Posts Tagged ‘Old Testament’


QUOTE (Joseph Priestley) – Mar. 24

March 24, 2014

Portrait of Joseph Priestley

I must not omit, however, to observe, that the prophets of the Old Testament, and our Saviour and the apostles in the New, do not content themselves with giving instructions, concerning men’s conduct in particular cases and instances, but are more especially careful to inculcate the necessity of cultivating such an inward temper of mind as will form a complete character, which will lead to the observance of every particular duty, and make the constant practice of it easy and delightful.

~ Joseph Priestley

In honor of Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen, who was born on this day in 1733.

This Day in History for 24th March
The theological and miscellaneous works of Joseph Priestly, Volume 2


Enhanced by Zemanta

QUOTE (Albert Barnes) – Dec 1

December 1, 2013

English: Portrait of Albert Barnes (theologian...

“The Bible, as a revelation from God, was not designed to give us all the information we might desire, nor to solve all the questions about which the human soul is perplexed, but to impart enough to be a safe guide to the haven of eternal rest.”
~ Albert Barnes

In honor of theologian Albert Barnes, author of “Notes on the Old Testament” and “Notes on the New Testament”, who was born on this day in 1798.

Today in Christian History – December 1
Albert Barnes Quotes



November 19, 2013

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up you fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”  Hosea 10:12

Plowed  FieldOn Sunday, I bundled up for a morning run before Church.   I run along roads that crisscross farm ground.  The harvest has been reaped but the work is not done for these farmers.  Most of the fields were quiet on this Sunday morning but I could see acres of effort spanning out before me.  Fields that were full of corn, wheat, and mint a mere month ago have been plowed, furrowed, and sown for a winter crop.

I was reminded as I ran along these prepared fields that a harvest of value requires an effort in sowing.  It takes no effort to reap an invaluable harvest.  I own a fallow field.  I expended no effort on that field this year.  Yet, I got an incredible harvest of weeds that I will have to burn in the spring.  A harvest of value takes intention and effort.

If I want to harvest the steadfast love of my heavenly Father, then I need to be sowing righteousness.  That takes intention and effort.

There are several steps in the process of sowing for a harvest.  The two main steps involve preparing the soil and planting the seed.  We are told in Hosea that we will reap steadfast love when we plant the seed of righteousness into fallow ground that has been prepared – broken up.  However, man cannot do this process on his own.  No one is capable of both preparing the soil and planting the seed.

Dry harvest-field of Aegilops sp.

Just like a plow breaks apart hard fallow ground, repentance breaks open a person’s heart to allow the seed of righteousness to grow into a harvest of steadfast love.  The seed will never be planted into the hardened soil of an unrepentant heart.  Therefore, every person must come to the Father as a child, with a repentant and humble heart; a heart that has been broken by the reality of its own sin, recognizing its unrighteousness, and need for a Savior.

Man can come to God in repentance but he does not have what is needed to finish the sowing process.  He does not have the seed.  Our works cannot create a seed of righteousness.  God has the seed of eternal life.  God has to rain righteousness upon us .  God, in his grace and mercy, rains his righteousness down upon those who have been called in true repentance to the Son.  In them, in the good soil, the free gift of righteousness is planted through the blood of the Christ.

This is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ presented long ago in the prophecies of the Old Testament.

Today, everyone sows to something.

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love. (Hosea 10:12)


For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. (Hosea 8:7)

The Pharisees tried to sow their own seed of righteousness.  They did not reap a harvest of steadfast love.  In fact, that was Christ’s criticism of the Pharisees.  They did not love God or God’s people.  They loved themselves and the religion that they had created, both of which were detestable to Christ.

But woe to you Pharisees!  For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God.  These you ought to have done, without neglecting  others.  (Luke 11:42)

The result is that they…

…became detestable like the thing they loved. (Hosea 9:10b)

The Pharisees, like so many other people, sowed to the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

There is a harvest in everyone’s life.  There will be a harvest in my life.

It will be either a harvest of righteousness or a whirlwind of judgment.
We all will become like that which we love either righteous or detestable.

