Archive for the ‘Wednesday Evening Sermons’ Category

Now Therefore Arise!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

Now Therefore Arise!

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Joshua 1:1–5

Years ago a certain Englishman moved to the United States. Soon after he arrived he dropped out of sight. One day his uncle in England died and left him about a five–million dollar estate. Scotland Yard went about trying to locate the man whose last address had been in Chicago. They searched for him but never found him. Later I heard that he was found one morning frozen to death in an entryway of a cheap hotel. He could not afford twenty–five cents for a room although he was heir to five million dollars! He did not claim what was his. He did not lay hold of what belonged to him.

Although God gave Israel the Promised Land, they never possessed all of it. As a matter of fact, Israel got very little of the land. Many Christians today are like Israel in that they are blessed with all spiritual blessings and yet they die like bums in a doorway without claiming those blessings as their own.

 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: History of Israel (Joshua/Judges), electronic ed., vol. 10 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 14.

This must have been a terrifying time for Joshua. The leader who introduced God to him, who taught him the law, who he followed loyally for 40 years was dead. It was now up to Joshua to take this often rebellious and idolatrous crew into the promised land. He had to face giants and incredible odds without the leader he knew and loved. He had to do it as an older person. Surely there was a high level of anxiety and self doubt. On top of all that Joshua was probably grieving heavily, and you don’t feel like getting out of bed much less going to war when you are buried in grief. It was at that moment, at the point where Joshua could have been paralyzed with grief and fear that God came to him with a specific command.

Joshua 1:1–2 KJV

NOW after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 

Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Moses my servant is dead – therefore arise. This had to be a difficult command. That should have been enough. God does not need to talk us into obeying. However in his loving and gracious way, He gave Joshua reasons to cast aside his fear and sadness and rise up to the task to which he has been called.  

There comes a time after an intense trial, loss or other dark valley that God wants us to move on and move up. We are allowed to grieve from time to time. We are allowed to hide ourselves from evil. We are allowed to take a rest, to come apart alone. But there comes a time when we need to get moving again. There comes a time when we need to get back to the ministry… to get back to church.. to get back to serving the King. God would be completely within His rights to just demand that we “BUCK UP BUTTERCUP”… but in this passage God gives Joshua and to us who studies these words the truths he needs to strengthen him, and the truths that we need in order to enthusiastically respond to the command “Now Therefore Arise!” 

The Outcome Is Already Settled

Joshua 1:3 KJV

Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

 God didn’t give Joshua explanations as to how He would accomplish these things, because God’s people live on promises and not on explanations. When you trust God’s promises and step out by faith (v. 3), you can be sure that the Lord will give you the directions you need when you need them.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 24.

 God has given them the land. The land is theirs, but their enjoyment of it depends upon their taking possession of it. That part of the land upon which they walked would belong to them. Comparatively speaking, we have been told in Ephesians 1:3 that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. Unfortunately, very few Christians lay hold of the spiritual blessings that belong to them.1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: History of Israel (Joshua/Judges), electronic ed., vol. 10 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 14.

Ephesians 1:3 KJV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

 God had already given them the land; it was their responsibility now to step out by faith and claim it (Josh 1:3; see Gen. 13:14–18). The same promise of victory that God had given to Moses (Num. 11:22–25), He reaffirmed to Joshua; and He carefully defined the borders of the land. Israel didn’t reach that full potential until the reigns of David and Solomon.

  The lesson for God’s people today is clear: God has given us “all spiritual blessings … in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), and we must step out by faith and claim them. He has set before His church an open door that nobody can close (Rev. 3:8), and we must walk through that door by faith and claim new territory for the Lord. It is impossible to stand still in Christian life and service; for when you stand still, you immediately start going backward. “Let us go on!” is God’s challenge to His church (Heb. 6:1), and that means moving ahead into new territory.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 24–25.

The Boundaries were already set.

Joshua 1:4 KJV

From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

the Lebanon Territory north of Israel, roughly corresponds with modern-day Lebanon.

the land of the Hittites The Hittite Empire was centered in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) but controlled territory north of Lebanon (and north/northwest of the Euphrates). However, some ot references to Hittites are most likely referring to a group of native Canaanites, descendants of Heth, son of Canaan (1 Chr 1:13), and not to the Hittite Empire (see Gen 23:10; 27:46). The Canaanite Hittites are most likely meant here (compare Deut 7:1; Ezek 16:3). See note on Josh 3:10.

great sea The Mediterranean Sea.

in the west The west (where the sun sets).1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Jos 1:4.

The Pattern Has Already Been Established.

Promises Made in the Past

Genesis 12:7 KJV

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Genesis 15:18 KJV

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Deuteronomy 11:24 KJV

Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

Past Promises Kept – As I Was With Moses

Joshua 1:5 KJV

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Exodus 14:31 KJV

And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

 • Joshua

Genesis 28:14–15 KJV

And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 

And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

 • Gideon 

Judges 6:16 KJV

And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

 • Jewish Exiles

Isaiah 41:10 KJV

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Isaiah 43:5 KJV

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, And gather thee from the west;

A wise leader doesn’t completely abandon the past but builds on it as he or she moves toward the future. Moses is mentioned fifty-seven times in the Book of Joshua, evidence that Joshua respected Moses and what he had done for Israel.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 23.

No Man Will Be Able to Stop You

Romans 8:31 KJV

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:37 KJV

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Personal Promises Have Been Made

Joshua 1:5 KJV

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

I Will Not Leave You

John 10:27–30 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 

I and my Father are one.

Matthew 28:20 KJV

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

I Will Not Fail You

cast, to throw, i.q. ??????, ?????, whence pr.n. ?????? (casting forth, throwing down), specially—

(2) to cast down, to let fall, especially the hand, die Hand fallen lassen, see Piel, Hiphil. In Kal intrans. to decline as the day, i.e. to draw to a close, Judges 19:9; used of hay in the fire, i.e. to sink down, Isai. 5:24; followed by ???? to relax, to desist from any person or thing, Ex. 4:26; Jud. 8:3; Neh. 6:9.1

1 Wilhelm Gesenius and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2003), 776.

to grow slack, release, let go; (Hi.) to abandon, desert, leave in the lurch; let loose, release from (45)1

1 George M. Landes, Building Your Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary: Learning Words by Frequency and Cognate, vol. 41, Resources for Biblical Study (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2001), 86.

I Will Not Forsake You

?azab (??????, 5800), “to leave, forsake, abandon, leave behind, be left over, let go.” This word occurs in Akkadian and post-biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. Similar words appear in Arabic and Ethiopic. The word occurs in biblical Hebrew about 215 times and in all periods.

Basically ?azab means “to depart from something,” or “to leave.” This is the meaning of the word in its first biblical appearance: “[For this cause] shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife …” (Gen. 2:24). A special nuance of the word is “to leave in the lurch,” or to leave someone who is depending upon one’s services. So Moses said to Hobab the Midianite (Kenite): “Leave us not [in the lurch] I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes” (Num. 10:31).

The word also carries the meaning “forsake,” or “leave entirely.” Such passages convey a note of finality or completeness. So Isaiah is to preach that “… the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings” (Isa. 7:16). In other places, the abandonment is complete but not necessarily permanent. God says that Israel is “as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit.… For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee” (Isa. 54:6–7). In Akkadian, this word carries a technical sense of “completely and permanently abandoned” or “divorced.” Isaiah employs this sense in 62:4: “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; … but thou shalt be called [My delight is in her], and thy land [Married].…”1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 87.

Charles Spurgeon tells this story:

I have heard of a certain captain who had led his troops into a very difficult position, and he knew that the next day he should want them all to be full of courage. So, disguising himself, at nightfall he went around their tents and listened to their conversations until he heard one of them say, “Our captain is a very great warrior, and has won many victories, but he has this time made a mistake; for see, there are so many thousands of the enemy, and he has only so many infantry, so many cavalry, and so many guns.” The soldier made out the account and was about to sum up the scanty total when the captain, unable to bear it any longer, threw aside the curtain of the tent and said, “And how many do you count me for, sir?”—as much as to say, “I have won so many battles that you ought to know that my skill can multiply battalions by handling them.”

And so the Lord hears his servants estimating how feeble they are, and how little they can do, and how few are their helpers; and I think I hear him rebukingly say, “But how many do you count your God for? Is he never to come into your estimate? You talk of providing, and forget the God of providence; you talk of working, but forget the God who works in you to will and to do according to his own good pleasure.”1

1 Charles Spurgeon, 300 Sermon Illustrations from Charles Spurgeon, ed. Elliot Ritzema and Lynnea Smoyer (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017).

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:37 AM March 17, 2021.

Straight Ahead

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Straight Ahead

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Deuteronomy 17:18–20; Deuteronomy 28:14

A little boy was riding his tricycle furiously around the block, over and over again. Finally a policeman stopped and asked him why he was going around and around. The boy said that he was running away from home. Then the policeman asked why he kept going around the block. The boy responded, “Because my mom said that I’m not allowed to cross the street.”

The point is clear—obedience will keep you close to those you love.9271

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 253.

Our 2021 Bible Reading Challenge has taken us through the Pentatuch, the Books of the Law. In them we have been introduced to the main players in the battle of good and evil. We have learned about satan, about sin, about death and about forgiveness and restoration. Most of all we have learned about who God is and how we can relate to Him. One of the things we have been taught is that God knows better than we do.  He gave Moses the 10 Commandments not the 10 suggestions. We saw fire come from the altar and kill Aaron’s two sons because they did not follow God’s commandments regarding incense.

While doing this week’s devotions, a repeated phrase jumped out at me.

Deuteronomy 17:20 KJV

That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Deuteronomy 28:14 KJV

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

I was reminded of the words of our Savior also refering to the way of truth being a very narrow and specific pathway.

Matthew 7:14 KJV

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

God knows better than we do. God loved us enough to give us the truth. We should not turn to the right and add what we think God really meant. We should not turn to the left by taking way what He did say. We would do well to follow the advice found in the law and repeated by our Savior. We should stay right on the path He put forth and go straight ahead.

The Straight Path Delivers Leaders From The Snare of Pride.

Deuteronomy 17:15 KJV

Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

Deuteronomy 17:18–20 KJV

And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 

And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 

That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

 • Godly leadership is always submissive to the Word of God

 • Godly leadership is always learning

Psalm 131:1 KJV

LORD, My heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

 • Godly leadership must guard against pride.

 • Godly leadership does not invent new scripture

 • Godly leadership does not ignore existing scripture.

Isaiah 55:7–11 KJV

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts: And let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; And to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts. 

For as the rain cometh down, And the snow from heaven, And returneth not thither, But watereth the earth, And maketh it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void, But it shall accomplish that which I please, And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The Straight Path Delivers From False Doctrine

 • False gods… idolatry

Deuteronomy 28:14 KJV

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

 • False and deceptive teaching

Ephesians 4:11–14 KJV

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The Straight Path Delivers From Crippling Fear

Joshua 1:7 KJV

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

Joshua 23:6 KJV

Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;

The Straight Path Delivers From Past Mistakes and Leads to Revival.

2 Kings 22:1–2 KJV

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

Jeremiah 6:16 KJV

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

We learn a lot about who God is from reading the Books of the Law. He is a God that loves us and knows all. He has revealed His truth to us in His Word. We do not need to add to it (turn to the right) nor dilute or take away from it ( turn to the left). We need to go straight ahead!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:24 PM March 9, 2021.

