-16

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, [fn1] Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, [fn2] and Libya [fn3] are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.

7 “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”

10 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— 12to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’ ” ’

14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? 15 Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. 16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=38&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Mankind ever plots against man.  Mankind is filled with envy and jealousy, wanting what is not theirs.  Humanity at its roots would take from those who have what they have without conscience.  One builds, acquires, accumulates and another would take it from them for themselves or others who have not.

“…12to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land….”

Wow, we haven’t changed in all the years of time.  And according to this we won’t, in spite of all our advances in technology, science, psychology;  we, at the core, are still depraved.  We want what isn’t ours and are willing to use force to take it.  Read the daily news…listen to the broadcasts…read comments on news streams…– human nature has remained self-centered, wanting for itself, willing to take from those who have.  We make it sound noble.  We will take to give to those who do not have.  Greed has many faces and does not reflect the image of God.  He promises he will judge, he has, he does, and he will.

“…the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”…”

May we be in Christ, and not among those who will descend with Gog upon God’s people Israel.  May we be the light of the world showing the way to the cross so that there will be others who also will not be with Gog.  Search our hearts O Lord and know our thoughts.  May they be toward you and not against you, so that you may be for us not against us.

Search Me, O God
lyrics by James Edwin Orr

Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord,
For cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word,
And make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
Where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire
To magnify Thy Name.

Lord, take my life,
And make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart
With Thy great love divine.
Take all my will,
My passion, self, and pride;
I now surrender, Lord,
In me abide.

O Holy Ghost,
Revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival,
Start the work in me.
Thy Word declares
Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now,
O Lord, I humbly plead.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Search me O God…

Listen and worship