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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Habakkuk's Question

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

Have you ever heard this very common question:


How can a good God tolerate evil?


You've probably heard that asked, or even thought it yourself. Well, the prophet Habakkuk asks God that question.


Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler.

Habakkuk 1:13-14

Habakkuk complain twice in the first chapter...2 times. And he even knows it after the 2nd complaint, he even says this:


I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

Habakkuk 2:1

And God has an answer for this question Habakkuk is all about God's prophet questioning the ways of the Lord. If you want the full answer, read Habakkuk 2, but here is a summary of how God replies:


2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
"Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, "'Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?'
Will not your debtors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their victim.
Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed man's blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
12 "Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by crime!
13 Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people's labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
16 You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposed! The cup from the LORD's right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory.
Habakkuk 2:2-3; 6-8; 10-13; 16

I know, that was a long summary, but here's one that is even shorter:


God tells  Habakkuk that he will punish evil in the end. Even if it prospers now, God says "the people's labor is only fuel for the fire"


And I would like to point out that God tells Habakkuk to write it down, because he know the same question will come up in the future. That question will always be asked, and I know this because if I God-fearing prophet will question God it, you better believe non-Christians will! And they do. And now the next time someone asks you this, or you wonder this, just open your bible to Habakkuk two and let God answer the question because he is smart like that.

There are many other answer to that question, but I like this one because this is what God said to a doubtful prophet. And the last chapter of Habakkuk is a song of praise to God.
Habakkuk concludes with this:

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Nahum and Haggai

File:Nahum-prophet.jpg
Over the course of Monday and Today, I have read through three books of the bible, Haggai, Nahum, and Habakkuk.
People who have been reading my blog for a while probably remember this verse from a posts I did about a year ago:

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade. The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him. The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of [Nineveh]; he will pursue his foes into darkness.
Nahum 1:2-8

I really like reading through the prophets because the prophets are not anything special, they're just people. They do what God tells them to do, and get amazing results. I won't have time to do a devotion on ever prophet book that I read, as I am going at a fairly fast pace, but I will do as many as I can (There should be one about Habakkuk out pretty soon)

Photo Credit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nahum-prophet.jpg

Monday, February 25, 2013

Obadiah

Today I started reading through the prophets and as my introduction to it, I read Obadiah, a one chapter (21 verses) book by the obscure prophet Obadiah. Here, he writes his vision concerning Edom.
The history behind Obadiah (The person, not the book) is a mystery. Even though there are many Obadiah's mentioned in the old the old testament, the lack of information about the author contained in the book leaves us with no clues to this man life, background, etc.
Anyway, here is the book:

The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom--We have heard a message from the LORD: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, "Rise, and let us go against her for battle"-- "See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?' Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD.
Obadiah 1:1-5

God sustains nations, and he destroys nations. Every day your nation is still running, and not crumbling in an inferno, you should praise God because he has given that country another day. Maybe the country is evil, or maybe it's good...either way, God has a purpose for it. When ever he ceases to need to country, he can destroy it. God can do whatever he wants. For Edom, has is planning an attack that will destroy them in the end. Obadiah gets to be the one who explains why. Reason one: They are a very prideful and arrogant nation. And there destruction will be from another nation that will choose the battle them because they say among themselves: 'Who can bring me down to the ground?'

"If thieves came to you, if robbers in the night--Oh, what a disaster awaits you--would they not steal only as much as they wanted? If grape pickers came to you, would they not leave a few grapes? But how Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged! All your allies will force you to the border; your friends will deceive and overpower you; those who eat your bread will set a trap for you, but you will not detect it. "In that day," declares the LORD, "will I not destroy the wise men of Edom, men of understanding in the mountains of Esau? Your warriors, O Teman, will be terrified, and everyone in Esau's mountains will be cut down in the slaughter.
Obadiah 1:6-9

God's wrath will be so unleashed that the arrogant warrior will be terrified...because they had never seen anything like that before. God even explains why he is not just going to send thieves and robbers to them-because then the thieves will only take what they want, which is not everything. But God is very clear that everything will be taken to them, so much so that none of the warriors had ever seen anything like it happen. All their allies will become their enemies. They will not know who they can trust. And everyone in Esau's mountains will be cut down in the slaughter.
Oh, and here's another thing... But how Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged! Back when this book was written, the only banks out there where the ground. And so, in the ground people would bury their greatest possessions. So ransacking hidden treasures would be taking your greatest treasure.

Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever. On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster. You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble.
Obadiah 1:10-14

Here is the second reason as to why Edom is being punished so harshly, the founder of Edom is Esau (Genesis 36:8-9) and this founder did some pretty bad things, as we see it the verses above, and his children are being punished for it.

"The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. Just as you drank on my holy hill, so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been.
Obadiah 1:15-16

Now check out this passage from Mathew:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
Mathew 25:31-45

In Obadiah, it says "As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head." In the case of Edom, God is saying: 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance. The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble, and they will set it on fire and consume it. There will be no survivors from the house of Esau." The LORD has spoken. People from the Negev will occupy the mountains of Esau, and people from the foothills will possess the land of the Philistines. They will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria, and Benjamin will possess Gilead. This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan will possess [the land] as far as Zarephath; the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad will possess the towns of the Negev. Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the LORD's.
Obadiah 1:17-21

And this is the fate of Edom. When Esau was alive, his brother Jacob stole his birthright (Genesis 27) and finally, Jacob takes it all from Esau because his descendants destroy Esau's descendants.
And this concludes Obadiah, the shortest book in the old testament.

Sources:
http://www.insight.org/ministry/bible/obadiah.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edom
http://www.gotquestions.org/Jacob-Esau-love-hate.html

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Daily Reminders #12

But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them.
Jeremiah 10:12-14

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jesus (God's Son = God?)

File:Dirk van Baburen - Kroning met de doornenkroon.jpg
I know that Jesus is God because the bible says so. This is something that a lot of people argue about, but why I do not know, because the bible clearly states that Jesus is man, and is God. Anyway, I'm gonna prove my point in this post.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GodHe was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-4; 14

Nothing was made without the word (Jesus) because Jesus is God. Jesus became flesh (human) and lived on the earth.

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Hebrews 1:3

Jesus (the son) is exactly the same has God, and is a physical representation of who he is, and now Jesus Christ is in heaven, sitting by the right hand of his father. And I know that one day, we will all bow before Jesus (Philippians 2:10) because he is God. Which leads me to my next verse.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likenessAnd being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every namethat at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earthand every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Phillippians 2:5-11

Even Jesus says these things:

"I and the Father are one."
John 10:30

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
John 8:58

By calling himself "I am", he was saying he was the same as the God of Abraham (Exodus 3:14)

For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:18

This one says it all, the Pharisees knew that if Jesus was God's son, he would be equal with God! If even the stubborn, hardhearted Pharisees understood that, then why can't so many people today understand it?

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
Matthew 1:23

The Jesus is God because he was to be called God with us.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Peter 1:1

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--
Hebrew 2:14

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1 Timothy 2:5

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:4

I here's chart that I made about Jesus being man and God
Chart created by me, but text inspired by carm.org (http://carm.org/jesus-two-natures)

Taken from: http://blog.mrm.org/2012/12/the-trinity-mormonisms-rejection-of-gods-highest-revelation-part-4-of-4/

So there it is, my proof in a condensed form.

Still not convinced? Here are more verses you should look at.
Mathew 4:7, John 8:58John 1:14, Luke 7:16, John 10:30, Hebrews 1:8, Luke 5:21-22

Sources:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/04/10/the-real-jesus#fnList_1_9
http://carm.org/jesus-two-natures

Photo Credit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dirk_van_Baburen_-_Kroning_met_de_doornenkroon.jpg
http://blog.mrm.org/2012/12/the-trinity-mormonisms-rejection-of-gods-highest-revelation-part-4-of-4/

Thursday, February 14, 2013

4 49s (and why they are awesome)

Did you know that there are only 4 books in the bible that have 49 or more chapter in them? They are Psalms (150), Isaiah (66), Jeremiah (52), and Genesis (50). And poor Ezekiel has 48, leaving out of the wonderful lists because of one chapter. I don't know why I chose 49, but I did.

No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him--the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough--that he should live on forever and not see decay. For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. Selah Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions. But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. Selah. Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him. Though while he lived he counted himself blessed--and men praise you when you prosper-- he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light [of life]. A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
Psalm 49:7-20

Man cannot endure. We must be given a new body by Christ to live on forever and not decay. This is why salvation is not unimportant because “the ransom for a life is too costly, no payments is ever enough that he should live on forever and not see decay.”

Who is the chosen one I [God] will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me?
Jeremiah 49:19b

“Simeon and Levi are Brothers-their swords are weapons of violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel!
Genesis 49:5-7a

In all this chapter, Simeon and Levi get the worst of their father's blessing, though for them...it's more of a curse. It just goes to show you that anger (when it gets out of hand) can be a curse to your parents. Jacob even said that he tried to avoid them (let me not join their assembly).
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
Isaiah 49:16

The word engrave means to cut or trace and the palm is a tender place since it the innermost part of the hand. The picture actually is holding something so tightly in your hand that it finally makes its mark there. And that is how much God cares about us.

Photo credit:
http://dougrobinson.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/isaiah-4916/

Sources
http://dougrobinson.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/isaiah-4916/
http://www.devotional-reflections-from-the-bible.com/Psalm49.html

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Daily Reminders #11

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
Psalm 25