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14 September - 2 Kings 20; Ezekiel 10; Luke 6


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Posted 14 September 2007 - 10:33 AM

First Portion

2 Kings 20


20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick to death. Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Set your house in order; for you shall die, and not live.’”

20:2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to Yahweh, saying, 20:3 “Remember now, Yahweh, I beg you, how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in your sight.” Hezekiah wept bitterly.

20:4 It happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle part of the city, that the word of Yahweh came to him, saying, 20:5 “Turn back, and tell Hezekiah the prince of my people, ‘Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day, you shall go up to the house of Yahweh. 20:6 I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.”’”

20:7 Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.”

They took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. 20:8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What shall be the sign that Yahweh will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of Yahweh the third day?”

20:9 Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?”

20:10 Hezekiah answered, “It is a light thing for the shadow to go forward ten steps. Nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps.”

20:11 Isaiah the prophet cried to Yahweh; and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the dial of Ahaz.

20:12 At that time Berodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 20:13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious oil, and the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah didn’t show them. 20:14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to king Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? From where did they come to you?”

Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, even from Babylon.”

20:15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?”

Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”

20:16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of Yahweh. 20:17 ‘Behold, the days come, that all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have laid up in store to this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left,’ says Yahweh. 20:18 ‘Of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you shall father, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”

20:19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of Yahweh which you have spoken is good.” He said moreover, “Isn’t it so, if peace and truth shall be in my days?”

20:20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 20:21 Hezekiah slept with his fathers; and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 10:34 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 10


10:1 Then I looked, and see, in the expanse that was over the head of the cherubim there appeared above them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. 10:2 He spoke to the man clothed in linen, and said, Go in between the whirling wheels, even under the cherub, and fill both your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city. He went in as I watched. 10:3 Now the cherubim stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. 10:4 The glory of Yahweh mounted up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of Yahweh’s glory. 10:5 The sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of God Almighty when he speaks. 10:6 It came to pass, when he commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim, that he went in, and stood beside a wheel. 10:7 The cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim, and took of it, and put it into the hands of him who was clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 10:8 There appeared in the cherubim the form of a man’s hand under their wings. 10:9 I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside one cherub, and another wheel beside another cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like a beryl stone. 10:10 As for their appearance, the four of them had one likeness, like a wheel within a wheel. 10:11 When they went, they went in their four directions: they didn’t turn as they went, but to the place where the head looked they followed it; they didn’t turn as they went. 10:12 Their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes all around, even the wheels that the four of them had. 10:13 As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. 10:14 Every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third face the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 10:15 The cherubim mounted up: this is the living creature that I saw by the river Chebar. 10:16 When the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them; and when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the wheels also didn’t turn from beside them. 10:17 When they stood, these stood; and when they mounted up, these mounted up with them: for the spirit of the living creature was in them. 10:18 The glory of Yahweh went forth from over the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. 10:19 The cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight when they went forth, and the wheels beside them: and they stood at the door of the east gate of Yahweh’s house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 10:20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubim. 10:21 Every one had four faces, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. 10:22 As for the likeness of their faces, they were the faces which I saw by the river Chebar, their appearances and themselves; they went every one straight forward.

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 10:39 AM

Third Portion

Luke 6


6:1 Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first, that he was going through the grain fields. His disciples plucked the heads of grain, and ate, rubbing them in their hands. 6:2 But some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why do you do that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day?”

6:3 Jesus, answering them, said, “Haven’t you read what David did when he was hungry, he, and those who were with him; 6:4 how he entered into the house of God, and took and ate the show bread, and gave also to those who were with him, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests alone?” 6:5 He said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

6:6 It also happened on another Sabbath that he entered into the synagogue and taught. There was a man there, and his right hand was withered. 6:7 The scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against him. 6:8 But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Rise up, and stand in the middle.” He arose and stood. 6:9 Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you something: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?” 6:10 He looked around at them all, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did, and his hand was restored as sound as the other. 6:11 But they were filled with rage, and talked with one another about what they might do to Jesus.

