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Wish was their Command!
was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then
in Bethlehem. And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would
give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the
gate!” So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the
Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate,
and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it,
but poured it out to the LORD. And he said, “Far be it from me, O
LORD, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went
in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These
things were done by the three mighty men.
had been anointed King of Israel by Samuel.
He had gotten victory over the lion, the bear, and now over
Goliath the uncircumcised Philistine.
But Saul was still the one occupying the throne and he was after
David big time. He wanted
his dynasty to endure even though he had greatly offended God.
So David, the anointed King, was running from Saul and he and
four hundred powerful but rather ragged men were hiding in the cave of
Adullam. Saul was hunting
him, the Philistines were ready to fight him. Life might have seemed a
little upside down.
and not Duty
begins thinking about how good he had had it as a child playing around
Bethlehem. There was a well
there. Its water was
refreshing and cold and now he couldn’t even get a drink of that
water. After all, the enemy
was encamped there. So David
said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the
water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”
There was no command here, only the whisper of the desire of his
heart. But three mighty men
heard him and decided to do something about it.
They broke through the camp of the Philistines and got that water
for David. David was so
taken by their devotion that he would not drink the water, but poured it
out on the ground. I would
have thought the mighty men might have been greatly offended, but I am
sure that they realized that David valued them more than he valued the
water. But by their
devotion, he knew that he had three mighty men who would do anything for
Him. They did it out of
devotion and not out of duty. He
knew that in today’s way of talking that they had his back.
His wish was their command.
we do this for the Lord?
are things that the Lord asks us to do today that we have relegated to
the bin of tradition and legalism because some of us do not do things
because we get to, we do them because we think we have to.
We know that salvation is by grace and not by works.
But we also know that it isn’t what we say but it is what we do
that is the measure of our appreciation of our heavenly David.
So why is it so hard to let the epistles be our guide in
understanding the Lord’s will and in just letting the plain sense of
the epistles make sense to us? Why
do we struggle with the truths having to do with headship?
Why do we struggle with the fact that baptism is for the believer
and not the infant?
I had been One these Mighty Men—
I had been one of these three mighty men, I might have been quite upset
with David for pouring that water out on the ground.
“What a waste of time and effort,” I would have thought.
At least I would have thought that unless I really grasped the
fact that pouring it out on the ground was an act of devotion by David.
I had been David, I would have been upset that three men that I needed
badly put their lives in jeopardy needlessly.
They could have lost their lives.
That is I might have thought that until I began to think about
why the men went and did this.
Life of Devotion sometimes appears to be a Wasted Life
the Christian life of devotion is not logical.
It doesn’t make sense to come every Sunday morning to a meeting
of the Christians where we remember the Lord.
Surely, doing this once a month or once a quarter or once a year
makes more sense since then we would have more time for things that we
think really matter. Why is
it important to the Lord to have us undergo a watery burial after we are
saved to identify with the Lord in his death, burial and resurrection?
Why not just be sprinkled or poured on or christened as an infant
and be done with it? Or why
worry about this ceremony at all.
Of course, the reason why we do some of the things that we
do is because we have heard the Lord ask us to do it with longing.
wonder how many of us today are struggling with something that we know
would please the Lord but that we really don’t want to do.
I struggle with this and I am sure others do as well.
But His wish should be our command.
for the week of December 7, 2014
Ever Existing One
4:8 “Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
of us lay on our beds at night and ponder questions that simply have no
rational answer. One of them
has to do with the question of how God can exist if He has no beginning.
Usually things that have no beginning do not exist.
Some people have said that there is no God based on that
philosophical question. But
if there is no God, there is no Creator.
However, things that we know exist came from somewhere.
Where did this world come from and how was it created if there is
no God? Some say there was a
big bang and some electrical shock or powerful force brought this all
into existence. There is
just one problem with that. The
powerful force had to come from somewhere and the material that came
into existence at that time had to come from somewhere.
Where did it come from? If
nothing existed before the big bang, what is the definition of
is something even if it is defined as nothing and so is mass.
Space and mass had to come from somewhere.
The powerful force had to come from somewhere.
Man’s philosophy and scientific reasoning cannot answer these
questions. Only faith in the One who says that He was and is and is to
come can answer these questions.
Substitute for Faith in the Ever Existing One
has a tendency to believe anything that is repeated often enough,
particularly if those who claim to be “wise” are the ones repeating
the things we want to believe. So
the “wise” have told us that since God is really unknowable, any god
is as good as the next. In
our day, believing in no god is just as acceptable as believing in the
idols and mythological gods of many societies.
