Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. (Ecclesiastes 3:16)
If you speak to some of the majority of unchurched people, especially in America, one of the major reasons they will give is “I was hurt”…at some church or other.  Taking on the micro or personal level, many of them have a point. From observing various church operations, across a medium sized Midwestern city for two plus decades, which can legitimately be extrapolated nationwide due to demographics and doctrine,  there is a lot of truth to the statement that “if it weren’t from some Christians, the lost may actually become Christians”.

There have always been crooked preachers in America, who use the trusting nature of most Christians to fatten their wallets and live a lifestyle they could never afford, if they worked a regular job like the rest of us.  The abomination of the purveyors of Prosperity Gospel will continue, unfortunately, until Jesus Himself shuts this church age down, and calls His people home.  However the Prosperity Gospel has always been with us since before Jesus Christ, the Son of God, went to the Cross.

Jesus Himself indicted the “church” leaders of the time – when He started His final condemnation of them in Matthew Chapter 23. Here is some of it in part:
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]........

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

The reason He did this was their decadent and ungodly lifestyle, couched in language of the Law of Moses. As you read these charges, consider these men. They were supposed to be the ministers of God but committed adultery yet did not take care of their families and yet stood in the public square and acted more piously than anyone else in the Holy City. They flaunted their “phony” piety in the town square and city streets, while living ungodly lives in private. Interchange white robes and the great Biblical priestly accoutrements of the Old testament with $1000 Italian suits, big fancy cars, houses and mindless television shows begging for donations and “sowing seeds”, and you have the same people!

There is nothing new under the sun! In fact, this is what the Preacher – King Solomon after he repented and came back to God – was talking about almost 1000 years before Jesus in the Book of Ecclesiastes! Let us read Ecclesiastes 3:16-17 again in light of what we just learned happened to the descendants of these same priests which Solomon was speaking of here:
16 Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. 17 I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter and for every deed is there.

Lest we heap all the blame on those prosperity “gospel” TV charlatans, the real damage is even more devastating in our own local churchees. A preacher or church leader doesn’t have to be caught having an affair, or cheating on his taxes or verbally abusing some of his congregation to chase of impressionable young minds or people in the pews of any age.  The deacon who is flippant or rude to a stressed out single mom. The stuck up long time member who sees a little kid sitting in "her pew". The person who absent-mindedly forgot to wear food gloves while dishing out a food item from a tray at the church potluck. The little cliques of the well-to-do who will look down to speak to the blue collar guy and his wife and two young boys, while spending most of that minute looking away to find someone more to their suiting, to whom they wish to speak....these are the modern scribes and pharisees and in a sense, the kind of people who should be careful they don't end up on the wrong side of Jesus on Judgment Day!

Solomon alludes to this in Ecclesiastes 3:17 when he said the following "I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter and for every deed is there"....and this will happen, but verse 3:16 reserves the strongest judgment for the those in authority. To whom much is given, much is expected and God's Laws and Precepts are meant to be obeyed.

This is the underlying truth in Ecclesiastes 3:16

-  There is injustice and wickedness everywhere. Those who were placed in positions of great authority in the normal course of things, have more often than not in the course of human history, mightily misused their positions. They could be kings, politicians, judges and others in civil authority.
-  In the Lord's House, first the Temple of the Lord from the time of King David until Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ today, things were supposed to be a lot better. The Lord's House was/is supposed to be "THE place of righteousness" which it still is, even with men's failings. But even there, sin has corrupted. God will judge there as well.

This is the end of the story - and a recurring theme throughout the entire Book of Ecclesiastes. Indeed the preacher - King Solomon - does end the book in Chapter 12 with the following statement, in brief: (paraphrase) "in the final analysis, the crux of the matter is this: Love God and Keep His Commandments, because the Lord will bring every act into Judgment". Here is where the matter still resides today, until its appointed time.  

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. (Proverbs 3:16)
The depth of the riches and joys of Scripture is an amazing thing to behold. There is nothing more important than the Pathway to Peace, Joy, Eternal “Riches” and Eternal Life and as we press into the Oracles of God and, it is never clearer than a key verse here in Proverbs 3:16.

To mine these gems, which speak of the Truths just described (the above-mentioned Pathway), we must read Proverbs 3:16 in context, by starting in Verse 10 and all the way to Verse 18. It is here we see the chief responsibility of those of us, who are called “His chosen or His Elect…..or His Children”. In case anyone is offended by the words “chosen” and/or “elect”,  these are the terms used in Scripture for the redeemed or those who have repented, sought forgiveness of all our sins, and accepted The very Son of God – Jesus Christ – as Lord, Master and Savior of our lives. Before this conversion, we were just like everyone else in this world – lost, and headed for eternal judgment. This is not magic. The offer of Salvation is open to everyone, because the God of Heaven loved His created world so much, He died to pay for our sins, so we would not have eternal death. It takes wisdom to acknowledge and accept this Truth.

Once, the Truth of this Good News, which is what the word "Gospel" means, is received, Wisdom is required to be able to move from Point A of being baby Christians, to Point B, C and D where maturity and fruit should be evident. Here is where we look to some of the verses surrounding Proverbs 3:16 to seek directions for that Pathway to Maturity. 

Let us begin in Proverbs 3, verses 11-18:
11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof,
12  For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. 
13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.
14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.

From these Words from the Oracles of God, we discover this about the Pathway To His Purposes:
-  When God separates us from the World through conversion, He will need to get the world out of us! Simple as this. A person can be a Christian for 10, 20, 24, 40 or even 50 years and we still have issues and a propensity to slip up and let in some of the worse elements of culture to sidetrack and even distract us from what is important. This is when God needs to prune us and get us away from evil influences, sometimes using unpleasant means, and discipline us for our own good. There is ONE BIG difference between a Child of God and a Child of the god of this world. Our Heavenly Father will discipline us, just like our own earthly father would, to keep us from harming ourselves and our future. But those who reject the free gift of Eternal Life and Salvation in Christ, will be allowed by God Himself - freedom to do whatever they want....in this life, but once it is over, they will of course, have to answer for it. They will be allowed to live lives of rebellion, lust of the flesh and more. They will be allowed to believe in evolution and strange idolatry, while the men and women who follow Christ will have the roughest time in this life. This discipline could be anything from doubt to persecution, from financial issues to emotional distress. All of the latter is meant to grow our Faith as we trust God with this transforming molding and shaping going on, and even trials by baptism of fire. As verses 11 and 12 prove here, those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines this way.  

-  Because every true Christian believer has a healthy fear, awe and respect of Abba Father, true wisdom has its seeds already planted. Because the believer has accepted the pruning and reproof of the Lord, whether it is through the preaching or reading of Scripture or the prompting of Holy Spirit, he or she is already blessed!! Even if we face the same harshness, coldness or even loneliness of life, our ticket has been punched for this Journey with Jesus. Seeking the fellowship of the local church and its ministries where the Bible is lifted up alongside the Name of Jesus, above all else, we grow in Understanding. Understanding and comprehension of what the Spirit is saying through the Teaching and Washing of the Word, will bring pleasures in our inner man which the world will never be able to even come close to taking from us! (Verse 13)

-  While these may appear to be simple on paper, they are extremely tough to live, in our own strength. We must trust God and especially trust Him when it is the hardest. Solomon knew this Truth in the beginning. At the dedication of the great Temple of God, Solomon was praying and the Lord told the new king to ask for anything he wishes, and God will give it to Him. Instead of riches etc, Solomon asked for "Biyn" - the ability to discern and understand.  It was this wise choice to ask God for the ability to think, understand and discern which led the king to be called the wisest man in the known world. These are the permanent riches which will light up our Pathway to Victory and will never go away. Understanding will lead to more wisdom and there are truly major benefits associated with Godly wisdom.