6:12 It happened in these days, that he went out to the mountain to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God. 6:13 When it was day, he called his disciples, and from them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles: 6:14 Simon, whom he also named Peter; Andrew, his brother; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew; 6:15 Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Simon, who was called the Zealot; 6:16 Judas the son of James; and Judas Iscariot, who also became a traitor. 6:17 He came down with them, and stood on a level place, with a crowd of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; 6:18 as well as those who were troubled by unclean spirits, and they were being healed. 6:19 All the multitude sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

6:20 He lifted up his eyes to his disciples, and said,

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the Kingdom of God.
6:21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
6:22 Blessed are you when men shall hate you,
and when they shall exclude and mock you,
and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.
6:23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven,
for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.
6:24 “But woe to you who are rich!
For you have received your consolation.
6:25 Woe to you, you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
6:26 Woe, when men speak well of you,
for their fathers did the same thing to the false prophets.

6:27 “But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 6:28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. 6:29 To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your cloak, don’t withhold your coat also. 6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and don’t ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.

6:31 “As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them. 6:32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 6:33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 6:34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.

6:36 Therefore be merciful,
even as your Father is also merciful.
6:37 Don’t judge,
and you won’t be judged.
Don’t condemn,
and you won’t be condemned.
Set free,
and you will be set free.

6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you.”

6:39 He spoke a parable to them. “Can the blind guide the blind? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 6:41 Why do you see the speck of chaff that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your own eye? 6:42 Or how can you tell your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck of chaff that is in your eye,’ when you yourself don’t see the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck of chaff that is in your brother’s eye. 6:43 For there is no good tree that brings forth rotten fruit; nor again a rotten tree that brings forth good fruit. 6:44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For people don’t gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks.

6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things which I say? 6:47 Everyone who comes to me, and hears my words, and does them, I will show you who he is like. 6:48 He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation on the rock. When a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it was founded on the rock. 6:49 But he who hears, and doesn’t do, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 11:08 AM

14 September 2008

2 Kings 20
Ezekiel 10
Luke 6

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 02:33 PM

14 September 2009

2 Kings 20
Ezekiel 10
Luke 6

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:32 AM

14 September 2010

2 Kings 20
Ezekiel 10
Luke 6

GOOD TREASURE

The sayings of Jesus recorded in Luke 6 are full of challenging messages; serious things for us to think about. Jesus says [Luke 6:45] “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

How does the treasure get there? There are quite a number of stories that have been written over the years, such as Treasure Island that we read when we are young about finding treasure someone has hidden. Is there such a thing as ‘evil treasure’?

In the previous verse [Luke 6:44] Jesus said how a tree is known by its fruit. As a result of seeing it, and then if it looks good, of tasting the fruit, you decide whether it is good or bad. The bad you usually spit out!

In the same way, Jesus is really saying, God views and acts toward human beings. But we need to think how this treasure, the value which is proved by the quality of its fruit, both the good and the evil, grows and develops. Well, how does it? What makes a tree grow? Good soil, sufficient rain and sunshine and so forth. So what is the spiritual equivalent?

David wrote, in Psalm 119:7,9 “How can a young man (or woman) keep his (her) way pure?” The answer – “By guarding it according to your word …. I have stored up your word (hidden it) in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” This is putting good nutrients in the soil of your mind.

God’s word is the good treasure. Man’s word is all too often the evil treasure, the bad nutrient, they are not nourishing the soil at all, and today, more than ever, some of it is poisoning the soil. There are so many bad things happening in the world because so many prefer evil treasure!

Is there are a middle way which is neither bad nor good? As we have read the books of Kings and now Chronicles we see that – in the end – God judges them in either one way or the other. There is no middle way.
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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:55 AM

14 September 2011

2 Kings 20
Ezekiel 10
Luke 6

"IF YOU LOVE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU ..."

It is natural isn’t it to love those who love you? But what is the point Jesus is making? It is an important one and one of many points he makes in our reading of Luke 6 today. Look carefully at the flow of connected thoughts from Luke 6:20 as “he lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said …”. We especially noted from Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.”

Then comes the “crunch” line, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”

Jesus was warning against being self-centred and only associating with those who are the same. God is not self centred, he sees what we can call “the whole picture” and those who take on the name of his son must aim to see life as God sees it! That is a primary reason for the regular reading of his word.

Jesus pronounces four woes against those who are self centred in their attitudes. He said, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” [Luke 6:24-26]. Jesus has no time for those whose aim in life is to have as much fun and food as they can – and to be popular, the centre of attention.

But those who see life as God sees it will, says Jesus, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold your reward is great in heaven” [Luke 6:23] because that is where their treasure is [Luke 18:22] and when Jesus comes again, and how close that could be, then the words in the last chapter of the Bible will be fulfilled, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense (i.e. reward) with me, to repay every one for what he (or she) has done.” [Revelation 22:12]
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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:41 AM

14 September 2012

2 Kings 20
Ezekiel 10
Luke 6

"YOUR REWARD IS GREAT IN HEAVEN"

Our reading of Luke 6 today is a briefer form of what we call ‘the sermon on the mount’ that’s in Matthew 5; 6; 7. Luke, who travelled with Paul to Rome and was in Rome with him [2 Timothy 4:11], wrote his gospel primarily for Gentiles. We saw in Luke 1:3 that it was addressed to Theophilus.

We wondered if some might be puzzled by Luke 6:23 in today’s chapter: we have heard it quoted to show we go to heaven when we die. The verse reads, “Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy; for behold, your reward is great in heaven …” Truly there will be the greatest joy “in that day” – that day being when “the kingdom of God” is established, “for yours is the kingdom of God.” [Luke 6:20] This is, to quote the well-known Sermon on the Mount [Matthew 5], when the meek are blessed “for they shall inherit the earth.” [Matthew 5:5] – to get the fullest sense we need to compare the 2 chapters realizing, when it says “kingdom of heaven”, it means a heavenly kingdom to come on earth.

However, what do the words in Luke mean - why “in that day” will they “leap for joy” if heaven is the place of their reward the moment they die – what happens “in that day”? In John 3:13 we read “no one has ascended to heaven” except Jesus. Peter preached that even David, the great Psalmist, and Jesus was in a sense “his son” (see Matthew 22:42,&c), “died and was buried … for David did not ascend into the heavens” [Acts 2:29,34]

The particular verse that clears up this mystery is the message of Jesus in Revelation 22:12, “Behold I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to reward everyone for what he (or she) has done. Jesus is bringing the reward to true believers when he returns to raise the dead and set up his kingdom.

He will reward those who have truly served him and done their human best, aided by his grace, to live the way of life he preached; then, as he told one man, “you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.” [Mark 10:21] If we have accepted that invitation, let us keep our feet firmly on the narrow path, that Jesus has trod before us! If we have not yet done so, let us ask ourselves, ‘Why not?’ Tonight I and others anticipate joy in witnessing a young man take on the name of Christ in baptism – may others be soon motivated to do the same.
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Posted 14 September 2013 - 09:59 AM

14 September 2013

2 Kings 20
Ezekiel 10
Luke 6

“… KNOWN BY ITS OWN FRUIT”

Our chapter in Luke today [Luke 6] is parallel with the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ chapters [Matthew 5; 6; 7] in Matthew: in a sense it is a summary of them - highlighting many of its key lessons.

We are all trees, growing in different parts of God’s garden, the owner is looking to see what quality of fruit, if any, is growing on us. The owner is kind. It is not his will that he should chop any trees down; Peter later wrote that he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” [2 Peter 3:9]. The fruit, essentially, is whether a godly attitude of mind develops in us – such a mind cannot help but produce fruit in whatever circumstances in which it is growing.

The growth of the fruit is also prompted by how well we ‘see’ God and with what ‘vision’ of sight we possess of the meaning of life as we go along our particular pathway – of whatever kind that is – difficult – or not so difficult – in rocky hill country or something less so. We must not count the cost of what we do, or expect rewards in this life. In a few days we will come to Luke 14:14 where Jesus makes the point, “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

How well are we developing a Christ-like mind? Verses 43-45 summarize an essential part of our Master’s teaching: “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” [Luke 6:43-45]

The Master knows us – everyone – he knows the fruit that has developed or is developing on the tree of each life, for says Jesus, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man (or woman) building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on a rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” [Luke 6:47-48] There is little doubt that floods are coming, let us get our fruit to ripen, and check our foundations.
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