Corn field

It is so easy to forget to be sowing.  It is so easy to become lackadaisical about where we set our eyes and start to become focused more on this world than on God, the source of our righteousness, and then wonder why we do not feel the steadfast love of the Father.  We missed the harvest because we failed to sow.

We need to remember that a harvest of value takes intention and effort. 

We have been called to maintain repentant and humble hearts; hearts that stay broken and open to the work of the Spirit in our lives.  We are called to keep our eyes fixed on the things of the Spirit; acknowledging that the seed of righteousness, the fruit of the Spirit, continues to come from the grace and mercy of our heavenly Father.

May we be good and faithful farmers of our souls and reap the harvest of steadfast love.  What have you sown today?

PRAYER: O Lord, I am so inclined to wander.  I am so inclined to becoming proud and unrepentant.  Father, soften my heart.  Help me to stay focused on You in all that I do.  Make me a sower of righteousness.  Grant me a harvest of your steadfast love.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.


“Thence to That to Zzzzz”, – Dec. 9th

December 9, 2012

“And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:44

Occasionally, I have to read legal descriptions of properties.  That is a mind numbing process:

 Beginning at a point 605.05 feet South and 323.75 feet East of the Northwest corner of Government Lot 5 in Section 10, Township 15 North, Range 2 East of the W.M.;

Thence North 86.43 feet;

Thence East 85 feet;

Thence South 65 feet;




Thence to thence to ad nauseam.

 I really, really, really, don’t like to read legal descriptions. However, there is one particular legal description that I have read with enthusiasm. The land that document describes is the location of our home.  My wife received this property in the form of an early inheritance. Her parents are alive and well but they saw that we could put this property to better use now rather than waiting several decades.  It was an incredible blessing and that inheritance is where we have built our home.

If we had not received the property as an early inheritance, we would be waiting; waiting to receive a promised inheritance. We call that sort of promise a will but it is really a form of a covenant. My wife’s parents faithfulness would have been the basis of that promise.

The Children of Israel Crossing the Jordan (il...I have recently been reading through Joshua 13 – 21.  It reads a lot like legal descriptions, rather mind numbing.  This is where Joshua makes the allotments of the promise land to the specific tribes of Israel. It is not very exciting and I have a tendency to skip and rush through it because it doesn’t seem very relevant to me.  I am sure it was very relevant to someone in the tribe of Zebulun or someone in the tribe of Naphtail or Asher but I am not in one of those tribes and the names of all those places and cities bear  little importance to me.

However, these passages have a meaning that extends beyond their plain reading. They have importance beyond that of entitlement to some property in the Middle East. God’s promises are being fulfilled to the tribes of Israel; God’s faithfulness is on full display.  God made a promise to Israel.  He promised to bring them into the promised land and he did exactly that. Every good promise that God made came to pass.

We believers have been given the promise of eternal life. We know by faith that we are now experiencing the free gift of eternal life and will continue to experience that gift after our death. We are heirs of God and fellow heirs of Christ – that is our hope.

A promise is only as good as the one making the promise. You can’t rely upon the promise of a liar.

Can you trust the one making the promises in the Bible?  How do we know that God keeps his covenants – his promises?

We can know that God keeps is promises because he has done it before – he has proven his faithfulness to his people time and time again. He said that he would give Israel a land flowing in milk and honey and he did exactly that. He did it with such accuracy as making official allotments to each tribe of Israel, even down to the equivalent of our legal descriptions.  God is very precise about his promises.

There are so many things in this life that can cause us to doubt.

When that happens, we have to go back to what we know.

  • God is a covenant keeper;
  • We know this because He has faithfully showed it to Israel when he gave them the promised land and He has shown it countless times after that.
  • He does not change.
  • He has kept His promises before. He is doing it today and He will do it tomorrow because that is who He is;
  •  Therefore, we can hope in the promises that God has given us.

These passages are as boring as a legal description until we realize that they are describing a God that is intensely relevant to each and every one of us this very day.  God’s faithfulness to His own word is why we can hope in our future.

What are you basing your hopes on?

PRAYER: Lord – You are faithful and you have shown that so many times. You are a proven rock. You are a tried fortress. You are an established shelter. Father – thank you for giving me your word to answer my doubt.  Thank you for being a convent keeping God, whom I can trust.    Amen

%d bloggers like this: