“For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace.”
In this section the apostle Paul contrasts life according to the flesh and life in the Holy Spirit.
How do we live the life of peace in the Spirit?
#life #peace #VOTD
Habakkuk was a unique prophet in that instead of speaking for God, he questioned God. It is thought that he lived and wrote during the reign of Josiah or soon afterward. There have been evil people and nations on the earth since soon after the beginning. Through their devious methods, they have conquered others and amassed great control and wealth. The psalmist David questioned God about why He allowed that to happen. Habakkuk also had the same misunderstanding of God.
The Assyrians had been a dominant power for many years, but the evil Chaldeans (Babylonians) were even surpassing the Assyrians. Habakkuk asked God to explain why He was allowing a more wicked people than Judah to be His instrument of punishment.
God’s ways are not man’s ways. Man is on the earth for a brief moment in time and looks at the short-term picture. God, on the other hand looks at a broad scope and metes out His justice in His own time. Babylon did eventually pay for her evil.
Habakkuk concluded his message with a psalm-like prayer recognizing God’s glory, power and care for His people. “…The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.”
“The plans of the diligent lead only to plenty, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Proverbs are general truths or observations. The contrast here is between the careful planner and hard worker and the person in a hurry to get wealthy.
Does our popular phrase, “Haste makes waste” apply here?
#diligence #haste #Proverbs #VOTD
The date of Nahum’s prophesy is unknown, but was probably around 650 B.C. That date would follow Jonah’s earlier prophesy against Nineveh by about a hundred years. Nineveh, known as the bloody city was the capitol of Assyria, a ruthless and dominating world power who had controlled much of the area for hundreds of years. God had used them to administer His wrath against Israel several years earlier. However, that did not mean that He was pleased with the Assyrian people. He was not! It was Nahum’s commission to warn the Assyrians of their impending destruction.
Nahum received his message through a vision from God. He began by relating the immense power of God to the Assyrians. His power is shown by His wrath against those who are evil and through His goodness to those who are obedient to Him. He then began to describe in specific terms how God would deal with them. “The gates of the rivers are opened…” Those words were comforting to Judah as Assyria had been a threat to their security. Archaeological studies relate that the Tigris River overflowed and destroyed a large portion of the city’s wall and left it open for attack.
“Woe to the bloody city!” The prophet listed some of the vile attributes of Nineveh as he warned them of their doom. “‘Behold, I am against you,’ says the Lord of hosts…” As Nineveh had done to those around her, the same fate would befall that great city. “You also will seek refuge from the enemy.” In the end, “All who hear news of you Will clap their hands over you…” God will have destroyed one of His tools, but there would be others.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.”
Paul expresses his ability in Christ to be content in every circumstance and to face any deprivation as a proclaimer of the gospel.
Within its context, the verse is still appropriate today for Christ’s saints in their mission. But it is not a statement of unqualified success.
God declared to Jeremiah that if he could find anyone who sought truth, He would pardon them. He was longsuffering and wishing that He could spare Judah. The prophet observed that the common people had refused to hear his words. He then pointed out that their leaders who should have known God’s way had also turned their backs on Him. Because they had forsaken the Lord, He informed the people of His fierce judgment upon them. The Babylonians were portrayed as wild beasts attacking and destroying their prey. Man may choose to ignore truth and obey a lie; however, that does not change the truth. Truth never changes.
Even though the destruction of Judah would be intense, God would not completely destroy the nation. There would be a remnant preserved to provide an avenue for the coming of His Son hundreds of years later.
As Jeremiah continued expressing warnings from God, he specifically mentioned Jerusalem and Benjamin. Benjamin was a part of Judah and Jerusalem. He described the disaster that would come from the north. With all of the warnings and details of their impending punishment from God, the people continued to ignore Jeremiah. God still would have spared them if they would have repented. They stated that they would not walk in “the old paths” nor listen to the warnings of the watchman’s trumpet. In the end, “People will call them rejected silver, Because the Lord has rejected them.”
The Scripture teaches that Jesus gave up His life for us individually. That is, He gave up His life for all those who love the Lord and call on His name (John 3:16; Acts 2:21). Paul wrote to those of Galatia, “who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4, ESV). Reflect on this for a moment: Jesus gave up His life, that we might have life. We should respect this gift of life given to us in such a way that our lives are changed, changed in the direction of holiness. “…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16, ESV). RT