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Saturday, May 19, 2018

JESUS PROVIDES SALVATION AND MAKES IT KNOWN

JESUS PROVIDES THE GOD DESIRED SALVATION FOR MEN


"His right hand and His holy arm hath wrought salvation for Him. Jehovah hath made known His salvation" Psa. 98:1, 2

The theme is the same in these last Psalms, that of the reign of Jehovah. This song opens and closes in almost the same words as in Psa. 96. Here the central matter for which praise is offered is the salvation which results from the reign of this God. It moves in three measures; first, the salvation of God's people Israel, and that in righteousness; second, the consequent discovery of His Kingship by all the earth; and third, the gladness of Nature as it expresses the greatness of God. In these words at the beginning of the song two great truths concerning human salvation emerge. The first statement is that salvation is God's work; His right hand, and. His holy arm, hath wrought "salvation for Him." The idea is that salvation was in HIS PURPOSE; He desired it; He willed it. That being so it was imperative that He should provide. Whatever needed to be done, He must do. The singer rejoiced that Jehovah had provided what He desired. Here the heart of truth concerning salvation, in all the Gospel fullness of the term, is revealed. GOD DESIRED THE SALVATION OF MEN. MEN COULD NOT PROVIDE SALVATION. Then He wrought in a mystery of love and holiness and power; and so salvation is made possible. The second statement is that HE HAS MADE KNOWN His salvation. He has REVEALED it to men, and in its victories He makes it known more and more perfectly. Thus this Hebrew singer celebrated a truth the full value of which he hardly recognized. Here we have in the first statement, a declaration concerning those profound activities within the Deity, out of which human salvation is possible; and in the second, a declaration which covers the ground of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. In Phil. 2:5-11, we find the New Testament light on this passage.

Friday, May 18, 2018

THREE TYPES OF FAITH

THREE TYPES OF FAITH


"And he removed from thence, and dug another well" Gen. 26:22


In these words we have a revelation of the character of Isaac, and an indication of the nature of his faith. He was a quiet, placid man, not given to making any great ventures, not given to restlessness. His was the pastoral habit that loved to dwell peaceably, DIGGING WELLS and so providing for the needs of those of his people and his cattle who were dependent upon him as the head of his tribe. But he was a man of persistence. He would not engage in strife with those who stole his wells, but he would quietly go on digging until they were tired of stealing. When his persistence found its reward in a well which his enemies did not appropriate, he called it Rehoboth, and attributed his victory to Jehovah, saying: "Jehovah hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land." All this is very valuable, as it helps us to see that faith expresses itself in different ways, according to differing temperaments. The faith of Abraham was forever of the high, adventurous order, and was the means by which God could lead him to great experiences. The faith of Jacob was always that of restlessness, but it was faith, and so was the vantage ground which God found for the perfecting of the man, and for using him. That of Isaac was restful, persistent devotion to immediate duty, and it was the principle which made it possible for God to give room in the land to the people He had chosen. God needs, and will honor and use, the ADVENTUROUS FAITH of Abraham, the RESTLESS FAITH of Jacob, and the PATIENT, PERSISTENT FAITH of Isaac.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

DYING EMPTY OR FULL

DYING EMPTY OR FULL



"Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full" Gen. 25:8


That is a great word, especially if we leave it as it is in the Hebrew Bible, without the addition of the words, “of years." Abraham died FULL, not of years only, or principally, but of life, of experience, of all the great things. By faith he had abandoned much, but he had gained far more. He had come to know God; to walk with Him, to talk with Him; to enter into a true fellowship with Him in all the great processes of His heart. "He was called the friend of God" (James 2:23). Such life is FULL, whatever it seems to lack. The man whose vision is bounded by the things of time and sense might well say that Abraham died singularly EMPTY. As the writer of the letter to the Hebrews said he "died in faith, not having received the promises" (Heb. 11:13). For a hundred years he had dwelled in a land given to him in a covenant, but he had not possessed it according to the standards of human possession. Surely he had little of earthly gain in which to boast, and he had given up very much when he left Ur of the Chaldees. Nevertheless he died FULL, for in his fellowship with God, he had learned, to measure time by eternity, to value the things of sense by those of spirit. To such a man death is but passing on to wait the accomplishment of the Divine purposes, and the fulfillment of the promises of God on the other side. So the FULLNESS of Abraham was that of a wealth which death could not touch. The FULLNESS which men gain who live by sight and not by faith, is a FULLNESS of which they are EMPTIED in death. They leave their possessions behind them. The men of faith carry their FULLNESS with them. It is a great thing thus to die—FULL.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

GOD DISCRIMINATES

GOD DISCRIMINATES


"I cannot do anything till thou become thither" Gen. 19:22


In these words we find the carrying out to the uttermost of the principle for which Abraham had contended in his communing with God. They reveal to us the fact that it is impossible for God to be untrue to His own character of righteousness. His judgments can never be inconsistent with His justice. All this is emphasized when, reading this whole account, we see the reluctance of Lot. He was a righteous man, vexed with the lawless deeds of the men of Sodom (2 Peter 2:7, 8); but his associations with the city, and doubtless his possessions therein, were such that he lingered, and could hardly be persuaded to leave. While he was there God could not do anything, because to do so would have been to destroy that man, righteous, though reluctant to leave; and that would have been to deny Himself, and to undermine the very foundations upon which His throne is built. That is the truth which gives us confidence at all times. However terrible the judgments of God are, they are always DISCRIMINATIVE; and even when to our limited vision it may appear that the righteous are involved with the wicked; we know it is not so. Amos had that conviction when he said: “I will sift the house of Israel among all the nations, like as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least kernel fall upon the earth" (Amos 9:9). This does not mean that the righteous never suffer as the result of the sin of others. They may suffer, and even die; it does mean that such suffering and death have another meaning.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

WALKING PERFECTLY

WALKING PERFECTLY



"I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be thou perfect" Gen. 17:1



In this word Jehovah revealed Himself in a new way to Abram, and called him to a yet more complete devotion. The name or title, EL-SHADDAI is peculiarly suggestive, meaning quite literally, “The mighty One of Resource or Sufficiency”. We miss much of its beauty by our rendering God Almighty. The idea of Almightiness is present, but it is fully, expressed by the word El. The word Shaddai goes further, and suggests perfect supply, and perfect comfort. We should reach the idea better by rendering God All-bountiful, or even better still, God All-sufficient. This was the new revelation, and it was in connection with its making that Abram was called to walk before this God, and to be perfect. This is ever God's way with His own. He reveals the perfection of their resources in Himself, and then calls them to a walk which is made possible by these very resources. WHO CAN WALK BEFORE GOD AND BE PERFECT IN HIS OWN WISDOM OR STRENGTH? Surely none! But, on the other hand, who need fail to do so, if depending upon Him for all He, in tender and mighty strength, is able and willing to supply. To gather sustenance and consolation from the bosom of God, is to be made strong for all the pilgrimage, however long the march, or difficult the route. For us, the revelation of this truth about God is perfected in our Lord, for "The only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." (John 1:18) And more; "Of His fullness we all received, and grace for grace." (John 1:16)

Monday, May 14, 2018

FAITH ACTS REASONABLY

ACTING REASONABLY



"Thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac" Gen. 24:4



On the part of Abraham this sending of his servant to seek a wife for Isaac was an act of obedient and intelligent faith. He was now about a hundred and forty years old, and Isaac was forty. The record declares that "Jeho­vah had blessed Abraham in all things" (vs. 1); and the chief blessing granted was this son. Through him the promises made to Abraham were to be fulfilled; the promised Seed was to come. The certainty of this promise made it incumbent upon Abraham to co-operate with God intelligently. Therefore he took this method of securing the seed of his son from CONTAMINATION with the people of the land. It was an activity of faith. This is seen in the answer Abraham gave to his servant when he suggested that the woman he might find might not be willing to follow him. He declared that Jehovah would send His angel before him. The sequel shows how wonderfully this man was guided through the ordinary circumstances of everyday life. The principle suggested and illustrated by this whole story is that FAITH IS TO ACT REASONABLY. To believe in the promises of God is to act in accordance with them, in the sense of intelligent co-operation. Faith does not sit down and say: God has promised, therefore I have nothing to do. It rather says: God has promised, therefore I must do everything in the line of His promise; and so far as in me lies, see to it that nothing interferes with His purpose.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

FOOLISHNESS OF THE GLOBALISM DESIRE

FOOLISHNESS OF THE GLOBALISM DESIRE



"The joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off” Neh. 12:43



In this chapter we have an account of the commencement of the solemn dedication of the wall. It would seem as though it had been postponed for some considerable time. Differences of opinion exist as to the length of time. Some place this dedication ceremony in immediate relation to that which is recorded in the following chapter, which would place it twelve years after the first coming of Nehemiah. Others say that the account given here has reference to what took place within a few months of the actual completion of the work. It is difficult to decide, and really the matter is of no vital importance. The ceremony, whenever it took place, proceeded in three stages. First, there were two great processionals, in which the appointed singers chanted the praises of God. This was followed by the reading of the Law and the consequent separation of the mixed multitude from the people of God (Ch. 13). The present chapter is principally occupied with the rejoicing, and in this connection the statement is made that "The joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off." It was a great day, greater even than these people knew. The reformers had sought to bring the remnant, weak and small though it was numerically, back to a recognition of the deepest truth concerning the NATIONAL life that; namely, of its relation to God. Their joy that day was the joy of the Lord, and that was indeed their strength. All the pomp and pageantry and material splendor of the days of the monarchy had passed; but in that devotion to the Law, and to the purposes of God as manifested in the building of the wall, there was more of moral power than the old days had ever known, since the time when in THEIR THOUGHTLESSNESS, the people had CLAMORED FOR A KING LIKE THE NATIONS (GLOBALIZATION OF ISRAEL).