Saturday, December 2, 2017

" O  How . . . "


Jack Davis


These two little words seem to point our attention toward some impressive thoughts worth remembering, and some important facts worthy of receptive consideration. It seems to me as we read the Scripture, that there are times when the inspired writer just falls prostrate on his face overwhelmed, gasping and grasping for words to express the vastness of things Divine, which he senses in his enlarged heart.

“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens” – Ps. 8:1. Do we not get a sense of excitement here? He is speaking of our Father’s name. In Scripture, one’s name is given to define their personality or character. The names given of our Father not only tell who He is, but also what He wants to be to us. “HOW EXCELLENT” – considering synonyms to help us appreciate what is being said, we think of majestic, glorious, awe-in-spiring, to be admired,” as the majesty and glory of our God and Father fills all the earth. In Malachi 3:16, we realize that the Lord takes note of those that think upon His name.

Oh how great is the goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” – Ps. 31:19. Who is able to measure the greatness of His goodness? How could we express it? “LAID UP” – shall we not understand that there is kept in store for us an inexhaustible supply of our God’s great goodness? “WROUGHT” – Oh yes, not only in store, but also operative, active on our behalf. In Philippians, we read that God has begun a good work in us – 1:16. Then in 2:13, we see that He is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. In 3:20, we understand that when He has completed the work of His goodness, we will have a body fashioned like unto His glorious body

Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” He said this when the Jews had persecuted Him and tried to kill Him, because He had healed a man on the sabbath day saying, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk” – Jn. 5:8,16-17. Earlier Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work” – Jn. 4:34. Jesus is indeed the Lord of the sabbath – Mk. 2:28. He came to bring both God and man together in eternal rest. We many clearly understand that the triune God is involved in the working of all things for the highest benefit of trusting humanity.

We are often amazed at the materials that God has chosen to work in and on (I Cor. 1:27; 25-31). He can and does make something for His glory out of nothing. He has CALLED unto Himself needy beneficiaries of His work (Rom. 8:28). In the working of His goodness, He CLEANSES (I Cor. 6:11); CHASTENS (Heb. 12:6); COUNSELS (Rev.3:18); COMFORTS  (II Cor. 1:4) and CROWNS (Ps. 103:4). This is for His people, “them that fear thee.”

“BEFORE THE SONS OF MEN” – God’s great goodness is at work on behalf of them whose trust is not a secret thing, hidden, active only when no one is watching. Some tend to trust the Lord when no one else can see, or tell that we are such weaklings, or such a needy person that we cannot depend upon ourselves. It seems that we naturally want everyone to think we are independent, self-sufficient. Why are we prone to look around when we trip to see who has seen us fall? When we walk in pride and put on such an air, we seem to miss some of the enjoyment of God’s great goodness. May we ever be mindful.

“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light” – Ps. 36:7-9.

Happy are all who come to know the value of our God’s loving kindness. Thus known, a wonderful place is afforded under the shadow of His wings. Oh, to know the abundant satisfaction in the fatness (prosperity) of His house, for it is so richly supplied. His lovingkindness allows us to enjoy endless refreshing. I thank Him for bringing us unto the waters, and causing us to drink of the river of His pleasures. Do you enjoy the Lord? If not, it is certainly not His fault. In His lovingkindness, we are made to see and realize that He is the only true source of light and life. Having come to know Him, and appreciating the shadow of His wings, His abundant satisfaction, endless refreshing, eternal life, and absolute light, we want more and more of Him! We thus cry “O continue thy loving kindness” – V. 10.

“How amiable (dear, enjoyable, pleasant) are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even faineth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God” – Ps. 84:1-2. Only His lovingkindness could make His “courts and tabernacles” amiable unto us, without which we would wisely be afraid to approach Him.

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Ps. 119:103. His words telling of the afore-mentioned facts constrain us, calling to the heights, giving courage, and caresses those that will taste and see that the Lord is good and gracious. Job said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” – Job 23:12. Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD GOD of hosts” – Jer. 15:16. These men knew some things by experience; they had tasted.

