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15 September - 2 Kings 21; Ezekiel 11; Luke 7


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Posted 15 September 2007 - 09:51 AM

First Portion

2 Kings 21


21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. 21:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, after the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel. 21:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, as did Ahab king of Israel, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them. 21:4 He built altars in the house of Yahweh, of which Yahweh said, “I will put my name in Jerusalem.” 21:5 He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the house of Yahweh. 21:6 He made his son to pass through the fire, and practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger. 21:7 He set the engraved image of Asherah, that he had made, in the house of which Yahweh said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever; 21:8 neither will I cause the feet of Israel to wander any more out of the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.” 21:9 But they didn’t listen: and Manasseh seduced them to do that which is evil more than the nations did whom Yahweh destroyed before the children of Israel. 21:10 Yahweh spoke by his servants the prophets, saying, 21:11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, and has done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols; 21:12 therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears shall tingle. 21:13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 21:14 I will cast off the remnant of my inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies. They will become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; 21:15 because they have done that which is evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even to this day.’”

21:16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh. 21:17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 21:18 Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his place. 21:19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 21:20 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as Manasseh his father did. 21:21 He walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them: 21:22 and he forsook Yahweh, the God of his fathers, and didn’t walk in the way of Yahweh. 21:23 The servants of Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own house. 21:24 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. 21:25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 21:26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his place.

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 09:53 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 11


11:1 Moreover the Spirit lifted me up, and brought me to the east gate of Yahweh’s house, which looks eastward: and see, at the door of the gate twenty-five men; and I saw in their midst Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. 11:2 He said to me, Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity, and who give wicked counsel in this city; 11:3 who say, The time is not near to build houses: this is the caldron, and we are the meat. 11:4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, son of man. 11:5 The Spirit of Yahweh fell on me, and he said to me, Speak, Thus says Yahweh: Thus you have said, house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind. 11:6 You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled its streets with the slain. 11:7 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Your slain whom you have laid in its midst, they are the meat, and this is the caldron; but you shall be brought out of its midst. 11:8 You have feared the sword; and I will bring the sword on you, says the Lord Yahweh. 11:9 I will bring you forth out of its midst, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. 11:10 You shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 11:11 This shall not be your caldron, neither shall you be the meat in its midst; I will judge you in the border of Israel; 11:12 and you shall know that I am Yahweh: for you have not walked in my statutes, neither have you executed my ordinances, but have done after the ordinances of the nations that are around you. 11:13 It happened, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down on my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord Yahweh! will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel? 11:14 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 11:15 Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, the men of your relatives, and all the house of Israel, all of them, to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Go far away from Yahweh. This land has been given to us for a possession. 11:16 Therefore say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Whereas I have removed them far off among the nations, and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a little while in the countries where they have come. 11:17 Therefore say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 11:18 They shall come there, and they shall take away all the detestable things of it and all its abominations from there. 11:19 I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh; 11:20 that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 11:21 But as for them whose heart walks after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their way on their own heads, says the Lord Yahweh. 11:22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, and the wheels were beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 11:23 The glory of Yahweh went up from the midst of the city, and stood on the mountain which is on the east side of the city. 11:24 The Spirit lifted me up, and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. 11:25 Then I spoke to them of the captivity all the things that Yahweh had shown me.

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 09:55 AM

Third Portion

Luke 7


7:1 After he had finished speaking in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 7:2 A certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death. 7:3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and save his servant. 7:4 When they came to Jesus, they begged him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy for you to do this for him, 7:5 for he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue for us.” 7:6 Jesus went with them. When he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. 7:7 Therefore I didn’t even think myself worthy to come to you; but say the word, and my servant will be healed. 7:8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel.” 7:10 Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well.

7:11 It happened soon afterwards, that he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him. 7:12 Now when he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her. 7:13 When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, “Don’t cry.” 7:14 He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” 7:15 He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.

7:16 Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited his people!” 7:17 This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region.