Ultimately, mankind believes in most anything so long as they
don’t have to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Ever Existing
often wonder how many people who are trying to put Christ back into
Christmas this year have really believed that the One born in the manger
as the fulfillment of prophecy is also the One who went to the cross and
died for their sins? How
many really believe that He rose from the dead and that He is coming
again? How many people have
really been “born again” or “saved” as a result of believing in
Him? How many believe that
by Him all thing are created that were created (John 1:3, Colossians
1:16)? How many really
believe that the Lord Jesus is the One who was and is and is to come?
These are the things that a true believer accepts by faith which
means that they accept it just because God says it.
We who are believers have answers that logic and science cannot
give, and those answers satisfy us.
we Really Know?
I was young, I was taught that if I had any doubts as to whether the
Bible was the Word of God, I should study the nation of Israel.
I was taught that God had used that nation as an object lesson
that teaches us how God thinks and acts.
The children of Israel were like many people today.
They had a good heritage. They
had been delivered as a nation from the bondage of Egypt.
They had been told that if they were faithful to the Lord as His
redeemed people they would be blessed.
Their good works and their faithful worship would not save them
but would be evidence of their appreciation and faith in the One who had
saved them. But what did
Israel do? They turned aside
to idols. But God says over
and over again in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel that one day
they will know that “I am
the LORD.” The LORD in
these statements is Jehovah or the ever existing One or the One who was
and is and is to come.
if I understand these prophecies right, prophets didn’t and won’t
convince Israel of their need to worship Jehovah instead of idols or
instead of worshipping nothing. The
baby born in a manger won’t convince them.
The cross of Christ will not convince them.
They will also explain away the resurrection.
But coming judgment will convince them.
And coming judgment will convince the world that the things
written in this book we call the Bible are true.
The world will be convinced that science and philosophy did not
have the answer, but faith in an old archaic book did.
will Convince Us?
the nation of Israel is our example, it appears that many people that
wouldn’t believe in the Lord Jesus in this present age when God is
offering grace and mercy will finally believe that Jesus is Jehovah, the
Ever Existing One, when judgment comes. We
live in a time of blessing when people are still being offered the
salvation that only the Ever Existing One can provide.
But I worry that many who claim to be worshipping the LORD during
this Christmas season have not accepted the truth that the One who died
on that cross really is the Ever Existing One.
But they will when they fall under His judgment as unbelievers.
Then it will be too late.
for the week of December 14, 2014
53:1 Who has believed our report? And
to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
Matthew 2, wise men from the East saw the Lord’s star which had to be
in the west. They were
being led from the east to the west to find and worship “the King of
These wise men (sometimes translated Magi) seem to be a
select group of priests or religious astrologers from Persia.
The Medes and the Persians subdued the Babylon of Daniel’s day.
It is my conviction that Daniel taught the Chaldean (Babylonish)
astrologers of his day more than they taught him.
I suspect that these wise men in Matthew had access to Daniel’s
teachings as given to the Chaldeans of his day.
They believed those teachings while the Jews had access to the
whole of the Old Testament scriptures and as a whole the Jews didn’t
John 4 there is a woman from a group despised by the Jews who also knew
more that the Jews knew. She
was a Samaritan. Samaritans
knew how to worship Jehovah because of a priest brought back into the
land by Assyria after Israel had been taken captive.
read in 2 Kings 17:28: “Then
one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and
dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD. However
every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the
shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation
in the cities where they dwelt.”
had some truth and a lot of error. They
worshipped in the wrong mountain and offered sacrifices at the wrong
altars. They combined the
worship of Jehovah with the worship of pagan gods, and yet here was a
“sinner of Samaria” who knew that the Messiah was coming.
She was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah because he told her
all the things that she had done including the fact that she had married
five times and was now living with a man.
is it that the ones that we would expect to believe the truth about
Christ often do not? That
includes many children who were raised knowing the Bible and the
prophecies that were fulfilled when the Lord came into this world the
first time. They know that
the Lord has described them and their sins perfectly.
They know that they have not lived up to their own standards let
alone living up to the standards of God.
They know that God loves them even though they do not love God.
is true of many privileged children who were raised being taught the
truth is often true of many good church going people today.
They would like to make salvation “universal” meaning that
ultimately there is no eternal condemnation for unbelievers.
They would like to make morals relative and let “our day” and
“society” determine what is right and what is wrong.
Their worship of the Lord is determined by current fads rather
than by Scripture. But
should this surprise us?
