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26 September - 1 Chronicles 9; Ezekiel 22; Luke 19


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Posted 26 September 2007 - 08:37 AM

First Portion

1 Chronicles 9


9:1 So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel: and Judah was carried away captive to Babylon for their disobedience. 9:2 Now the first inhabitants who lived in their possessions in their cities were Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the Nethinim. 9:3 In Jerusalem lived of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim and Manasseh: 9:4 Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, of the children of Perez the son of Judah. 9:5 Of the Shilonites: Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons. 9:6 Of the sons of Zerah: Jeuel, and their brothers, six hundred ninety. 9:7 Of the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hassenuah, 9:8 and Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephatiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah; 9:9 and their brothers, according to their generations, nine hundred fifty-six. All these men were heads of fathers’ households by their fathers’ houses. 9:10 Of the priests: Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, Jachin, 9:11 and Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God; 9:12 and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer; 9:13 and their brothers, heads of their fathers’ houses, one thousand seven hundred sixty; very able men for the work of the service of the house of God. 9:14 Of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari; 9:15 and Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph, 9:16 and Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, who lived in the villages of the Netophathites. 9:17 The porters: Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brothers (Shallum was the chief), 9:18 who previously served in the king’s gate eastward: they were the porters for the camp of the children of Levi.. 9:19 Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brothers, of his father’s house, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the thresholds of the tent: and their fathers had been over the camp of Yahweh, keepers of the entry. 9:20 Phinehas the son of Eleazar was ruler over them in time past, and Yahweh was with him. 9:21 Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was porter of the door of the Tent of Meeting. 9:22 All these who were chosen to be porters in the thresholds were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer ordained in their office of trust. 9:23 So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of Yahweh, even the house of the tent, by wards. 9:24 On the four sides were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south. 9:25 Their brothers, in their villages, were to come in every seven days from time to time to be with them: 9:26 for the four chief porters, who were Levites, were in an office of trust, and were over the rooms and over the treasuries in the house of God. 9:27 They lodged around the house of God, because that duty was on them; and to them pertained its opening morning by morning. 9:28 Certain of them were in charge of the vessels of service; for by count were these brought in and by count were these taken out. 9:29 Some of them also were appointed over the furniture, and over all the vessels of the sanctuary, and over the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices. 9:30 Some of the sons of the priests prepared the confection of the spices. 9:31 Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the office of trust over the things that were baked in pans. 9:32 Some of their brothers, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the show bread, to prepare it every Sabbath. 9:33 These are the singers, heads of fathers’ households of the Levites, who lived in the rooms and were free from other service; for they were employed in their work day and night. 9:34 These were heads of fathers’ households of the Levites, throughout their generations, chief men: these lived at Jerusalem. 9:35 In Gibeon there lived the father of Gibeon, Jeiel, whose wife’s name was Maacah: 9:36 and his firstborn son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab, 9:37 and Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth. 9:38 Mikloth became the father of Shimeam. They also lived with their brothers in Jerusalem, over against their brothers. 9:39 Ner became the father of Kish; and Kish became the father of Saul; and Saul became the father of Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal. 9:40 The son of Jonathan was Merib Baal; and Merib Baal became the father of Micah.. 9:41 The sons of Micah: Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz. 9:42 Ahaz became the father of Jarah; and Jarah became the father of Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri became the father of Moza; 9:43 and Moza became the father of Binea; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 9:44 Azel had six sons, whose names are these: Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these were the sons of Azel.



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Posted 26 September 2007 - 08:38 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 22


