Shofar Communications, Inc.. Powered by Blogger.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Isaiah 14:1

For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

For further study - Isaiah 14:1-17

What a powerful passage of scripture this is that we will use as our extended reading for our devotions today. There are several directions we could go in this passage; thus let me take each pathway, for a moment, in each direction.

The Prophet Isaiah reveals the promise of the Lord for the Jewish people and assures them of a special time ahead. When the Lord refers to "Jacob" in verse 1, He is actually speaking about not only Jacob, but His twelve sons that became the twelve tribes of the Jewish people, the "twelve tribes of Israel".

The Lord promised to have "mercy" on Jacob, the nation of "Israel". The Lord had chosen these people in the past, Deuteronomy 7:6-8, and will "yet choose Israel" and "set them in their own land".

It really doesn't matter what the rest of the world may say about the land, God will set His chosen "Israel", the Jews of today, back in the land of their forefathers, the land He has given them for the future, as well. From the sidelines we today can see the Lord beginning that process, the process that will move to completion after the Rapture and culminate at His Second Coming.

Verses 4-6 reveal a prophecy that will focus on "Babylon", and the "King of Babylon". This prophecy, according to the context of the passage, is at a time yet to take place, in the future.

Notice that verse 7 speaks of a time when "the whole earth is at rest and is quiet and they will break forth with singing". This is describing the "Kingdom" that Jesus will set up at His Second Coming.

"Babylon" will be a major focus in our world, as will the "King of Babylon", who the Lord will deal with before He sets up His Kingdom. The "King of Babylon" in this text is referring to the "Antichrist" who rules the world the last three and one-half years of the "terrible Tribulation" yet to come, from Babylon, Revelation 18, which is modern-day Iraq.

We are seemingly living in the days that are quickly approaching this prophetic scenario. One final thought before we leave this passage, verses 12-14 reveal to the reader the five "I wills" of Lucifer, the most prominent of all angels created.

Lucifer became Satan when he exercised his "free will" and basically rebelled against the Lord, as you can tell by reading these verses. Please notice the last "I will" in verse 13, "I will sit also upon the Mount of the Congregation, in the sides of the North".

According to Psalm 48:2 this is describing the city of Jerusalem. Satan said he will be worshiped in Jerusalem, actually on the Temple Mount. II Thessalonians 2:4 is the prophecy of when the Antichrist, energized by Satan, claims to be God, from the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

There is Biblical evidence that the Antichrist is alive and on earth ready to appear. Remember, that the Temple could be built at any moment. There is only one thing that must happen before the Jews get all of the land God promised them, Babylon is dealt with and Satan, in the person of Antichrist will be worshiped in Jerusalem.

That one thing is the Rapture of the Church when Jesus Christ calls us all into the heavenlies to be with Him forevermore. That could happen at any moment, keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Lord, help me to live today as if today is when that Rapture will take place.
Monday, July 30, 2012

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

For further study - Isaiah 9:1-7

Of the seventeen prophets whose writings are found in the Old Testament canon, "Isaiah" is known as the chief of the "writing prophets", and justly so.

Isaiah is writing about 750 years before the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The prophet reveals, predicting more than any other prophet, the activities and events in the life, on earth, of the coming Messiah.

In this prophetic book, the Messiah in his "person" and "sufferings", and the blessing of the Gentiles through Him, are in full view, or should I say "full vision".

The seventeen prophets have unique ministries during the times before the exile in Babylon, during the Babylonian Captivity, and after the exile. Isaiah was chosen to do his prophetic ministry during the time leading up to the exile.

Some aspects of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry would be focused on what would happen to the Jews before they were carried away into the Babylonian Captivity.

Isaiah would focus his prophecies on the people of Judah, two of the twelve tribes that stayed in the south of Israel, at Jerusalem, when the division of the twelve tribes of Israel took place, as recorded in I Kings 11.

The Assyrians had defeated the "ten tribes", in the north, known as Israel, and these enemies of the Jewish people were now considering advancing south into Judah to defeat the "two southern tribes", Judah and Benjamin.

It is in this context that we come to our devotional passage for today. Isaiah was warning the Jews that the Assyrians would advance to the south and bring to an end the Jewish people and any semblance of a Jewish nation.

