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16 September - 2 Kings 22; 23; Ezekiel 12; Luke 8


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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:55 AM

First Portion

2 Kings 22; 23


22:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 22:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and walked in all the way of David his father, and didn’t turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 22:3 It happened in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of Yahweh, saying, 22:4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the money which is brought into the house of Yahweh, which the keepers of the threshold have gathered of the people. 22:5 Let them deliver it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of Yahweh; and let them give it to the workmen who are in the house of Yahweh, to repair the breaches of the house, 22:6 to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons, and for buying timber and cut stone to repair the house. 22:7 However there was no accounting made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand; for they dealt faithfully.”

22:8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the book of the law in the house of Yahweh.” Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 22:9 Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of Yahweh.” 22:10 Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest has delivered a book to me.” Shaphan read it before the king. 22:11 It happened, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he tore his clothes. 22:12 The king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, 22:13 “Go inquire of Yahweh for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found; for great is the wrath of Yahweh that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that which is written concerning us.”

22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter); and they talked with her. 22:15 She said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 22:16 “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Behold, I will bring evil on this place, and on its inhabitants, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. 22:17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and it shall not be quenched.’” 22:18 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Yahweh, thus you shall tell him, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: ‘Concerning the words which you have heard, 22:19 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before Yahweh, when you heard what I spoke against this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you,’ says Yahweh. 22:20 ‘Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, neither shall your eyes see all the evil which I will bring on this place.’”’” They brought back this message to the king.

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:55 AM

23:1 The king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 23:2 The king went up to the house of Yahweh, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of Yahweh. 23:3 The king stood by the pillar, and made a covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and all his soul, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book: and all the people stood to the covenant. 23:4 The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring forth out of the temple of Yahweh all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the army of the sky, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 23:5 He put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the army of the sky. 23:6 He brought out the Asherah from the house of Yahweh, outside of Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust, and cast its dust on the graves of the common people. 23:7 He broke down the houses of the sodomites, that were in the house of Yahweh, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. 23:8 He brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba; and he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city. 23:9 Nevertheless the priests of the high places didn’t come up to the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 23:10 He defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. 23:11 He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of Yahweh, by the room of Nathan Melech the officer, who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 23:12 The king broke down the altars that were on the roof of the upper room of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Yahweh, and beat them down from there, and cast their dust into the brook Kidron. 23:13 The the king defiled the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mountain of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon. 23:14 He broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men. 23:15 Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down; and he burned the high place and beat it to dust, and burned the Asherah. 23:16 As Josiah turned himself, he spied the tombs that were there in the mountain; and he sent, and took the bones out of the tombs, and burned them on the altar, and defiled it, according to the word of Yahweh which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things. 23:17 Then he said, “What monument is that which I see?”

The men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God, who came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that you have done against the altar of Bethel.”

23:18 He said, “Let him be! Let no man move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria. 23:19 All the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke Yahweh to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel. 23:20 He killed all the priests of the high places that were there, on the altars, and burned men’s bones on them; and he returned to Jerusalem. 23:21 The king commanded all the people, saying, “Keep the Passover to Yahweh your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 23:22 Surely there was not kept such a Passover from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; 23:23 but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah was this Passover kept to Yahweh in Jerusalem. 23:24 Moreover Josiah removed those who had familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the teraphim, and the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Yahweh. 23:25 Like him was there no king before him, who turned to Yahweh with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. 23:26 Notwithstanding, Yahweh didn’t turn from the fierceness of his great wrath, with which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocation with which Manasseh had provoked him. 23:27 Yahweh said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’”

23:28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 23:29 In his days Pharaoh Necoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and Pharaoh Necoh killed him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 23:30 His servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. The people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place. 23:31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 23:32 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his fathers had done. 23:33 Pharaoh Necoh put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of one hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. 23:34 Pharaoh Necoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the place of Josiah his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim: but he took Jehoahaz away; and he came to Egypt, and died there. 23:35 Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of everyone according to his taxation, to give it to Pharaoh Necoh. 23:36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 23:37 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his fathers had done.

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:57 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 12


12:1 The word of Yahweh also came to me, saying, 12:2 Son of man, you dwell in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see, and don’t see, who have ears to hear, and don’t hear; for they are a rebellious house. 12:3 Therefore, you son of man, prepare your stuff for moving, and move by day in their sight; and you shall move from your place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they are a rebellious house. 12:4 You shall bring forth your stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for moving; and you shall go forth yourself at even in their sight, as when men go forth into exile. 12:5 Dig through the wall in their sight, and carry your stuff out that way. 12:6 In their sight you shall bear it on your shoulder, and carry it forth in the dark; you shall cover your face, so that you don’t see the land: for I have set you for a sign to the house of Israel. 12:7 I did so as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for removing, and in the even I dug through the wall with my hand; I brought it forth in the dark, and bore it on my shoulder in their sight. 12:8 In the morning came the word of Yahweh to me, saying, 12:9 Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, What are you doing? 12:10 Say to them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel among whom they are. 12:11 Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall go into exile, into captivity. 12:12 The prince who is among them shall bear on his shoulder in the dark, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, because he shall not see the land with his eyes. 12:13 My net also will I spread on him, and he shall be taken in my snare; and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there. 12:14 I will scatter toward every wind all who are around him to help him, and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them. 12:15 They shall know that I am Yahweh, when I shall disperse them among the nations, and scatter them through the countries. 12:16 But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the nations where they come; and they shall know that I am Yahweh. 12:17 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 12:18 Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and with fearfulness; 12:19 and tell the people of the land, Thus says the Lord Yahweh concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with fearfulness, and drink their water in dismay, that her land may be desolate, and all that is therein, because of the violence of all those who dwell therein. 12:20 The cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be a desolation; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 12:21 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 12:22 Son of man, what is this proverb that you have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision fails? 12:23 Tell them therefore, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but tell them, The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. 12:24 For there shall be no more any false vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. 12:25 For I am Yahweh; I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall be performed; it shall be no more deferred: for in your days, rebellious house, will I speak the word, and will perform it, says the Lord Yahweh. 12:26 Again the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 12:27 Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he sees is for many day to come, and he prophesies of times that are far off. 12:28 Therefore tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: None of my words shall be deferred any more, but the word which I shall speak shall be performed, says the Lord Yahweh.

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:58 AM

Third Portion

Luke 8


8:1 It happened soon afterwards, that he went about through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God. With him were the twelve, 8:2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out; 8:3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuzas, Herod’s steward; Susanna; and many others; who served them from their possessions. 8:4 When a great multitude came together, and people from every city were coming to him, he spoke by a parable. 8:5 “The farmer went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the road, and it was trampled under foot, and the birds of the sky devoured it. 8:6 Other seed fell on the rock, and as soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 8:7 Other fell amid the thorns, and the thorns grew with it, and choked it. 8:8 Other fell into the good ground, and grew, and brought forth fruit one hundred times.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

8:9 Then his disciples asked him, “What does this parable mean?”

8:10 He said, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables; that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’* 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 8:12 Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. 8:13 Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation. 8:14 That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 8:15 That in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and bring forth fruit with patience.

8:16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a container, or puts it under a bed; but puts it on a stand, that those who enter in may see the light. 8:17 For nothing is hidden, that will not be revealed; nor anything secret, that will not be known and come to light. 8:18 Be careful therefore how you hear. For whoever has, to him will be given; and whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he thinks he has.”

8:19 His mother and brothers came to him, and they could not come near him for the crowd. 8:20 It was told him by some saying, “Your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to see you.”

8:21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God, and do it.”

8:22 Now it happened on one of those days, that he entered into a boat, himself and his disciples, and he said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. 8:23 But as they sailed, he fell asleep. A wind storm came down on the lake, and they were taking on dangerous amounts of water. 8:24 They came to him, and awoke him, saying, “Master, master, we are dying!” He awoke, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and it was calm.* 8:25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” Being afraid they marveled, saying one to another, “Who is this, then, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?” 8:26 They arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee.

8:27 When Jesus stepped ashore, a certain man out of the city who had demons for a long time met him. He wore no clothes, and didn’t live in a house, but in the tombs. 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, “What do I have to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torment me!” 8:29 For Jesus was commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For the unclean spirit had often seized the man. He was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters. Breaking the bands apart, he was driven by the demon into the desert.

8:30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

He said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered into him. 8:31 They begged him that he would not command them to go into the abyss. 8:32 Now there was there a herd of many pigs feeding on the mountain, and they begged him that he would allow them to enter into those. He allowed them. 8:33 The demons came out from the man, and entered into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned. 8:34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.

8:35 People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 8:36 Those who saw it told them how he who had been possessed by demons was healed. 8:37 All the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them, for they were very much afraid. He entered into the boat, and returned. 8:38 But the man from whom the demons had gone out begged him that he might go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 8:39 “Return to your house, and declare what great things God has done for you.” He went his way, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

8:40 It happened, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 8:41 Behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus’ feet, and begged him to come into his house, 8:42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as he went, the multitudes pressed against him. 8:43 A woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her living on physicians, and could not be healed by any, 8:44 came behind him, and touched the fringe of his cloak, and immediately the flow of her blood stopped. 8:45 Jesus said, “Who touched me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes press and jostle you, and you say, ‘Who touched me?’”

8:46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch me, for I perceived that power has gone out of me.” 8:47 When the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared to him in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 8:48 He said to her, “Daughter, cheer up. Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

8:49 While he still spoke, one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house came, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Don’t trouble the Teacher.”

8:50 But Jesus hearing it, answered him, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe, and she will be healed.”

8:51 When he came to the house, he didn’t allow anyone to enter in, except Peter, John, James, the father of the child, and her mother. 8:52 All were weeping and mourning her, but he said, “Don’t weep. She isn’t dead, but sleeping.”

8:53 They were ridiculing him, knowing that she was dead. 8:54 But he put them all outside, and taking her by the hand, he called, saying, “Child, arise!” 8:55 Her spirit returned, and she rose up immediately. He commanded that something be given to her to eat. 8:56 Her parents were amazed, but he commanded them to tell no one what had been done.

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:51 AM

16 September 2008

2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:02 AM

16 September 2009

2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:36 AM

16 September 2010

2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8

THE PIGS

Of all the miracles Jesus did the one that usually creates the most comment and questions is the occasion when he healed the madman among the tombs and sent his “demons” into a herd of pigs and they all drowned. The most important thing is to see the purpose of such events, that is, the purpose of Jesus in the healing. Very often there are multiple reasons for the actions of God and His Son.

There is a larger picture to this event. The man, when he was normal, had lived in the nearby town, he owned a home there [Luke 8:39] so the people would have known him when he was well. They could not help but see it was a miraculous healing, they found him “sitting at the feet of Jesus and in his right mind” [Luke 8:35]. In many other situations when someone was healed we read of many others coming for a healing – and that is very understandable. But this time, the people begged Jesus to go away! [Luke 8:37] Why? Because of the destruction of the pigs, presumably the owners lived in the town.

The Law of Moses forbad eating pork, Isaiah condemns the Jews over this [Isaiah 65:4; 66:3; 66:17] Yet there were Jews here who had a large herd; it was a good way of making money, even if the Gentiles were their only customers, which is doubtful! And so they begged Jesus to go away! It is obvious where their priorities lay! The same priorities are evident today.

But Jesus was not completely finished with them, he told the healed man to stay and witness to the people among whom he lived, testifying as to what had happened to him. And he did, going through the whole town, saying what a great thing had happened to him. That must have caused some hard thinking seeing they had begged Jesus to go away!! But what sort of healing is the best healing? A healing that can still happen today, and is much more eternal that casting out demons?
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- DC

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 04:47 AM

16 September 2011

2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8

"WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?"

What do we have faith in today? Certainly not the Government – of whatever kind it may be! Our doctor? It is good to find one we can have a good deal of confidence in – especially if our health is uncertain. While we can speak of having faith in people or things, we know that this is vastly different to having “a true heart in full assurance of faith.” [Hebrews 10:22]

Our readings yesterday and today, [Luke 8; 9] mention 3 people Jesus commended for possessing faith. But there was a fourth mention which caught our eye today, it is the question to his disciples, “Where is your faith?” [Luke 8:35] Jesus is asleep in the boat, “a windstorm came down on the lake and they were filling with water and were in danger” [Luke 8:23] In a panic the disciples wake him, “Master, Master, we are perishing” At his command “the wind and the raging waves … ceased … He said to them, “Where is your faith.”

They had witnessed many miracles, we read yesterday for example, that he stopped a funeral procession and brought a widow’s only son back to life. How fickle us humans can be, we who say we have faith! But we can sympathize with the disciples, their training in serving Christ was not yet complete.

We reflected on this situation with the storm on the lake. We will soon read (in Luke 21) the prediction of Jesus that one day there will be “on the earth distress of nations because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and foreboding …” [Luke 21:25,26] This may well be both a “roaring of the sea” in a literal sense following the prophesied “great earthquake” - linked with Armageddon [Revelation 16:16-18) – but the “distress of nations” will almost certainly have many other causes. Will those experiencing this hear the words of Jesus “Where is your faith?” There are words some of us sing –

The rough winds may wrestle –
Our God will perform
With Christ in the vessel
We smile at the storm
- Will we?
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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:33 AM

16 September 2012

2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8

“IN HIS RIGHT MIND”

Of all the miracles Jesus did the one that usually creates the most comment and questions is the occasion when he healed the madman among the tombs and sent his “demons” into a herd of pigs and they all drowned. The most important thing is to realize the purpose of Jesus in the way this healing happened. Often there is more than one purpose in the actions of Jesus; as with his Father, he saw the “end” from the beginning [Isaiah 46:10].

There is a significant situation behind this event. The man, when he was normal, had lived in the nearby town, he owned a home there [Luke 8:39], so the people would have known him when he was well. They could not help but see it was a miraculous healing, for they found him “sitting at the feet of Jesus and in his right mind” [Luke 8:35]. In many other situations when someone was healed we read of many others then coming for healing – and that is very understandable. But this time, the people begged Jesus to go away! [Luke 8:37] Why? Because of the destruction of the pigs, obviously the owners lived in the town.

The Law of Moses forbad eating pork, Isaiah condemns the Jews over this [Isaiah 65:4; 66:3,17], yet there were Jews here who had a large herd; it was a good way of making money, even if the Gentiles were their only customers, which is doubtful! We conclude therefore that, led by very angry pig owners, they begged Jesus to go away! It is obvious where their priorities lay! Are not the same priorities evident today: what counts most in our lives? How few are interested in spiritual ‘healing’ for their eternal well-being?

Jesus had not finished with the people of this place, he told the healed man to stay and witness to the people among whom he lived, testifying as to what had happened and that Jesus was “the Son of the Most High God” [Luke 8:28] as he had cried out. And he did; that must have caused some hard thinking - after begging Jesus to go away!!

But what sort of healing is the best healing? It is a healing that still happens today. Much more eternal than casting out the ‘demons’ of the mind is the healing of hearts - and a commitment to live God’s way! The witnessing of the healed man may well have borne fruit for Jesus did come back again to this area (see Mark 6:53-56)
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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:28 AM

16 September 2008

2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8

"WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?"

What do we have faith in today? Certainly not the Government – of whatever kind it may be! Our doctor? It is good to find one we can have a good deal of confidence in – especially if our health is uncertain. While we can speak of having faith in people or things, we know that this is vastly different to having “a true heart in full assurance of faith.” [Hebrews 10:22] Notice how it all starts with “a true heart.”

Our readings yesterday and today, [Luke 7; 8] mention 3 people Jesus commended for possessing faith. But there was a fourth mention which caught our eye today, it is the question to his disciples, “Where is your faith?” [Luke 8:35] Jesus is asleep in the boat, “a windstorm came down on the lake and they were filling with water and were in danger” [Luke 8:23] In a panic the disciples wake him, “Master, Master, we are perishing” At his command “the wind and the raging waves … ceased … He said to them, “Where is your faith.”

They had witnessed many miracles, we read yesterday for example, that he stopped a funeral procession and brought a widow’s only son back to life. How fickle we humans can be, we who say we have faith! But we can sympathize with the disciples, their training in serving Christ was not yet complete; how complete is ours?

We reflected on this situation with the storm on the lake. We will soon read (in Luke 21) the prediction of Jesus that one day there will be “on the earth distress of nations because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and foreboding …” [Luke 21:25-26] This may well be both a “roaring of the sea” in a literal sense following the prophesied “great earthquake” - linked with Armageddon [Revelation 16:16-18] – but the “distress of nations” will almost certainly have many other causes. Will those experiencing this hear the words of Jesus “Where is your faith?” There are words some of us sing –

The rough winds may wrestle –
Our God will perform
With Christ in the vessel
We smile at the storm - Will we?
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- DC

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 10:14 AM

16 September 2014
 
2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8  
 
“ASKED HIM TO DEPART” 
            
We read of a remarkable miracle today in Luke 8., the healing of a man who had become totally deranged in mind. He was well known, owned a house and lived in the city before he became insane.  Jesus did many miracles in many different ways but this healing was particularly challenging to those who knew the man and lived in his city. 
            
Jesus came to “the country of the Gerasenes and this man, in his insane state, now lived among the tombs, “When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” [Luke 8:28]  His insane mind led him to perceive who Jesus really was!  There was nothing to be gained by Jesus explaining that such a state of mind was not caused by an ‘evil spirit’ taking over control of the mind; this belief had arisen as a result of the Greek conquest; this was what the Greeks superstitiously believed: the Old Testament shows that no such beliefs were held in earlier years.
            
A dramatic healing occurs!  The supposed ‘demons’ are ‘seen’ to be in the pigs because they madly rush down the slope and drown in the waters of Galilee. Now eating pork, even touching their carcases was ‘unclean’ under the law God gave to Moses [Leviticus 11:7-8]; obviously those keeping the pigs had no regard for the law!   The event was a challenge to the “people (who) went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.” [Luke 8:35]
            
Every other healing Jesus did resulted in many more coming for healings but not here!  “All the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them for they were seized with great fear. [Luke 8:37] We suspect they were afraid of other things that might happen that would cause a further loss of livelihood. 
 
The reasons are not entirely different today for those who believe in evolution rather than a Creator who will hold them responsible for how they live their lives.  Those who believe in a Creator have at least some responsibility!  Recall what we read last week in Ezekiel 3.  “If I say to the wicked, ’You shall sure die,” God says to Ezekiel, “and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn … he shall die for his iniquity but his blood I will require at your hand.  But if you warn the wicked … you will have delivered your soul” [Ezekiel 3:18-19]   Any words we attempt to speak or write must be done in love. Jesus told his hearers to “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” [Matthew 5:44]. We do not want Jesus “to depart” from us.   
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- DC


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Posted 16 September 2015 - 08:09 AM

16 September 2015
 
2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8  
 
“THERE WAS NO KING LIKE HIM WHO …” 
            
What a challenging – and inspiring – set of readings we have today!  In 2 Kings 22; 23 we see how Josiah, the last good and righteous king to reign in Jerusalem was inspired by the words that Moses had written when they were discovered in the Temple as it was being restored and cleansed at his command.  As a result he instituted great reforms and the removal and destruction of everything that was ungodly. "Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him." [2 Kings 23:25] 
            
We can see how he was truly a type of the Messiah and ponder in awe, as we contemplate the future of our world, the laws that will be put in place when our Saviour, God's Son, becomes king and the law goes forth from Jerusalem into all the world. Not for a few years either – but for a 1,000! See Revelation 20:4. 
             
Recall the words in Isaiah 2, “For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between the nations …”  Our imagination is overwhelmed as we try to visualise the reality of this – and the responsibilities the redeemed will have!.
            
In Ezekiel 12 we read how the people were "saying, 'The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing'?" [Ezekiel 12:22] These are visions on the judgements coming on Jerusalem! Ezekiel is to "tell them therefore, 'Thus says the Lord GOD .... The days are near, and the fulfilment of every vision." [Ezekiel 12:23] There is some comparison here with our own anticipations in interpreting prophecy over the last 150 years. The chapter ends, "None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord GOD."
            
In our chapter in Luke [Luke 8] we read some familiar parables, but we must not let their very familiarity to us dull their impact on our consciences. The seed of God's word is sown into all kinds of soil - let us keep tilling our minds so we always provide "good soil ... For (we - they) are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience." [Luke 8:15]
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- DC


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Posted 16 September 2016 - 08:59 AM

16 September 2016
 
2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8 
 
“THE DAYS GROW LONG AND EVERY VISION COMES TO NOTHING”
 
Once again today we have fascinating readings in God’s word – especially if we read them with a ‘seeking’ mind, we will then then perceive there are lessons for us – for they can apply to the situations in which we live today.
 
In 1 Kings 23 we read of the energy of Josiah, he was the last good king in Jerusalem and made many wonderful reforms– but they were forgotten as soon as he died. We can see a degree of comparison with the spiritual reformation that followed the translation and printing of the Bible in English – but in the last 150 years this reformation has declined, until today it has been total obliterated.
 
Then in Ezekiel 12 we read of the reaction of the people to the witnessing efforts of Ezekiel. The reaction to his call for repentance was the ‘invention’ of a proverb, “The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing' [Ezekiel 12:22] But Ezekiel is told to “say to them, “The days are near, and the fulfilment of every vision.” [Ezekiel 12:23] 
 
Coming to Luke 8 we see how Jesus explained the purpose of Parables to his disciples – and for most today - the whole Bible is a sort of parable beyond their understanding; but those who seek to follow in the footsteps of the disciples have hearts that are “good soil” [Luke 8:15] in which ‘the word of God’ grows and gives wonderful meaning to the overall picture and pattern of their lives.
 
Our final – and very meaningful - thought - comes from Luke 8:20-21. Jesus is told, “"Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you." But his response is unexpected! He answers, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." Today we can say, those who “read the word of God” and let it ‘inspire’ their lives. 
 
Those who do this, although their “days grow long” in this godless world, their constant reading of God’s word will cause them to appreciate more and more what they read.
 
An outstanding example is what God caused Habakkuk to write, “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end­ it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come …” [Habakkuk 2:3]
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- DC


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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:47 AM

16 September 2017
 
2 Kings 22; 23
Ezekiel 12
Luke 8 
 
"THERE WAS NO KING LIKE HIM WHO …"
 
What a challenging – and inspiring – set of readings we have today! In 2 Kings 22; 23 we see how Josiah, the last good and righteous king to reign in Jerusalem was inspired by the words that Moses had written when they were discovered in the Temple as it was being restored and cleansed at his command. As a result he instituted great reforms and the removal and destruction of everything that was ungodly. "Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him." [2 Kings 23:25]
 
We can see how he was truly a type of the Messiah and ponder in awe, as we contemplate the future of our world, the laws that will be put in place when our Saviour, God's Son, becomes king and the law goes forth from Jerusalem into all the world. Not for a few years either – but for a 1,000! See Revelation 20:4.
 
Recall the words in Isaiah 2, "For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations …" Our imagination is overwhelmed as we try to visualise the reality of this – and the responsibilities the redeemed will have!
 
In Ezekiel 12 we read how the people were "saying, 'The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing'"? [Ezekiel 12:22] These are visions on the judgements coming on Jerusalem! Ezekiel is to "tell them therefore, 'Thus says the Lord GOD .... The days are near, and the fulfilment of every vision." [Ezekiel 12:23] There is some comparison here with our own anticipations in interpreting prophecy over the last 150 years. The chapter ends, "None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord GOD."
 
In Luke 8 we read some familiar parables, but we must not let their very familiarity to us dull their impact on our consciences. The seed of God's word is sown into all kinds of soil - let us keep tilling our minds so we always provide "good soil ... For (we - they) are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience." [Luke 8:15]
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- DC





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