Our Ways…

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

Proverbs 16:7  When a man’s ways please Adonai, he makes even the man’s enemies be at peace with him.

In this verse what is meant by man’s ways?  Strong’s # H1870 : a course of life or mode of action; course of life; of moral character…

The question is What is the condition attached to the promise of God’s provision?

Answer:  It would seem our ‘ways’ must please the Lord to receive the promise of God’s provision to see to it that our enemies will be at peace with us.  These are defined as how we act, our moral character, our manner of living which includes how we treat others.  Would it be fair to ask when we find ourselves not at peace with others how much is due to our own actions?  Something to chew on…

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Correct in humility…

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

Reading from Zechariah 2:

Then I looked up and saw four horns.  I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” He answered, “These are the horns that scattered J’hudah, Isra’el and Yerushalayim.”

Next Adonai showed me four artisans.  I asked, “What are these coming to do?”  He said, “Those horns that scattered Y’hudah so completely that no one could even raise his head–well, these men have come to terrify them, to overthrow the nations that raised their horns against the land of Y’hudah to scatter it.”

Related image

Image from google images

There’s more to this chapter, but this portion spoke to me and I wish to share those thoughts.  The explanation in the study Bible states the horns are the nations who came against the Hebrews and defeated them, scattered them as judgment from God because the Hebrews turned from God to other gods.  The artisans are agents sent by God to defeat those nations and therefore allow God to rebuild his city, Yerushalayim. Other writers see the craftsmen as agents who also assist in the rebuilding of the Hebrew nation.

Reflections on this passage noted that those used by God to punish his people who have turned away from him are in turn destroyed for coming against his people in such a way.  It is fearful to be used by God to discipline another.  That same discipline may come back around on the one who was used.  Beware of pride which can falsely elevate one’s sense of being more than one actually is.  A key phrase in scripture is to “walk humbly with your God.”* It is tempting to become smug at another’s correction.  No arrogance will go unpunished.

[Proverbs 17:5 NKJV] 5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.  (emphasis mine)

Note also, those used here in this passage were not ‘believers’ but outside the family of Hebrews.  Judgment against God’s people, his ‘church’ may come from outside the family of believers; it will still carry the curse of God, ‘anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye.’  Whether or not the judgment comes is not based upon belief.  God’s word does not return void, or empty, it does accomplish what it sets out to do.

When one is used by God to correct another it would be wise to remember to do so humbly; not in weakness but with the knowledge that the correction comes through them not from them; it comes from God…this might help those who often say to ‘correct with love,’ since our definitions of love have been corrupted.

*[Micah 6:8 NKJV] 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (emphasis mine)

Correction has an objective and that is to change direction or purpose; it also has an end goal and that is one of rebuilding something anew.  When one is going in the wrong direction, it is good to be redirected. It may protect from future harm; it may enable one to have an increase in purpose.  In this portion, the horns destroyed the old ways and paved the way for the craftsmen to rebuild.  Those giving correction and those receiving correction can more easily move through the process if they keep in mind the purposes of correction.

Any thoughts on this?

 

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

Psalm 56; timely for today

Psalm 56

Have mercy on me, O God,

For my enemies are hounding me;

All day long they assault and oppress me.

 

Our government leaders, our religious leaders, our neighbors…all stand on both sides of this fence.  Some call for the harassment; some are at the effects of the harassment. Some call for violence; some are at the effect of the resulting violence.  Stand back and listen, read the comments, listen with open ears and read with open eyes.  What does the Lord God Almighty have to say about this?  Do some soul searching…are we truly enlightened?  Then where do we stand in this picture? Do we join in with language that is demeaning or do we answer softly, kindly, gently or not at all?

 

They hound me all the day long;

Truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

Whenever I am afraid,

I will put my trust in you.

In God whose word I praise,

In God, I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can flesh do to me?

 

All day long they damage my cause;

Their only thought is to do me evil.

 

They band together; they lie in wait;

They spy upon my footsteps;

Because they seek my life.

 

Shall they escape despite their wickedness?

O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.

 

You have noted my lamentation;

Put my tears into your bottle;

Are they not recorded in your book?

 

Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight;

This I know, for God is on my side.

 

In God the Lord, whose word I praise,

In God I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can mortals do to me?

 

I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God;

I will present to you thank offerings.

 

For you have rescued my soul from death, and my feet from stumbling,

That I may walk before God in the light of the living. Amen

 

What is your position? Where are your eyes and ears looking and listening?  Where is your understanding?  Are you in the light or functioning in the dark?  What is your fruit?  Is it encouraging and building or tearing down and hurtful?  It is time to turn the tide of evil in the land; one at a time.  Relying on the Lord God for truth, strength and wisdom.  By your love they will know you.  That is the love of God and neighbor.  Not love as our society sees it today.  It is time to do some soul searching and praying in the Father’s will and wisdom.

contempt for Adonai bears fearful consequences…

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

From Numbers 16:

Then Datan   (Dathan) and Aviram (Abiram) came out and stood at the entrance to their tents with their wives, sons and little ones. 28Moshe (Moses)  said, “Here is how you will know that Adonai has sent me to do all these things and that I haven’t done them out of my own ambition: 29if these men die a natural death like other people, only sharing the fate common to all humanity, then Adonai has not sent me. 30But if Adonai does something new — if the ground opens up and swallows them with everything they own, and they go down alive to Sh’ol — then you will understand that these men have had contempt for Adonai.”

31The moment he finished speaking, the ground under them split apart — 32the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all the people who had sided with Korach  (Korah)and everything they owned. 33So they and everything they owned went down alive into Sh’ol, the earth closed over them and their existence in the community ceased. 34All Isra’el around them fled at their shrieks, shouting, “The earth might swallow us too!” 35Then fire came out from Adonai and destroyed the 250 men who had offered the incense.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

English names for Hebrews are in parentheses placed there by this author

korah

It is a fearful thing to disrespect God.  This fear is a mix of knowledge, awareness and respect for authority.  It is wisdom.

 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge,but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

A knowledge of the capability, the consequences, an awareness of the danger that is potential and real, a respect for the nature of anything will give way to wisdom in how that entity is approached.

Working with raw glass is a prime example.  Raw glass when mishandled can cause deadly harm.  There is a wise, correct way to handle it.  There are precautions to take, safety gear to wear and safety measures to follow.  Those who do not use wisdom with what they have been taught and proceed with an attitude that they know better, are stronger or bigger than those who gave the instructions are often injured; some of them become drastically impaired if they live.

Knowledge of who God is and what He does was available to these men.  They were lacking in wisdom to use that knowledge and live wisely.  Fear of God is missing.  It is replaced with arrogance and confidence in self.  Lack of respect placed them in a position of peril.  Paul advises the believer to know God and live wisely.  (Ephesians 5:15) This event is recorded for the benefit of all who profess a belief in God, develop a relationship with Him through Christ, and take advantage of the grace offered.  Those in this event did none of the above.  They had knowledge but  self had risen above God and hindered their spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear.  They were deceived and it cost them.

The same is true today.  Those who are deceived are subject to God’s judgment.  It may not come in the form of the earth opening up and swallowing them but it does come in other ways.  There are plenty of testimonies available sharing that those whose eyes and ears were opened were able to be freed from the deception.

God is holy, will not be mocked or disrespected, but is also long-suffering and merciful.  It is great to be living in the days of grace, having knowledge of Jesus so abundantly available.

Pray – May we bring You praise.  May we speak as one whose eyes have been opened; as one who hears God’s words; who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes.  Numbers 24:3

Repent – I repent for those times I did not speak the words you gave, O God.  I repent for those who refuse to see or hear your words.

Ask – That spirit that confuses your people; that one who hinders your words from being heard or seen, may you destroy that one.  I will call on God and Adonai will save us.  He redeems us and gives us peace.  Psalms 55

Yes – I will praise you forever for what you have done, and I will put my hope in your name; for this is good in the presence of your faithful.  Psalm 52:1

Source:  Numbers 16, 24, Ephesians 5:15  and Psalms 52, 55,

 

Understanding…

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

From John 3:

9Nakdimon (Nicodemus) replied, “How can this happen?” 10Yeshua (Jesus) answered him, “You hold the office of teacher in Isra’el, and you don’t know this? 11Yes, indeed! I tell you that what we speak about, we know; and what we give evidence of, we have seen; but you people don’t accept our evidence! 12If you people don’t believe me when I tell you about the things of the world, how will you believe me when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14Just as Moshe (Moses) lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.3>

*Words in parentheses are the English word for the Hebrew placed by the author.

Many still do not understand things of the earth.  And miracles thrill but they are not truly understood.  Until one enters into the Spirit by believing what Jesus says, one cannot understand. Things of the Spirit confound those outside Christ.

Miracles and signs are pursued and the Christ on the cross and its message are lost.  Jesus was lifted up and gave himself for all mankind.  All mankind continues to be split between those who believe and those who do not.  Anyone who trusts in Christ may have eternal life.

Wisdom says come to God daily to worship Him and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding as one searches scripture.  Jesus is there; throughout the Word he is presented and can be seen.  Who he is and what he does informs the seeker of truth and a way of living that lasts from now till and through eternity.

Pray – Teach me, Adonai, the way of your laws; keeping them will be its own reward for me.

Repent – I repent for often seeking the ways of mankind for understanding.

Ask – Give me understanding; then I will keep your Word; I will observe it with all my heart.  Guide me on the paths of your ways for I take pleasure in it.

Yes – See how I long for your precepts; in your righteousness, give me life!

Source: John 3 and Psalms 119:34-37

Praying Scripture…

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

Praying scripture puts the enemy to flight and rights the thinking process which, ripple effect, will go far to right actions, feelings and desires.

The breastplate of righteousness, God’s righteousness imputed to the believer, guards the heart.  Proverbs tells the believer to guard the heart for out of it flow the issues of life. Righteousness, defined right living, guards the heart.  This righteousness is God’s given to the believer through the salvation process.  Dressing in the armor daily involves putting on the belt of truth which helps to support the breastplate of righteousness.  God’s Word provides the information, the truth, that instructs in right living.  Right living decreases the points in the believer’s life that the enemy can target.

Truth and righteousness support and protect the core of the believer’s spiritual being.  Here is the strength to stand upright and move forward, not bowed over and brought down to a standstill.  The enemy’s arrows of accusation, thrusts of deception, blows of failure cannot penetrate the breastplate supported by truth.

God’s Word is truth; God’s Word states His Righteousness is given to those who receive it.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21.  It is a gift to the believer.  The believer becomes righteous, not on their own doing, it is the gift of God!  The believer can stand tall, supporting the breastplate with truth.  Put it on!

The lie of the enemy is that the believer cannot attain righteousness, they cannot be perfect as God is.  Therefore, why try?  Give up.  When the believer responds with the truth, they cannot but God has,  the lie often becomes a comparison with other believers; better than some, less than some.  Again the believer responds with truth that they are righteous because God is and He gave them His breastplate.  This is when the believer puts off their own concept of righteousness, their own sense of pride or defeat and takes on God’s righteousness, believing what God has said.  “Put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and … be renewed in the spirit of your minds, … and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Ephesians 4:22 – 24.  An action taken on by the believer.  Take off and put on are actions.

In prayer, ask for mercy, ask for change and stay connected.  Be aware and note when self rises up to try to resist attacks in the believer’s own strength. Pray to activate God’s power in combat.

Pray – True, I was born guilty; was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me.  Still, You want truth in the inner person; so make me know wisdom in my inmost heart.

Repent – Lord, I repent for giving into my own feelings and acting on them.  I repent for laying aside Your righteousness continually attempting to be righteous in my own strength.

Ask – Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Let me hear the sound of joy and gladness, so that the bones You crushed can rejoice.  Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out my crimes.  Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit.

Yes – I will praise You forever for what You have done, and I will put my hope in Your name; for this is what is good in the presence of Your faithful.

 

Psalm 51 and 52

Learn from History; Avoid Deception…

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

History repeats itself as anyone who has studied old documents can say.  It makes little difference if the present society tries to rewrite history; ample documentation is found among individual writings from the participants.

Therefore it is wise to heed the consequences of actions taken in the past to avoid repeating the errors.

From Micah: Here is what Adonai says in regard to the prophets who cause my people to go astray, who cry ‘peace,’ as soon as they are given food to eat but prepare war against anyone who fails to put something in their mouths:

Put in today’s setting, are there those who cause God’s people to go astray, used by the enemy to deceive?  Any ‘word’ given that emphasizes self-worth or ability has the potential to lead away from God’s worth and ability.  Are our prophets fed well?  Do they prophesy for pay?  Do they ‘war’ by finding fault, causing strife with any who fail to ‘pay’ or do they engage in fear mongering?

In Micah it states further how God views these actions.  A good Father disciplines and corrects:

“Therefore you will have night, not vision, darkness and not divination; the sun will go down on the prophets, over them the day will be black.”

Discipline and correction is not pleasant.

“The seers will be put to shame,

The diviners will be disgraced.

They will have to cover their mouths,

Because there will be no answer from God.

On the other hand, I am full of power

By Spirit of Adonai,

Full of justice and full of might,

To declare to __________his crime,

To _____his sin.

Hear this, please, leaders of _________,

Rulers of the house of _____________,

You abhor what is just

And pervert anything that is right,

Who build up _____________with blood

And ______with wickedness.

Her leaders will sell verdicts for bribes,

Her priests teach for a price,

Her prophets divine for money—-

Yet they claim to rely on Adonai!

“Isn’t Adonai here with us?”  they say.

“No evil can come upon us.”

Therefore, because of you,

______ will be plowed under like a forested height…

There is more, much more in Micah to learn from, to take warning from, to heed the direction given and to rejoice in the promise given.

The blanks can be filled in with current names.  See if they fit and speak truthfully.  This was spoken to another people at another time but could have been saved for today.  It is wisdom to use what has been shared to judge whether anything be of God.  Do not be deceived by pretty pictures, great music, etc. For the enemy is clothed in light that is deceptive.

Pray – With all prayer and petition (I) pray at all times, 1. in the Spirit, 2. and with this in view, 3. be on the alert, with 4. all perseverance and 5. petition for all the saints, 6. and pray on my behalf.  I pray for our spiritual leaders.

Repent – I repent for selfish prayer and now ask for mercy.  I repent for not lifting up and encouraging God’s called leaders and now ask Your blessings on them.

Ask – I pray they be alert, they persevere, they pray for all saints, they stay close to God’s Word and not be deceived or used by the enemy to destroy God’s people.

Yes – I thank You for Your Word that quickens, guides, feeds, and blesses Your people.

Ephesians 6:18 source.