These benefits are in quick succession: 
-  Huge gain, sometimes even temporal financial blessings. While verses 14 and 15 do mention a possible gain in making wise fiscal decisions, the real gain in walking out this faith is to live wisely and with purpose. Wisdom here is to be regarded way more than temporary financial gains.
Proverbs 3:16 shows us, through the words of God, that if we are wise by allowing God to transform and clean up our lives, we CAN and DO have long and fruitful lives! The verse says "Long Life is in her (Wisdom's) right hand. The right hand is the hand of power and destiny all through Scripture. When God says that this to us, He wants us to know that IF we pursue His wisdom and that not of this world and its many nice sounding deceptions, we will more than be alight! We will downright shine through with the attributes of Jesus Christ. Once we have that in our lives, what follows is a Pathway to Peace - true inner peace.

- To that effect, verse 17 explains to us that because of this type of understanding and Wisdom, we can have "Pleasant Ways". This could be in anything. This could be anything from peace and tranquility in our homes to a Godly calm in the believer when everything around is exploding. Pleasant Ways do not negate the ups and downs and harsh ways of modern life. However, pleasant ways DO mean that we are supposed to keep those things in perspective as our minds are dedicated on to the Truth and Joy of the Pathway to Peace, love and joy in the Knowledge of Jesus.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


“Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, as infants that never saw light" (Job 3:16)
Every human being alive, since the Entry of Sin into the World and the resulting chasm between God and His creation, has suffered from Depression. It was not supposed to be this way, but it is. God gave Man dominion over all the earth and the ability to freely enjoy all Creation. Adam and Eve had communion with Jesus Christ daily as He walked in the "cool of the garden". After sin entered the world, Holy God had to judge in righteousness. Herein we find the seeds of what later became known as depression.

Whereas God provided all for Adam and Eve for a long time as they went about their work, the stain of sin brought the following life sentence, which we still serve for all time, until the end of this age.
To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,

And he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19 By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,

And to dust you shall return.(Genesis 3:17-19)

After you let this sink in for a moment, there will be a realization of the origins of all our troubles as human being. In order, agreeing with a serpent - the representative of Lucifer (Satan) over the pure and freeing relationship with God brought (from Genesis 3:16-19):
     - Pain
     - Lust
     - The Origins of the corrupted Creation which led to natural disasters from then until the present day (earthquake, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods etc.)
     - Toil and labor for little or not return
     - Food and shortages of all the basic needs of life 
     - The sense of life having no meaning and that all we do is grow up, get up, work, eat, sleep, get back up, go to work, pay bills. Then if we are fortunate enough to live long enough - retire, play with grand kids and then die. 

That alone could depress even the most focused and joyful of us, unless we stay planted in Christ and point others to Him....and especially the Lost. 

Then there is the pain of everyday or unexpected tragedy: the stunning loss of a child; a loved one with a fatal disease; the increasing instances of new and untreatable diseases and on and on. Without the biblical perspective on pain and how God can move through the pain of His people, many walk away from Him and blow it, close to the finish line. This is NOT the plan of God, even in a corrupt and perishing world, which was brought about by sin.

This was not the initial response of Job either, when he lost everything - children and all his riches in one day and then was physically afflicted with sores and painful things all over this body. But as time went on and we get to Job Chapter 3, we see him first NOT listen to his wife, who wanted to him to "curse God and die", but go from having a good view of pain to opening wishing he was dead! 
Most of Job chapter 3 is a stunning turn for a man who was now regretting that he was ever born. 

These are some amazing words from Job:
"“Let the day perish on which I was to be born, and the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.’ "(Job 3:3)
"“Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?" (Job 3:11).....then Job goes on to wallow in thoughts of death (from Job 3:17-22).

