Psalms 107: trouble, cry, deliverance, praise, repeat: part 6

Psalms 107
17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
19 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
21 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

 

Verse 17

 

Psalms 107:17
Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

What does the bible say about foolishness?

The root word “fool” is used in 189 verses in the kjv, and in 78 verses in Proverbs alone [41%!], more than any other book of the bible by a wide margin.

Proverbs 4:7
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

An example of this is in verse 11 that we have already covered, so foolishness was one of the downfalls of these Israelites.

11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned [despised] the counsel of the most High:

Foolishness is basically the opposite of God’s wisdom.

The word “wisdom” in the kjv is used in 222 verses, with 53 of those being in Proverbs alone [24%].

The word “wise” is used in 257 verses, with 66 of those being in proverbs [25%].

Everybody knows that the book of Proverbs is all about wisdom, but Ecclesiastes, which directly follows Proverbs, is wisdom personified, doubly emphasizing the importance of God’s wisdom.

Fortunately, God’s words of wisdom outweighs the foolishness of man!

So, the words “wise” & “wisdom” are used in 479 verses vs 189 verses for the root word “fool”.

That’s a ratio of approximately 2.5 to 1.

Forms of Foolishness

Matthew 5:22
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Raca:

HELPS Word-studies
4469 rhaká (apparently related to the Aramaic term rōq, “empty”) – properly, empty-headed. This term expressed contempt for a man’s head, viewing him as stupid (without sense) – i.e. a “numbskull” who acts presumptuously and thoughtlessly (TDNT).

It doesn’t seem right that if somebody simply calls somebody else a fool that he should be burned up in hell, does it?

Of course not!

Until you understand old testament law and see who it refers to in Matthew 23 – people who have sold their souls to the devil and have become his child.

Deuteronomy 19
16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.

Proverbs 19:5
A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

Matthew 23
17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
33 Ye serpents, ye generation [offspring] of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

So the takeaway here is that its extremely foolish to sell your soul to the devil or to falsely accuse somebody of being the devil’s child, especially under the old testament law.

 

Proverbs 1:7 The fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 

What else is foolish?

Matthew 7
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

So not doing the will of God is foolish also.

This sounds like the Israelites in Psalms 107 who despised the words and wisdom of God.

Matthew 25
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

You must prepare for the unexpected, lest your foolishness cause you trouble.

 

What about homosexuality and foolishness?

Romans 1 [amplified bible]
21 For even though they knew God [as the Creator], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their own hearts to [sexual] impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin],
25 because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading and vile passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural [a function contrary to nature],
27 and in the same way also the men turned away from the natural function of the woman and were consumed with their desire toward one another, men with men committing shameful acts and in return receiving in their own bodies the inevitable and appropriate penalty for their wrongdoing.

Foolishness is one of the ingredients of homosexuality.

 

More Miscellaneous examples of foolishness

1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The unbelieving world will see the word and wisdom of God as utter foolishness because without the gift of holy spirit within, its impossible to understand it.

Galatians 3:1
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

This is similar to the lesson in Matthew 7 where not doing the word of God, whether deliberate or out of deception, is foolish.

Ephesians 5:15
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Part of walking in God’s wisdom is not being in the dark, but having a full 360 degree view, without any blind spots.

Otherwise your foolishness will hinder you or cause you harm.

2 Timothy 2:23
But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

Avoid foolish questions and you will have more peace.

I Timothy 6
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

If you want to avoid “destruction and perdition”, then avoid “foolish and hurtful lusts”.

Since homosexuality involves being consumed by unnatural lust and the corresponding consequences, it could be classified as a foolish and hurtful lust.

These are just a few of the many forms of foolishness to avoid.

Psalms 107:17
Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

The bottom line is that its foolish to rebel against God’s word because you are going to reap what you sow = consequences that make you cringe.

Verse 17 says they were afflicted.

Not fun.

 

You must decide which is greater: the pain of your problem or the pain of discipline that is necessary to fix it.

 

Verse 18

 

Psalms 107:18
Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

There are only 2 verses in the bible that have both words “abhorreth” and “meat”:

Notice the parallel between Psalms 107:18 and Job 33:20.

 

Psalms 107 vs Job 33
Verses
Characteristics or

Consequences

Psalms 107 Job 33
Rebellion against God; No meekness or humbleness 11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: 14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth [regards] it not.
Consequence #1 18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat… 20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul [abhorreth] dainty meat.
Consequence #2 18 and they draw near unto the gates of death. 22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.

 

This sounds like the Jepardy game!

“I’ll take Characteristics or Consequences for $200.”

Look at the very first usage of the word “meat” in the bible!

Genesis 1:29
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

The usage of the word “meat” is a figure of speech meaning nourishment.

Watch this enlightening 5-minute explanation of Genesis 1:29! [32 min – 37 min].

 

 

Genesis 9:3
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Now meat is part of the morning burnt offering that is to be continual.

Exodus 29
41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.

Leviticus 2:3
And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire.

The remnants of the meat offering are the “most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire”, yet the Israelites abhorred it.

That’s not about the meat, but is symbolic of their rejection of God and rebellion against his commandments.

John 4:34
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

The word “meat” is again used figuratively to indicate that doing the will of God was Jesus’ spiritual nourishment.

Job 23:12
Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Job’s priorities were set right – the spiritual food from God was more important than his physical food!

Jesus Christ had the same attitude of reverence to God’s word.

Matthew 4:4
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

John 6:27
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Look at at the great wisdom of the bible!

 

Life isn’t about money, food or work, but in knowing and doing the will of God out of our love and respect for him.

 

Matthew 16:26
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

This is the wisdom of the Lord.

Acts 2
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

We should have gladness, not be on death’s door.

Spiritual meat and maturity

1 Corinthians 3:2
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

The Corinthians were too spiritually immature to be able to handle the in-depth spiritual truths of God, so the apostle Paul gave them the milk of the word instead, because they were spiritual babes in Christ.

That is why they were stuck on the crucifixion of Christ instead of his resurrection and the day of Pentecost.

And why God, through the apostle Paul, didn’t reveal the mystery to them, but to the Ephesians, who could handle the spiritual meat of the word.

The Israelites in Psalms 107 got to the place where they couldn’t handle the spiritual meat of the word.  Therefore, they were babes in the word.

I Timothy 4
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Hebrews 5
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age [spiritual maturity], even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

As we learn the lessons of life in Psalms 107, and apply them with the wisdom of God, while avoiding the foolishness of the world, we too shall be able to enjoy the thick, juicy steak of God’s word.

 

The meat of the word is even better than the best cuts of beef the world has to offer!

The meat of the word is even better than the best cuts of beef the world has to offer!

 

Jeremiah 15:16
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Psalms 107: trouble, cry, deliverance, praise, repeat: part 5

Welcome to part 5 of Psalms 107!

 

Psalms 107
13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
15 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

Verse 13

In verse 13, it says that God had saved them out of their distresses [plural].

Although distress is on the lower end of the intensity scale, the fact that the  Israelites were surrounded by multiple distresses multiple times multiplies their effect.

Not a good place to be.

 

The 7 types of spiritual attacks against us

The 7 types of spiritual attacks against us

 

David was in the same place, so he went to the Lord in prayer as well.

Psalms 25:17
The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

God delivered the Israelites from multiple distresses on 4 separate occasions.

Psalms 107
6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
19 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

Isaiah 45:22
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Nobody else can deliver us like God can.

No wonder the Israelites praised God 4 times!

Psalms 107
8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
15 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
21 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
31 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Verses 7 & 14

Psalms 107:14
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.

Look at the perfect order of God’s deliverance!

Psalms 107
7 And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

  1. First, God’s light leads them in the right way,
  2. Out of the darkness,
  3. Breaks their bondage
  4. Heals them with his word,
  5. Delivered them from their destructions,
  6. Gives them peace, safety and gladness, the opposite of multiple distresses.

Are you confused about which way to go in life?

Which way do you want to go in life? God's way is best!

Which way do you want to go in life? God’s way is best!

 

Compare man’s ways…

Genesis 6:12
And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

with God’s ways!

Proverbs 10:17
He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

Proverbs 10:29
The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

Isaiah 55:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 35 [amplified bible]
7 And the burning sand (mirage) will become a pool [of water] And the thirsty ground springs of water;  In the haunt of jackals, where they lay resting, grass becomes reeds and rushes.

8 A highway will be there, and a roadway; And it will be called the Holy Way. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for those who walk on the way [the redeemed]; And fools will not wander on it.

9 No lion will be there, nor will any predatory animal come up on it; They will not be found there.  But the redeemed will walk there.

10 And the ransomed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with shouts of jubilation, And everlasting joy will be upon their heads; They will find joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

In verse 9, the real emphasis isn’t talking about physical lions and tigers and bears, [oh my!] but rather spiritual lions and tigers and bears.

Jesus Christ is called the lion out of Judah and the devil is called lion who devours you in the bible.

Jesus Christ is called the lion out of Judah and the devil is referred to as a lion who devours you in the bible.

Revelation 5:5
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

I Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

However, many times throughout the bible, animals are also used figuratively to represent various kinds or categories of devil spirits.

Lions, for example, would be in the animalistic and vicious category.

These are the devil spirits that incite people to commit such crimes as murder, rape, and torture.

This is where psychology missed the boat because it basically says that behavior is solely caused by things in the 5-senses realm, but that is only 1/2 the story.

 

The truth is that human behavior is more influenced by spiritual sources than anything else.

 

Even the famous French existential philosopher Jean-paul Sartre [1905 – 1980] essentially admits this by saying that to reflect on one’s own experience puts one immediately into a condition of anguish, for one is asked to give an account of [and ultimately, an account for] something elusive and unexplainable.

The “elusive and unexplainable” is the spiritual realm which consists of the word and will of God, which is the bible, and the devil’s will, which is everything that contradicts God’s word.

