Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb
For His Glory!
(Continued from MEM 139)
1Cor 13:13But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NAS unless indicated)
How important is Hope?
"When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you're slamming the door in the face of God." -Charles L. Allen
1Pet 1:13Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
"To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death."-Pearl S. Buck
A short review of "The eminent value of our Hope" as expressed in Scripture - from MEM 139.
What Is Bible Hope?
The dictionary definition of the word "hope" is NOT the Biblical Hope of which we speak.
Psalm 39:7 "And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee."
Here … the meaning is "expectation." The Lord CAN be trusted. He WILL keep His promises.
In the New Testament this word "Hope" is an absolute, a guarantee without a doubt. It is the Greek word "elpis" meaning "to expect or anticipate with pleasure."
The Hope of His Kingdom is not a maybe - but an absolute and definite guarantee by the Word of the Truth of the Gospel.
Titus 1:2 "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Eternal life - guaranteed and promised by the God of the Universe. He cannot lie.
Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;"
Every believer in Jesus Christ may look with confidence to the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ. No doubt!
Hope - ISBE (From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
In the Old Testament:
For the religion of the Old Testament is of all things a religion of hope, centered in God, … the firm trust that at a time appointed God, in person or through His representative, will establish a kingdom of righteousness.
In the New Testament:
The proclamation of this coming kingdom of God was the central element in the teaching of Jesus, is the substance of His teaching as to hope. …the tone is not that of prediction so much as it is that of the statement of obvious facts. In other words, "hope" to Christ is "certainty," …
Continuing the study of our hope in the glorious inheritance we have in Yeshua (Jesus) the Savior. ‘Hope’ is an anchor for our Salvation…
Heb 6:19This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast …
Our Hope is based on the Promises of God.
An excellent study of ‘Hope that makes not ashamed,’ and gives direction to our purpose as children of God.
From the Holman Bible Dictionary
Hope (edited for length)
Trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God's promises. Biblical hope is the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God's guidance. More specifically, hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future. This contrasts to the world's definition of hope as "a feeling that what is wanted will happen." Understood in this way, hope can denote either a baseless optimism or a vague yearning after an unattainable good. If hope is to be genuine hope, however, it must be founded on something (or someone) which affords reasonable grounds for confidence in its fulfillment. The Bible bases its hope in God and His saving acts.
Words for Hope in the Old Testament the words which are most often used to connote "hope" are tigwa ("to look for something with eager expectation"), batach ("to rely on something reliable"), and yachal ("trust").
In the New Testament "hope" is the proper translation for the verb elpizein and the noun elpis. Other words which belong to the vocabulary of hope are pepoithenai ("to trust"), hupomenein ("to endure"), and prosdokan ("to expect" or "to await").
It is important to note that the reality of hope is often present where the exact words are absent. A case in point is the New Testament Book of Revelation. The word "hope" does not appear in its pages. The message of Revelation, however, is permeated with the reality of hope.
A complete examination of hope would have to include all of the exhortations, prayers, promises, and future tenses in the Bible.
The Ground and Object of Hope in the Old Testament, God alone is the ultimate ground and object of hope. Hope in God was generated by His might deeds in history. In fulfilling His promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), He redeemed the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. He provided for their needs in the wilderness, formed them into a covenant community at Sinai, and led them into the successful occupation of Canaan. These acts provided a firm base for their confidence in God's continuing purpose for them. Even when Israel was unfaithful, hope was not lost. Because of God's faithfulness and mercy, those who returned to Him could count on His help (Malachi 3:6-7). This help included forgiveness (2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 86:5) as well as deliverance from enemies. Thus, Jeremiah addressed God as the "hope of Israel, the savior thereof in time of trouble" (Jeremiah 14:8). Likewise, the psalmist called on Israel to "hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins" (Psalm 130:7-8 NIV).
