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23 October - 2 Chronicles 18; 19; Daniel 1; John 19


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Posted 23 October 2007 - 11:09 AM

First Portion

2 Chronicles 18; 19


18:1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance; and he joined affinity with Ahab. 18:2 After certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. Ahab killed sheep and cattle for him in abundance, and for the people who were with him, and moved him to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead. 18:3 Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth Gilead?”

He answered him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.” 18:4 Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of Yahweh.”

18:5 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear?”

They said, “Go up; for God will deliver it into the hand of the king.”

18:6 But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there here a prophet of Yahweh besides, that we may inquire of him?”

18:7 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Yahweh; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla.”

Jehoshaphat said, “Don’t let the king say so.”

18:8 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, “Get Micaiah the son of Imla quickly.”

18:9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 18:10 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron, and said, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians, until they are consumed.’”

18:11 All the prophets prophesied so, saying, “Go up to Ramoth Gilead, and prosper; for Yahweh will deliver it into the hand of the king.”

18:12 The messenger who went to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, “Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one mouth. Let your word therefore, please be like one of theirs, and speak good.”

18:13 Micaiah said, “As Yahweh lives, what my God says, that will I speak.”

18:14 When he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear?”

He said, “Go up, and prosper. They shall be delivered into your hand.”

18:15 The king said to him, “How many times shall I adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of Yahweh?”

18:16 He said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. Yahweh said, ‘These have no master. Let them return every man to his house in peace.’”

18:17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”

18:18 Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of Yahweh: I saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, and all the army of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 18:19 Yahweh said, ‘Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ One spoke saying in this way, and another saying in that way. 18:20 A spirit came out, stood before Yahweh, and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“Yahweh said to him, ‘How?’

18:21 “He said, ‘I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’

“He said, ‘You will entice him, and will prevail also. Go forth, and do so.’

18:22 “Now therefore, behold, Yahweh has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; and Yahweh has spoken evil concerning you.”

18:23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, “Which way did the Spirit of Yahweh go from me to speak to you?”

18:24 Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day, when you shall go into an inner room to hide yourself.”

18:25 The king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; 18:26 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace.”’”

18:27 Micaiah said, “If you return at all in peace, Yahweh has not spoken by me.” He said, “Listen, you peoples, all of you!” 18:28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 18:29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself, and go into the battle; but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went into the battle. 18:30 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of his chariots, saying, “Fight neither with small nor great, except only with the king of Israel.”

18:31 It happened, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “It is the king of Israel!” Therefore they turned around to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and Yahweh helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. 18:32 It happened, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. 18:33 A certain man drew his bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of the armor. Therefore he said to the driver of the chariot, “Turn your hand, and carry me out of the army; for I am severely wounded.” 18:34 The battle increased that day. However the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the evening; and about the time of the going down of the sun, he died.

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 11:09 AM

19:1 Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. 19:2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked, and love those who hate Yahweh? Because of this, wrath is on you from before Yahweh. 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have put away the Asheroth out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.”

19:4 Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 19:5 He set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, 19:6 and said to the judges, “Consider what you do: for you don’t judge for man, but for Yahweh; and he is with you in the judgment. 19:7 Now therefore let the fear of Yahweh be on you. Take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with Yahweh our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.”

19:8 Moreover in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed Levites and priests, and of the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, for the judgment of Yahweh, and for controversies. They returned to Jerusalem. 19:9 He commanded them, saying, “Thus you shall do in the fear of Yahweh, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. 19:10 Whenever any controversy shall come to you from your brothers who dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them, that they not be guilty towards Yahweh, and so wrath come on you and on your brothers. Do this, and you shall not be guilty. 19:11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of Yahweh; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all the king’s matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and may Yahweh be with the good.”

