“Shame, Dishonor & Consequences” January 5

 

Shame, Dishonor & Consequences - The Bible calls Noah a righteous man, yet he was barely off the ark before he had sinned by getting drunk. Two of his sons responded righteously, but one did not. What does the Bible say about drunkenness and how should we respond to the sins of others, especially those closest to us?The Bible calls Noah a righteous man, yet he was barely off the ark before he had sinned by getting drunk. Two of his sons responded righteously, but one did not. What does the Bible say about drunkenness and how should we respond to the sins of others, especially those closest to us?

We’ll also talk about being made in the image of God, the quality of our “salt,” the importance of reconciliation, what it looks like to live in the kingdom of God, and driving under the influence.

 

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 9 & 10
Psalm 3.5-8
Proverbs 1.23-27
Matthew 5.1-26

 

Shame, Dishonor & Consequences

 

Genesis 9 & 10:

Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall!

 

It didn’t take mankind long to sin again, did it?! Noah and his family are barely out of the ark when Noah gets drunk and acts foolishly. When he does, his son Ham can’t resist the urge to look at him in a disrespectful way.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says about chapter 9.18-23:

“The drunkenness of Noah is recorded in the Bible, with that fairness which is found only in the Scripture, … to show that the best of men cannot stand upright, unless they depend upon Divine grace, and are upheld thereby. Ham … probably rejoiced to find his father in an unbecoming situation. It was said of Noah, that he was perfect in his generations, chapter 6.9; but this is meant of sincerity, not of a sinless perfection. Noah, who had kept sober in drunken company, is now drunk in sober company. Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.”

That last statement is a quote from 1 Corinthians 10.12. We need to be very careful not to think of ourselves as better than someone else or above sinning in some area, especially in our own strength. We must learn to continually rely on God and His strength.

Matthew Henry goes on: Continue reading

“The Bible on Marriage & Divorce” August 25

 

divorce separation

What does the Bible say about marriage and divorce? What about remarriage, singleness, and sex, both inside and outside of marriage? Does the Bible really address those subjects and, if so, does it have any relevance for today?

Also read about some of the amazing animals God has created: the horse with all his strength and fearlessness, the hawk, and the eagle. Then our reading in Job goes on to talk about a creature called behemoth and a huge sea creature called leviathan.

Finally, our Proverbs passage talks about the drunkard and how, even after the a hangover, he runs to look for his next drink. The world wants us to believe they can’t help it, that it’s a disease called alcoholism. What does the Bible say?

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 41 & 42
Psalm 101.5-8
Proverbs 23.31-35
1 Corinthians 7.1-19

 

The Bible on Marriage & Divorce

 

1 Corinthians 7.1-19:

Sex, Singleness, Marriage and Divorce

 

Paul has a great deal to say about marriage, divorce, and singleness in this chapter. In verses 1-9 he explains that sex within marriage is God’s only provision for sexual fulfillment. That has not changed in spite of what our culture tells us.

I know this is a huge challenge for some of you who are single and desire to be married. I want to encourage you that God has not forgotten you, that He is good, and that He will give you the grace to respond biblically to this challenge.

And to the married, verse 5 says:

5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

For those who are married, sex is to be continual. It is never to be withheld from one’s partner except by mutual agreement and then only for the purpose of prayer and fasting and only temporarily. In the past, this passage was most often applied to women, but as my husband and I counsel, more and more I hear of women whose husbands are not interested in sex.

It’s ironic that in a culture where sex is everywhere—on billboards, on TV, on movie screens, and on the street—this has not freed people to enjoy God’s gift of sexuality. Instead, it has done serious harm. The reasons are numerous, and if you’re struggling with this situation, I would encourage you to seek counseling for both you and your spouse if he or she is willing, or for yourself, if not.

Verses 10-16 talk about divorce:  Continue reading

December 2 “How blameshifting leads to hopelessness”

blameshiftingBlameshifting … believing we are merely a victim of chance or circumstances or the actions of others leads to hopelessness, despair, and ultimately, behavior that is self-destructive, harmful to others and offensive to God.

Today’s Readings:
Daniel 7 & 8
Psalm 137.1-6
Proverbs 29.14
2 Peter 3.1-18

 

 

Daniel 7 & 8:

God’s control of world events

Just like Revelation in the New Testament, the book of Daniel boldly demonstrates God’s complete foreknowledge and control of world events. In chapter 7, God gave Daniel a dream with the same prophetic meaning as Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue. The four beasts represent the same four empires. Verses 9-14 talk about the second coming of Christ, “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven” (v. 13).

In chapter 8 the ram with the two horns was the second empire represented by the chest and arms of silver on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue—the Medo-Persian Empire. The ram was overcome by a goat with a large horn, which would be Alexander the Great and Greece. The horn that was broken off foretold the early death of Alexander the Great and the four horns which took its place, Alexander’s four captains who would assume power. The vision also foretold of great persecution that was to come on his people and the church of God.

But it doesn’t stop there as we’ll see over the next couple of days.

 

Psalm 137.1-6:

Worshipping God in a foreign land

Verse 4, “How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?”

The people of God found it very hard to worship and praise Him while they were in a foreign land. We, too, are aliens and strangers in this world, and our worship and praise are tempered by the struggles of living in a sin-cursed world. But, one day when we stand before Him and all the troubles and trials of this life are gone, we will worship Him without hindrance forever!

 

headache, tragedyProverbs 29.14:

How blameshifting leads to hopelessness

“If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever.”

Faithful leaders are those who judge fairly. They don’t allow the poor to be taken advantage of because of their poverty, but neither do they to make special allowances for them because of it.

Notice I said allowances not provision. The Bible clearly talks about providing for the genuinely poor. Farmers were to leave behind some of their produce so the poor could gather it. If you read the book of Ruth you see a beautiful picture of this. And other passages in Proverbs and elsewhere clearly say that we should have compassion on the poor (Prov.14.21, 31, 19.17, 21.13 and others).

But today blameshifting and finger-pointing are at an all-time high. No one wants to take responsibility for his own actions. And, as a society, we are quick to explain away sinful behavior.

Girls aren’t Continue reading

August 25 “The Bible on marriage and divorce” & LINKUP

divorce460[1]

What does the Bible say about marriage and divorce? What about remarriage? And is any of it relevant for today?

Today’s Readings:
Job 41 & 42
Psalm 101.5-8
Proverbs 23.31-35
1 Corinthians 7.1-19

Job 41 & 42:

Behemoth, leviathan & their creator

In chapter 41 God continues to challenge Job with just Who He really is! He uses creation and His sovereign control of every aspect of the universe to illustrate this truth.

I was struck with the incredible variation in all the species that God created. A few chapters ago we read about the ostrich and what a magnificent bird she is, but it says, “God deprived her of wisdom, and did not endow her with understanding …”

Then we read about the horse and his power, how he is not afraid in battle, and of his pure strength. The passage goes on to talk about the uniqueness of the hawk and the eagle and the behemoth. Now in chapter 41, God describes a huge sea creature called leviathan. Verses 9-10 say, “Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false; shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him? No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up.”

Verse 10 goes on, “Who then is able to stand against Me?” If the creatures God created are incredible, what should that tell us about the One who created them?

Job, too, finally gets it! He responds with humility and repentance and God later restores to him all that he had and more. Continue reading

August 24 “Suing another believer”

image

Suing another believer … what does the Bible say? How should we respond if we think we’ve been wronged?

Today’s Readings:
Job 39 & 40
Psalm 101.1-4
Proverbs 23.29-30:
1 Corinthians 6.1-20

Job 39 & 40:

Demanding answers

Even thought Job was a righteous man, he had, perhaps pridefully, believed he needed to understand what was happening and why? In this passage God opened his eyes to just how little he really understood. Job quickly acknowledged his mistake. Job 40:3-5:

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”

The Bible & dinosaurs

dinosaurAn interesting note, check out John MacArthur’s Daily Bible comments about 40.15-24. You might be surprised to learn that many believe the “behemoth” spoken about in this passage was a dinosaur. That means Job knew what dinosaurs were. The most likely explanation would be because they co-existed with people instead of living “millions and millions of years ago,” as we are taught as fact!

If you’d like to learn more about creation science, there are a variety of good websites and resources. You might want to start with Ken Ham’s website Answers in Genesis. Continue reading

March 8 “The iniquity of the fathers”

What does it mean that God visits the iniquity of the fathers unto the children? Are those children doomed spiritually? Has God made provision for them?

iniquities of the fathers

Today’s Readings:
Numbers 13 & 14
Psalm 31.19-24
Proverbs 11.15
Mark 10.32-52

Numbers 13 & 14:

The iniquity of the fathers

Verse 14.18 says, “The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.”

This does not mean that children and grandchildren bear the punishment spiritually for their parents’ sins. Ezekiel 18.20 makes that clear, “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.”

It’s my understanding that when the word translated “visited” is used it refers to physical consequences. And children do, often, suffer physical consequences for their parents’ sins.

They may be exposed to horrible lifestyles, suffer physical or sexual abuse, live in poverty, or be neglected in many ways.

Others choices and lifestyles effect children, too. For instance, when parents chooses to divorce, the children are tossed back and forth between two households, sometimes put in the middle of arguments, and have limited time with one or both parents.

But Psalm 145.18-20 says that “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.”; He will “hear their cry and will save them.”

And His promise in 1 Corinthians 10.13 is still true. If a person turns to Him in faith, God will not allow a temptation or circumstance that will be more than they can handle without sinning. He will either provide the way out of it or He’ll give them the strength to bear up under it. Continue reading

February 19 “The telephone pole in your eye”

“You’re worried about that speak of sawdust in your brother’s eye and you have a giant telephone pole sticking out of yours! You might wanna get rid of that pole and things might clear up a bit!”

telephone pole

Today’s Readings:
Leviticus 9 & 10
Psalm 25.1-7
Proverbs 9.13-18
Mark 1.23-45

Leviticus 9 & 10:

First that telephone pole sticking out of your eye

The tabernacle is ready, the priests’ have been consecrated, “And Moses said to Aaron, ‘Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the LORD commanded’ ” (9.7). The next verse says, “Aaron therefore went to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.”

As I mentioned yesterday, Aaron had to first deal with his own sin before God.

1 Peter 2.9 says about us, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” We, too, as God’s holy priesthood, must deal with our own sin before we can see clearly to help anyone else—including our husbands and our children. Matthew 7.5 says, “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Continue reading

January 5 “Out of the salt shaker & into the world”

Salt shaker

What is the quality of the salt in your life? Is it pure? Does it flavor and heal or is it full of impurities?

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 9 & 10
Psalm 3.5-8
Proverbs 1.23-27
Matthew 5.1-26

Genesis 9 & 10:

Drunkenness, shame, & dishonor

It didn’t take mankind long to sin again, did it?! Noah and his family are barely out of the ark when Noah gets drunk and acts foolishly. When he does, his son Ham can’t resist the urge to look at him in a disrespectful way. Continue reading