A corollary of putting one's hope in God is refusing to place one's final confidence in the created order. All created things are weak, transient, and apt to fail. For this reason it is futile to vest ultimate hope in wealth (Psalm 49:6-12; Psalm 52:7; Proverbs 11:28), houses (Isaiah 32:17-18), princes (Psalm 146:3), empires and armies (Isaiah 31:1-3; 2 Kings 18:19-24), or even the Jerusalem Temple (Jeremiah 7:1-7). God, and God only, is a rock that cannot be moved (Deuteronomy 32:4 ,Deuteronomy 32:4,32:15 ,Deuteronomy 32:15,32:18; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 62:2; Isaiah 26:4 ) and a refuge and fortress who provides ultimate security (Psalm 14:6 , Psalm 61:3; Psalm 73:28; Psalm 91:9). An accurate summary of the Old Testament emphasis is found in Psalm 119:49-50. "Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life" (NIV).
A significant aspect of Old Testament hope was Israel's expectation of a messiah, that is, an anointed ruler from David's line. This expectation grew out of the promise that God would establish the throne of David forever (2 Samuel 7:14). The anointed ruler (messiah) would be God's agent to restore Israel's glory and rule the nations in peace and righteousness. For the most part, however, David's successors were disappointments. The direction of the nation was away from the ideal. Thus, people looked to the future for a son of David who would fulfill the divine promise.
The New Testament continues to speak of God as the source and object of hope. Paul wrote that it was the "God who raises the dead" on whom "we have set our hope" (2 Corinthians 1:9-10 NIV). Furthermore, "we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men" (1 Timothy 4:10 NAS). Peter reminded his readers that "your faith and hope are in God" (1 Peter 1:21 NAS). In the New Testament, as in the Old, God is the "God of hope" (Romans 15:13).
For the early Christians, hope is also focused in Christ. He is called "our hope" (1 Timothy 1:1), and the hope of glory is identified with "Christ in you" (Colossians 1:27). Images applied to God in the Old Testament are transferred to Christ in the New. He is the Savior (Luke 2:11; Acts 13:23; Titus 1:4; Titus 3:6), the source of life (John 6:35), the rock on which hope is built (1 Peter 2:4-7). He is the first and last (Revelation 1:17, the day-spring dispelling darkness and leading His people into eternal day (Revelation 22:5).
New Testament writers spoke of Christ as the object and ground of hope for two reasons. 1) He is the Messiah who has brought salvation by His life, death, and resurrection (Luke 24:46). God's promises are fulfilled in Him. "For in him every one of God's promises is a "Yes" (2 Corinthians 1:20 NRSV). 2) They are aware of the unity between Father and Son. This is a unity of nature (John 1:1; Colossians 1:19) as well as a unity in the work of redemption. Because "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19), hope in the Son is one with hope in the Father.
The Future of Hope While the New Testament affirms the sufficiency of Christ's redemptive work in the past, it also looks forward to His return in the future to complete God's purpose. Indeed, the major emphasis on hope in the New Testament centers on the second coming of Christ. The "blessed hope" of the Church is nothing less than "the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
This expectation filled the horizon of the early Christian community. Jesus Himself spoke of it (Mark 8:38; Mark 13:26; Mark 14:28; John 14:1-4). His disciples were promised that "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). Apostolic preaching reiterated the theme (Acts 3:19-21; Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31). Paul reminded the Philippians that "our conversation is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20 NAS; compare 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 6:14). Christ "will appear a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for him" (Hebrews 9:28 NRSV). Christians are "shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5). If the Lord's coming seems delayed unduly, it is still certain because "the Lord is not slack concerning his promise" (2 Peter 3:9). The last book of the Bible begins and ends with a reference to Christ's return. "Behold, he cometh with clouds" (Revelation 1:7). "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).
The content of the hope which will be realized in the future is described in different ways. Christians will "obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:21 NRSV); realize their hope of "righteousness" (Galatians 5:5); be "transformed into his likeness" (2 Corinthians 3:12-18 REB; compare 1 John 3:1-3); acquire possession of the inheritance (Ephesians 1:14), and experience the resurrection of the body (1Corinthians 15:21, 1 Corinthians 15:50-55).
Hope is not merely individual in scope, however. It has cosmic dimensions as well. God's purpose is to redeem the whole creation. Thus, Christians expect that "the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21). Peter expressed it like this: "we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).
The Assurance of Hope Christians live in hope for two basic reasons. The first reason is because of what God has done in Christ. Especially important is the emphasis the New Testament places on the resurrection by which Christ has defeated the power of sin and death. "By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3 NRSV).
