Set!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;… For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:1,3,4 KJV).

Without further delay, we need to be set to die at any moment.

All of America’s hearts are broken, saints. Over a dozen innocent teenagers were recently gunned down at their high school. Their lives were unexpectedly and tragically cut short. Fear and hopelessness dominated the voices of the survivors, their parents, and the childless parents. They had no comfort because they do not have the Lord Jesus Christ. Students are apprehensive in setting foot in public places again. One poor father said how he was still struggling to accept the fact that he will “never” see his slain daughter again. How sad indeed!

Man is attempting his best to legislate and regulate evil: many solutions are being offered to correct the problems and prevent repeats. Still, until the Lord Jesus Christ returns to set all things right, there will be no permanent, entirely effective resolution. We live in a sin-cursed world, one sated with immense pain and suffering unspeakable. Does not God care? Why does He not do something? Again, He has already appointed a time when He will punish evil. However, He is tarrying so more people can be saved into Jesus Christ.

There will be another shooting, bombing, stabbing, hijacking, and vehicular homicide. Friend, if death were to find you right now, would you go into God’s presence? Do you even know? Dear friend, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you have done, and whatever you are going to do, do not play around with eternity. It is a long time to be wrong!

Quickly, come quickly by faith to Calvary’s cross! Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day (today’s Scripture). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31)—and be set when death finds you! 🙂

Paul’s Stocks and Bonds

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks (Acts 16:23,24 KJV).

Financial stocks and bonds are sources of great wealth. The Apostle Paul, although poor (2 Corinthians 11:27; Philippians 4:11-13), had much experience with “stocks” and “bonds.”

As the context of today’s Scripture proves (verse 12 onward), he, Silas, Luke, and others travel to Philippi (northern Greece) to preach the Gospel of Grace. A Gentile religious woman, Lydia, and an unnamed devil-possessed slave girl are two of their converts. The girl’s owners—furious that their “money-making machine” has disappeared—drag Paul and Silas into the marketplace (court). There, they persuade the authorities to arrange for the Apostles to be beaten with rods (“caning”). Paul and Silas receive “many stripes [wounds].”

Paul and Silas are then imprisoned, eventually evangelizing the jailor and his household (today’s Scripture to the chapter’s end). While captive, their feet are “fast [secure] in the stocks.” The “stocks” were an instrument of punishment consisting of an adjustable wooden structure with holes for securing a person’s hands and feet. Confined to such a device, criminals could be subject to public ridicule and abuse of all kinds. What torture Paul and Silas were willing to endure for our Lord Jesus Christ!

Later, in Acts 20:22-24, Paul confessed: “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” These “bonds” are chains, shackles, instruments of imprisonment. The Apostle is in “bonds” in Acts 25:14; Acts 26:29; Ephesians 6:20; Philippians 1:7,13-16; Colossians 4:3,18; 2 Timothy 2:9; and Philemon 10 and 13.

“Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound(2 Timothy 2:9).

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #6

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Re-reading 2 Samuel chapter 12: “[5] And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: [6] And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. [7] And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man….” David never forgot his solemn words: he DID INDEED restore fourfold!!!

Solomon’s older brother—David’s first child with Bathsheba, an unnamed newborn (?) baby—died. David’s firstborn son, Amnon, was then assassinated. Next, Absalom, Amnon’s younger brother, was murdered. Burying three of his children was most difficult for David. After his demise, though, a fourth son died. Adonijah, Solomon’s older half-brother, twice endeavored to usurp David’s throne that God promised to Solomon; Solomon finally executed Adonijah. Yea, as God predicted, David’s house would perpetually experience violence (see 2 Samuel 12:10). In addition to the above four deaths, several decades later, David’s royal descendants died prematurely in 2 Kings 11:1-2 and 21:23.

Dear friends, stop and think. These Scriptures are not “dead history” or “superstitious fairytales.” Our sin comes at a price—VERY HIGH!! It not only negatively impacts us, but those around us… not just now, but for decades or centuries to come!! It ultimately cost the Lord Jesus Christ His life to pay for our sins! No, David did not die because of his sin with Bathsheba—but four of his sons did! Never forget, dear brethren, sin is serious beyond imagination. BEFORE we act, we had better think long and hard of the consequences!!!!!

As Christians, let us remember: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7,8).

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #5

Monday, February 19, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Over a decade after Absalom’s murder—just prior to David’s death and Solomon’s ascension to the throne—Solomon’s half-brother Adonijah plots to become David’s successor. (Second Samuel 3:2-4 states Adonijah is a younger brother of deceased Amnon and expired Absalom.)

As 1 Kings chapter 1 unfolds, the Prophet Nathan and Solomon’s mother Bathsheba foil Adonijah’s first attempt to seize David’s throne. Before David expires, he follows God’s orders and pronounces Solomon as king. “And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die” (1 Kings 1:50-53). Solomon, now king, warns his older half-brother Adonijah not to try to steal Israel’s throne again. Chapter 2 begins with David’s death, and then delineates how Adonijah schemes a second time to take Solomon’s throne.

As per Solomon’s decree, evil Adonijah must be put to death: “[22] And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. [23] Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life. [24] Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day. [25] And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.”

Adonijah, David’s fourth son, is executed. Today’s Scripture has been met. Departed David, fortunately, never saw this fourth funeral. Now, let us summarize and conclude….

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “What is the ‘purtenance?’” and “What is the ‘caul?’

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #4

Sunday, February 18, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Once Absalom assassinated his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister Tamar, he fled to his mother’s relatives in Geshur (2 Samuel 13:37-39). For three years Absalom was exiled. In chapter 14, Joab, commander of King David’s army, arranged Absalom’s return to Jerusalem. Chapter 15 documents how handsome Absalom captivated the Jews. Inciting an uprising, he assumed his father David’s throne, David thus swiftly absconding Jerusalem.

Chapter 18 reports: “[5] And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom…. [9] And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.

“[10] And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. [11] And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle…. [14] Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts [spears] in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. [15] And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. [17] And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood….”

David wanted beloved Absalom apprehended alive; sadly, David’s servants executed him. King David is utterly heartbroken (2 Samuel 18:31–19:4). Absalom is the third son he must bury. Yet, one more son must perish….

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #3

Saturday, February 17, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

A few years after David and Bathsheba’s baby died, Amnon—David’s firstborn son (2 Samuel 3:2)—schemed to eventually rape his half-sister Tamar. Although king of Israel, appointed to lead God’s people in His ways, David does not punish his son and does not comfort his daughter. You can read the horrific account in 2 Samuel 13:1-22 if you desire. As the second half of the chapter now proves, Absalom—Tamar’s brother and Amnon’s half-brother—will take vengeance where their father David did not.

“[28] Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. [29] And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

“[30] And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left. [31] Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. [32] And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. [33] Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead. [34] But Absalom fled….”

Amnon is the second son of David to perish. However, as per today’s Scripture, there are two more impending and heartrending deaths….

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #2

Friday, February 16, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Continue reading from 2 Samuel chapter 12: “[7] And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; [8] And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. [9] Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. [10] Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

“[11] Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. [12] For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. [13] And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD [cf. Psalm 51]. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. [14] Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”

Time and space limit us here, but you should read verses 15-23 to see David’s baby with Bathsheba indeed dies. David is forgiven, but his sin has now begun to devastate his family….