CR18Day_04 @ nkjv@Mark:3 @ RandyP comments: It has been a decade or more since Jesus of Nazareth was crucified as the multitudes are first reading/listening to this first official gospel. The gospel is stating that within the first three chapters there was already a conspiracy between the Pharisee and Herodians to destroy Jesus. The reason for all now to see for the conspirators anger cannot be thought of as being anything other than His claim to forgive sins (which only God can do) and being Lord of the Sabbath and the Fast (which only God can be). Add to this that He has also already claimed to be the living fulfillment of Isaiah's messianic prophecy. There has been no talk by Jesus of any politically divisive ambitions. Now in an effort to destroy Jesus they are insinuating that He works for Satan. The topic of Jesus cannot be avoided by them because of the fact that He is performing so many miracles. They are being forced into a corner that they would rather not defend. This then is a case study of how men void of truth react to the true light. Mary had been told that her child would one day "reveal the intents of hearts of many"; this He is doing with little effort other than doing what good His Father is directing Him to do.
CR18Day_06 @ nkjv@Psalms:148 @ RandyP comments: A "horn" figuratively equates to the pinnacle of power. The horn of HIS people, the praise of all HIS saints could refer to none other than Jesus Christ in whom all things were created, by whom all things were created, for whom all things were created. If the people were to say that the horn was something other, say the glory of Israel, those particular people would not be HIS people. There is much difference between the glory of Israel which has a certain glory indeed and the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ whose glory is Israel's whether they acknowledge it or not. After all, doesn't Israel exist that God might exalt one nation that was not a nation, a people that were not a people, to a level in the world's eye that would prove the need for a Savior having proved the undeniable case of sin, having made good the longstanding promise made to Abraham to bless all nations by Abraham's messianic seed (singular)? So then in context to this psalm HIS people are to praise their LORD not only for His creative power and firm rule over nature, we are to praise Him for His name alone is exalted!
CR18Day_09 @ nkjv@Genesis:16 @ RandyP comments: "The Lord has restrained me". It would be very interesting to know whether this was true or else Sara's impression of things. If it is her impression then she is never called to account for this; perhaps it should be better said that her age is what is at cause. If this divine restraint is the true then we have a couple possibilities to consider: One might be able to suggest for instance that God was testing the couple to see if they were going to do something on their own. The other possibility is that HE knew how they were going to react and that HE was out to let both them and us know that the doing of this was all HIS. It may not seem like an important distinction but, it is. There is a different frustration on Sara's part if she thinks that she is capable but being kept from bearing the child or not capable with God still sitting on HIS hands about it. Perhaps we are of similar frustrations in our prayers and then attempt to take the prayer answer into our own hand. The answer might be God's alone regardless of how long it takes or how desperate the situation is getting. The experience may well drive them/us into a deeper knowledge/trust of God first. It is this future clarified faith that will be accounted to them as righteousness.
CR18Day_09 @ nkjv@Genesis:18 @ RandyP comments: Note the Abraham having obtained a better faith (having been corrected) now is better capable of serving the Lord without any presuppositions. His actions at the fire pit are not to earn any great reward/to show himself a man of great faith, they are simply to do for the Lord on His grueling journey. His intercession for the potential righteous remnant of Sodom is a honest act of concern and opportunity being near to the Lords immediate presence. The Lord is having His effect on Abraham much more now, time and patience and gentle correction and revelation are all beginning to pay off. There are evidences now tangibly of Abraham's deeper unseen hopes.
CR18Day_10 @ nkjv@Genesis:19 @ RandyP comments: "..the outcry against them (Sodom) has grown great before the face of the LORD". Before this kjv@Genesis:13:13 when Abraham and Lot first parted ways we were told that the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly. The cry now or shriek before the Lord against them has grown beyond even exceeding. This may be the cry of their many victims preceding, the cry of the righteous from nearby cities, the cry perhaps of the angels watching over, the cry of the ground below them, all the above but a terribly exceeding cry nonetheless. This obviously is not the first time that they had done something like this. It is not a minority behavior. This is going far beyond the scope of normal homosexual behavior to the point of pagan religious rite. Lot appears concerned about this so as to strongly insist that the angels stay the night in his protection. I have no doubt that the angels could have taken care of their own selves but, this perhaps was the gesture of righteousness that they both were looking for. Righteous people stick the neck (even their families safety) on the the line for the stranger and the innocent in times when wickedness thinks up it's worst. I have no idea if Lot had done anything as righteous for anyone else before this but, he did do it the very night when he unknowingly most needed to. We do get the sense that the wicked menfolk regard Lot as one who keeps acting as judge. This night Lot has gone too far according to them and will pay a price steeper than even intended towards the angels that they originally set out for. Many say that they were going after "strange flesh" angelic flesh to sodomize them. I am not so sure. I believe that this same behavior was what the cry against them had been all along.
CR18Day_10 @ nkjv@Genesis:19 @ RandyP comments: A famous evangelist of the last century has been quoted as saying that "if God does not judge modern day San Francisco, He owes Sodom a big apology". I certainly don't want to stand behind San Francisco nor any other cities sinfulness (regardless of what it's dominant sin is), but I do not see the same level of wickedness as presented here. These are a city full of men at the front door insisting on sodomizing two strangers for what I believe are religious not just sexual reasons. I have yet to hear of a case of this same kind of activity in modern San Francisco. There is also the issue of the outcry against it coming before the Lord. Now days the so called "Silent Majority" is just that: silent; there is little if any outcry before the Lord. There is few if any righteous persons stepping up to protect the innocent at their own possible peril largely because their few if any non consenting victims and little if any of this type of mass behavior. All that really can be said is that this Silent Majority keeps acting as judge in their silent uninvolved sort of way. God owes no one any apology, but He does owe all of us judgment.
CR18Day_10 @ nkjv@Psalms:1 @ RandyP comments: Interesting that on a day where we've seen Lot evidence much needed righteousness standing the gap for two angels and Abraham/Sarah cohorting to deceive the king of a righteous nation that this Psalm would come to our reading. Walking not in the counsel? Lot bravely shows us a positive example taking in and protecting the two angels, Abraham cowardly shows us a negative by lying to Abimelech about his wife his half sister. In the positive case the counsel of the ungodly was to hand the angels over so that they could sodomize the two every man of the city young and old that night. In the case of the negative example the counsel is actually a personal fear that a righteous man has about what might happen to him at the hands of the ungodly because of the beauty of his wife. It is not a tangible threat at this point, it is a perceived threat self formulated. These two examples are not always the case but, they begin to show us how complex walking not nor standing nor sitting really is. On the one hand there is the potential cost or personal sacrifice that may have to be made in order to adequately stand firm, keep one's word, protect the stranger/innocent. One the other hand is the fear of what these other could do to yet or worse yet to your spouse. Take comfort though for the Lord knows the way of the righteous; in fact HE had HIS son walk the same path, endure the same costly hardships, be tempted along this road just as you and I. In fact that man that this psalmist says to be blessed very well could be our Savior described to the tee.
CR18Day_11 @ nkjv@Genesis:21 @ RandyP comments: Young men will scoff. It is just what they do, not understanding the bigger picture and not seeing anything other than their own self interests. Can't blame the kid for that. It is obvious though that a time has to come where the two lineages are going to have to part ways. Both will be blessed beyond measure but, only one line will be the redemptive line that God will work mankind's salvation through. There is no heroic contest to be waged, no one child better than the other/rest, it is simply a choice God has made long before either child was born, it simply is part of a plan that God has been working Abraham (and therefore true believers) through little by little to bring him (us) into the right mode of faith. In our regular everyday lives between ourselves it really is more about who is the most athletic, the most educated, the most assertive and hungry, or the one with the best family name; or as Ishmael would understand it the one who can hit the bullseye and split that arrow in the very next shot. That is the world that even young men grow to understand. The world of godliness is an entirely different matter however. It is not about this man or the other, it is about our one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and what has transpired because of Him on our mutual behalf. This all important pathway leading to Jesus is now beginning to transpire upon Abraham through quite young babbling toddler named Isaac.
CR18Day_11 @ nkjv@Psalms:107 @ RandyP comments: "...Therefore He brought down their heart with labor...". Some would wish to remove the "therefore" from their understanding; God brings hearts down just because. What a mean God that would be. The "therefore" suggest however that "they" had a major part in this because of their rebellion against HIS word and the despising of HIS counsel. If the "they" are to mean Israel, think of how many other times they did just that. It seems as if it is easier to fall into this rebellious mindset than it is to maintain the right mindset on it's own. I suspect it true in a personal sense, this gravitation towards rebellion but, I know it for certain among generations of men. One God delivered generation passes it's renewed godly enthusiasm and testimony to the next, the next passes down what amounts to stories or legends of the past to the next, not having experienced God to the same extent the successive generations grow colder and colder to this point of rebellion and despising counsel. This all too familiar entropy often occurs within a matter of years within one generation; even within days in some cases. "Therefore" God's righteous response to them is to bring them down (but not to let go). Down can be to let them suffer the consequences of their own counsel and actions for a time alone or serve those to whom they have become debtor/captor. Down can be a bit more drastic like a famine or multiple rainless seasons, enemy nations mounting on their borders. Down can be leaving them to their own resource and efforts if that's the way they want it minus HIS gracious blessings and wonderous power. Down could possibly mean progressively down as far down as they decide to go before they cry out to the Lord and HE bring them back. They suffer as one together in many instances so that they know without question that this is a God thing being imposed. But, HE does bring back. It would sound mean had we not done anything to deserve it or if there wasn't something better for us to know and be apart of but, think back on the majority of times when HE has blessed us when we didn't deserve that good part of HIM either. "Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!"
CR18Day_13 @ nkjv@Genesis:27 @ RandyP comments: I am not sure what to think of Isaac's storyline. It seems somewhat mundane compared to the other patriarchs. My confusion is amplified in his later days when he seeks to give Esau the final blessing and not Jacob. In his defense it might be that Rebekah did not disclose to him what the Lord had told her concerning the older twin serving the younger. Perhaps he did not know that Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. Perhaps at this advanced age he is forgetful; I just can't put my finger on it. He seems at times to suspect Jacob impersonating Esau. The story of Isaac seems to be more about Rebekah and her determination than his. He was obviously blessed by the Lord beyond measure and he does carry an important place in the redemptive line.
CR18Day_13 @ nkjv@Genesis:27 @ RandyP comments: I think it is important again to stress that this storyline between Jacob and Esau has more to do about rivaling nations than rivaling siblings. This is the beginning of a heated feud between nations Edom and Israel that will last until near the time of Christ. The fact that Rebekah steps in to keep these lineages as ordered by the Lord is huge to Israel's future. None of the characters in this passage seem to be exemplary (Jacob, Esau, Isaac, Rebekah). Yet it all works as announced beforehand by the Lord. The amazing thing to consider is that the Lord already has established key components to the larger storyline of Israel in the opposing sibling lines of Canaan and now Edom. Please remember back to these familial associations each time these names are presented.
CR18Day_19 @ nkjv@Psalms:12 @ RandyP comments: "The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times". Look at what the Lord is saying: that HE will rise for the cause of the oppressed, that HE will preserve the godly man. Now those are fighting words from a supposedly all compassionate God. Because of the unrighteousness of the ungodly who say "who will lord over us" (in other words many of those who are trying to tell us that God is nothing but compassionate, that all paths lead to heaven, that God doesn't trifle himself with man's doings) there are few godly men to be found (men who stand for God's poor/needy); God must arise in return. The godly were viewed as having been lord's over them. The righteous God is viewed as attempting to lord over them. The battle ground they choose to fight this fight is over the poor and needy; with their tongue note they intend to prevail. Sounds almost like the modern battles between Leftism and Libertarianism. It may be wise to remember that just because the words of the Lord are purified seven times that does not mean that are not still fighting words.
CR18Day_20 @ nkjv@Genesis:39 @ RandyP comments: "But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy". It is a popular notion that the Lord's blessing brings nothing but good, it is not of the Lord if it brings bad. Being largely superficial we see that on the surface that it doesn't look good for Joseph; sold into slavery, falsely accused of sexual misconduct, imprisoned, forgotten. If this is what being righteous brings, why consider being righteous then? On the other hand, looking deeper we see that the Lord truly is with Joseph raising him to the top each and every time. Other people could see that the Lord was with Joseph, they trusted him so much with their businesses that they themselves didn't even know what business was being done; yet they prospered like at no other time. The question as we would have it becomes why then should other people prosper when the righteous man remains a slave? This friends is often the dividing point between the mind set of a righteous man from a not so righteous man: the righteous will continue trusting and serving the Lord regardless of/with little consideration of what it will mean to himself, the not so righteous will do so only when it means a foreseeable good unto himself. One such person should ask how righteous being not so righteous really is.
CR18Day_20 @ nkjv@Genesis:39 @ RandyP comments: "Why do you look so sad today?" . Sometimes the biggest things to happen in one's life begin with simply being aware of other people, being concerned for other people, asking a simple question, becoming involved in helping other people find their urgent answers. It was never like Joseph saw an opportunity to get his case to Pharaoh by helping either of these two prisoners from Pharaoh's court. It wasn't like Joseph thought "here is my chance". It was not anything but an awareness and making one's self available to another in need. Joseph had likely done this many times for many people, it was likely just part of Joseph's character, he may have been known to others as being trust-able with these types of matters. See, so many of us would like to be this type of blessing to others but, we blindly pass by these many smaller opportunities in search of that one big one. Others don't have the level of confidence to open up to us because we do not have the level of confidence to have first opened the doorway to them. The Lord has favor on HIS children. It is not for HIS children to pick and chose who to spend that favor on. Nor is for the children to be so distant and put out not to be approachable by others. Nor is it for the favored children to come to other's answers by their own intellect or deductions. Nor is it for us to sugar coat the revealed answer when it is not so pleasing.