If Magi could understand the truth and if Samaritans could
understand the truth while Jews by and large rejected the Truth, it
should not come as a surprise that those we least expect to trust in the
Lord do trust Him. It should
also come as no surprise that those we think should believe in the Lord
Where does that Leave Us?
we among those who have “believed the report?”
Or are we among those who despised Him and didn’t esteem or
honor Him? I am among those
who believe the prophetic truth in Isaiah 53:4-5 written 700 years
before the Lord was born that says:
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet
we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was
wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the
chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are
who has really believed this report?
for the week of December 21, 2014
Topsy Turvy World
13:30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are
first which shall be last.
we come to the end of another year, I think it is always wise to review
the past year to see if there was anything in it that amounted to
anything. We have to pay the
bills, maintain the cars, maintain the house, all of which requires
doing something productive for which we hope to get paid.
We also need to stay in touch with friends and family and we need
to take time to be friends to our friends, family, and neighbors.
So where does that leave us when it comes to our relationship
with the Lord? Matthew 6:33
says that we are to put the interests of the Lord “first” not last.
How many of us can honestly say that we did that this last year?
We might think that we did, but would the Lord think that we did?
does our Verse Mean?
phrase is found a number of places in the Bible. The last shall be first
and the first last. It is
found several times in connection with rewards (see Matthew 20:16).
But it is also found here in connection with salvation.
I would like to suggest that Jews who are the “elect” and are
special in God’s sight are really “last” when it comes to
receiving Him. Gentiles
showed more devotion and faith than the Jews.
Women often showed more devotion than men.
Publicans and sinners were criticized by the Jews and yet they
are first in Matthew 21:31. Children
and not adults are first when it comes to faith in the Lord in several
places. Servants are greater
than those that they serve. So
obviously this statement that the last shall be first and the first last
means that our evaluation of who and what is important is likely
different than the Lord’s evaluation.
does that Leave Us?
know that there is a difference between the judgment of the Great White
Throne in Revelation 20:11 and the Judgment Seat of Christ as found in 2
Corinthians 5:10. At the
Great White Throne, unbelievers are going to be shown why they are being
condemned eternally. No one
is saved there. The issue of
salvation is settled before we die and not after.
The Judgment Seat of Christ is a place where the faithfulness of
believers is judged. No one
is condemned to hell there, but works are reviewed for faithfulness to
the Lord and are rewarded. Now
I am much like the disciples of the Lord who were jockeying for the
greatest positions in the Kingdom (see Mark 9:34). And as I hear
teaching on rewards and faithfulness, I suspect many Christians are like
me. They are hoping to be
top officials in the Kingdom. In
would be nice to be able to tell others what to do and then have them do
it. But again,
servants come before bosses because the last are to be first.
So our competitive spirits will likely land us at the end of the
line and not at the front.
what will the Lord really be Rewarding?
don’t think the Lord will be rewarding those who forced the unsaved to
try to live like Christians before they were told how to become
Christians. I don’t think
the Lord will be rewarding those who have turned Christianity into
Churchianity that appeals to the flesh.
think the Lord will be rewarding true loyalty and devotion to Him.
There will be those like the women who anointed Him with oil.
There will be those like the women who came early in the morning
to the tomb. There will be
those who like Mary who spent time with the Lord conversing with Him
instead of serving like a woman was expected to do. I suspect the Lord
would like to know that when the world criticizes Him and His way of
doing things as found in the Bible, that He has friends who defend His
right to ask us to do that which makes no sense to the natural man.
If it pleases the Lord, that should be enough for us.
That includes His way of salvation which involves a new birth,
and His way of baptism which includes immersion in water after salvation
to publicly confess our identification with Him.
That includes men “manning up” and becoming the spiritual
leaders in the home and the church.
That includes women wearing head coverings when they are involved
in public praying and prophesying. That
involves not having women teach or preach publicly in the church
meetings. That involves
distinguishing to the best of our ability between believers and
unbelievers when it comes to yoking with them in our spiritual, business
and social lives. We
believers are supposed to be influencing unbelievers but often they are
we the Lord’s Friend?
2nd Samuel 15:37, Hushai proved himself to be David’s
friend when David was fleeing from Absalom.
He had David’s back. The
title “friend” is really precious.
Most of us don’t have a lot of people that we know will defend
us and who will have our backs when others criticize us.
I find that being a friend is really harder than having a friend.
We have a friend in the Lord, now let us make sure that we are
the Lord’s friend. I am
confident that will please Him more than anything else we might try to
do. It will make this next
for the week of December 28, 2014