Posts Tagged ‘theology’


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:13,15,17 – 13) He who answers before listening-that is his folly and his shame
15) The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.
17) The first to present his case seems right , till another comes forward and questions him

In these concise statements, there are three basic principles for making sound decisions:

(1) get the facts before answering;
(2) be open to new ideas;
(3) make sure you hear both sides of the story before judging.

All three principles center around seeking additional information. This is difficult work, but the only alternative is prejudice-judging before getting the facts.


Under Gods Command

(Samuel’s birth and childhood)

1 Samuel 1:12 -17As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
     15“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
     17Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”

Eli was a Priest, and miss judged this woman at first. But instead of just walking away with that believe of her being drunk with wine, he spoke to her and told her to put away your wine. Then he found out he miss judge her, and listened to her story.

Lets Bring Home: How many times do we miss judge a situation, and walk away with the thought of what we think we saw? When at times if we speak to him or her, we also can find the truth in someone’s situation, and give him or her a word of encouragement that just might change his or her life. How many people have we walked by or came to us and we did not have time which later ended up in a bad situation or Suicide?


Under Gods Command

(Samuel’s birth and childhood)

1 Samuel 1:8-10 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
     9Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s house. 10In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly.

Hannah knew her husband loved her, but even his encouragement could not comfort her. She could not keep from listening to Peninnah’s jeers and letting Peninnah’s words erode her self-confidence. Although we cannot keep others from unjustly criticizing us, we can choose how we will react to their hurtful words.

Hannah had good reason to feel discouraged and bitter. She was unable to bear children; she shared her husband with a woman who ridiculed her (1:7); her loving husband could not solve her problem (1:8); and even the high priest misunderstood her motives (1:14). But instead of retaliating or giving up hope, Hannah prayed. She brought her problem honestly before God.

Lets Bring it Home: Each of us may face times of barrenness when nothing “comes to birth” in our work, service, or relationships. It is difficult to pray in faith when we feel so ineffective. But, as Hannah discovered, prayer opens the way for God to work Rather than dwelling upon our problems, we can enjoy the loving relationships God has given us. By so doing, we can exchange self-pity for hope.


Under Gods Command

    1There was a certain man from Ramathaim, Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.    
3Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. 4Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. 6Because the LORD had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.
 

The book of 1 Samuel begins in the days when the judges still ruled Israel, possibly during the closing years of Samson’s life. Samuel was Israel’s last judge and the first priest and prophet to serve during the time of a king. He was the best example of what a good judge should be, governing the people by God’s Word and not by his own impulses. Samuel was the man who anointed Saul as Israel’s first king.

Although many great Old Testament leaders (such as Abraham, Jacob, and David) had more than one wife, this was not God’s original intention for marriage. Genesis 2:24 states that in marriage, two people become one flesh. Why then did polygamy exist among God’s people? First, it was to produce more offspring to help in the man’s work and to assure the continuation of the man’s family line. Numerous children were a symbol of status and wealth. Second, in societies where many young men were killed in battle, polygamy became an accepted way of supporting women who otherwise would have remained unmarried and, very likely, destitute. Nevertheless, polygamy often caused serious family problems, as we see in this story of Hannah and Peninnah.

The tabernacle (Tent of Meeting) was located at Shiloh, the religious center of the nation (see Joshua 18:1). Three times a year all Israelite men were required to attend a religious festival held at the tabernacle: the Passover with the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16). Elkanah made this pilgrimage regularly to fulfill God’s commands. (See Exodus 23:14-17 for the regulations concerning the pilgrimage, and see the note on Exodus 40:34 for more on the tabernacle.)

Hannah had been unable to conceive children, and in Old Testament times, a childless woman was considered a failure. Her barrenness was a social embarrassment for her husband. Children were a very important part of the society’s economic structure. They were a source of labor for the family, and it was their duty to care for their parents in their old age. If a wife could not bear children, she was often obligated by ancient Middle Eastern custom to give one of her servant girls to her husband to bear children for her. Although Elkanah could have left Hannah (a husband was permitted to divorce a barren wife), he remained lovingly devoted to her despite social criticism and his rights under civil law.

Part of God’s plan for Hannah involved postponing her years of childbearing. While Peninnah and Elkanah looked at Hannah’s outward circumstances, God was moving ahead with his plan.

Lets Bring it Home: Think of those in your world who are struggling with God’s timing in answering their prayers and who need your love and help. By supporting those who are struggling, you may help them remain steadfast in their faith and confident in his timing to bring fulfillment to their lives.


Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 11:7-12 7Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to your in any way, and will continue to do so. 10As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.

The Corinthians may have thought that preachers could be judged by how much money they demanded. A good speaker would charge a large sum, a fair speaker would be a little cheaper, and a poor speaker would speak for free. The false teachers may have argued that because Paul asked no fee for his preaching, he must have been an amateur, with little authority or competence.

Paul could have asked the Corinthian church for financial support. Jesus himself taught that those who minister for God should be supported by the people to whom they minister (Matthew 10:10). But Paul thought that asking for support in Corinth might be misunderstood. There were many false teachers who hoped to make a good profit from preaching (2:17), and Paul might look like one of them. Paul separated himself completely from those false teachers in order to silence those who only claimed to do God’s work.

Lets Bring it Home: Believers today must be careful not to assume that every speaker, preacher, or evangelist who is well known or who demands a large honorarium necessarily teaches the truth.

 


Under Gods Command                          

Proverbs 3:19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place

Let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom 3:4)! Here is fabulous truth about the origin of the earth and heavens. Any science that contradicts it is false science (I Tim 6:20-21). For you to appreciate wisdom in Solomon’s Proverbs, God used it to create the universe.

Most today foolishly believe the earth and heavens are the result of a cosmic explosion – a big bang. They believe the incredible order, beauty, design, life, intelligence, consciousness, sexes, animal spirits, reproductive ability, and human souls, among trillions of other aspects of the universe, are the result of combustion of gases in space!

Chaos brought all this into existence by chance! Now that theory takes enormous faith – confidence in man’s speculative imagination, with no supporting evidence, and with all experience denying the remotest possibility. And the more education a person has, the more confident they are of this ridiculous hallucination. So much for higher education!

Children know better. For, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen 1:1). For, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb 11:3). A child can read, memorize, and understand that the only true book declares creation.

Men today are as stupid as a stone. They reason from pure speculation out of hatred and rebellion against their Creator. Wisdom reasons by faith from the visible creation and the obviously inspired revelation of the Bible. The truth is certain and sure, but only a man with faith can see it and hold it (II Thess 3:1-2). Thank you, Lord, for the gift of faith.

All thoughts about origins, worldviews, truth, and wisdom start with presuppositions – axioms assumed to be self-evident. God-haters, like Stephen Hawkings or Bill Nye, assume there is no God or divine revelation in order to substitute the theory of evolution for creation. Believers assume the existence of God by faith and the evidence in creation; they assume the Bible is divine revelation by faith and its internal evidence.

The LORD and Solomon want you to learn wisdom and understanding (Pr 3:13,21), for the benefits of having it are numerous and glorious (Pr 3:14-18,22-26). But where did wisdom come from, and how valuable is it? You have this proverb, and its conclusion in Prov 3:20, to provoke greater appreciation for wisdom by considering its Source and use.

Wisdom and understanding are from the LORD, Who has both in infinite measure; and He used them to found the earth and establish the heavens. Wisdom and understanding are what guided the Creator God in the design of the universe.  Now are you interested in acquiring it?  Now are you willing to listen, as Solomon teaches you the fear of the Lord?

The LORD God Jehovah created the earth with its axis holding an angle of 23.5 degrees, so you have seasons and varying amounts of light and night. He made 24-hour periods of time called days, which are just the right amount of time to work, play, and sleep before the next one begins. The list could go on indefinitely. He made it all perfectly good.

He established the moon to keep track of months, and the stars to guide sailors on the seas.  They hold in patterns called constellations, and the sun gives just the right amount of heat within a narrow range for life on earth to prosper. The list could go on forever.

Dear reader, if other descriptions of wisdom have not moved you, does the use of wisdom by God in creating the universe impress you? You may have the wisdom of God, if you will take it. The book of Proverbs was written to help you get it, so get it (Pr 4:7)!

And remember that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in the Lord Jesus, the blessed and soon-appearing Redeemer, Who created all things Himself, and by Whom all things consist, and by Whom all things are upheld (Col 1:16-17; 2:3; Heb 1:3).


Under Gods Command

(Reference: 1 Corinthians Chapter 12)

Spiritual Gifts: The spiritual gifts given to each person by the Holy Spirit are special abilities that are to be used to minister to the needs of the body of believers. This chapter is not an exhaustive list of spiritual gifts (see Romans 12; Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4:10, 11 for more examples). There are many gifts, people have different gifts, some people have more than one gift, and one gift is not superior to another. All spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit, and their purpose is to build up Christ’s body, the church.

Instead of building up and unifying the Corinthian church, the issue of spiritual gifts was splitting it. Spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries because some people thought they were more “spiritual” than others because of their gifts. This was a terrible misuse of spiritual gifts because their purpose is always to help the church function more effectively, not to divide it. We can be divisive if we insist on using our gift our own way without being sensitive to others. We must never use gifts as a means of manipulating others or serving our own self-interest.