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

Jul. 13. Israel’s Kings, Jehoahaz, Joash and Jeroboam II; Elisha’s Death; Amaziah in Judah

II Kin. 13:1-14:20, 23-29; II Chron. 25:1-28

During the next several years, the nation of Israel saw three kings and much unrest. Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu became king and continued in the ways that Jeroboam had instituted as the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Because of their continual idol worship, God “delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Ben-Hadad the son of Hazael, all their days.” Israel suffered oppression at the hands of Syria most of the seventeen years that Jehoahaz was their king.

Jehoahaz’s son, Joash succeeded him to the throne of Israel. He also displeased God by continuing in the ways of Jeroboam. However, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God allowed Joash to recapture many of the cities of Israel that had fallen to Syria. Joash also waged war with Judah.

Even though Joash was displeasing to God, he did have a close relationship with Elisha. As the prophet laid on his death-bed, Joash went down and wept over him. He received one last prophecy from Elisha that he would have victories over Syria, but would not completely destroy them.

Elisha died and was buried. As he had done previously in raising the Shunammite woman’s son, another person was raised from the dead miraculously. A funeral was interrupted because of a Moabite raid. In their haste, they buried the man’s body in Elisha’s tomb. As soon as the dead man touched the prophet’s bones, he was brought back to life. That continued to show the power of God through Elisha.

Joash’s son Jeroboam followed him as king of Israel. He reigned for forty-one years and also continued in the first Jeroboam’s wicked ways. However, he was a strong king. Syria and Assyria had weakened and Jeroboam took advantage of their weaknesses and regained much of Israel’s lost land on both their northern and southern borders. The prophet, Jonah had prophesied that it would take place.

Amaziah became king of Judah at the age of twenty-five after his father Joash’s assassination by his servants. One of his first acts as king was to execute the murderous servants. He did right before God, but he was just like other men; he did not fully restore the proper worship of God.

During that time in the history of man, God continued to use wars to punish evil nations. Amaziah attacked the Edomites with His help and destroyed about twenty thousand of their men after God had instructed him to discharge one hundred thousand soldiers that he had hired from Israel.

However, Amaziah was like other kings in that he took gods from defeated Edom and erected them for Judah’s worship. The question that God asked him still applies to us today. “Why have you sought the gods of the people, which could not rescue their own people from your hand?” That action was disastrous for Judah. The prophet delivered the message, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice.”

Even the dire warning from God did not stop the prideful Amaziah from challenging Joash, the king of Israel to battle. Joash rejected his challenge by stating in effect that the Judean king should not engage in a war that he could not win. The ensuing battle at Beth Shemesh resulted in a costly defeat of Judah before they could even invade Israel. Their king was captured, the wall of Jerusalem was partially destroyed and the temple of God was looted of its treasures.

In time, a conspiracy was formed against the king. Even after escaping to the strong city of Lachish, Amaziah was killed and his son, Azariah then became king of Judah.

#chronological-bible-study

Absolute devotion to purity

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Luke 11:23 ESV)

Кто не со Мною, тот против Меня; и кто не собирает со Мною, тот расточает. (Луки 11:23 Russian)

Dear loving Heavenly Father ~ thank you for the constant way that you pay attention to all your creation today and always. Arouse all Christians to the truth that Christ our Lord does not permit us to straddle the fence regarding our spiritual commitment! Revive our latent sense of absolute devotion to the purity of the Body of Christ. Help us to be constantly on guard against evil influences of Satan that encourages compromise with profound immorality. Weaken the prevailing voices that call for neutrality when our Lord demands wholehearted devotion to the more perfect way. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Jul. 12. Athaliah Seizes Throne in Judah; Succeeded by Joash

II Kin. 11:1-12:21; II Chron. 22:10-24:27

Jehu had killed the entire house of Ahab including Ahaziah, king of Judah. When Athaliah saw that her son Ahaziah was dead, she seized the throne of Judah. She attempted to kill the descendants of David who would be a threat to her power. However, Jehosheba, the daughter of former King Jehoram of Judah and the wife of Jehoiada, the priest hid Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash. He, also Athaliah’s grandson, was the only direct descendant of David who was spared from the queen’s slaughter.

After six years, the high priest, Jehoiada arranged to have the seven-year-old Joash anointed as king of Judah. The new king was properly anointed, crowned and given the Testimony (copy of the law). Joash was king, but the priest was in charge at first. Athaliah was promptly killed to remove any threat that she could pose against the king.

Jehoiada reestablished the covenant between the Lord, the king and the people that they would follow the Lord. Many years earlier, the worship of Baal had been introduced into Judah by Jehoram and his wife Athaliah. The people destroyed the temple of Baal and all images and altars associated with it. They also killed Mattan, the priest of Baal. There was great rejoicing in the land as they began a new chapter in their lives freed from the oppression of Athaliah. Jehoiada restored the temple worship of God as it had been commanded in the Law of Moses.

During the first few years of Joash’s rein, he was advised and led by Jehoiada, the high priest. He remained faithful to God as long as Jehoiada lived. It is important that young people have someone influential in their lives who will lead them in the right way.

As the young king grew older, he was distressed at the condition of the temple of God. The last few kings before him had turned from the worship of God and had worshipped the god, Baal. Their neglect of the temple had caused it to fall into severe disrepair. Joash instituted a fundraising campaign to secure money to pay for the temple’s repair.

In the twenty-third year of Joash’s reign, he began to oversee the temple’s repair because the priests had neglected to take that responsibility. Eventually, the repairs were complete.

Jehoiada was a great man. He had been a close adviser to King Joash, but at the age of one hundred thirty years, he died. He was buried with the kings because he had done much good during his lifetime.

Unfortunately, many men are influenced by bad advice after their chief source of counsel has died—whether a godly father or godly mother or in the case of Joash, the high priest of God. He listened to the leaders of Judah and turned to worshipping idols instead of continuing to worship the living God. Even after hearing warnings from the prophets and later Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah, they did not return to the Lord.

Jehoiada had protected, mentored, led and advised Joash for many years. When his son delivered the message, “Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you,” Joash had the messenger stoned to death. How soon sometimes one forgets the kindness of another person.

The spring of the next year, the Lord allowed the Syrians to invade Judah. They killed the leaders of the land and took the spoils back to Damascus. Joash’s own servants assassinated him and he was succeeded to the throne by his son, Amaziah.

#chronological-bible-study

The life of his animal

“A righteous person cares for the life of his animal, but even the most compassionate acts of the wicked are cruel.”

Proverbs 12.10

As a creature made by God who created all good things, the righteous show their goodness in treating well even the animals under their care.

Animals are not equal to humans, but they do deserve proper care. A sign of wickedness is lack of compassion for those under one’s responsibility.

#Proverbs #votd #animals

Our daily spiritual, physical and emotional welfare

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10 NRSV)

Иисус сказал ей в ответ: если бы ты знала дар Божий и Кто говорит тебе: дай Мне пить, то ты сама просила бы у Него, и Он дал бы тебе воду живую. (Иоанна 4:10 Russian)

O LORD my God, thank you, dear Father, for the uplifting knowledge that you are concerned about our daily spiritual, physical and emotional welfare. Open the eyes of people whose hearts are cold to the truth that when we sincerely love and obey Jesus as Lord, we have the greatest possible gift of your grace. Help us to no longer feel empty and without specific worthwhile goals. With Christ within, we understand that your Holy Spirit is living within us and helping us to remain satisfied and joyful as we plod along through the daily affairs of this life. In the precious name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley