The Good Man #4

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

Notice verse 4: “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” Here are the “ungodly… sinners… scornful” of today’s Scripture. Instead of delighting in the law of the LORD, meditating in His law day and night, being spiritually nourished and bearing good spiritually-good fruit, having prosperous works, the ungodly are as the wind-blown chaff. Unbelievers are transitory; ultimately, their intentions and activities will fail (namely, at Christ’s fiery Second Coming).

“Chaff,” or the husks of seed to be thrown away after harvest, is often an Old Testament picture of the wicked. It underscores the worthlessness of the unbelieving heart, in contradistinction to believers (wheat). “They [the wicked] are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away” (Job 21:18). “Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them” (Psalm 35:5).

“Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 5:24). “Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney” (Hosea 13:3).

Thus, John the Baptist preached to Israel: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he [Christ] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11,12). The context of Psalms is coming into better focus….

The Good Man #3

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

Moving now to verse 3: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

The idea here, of course, is nourishment. As a tree needs fertilizer, water, and sunlight to grow, so the spiritual aspect of the man will flourish when exposed to sound Bible doctrine. There is spiritual life (not spiritual death). There is functional life (not functional death). Ephesians chapter 3 speaks of, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man…” (verse 16). God the Holy Spirit will strengthen us, but only via His Word—the Holy Bible. Our Christian life does not operate on the basis of ignorance!!

First Thessalonians 2:13: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” God’s Word works effectually in them who believe it.

God’s Word working in us Christians produces the intended results—good works. Philippians chapter 1: “[9] And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; [10] That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; [11] Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Ephesians chapter 2: “[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Yes, there is spiritual growth when we delight in God’s Word….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is it normal for me to be too busy for daily Bible reading?

The Good Man #2

Monday, February 25, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

The world says “he is a good man” or “she is a good woman,” and yet, they do not apply the title as God Himself does. Notice verse 2: “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” If one is a “good man,” then God’s Word pleases him, satisfies him. Think on that now. How many of the world’s “good men” value God’s Word? Then, are they really “good?” Certainly not!

As it says in Psalms, the good man delights in the law of the LORD. We would be careful in noticing the legalism. Thus, if we were to follow this verse, it would be better taken generally—God’s Word. Understood in that light, God’s Word is Law for Israel, and God’s Word to us is Grace. As the Jewish saint in the prophetic program meditates or deeply considers God’s Word day and night, so we in the mystery program reflect on or intensely ponder God’s Word day and night.

Second Timothy 2:7, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” Here is what the Apostle Paul instructs us to do in light of a completed Bible (which the Psalmist did not have). First Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” Friend, Bible reading is important! Encouragement therein is imperative! Doctrine is important! Daily Bible reading is critical to Christian growth. Daily Bible study, yea rightly divided, is of utmost significance. Daily Christian edification is not an option. As the Prophet Isaiah penned, “Seek ye out the book of the LORD, and read…” (34:16).

Without a daily spiritual diet of sound Bible doctrine, then we will do the opposite of today’s Scripture. Void of spiritual wisdom, spiritual knowledge, and spiritual understanding, we will “walketh… in the counsel of the ungodly,… standeth in the way of sinners,… sitteth in the seat of the scornful. It is quite solemn, dear friends, quite solemn indeed….

The Good Man #1

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

The opening Psalm is a mere six verses in length. It begins, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.The word “blessed” means “happy,” as in, “How happy is the man!” Why is he pleased? In what is he content? Well, to understand it, we must think of the opposite situation.

Notice the progression of the verse. The evil man starts by walking in the counsel of the ungodly. He listens to their advice (which is apart from God). If that is not enough, he then stands in the way of sinners (who are against God). He is so comfortable in continuing in that anti-God course, he ultimately sits in the seat of the scornful (who mock God). He settles down permanently—from walking, to standing, to sitting. Stated another way, he tolerates being without God’s light, next he is militantly opposed to God, and finally he boldly insults God!

However, the good man will stop sin as soon as he spots it in his life. He does not let it gain a greater hold, for it starts with a walk (“minor”) and ends with a seat (major!). The best action to take before he thus walks is to run in the other direction! Had the sinner heeded that advice, instead of the counsel of the ungodly, he would not be so unhappy! He went contrary to the Creator God and the way He designed human life to function, and now he has reaped what he has sown.

The good man has avoided that whole maze of difficulties. How happy he is to have been spared such misery, headache, and heartbreak! His pleasure is not in sin, ungodliness, scorning. Verse 2 remarks, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” God’s Word pleases him, satisfies him, as he has appreciated the better things in life….

Outlandish Women! #7

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin (Nehemiah 13:26 KJV).

Just who are these “outlandish women?”

The Holy Spirit through Paul definitely preferred we distance ourselves from false religious systems—including being romantically involved with unbelievers (who embrace those organizations). First Corinthians chapter 6: “[15] Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. [16] What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. [17] But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. [18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. [19] What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Alas, we discard sound Bible doctrine and quench the Holy Spirit just to enjoy a temporary, lopsided relationship with the spirit of this world! “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). The two “agree” in that the Christian accepts the non-Christian’s view. Such spiritual debilitation and destruction is overwhelming—especially for the poor children originating from that unfortunate and risky union!

Our human heart, tainted by emotions, is quite sinful, unreliable, and clouds our judgment. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The fantasy of Christians dating and/or marrying unbelievers and successfully converting them is one example. Solomon did not transform his pagan wives, did he? Oh, but they certainly “rehabilitated” him… and all Israel! Even today, intermarriage with an unbeliever usually results in the Christian turning from the Lord (not the unbeliever turning to the Lord)! Brethren, may we learn this lesson well now, before we learn it “the hard way!”

Outlandish Women! #6

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin (Nehemiah 13:26 KJV).

Just who are these “outlandish women?”

Dear friends, never should we believe the Bible is “old-fashioned,” “irrelevant,” “fantasy.” It is just as authoritative and pertinent to human civilization now as it was 2,500 years ago (today’s Scripture). Believers marrying unbelievers was catastrophic in both Solomon’s time and Nehemiah’s day; it is equally damaging to modern society.

Scripture clearly teaches Christians are to marry only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39). Bible believers should have absolutely no interfaith or interdenominational romantic relationships. Christians dating or marrying non-Christians, including wedding “Christian” cult members, are most unwise. Yet, many professing believers consent to such relations. “We all worship the same God.” “They read the Bible and believe in Jesus Christ too.” “As long as they attend some church….” No, dear friends, individuals uttering such irresponsible words are far better off remaining quiet.

Friends, the false religious system Satan used to entice and pollute Israel millennia ago has never left us. It comes in the most “innocent” forms— “worship” services, teaching seminars, “inspirational” literature, and so on. A romantic partner ensnared therein is most problematic to the Christian. If we belong to Jesus Christ, we should separate ourselves from all false religion.

Second Corinthians chapter 6: “[14] Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? [16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. [18] And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

Now, we summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Bible Q&A #580: “Why does the King James Bible say ‘nephews’ instead of ‘grandchildren’ in 1 Timothy 5:4?

Outlandish Women! #5

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin (Nehemiah 13:26 KJV).

Just who are these “outlandish women?”

Today’s Scripture transpires 150 years after the Jews were exiled from Canaan. Moving westward, leaving Babylonian captivity, tens of thousands return under Zerubbabel and then Ezra (Ezra chapters 2 and 7). Nehemiah follows with another Jewish company some years later. These re-gatherings of Israel; and the re-buildings of Jerusalem, its walls, and its Temple; is the general context of today’s Scripture. Ezra, a priest-scribe, leads Israel’s religious improvements in Canaan. A decade later is Nehemiah’s ministry—the reconstruction of Jerusalem’s city walls (which Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had leveled and burned a century earlier).

In the last chapter of Nehemiah, the Prophet corrects various abuses of the resettled Jews. For example, they have permitted a Gentile to live in the Temple Complex (verses 7-9)! Moreover, they are not supporting the Levites (priestly tribe) as the LORD commanded through Moses (verses 10-14). Also, they are violating the Sabbath (verse 15-22).

Finally, today’s Scripture in context: “[23] In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: [24] And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. [25] And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. [26] Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. [27] Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?

Intermarriage with idolaters—remember Solomon?—was the very reason God removed the Jews from Canaan. Unfortunately, returned Israel is repeating those sins. Nehemiah is rightly troubled….