22:1 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 22:2 You, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? then cause her to know all her abominations. 22:3 You shall say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A city that sheds blood in the midst of her, that her time may come, and that makes idols against herself to defile her! 22:4 You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed, and are defiled in your idols which you have made; and you have caused your days to draw near, and have come even to your years: therefore have I made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries. 22:5 Those who are near, and those who are far from you, shall mock you, you infamous one and full of tumult. 22:6 Behold, the princes of Israel, everyone according to his power, have been in you to shed blood. 22:7 In you have they set light by father and mother; in the midst of you have they dealt by oppression with the foreigner; in you have they wronged the fatherless and the widow. 22:8 You have despised my holy things, and have profaned my Sabbaths. 22:9 Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood; and in you they have eaten on the mountains: in the midst of you they have committed lewdness. 22:10 In you have they uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you have they humbled her who was unclean in her impurity. 22:11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. 22:12 In you have they taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by oppression, and have forgotten me, says the Lord Yahweh. 22:13 Behold, therefore, I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been in the midst of you. 22:14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I, Yahweh, have spoken it, and will do it. 22:15 I will scatter you among the nations, and disperse you through the countries; and I will consume your filthiness out of you. 22:16 You shall be profaned in yourself, in the sight of the nations; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 22:17 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 22:18 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me: all of them are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 22:19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 22:20 As they gather silver and brass and iron and lead and tin into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire on it, to melt it; so will I gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you. 22:21 Yes, I will gather you, and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. 22:22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so you will be melted in its midst; and you will know that I, Yahweh, have poured out my wrath on you. 22:23 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 22:24 Son of man, tell her, You are a land that is not cleansed, nor rained on in the day of indignation. 22:25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in its midst, like a roaring lion ravening the prey: they have devoured souls; they take treasure and precious things; they have made her widows many in its midst. 22:26 Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hidden their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 22:27 Her princes in its midst are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain. 22:28 Her prophets have plastered for them with whitewash, seeing false visions, and divining lies to them, saying, Thus says the Lord Yahweh, when Yahweh has not spoken. 22:29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yes, they have troubled the poor and needy, and have oppressed the foreigner wrongfully. 22:30 I sought for a man among them, who should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. 22:31 Therefore have I poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought on their heads, says the Lord Yahweh.

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 08:40 AM

Third Portion

Luke 19


19:1 He entered and was passing through Jericho. 19:2 There was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 19:3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn’t because of the crowd, because he was short. 19:4 He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. 19:5 When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 19:6 He hurried, came down, and received him joyfully. 19:7 When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “He has gone in to lodge with a man who is a sinner.”

19:8 Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much.”

19:9 Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

19:11 As they heard these things, he went on and told a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the Kingdom of God would be revealed immediately. 19:12 He said therefore, “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 19:13 He called ten servants of his, and gave them ten mina coins, and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’ 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent an envoy after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us.’

19:15 “It happened when he had come back again, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business. 19:16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten more minas.’

19:17 “He said to him, ‘Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’

19:18 “The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, Lord, has made five minas.’

19:19 “So he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 19:20 Another came, saying, ‘Lord, behold, your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief, 19:21 for I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You take up that which you didn’t lay down, and reap that which you didn’t sow.’

19:22 “He said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn’t lay down, and reaping that which I didn’t sow. 19:23 Then why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?’ 19:24 He said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina away from him, and give it to him who has the ten minas.’

19:25 “They said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 19:26 ‘For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given; but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away from him. 19:27 But bring those enemies of mine who didn’t want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.’” 19:28 Having said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

19:29 It happened, when he drew near to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the mountain that is called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, 19:30 saying, “Go your way into the village on the other side, in which, as you enter, you will find a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat. Untie it, and bring it. 19:31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say to him: ‘The Lord needs it.’”

19:32 Those who were sent went away, and found things just as he had told them. 19:33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 19:34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 19:35 They brought it to Jesus. They threw their cloaks on the colt, and set Jesus on them. 19:36 As he went, they spread their cloaks in the way. 19:37 As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen, 19:38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!”

19:39 Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

19:40 He answered them, “I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out.”

19:41 When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, 19:42 saying, “If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes. 19:43 For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side, 19:44 and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another, because you didn’t know the time of your visitation.”

19:45 He entered into the temple, and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, 19:46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of robbers’!”

19:47 He was teaching daily in the temple, but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people sought to destroy him. 19:48 They couldn’t find what they might do, for all the people hung on to every word that he said.

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:21 AM

26 September 2008

1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 11:47 PM

26 September 2009

1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:49 AM

26 September 2010

1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19

“BUT NOW THEY ARE HIDDEN FROM YOUR EYES”

It was Jesus who said these words. He had just been weeping! Why? Our chapter today, Luke 19, tells us of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a colt. Well, we often refer to this as a triumphal entry because “the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest’” [Luke 19:37,38]

How did Jesus feel? We might naturally think he would be elated. We would have been if we had been there. But the eyes of Jesus were full of spiritual perceptions and these people had no perception of what was about to happen. We are reminded that Samuel’s vision had to be corrected when he went to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse, “the Lord sees not as man sees” [1 Samuel 16:7].

We read of Jesus, seated on that colt, as “he drew near to the city he wept over it” [Luke 19:41] And what did he say as he wept? “would that you, even you had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” [Luke 19:42]. We pondered that last phrase? Why were they hidden? Is there a point at which God ceases to seek to penetrate human minds because they have so blindfolded themselves in any thinking toward him? We think so and Paul also thought so, have a look at what he wrote in Romans 1:24-28. And today? Is there an application of this principal to our days? Remember yesterday’s question, “When the Son of man cometh will he find faith on the earth?”

Is it not the case that people have so turned away from any real meaningful thought of God today that the situation is now parallel to those days? Not quite, we read a few days ago in Luke 14 the parable of inviting people to the banquet to “eat bread in the kingdom of God” [Luke 14:15] that in the final effort to gather in people to fill his kingdom the Master says to the servants, “Go out to the highways and the hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” [Luke 14:23]

When disaster fell on those who thought they could see [Luke 17:23] and tell others how to see, it was because God had hidden it from their eyes. They had wanted to see as man sees, not as God sees. Only by a diligent reading of God’s word will he see as God sees.
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Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:10 AM

26 September 2011

1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19

" ... IN THEIR OFFICE OF TRUST”

We read in the Psalms, “I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house (Temple) of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” [Psalm 84:10]. These words came to mind as we read 1 Chronicles 9 this morning which contains an account of those who return from captivity in Babylon [1 Chronicles 9:2]. We read that among, “the first to dwell again in their possessions … the gatekeepers … all these who were chosen as gatekeepers … were 212. They were enrolled … in their office of trust.” [1 Chronicles 9:2,17,22]

Gate keeping was a most important role, although it had no ‘glory’ from a human perspective compared to a position of ‘honour’ as a ruler. Another factor noticed in today’s chapter is the statement, “and some of the people of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh lived in Jerusalem” [1 Chronicles 9:3], part of a contingent of “690” [1 Chronicles 9:6] who returned from exile.”

This is strange seeing Ephraim and Manasseh were leading tribes in the north who had gone into exile into Assyria generations before! They were there “to this day.” [1 Chronicles 5:26]. However we will notice when we come to read 2 Chronicles next month and the details of the kings who reigned in Judah that the good king Asa “gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.” [2 Chronicles 15:9]

Those who are really God-fearing seek to associate with those who are faithful to the true way to believe and worship. They see their involvement in true worship as “an office of trust.” We recall the parable we read 3 days ago and the point it made “if then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches.” [Luke 16:11] Those who were faithful in the northern tribes came seeking true worship. It is a lesson for all, just as much today as in those days, who desire to so live that the Lord, by his grace, will give to them “an office of trust.”
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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:54 AM

26 September 2012

1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19

"BUT HIS CITIZENS HATED HIM"

We read today in Luke 19 that Jesus told “a parable … because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately” [Luke 19:11] Jesus was the centre of attention of the ordinary people, he had a triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a colt. [Luke 19:30-38]. The crowd rejoiced but how many thought about his parable?

It was about a nobleman giving money (minas) to ten servants, one had ten minas, a lot of ‘money’ to use in serving the ‘nobleman’ for a mina was the equivalent of about 3 months’ pay for a labourer. One labourer did nothing with the mina he received, he simply kept it safe. He is full of reasons (excuses) as to why he did not make use of it! We humans are good at doing that.

The nobleman of course represents Jesus. Those who believe in him, cannot be’ passive’ in their belief, if belief is ‘real’ it will result in action. Those who serve him faithfully and increase their ‘minas’ are put in positions of “authority” [Luke 19:17] when he establishes his kingdom. The ‘money’ he gives represents the abilities and opportunities his servants experience. We read in Luke 12:48, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him (or her) much will be required.”

But there is a larger class of others who are not interested in being his servants, we read, “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us” [Luke 19:14] People give tacit or active support these days to those who speak disparagingly of the Bible. As the message of Christ and his coming kingdom spreads throughout the world people are faced with a choice to “love” or “hate” to be “for” or “against” – there is no neutral position in God’s eyes, an attitude of ‘hate’ is filling the world today.

The parable ends [Luke 19:27] “But as for these … who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” We recall our thoughts yesterday on the near total lack of ‘faith’ and world-wide traumas to occur as Jesus is about to return – what of our own faith? Let us recognise it is impossible to be neutral.
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Posted 26 September 2013 - 09:58 AM

26 September 2013

1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19

"BECAUSE YOU DID NOT KNOW"

How vital to know certain things; the young go to school and then, if they are capable, to a University or a higher learning institute to gain additional knowledge or skills so they can more effectively make their way in life. The need for this is self-evident to all – there is no reward for the lazy, although some try to make their way in life through devious or dishonest means.

Our thoughts were provoked along these lines by 2 different points Jesus made in his teaching that we read today in Luke 19. The first is where Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and says: “would that you … had known on this day the things that make for peace … For the days will come upon you when your enemies will … tear you down to the ground … they will not leave one stone upon another in you because you did not know the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:42-44]

In a physical sense they knew the presence of Jesus, but very few knew him as the true Messiah, the son of God. It is the same today, very few deny that a man called ‘Jesus of Nazareth existed 2,000 years ago, but the impact of what he was, what he taught, the meaning this gave to life, fails to come alive in their minds and so transform their lives to give them real meaning and purpose.

The second point arises in the parable Jesus told about a nobleman who gave ten minas to each of his servants (more than 2 years’ labourers wages) for them to use in his service while he was away. One of them fails to make any use of it and on the nobleman’s return he says to him, “Lord, here is your mina which I kept laid away in a handkerchief.” [Luke 19:20] He is rebuked for his failure to do any work for the nobleman and make any gains for him, and is told, “… you wicked servant! You knew I was a severe man …” [Luke 19:22]

Jesus a severe man! Well, do you think it right to reward laziness? How true and wonderful is the love of God and of Jesus – yet in responding to that love as we each must – we must show our love in more than words. The aged Apostle John wrote, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.” [1 John 3:18]

Let us all live in a way that shows both in word and actions, the latter confirming our words, that we are faithful servants ready, at an hour that will surprise us, to greet our nobleman.
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Posted 26 September 2014 - 07:09 AM

26 September 2014
 
1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19  
 
“… WERE HANGING ON HIS WORDS”
            
What is our attitude of mind as we read God’s word? Are our minds “hanging” on what we read, most of all when they are the words of Jesus and his apostles? In the days of Ezekiel, “the word of the LORD” was what they did not want to hear, so they did not listen; already we have encountered this phrase 4 times!  [Ezekiel 6:3; 13:2; 16:35; 20:47] 
            
It was quite a contrast in the days of Jesus – but the words of Jesus caused a division of opinion, some saying, “This really is the prophet’.  Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’” [John 7:40-41]  And of course the religious leaders rejected him because he was a challenge to their authority.  
 
How meaningful is the scene created by the concluding words of todays’ chapter 19 in Luke!  Jesus had triumphantly entered Jerusalem and is “teaching daily in the Temple” and declares, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer …” [Luke 19:46]  He was quoting Isaiah 56:7 where it says it will become “a house of prayer for all peoples.” May that day come soon and may we, by the grace of God, be made alive then.  How many will not be!  Next month we will read the remarkable vision that Ezekiel is given of the ultimate temple – and recorded in his final chapters.
 
Different reactions to the teaching of Jesus provide an extreme contrast.  We read, “The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him.” [Luke 19:47]  There have always been those who have sought to destroy those who truly believe God’s word and accept his Son as their Saviour: we see it today in parts of the Islamic world despite the fact that Islam acknowledges the Bible to be one of its’ holy books.
 
The verse in Luke today tells us that his opponents “did not find anything that they could do” – why – “for all the people were hanging on his words.” It seems ironic that at least some of them would be stirred up by their leaders to reject him and that very soon they would hang him on a cross – such is human nature!  Let us make sure that we are so committed that we are “hanging on his words” as we read them - and those his Father inspired his disciples, the prophets, Moses and others to write.  May we all, as we read them day by day, see more and more clearly  the wonder of spiritual “light” that shines in the gross darkness swamping the minds of people today.   
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Posted 26 September 2015 - 06:10 AM

26 September 2015
 
1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19  
 
"THESE ENEMIES ... WHO DID NOT WANT ME"            
            
Our chapter in Ezekiel continues the saddening denunciation of the people that Ezekiel was commissioned to convey - as “the word of the LORD came to me” [Ezekiel 22:1]  But, as in our the world today, the people were not taking any notice.  The LORD complains, “They have made no distinction between the holy and the common ... I am profaned among them." [Ezekiel 22:26] It is exactly the same today, nothing is holy.
            
In our chapter in Luke [Luke 19] we first have the account of Zacchaeus who "received him (Jesus) joyfully" [Luke 19:6] Let us all "receive (Jesus) joyfully" into our hearts and minds, and, as a result, we will be increasing strengthened to cope with this godless world.
            
Jesus teaches a fundamental but vital lesson with his parable of the ten minas.  Each of his servants was to receive the same amount.  But what did these minas represent?  We suggest they mean - the wonder of the knowledge of the gospel - the good news - to transform their thinking - and as a result - their actions - for it is actions that were to show their (and will show our) priorities in life. 
            
Those who made good use of their minas, were given positions of authority  in the nobleman's kingdom when he returned [Luke 19:16-19]. But the one who failed to make use of his mina, well, said Jesus, "even what he has will be taken away." [Luke 19:26] 
            
But there is another class of people – those who were "enemies" and showed this by despising the nobleman!  Luke 19:27 has a very sobering message for us!  What is to happen to those whose way of life leads them, like so many today, to ignore Jesus?  The parable shows he counts them as his enemies. 
            
Jesus concludes his parable by saying, "But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me."   We are in awe of the scriptures which describe this slaughter in some detail!  There are many such scriptures; let's look at one that is less familiar to us! "The LORD is slow to anger and great in power .... The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies." [Nahum 1:3,2] 
            
But, as for you and I – the question, cannot be avoided!  Are we making good use of our minas?  A final thought – a question!  Have we developed “the full assurance of faith” to endure through the time when “the LORD takes vengeance.”? 
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- DC


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Posted 26 September 2016 - 11:47 AM

26 September 2016
 
1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19 
 
“BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL”
 
Today’s chapter in Luke [Luke 19] first records the conversion of a Tax Collector as Jesus enters Jericho - this man “received him (Jesus) joyfully” [Luke 19:6] His declaration and his actions demonstrate his repentance – but others were grumbling “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” [Luke 19:7]. This leads Jesus to declare, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” [Luke 19:9,10]
 
How few seek salvation today! They do not see themselves as “lost” – indeed, so few know there is anything to be “found”! Then Jesus tells a parable as he nears Jerusalem “because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.” [Luke 19:11] 
 
We sense we are living today at a time when “the kingdom of God” will very soon “appear.” 
 
There follows the story about “ten servants” who are each given the same amount of money – “ten minas” and told to ‘Engage in business until I come.’ [Luke 19:13] Then when he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.” [Luke 19:15] 
 
One has not used his ‘minas’ and is condemned – but the others are told, “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten/five cities.” [Luke 19:17] 
 
This is a simple parable – and its’ meaning is clear. May our Lord one day (soon!?) say to all who are reading this – who also absorb and meditate on the Scriptures they read, or hear read, each day, and who are then living their lives by “doing business for their Lord, according to their talents, hear their Lord say, “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have …”
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- DC


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Posted 26 September 2017 - 06:24 AM

26 September 2017
 
1 Chronicles 9
Ezekiel 22
Luke 19  
 
"SLAUGHTER THEM BEFORE ME"
 
Today in Luke 19 we read one of the last parables of Jesus; it is usually called, "The parable of the Ten Minas" – a 'mina' is an amount of money – which is said to be about 3 months wages for a labourer. 
 
The parable features a 'nobleman' who "went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return." [Luke 19:12] As he went away his servants were each given 'ten minas' and were told, "Engage in business until I come." [Luke 19:13] But the citizens, as distinct from the servants, "sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us." [Luke 19:14] 
 
Let us make sure we are effectively using our 'minas' – that is - our opportunities and talents.
 
How depressingly true is the attitude in the world today – just about everyone thinks this life is all they have and want to do indulge in their own thing – and what a variety of 'things' there are available to them! How distracting this often is – especially for the younger generation – they ask themselves "do I really believe there is a 'nobleman' who is going to return" and "how soon now?  Tomorrow?" How well am I using my talents?
 
There is a saying that 'Tomorrow never comes.' But one day it will – and how soon now!? And then, what of the 'citizens' who do not want Christ to return to reign (and prevent the continuation fleshly sinful ways)? We cannot envisage what the literal application is of edict to 'slaughter them before me' will mean in reality for those who have been totally godless!  
 
The LORD gave Jeremiah an awesome prophecy "against all the inhabitants of the earth" which we read last month. The prophecy pictures the day when, "disaster is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth! And those pierced by the LORD on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other." [Jeremiah 25:32-33] Is this the 'slaughter' the parable is referring to!?
 
What an awesome time awaited those who rejected and crucified Jesus – how many would experience the destruction of Jerusalem!?  
 
Our final thoughts come from the words of Jesus in today's chapter; as "he wept over" Jerusalem! He said, "Would that you … had known …the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes" [Luke 19:42] Let us help each other to make sure they are not "hidden from (y)our eyes."
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- DC





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