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18 September - 1 Chronicles 1; Ezekiel 14; Luke 10


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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:18 AM

First Portion

1 Chronicles 1


1:1 Adam, Seth, Enosh, 1:2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 1:3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, 1:4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
1:5 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. 1:6 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Diphath, and Togarmah. 1:7 The sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.

1:8 The sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 1:9 The sons of Cush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raama, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba, and Dedan. 1:10 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

1:11 Mizraim became the father of Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 1:12 and Pathrusim, and Casluhim (from whence came the Philistines), and Caphtorim.

11:3 Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 1:14 and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, 1:15 and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 1:16 and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.

1:17 The sons of Shem: Elam, and Asshur, and Arpachshad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech. 1:18 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah, and Shelah became the father of Eber. 1:19 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 1:20 Joktan became the father of Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, 1:21 and Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, 1:22 and Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba, 1:23 and Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan.

1:24 Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, 1:25 Eber, Peleg, Reu, 1:26 Serug, Nahor, Terah, 1:27 Abram (the same is Abraham).

1:28 The sons of Abraham: Isaac, and Ishmael. 1:29 These are their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 1:30 Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema, 1:31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. 1:32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bore Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba, and Dedan. 1:33 The sons of Midian: Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.

1:34 Abraham became the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau, and Israel. 1:35 The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jalam, and Korah. The Second Book of Chronicles 1:36 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek. 1:37 The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. 1:38 The sons of Seir: Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, and Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan. 1:39 The sons of Lotan: Hori, and Homam; and Timna was Lotan's sister. 1:40 The sons of Shobal: Alian, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. The sons of Zibeon: Aiah, and Anah. 1:41 The sons of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hamran, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran. 1:42 The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, and Zaavan, Jaakan. The sons of Dishan: Uz, and Aran.

1:43 Now these are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before there resigned any king over the children of Israel: Bela the son of Beor; and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 1:44 Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his place. 1:45 Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his place. 1:46 Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who struck Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his place; and the name of his city was Avith. 1:47 Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place. 1:48 Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth by the River reigned in his place. 1:49 Shaul died, and Baal Hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his place. 1:50 Baal Hanan died, and Hadad reigned in his place; and the name of his city was Pai: and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 1:51 Hadad died. The chiefs of Edom were: chief Timna, chief Aliah, chief Jetheth, 1:52 chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, 1:53 chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, 1:54 chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These are the chiefs of Edom.

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:21 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 14


14:1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel to me, and sat before me. 14:2 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 14:3 Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them? 14:4 Therefore speak to them, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Every man of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I Yahweh will answer him therein according to the multitude of his idols; 14:5 that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

14:6 Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Return, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. 14:7 For everyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, and takes his idols into his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet to inquire for himself of me; I Yahweh will answer him by myself: 14:8 and I will set my face against that man, and will make him an astonishment, for a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.

14:9 If the prophet is deceived and speak a word, I, Yahweh, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand on him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 14:10 They shall bear their iniquity: the iniquity of the prophet shall be even as the iniquity of him who seeks to him; 14:11 that the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither defile themselves any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, says the Lord Yahweh.

14:12 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 14:13 Son of man, when a land sins against me by committing a trespass, and I stretch out my hand on it, and break the staff of its bread, and send famine on it, and cut off from it man and animal; 14:14 though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord Yahweh. 14:15 If I cause evil animals to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no man may pass through because of the animals; 14:16 though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only should be delivered, but the land should be desolate. 14:17 Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off from it man and animal; 14:18 though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only should be delivered themselves. 14:19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath on it in blood, to cut off from it man and animal; 14:20 though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither son nor daughter; they should but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

14:21 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: How much more when I send my four sore judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the evil animals, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and animal! 14:22 Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be carried forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth to you, and you shall see their way and their doings; and you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought on it. 14:23 They shall comfort you, when you see their way and their doings; and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord Yahweh.

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:39 AM

Third Portion

Luke 10


10:1 Now after these things, the Lord also appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two ahead of him into every city and place, where he was about to come. 10:2 Then he said to them, "The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he may send out laborers into his harvest. 10:3 Go your ways. Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 10:4 Carry no purse, nor wallet, nor sandals. Greet no one on the way. 10:5 Into whatever house you enter, first say,'Peace be to this house.' 10:6 If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 10:7 Remain in that same house, eating and drinking the things they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Don't go from house to house. 10:8 Into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat the things that are set before you. 10:9 Heal the sick who are therein, and tell them,'The Kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10:10 But into whatever city you enter, and they don't receive you, go out into its streets and say, 10:11 'Even the dust from your city that clings to us, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the Kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10:12 I tell you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

10:13 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 10:14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 10:15 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades.

10:16 Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me. Whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me."

10:17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" 10:18 He said to them, "I saw Satan having fallen like lightning from heaven. 10:19 Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will in any way hurt you. 10:20 Nevertheless, don't rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

10:21 In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight." 10:22 Turning to the disciples, he said, "All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him."

10:23 Turning to the disciples, he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see, 10:24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see the things which you see, and didn't see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and didn't hear them."

10:25 Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 10:26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" 10:27 He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 10:28 He said to him, "You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live." 10:29 But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"

10:30 Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 10:31 By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 10:32 In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 10:34 came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 10:35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him,'Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.' 10:36 Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?" 10:37 He said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

10:38 It happened as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 10:39 She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 10:40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to him, and said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me." 10:41 Jesus answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 10:42 but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her."

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:56 AM

18 September 2008

1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 11:50 PM

18 September 2009

1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:39 AM

18 September 2010

1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10

IDOLS

There are many idols in the world today. Modern means of instant communication have made it possible to promote news about all kinds of things, especially what people are doing and achieving. Some are put on a pedestal for all to see – and whom many admire. These people make enormous amounts of money, especially entertainers and sports stars. All the best footballers in the AFL become millionaires. Pop stars become multi-millionaires, even billionaires! They are adored (worshipped?) by idolizing fans.

Our Ezekiel reading [Ezekiel 14] is all about idols. All the nations, apart from Israel, worshipped idols instead of the one true God. Why? The way they worshipped idols appealed to human nature. There were temple prostitutes in attendance to these idols; it appealed to human nature to go there.

Ezekiel warns, “Thus says the Lord GOD: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations” [Ezekiel 14:6] He adds, “anyone … who separates himself from me … I will set my face against that person” Today, God surely takes the same attitude, if we allow godless attitudes to live and thrive in our minds, but then on Sunday come to worship and sing hymns … we cannot expect God’s attitude to be any different to what it was to His people in the days of Ezekiel.

The great blessing the Bible reveals is to empathize that God is a God love, ever ready to be merciful. Paul stressed this again and again, for example to the Ephesians he wrote, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved” [Ephesians 2:4,5]
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Posted 18 September 2011 - 03:17 AM

18 September 2011

1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10

“TURN AWAY FROM YOUR IDOLS”

There are many idols in the world today. Modern means of instant communication have made it possible to promote news about all kinds of things, especially what people are doing and achieving in sports and entertainment. The best achievers are put on a pedestal – and many admire and idolize them. These people make enormous amounts of money, especially entertainers and sports stars. All the best footballers in the AFL become millionaires. Pop stars become multi-millionaires, even billionaires! They are adored (worshipped?) by idolizing fans.

Our Ezekiel reading [Ezekiel 14] is all about idols. All the nations, apart from Israel, worshipped idols instead of the one true God. Why? The way they worshipped idols appealed to human nature. There were temple prostitutes in attendance in the temples of these idols, other orgies took place there; it appealed greatly to baser human instincts.

God tells Ezekiel to “speak to them and say … anyone … who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him …Thus says the Lord GOD: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations” [Ezekiel 14:4,6] He adds, “anyone … who separates himself from me … I will set my face against that person” [Ezekiel 14:7,8]

Today, God surely takes the same attitude to those who turn from him and allow godless attitudes to thrive in their minds, but then on Sunday come to worship and sing hymns … we cannot expect God’s attitude to be any different to what it was in the days of Ezekiel. Those who today have come out of this godless world can see this most clearly and fully appreciate the words of Paul, “You were slaves of sin … but what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? … become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” [Romans 6:20-22] “Turn away from your idols.”
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Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:40 AM

18 September 2012

1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10

" ... AND YET COMES TO THE PROPHET"

Ezekiel is recognised as a man in touch with God, as a true prophet, by the “elders of Israel” [Ezekiel 14:1], they are all together in captivity. They had been taken into captivity because of their godlessness. Note God’s attitude about those who came to listen to Ezekiel for God knew their hearts. He writes, “the word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and have set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?” [Ezekiel 14:3]

Then the LORD says, “Anyone … who takes his idols into his heart and sets up a stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him … that I may lay hold of the hearts … who are estranged from me through their idols.” [Ezekiel 14:4-5]

Let us be clear about the principle here. In believing and seeking to serve God, it must be with our whole heart. Other prophets had the same message, Hosea said, “Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt.” [Hosea 10:2] There is a song that is popular among many, “‘Lord, give me an undivided heart.’” – but the onus is on us to put out of our minds any ‘idols’ that attract and distract our thinking. This had been the case in previous generations; in the reign of good king Asa, people came to worship “And all Judah rejoiced … for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them …” [2 Chronicles 15:15]

Our song and prayer should be for help to develop undivided hearts. We do not have prophets today, instead we have God’s word. But those with “divided” hearts very easily misunderstand it as they try to find proof of what they want to believe – and also justify their way of life.

Ezekiel 14:9 is a challenge to understand, “if the prophet is deceived , I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him … they shall bear their punishment – the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer alike – that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, nor defile themselves … ” The purpose of God’s action is clear, to correct the straying ways of his people, “that they may be my people and I may be their God …” [Ezekiel 14:11] But ‘prophets’ ancient and modern, with divided hearts, are allowed to tread the path they have chosen.

Here are lessons for us today that we may “not be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15] Sadly, many do not and God allows them to be deceived, let us seek him ‘with our whole desire’ then he will be “found” by us in a wondrous relationship founded on a prayerful meditation on his word.
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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:54 AM

18 September 2013

1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10

“WITH ALL YOUR HEART”

The scriptures make it plain that the condition of our hearts matters most of all. Jesus gave a very significant answer to “a lawyer (who) stood up to put him to the test, saying, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [Luke 10:25] Jesus answered his question with a question; ”What is written in the Law? How do you read it? And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbour as yourself” [Luke 10:27]

Jesus commended him for his answer, but we should note that his answer came not from the initial law that Moses gave after being on the mount, but from the final exhortation Moses gave to the people before his death! (see Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 30:6) It is also valuable to note that in the parallel passage about this in Matthew 19:16-22, we learn that there was one thing the young lawyer loved that undermined his awareness of the need for a correctly focused attitude of “love” - it was that he had “great possessions” – and he loved those too.

So it is the affect that loving God has – on all your other attitudes, the other things you love, that matters. Now this was a contrast to the ‘cold’ feelings of the religious men who were jealous of Jesus . The lament of God recorded by the Psalmist comes to mind, “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts …” [Psalm 81:11-12]

We noted the fleshly feelings that the LORD told Ezekiel to condemn, for today’s chapter [Ezekiel 14] starts, “Then certain of the elders of Israel came to me … and the word of the LORD came to me, ‘Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts…. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? … say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart … and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him … that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are estranged from me through their idols.” [Ezekiel 14:1-5]

God further says through Ezekiel, “For anyone … who separates himself from me, by taking his idols into his heart … and yet comes to a prophet to consult me … I will set my face against that man (or woman) …” [Ezekiel 14:7-8] We meditated on this – we come to God’s word and read it for what reason, in what spirit of mind? Is not this parallel to a person coming to a prophet in those days – if their heart has the wrong attitude – God will set his face against them – and us.

Finally, taking our thoughts back to the lawyer – Jesus told him he had “answered correctly; this do and you will live” [Luke 10:28] - so let us - “this do” - and serve our Lord with all our heart.
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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:01 PM

18 September 2014 
 
1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10 
 
"LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ..."
             
How depressed Ezekiel must have been! The LORD caused him to be aware of the totally godless attitude that existed in Jerusalem.  He writes, “certain of the elders of Israel came to see me.” [Ezekiel 14:1]  The “word of the LORD” comes to him, “… these men have taken their idols into their hearts and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces.  Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?” [Ezekiel 14:3]
            
The lesson is plain, it is folly to come to seek God and yet retain fleshly thoughts in our minds.  Ezekiel is further told, “any one of the house of Israel … who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart … and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I, the LORD will answer him myself.  And I will set my face against that man (or woman)…” [Ezekiel 14:7-8] Surely the same applies today to those who “consult” God through reading his word – but have a wrong motive in their hearts.  Peter’s words come to mind about Paul’s writings,, “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” [2 Peter 3:16]  
 
In our chapter [10] in Luke there is some comparison with the attitude of the lawyer who asked Jesus, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"   He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?"  And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself." [Luke 10:25-27] 
            
Jesus says to him, “You have answered correctly: do this and you will live.”  But he asks, “and, who is my neighbour?” In response Jesus tells him the well-known account of the ‘Good Samaritan’ and asks the man, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell among robbers?” [Luke 10:36]  He answers, “The one who showed mercy” and is told, “You go and do likewise.” 
            
Let us all love our Lord, with all our heart, our soul, our strength and our mind showing our love by our actions day after day: of course, we will sense at times, something similar to what the LORD caused Ezekiel to sense.  But surely, in at least some cases, it will cause others to “do likewise” and – for at least one or two to take serious notice of the message and meaning of what we talk about –  the wonder and real meaning of the word of God – as the only ‘light’ in the darkness that covers the world today.
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Posted 18 September 2015 - 04:36 AM

18 September 2015
 
1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10  
 
REJOICE THAT YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN"
            
Our Ezekiel chapter [Ezekiel 14] again indicates how godless God’s nation had become; Ezekiel is told that “when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord GOD." [Ezekiel 14:13-14]
            
It can bring strength to meditate on the trials those 3 men successfully endured!  Of course the people in Jerusalem were also under trial, but they had no thought of increasing their relationship with God as those three did!  Are greater trials soon to come on us?  Will we respond in at least some way like those three worthies did?
            
In Luke we have an opposite picture - rejoicing! Luke 10 starts by telling us that "the Lord appointed 72" to go on ahead of him as "labourers into his harvest" [Luke 10:1-2]  They "returned with joy" [Luke 10:17], telling him what they had been able to do "in your name" [Luke 10:17]  Jesus make's a strange comment!  "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." [Luke 10:18] How do we understand this?  Well, we remember the time when Jesus "turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man." [Matthew 16:23]  Wonderfully, Peter did end up setting his mind "on the things of God."  Let us make sure we do.
            
The 'satans' Jesus saw fall from heaven (their abode of self-importance) were the religious leaders, so frustrated that the followers of Jesus were attracting such attention - compared to them. Now, let us learn the lesson in Jesus' response to the rejoicing of the seventy-two.  We read how he said to them, "do not rejoice in this” – what they had achieved in serving God -  ”but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." [Luke 10:20] 
            
Let us make sure we can rejoice for the same reason.  How frank - but also inspiring - are the words of Jesus in the last chapter of the Bible. "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.... Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life" [Revelation 22:12,14]  Back in Revelation 7:13-14, John, who wrote Revelation, is asked a question, ""Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?"  I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Does "great tribulation" await us in any form? Let us rejoice and keep our minds focused on the wonder that "(y)our names are written in heaven." 
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- DC


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Posted 18 September 2016 - 08:52 AM

18 September 2016
 
1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10  
 
"LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ..."
 
How depressed Ezekiel must have been! The LORD caused him to be aware of the totally godless attitude that existed in Jerusalem. He writes, “certain of the elders of Israel came to see me.” [Ezekiel 14:1] The “word of the LORD” comes to him, “… these men have taken their idols into their hearts and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?” [Ezekiel 14:3] The lesson is plain, it is folly to come to seek God and yet retain fleshly thoughts in our minds. Ezekiel is further told, “any one of the house of Israel … who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart … and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I, the LORD will answer him myself. And I will set my face against that man (or woman) …” [Ezekiel 14:7-8] Surely the same applies today to those who “consult” God through reading his word – but have a wrong motive in their hearts. Peter’s words come to mind about Paul’s writings,, “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” [2 Peter 3:16]
 
In our chapter in Luke [Luke 10] there is some comparison with the attitude of the lawyer who asked Jesus, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself." [Luke 10:25-27]
 
Jesus says to him, “You have answered correctly: do this and you will live.” But he asks, “and, who is my neighbour?” In response Jesus tells him the well-known account of the ‘Good Samaritan’ and asks the man, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell among robbers?” [Luke 10:36] He answers, “The one who showed mercy” and is told, “You go and do likewise.” Let us all love our Lord, with all our heart, our soul, our strength and our mind showing our love by our actions day after day: of course, we will sense at times, something similar to what the LORD caused Ezekiel to sense. But surely, in at least some cases, it will cause others to “do likewise” and – for at least one or two to take serious notice of the message and meaning of what we talk about – the wonder and real meaning of the word of God – as the only ‘light’ in the darkness that covers the world today.
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- DC


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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:22 AM

18 September 2017
 
1 Chronicles 1
Ezekiel 14
Luke 10  
 
"TURN AWAY FROM YOUR IDOLS"
 
There are many idols in the world today. Modern means of instant communication have made it possible to promote news about all kinds of things, especially what people are doing and achieving in sports and entertainment. 
 
The best achievers are put on a pedestal – and many admire and idolize them. These people make enormous amounts of money, especially entertainers and sports stars. All the best footballers in the AFL become millionaires. Pop stars become multi-millionaires, even billionaires! They are adored (worshipped?) by idolizing fans. 
 
Ezekiel reading [Ezekiel 14] is all about idols. Long ago all the nations, apart from Israel, worshipped idols instead of the one true God. Why? The way they worshipped idols appealed to human nature. There were temple prostitutes in attendance in the temples of these idols, other orgies took place there; it appealed greatly to baser human instincts. 
 
God tells Ezekiel to "speak to them and say … anyone … who takes his idols into his is heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him …Thus says the Lord GOD: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations" [Ezekiel 14:4,6] He adds, "anyone … who separates himself from me … I will set my face against that person" [Ezekiel 14:7-8].
 
Today, God surely takes the same attitude to those who turn from him and allow godless attitudes to thrive in their minds, but then on Sunday come to worship and sing hymns we cannot expect God's attitude to be any different to what it was in the days of Ezekiel. 
 
Those who today have come out from this godless world can see this most clearly and fully appreciate the words of Paul, "You were slaves of sin … but what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? … become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." [Romans 6:20-22] "Turn away from your idols."
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- DC





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