Deuteronomy 30:19
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Ultimately, everybody is either knowingly or unknowingly carrying out the will of the one true God or the God of this world, the devil.

The Pharisees and Sadducees, deceived and deceptive religious leaders in the first century, tried to murder Jesus and the apostle Paul several different times [the will of Satan], but the Lord protected them from their enemies.

John 16
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

Idolatry always brings devil spirits in like a magnet.

Revelation 18:2
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

There are 2 Babylons:  the physical city that was in the middle east that had the Euphrates river running through the middle of it and the other represents the spiritual realm of the devil.

Modern-day Babylon in Iraq, about 50 miles south of Baghdad. It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from c. 1770 to 1670 BC, and again between c. 612 and 320 BC.

Modern-day Babylon in Iraq, about 50 miles south of Baghdad. It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from c. 1770 to 1670 BC, and again between c. 612 and 320 BC.

There are no devil spirits on God’s true way of holiness.

The Lord’s way is spiritually clean.

Yoda version: the way of the Lord, clean is…

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

Jesus Christ is the true and living way.

 

God’s pure light leads us out of darkness!

I John 1:5
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Acts 26:18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Colossians 1:13
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

 God breaks the bands of bondage!

This means that we have been delivered from the bondage of the world.

Deuteronomy 6:12
Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Romans 8:15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

One of the many types of devil spirits are bondage spirits, which, as the name implies, puts people into various forms of bondage.

In other words, they are afraid to live for God.

Acts 21:20
And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

 

Religious legalism often drives people into bondage, mentally and spiritually enslaving them.

 

Hebrews 2
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Bondage often leads to fear, which we can cast out of our hearts, homes, and lives with the love of God.

Galatians 2:4
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Galatians 4 [amplified bible]
9 Now, however, since you have come to know [the true] God [through personal experience], or rather to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and worthless elemental principles [of religions and philosophies], to which you want to be enslaved all over again?
10 [For example,] you observe [particular] days and months and seasons and years.
11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored [to the point of exhaustion] over you in vain.
12 Believers, I beg of you, become as I am [free from the bondage of Jewish ritualism and ordinances], for I have become as you are [a Gentile]. You did me no wrong [when I first came to you; do not do it now].

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

 

Verse 15

 

Psalms 107:15
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

There are only 9 verses in the bible that contain both words “wonderful” and “works”.

Psalm 40:5
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

4 of them [44%] are in Psalms 107, more than any other place in the bible.

Remember that Psalms 107-150 is the 5th and final section of Psalms which has God’s word as the main subject, so in context, God’s word is the Lord’s greatest work ever.

Psalms 138:2
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Acts 2:11
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Speaking in tongues is just one of the many wonderful works of God.

Praising God is a sign that we are thankful to him for what he has done for us.

As a matter of fact, being thankful can actually improve your comprehension!

The 136th psalm starts and ends with thankfulness.

Psalms 136
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

 

Verse 16

 

Psalms 107:16
For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder

Gates of brass

The phrase “gates of brass” [kjv] is only used twice in the entire bible: psalms 107:16 and Isaiah 45.

Isaiah 45
1 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron

However, the Hebrew word for brass actually refers to bronze.  This Hebrew word is used 10 times in the bible, all in the old testament.

What do history, metallurgy and nutrition have in common?

There are 3 different metals known as the red metals:

  • Copper
  • Brass [copper + zinc]
  • Bronze [copper + tin and other materials]

 

Copper Ore

Copper Ore

 

Copper is one of the few metals that occur in nature in directly usable metallic form [native metals] as opposed to needing extraction from an ore. This led to very early human use.

An alloy is a metal made by combining two or more metallic elements, especially to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion, so brass and bronze are alloys.

Bronze is harder than copper [and even pure iron!], easier to melt and pour into molds and is far more resistant to corrosion.

It was used in making weapons, statues and ornaments.

Its interesting that in both Psalms 107:16 and Isaiah 45:2, brass [bronze] is mentioned first, then iron second.

This is historically accurate since the bronze age occurred before the iron age because extracting iron from iron ore is much more complex and expensive than just using copper directly.

Furthermore, if only 2% to as low as 0.002% carbon is combined with iron, they make steel, which is a metal alloy that has different characteristics than iron.

From a nutritional point of view, copper and iron are essential minerals.

Without copper in the diet, iron cannot even be absorbed, so copper is a prerequisite for iron absorption and that is why its listed before iron.

Thus, from historical, metallurgical and nutritional viewpoints, the order of the words bronze [which is almost all copper] and iron in Psalms 107:16 are perfect.

Since history, metals and nutrition are either mentioned or related to this verse, this is what they all have in common.

 

The gates of Babylon

Gates of bronze could easily be a description of the gates holding the prisoners in a prison, but could also be a figurative description of the gates that were around the city of Babylon, since the Israelites were held captive in the city of Babylon as well.

Ancient biblical cities had a protective wall around them and metal gates would guard the entrances.

Herodotus, the first great Greek historian, said to be the father of history, said the walls of Babylon where 50 meters thick and 100 meters high with tunnels inside that could carry horses and chariots!

Although it has been said that there were 100 gates guarding Babylon, with 25 on each side, archeologists so far have only found 8.

Nevertheless, these gates were made of bronze and often were covered with large plates of iron, making them virtually impenetrable.

Thus when God broke these gates, the Israelites were finally freed from their bondage as prophesied in the old testament, 70 years after they were captured.

"The Walls of Babylon and the Temple of Bel (Or Babel)", by 19th-century illustrator William Simpson— influenced by early archaeological investigations.

“The Walls of Babylon and the Temple of Bel (Or Babel)”, by 19th-century illustrator William Simpson— influenced by early archaeological investigations.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Psalms 107, part 4: trouble, cry, deliverance, praise;

Welcome to part 4 of this series on Psalms 107!

Psalms 107
10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
15 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

Help

Ironically, help for the Israelites was just around the corner, but they didn’t see it right away.

Psalms 107:12
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.

Contrary to what verse 12 literally says, God himself didn’t bring down the Israelite’s hearts!

How do we know?

Because verse 12 has the figure of speech called a Hebrew idiom of permission which actually means God allowed their hearts to be brought down as a consequence of their freedom of will to be rebellious against the words of God.

A very important distinction.

But was there really none to help?!

There were no people to help because they were being held captive by their enemy in Babylon.

Sometimes people can’t or won’t help, but what about other sources, like God?

Psalms 46
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

 

Psalm 119:165
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

 

Both Psalms 107 and Psalms 119 are in the last book or section of Psalms with the main context being the word of God.

The word “offend” is used 14 times in the old testament and is often translated “stumblingblock”.

Since the Israelites spiritually stumbled 4 times in Psalms 107, they apparently didn’t have God’s peace.

With God as our refuge and strength and ready at a moment’s notice to help us out, we can have such strong peace that nothing blows us out of the water;  nothing can cause us to have a meltdown.

In this world of darkness and evil and lies [oh my!], how valuable is that?

Why didn’t the Israelites see God’s help?

Because rebellion is a form of unbelief.

In the Apostolic bible [a Greek translation of the old & new testaments], the word “help” in Psalms 46:1 is the Greek word boēthos [Strong’s #998].

This word is also used in Hebrews 13:6.

Hebrews 13 [amplified bible]
5 Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”
6 So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”

Helper definition below: [this is the only place this word is used in the New Testament].

HELPS Word-studies
998 boēthós (a masculine noun) – a helper bringing the right aid in time, i.e. to meet an urgent, real need. See 997 (boētheō)

Root word of #998 above:

Strong’s Concordance #997
boétheó: to come to the aid of
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (bo-ay-theh’-o)
Definition: I come to the rescue of, come to help, help.

HELPS Word-studies
997 boēthéō(from 995 /boḗ, “intense exclamation” and theō, “run”) – properly, to run and meet an urgent distress-call (cry for help); to deliver help, quickly responding to an urgent need (intense distress).

997 /boēthéō (“supply urgently needed help”) means to give immediate aid, in time, for a great need – i.e. “to run, on a call to help” (TDNT, 1:628).

[997 (boēthéō) was originally a military word, responding to a critical, urgent need (MM). 997 (boēthéō) is also used in Homeric Greek (800-900 bc) for responding to a war-cry.]

Significantly, this root word boetheo is used 8 times in the bible.

Biblically, eight is the number of a new beginning, like for the Israelites in Psalms 107 when they cried to God for help and got deliverance several different times.

It certainly is a new beginning in our lives when God quickly responds to an urgent call for help!

Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to have access to this?

The chain of deliverance in Hebrews

  • Hebrews 4: the energized word
  • Hebrews 11: believing
  • Hebrews 13: help is on the way!

 

Break free from the bondage of the world with the power of God in manifestation.

Break free from the bondage of the world with the power of God in manifestation.

 

The reason we’re going into this is to understand the background of the Lord being our helper in Hebrews 13:6 a bit deeper.

The orderly arrangement of the words in the word, as well as the subjects in the word, are always perfect.

We must first understand the true nature of God’s word  [this is only one tiny aspect of it] in order to see how the whole picture works.

Hebrews 4:12 [amplified bible]
For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Once we have the living and active word of God, it must be mixed with believing in order to see the results in our lives.

Hebrews 4:2
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith [believing] in them that heard it.

The word “faith” in verse 2 comes from the Greek word pistis, which is better translated believing.

Look at this definition of “mixed”!

HELPS Word-studies
4786 sygkeránnymi (from 4862 /sýn, “identified with,” intensifying 2767 /keránnymi, “mix into a new and improved compound”) – properly, mix together into a superior compound – “a holistic blend” (unified whole) where the parts work together synergistically [the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements].

This is also very similar to the definition of God’s peace, which is one of the necessary ingredients of believing!

Romans 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost [the gift of holy spirit in operation].

Definition of peace:

Strong’s Concordance #1515
eiréné: one, peace, quietness, rest.
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (i-ray’-nay)
Definition: peace, peace of mind; invocation of peace a common Jewish farewell, in the Hebraistic sense of the health (welfare) of an individual.

HELPS Word-studies
1515 eirḗnē (from eirō, “to join, tie together into a whole”) – properly, wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God’s gift of wholeness).

When we have all the parts of our mind synchronized like a well-tuned engine, we have joy and peace in believing the living and energetic word of God, resulting in a new beginning for us because God responds to our call for help!
Contrast this with anxiety!

Philippians 4:6
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Definition of careful:

Strong’s Concordance #3309
merimnaó: to be anxious, to care for
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (mer-im-nah’-o)
Definition: I am over-anxious; with acc: I am anxious about, distracted; I care for.

HELPS Word-studies
3309 merimnáō (from 3308 /mérimna, “a part, as opposed to the whole”) – properly, drawn in opposite directions; “divided into parts” (A. T. Robertson); (figuratively) “to go to pieces” because pulled apart (in different directions), like the force exerted by sinful anxiety (worry). Positively, 3309 (merimnáō) is used of effectively distributing concern, in proper relation to the whole picture (cf. 1 Cor 12:25; Phil 2:20).

3809 (merimnaō ) is “an old verb for worry and anxiety – literally, to be divided, distracted” (WP, 2, 156). It is more commonly used in this negative sense in the NT.

Anxiety opposes God’s peace and mixing believing with God’s word.

This is why anxiety is one of the 4 forms of weak believing that Jesus Christ corrected his disciples on.

In Matthew 6 alone, there are instructions to not be anxious 5 times!

Matthew 6
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought [merimnaō – don’t be anxious] for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment [clothing]?
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith [believing]?

Jesus’ disciples had weak believing because of anxiety.

So below is an overview of believing, peace and anxiety.

Mixed [with believing]: “a holistic blend” (unified whole) where the parts work together synergistically.
Hebrews 4:2
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith [believing] in them that heard it.

Peace: when all essential parts of our mind are joined together
Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Anxiety: areas of our mind drawn in opposite directions; “divided into parts” = weak believing
Matthew 12
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

 

The distracted mind is the defeated mind.

 

This is why we must guard our hearts from the ungodly influences of the world so that it doesn’t divide up our mind against itself.

Below is Psalms 119:165 again, but illuminated with the new light of understanding from the New Testament regarding believing, anxiety and God’s peace.

Psalm 119:165
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Philippians 4 [amplified bible]
6 Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Now we better understand why those who love the law of God [his word] can maintain their peace and fellowship with God, even during times of persecution.

The mustard seed of believing

The record below is about a man who brought to the disciples his son who was possessed with a devil spirit, but they couldn’t cast it out, but Jesus Christ did.

Matthew 17
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith [believing] as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Definition of “mustard”:

HELPS Word-studies
4615 sínapi – a mustard plant (“tree”), always used in connection with its seed (the smallest of all Palestinian seeds in common use).
[The mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds that a Palestinian farmer would sow in his field. A mustard plant reaches a height of three meters (about ten feet). This is a huge plant when fully matured and bears very tiny seeds.]

 

mustard-bush

mustard-bush

 

 

Just as a tiny percentage of carbon [0.002% to 2.1%] mixed with iron produces a new and improved compound [steel, which can be up to 1,000% harder!], a tiny mustard seed of believing mixed with God’s living and energetic word can move a mountain-sized problem and give you a new and superior quality of life.

 

Galatians 5:9
A little leaven [yeast] leaveneth the whole lump [loaf].

This principle works both positively and negatively.

The reason that only a tiny mustard seed of believing can move a mountain is because it’s energized by God’s infinite love.

Galatians 5:6
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith [believing] which worketh by love.

“Worketh” comes from the Greek word energeo and means energized.

BELIEVING AND PRAYER

Hebrews 11:1 [amplified bible]
Now faith [believing] is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

Below are some verses on believing that can help us individually and enable us to help others as well:

Mark 11:24
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Luke 22:32
But I [Jesus Christ] have prayed for thee, that thy faith [believing] fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

We can pray for others that their believing succeeds.

1 Thessalonians 3:10
Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith [believing]?

James 5:15
And the prayer of faith [believing] shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Believing the word = speaking the word!

Psalms 116
9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:

2 Corinthians 4:13
We having the same spirit of faith [believing], according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Luke 6:45
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

This is where receiving, retaining, and releasing the word of God will cause us to grow abundantly in his grace, strength and love.

Ephesians 4:15
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Want to take your believing up to the next level by speaking the words of God?

Try speaking in tongues! [after all, there’s *only* 18 benefits!]

I Corinthians 12:3 [The Living Bible (TLB)]
But now you are meeting people who claim to speak messages from the Spirit of God. How can you know whether they are really inspired by God or whether they are fakes? Here is the test: no one speaking by the power of the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” and really mean it, unless the Holy Spirit is helping him.

Let’s clarify and summarize the Hebrews chain of deliverance:

  1. Hebrews 4: We start with the rightly-divided, living and energized word of God
  2. Hebrews 4: Mix it with a tiny mustard seed of believing
  3. Galatians 5: Which is energized by God’s infinite and perfect love
  4. Hebrews 11: Believing without actions is dead [James 2].  Believing = speaking the words of God, either by our 5-senses knowledge of the word or by operating the manifestations of holy spirit
  5. Hebrews 13: While keeping idolatry at bay, we can boldly say the Lord is our helper and we receive deliverance from all our troubles.

Psalms 107
13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
15 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

By crying unto God, with only a mustard seed of believing left, the Israelites were speaking God’s deliverance into their lives, once again tasting how truly good the Lord’s grace and mercy is.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Psalms 107: part 3; trouble, cry, deliverance, praise, repeat

Now we tackle the second section of Psalms 107!

 

Psalms 107
10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
15 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

What do these 3 aspects of verse 10 mean?

  • Sitting in darkness
  • Shadow of death
  • Bound in affliction and iron

 

Sit in Darkness
Psalms 107:10
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

 

The phrase “sit in darkness” occurs only 4 times in the bible: in Psalms 107:10 and the following passages:

Isaiah 42

6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

 

In verse 7, the root word prison is used 3 times in the same verse that talks about the prisoners sitting in darkness, so based upon this context, Psalms 107:10 is about prisoners in a dark prison cell.

 

Micah 7
7 Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.
9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

 

Verse 7 in Micah mentions his enemy, so now its about being captured in an enemies’ prison cell.

 

Luke 1
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
God has already rescued us from the power of darkness and placed us in his glorious light through the redeeming works of Jesus Christ!

Acts 26:18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Shadow of Death

 

Valley of the shadow of death

Valley of the shadow of death

 

Psalms 107:10
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

The phrase “shadow of death” occurs 19 times in the bible [17x in the OT & 2 in the gospels].  2 of them [10.5%] are right here in Psalms 107.

This means that whatever happened from the day of Pentecost in 28A.D. and onward annihilated the shadow of death.

Although the Israelites were prisoners of war in captivity in Babylon, there are mental prisons too.

Hebrews 2
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Once again, Jesus Christ did his job right!

1 John 3:8
…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Luke 4
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Since death isn’t a physical, tangible object, you can’t literally shine physical light on it.  Therefore, it’s literally impossible for death to have a shadow.

That doesn’t mean the bible is wrong;  it means that the phrase “shadow of death” has to be a figure of speech.

 Bound in affliction and iron;
Psalms 107:10
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

 

Psalms 105:
17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:This is talking about being bound up in metal chains and shackles.

 

Psalms 107
10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.

When you put all the phrases of Psalms 107:10 & 12 together, based upon their usages in the bible [and all the commentaries are in agreement with this], plus history, you have a description of the Israelites being in their enemies’ captivity for 70 years in Babylon [According to E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Reference Bible: 489BC to 419BC, although other sources give different dates].

The Israelites were in a dark prison cell, bound with iron chains, subjected to heavy labor and maltreatment.

This is why nobody would help them.

Although we don’t know exactly what the prisons were like in ancient Babylon, the Mamertine prison in Rome gives us a general idea.

Mamertine prison in Rome.

Mamertine prison in Rome.

 From www.ancient-origins.net

“The Architecture of Mamertine Prison

Between 600 and 500 BC, Mamertine was constructed as a cistern for a spring in the floor. Once the site was converted into a jail, two cells were created one on top of the other.

Modern steps now lead down to the upper level of the prison which is at the original ground level of ancient Rome and thought to date back to the 2nd century BC. The upper room of the prison is trapezoidal in shape, the walls are made of blocks of tufa [a type of porous limestone], and there is a plaque on the right side naming some of the more famous prisoners and listing how and when each one died.

A second plaque names the martyrs and saints who were held here along with the names of their persecutors. In the back is an altar with the busts of Saints Peter and Paul.

The circular, lower room of the jail, known as the Tullianum, is named after its builder, Servius Tullius, from the 6th century BC. This “dungeon” was located within a sewer system below the city and could only be reached by being lowered through a hole in the floor, now covered by a metal gate.

At the top, there is a stone said to have the imprint of St. Peter’s head from when he was hurled down into the room. The Tullianum was the most inner and secret part of the complex and served not as a place of punishment or torture but of detention and execution for condemned criminals.

The ancient historian Sallust said it was twelve feet underground and described its appearance as: “ disgusting and vile by reason of the filth, the darkness and the stench.”

It was in this room, measuring 6.5 feet (2 meters) high, 30 feet (9 meters) long and 22 feet (6.7 meters) wide, that prisoners who had been condemned to die, either by strangulation or starvation, awaited their fate. An iron door at the end of the chamber opened to the Cloaca Maxima (the city’s main sewer), where dead bodies are said to have been dumped into the Tiber River.”

This looks like a mighty high price to pay for rebelling against God’s word, don’t you think?

God wasn’t punishing them; they reaped what they sowed.

Galatians 6
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Maybe this is why God tells us in the bible to trust him *only* 105 times.

 

Fortunately, as Jeremiah 29 says, all was not horrible for them.

 

Although they were still held captive by their enemies, they could still do a number of things:
Jeremiah 29
4 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;
5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.
7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

 

 Rebellion
This is the spiritual reason the Israelites were held captive by their enemies in Babylon.

 

Psalms 107:11
“Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High”:

 

Here is the definition of rebelled:

Brown-Driver-Briggs
Verb: to be contentious, refractory, rebellious

Rebel [from www.dictionary.com]
verb (used without object), rebel, rebelled, rebelling.
5. to reject, resist, or rise in arms against one’s government or ruler.
6. to resist or rise against some authority, control, or tradition.
7. to show or feel utter repugnance: His very soul rebelled at spanking the child.

Refractory definition: [from www.dictionary.com]
adjective
1. hard or impossible to manage; stubbornly disobedient: a refractory child.
2. resisting ordinary methods of treatment.
3. difficult to fuse, reduce, or work, as an ore or metal.

contemned = contempt

Definition of contempt [from www.dictionary.com]
noun
1. the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.
2. the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace.
3. Law.

a) willful disobedience to or open disrespect for the rules or orders of a court (contempt of court) or legislative body.
b) an act showing such disrespect.

Just as there are consequences for rebelling against legal laws, there are consequences for rebelling against spiritual laws also.

The word rebel [verb] is used 4 times in Psalms 106, translated “provoked”.

Here is just one of those usages.

Psalms 106
43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:
45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
46 He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.
47 Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
48 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord.

Look at the unfathomable mercy of the Lord!!

Despite all the Israelites repeated rebellion, he still saved them!

No wonder all 26 verses of Psalms 136 end with the phrase “for his mercy endureth for ever“!   Verse 24 is particularly relevant to the Israelites.

Psalms 136:24
And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
God, through the perfect works of Jesus Christ, has redeemed us from our spiritual enemy the devil, the God of this world.

Galatians 3:13
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Ephesians 1:7
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

A perfect example of rebellion against God is in I Kings 13.  Its a great record, but time and space prohibit going over the entire event.

God has foreknowledge, so since he knows what’s going to happen before it occurs, he can point us in a safe direction.

However, if we decide to do our own will, then there may be consequences.

I Kings 13:26

And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him.

The usage of the word lion is significant because there are physical and spiritual lions.

I Peter 5
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Amen!

This wraps up the third article on Psalms 107.

God bless you all.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Psalms 107, part 2: Trouble. Cry. Deliverance. Praise. Repeat.

Psalms 107
6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
7 And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Look at the great love and compassion and mercy of God!

Psalm 9:9
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Psalms 27 [amplified bible]
5 For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.
6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, In His tent I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Psalms 34:17
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

Contrast this with the Israelites in Jeremiah’s time!

Jeremiah 11:14
Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.

They were in such bad shape that God told the prophet Jeremiah not to even pray for his people!

They were so deep in darkness that God would not hear them in their time of trouble.

Want to know how to avoid this?

Avoid idolatry – putting anything above God.

Jeremiah 11
9 And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.
11 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.
12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.
13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.

 

Worshiping the golden calf they made with their own hands.

Worshiping the golden calf they made with their own hands.

 

There’s a lot of issues to learn here, so we will tackle them one by one.

In verse 9, look what the Lord revealed to Jeremiah the prophet.

“A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem”.

What is a conspiracy? [from www.dictionary.com]

noun, plural conspiracies.
1. the act of conspiring.
2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

So a conspiracy is simply a group of people with an evil plan to spiritually corrupt Israel and/or overthrow the leadership.

The old testament was written for us to learn from.

There are all kinds of secret evil things going on in our world today that you would not believe even if I told you…

Yet the bible tells us about them so that we don’t get deceived by them and can take appropriate actions with God’s wisdom in order to be victorious.

The evil conspiracies usually come from the same people that seduced the Israelites into darkness, idolatry and error.

Deuteronomy 13:13
Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

John 3 sheds some light on this.

John 3:19
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

I John 4
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

This is why we can be victorious in all categories of life.

Now look at verse 10!

They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.

Once again, God’s word sheds more light of understanding on this situation.

Proverbs 28:9
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

This is why these Israelites’ prayer went unanswered:

  • They loved darkness instead of God’s light
  • They were into idolatry instead of worshiping the one true God
  • They rejected God’s word.

Actions speak louder than words.

Now look at verse 11 of Jeremiah 11.

Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.

“I will bring evil upon them”.

It’s misunderstanding verses like this one that cause people to accuse God of evil.

 

In the old testament, when you read verses about God doing evil things to people, it’s the figure of speech called a Hebrew idiom of permission.  It means that God isn’t actually doing the evil thing, but is allowing it to happen because people reap what they sow.

 

Galatians 6
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

People in the old testament didn’t know much about the devil yet because Jesus Christ hadn’t yet come to expose and legally defeat the devil, so they simply knew that God allowed evil things to occur, which means that since the Lord allowed bad things to happen, he wasn’t the actual cause of the evil.

Jeremiah 11:11
Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.

Contrast them not being able to escape their troubles with this verse!

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer [allow] you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

James 1:13
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

 

Trust in God and his word: He makes a way to escape

Don’t trust in God and his word: no way to escape

 

Psalms 107:6
Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

How to get God’s deliverance!

This word “deliverance” in the Septuagint [the Greek translation of the old testament] means to rescue.

The following verses are where its used in the New Testament.

II Corinthians 1
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

God’s deliverance is:

  • Past
  • Present
  • Future

That covers all eternity!

God has also rescued us from the power of darkness.

That means his power is much greater than the power of the devil, who is darkness.

Colossians 1
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [adequate] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

There’s proof of future deliverance: rescued from the wrath to come.   That’s all the terrible things that will happen in the book of Revelation that will never happen to us because we trust in God and his word.

I Thessalonians 1:10
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

God rescued the apostle Paul from all kinds of persecutions!

II Timothy 3
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Since God rescued the Israelites out of their troubles in the old testament, he can rescue us too.

God led the Israelites in the right way!

Psalms 107:7
And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.

The phrase “right way” only occurs 5 times in the bible and implies that there is a wrong way.

II Peter 2:15
Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

 

God gives everybody freedom of will.  Make the right choice.

 

Joshua 24:15
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Fast-forward to 28A.D.,  the day of Pentecost, the first time it was available to be born again of the spirit of God.

It is the final result of everything Jesus Christ accomplished.

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus Christ is the true and living way, as opposed to a false and dead way.

Nobody in their right mind would choose a false and dead way, so if they do choose to go that way, it has to be by deception from the devil.

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice…

Those are some of the words of a song I know.

Psalms 107
8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

The Israelites knew what God had done for them and they showed thankfulness to God by praising him.

In verse 8, “goodness” comes from the Hebrew word checed  and means loving-kindness which is:

  • Abundant
  • Great in extent
  • Everlasting.

In the Septuagint [the Greek translation of the old testament], it is “mercy” as it is defined by loyalty to God’s covenant.

In other words, God stays faithful to the promises in his word no matter what.

Here are some new testament usages of this word mercy:

Matthew 23:23
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith [believing]: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Luke 1
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalms 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

 

Ephesians 2
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Mercy is also one of the ingredients of God’s wisdom.

James 3
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

If we are thankful to God for all he has done for us, then we will praise him!

 

What are the wonderful works of God?

Psalms 107
8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

“Wonderful works” is the Hebrew word pala: to be surpassing or extraordinary.

In Exodus, its translated “marvels”.

Exodus 34:10
And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible [King James old english: awesome] thing that I will do with thee.

Psalm 40:5
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

God has done so many great things:

  • Created the universe that is so vast and advanced that even after studying it for hundreds of years, we still haven’t even scratched the surface and nobody can fully comprehend it
  • Made the human body, which is the most advanced physical being ever; we will never fully understand how it all works, especially the brain
  • How God works in our daily lives, who can do things that we will never figure out how it all worked together

In Psalms 107:8, the words “wonderful works” in the Septuagint [the Greek translation of the old testament], it is the Greek word thaumasia, which is only used one time in the new testament bible:

Matthew 21
12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

Jesus Christ did many wonderful things that nobody in the history of man ever did.

They certainly could be described as “surpassing or extraordinary“.

Jesus Christ:

  • Walked on water twice
  • Turned water into wine
  • Was the first person able to cast devil spirits out of people
  • Was resurrected in a spiritual body
  • He instantly healed countless people of their diseases
  • countless other great things

Below are 2 things in the bible that I know have surpassing excellence:

Ephesians 3:19 [amplified bible]
and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].

Philippians 4:7 [New English Translation]
And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Acts 2:11
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

“wonderful works” is the Greek word megaleios: magnificent, splendid;

Acts 2:11 is the only place in the entire bible that this word is used, making it uniquely significant, just like the wonderful works of God.

Psalms 107:9
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Nothing really satisfies like the Word of God.

Only the bible has the truth and profound meaning about all of life.

II Peter 1
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

First and second Peter are the only places in the bible where grace [unmerited divine favor] and peace are multiplied to believers!

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Psalms 107, part 1: Trouble. Cry. Deliverance. Praise. Repeat.

We’ve all been there, done that, right?

So have the Israelites.

In Psalms 107 to be exact.

This is because human nature hasn’t changed and God’s word has everything that pertains to life and Godliness.

The symmetry, details, precision and amazing insights of the bible are as profound as they get.

Not to mention free eternal life, a free spiritual body, hope, love, grace, etc…

That’s why the bible is still the best-selling book of all time, despite the fact that millions upon millions of people still don’t understand it.

Yet it’s the will of God that we clearly understand it.

Nehemiah 8:8
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

There IS a way to find out how to understand the bible.

That’s where this teaching comes in.

How to understand the book of psalms, especially psalms 107.

What is a psalm?

British Dictionary definitions for Psalm
noun
1. (often capital) any of the 150 sacred songs, lyric poems, and prayers that together constitute a book (Psalms) of the Old Testament
2. a musical setting of one of these poems
3. any sacred song or hymn

Prayers and poems and songs, Oh My!

Oh my, how the wonderful psalms can heal our heart!

All the psalms are deeply interwoven with and correspond to the Pentateuch, the name of the first 5 books of the bible [Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy], adding a breath-taking layer of profound truth to ponder.

Yet [by chapter count] Psalm 107, being just 1 of 150 Psalms, is only 2/3 of one percent of the book of Psalms, which alone is 12% of the bible!

This is why he magnified it above his name.

Psalms 138:2
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

This is also why this verse is where it is: because it’s in the 5th book of psalms which is all about God and his word!

 

Screenshot: Companion reference bible; the structure of psalms

Screenshot: Companion reference bible; the structure of psalms

 

Zooming in on the structure of the fifth book or section of Psalms reveals its theme and foundational psalms – 107.

 

Screenshot of the companion reference bible on the structure of Psalms 107 - 150.

Screenshot of the companion reference bible on the structure of Psalms 107 – 150.

 

Matthew 4:4
But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Jesus Christ knew of the healing from God’s word.  That is why he taught it all over the place and why we should too.

Just one screenshot reveals the structure, subject, and summary of Psalms 107 and enables us to get a true view in an instant.

Where else can we find such gems of truth?

 

Screenshot of Companion reference bible; structure of psalms 107

Screenshot of Companion reference bible; structure of Psalms 107

 

One of the many advantages of figures of speech is that they eliminate:

  1. Personal opinions
  2. Educational or man-made theologies
  3. Denominational bias
  4. Can avoid conflicts over the true meaning of Scripture [as long as there is meekness and humbleness to God’s word]

allowing us to get to the true word of God like no other.

 

What details lie ahead for us?

 

 

The revealing structure and meaning of Psalms 107.

The revealing structure and meaning of Psalms 107.

 

Seduction in the desert, anyone?

Psalms 107:4
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.

Definition of “wandered”:

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
cause to go astray, deceive, dissemble, cause to, make to err, seduce

A primitive root; to vacillate, i.e. Reel or stray (literally or figuratively); also causative of both — (cause to) go astray, deceive, dissemble, (cause to, make to) err, pant, seduce, (make to) stagger, (cause to) wander, be out of the way.

The 3 words “in a solitary” in the kjv is the Hebrew word Yeshimon and means waste; wilderness; a desolation; a desert.

Spiritually, the devil has made the world a wilderness through deception, confusion, and darkness.

Isaiah 14:17
That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

Jeremiah has the answer as to why the Israelites were where they were spiritually.

Jeremiah 17
5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

So the Israelites were spiritually seduced in the desert, but by whom and why?

The following screenshot of the Companion Reference bible on Deuteronomy 13 has all the answers.

 

The spiritual seduction of the Israelites by sons of the devil.

The spiritual seduction of the Israelites by sons of the devil.

 

It’s significant to note that the 3 types of seductions listed in Deuteronomy 13 are also 3 of the 8 perils mentioned in part 5 of my article on the 7 types of attacks against us in Romans 8:35!

II Corinthians 11:26
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

Here is who seduced the Israelites.

Deuteronomy 13:13 [kjv]
Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

Belial comes from a Hebrew word beliyyaal [Strong’s #1100]: and means “worthlessness” and is in reference to people who have sold their soul to the devil. They are literally sons of the devil, impregnated with his corrupt spiritual seed.

That’s why they are worthless in God’s eyes.

That’s why the NASB translates the verse like it does.

Deuteronomy 13:13  [New American Standard Bible]
Some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom you have not known).

Now let’s go deeper into this seduction and get another key to the puzzle.

A key that unlocks the door of understanding God’s word.

2 Corinthians 11:3
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Definition of “beguiled”:

Greek word: exapatao [Strong’s #1818]: to seduce wholly, deceive

So here’s the chain of seduction in chronological order:

  1. In Genesis 3, the devil seduced Eve [who took Adam with her] and became Satan, the God of this world.
  2. As God of this world, Satan seduced men to become his sons, [sons of belial]
  3. These sons of Belial were leaders [often religious] and seduced the Israelites into a spiritual wasteland.

Why were they seduced in the first place?

 

Because the spiritual seduction contradicted the very first commandment of God to the Israelites.

Exodus 20:3
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Contradicting the will of God [the bible] is one of the devil’s methods to cause doubt [which breaks down believing], confusion and every evil work.

In my article on how Bruce Jenner went from the 1976 Olympic decathlon winner to become a transvestite,  the first thing the devil did was to seduce the believers away from worshiping God, which is by speaking in tongues.

There’s nothing new under the sun.

Secondly, the devil wants worship.

Luke 4
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

 

Psalms 107:5
Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.

Not only is this talking about physical hunger and thirst, but spiritual.

The word of God wasn’t in their hearts.  That is why they trusted in man instead of God.

In part 5 of the 7 attacks against us series, we learned that the Apostle Paul was victorious in all 8 different kinds of perils, which included perils in the wilderness [geographically and spiritually].

Look what God did for Israel!

  • God fed Israel in the wilderness
  • God blessed Israel in the wilderness
  • God led Israel through the wilderness

Since he did this for his adopted sons under the bondage of the old testament law, what can he do for us, his first-born sons in the age of grace?

 

Map of the wilderness of Paran.

Map of the wilderness of Paran.

 

They cried unto the Lord

Psalms 107
6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
7 And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Fortunately, the Israelites still had half a brain left and looked to their heavenly father for help in their time of distress.

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

The Israelites still had a hunger and thirst for God and his righteousness, so they sought after God.

Matthew 6:33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

If we seek God’s righteousness instead of our own counterfeit righteousness, look at the blessings!

This takes meekness and humbleness.

Arrogance or pride will only lead you in the wrong direction with negative consequences that are guaranteed to follow.

Proverbs 28:26
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

In Psalms 107:6, the word “cried” is significant.

In the Septuagint [the Greek translation of the Old Testament], it’s the Greek word krazon [Strong’s #2896].

Look where it’s used in the new testament!

Romans 8:15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

 

Screenshot of Companion Reference bible; Notes on Romans 8:15; sonship, not adoption

Screenshot of Companion Reference bible; Notes on Romans 8:15; sonship, not adoption

 

It is evident that the context is talking about sonship by birth, not by adoption.

Romans 8
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Look at the definition of “abba” in the screenshot below.

Screenshot: definition of abba, used only 3 times in the new testament.

Screenshot: definition of abba, used only 3 times in the new testament.

 

In the context, crying “Abba Father” is worshiping God by manifesting the gift of holy spirit, which can only be done by speaking in tongues.

After the Israelites wandered around in the wilderness, hungry and thirsty, the first thing they did was cry to God for help.

In our times of trouble, we should do the same.

“Abba” is only used 3 times in the entire bible.

Galatians 4:6
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Jesus Christ is our intercessor between God and us which has the power to turn our negative situations around.

Romans 8
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [infirmity]: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

In verse 26, “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” is our gift of holy spirit [the Christ in us] communicating directly with God because we decided to speak in tongues so that our circumstances can come out for the better.

What a lever of power we have!

In part 2 next month, we will look at our deliverance, praising God and other deep insights of Psalms 107.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

7 attacks: sword, summary and conclusion

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Sword: 

Strong’s Concordance #3162
machaira: a short sword or dagger
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (makh’-ahee-rah)
Definition: a sword.

HELPS Word-studies
3162 máχaira – properly, a slaughter-knife; a short sword or dagger mainly used for stabbing; (figuratively) an instrument for exacting retribution.

In the bible, there are both physical and spiritual swords.

The physical ones were used in countless battles in the old testament and one of the obvious purposes is to kill somebody.  But another purpose is to separate things.

If you are slicing up a big slab of meat or a big fish, what is the result?

You now have several smaller pieces suitable for cooking or storing in a freezer.

In other words, the sword or knife causes division because it divides up a big piece into many smaller pieces.

This has huge implications with regards to spiritual swords.

The spiritual ones are mentioned throughout the bible so that we can be aware and take appropriate action.

Job 19:2
How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?

Psalms 55:21
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Psalms 57:4
My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Psalms 59:7
Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?

Psalms 64:3
Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:

Isaiah 49:2
And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;

Just as a reminder, this is how the 7 different types of attack stack up.

How to conquer: 

Swords are symbolic of war and death, but God can deliver us from both.

Hebrews 2
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Psalm 18:34
He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Psalm 27:3
Though an host [army] should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

Even in the old testament, without the name of Jesus Christ, believers could still be confident in their battles, so what about us?

Joshua 23:10
One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.

Colossians 2:15
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Jesus Christ decisively defeated the devil.  We have Christ in us, so we can defeat him too.

Psalms 55
16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.
17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.
19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.
21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
23 But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.

How to defeat the spiritual swords in the spiritual competition

As an athlete of the spirit, we can quench the fiery darts of the wicked, which come in the form of words and images that contradict God’s word.

Ephesians 6:16
Above all, taking the shield of faith [believing], wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Robert Garrett, throwing the discus in the 1896 summer Olympics

Robert Garrett, throwing the discus in the 1896 summer Olympics

 

As a spiritual athlete of God, we have both defensive and offensive equipment to use against our spiritual foe, the devil.

The word of God is our weapon of choice.