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 11:10 AM

Second Portion

Daniel 1


1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem, and besieged it. 1:2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god: and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. 1:3 The king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles; 1:4 youths in whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and endowed with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability to stand in the king’s palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the language of the Chaldeans. 1:5 The king appointed for them a daily portion of the king’s dainties, and of the wine which he drank, and that they should be nourished three years; that at its end they should stand before the king. 1:6 Now among these were, of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.. 1:7 The prince of the eunuchs gave names to them: to Daniel he gave the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego. 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s dainties, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 1:9 Now God made Daniel to find kindness and compassion in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs. 1:10 The prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse looking than the youths who are of your own age? so would you endanger my head with the king. 1:11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 1:12 Test your servants, I beg you, ten days; and let them give us vegetables to eat, and water to drink. 1:13 Then let our faces be looked on before you, and the face of the youths who eat of the king’s dainties; and as you see, deal with your servants. 1:14 So he listened to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 1:15 At the end of ten days their faces appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh, than all the youths who ate of the king’s dainties. 1:16 So the steward took away their dainties, and the wine that they should drink, and gave them pulse. 1:17 Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 1:18 At the end of the days which the king had appointed for bringing them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 1:19 The king talked with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding, concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters who were in all his realm. 1:21 Daniel continued even to the first year of king Cyrus.



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Posted 23 October 2007 - 11:12 AM

Third Portion

John 19


19:1 So Pilate then took Jesus, and flogged him. 19:2 The soldiers twisted thorns into a crown, and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple garment. 19:3 They kept saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and they kept slapping him.

19:4 Then Pilate went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I bring him out to you, that you may know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”

19:5 Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the man!”

19:6 When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw him, they shouted, saying, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and crucify him, for I find no basis for a charge against him.”

19:7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”

19:8 When therefore Pilate heard this saying, he was more afraid. 19:9 He entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 19:10 Pilate therefore said to him, “Aren’t you speaking to me? Don’t you know that I have power to release you, and have power to crucify you?”

19:11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power at all against me, unless it were given to you from above. Therefore he who delivered me to you has greater sin.”

19:12 At this, Pilate was seeking to release him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you release this man, you aren’t Caesar’s friend! Everyone who makes himself a king speaks against Caesar!”

19:13 When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called “The Pavement,” but in Hebrew, “Gabbatha.” 19:14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, at about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”

19:15 They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!”

Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”

19:16 So then he delivered him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led him away. 19:17 He went out, bearing his cross, to the place called “The Place of a Skull,” which is called in Hebrew, “Golgotha,” 19:18 where they crucified him, and with him two others, on either side one, and Jesus in the middle. 19:19 Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross. There was written, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 19:20 Therefore many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 19:21 The chief priests of the Jews therefore said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘he said, I am King of the Jews.’”

19:22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 19:24 Then they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to decide whose it will be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which says,

“They parted my garments among them.
For my cloak they cast lots.”

Therefore the soldiers did these things. 19:25 But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 19:26 Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 19:27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.

19:28 After this, Jesus, seeing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 19:29 Now a vessel full of vinegar was set there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop, and held it at his mouth. 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.

19:31 Therefore the Jews, because it was the Preparation Day, so that the bodies wouldn’t remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special one), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 19:32 Therefore the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with him; 19:33 but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs. 19:34 However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 19:35 He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe. 19:36 For these things happened, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “A bone of him will not be broken.”* 19:37 Again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they pierced.”

19:38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked of Pilate that he might take away Jesus’ body. Pilate gave him permission. He came therefore and took away his body. 19:39 Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred Roman pounds. 19:40 So they took Jesus’ body, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb in which no man had ever yet been laid. 19:42 Then because of the Jews’ Preparation Day (for the tomb was near at hand) they laid Jesus there.

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 12:57 PM

23 October 2008

2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 10:29 AM

23 October 2009

2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:11 AM

23 October 2010

2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19

"THEY WILL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED"

These words from Zechariah’s prophecy [Zechariah 12:10] are quoted in today’s reading in John 19. John is completing his intimate account of the final hours of Jesus and the dying commission of his Master to him to look after his mother as they stood together near the cross. John was “the disciple who he loved” [John 19:26]

As to the others “ they all left him and fled” [Mark 14:50] apart from Peter – and we know well the tragedy of his ultimate denial. Now note the two Old Testament prophecies that John quotes as having been fulfilled at this time. The first, that “not one of his bones will be broken” is an unexpected application of the Divine command to Moses that they were not to break the bones of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46, reaffirmed in Numbers 9:12). We conclude that this command had this ultimate application in mind – and after the sacrifice of Jesus the Passover feast had fulfilled its purpose.

