16 July - 1 Samuel 31; Jeremiah 6; Matthew 17
Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:05 AM
1 Samuel 31
31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa. 31:2 The Philistines followed hard on Saul and on his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 31:3 The battle went hard against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers. 31:4 Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me!” But his armor bearer would not; for he was terrified. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell on it. 31:5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword, and died with him. 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor bearer, and all his men, that same day together. 31:7 When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and lived in them. 31:8 It happened on the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 31:9 They cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines all around, to carry the news to the house of their idols, and to the people. 31:10 They put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth; and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan. 31:11 When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard concerning him that which the Philistines had done to Saul, 31:12 all the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. 31:13 They took their bones, and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:06 AM
6:1 “Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise up a signal on Beth Haccherem; for evil looks forth from the north, and a great destruction. 6:2 The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion, will I cut off. 6:3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch their tents against her all around; they shall feed everyone in his place.”
6:4 “Prepare war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day declines, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 6:5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.” 6:6 For Yahweh of Armies said, “Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 6:7 As a well casts forth its waters, so she casts forth her wickedness: violence and destruction is heard in her; before me continually is sickness and wounds. 6:8 Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited.”
6:9 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, “They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine. Turn again your hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets.”
6:10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they can’t listen. Behold, the word of Yahweh has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it. 6:11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of Yahweh. I am weary with holding in.
“Pour it out on the children in the street,
and on the assembly of young men together;
for even the husband with the wife shall be taken,
the aged with him who is full of days.
6:12 Their houses shall be turned to others,
their fields and their wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says Yahweh.”
6:13 “For from their least even to their greatest, everyone is given to covetousness;
and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely.
6:14 They have healed also the hurt of my people superficially,
saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.
6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
at the time that I visit them, they shall be cast down,” says Yahweh.
6:16 Thus says Yahweh, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, ‘Where is the good way?’ and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 6:17 I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen!’ 6:18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is among them. 6:19 Hear, earth! Behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 6:20 To what purpose comes there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.”
6:21 Therefore thus says Yahweh, “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. The fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them. The neighbor and his friend shall perish.” 6:22 Thus says Yahweh, “Behold, a people comes from the north country. A great nation shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 6:23 They take hold of bow and spear. They are cruel, and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, everyone set in array, as a man to the battle, against you, daughter of Zion.”
6:24 We have heard its report; our hands become feeble: anguish has taken hold of us, and pains as of a woman in labor. 6:25 Don’t go forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and terror, are on every side. 6:26 Daughter of my people, clothe yourself with sackcloth, and wallow in ashes! Mourn, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us.
6:27 “I have made you a tester of metals and a fortress among my people; that you may know and try their way. 6:28 They are all grievous rebels, going about with slanders; they are brass and iron: they all of them deal corruptly. 6:29 The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed of the fire: in vain do they go on refining; for the wicked are not plucked away. 6:30 Men will call them rejected silver, because Yahweh has rejected them.”
Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:08 AM
17:1 After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. 17:2 He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light. 17:3 Behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him.
17:4 Peter answered, and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, let’s make three tents here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
17:6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were very afraid. 17:7 Jesus came and touched them and said, “Get up, and don’t be afraid.” 17:8 Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone. 17:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Don’t tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
17:10 His disciples asked him, saying, “Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
17:11 Jesus answered them, “Elijah indeed comes first, and will restore all things, 17:12 but I tell you that Elijah has come already, and they didn’t recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted to. Even so the Son of Man will also suffer by them.” 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptizer.
17:14 When they came to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him, saying, 17:15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. 17:16 So I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him.”
17:17 Jesus answered, “Faithless and perverse generation! How long will I be with you? How long will I bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 17:18 Jesus rebuked him, the demon went out of him, and the boy was cured from that hour.
17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately, and said, “Why weren’t we able to cast it out?”
17:20 He said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 17:21 But this kind doesn’t go out except by prayer and fasting.”
17:22 While they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered up into the hands of men, 17:23 and they will kill him, and the third day he will be raised up.”
They were exceedingly sorry. 17:24 When they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the didrachma coins came to Peter, and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the didrachma?” 17:25 He said, “Yes.”
When he came into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth receive toll or tribute? From their children, or from strangers?”
17:26 Peter said to him, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Therefore the children are exempt. 17:27 But, lest we cause them to stumble, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up. When you have opened its mouth, you will find a stater coin. Take that, and give it to them for me and you.”
World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain
Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:18 AM
1 Samuel 31
“AN OBJECT OF SCORN”
“Behold the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it. Therefore …” [Jeremiah 6:10] – we will come to the “therefore” in a minute, but the above words jumped out at us in today’s reading in Jeremiah. This is so like the attitude of so many today. Part of the reason for this attitude toward God is the publicity given to the moral failures of those who claim to be serving God. This happened in ancient times; today it is the same.
Jeremiah complains, “they do not defend the rights of the needy … the cause of the fatherless.” [Jeremiah 5:28] We read last week of Jesus uttering similar complaints, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” [Matthew 7:15]. Such hypocrisy only adds to the way most people view the word of God – unless they read it and realize how relevant it is to today and has a message for those who really want to think about the meaning of life - as God sees it!
We notice another point Jeremiah makes. “Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore …” [Jeremiah 6:15] We can apply this more widely. Practices which would have made people blush when I was young, are brazenly practiced these days. It is very difficult for those who are trying hard to walk in God’s righteousness not to be affected, at least a little, by this! This makes it even more important for them to read and meditate on God’s word everyday.
We come now to the “therefore” If you check the quotations we finished with “therefore” above, you will find God is saying – therefore I will act! Note Jeremiah 6:11, “Therefore,” says Jeremiah, “I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in. ‘Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men; both husband and wife shall be taken, the elderly … for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land, declares the LORD.” As we read on in Jeremiah we will see how God gives him a message against all people of the world - and it develops into a “last days” message. Are we turning a deaf ear to this – as did the people of Jerusalem?
Posted 16 July 2011 - 04:48 AM
1 Samuel 31
"ASK FOR THE ANCIENT PATHS WHERE THE GOOD WAY IS"
Jeremiah prophesied until the destruction of Jerusalem. His initial calling was in the reign of the good king Josiah [Jeremiah 1:2] “in the thirteenth year of his reign.” Five years later a great “Passover was kept” [2 Chronicles 35:19]. So as a young man he had a good spiritual environment for this king “turned to the LORD with all his heart” [2 Kings 23:25] But then Josiah was killed! It is here that Jeremiah is first mentioned in 2 Chronicles 35:25 where it says he “uttered a lament for Josiah.”
The attitude of this good king did not have much impact on the people’s spirituality, for at the great Passover it was Josiah who provided all the offerings. We read in Jeremiah 3, “The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah … Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense …” [Jeremiah 3:6,10] How much ‘spirituality’ today might qualify for a similar comment?
After Josiah’s death there was a steep spiritual decline as bad kings with no spirituality at all came to the throne. Most of Jeremiah’s ministry of almost 60 years was very difficult. There is no indication he knew Ezekiel who was probably taken captive 12 years before Jerusalem fell. When we come to read Ezekiel we will see information on the deep spiritual degradation in Jerusalem in those final years, these are messages and visions he had while in captivity.
Today we read how Jeremiah conveys God’s message to the people, “Thus says the LORD: Stand by the roads and look, and ask for the ancient paths where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” [Jeremiah 6:16] The foundation to a true spiritual life is to seek out the “ancient paths where the good way is”! God’s words reveal those “ancient paths” for us today. But do many seek them out? Our seeking must be done with our “whole heart” - that was the failure in Josiah’s good reign.
We read on, “I have set watchmen over you, saying, pay attention” [Jeremiah 6:17] and we may ask ourselves, is God expecting us to be watchmen today? We are going to read Jesus’ words about the need to “watch” next week. Another verse to note is Jeremiah 6:19, “… behold I am bringing disaster … because they have not paid attention to my words” Let us pay attention - but the disaster in our days will have a happier ending – for some – for Jesus will come.
Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:56 AM
1 Samuel 31
"RISE, AND HAVE NO FEAR"
What must it have been like to be one of the disciples of Jesus! The unexpected was always happening – and sometimes it was way beyond human experience. The end of yesterday’s chapter in Matthew 16 has a strange statement by Jesus, “Truly, I say unto you there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom”
Today’s chapter shows Jesus was referring to an experience about to happen to Peter, James and John when he “led them up a high mountain by themselves” [Matthew 17:1] They witnessed a foretaste of his coming glory, it is described as a “vision” in Matthew 17:9 and they were not to talk about it “until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”
What an experience! Jesus “was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.” [Matthew 17:2] Peter, in his 2nd Epistle, makes the point that they “were eye witnesses of his majesty. For when he received honour and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.” [2 Peter 1:16-18]
Matthew tells us that the voice came from “the bright cloud that overshadowed them … ‘this is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’ When the disciples heard this they fell on their faces and were terrified.” [Matthew 17:5-6] Jesus was concerned for them, he “came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise and have no fear’” [Matthew 17:7] This was an experienced etched into Peter’s mind, a foretaste that became a foundation block as his faith grew and he had to face many personal challenges in following in Christ’s footsteps.
We need to have these and other Scriptures etched into our minds to give us strength as God acts to bring extreme trouble to this world and we may encounter awesome experiences. As we come to Matthew 24 we will read of our days and of one awesome experience that awaits true believers: for “if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” [Matthew 24:22] May we have such faith that we will “rise and have no fear” for “he will send out his angels … and they will gather his elect.” [Matthew 24:31]
Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:01 PM
1 Samuel 31
"IF YOU HAVE FAITH LIKE ..."
Only Jesus had perfect faith – but he gives a very useful lesson to his disciples in today’s chapter 17 in Matthew. He had come down from the mountain on which he had been with his 3 chosen disciples – in the meantime the other disciples had been unable to heal an epileptic boy an anxious father had brought to them. They had reason to expect they would be able to perform a healing as they had earlier performed healings when Jesus sent the 12 out to “Proclaim the kingdom …Heal the sick …” [Matthew 10:7-8] among “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
They had the faith then to do it, but they had been specially commissioned by Jesus to do so. This time Jesus calls them, “Faithless … how long am I to be with you?” [Matthew 17:17] and heals the boy “instantly” [Matthew 17:18] They ask Jesus why were they unable to heal, he says, “Because of your little faith” [Matthew 17:20] Then he makes a remarkable statement. “ … if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed you will say …”
Now a mustard seed grows because it has been divinely programmed to grow into a mustard bush, that books tell us grew as high as a horse’s head, as long as it is “fed and watered” (as the hymn goes) sometimes needing the help of humans. So it is “faith” in what has been divinely programmed.
Now note what Jesus adds! “you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’ Jesus is making a particular point. Sometimes Bible readers talk of faith to move mountains, but Jesus does not say, faith to move any mountain, he says, “faith to move this mountain”, and there is a particular mountain in Israel that God is going to move! It is programmed to happen - like the mustard seed.
Do we really believe the prophets with all our heart? It is prophesied “on that day” when “his feet shall stand on the mount of Olives … so that one half of the mountain shall move northward and the other half shall move southward” [Zechariah 14:4] – this mountain will move!
Recall the words of the “two men in white robes” (angels) to the astonished disciples who watched Jesus ascend from the Mount of Olives , “This Jesus .. will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” [Acts 1:11]
That time will be utterly awesome, just like the experience of those chosen disciples on the mount that we read today. When Jesus was transfigured, “they fell on their faces and were terrified” [Matthew 17:7] In the future those with true faith will hear Jesus saying something like he said to those 3 disciples, “Rise and have no fear.”
What is our “faith like?” What wonders awaits those with a genuine faith that Jesus will reward - for “Nothing will be impossible” in God’s kingdom.
Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:06 AM
16 July 2014
1 Samuel 31
“… GREATLY DISTRESSED”
Jesus constantly says things to his disciples which challenge their attitudes and expectations – can we learn lessons ourselves from this? In today’s 17th chapter of Matthew we see how “they were greatly distressed” [Matthew 17:23] after “Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.’” Not long before, as we read yesterday, Jesus had rebuked Peter when Peter had said to him, “This shall never happen to you” [Matthew 16:22]
The message of his impending death was now starting to sink in – their minds are unsuccessful in putting this into focus with his words about the glory that would follow – sitting “on twelve thrones” as we will read in Matthew 19:28. We read today of the three that witnessed his transfiguration, they “fell on their faces and were terrified.” [Matthew 17:6] when they heard the voice of God speaking from a bright cloud saying, “’This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’ [Matthew 17:5]
Such is our human nature, we have great difficulty in coping with events outside the realm of past experience. What if there is a warning of such events? The women who accompanied Jesus were somewhat better in coping with his tragic death than any of the 12 – and they were the first to visit the tomb and accept that he was wondrously raised again and now had an immortal body.
Our thoughts now go to what is to confront us in coming years, maybe even in coming months! Will we be “greatly distressed” when, as we will soon read in Matthew 24:27,29 “as the lightning from the east so will be the coming of the Son of Man … the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall …” Some prefer to give a spiritual interpretation to this – but Jesus is literally returning!
Are we confident we will not be like the disciples, but will have a strong and confident faith anticipating the moment “he will send out his angels and they will gather his elect …”? [Matthew 24:31] – that will be literal. We talk and study a lot about the glories that follow his return – and the disciples rejoiced in the promise of Jesus about their future, but that did not help them to cope with the tragedy that came first.
May our constant prayer be “Lord increase our faith” as the disciples requested of him [Luke 17:5] – and deserve the same commendation Paul gave to the Thessalonians in his 2nd letter to them, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you brothers (& sisters), as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly.”
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