Tag Archives: David

Trump to Visit Israel Ahead of Jerusalem Day Festivities

Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) in the Jewish month of Iyar, which in 1967 corresponded to the 6th of June – a very special day for the Jewish people!

On June 5, 1967 the Jewish neighborhoods of western Jerusalem were attacked. The bombardment destroyed residential buildings, commercial and religious centers, schools and hospitals. Then came Operation Focus – the surprise Israeli preemptive air strike, which launched the Six Day War.

Contrary to popular misconception, it was not only Egypt, Syria and Jordan that attacked the nine-mile wide Jewish state; forces from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Kuwait, Tunisia and Sudan participated as well. This was not David against Goliath – it was David against 12 Goliaths!

After two days of brave and historic battles, the Jewish people were once again reunited with the Old City of Jerusalem. Hebron and all the cities of the Bible followed soon after.

Once Jerusalem was unified, all of eastern Jerusalem’s Arab residents were offered full Israeli citizenship, but they chose to decline. Still, eastern Jerusalem Arab residents who are not citizens of the State of Israel enjoy full municipal privileges and social benefits. They can even vote! That’s right folks – Israel is the only place on the planet where Arabs enjoy democracy and the secret ballot, even if they are not citizens.

Jerusalem will never again be divided. There is no “West” Jerusalem or “East” Jerusalem. There is ONE Jerusalem – with religious access and freedom for all!

Chag Sameach! Happy Holiday!

Consult your Bible: II Samuel chapters 6 and 7 which describe the joyous celebration of King David bringing the holy ark to Jerusalem. “King David and the entire Jewish people joyously raised the holy ark as they ascended to Jerusalem, accompanied with the sounds of shofar blasts. And the holy ark was placed in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), also known as the City of David. His son king Solomon built the first holy temple in Jerusalem, the holy city of the entire Jewish people.

Trump’s visit to Israel will reportedly take place May 22, ahead of celebrations marking 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem.

A US delegation of about two dozen officials have landed in Israel to plan a visit by President Donald Trump to Israel on May 22.

The date of the visit, which has not been confirmed, is significant, as festivities in honor of Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day, begin the following evening, May 23.

The celebration of Yom Yerushalayim will be especially exciting this year, as it marks the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the Israeli capital, during the 1967 Six Day War.

“There’s a feeling that we have a real friend in the White House,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Army Radio on Wednesday.

During the US election campaign, Trump had postponed a visit to Israel, promising to come at a later date as president.

Trump’s visit will be a stopover en route to the May 25 NATO summit in Belgium and a May 26-27 G7 summit in Italy.

JERUSALEM Day, Yom Yerushalayim

Russia Risks a Showdown With Israel over Hezbollah in Syria

 

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The Philistines a People

The Philistines were an aggressive, warmongering people who occupied a part of southwest Palestine between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. The name “Philistine” comes from the Hebrew word Philistia, and the Greek rendering of the name, palaistinei, gives us the modern name “Palestine.” The Philistines are first recorded in Scripture in the Table of Nations, a list of the patriarchal founders of seventy nations descended from Noah (Genesis 10:14). It is thought that the Philistines originated in Caphtor, the Hebrew name for the island of Crete and the whole Aegean region (Amos 9:7; Jeremiah 47:4). For unknown reasons, they migrated from that region to the Mediterranean coast near Gaza. Because of their maritime history, the Philistines are often associated with the “Sea Peoples.” The Bible records that the Philistines had contact with both Abraham and Isaac as early as 2000 B.C. (Genesis 21:32, 34; 26:1, 8).

After Isaac’s involvement with the Philistines (Genesis 26:18), they are next mentioned in passing in the book of Exodus shortly after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea: “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt'” (Exodus 13:17).

The “road through the Philistine country” refers to a route later known as the Via Maris or “the Way of the Sea,” one of three major trade routes in ancient Israel. This coastal road connected the Nile Delta with Canaan and Syria and beyond, into the Mesopotamian region of southwest Asia.

The Old Testament indicates that around the 13th century B.C., during the days of Samuel and Samson, the Philistines moved inland from the coast of Canaan. There, they built their civilization primarily in five cities: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron (Joshua 13:3). These cities were each governed by a “king” or “lord” (from the Hebrew word seren, also rendered as “tyrant”). These kings apparently formed a coalition of equals. Each king retained autonomous control of his city, such as when Achish, king of Gath, dealt with David (1 Samuel 27:5-7), but they worked in concert in times of national emergency (Judges 16:5).

From the very beginning, the Philistines were either allies or deadly enemies of God’s people. They played a pivotal role in the lives of Samson (Judges 13:1; 14:1), Samuel (1 Samuel 4:1), Saul (1 Samuel 13:4), and David (1 Samuel 17:23).

The Philistines were known for their innovative use of iron, which was superior to the bronze used by the Israelites for weapons and implements. Even as late as the time of Saul (1050 – 1010 B.C), the Israelites were forced to rely on the Philistines to sharpen or repair their iron tools (1 Samuel 13:19-21). With their more advanced armaments and aggressive military policy, the Philistines continually thwarted Israel’s development as a nation. For nearly 200 years, the Philistines harassed and oppressed the Israelites, often invading Israel’s territory. The children of Israel simply could not deal with the Philistines’ overwhelming military might. This only came to an end when Samuel and then David, through the guidance of God, were able to defeat the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:12-14; 2 Samuel 5:22-25).

The Old Testament indicates that the Philistines worshiped three gods: Ashtoreth, Dagon, and Baal-Zebub each of which had shrines in various cities (Judges 16:23; 1 Samuel 31:10; 2 Kings 1:2). Archaeological findings show that Philistine soldiers carried images of their gods into battle (2 Samuel 5:21). Apparently, they were also a superstitious people who respected the power of Israel’s ark of the covenant (1 Samuel 5:1-12).

Teach Me How to Live LordThe Philistines were infamous for their production and consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially beer. Ancient Philistine ruins contain numerous breweries and wineries, as well as countless beer mugs and other drinking vessels. Samson’s wedding feast, recorded in the book of Judges, illustrates the Philistine practice of holding week-long drinking parties; the Hebrew word misteh, translated “feast” in Judges 14:10, means “drinking feast.”

The Israelites frequently referred to the Philistines as “uncircumcised” (Judges 15:18; 1 Samuel 14:6; 2 Samuel 1:20), meaning, at that time, those who had no relationship with God. They were not God’s chosen people and were to be strictly avoided as a contaminating evil.

Today, the word philistine is used as an epithet to refer to an unrefined, dull person. In truth, the Philistines of history were not unsophisticated or uncultured. They were an advanced seafaring people who, for several generations, were years ahead of Israel.

With the exception of Jeremiah chapter 47, there are very few prophetic references to the Philistines. In the end, the Philistines were assimilated into Canaanite culture. They eventually disappeared from the biblical record and from history altogether, leaving behind the name “Palestine” as a testimony of their existence.

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Kerry warns moving US embassy to Jerusalem will ‘explode’ region

US Secretary of State John Kerry warns of a regional “explosion” if the US moves its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, echoing warnings of a senior Palestinian official last Sunday. 

US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed on Friday that if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on his promise to move the US embassy in Israel, from Tel Aviv to the capital of Jerusalem, it would lead to a conflagration of chaos throughout Israel and the Middle East.

“You’d have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region,” Kerry said in an interview with CBS.

“If all of a sudden, Jerusalem is declared to be the location of our embassy, that has issues of sovereignty, issues of law that would deem to be affected by that move and by the United States acquiescing in that move and that would have profound impact on the readiness of Jordan and Egypt to be able to be supportive and engaged with Israel as they are today,” continued Kerry.

Kerry’s remarks follow those of senior Palestinian Authority official Sultan Abu al-Einein, a Fatah Central Committee member, who suggested on Sunday in an interview with Egypt’s Alghad TV channel that Palestinians must prepare for a confrontation with Trump regarding his intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

During Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the US in September, Trump “acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the US, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” according to Trump’s campaign website.

Since his election in November, Trump has made several moves signalling his plan to follow through with his stated intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, including his nomination of David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. Friedman is a strong proponent and advocate of moving the US embassy to what he refers to as the “undivided Israeli capital of Jerusalem.”

John Kerry, mouthpiece for the PA

John Kerry, mouthpiece for the PA

At the same time, several members of the US Senate have already introduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act,which like the Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act enacted in 1995, calls for the US embassy in Tel Aviv to be moved to Jerusalem. An essential component of the legislation that was passed in 1995 granted the president the opportunity to sign a six-month waiver postponing a move of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Every American president since the passing of the Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act has continuously signed six-month waivers, claiming that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would hinder the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The current bill under consideration removes the waiver option and would obligate the president to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

And if a U.S. Embassy is not set up in Jerusalem. There is still going to be violence, because Muslims want Israel and it people dead and gone. Obama and Kerry are advocates of that because they are proud supports of Muslims and their radical groups. US Secretary of State John Kerry is only a mouthpiece for the PA, and always has been!

