King of Kings – Psalm 2:4-9

God Has Installed His King On Zion

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

Rebels Rebuked

The nations conspire today as they have done millennia ago to be free from the perceived shackles that they feel under the watchful eyes of Almighty God. They seek to be free from His gaze and His word, to do as they want to do apart from His will and His word. They spurn the rightful ruler that has placed them in places of power and autonomy, and seek to do their own will. Little do they realize that this is the same pattern that their father, the devil, followed when he rebelled against Almighty God.

But take heart! Just as the devil and a third of the host of heaven were properly trounced and rebuked, so shall the evil rulers that seek to shake off the yoke placed upon them by Almighty God to do His bidding for His glory. For they have failed to realize that Almighty God has already installed His King upon Zion.

King of Kings

God has foretold of the coming of Messiah, and here is another prophecy concerning His rule. God has placed The Lord Jesus Christ upon the throne to be King of kings and Lord of lords. His rule will extend to all creation. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. They shall do this now, willingly bowing to Him, or later, compelled at His throne, for all will be under His rule. He offers peace to those who would willingly yield themselves to Him now under His benevolent rule. But He will soon become a Just Judge for those who spurn His righteous authority.

Sovereign Son

Through the psalmist, God declares that the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh will be His Son, and God will be His Father. There is no ambiguity in this claim. The nations have become His inheritance, and the Earth his possession. And this is rightly so, for the Word that became flesh, at the behest of the Father, spoke all creation into existence. What was rightfully His and wrongfully sold to the enemy through the sin of Adam was reclaimed by the perfect life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He holds the keys to death and Hades, and awaits the command from His Father to rightfully reclaim all that is His.

Coming Calamity

And when the Son of God appears in the clouds in glory, with the final trump of God, with the voice of the Archangel, He will mete out justice as the lion of Judah. No longer will the wicked overpower the weak. No longer will there be pain and suffering for His children. No longer will He suffer the pain caused to His loved ones by His enemy. He will rightly judge the nations. He will break them with a rod of iron, and dash them to pieces like poverty.

The nations celebrate Christmas as a time of giving gifts and cherishing family. Let us not forget that the Son has come, and will soon come again. Let us prepare our hearts to receive the King, for His return is imminent and without delay.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question: Is my heart prepared for the return of the King of kings and Lord of lords?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have made clear to us that Your Son, Jesus Christ, is the rightful ruler of all creation. Thank You for giving us this opportunity to worship Him in truth and in spirit. Thank You for sending the most precious of gifts to us for our redemption. Thank You for sending our Savior. Help us now prepare our hearts for the coming return of our King, and set aside our personal desires and goals that we may submit ourselves without reservation to You. Throughout history You have declared Your righteousness and our need for it. Give us strength and courage to do what is needed to prepare for the coming return of Jesus. Help us to look up to see the sign of the Son of man in heaven, for He is coming and quickly. Let us not be distracted by our Earthly pursuits, but rather let us be engaged in learning Your word and filling up with the oil of the Spirit of God. Prepare us as Your bride, and help us to be clothed as You have commanded so that we will be prepared on the great and awesome day of the return of Your Son. Amen.

Want more? Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Judgment and God – Isaiah 3:10-12

It Will Be Well For The Righteous

10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked!
Disaster is upon them!
They will be paid back
for what their hands have done.

12 Youths oppress my people,
women rule over them.
My people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path.

Righteous will Rest

In this section of scripture, the prophet Isaiah gives an interesting assurance to the righteous. They will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.  So often, the righteous receive hate for love, anger for help, and destruction for instruction.  The righteous are attacked by all who hate the light, and who bring the deeds of evil into the presence of the people.

We all inherently want to know the truth, but most people would rather hear a lie if the truth would make them feel bad.  This is completely out of character with the image-bearers of God.  Isaiah comforts the righteous with this truth, that when judgment comes, it will be well with them.  When the righteous are being oppressed, it is sometime easy to forget that God is watching over them, for their circumstances are dire indeed.

Disaster for the Depraved

The wicked, on the other hand, having embraced the lie, selfishly taking whatever they can, oppressing the righteous, and embracing the cover of darkness for their deeds, will not fare so well.  God will bring disaster upon them.  In that day, the Lord will enact His vengeance upon them, for God has said:

39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. 40 I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever, 41 when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. 42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders.” 43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.

Teen Tyranny

There are some interesting activities going on during the judgment of God.  The youth will oppress God’s people.  We see flash mobs, the knockout game, and every other manner of wickedness being executed by our youth.  Wicked parents strap bombs on their children and send them into crowds yelling praise to false gods as they commit murder and suicide.  It begs the question:  are we being judged by God?

Role Reversal

As a preface to the next indication, let it be said for the record that God has made men and women equal.  But equal does not mean identical.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all co-equal as they are God; yet they are not identical to each other.  Each has a role, and they embrace their roles without complaint or deviation from their true purpose.  Men and women are equal, but have been assigned different roles by God.  When we engage in role-reversal, we are in effect saying that what God has instituted is not good (or good enough) for us.

God has seen fit to provide us with deaconesses, holy women in service to Him and the flock.  Deborah was a judge for His people.  Yet, God has squarely placed the role of leadership in the hands of men.  He has created men with the innate desire to conquer and rule, but with the desire to protect and cherish.  Because of the fall, the word “submission” now has a connotation of oppressive slavery and servitude.  Yet Jesus Christ fully submitted Himself to the Holy Spirit to show us how we were to submit to God.  Paul exhorts us to submit to one another out of reverence to Christ.  Jesus said that the one who would be great among us would be the servant to others, and the first will be a slave.

And so when women, who feel “oppressed” by men because men have refused to embrace the role that God provided to them with the proper attitude of servant-leadership, gain positions of leadership over men, the emotional stress of the perceived oppression (real or imagined) leads to an oppressive, dominating attitude that progresses towards the emasculation and punishment of men, even to those who have never interacted with the women in charge.  While this is not a rule, it is prevalent in the culture of militant feminism.  In this turn of events, God has removed the blessing of leadership of men, and has given it to the angry, vengeful women who now seek to rule over them.

Precarious Prediction

God warns us that our guides are leading us astray.  We need to carefully vet those who we permit to lead us to ensure that they are of God.  Additionally, we need to be like the Bereans, and search the scriptures to determine for ourselves if what they are saying both matches up with the word of the Living God, and is a proper interpretation and accurate representation of what God has said.

Seek the truth, and do not allow false teachers to mislead you.  Guard your hearts against lies, and embrace the truth, no matter how difficult it seems, or how much it challenges you.  For the word of God is like a sword, able to separate the truth from the lies within us, and give us a proper and accurate portrayal of what is deep within us.  And when we are challenged to rethink a position because of the word of God, let the word do its job, and purge us of all attitudes and beliefs that are contrary to God’s character and teaching.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I prepared for the judgment of God, living as the justified child of God in faith?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are full of mercy and grace, a perfect balance to your holiness and justice.  Give us peace in our souls as You pour out Your judgment upon the nations.  Strengthen us as we are oppressed by the wicked, and may we be the light on a hill for all to see Your glory and grace.  Help me to overcome any fears of what man can do to me, and fill me with a healthy fear in reverence to You, oh God.  Let me be fearless when I am chosen for oppression, and give me Your peace that defies description as I suffer for Your name.  For I know that You, oh God, will bring glory to Your name, and You will make all things right in Your time.  I pray that Your Son will return, and do so soon.  Praise be to You!  Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Judgment by God – Isaiah 1:18-23

There Is Always Hope For The Wayward

18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

21 See how the faithful city
has become a prostitute!
She once was full of justice;
righteousness used to dwell in her—
but now murderers!
22 Your silver has become dross,
your choice wine is diluted with water.
23 Your rulers are rebels,
partners with thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow’s case does not come before them.

Right Reasoning

The Lord calls us to come to His point of view.  The ESV translates this part, “‘Come now, let us reason together’, says the Lord”.  God is calling us to see things from His perspective.  He is calling us to settle the matter in our minds.  We have warped views of all things because of our inherent limitations:

  • An inherited sin nature from Adam
  • A severe lack of knowledge of the state of the universe and its truths
  • Personal prejudices and the coloration of events filtered through our experiences.