Couched among these prophecies of impending danger, Isaiah writes two verses that bring "hope", verses 6 and 7. These are two very "power-packed" verses foretelling the birth of the One who would take on His shoulders the government of not only the Jewish people, but of all "humankind".

Jesus would come as a "son", born into this world to bring "true peace". In fact, the only time in history of "real peace" will be when the "Prince of Peace" comes to set up His everlasting Kingdom, as He rules and reigns from His Temple in Jerusalem.

To confirm the Lord's promise to King David, the "Davidic Covenant", Isaiah reports that the fulfillment of the "Davidic Covenant" is to be confirmed with this "newborn son". During any season of the year it is so refreshing to once again read these very special promises knowing that, "the zeal of the Lord of host will perform this", verse 7.

The Lord God did keep His absolute promise of a "Son to be born unto us", verse 6. Everybody is talking about peace these days, but the only "peace" we will ever have in this world is centered in the person of Jesus Christ who is the "Prince of Peace".

As we remember, and yearly celebrate the first coming of this "Prince of Peace", we now await His return to set up His long promised Kingdom and in truth take the government of this world upon His shoulders.

PRAYER THOT: Thank You, Lord, for the best "gift" ever, the "Prince of Peace" who was born unto us and will rule over us one day, forever.
Sunday, July 29, 2012

Isaiah 6:8

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

For further study - Isaiah 6:1-13

This chapter from the prophecy of Isaiah introduces us to a type of the "angelic bodies" that the Lord created on the first day of Creation between the creation of the heavens and the earth, Job 38:4-7. These creatures are "Seraphim", different from the "Cherubim" of Ezekiel 1.

Angels play a key role in our daily lives that we may not realize. Hebrews 1:14 reveals they are "ministering spirits" to those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Matthew 18:10 says they protect the little children. Luke 16:22 says that angels will accompany us at death and take us into the presence of the Lord. Revelation 22:9 reveals to us that angels are "fellow servants" with us as we together serve the Lord.

There is much more we could write about angels, but we'll save that for another time. Notice how the angels honor the Lord as they cry out to the Lord saying, "holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts".
I love that next phrase, "the whole earth is full of His glory". This echoes the statement of Psalm 19 and extends the location of His glory also into the heavenlies.

Verse 5 reveals Isaiah the prophet as the man he really was, a man of unclean lips and undone. The reason he recognized who he was, was due to the fact that he had seen the King, the Lord of Hosts, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. The result of this face-to-face meeting with Jesus was that Isaiah was made to see who he was and what he must do.

When the Lord said, "Whom shall I send", Isaiah was ready to respond with the statement, "Here am I, send me". We'll look at the new commission given to Isaiah, verses 9-13 at another time. Let's think together of what happened in Isaiah's life that should happen in our lives.

First, Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus. I don't believe we can see Jesus today; however, we can see His glory as I said, in the heavens and in His creation that is displayed throughout all of the earth, Psalm 19.
We must take time to "stop and smell the roses". On days off, holidays, or vacation time, go spend time in the midst of the creation of the Lord.

Second, the realization of the hand of God in creation and the manifestation of His glory should cause us to be willing to say as the prophet did, "here am I, send me".

Isaiah's message was that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was coming. The preaching of this message of the Lord's return should be our message. He is coming. Be prepared by trusting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

In this devotional, as is the case in all of the devotionals, we look at the passage with a prophetic prospective. To understand these passages "prophetically" is our aim, but not our only purpose. Once we have the understanding that Jesus is coming, and possibly very soon, we must endeavor to get that message to others that they might be prepared for His return also. It could be today, we need to get to work.

PRAYER THOT: As I see "Your glory" dear Lord, in the heavens and in other acts of Creation, help me to be ready to go, wherever You may send me.
Saturday, July 28, 2012

Isaiah 4:5

And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense.

For further study - Isaiah 4:1-6

The passage chosen today for our devotional reading is actually a vision of the future kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. This is a vision that God gave to the ancient Jewish prophet Isaiah.

I chose this passage to confront the philosophy that is spreading among many churches and Christians today that we are now living in the kingdom here on earth. This "kingdom now" idea is totally contradictory to God's Word and plan for the Jewish people of the future.

For one thing, most "kingdom now" thinkers believe that the promise of the "kingdom" for the Jews has been negated and those promises now apply to the Church, Christians. That is not only anti-Biblical but it is very anti-Semitic.

Any thinking which says the "kingdom" promised to the Jews when Jesus Christ returns is not literal is saying that all of the covenants that God made with the Jews have been broken and basically the Lord is a liar.

We all know that God cannot lie so thus His "kingdom" promise to the Jews must be kept. Notice in verse 2 that the "Branch", that's Jesus Christ, in His beauty and glory will be back on earth and ruling from Jerusalem from a Temple He himself will build, Zechariah 6:12-13.

Verse 3 reveals to us that the "kingdom" headquarters will be Mt Zion, Jerusalem. These two, Zion and Jerusalem, are synonymous terms, they are the same geographical location.

Verse 4 says the time of the Kingdom will be when Messiah, Jesus Christ, has cleansed the Jewish people. That is yet future, after the seven year Tribulation Period.

The word "tabernacle" used in verse 6 is "suca" in Hebrew which is actually a "thatched hut" used by the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land.

Today during the "Feast of Tabernacles" Jewish people celebrate that "seven-day" Jewish feast by living, sleeping, eating and fellowshipping in a "suca" that they erect at their homes.

Remember Peter wanted to build three tabernacles, "suca's", on the Mount of Transfiguration,Matthew 17:4. Peter thought it was the "Kingdom" period and therefore the fulfillment of the Jewish "Feast of Tabernacles". Thus the three "suca's", would have been one each for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

The "Kingdom" is yet future, howbeit, the near future. The "Kingdom" is not in operation now. That is a very dangerous theology. When Hitler wanted to set up the "kingdom" he had to slaughter the Jews first.

The promise of the "Kingdom" for the Jews is yet to be fulfilled. Isaiah's "vision of the Kingdom" in our reading for today is a "promise" of that coming Kingdom, in a near by tomorrow.

PRAYER THOT: Thank You, Lord, for the Biblical basis for understanding the "end times".
Friday, July 27, 2012

Isaiah 2:2

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

For further study - Isaiah 2:1-5

Today we move into the prophetic books of the Old Testament, 17 of them in total, and we start with Isaiah. I did write that there are 17 Old Testament prophetic books, but I hasten to remind you that there are many prophetic passages in all 39 books of the Old Testament.

This passage of scripture selected as our key verse today is a glimpse into the "Kingdom to come". This will be the time when Jesus is the "King of Kings" and "Lord of Lords". Jesus will be on His throne in Jerusalem, in the Temple. At that time there will be a "theocratic" government in place and all living on the earth will live under the Lord's rule.

It will be a time of no war, in fact, people won't ever 'learn of war", verse 4. The soldiers will return to farming, using the farm implements formed out of swords and spears. Finally, "peace" will have come to earth. The "Prince of Peace" will be on His throne in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be the central focus of the world. Not only will Jesus be there, He will teach us from there. Each of us will go and gather others to join us as we hurry to the "house of the Lord", the Temple, to hear Him teach.

The Lord will teach His ways from the "mountain of the Lord", another name for the Temple Mount, which will be the location of the Messiah's Temple. As He teaches us, we will go forward to walk in His paths.

There are several applications in this passage, one, His "word" is what we need to learn, as He teaches us, so we can then walk in His paths. This will be a part of the lifestyle of the future, forever.

Another application is that today there will be wars, but one day no more need for military armament, we won't even learn of war anymore. Because the Lord is there, Jerusalem will be the focus of the world, the center of our teaching and thus learning.

Notice the "word" of the Lord will go out and around the world from Jerusalem. It is the "word" that goes out then, today we should cherish, love, honor and obey His word since that is what we will do forever.

The fact that you are reading this devotional is evidence that you place God’s Word, the Bible, as a priority in what you read and study. This is what will be happening during a thousand year period of time, the Kingdom Period to come, why not start reading and studying the Bible today.

A very practical aspect of reading the Bible is that thirty percent of His Word is "prophetic" and lays out the "last days" scenario that we see unfolding in our world right now This knowledge of what will happen in the future will give us insight into making decisions presently.

Everyone should decide to be "prepared" for His call to have us join Him in the heavens by being "saved". If one is prepared then He must be "pure" in his daily living and "productive" until He does call us to be with Him in the heavens at the Rapture.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to study your word so I can walk in your paths of preparation, purity and being productive.
Thursday, July 26, 2012

Song of Solomon 4:16

Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

For further study - Song of Solomon 4:1-16

As we come once again to the Song of Solomon or as the book is known in the Hebrew Bible, the Song of Songs, chapter four verse one, we see the Bridegroom speaking. Remember, we must study this book not as an allegory but as a "marriage manual" from the Lord.

Song 3:6-5:1 is a "manual" for the marriage ceremony, which is the second part of a Jewish wedding, following the "engagement" and preceding the "marriage celebration".

One aspect of the marriage ceremony is the "consummation" of the marriage when after being pronounced "husband and wife", the newly married couple have sexual intercourse, which consummates this marriage.

As we read through chapter 4, we see the bridegroom using all of his senses to make love to his new bride, sight, touch, smell and sound. Notice in Song 5:1 the bridegroom encourages the wedding guests, "O friends", to begin the marriage celebration, the marriage has been consummated.

Song 5:2-8:4 in this "marriage manual" is the "how to’s" for the marriage in the days ahead, the continuity of the marriage.

Please allow me to remind you that all Scripture has a "technical interpretation" and/or a "spiritual application". For the technical interpretation we must approach our study of the Bible from a "literal interpretation". Who is the passage speaking to? What is the historic and geographic background and what does the passage mean when taken literally?

A "spiritual application" can allow for us to approach our understanding of any passage from the point of view that we understand what the text is literally saying. However, how can the text be applied to my life and experience.

From the spiritual application of this passage we can see how the Lord Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, since the "Church" is His bride, how He loves us and will do so forever.

Remember, Revelation 19:7-9 is the prophecy of our marriage to Jesus Christ and the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb", the marriage celebration after the marriage ceremony. The marriage ceremony takes place sometime soon after the Rapture.

By the way, the Rapture could take place at any moment, thus we must make certain we have our "marriage garment" ready for the marriage, Revelation 19:8. That "marriage garment" is our "righteous acts", those works we do in the power of the Lord and for His glory.

At the Judgment Seat of Christ, which takes place in the heavens, right after the Rapture, it is determined by Jesus which of our works, after salvation, are the "righteous acts" that will make up our "wedding garment" for our marriage to Jesus.

The events of today, according to the prophetic scenario found in Bible prophecy, are setting the stage for all of these prophecies to be fulfilled. Remember, the next event on God’s calendar of prophetic events is the Rapture, which could happen today.

PRAYER THOT: Thank You, Lord, for the promise of marriage to You, forever. Please help me to prepare my "wedding garment" for the soon coming wedding.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Song of Solomon 3:5

I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

For further study - Song of Solomon 3:1-5

Each time we come to the Song of Solomon I must remind you that to understand Scripture we must approach any portion of the Word using a "literal interpretation" of the text. Often, Bible teachers approach this book, the third book written by King Solomon, using the "allegorical method" of interpretation.

The "literal interpretation" of Song is the instruction from God for a successful courtship and marriage. It is the best marriage manual ever written. That mentioned, let me suggest that you allow yourself to put your thoughts in sync with the Jewish mind. The Jewish understanding of this great book is derived from an "allegorical method" of interpretation.

The Jews see the "bridegroom" as the "Messiah" and "themselves as the bride-to-be", the woman of this narrative. As you read all five verses of our extended portion of Song, you can see the desire the Jewish people have for the coming of their Messiah.

The narrative is that of the "bride-to-be" expressing her love for her "groom-to-be" and her eagerness for the marriage ceremony to take place.

I mentioned before that the religious Jews see Song of Songs as the "holy of holies" of their Bible. Thus the content of this book becomes the thinking of those who read it so often. There is a need, a desire for the Messiah to come among the religious Jewish people, which make up between 25 and 30 percent of all Jews.

About 25 percent of the remaining Jews are not religious but mostly "secular humanists". The remaining 45-50 percent of Jews are "God- conscious" and do have an anticipation of the coming of the Messiah.

This eagerness to see the Messiah is made manifest in the Jews' returning to the land of their forefathers. It also is made clear when the efforts to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem are on the minds of so many Jewish people.

What is ironic is that 2,000 years ago the Messiah came to the Jewish people and they rejected Him. However, that does not negate the "promises" of God to the Jewish people and His "program" for them.

As Christians, we can watch the increasing desire among the Jews for their Messiah to come and better understand how close His Second Coming may well be. That understanding will help us to realize how close the next event on God’s calendar of activities, the Rapture, is in our day. In fact, the Rapture could take place today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to have a real love for the appearance of You, my Messiah, made manifest in the life I live until You do come.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Song of Solomon 2:9

My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

For further study - Song of Solomon 2:8-17

The "Song of Solomon" is the English title for the Biblical book in the Jewish Bible known as the "Song of Songs". It is what the Jewish people consider the "holies of holies" of the Bible. The Jewish interpretation of the Song is the allegorical method of interpretation.

I do not interpret "Song" allegorically, I use the literal method of interpretation. Doing that you must conclude that Solomon, the author of Song, is revealing to us the scripture method of courtship, marriage and the married life. The study of Song using the literal interpretation is a great and important Bible study.

Having said that, I want to return to the Jewish allegorical method of interpretation to reveal some very interesting reasons for Jewish spiritual activities. In the Jewish understanding of Song the "beloved" is the Messiah. Notice in Song 2:9 the "beloved" is behind the wall.

In the 2nd century Rabbi Akkiva was the Jewish Sage that gave the Jewish people a reason for praying at the Western "retaining wall" in the Old City of Jerusalem. Three times every day those religious Jews living in the Old City of Jerusalem make their way to the Western Wall to pray.

The Western Wall is not one of the remaining walls of the Temple that once stood there on the Temple Mount. There are no walls remaining of that Temple. The Western Wall is a "retaining wall" of the Temple Mount. In fact, the Jews do not face towards where the Temple stood - but straight ahead, looking towards the Mount of Olives at the Western Wall.

The Mount of Olives is the mount that will split when Jesus returns to Earth. In fact, that is what "Bethar" means "the mountain of separation". As the Jewish people pray they are looking to the spot where the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will return one day. Then they will look on Him whom they have pierced.

That day of His return is closer now than it's ever been. Remember, the Rapture happens seven years before His return, and the Rapture could happen today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord, to look and live every day for You to come.
Monday, July 23, 2012

Song of Solomon 1:1

The song of songs, which is Solomon's.

For further study - Song of Solomon 1:1-17

It is very interesting that we come today to read from the Song of Solomon, or as the Jews refer to the book, The "Song of Songs". It is interesting to note that on the Jewish Feast of Passover there will be Passover Seders in Jewish homes across the world. The book read during the Feast of Passover in Jewish families is the Song of Songs, which the Jewish people consider to be the "holy of holies" in Scripture.

A proper exegesis of the book reveals God's plan for marriage with input for the courtship,Song of Solomon 1:1-3:5; the ceremony, Song of Solomon 3:6-51;and the continuity,Song of Solomon 5:2-8:4.

There is also a secondary interpretation that is somewhat allegorical and it projects the "love" between Christ and His "bride”, the Church. Let me suggest that you first read the book with the proper interpretation, the Lord's instruction for the marriage process.

Then read the passage again and think of the Bridegroom and the Bride in their courtship, ceremony, and continuity. However, this time have Christ as the Bridegroom, the "Beloved" and the Church, the "lover".

Truly we are in a marital pattern as we await the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. We are in the "engagement period", the courtship period. Jesus has gone to "prepare a place for us in His Father's house", the heavens. He will come to get us and quickly go to the "ceremony" for the consummation of the marriage.

As you read, think, even meditate on the truth of the coming marriage between Christ, the "Groom" and the Church, His "Bride". The reason the Jews read this book at Passover is because they consider Song of Songs an allegory. They believe it is describing the coming of the "Beloved", the Messiah and the woman, the "lover" as Israel.

I have suggested that you read the Song of Solomon with Jesus and the Church in mind. But remember, a proper interpretation of the book is that it's God's instructions for true, Godly romance and marriage.

Prophecy does tell us of the "marriage ceremony" that will take place soon after the Rapture of the Church, Revelation 19:7-9. Notice it tells us our wedding dress will be our "righteous acts" that will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ. As the "Bride" we must be preparing our "wedding gown" as we await the "Bridegroom", Jesus Christ.

PRAYER THOT: Help me today to do righteous acts and prepare my wedding gown for a wedding ceremony in a near future tomorrow.
Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ecclesiastes 12:14

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

For further study - Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

As you read through the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes, you are reading the words of a "wise man", who, by inspiration, pens the "wisdom", which is "truth" from God.

King Solomon, who wrote Ecclesiastes, is also known as the "Preacher", verse 9, and in this last chapter states that the end of all matters is "vanity", verse 8. Solomon says everything is "vanity".

That sounds a bit perplexing and very pessimistic, but in reality, the Preacher is saying -- if you read the entire book of Ecclesiastes, you will see that what is meant is all of life's ambitions, attractions, attitude and attacks are what is "all vanity".

In the last two verses of his book, King Solomon summarizes what life should be all about.Verse 13 is the conclusion of the whole matter of life and the exhortation is to "fear God" and "do as He says we should do”.

Then in verse 14 the Preacher reminds us all that "God will bring our every work into judgment", even the secret things we do. All our works, good or evil, will be brought into judgment.

Every person's works, whether that person be saved or lost, will be brought into judgment. For the saved person those works will be judged at the "Judgment Seat of Christ", II Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10.

The procedure at the Judgment Seat is for Jesus to judge our works, I Corinthians 3:13-15. We receive "rewards", "crowns" that then we will cast at His feet in thanksgiving, Revelation 4:10, for the things that our Lord has done for us.

These "good" works are works we’ve done in His power and for His glory. We suffer loss for those works we do in our own power and for our own glory. Jesus will be the judge of all of our works, whether they are "good" or "worthless".

Let me remind you, we're not saved by works, but "by grace through faith", Ephesians 2:8-9. However, we're created unto good works, Ephesians 2:10. It is the "works" that we have done for the Lord that He will judge us for at the Judgment Seat.

The "lost" person will also be judged, at the "Great White Throne", for his works, Revelation 20:1-15. This Judgment is for a lost person, as it relates to the degrees of "punishment", which the lost person will suffer in eternity future. This will be a terrible time for the lost person.

King Solomon wrote an entire book to tell us what he sums up in two verses, "all is vanity, fear God and do what He tells us to do". This truth will be very real to each of us at the judgment we face in the "last days".

PRAYER THOT: Help me to do works for Your glory Lord, and in Your power, in preparation for the coming Judgment.
Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

For further study - Ecclesiastes 3:1-12

God entrusted one man to write three books, all focused on the "wisdom of God". The essence of the three manuscripts speak of wisdom and reveals to us that the "fear of the Lord" is the beginning of knowledge, Proverbs 1:7.

As we read through the three books penned by the wise man, King Solomon, we see that with knowledge we get understanding and wisdom comes through that understanding of knowledge given to us as we reverentially fear the Lord and have a hatred for the evil He hates.

Solomon also speaks to us about "time". "Time" is one thing that is given to each of us individually but in the same amounts. Each of us have been given 86,400 seconds each day. It is what we do with the time that God has given us that matters.

As you read through our extended reading today, think on the statements about "time" and what should happen with the time the Lord has given each of us.

One important time is the time you are spending right now, a "devotional time". Spending this time in His book, the Bible, will assist us in spending the rest of our time for Him.

There needs to be a time set aside each week to join others in our worship of the Lord. That would be a "church time".

High priority in the expanse of time is what is referred to as "family time". We cut back on "family time" to our own detriment and the detriment of our family members.

Another theme of Solomon is "work time". God has a plan for every one of us, not only those who are ministers. This is a plan that is well described as "work time". There is also "rest time". Remember when your Mom used to give you rest time. Remember the old saying, "We must come apart to rest or we will come apart".

For those who don't know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior there is a "time of Salvation". It is an appointed time, today.

Then, as we often remind you, there are the "end times". That is the period of time we are living in today. When Daniel used the phrase, "at the time of the end", Daniel 11:40, he was referring to the time today.

Every Bible prophecy that needed to be fulfilled before the Rapture, has been fulfilled. Today could well be the time of the shout from the Archangel, Jesus shouting and the trumpet sounding, which will call us to join our Lord in the heavens. That "time" could be today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to look for you and live accordingly in the "time of the end".
Friday, July 20, 2012

Ecclesiastes 2:11

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

For further study - Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

A key phrase in the book of Ecclesiastes is "under the sun" which is used a number of times in Solomon's journal of his life. Remember, Solomon was the third king of Israel, the son of Israel's second king, David.

I mentioned that this book was actually a journal written by one of the wisest men to ever live on earth and most assuredly the richest man to ever live at any time in history.

I just noticed the statement by Solomon that he "gathered...silver and gold", verse 8. A record of how much gold the king received just in one year is found in I Kings 10:14 where it says that "666 talents" of the precious metal came into Solomon's coffers in just one year.

If you define "talents" it would mean that the amount of gold would have been 25 tons, 50,000 pounds, or 800,000 ounces of gold. At the present day price of gold at around $1,500 per ounce, and you can see how rich this man would have been.

Verse 4 says that Solomon built himself houses. I Kings 7:1-8 records the information about Solomon's home that took him 13 years to build. That is 6 more years to build his house than it took him to build the Temple, I Kings 6:38. His home was 11,250 square feet, the Temple only 2,700 square feet.

I guess Solomon needed such a large house for all of his wives and concubines, 700 wives and 300 concubines. Solomon did not have an "ipod" to download music but instead he had "men singers" and "women singers" and the "delights of the sons of men as musical instruments",verse 8.

The truth of the matter is that whatever Solomon saw with his eyes that he wanted, he got. In today's world of "consumption" Solomon would have been "number one".

But notice his statement, verse 11. All he got was vanity and vexation of spirit, "there was no profit under the sun". How much like our world today was Solomon in his day. Solomon concluded, "there was no profit under the sun", he was a very "egocentric" man.

That word, "egocentric", does describe our world today. However, as we continue to look for Jesus to come back and keep our focus on the heavenlies, we will become "Christo-centric", Christ will be our focus.

What is exciting is the reality that the events of this world today seem to indicate that the Lord’s shout for us to join Him in the heavenlies at the Rapture is about to happen. Today we could be caught up to be with Him forever more someplace beyond the "sun". Even so, come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, not to be "egocentric" but to become "Christo-centric" as I eagerly await Your return.
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ecclesiastes 1:1

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

For further study - Ecclesiastes 1:1-12

Our extended reading for today opens and closes with the same testimony of the writer, he is the "preacher" who was King of Israel in Jerusalem. I’ll have more on the significance of that testimony in a moment. But first, enjoy the poetic literature of the writer of Ecclesiastes, the "Preacher".

Solomon sets the stage for the entire book in verse 2 when he explains that all in this world is vanity, not foolish pride, but the emptiness that will be the final results of life apart from God. The writer then reveals that our labor in this world is of no profit. Only what is done for Him has eternal value.

Notice how Solomon describes the sun that rises, goes down and then hastens to its place to rise again, verse 5. All the rivers run into the sea and the oceans are not filled up. In fact, those waters return to the rivers only to return to the sea once again.

In the theme that all is vanity, Solomon tells us that our eyes and ears will not be satisfied with our seeing and hearing, with what ever we see and hear.

Now back to our key verse and the last verse of our extended reading, verses 1 and 12. Notice the testimonies of the writer of this book, the "preacher" is King Solomon, the third King of Israel. King Solomon was the son of Israel's second king, King David. That is significant because of the covenant that God made with David.

The Davidic Covenant was the promise that there would be a "son of David" who would sit on his throne forever. Solomon, the first to sit on the throne, had to be the first, so that the last, Jesus Christ, could one day be the King of Kings and set upon the throne of David.

The Davidic covenant also promised that David's son Solomon would build the first Temple, and he did build the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, some 3,000 years ago.

The testimony of the "Preacher", King Solomon, is a benchmark in the fulfillment of God's covenant promise to King David and the Jewish people. The fulfillment of God’s promise to King David is an assurance to each of us who will be the "bride" to the coming King in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to see temporal things as vanity, eternal things as profitable.