The second reason is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). Furthermore, the Spirit is the "first installment of our inheritance, so that we may finally come into full possession of the prize of redemption" (Ephesians 1:14 Williams). "Hope never disappoints us; for through the Holy Spirit that has been given us, God's love has flooded our hearts" (Romans 5:5 Williams). Hence, Paul's prayer that "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" (Romans 15:13).
Given the assurance of hope, Christians live in the present with confidence and face the future with courage. They can also meet trials triumphantly because they know "that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope" (Romans 5:3-4 NIV). Such perseverance is not passive resignation; it is the confident endurance in the face of opposition. There is, therefore, a certitude in Christian hope which amounts to a qualitative difference from ordinary hope. Christian hope is the gift of God. "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19 NIV).
Quotations about Hope
Hope is the physician of each misery. ~Irish Proverb
A Few Promising Scripture
Ps 31:24Be strong, and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.
Ps 39:7"And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee.
Ps 42:5Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.
Ps 130:5I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.
Prov 24:14Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future, And your hope will not be cut off.
Acts 2:26'Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will abide in hope;
Rom 5:5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Col 1:27to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
‘Hope’ - that which we expectantly look for with great joy thus enhancing our peace
Titus 2:13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
Thy Kingdom come… Amen
(* editing is done to shorten length - you are encouraged to read the full commentary where applicable)
Hope - a joyful expectation that is certain; based on YHVH’s Word and His loving kindness
Proverbs 11:7When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of strong men perishes.
This proverb speaks of the death promised Adam and Eve by refusing to obey YHVH because they listened to the destroyer. When our hope is in this life it can only be short lived…
So we need to
Proverbs 19:18Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death.
Center our children’s lives on the Eternal One that they too may truly anticipate the promise of eternal life.
Thank You YHVH for the peace we have because we ‘Hope’ in Your Salvation
"Love sees through a telescope not a microscope."
It is difficult to look beyond our present pressing needs, issues and trials - when we look forward, thru the eyes of our Savior, we soon find the peace that endures because of the ‘hope’ we have in Him.
Titus 2:13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
Thank You Yeshua for releasing us from the bondage of self and giving us the blessed hope of you Kingdom.
In our pursuit of humility:
(Lessons from humility and happiness)
"Should you ask me: What is the first thing in religion? I should reply: the first, second, and third thing therein is humility." Augustine
Mic 6:8 KJVHe hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Job 4:6"Is not your fear of God your confidence, And the integrity of your ways your hope?
Father, herein is the joy of our hope, it is in You alone - therefore we walk in Your ways.
Understanding the precepts of prayer.
Let us learn from the prayers of the Psalmist; joyfully, in confident hope, trust in the Eternal One
Psalm 5:1Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my groaning. 2 Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to Thee do I pray. 3 In the morning, O LORD, Thou wilt hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.
Ps 5:4For Thou art not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with Thee. 5 The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity. 6 Thou dost destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
Ps 5:7But as for me, by Thine abundant lovingkindness I will enter Thy house, At Thy holy temple I will bow in reverence for Thee. 8 O LORD, lead me in Thy righteousness because of my foes; Make Thy way straight before me.
Ps 5:11But let all who take refuge in Thee be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And mayest Thou shelter them, That those who love Thy name may exult in Thee. 12 For it is Thou who dost bless the righteous man, O LORD, Thou dost surround him with favor as with a shield.
YHVH, "Make Thy way straight before me" Amen.
How does God feel about issues we face today?
God created man in His image. His word tells us we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Do we hold different standards for ourselves than we do for others? This is being a hypocrite. Be merciful and you will receive mercy. We need to be quick to forgive others, as well as ourselves.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.(Matt 5:7)
Material in this section is based on various prayer diaries.
The Sky’s the Limit for Solar Power
As sure as the sun rises every day, solar power appears to be growing in popularity. Cost for solar panels have fallen from around $4 per watt in 2008 to just $1 per watt today. Still, solar power accounts for less than 1 percent of U.S. energy production.
WHAT I REALLY KNOW ABOUT FIRST JOBS
by Linda Balough, Alma, Colorado
At age 14 in 1959, I began working part time at a small chain shoe store in Owensboro, Ky.