Now the other prophecy John mentions is just as interesting! “They will look on him whom they have pierced” [Zechariah 12:10] because this verse includes the prediction that their act of looking “on him” occurs when Jesus returns. The complete prophecy is, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn …”

When this occurs, those who caused him to be pierced will need to be there. At the resurrection not all will receive the “spirit of grace” and their “pleas for mercy” will not be heeded for Jesus had warned them in his teaching, “When once the Master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock … you will begin to say, We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets. But he will say … Depart from me … there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out” [Luke 13:25-28]. Food for much thought. What will be said to me, to you?
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Posted 23 October 2011 - 05:21 AM

23 October 2011

2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19

"A SPIRIT OF GRACE AND PLEAS FOR MERCY"

Zechariah’s remarkable prophecy [Zechariah 12:10] is quoted in today’s reading in John 19. John is completing his intimate account of the final hours of Jesus and the dying commission that was given to John to look after his mother. The two of them stood near the cross. John “the disciple whom he loved … took her to his own home” [John 19:26,27]. As to the others “they all left him and fled” [Mark 14:50], apart from Peter – and we know well the tragedy of his denial.

Now note the two Old Testament prophecies that John quotes as being fulfilled at this time. The first is that “not one of his bones will be broken.” This is an unexpected application of the Divine command to Moses that they were not to break the bones of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46, reaffirmed in Numbers 9:12). Should we conclude that the purpose of the Passover had fulfilled its purpose after the sacrifice of Jesus? Maybe not, the religious Jews still celebrate the Passover today and have just done so, so we should really say the final awakening of its meaning for natural Israelites is about to happen.

This perception links in with the other prophecy that John refers to in this chapter; “they will look on him whom they have pierced” [Zechariah 12:10]. This prediction to their act of looking “on him” surely applies to when Jesus returns. The complete prophecy is, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn …”

At Christ’s return, those who caused him to be pierced will need to be there. At the resurrection some of these will receive the “spirit of grace” as they make “pleas for mercy”! We serve a merciful God. But tragically there will be anguish for some, for Jesus had warned, “When once the Master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock … you will begin to say, We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets. But he will say … Depart from me … there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out” [Luke 13:25-28].

Today God’s Word and its wondrous Gospel message is in the entire world! Will some say, ‘We had a Bible in our home and we did read it sometimes”, as they seek that “spirit of grace” and make their “pleas for mercy” - for not only natural Jews will be involved on that day – soon to come! Will you? Why not? God will decide.
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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:03 AM

23 October 2012

2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19

"THEY ALL LEFT HIM AND FLED"

These words from Zechariah’s prophecy [Zechariah 12:10] are quoted in today’s reading in John 19. John is completing his intimate account of the final hours of Jesus and the dying commission of his Master to him to look after his mother as they stood together near the cross. John was “the disciple who he loved” [John 19:26]

As to the others “ they all left him and fled” [Mark 14:50] apart from Peter ­ and we know well the tragedy of his ultimate denial. Now note the two Old Testament prophecies that John quotes as having been fulfilled at this time. The first, that “not one of his bones will be broken” is an unexpected application of the Divine command to Moses that they were not to break the bones of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46, reaffirmed in Numbers 9:12). We conclude that this command had this ultimate application in mind ­ and after the sacrifice of Jesus the Passover feast had fulfilled its purpose.

Now the other prophecy John mentions is just as interesting! “They will look on him whom they have pierced” [Zechariah 12:10] because this verse includes the prediction that their act of looking “on him” occurs when Jesus returns. The complete prophecy is, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn …”

When this occurs, those who caused him to be pierced will need to be there. At the resurrection not all will receive the “spirit of grace” and their “pleas for mercy” will not be heeded for Jesus had warned them in his teaching, “When once the Master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock … you will begin to say, We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets. But he will say … Depart from me … there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out” [Luke 13:25-28]. Food for much thought. What will be said to me, to you?
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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:48 AM

23 October 2013

2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19

“… AND HE MADE A MARRIAGE ALLIANCE”

What a fascinating set of readings we have today, they provide a multitude of thoughts! We read in 2 Chronicles yesterday of the great successes of Jehoshaphat and how “the LORD established the kingdom in his hand … His heart was courageous in the ways of the LORD” and he “grew steadily greater.” [2 Chronicles 17:5,6,12]

However, in today’s chapter [2 Chronicles 18] we read of his serious error of judgment. The chapter starts, “Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honour and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab” whose wife was the infamous Jezebel. In theory Ahab worshipped the God of Israel, but in practice he was a man without any principles.

