Jul. 18. Israel Fails to fully Repent; Faces Punishment

Hos. 6:1-10:15

Even in those dark and sinful times in the lives of Israel, there seemed to be a hint of repentance from them. “Come let us return to the Lord…” They stated that God would heal, bind, revive and raise them up if they would only turn and seek Him.

Hosea speaking for God lamented over the shallow nature of Israel’s repentance. He compared it to the fleeting existence of a cloud and the temporary presence of dew. Decisive actions are more important to Him than mere words.

The prophet continued to enumerate the various shortcomings of the people of Israel. He pointed out the futility of their expected actions. They were compared to an unattended hot oven, a half-baked cake and a silly dove flying aimlessly into danger. In all of their pains and confusion, they had refused to call upon God from the heart.

One reaps what he has sown, whether good or evil. Judgment against Israel would be swift like an eagle’s attack. In addition to their idolatry, they had formed alliances with other nations instead of depending upon God. Their calls for deliverance would be ignored, because of their evil deeds. They would become subject to the godless nation of Assyria, just as their ancestors had been subject to the godless Egyptians many centuries earlier.

Hosea continued his message of doom from the Lord against Israel. He reminded them of their adulterous relationships with the various gods of the land as they had forsaken their God who loved them and had desired their fidelity. God loves His people and is merciful toward them. However, Israel had reached the point of no return because of their wickedness.

The prophet pictured the desolation that would befall Israel. At first, they were pleasing to God like grapes in the wilderness and the firstfruits of a young fig tree. Their punishment after going after the strange gods would cause them to be like barren women unable to give life and nourishment to a child. Even at that late date, Hosea called upon Israel to repent.

Israel had a long history of cruel bondage in Egypt. Because of their rejection of God, they were on the threshold of beginning another bondage in Assyria. They would be without their own king when they became under the control of the Assyrian kingdom. Israel would reap what they had sown.

#chronological-bible-study

Understandable words that teach us

Your word is a lamp to my feetand a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 NRSV)

Слово Твое–светильник ноге моей и свет стезе моей. (Псалтирь 118:105 Russian)

Most holy and righteous God, our dear Father in heaven ~ thank you for providing understandable words that teach us and guide us by day and by night. Forgive the foolish thinking that has sometimes led us to put more trust in the words of some human sage than in your inspired words of life. Your word reveals your heart of lovingkindness and challenges us to be more like your beloved Son who has already conquered death, hell, and the grave. Teach us to love your enlightening Scriptures more than we cherish any other published documents of mere men. Guard our minds against blind spiritualists who do not know the Way of Truth and Life. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Flagrant sins, Psalm 19.13

“Moreover, keep me from committing flagrant sins; do not allow such sins to control me. Then I will be blameless, and innocent of blatant rebellion.”

Psalm 19.13

The psalmist wants to please God, v. 14. He knows that keeping the Word will guide him to do that, vv. 7-11. He will commit errors, v. 12, but he prays he will never be consciously rebellious.

Where do we cross the line from inadvertent error to blatant sin? Premeditation may well define it, Rm 13.14.

#votd #Psalms #rebellion

Jul. 17. Hosea Begins to Prophesy; Enumerates Israel’s Sins

Hos. 1:1-5:15

The prophet Hosea began to speak the words of the Lord about the same time as Jonah and Amos were speaking their prophesies. Baal worship was a wicked alternative to the worship of the Lord God. Many times in Scripture, God’s people are referred to as his bride or wife. As the people worshipped the so-called fertility god Baal, they committed spiritual adultery against their “Husband,” God.

Whether Hosea was speaking of his personal relationship with his own wife, Gomer and his children or figuratively is immaterial in the context of his prophecy of God’s dealing with His people. As wives and husbands are required to be faithful to their spouses, God expects His chosen people to respect Him as their Husband.

Israel was so steeped in idolatry that they attributed all of their harvests to their various idols instead of the true source, God. He sent Hosea to reveal His message to Israel warning of destruction if they would not return to Him from their adulterous actions of following Baal.

