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Showing posts from March, 2015

Where is the fear of God?

There is not enough fear in the church these days. The stereotypical emphasis on the message of love has left us without fear and we have forgotten about God's holiness. The lack of knowledge in the church about God is a symptom of this disease. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1:7). This lack of fear seems to manifest itself in two different ways: There are those who think they know God when they barely read/understand the Bible. There are others who have spent so much time reading the Bible that they start to think their thoughts are God's thoughts.

The Bible is our best source of knowledge about God, anybody who thinks they can know God without reading the Bible is being foolish. It is amazing how people who don't read the Bible talk with such authority about God. If the Bible is not our source of knowledge about God then we are left to our own opinions, and all opinions are equally valid.

Studying the Bible…

Hosea: Forgetting God

If a sea had parted and you walked over on dry land, a pillar of cloud led you during the day and a pillar of fire by night, food rained down from heaven, and a city was captured simply by walking around it, how could you follow after other gods? But, this is exactly what Israel did.

Israel turned away from God because they started to believe that it was them who provided for themselves, and they forgot about all of the mighty acts of God. This pride also deceived them into thinking that they were without sin. When they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me (Hosea 13:6). "Ah, but I am rich; I have found wealth for myself; in all my labours they cannot find in me iniquity or sin (Hos. 12:8)."  It is easy to look down on Israel or other people in the church and claim they have forgotten about God, but what about me? Do I ever ask for forgiveness? Do I ever repent of sin in my life? Of course, we all know we are …

Strange Stories in the Bible: Listening to the voice of God

The Bible is very interesting because the lessons are not always explicit. There are strange stories that leave you baffled as to what was the right thing to do in the story. However, these mysteries often have important messages that we urgently need to understand.

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The story of the man of God from Judah and Jeroboam is one of these stories (1 Kings 13). Jeroboam was the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel that was torn away from Rehoboam because of the sin of his father, Solomon. Jeroboam had lead the people into idolatry by making golden calves and creating his own system of worship. While Jeroboam was making an offering at his altar a man of God came from Judah and prophesied against him.
O altar, altar, thus says the LORD: "Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you." Jeroboam, unhap…

Hosea: Financial Security

I find myself in a constant struggle looking for security in this world. Mostly it is a struggle over financial security and thinking that if I only I had more money there would be nothing to worry about. This leads me to ask the question: Do I plan my life based on money or do I plan my life based on God's desire for my life?

This is not a new struggle for humanity, it has been going on for millennia. Ephraim (a.k.a Israel) also looked for security in the world. Instead of looking to God for their direction and protection they tried to make alliances with the countries around them.
Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense, calling to Egypt, going to Assyria (Hos. 7:11). Egypt was the country that held them captive before God saved them and brought them into the promised land that they were at this time living in. God's righteous and long suffering judgment would fall on them and they would go again into captivity in Assyria.
Now he will remember their iniquity and puni…

Hosea: Are you murdering on the way to Shechem?

As robbers lie in wait for a man, so the priests band together; they murder on the way to Shechem (Hos. 6:9). Shechem was no ordinary city, it was a city of refuge (Josh. 20:7). There were six of these cities in the promised land and their purpose was to protect people if they accidentally killed someone.
Appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, that the manslayer who strikes any person without intent or unknowingly may flee there. They shall be a refuge from the avenger of blood (Josh. 20:2-3). The cities of refuge provided protection and a fair trial. If the manslayer did  not have intent they were protected in the city until the death of the high priest, at which time they were set free and could return to their home.

Jesus is our city of refuge and high priest. When we had yet to receive the gospel we were in essence unintentional participants in the death of Jesus, since our sin resulted in the need for His sacrifice.
"Father, forgive them, for t…