We are unable to rightly see what is truly going on around us, or even within us.  The heart is deceitful above all.  Since we cannot rightly interpret our own true intents and motivations, how can we expect to rightly interpret those of others, especially a holy and perfect God?  Therefore, God calls us to come to His point of view.

Faithful to Forgive

God promises us forgiveness when we believe Him.  Believing God is always credited to us as righteousness.  God calls us to repentance and promises that our sins will be washed as white as snow, though they were as scarlet as the blood we shed every time we sin.  For the only proper payment for sin is the lifeblood of the sinner.  God is always faithful to forgive when we come to Him in repentance.  We can be assured of that.  And He goes on to show how He rewards.

Reward for Respect

When we are obedient, He will give us the good things of the land.  This is not to say that a single individual will receive it, but rather the people of the land as a whole.  When a land’s people are obedient to God, they desire to follow His law.  And when all of the people of the land follow the law, crime literally disappears.  Strife and hardship between neighbors vanish, as we love our neighbors as ourselves.  We are then able to work together for the benefit of all and reap the rewards of peace, for God will make even our enemies to be at peace with us when we are obedient to Him.

Reward for Rebellion

And when we refuse the blessing and offering of forgiveness of God, then a much more terrible reward is to be expected.  God has promised that He would devour the land with the sword.  The very enemies that He would have made to live in peace with us will overcome us in war.  Death, rather than life, will be the result of rebellion.  For God cannot tolerate sin unchecked.  And for any nation that claimed to be of God, that is particularly egregious to Him.

Israel was chosen by God to bring the Law to the people and to display the glory and character of God to the nations.  They failed in that.  And now, most recently, the failed experiment in self-governance that is/was the United States of America, is facing the very same judgment of God.

The Puritan Pilgrims’ Mayflower Compact was dedicated to God.  The USA as a nation was birthed in the belief that a righteous, self-governing people would be able to live in freedom and prosperity with a minimum of interference of governing authority, for in self-policing and self-governance, little oversight would be needed except to protect the innocent from those who refused to self-govern themselves in righteousness and holiness towards God.  For it is only through the restraint of  sin by fear and obedience to God that we are able to govern the terrible passions that sin has created within us.

When Rulers are Rebels

What follows is a tragic list of what happens when our leaders no longer follow the One True God in holiness and submission to His Spirit:

  • The leaders prostitute themselves to evil
  • Justice is replaced by murder
  • What was once valuable has become corroded and tarnished
  • Their strength and values have become diluted and worthless
  • Those who are charged with meting out justice become partners with thieves
  • They love bribes and seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the people entrusted to oversee them
  • The most vulnerable of society that have a special place in God’s heart – the widows and the orphans – are left without justice and help

This has happened in Israel, and is now happening in the United States of America.  It is never too late to repent.  As a nation, both Israel and the USA need to come to their knees, confess their sins, seek the face of God, turn from their wicked ways, and mourn over the sins of its people. Only then will God heal their land and begin to bless them has He once did.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I living in such a way that my actions are in agreement with my stated profession that God’s ways are righteous and just?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, Your mercies renew every morning, and I thank and praise You for your patience and compassion that You show me every day.  Father, forgive me of my sins.  Grant me the strength and ability to walk in Your holy way, that I would turn from sin and turn towards you.  Forgive the leaders of my nation, Father, and I confess their sins to You.  We are an obstinate, stiff-necked people who are selfish and thing of no one and nothing but ourselves and our own pleasures.  Forgive us, Father, and help turn the hearts of those who claim to be Yours but live their lives completely independent of Your will back to humbleness and obedience to Your word.  And should they fail to hear Your call, and choose wickedness over righteousness, give me the strength to live by faith in You, for You and You alone have justified me through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Judgement of God – Psalm 9:19-20

God’s Judgement Is Upon Us

19 Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph;
let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Strike them with terror, Lord;
let the nations know they are only mortal.