II Corinthians 10
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Hebrews 4:12 [amplified bible]
For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.

I John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

I John 5
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith [believing].
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

In Ephesians, when it talks about being an athlete and quenching the fiery darts of the wicked, it’s referring to evil words, [swords] that have devil spirit power.

Since Ephesians is based on Romans, a prerequisite to defeating the swords of the adversary, the devil, is to claim our 5 sonship rights:

  1. Redemption
  2. Justification
  3. Righteousness
  4. Sanctification
  5. Word and ministry of reconciliation

The key is to compare what has been said with the word of God.  If there is a contradiction, then we don’t believe the false words and discard them.

 

SUMMARY

Part 1: 

Here we saw a unique overview of Romans 8 with several different figures of speech of structure.

“Their objective is to precisely and deliberately deviate from the normal pattern of grammatical rules in a specific and documented way.

The purpose of figures of speech is to reveal what is most important in God’s word by emphasizing a particular word or phrase, a verse, a whole group of verses, or even an entire book of the bible or perhaps just a concept.

Figures of speech eliminate a trainload of confusion and conflict about what any given bible verse really means”.

The precision, symmetry, and correspondence of the structural figures of speech demonstrate the deeper and more profound meaning of scripture in a unique and powerful way.

There are 9 rhetorical questions in Romans 8 that makes an indelible impact on us due to the unfathomable goodness of our God!

“Here is the final version so we can feel the real impact of what God has done for us:

  1. What shall we then say to these things?
  2. If God be for us, who can be against us?
  3. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
  4. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?
  5. Is it God that justifieth?!
  6. Who is he that condemneth?
  7. Is it Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us?!
  8. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
  9. Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

The number 9 in the bible is the number of finality and judgment.   God’s final judgment is that we are justified in his sight and nothing shall separate us from his perfect and eternal love”.

Part 2: 

In part 2, we saw that both tribulation and distress were fundamentally the same, except that distress was a more intense version of tribulation [mental stress or pressure].

One of the purposes of stress is to break down our believing by stealing our peace.

How to deal with pressure is shown in the infographic below.

How to process stress and distress in Romans 8:35

How to process stress and distress in Romans 8:35

Some forms of stress are temptations and being with toxic people.

Stress can be overcome with God’s peace, wisdom, the comfort of his word and operating the manifestations of holy spirit, producing the 9 fruit of the spirit.

Part 3:

Part 3 deals with persecution and famine.

We can overcome these by believing God to change the situation itself, or by changing the meaning of the attack.  In other words, to change our attitude about it.

It’s important to walk in God’s perfect love and cast out all fear so that we can have strong believing for the situation to change by God’s grace, wisdom and mercy.

Acts 5:41 says: “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name”.

God can deliver us from any persecution or famine that may arise.

Psalms 33:19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Famines, wars and diseases are spiritually caused by idolatry and evil practices of the people.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid with Romans 8:35 overlay

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid with Romans 8:35 overlay

The 7 attacks against us were overlaid against Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid to better illustrate how they operate.

  • The first thing attacked is the spiritual realm.
  • The second thing attacked is the psychological area
  • The third thing attacked is the physical arena

Part 4: believing, love and hope.

In this part, we learned that there are 4 forms of unbelief:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Fear
  3. Doubt
  4. Confused wavering reasoning

These 4 things were successfully used against Eve in the first biblical administration in the garden of Eden to cause the fall of man.

Next, the devil attacked Eve’s love for God, which is doing his word.

Finally, the devil attacked Eve’s hope and she fell into the power of Satan, along with Adam that transferred all the power God gave to him over to the devil, so that he became the God of this world.

Part 5: nakedness and peril.

There are 2 broad categories of clothing: physical and spiritual.

Physical clothing has many purposes, but our spiritual clothing is appropriate for all occasions.

After the fall of man, Adam & Eve put physical clothes on to make up for the lack of spiritual clothes.

We must seek God first in order for him to supply all our need, which includes food and clothing.

There are 8 different categories of perils:

  1. Waters
  2. Robbers
  3. Countrymen
  4. Heathen
  5. City
  6. Wilderness
  7. Sea
  8. False brethren

Out of the 8 perils, 3 are from the environment [waters, wilderness, sea = 37.5%;  2 out of these 3 deal with some form of water] and 5 are from people [robbers, countrymen, heathen, city, false brethren = 62.5%].

It’s interesting that waters are listed as the first peril and it was the devil that made the first peril by destroying the first heaven and earth with water.

II Timothy 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

II Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Speaking of perils in the wilderness, the entire world is a spiritual wilderness, yet look what God did for Israel!

  • God fed Israel in the wilderness
  • God blessed Israel in the wilderness
  • God led Israel through the wilderness

Since he did this for his adopted sons under the bondage of the old testament, what can he do for us, his first-born sons in the age of grace?

CONCLUSION

 

 

There are 7 categories of ways the world can attack us, but with all of God’s resources at hand, we can consistently be ready and defeat them all.

Romans 8
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Stay rooted and grounded in love.

Ephesians 3
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

7 attacks against us: nakedness and peril; part 5

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Nakedness: 

[root word]

Strong’s Concordance #1131
gumnos: naked, poorly clothed
Part of Speech: Adjective
Phonetic Spelling: (goom-nos’)
Definition: rarely: stark-naked; generally: wearing only the under-garment; bare, open, manifest; mere.

There are 2 broad categories of clothing: physical and spiritual.

Let’s cover the physical first.

We need to know the objective and purpose of clothing:

The objective is to cover some parts of or all of our body.

The purpose is manifold:

  1. Protection from:
    1. Weather
    2. Animals or Insects
    3. Environmental hazards
    4. Enemies during fights and wars
  2. Special activities [wrestling, scuba diving, managing bee hives, walking in outer space, etc]
  3. Gender differentiation
  4. Cover private parts
  5. Indicate social status or rank
  6. Identification through uniforms – an outfit or style of dress worn by the members of a given profession, organization, or rank
  7. Religion identification

We will see the importance of the purposes of clothing later on.

There is more than one meaning of the word “naked” in the bible.

  1. Physical: no clothes
  2. Safety: no protection
  3. Spiritual: no gift of holy spirit present

This example in Isaiah contains 1 & 2: physical and safety.

The phrase “naked and barefoot” occurs only 3 times in the bible and all 3 are in Isaiah 20.

Isaiah 20
2 At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
3 And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.

Here, the prophet Isaiah went physically naked for a period of 3 years in the desert as a sign and wonder to Egypt & Ethiopia.

Just imagine if you had to do that!

In Hebrew, this word naked means that all Isaiah was wearing was something like a modern-day g-string.

Egypt was deep into idolatry and paid many consequences as a result, two of which were shame and no protection against the adversary because they walked away from the Lord.

There is a spiritual nakedness also, without the gift of holy spirit.

Genesis 3:7
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Verse 7 is immediately after the fall of man when he transferred his power over to Satan.  That is when he lost the gift of holy spirit that was upon him upon a condition.

 

After the fall of man, Adam & Eve put physical clothes on to make up for the lack of spiritual clothes.

 

The first emotion that Adam felt after the fall was fear when he heard the voice of God in the garden [Genesis 3:10].

Fear contradicts the love of God and is negative believing that will bring consequences.   It’s interesting that the first born child [Cain] became a child of the devil.

Adam and Eve were spiritually naked because they no longer had the gift of holy spirit.

Adam & Eve were sons of God by adoption, not birth like we are.  Even if a Christian really screws up, they still have the spiritual incorruptible seed inside them.

But for people in the old testament, it was possible to lose their gift of holy spirit.

That’s one of the differences in the various biblical administrations.

How thankful we should be!

In this administration of grace, look what the Apostle Paul endured!

II Corinthians 11
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

How to conquer: 

If you need material clothing, keep God first.

Matthew 6 [amplified bible]
25 “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
27 And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life?
28 And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing],
29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
31 Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’
32 For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Philippians 4 [amplified bible]
12 I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need.
13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

God spiritually clothed us when we got born again.

Luke 24:49
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

The word “endued” is the Greek word enduo which means to be clothed with.

This verse in Luke is looking forward to the day of Pentecost, only 10 days away, in the year 28A.D. which occurred in the open area of the temple in Jerusalem.

Model city of temple in Jerusalem

Model city of temple in Jerusalem

Since God clothes us, that means we were spiritually naked before that point in time that God clothed us, which is when we did Romans 10:9 & 10.

The first usage of enduo in the books of the bible written directly to Christians is in Romans 13 twice [in bolded italics].

Romans 13
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

So the key here is the renewed mind, walking in the love, knowledge and wisdom of God instead of falling into the same old 5-senses routine.

Where can you go shopping for your spiritual clothing on sale?

II Corinthians 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

What is an ambassador?

Definition of ambassador at dictionary.com:
noun
1. a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative (ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary)
2. a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by a government to represent it on a temporary mission, as for negotiating a treaty.
3. a diplomatic official serving as permanent head of a country’s mission to the United Nations or some other international organization.
4. an authorized messenger or representative.
Abbreviation: Amb., amb.

What are the clothing needs of an ambassador?

Obviously wearing a pair of old worn-out blue jeans and a torn t-shirt is very inappropriate for an ambassador.

Wearing a top quality suit and tie with a vest would be more fitting.

What about the clothing needs of a wrestler?  Being dressed as if you’re going to spend a winter in northern Siberia would hinder your athletic performance significantly.

How about if you were going to work on a farm?   You would need appropriate clothing for that too.

Look at the versatility of our gift of holy spirit!

We are ambassadors for Christ; wrestlers in the spiritual competition; laborers together with God, and many other things, and yet, the one gift of holy spirit is the most appropriate spiritual clothing in every season and situation.

 

No matter what “hat” we wear, our one gift of holy spirit means we are dressed for success spiritually!