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Ps. 139:17. Oh, who can evaluate accurately the Word God has spoken unto us? What esteem are we giving to His Word? It should be important to us, what God thinks, and how He thinks (Isa. 55:8-11). What lovingkindness God has made available to all. He has done this not just so we could hear, ponder and forget. He has not done this just so we could know why He thinks like He does, but especially that His thoughts, attitude, mind or purpose may become ours. God delights to write by His Spirit, His will and Word on our hearts and minds – I Cor. 2:9-10; II Cor. 2:2-3; Heb. 89:10; 10:16.

DOING THE FATHER’S WILL


Anita Clark – Pastor – Carbondale, Kansas



“Let his mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant [slave] and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” Philippians 2:5-8.

Because this was the will of God the Father, Jesus subjected Himself to obey exactly what His Father had designed for His life on earth. It meant He would give up His glory and equality with God for all time. He will always be a glorified human being. In the plan of God He was “...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” Revelation 13:8. In Hebrews 2:9-18 we learn that He willingly was made lower than the angels (V.9). Through this humbling He brought many sons to glory (Vs.10). Through this process He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (V.14). He did all this that he might become our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people V.17.

In Luke 22:41-42 & 46, We see Jesus choosing to follow the will of His Father God. While praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He cried out, “Saying Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but Thine be done.” He willingly chose to follow His Father’s plan to become the sacrifice for our sin, and not for ours only, but for all the world’s also. In Hebrews 10:5,7,9, the Lord speaks of how a body was prepared for Him and how he willingly came to do His Father’s will. How precious this is!

Galatians 1:3-4 Apostle Paul says, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” In John 4:34, Jesus said, “My meat (my nourishment) is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” In John 5:30, Jesus said, “...I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” In John 6:38-67, He repeatedly speaks of doing His Father’s will.

One of the phrase in what is called “The Lord’s Prayer,” which we prefer to call “The Pattern Prayer,” reads, “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Do we ask the Lord for His will to be done in our lives? The word “will” in the Greek means “determination, choice, purpose, decree, desire, or pleasure.” This is exactly what the Lord wants in our lives - a person who seeks His will, not their own.

Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 5:14-17, “Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” The word “circumspectly” in the Greek means “ exactly, diligently, or accurately.” We need to be doing the will of God! We need to be careful to follow His leading every day. The word “redeeming” means buying up the opportunity or making the most of our time.” Not wasting our time. Why? “Because the days are evil.” This world is growing more evil every day. Can you see it and feel it?

Paul says, “Be ye not unwise...” The word “unwise” means “stupid, ignorant or unbelieving.” He continues, “...understanding what the will of the Lord is.” God wants us to seek His will in our lives. We can understand what it is that God wants for us. The Scripture is plain as to what His will is for us as a believer.

The will of God for all Christians is very clear - complete yieldedness, obedience, watching for the Lord’s soon coming again. As far as the individual plan of God for our lives, He is faithful to reveal that to us as we seek Him. Ephesians 6:6 says, “...doing the will of God from the heart.” Colossians 4:12 speaks of “...being complete in all the will of God.” Hebrews 10:35 says, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience that after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise.”

One Day At A Time




Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34

We are reminded in the Bible that we cannot change anything about tomorrow by worrying about it. We need this reminder every single day. We have an enemy (Satan) that will continually keep us occupied with things that we cannot control, to keep us from placing our attention on the things that really do matter.

I’m very convinced that God does not give us knowledge about our tomorrow because we would not know what to do about that, and it would keep us from trusting Him for each day, one day at a time. We would always attempt, as we do even now many times, to change our path for tomorrow. Only God knows what path we need to take each day to change us into what He wants us to be.

There is a song that says, “Fear not tomorrow, God is already there.” We do not have to worry or be afraid of tomorrow, because we know that our heavenly Father is already there. He already has taken care of all that we have need of.

Farther up in Matthew 6, Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, and one part of that is, “Give us this day our daily bread.” When Israel came out of Egypt, God gave them manna for each day. They could only gather what they needed for each day. Any more than that would rot before the next day. This was a good lesson for God’s people to learn to trust Him for each day.

All of this is not to say that we should never plan anything for tomorrow, or buy food for more than one day, but our attitude should never be to trust in our ability to provide for tomorrow. God will sometimes bring us to trials that make our tomorrow seem uncertain so that  we can learn to trust Him.

Paul speaks to those that would trust in their riches in 1 Timothy 6:17. His point is not that Christians should never have riches. What matters is our attitude towards the riches of this world, and our attitude towards God. Do we really trust Him, or do we trust in our own ability to provide for ourselves.

God’s people should be diligent in their work, and always do their best, but we should always recognize that God is the one that supplies our needs. I can testify for myself that I have seen God’s hand supplying in my life all these years. I highly recommend putting all your trust in Him alone.

Gordon Crook

RUTH


Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri


Ruth 4:15 – “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.”

In this verse we have a wonderful double blessing that these women see that will come through the kinsman-redeemer and by the Spirit they prophecy and assure Naomi. That double blessing is Restoration (He gives life) and Nourishment (He sustains life). What a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Restoration (He Gives Life): “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life.” The word “restorer” comes from “to turn (back or away) – he will turn back her sorrow. It means “to reward” – he will reward her faith. It means “reverse” – he will reverse her loss. It means “to bring back” – he will bring back and build her family line. The words “thee” and “thy” show that this is personal, this blessing is for Naomi. But also, in the phrase “thy life” the word “thy” is in italics, so it was added. If we remove it, it reads “a restorer of life” – that is all life, every life, not just Naomi’s life. This is more than natural life, this is spiritual life. Our Great Kinsman-Redeemer, Christ, is a restorer of all life! He is our Life! We who were “dead in trespasses and sins” have now been “quickened” or made alive (Eph 2:1).

Nourishment (He Sustains Life): “and a nourisher of thine old age.” The word “nourisher” comes from “to measure, to maintain;” it means “to feed, guide, nourish;” “to sustain” and “to provide for.” The foundation meaning of “measuring” and “maintaining” shows his careful and constant care. The other meanings show the ways in which he measures and maintains. The “feeding” and “nourishing” speak of food for strength and growth. The “guiding” speaks of direction and guidance. The “sustaining” and “providing” speaks of security and satisfaction. Naomi will be provided for all the days of her life. He will provide exactly what is needed in the exact amount needed because he knows each need and will meet each need. How this provision of nourishment can be seen in our lives and can speak of more than just physical nourishment, it speaks of a spiritual nourishment and provision that comes from our Kinsman Redeemer!

After these words concerning her kinsman redeemer, we see their words concerning her daughter-in-law and they are wonderful. They speak of her love: “which (who) loveth thee.” They speak of her worth: “which is better to thee than seven sons.” They speak of her fruit: “hath born him.” What a wonderful testimony Ruth has! Bible Encyclopedia: “The seven sons symbolized the supreme blessing that could come to a Hebrew family (1 Samuel 2:5; Job 1:2).”

In these words of blessing and prophecy we see the responsibilities of the kinsman redeemer fulfilled! It is Naomi’s kinsman redeemer that will do this, who will meet her needs in every way. I can see the fulfillment of these words to Naomi in Boaz. Boaz is “a restorer of thy life.” He does this when he gives Ruth a son. Naomi’s life is no longer bitter and barren for through Boaz and Ruth she also is fruitful. Boaz is “a nourisher of thine old age.” He does this when he takes Naomi into his household and as he cares for and provides for her. I can also see a continuation of the fulfillment of these words to Naomi in Obed. Obed is “a restorer of thy life” for he restores her son’s lineage and he gives her life purpose, she will become his “nurse.” Obed is also “a nourisher of thine old age” because after Boaz dies, he carries on this responsibility, he will continue to care for and provide for her. Both Boaz and Obed have restored to Naomi her life or her reason for living and both will care for her.
These two blessings, to Restore and to Nourish are God’s promise to His people. This is what God promised Abraham as Almighty God or El Shaddai. (Gen 17:1). In the meaning of that name “Almighty God” or “El Shaddai” we see all the ways God restores and nourishes. He is the “all sufficient one;” He is the “strength-giver;” He is the “satisfier;” and He “enriches and makes fruitful.” God promised this to Abraham and did this. Later we see that this is what Joseph promised to do for his family (Gen 45:11). He saw their need and told them he would meet there need. They had to trust in him and believe he could and would do this. Later Joseph fulfilled that promise made when he “nourished his father and his brethren…” (Gen 47:12). He measured food according to each need and nourished and provided for them. This is what God promised His people and what He asked them to believe. He asked them to let Him care for and carry them (Isa 46:3-4). He asked them to let Him be their God and sustain them (Psa 55:22).

Just as God took care of His people in so many ways, we see the ultimate fulfillment of this promise to Restore and Nourish in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what He did at Calvary, He fulfilled these two great blessing. He gave us life, He is our life – He is the “restorer of thy life” and this is eternal life (John 10:28), this is the new creation life (2 Cor 5:17). He sustains that life that He gives – He is the “nourisher of thine old age.” This old age can refer to natural age, for Caleb experienced this when he said “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now …” (Joshua 14:11). This old age can also refer to spiritual age. John shows that we grow from little children to young men to fathers and in each stage of growth he is the “nourisher” (1 John 2:12-14).

Jesus is the Greater Restorer! At Calvary He restored everything that Adam lost because of his sin (Ro 5:12). The Psalmist says: “I restored that which I took not away.” Jesus did so much more, He gives us so much more: He restored five times more as Paul tells us in Romans 5:9-20. He justified us (Ro 5:9); He reconciled us (Ro 5:10); He gives the gift of salvation by grace (Ro 5:15) and the gift of righteousness (Ro 5:17) and He satisfies the requirements of the law and sin is judged (Ro 5:20). There is a Full Restitution – A Final Restitution – A Greater Restitution. Jesus is also the Great Nourisher! He not only gives us life, He sustains that life and He enriches that life. He is that “Bread of Life” (John 6;35,48). It is through His nourishment that we grown and are “enriched by Him” ( (1 Cor 1:5) and grow up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15). There is an endless supply of nourishment, for those that are babes and those that are full grown, His provision and purpose is to meet our needs!

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES


Verta Giddings


Chapter 14
The work in Iconium, Derbe & Lystra

The Work in Iconium – Vs. 1-5: Even though Paul and Barnabas had been badly treated in Antioch, they went on to Iconium to preach there about Jesus. There they found a synagogue of the Jews. It says a great multitude of Jews and Greeks believed when they heard the message. You know that would make the devil mad, so he had the unbelieving Jews to rise up against them. Still they were able to continue there a long time. Notice their boldness, and how the Lord gave them signs and wonders to go with their teaching of the Lord and of His grace. Verses. 4-5, things got worse, the people there were divided about the message, and it turned out that both the Gentiles and the Jews were involved. They were about to stone Paul and Barnabas.

The Work in Lystra – Vs. 6-20: The Lord had to give these missionaries knowledge about when to stay if their lives were in danger, and when to flee to another place. Paul and Barnabas knew it was time to go, so they went on southwest, still in Asia Minor, and preached there. It doesn’t say anything about a synagogue there, so perhaps there was none. Probably they preached in the street. We don’t hear right away about many people believing, but we do hear of one man who was eager to listen to their message. It doesn’t even give his name, but it does say he was a cripple and had never walked. This man really heard the message Paul gave. Paul knew He had faith to be healed, so he spoke to the man in a loud voice saying, “Stand up-right on thy feet.” He not only stood, but he leaped and he walked.