The Lord is a merciful God. He also sent a message of hope and redemption that would be theirs in the future after their release from captivity. Israel and Judah would be reunited under a new King (the Messiah) of the house of David.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” It is the responsibility of each person to know God. However, many need teaching and encouragement in order to accept that responsibility. The religious leaders of Israel had failed to properly provide the teaching necessary for the people to know and appreciate God for who He is and what He required from them.

Under the kings of Israel, the people were guilty of swearing, lying, killing, stealing and adultery. The ultimate sin of Israel was spiritual harlotry or adultery. They had left their “Husband” and were worshipping the idols of Baal. (Many who claim to be the bride/church of Christ today are committing spiritual adultery by following man-made rules instead of obeying the commands of Christ.) As Hosea warned Israel because of their failure to follow God, He also warned Judah that they should not allow the same sins of idolatry to corrupt them.

#chronological-bible-study

Clear minds

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. (Genesis 6:11-12 NKJV)

І зіпсулась земля перед Божим лицем, і наповнилась земля насильством. І бачив Бог землю, і ось зіпсулась вона, кожне бо тіло зіпсуло дорогу свою на землі. (Буття 6:11-12 Ukrainian)

O LORD my God ~ thank you, dear Father, in heaven, for the fullness of your love and grace on this new day you grant us to live on the earth you created for your creatures. Help all people of faith and reason to be more proactive in conquering hatred, uncontrolled anger and outright violence against one another. Grant all faithful followers of Jesus clear minds so that we use plain and intelligible language when presenting our arguments before or against points of contention with those who don’t view matters of conscience precisely as we do. Give victory to those who advance genuine peace that surpasses ordinary human knowledge. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Jul. 16. Visions of Amos

Amos 6:1-9:15

As Amos continued his message from God, he pronounced a woe upon those who were “at ease in Zion, And trust in Mount Samaria.” They considered themselves to be invincible to other kingdoms. He further stated a woe against those who were living in vast luxury and ignoring the warnings of impeding destruction. They would be afflicted completely from Hamath in the north to the Valley of the Arabah in the south.

Amos was a native of Judah—a sheep breeder and tender of sycamore fruit by occupation. Tending sycamore fruit was a job for the poor. None of his ancestors had been prophets. It was probably during his call from God that he had been confronted with a series of visions. In the first two, he saw a swarm of locusts devouring Israel’s late crop and later a great consuming fire from God. He was successful in persuading God to relent from the destruction that he had seen in those visions. However, the third vision was more serious in which Israel had failed the test of God’s plumb line. The message from that third vision was the impending destruction about which Amos was warning Israel.

Many times, it is tempting to “shoot the messenger.” The messenger, Amos was confronted by Amaziah, the idolatrous priest of Bethel. Bethel was one of the chief places of worship that Jeroboam had set up at the beginning of the division of Israel and Judah.

The message was too harsh for the priest. “Go, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah…never again prophesy at Bethel…it is the royal residence.”

Amos reminded Amaziah that the Lord had called him to prophesy and that the message was from the Lord. He concluded by stating the fate of the priest’s own family and that “Israel shall surely be led away captive From his own land.”

The prophet was shown a basket of summer fruit in a vision. As that fruit had come at the end of summer, so had Israel come to the end of their days.

In addition to worshipping idols, Israel was guilty of oppressing the poor in various ways instead of protecting and caring for them as required by the Law of Moses.

Their punishment for disobeying God would be very intense according to the words of Amos. In addition to being intense, Israel’s punishment would be thorough. There would be no escaping. They had enjoyed the privilege of being God’s chosen people, but He also cared for other nations. God has an undying love for all people. He also does not tolerate sin. There was/is a price to pay for sin.

As Amos concluded his prophecy against Israel, he relayed a promise of redemption from God. However, that promise was a spiritual promise instead of physical. Gentiles would also be subjects of that new kingdom that had been promised to David many years earlier.

#chronological-bible-study

Hugh’s News & Views (“The Fool Has Said . . .”)

“THE FOOL HAS SAID IN HIS HEART . . .”

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 14:1a). This text is not talking about the avowed atheist who blatantly denies the existence of God. Rather, it is talking about the practical atheist who, while confessing with his mouth that he believes in God, nevertheless in his heart and by his life denies the reality of God. Of such people the apostle Paul wrote: “They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16).

There are many of these kinds of fools in the world at large, in the various religious organizations formed by men, and even in the church of our Lord. Consider the following. Continue reading

#atheism, #fool, #foolishness, #hughfulford, #hypocrisy

Uplift in emotions and intellect

May the LORD give you increase,you and your children!May you be blessed by the LORD,who made heaven and earth! (Psalm 115:14-15 ESV)

Нехай вас розмножить Господь, вас і ваших дітей Благословенні ви в Господа, що вчинив небо й землю! (Псалми 114:22-23 Ukrainian)

Our dear Father in heaven ~ thank you, Lord, for the exhilarating uplift we receive in our emotions and intellect as we read and sing these ancient inspired songs of praise! Bring joy and gladness into the hearts of all people in the world who love Christ Jesus your beloved Son. Help Christians everywhere to use all our energy and resources to bring joy and happiness into the lives of the poor and helpless living around us. Stifle the efforts of those who ignorantly resist helping the poor and brokenhearted. Grant us wisdom as we seek more opportunities to sow seeds of truth in love. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Don’t strike rash bargains with God

“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering’” Judges 11:30-31.

The Bible never glosses over the bad points of God’s people seeking to serve Him. Jephthah was rough around the edges to be sure. He also had a lot of worthless fellows that attached themselves to him. But, unlike Abimelech, he seemed to legitimately want to serve God. This should encourage us as we see God using someone imperfect in His service.

But, unlike Jephthah, we should trust in God and His salvation, never-ending love, and constant concern for us rather than seeking to strike rash bargains with God that we often don’t intend to keep. Even if we were to keep a vow, the fact that we felt we had to make it in the first place indicates that God is into making deals rather than operating out of love. This cheapens God to the status of a pagan god.

We won’t ever know if Jephthah actually sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering.

But we should not vow but instead trust God to love us.

Douglas Kashorek

go to: sermonlines.com to subscribe, study, share

#vows #douglaskashorek #trust #devotional

They mocked him, Matthew 27.29

“and after braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand, and kneeling down before him, they mocked him: ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’”

Matthew 27.29

Hardened Roman soldiers had seen it all. As the crushing arm of imperial power, they laughed at small-time attempts to overthrow the government. To them, Jesus was just another failed revolutionary.

Jesus not only died, but suffered humiliation in our stead. Our attempts at self-rescue are ridiculous. But in his humiliation we discover our salvation.

#votd #Matthew #crucifixion

Jul. 15. Amos Warns Israel

Amos. 1:1-5:27

Amos and Jonah were both prophesying for the Lord during the time of Jeroboam II of Israel and Uzziah/Azariah, king of Judah. Israel was enjoying probably their most prosperous period of all time under their king, Jeroboam II.

Many times, when one is enjoying prosperity, he forgets the spiritual side of his life. That same thing happened with Israel in addition to their ongoing disobedience of God’s laws. They had risen to a high level of financial success and had sunk to a low level of spiritual poverty as they persisted in their worship of idols.

The prophet began his warning to Israel by stating God’s displeasure with their neighbors who were their bitter enemies. A method of getting one’s attention is to focus upon someone else. Amos used the term “For three transgressions…and for four, I will not turn away its punishment.” That terminology expressed an unlimited number. He used that statement followed by the various sins of Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab and Judah. Finally, he listed the many shortcomings of Israel. They were reminded that it was God who had delivered them from Egypt.

The heathen nations had not received God’s commands in the same manner as Judah and Israel. Because Judah and Israel were God’s chosen people, they would be judged more harshly than other nations. Amos proceeded to pronounce the fate of Israel. Vast destruction would occur.

“Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” Those are somber words for the lost. Israel had refused to return to their God, even in the face of punishing events in their lives.

In an attempt to get their attention, God had sent various calamities against Israel. They had suffered famine, drought, blight, invasions of locusts upon their crops and wars that had killed their young men. Their false Canaanite gods could not help them. They had been plagued as Egypt had been long before, but like Pharaoh, they had refused to repent.

The worship of God in Israel had become a mockery of hypocritical acts. “I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies…But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.”

There was still time and opportunity for Israel to repent and return to God. He is merciful and desires that all will follow Him. They were urged to, “Seek good and not evil, That you may live.” BUT, if they continued in their wicked ways, “There shall be wailing in all streets, And they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas, Alas!’”

God, through His prophet Amos revealed that Israel would be taken into captivity beyond Damascus into Assyria.

#chronological-bible-study

God does not need our prayers to be God

God does not need our prayers to be who he is in his relationship with humanity. As a matter of fact, humanity’s silence can actually be a sign that affirms his omnipotence:

“But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” (Habakkuk 2:20 NKJV)

You see, it is not God who receives strength to exist from hearing our prayers; to the contrary, it is us who receives strength to exist from God hearing us and answering.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)

Patch up broken relationships

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. (Matthew 12:25 NKJV)

Но Иисус, зная помышления их, сказал им: всякое царство, разделившееся само в себе, опустеет; и всякий город или дом, разделившийся сам в себе, не устоит. (Матфея 12:25 Russian)

Most holy, just and righteous God, our dear Father in heaven ~ thank you for this beautiful new day that is running over with even greater evidence of your constant presence among us creatures to whom you have given such great responsibilities. Thank you Lord for the gift of your Son who shares our burdens when they become too heavy go bear. Help all believers in Christ to do more today to patch up broken relationships in our churches, our families and communities. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Jul. 14. God’s Mission for Jonah

Jonah 1:1-4:11

Elijah was one of the first of many prominent prophets to bring messages from God during the tumultuous times of Judah and Israel. He was followed by Elisha and soon Jonah was called upon during the reign of Jeroboam II in Israel to carry the Lord’s messages. Prophets were men also plagued by human weaknesses. Jonah is an example of such a man.

Assyria was a great and mighty nation who had conquered many of its neighbors and had brought them under its control. Nineveh, the Assyrian capital was extremely wicked. It was also hated among the people of other nations because of its brutal conquests.

God had determined to destroy Nineveh, but in His mercy, He called upon Jonah to preach to them in an attempt to bring them to repentance. In his weakness, Jonah rebelled against God and boarded a ship toward Tarshish, a destination in an opposite direction from Nineveh.

One can run, but he cannot hide from God. He sent a strong storm upon the ship and it resulted in Jonah being thrown overboard. The Lord had called Jonah for a mission and He expected him to fulfill that order. A great fish was prepared to swallow the prophet for his salvation from the stormy waters. That three day and three night experience resulted in Jonah’s repentance and he did go to Nineveh and preach God’s message.

The message was powerful. Nineveh believed. They repented, from the king to the least citizen. God relented. Jonah pouted in anger.

As Jonah sat in the hot sun hoping that he would see the hated Assyrians destroyed, God prepared a large plant to protect him from the heat. A grateful Jonah watched the next day as a worm damaged the plant causing it to wither. The prophet’s gratitude changed to anger because of losing the plant.

God further declared His mercy for His sinful creation as He rebuked Jonah for his anger. “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons…?” God loves man and wants to save him if he will only follow the Lord.

#chronological-bible-study

Lift up the most fallen soul

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.At an acceptable time, O God,in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. (Psalm 69:13 ESV)

А я молитва моя до Тебе, Господи, в часі Твоєї зичливости; в многоті милосердя Твойого подай мені відповідь про певність спасіння Твого, (Псалми 69:14 Ukrainian)

O LORD my God and Savior ~ thank you for the daily reminders of your steadfast love that has the power to lift up the most fallen soul who feels they have lost all hope. Open the gates of heaven for those who place their trust in you O God by demonstrating true love for your beloved Son. Lift us up to that higher plane where we may live a meaningful and respectful life with Christ as Lord. Humble those who approach your throne with a self-assured sense of arrogance. Wash us clean in the blood of Jesus as we repent of sins. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley