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14 May - Deuteronomy 31; Isaiah 3; 4; Colossians 1


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Posted 14 May 2008 - 11:28 AM

First Portion

Deuteronomy 31


31:1 Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 31:2 He said to them, “I am one hundred twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: and Yahweh has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ 31:3 Yahweh your God, he will go over before you; he will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua shall go over before you, as Yahweh has spoken. 31:4 Yahweh will do to them as he did to Sihon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land; whom he destroyed. 31:5 Yahweh will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandment which I have commanded you. 31:6 Be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid, nor be scared of them: for Yahweh your God, he it is who does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.”

31:7 Moses called to Joshua, and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous: for you shall go with this people into the land which Yahweh has sworn to their fathers to give them; and you shall cause them to inherit it. 31:8 Yahweh, he it is who does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed.”

31:9 Moses wrote this law, and delivered it to the priests the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and to all the elders of Israel. 31:10 Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tents, 31:11 when all Israel has come to appear before Yahweh your God in the place which he shall choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 31:12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and your foreigner who is within your gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear Yahweh your God, and observe to do all the words of this law; 31:13 and that their children, who have not known, may hear, and learn to fear Yahweh your God, as long as you live in the land where you go over the Jordan to possess it.”

31:14 Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold, your days approach that you must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the Tent of Meeting, that I may commission him.” Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the Tent of Meeting.

31:15 Yahweh appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud: and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent. 31:16 Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers; and this people will rise up, and play the prostitute after the strange gods of the land, where they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. 31:17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come on them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Haven’t these evils come on us because our God is not among us?’ 31:18 I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evil which they shall have worked, in that they are turned to other gods.

31:19 “Now therefore write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. 31:20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore to their fathers, flowing with milk and honey, and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and grown fat; then will they turn to other gods, and serve them, and despise me, and break my covenant. 31:21 It shall happen, when many evils and troubles have come on them, that this song shall testify before them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they frame this day, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.” 31:22 So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

31:23 He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and courageous; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them: and I will be with you.”

31:24 It happened, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 31:25 that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, saying, 31:26 “Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. 31:27 For I know your rebellion, and your stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against Yahweh; and how much more after my death? 31:28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 31:29 For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will happen to you in the latter days; because you will do that which is evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.”

31:30 Moses spoke in the ears of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were finished.

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 11:30 AM

Second Portion

Isaiah 3; 4


3:1 For, behold, the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah supply and support,
the whole supply of bread,
and the whole supply of water;
3:2 the mighty man,
the man of war,
the judge,
the prophet,
the diviner,
the elder,
3:3 the captain of fifty,
the honorable man,
the counselor,
the skilled craftsman,
and the clever enchanter.
3:4 I will give boys to be their princes,
and children shall rule over them.
3:5 The people will be oppressed,
everyone by another,
and everyone by his neighbor.
The child will behave himself proudly against the old man,
and the base against the honorable.
3:6 Indeed a man shall take hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying,
“You have clothing, you be our ruler,
and let this ruin be under your hand.”
3:7 In that day he will cry out, saying, “I will not be a healer;
for in my house is neither bread nor clothing.
You shall not make me ruler of the people.”
3:8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen;
because their tongue and their doings are against Yahweh,
to provoke the eyes of his glory.
3:9 The look of their faces testify against them.
They parade their sin like Sodom.
They don’t hide it.
Woe to their soul!
For they have brought disaster upon themselves.
3:10 Tell the righteous “Good!”
For they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
3:11 Woe to the wicked!
Disaster is upon them;
for the deeds of his hands will be paid back to him.
3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors,
and women rule over them.
My people, those who lead you cause you to err,
and destroy the way of your paths.
3:13 Yahweh stands up to contend,
and stands to judge the peoples.
3:14 Yahweh will enter into judgment with the elders of his people,
and their leaders:
“It is you who have eaten up the vineyard.
The spoil of the poor is in your houses.
3:15 What do you mean that you crush my people,
and grind the face of the poor?” says the Lord, Yahweh of Armies.
3:16 Moreover Yahweh said, “Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,
and walk with outstretched necks and flirting eyes,
walking to trip as they go,
jingling ornaments on their feet;
3:17 therefore the Lord brings sores on the crown of the head of the women of Zion,
and Yahweh will make their scalps bald.”

3:18 In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, the headbands, the crescent necklaces, 3:19 the earrings, the bracelets, the veils, 3:20 the headdresses, the ankle chains, the sashes, the perfume bottles, the charms, 3:21 the signet rings, the nose rings, 3:22 the fine robes, the capes, the cloaks, the purses, 3:23 the hand mirrors, the fine linen garments, the tiaras, and the shawls.

3:24 It shall happen that instead of sweet spices, there shall be rottenness;
instead of a belt, a rope;
instead of well set hair, baldness;
instead of a robe, a wearing of sackcloth;
and branding instead of beauty.
3:25 Your men shall fall by the sword,
and your mighty in the war.
3:26 Her gates shall lament and mourn;
and she shall be desolate and sit on the ground.