 

Colossians 2:10
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

II Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

So in Romans 8:35, when it mentions nakedness, since it’s written to believers, it can’t be referring to us without the gift of holy spirit.

Therefore, it has to do with either our lack of physical clothing, lack of protection or some other lack, which could indicate being out of fellowship with God or not believing him to meet our needs.

 

We can go shopping for our spiritual clothes in God’s Super Spiritual Clothing Store. You’ll find a custom-tailored outfit just for you.  It’s appropriate for all seasons and situations.  It’s located on aisle 10, Row 9 in the Romans section.  It is the greatest bargain of all because it cost Jesus Christ his life.

 

1 Corinthians 6:20
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Peril: 

Strong’s Concordance #2794
kindunos: danger
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (kin’-doo-nos)
Definition: danger, peril, risk.

What kind of perils are there?

II Corinthians 11:26
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

Here, Paul was in 8 different types of danger, yet God delivered him from them all, so he can rescue us as well.

I looked up all the Greek words for the different types of perils so we can have a clearer and more accurate translation:

  1.  perils of waters: Potamos – flood, river, stream, torrent;
  2.  perils of robbers: lestes (“a bandit, briard”) is a thief who also plunders and pillages – an unscrupulous marauder (malefactor), exploiting the vulnerable without hesitating to use violence.
  3. perils by mine own countrymen: genos: offspring, family, race, nation, kind
  4. perils by the heathen: ethnos: people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture; nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles (non-Jews).
  5. perils in the city: polis: city;  the first city in the bible was built by a person who was a child of the devil; Stephen, the great man of God in Acts 7, was cast out of the city and stoned to death; in Acts 13, the Judeans stirred up an entire city against Paul and Barnabas and cast them out, etc
  6. perils in the wilderness: eremia: desert or uninhabited region;  In Isaiah, Satan has made the world a [spiritual] wilderness>from wild beast;  spiritually this refers to a devil spirit.
  7. perils in the sea: thalassa: the sea; In Acts 27, Paul was shipwrecked, but survived; James 1:7 But let him ask in faith [believing], nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
  8. perils among false brethren:  pseudadelphos: a false brother;  Galatians 2:4
    “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:”  definition of privily: pareisaktos: brought in secretly
    : what is “smuggled in” by subterfuge and deceit – literally, “introduced (imported) from close beside”.

For me, if I categorize things, I can get a new and broader perspective.

Out of the 8 perils, 3 are from the environment [waters, wilderness, sea = 37.5%;  2 out of these 3 deal with some form of water] and 5 are from people [robbers, countrymen, heathen, city, false brethren = 62.5%].

2 out of the 8 deal with water.

It’s interesting that waters are listed as the first peril.

It was the devil that made the first peril by destroying the first heaven and earth with water [Genesis 1:2].

It was also the devil that caused the second peril on the earth by causing a flood in the time of Noah.

[Understanding the depth of this will be the subject of a future article].

II Peter 3:6
Whereby the world that then was [Genesis 1:1, the first heaven and earth], being overflowed with water, perished:

The book of Job, the first book of the bible written chronologically, follows a similar attack pattern consisting of people and the environment.

Because of Job’s fear, the attacks from people in Job 1 consisted of the Sabeans killing his servants and stealing his livestock and the Chaldeans stole their camels and killed more servants.

When it comes to the environment, a fire killed the sheep and servants and a storm knocked down a house, killing all of the men inside.

What does fear mean?

  1. Face
  2. Everything
  3. And
  4. Run

OR

  • Face
  • Everything
  • And
  • Rule

Make your choice.

How to conquer: 

II Timothy 3
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

II Timothy 4
17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

I Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer [allow] you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Romans 8
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [infirmity]: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

These verses are talking about speaking in tongues, which is perfect spiritual prayer to God and actually have 17 benefits listed in the bible.

Speaking of perils in the wilderness, the entire world is a spiritual wilderness, yet look what God did for Israel!

  • God fed Israel in the wilderness
  • God blessed Israel in the wilderness
  • God led Israel through the wilderness

Since he did this for his adopted sons under the bondage of the old testament, what can he do for us, his first-born sons in the age of grace?

Romans 8:29
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Exodus 16:32
And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 2:7
For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

Jeremiah 2:6
Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

7 attacks against us: part 4: believing, love & hope

Romans 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

This verse was already covered in part 2, so we’ll briefly summarize and go much farther.

The God of hope wants us to be filled “with all joy and peace in believing”, so joy and peace are essential ingredients of believing.  Therefore, if you remove joy and/or peace, you no longer have believing according to God’s word.

Definition of “peace” in Romans 15:13:
Strong’s Concordance #1515
eiréné: one, peace, quietness, rest.
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (i-ray’-nay)
Definition: peace, peace of mind; invocation of peace a common Jewish farewell, in the Hebraistic sense of the health (welfare) of an individual.

HELPS Word-studies
1515 eirḗnē (from eirō, “to join, tie together into a whole”) – properly, wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God’s gift of wholeness).

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

The purpose of these first 2 attacks listed in Romans 8:35 [tribulation and distress] are to break your believing down in God and his word.

Definition of “tribulation” from Romans 8:35:
pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that “hems someone in”; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, “without options”).

2347 /thlípsis (“compression, tribulation”) carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is “no way of escape” (“hemmed in”).

Definition of “distress” in Romans 8:35:
a narrow space, great distress, anguish
(figuratively) a difficult circumstance

What happens if you step on a chocolate chip cookie?

A chocolate chip cookie will break into pieces under pressure, just like our believing in God can, unless we strengthen ourselves with God's word.

A chocolate chip cookie will break into pieces under pressure, just like our believing in God can, unless we strengthen ourselves with God’s word.

It breaks into many small pieces from the stress, pressure, and impact, just the opposite of the meaning of God’s peace in Romans 15:13.

 

The goal of the world is to break down our believing in God by pressure and distress.

 

Remember this infographic from the last article?

Now we will dig deeper into it for another level of understanding.

 

Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid with Romans 8:35 overlay

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid with Romans 8:35 overlay

 

This pyramid with the Romans 8:35 overlay illustrates the order of attack: first the spiritual, then the psychological, then the physical.

But there are more ways the world can break down our believing that we need to know about.

II Corinthians 2:11 [amplified bible]
To keep Satan from taking advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Once we know how our enemy works, then we can be trained and prepare for victory instead of defeat.

The subject of how the world attacks our believing, love and hope is actually part of a different series of articles called the fall of man that I’ve been thinking about for some time, so this series and that one have a piece in common.

So rather than write the same article twice, I will simply link you to part 2 of the fall of man, and go to part 5 of this series next month.   I will then have to finish the fall of man series by making part 1 asap.  Crazy, I know.

While making the 7 attacks series, I didn’t foresee all this coming, so you just have to be flexible in your plans.  It’s generally better to write part 1 before writing part 2… 😉

 

 

Discover how Satan broke down Eve’s believing, love, and hope and how to be victorious in the spiritual competition!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Overcoming 7 attacks against us; persecution & famine: part 3

The number 3 in the bible represents completeness.

In part 3, your’re going to see the whole picture of Romans 8:35 with several infographics that will give you new insights to overcome the 7 types of attacks against us [especially the second pyramid].

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

3. Persecution: 

Strong’s Concordance #1375
diógmos: persecution
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (dee-ogue-mos’)
Definition: chase, pursuit; persecution.

HELPS Word-studies
Cognate: 1375 diōgmós (from 1377 /diṓkō, “follow, pursue”) – properly, pursuit (chase); persecution – literally, “the hunt to bring someone down like an animal,” trying to suppress (punish) their convictions. See 1377 (diōkō).

1375 /diōgmós (“religious persecution”) literally refers to those seeking to punish God’s messengers with a vengeance – like a hunter trying to conquer (obliterate) someone as their “catch.”

[1375 (diōgmós) is used in ancient and biblical Greek for persecution (hostility) shown by confused, spiritual “leaders.” For example, it applies to the Roman Emperor, Decius (ad 250-251). He killed thousands of Christians who refused to offer sacrifices in his name.]

A perfect example of this is the apostle Paul before he got born again.

Philippians 3:6
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless

Its important to note that the persecution is coming from the religious leaders.  Paul was a Pharisee after all.

Isn’t that a bit ironic and hypocritical?

Acts 8
3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling [dragging] men and women, committed them to prison.
4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

Havock means: to affix a stigma to, to dishonor, spot, defile; to treat shamefully or with injury, to ravage, devastate, ruin.

Imagine that – putting people in prison for speaking the truth, while the guilty ones are falsely accusing us of evil!

That never happens in our society, does it???

You may remember from part 2 that distress was basically a more intense version of tribulation, so where does persecution fit in?

The 7 attacks start off with mental pressure and end in death, with everything else somewhere in between.

How to conquer: 

First, we need to understand that no matter what we think, say or do, we may still encounter persecution.

Some people say that because you screwed up, you are being persecuted.

That can be true in some situations.

If we are habitually breaking sound biblical principles in our life, we will receive what we have been sowing.

Galatians 6
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Colossians 3:25
But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

If we are volatile, and don’t control our thoughts, emotions, words or actions, we may stir up a lot of people against us that could lead to persecution, but if we exercise self-control [one of the 9 fruit of the spirit] and use God’s wisdom, then many potentially bad situations can be avoided altogether.

On the other hand, Jesus Christ was a perfect man who lived perfectly for God, but was persecuted more than anybody else I know, so whether or not we are persecuted is not a guaranty that we are responsible.

If we are a spiritual couch potato, never doing anything against the devil, then why would the devil even attack us?

Figuratively, if we are in a boxing ring against the devil, we’re going to get bruised a time or two. It’s simply the nature of the fight.

We just can’t avoid persecution 100% of the time.

Psalm 119:161
Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

II Timothy 3
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax [grow] worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Why?

Because the devil is the God of this world and his whole purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy.

II Corinthians 4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

John 10:10
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.

Strategies to overcome stress and persecution

There are offensive and defensive strategies we can use to defeat persecution, which points back to the stress flowchart we saw in the last article.

In any given situation, we have 2 options at our disposal: problem-focused or emotion-focused.

The 2 ways of how to overcome stress.

Both can work, depending on variables.

So here are just a few of the verses that we need to be aware of and can use to our advantage.

Problem-focused verses: change the situation itself

 

Leviticus 26:8
And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

Joshua 1
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Joshua 23:10
One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.

2 Samuel 22:30
For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

Psalms 7:1
O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Remember that God’s deliverance is past, present and future.

Acts 8:4
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

We can go on the offensive by speaking the word of God.

God’s light dispels the spiritual darkness.

Romans 8:37
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

I Corinthians 15
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

As we keep the hope of Christ’s return in mind, knowing that we have rewards waiting for us, we can stand stedfast and unmoveable in the work of the Lord.

Remember, if we’re rooted and grounded in God’s love, we can be steadfast and unmoveable.

2 Corinthians 4:13
We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

II Corinthians 10
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Ephesians 6
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith [believing], wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

We can rest in the confidence that God will deliver us, no matter what attack is thrown against us.

No Fear!

Finally, as a spiritual athlete, it’s important to not be afraid because it will just make matters worse.

Job 3
25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Psalms 34:4
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Look what the apostle Paul did when he was captured and locked up in prison!

Acts 16
24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Paul & Silas’ believed that God would rescue them out of this bad situation and he did according to their believing.

Emotion-focused verses: change relation to the situation 

We all know that the past can’t be changed.   Therefore, the problem-focused strategy is not an option to fix past problems because it attempts to change situations that cannot be changed.

So for issues in the past, the only option is to use the emotion-focused strategy that can change the relation to the situation; in other words, we can change the meaning of the past and/or our attitude about it.

All those horrible things you went through long ago take on a life-changing new perspective with God’s deep spiritual insights.

For example, suppose you were abused as a child.  The precision of God’s word can bring great relief to many people because:

  • We know that it was not God punishing us because we were unlovable or unworthy
  • We know that we are not to blame [many child molesters blame the victim or manipulate them into feeling guilty or being shamed]
  • We can rejoice knowing that the devil considered us worthy opponents, [even as a child!] in the spiritual competition [Acts 5:41; II Thessalonians 2:5]
  • We can smile knowing that we will be getting rewards in heaven for looking forward to Christ’s return

 

The parable of the sower and the seed sheds new light on how to overcome persecution.

 

Matthew 13
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon [King James old english = immediately] with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth [endures] for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by [right away] he is offended.

Verse 21, definition of offended:

From the Greek word skandalon; to entrap, i.e. Trip up (figuratively, stumble (transitively) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure) — (make to) offend.

If we stumble and fall, then we can’t walk for God.  We must learn from our mistakes and get back up again so we can walk for God again.

Proverbs 24:16
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Ephesians 5
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

 

If we’re rooted and grounded in God’s love, we will be able to survive and thrive during in any attack of persecution.

 

Ephesians 3
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

A tree that’s got a deep and strong root system can withstand a storm or drought, but one with a shallow root system will die when circumstances are against them.

Jeremiah 17
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful [anxious] in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

The largest tree by volume is believed to be a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) known as the General Sherman Tree in the Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California. Only the trunk is used in the calculation and the volume is estimated to be 1,487 m3 (52,500 cu ft).

The largest tree by volume is believed to be a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) known as the General Sherman Tree in the Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California. Only the trunk is used in the calculation and the volume is estimated to be 1,487 m3 (52,500 cu ft).

Matthew 5
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Acts 5
40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

James 1 [amplified bible]
2 Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials.
3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].
4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

Remember, the trials are not from God, but are from God’s enemy instead.

During persecution, there is great comfort knowing that God’s justice will be done in the future.

II Thessalonians 2
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith [believing] in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense [repay] tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Verse 5 again states our worthiness, establishing it.

In verse 7, we have rest with the other saints who were persecuted also.

II Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

II Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

God’s grace is defined as unmerited divine favor.  That’s an unlimited supply!

My mom always said that everything will come out in the wash.    This saying has 2 basic meanings:

1. used for saying that people will always find out the truth about something

2. used for saying that you are sure you will find a solution to the problem that you have

When you combine them, you come up with the conviction that you will discover the truth and that everything will be OK as a result.

Hebrews 4
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Famine: 

There is no fancy definition here, so we go to a regular dictionary.

noun
1. extreme and general scarcity of food, as in a country or a large geographical area.
2. any extreme and general scarcity.
3. extreme hunger; starvation.

The word “famine” is used 87 times in the KJV of the bible.

Why are there famines?

When there is a disaster such as famine, ask yourself these questions:

Is this a man-made problem, despite what the news says?

Many crisis you hear on the news are either lies or man-made crisis that originate from the treacherous dealers we learned about in the last article.

Are famines an act of God?

We often see the phrase “acts of God” in insurance policies, letting you know that the insurance company won’t cover you in such circumstances.

 

Satan, the accuser of God’s people, works through the systems of the world to falsely accuse God of what he is guilty of himself.

 

If there is a drought that results in a famine, sure, there may be geological or meteorological [weather] related things going on, but don’t exclude the spiritual factors.

Genesis 1
14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

The devil is cursed more than any other living thing and so are his children [the treacherous dealers].

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

Cursed ground produces thorns and thistles, which don’t produce fruit.

Genesis 4 [amplified bible]
11 And now you [Cain, the first son of the devil in the bible] are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s [shed] blood from your hand.
12 When you cultivate the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength [it will resist producing good crops] for you; you shall be a fugitive and a vagabond [roaming aimlessly] on the earth [in perpetual exile without a home, a degraded outcast].”

 

The spiritual reason there are many desert areas around the globe that don’t produce good crops is because of the spirituality of the people of the land.

 

Is there actually a shortage of food, or is it a distribution problem?

Numerous good quality sources on the internet clearly say it’s a distribution problem.

How to conquer: 

God will supply our need as we trust in him

Job 5
19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.
20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.
21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
22 At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.

Psalms 33
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear [reverence] him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalm 37:25
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Why are there famines, swords and pestilences?

There are 24 verses in the bible that contain the words “famine”[which can result in death], “sword” [representing war & death] and “pestilence” [disease, which can result in death also] because these go together.

The common thread is death.

Hebrews 2
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Here is why they occur:

Ezekiel 6:11
Thus saith the Lord God; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.

 

What goes on in a land spiritually [evil abominations] will determine what goes on in the 5-senses realm.

 

War, famine and disease are common in many sections of the world right now, such as parts of the middle east or areas of Africa where idolatry in the land reign.

Galatians 6
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Psalms 91
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

Many diseases considered incurable today are because those diseases “walk in darkness” – their true cause and cure has been hidden by the lies from the treacherous dealers who are in the darkest degree of darkness.

But no matter what the cause is, we can be delivered from them all!

Pyramids and Romans 8:35

Now we are going to zoom out and see the whole picture of Romans 8:35 in light of the pyramid below.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s [1908 – 1970] famous hierarchy of needs pyramid enables us to get a better view of the overall picture, leading to new insights.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.

  • Physical realm: the bottom 2 layers – Physiological and Safety needs.
  • Psychological realm: the middle 2 layers – Love/belonging and Esteem needs.
  • Spiritual realm: the top, the pinnacle – Self-actualization needs [including the meaning of life].

Interestingly, all 12 characteristics of the self-actualized person that Dr. Maslow wrote about follow biblical and spiritual principles.

Mankind’s greatest and highest potential is spiritual and to become: a son of God; an athlete of the Spirit; to be redeemed, justified, righteous and sanctified in the sight of God; an ambassador for Christ; being seated in the heavenlies with Christ; receiving a brand-new spiritual body at the return of Christ.

 

On the scale of eternity, the tip of the pyramid actually represents our greatest need, as the bible reveals.

 

Job 23
11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Job had his priorities right.

Jeremiah 15:16
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

Jeremiah depended upon the word of God to sustain him.  So did Jesus.

Matthew 4:4
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

So we need both physical food and spiritual food.

John 4
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat [nourishment] is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

God can supply all our need, which makes the spiritual top of the pyramid the most important.

 

The spiritual famine

Right now, there is a spiritual famine going on all around the world.    Billions of people are unsaved and the majority of those that are saved have multiple major misunderstandings of God’s word.

For example, most Christians believe:

  • that you go to heaven when you die
  • that God caused the flood of Noah
  • that the trinity is of God, even though it violates the laws of logic and math that God invented
  • that God forsook Jesus on the cross
  • the gospels are written to them
  • believe the mis-called gifts of the spirit are not for them or are of the devil or haven’t been taught how to operate them in their lives or what the 18 benefits are
  • Jesus died on good Friday and was resurrected on Sunday morning, despite the fact that the bible says Jesus was in the ground 72 hours
  • that God caused the chaos and destruction in Genesis 1:2 or he simply wasn’t finished making the heavens and earth yet

 

The list is virtually endless…

Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

The purpose of this blog & website is to teach people how the bible interprets itself and how to research the bible using sound logic, critical thinking skills and what resources we can use to verify the truth of the word of God.

Once you know how to study the bible and how to understand it, you will no longer be stuck in a spiritual famine.

Below is the pyramid of the hierarchy of human needs with a Romans 8:35 overlay.

 

Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid with Romans 8:35 overlay

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid with Romans 8:35 overlay

 

  • The first thing attacked is the spiritual realm.
  • The second thing attacked is the psychological area
  • The third thing attacked is the physical arena

Why this is and what is behind it is the subject of my article next month…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss