Posts Tagged ‘The Word of the Lord’

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. Ezra 1:1-3

Israel has been held in brutal captivity for 70 years and the Lord had raised up a leader to set her free. Miraculously, 150 years earlier, the Lord through the prophet Isaiah foretold of these events. Cyrus, this non-Jewish liberator, had no idea these prophesies existed until Daniel had pointed them out to him

Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid…Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus…I have raised him up in righteousness, And I will direct all his ways; He shall build My city And let My exiles go free, Not for price nor reward,” Says the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 44:28; 45:1a + 13

Wow. If Cyrus wasn’t mentioned by name in this passage from Isaiah, I would swear it was about Jesus Christ! God’s ‘shepherd’, His ‘anointed,’ His temple re-builder; sure sounds like Jesus to me. Well it isn’t Jesus, but in Cyrus we do have a representation of the One to come, for Cyrus, in the typology is a picture of Jesus. Oh yes, and the rebuilding of the temple is a picture of us!

Who Wants to Go HOME?

The Babylonians were an atrocious people. At this juncture Cyrus no doubt figured that when he asked, “Who wants to go back to Jerusalem,” all of the two million or so Jews would have caused a stampede. The fact is only about forty two thousand; less than four percent of them, responded to the invitation to go home. The others, well they had become comfortable in their situation and decided to stay put. How about you; are you comfortable in your situation; are you ready to go home?

Like these Jews, most of America is comfortable in their circumstances. Sure, we might have uttered a salvation prayer a few years back, but now we see church as a legalistic inconvenience. “After all,” we might say, “it’s not about religion; it’s about a relationship…and I choose to relate to Jesus as I watch the football game.” Second Timothy 3:1-4 provides a stark revelation on the issue:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Form of godliness

I suppose the question is, “Are you a born again believer or a reasonable facsimile; are you in fact just a poser?” Look at the 2nd Timothy list—which of those components apply to your situation—in which of those things are you finding comfort? The good news is that the invitation Cyrus gave to Israel is the same invitation Jesus gives to us today, “Do you want to go home?”

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.

Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Will L. Thomson

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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands.

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So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back. When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse. 1 Kings 13:23-24

What’s Going On?

There was an unnamed man of a God; a prophet who was sent to King Jeroboam to deliver a message. King Jeroboam was not pleased with the word that he heard and with a pointed finger he directed his guards to seize the man of God. Incredibly, the King’s hand withered right there on the spot. A distraught Jeroboam pleaded with the man to pray for restoration. The man did and God restored his hand. In gratitude, Jeroboam invited the man home to dine with him. The offer was declined.

“If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.’ ” 1 Kings 13:8-9

So, the man of God begins his journey home when an old prophet gets wind of what happened and sets out to find him. He discovers him on the road and like Jeroboam, invites him home to eat. Innocent enough we might think, but the man refuses the invitation citing the same reason as before.

For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’ “1 Kings 13:17

For whatever the reason (we’re not given a biblical explanation), the old prophet lies to the man….

“I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ” 1 Kings 13:18

The man of God is swayed by this old prophet and goes to his home to eat. As the meal is finished, the events turn ugly. The old prophet now makes this proclamation:

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord, and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which the Lord said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’ “1 Kings 13:21-22

So the man of God leaves and is killed by a lion.

Are You a Man of God?

Without a doubt this is a bizarre story. However it is recorded in the Bible for a purpose. There is a lesson revealed in the conduct of the unnamed man of God and it’s important to us, because as men and women of God, we are similarly vulnerable. The man knew the word of God and he allowed himself to be swayed by someone he respected or deemed to be unthreatening. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians reminds us that if anyone at all, Christian or otherwise, preaches any other Gospel then the one we received, that person (or angel) shall be accursed; the implication being that we should avoid them. Why would Paul share such a thing? Because he knew it would happen over and over again.

Peter counsels us in 1 Peter 5:8 to, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.’ I can’t help but think that Peter was familiar with the story in 1 Kings 13. King David gives us this admonition:

The works of the Lord are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered… Psalms 111:2-4

The Psalmist tells us the works of God are great and that we should study them. Given the fact that there are false christs, false prophets, ignorant Christians, and roaring lions who seek to devour us, it is good advice to be well versed in God’s word. How else are we to know when we are being misinformed, misled, or lied to?

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13

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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson

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The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10It Has Never Been About Stuff

Prosperity doctrine or ‘name-it-and-claim-it’ theologies are false teachings and generally only serve to make rich the bogus prophets who promote them. These counterfeits hold themselves up as well-to-do models of genuine faith, implying that if we do as they have done we will be as prosperous as they are. It’s nonsense.

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1

Great Reward

It matters not what Bible verse the heretic points to, because they are being cited outside of the context of this fundamental passage from Genesis. In actuality Abram was sadden having just turned down a prize worth gazillions, perhaps because his wife, family, and friends ridiculed or bemoaned him for this action. But what does God say?

“I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

That’s it. God tells us that we are not to desire more ‘from’ Him, but rather more ‘of’ Him, for He desires to give of Himself entirely. In fact, it is a done-deal for Jesus gave Himself wholly on the cross. Seriously folks, if we are in Christ, what more could we possibly want…we are going to Heaven! Lets stop saying ‘give me’ and realize that God is saying it is ‘just Me’. If we are blessed beyond that (and we are), we should be grateful and continually be asking, “Lord, how can I bless you with these good things you have loaned me?”

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

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