Then here are words of true physical and emotional depression, the kind which is treated with heavy meds in the USA and other western countries. This is precisely how a depressed person feels - Christian or non-christian:
“Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
And whom God has hedged in?
24 “For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries pour out like water.
25 “For what I fear comes upon me,
And what I dread befalls me.
26 “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,

And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.” (Job 3:23-26)

Job's depression continues for a long time and all kinds of incorrect things were said by both him and his friends. God was so upset with Job's friends and their horrid advice, He would have taken them out of the picture, if His grace did not allow Job to offer a sacrifice for them. When someone around us is depressed and in a terribly messed up, the worse thing we could do is give unqualified and uninformed advice. PLEASE get that person to a biblical counselor in your church or one of your local churches which have professional counselors on staff, and then to a physician in case there is a chemical imbalance, for which medication will be needed.

For the most part, accurate, pure and compassionate biblical counseling will go a long way because a qualified Bible counselor will be able to discern if a physician is necessary or not. The Word of God does have the remedy for depression. This verse from 2 Corinthians 1:8 tells us that even the great Apostle Paul was depressed: "For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life." (Emphasis mine)

He was not the only Bible hero to be in despair. Read most of the Psalms written by King David. Most were written when he was on the run from King Saul attempting to kill him and he was severely depressed for years and years. Still he - David - found his comfort and hope and rest in the Lord. In these Psalms, he would begin depressed and then immediately switch to praying to the Lord and end in praise! 

Therefore, when you and I get depressed - let's start there! Let's to to the Psalms and find comfort and respite. Then let's be encouraged with the exhortation from the Apostle Paul who said the following in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 "8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body".


Friday, October 20, 2017


"After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool, and as far as the house of the Mighty Men" (Nehemiah 3:16)
When an entire people or even one individual ignores history, they are doomed to not just repeat the errors of the past but to make it even worse. We see this in modern corrupt society where people, whose point of historical reference begins the day they were born, and cannot see the larger picture but the narrow doctrines of the day.

There is tremendous significance in how God constantly reminds the Israelites in the Old Testament of not just WHO He is, but what He has done in the past, is doing now and will do in the future. That fact those ancient peoples refused to take heed to what He says, is to their loss….and most times, to their eternal loss.

Nehemiah 3:16, coming as it is in the middle of a long narrative, would not earn even so much as a glance in the grander scheme of things.  The gem embedded there in this passage….though is exciting to those who love the Scriptures, Biblical archaeology and the history of the “People of the Book”!

The backdrop of this entire scenario was the complete destruction of formerly pagan Jerusalem by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, seventy years earlier and the return of a tiny portion of the former exiles. These exiles were led by the prophet and now governor of Jerusalem Nehemiah, who was commissioned by the Persian King to rebuild God’s city. However, the Nehemiah mentioned in verse 3:16 of Nehemiah chapter 3, was not the same as their leader – the brave and prayerful warrior Nehemiah, son of Hakaliah.

At this point in the book, each man and head of household who followed the will of God out of the now comfortable (to the mass of exiles) rich city of Babylon, had come back to the Jerusalem ruins. They were truly a remnant. They were so small a remnant, their names could be listed in the Book of Ezra.  These were the ones who rebuilt an entire city wall system by following the textbook example of leadership set down by Nehemiah.  By each household concentrating on his own assigned job, in front of his own piece of the wall, in front of his own house, little by little, they got the job done.

This in itself, is a lesson for us. In general, our job on this earth, is not to change the world as many pridefully think they can. Our main assignment here in this lifetime, is to apply ourselves fully to our immediate surroundings, our homes, families, community and workplace. If we do the best we can in all aspects of daily living in each of these things, while living according to the Word of God, we will have done well indeed! Each of us is called to use what God has given to His glory and for the betterment of others.

So what about "the Tombs of David" in Nehemiah 3:16? The Bible records that when King David died (at the age of 70) he "slept with his fathers" (Read 2 Samuel 7 here) These Tombs were (are) outside the current city of Jerusalem  but were then in what was still called the "City of David". David had ruled Israel for 33 years from Jerusalem after he drove out the pagan Jebusites from there and made it the City of God. The palace he built for himself is south of the current Jerusalem and tradition is that his burial place is in the hills south-east  of current Jerusalem. David set the standard there and several later kings of Judah were buried there: from King Hezekiah (from the days of the Prophet Isaiah) to Manassas. There are current archaeological digs going on around the areas of the tomb.