One Saturday in November, with the annual tobacco market in full swing at the nearby auction warehouse, I noticed a family of five milling around our sales floor. We staffers took turns approaching new customers, but I was at the cash register and none of the others offered assistance. In fact, they looked in every direction except that of the family. I asked why none of my colleagues was helping them and was told, "Look at their clothes-and they smell like coal oil. They’re gonna be a waste of time."
I picked up my foot size gauge and asked the solemn-faced woman in a gingham dress and well-worn coat what she’d like to see. She pointed to a pair of sturdy lace-up ankle boots. When we finished the fitting, her husband handed me a pair of low-heeled dress shoes and asked for her size. They exchanged looks of pleasure as she tried them on and set aside the boxes for purchase.
My colleagues watched in astonishment as the father directed me to fit each family member. The 10 boxes of shoes they purchased turned out to be the store’s largest sale in months!
Glancing at the other store personnel, the father smiled and said, "Guess some folks don’t know that when we come and sell our tobacco, we use the money to outfit the family for the year. Thanks for being so respectful, young lady."
I had just learned to treat everyone, regardless of first impressions, as the most important person I’d meet that day. And that practice has benefited me in many unexpected ways.
Compiled By Herbert Lockyer
Scriptures form the KJV
9. Worthy is the LAMB that was slain to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honor, and Glory, and Blessing. (Rev 5:12).
The Lamb of God John 1:29
A Lamb Without Blemish and Without Spot 1 Pet 1:19
The Lamb that Was Slain Rev 5:12
The Lamb in the Midst of the Throne Rev 7:17
The Lamb (the Light of the City) Rev 21:23
The Lamb (the Governor) Rev 7:14
10. I will set up ONE SHEPHERD over them. (Ezekiel 34:23).
One Shepherd John 10:16
Jehovah's Shepherd Zech 13:7
The Shepherd of the Sheep Heb 13:20
The Shepherd of Israel Ezek 34:23
The Shepherd and Bishop of Souls 1 Pet 2:25
The Good Shepherd (that laid down His Life) John 10:11
The Great Shepherd (that was brought again from the dead) He 13:20
The Chief Shepherd (that shall again appear) 1 Pet 5:4
11. The TREE OF LIFE, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Rev 2:7).
The Root of Jesse Isa 11:10
The Root and Offspring of David Rev 22:16
The Branch Zech 6:12
A Righteous Branch Jeremiah 23:5
The Vine John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
The Tree of Life Rev 2:7
The Bread of Life John 6:35
The Living Bread John 6:51
The Rose of Sharon Song 2:1
The Lily of the Valleys Song 2:1
9 - 11 of 24(1-6 in MEM 138 more in subsequent issues)
MODERNIZED CHURCH SERVICES
PASTOR: "Praise the Lord!"
(Have I missed something? I brought my Bible.) Have a good day!
Not sure? Having second thoughts? Confused? Anchor your life by hoping in the sure Word of Elohim. There is something that lifts our spirit when we trustingly open God’s word and read it for ourselves.
TTT (Torrey’s new Topical Textbook)
• In God Ps 39:7; 1Pet 1:21
• In Christ 1Cor 15:19; 1Tim 1:1
• In God's promises Acts 26:6; Acts 26:7; Titus 1:2
• In the mercy of God Ps 33:18
• Is the work of the Holy Spirit Rom 15:13; Gal 5:5
• Obtained through
- Grace 2Thess 2:16
- The word Ps 119:81
- Patience and comfort of the Scriptures Rom 15:4
- The gospel Col 1:5; Col 1:23
- Faith Rom 5:1; Rom 5:2; Gal 5:5
• The result of experience Rom 5:4
• A better hope brought in by Christ Heb 7:19
• Described as
- Good 2Thess 2:16
- Lively 1Pet 1:3
- Sure and steadfast Heb 6:19
- Gladdening Prov 10:28
- Blessed Titus 2:13
• Makes not ashamed Rom 5:5
• Triumphs over difficulties Rom 4:18
• Is an encouragement to boldness in preaching 2Cor 3:12
- Are called to Eph 4:4
- Rejoice in Rom 5:2; Rom 12:12
- Have all, the same Eph 4:4
- Have, in death Prov 14:32
- Should abound in Rom 15:13
- Should look for the object of Titus 2:13
- Should not be ashamed of Ps 119:116
- Should hold fast Heb 3:6
- Should not be moved from Col 1:23
- Should continue in Ps 71:14; 1Pet 1:13
• Connected with faith and love 1Cor 13:13
• Objects of
- Salvation 1Thess 5:8
- Righteousness Gal 5:5
- Christ's glorious appearing Titus 2:13
- A resurrection Acts 23:6; Acts 24:15
- Eternal life Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7
- Glory Rom 5:2; Col 1:27
• Leads to purity 1John 3:3
• Leads to patience Rom 8:25; 1Thess 1:3
• Seek for full assurance of Heb 6:11
• Be ready to give an answer concerning 1Pet 3:15
• Encouragement to Hos 2:15; Zech 9:12
• Encourage others to Ps 130:7
• Happiness of Ps 146:5
• Life is the season of Eccl 9:4; Isa 38:18
• The wicked have no ground for Eph 2:12
• Of the wicked
- Is in their worldly possessions Job 31:24
- Shall make them ashamed Isa 20:5; Isa 20:6; Zech 9:5
- Shall perish Job 8:13; Job 11:20; Prov 10:28
- Shall be extinguished in death Job 27:8
• Illustrated by
- An Anchor Heb 6:19
- A helmet 1Thess 5:8
- David Ps 39:7
- Paul Acts 24:15
- Abraham Rom 4:18
- Thessalonians 1Thess 1:3
(By Michael Boldea Jr.)
History continues to repeat itself because man is utterly and hopelessly unoriginal. We possess about as much originality as jackals do social graces, and so, even though the small details might differ from generation to generation, at the heart, and the root of our actions, at the basic level and foundation of our undertakings we are our ancestors, those of old whom we so readily dismiss as backward, unthinking brutes who had no purpose other than their own survival.
Admittedly the tower we have attempted to erect is not as the tower of Babel in antiquity. Instead of brick and mortar we have chosen to use other materials but the underlying desire for building our own version of the tower is the same as those of old.
Today our brick is excess, and our mortar is independence from God. We have built and hurriedly so within the past few years, and with each brick we lay, with each pestle of mortar we lather on our self-importance only grows, and what we only dared to think in the dark of night concerning being the masters of our own destiny we now declare openly for all who would hear.
"See, we have done this! It is we who have built and erected, it is we who have progressed and achieved, God is an antiquated concept to which we offer undue glory and undeserved thanks. It was never Him, it was always us."
We have come to convince ourselves that not only could we achieve the greatest nation the world has ever known in and of our own prowess, but that we could maintain it for generations to come. We glibly told ourselves that the hardest part was behind us, that the difficult part was the building of this society, this nation, this idea, this democracy, and maintaining it would be a walk in the park, a piece of cake, something that could be accomplished in our spare time and without much effort.
In the throes of hubris and our own self-importance we chose to dismiss and discount the lessons history would teach us, that it is in fact much more difficult to maintain an empire than to build one, that every empire that has existed since the beginning of history had a zenith then a decline, or that the downfall of every empire began with the downfall of morality and the destruction of family.
‘Others may have made those mistakes in the past, but we are wiser and more evolved, we will not repeat the mistakes of the ancients, we will ascend and ascend until we pierce the heavens, then go a bit further for good measure.’
Alas our Babel is unraveling, and the cracks in the edifice we’ve erected are already too deep and too pronounced to ignore. The God we thought was just a figment of our imagination the God we thought we could forget, ignore and declare our independence from wasn’t sleeping after all, He was not on vacation or busy with other things, but in His infinite goodness, mercy, and patience He waited to see whether we would perhaps awaken from our self-delusion and seek His face once more.
Instead of turning our hearts toward God however, we have accelerated the pace with which we are attempting to wipe clean the very memory of Him, we have accelerated the pace with which we glory in perversion and mock and scorn and abuse those who would cling to Him, who would worship Him, who would serve Him, and who follow after His precepts.
As our Babel unravels there are some who insist that the remedy is to use more mortar, to further and in more violent ways declare our independence from God, because only when we are rid of Him for good, only when all those who still serve Him are thoroughly silenced can our Babel remain standing.
Little do they know that all it took for our Babel to come crumbling back to earth, all that it took for all that we built to disintegrate before our very eyes was for the God they scorn and mock and reject to remove His hand of blessing and protection, from upon our nation.
What we are seeing is neither wrath nor judgment, it is not an angry God doling out justice with righteous indignation, these have not as yet commenced. All we are seeing presently is the removal of blessing, the removal of favor, the removal of protection, and removal of peace.
When judgment comes and wrath is poured out it will be another matter entirely.
Michael Boldea Jr.
The time you enjoy … is not wasted time
Nothing is as good as it seems beforehand
Leave everything a little better than you found it
Better than counting your years is making your years count
Styles may change, but designs remain the same
Question authority, but raise your hand first
A book shut tight is but a block of paper
Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel."(Ezekiel 37:11-12; ESV)
Ezekiel's famous vision of the valley of dry bones captures the heart of the entire Bible as the story of the Bible is the story of God's solution to the greatest of all human problems; death. Of course the Scriptures address more than just this one issue, but this theme drives everything else. Its early chapters reveal to us that we were not designed to die, but because of our first parents' rebellion against God, death and everything associated with death entered the human experience. We later read how God called Abraham to be the channel through which life would be restored to the nations of the world. The nation that God purposely developed through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was God's chosen vessel to make himself known to the world, so that in the end death would be completely eradicated.
The people of Israel were not chosen because of superior moral or spiritual qualities, but rather to demonstrate the depths of the predicament in which we all find ourselves. Over and over again Abraham's natural descendants illustrate the human race's need of deliverance. The most vivid picture of this is also the foundational event in Israel's history: Passover. Having been led by God to Egypt in order to save them from starvation, Israel eventually finds itself in oppressive bondage in their adopted land. Helpless and oppressed, God powerfully and dramatically rescues them.
In spite of this, the history of Israel continued to demonstrate human beings' inability to free ourselves from the greater oppression, death, which is fundamentally a spiritual problem, since it arises from rebellion against God and our resultant alienation from him.
By the days of the prophet Ezekiel, Israel had lost hope. The nation was scattered and exiled. The symbol of God's presence, the Temple, was on the brink of destruction. Israel had miserably failed to be the kingdom of priests God called them to be (Exodus 19:6).
Ezekiel's vision of Israel as a pile of old dry bones was an appropriate description of their condition at that time-a people not just dead, but long dead. Still, the vision was not given to describe their final condition, however, but rather as a message of hope. This was not the stuff of motivational speeches. For you cannot motivate the dead. Israel was completely incapable of restoring itself. But what's that to God? He, who created life, recreates life.
In this passage the resurrection of the dead is intimately associated with the return of Israel to the Land of Israel. Taken by itself, this vision of graves opening and the dead coming back to life might be taken as a metaphor for Israel's return only. But this is not the only passage that refers to resurrection (see Isaiah 25:6-12; 26:19; Daniel 12:1-4). Using resurrection to describe the return emphasizes the miraculousness of the return and at the same time points to the inauguration of the age to come when death will be no more-a restoration like no other.
The deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the return from exile in Babylon, and the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 all demonstrate that nothing is impossible with God. An honest analysis of Israel's condition prior to each of these events shows that Israel had no reason to hope. But with God anything is possible.
Are you feeling hopeless right now? Look to the God of restoration and resurrection. He who brings the dead to life, will bring life to you, if you trust him. There's no telling where he will take you from there.
By Alan Gilman
*(This document may be edited for length)
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.
When our hope is in YHVH (The LORD) we can be strong and take courage in His Salvation - it is a fact.
Blessed be YHVH (Genesis 14:20And blessed be God Most High…)
Rom 15:4For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
1. By their fruit - Matthew 7:16
2. Only God the Father knows - Matthew 24:36-37
3. Nineveh - Jonah 3:4
4. At night - 1 Thessalonians 5:7
5. The dust of the ground - Genesis 2:7
6. Rebekah - Genesis 24:1-67
7. An angel of the Lord - Matthew 2:13
HOME : FEEDBACK