The Story of Job. – Day 13

Arbitrator vs Intercessor? Do you have one?

Do you have an arbitrator between you and God? Do you think one exists? Do you have someone who can be your adjudicator · arbiter · judge · umpire · referee · assistant referee · linesman · line judge · mediator · conciliator · intervenor · intercessor · go-between · negotiator · peacemaker? Do you have an intercessor between you and God? Do you think one exists? Do you have someone who can be your mediator · moderator · go-between · negotiator · middleman · intermediary · intervenor · interceder · arbitrator · arbiter · conciliator · reconciler · broker · honest broker · petitioner · supplicant · liaison officer · peacemaker? Have you heard of Jesus? Have you met Jesus? Have you had an encounter with Jesus? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for me and all the believers. Is He interceding for you too? Do you believe?

Ever tried to debate or argue about something you know little about? Ever tried to prove a point that you didn’t have all the facts on? Did it happen out of hopelessness or despair? Did it happen out of pride or arrogance? How will you know the truth? How will you find the truth? Do you realize that it is the truth that will set you free?

Today’s reading from God’s Word from Job 9 starts with an interesting case that has Job saying that there is no arbitrator between God and man. We will all one day come before the judgment seat of God to give an answer for the life we live and it will have an impact on our next steps. Believing in Jesus gives us eternal life with God and how we have decided to steward our life will impact our role or responsibilities then.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

2 Corinthians 5:10

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Romans 14:12

Today’s reading from Job 9:

‘Then Job answered and said, “Yes, I know it is true. But how can a mortal man be right before God? If one should want to contend or dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times . God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; Who has [ever] defied or challenged Him and remained unharmed? It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know it, When He overturns them in His anger; Who shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble; Who commands the sun, and it does not shine; Who seals up the stars [from view]; Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea; Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the [vast starry] spaces of the south; Who does great things, [beyond understanding,] unfathomable, Yes, marvelous and wondrous things without number. Behold, He passes by me, and I do not see Him; He moves past me, but I do not perceive Him. Behold, He snatches away; who can restrain or turn Him back? Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’ “God will not turn back His anger; The [proud] helpers of Rahab [the arrogant monster of the sea] bow under Him. How can I answer Him [and plead my case], Choosing my words [to reason] with Him? For though I were righteous, I could not answer. I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge. If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice. For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to catch my breath, But fills and saturates me with bitterness. If it is a matter of strength and power, behold, He is mighty! And if of justice, who can summon and challenge Him? Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty; Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty. [Though] I am blameless, I do not care about myself; I despise my life. It is all one; therefore I say, ‘He destroys [both] the blameless and the wicked.’ When [His] scourge kills suddenly, He mocks at the despair of the innocent. The earth is given into the hands of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blind to justice]. If it is not He, then who is it [that is responsible for all this injustice]? “Now my days are swifter than a runner; They vanish, they see no good. They pass by like the [swift] boats made of reeds, Like an eagle that swoops down on its prey. If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up,’ I am afraid of all my pains and worries [yet to come]; I know that You will not acquit me and leave me unpunished. I am accounted wicked and held guilty; Why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]? If I were to wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye, You would still plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes would hate me [and refuse to cover my foul body]. For God is not a [mere] man, as I am, that I may answer Him, That we may go to court and judgment together. There is no arbitrator between us, Who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were]. Let Him take His rod away from me, And let not the dread and fear of Him terrify me. Then I would speak [my defense] and not fear Him; But I am not like that in myself.’

Job 9

Today’s study of our reading comes from the following:

Study notes:

In Job’s pain and despair, he starts to question or seek a mediator to help his questions to God. Job was looking for answers to the injustice of the pain and suffering he was going thru. We read in today’s chapter from Job, how Job felt futility about being vindicated in the midst of his righteousness and having done nothing wrong. Job realized that he was unable to argue or discuss with God or even understand God’s ways and wonders if he can depend on God. We learn as we read as Job references the sea which was viewed as “a force of evil” back then whereas the stars were worshiped by some. Job realizes that the focus needs to be on the creator not the created, how God’s greatness and wisdom would ensure God’s victory even against a case with man. We learn how Job is willing to pray to God and ask God for help, but he wouldn’t argue with God. God’s will and way are perfect and unchangeable. We learn about the despair of the day for Job as painful as they were. We learn how Job feels that in the midst of all of this, even if Job put on a happy face or put on a happy mood, it would be fake and would be held against him. Job speaks to how God must have found him guilty and so what’s the point of going on or trying to prove otherwise. We see how bad it has gotten for Job that he was losing all hope and falling into deeper despair. So Job declares that there is no arbitrator who could stand between him and God who would be able to bring this situation to a resolution. He would like to find an advocate, an arbitrator, an umpire, or a referee to help in this situation but could not find someone to help find him justice.

Where are you at today? Are you looking for an advocate, an arbitrator, an umpire, or a referee for your life? Do you realize that God realized that we couldn’t do it on our own and so He sent His one and only Son Jesus? Do you realize that when Jesus ascended back up to heaven that He didn’t leave us alone, He sent the Holy Spirit? Do you realize the names we have for them both?

Found the following list at 32 Names of the Holy Spirit Used In Scripture

  • Breath Of The Almighty – Job 33:4 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the life-giving breath of God!
  • 2.Counselor & Comforter – John 14:16,26; 15:26 and Romans 8:26 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our counselor and He gives us strength!
  • Spirit of Counsel – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit will counsel us and teach us as we grow in Christ!
  • Eternal Spirit – Hebrews 9:14 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the eternal God!
  • Free Spirit – Psalm 51:12 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is a generous and willing spirit!
  • God – Acts 5:3-4 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is God as the Third Person of the Trinity!
  • Good Spirit – Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 143:10 – Meaning- God’s Spirit will teach us and lead us in goodness!
  • Holy Spirit – Psalm 51:11, Luke 11:13, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30 – Meaning-God is the Spirit and He is Holy! He is the Spirit of Holiness.
  • Lord – 2 Corinthians 3:16-17 – Meaning- As the Third Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is recognized and worshiped as the Lord!
  • Power of the Highest – Luke 1:35 – Meaning- The Spirit of God’s Power, He is the greatest power!
  • Spirit of Might – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning- He is the Spirit of strength.
  • Spirit of Adoption – Romans 8:15 – Meaning- By this Spirit we are made heirs of God
  • Spirit of Burning – Isaiah 4:4 – Meaning- He is the fire of purification!
  • Spirit of Judgment – Isaiah 4:4, 28:6 – Meaning-The Spirit brings conviction and judgment.
  • Spirit of Christ (Jesus Christ) – Romans 8:9, 1 Peter 1:11 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit shared between Jesus and God
  • Spirit of Glory – 1 Peter 4:14 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit always gives Glory to God!
  • Spirit of God – Genesis 1:2, 1 Corinthians 2:11, Job 33:4 -Meaning- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Triune God!
  • Spirit of Yahweh, (Spirit of the Lord Yahweh) – Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 61:1 – Meaning- The Spirit has the sacred name for God-Yahweh!
  • Spirit of Grace – Zechariah 12:10, Hebrews 10:29 – Meaning- He is a Spirit of Grace!
  • Spirit of Knowledge – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit has clarity of Mind.
  • Spirit of Truth – John 14:17, 15:26 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is about truth not falsehood!
  • Spirit of Life – Romans 8:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit gives life!
  • Spirit of Understanding – Isaiah 11:2 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is understanding!
  • Spirit of Wisdom – Isaiah 11:2, Ephesians 1:17 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is wise!
  • Spirit of the Living God – 2 Corinthians 3:3 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the One True God who is the God of Life!
  • Spirit of Prophecy – Revelation 19:10 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit inspires true prophecy!
  • Spirit of the Father – Matthew 10:20 – Meaning- The Holy Spirit is shared between the Father and the Son.
  • Spirit of the Fear of the Lord – Isaiah 11;2 – Meaning- The Spirit of the Spirit of reverence toward our God.
  • Spirit of the Lord (God) – Acts 5:9 -Meaning-The Holy Spirit is the presence of the Lord.
  • Spirit of the Son – Galatians 4:6 – Meaning-The Holy Spirit shared between the Son and the Father.
  • Spirit – Matthew 4:1, John 3:6, 1 Timothy 4;1 – Meaning- Sometimes simply referenced as the “Spirit”.
  • Spirit of Revelation – Ephesians 1:17 – Meaning-God reveals His truth through the Holy Spirit!

Looking again I found an even more interesting list based on today’s subject: What are the names and titles of the Holy Spirit?

  • Author of Scripture: (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16) The Bible is inspired, literally “God-breathed,” by the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. The Spirit moved the authors of all 66 books to record exactly what He breathed into their hearts and minds. As a ship is moved through the water by wind in its sails, so the biblical writers were borne along by the Spirit’s impulse.
  • Comforter / Counselor / Advocate: (Isaiah 11:2; John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7) All three words are translations of the Greek parakletos, from which we get “Paraclete,” another name for the Spirit. When Jesus went away, His disciples were greatly distressed because they had lost His comforting presence. But He promised to send the Spirit to comfort, console, and guide those who belong to Christ. The Spirit also “bears witness” with our spirits that we belong to Him and thereby assures us of salvation.
  • Convicter of Sin: (John 16:7-11) The Spirit applies the truths of God to men’s own minds in order to convince them by fair and sufficient arguments that they are sinners. He does this through the conviction in our hearts that we are not worthy to stand before a holy God, that we need His righteousness, and that judgment is certain and will come to all men one day. Those who deny these truths rebel against the conviction of the Spirit.
  • Deposit / Seal / Earnest: (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14) The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on His people, His claim on us as His very own. The gift of the Spirit to believers is a down payment on our heavenly inheritance, which Christ has promised us and secured for us at the cross. It is because the Spirit has sealed us that we are assured of our salvation. No one can break the seal of God.
  • Guide: (John 16:13) Just as the Spirit guided the writers of Scripture to record truth, so does He promise to guide believers to know and understand that truth. God’s truth is “foolishness” to the world, because it is “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Those who belong to Christ have the indwelling Spirit who guides us into all we need to know in regard to spiritual matters. Those who do not belong to Christ have no “interpreter” to guide them to know and understand God’s Word.
  • Indweller of Believers: (Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19) The Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of God’s people, and that indwelling is the distinguishing characteristic of the regenerated person. From within believers, He directs, guides, comforts, and influences us, as well as producing in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He provides the intimate connection between God and His children. All true believers in Christ have the Spirit residing in their hearts.
  • Intercessor: (Romans 8:26) One of the most encouraging and comforting aspects of the Holy Spirit is His ministry of intercession on behalf of those He inhabits. Because we often don’t know what or how to pray when we approach God, the Spirit intercedes and prays for us. He intercedes for us “with wordless groans,” so that when we are oppressed and overwhelmed by trials and the cares of life, He comes alongside to lend assistance as He sustains us before the throne of grace.
  • Revealer / Spirit of Truth: (John 14:17; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16) Jesus promised that, after the resurrection, the Holy Spirit would come to “guide you into all truth.” Because of the Spirit in our hearts, we are able to understand truth, especially in spiritual matters, in a way that non-Christians cannot. In fact, the truth the Spirit reveals to us is “foolishness” to them, and they cannot understand it. But we have the mind of Christ in the Person of His Spirit within us.
  • Spirit of God / the Lord / Christ: (Matthew 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Peter 1:11) These names remind us that the Spirit of God is indeed part of the triune godhead and that He is just as much God as the Father and the Son. He is first revealed to us at the creation, when He was “hovering over the waters,” denoting His part in creation, along with that of Jesus who “made all things” (John 1:1-3). We see this same Trinity of God again at Jesus’ baptism, when the Spirit descends on Jesus and the voice of the Father is heard.
  • Spirit of Life: (Romans 8:2) The phrase “Spirit of life” means the Holy Spirit is the one who produces or gives life, not that He initiates salvation, but rather that He imparts newness of life. When we receive eternal life through Christ, the Spirit provides the spiritual food that is the sustenance of the spiritual life. Here again, we see the triune God at work. We are saved by the Father through the work of the Son, and that salvation is sustained by the Holy Spirit.
  • Teacher: (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13) Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach His disciples “all things” and bring to their remembrance the things He said while He was with them. The writers of the New Testament were moved by the Spirit to remember and understand the instructions Jesus gave for the building and organizing of the Church, the doctrines regarding Himself, the directives for holy living, and the revelation of things to come.
  • Witness: (Romans 8:16; Hebrews 2:4; 10:15) The Spirit is called “witness” because He verifies and testifies to the fact that we are children of God, that Jesus and the disciples who performed miracles were sent by God, and that the books of the Bible are divinely inspired. Further, by giving the gifts of the Spirit to believers, He witnesses to us and the world that we belong to God.

It is amazing what we can learn from the past. We can choose to either learn from it or be doomed to repeat it.

So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Do you have to see it to believe?

Do you have to see it for it to be valuable? What about air? You can’t see that, but isn’t it invaluable? You believe it is there right? What about the wind? You can’t see that either, but it is valuable for clearing those clouds on a cloudy day. You believe in that right? What about gravity? You can’t see that either, but it is valuable to keep us on the ground and from floating away. You believe in gravity right?

So back to the original question… Do you have to see it to believe it? …

God loves you!

God is love!

What if the truth that could set you free was available if you would just believe?

What if there were words above that shared hope and love and truth? What would it take for you to believe it? What evidence do you need to have? What signs or wonders would it take? What is holding you back? What is it going to take for you to believe?

Could you take a break today and pray for someone? How about yourself? What about your family? What about your neighbors? What about your community? What about your government leaders? What about this world?

1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people- 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

–from 1 Timothy 2

Do you realize that even though we can’t see Jesus that He is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and for me?

34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

–from Romans 8

as well as

25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

–from Hebrews 7

And when we are at that point when we can’t even put words out there … it is beyond words that we can express, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us…

26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

–from Romans 8

People may not realize you are praying for them, but it is important that we are praying for others and that others are praying for us! It may be invisible to them, but it is power and valuable to them.

So will you make a difference and take time to pray for the people God has brought into your life as well as those who God has positioned over you in your life?

Invisible but Invaluable

Day 191: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 83, Acts of the Apostles 28:1-16, 2 Kings 19:14-37, 2 Kings 20

  1. Intercede for seekers … Psalm 83:1-18
  2. Intercede for healing … Acts 28:1-16
  3. Intercede for deliverance … 2 Kings 19:14-20:21

Heavenly Father,
I thank You so much for this day and for all that You will do in and through it. I praise You Lord that Your Word never returns void! I praise You Lord that You have positioned me in such a place for such a time as this! I thank You Lord for the faith You have built up in me by testing me and stretching me! I thank You Lord for the truth about the power of forgiveness that You taught me in the midst of trials and struggles and loved me enough to walk with me through it all till the moment where I was ready to listen and be obedient and forgive. Lord, I lift up those around me who are seeking and haven’t found you yet or haven’t taken the step of believing in You because they can’t see You. I ask Lord that You would allow evidence of who you are to be so real to them that their hearts would be good soil ready for Your seed to be planted. Lord, there are so many who are sick and so I lift them up to You today and ask Lord as the ultimate physician to touch their bodies, their hearts, and their minds and bring healing and restoration be it to their physical, emotional, or spiritual bodies. Lord there are so many who are being held back by the lies and deception of the devil and so Lord I pray for Your deliverance. Break the chains Lord I pray! Set the captives free I pray! Deliver them Lord from the grasp of the enemy and help them to step out in faith believing in You into freedom by forgiving others and forgiving themselves. Lord, You are bigger than anything they are or will ever face, so build up their hope and their trust in You I pray so that in and through it You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Will you follow thru in order get your inheritance?

What if you saw something and wanted it? Would you be willing to do something to get it? Would you be willing to give up something to get it? Would you be willing to lead the way knowing that you won’t get any of that stuff because you are choosing to get something you wanted? How much would you be willing to do for the benefit of others? How obedient would you be to your calling in order to bless others?

As we ponder these questions, let’s review what is in today’s reading…

Settling the East Side

1The sons of Reuben and Gad had very large herds and flocks, and, they saw that the territory of Jazer and Gilead were ideal for livestock.
2So the sons of Reuben and Gad came and said to Moses, Eleazar the kohen, and the princes of the community saying,
3“Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon—
4the territory Adonai conquered before the community of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock.”
5Then they said, “If we have found favor in your eyes, let this territory be given to your servants as a possession. Don’t make us cross the Jordan.”
6Moses replied to the sons of Gad and Reuben, “Should your countrymen go to war while you dwell here?
7Why do you dishearten Bnei-Yisrael from going across to the land that Adonai has given to them?
8Your fathers did this when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land.
9They went up to the Valley of Eshcol and viewed the land, but they discouraged the hearts of Bnei-Yisrael not to enter the land which Adonai had given them.
10The anger of Adonai was aroused that day, and He swore an oath saying:
11‘The men who came out of Egypt, from 20 years old and upward, will not see the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for they have not followed after Me with a whole heart—
12except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they were wholehearted after Adonai.’
13The anger of Adonai burned against Israel and He caused them to wander in the wilderness 40 years until all the generation doing that evil in Adonai’s sight was gone.
14“Now look, here you stand in the place of your fathers as a brood of sinful men to add more to Adonai’s great wrath against Israel!
15If you turn away from Him, He will repeat again leaving this people in the wilderness, you being the cause of this people’s destruction.”
16Then they came up to him and said, “We will build sheepfolds for our livestock and cities for our children.
17But we are prepared to arm ourselves and go ahead of Bnei-Yisrael until we have brought them to their place. Our children will live in the cities fortified against the inhabitants of the land.
18We will not return to our homes until each one of Bnei-Yisrael has received his inheritance.
19Yet we will not inherit with them on the side beyond the Jordan, since our inheritance has come on the east side of the Jordan.”
20Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves for battle for Adonai,
21and if all of you cross the Jordan until Adonai has driven His enemies from before Him
22and the land is subdued before Adonai—then afterward you may return and be free before Adonai and Israel. Then this territory will be your possession before Adonai.
23“But if you don’t do this, behold, you sin against Adonai! Be assured! Your sin will find you out!
24Build for yourselves cities for your children and pens for your flocks. Then do what has come out of your mouth.”
25The sons of Gad and Reuben said to Moses saying, “Your servants will do just as my lord is commanding.
26Our children, our wives, our flocks, and all of our herds will remain here in the cities of Gilead.
27But your servants, every one armed for battle, will cross over for the war before Adonai, just as my lord says.”
28Moses then gave orders about them to Eleazar the kohen, Joshua son of Nun, and to the chiefs of the fathers of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael.
29Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and Reuben cross over the Jordan with you, everyone armed for battle before Adonai, when the land is subdued before you, then give them the territory of Gilead as a possession.
30However, if they do not cross over fully armed, they are to possess the land of Canaan with you.”
31The sons of Gad and Reuben answered saying, “What Adonai has said to your servants, so we will do.
32We will cross fully armed before Adonai into Canaan, but our inheritance will be on this side of the Jordan.”
33Moses then gave to them—the sons of Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, son of Joseph—the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og, king of Bashan—the land with its cities and the territory around the cities.
34The sons of Gad built up Dibon, Ataroth and Aroer,
35as well as Atroh-shophan, Jazer and Jogbehah,
36Beth-nimrah and Beth-haran as fortified cities, as well as sheep pens.
37The sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,
38Nebo, Baal Meon, (cities whose names were changed) and Sibmah. They gave other names to the rebuilt cities.
39The sons of Machir son of Manasseh went up to Gilead, captured it, and drove out the Amorites who were there.
40So Moses gave Gilead to Machir son of Manasseh, and he lived there.
41Jair, a son of Manasseh, went and captured their settlements and named them Jair’s Villages.
42Nobah went and conquered Kenath and its settlements and named them Nobah after his own name.

–from Numbers 32

Will you pray for others? Will you ask God to intervene on their behalf? Will you lift their needs up before God? Will you lift up the people of Israel that they may reconcile with God? Will you lift up the people of Israel that they would walk in alignment with God? Will you lift up God’s people and ask God to guide them and protect them?

Intercession for Restoration of Zion

1A contemplative song of Asaph. Why have You cast us off forever, O God? Why does Your anger smolder against the flock of Your pasture?
2Remember Your congregation, which You purchased of old, redeemed as the tribe of Your inheritance, and Mount Zion, where You dwelt.
3Lift Your steps toward the perpetual ruins— an enemy has done all evil to the Sanctuary!
4Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place. They have set up their standards as signs.
5It seemed like bringing up axes into a thicket of trees—
6and now all its carved work they smash with hatchet and hammers!
7They set Your Sanctuary on fire, burning it to the ground. They defiled the dwelling place of Your Name.
8They said in their hearts: “Let us crush them totally!” They burned down all the meeting places of God in the land.
9We do not see our signs. No longer is there any prophet— and no one among us knows how long.
10How long, O God, will the adversary mock? Will the enemy revile Your Name forever?
11Why do You hold back Your hand, Your right hand? Draw it out of Your bosom and consume them!
12Yet God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the land.
13You split the sea with Your power. You smashed the monsters’ heads in the waters.
14You crushed the heads of Leviathan, giving him as food to the desert dwellers.
15You opened up spring and brook. You dried up ever-flowing rivers.
16The day is Yours, the night also is Yours. You provided moon and sun.
17You set all the borders of earth. You made summer and winter.
18Remember how the enemy mocked, Adonai, and how foolish people despised Your Name.
19Do not deliver Your turtledove’s soul to the wild beast. Do not forget the life of Your afflicted ones forever.
20Look upon the covenant— for haunts of violence fill the dark places of earth.
21Do not let the oppressed turn back in shame. But let the poor and needy praise Your Name.
22Rise up O God, and defend Your cause. Remember how the fool mocks You all day.
23Do not forget the noise of Your foes, the uproar of those rising up against You, ascending continually.

–from Psalms 74

Would you be willing to suffer so that others may come to know the reality of Jesus? the reality of salvation? the reality of forgiveness? the reality of peace? the reality of healing?


1Paul, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God’s community at Corinth, with all the kedoshim who are throughout Achaia:
2Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Encouragement Through Hardships

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement.
4He encourages us in every trouble, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any trouble, through the very encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
5For just as the sufferings of Messiah overflow into us, so also through Messiah our encouragement overflows.
6If we are suffering hardship, it is for your encouragement and salvation. Or if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which produces in you the patient endurance of the same sufferings that we also suffer.
7Our hope for you is firm, since we know that as you are partners in our sufferings, so also in our encouragement.
8For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our trouble that happened in Asia. We were under great pressure—so far beyond our strength that we despaired even of living.
9In fact, we had within ourselves the death sentence—so that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead.
10He who rescued us from so great a danger of death will continue to rescue us—we have set our hope on Him that He will rescue us again.
11You also are helping by your prayer for us, so that from many people thanks may be given on our behalf for the gracious gift given us through the help of many.
12For our reason for boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world, and most especially toward you, with simplicity and godly sincerity—not by human wisdom but by the grace of God.
13For we write nothing to you other than what you can read and understand—and I hope you will understand in full
14just as you understood us in part, so that we are your reason for boasting just as you also are ours in the Day of our Lord Yeshua.

Paul’s Change of Plans

15Because of this confidence, I was planning to come to you first, so that you might have a second benefit—
16to pass by you on my way to Macedonia and again from Macedonia to come back to you, and to be helped by you on my journey to Judea.
17So when I was planning to do this, I didn’t do so lightly, did I? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh—so it might be with me “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time?
18But as God is faithful, our message to you is not both “Yes” and “No.”
19For Ben-Elohim—Yeshua the Messiah, who was proclaimed among you by us, by myself and Silvanus and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No.” Rather, in Him it has always been “Yes.”
20For in Him all the promises of God are “Yes.” Therefore also through Him is the “Amen” by us, to the glory of God.
21Now it is God who establishes us with you in Messiah. He anointed us,
22set His seal on us, and gave us the Ruach in our hearts as a pledge.
23But I call God as my witness—to spare you, I didn’t come to Corinth again.
24Not that we lord it over you in matters of faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy—for in the faith you are standing firm.

–from 2 Corinthians 1


Whose side are you on?

Are you stirring up trouble for yourself? Do you realize what you are messing with? What is your motivation? Are you trying to do good? Are you trying to create division? Are you trying be the devil’s advocate? Whose side are you on anyways?

Check your heart! Check your motives! Check your intentions! Make sure you aren’t acting out of selfish desires! Make sure you are going against what is good! Make sure you aren’t trying to create division! Make sure you aren’t trying to create confusion! Make sure you are trying to push people towards God and not away from Him! Make sure you are trying to create reconciliation and hope and love and peace! Make sure you are on the right side!

Today’s reading speaks to some people who were challenging God’s way! They were trying to stir up something that wasn’t good! Let’s read and see what is happens to them…

Rebellion of Korah

1Now Korah, son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, and sons of Reuben—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth— 2rose up against Moses and took 250 men from Bnei-Yisrael, men of renown who had been appointed to the council. 3They assembled against Moses and Aaron. They said to them, “You’ve gone too far! All the community is holy—all of them—and Adonai is with them! Then why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of Adonai?”

4When Moses heard this, he fell on his face. 5Then he said to Korah and all his following saying, “In the morning Adonai will reveal who is His and who is holy. The one whom He will let come near to Him will be the one He chooses to come near to Him. 6Do this, Korah and your whole following! Take for yourselves censers. 7Put fire and incense into them in the presence of Adonai. Tomorrow the man that Adonai chooses will be the holy one! You sons of Levi are the ones who have gone too far!”

8Moses also said to Korah, “Listen now, sons of Levi! 9Isn’t it enough that the God of Israel has set you apart from the community of Israel to bring you near to Him to do the work of the Tabernacle of Adonai and to stand before the community to minister to them? 10So He brought you close, along with all your fellow sons of Levi. But you are seeking the priesthood, too! 11Therefore you and all your following are banding together against Adonai! Who then is Aaron—that you are grumbling against him?”

12Then Moses sent word to call Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab. But they said, “We will not come! 13Isn’t it enough that you brought us from a land flowing with milk and honey, only to kill us in the wilderness? And now you would lord it over us? 14What’s more, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Would you now gouge out the eyes of those men? We won’t come!”

15Then Moses became very angry and said to Adonai, “Do not accept their offering. I haven’t taken from them a single donkey, nor have I wronged one of them!” 16So Moses said to Korah, “You and your whole following are to appear before Adonai—you, they and Aaron—tomorrow! 17Each man will take his censer and you are to put incense into them—250 censers total. You are to present it before Adonai, you and Aaron each presenting his censer.” 18So each man took his censer, put fire and incense into it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 19When Korah and all his following had assembled in opposition to them at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, then the glory of Adonai appeared to the entire assembly.

20Then Adonai spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, 21“Separate yourselves from among this assembly, so that I may consume them at once!” 22But they fell on their faces and cried out, “O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, if one man sins, will you be angry with the entire community?”

23Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 24“Speak to the assembly saying, ‘Move away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan and Abiram!’” 25Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram. The elders of Israel followed after him. 26He warned the assembly saying, “Move away from the tents of these wicked men! Don’t touch anything that is theirs, or you will be swept away because of all their sins!” 27So they moved away from near the dwelling of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram came outside and were standing at the entrance of their tents with their wives, their children, and their little ones.

28Moses said, “By this you will know that Adonai has sent me to do all these works, that they are not from my own heart. 29If every one of these men die a common death and experience what happens to all people, then Adonai has not sent me. 30But if Adonai brings about a new thing, and the earth opens her mouth and swallows them and everything that is theirs, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you will know that these men have despised Adonai.” 31As soon as he finished saying all these things, the ground split under them. 32The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, along with all their households, all of Korah’s people and all their possessions. 33They went down alive into Sheol, they and everything that was theirs. The earth closed over them and they were gone from among the community. 34All Israel around them fled at their outcry, for they shouted, “Perhaps the earth will swallow us!” 35Fire also came out from Adonai and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.

36Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 37“Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen, to take the censers from the burning, because they are holy, and scatter the coals at a distance. 38As for the censers of these men who sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be taken and hammered into sheets as a covering for the altar. For they were presented before Adonai, so they are holy. They are to be a sign to Bnei-Yisrael.” 39So Eleazar the kohen collected the bronze censers brought by the ones who were burned and hammered them into an overlay for the altar, 40just as Adonai had spoken to him by Moses’ hand, so that it would be as a reminder to Bnei-Yisrael that no one who was not a descendant of Aaron should burn incense before Adonai, and so no one would become like Korah and his following. 41The next day, the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You killed Adonai’s people!” 42But when they gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the Tent of Meeting, behold, the cloud covered it and the glory appeared! 43Moses and Aaron went to the front of the Tent of Meeting.

44Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 45“Get away from among this assembly so that I may immediately consume them!” So they fell on their faces. 46Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take the censer, put into it fire from the altar and put in incense. Get going and hurry to the assembly and make atonement for them, because wrath has come out from Adonai and the plague has started.” 47Aaron did just as Moses had said, and ran into the middle of the assembly. Behold, the plague had already started among the people. But he offered the incense and made atonement for the people. 48He stood between the dead and the living and the plague stopped. 49However, there were 14,700 dead from the plague, besides those who died because of Korah. 50Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, when the plague had been halted.

–from Numbers 16

Be a peacemaker! Be a intercessor! Be a ambassador for God! And live in a way that will draw people closer to God and point people to Him! Teach them in the way they should go! them up! Call them to their higher calling! Help them live to their full potential! To whom much is given much is required! Each person will be given in accordance to their abilities!

Counsel About Marriage

1Now concerning the things about which you wrote to me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2But because of much immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3Let the husband fulfill his obligation to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4The wife does not have the rights to her own body, but the husband. Likewise also the husband does not have the rights to his own body, but the wife. 5Do not deprive one another—except by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again, so that satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6But this I say as a concession, not as a command. 7Yet I wish that all men were like me. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this way and another that. 8But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them to remain as I am. 9But if they do not have self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with desire. 10But to the married I command—not I, but the Lord—a wife is not to be separated from her husband 11(but if she gets separated, let her remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband is not to divorce his wife. 12But to the rest I say—I, not the Lord—if any brother has a wife who is not a believer, and she agrees to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if any woman has a husband who is not a believer, and he agrees to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband is made holy through the wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15But if the unbeliever separates, let him be separated. The brother or the sister is not bound in such cases, but God has called you to shalom. 16For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Remain As You Were Called

17Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, let him walk in this way. I give this rule in all of Messiah’s communities. 18Was anyone called when he already had been circumcised? Let him not make himself uncircumcised. Has anyone been called while uncircumcised? Let him not allow himself to be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing—but keeping God’s commandments matters. 20Let each one remain in the calling in which he was called. 21Were you called as a slave? Don’t let that bother you—but if indeed you can become free, make the most of the opportunity. 22For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise the one who was called while free is Messiah’s slave. 23You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24Brothers and sisters, let each one—in whatever way he was called—remain that way with God. 25Now concerning virgins I have no command from the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26I think then, because of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Don’t seek a divorce. Are you free from a wife? Don’t seek a wife. 28But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such people will have trouble in this fleshly life, and I am trying to spare you. 29But this I say, brothers and sisters—the time is short. From now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30and those who weep, as though not weeping; and those who rejoice, as though not rejoicing; and those who buy, as though not possessing; 31and those who use the world, as though not using it to the fullest. For the present form of this world is passing away. 32But I want you to be free from cares. An unmarried man cares about the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord; 33but the married man cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife— 34and he is divided. The unmarried woman, as well as the virgin, cares about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But the married woman cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35Now I say this for your own benefit—not to put a restraint on you, but to promote proper and constant service to the Lord without distraction. 36But if any man thinks that he is behaving inappropriately toward his virgin, if the time is ripe and it is meant to be, let him do what he decides. He does not sin. Let them marry. 37But he who stands firm in his heart—who has no pressure, but has power over his own will and has so determined in his own heart to keep her a virgin—he will do well. 38So then both he who marries the virgin does well, and he who doesn’t marry her does better. 39A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is free to be married to anyone she wishes—only in the Lord. 40But in my judgment she is happier if she stays as she is—and I also think that I have the Ruach Elohim.



Do you realize that what is happening isn’t always a symptom?

Ever heard people make comments like “I don’t know what they did, but it must have been bad for that to have happened to them”? Ever found people speaking blame based on what is going on without actually knowing what is going on? Consider the story of the man born blind and the question that was asked – “who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” Jesus’ response speaks to the fact/the truth that we can’t and shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on the situation, the circumstance, or the symptoms that are being shown when He says “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God might be brought to light in him. ”

In today’s reading we see Job being accused again and Job’s rebuttable in Job 15 and 16. Yes, it is true we are in a fallen world and yes all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But we aren’t to be judging but rather we are to be loving and pointing people towards our Father in Heaven!

Rather than judge, let’s ask God for wisdom, discernment and how He would have us work in this situation. While we are here, there is something God has things for us to do. We see how Jesus spits in some dirt and then puts the mud on the man’s eyes and sends him away with specific instructions – “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam” and he did and came back seeing…a life transformed by an encounter with Jesus. Because Jesus saw beyond the man’s circumstances and met him right where he was at and then touched him to miraculous results – a life transformed.

As I read Job’s closing statement, it reminds me and speaks to me about the advocate I have in Heaven, Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for me. Job puts it this way…

19Even now my witness is in heaven, my advocate is on high.
20My intercessor is my friend; as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21he contends with God on behalf of man as one pleads for a friend.
–from Job 16

So where are you at today? Are you in Job’s situation? Are you in the situation of one of his friends? What will you do about it? Will you keep your plea to Jesus for help? Will you not judge based on the situation, circumstance, or symptom, but rather show compassion like Jesus did?

Today’s reading continues into Luke 13. It shows how we need to turn back to God. There isn’t a scale of sinners from worst to best. Have you sinned? Yes or No? Do you know what the penalty of sin is? The penalty of sin is death! But that doesn’t have to be our final destination for Jesus came that we would have life and life to the full, so we need to turn back to God and ask Jesus into our hearts for the same scripture about the penalty also tells us “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You may have heard the word we must “repent” – we must turn from our ways and turn back to God. Will you be good for something or will you be cast away? Will you bear good fruit or will you be cut down? Will you start to till the soil of your heart and add some Jesus fertilizer so that you will and can bear good fruit?

As a leader, will you lead by example? What example are people seeing as they watch you? Will your actions make a difference and cause people to turn to God praising Him because of what you have done? Is it against the law to do what is good, what is right, what is just? Don’t be a hypocrite!

Luke continues with the story of the mustard seed. It’s so small as a seed, but when it grows up it is a place of shade and rest for birds. So if we can or could just have the faith the size of a mustard seed, imagine what God can and will do in and through us. We see another example with flour and the impact of a little bit of yeast and how it can impact the entire quantity of flour. Even a little bit of sin can cause us and others to be impacted.

So do you want to be saved? Will you ask Jesus into your life? Will you open the door to your heart and ask Jesus in? He’s knocking! Will you answer the door? Will you live a life in relationship with Jesus? Or will you be someone who knows about Jesus? It makes a difference!

Jesus concludes here speaking to the Pharisees, speaking to what will happen to Him and that it must take place in Jerusalem. Where He will be tried and killed and how He will be back on the third day.

Today’s reading closes in Revelation 8. And it got quiet, too quiet. And then it began…incense offered up and prayers raised up to God. And then the noise began. The trumpets blew. The first trumpet triggered hail and fire mixed with blood thrown upon the earth and 1/3 burned up. The second trumpet triggered something like a huge mountain ablaze with fire was thrown into the sea and 1/3 of the ships were destroyed. The third trumpet triggered a great star to fall from heaven like a burning torch and it fell on the rivers and the springs and 1/3 of the waters became wormwood (bitter). The fourth trumpet triggered a 1/3 of the sun and 1/3 of the moon and 1/3 of the stars to stop shinning, darkening the sky both day and night. It closes with an angel sounding a warning to those who were still upon the earth as the remaining trumpets were about to go.

Who is your intercessor? Do you have one?

With where you are at in life, do you have any intercessors who will pray and intercede for  you? Do you have any prayer warriors who will cover you throughout the year and especially during the tough times to help with finding wisdom and discernment when having to make a tough decision? Do you have somewhere you can turn to find one? Do you know where to look? Do you have anyone who would intervene for you? Do  you have anyone who will mediate or arbitrate for you? Is there someone who will help you reconcile?

Let’s take a look into today’s Word…

6“I have made you known to those you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me. They have obeyed your word, 7and now they know that everything you gave me comes from you. 8I gave them the message that you gave me, and they received it; they know that it is true that I came from you, and they believe that you sent me. 9“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those you gave me, for they belong to you. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine; and my glory is shown through them. 11And now I am coming to you; I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. Holy Father! Keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one just as you and I are one. 12While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me. I protected them, and not one of them was lost, except the man who was bound to be lost—so that the scripture might come true. 13And now I am coming to you, and I say these things in the world so that they might have my joy in their hearts in all its fullness. 14I gave them your message, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the Evil One. 16Just as I do not belong to the world, they do not belong to the world. 17Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18I sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world. 19And for their sake I dedicate myself to you, in order that they, too, may be truly dedicated to you.

–from John 17

Jesus is an incredible mediate for He has gone a head of us and is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you and me. We need to be ready! We need to be prepared in and out of season to speak to the hope that is within us! We need to be ready for Jesus’ return because we don’t now the day or the time, but we do know that He is coming and that we want to be ready to return to Him! I look forward to the trumpet sound and hope to go and be with Jesus and not be left behind when the following begins…

The Seventh Seal

1When the Lamb broke open the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. 3Another angel, who had a gold incense container, came and stood at the altar. He was given a lot of incense to add to the prayers of all God’s people and to offer it on the gold altar that stands before the throne. 4The smoke of the burning incense went up with the prayers of God’s people from the hands of the angel standing before God. 5Then the angel took the incense container, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. There were rumblings and peals of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

The Trumpets

6Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
7The first angel blew his trumpet. Hail and fire, mixed with blood, came pouring down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees, and every blade of green grass.
8Then the second angel blew his trumpet. Something that looked like a huge mountain on fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea was turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10Then the third angel blew his trumpet. A large star, burning like a torch, dropped from the sky and fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11(The name of the star is “Bitterness.”) A third of the water turned bitter, and many people died from drinking the water, because it had turned bitter.
12Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet. A third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that their light lost a third of its brightness; there was no light during a third of the day and a third of the night also.
13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle that was flying high in the air say in a loud voice, “O horror! horror! How horrible it will be for all who live on earth when the sound comes from the trumpets that the other three angels must blow!”

–from Revelation 8

I don’t want to be left behind! I know God would rather we all make it too, because we know that Jesus was sent to save the world and not to condemn it! He is patient not wanting any to perish! But we all need to come to that point and receive Him our selves. Have you received Jesus into your heart yet? Have you started the journey and the relationship with Him? Is today your day? Will you be robbed of eternal love? Will you reject unconditional love?

1And now, Job, listen carefully to all that I have to say. 2I am ready to say what’s on my mind. 3All my words are sincere, and I am speaking the truth. 4God’s spirit made me and gave me life. 5Answer me if you can. Prepare your arguments. 6You and I are the same in God’s sight, both of us were formed from clay. 7So you have no reason to fear me; I will not overpower you. 8Now this is what I heard you say: 9“I am not guilty; I have done nothing wrong. I am innocent and free from sin. 10But God finds excuses for attacking me and treats me like an enemy. 11He binds chains on my feet; he watches every move I make.”

–from Job 33

If we learn from the past we won’t have to repeat it! It’s always les painful to learn from someone else’s mistakes than having to learn from them ourselves each time! Consider what happened in the past when people went out of alignment? Consider what happened when people walked away from the covering of God…

A Vision of Locusts

1I had a vision from the Sovereign Lord. In it I saw him create a swarm of locusts just after the king’s share of the hay had been cut and the grass was starting to grow again. 2In my vision I saw the locusts eat up every green thing in the land, and then I said, “Sovereign Lord, forgive your people! How can they survive? They are so small and weak!” 3The Lord changed his mind and said, “What you saw will not take place.”

A Vision of Fire

4I had another vision from the Sovereign Lord. In it I saw him preparing to punish his people with fire. The fire burned up the great ocean under the earth and started to burn up the land. 5Then I said, “Stop, O Sovereign Lord! How can your people survive? They are so small and weak!” 6The Lord changed his mind again and said, “This will not take place either.”

A Vision of a Plumb Line

7I had another vision from the Lord. In it I saw him standing beside a wall that had been built with the use of a plumb line, and there was a plumb line in his hand. 8He asked me, “Amos, what do you see?” “A plumb line,” I answered. Then he said, “I am using it to show that my people are like a wall that is out of line. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. 9The places where Isaac’s descendants worship will be destroyed. The holy places of Israel will be left in ruins. I will bring the dynasty of King Jeroboam to an end.”

Amos and Amaziah

10Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, then sent a report to King Jeroboam of Israel: “Amos is plotting against you among the people. His speeches will destroy the country. 11This is what he says: ‘Jeroboam will die in battle, and the people of Israel will be taken away from their land into exile.’” 12Amaziah then said to Amos, “That’s enough, prophet! Go on back to Judah and do your preaching there. Let them pay you for it. 13Don’t prophesy here at Bethel any more. This is the king’s place of worship, the national temple.” 14Amos answered, “I am not the kind of prophet who prophesies for pay. I am a herdsman, and I take care of fig trees. 15But the Lord took me from my work as a shepherd and ordered me to come and prophesy to his people Israel. 16So now listen to what the Lord says. You tell me to stop prophesying, to stop raving against the people of Israel. 17And so, Amaziah, the Lord says to you, ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your children will be killed in war. Your land will be divided up and given to others, and you yourself will die in a heathen country. And the people of Israel will certainly be taken away from their own land into exile.’”

–from Amos 7


A Vision of a Basket of Fruit

1I had another vision from the Sovereign Lord. In it I saw a basket of fruit. 2The Lord asked, “Amos, what do you see?” “A basket of fruit,” I answered. The Lord said to me, “The end has come for my people Israel. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. 3On that day the songs in the palace will become cries of mourning. There will be dead bodies everywhere. They will be cast out in silence.”

Israel’s Doom

4Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country. 5You say to yourselves, “We can hardly wait for the holy days to be over so that we can sell our grain. When will the Sabbath end, so that we can start selling again? Then we can overcharge, use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat our customers. 6We can sell worthless wheat at a high price. We’ll find someone poor who can’t pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we’ll buy him as a slave.” 7The Lord, the God of Israel, has sworn, “I will never forget their evil deeds. 8And so the earth will quake, and everyone in the land will be in distress. The whole country will be shaken; it will rise and fall like the Nile River. 9The time is coming when I will make the sun go down at noon and the earth grow dark in daytime. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 10I will turn your festivals into funerals and change your glad songs into cries of grief. I will make you shave your heads and wear sackcloth, and you will be like parents mourning for their only child. That day will be bitter to the end. 11“The time is coming when I will send famine on the land. People will be hungry, but not for bread; they will be thirsty, but not for water. They will hunger and thirst for a message from the Lord. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 12People will wander from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean and then on around from the north to the east. They will look everywhere for a message from the Lord, but they will not find it. 13On that day even healthy young men and women will collapse from thirst. 14Those who swear by the idols of Samaria, who say, ‘By the god of Dan’ or ‘By the god of Beersheba’—those people will fall and not rise again.”

–from Amos 8
God’s plan is not a plan for destruction, but of redemption! How far do you think you can push it before you have to deal with the consequences?

The Lord’s Judgments

1I saw the Lord standing by the altar. He gave the command: “Strike the tops of the Temple columns so hard that the foundation will shake. Break them off and let them fall on the heads of the people. I will kill the rest of the people in war. No one will get away; not one will escape. 2Even if they dig their way down to the world of the dead, I will catch them. Even if they climb up to heaven, I will bring them down. 3If they hide on the top of Mount Carmel, I will search for them and catch them. If they hide from me at the bottom of the sea, I will command the sea monster to bite them. 4If they are taken away into captivity by their enemies, I will order them to be put to death. I am determined to destroy them, not to help them.” 5The Sovereign Lord Almighty touches the earth, and it quakes; all who live there mourn. The whole world rises and falls like the Nile River. 6The Lord builds his home in the heavens, and over the earth he puts the dome of the sky. He calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the earth. His name is the Lord! 7The Lord says, “People of Israel, I think as much of the people of Ethiopia as I do of you. I brought the Philistines from Crete and the Syrians from Kir, just as I brought you from Egypt. 8I, the Sovereign Lord, am watching this sinful kingdom of Israel, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will not destroy all the descendants of Jacob.
9“I will give the command and shake the people of Israel like grain in a sieve. I will shake them among the nations to remove all who are worthless. 10The sinners among my people will be killed in war—all those who say, ‘God will not let any harm come near us.’”

The Future Restoration of Israel

11The Lord says, “A day is coming when I will restore the kingdom of David, which is like a house fallen into ruins. I will repair its walls and restore it. I will rebuild it and make it as it was long ago. 12And so the people of Israel will conquer what is left of the land of Edom and all the nations that were once mine,” says the Lord, who will cause this to happen. 13“The days are coming,” says the Lord, “when grain will grow faster than it can be harvested, and grapes will grow faster than the wine can be made. The mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with it. 14I will bring my people back to their land. They will rebuild their ruined cities and live there; they will plant vineyards and drink the wine; they will plant gardens and eat what they grow. 15I will plant my people on the land I gave them, and they will not be pulled up again.” The Lord your God has spoken.

–from Amos 9

God knows the beginning and the end! What you do won’t surprise him!

A few days I posted about how we can’t surprise God. In that post we saw how Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus. Today’s reading starts with showing how Jesus knew what He was talking about no matter how much Peter fought against it. Jesus knew the challenges, the pressure, and the situation that was being setup. Jesus knew how Peter would respond when put into that situation. The cool part is that it made Peter’s faith even stronger because after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, on the day of Pentecost, when Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, he became that rock on which the church could be built that Jesus spoke of. Let’s take a look though at how Jesus’ prediction played out…

Peter Denies Jesus

(Matthew 26.57, 58, 69-75; Mark 14.53, 54, 66-72; John 18.12-18, 25-27)
54They arrested Jesus and took him away into the house of the High Priest; and Peter followed at a distance. 55A fire had been lit in the center of the courtyard, and Peter joined those who were sitting around it. 56When one of the servant women saw him sitting there at the fire, she looked straight at him and said, “This man too was with Jesus!” 57But Peter denied it, “Woman, I don’t even know him!” 58After a little while a man noticed Peter and said, “You are one of them, too!” But Peter answered, “Man, I am not!” 59And about an hour later another man insisted strongly, “There isn’t any doubt that this man was with Jesus, because he also is a Galilean!” 60But Peter answered, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about!” At once, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61The Lord turned around and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered that the Lord had said to him, “Before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me.” 62Peter went out and wept bitterly.

–from Luke 22

When Peter realized what played out it hit him hard. He realized that he wasn’t as strong as he thought he was on his own. Without God’s power we are weak. When we ask Jesus into our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us we are transformed. And we see this take place in Peter and the other disciples. We even see this when Paul has his initial encounter with Jesus and how it turned the world on its head.

Jesus has stepped in as the perfect intercessor for us. He is our perfect priest allowing us to go to the thrown room of God and seek wisdom and discernment and forgiveness. Jesus was the one sacrifice that was good enough forever.

Another Priest, like Melchizedek

15The matter becomes even plainer; a different priest has appeared, who is like Melchizedek. 16He was made a priest, not by human rules and regulations, but through the power of a life which has no end. 17 For the scripture says, “You will be a priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.” 18The old rule, then, is set aside, because it was weak and useless. 19For the Law of Moses could not make anything perfect. And now a better hope has been provided through which we come near to God. 20In addition, there is also God’s vow. There was no such vow when the others were made priests. 21 But Jesus became a priest by means of a vow when God said to him, “The Lord has made a solemn promise and will not take it back: ‘You will be a priest forever.’” 22This difference, then, also makes Jesus the guarantee of a better covenant. 23There is another difference: there were many of those other priests, because they died and could not continue their work. 24But Jesus lives on forever, and his work as priest does not pass on to someone else. 25And so he is able, now and always, to save those who come to God through him, because he lives forever to plead with God for them. 26Jesus, then, is the High Priest that meets our needs. He is holy; he has no fault or sin in him; he has been set apart from sinners and raised above the heavens. 27 He is not like other high priests; he does not need to offer sacrifices every day for his own sins first and then for the sins of the people. He offered one sacrifice, once and for all, when he offered himself. 28The Law of Moses appoints men who are imperfect to be high priests; but God’s promise made with the vow, which came later than the Law, appoints the Son, who has been made perfect forever. –from Hebrews 7

God is good to His Word! He keeps His promises! We can take Him at His Word and trust that He will do what He promises!

We can always turn to God’s Word for wisdom. Today Proverbs provides us the completion of the list of 30 wise sayings…

1Don’t be envious of evil people, and don’t try to make friends with them. 2Causing trouble is all they ever think about; every time they open their mouth someone is going to be hurt.
3Homes are built on the foundation of wisdom and understanding. 4Where there is knowledge, the rooms are furnished with valuable, beautiful things.
5Being wise is better than being strong; yes, knowledge is more important than strength. 6After all, you must make careful plans before you fight a battle, and the more good advice you get, the more likely you are to win.
7Wise sayings are too deep for stupid people to understand. They have nothing to say when important matters are being discussed.
8If you are always planning evil, you will earn a reputation as a troublemaker. 9Any scheme a fool thinks up is sinful. People hate a person who has nothing but scorn for others.
10If you are weak in a crisis, you are weak indeed.
11Don’t hesitate to rescue someone who is about to be executed unjustly. 12You may say that it is none of your business, but God knows and judges your motives. He keeps watch on you; he knows. And he will reward you according to what you do.
13My child, eat honey; it is good. And just as honey from the comb is sweet on your tongue, 14you may be sure that wisdom is good for the soul. Get wisdom and you have a bright future.
15Don’t be like the wicked who scheme to rob honest people or to take away their homes. 16No matter how often honest people fall, they always get up again; but disaster destroys the wicked.
17Don’t be glad when your enemies meet disaster, and don’t rejoice when they stumble. 18The Lord will know if you are gloating, and he will not like it; and then maybe he won’t punish them.
19Don’t let evil people worry you; don’t be envious of them. 20A wicked person has no future—nothing to look forward to.
21Have reverence for the Lord, my child, and honor the king. Have nothing to do with people who rebel against them; 22such people could be ruined in a moment. Do you realize the disaster that God or the king can cause?

–from Proverbs 24