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 11:31 AM

4:1 Seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread, and wear our own clothing: only let us be called by your name. Take away our reproach.”

4:2 In that day, Yahweh’s branch will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the beauty and glory of the survivors of Israel. 4:3 It will happen, that he who is left in Zion, and he who remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone who is written among the living in Jerusalem; 4:4 when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from its midst, by the spirit of justice, and by the spirit of burning. 4:5 Yahweh will create over the whole habitation of Mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. 4:6 There will be a pavilion for a shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a refuge and for a shelter from storm and from rain.

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 11:36 AM

Third Portion

Colossians 1


1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 1:2 to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 1:4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have toward all the saints, 1:5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Good News, 1:6 which has come to you; even as it is in all the world and is bearing fruit and growing, as it does in you also, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 1:7 even as you learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 1:8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. 1:9 For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 1:10 that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy; 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; 1:14 in whom we have our redemption,* the forgiveness of our sins; 1:15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 1:16 For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. 1:18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 1:19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; 1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross.

1:21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, 1:22 yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and blameless before him, 1:23 if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant.

1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the assembly; 1:25 of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God, 1:26 the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints, 1:27 to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; 1:28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; 1:29 for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:09 AM

14 May 2009

Deuteronomy 31
Isaiah 3; 4
Colossians 1

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:38 AM

14 May 2010

Deuteronomy 31
Isaiah 3; 4
Colossians 1

“CREATED … FOR HIM”

The Apostle Paul, said Peter [2 Peter 3:16], writes “some things … that are hard to understand which the ignorant and unstable twist” and we think that some verses in today’s reading, Colossians 1, there is an example of this. Paul writes about Jesus as “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” [Colossians 1:15]. He goes on to say that “he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” [Colossians 1:18].

From this we learn that the resurrection of Jesus, following a life in which he succeeded in making God’s will his will, but not without a struggle (Luke 22:42), that this resurrection to eternal life was the starting point at which he was made pre-eminent in everything. It was a new beginning, one could say, a new creation.

Paul says in reasoning with the Galatians that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, “but a new creation” [Galatians 6:15] He said the same thing in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation”. This understanding provides the foundation for our understanding of how all things were created FOR Christ. God’s work of creation was with him in mind from the very beginning. We note how Peter expresses this about Christ, “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times … ” [1 Peter 1:20] by “God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory …”

The glory of Jesus came from God, he gave him pre-eminence because he was obedient unto death. Our understanding can be confused by translators who, thinking of Jesus as God himself, this attitude can influence their translation in a few places. An example is the Greek preposition ek. It occurs in our Colossians chapter no less that 31 times. It has the primary meaning of in, but the translators have used no less that 6 different English words in that chapter. Now we know you cannot translate from one language to another word for word and still retain the sense, but we noticed how in verse 16, they have rendered it as “by” - “for by him were all things created”

Now if they were created for him, it does not make sense that they were created by him. Have we confused you? God created the world with Jesus in mind. Jesus lived and died with you in mind (Read John 20:20-21) The “new creation” replaces the original creation of Adam and Eve. Are you part of the new creation? Or will you be among those who fail because they stay related to Adam?
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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:18 AM

14 May 2011

Deuteronomy 31
Isaiah 3; 4
Colossians 1

"THEY DO NOT HIDE IT"

God’s message through Isaiah is to a nation that has lost its vision of their God and how to truly serve him, “the look on their faces bears witness against them” Isaiah tells them, “they proclaim their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it! Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves” [Isaiah 3:9]. We thought how appropriate the prophet’s message was for the world today. If Isaiah was here now his message would be exactly the same. Indeed, today the word ‘sin’ is no longer in the vocabulary.

But Isaiah’s next verse has a message for those still trying to maintain righteousness. “Tell the righteous it shall be well with them for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.” Then in the next chapter there is reference to Jesus – named as “the branch of the LORD” that “in that day” it “shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honour of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem.” [Isaiah 4:2, 3] We take this to refer to those recorded in the book of life – applying to both natural and spiritual Israelites.

We compare this with the lovely positive message in Colossians today where Paul tells them how they are “qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in life. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” [Colossians 1:12-14]

Just as this godless world has no shame and does not hide its way of life, let us also not hide our way of life in righteousness, for we witness by example and not just by word.
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Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:58 AM

14 May 2012

Deuteronomy 31
Isaiah 3; 4
Colossians 1


“THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD”

The Apostle Paul, said Peter [2 Peter 3:16], writes “some things … that are hard to understand which the ignorant and unstable twist”! We suspect some verses in today’s reading of Colossians 1 are an example of this. Paul writes about Jesus as “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” [Colossians 1:15]. He goes on to say that “he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” [Colossians 1:18].

From this we learn that the resurrection of Jesus, following a life in which he succeeded in making God’s will his will led to his being made pre-eminent by God. But doing God’s will was not an automatic process, it was an incredible challenge, remember his agonizing in the garden of Gethsemane. (see Luke 22:42).

His resurrection to eternal life was the starting point at which he was made pre-eminent in everything. It was a new beginning, one could say, a new creation.

Paul says, in reasoning with the Galatians, that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, “but a new creation” [Galatians 6:15] He said the same thing in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation”. Our awareness of these quotations provide the foundation for our understanding of how all things were created FOR Christ. God’s work of creation was with him in mind from the very beginning. We note how Peter expresses this about Christ, “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times … ” [1 Peter 1:20] by “God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory …” [1 Peter 1:21]

The glory of Jesus came from God, he gave him pre-eminence because he was obedient unto death. Our understanding can be confused by translators who, thinking of Jesus as God himself; this appears to have influenced their translation in a few places. An example is the Greek preposition ek. It occurs in our Colossians chapter no less than 31 times. It has the primary meaning of in, but the translators have used no less than 6 different English words in that chapter. Now we know you cannot translate from one language to another word for word and always make meaningful sense, but we noticed how in Colossians 1:16, they have rendered it as “by” - “for by him were all things created” Yet the ESV, we use has a footnote against ‘by’ – that says - That is, ‘by means of’, or ‘in’.

Think, if they were created for him, it does not make sense that they were created by him. Have we confused you? God created the world with Jesus in mind. Jesus lived and died with us in mind (Read John 20:20-21) The “new creation” flows on from the original creation of Adam and Eve. Are you part of the new creation, taking on the name of Christ in baptism? Or will you be among those who fail because they stay related to Adam?
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- DC


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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:50 PM

14 May 2013

Deuteronomy 31
Isaiah 3; 4
Colossians 1

“INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD”

Is your knowledge of God increasing? We live in a world in which all kinds of knowledge multiplies as never before – human cleverness appears to know no bounds!

Sadly – at the same time, awareness and acknowledgement of God is decreasing at an astonishing rate. It reminds us of the parable in which the citizens “hated” him and sent a message saying, “We do not want this man to reign over us.” [Luke 19:14]. Note what happened to them when the king returned! [Luke 19:27]

Today the citizens are saying, and if they do not actually say it, their actions show it – ‘We do not want to even think there is a God who has oversight of our lives and knows the nature of human thought and desire.

Our thoughts were provoked in this direction by Paul’s letter, written from prison, to the Colossians. The believers there are very much in his thoughts. “We always thank God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you …” [Colossians 1:3] Timothy is with him (Colossians 1:1 sharing his prayers ... He emphasizes what occupies his mind in Colossians 1:9 “… we have not ceased to pray for you asking that ….”

And what is he asking? “Asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner fully pleasing to him …” [Colossians 1:9-10],

His next words are, “bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” In some contexts we read the word ‘knowledge’ in the sense of “knowing” – becoming ‘fully aware of’ so as to develop a relationship with someone. Consider Job’s final declaration about God after his earnest efforts to understand his ways! Read Job 42:2-17. Consider also what Jesus accomplished “by his knowledge” [Isaiah 53:11]

Central to our relationship with God is “Christ in you” [Colossians 1:27] “Him we proclaim,” writes Paul, “that we may present everyone mature in Christ” [Colossians 1:28] How is your maturity developing? Absorbing the true sense of the divine word is a foundation for this. May we all increase day by day in the “knowledge of God” and become “mature in Christ” so his way of thinking becomes more and more our way of thinking.
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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:21 AM

14 May 2014

Deuteronomy 31
Isaiah 3; 4
Colossians 1

“… FULLY PLEASING TO HIM”

Today we start reading several letters of Paul beginning with his message to the Colossians. They are letters of encouragement for them to remain fully committed to following Christ in the face of various difficulties. He tells them, “I have not ceased to pray for you” [Colossians 1:8-9]. In his prayer he is “asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord fully pleasing to him” [Colossians 1:9-10]

There can be no half measures when we commit our lives to serving Christ – we must aim to be “fully pleasing” to the unseen presence of our Lord sensing the reality that “in him we live and move and have our being” as we read last week in Acts 17:28. Our Lord is now seated “at the right hand of God” as we will read in Colossians 3:1.

In today’s chapter Paul reminds the Colossians that they “once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” [Colossians 1:21] as Paul himself had been. Very few of us can look back on that kind of life – and we suspect that those who can are wonderfully motivated to make sure they are “fully pleasing” to their Saviour. But how motivated do the rest of us feel? Does it not depend on how clear is our perception of that which is “unseen”?

Paul told the Corinthians, “the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” [2 Corinthians 4:18] Coming back to today’s chapter – Paul’s words in Colossians 1:23 apply just as much to us as to them, that we will be “fully pleasing … if you indeed continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel …” Our daily reading of God’s word is a vital part of making sure we do that.
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- DC






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