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23 July - 2 Samuel 8; 9; Jeremiah 13; Matthew 24


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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:00 AM

First Portion

2 Samuel 8; 9


8:1 After this it happened that David struck the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took the bridle of the mother city out of the hand of the Philistines. 8:2 He struck Moab, and measured them with the line, making them to lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full line to keep alive. The Moabites became servants to David, and brought tribute. 8:3 David struck also Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his dominion at the River. 8:4 David took from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for one hundred chariots. 8:5 When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. 8:6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought tribute. Yahweh gave victory to David wherever he went. 8:7 David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8:8 From Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass. 8:9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had struck all the army of Hadadezer, 8:10 then Toi sent Joram his son to king David, to Greet him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and struck him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass: 8:11 King David also dedicated these to Yahweh, with the silver and gold that he dedicated of all the nations which he subdued; 8:12 of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 8:13 David earned a reputation when he returned from smiting the Syrians in the Valley of Salt, even eighteen thousand men. 8:14 He put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all the Edomites became servants to David. Yahweh gave victory to David wherever he went. 8:15 David reigned over all Israel; and David executed justice and righteousness to all his people. 8:16 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 8:17 and Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were priests; and Seraiah was scribe; 8:18 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief ministers.

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:01 AM

9:1 David said, “Is there yet any who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 9:2 There was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

He said, “Your servant is he.”

9:3 The king said, “Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?”

Ziba said to the king, “Jonathan has yet a son, who is lame of his feet.”

9:4 The king said to him, “Where is he?”

Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.”

9:5 Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar. 9:6 Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, and fell on his face, and showed respect. David said, “Mephibosheth.”

He answered, “Behold, your servant!”

9:7 David said to him, “Don’t be afraid of him; for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your father. You shall eat bread at my table continually.” 9:8 He bowed down, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look on such a dead dog as I am?” 9:9 Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that pertained to Saul and to all his house have I given to your master’s son. 9:10 You shall till the land for him, you, and your sons, and your servants; and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have bread to eat: but Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat bread always at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 9:11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your shall servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at the king’s table, like one of the king’s sons. 9:12 Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. All that lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 9:13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem; for he ate continually at the king’s table. He was lame in both his feet.

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:02 AM

Second Portion

Jeremiah 13


13:1 Thus says Yahweh to me, Go, and buy yourself a linen belt, and put it on your waist, and don’t put it in water. 13:2 So I bought a belt according to the word of Yahweh, and put it on my waist. 13:3 The word of Yahweh came to me the second time, saying, 13:4 Take the belt that you have bought, which is on your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock. 13:5 So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as Yahweh commanded me. 13:6 It happened after many days, that Yahweh said to me, Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take the belt from there, which I commanded you to hide there. 13:7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and took the belt from the place where I had hidden it; and behold, the belt was marred, it was profitable for nothing. 13:8 Then the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 13:9 Thus says Yahweh, In this way I will mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 13:10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and are gone after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this belt, which is profitable for nothing. 13:11 For as the belt clings to the waist of a man, so have I caused to cling to me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, says Yahweh; that they may be to me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear. 13:12 Therefore you shall speak to them this word: Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall tell you, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine? 13:13 Then you shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings who sit on David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 13:14 I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, says Yahweh: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have compassion, that I should not destroy them. 13:15 Hear, and give ear; don’t be proud; for Yahweh has spoken. 13:16 Give glory to Yahweh your God, before he causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, he turns it into the shadow of death, and makes it gross darkness. 13:17 But if you will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret for your pride; and my eye shall weep bitterly, and run down with tears, because Yahweh’s flock is taken captive. 13:18 Say to the king and to the queen mother, Humble yourselves, sit down; for your headdresses have come down, even the crown of your glory. 13:19 The cities of the South are shut up, and there is none to open them: Judah is carried away captive, all of it; it is wholly carried away captive. 13:20 Lift up your eyes, and see those who come from the north: where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock? 13:21 What will you say, when he shall set over you as head those whom you have yourself taught to be friends to you? shall not sorrows take hold of you, as of a woman in travail? 13:22 If you say in your heart, Why are these things come on me? for the greatness of your iniquity are your skirts uncovered, and your heels suffer violence. 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil. 13:24 Therefore will I scatter them, as the stubble that passes away, by the wind of the wilderness. 13:25 This is your lot, the portion measured to you from me, says Yahweh; because you have forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood. 13:26 Therefore will I also uncover your skirts on your face, and your shame shall appear. 13:27 I have seen your abominations, even your adulteries, and your neighing, the lewdness of your prostitution, on the hills in the field. Woe to you, Jerusalem! You will not be made clean; how long shall it yet be?

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:03 AM

Third Portion

Matthew 24


24:1 Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 24:2 But he answered them, “You see all of these things, don’t you? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.”

24:3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?”

24:4 Jesus answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 24:5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will lead many astray. 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren’t troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. 24:8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains. 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake. 24:10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. 24:11 Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray. 24:12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. 24:13 But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved. 24:14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

24:15 “When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation,* which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 24:16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 24:17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house. 24:18 Let him who is in the field not return back to get his clothes. 24:19 But woe to those who are with child and to nursing mothers in those days! 24:20 Pray that your flight will not be in the winter, nor on a Sabbath, 24:21 for then there will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be. 24:22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened.

24:23 “Then if any man tells you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There,’ don’t believe it. 24:24 For there will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.

24:25 “Behold, I have told you beforehand. 24:26 If therefore they tell you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness,’ don’t go out; ‘Behold, he is in the inner rooms,’ don’t believe it. 24:27 For as the lightning flashes from the east, and is seen even to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 24:28 For wherever the carcass is, there is where the vultures gather together. 24:29 But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;* 24:30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 24:31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

24:32 “Now from the fig tree learn this parable. When its branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near. 24:33 Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished. 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 24:36 But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven,* but my Father only.

24:37 “As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 24:38 For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, 24:39 and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 24:40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left; 24:41 two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left. 24:42 Watch therefore, for you don’t know in what hour your Lord comes. 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 24:44 Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don’t expect, the Son of Man will come.

24:45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season? 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes. 24:47 Most certainly I tell you that he will set him over all that he has. 24:48 But if that evil servant should say in his heart, ‘My lord is delaying his coming,’ 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with the drunkards, 24:50 the lord of that servant will come in a day when he doesn’t expect it, and in an hour when he doesn’t know it, 24:51 and will cut him in pieces, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.

World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:51 AM

23 July 2008

2 Samuel 8; 9
Jeremiah 13
Matthew 24

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:26 AM

23 July 2009

2 Samuel 8; 9
Jeremiah 13
Matthew 24

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:27 AM

23 July 2010

2 Samuel 8; 9
Jeremiah 13
Matthew 24

“IF THOSE DAYS HAD NOT BEEN CUT SHORT”

Our reading today of Matthew 24 of what is known as the Olivet prophecy is full of challenging language about events; that is, events future to that time. It seems good to believe that we have the “interpretation” of the words all exactly sorted out as to what Jesus was referring to. But is that wise? The phraseology is puzzling in parts and some prophecies only become clear as the events unfold.

There are options of meaning, it is like fitting a jigsaw puzzle together, it is exciting as the overall picture becomes more evident. It is unwise to be too dogmatic as to how some of the parts fit until the whole picture becomes clearer. One of the questions the disciples asked Jesus was, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” [Matthew 24:3]

Part of his answer is to say, “if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved.” [Matthew 24:22]. The previous verse says, “there will be a time of great tribulation such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now” [Matthew 24:21] So there will still be “the elect” living at the final time of the greatest crisis in human history.

Are we part of “the elect” that causes God to hold back from wiping out the whole fleshly minded human race? Only in my lifetime have humans had that ability and leaders been scared there could be an awesome nuclear conflict. We were still going to school when they first exploded atomic bombs and 100,000’s of people died in seconds.