The artificial pool mentioned is estimated to have been built during or after the rebuilding of the walls by Nehemiah. It had to be close to the source of water which fed part of that now growing city.  

Continuing in the historical context of this verse, and what is particularly intriguing is "the House of the Mighty Men". These were the elite of David's troops who were on the run with him from King Saul, protected him and are recorded in the Scriptures as doing some incredible things! One man killed a lion in a snowy pit. Another defended Israel's food supply against hundreds of the enemy and destroyed them all and on and on. One of them was Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba.

The "house of the Mighty Men" was the living quarters of these elite men of the King and were not your normal soldier "barracks". They had their wives living with them. The Mighty Men Military living quarters were close enough to the Palace to protect the king, because David was able to look into Bathsheba's bathroom from his own roof top. (Read of David's Mighty Men here).

Taken in historical context, the early days of the land of Israel were a reference point for the new builders of the city walls by Nehemiah's men. As we look back over 2500 years ago at the context of this verse (Nehemiah 3:16), we find the returning exiles themselves, being students of history as they seek to remember their past (King David and his Mighty Men); restore it to its place of honor, and then to rebuild.

Remember, Restore, Rebuild: these are the things which should guide a modern people to true progress. As the Lord Himself, Who is big on remembering His past wonderful deeds, encourages us - we should remember who we are, Whose we are and where we came from.

Then we are to restore that which was lost by recalling and evaluating our standing in life, our own personal shortcomings and sins and anything that hinders us from a right relationship with God. Then repent and renew.

Finally, repentance and renewal of our vows of obedience to the Lord should lead us to a massive rebuilding project. This one is not just a rebuilding of our relationship with God through Christ, but to build on the solid foundation of Scripture, prayer and discipleship....while there is still time. If we resolve to do these things, then the ancient words of Scripture always come alive to reveal more and more truth. These are the priceless gems of the eternal Walk with the Master, which is the perfect calling of the Redeemed!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


He made chains in the inner sanctuary and placed them on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates and placed them on the chains (2 Chronicles 3:16)
Almost anyone, from any walk of life, marvels at the intricate pattern of colors at the creation of an intricately detailed and beautiful butterfly from a caterpillar, or the rugged majesty of a bald eagle in flight. Both creatures emanate from the unfathomable mind and creative powers of Almighty God. He has made everything in its season, according to the purposes of His Will, according to His Love, Grace and Mercy.

Words are not enough to describe or define the Mind and Methods of the Great God of Heaven Who is Eternal, not created and has always lived forever. There is no way to wrap our puny little minds around just Who He is; How Powerful He is and How Majestic He is. 
He is to be feared. 
He is to be revered. 
He is to be loved. 
He is to be worshipped. 
He is loved. 
He is to be obeyed. 
He is to fully sold out and committed to -willingly. 
He is God. 
(To read just a brief glimpse of behind the scenes with God @ Creation” – (CLICK HERE AND READ JOB CHAPTERS 38-41)

This God of Heaven never leaves His created children guessing as to how we should conduct ourselves (see: All of the Bible). He is also very meticulous about how He wants certain things done, made and the instruction is ALWAYS down to the last details. The popular (to the world) cliché of the "devil behind in the details" could not be MORE wrong. GOD is in the details. He is very specific in how we should live - from the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 to how we can keep our thoughts clear, clean and culture-enhancing, in Philippians 4:8. When Moses spoke with God about the desert Tabernacle, Moses was told: "Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you" (Exodus 25:9). Then in the chapters that follow, the pattern details were filled in.

Here in 2 Chronicles 3, the great king Solomon is putting the final touches on the most magnificent temple or church ever built in human history and they are the epitome of artistic creation and beauty. If you read the entire chapter (here), you will notice the full attention paid to measurements, the appropriate color to use as well as the items, which comprise the detailing of each portion of the construction. It is like the best contractor one can think of who builds your dream house, then uses the most exquisite trim to set off the room, which he or she has just put up for you.
The choice of pomegranates is particularly interesting. This fruit is full of many healing qualities which will be studied in detail at another time, but for now, we see the pomegranate mention several times in the Bible. It is one of two Biblical fruit which have special significance. We read in Exodus 28:33-34  that the images of pomegranates should be woven into the hem of the "me'il" (or 'the robe of ephod'), a robe worn by the Jewish High Priest. It is said, in ancient Judaism (where half of our faith comes from, as Judeo-Christian believers), that the pomegranate represents fruitfulness, knowledge, learning, and wisdom.
This is what we expect when we go into our modern temples or churches. But more importantly, these are the qualities which God expects from all this children.
We are to be fruitful not just in building our families and homes, but in our outreach to others. We do so with the same grace, love and compassion which Christ showed us, when He first saved us.
We are to be knowledgeable in all the Ways of the Lord by learning about Him. God Himself says that His people suffer due to a lack of knowledge. In modern terms, this means Christians are more illiterate about the Word of God – the Bible. This is not for a lack of Bibles in the wealthy western world. It is due to wanton neglect and the unintentional consequences of the last two generations of church leaders who promoted the idea that carrying a bible to church was not cool, and all the church-goer had to do was to read the verses on the TV screen above the preacher on Sunday morning. All kinds of recent surveys, from Barna to the Pew Research Center, confirm that only around 9% of Christians have a Biblical Worldview. That means the Knowledge of the Lord, His Ways and His Marvelous Attributes are unknown by those who call themselves by His Name.

This Knowledge is key to being the “beautiful trim” in the Kingdom God is building for those whom He calls.  The desire to know Him comes with being born-again. Knowledge of the Holy is what leads to being fruitful for the King. It is critical that we attempt to influence those around us who have access to 100 bibles a piece, to open them and comprehend. Even if most folks do not read these days, dramatized audio bibles make the Living Word come alive. Let us not give up or grow weary in the Learning about our great God and Savior. In this lifetime, we will never learn enough about Him. But we can have wisdom to process the little we know.

This brings us to the third thing which the Pomegranate represents in Old Testament times, which is and could be a huge benefit to us, today in the church age. This is Wisdom.  The dictionary definition of wisdom is, to paraphrase, a combination of good judgment and making sound decisions guided by experience….in so many words. Biblical Wisdom is a different kettle of fish. The Christian who seeks Biblical Wisdom has a big qualifier right off the bat and it begins and ends with one thing. This one thing is the Fear of the Lord.

We are not talking just about fearing what God can do – this is natural, even to the unbeliever or pagan. The Fear of the Lord is a holy, reverent respect for the Almighty, Who He is and What He has done.  This qualifies the believer to then seek and attain Godly wisdom which leads to understanding His calling.

We are called to walk in Wisdom, as in here: "Ephesians 5:15-16 "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil"

We are called to talk with Wisdom, as the Scripture says here: "Proverbs 16:23 "The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips."

Finally, we are called to attain to the Wisdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Who speaks fearlessly, throughout the entire Bible. What does any of this have to do with 2 Chronicles 3:16? As Solomon laid out the beautiful pomegranates as trim to bring out the beauty of the temple walls, so must we, in righteousness, knowledge and wisdom live our lives as fruitful and full of passion for the Lord as possible. Amen.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


The sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son. (1 Chronicles 3:16)
There is a huge tendency for the vast majority of bible readers (including myself in the past) to just skim over names, places, genealogies and in the like, when reading the Old Testament.  Even the genealogy at the very beginning of the Gospel of Matthew is overlooked.  Paying short shrift to any of this is a mistake, as we have learned over the course of maturing in the Word of God.

The genealogies comprise a very important part of the confirmation of Accuracy, Sufficiency and Reliability of Scripture. For instance, Matthew Chapter 1 methodically leads us backward from the Birth of Jesus, using actual names – to the very first human being – Adam. Along the way, major Biblical figures stand out who were not Jews. Rahab is one. Another genealogy around the time of the Exodus lists Bithiah, whom we know as the Pharoah’s  Daughter who rescued Moses from the river, after his mother put him in a basket, in order to save his life.  Yes, genealogies are important.

On the surface, 1 Chronicles 3:16 seems very pedestrian. For instance, there was some ancient king named Jehoiakim who had  sons name Jehoiachin and his brother Zedekiah. This really changes nothing, as far as the casual eye can see. But looking closer, it is a significant statement from the writers of Chronicles, the official historians of God’s people at the time. 

These last two names are important as they are the very last kings of Judah before the First (and future) Coming of the King of the Jews – the Lord Jesus Christ! The last kings of Israel, from Jehoiakim to his sons, were basically heathens. Not just that, but they had ignored the multi-year and intense pleadings from the great prophet Jeremiah, chosen to listen to their own false prophets and then persecute the man of God constantly, i.e. – Jeremiah.  

God had decided to cleanse the cancer festering all through Jerusalem where even the priests were corrupted and idol worship was a prevalent throughout, like the use of social media is today.  God raised up the great Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar to come against Jerusalem and do His will. The fearsome Babylonians had surrounded the city, held it siege and basically had their way with the “leadership” of Jerusalem.                  
After he sacked the city of Jerusalem, King Nebuchanezzar carried off most of the Jews into a 70 year old pre-ordained (by God) exile into the great city of Babylon – a fortress so strong and rich, it was the greatest city in the world at that time.  The King also had Zedekiah’s eyes removed and imprisoned the blinded man after making him walk in chains from Jerusalem to Babylon - no walk in the park, at any time!  Jehoiachin was imprisoned for 37 years and archaeologists have find documented proof on tablets of his prison rations, which began under Nebuchadnezzar and continued after this Babylonian king was humbled and then became a believer in Yahweh. So both brothers - Jehoiachin (or Jeconiah) and Zedekiah (or Mattaniah) were Kings of Judah at one time each, but now both were unwilling imprisoned guests of the larger-than-life Babylonian ruler!

In light of this brief historical background, why should any of this concern us? Well, for apart from our own enhanced knowledge of confirmed biblical history, we see a few things which can instruct. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us there is nothing new under the sun and there really isn’t. As we read and write this, the sun rises in the east and is setting on the other side of the planet in the west. Babies are being born and hundreds of thousands of humans leave this life for the next. Rivers flow to the sea and the sea does not fill up……and human beings are the same….to wit:

1.  Sometimes, people only care to listen to the advice they WANT to hear, and not the Truth. Rather heed the dire warnings from Holy God, as presented by Jeremiah. These last remaining kings of the failed state of Judah listened to the made up lies of the false prophet Hananiah, whom God immediately dealt with.  The lesson for us is to always listen to the Truth and walk accordingly. No matter how dark the circumstances,  heeding Godly warnings and counsel will benefit and save us in the long run, maybe not in this lifetime, but 100% most definitely, in the next. (Click the link provided for full account of this occurrence). 

2.  The cleansing fire of the Lord takes many forms. These men here refused to obey the Word of the Lord and at the appointed time, His Fury was unleased. The entire massive and beautiful city of Jerusalem was taken down to the ground and with it, the Temple of Solomon which had become completely dishonored by corrupt men. Just as these kings saw that destruction,  we too are witnessing similar cleansing and destruction as the Lord predicted, in these last days. What should personally concern God’s people is the personal Refining Fire of the Lord which cleanses us from within, in order to transform us into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ! This begins with personal acknowledgement and repentance of ALL our sins (even those we cannot remember) and a humbling of ourselves before the Lord our God. If we do this and seek His forgiveness and move in our lives, He is faithful and true to forgive, restore and transform us, into the Image of His Son.

3.  The Word of God is true and more and more History confirms this with each new archaeological find.  Tablets found in Iraq not just explains the food rations for Jehoiachin and other Jews imprisoned and in Exile. The grave of the prophet Daniel and others is still in the Persia (Iran). Other areas close to the ancient city of Babylon (which is not far from modern day Baghdad, Iraq) are full of all kinds of recently found archaeological finds keep validating Scripture!

As previously mentioned here, 1 Chronicles 3:16 tells us who these final three secular kings of either Israel or Judah are.  There is one final important point to make. Jehoachin was an ancestor of Joseph, the husband of Mary, the step-father of the true King of Israel – the King of Kings and the Eternal Ruler of All Heaven and Earth – the Lord Jesus Christ! 

How cool is the Bible?! 

Monday, October 9, 2017


He said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’  For thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, both you and your cattle and your beasts. (2 Kings 3:16-17a)
The incredible thing about our loving Heavenly Father is how long He will put up with rebellion and rejection and then turn around and help those who hate Him with a passion. The Bible tells us that God "causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous". (Matthew 5:45b. 

You know the routine - the majority of the richest, wealthiest and most powerful people in the world are atheist. The biggest persecutors, dictators and rulers of God's people all through Judeo-Christian history lived well and prospered. This continues, regardless of the lessons of history. Their children lived high on the hog and on and on. While they do not acknowledge the God Who gave them breadth, the ability to gain and hold on to their temporal wealth and property, He still grants them His general Grace. He did send God the Son - Jesus - to give His life for ALL (John 3:16), so He knows no one is beyond redemption. They just choose to reject God's gift.

This general Grace however, is only for this short lifespan on earth. This is because, while God is really so good to ALL people at ALL times, His Saving Grace is only for those whose sins are forgiven and put their complete Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Lord and Master. Those who are reap the rewards of the good life reap them now. Like the rich man in Hell, who Jesus talked about, he enjoyed the good things only in his life on earth. The Saved, Redeemed and the Elect of God's reward is laid up ahead as we persevere and keep Godly perspectives while the wicked reign on this earth.

In this passage of 2 Kings Chapter 3, we see the three regional kings - the king of Edom (descendants of Esau), the King of Israel (the pagan northern kingdom) and the King of Judah - Jehoshaphat coming together to fight against the King of Moab, a powerful and rich man. Of these three kings, only Jehoshaphat was a follower of Yahweh, everyone else in this picture is full of pagan idolatry. After a while, the army and supplies of this combined army ran out of water for all their horses and were suddenly in dire straits.

Jesoshaphat knew enough of the Ways of the Lord and sought a minister who could approach the Lord for His help. The spiritual son of the great Elijah, Elisha, was now the main prophet of Israel. So Elisha was sent for and he was not amused. This tells me that this joint venture was not the Will of the Lord. Elisha was hesitant about going to meet with the three kings until he heard that the well-regarded Jehoshaphat, who lived in Jerusalem, was one of them. 

It was at this point, as we come to this 3:16 verse, as Elisha approached the Lord God of Heaven Who responded mightily, because His prophet Elisha asked. What God did was miraculous. He did not send rain to fill up creeks and rivers with running water. He told Elisha to have the kings dig trenches and wide areas which were then miraculously filled with literal pools of water from the springs out of the direction of Edom! The water was so plentiful coming out of the East that it looked like a lake....and led eventually to the victory of three allied kings.

What we see here  the following in this wonderful passage from John's 19th.- the General Grace of God on display...for the Glory of God! The enemy who all three kings went up against - the King of Moab- misread the sun shining off the brand new "lake" and thought it looked like blood and rode straight to his and his army's defeat. The Lord made the victory again. The question of us, who are reading this - are we under this General Grace of God only or have we been saved by Grace alone, through Faith in Christ alone for the Glory of God enough? The choice is entirely up to each one of us!