7:18 The disciples of John told him about all these things. 7:19 John, calling to himself two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another?” 7:20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptizer has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?’”

7:21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight. 7:22 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard: that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 7:23 Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me.”

7:24 When John’s messengers had departed, he began to tell the multitudes about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 7:25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously dressed, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. 7:26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet. 7:27 This is he of whom it is written,

‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.’

7:28 “For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”

7:29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they declared God to be just, having been baptized with John’s baptism. 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God, not being baptized by him themselves.

7:31 *“To what then will I liken the people of this generation? What are they like? 7:32 They are like children who sit in the marketplace, and call one to another, saying, ‘We piped to you, and you didn’t dance. We mourned, and you didn’t weep.’ 7:33 For John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 7:34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 7:35 Wisdom is justified by all her children.”

7:36 One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee’s house, and sat at the table. 7:37 Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 7:38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner.”

7:40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

He said, “Teacher, say on.”

7:41 “A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 7:42 When they couldn’t pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?”

7:43 Simon answered, “He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most.”

He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 7:44 Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. 7:45 You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet. 7:46 You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 7:48 He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

7:49 Those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

7:50 He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:20 AM

15 September 2008

2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:41 AM

15 September 2009

2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:34 AM

15 September 2010

2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7

"I KNOW THE THINGS THAT COME INTO YOUR MIND"

The words of Ezekiel the prophet invites us to think about how God works; the unlimited power he has to know all that is happening; more than that, to know all that men and women are thinking! And of course Jesus had the same ability; if you were not on the side of Jesus it must have been unnerving.

In today’s Ezekiel reading [Ezekiel 11] we read [Ezekiel 11:5] how the spirit of the LORD fell on him and he is told to say “Thus says the LORD: So you think O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind.” Again, [Ezekiel 11:8] “You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you.” God knows our attitudes; he looks to see if we trust in Him.

Ezekiel becomes very distressed at the revelation of God’s horrific judgements to come on Israel and he falls on his face saying [Ezekiel 11:13] “Ah Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”

God responds to that plea by saying three things.

The first stage is to be [Ezekiel 11:16] “a sanctuary to them, for awhile, in the countries where they had gone.” That seems to predict the synagogue system that started to develop in the Centuries that followed: it was in full operation by the time of Christ. The synagogues were the first stop in the preaching of Paul and others, going into the synagogues as they went out to spread the gospel message.

The Second stage, [Ezekiel 11:17] looked into the future, although Ezekiel would not have realized this. “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries;” - that is the situation today.

Third, [Ezekiel 11:19] “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them.” We ourselves are waiting for that last prediction to be fulfilled. But we must not ignore the warning of Ezekiel 11:21 “But as for those whose heart goes after detestable things … I will bring their deeds upon their own heads.” Have we got a new heart and a new spirit as a result of our reading of God’s word?
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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:35 AM

15 September 2011

2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7

"I KNOW THE THINGS THAT COME INTO YOUR MIND"

Our reading in Ezekiel causes us to think about how God works; the unlimited power he has to know all that is happening; more than that, to know all that men and women are thinking! And of course Jesus had the same ability; if you were not on the side of Jesus it must have been unnerving as you were forced to sense this as is evident in our reading of Luke 7 today.

In today's Ezekiel reading [Ezekiel 11] we read [Ezekiel 11:5] how the spirit of the LORD fell on him and he is told to say "Thus says the LORD: So you think O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind." Again in Ezekiel 11:8, "You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you." God knows our attitudes; he looks into our hearts to see if the faith we profess is genuine – recall Hebrews 10:22 "Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith."

Ezekiel becomes very distressed at the revelation of God's horrific judgements that are about to come on Israel and he falls on his face saying [Ezekiel 11:13] "Ah Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?" God responds to that plea by saying three things.

The first stage is to be [Ezekiel 11:16] "a sanctuary to them, for a while, in the countries where they had gone." We conclude this predicts the synagogue system that developed in the centuries that followed and was in full operation at the time of Christ. The synagogues were the first base in the preaching of Paul and others in spreading the gospel message.

The second stage is to be seen now for in Ezekiel 11:17 we read, "I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries." That is far more than just Babylonia.

The third stage is still future – but how close are we to it? "I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them." [Ezekiel 11:19] We long for this to be fulfilled, but we must take careful note of the warning in Ezekiel 11:21 "But as for those whose heart goes after detestable things … I will bring their deeds upon their own heads." But this is true of all humans, not just the Jews! Could it be true of any one of us? Remember God says, "I know the things that come into your mind"
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Posted 15 September 2012 - 06:47 AM

15 September 2012

2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7

“I KNOW THE THINGS THAT COME INTO YOUR MIND”

The words of Ezekiel the prophet invite us to think about how God works; the unlimited power he has to know all that is happening; more than that, to know all that men and women are thinking! And of course Jesus had the same ability; if you were not on the side of Jesus it must have been unnerving when you were forced to realize this, it was surely somewhat the experience of Simon the Pharisee in today’s reading of Luke 7:36-50.

In Ezekiel today [Ezekiel 11] we read [Ezekiel 11:5] how the spirit of the LORD fell on him and he is told to say “Thus says the LORD: So you think O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind.” (Ezekiel 11:2 had told us they “devise iniquity” and “give wicked counsel”) Again, [Ezekiel 11:8] “You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you.” God knows the things we devise in our minds - he looks to see if we are seeking his help to get rid of them.

Ezekiel becomes very distressed at the revelation of God’s impending horrific judgements on Israel and he falls on his face saying [Ezekiel 11:13] “Ah Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”

God responds to that plea by saying three things.

The first stage is to be [Ezekiel 11:16] he will be “a sanctuary to them …, in the countries where they had gone.” That seems to predict the synagogue system that started to develop in the Centuries that followed: it was in full operation by the time of Christ. The synagogues were the first stop in the preaching of Paul and others, they went into the synagogues to spread the gospel message.

The Second stage, [Ezekiel 11:17] looked into the distant future, although Ezekiel would not have realized this. “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries;” - that was the situation during the 20th Century.

Third, [Ezekiel 11:19] “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them.” When they see, and recognise Jesus as their Messiah this will happen. But notice the warning in Ezekiel 11:21 “But as for those whose heart goes after detestable things … I will bring their deeds upon their own heads.” This will apply to both Jews and Gentiles. May we turn from the “detestable things” that surround us and have a new heart and a new spirit as a result of our reading of God’s word and our regular fellowship with those who also do this.
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Posted 15 September 2013 - 06:32 AM

15 September 2013

2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7

“I KNOW THE THINGS THAT COME INTO YOUR MIND”

Our reading in Ezekiel causes us to think about how God works; the unlimited power he has to know all that is happening; more than that, to know all that men and women are thinking! And of course Jesus had the same ability; if you were not on the side of Jesus it must have been unnerving as you were forced to sense this as is evident in our reading of Luke 7 today.

In today’s Ezekiel reading [Ezekiel 11] we read [Ezekiel 11:5] how the spirit of the LORD fell on him and he is told to say “Thus says the LORD: So you think O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind.” Again in Ezekiel 11:8, “You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you.” God knows our attitudes; he looks into our hearts to see if the faith we profess is genuine – recall Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart , in full assurance of faith.”

Ezekiel becomes very distressed at the revelation of God’s horrific judgements that are about to come on Israel and he falls on his face saying [Ezekiel 11:13] “Ah Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?” God responds to that plea by saying three things.

The first stage is to be [Ezekiel 11:16] “a sanctuary to them, for a while, in the countries where they had gone.” We conclude this predicts the synagogue system that developed in the centuries that followed and was in full operation at the time of Christ. The synagogues were the first base in the preaching of Paul and others in spreading the gospel message.

The second stage is to be seen now for in Ezekiel 11:17 we read, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries.” That is far more than just Babylonia.

The third stage is still future – but how close are we to it? “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them.” [Ezekiel 11:19] We long for this to be fulfilled, but we must take careful note of the warning in Ezekiel 11:21 “But as for those whose heart goes after detestable things … I will bring their deeds upon their own heads.”

But this is true of all humans, not just the Jews! Could it be true of any one of us? Remember God says, “I know the things that come into your mind”
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Posted 15 September 2014 - 06:32 AM

15 September 2014
 
2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7
 
“BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO …”  
             
As usual, all our chapters are full of meaningful lessons: first, Hezekiah after his life is extended 15 years is succeeded by a 12 yr old son, Manasseh who turns out to be a very bad king.  We wonder about the role of Hephzibah, his mother in this.  The spirituality of whom we marry is very important. Her name is apparently of Phoenician origin, meaning, ‘delight of Baal.’ 
            
Again the spirit takes Ezekiel to Jerusalem and gives him insight into God’s reaction because of his full awareness of the minds of those living there. God always has such knowledge! Awesome!  Ezekiel learns, “But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord GOD.” [Ezekiel 11:21]  And today?
 
In Luke (Chapter 7) we read how messengers come to Jesus from John the Baptist.  Our Lord has been doing many remarkable miracles, but when he brings to life again a young man who is being carried out to his burial, “fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying,  ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and ‘God has visited his people!’  And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country. The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John,  calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?"  [Luke 7:16-19]
            
The way Jesus answers him is instructive – and challenging!  John evidently had certain expectations of the Messiah’s work – and what was happening did not fit these.  We look back at Luke 4 and see how Jesus quoted from a scroll of Isaiah when in the Synagogue, Luke 4:17-19. It is now instructive to note how Jesus responds to these messengers, “"Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." [Luke 7:22-23]
            
He is telling John to check out and “believe all that the prophets have spoken”!  These are the words of Jesus we will read in Luke 24:25, when, after his resurrection he speaks to 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus.  This is a lesson for us as we anticipate the return of our Lord and our expectations are increasing!  We must take a lesson from the quandary of John the Baptist and look to “all that the prophets” have written!  Are they not like pieces of a jigsaw!  We have more and more pieces that seem to fit, but there are still others we are not sure about: events yet to come, maybe very soon, will make the picture clearer and clearer. 
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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:20 PM

15 September 2015
 
2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7  
 
"WISDOM IS JUSTIFIED BY HER CHILDREN” 
            
We read today how John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus with a question, “'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'" [Luke 7:20]  We are sure John would have known what the prophets predicted, but he had not absorbed them in a balanced way - and we have an identical challenge today!  The more carefully we read and absorb them – the more we will be able to properly understand them. 
            
Jesus, as usual, did not give a straight 'Yes' or 'No' answer to John’s messengers.  He tells them, " "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." [Luke 7:22-23] Isaiah was the main prophet to 'paint' various parts of this scene of the work of the Messiah: have a look at Isaiah 29:18-19; 42:6-7; 61:1-3. 
            
We note the blunt statement in Luke 7:30 about how "the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves" Nearly everyone does the same today, and how many of those who do not do so - really understand “the purpose of God for themselves"?  We have to make sure we do.
            
People have a different reason for turning their back on Jesus today:  they have convinced themselves, as a result of their own self-centred thinking, that there is no God, that there never was a Creator, all that exists came into being as a sort of unending 'accidents' – therefore Jesus and what he said, has no relevance in their lives.
            
Jesus asked a question [Luke 7:31] "To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like?"  He answers! "They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another" [Luke 7:32] This is a significant saying to meditate on - the internet and emails is "the marketplace" of this generation.
           
Jesus concludes his summation of their attitudes with 6 telling words! "Wisdom is justified by her children"  Putting this another way - the end result of the attitude of mind of that generation and ours - is nothingness - there are no "children"!  They - and people today - have almost all lost any expectation of the future; Jesus and his message mean nothing to them. 
            
When Paul began his 1st letter to the Corinthians he told them, "Jesus ... became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption." [1 Corinthians 1:30]  A power of meaning in those few words.  To this we must add the words of James, " the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." [James 3:17] Let us possess that kind of wisdom!
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Posted 15 September 2016 - 10:24 AM

15 September 2016
 
2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7  
 
“WISDOM IS JUSTIFIED BY …”
 
We read today how John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask, “'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'" [Luke 7:20] We remember, when we read Luke 3, how John responded when “all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ”. He had said “he who is mightier than I is coming …. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." [Luke 3:16-17]
 
John’s words were true, he was quoting somewhat from Psalm 1:4 and Micah 4:12. But it had not been revealed to him that the Messiah was coming twice! His second coming (we anticipate will occur soon – very soon?) will witness these events happening!
 
The response of Jesus to John’s messengers is not a straightforward ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ He says to them, “"Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.” [Luke 7:22]
 
What would John have made of this reply? It was a challenge to him to revisit the words of the prophets - and see how this had been prophesied! Would John have remembered Isaiah 29:18-19 and the opening verses of Isaiah 61? Are there not parallels for us in this as we strive to fit the jigsaw pieces of what appear to be prophecies of the last days, before Jesus returns, into place? How often have we had cause to revisit past our interpretations of prophesy, to seek for better ways to fit them together!
 
We note how Jesus finished his comments on the foolishness of the human perceptions about both him and John the Baptist! In Luke 7:35 we read, “… yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” That is, by the affect it has in the future, how it leads them to live their lives – as well as being prepared for future events that will affect them!
 
We need to stand back and get the whole picture, both of the words and detail of prophecy, and (even more important) the way of life Jesus and his Father look to see in us. The final verse of Hosea’s prophecy provides an appropriate finish to our thoughts. “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”
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- DC


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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:39 AM

15 September 2017
 
2 Kings 21
Ezekiel 11
Luke 7
 
"BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO …"
 
As usual, all our chapters are full of meaningful lessons: first, Hezekiah after his life is extended 15 years is succeeded by a 12 yr old son, Manasseh who turns out to be a very bad king. We wonder about the role of Hephzibah, his mother in this. The spirituality of the person we marry is very important. Hephzibah's name is apparently of Phoenician origin, meaning, "delight of Baal."
 
Again the spirit takes Ezekiel to Jerusalem and gives him insight into God's reaction; this arises from his awareness of the minds of those living there. God always has such knowledge! How awesome when we contemplate and meditate on this! Ezekiel learns, "But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord GOD." [Ezekiel 11:21] What will soon happen in our days!?
 
In Luke 7 we read how messengers come to Jesus from John the Baptist. Our Lord has been doing many remarkable miracles, but when he brings to life again a young man who is being carried out to his burial, "fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, 'A great prophet has arisen among us'! and 'God has visited his people!'" And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
 
John's disciples reported these things to him. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" [Luke 7:16-19]
 
The way Jesus answers him is instructive – and challenging! John evidently had certain expectations of the Messiah's work – and what was happening did not fit these. We look back at Luke 4 and see how Jesus quoted from a scroll of Isaiah when in the Synagogue, Luke 4:17-19.
 
How challenging to John (and others) is the way Jesus responds to these messengers, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." [Luke 7:22-23]
 
He is telling John to check out and "believe all that the prophets have spoken"! These are the words of Jesus we will read in Luke 24:25, when, after his resurrection he speaks to 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus. This is a lesson for us as we anticipate the return of our Lord and our expectations are increasing! We must take a lesson from the quandary of John the Baptist and look to "all that the prophets" have written!
 
Are they not like pieces of a jigsaw! We have more and more pieces that seem to fit, but there are still others we are not sure about: events yet to come, maybe very soon, will make the picture clearer and clearer.
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- DC





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