That will only be the excuse. Muslims have been fighting among themselves, and occasionally with others, for centuries. They will never stop fighting. Even if the rest of the world disappears the Shiites and the Sunnis will continue to fight each other. And I fully expect that even if the entire world would become Shiite or Sunni that they’d still find some reason to fight as long as their religious hero is that Mohammed.

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HERE IT COMES: Republican Senators Launch Bill To Move US Embassy To Jerusalem As Trump Promised

Senate Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and move the United States embassy to Jerusalem.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”Zechariah 9:2,3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Over a year ago, I wrote an article explaining why a Bible believer would vote for Donald Trump for president. I told you all back then that the number one reason he got my vote was so the US Embassy would be moved to Jerusalem, thus recognizing the Old City as Israel’s capital. I also told you that it could very well trigger the Psalm 83 War. We are about to witness the single, largest advancement of the end times prophecy timeline since May 14, 1948. I’m so happy and excited I could literally cry. Jerusalem is the capital city of God’s holy land of Israel, and always will be.

The controversial plan, which President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly voiced support for on the campaign trail, is almost certain to further inflame tensions between Palestinians and Israelis. The bill was introduced on the first day of the new US Congress by Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, along with Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas — two senators who lost out to Trump in the primary race for the Republican nomination last year.

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs,” Rubio said in a joint statement announcing the bill.

“It’s time for Congress and the President-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore US law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”

Cruz added: “Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth — let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel — is shocking in some circles.”

Bible study on Donald Trump and the final status of Jerusalem:

The bill, called the “Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act,” requires the US to act on a 1995 proposal calling on the US to relocate the diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv.

Since the 1995 bill’s passage, every president — both Republican and Democrat — has waived the requirement of the move, citing national security considerations.

Jerusalem has always been among the most difficult questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even after the world recognized the State of Israel in 1948, it left the final status of Jerusalem — home to some of the most sacred sites in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity — open to future negotiations.

David Friedman US ambassador to IsraelIsraelis see Jerusalem as their united capital. Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Trump has said he’d like to try making peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but he’s also vowed to relocate the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital — moves Palestinian leaders have denounced as the death of the “two-state” solution.

Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel — David Friedman, a New York lawyer and Orthodox Jew — is another signal the President-elect is willing to upend decades of US policy in the Middle East.

Friedman, known for his hardline views, has called the effort to find a two-state solution an “illusion” and said he welcomed moving the embassy. Friedman has also argued that Israeli settlement construction in Palestinian areas shouldn’t be illegal — a position that puts him at odds with the outgoing Obama administration and much of the international community.

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Lifting up the Lord in High Praise

I WILL LIFT THE LORD UP IN HIGH PRAISES

Good Morning Children of God, as we begin preparation for our Sunday worship service, we are providing you with a devotional service this moment in hopes of  lifting your spirits even higher for the Lord’s glory and praise. For it is truly the will of our Lord and Savior that we lift up the father in HIGH PRAISES, not  just sometimes or when it’s convenient for us to praise him, but at all times, for God is good, and he is truly worthy of our praise. Now let this day as every day be a day of new beginnings. When we put our complete trust and confidence in the Lord and lift him up in high praises he will take us places that our minds never thought we could go. We are his sheep and he is our shepherd and with his word, he will lead us to greener pastures.

When You Find The PlaceDAVID’S SONG OF PRAISE PSALMS 37:1-11 MSG

Don’t bother your head with braggarts
or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings
and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.

 Get insurance with God and do a good deed,
settle down and stick to your last.
Keep company with God,
get in on the best.

Open up before God, keep nothing back;
he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day
and stamp you with approval at high noon.

Quiet down before God,
be prayerful before him.
Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder,
who elbow their way to the top.

 Bridle your anger, trash your wrath,
cool your pipes—it only makes things worse.
Before long the crooks will be bankrupt;
God-investors will soon own the store.

LET US PRAY:

Most holy and all-wise God our heavenly father, we have so much to be thankful for and as we lift you up in our prayers and praise, we can never thank you enough for what you have done for us down through the years. You brought us up on the rough side of the mountain, leading us, strengthen us, teaching us, constantly pushing us to keep going. Never giving up on us, even when we lost faith in our ability to climb the mountain after you had assured us that we could do it.  You knew that our physical bodies were breaking down. and our spiritual minds were wearing thin, but you kept encouraging us to climb and stretch out that we may be lifted up. Now we are standing at the top of the mountain, looking all around. We can see your beauty and grace everywhere. As we climb the rough side of this mountain we knew not how we were going to make it. Satan placed all sorts of stumbling blocks in our pathway, but it was you Lord that encouraged us to keep moving forward in the face of the many obstacles that we were facing. Father, I thank you for I know that it was nothing short of your mercy and grace that allowed your children to reach the top of this mountain this day, and even all those who are still climbing to see your glory in the splendor of their praise and worship as they opened their eyes and realized that they were truly in your Holy presences.  Thank you Heavenly Father, in Jesus name we pray. Amen!

SONG OF HIGH PRAISE:

TODAY’S ALTER CALL: 

If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of BELIEVERS and receive ETERNAL LIFE, we simply ask you to, “BELIEVE!”

Now repeat this short prayer with me:  “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I BELIEVE that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins.  If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have ETERNAL LIFE  in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers.  You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us.  We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions.  May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

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Today is Mother’s Day!

“Honor your father and your mother, as Adonai your God ordered you to do, so that you will live long and have things go well with you in the land Adonai your God is giving you.”  (Deuteronomy 5:16)
Shalom!
Today is Mother’s Day!  What a wonderful opportunity to take time to bless our mothers and the mothers we know who embody the grace and love of God.
For Mother’s Day, let us also contemplate the Jewish mothers in the Bible whose grace, love, and faith still speak profoundly to us today.
Here are five of those mothers in honor of Mother’s Day.

Moses’ Mother, by Alexey Tyranov
Yocheved: Mother of Moses
The Book of Exodus reveals that the Jewish People were growing strong in Egypt.  Pharaoh felt threatened by their strength, fearing they would join forces with the enemies of Egypt.  To prevent this, he decided to keep the population under control by drowning newborn Jewish boys in the Nile.
During this time, Yocheved (Jochebed), a Levite woman, gave birth to Moshe (Moses).
For three months she bravely hid him.  When she could no longer do so, she entrusted his future to the Lord, placing him in a small basket, but not alone.  She sent her daughter Miriam to watch over the basket as it rested among the reeds of the Nile.
When Miriam saw Pharaoh’s daughter find the infant and take pity on him, she told her she knew a wet nurse who could feed and care for him.  In this way Jochebed was hired by the Pharaoh’s daughter to nurse her own son, Moshe.
Through a very tough time, Yocheved trusted Adonai, faithfully refusing to do what she knew was wrong.  In doing so, she saved her son’s life.  And, in the fullness of time, Moshe fulfilled his calling by saving all the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt.
Sometimes, a mother might break a rule that is in keeping with the world’s plan in order to play a role in fulfilling God’s plan, and that can only be a source of blessing to many.


The Annunciation to Manoah’s Wife, by Jacoppo Tintoretto

Zlelponi: Samson’s Mother
Judges 13 tells us of a barren woman whom God blessed with a son.  An angel warned her not to drink wine or eat anything unclean while pregnant with him.  He also instructed her not to cut his hair, since the child would be dedicated to Adonai as a Nazirite.
Samson’s mother, known as Zlelponi to the Babylonian rabbis, trusted the angel and did as she was told.
Though an angel didn’t tell Samson to live this lifestyle, he obeyed his mother, never cutting his hair.  The Lord blessed his obedience and used him to defeat the Philistines.
Our mothers are often given wisdom from the Lord about our lives that we may never understand.  But by trusting our mothers, we will find ourselves fulfilling our destiny.

Ruth’s Wise Choice (Source: Providence Lithograth)
Naomi: Ruth’s Mother-in-Law
The Book of Ruth describes Naomi, who lost her husband and two sons while living in Moab.
When Naomi decided to return to Israel, she told her daughters-in-law to seek new husbands in Moab.
Ruth, however, refused to leave Naomi; instead, she returned with her to Israel where she gleaned in the field.  Naomi essentially orchestrated Ruth’s marriage to Boaz.
Ruth may not have understood the practice of the Kinsman Redeemer that would save her from a life alone, but she trusted Naomi and followed her advice.
As a result, Ruth was blessed with a husband and a son.  Likewise, Naomi was blessed with powerful and godly descendants: King David and Yeshua HaMashiach, two essential men in God’s destiny for Israel.

Anna Shows Her Son Samuel to the Priest Eli,
by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout
Chanah: Mother of Shmuel
In 1 Samuel, we read of Chanah (Hannah), who was married to the Levite Elkanah.  Although Elkanah loved her very much, she had not borne him a child.
Elkanah’s other wife, Peninah had children, but humiliated Chanah for being childless.
When Elkanah took his family on a pilgrimage to the Tabernacle in Shiloh, Chanah silently and tearfully poured out her heart to God.  Thinking she was drunk, the High Priest, Eli, reprimanded her.
When she responded in her defense, telling him that she has been praying with great sorrow, he blessed her.  The next year, she gave birth to Shmuel (Samuel).  After being weaned, she presented him to the priest in the Tabernacle.
With his life dedicated to God, he grew to become the fearless judge and prophet who crowned Israel’s first kings: Saul and David.
Hannah speaks to all who have a desperate need.  In her own distress, she turned to God for relief.  God heard and answered her passionate but silent prayer.
And because she dedicated Shmuel to the Lord, that answer to prayer played an important role in God’s destiny for Israel. May each of us, like Chanah, turn to God with our needs and give back to Him what He graciously bestows on us when He hears and answers our prayers.
Miriam: Mother of Yeshua
Miriam (Mary), Mother of Yeshua, may be the most famous mother in the Bible.
God chose her to give birth to Israel’s Messiah.  While she was still an unmarried teen, an angel disclosed this plan to her.  Rather than fret that she might be accused of being a fornicator, she accepted God’s plan and answered, “I am the servant of Adonai; may it happen to me as You have said.”  (Luke 1:38)
RosesMiriam relied on Adonai to help her fulfill this calling, and indeed, when Yosef (Joseph) thought he would quietly put her away, he too was visited by an angel who revealed God’s plan for her.
Throughout Yeshua’s life, Miriam treasured and pondered in her heart the signs of His promise and destiny.  In her calling as His mother, she endured a tramua that no mother should experience — the cruel mockery, beating, and murder of her child. Yet, her tragedy turned to eternal joy when she witnessed His resurrection and victory over death.
As  destiny, and the destiny of Israel, and the destiny of mankind played out before her, Miriam remained humble, an example of faith, hope, endurance, and love.  May each of us follow her example, remaining Adonai’s servant even when we face the uncertainties and demands of this world.
Godly mothers leave a legacy of faith, playing their own special role in helping their children fulfill their destinies and participate in Adonai’s great plans for the Salvation of the Jewish People and even the entire world.

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Prayer of Protection

Psalm 91, King James Version (KJV)

A thousand shall fall at thy side – Though a thousand should fall at thy side, or close to thee. This alludes to the manner in which the pestilence often moves among people. A thousand enemies may fall upon thee on one side, and ten thousand may fall upon thee on thy right hand, but they shall not come nigh thee to take away thy life. It is a promise of perfect protection, and the utmost safety.

And ten thousand at thy right hand – Compare Psalm 3:6. The word “myriad” would better represent the exact idea in the original, as the Hebrew word is different from that which is translated “a thousand.” It is put here for any large number. No matter how many fall around thee, on the right hand and the left, you will have nothing to fear.

But it shall not come nigh thee – You will be safe. You may feel assured of the divine protection. Your mind may be calm through a sense of such guardianship, and your very calmness will conduce to your safety. This refers, as remarked above, to a “general” law in regard to the judgments of God. It is true that others, beside the dissipated, vicious, and debased, may be the victims; but the great law is that temperance, soberness, virtue, cleanliness, and that regard to comfort and health to which religion and virtue prompt, constitute a marked security – so marked as to illustrate the “general” law referred to in the psalm before us.

The words of Psalm 91 are some of the most beautiful words in the Bible. Look at them for just a moment:

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

These are wonderful words of comfort. They speak of God as the Protector of those who trust in Him. They promise that while many will suffer destruction, the one who has trusted in God, who has fled to Him for safety, will be delivered. Are these words really true? Can we find comfort in them this afternoon? We certain can! Let me show you why they are true, and why they can bring us great comfort as we grieve over the death of one whom we knew and loved or whatever your situation happens to be at this moment.

We have a divinely inspired commentary on these verses in the New Testament, which shed much light on the meaning and application of this psalm to us. In the temptation of our Lord, Psalm 91:11-12 are quoted by Satan to our Lord, at the time of His temptation in wilderness (Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:10-11). Satan challenged Jesus to throw Himself down from the temple, and to be divinely delivered from death, to show that He was the Messiah. He tried to convince Jesus that since Psalm 91 promised deliverance from suffering and death, God would deliver Him.

Jesus responded by referring to the Scripture which forbade putting God to the test. There is much more that Jesus could have said, and did not. What Satan would only later learn is that the promise of Psalm 91 was to be fulfilled through the suffering and death of Jesus, on the cross of Calvary. God could promise deliverance to those who trusted in Him because Jesus would suffer in their behalf, and would rise from the dead, the Victor over sin, and death, and Satan. Psalm 91 was not Jesus’ excuse for avoiding the cross, but His reason for going to the cross.

Just as Psalm 91 was no guarantee that Jesus need not suffer. Indeed, the suffering of Jesus was the reason why the saints are protected and removed from suffering. The important question is this: “From what sufferings are the saints delivered? From what dangers and destruction are we delivered?” Psalm 91 does it promise us that the saints will be delivered from all suffering. Many Scriptures, the experience of many saints (biblical and otherwise) and our own experience, make it clear that Christians do suffer. Let us look more carefully at this psalm to determine what suffering we are promised to be delivered from.

The Psalm begins with the strong statement that God is our refuge, our fortress, our place of safety (verses 1-4). There are two kind of people mentioned in this psalm, and they have two very different destinies. The one group is delivered from destruction, and the other group is destroyed. The all-important need here is to determine what it is that some are delivered from, which is also the means by which others are destroyed. Our text cannot mean that those who trust in God are all delivered from suffering and death, and that those who do not trust in God suffer and die prematurely. The psalm which comes immediately before our text speaks of that suffering and short life which the godly experience, as a result of living in a fallen, sin-tainted world:

1 Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born, Or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. 3 Thou dost turn man back into dust, And dost say, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in Thy sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or {as} a watch in the night. 5 Thou hast swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. 6 In the morning it flourishes, and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades, and withers away. 7 For we have been consumed by Thine anger, And by Thy wrath we have been dismayed. 8 Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee, Our secret {sins} in the light of Thy presence. 9 For all our days have declined in Thy fury; We have finished our years like a sigh. 10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is {but} labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. 11 Who understands the power of Thine anger, And Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee? 12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom. 13 Do return, O Lord; how long {will it be}? And be sorry for Thy servants. 14 O satisfy us in the morning with Thy lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad according to the days Thou hast afflicted us, {And} the years we have seen evil. 16 Let Thy work appear to Thy servants, And Thy majesty to their children. 17 And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And do confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands (Psalm 90:1-17).

Psalm 90, written by Moses, speaks of the eternal nature of God and the very temporal nature of man. With God, a thousand years is nothing. For man, 70 years is a long life, and even these years are filled with sorrow and labor. This brevity and painfulness of life is explained by Moses as the result of God’s holiness and man’s sin. The solution to this problem of pain, and the hope of the believer is not in this life, but in the next. It will come with the return of the Lord. It will come “in the morning”. It will come in the future. The solution is not to be found in the deliverance from death, but in a deliverance after death. While it is not clearly stated in this psalm, it would be correct to say that death itself is a kind of deliverance for the Christian, for it removes us from the effects of sin, from pain and suffering and sorrow, and it takes us into the eternal joy of the presence of our Lord.

The destruction from which the believer is delivered is not the suffering and pain and even death of this life, but from the judgment of God, from the “second death” of eternal separation from His presence. This deliverance is so clearly described in yet another psalm, Psalm 73.

1 Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart! 2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling; My steps had almost slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant, {As} I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no pains in their death; And their body is fat. 5 They are not in trouble {as other} men; Nor are they plagued like mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; The garment of violence covers them. 7 Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of {their} heart run riot. 8 They mock, and wickedly speak of oppression; They speak from on high. 9 They have set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue parades through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return to this place; And waters of abundance are drunk by them. 11 And they say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased {in} wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure, And washed my hands in innocence; 14 For I have been stricken all day long, And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I should have betrayed the generation of Thy children. 16 When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight 17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God; {Then} I perceived their end. 18 Surely Thou dost set them in slippery places; Thou dost cast them down to destruction. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, Thou wilt despise their form. 21 When my heart was embittered, And I was pierced within, 22 Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was {like} a beast before Thee. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. 24 With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven {but Thee}? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For, behold, those who are far from Thee will perish; Thou hast destroyed all those who are unfaithful to Thee. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Thy works (Psalm 73:1-28).

Here Asaph, the psalmist, expresses his faith, a faith in God as the Good God, to those who trust in Him. His problem was that while he trusted in God as the One who was “good” to Israel, his experience was that the righteous suffered, while it was the wicked who prospered. He had contemplated giving it up, he confessed, for his piety seemed to be of little profit.

This was until he came to see his life through a different perspective–a heavenly, eternal one (verses 16ff.). He then realized that the prosperity of the wicked was exceedingly short-lived. Their eternal fate was destruction. The righteous, on the other hand, have all of eternity to enjoy the blessings of God’s presence and power.

Prayer of God's Protection!

Prayer of God’s Protection!

In the light of eternity, the sufferings of this life are but a small price to pay when compared to the blessings of eternity. But even the sufferings of this life are not “evil”. They are truly “good” for the saint, for in these times of suffering, God seems even nearer to us, especially as we are drawn nearer to Him. The ultimate “evil” in life is to be separated from God, and if affluence and a life of ease turns us from God, this absence from pain is really an “evil”. The ultimate “good” in life is fellowship with Him, enjoying His presence. If suffering in this life enables us to experience His presence in a deeper way, then it is truly “good” and He is “good” for bringing this adversity into our lives.

This is why we can find comfort in Psalm 91. Not because it promised us a long, trouble-free life on this present earth, but because it assures us that in Christ we would escape the wrath of God. In this life, we do not need to fear danger or even death, for He will raise us from death to eternal life, in His presence, free from pain and sickness and sorrow. That is our hope, and thus we can rejoice in our sufferings and death.

This hope is not for everyone, but only for those who have turned to God for their security and safety. Jesus Christ suffered the wrath of God, and by faith in Him, we may be sheltered from it. If you would share this hope, you must trust in our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. May you experience the joy and the hope which we can receive, even in our sickness and pain.

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Importance of Genealogies in the Bible

The Bible contains multiple genealogical records. Many of us either skim these sections or skip them altogether, finding them largely irrelevant and perhaps even boring. However, they are part of Scripture, and, since all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), they must bear some significance. There must be something we can learn from these lists.

First, the genealogies help substantiate the Bible’s historical accuracy. These lists confirm the physical existence of the characters in the Bible. By knowing family histories, we understand that the Bible is far from a mere story or a parable for how we should live our lives. It is authentic, historical truth. An actual man named Adam had actual descendants (and, therefore, his actual sin has actual consequences).

A-Time-to-Love-whatshotnThe genealogies also confirm prophecy. The Messiah was prophesied to come from the line of David (Isaiah 11:1). By recording His lineage in Scripture, God confirms that Jesus was descended from David (see Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38). The genealogy is yet another attestation of Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.

The lists also demonstrate the detail-oriented nature of God and His interest in individuals. God did not see Israel vaguely, as a nebulous group of people; He saw with specificity, with precision and detail. There is nothing detached about the genealogies. They show a God involved. The inspired Word mentions people by name. Real people, with real histories and real futures. God cares about each person and the details of his or her life (Matthew 10:27-31; Psalm 139).

Finally, we can learn from various people listed in the genealogies. Some of the lists contain narrative portions that give us glimpses into the lives of the people. For instance, the prayer of Jabez is found within a genealogy (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). From this, we learn about God’s character and the nature of prayer. Other genealogies reveal that Ruth and Rahab are in the Messianic line (Ruth 4:21-22; Matthew 1:5). We see that God values the lives of these individuals, even though they were Gentiles and not part of His covenant people.

While genealogies may at first glance appear irrelevant, they hold an important place in Scripture. Genealogies bolster the historicity of Scripture, confirm prophecy, and provide insight into the character of God and the lives of His people.

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David choose five smooth stones before going to fight Goliath

Some presume that David took five smooth stones instead of just one because he had some doubt. However, there is no indication in the story of David and Goliath that by picking up five smooth stones instead of one that David was doubting God. Rather, David was simply being prepared. What if the Philistines attacked him after he killed Goliath? How would he have defended himself? David was simply being prepared when he took the four additional stones. Also, he couldn’t have known that one stone would be enough to kill the giant. God had not promised that David would kill Goliath with the first stone.

David had experience in defending the sheep he guarded with his sling and stones. It would seem that the animals David had faced were far braver than the men with Goliath, because they all turned and ran away (1 Samuel 17:51). David told Goliath that he (Goliath) came with spear and sword, but his weapon was God the Father (1 Samuel 17:37). He trusted God with all his heart, believing that God would tell him exactly what to do and how. And so He did.

Others speculate that David chose five smooth stones because Goliath had four brothers, and David was readying himself to dispatch all five giants. This theory is based on 2 Samuel 21:15-22. That passage lists four very large Philistines who were related to Goliath in some way: Ishbi-benob, Saph, Goliath, and an unnamed giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. “These four were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants” (2 Samuel 21:22). The account of 1 Samuel 17 does not suggest that David knew about Goliath’s brothers or that he believed he would have to fight the whole family. What we know for sure is that David and his men faced four other giants, somehow related to Goliath, in later battles.

David’s faith was in the Lord, and he knew from experience God’s faithfulness. David’s faith was born out of his experience of God’s grace and mercy in his life up to that point. The Lord had delivered him out of dangerous situations in the past, proving His power and trustworthiness, and David relied on Him to deliver him from the Philistine. Whether it took one stone or five, David recognized that the power was not in his sling but in the Lord of hosts. As David wrote later in Psalm 21:13, “Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.”

Give the Lord a HandI believe that the five stones are symbolic a picture of Christ who is our rock and our shield. I say that because in the Hebrew language the fifth letter in the Hebrew letter alphabet is the letter “hay” . It has a corresponding picture of an open window that most bible scholars agree is a picture of grace. So here is David boasting in God’s ability, confident that God will deliver this great enemy into his hands, he takes Grace into his hands, five smooth rocks another portrait of God’s Son, smooth and without blemish. I believe that God was revealing something very spiritual to believers through this scripture. He depicted a man who did not rely on his own ability hence him taking off the armor he was supplied with but relying on the grace of God, five smooth stones, a symbol of grace a picture of Jesus who is without blemish, our rock and our shield. It was David’s confidence in who God is and God’s grace toward him that gave David the courage to throw the first stone.

The primary reason that David chose five stones was because in scripture five is a number associated with provision, grace, and fullness. (Gen 4:34, Gen 45:22, I Sam 21:3, Matt 24:17, Mark 8:19 David knew that the victory would come from from God, not from his own strength. David knew that the victory was by the grace of God, not by his own merit. David knew that the victory of God would be complete.

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” I Samuel 17:45-47

Just as David credited God, and not his own strength, for the rescue from the bear and lion, he humbly credits the victory to God. Also, David possibly took the five stones because Goliath was not the only giant around. Four are mentioned, at least one of which was Goliath’s brother, in II Samuel 21:18-22. All five of these died by either David’s hand or those under his command. The giants had been wiped out by Joshua from Israel, but some remained in Gaza, Gath (where Goliath was from), ans Ashdod (Josh 11:21-22) While David was only to face Goliath on the battlefield, there was no guarantee that the Philistines would honor the outcome of this “Victory by Championship” battle. Also, even if the philistines left, there was no guarantee that Goliath’s family would not take revenge. Fortunately, the philistine army fled in fear when Goliath was defeated (I Samuel 17:1-58), and it does not appear that the other giants challenged David at this time. They were defeated by David’s men later. In general, he would have taken the multiple stones just as an archer carries more than one arrow in his quiver, or a soldier loads his gun completely. W

Why would he use smooth stones? These smooth stones would have been the swiftest, most aerodynamic, most accurate, and most easily flung from the sling vs. Rough or misshapen stones that might catch on the sling.

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Our Savior’s Birth

Our Savior's BirthFor unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11, 

Luke2:1-20KJV

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.Isaiah 9:6

When I was a child, Christmas was about gifts, not God. It was about getting, not giving. Delicious food was enjoyed, but no feasting on faith. The sound of football on the television smothered out any seasonal background music. There were a few laughs and heated discussions punctuated by opinionated relatives pontificating about politics. Unfortunately, there was not a birthday party for Jesus. Now, thank God, our family celebrates the birth of our Lord. Our grandchildren act out the Christmas story and the adults applaud. By grace, we make much of our Savior’s birth!

Happy Birthday JesusProphetically, Jesus Christ, the son of God, was born in the City of David. The birthplace of an earthly king—David, was overshadowed by the birthplace of the King of kings—Jesus. A tiny village Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem, was the location of our Lord and Savior’s entrance onto earth. Christ’s humble birth would lead to the new birth for all who humbled themselves and believed. Our Savior came not to rule the heartland, but to rule human hearts. God’s love was with us in the flesh, so we could be set free. Jesus came to save His people from their sins.

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Happy Birthday Jesus1It’s easy for commercialism to consume our Christmas spirit. Sales, online shopping and credit cards all compete for our attention. We can stress over giving the right presents, instead of stressing the need to give our Lord the right attitude and adoration He deserves. The fear of disappointing a friend or family member with an unappreciated gift can replace our fear of God. The expectation of how much time we have with our children can make or break our holiday cheer. Thus, we seek to be selfless like our Savior. We thank God for any time with loved ones.

Most importantly, has the Christ of Christmas become the Savior of your soul? Is your relationship with God a personal or a cultural faith? We can’t get into the Lord’s kingdom on the coattails of our family’s faith. When we own our beliefs we know the Lord owns us. Jesus was born so we might be born again. Thus, like a trusting child we embrace Christ as the Savior of our sins. We bow to Him as Lord over our life, and we proudly proclaim “Merry Christmas” to all souls in need of a Savior. Yes, Christmas is just the beginning— Easter validates our victory in Jesus!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You for Jesus Christ’s birth, so I might be born again and find Salvation through Christ’s shed Blood at calvary.

Related Readings: Psalm 130:8; Isaiah 9:6; Acts 5:31; Titus 2:14; Revelation 17:14SO

Merry CHRISTMAS from all of us at The House of the Nazarene to you and your family!

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