The people there were very superstitious. They believed in false gods. They thought, since witnessing this miracle, that the gods had come down to them. They had a legend that Jupiter, king of the gods, and his son Mercury, had once been in that very area. Since Paul was the chief speaker, they figured he was Jupiter and Barnabas was Mercury. Soon they had the priests of the near-by heathen temple bring oxen and garlands to sacrifice to them. When the apostles heard of this they were extremely upset, they tore their clothes and ran in among them crying out, and telling them not to do this. They explained that they were just men like they were. They didn’t’ want sacrifices made to them. Instead they pointed them to turn to the real God, the God of heaven, the Creator. Rather than using Old Testament Scriptures like they did in Antioch, to preach to the people, they spoke of the Living God who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. They spoke of the witness God had left – the rain, seasons, food and gladness. Still these people wanted to sacrifice to them.

V. 19: This didn’t last long, however, for some Jews from Antioch and Iconium (where they were before) came and talked against the apostles. This resulted in stoning Paul. They dragged him out of the city, figuring he was dead. But if he had died, the Lord raised him up. We aren’t sure about this. Anyway he rose up and the next day he and Barabas went on to near-by Derbe.

We will learn in chapter 16 about a certain young man named Timothy who lived in this very area. We can even suppose that he witnessed this miracle of Paul’s being raised up. If he didn’t see it, he certainly did hear about it. It must be that Timothy’s mother and grandmother were saved at this time – on the first missionary journey.

The Work in Derbe and again in Lystra, Iconium and Antioch – Vs. 20-22: Nothing could stop these apostles, not even the threat of death. They preached in Derbe and taught many. They didn’t hesitate to go back to Lystra, to Iconium and to Antioch, to help these new believers. They advised them to continue in their faith in Jesus. They did warn that they would have tribulation. Certainly they were encouraged when they saw how the apostles endured the sufferings.

The Ordination of Elders in the Churches – V. 23: The apostles Paul and Barnabas could tell by the Holy Spirit which believers were able to take the lead in the different meetings, and so they appointed them to do so.

Back Home to Antioch in Syria – Vs. 24-28: They went back to the city from which they were sent forth. They heard the report of this first missionary trip. They stayed there quite some time.

The Giving forth of the gospel often includes suffering. We don’t suppose any of you will be stoned for telling someone about Jesus. Paul was willing to suffer and even to die if need be to be able to share this good news. None of us should back down just because there will be those who don’t understand or even want to hear about it. Let us be bold to testify about Jesus. He loved us enough to die for us, and we should be willing to go through some things if necessary to let others know how to be saved. 
Continued in the January issue

CHRIST IN ISAIAH


We will mine some gold nuggets from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Isaiah was an outstanding Hebrew prophet. He gives by inspiration of the Holy Spirit the most perfect picture of the coming Messiah of any of the great Jewish prophets. There is so much material that it would be impossible to cover it in one article, so I will just hit some high marks. Starting with the prophecy of our Lord’s birth.

Ch. 7:14 – This comforting sign was given to Ahaz of the house of David. It extended far beyond the time of Ahaz, relating a promise to the kingly line of David. It is a certain sign from the Lord Himself. “Behold, a virgin (one that has not known a man) shall conceive and bear a son. And shall call His Name Immanuel – meaning ‘God with us.’” The only possible fulfillment is found in Mt. 1 and Lk. 1. Mary a virgin conceived of the Holy Ghost, and gave birth to God’s only begotten Son.

Ch. 9:2 - The fulfillment is recorded in Mt. 4:14-17, “the people which sat in darkness saw great light…them which sat in the shadow of death light is sprung up.” Also in Jn. 1:4, – “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Jesus said of Himself in Jn. 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

9:6-7 – This is an expansion of the meaning of “Immanuel” – here He is spoken of as a gift – “for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” The child grows into manhood and His nature and character is revealed in these titles. He possesses eternity, and is loving, tender, compassionate an all wise instructor and provider. Did not the heavenly host proclaim at His birth (Lk. 2:14), “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward man.” He will bring peace to Israel and to the nations in the future. But to everyone who receives Him, has the peace that only He can give. In Eph. 2:13-14 we read, “In Christ Jesus we who were far off (from God), are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace.

Ch. 11:1 – Jesus is the green shout from the family of Jesse of the house of David. Mt. 1:23 says, He dwelt in the city of Nazareth and was called a Nazarene which means natzer, a branch, a preservative branch. V. 2 – His anointing with the Spirit was when He was baptized for His public ministry by John the Baptist, Mt. 3:13-17. These powers and virtues made Him of quick understanding with spiritual discernment.

 Vs. 3-5 - He will not judge by mere appearance or on hearsay, but with righteousness on behalf of the poor, the meek and the humble. We read over and over in the gospels how He knew their hearts. Before peace is established on earth, He shall smite the earth…and slay the wicked.” The ungodly that have rejected God’s salvation will be judged and II Thess. 2 tells of the man of sin, the Antichrist and the false prophet whose coming is after the working of Satan. It says they shall be consumed with the spirit of His mouth and shall be destroyed with the brightness of the Lord’s coming. Rev. 19:20 tells us, both the beast, Antichrist and false prophet  shall be cast alive into the like of fire.

Ch. 42:1-9 – Here we view Christ as the blesser of Israel and the Savior of Gentiles. It is He whom the Lord calls “My Servant.” He assumed His Servant character to fulfill His Father’s will on earth, which is described in Phil. 2:7-9. There we read though He was equal with God, He made Himself of no reputation and took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself further and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. We learn in Acts 2:23 He was chosen in the eternal counsels of God before the foundation of the world to be our propitiation (our atoning sacrifice). For the nation of Israel all will be made true in a day to come when a remnant receives their Messiah.

Ch. 52:13 – Again we read, “Behold, My Servant,” shall deal prudently, describing His life on earth in all He said and did with its prosperous effects (His resurrection His ascension and position at the Father’s right hand). Phil. 2:9, “Wherefore or because of His obedient death on the cross, God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name above every name.” V. 14 – Oh the disfigurement inflicted on Him, it is no wonder He said in Ps. 22:6, “I am a worm and no man.” And in V. 17 of that Psalm, “I may tell all My bones; they look and stare upon Me.” V. 15 – In a coming day, He shall “startle” (is the meaning not sprinkle) many nations and kings. They shall tremble and be speechless at the reality of His manifestation.

Ch. 53:1 – As a nation, Israel persistently refused to believe. V. 2 – He grew up before His Father as a tender plant, a sprouting root out of a dry ground (that natzer). The Father voiced His approval when He was baptized, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” As to His natural appearance it was not anything that attracted people to Him. On the contrary – V. 3 – They hid their faces from Him, esteeming Him as nothing. He didn’t look like the Messiah they expected. V. 4 -This records the depths of remorse they will recall when He is revealed to them. The remnant will deeply confess, His sufferings were not as they supposed, for they thought He was smitten of God for His own sins and for blasphemy, saying He was God’s Son. The word “Surely” marks their changed attitude. Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” A thought they had not considered, He bore in His own Person sufferings which were other than His own. V. 5 – Wounded and bruised describes a violent death. The word “our” is stressed. For the chastisement He suffered by God was that which makes for our peace. Then we read, “And with His strips we are healed” not the Roman scourging, but the stroke of Divine judgment inflicted on Him. V. 6 – In their repentance they admit the tremendous fact, “Jehovah hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” V. 7 – He was treated unsparingly, Yet He opened not His mouth, suffering voluntarily. Meek as a Lamb to the slaughter. Jn. 1:29 - John seeing Jesus said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He was the Passover Lamb of God. V. 8 – An unrighteous judicial verdict was passed and they led Him to Calvary. Cut off out of the land of the living (stressing the stroke He endured for His people). V. 9 – “he had done no violence” the sinless Lamb dying for sinners. God saw to it, He was not buried in a criminal’s grave, as the Romans’s would have done. Joseph, a rich man laid Jesus in his own new tomb, Mt. 27:60. Vs. 10-12 – This speaks of Jehovah’s dealings with Him judicially concerning His death and His reward. He willingly surrendered His life to meet God’s righteous demands for the sins of man; and He is compensated. “He shall see His seed,” speaking of Christ’s exceeding joy of seeing the countless multitude of His spiritual posterity from among mankind (both Jew and Gentile). “He shall prolong His days” reminds me of Christ’s words in Rev. 1:18, “I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.” “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand” – points not only to His High Priestly work, but also the exercise of His authority and power in His Kingdom. The Sept. renders V. 12, “I will give Him the mighty for a portion. The thought is not of dividing but of assigning. Those who by reason of faithfulness to His will are sharers in His authority when His Kingdom is established. It is all because of His atoning sacrifice. The establishing of His sovereign power in the earth, rests, upon the finished work. All future glory, all rewards to the faithful are because He poured out His soul unto death and was numbered with the transgressors, baring the sins of many and making intercession for the transgressors even while nailed to the cross. 

61:1-3 – Jesus read this passage in the synagogue and closing the book, announced “To-day hath this Scripture been fulfilled in by our ears” – Lk. 4:16-21. Rom. 8:28,it is He who turns our sorrows into joy. He will bring about this change in Israel in a coming day. They shall be called “trees of righteousness. It will not be their doing, it will be “the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.

63:1-6 – This portrays a dialogue between the redeemed remnant of Israel and the Lord. When Christ intervenes to overthrow the Gentile nations under the Antichrist; the remnant will ask, Who is this that comes in the greatness of His strength? Rev. 19:11-16 we read of His coming as the mighty Conqueror leading His heavenly armies. He comes to put down all rule and authority for He must reign (I Cor. 15:24-25). Then He shall rule, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

32:1-5 – This depicts the Millennial reign of Christ and of those who rule under Him. His full supply & provisions are on display (His protecting power and care as God as well as the sympathy and compassion of humanity). The God-Man will be the testimony of all.

Isaiah takes us from His birth to His millennial reign.
–-  E. J. Davis

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Way of Rejoicing


Jack Davis


“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5

This Psalm is a precious call to give a thank offering. There are eight acts expressing praise. He says in the fourth verse, “Be thankful unto Him.” We are to be full of thanks, and as we receive of His abundant supply of blessings we are full to overflowing. The keynote to this Psalm is “BE thankful” We cannot do what God requires until we “be thankful.” It is the inner source of all that we are admonished and encouraged to do. An attitude of thankfulness calls into action deeds of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving hymns come out of thankful hearts.

We are admonished to “make a joyful noise.” “Serve the Lord with gladness.” “Come before His Presence with singing.” “Know ye that the Lord He is God” “Enter into His gates.” “Enter … into His courts.” “Bless His Name.” What a privilege we have to bless His Name, which is above every name! This gladness and singing express the thrill of liberated hearts. Praise God, we have been set free. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” – John 8:36. Thanksgiving causes our blessings to increase, and an unthankful attitude makes them diminish. Thank the Lord that we can fall down before Him.

In the center of our doing this, He says, “Know ye that the Lord He is God.” This little verse is freighted with precious truth concerning us. He is God. We know Him as Creator. “It is He that hath made us.” We read in Revelation four of some who fall down before the throne of God and cast their crowns before His feet saying. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” It is a privilege for us to recognize His creatorship; but, not only that, He has an ownership. “We are His people.” We belong to Him, and how well off we are if we recognize this. The possessive pronoun “His” is used eight times in this short Psalm: “His Presence,” “His people,” “His pasture,” “His gates,” “His courts,” “His Name,” “His mercy,” and “His truth.” Everything and everyone belongs to Him. We can also acknowledge and express appreciation for His caretakership. We are “the sheep of His pasture.”

The foundation of true, solid, spiritual praise is a knowing and understanding heart. This word “know” expresses “to recognize, perceive, understand;” and, if we do, we will gladly acknowledge that “the Lord is good.” When we express that God is good, it seems that this adjective is too mild. But, our God is a good God, and it is good for us to know Him. We wonder how long our God’s goodness to men will last. The Word declares that “His mercy is everlasting.” We realize to some degree how great His mercy is; but we cannot begin to fathom the fullness of God. It must be revealed to our hearts. He is great enough to fulfill all He has promised to all generations. His message is dependable. If God said it, you can count on it coming to pass. I appreciated my heavenly Father more when I realized that His mercy is not upon me because I am good, but because He is good. His mercy is not upon me because I can keep His commandments, but because He can keep His everlasting covenant through the beloved Lamb of God. God can look upon us with favor, because He looks upon His Son. God can see our shortcomings and our needs; yet He can be merciful because He can see the Sacrifice, the Lamb slain.

In Psalm 46:10 we read, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We have just read to “make a joyful noise,” and now we are instructed to “be still.” We are to be still before that God of all the earth. “I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” God is the King of all the earth; sing ye praises with understanding” – Psalm 47:7. How can we learn to do the? The answer – “Be still, and know.” It takes a quietness and listening to Him, and then we will learn how to praise Him with understanding and comprehension. We will know Him who leads His sheep “beside the still waters.”

Sometimes, He allows the waters to be troubled, so that we will really appreciate the waters of quietness. Oh, praise God! We can know when He leads us, and we can know Him who leads us. We will know Him who makes us “to lie down in green pastures.” Sometimes, He must make us lie down, before we really appreciate the green pastures. He may lay us aside for awhile so that we will feed in those green pastures. But, be assured that they are green, they are life-giving. He also makes His sheep to sit down at His banquet table; and as we sit there at His table, He anoints our heads with oil. No wander our little cups run over!

There is a time to rejoice in the Lord with thanksgiving, and there is a time to keep silent and meditate on His Word. We love to listen to the young children singing joyfully of Jesus’ love. We also enjoy singing along with the young people’s enthusiastic hand-clapping singing unto the Lord. But, we also enjoy the deep-settled songs of those who sing from experience and with understanding. A joyful noise is based upon a sound knowledge of Him, a rejoicing no matter what the circumstances. A joyful noise is an acknowledged recognition, and an expression of appreciation of what we know in fact to be true of Him. A jubilant and joyful sound comes from a jubilant and understanding heart. What is your noise?

The Lord had to illustrate this message to me. On a trip to the Ozarks, I left my Bible at home and I began to grumble. The Lord had begun speaking this Psalm to me – “Make a joyful noise.” Many sounds are being made today – grumbling, murmuring, disputing, complaining, criticizing, squawking, squeaking, and even sometimes screaming. What is you noise? We make all kinds of noises when we have been struck, or stuck, or stepped on, or stung. I cannot spell in so many letters the noise I made while driving the bus back from the Ozarks, and a bee came through the window and hit me in the neck. I thought perhaps all I had was a bee sting. Well, it fell down into my jump suit. I do not mind telling you, I jumped. I think everybody else was occupied fellowshipping, so I do not know whether anyone heard me; but I let that bee know that he had a hold of me. The Lord was speaking, “Make a joyful noise.”

Making a joyful noise is not just one sound out of our experience, but the general tone or tenor of our whole lives. When we have been stung, that is the time to make a joyful noise. When the roof caved in, and killed all his children Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord” – Job 1:21. We think of Joseph, how his brethren came to him to ask forgiveness, He said, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” – Genesis 50:20. We are able to make a joyful noise unto the Lord when we are in an uncomfortable position, if we realize that it has come from God’s hand. He sent it for a purpose. Glory to God! The early Christians were found rejoicing after being beaten and threatened. They thanked the Lord “That they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name” – Acts 5:41.

The joyful sound comes from an anchored heart, knowing that every good and perfect gift comes from God. He is making all things work together for our good. So He says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” – I Thess. 5:18. A joyful noise is to accompany our service and approach to God. We are to “come before His Presence with singing,” with gladness, “and into His courts with praise.” Praise God that we have access. Before Jesus came, we had no right to come. We can come through His gates into His courts, right up to His throne singing, singing, singing praises unto Him. When we approach Him to serve Him, it is special priestly service, if it is with and attitude of worship. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Praise the Lord!