Just Judgement

God is just, and He will not allow a nation to continue in iniquity without bringing judgement in a swift manner.  Throughout all time, God has judged nations and eventually destroyed them when they refused to repent.   No nation or kingdom has gone on forever without being judged by God.

In just a short period of time, less than two and a half centuries, the United States of America is being judged.  Since God is the one who judges, He first sends warnings to the nations to repent.  Jonah was sent to Nineveh.  The prophets were sent to Israel.  God has been faithful in giving the nations the opportunity to repent.  And when they do not, He begins to throw warning shots across their bows.

Total Terror

For the United States, there were two World Trade Center bombings.  The first failed, and the second succeeded.  The people in the US, after the second bombing, filled churches seeking God, for God had put terror into their hearts.  They began to seek God.  But like Nineveh, the people very quickly abandoned their fear when God relented, and went right back to what they were doing.

Solomon was right when he declared that there was nothing new under the sun.  People behave the same today as they did thousands of years ago.  Millennia of experience is lost upon us because of the curse of sin.  And even with the full and complete revelation of God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ, people still turn a blind eye to what they have been shown.  The hearts of men easily forget, and need to be reminded that God is holy.

Righteous Reminder

God sends us reminders that we are only mortal.  Our perception of time lures us into a false understanding of our mortality.  It is only when we are faced with death, or watch another face it, that we begin to contemplate our own mortality.  So God gives us reminders that we are but a wisp of smoke, a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow.  We are only promised today.  We need to remember that at any time, God may demand an accounting of our lives and bring us home to Him.  That is why it is all the more important as time grows short that we yield ourselves to His Spirit so that we may be found doing what the master has commanded us to do.  Let us walk by faith and not sight, for the just shall live by faith.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I walking by faith in the path that God has chosen for me?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, I thank You for the many reminders to provide in Your Word that You are holy and are to be feared and revered.  Father, help me to honor you in all that I think, say, and do, that others would praise Your holy name.  I seek to walk with You, and greatly desire to do Your will.  Regardless of how other behave, remember me in my walk that You would be glorified.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Famine From God – Amos 8:11-12

Beware A Famine Of The Word Of God

11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.”

Famine Foretold

The first great famine occurred after the last prophecy in Malachi.  For over 400 years, no prophetic word had come to the people of Israel.  Generations had passed with no communication from God to His people.

This was very disconcerting to the people of God.  They had, in the past, received blessing and feedback from God through His prophets.  Now they waited in silence.  Famine brings great hunger.  When people are in a desperate place of hunger, it wears on them.  Going hundreds of years without receiving direction from God must have been frustrating to the Israelites.  They had been led by the pillar of smoke by day and fire by night for forty years in the desert.  They could seek out God’s prophets who were among them when they needed individual direction (even though, as a nation, they scorned and persecuted the prophets when their sinful lifestyles were brought to their attention and rebuked).

But isn’t it also true that the teacher is silent when the student is taking the test?

Desire Defeated

We are told to seek the Lord while He can be found.  As God withdraws His sovereign Spirit from a nation, they will soon be given over to their iniquity.  And when they seek the Lord, He may not be found.  The judgement of God may be at hand.  In that day, people will seek direction from God, and they may receive silence.

It is imperative that we seek God every day so that we will not experience a famine of the Word of God.  We choose how much time we spend with God and His Word.  When we don’t spend time in God’s Word and with God in prayer, we are voluntarily entering into a self-made famine.  Don’t be surprised if God doesn’t immediately jump to help you if you don’t spend time with Him.  Draw close to the Lord through His Word and through prayer, and you will never experience a famine of the word.

And if/when God is silent, remember: the just shall live by faith.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I spending enough time every day with God in prayer and in His Word?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, forgive me for my many sins.  Show me the path of righteousness.  Help me to draw close to You through Your Word and through prayer.  Strengthen my relationship with You that I would be able to trust You more and more each day.  Father, forgive our nation, for the people are not seeking You and Your Word.  Soften their hearts that they would seek You and return to You.  Only You, Lord God Almighty, are able to break through the hardness of hearts.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?