Meditation

09/30/2022

But the lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’” (Numbers 20:12 – Faith Gains Understanding of History)

Faith is not a spiritual or intellectual reality distinct from history. Trusting faith reveals itself in obedient historical acts. To fail to act in our history in accord with God’s known will is to demonstrate lack of faith and to deserve God’s historical judgment. Moses and Aaron wee heroes of faith who endured heart breaking discipline and judgment for misusing positions of leadership among God’s people. What was their failure you ask? God told Moses and Aaron to gather the people and stood at the rock at Meribah, speak to the rock and it will spring forth with water for people to drink and enough for animals and herds. Instead, with the staff, the rock was struck twice, when they were told to merely call upon the rock to give up its water for all God’s people to see.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, we read in this verse from numbers and find why it was that Moses and Aaron would not be allowed to go into the Promised Land. Harsh, yes, but the disrespect shown by striking the rock with the staff, made it appear that they had brought forth the water and not God. Respect of God’s holiness takes precedent over all things. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Non-believers believe in “Good Luck,” while Christians believe in the Good Lord!”

KNOWING GOD:

No sooner had Gideon died that the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. They also failed to show kindness to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) for all the good things he had done for them. and did not remember” (Judges 8:33-35 – Faith Gains Understanding of History)

History is a call to see God in action and depend totally on Him. Israel was too often tempted to see history in Canaanite terms as a cycle of recurring agricultural seasons. They wanted to depend on Yahweh, the God of Israel, for political leadership and on Baal, the god of Canaanite agriculture and fertility, for crop protection. Even a leader like Gideon had received a name honoring Baal from his parents. God controls all aspect of history—-military, political, economic, social, and agricultural. He expects His people to depend on him in each new season because He has proved his power and case through history, not because He has proved his power and care trough history, not because they go through proper rituals to cause the seasons to repeat themselves.

I AM:

At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king o Judah and said to him: because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” (2nd Chronicles 16:7-9 – Faith Gains Understanding of History)

God used history to cal His people to faith. They repeatedly sought security in international alliances. He showed them their covenant alliance with Him was all they needed to true security.

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Please read this for yourself” (Hebrews 11:1-40– Faith Gains Understanding of History)

Faith involves absolute confidence in God’s historical saving acts. The nature of faith leads to deep involvement in the historical world not isolation and escape into a life of meditation. Furthermore, the “roll call of faith” illustrates the nature of belief in God. Faith is action based on certainty without physical evidence. Faith please God. Knowledge of God comes only through faith, since God is invisible. Faith is the human action which God counts as righteousness to wipe out all sin charged against us. Faith trust God’s promises even when hey appear impossible. Faith reaches out out to the eternal reward God has promised. Faith obeys God even when the divine demand appears unreasonable. Faith fears no human, only God. Faith identifies with God’s people no matter how disadvantaged they are. Faith perseveres even when on reward is in sight. The faith of all Israel’s heroes found its goal and reward in Christ and His atoning work.

Meditation

09/29/2022

Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.” (Psalm 86:8-10 – God’s Concern Is Universal History)

God’s unique saving actions were not done just for one people. They serve as reason for all peoples to worship God. The day will come when all will bow before the Lord. That is the final judgment. Before that hour, however, God’s call to faith in Christ goes out to all nations. He wants all to know of His saving acts and to believe He alone is God. We share in that divine call to salvation because we have tasted God’s redemption. God is patient with those who do not know Him. He waits for us to go tell them the gospel story. God’s salvation call to the lost comes through the saved.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, we see in this reading from Psalms, that God’s unique saving actions wee not done just for one people. Instead, they serve as reason fr all peoples to worship God. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Our faith is built on the foundation of Love; we love because He first loved us.”

KNOWING GOD:

This is what the Lord says to His anointed, to Cyrus whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations, before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. I am the Lord, and thee is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen ou, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” (God’s Concern Is Universal History )

Cyrus of Persia appeared to be dominating the world. He was only answering God’s call. Credit belongs to God not to temporary figures of history. In His mysterious way God uses unbelieving rulers without their knowledge to bring about His purposes for His people.

I AM:

This is what the words mean: Menes: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given o the Medes and Persians. Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom. That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom , at the age of sixty two.” (Daniel 5:25-31 – God’s Concern Is Universal History)

Every earthly kingdom is subject to God. God is not Ruler only of Israel’s history. He direct all history to His goals. He can punish any ruler, no matter how much earthly power the ruler exercises. The translation of the four written words is a revelation of God’s purposes in the immediate history of Belshazzar and nations which surrounded him. God used Daniel to reveal God’s will to the king. The message involved word plays on weights and monetary units. God used the mysterious word gave to first confuse, then give meaning to the king..

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” (Acts 17:26– God’s Concern Is Universal History)

God controls the history of all peoples, not just believers. He has exercised control since creation and has been concerned with the historical circumstances of all people. Each people has an opportunity to reach out to God.

This verse has been used to defend racism on the grounds that certain ethnic groups should “go back to where they came from” or “say where they belong.” The verse is part of the larger context of Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill dealing with the sovereignty of God. Thus, the primary discussion is God-centered or theological and not man-centered or anthropological. Rather than supporting God -centered racial superiority, the verse portrays the encompassing love of God for all people. From creation onward we share common characteristics as members of God’s created family. Creation joins us together rather than separates us, and it ought to.

Meditation

09/28/2022

When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captures some of them. Then Israel made vow to the Lord: ‘I you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities.’ The Lord listened to Israel ‘s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was name Hormah.” (Numbers 21:1-3 – God’s Deliverance Is part of History)

Israel, in certain battles, dedicated the enemy “to the ban” (Hebrew – cherem) or total destruction. The practice illustrated Israel’s conviction that victory spoils belonged to God, who provided victory. This practice demonstrated Israel’s total obedience to God. The ban was not carried out the same in all battles and was not a rule for battles fought outside Israel’s cultural setting.

God acted to save His people when they obediently dedicated themselves to Him and His will. Each historical action was a separate test of the faithfulness of God’s people.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, this battle was a response to God’s requirement of total commitment to Him and His purposes. The battle was brought against Israel by king Arad who unleashed his army upon the Israelites, and the Israelites sought Him out to deliver them into their hands, as they were formally committing themselves to God along with His purposes. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

If you have enough Jesus to get to heaven, you have enough Jesus to get you to church.”

KNOWING GOD:

Then David called one of his men and said, ‘Go, strike him down!’ So he struck him down, and he died. For David had said to him, ‘Your blood be on you own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’” (2nd Samuel 1:15-16-God’s Deliverance Is part of History)

In 1st Samuel 24:8-10: “Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, ‘My lord the king!’ When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He said to Saul, ‘Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? This day you have seen with your own eyes how he Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’

Opportunity to defeat enemies is not permission to do so. God had chosen David to succeed Saul. God delivered Saul into David’s hands, but David knew that judgment, vengeance, and vindication were under God’s control. This foreshadowed Jesus’ teaching of love for enemies. If David had taken Saul’s life that day, He would have been taking God’s judgment into his own hands and it would show total disrespect for God and His historical actions.

I AM:

On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.” (Ezra 8:31-32 – God’s Deliverance Is part of History )

God’s protection can be defined in a number of ways, however, in this context Ezra had received an offer of protection from the Persian king, but had declined saying God protected them thus far and they would depend upon Him the rest of the way. So, before leaving Ahava Canal, they sacrificed on an altar to God to protect them in their travels and that is what took place. They fully depended upon God to give them safe travels to Jerusalem.

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

I will strengthen the house of Judah and save the house of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. The Ephraimites will become like mighty men, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. I will signal for them and gather them in . Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before. Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them. They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s scepter will pass away. I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will walk., declares the Lord.” (Zechariah 10:6-12– God’s Deliverance Is part of History)

Divine compassion is the basis God’s people have to hope for historical deliverance. God would not listen to their prayer in 7:13, but the restoration He promised to answer. The prophet declared the end of Israel’s dispersion among the nations. God’s care and presence would reunite and strengthen them. As in the Exodus. God will reveal His salvation in historical events. Beloved, even far from home and from the center of religious activities, memories and traditions taught by family lead us to remember and worship God. What a God we serve!

Meditation

09/26/2022

I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.” (Genesis 17:6 – God Has Always Included Political History)

God’s history with a chosen family had larger purposes in view. Political history grew out of the history of God’s promises to a family. A theology of history must always keep in view God’s focus on the individual and on the larger structures of society.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, this reading from Genesis reminds us that we are not separated from society, but fully connected and therefore we are participants in the larger community. We are connected through our mission of evangelism in our own communities and well beyond to cities, states, and even nations, to take the Word of God to all. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Sometimes we must have faith to believe, before we can see it.”

KNOWING GOD:

The Israelites were at the border of Edom and were desperation, needing water for themselves and their cattle. Moses sent messengers to the King of Edom seeking permission to cross his border, so they could reach their destination. They asked three times politely to cross the border and not disturb his people or to take any water for themselves and their cattle and the answer was, ‘you may not pass through here, if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.’ The Israelites asked one more time and were told, ‘You may not pass through.’ Then Edom came out against them with a large and powerful army. Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.” (Numbers 20:20-21-God Has Always Included Political History)

God’s actions in history do not follow a set pattern which humans can predict. He did not automatically defeat all nations facing Israel. Edom refused to cooperate with Israel, but God did not call Israel to military action

I AM:

Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites” (Joshua 5:1 – God Has Always Included Political History )

This action taken by God had two purposes. Those who had already been circumcised before Egypt would not see the Promised Land. Those who had traveled along the Exodus, would be circumcised after crossing the desert as a reminder of their faith in God and their commitment to Him alone. There was also another benefit, which would affect those leaders who had heard of what God had done at the Jordan, allowing His people to cross on dry land and then drowned the Egyptian army who tried to follow them across. He was sending a strong message to all leaders who would now encounter His people and they would fear Him.

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

In King Hezekiah’s fourth year, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Eliah king of Israel, Shalmanaeser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes. This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant—-all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.” (2nd Kings 18:9-12–God Has Always Included Political History

The prophetic word controlled Israel’s history. The rise and fall of international powers occurred as God announced them, through His prophets. God promised judgment on a people who followed other gods, and after two centuries of enduring their false worship in mercy, He fulfilled His threats. Thus God’s Word describes history as God’s response to the sin of His people. Furthermore, evil political practices bring God’s anger and eventually His punishment on a nation. God is free to determine when and how to punish a wicked nation. He may use an even more evil nation to punish His people (In 722 BC, God used the notoriously wicked Assyrians to put an end to the Northern Kingdom because they refused to be loyal to Him.)

The Assyrian deportation was allowed due to Israel’s violation of God’s covenant. Israel learned God is as faithful to us and we are to Him.

Meditation

09/25/2022

O my people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did. Very soon my anger against you will end and my wrath will be directed to their destruction. The Lord Almighty will lash them with a whip, as when the struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb; and he will raise his staff over the waters, as he did in Egypt. In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat.” (Isaiah 10:24-27 – God Concentrated on National History)

Beloved past historical deliverance gives God’s people hope as hey face a new enemy. God promised salvation and deliverance to His people beyond judgment in history. The basic prophetic message dealt with the national history of God’s rebellious people. The prophets described the sin which deserved judgment, announced the judgment God would bring, and hen pointed beyond judgment to hope for renewal and righteousness. In so doing the prophets revealed how seriously God takes human history and demonstrated the concrete foundation of the biblical definition of salvation. Salvation always has an historical beginning point and effects a change in historical existence. Salvation leads us to future life and meaning in the world, not escape from the world.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, this reading from Isaiah is a reminder of all of our number one sin, which is rebellion against You. It is something we must come before you daily to confess and repent for. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Salvation is what we receive, not what we achieve.”

KNOWING GOD:

This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity h I have promised them.” (Jeremiah 32:42- God Concentrated on National History)

God was acting in His people’s best interests when he had property sold between two kinsmen. It was sold one to the other, money paid, deed transferred, witnessed, so that after He had dealt with the Babylonians and they had been defeated,, the land would once again be known as land owned by the Israelites. It was a show of faith between God and His people and it represented to the people, that no matter what, God had their best interests inmind.

I AM:

But now, this what the Lord says—-he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For Ii am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the earth, ‘Give hem up! And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back. Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—-everyone who is called by my my nae, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. ” (Isaiah 43:1-7 – God Concentrated on National History)

Forming an obedient people was and is an essential part of God’s creation. Since He had created the nation and redeemed them from Babylon, He would continue to protect them. Israel could face the future in their own land once more with confidence, knowing that they could cope with new situations, including enemies that threatened their existence. The confident people people of God give glory and praise to their Creator. God was promising a new Exodus for His people. This revealed His love for His people and His presence with them.

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, making them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bend down to feed them. Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? Swords will flash in the cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end in their plans. My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them. How can I give you up Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboilm? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man—-the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. They will follow the Lord, he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes, declares the Lord.” (Hosea 11:1-11– God Concentrated on National History)

God’s love and Israel’s stupid commitment to the practices of unrepentant people to face justice. Love could not give up on the beloved, so the final word is hope beyond judgment.

Meditation

16th Sunday After Pentecost, Proper 21 – 09-25-2022

Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; 1st Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31

From our lesson in Jeremiah this day, we see that God, the ruler of the universe, has power and freedom to hand the king of His people to the enemy. He can also fulfill His promise to restore his people. Jeremiah was sent to instruct the king of Judah, Zedekiah, to hand over the land to the Babylonians, that his cousin Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle would come and offer to sell you his land and you as a kinsman, and he was to agree to purchase it for 17 shekels of silver. Hanamel arrived and asked him to purchase his land for 17 shekels of silver, it was agreed upon and the deed was signed and sealed and properly witnessed, and he weighed out the 17 shekels. The prophet took the sealed documents symbolizing God’s hope and plans for Judah, and a copy and gave them to Hanamel in the presence of Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presences of of the witnesses who had signed the deed and all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard, saying, “In their presence I gave Baruch these this instruction: Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time.

For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land It represented God’s vote of confidence in their future following destruction. The land would again be home of the children of God.

In our lesson from Psalms 91 is a prayer, the first six verses presents us who believe in God will dwell in the shelter of the Most High and will rest in the shadow of the Almighty; we will say ,”He is our refuge and our fortress, our God, in whom we trust.” It is an acknowledgment that because the psalmist loves me” I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledged my name and will call upon me. I will be with him and deliver him and honor him with long life and I satisfy him and show him my salvation. Beloved, the him is you and me, not some unknown psalmist.

In 1st Timothy, we are told by Paul that we are to be wary of worldly goods and riches and keep our focus upon our Lord. We must remember that we brought nothing into this world and we will taking nothing out of here. God gives us the power to acquire wealth, but we should use it to serve God and others. To earn a call to eternal life we must publicly confess Jesus Christ as Lord. This confession gives us something to hold onto as we engage in the good fight of faith

Finally we come to the Gospel of Luke and are reminded that Lazarus suffering and injustice prevailed for him in this life, he was rewarded after his death. Eternity is the only existence where people do not suffer. Those who do not receive eternal life from God face eternal suffering. Jesus contrasted the destinies of two persons. One died and entered a conscious state blessedness. The other died and entered a conscious state of misery. Both were presented by Jesus as entering their future condition immediately following death. Death ends the opportunity to confess, repent, and seek salvation. The prayer of the former rich man was unanswerable. It was too late; the guilt was fixed.

God has revealed the way to life through the Scriptures. Spectacular events and unusual messengers will not convert those who choose to live their own selfish way. Faith is always based on more than objective proof. The majority of Judah’s population did not believe Christ’s resurrection. Those who refuse to repent upon hearing God’s Law and His prophets would not repent if one from the dead went to them. People do not need more evidence to repent. They need faith in God. Amen!

Meditation

09/23/2022

You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles wings and brought you to myself.” (Exodus 19:4 – God’s People Stand in History’s Center)

God’s historical acts had a goal—-the creation of His covenant people. God’s call for obedience rested on His saving acts.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, we are encouraged to once again remember our need to remember those times in the Bible, when is was critically important that though the end will come on this earth, that Hope rests on God’s new creation not on human achievement in bringing perfection to this world Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

The only tact necessary for evangelism is contact.”

KNOWING GOD:

But to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half- tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: The Lord your God is giving you res and has granted you this land. Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, fully armed, must cross over ahead of your brothers. You are to help your brothers until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave ou east of the Jordan toward the sunrise. Then they answered Joshua, ‘Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we full obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the lord your God be with you as He was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey your words; whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.’” (Joshua 1:12-18 God’s People Stand in History’s Center)

God acts in history to form a people for Himself. He expects that people to maintain the unity of His people. He gives them freedom to form and express that unity in differing ways. He allowed two and a half tribes to choose to live beyond the Jordan River if they promised to cooperate with and maintain identity with His people.

I AM:

For they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron smelting furnace.” (1st Kings 8:51 – God’s People Stand in History’s Center)

God’s people identified by what God has done fro them in history. Those historical memories give promise of God’s continuing concern for relation with His people.

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

‘This is what the Lord says; Do not go up to fight against your brothers. God home every one of you, for this is my doing.’ ‘So they obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.’” (2nd Chronicles 11:4– God’s People Stand in History’s Center)

God protected His people from themselves. He ordered them not to fight one another. God’s actions in history are seen in what He refuses to let happen as well as in what He does

Meditation

09/22/2022

‘Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things—-they will meet their end together,’ declares the Lord. ‘And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them, and I will sen some of those who survive to the nations—-Tarhish, to the Libyans and Ludians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory or seen my glory. They proclaim my gory among the nations. And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—-on mules and camels, says the Lord. They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their gain offerings to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 66:17-24 – History’s Name is Not Eternal)

Human history on this earth is not eternal. God has announced its end. Hope rests on God’s new creation not on human achievement in bringing perfection to this world. God acts in history, but He will finally have continuity with the historical existence we know on earth. I will involve hope for His faithful people who will worship Him obediently but eternal judgment on those who rebelled against God.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, we are reminded once again that though the end will come on this earth, that Hope rests on God’s new creation not on human achievement in bringing perfection to this world. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Would you rather suffer in this life on the next?”

KNOWING GOD:

This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; In your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Whenever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold. ‘After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—-for iron breaks and smashes everything—-and will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly lay, so this kingdom will be partly strong an partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endue forever. This is the meaning of he vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—-a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. This dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.” (Daniel 2:36-45–History’s Name is Not Eternal)

God knows all history and is ultimately responsible for placing all earthly rulers in power. He holds rulers responsible for their influence on history. He is leading history to the establishment of His kingdom. No earthly ruler will take over after God’s kingdom, for it will be set up for eternity.

I AM:

Which God will bring about in his own time—-God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” (1st Timothy 6:15 – History’s Name is Not Eternal)

History on earth will end when Jesus appears again to establish the eternal kingdom. God has plans for history until the time He has planned for the full inbreak of eternity. Only God can bring the end of time and the full revelation of eternity.

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw he Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I hear a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with hem and be heir God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4– History’s Name is Not Eternal)

History on this earth will end. That is God’s plan. A new arena of existence with God will be fully revealed. The sorrows and frustrations of historical life as we know it will vanish, replaced by God’s personal, loving presence.

Meditation

09/21/2022

A river watering the garden of Eden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there. The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.” (Genesis 2:10-14 – God Acts in Linear Time Not Cyclical)

The Bible locates all God’s actions in time and space. Human history is the arena of divine action even with the first people. The first couple did not lose a place in heaven and have to settle for earth. They were made from and belonged to earth. They lost intimacy with God and cooperation with one another and the environment, but God’s intention was always an earthly history with His creatures.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, we are reminded in the scripture from Genesis, that God had always intended an earthly history with His creatures. There is a day coming when God will send Jesus back, and no we still do not know when, but we pray this day, that all who have not sought forgiveness of their sins and been restored in relationship with God through Christ Jesus, will do so and not wait. It is really that important. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Life is short—-pray hard and study the book!”

KNOWING GOD:

The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth. Genealogy is a basic form of biblical history telling. It reveals how one generation expands its influence and abilities or how history continues through the centuries from one generation to another. All human events and generations are not the subject of biblical history. The Bible centers on events in which God gave identity to His people and worked out His purposes with them. Human hope of escape from the problems of history does not constitute history’s them. God’s acts to deliver His faithful people gain the center of attention.” (Genesis 9:18-19–God Acts in Linear Time Not Cyclical)

Israel’s salvation was dateable. God’s commands and saving acts gave meaning to time. God’s warnings had time conditions which He took seriously and fulfilled. The disobedient people had to pend forty years in the wilderness before hearing the command to conquer. This was a reference to their disobedience in the desert, where they spent 40 years wandering because of their lack of obedience to God. In fact, those that began the entry died in the desert, except Moses and Joshua.

I AM:

Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord’s commands. Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord had compassion them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to way even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Therefore, the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, ‘Because this nation violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listen to me, I will no longer drive out before them and of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their forefathers did.’ The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.” (Judges 2:16-23 – God Acts in Linear Time Not Cyclical)

History may appear to repeat itself as one generation fails to learn history’s lessons and repeats the sins of the previous generation. Even God’s acts of deliverance may appear to be repeating themselves in a cycle. The Book of Judges reflects this repetition of salvation and judgment God’s people experience, but the book tells the stories of each judge to show how God works with individuals in individual situations. God seeks to break through the sin cycle to bring His eternal purposes to His people. He thus moves history forward in linear succession to establish His kingdom.,

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

In those days of Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.” (Luke 2:1– God Acts in Linear Time Not Cyclical)

Jesus’ birth came in the ongoing stream of history. God worked through unbelieving rulers and their political purposes to provide the unrepeatable gift of salvation in Christ.

Meditation

09/20/2022

The Sabbath – ‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord.’” (Leviticus 23:3 – God Acts in Human Time)

One day each week is a significant day called Israel to remember God in His holiness. They were to fill the seventh day with significance through rest while they filled the other six with meaningful work. In so doing, they imitated God’s first acts in universal history.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Dear Abba, we are reminded in the scripture from Leviticus, that we should mirror our lives with God, working six days and resting on the seventh. We don’t hear must about this anymore, but I remember that on Sunday’s you could only purchase a few “emergency items” only and it was hard to find a gas station open and most other stores were closed, so people could attend worship. Most people on Sunday’s were out of their neighborhoods to go to church and then straight home. Abba, help us move back to this very important habit of spending more time with You, and help us to understand the Sabbath is not intended for anything other than retailer stores way to making money. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Doubt and do without; believe and receive.”

KNOWING GOD:

In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.” (Deuteronomy 1:3–God Acts in Human Time)

Israel’s salvation was dateable. God’s commands and saving acts gave meaning to time. God’s warnings had time conditions which He took seriously and fulfilled. The disobedient people had to pend forty years in the wilderness before hearing the command to conquer. This was a reference to their disobedience in the desert, where they spent 40 years wandering because of their lack of obedience to God. In fact, those that began the entry died in the desert, except Moses and Joshua.

I AM:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may sent the Christ, who has been appointed for you—-even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything,, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3:19-21 – God Acts in Human Time)

History for God’s people should be refreshing, meaningful time. Such joy and meaning will be fully realized when Christ returns at the time the Father chooses to fulfill at His promises. Note, there is no hidden reference to name mentioned, that will suddenly proclaim that they have figured out when Christ is coming back. Only God knows and all else who may claim to know, have no actual proof at all.

SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with he assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep Watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—-whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.” (Mark 13:32-35– God Acts in Human Time)

Decisive moments stand out in history as times of crisis and opportunity. The end of chronological history as we know it is such a decisive moment. That moment in time will introduce the final evens of judgment and the eternal reign of Christ with His saints. No human has the power or means to determine the date of that decisive moment. God alone beloved, determines and knows the time of the end. Are you ready?