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|Posted on 24 May, 2018 at 11:41||comments (247)|
|Posted on 25 April, 2018 at 12:01||comments (21)|
Nineveh had practiced gross acts of cruelty and sin for centuries. It was a part of her social environment. They were living as though there was no tomorrow or eternity. It became part of the norm, acceptable just like immorality in the world and church today. Ninevites were not God’s chosen people, Israel was. Ninevites were a heathen nation that worships many gods, many idols.
The problem was that God’s chosen people, who knew God, who God had delivered many times from their enemy, was doing the same thing Nineveh was doing, they were in gross sin, and rebellion against God. They should have been a model example to the Ninevites, to the world, but they were no different in their lifestyle. They knew the Truth, but you can know the truth and not walk in it. You can believe in God, and not obey Him.
Sadly, it is the same with the Church and the world. We have allowed the World to say what is morally acceptable and what is not, instead of God’s Word having the final say.
He Came to Save Us
Jonah 1:12 says, that Jonah said to throw him overboard into the sea, and the storm will cease, and those on the ship will be saved. God didn’t come to save them from the storm. He created the Storm. God didn’t come to deliver Jonah from the Fish; God made the fish just for Jonah. What God wanted to do is save Jonah and those on that ship from themselves! From their wicked and sinful selves. God used the STORM and FISH to do that.
Hell and Salvation
Many today, believe if they receive Jesus as their Savior, they will be delivered from Hell. So they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, so they don’t end up in Hell, but their lifestyle doesn’t change. Jesus didn’t come to deliver us from hell but our sinful nature. Hell wasn’t created for man, but the devil and fallen angels. Man was created for God, but sin separates us from God. That’s why Jonah was in the belly of a fish, separated from God in complete darkness. Jonah himself called it Hell. Jonah’s rebellion against God put himself in that position.
Just like God sent prophets to warn Israel and Nineveh, He is sending them today to warn a lukewarm church. When we think of lukewarm, we immediately think of something not on fire but straddling the fence so to say. Neither hot nor cold.
Members have told me, I didn’t go to church, because it’s snowing, too cold, raining, cleaning my house, too tired, family function, my children, and spouse didn’t want to go. Although none of these is a sin, it can and usually does lead to complacency.
Many think the church is boring. But the Church was never meant to entertain people. It is not meant to be a social club. It is a spiritual training camp…a refuge…hospital…sanctuary…an Mt. Sinai where God meets with His people. We have reduced it to programs and social events. God is calling us to come back to our first love, Him.
Jonah repented, and the fish threw him up on dry land. Jonah realizes Salvation belongs to the Lord. If you are saved, then the bibles say in Philippians 2:12 we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
If Jonah didn’t know God before, he knew Him now. If Jonah was pious, and a prideful man before, now he was humbled and yielded vessel. What does God’s need to do to get our attention? A still small voice or a giant fish?
|Posted on 4 February, 2018 at 13:46||comments (4)|
Jonah 1:3-4 says, “3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord and went down to Joppa, and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea so that the ship was like to be broken.”
Jonah had forsaken the Lord, resigning from his ministry as a prophet in Israel or anywhere else. Jonah has left friends and family. He had openly refused to obey God. Although Jonah had left God, God had not left Jonah
Why didn’t God find someone else? God didn't want someone else; God called Jonah. God was dealing with Jonah. Who caused the Storm? God did. Whose fault that there’s a storm? Jonah’s fault. Most of the time people blame God for the storms that arise in their lives. When there’s a storm in your life, you are the reason for the storm. It’s not always because you are running from God, sometimes it’s because you are running to God. Storms come to make or break us.
Whether the storms come from God, or the Devil it is for the same purpose, to make or break you. The devil can’t do anything unless the Lord allows him. Although the devil plans are to break you, destroy you if he could, but he can’t. God wants to break you too. Our Heavenly Father want's us pliable and yielded to His will. God wants to break off all rebellion, unforgiveness, fear, doubt, self-righteousness, etc. He wants to make you righteous, fearless, compassionate, forgiving, faithful, etc. Our Heavenly Father is not just our deliverer, but also our Healer. The thing we react instead of respond as in a defensive mode is an indication of an unhealed wound, which God wants to heal.
Jonah 1:4 “4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea so that the ship was like to be broken.”
It’s not the ship God wanted to break, but Jonah’s defiant, stubbornness, pride and lack of compassion. If we look to Jonah on how we should respond during a storm, we are looking to the wrong person; Jonah is not someone you want to follow nor emulate. In this story, we see that God is a merciful, faithful and loving God. He cares for us even when we disobey him; he loves us even when we sin. He protects us even when we're running away from his Presence.
In this biblical account it isn’t so-called self-righteous Jonah, but the heathens, sinners that have the right response. They prayed to their gods to stop the storm, which never works, they told Jonah to do the same. He didn’t. Instead, Jonah’s responds by saying, in verse 9 “I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.”
Jonah like so many others didn’t fear God. If Jonah feared God, he would have obeyed him.
In verse 10 we read, “Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord because he had told them.”
“11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought and was tempestuous.”
“12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.” Throw me overboard? Instead of let's pray. Jonah knew that the storm was because of him because he said,” for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.”
14 "Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.”
15 "So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 16 Then the men feared
the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.”
The heathens prayed to Jonah’s God and made sacrifices to the Lord, and they made vows unto the Lord. Another word they repented and got right with God.
Jesus had said, that he came to save sinner not the righteous. So what is Jonah doing? Drowning in a sea of regret, but not repenting. We can be sorry for what we have or have not done, but remorse or guilt is not repentance.
Even after this storm, Jonah doesn’t repent. God in his Mercy prepared a fish just for Jonah. Some would look at that fish as punishment, but in reality, it kept him from drowning and from dangerous prey. To Jonah it was a prison, a living hell, but to God it was Jonah’s covering and protection. It’s amazing how the very thing we run from, the things we fear or reject are sometimes the very things that we should embrace, like trials and tribulations, storms and separation, deserts and wilderness, letting go and holding on, being still and change.
Verse 17 says "Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”
Jonah was in total darkness, a prelude to hell. Jonah wanted to run from the presence of God; he wanted to separate himself from the will of God. Separated from God, is hell. There is total darkness, fear, no peace, no joy. Jonah got a taste of what it’s like being separated from God for only three days; I can’t imagine what it’s like for those who reject Jesus as their Savior and spend eternity in Hell.
The people on Jonah’s ship could have gone back to their false idols, and immorality after throwing Jonah overboard, but they didn’t. It wasn’t Jonah who left them with a lasting impression; it was God! They had to reason that If God is in control of the sea and the storm, what else is He in control of?
Jonah 2:1 says, after three days and nights Jonah prays. It took Jonah three days and night in complete darkness to realize he was not only wrong but needed God. Jonah finally prays. Most people would have prayed on the ship, and definitely when they saw a great fish coming for them.
What was Jonah doing for three days? He was probably looking for a way out, or perhaps he just gave up and was waiting to die, instead of praying to live. Jonah could have been waiting for God to do something like delivering him, but God was waiting for him to ask for deliverance, not just from the fish but his rebellious and prideful condition. It wasn’t just the fish Jonah needed deliverance from, and that also applies to us. It's not the storm God want’s to change, after all, He allowed it. God wants to change us.
Jonah concluded his prayer by acknowledging in chapter 2:9 “Salvation is of the Lord.” …To be Continued
|Posted on 18 January, 2018 at 10:07||comments (12)|
|Posted on 8 November, 2017 at 14:31||comments (1)|
|Posted on 31 August, 2017 at 12:01||comments (11)|
(Part 4 of 4) Moving on
To Isaac these wells were a necessity for survival, but to the Philistines these were a claim to the land.It appears that Isaac is laboring in vain. No matter what he does or where he goes Isaac is confronted with the same problem, even a change of venue (new place) or new beginnings can’t change that.
Genesis 26:22 "And he removed from thence, and digged another well;" But it cost him, Isaac had to let go of the wells, he had already dug.
Abraham had to lay down his promise (Isaac) on the alter. Isaac had to walk away from his inheritance. What are you willing to lay down or walk away from? Are you willing to lay down your right to be right? Are you willing to walk away from wealth, fame, position, friends, or family? If not you haven’t learned to let go! Isaac refused to stay where there was conflict and hostility.
22"And he removed from thence, and digged another well;
and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."
While Isaac may not have realized it for some time, it was the disputes over the ownership of the wells he dug or reopened that served to guide him in the direction of the land of promise. Opposition and adversity lead him into the direction that the Lord had for him.
Verses 23-25 is the key to the interpretation of chapter 26. Here a very strange thing happens. Up to this time Isaac’s decision as to where he should stay was based upon the finding of abundant water and the absence of hostilities. But now, having dug a well that was uncontested, we would have expected Isaac to dwell there. Instead we are told that he moved on to Beersheba, with no reason stated for this move: “Then he went up from there to Beersheba” (verse 23).
He left the well he had previously dug. Why? There was no opposition with the enemy. Isaac could have stayed there. But, Isaac is not content to settle for the sheer comfort and pleasures of life. There is something missing, far more valuable to him then the well in verse 22.
I believe that a significant change has occurred in Isaac’s thinking. Circumstances and provision had previously shaped most of his decisions, but now something deeper seems to be giving direction in his life.
What’s so important about Beersheba? Beersheba was the first place that Abraham had gone with Isaac after they came down from the “sacrifice” on Mount Moriah.
Isaac knew that God had promised to give him the land promised to his father Abraham (26:3-5). I believe he had finally come to see that through all the opposition over the wells he had dug, God had been guiding him back to the land of promise, back to those places where Abraham had walked in fellowship with God.
I believe that Isaac went up to Beersheba because he sensed on a spiritual level that this was where God wanted him to be. If God had previously been “driving” Isaac through opposition, now Isaac was willing to be led.
24"And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake. 25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well."
Verse 25 is of particular interest. Notice especially the order in which Isaac set up residence in Beersheba: Isaac shifted his thinking and action from about Him to about God. Previously knowing the will of God for Isaac had been circumstances—in particular, Isaac stayed wherever he dug a well, found sufficient water, and was not opposed. As soon as opposition a rise Isaac moved on. The unseen hand of God was guiding him, closer to his destination and purpose.
So he built an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.This was the first time in this chapter that Isaac built an altar.
The place for God’s people is the place of God’s presence. The place of intimacy, worship, and communion with God is the place to abide. That is how you build an altar. Isaac didn’t stop building wells, but he did it in the right order, and instead of opposition he had Peace. He was able to enter into the Rest of the Lord.
|Posted on 29 May, 2017 at 14:20||comments (3)|
Genesis 26:18 says “And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.”
In Genesis 26, we are told that when Isaac dug water wells, he didn’t get to start with his own. Isaac recognized his hereditary right and responsibility to re-dig and restore the ancient wells of his father Abraham, which the Philistines stopped up after he died.
When God gives us a vision, a dream, it isn’t birth over-night. It takes patience and endurance, Our Heavenly Father always brings us under another ministry, or church. A ministry we must support and care for, It is not ours, but their ministry, their dream. Why? So that we might learn and grow. Many times it is difficult to submit under another leader and authority, because you too are a leader. You too have a vision, but it’s just a vision it’s not a ministry yet.
We feel the birth pang, the moving and stirring within us. The additional opposition from the enemy. The birth pangs are real, and only remind us we too, have a vision waiting to come forth. Many people walk away from where God has assigned them, because they are offended, or weary from battling the enemy. They just allowed the enemy to reap havoc, and take what belongs to them. It could be their children, spouse, ministry, peace, finances, health, etc. instead of persevering in prayer until the victory is won. Isaac walked away from what he was entitled to because of the enemy taking what was a part of his inheritance.
John 10:10 (KJV)
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” We are waiting on God to do something and He’s waiting on us. Isaac’s father, Abraham had provided the well. But it was up to Isaac to reclaim what was rightfully his, that the enemy wanted to keep from him. Our Heavenly Father has provided for his sons and daughters everything they need to be victorious, but it is up to us to claim what is rightfully ours from the enemy.
19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. In the valley of Gerar Isaac dug a well that produced “living water,” that is, water that originated from a spring—running water, not simply water that was contained. The Philistine herdsmen disputed with the herdsmen of Isaac over it, so Isaac moved on. The wells of living water represent the flowing forth of God’s Spirit from our lives.
20 And the herdsmen of Gerar did strivewith Isaac's herdsmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; which means STRIFE because they strove with him.
21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. SITNAH means HATRED.
You would think he would do what many people think to do when the enemy stirs up like that -- stop digging wells.
That is what the enemy wants us to do. To throw in the towel and quit.
But Isaac did not quit. Why? His very life and those with him depended on this natural resource to survive. Isaac had to dig the wells free of the plugging element. Our lives can be PLUGGED up with things the enemy uses to stop the flow of the well. These things can be trauma, betrayal, rejection, abuse, etc. No matter what it is it comes from the enemy, to plug up what God wants to release through us, and to cause us to give up.
It is up to us to unplug our lives and allow the living waters to spring forth to refresh and restore his people. It starts with us. We must let go of bitterness, unforgiveness, sins, etc. anything that the enemy can use to hinder the love, and purpose of God to be manifested in our lives.
Those wells were a source of life, for Isaac. Just like the spiritual water is to our spirit, soul and body.
It was Isaac inheritance as rightful heir. The well was a landmark also. Who-ever owned the well owned the land the well was on. Isaac wasn’t just unplugging wells he was taken back the grounds that the enemy had destroyed and stolen. He was taking back a part of His inheritance, his rights, his identity.
To be continued...
|Posted on 10 February, 2017 at 14:33||comments (2)|
Genesis 26:1 says, “And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.” This famine is specified to be a different one than that which happened during the life of Abraham.
So Isaac has to do something unnatural to receive something supernatural. Verse 12 says, “Then Isaac sowedin that land, and received in the same year a hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
Genesis 26:14-16 “14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
15 For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. 16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
Isaac sowed during a time of great famine. That takes faith to give when you are in dire need. He received a hundredfold the same year. This should encourage us to tithe and sow during times of lack and during times of blessings.
Isaac was told to leave because God had blessed him. Scripture says the Philistines envied Isaac. So instead of working with Isaac, they worked against him. I have seen this so much in the Church, in the the pulpit and worship team. Instead of being bless by whom the Lord is sending to us, we fear they just might take our positon or title from us. They just might start their own church. How sad, that we would rather surround ourselves with mediocrity than greatness.
Unfortunately, those ministries and churches have folded or closed. I have even heard people say to me they are called to tear down and uproot certain churches, pastors or ministries in the name of the Lord. God has never call people to tear down or dismantle a part of His church. There is one Church and one Body. We have got to yield to God’s will and purpose for the Church. It is not about us, it is about Him, and the people that we are sent to make a different in their lives. Either we are yielded to the enemy (devil) or the Lord, there is no in between.
The Philistines had filled up the well. The wells were a source of refreshing and sustaining life. Water was a vital necessity then and it still is today. Why would the enemy destroy what they needed?
Why do Christian destroy what is needed in the Church today, unity in the Spirit? We need to build lives, not more programs and building expansions. We need those wells unplugged that living water can flow through us and affect homes, cities and nations.
The enemy was attempting to undo what Isaac was called to do. Those wells belonged to Isaac’s father, therefor they are a part of Isaac’s inheritance, which Philistines (enemy) didn’t want him to have.
We like Isaac can be discouraged and disappointed doing what we believe God has called us to do. We expect it to be easy since God says its ours, and He’s on our side. But there is a time to fight and not give up, and there is a time to walk away. We find ourselves laboring to receive an inheritance that’s already ours. Every time Isaac unplugged a well, the enemy came and plugged it back up. Why? The wells is a landmark, whoever owned the wells, owned the Land. God owns the land and he has given us the Land as a part of our inheritance.
Now understand when I am speaking about our land, I am not referring to soil, or acreage, I am speaking of earthen vessels! 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 says “7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
"15For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. 16And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. 17And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there."
….To be continued
|Posted on 14 September, 2016 at 10:52||comments (1)|
Genesis 26:1-2 says, “1And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech King of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:”
Chapter 26 is the only chapter in the book of Genesis devoted exclusively to Isaac. While he is mentioned in other chapters, he is not the focus of attention, in this chapter he is the main person. Here we get a better look at who Isaac is. He is not a shadow of his father, he has his own identity and purpose, as we all do. Although he will take over where his father left off, God clearly uses him differently, and blesses him separately from his father’s blessings. Isaac receives his own inheritance from his Heavenly Father. Isaac undoubtable will know that it was God that has blessed him, and not man.
God give Isaac clear instructions. Abraham went into Egypt. Isaac decided to go down to Egypt just as his father had done (Genesis 12:10). This was not according to the plan which God had for Isaac, and so He appeared to him with this word of instruction and promise. The Lord in essence is telling Isaac, you are not to settle in Egypt (world), you are not to do what your father did. I don’t want you to follow in your father’s footsteps, but follow my instructions.
“3Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because 5)that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
God gave Isaac a promise. The same covenant promises he gave Abraham, Isaac’s father. But, the Lord makes it clear to Isaac that Isaac’s father was bless because in verse five, “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws”.
Another words, if you want to receive the promises of God, if you want to be blessed Isaac, then you to will have to obey God’s voice. You too will have to keep His charge “Faithful”. You also must keep His commandments as not to give place to the enemy(devil) in your life. God’s statutes and laws are a reminder of our dependency on Him. Isaac cannot enter the covenant promises based on his father’s faithfulness to God. He too like us, must enter in through the narrow gate, and through the blood (blood sacrifices), keeping the statues and laws.
Genesis 26:1 says, “And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.” This famine is specified to be a different one than that which happened during the life of Abraham.
We can all agree that famine is extreme scarcity of food, due to unnatural climate condition, human error such as war and plundering, or imbalance in nature (locust). God told Isaac he would bless him, as he did his father. He told him this during the famine, not afterwards. God made a promise to Isaac base on Isaac’s obedience to God, but also based on faith. What Isaac is seeing in the natural does not line up with what the Lord’s promised.
So Isaac has to do something unnatural to receive to receive something supernatural. Verse 12 says, “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.” Isaac sowed during a time of great famine. That takes faith to give when you are in dire need. He received a hundredfold the same year. This should encourage us to tithe and sow during times of lack and during times of blessings.
To be continued….
|Posted on 15 June, 2016 at 21:38||comments (4)|