Ahab wanted Jehoshaphat to join him in fighting against the Syrians, and Jehoshaphat says, “I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.” [2 Chronicles 18:3] The war is a disaster and Ahab is killed, the warnings of a genuine prophet of the LORD were ignored by Ahab.

In the next chapter we read how, when Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem, a “seer went out to meet him and said … ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the LORD. Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asherah’s (idols) out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.” [2 Chronicles 19:2-3]

What a valuable lesson there is in this sequence of events! We show whether we really love the Lord or not by what we do ­ this shows we really mean what we say. Ahab was ostensibly an Israelite, but his actions repeatedly showed he was not one in his heart ­ tragically this is also the situation within Christianity ­ it is so easy to take it for granted that all who claim Christ to be their Saviour are genuine, but as with Ahab, actions speak louder than words ­ and a really good God-fearing man like Jehoshaphat made a serious mistake with tragic consequences, especially for the next generations as we will read in coming days..

Peter wrote to the early believers telling them that “having purified your souls by obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart” [1 Peter 1:22] The truth as taught by Jesus and the Apostles is the foundation, then acts of love build upon it; acts which must be from “a pure heart.” How tragic was the failure of Jehoshaphat after he said, “I am as you are”! His life story provides a meaningful lesson for us.
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Posted 23 October 2014 - 04:52 AM

23 October 2014
 
2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19 
 
"A SPIRIT OF GRACE AND PLEAS FOR MERCY"
             
Zechariah’s remarkable prophecy [Zechariah 12:10] is quoted in today’s reading in John 19. John is completing his intimate account of the final hours of Jesus. The dying commission that was given to John by Jesus was to look after his mother.  John and Jesus’ mother stood near the cross.  John “the disciple whom he loved … took her to his own home” [John 19:26-27].  As to the others “they all left him and fled” [Mark 14:50], apart from Peter – and we know well the tragedy of his denial. 
            
Let’s consider the two Old Testament prophecies that John quotes as being fulfilled at this time.  The first is that “not one of his bones will be broken.”  This is an unexpected application of the Divine command to Moses that they were not to break the bones of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46, reaffirmed in Numbers 9:12).  Should we conclude that the purpose of the Passover had been fulfilled after the sacrifice of Jesus?  Maybe not, the religious Jews still celebrate the Passover today.  We believe the final awakening of its meaning for natural Israelites will happen and that could be very soon.  
            
We note the other prophecy that John refers to in this chapter; “they will look on him whom they have pierced” [Zechariah 12:10]. This prediction of their looking “on him” surely applies to when Jesus returns. The complete prophecy is, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn …”  
            
At Christ’s return, those who caused him to be pierced will need to be there. At the resurrection some of these will receive the “spirit of grace” as they make “pleas for mercy”!    We serve a merciful God,  but tragically there will be anguish for some, for Jesus had warned, “when once the Master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock … you will begin to say, We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.  But he will say … Depart from me … there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out” [Luke 13:25-28].  
 
Today God’s Word and its wondrous Gospel is there for the entire world to read!  Will some say, ‘We had a Bible in our home and we did read it sometimes’, as they seek that “spirit of grace” and make their “pleas for mercy” - for not only natural Jews will be involved on that day – but all who claim a relationship to him – and all he sees – as being accountable for judgement!  In John 12  we read, “The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” – especially those who “do not receive my words” [John 12:48] Today it is the word that has been written!  What will Christ see – as to your real reaction to that word? Are we whole-heartedly receiving it – as we see many did - in the book of Acts?  As the hymn puts it – ‘We make the answer now’
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- DC 


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Posted 23 October 2015 - 06:58 AM

23 October 2015
 
2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19 
 
"THEY WILL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED"   
 
These words from Zechariah’s prophecy [Zechariah 12:10] are quoted in today’s reading in John 19. John is completing his intimate account of the final hours of Jesus and the dying commission of his Master to him to look after his mother as they stood together near the cross.  John was “the disciple whom he loved” [John 19:26] 
             
As to the others “they all left him and fled” [Mark 14:50] apart from Peter – and we know well the heart ache of his ultimate denial. We specially note the two Old Testament prophecies that John quotes as having been fulfilled at this time. The first, that “not one of his bones will be broken” is an unexpected application of the Divine command to Moses that they were not to break the bones of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46, reaffirmed in Numbers 9:12).  We conclude that this command had this ultimate application in mind – after the sacrifice of Jesus the Passover feast had fulfilled its purpose.
             
Now the other prophecy John mentions is just as interesting!  “They will look on him whom they have pierced” [Zechariah 12:10]. This prediction of their act of looking “on him” must occur when Jesus returns. How awesome, indeed, utterly overwhelming, will be their feelings.
            
The complete prophecy is, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn …”  [Zechariah 12:10; John 19:37] When this occurs, those who caused him to be pierced will obviously be raised to be there. 
            
At the resurrection not all will receive the “spirit of grace” and their “pleas for mercy” will not be heeded for Jesus had warned them in his teaching, “When once the Master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock … you will begin to say, We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.  But he will say … Depart from me … there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out” [Luke 13:25-28].  
 
Food for much thought. Is it possible he will say to some. ‘You owned and read a copy of God’s word – but what difference did it make to your life? What will be said to me, to you?  
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- DC


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Posted 23 October 2016 - 03:14 AM

23 October 2016
 
2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19 
 
“… THAT YOU ALSO MAY BELIEVE”
 
What do you believe? What do people believe today? Most people seem to have given up trying to believe anything except what they can see and touch. For many, life is like the man in the parable that Jesus told, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry." [Luke 12:19] But that night he died, as the next verse tells us. And the lesson Jesus draws? Luke 12:21 tells us, “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
 
Today, for nearly everyone, life is increasingly uncertain, there is nothing they feel they can believe – in the long term sense, so they concentrate more and more on finding ways to “relax, eat, drink, be merry."
 
What started our thinking along these lines is what we read today in John 19. John, who stood by the cross with Jesus’ mother [John 19:26] witnessed all that happened and, as Jesus had said earlier, as we read in John 14:29, “I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.”
 
As John spells out in detail the awesome events of the crucifixion, he says “these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled” [John 19:36-37]. In Psalm 22:16-17; 34:20 we read the Scriptures that were then being fulfilled. Psalm 22:18 also forecast how they would “divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” – fulfilled by the solders beside the cross as John 19:24 tells us. Today there is clear evidence with the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls that this was written long before these events took place.
 
Now note what John declares in John 19:35 “He who saw it has borne witness his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth that you also may believe.” And so they did believe – as the testimonies of the disciples were written and spread abroad in the first and second centuries! And again as the Bible was translated and spread round the world in recent centuries. 
 
But today the question Jesus asked and which we read in Luke 18:8, echoes in our minds, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Real belief and faith only comes through reading and absorbing God’s word every day – let us make sure we each do this – and strengthen each other whenever we get together, “making the best use of the (our) time, because the days are evil.” [Ephesians 5:16]
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- DC


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Posted 23 October 2017 - 11:00 AM

23 October 2017
 
2 Chronicles 18; 19
Daniel 1
John 19 
 
"AND HE KNOWS THAT HE IS TELLING THE TRUTH"
 
John's gospel provides us with the most intimate account of events in the life or Jesus – especially of those in the final hours of his mortal life. We read today in John 19 of how the soldiers broke the legs of the 2 crucified with him to make sure they were dead before the Sabbath began [John 19:31] "But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs" [John 19:33]. 
 
John, "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 19:26 - which is the way John refers to himself – without naming himself) then makes a significant declaration. "He who saw it has borne witness ­his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth that you also may believe" [John 19:35]. Let us believe – but when we declare that we do – we must act in ways that show we mean what we declare!
 
We must follow through with truthful words – and actions – throughout our lives. In John 20, John makes a challenging statement - to us today – "these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." [John 20:31] What kind of life? All those who believe, as John most evidently did, have no doubt that he means "eternal life" – beginning from "the last day" when Jesus returns to judge the world. 
 
Let us finish by recalling the words of Jesus we read in John 12 "the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment­what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life." [John 12:48-50] Let us believe the words and commandments of Jesus – and acknowledge that John especially, who records them, "knows that he is telling the truth." 
 
It is also of heart-challenging value to remember the words of Jesus we read in John 6 "For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." [John 6:40]
 
And how close are we now to "the last day"?
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- DC





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