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2-11-2015           Unqualified Love of God?

The only verse many people accept is “God is love” (1 John 4:8 NKJV). They think that means “God loves me regardless of how I live.” They could not be more wrong, for Jesus Christ also said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21 NKJV). Sinners want God to love them as they are, but David said of God, “The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:4-5 NKJV). God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV); and “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#knowledge-of-the-truth, #love, #repent, #unqualified-love-of-god, #workers-of-iniquity

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(#31) The Proverbs of Solomon 10:26-30-Being Lazy or Wicked Ends Badly

Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 10:26:

“As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy man to those who send him.”

Sending a “lazy man” on a mission is offensive like “vinegar to the teeth” and “smoke to the eyes.” Vinegar is unpleasant to teeth and causes them to be “set on edge.” Sins were never completely forgiven under Moses’ Law, hence there was a sense in which the children paid for their parents’ sins. The proverb, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Ezekiel 18:2-3) was no longer to be used in Israel, once God chose a new people with a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:29-34), which He has chosen by the Gospel of Jesus Christ   (Hebrews 8:6-13; 1 Peter 2:1-5). Anyone who has ever grilled over an open fire knows what smoke does to the eyes. That irritation causes watering, similar to crying. The “lazy man” offends in both ways because he/she cannot be depended upon for any useful work.

Proverbs 10:27-28:

“The fear of the LORD prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened. 28 The hope of the righteous will be gladness, But the expectation of the wicked will perish.”

Honoring both “father and mother” was the first commandment in Moses’ Law “with promise” (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16) as pointed out in the New Testament (Ephesians 6:1-3). Learning from parental experience and instruction has beneficial physical effects on children. The stability of respect and reverence for parents never diminishes throughout one’s life. On the other hand, those who disdain, disregard, or disparage their parents walk through life on a rocky road with many pitfalls. “The righteous” always have positive blessing to look forward to, but “the wicked” have nothing but a great destruction.

Proverbs 10:29-30:

“The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. 30 The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.”

“Strength,” stability, and boldness to approach God in prayers (Hebrews 4:16) and other worship (Psalm 100:1-2) is for “the upright” (those who obey the “Upright” God, Deuteronomy 32:4). “Workers of iniquity” (dedicated sinners) are always under God’s condemnation (Psalm 6:8; Luke 13:23-28; Matthew 7:21-23).   Proverbs 21:15: “It is a joy for the just to do justice, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #lazy, #long-life, #proverbs, #smoke, #vinegar, #wisdom, #workers-of-iniquity

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Psalm 141 Shut My Mouth

This Psalm of David could have originated at one of several times in his life, so the historical background is not definitely set, but it clearly is similar to other of his Psalms.

Verses 1-2 appeal to God to hear this prayer;

Verses 3-4 concerned with one’s words;

Verse 5-concerned with one’s thoughts;

Verses 5c-7 concerned with one’s bones;

Verses 8-10 concerned with one’s eyes.

Verses 1-2: To “cry out” expresses immediate need(s). For prayer to be “set before” God “as incense” (Exodus 30:1-10), helps us see that when Moses’ Law was taken out of the way by the cross of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:14-16), Christian prayers ascend before God instead of incense (Revelation 5:8).

Verses 3-4: It is not asking for God to choose our words, but knowing we have called attention to the problem we have with wrong words should keep us more keenly aware (Matthew 12:34-37). “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26). “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:2). In fact, David realizes, to avoid sin, we must not lean toward “any evil thing,” “practice wicked works,” associate with evil workers, or commonly associate with sinners. This progression into sin is similar to Psalm 1.

Verse 5: If we find ourselves heading in the wrong direction, the rebuke of a righteous person should bring us back to spirituality. “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5). “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

Verses 5c-7: Our prayers should be not only for us to be strong, but for the wicked to be blunted and weakened. “Judges” are their leaders, but “sweet” “words” of a prayerful appeal to God can see them taken down. Their damage, however, may break up God’s people as if physical bodies had been plowed under!

Verses 8-10: “Eyes,” rightly focused on the goal, must not be misled. Once a person has been buried in the water of baptism into Jesus’ death (and not before), and raised to a new life with Him (Romans 6:3-5), they are saved (1 Peter 3:21). “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3). By obeying God and following Jesus Christ, God will “keep” (avoid sin, 1 John 3:6) a Christian from the “snares” and “traps” the wicked continually provide. It was the partial obedience of the Israelites in cleaning the wicked nations out of the Promised Land, that God warned they would become “snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you” (Joshua 23:13). “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them” (Proverbs 22:5). David did not pray out of vengeance or hatred, but simply that God let “the wicked fall into their own nets” and he be allowed to “escape.” When the wicked are treated with their own wickedness is not only just, it is fair for the righteous. “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him” (Proverbs 26:27). A rolling stone may not gather moss, but often it punishes the ones who started it rolling!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #prayer, #salvation, #sin, #snares, #traps, #wicked, #words, #workers-of-iniquity

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Psalm 92

Vs.1-4 give praise to God;

Vs. 5-9 remark about God’s wisdom in dealing with enemies;

Vs. 10-15 observe God’s refreshing for the righteous.

There is no historical setting, therefore no certain author for this Psalm. It is unchallenged, however, for its inclusion in the Book of Psalms.

Verses 1-4: Among the 23 times the phrase “sing praises” (verse 1) occurs in the Book of Psalms, the one that is quoted in the New Testament is Psalm 18:49 (in Romans 15:9). There it refers to “singing” and not playing instruments with the singing (refer back to Psalm 18:49 in these studies). Thus, by the inspired use of this phrase by the Apostle Paul, it would be natural to conclude that Psalm 92:1 should also mean “sing praises” to the “Most High.” His “lovingkindness in the morning,” and “faithfulness every night” (verse 2) show that 24/7, there is not a time He is not responsive to His faithful people. If the instruments (verse 3) are correctly translated, they were introduced to Old Testament worship by David (2 Chronicles 29:26-27); if these should be instructions to the singers, instead, this is no authority for musical instruments in the passage; regardless, nothing in this verse is authorized in the New Testament for Christian worship. God’s Creation is a marvel to be praised (verse 4).

Verses 5-9: God’s “thoughts” (verse 5) are embedded in all He does. The Creation shows such planning, foresight, and intricacy that it has taken the several thousand years since it began for humans to “discover” some of what was in it all the time! “Wisdom” was with God in the Creation (Proverbs 8:1, 22-31), and for Evolutionists to extoll chaos and chance instead of God’s wisdom is purely blasphemy and profanity! Indeed, the “senseless,” “fool” (verse 6), “wicked,” “workers of iniquity” (verse 7) may “flourish” on earth, they are to be “destroyed forever.” God is NOT “the force” IN the Creation, He is the Deity over and above the Creation (verse 8; Acts 14:14-17), who’s enemies will “perish” and be “scattered” as in Matthew 25:31-33 describes (verse 9).

Verses 10-15: By contrast, the faithful are blessed with: “horn” (or strength), and selection by anointing (verse 10); “eyes” and “ears” (verse 11) that witness their enemies’ destruction. “The righteous” flourish like “a palm,” “a cedar” (verse 12), “planted in the house of the LORD” (verse 13), bearing good fruit throughout old age (verse 14), who can declare “the LORD is upright,” “rock,” with “no unrighteousness” (verse 15).

THOUGHT: When the wicked people flourish on earth, it is easy to overlook the righteous who also flourish, AND, not to notice the promise of God that the wicked will perish.

ALSO: “LORD” (Hebrew, Jehovah) is used 7 times, a number that often signifies completeness of God’s work. Hence this Psalm could be God’s final, complete statement of His disposition of Good and Evil.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #judgment, #righteous, #sing-praise, #workers-of-iniquity