Exodus 17:15-16 -War From Generation to Generation

Exodus 17:15-16
15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
16 For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

-Jehovah-Nissi is Hebrew for “The Lord our Banner” and carries with it the idea of a rallying point for soldiers.  Just as U.S. soldiers would rally behind the American Flag, so too should Christian soldiers rally behind God.  That means that as God has pledged to war against Amalek in every generation, we should also be ready to battle with our own Amalek (in the Bible, Amalek is a type of our flesh).  This war is played out in our lives every day just as it has for thousands of years.  Because the Lord swears to always do battle with Amalek (the flesh), that proves that the flesh is still with us and fighting against us; we are expected to take up position behind the Lord and fight back.

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2 Corinthians 4:5-7 – Treasure in an Earthen Vessel

2 Corinthians 4:5-7
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

-Every so often I look back at some of my writings after I have posted them and routinely notice typos and misspellings.  It occurs to me how amazing it is that God would entrust something as glorious as His Word to human beings.  We can’t even write a sentence without a keystroke error or a misspelling.  Likewise we often can’t read a sentence without a stutter or mispronunciation.  It would be depressing if God didn’t tell us why He does things this way.  Simply put, if the messengers were perfect, the message may get lost or diluted, but an imperfect messenger makes God’s message all the more impressive.  So here is the lesson to all those who make mistakes while delivering the Word of God: just focus on being an earthen vessel fit for the Master’s use; the Lord will provide the Treasure.

1 Corinthians 4:7 – Why dost thou glory?

1 Corinthians 4:7
7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

John 3:27
27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

-Understanding these verses is one of the primary keys to developing a proper attitude towards both God and man.  If we ever delude ourselves into thinking that what we are and what we have is in any way a result of our own doing, it will inevitably lead to some form of pride.  On the other hand, if we truly grasp the fact that we are nothing that was not built into us and that we have nothing that was not given to us, how could we be anything other than humble?  When we think of God, our first response should be one of gratitude for what He’s made for us and done for us.  When we think of other people, we should remember that they are living off the same grace and mercy that we are.

1 Kings 21:21-22, 25-29 – Tender Mercies

1 Kings 21:21-22, 25-29
21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,
22 And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.
25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.
26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.
27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.
28 And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
29 Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.

-Ahab’s actions had led to the shedding of innocent blood simply to possess a piece of land. (1 Kings 21:1-16)  If that wasn’t bad enough, his wickedness is taken to another level in the form of forsaking the Lord in order to follow idols.  But look in verse 29 at how quickly the Lord withholds judgment because of Ahab’s repentance.  God’s anger can be felt in His words in verses 21 and 22 but all that is gone in an instant at the sight of Ahab’s humility.  Man’s capacity for evil defies explanation, but the Lord’s ability to forgive is even more unbelievable.  “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.  The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psalm 145:8-9)

Matthew 6:24- One Master

Matthew 6:24
24
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

-The word “mammon” here in scripture represents the idea of following greed; basically, you cannot follow God and follow greed at the same time.  While greed is most often associated with material wealth, there are a great many things that we greedily pursue.  Have you noticed the more you embrace worldliness and sinfulness, the more distant the Lord’s voice seems to become?  Likewise, the more you pray, read the Bible, and surrender to God, the less powerful sinful desires and actions seem to become? It’s because as we starting holding on to one, we by nature have to push the other away.  D. L. Moody may have summed it up best, “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.”

Romans 6:11-16 – Live Free

Romans 6:11-16
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

-Freedom; perhaps the most basic of human rights.  Did you know that in certain countries it is not illegal to attempt an escape from prison because the law recognizes that freedom is so basic to human nature?  Yet when it comes to the most important matters, spiritual matters, many of us continually choose to remain in bondage.  Our chains have been torn asunder by the victory of Jesus Christ.  If you’ve been saved then you have been set free and even if you are not saved, you are free to come to Jesus even now.  So why do we walk around as if we are still bound?  “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

Matthew 8:5-10, 13 – Marvelous Faith

Matthew 8:5-10, 13
5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

-Like a precious gem, the rarer faith becomes the more valuable it becomes.  Think about the question Jesus asks in Luke 18:8, “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”  The question almost sounds as if the answer is still undecided which of course is not the case; for the Lord will always reserve unto Himself a faithful remnant.  (1 Kings 19:18)  Jesus’ question should be taken by each of us personally.  He is asking each of us when He comes, will He find faith in us?

Psalm 119:74 – Glad to see you

Psalm 119:74
74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

-Kinship, a word that defines a connection between people based on characteristics or origins.  A very common type of kinship is a blood relationship.  It is also often proven that those who face life threatening circumstances such as police officers or soldiers develop strong kinship with one another.  The Bible here presents another type of kinship that is arguably the strongest of all.  They that fear the Lord should automatically be glad to see another believer because the Lord connects us.  Just as we are made to be sons and daughters of God, so it must follow that we are made brothers and sisters to each other.  Not just a brother or sister to those you see in church weekly, but to everyone who has ever hoped in God’s Word throughout all time.

Hebrews 11:5 – Pleasing Faith

Hebrews 11:5
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

– In Hebrews 9:27 the Bible tells us that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.  One day we will all stand before the Lord and our lives will be judged.  It won’t matter how big our house was or how much money we earned.  Ultimately, it won’t even matter how many “good” deeds we performed.  The only question that will matter in that day will be “Did my life please the Lord?”  The answer to that question will determine your eternal destiny.  How do we please the Lord?  Fortunately, the Lord answered that question directly in Matthew 17:5, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”  God’s Son, Jesus Christ, was always well-pleasing to the Father and by listening to His word, we can ensure that our lives are pleasing to the Father as well.

James 4:10 – Great in the Eyes of God

James 4:10
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

-Paul the Apostle, Matthew Henry, Charles Spurgeon.  Throughout history there have been those individuals who have had a profound and lasting impact on the Lord’s work.  What makes them so special?  Did they go to some super-elite college to get a degree in Biblical Studies?  Were they born with a prophet gene that allows them to better understand God’s Word?  No, the only thing unique about them was that they showed great humility and diligence before the Lord and the Lord was able to use their lives in great and mighty ways.  Any one of us could be the next great man or woman of God whose work is remembered for generations; not because we need the glory, but because the Lord’s work demands such laborers.