Glory Of Creation

TODAY’S DAILY READING: 1 Samuel 6-7 & Psalm 7-8

Old Testament: 1 Samuel 6- Hard Heart

1 Samuel 6:6
Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?”

Tucked away in the story of the Philistines return of the Ark to Israel, is this powerful exhortation regarding the danger of hardening our hearts to God. We are reminded of the difficulties Pharaoh endured because of his refusal to humble himself and obey the Word of God. The lessons from this exhortation are twofold.
First, we need to examine… Read More

1 Samuel 7- Will This Ever Work?

1 Samuel 7:13
“So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel…”

Israel faced a constant threat from the Philistines. They had come into the territory promised to Israel, taken land, and threatened the people. Earlier in 1 Samuel, the nation mustered all its strength to drive the Philistines out of their territories, only to suffer a devastating loss. In that earlier battle, the people gathered… Read More

Psalm 7- Fallen In 

Psalms 7:15
“He made a pit and dug it out, 
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.”

If we were writing a comedic screenplay, we might want to include a character who designs an elaborate trap, only to unwittingly catch himself. While it might be quite humorous on the big screen, it is tragic in the real world. The psalmist reminds us,  one of the consequences of wicked living is, in the long… Read More

Psalm 8- Glory Of Creation

Psalms 8:1
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!”

Webster defines glory as “Great beauty and splendor, even magnificence.” David is declaring things about the magnificence of God. It seems this Psalm was penned as a result of looking at the beauty of creation, in light of the Creator. He realizes that as glorious as creation is, it pales by comparison to he Creator.

How sad, that we often neglect… Read More

The Glory Of God

1 Samuel 4:22
And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

Unknown-2.jpeg1 Samuel 4 records some of the darkest days in Israel’s history. The people had lost sight of God, their armies had suffered defeat, the ark of the covenant had been taken in battle, the sons of the nation’s spiritual leader had been killed and upon hearing all this Eli the high priest fell over and died. In the midst of all of this we read of a woman dying while giving birth to a child. This woman was the daughter in law of Eli and her child would  ultimately serve as a priest. With her dying breath she named her child Ichabod which means “The glory has departed.” When she assessed the circumstances around her she concluded that God was done working in the nation of Israel.

While it is true that things looked bleak and the spiritual climate of the nation was at an all time low, it is not true that God had departed. A young man by the name of Samuel will be raised up to lead the nation, he will anoint a young man named David who will defeat the giant, become the king and lead the nation to its political, economic and spiritual apex. His son Solomon will build a temple in Jerusalem and the glory of God will descend upon it once again. In the more distant future a descendant of David will give birth the the savior of the world who will give his life as an atoning sacrifice for sin and make it possible for all of us to know God and receive eternal life. This savior will one day return, placing His feet on the soil of the nation of Israel and set up a kingdom that will forever replace the faulty governments of men and finally righteousness will cover the earth like the waters cover the sea. The lion and lamb will lie down together, the children will be able to play in the cobra’s den and men will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. I think it is fair to say that the glory of God had not departed from Israel.

Many today have adopted this same outlook. Instead of looking forward at what God wants to do they are constantly looking back longing for the good old days. It is as though we believe that every good work of God is something of the past. Rather than bemoaning how bad things have become we should be looking forward to what God wants to accomplish and how we can participate in it. God still wants to raise up men and women to reach men and women. The greatest works of God seem to flow out of the darkest period.

Pastor Jim

The Mornings

TODAY’S DAILY READING: 1 Samuel 3-5 & Psalm 5-6

Old Testament: 1 Samuel 3- By The Word

1 Samuel 3:21
“Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.”

Long before Jerusalem was established as the capital of Israel, Shiloh was the ancient location of the Tabernacle. It was at Shiloh, where the High Priest would meet with the LORD on the Day of Atonement. It was there, where the glory of the LORD would fill the Holiest place like a cloud.
Samuel was a… Read More

 

1 Samuel 4- The Glory Of God

1 Samuel 4:22
And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

Unknown-2.jpeg1 Samuel 4 records some of the darkest days in Israel’s history. The people had lost sight of God, their armies had suffered defeat, the ark of the covenant had been taken in battle, the sons of the nation’s spiritual leader had been killed and upon hearing all this Eli the high priest fell over and died. In the midst of all of this… Read More

1 Samuel 5- Spoils Of War

1 Samuel 5:7
“And when the men of Ashdod saw how it was, they said, ‘The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god.’”

The Philistines mustered all their courage as they confronted Israel on the battlefield. They soon overpowered the Israeli army and took the spoils of war. In this battle, the spoils included the Ark of the Covenant. Upon returning to Ashdod, the Philistines placed the Ark in the their temple, and found themselves facing an interesting predicament; they now had two gods. As night fell, so did… Read More

Psalm 5- The Mornings

Psalms 5:3
“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”

On a regular basis, how would you describe your mornings? Do you wake up grumpy, dreading another day? Or late, rushing to get your responsibilities done? Or perhaps you arise and rush to get the morning paper, check the news, or peruse Facebook, or the web.

David declares that his mornings began with the Lord. Even in the midst of difficult… Read More

Psalm 6- Need Help?

Psalms 6:2
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can do this,” as a mantra for finding the strength to face the challenge before you? Life often forces us to be stronger than we think we are and to stand up to the opportunity before us. In a passionate plea for the Corinthians to stand against the opposition they were facing, Paul declared,

1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

While there are times when we must… Read More

 

Emotions

TODAY’S DAILY READING: 1 Samuel 1-2 & Psalm 3-4

Old Testament: 1 Samuel 1- By The Word

1 Samuel 3:21
“Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.”

Long before Jerusalem was established as the capital of Israel, Shiloh was the ancient location of the Tabernacle. It was at Shiloh, where the High Priest would meet with the LORD on the Day of Atonement. It was there, where the glory of the LORD would fill the Holiest place like a cloud.
Samuel was a prophet, not … Read More
1 Samuel 2- Always Watching

1 Samuel 2:17

“Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.”

I read an interesting quote this morning from D.L. Moody. He said, “Out of one hundred men, one will read the Bible. The other ninety-nine will read the Christian.”

Whether we like it or not, once we become a follower of Jesus our life is on display. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about how people observed his life.. Read More

 

Psalm 3- Surrounded

Psalms 3:1
“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.”

We go through seasons in life.   Some are calm and pleasant, while others seem to be like violent storms, with waves crashing upon us from almost every direction. While we may feel as though we are under assault, this is not a new phenomenon. King David, Israel’s most godly king, was no stranger… Read More

 

Psalm 4- Emotions

Psalms 4:4
“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.”

As A child, I spent a lot of time on the ocean. My dad loved sailing and we would spend time every summer living on the boat. I can remember times when the seas were so rough that we had to put anything breakable on the floor of the cabin, so it would not be knocked down and broken. In seas like that, it became very difficult to walk. I can… Read More

 

The Blessed Life

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Ruth 3-4 & Psalm 1-2

Old Testament: Ruth 3- The Whole Town Is Talking

Ruth 3:11

“And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.”

Ruth was not an Israelite, nor was she born in Israel. She was a foreigner from the neighboring country of Moab. The Moabites had a long and sorted relationship with Israel that would add to the stigma associated with this young foreigner. When Ruth arrived in Bethlehem, all that was known of her was that she was the widowed daughter-in-law of… Read More

Ruth 4- I’ve Been Redeemed

Ruth 4:6
“And the close relative said, ‘I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.’”

In addition to being a beautiful and timeless love story, Ruth is also a picture of redemption. Ruth was a descendant of Moab and as such was born under a curse (Deuteronomy 23:3-4). Naomi and her family had left Israel and dwelt among the Moabites and, no doubt, returned to the land with the stigma of being a backslider. Perhaps some thought the loss of her family… Read More

 

Psalm 1- The Blessed Life

Psalm 1:1
Blessed is the man…”

When establishing the government of the United States, the founding fathers saw that man was created with certain inalienable rights. They believed it is the right of every person to be able to pursue personal happiness. They were not alone in this thinking. Many philosophers spoke of happiness as the chief goal… Read More

 

Psalm 2- Until The Whole World Hears

Psalms 2:8
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

As we reach the end of ourselves and cry out in desperation to God, prayer is the place where we express our greatest desires. We have found ourselves on our knees pleading with God for direction, the healing of a loved one, or to fix a mess we have created through our own foolishness. I wonder though, when is the last time we pleaded with God for those … Read More

 

This Is Not The End

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Ruth 1-2 & Acts 28

Old Testament: Ruth 1- This Is Not The End

Ruth 1:5
“Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

To say that Naomi had been through some difficult times is a colossal understatement. Because of a severe famine throughout Israel, she and Elimelech made the difficult decision to leave their homeland, family and friends, in search of … Read More

Ruth 2- A Love Story

Ruth 2:11

“And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.’”

New Testament: Acts 28- Man Or God

Acts 28:6
” 
However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.”

After the ship ran aground and all the passengers and crew arrived safely on shore, it would not take long for the onlookers to see who was who. Even after saving the lives of the entire crew, Paul is still treated as a criminal, and is sent to gather sticks for the fire. While reaching for a stick, Paul encounters what many… Read More

The Wrong Battle

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Judges 20-21& Acts 27

Old Testament: Judges 20- The Wrong Battle

Judges 20:14
“Instead, the children of Benjamin gathered together from their cities to Gibeah, to go to battle against the children of Israel.”

The book of Judges ends on a tragic note. Personal immorality, social chaos, and civil war mark the close of the book. This was certainly one of the darkest times in the history of the people of God. The rape and murder of a young woman led to a heated battle between the tribes of Israel. Instead of facing their true enemies, Israel was caught up in civil infighting that cost… Read More

New Testament: Acts 27- Persuasion

Acts 27:11
Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.”

After appealing to Caesar, Paul was sent on the long journey to Rome. He was to stand trial for the accusations brought against him by the religious leaders of Jerusalem. Paul was released from his Caesarean prison and placed in the care of Julius, a Roman centurion. Acts 27-28 records the story of their… Read More