Archive for August, 2011

Humor in the Bible

August 27, 2011

As the human story is one of mostly sorrow and redemption, there is not alot of humor in God’s word. But the few instances there are really stand out. As our Lord was not used to sin for possibly billions of years, when it came upon the scene, the bliss, happiness and even laughter came to a halt. But let us look at the situations where God directly or indirectly was connected with “humor” even amongst the sorrowful human condition.

The most direct evidence we have for God laughing is in Psalms.(Psalms 2:4) ” He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:the Lord shall have them in derision” (Psalms 59:8) says ” But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them; You shall have all nations in derision.”   (Psalms 37:13) ” The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming.”

In those scriptures, our Lord shows a subtle confidence , against  fools who think they can pull something over on the Lord. Again in (Job 41:29) He shows the same confidence. “Darts are regarded as straw; He laughs at the threat of javelins.”

Even in God’s creation, it can be seen that He can make something beautiful and funny in the same creature. Take the Albatross for instance, it is so graceful in flight and is truly a beautiful thing to watch, but when it lands, it truly is funny. It kinda crash lands, falling all over the place (probably due to it’s extra large wing span). Not hurt, but giving quite a humorous show for sure.

Proverbs has a few good ones. These are my favorites. (Prov 21:19)” It is better to live alone in the desert, than with a crabby complaining wife”  (Prov 27:14)  “If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.”   That  one really cracks me up.

Then we have the Jonah story. Jonah preached impending doom. The King realized that if they repented God might change His mind.  So EVERYBODY repented and put on sackcloth, from the King on down. They even put sackcloth ON THE COWS! Who knows, maybe God was even chuckling at the site(secretly ofcourse), for it was a VERY funny one indeed.

Then we have the classic Elijah story. One of the truly funniest (in a mocking way) stories in the Bible. Elijah made the ultimatum to the people ,serve God or baal.He ordered a bullock sacrificed. The test was,which ever God answered their call to bring down fire to burn the bull, that would indeed be the true God. They agreed to this test, all 450 “prophets” against Elijah’s God. So Elijah (who knew what would really happen) let the Baal prophets go first.

So from morning to noon, the 450 men jumped up and down, dancing all around, calling out their god. Even dancing upon the alter.Probably bumping into each other in a desperate attempt to call upon their “Baal god”. We can imagine Elijah quietly chuckling and even smirking as it approached noon. Then as noon came Elijah jokingly mocked them saying “Cry louder, for he is a god, maybe he is talking or meditating, or he is busy, or on  a  journey, or maybe he is sleeping and needs to be awaken.”(1 Kings 18:27)

They became more desperate, even cutting themselves. They continued to the evening sacrafice time. No voice or fire was ever heard or seen. Talk about egg on faces! Finally Elijah stopped the nonsense and prayed aloud to the God of Israel, and fire came down. So we can see that God whole heartedly supported this important yet partly humorous show by Elijah, to show the true foolishness of   these   people.

Finally there is the one of my favorite little stories about Martha and Jesus. In this short little story we see our Lord’s SOFT heart and compassion. Two sisters were in the house, one KNEW the importance of the Lord, the other not so much. Then Martha had the lack of insight to “complain” to the God of the universe about a trifle thing. Can we not imagine our Lord looking up at her almost ready to gently chuckle, but says with a soft smile “Martha, Martha, thou are worried about many things…”. Kinda like a father listens to his little girl complain because of a ladybug landing on her. He wants to gently chuckle.

So as we go through our walk, let us realize that a laugh here and there really does lighten our spirit. As we’ve seen our God has a sense of humor, and there will be times when it’ll be a good thing   to  have  a good intention laugh occasionally amidst the many sorrows we’ll have.

In Christ,  your servant,  Rob

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The Lord’s Righteous Anger

August 20, 2011

I remember reading (for the first time in my life) the Old Testament from front to back, completely. One of the main things that struck me, was the Lord’s fury and anger. Often and repeatedly,  His anger was seen throughout the OT. But as we shall see God’s anger is NEVER a bad thing, and likewise our anger, when right, is also not a bad thing.  Let’s study and learn about this often overlooked and under reported trait of our King.

The first and most memorable example of our Lord’s anger is in (John 2:15-16) “When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers money and overturned the tables. And he said to those who sold doves “Take these things away!” Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

What we can see from the above is the absolute “pure motive” of our Lord. His anger was aroused because he saw utter contempt for the HOLY house of God. Now what do you think the FATHER was thinking as He saw our Lord do this?  Was He thinking, “Oh no this is bad my Son, you should have been more tactful, not been so upset with these people” ? No.  He saw the Son’s motive, and it was to UPHOLD RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 How many are saying today to those who get mad at sin, “Oh that’s wrong, be nice” ?   The lesson here is that we should HATE sin, even if we have to get mad at it. Now, does that mean we go around looking for people to yell at? God forbid. But there does come times when righteous anger is correct before the Lord.

Let me give you a personal example. In my line of work, I often do service calls. I have many times corrected a person who breaks the 3rd Commandment in my hearing. I am very polite about it, and say in a loving manner, “You know it’s better to say gosh darn”. But let’s say, even after I warned them, they continue to say GD this and GD that (hasn’t happened yet). I continue to hear it as I work, I slowly begin to get steamed about it. Finally I turn and say “Hey,Please knock it off!”  Am I wrong in this case? Absolutely not. For I am doing EXACTLY what our Lord did– I am showing righteous anger.

Let’s be clear about anger, the greater problem comes from unrighteous anger. This amounts to spiritual breaking of the 6th Commandment– Thou Shal Not Murder. Our Lord warned about that in (Matt 5:22) “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother WITHOUT CAUSE (meaning righteous cause) shall be in danger of the judgement…”  So Please be very careful in your anger, lest you fall into the all to common trap of unrighteous anger. 

The truth is that when we grow spiritually and we get holier (as we throw away our sins by the Holy Spirit) we discern situations where we get more indignation. The reason is that the purer you get the clearer you see sin, and since sin becomes more abhorent to you, you find more righteous anger within. But thank God, the Holy Spirit guides us in this regard. We can control it, and use it ONLY SPARINGLY, as our Lord did while he walked among us.

In these last days, our church is called the “Laodicean Church” and what is  most often thought of when mentioning this church?   Yes, LUKEWARMNESS. Now, as was just shown , righteous anger is NOT a lukewarm symtom. But if our Lord describes us as neither hot or cold, we’d better get off the fence and stop being mellow about sin, wouldn’t you say?

So let us remember that , though we don’t want to be angry with our fellow servants and friends, should a situation arise that calls for us to stick up for the Lord and His righteousness, we will do the right thing and admonish firmly if we must.

Next week, we’ll look at the humor of God and His servants.

In Christ,  Rob

Heaven Bound

August 13, 2011

Many times in our daily walk, we lose track of where we are heading. We get discouraged, frustrated. People we wanted to help show the light of truth, can’t see it, ignore it or argue against it.  We throw up our hands and say “where am I going with all this?” Thankfully God has told us , it’s  heaven bound!  Let’s look at what heaven will be like.

In (John 14:2-4) our Lord tells us where He’s going and what He’ll do. ” In My Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so , I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  I will come back and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going”

We can see that we will have our own dwelling place, a home as it were. It will no doubt be beautiful and luxurious. Think of the most gorgeous mansion in the earth today. It could very well make it look like a “dungeon”.

I have had two different dreams in my life that can be interpreted as pertaining to heaven. The last one  (about a year ago) I was walking around heaven and I was feeling so excited and bliss, I turned to ask (don’t remember who) ” You mean we get to experience this everyday?”  The other was one I had as a kid (at least 3 or 4 times) in it I could fly. I was astonished at this, utterly amazed this was possible . Was God letting me know I could experience blissful things in heaven with these dreams? Yes, I believe He was.

We are told a most clear and beautiful picture of heaven in (Rev 21:10 to 22:5) The lighting, the gates, the gold streets, so much beauty–this is our home! We walk up and down pure gold streets like glass. Everything is first class built by that most excellent carpenter- our Lord! Day after day, these blissful surroundings are ours to behold. This is our reward for those painful agonizing days of  discouragement and trials.

But it does cost something, it’s NOT free. It cost’s a pure heart sold out to Jesus, willing to obey His Holy Commandments (and not just some of them). Infact after we are painted this most beautiful picture of our future home Apostle John is guided by our Lord ONE LAST TIME, to tell everyone the cost–(Rev. 22:14) “Blessed are they who DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, that they may have the right, to the tree of Life, and may enter through the gates into the city”.

Let us always remember where we are headed. Paul explained it when he said (Col. 3:1-3) “…set your hearts on the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above, not on earthly things. for you died and your life is now hidden with  Christ in God.”

Our life is but a mist in the eternalness of time, is it really worth it to get all these earthly pleasures, and then to sacrifice all the eternal bliss of everlasting heaven?  No my friends, it’s such an easy decision to make when you start dwelling on where you’re going!   In Christ’s love, Rob

Ezekiel

August 6, 2011

Perhaps there is no book in the Bible (except Revelation) which has so much prophetic and mysterious things of God as – Ezekiel. From visions of “wheels within a wheel, wheels with eyes” and the “dry bones rising up and speaking” just to mention a few. This book is definitely the “full course steak dinner” for the serious Bible studier 🙂  Let’s look at how this book’s prophetic words will play a VERY IMPORTANT part in these last days.

It is extremely important to understand that we, as  those living in these last days, are going to be receiving clearer light and truths that perhaps have been hidden or just plain ignored previously. The powerful light that is just now beginning to awake is the “sealing” of Revelation. Many are discovering the merging of S.O.P (Spirit of Prophecy-Ellen G. White) and scripture as regards to this sealing. Let’s look at what the prophetess of God had to say about it.

In Her book “Testimonies to Ministers” page 445  EGW gives a pointed picture of the sealing, and how it is the pure in heart who get it. At the end of the page she writes about John’s  revelation vision of the sealing  by saying ” This sealing of the servants of God IS THE SAME THAT WAS SHOWN EZEKIEL”. There is only one place in the book of Ezekiel that describes a sealing, it’s chapter 9.

This sealing is done BEFORE the four winds are let loose*. EGW describes those winds as symbolic of religious strife and persection, held back to protect and mark the 144,000. So if the sealings are one and the same, what clues can we get from Ezekiel 9?  The most obvious is that the marks or “seals” are placed on those “who sigh and cry” for the abominations done in their midst (meaning within their professed brethren). So it shows we are NOT to be going through the motions (keeping the Commandments in form only), but rather being a watchman for our brothers and sisters!

Ezekiel, as God’s prophet was called by God–“A watchman” and as such his message was primarily one of warning. We find it very interesting that God tells Ezekiel to warn the people a most important message TWICE . Anytime God says a warning 2 or 3 times you can BANK ON IT–it is IMPORTANT! Let’s see what this message was. Could God be giving it in Ezekiel because HE KNEW that His seal was to be connected to this warning message? Yes, I think so.

In (Ezekiel 3:19) we read “If thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul”  Again the Lord says in (Ezekiel 33:9) ” Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered they soul” .

So we can see that the Lord provided key guidance in those warnings on “what” we are to do in these last days. Is not our Lord the searcher of hearts? Infact if I had to give him a job desciption, it would be just that–Searcher of Hearts. He KNOWS whether you are going through the motions and saying ” Oh I love the Lord, He’s so good” then the next day, for example, at Sabbath service you embrace a fellow member YOU KNOW is having a fornicating or homosexual relationship and say ” Oh my friend so nice to see you, Lord bless you”—-Falseness!!  And like a reader of this blog recently said ” You can’t FOOL God”. You may people though!

Now I am not under any illusion, being a watchman will make you, many times –unpopular. But look at what Paul said about this (Gal 1:10) “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ”.

Infact, when we warn our brothers or sisters, we are indeed caring for their souls. It is THEIR welfare we are desiring. This is what pleases our Lord! But sadly, we will in many cases see in a most clearly exposed way(when we warn them)–whether they want to walk uprightly or please God their own way. If they get upset with us or angry, it shows CLEARLY they don’t want the truth. They want to “come in another way”. It CANNOT be. God’s word is truth and all who ABIDE by it WILL BE SAVED. Sadly though scripture is clear–“Few find it”, or unbelievably–even WANT IT.

In summary, let’s let God know He can “count us in” for his truth by living it , proclaiming it, and WARNING when we need to.

In Christ, Rob

* There is a more in depth study of this vision if desired, let me know


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