We read in the news during this week that they are now doubtful they can stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. This nation has irrational leaders who put no value on human life apart from their own – just like the Nazi leaders in Germany in the 1940s who, thankfully, did not develop nuclear weapons, but were trying to!

Jesus said, “the powers of the heavens will be shaken” [Matthew 24:29]. If this is to be taken literally and, say Iran exploded a bomb in the sky, it would destroy world wide communications, the internet, etc causing extreme chaos. God will act for “the elect’s sake” but may let awesome events occur as “the angels gather his elect” [Matthew 24:31]. What a blessing, what a wonder to be among the elect! But some will leave it too late and the door will be shut [Matthew 25:10]
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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:18 AM

23 July 2011

2 Samuel 8; 9
Jeremiah 13
Matthew 24

"AT AN HOUR YOU DO NOT EXPECT"

Today our Matthew reading is about the Olivet prophecy of Jesus. As we read this in one of the Gospels every 2 months we may tend to become too familiar with it. As the clouds of trouble and ungodly behaviour multiply in so many countries, we have every reason to be fully alert as to the significance of the words of Jesus to his disciples as he answered their urgent questions to explain what he had said when they were in the Temple. They had been marvelling at the magnificence of the Temple when he had said, “there will be left here not one stone upon another that will not be throne down” [Matthew 24:2]

“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and the close of the age?” [Matthew 24:3] were their urgent questions. We see his answer as a two fold prophecy: first about the destruction of Jerusalem and how to avoid being caught up in that destruction – but then the ultimate time of trouble for the world, called “the great tribulation” [Matthew 24:21] at the time of his return to earth.

Matthew 24:14 is a saying that particularly demands our attention! “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Only now through the marvels of the Internet, is the “whole world” wired in so that anyone can search for any information they desire, and this includes automated translation facilities to overcome language barriers!

So what happens when the end comes? Why is it “at an hour you do not expect”? The most obvious answer is because the message of Christ is no longer believed by the great majority! The Apostle Paul was to write, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them …” [1 Thessalonians 5:2,3]. This implies a time of great trouble, maybe around Jerusalem, but then people think they have an agreement to achieve “peace and security”! But careful Bible readers “are not in darkness … for that day to surprise you like a thief” [1 Thessalonians 5:4]
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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:16 AM

23 July 2012

2 Samuel 8; 9
Jeremiah 13
Matthew 24

“A TIME OF GREAT TRIBULATION SUCH AS HAS NOT BEEN …”

‘The Olivet Prophecy’ as most of today’s reading of Matthew 24 is known - is full of challenging language about events future to that time. Is it good to think that we have the ‘interpretation’ of its words exactly sorted out? The phraseology is puzzling in parts and we must recognize some aspects of prophecy only become clear as events start to take place. It is like fitting a jigsaw puzzle together and it is exciting as the overall picture becomes more evident, this was the experience during the last 2 centuries. There are still parts that It is unwise to be too dogmatic about; we must have patience.

The key question the disciples asked Jesus was, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” [Matthew 24:3] Part of his answer is to say, “if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved, but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” [Matthew 24:22]. The previous verse says, “there will be a time of great tribulation such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now” [Matthew 24:21] So there will be still “the elect” living at the time of the greatest crisis in human history.

Matthew 24:31 tells us the angels will be sent out to gather the elect! Are the “elect” only the true and faithful believers that then exist? If so, we might compare this with the time of Noah, when there were only seven God was willing to save, but Christ is not returning to destroy the world!. When we consider that Israel is also called God’s “elect” (see Isaiah 42:1; 45:4; 65:9,22) and they now exist again after 1900 years in oblivion, we suspect the reference by Jesus to “the elect” may well be primarily to them – it is for the sake of Israel that “those days will be cut short” – while the Christian “elect” will be gathered by the angels.

Jesus said, “the powers of the heavens will be shaken” [Matthew 24:29]. If this is to be taken literally and, potentially Iran could soon explode a nuclear device, this could initiate “the time of “reat tribulation” but God will act for “the elect’s sake” but there may well be awesome events to occur as “the angels gather his elect” [Matthew 24:31]. What will Israel’s situation be at this time of world crisis? In Micah 7:18-19 are the words, “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance … He will again have compassion on us”

For ourselves, let us live in a way that will ensure we are among “the elect” whom the angels gather – while those “in the tombs will hear his voice” [John 5:28] because they have established a relationship with him.
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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:09 PM

23 July 2013

2 Samuel 8; 9
Jeremiah 13
Matthew 24

“BECAUSE YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN ME"

Do you forget things? Yes, we all do – but rarely do we forget anything really important, nut the vital question is, ‘What is important – to God?’ Our world has forgotten God, putting the thought that he exists out of their minds – in fact more and more people are becoming convinced that God does not exist!

There were parallels to this attitude in the days of Jeremiah. Think how parallel to today’s attitudes are to some of the statements God made to – and through – Jeremiah, the final prophet God sent to Israel. Today we read in his 13th chapter. “This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, declares the LORD, because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies … I have seen your abominations, your adulteries, your lewd whorings …” [Jeremiah 13:25,27] Whorings means sexual misconduct and is often applied in the context of misconduct in worship.

And what was it that God had “measured out” to Israel? “I will scatter you like chaff driven before the wind …” [Jeremiah 13:24] And, in the end, Israel has been scattered into just about every nation in the world!

Our chapter in Matthew (24) has sayings from the mouth of Jesus that are equally terrible about what God was about to do. His first action was the scattering of the Jews that had rejected their Messiah. But God’s ultimate action would be, said Jesus, on the world as a whole, for “the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” [Matthew 24:14]

Jesus says that not even he “but the father only” [Matthew 24:36] knows when the “end” will come. He compares the “end” to the end of the world in Noah’s day “And they were unaware until the flood came” [Matthew 24:39] and then it was too late! He stresses the need to be on God’s side as Noah was, when all the rest “have forgotten me” – showing this by the way they live their lives.

“Therefore, stay awake,” says Jesus, “for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” [Matthew 24:42] you “must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” [Matthew 24:44] Not just a “day” – but an “hour.”! The final verse in the chapter says those who are not ready – “I will put … with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Hypocrites!? Such people “know” – but their behaviour disqualifies them from a place in God’s kingdom. May none of us be classified among the hypocrites, may Jesus see us all as true believers.
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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

23 July 2014

2 Samuel 8; 9
Jeremiah 13
Matthew 24

“THEY WILL GATHER HIS ELECT …”

Today we have the dramatic chapter 24 in Matthew to read – about the climax Jesus said would come on the Jews and then on the world because of utter godlessness. Much of what we read has two applications, first to the Jewish people because they had not recognised their Messiah – and had killed him – and then on the world as a whole because the message of Christ after “being proclaimed … as a testimony to all nations” [Matthew 24:14] had, as Jesus predicted, become corrupted “for false Christs and false prophets will arise … to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” [Matthew 24:24]

Just as “there will be great tribulation” - and was - at the end of the Jewish nation, there will be greater tribulation at the end of the times of the Gentiles, “such as has not been from the beginning of the world … And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved.” [Matthew 24:21-22] The tense of the language here reflects how God sees things, “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done” as we read recently in Isaiah 46:10.

Back to the words of Jesus, some wonderful words that - at that time ‘he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds …” [Matthew 24:31] out of “the great tribulation.”

These words of Jesus are very familiar to most of us – maybe too familiar! Is there a possibility our “hearts have grown dull” [Matthew 13:15] as we read last week? Surely all the present troubles in the Middle East centred in and around God’s regathered people should be making us think – and become as mentally prepared as possible, for, said Jesus, ”concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but the Father only… For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying … they were unaware until the flood came … so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” [Matthew 24:36-37]

Our chapter ends with a telling parable about servants not being ready for the return of the Master, but says Jesus, “blessed is the servant whom his Master will find so doing”[Matthew 24:46] when the angels are sent forth to “gather his elect.” Are you a servant who has responded to the Master’s call? May you and I be in that situation and be found to be among those who are seen as “faithful and wise.” [Matthew 24:45]
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