The Lord Hears You

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

The Lord Hears You

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Deuteronomy 1:34

Will Smith and Gene Hackman star in the 1998 movie, Enemy of the State. The concept is that whether you deserve it or not, the Government has immense capabilities to spy on every minute detail of your life. As unnerving as the film was, technology has only grown more sophisticated. Satellites, GPS, cameras, email, smart phones, Alexa, and Siri all can be hacked and monitored. Later there was a hit TV series, Person of Interest, that featured a fictional machine that could intercept all the metadata out there and flag dangerous behavior and situations. in 2013 Edward Snowden leaked classified information revealing our government’s unconstitutional monitoring of private citizens routine phone calls with no specific probable cause. The Government really is like the fictional “Big Brother” in George Orwell’s novel 1984. About a year and a half ago I was involved in a passionate political debate with a ride share customer and I quoted a statistic… all of a sudden my phone interrupts the conversation by saying “Actually the real numbers are…” Not only was my phone listening, it was actively involved in solving a political debate! We would do well to realize that in America there are very few places where we can have private communications any more.

As unnerving as that seems, there is an even more invasive listener than Uncle Sam. You see what ever we say in public, on Facebook, in private texts, even whispered in dark corners of the world, God hears! Let that sink in… there is no privacy setting, no mute, no encryption code that will stop this. Whatever you are saying, the Lord Hears You.

The Lord Hears You Murmuring and Complaining

Deuteronomy 1:27 KJV

And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.

Deuteronomy 1:34–36 KJV

And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, 

Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, 

Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.

Exodus 16:9 KJV

And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings.

Exodus 16:12 KJV

I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.

The Lord Hears the Whispers of Bigotry

Numbers 12:1–2 KJV

And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 

And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.

The Lord Also Hears When You Need Him

The Lord Hears Cries of Affliction

Hagar

Genesis 16:11–12 KJV

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 

And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

Leah

Genesis 29:31–35 KJV

And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. 

And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. 

And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon. 

And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. 

And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.

The People of Israel

Deuteronomy 26:7 KJV

And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:

Exodus 3:7 KJV

And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

His Children

Psalm 18:6 KJV

In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of his temple, And my cry came before him, even into his ears.

Psalm 120:1 KJV

In my distress I cried unto the LORD, And he heard me.

Psalm 3:4 KJV

I cried unto the LORD with my voice, And he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

Psalm 6:8–9 KJV

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; For the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. 

The LORD hath heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer.

Psalm 34:4 KJV

I sought the LORD, and he heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

The Lord Hears Our Prayers

Psalm 116:1 KJV

I love the LORD, because he hath heard My voice and my supplications.

1 Peter 3:12 KJV

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

The Lord Hears Prayers for Healing.

James 5:15–16 KJV

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

1 Kings 17:17–22 KJV

And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. 

And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? 

And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. 

And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? 

And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. 

And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

The Lord Hears The Humble

2 Chronicles 33:11–13 KJV

Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. 

And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 

And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.

Psalm 10:17 KJV

LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: Thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

Jonah 2:2 KJV

And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; Out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

It is sobering to realize that someone may be on the other side of our smart TV listening and watching what we do as a family. It is maddening to realize that in spite of guaranteed 4th amendment protection from random search and seizure, Big Brother is constantly encroaching on our freedom. It should be more sobering to realize that every word you spoke against your brother or sister in private gossip was not private. It should be empowering that when you whisper a prayer of supplication, a cry for help in the shadows of life, or a statement of humble surrender…God is about to take action because the Lord is Listening!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:32 PM March 2, 2021.

By Name: The Personal Personal Nature of Salvation

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Numbers 1:17–20

Jeff Greenfield is a news correspondent for ABC News. He lives in Salisbury, Connecticutt and has attended the same Memorial Day observance in his community for the last 15 years. He writes:

“At 10 a.m., the parade begins moving down Main Street. It is a small parade: two vintage cars, bearing the region’s oldest war veterans; the men and women who served in the military; the Salisbury Town Band; the Scouts; the Housatonic Day Care Center; the fire trucks from the volunteer fire departments in and around the Northwest Corner. We fall in line behind the fire trucks, and follow the parade to the cemetery. There’s a hymn, and a prayer, followed by a Scout who reads the Gettysburg Address, haltingly, shyly. Then come the names of the men who died in the World Wars, in Korea, in Vietnam. A minister recites the 23rd Psalm, a bugler plays taps (with another bugler far away playing the echo), the flag is raised from half-staff, and we all walk the few steps back to the Village Center. It is as artless, as unaffected a ceremony as can be imagined. There are no speech writers, no advance men measuring the best angles for TV (there is no TV) and by the end of it, I—along with many other allegedly sophisticated urban types, are in tears.

The men whose names have been read indeed gave what Lincoln called “the last, full measure of devotion”—some in wars whose purpose no one could doubt—some in wars whose purpose will never be clear, some for the folly and arrogance of the men in charge. When they fell, their deaths were a small part of a bigger story. But every Memorial Day, the lives they never got to live, and the people they left behind, are the only story that matters. That is why it matters that their names are uttered aloud before people who never knew any of them. That is why it matters that we were there this year—and will be there the next and the next and the next.

SOURCE: Jeff Greenfield. ABC News InFocus, May 28, 1997. 

Our 2021 Bible Reading Challenge has taken us to some material that could cause our eyes to glaze over. We read a census inspired by God. How can this get me closer to the image of Christ? Tonight we will discover that God is not just interested in the crowd and the nation, He is interested in each individual. He is an intensely personal shepherd. His Love is personal and intimate.

The Individual Is Expressed By His Name

Numbers 1:17 KJV

And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names:

Numbers 1:18 KJV

And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.

Numbers 1:20 KJV

And the children of Reuben, Israel’s eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:22 KJV

Of the children of Simeon, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, those that were numbered of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:24 KJV

Of the children of Gad, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:26 KJV

Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:28 KJV

Of the children of Issachar, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:30 KJV

Of the children of Zebulun, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:32 KJV

Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:36 KJV

Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:38 KJV

Of the children of Dan, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:40 KJV

Of the children of Asher, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

Numbers 1:42 KJV

Of the children of Naphtali, throughout their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 • Each name expressed an eternal soul

 • Each name expressed relationships

 • Each name expressed passions

 • Each name expressed human drama

 • Each name expressed joys and sorrows

 • Each name expressed hopes and dreams

 • Each name expressed failure and faith

 • Each name expressed sin and forgiveness

Psalm 103:14 KJV

For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

His Sheep Are Known By Name

John 10:14 KJV

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Matthew 10:29–31 KJV

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

3 John 14 KJV

but I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

His Sheep Are Called By Name

Acts 9:36 KJV

Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

Luke 4:25–27 KJV

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 

But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 

And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

His Sheep Are Given a New Name

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Genesis 32:28 KJV

And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

Revelation 2:17 KJV

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Revelation 3:12 KJV

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

It is easy for us to see the crowd but not the individuals. Tucked away in this Old Testament passage is the truth that God sees us as individuals, loves us personally, and called us intimately. The Sweet Savior knows and loves you by name.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:28 PM February 17, 2021.

The Long Way Around

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

The Long Way Around

Pastor Don Carpenter

Bible Reading Challenge 2021 / Exodus 13:17–18

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once commented that race horses must be incredibly confused: the jockeys whip and kick them, obviously in a hurry, but they take the longest possible route, all the way around the track, to reach the finish line! In our lives, we face many detours that may seem pointless, but God always has a wonderful purpose. 

Sometimes as we follow the loving leading of Jesus, our Great Shepherd, it seems like He is taking us in the wrong direction. We would think that the most direct route is the most logical, yet God seems to take us through detours, potholes, and winding dirt roads on our pathway to Christlikeness.  

In our 2021 Bible Reading challenge this week I found a couple of verses tucked in the narrative before the Israelites even escape slavery. These verses give great insight as to how much God knows his children. God knows His people like a Shepherd knows his sheep. He knows what we are ready for and what we are not.  If need be, He is willing and able to make sure we take the long way around.

Exodus 13:17–18 KJV

And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: 

But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

God Leads With Love And Precision.

Psalm 107:6–7 KJV

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, And he delivered them out of their distresses. 

And he led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city of habitation.

Psalm 23:3 KJV

He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Psalm 25:4–5 KJV

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: For thou art the God of my salvation; On thee do I wait all the day.

God Knows What We Are Ready For.

Exodus 13:18 KJV

But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

 • This is not a leading away from trials

 • It is a leading to the trials we need right now at this level of our maturity.

 • The Israelites needed to see God work

Exodus 14:11–18 KJV

And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 

Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. 

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: 

But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 

And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. 

And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

God Knows What We Are Not Ready For

Exodus 13:17 KJV

And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

 • God knew how they would react to the spy’s report, so He knew they were not ready for war… YET

Numbers 14:1–4 KJV

And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 

And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 

And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 

And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

The road through the Philistine country is a reference to the major route that ran through the Fertile Crescent from Egypt to Babylonia and is known as the Great Trunk road. It went along the coast of the Mediterranean, which took it through Philistine territory in southern Palestine before moving inland through the valley of Jezreel just south of the Carmel range. Along the north of the Sinai peninsula the Egyptians referred to it as the Way of Horus, and it was heavily defended since it was the route used by armies as well as trade caravans.1 

1 Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Ex 13:17. 

God Lovingly Prepares Us For What We Are Not Yet Ready For.

Exodus 13:18 KJV

But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

Learn About God’s Deliverance

Psalm 107:6–7 KJV

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, And he delivered them out of their distresses. 

And he led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city of habitation.

Leviticus 11:45 KJV

For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

Learn About God’s Laws

Nehemiah 9:13–14 KJV

Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: 

And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:

Learn About God’s Justice

Exodus 20:5–6 KJV

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Learn About God’s Mercy

John 3:14 KJV

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

Learn About God’s Provision

Nehemiah 9:15 KJV

And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.

Learn About God’s Enablement so they could face War.

Joshua 24:17–18 KJV

For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: 

And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

Babbie Mason wrote these words, “God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. When you don’t understand and can’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, TRUST HIS HEART.” 

So fret not, Brothers and Sisters when the way seems long and convoluted. Keep following the Shepherd. He knows best, even if He takes us the Long Way Around.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 8:34 PM January 26, 2021.

Blind Passion

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Blind Passion

Pastor Don Carpenter

Bible Reading Challenge 2021 / Genesis 25:29–34

A fly was buzzing along one morning when he saw a lawn

mower someone had left out in their front yard. He flew over and sat on the handle, watching the children going down the sidewalk on their way to school.

One little boy tripped on a crack and fell, spilling his lunch on the sidewalk. He picked himself up, put his lunch back in the bag and went on. But he missed a piece of bologna. The fly had not eaten that morning and he sure was hungry. So he flew down and started eating the bologna. In fact he ate so much that he could not fly, so he waddled across the sidewalk, across the lawn, up the wheel of the lawn mower, up the handle, and sat there resting and watching the children.

There was still some bologna laying there on the sidewalk. He was really stuffed, but that baloney sure did look good.

Finally temptation got the best of him and he jumped off the handle of the lawn mower to fly over to the baloney. But alas he was too full to fly and he went splat!!, killing him instantly.

The moral of the story: Don’t fly off the handle when you are full of baloney.

There’s a dark side to us, that’s as reckless as the fly. It does not matter what the costs are, you just got to have it. Humanity is like that, so full of baloney, they can’t see it and they fly off the handle, thinking they can handle it all, and be satisfied only to end up splat.

_____________

The Bible is full of warnings about fleshly lusts… natural desires that seek to be fulfilled outside the boundary of God’ s will.

1 Peter 2:11 KJV

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

1 John 2:16 KJV

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Like that poor fly, we can have have cravings, often physical desires, that attempt to rule our lives. This week during our 2021 Bible Reading Challenge, we read about Esau and how he gave up his inheritance and religious privilege as firstborn son in exchange for red lentil stew. What would lead him to make such a foolish choice? Tonight we are going to learn a very important lesson.

 Succumbing to the seduction of immediate gratification can blind you to the gravity and severity of its long term consequences.

Lust Can Be Triggered.

Genesis 25:29–30 KJV

And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 

And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

 • Sometimes it is triggered by your senses… something in your environment… the smell of cooking

 • It can be triggered by physical need.

 • It can be triggered by physical neglect.

 • It can be triggered by fatigue… Esau had been hunting all day and got nothing

 • It can be triggered as a learned response.

It is possible to identify some of those triggers and avoid them.

Romans 13:14 KJV

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

And he was famished: famished means to be weak and faint from having gone without food for a long while. This idea is sometimes expressed idiomatically; for example, “hunger held him by the throat” or “hunger burned his stomach.”1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Genesis, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1998), 585.

Let me eat some of that red pottage is literally “Let me swallow.…” The narrator is depicting Esau as a greedy glutton. njv expresses the thought well with “Let me gulp down.” In some translations the feeling is expressed by “Give me that red soup of yours. Hurry!” Red pottage is literally “this red, red” (Hebrew ’edom, a word that sounds like “Edom”).1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Genesis, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1998), 586.

Gratification Comes At a Price

Genesis 25:31 KJV

And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

BIRTHRIGHT — a right, privilege, or possession to which a person, especially the firstborn son, was entitled by birth in Bible times. In Israel, as in the rest of the ancient world, the firstborn son enjoyed a favored position. His birthright included a double portion of his father’s assets upon his death (Deut. 21:17). Part of the firstborn’s benefits also were a special blessing from the father (Gen. 27:27) and the privilege of leadership of the family (Gen. 43:33).

The inheritance rights of the firstborn were protected by law, so the father could not give his benefits to a younger son (Deut. 21:15–17). The firstborn himself, however, could lose the birthright. Because he committed incest with his father’s concubine (Gen. 35:22), Reuben lost his favored position (1 Chr. 5:1–2), while Esau sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a stew of lentils (Gen. 25:29–34), or for “one morsel of food” (Heb. 12:16).

Jesus was both the firstborn of his heavenly Father (John 3:16), and his earthly mother, Mary (Luke 2:7); so he enjoyed the rights and privileges of the Jewish birthright. All Christians are His brothers, sharing in His spiritual inheritance (Rom. 8:17). They are counted as “firstborn” by God’s grace (Heb. 12:23).1

1 Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, and R. K. Harrison, Thomas Nelson Publishers, eds., Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1995).

Hebrews 11:25 KJV

Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

 • Lust could have you give up your family

 • Lust could have you give up your marriage

 • Lust could have you give up your job

 • Lust could have you give up your life’s savings

 • Lust could have you give up your health

 • Lust could have you give up your life

James 1:13–15 KJV

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

The severity of the lust masks the severity of the consequences.

Genesis 25:32 KJV

And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

**Canvas Slide**

Esau exaggerates not only his hunger but the imminence of his death as well, unless one understands his hinn?h ??n??î hôl?? l?mû? as an idiom of hyperbole, akin to our “I’m starving to death” or “I’m dying of thirst.” When Esau first spoke about his hunger (v. 30), he used the exact phrase that the narrator had used in the previous verse: narrator (v. 29): “Esau … starving (??s?w … ??y?p?); Esau (v. 30): “I am starving” (??y?p? ??n??î). Here he exaggerates “I am starving” to “I am on the verge of dying.” If he really believes that he is dying, then does he think a bowl of stew can arrest the inevitable? But given the choice of retaining his special status or getting something to eat, he opts for the latter.1

1 Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18–50, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995), 184–185.

Philippians 3:18–19 KJV

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Hebrews 12:16–17 KJV

Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 

For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

The third “lest” clause is v. 16: “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright” (AV). Because the OT has no explicit reference to immoral behavior by Esau, it is hard to know whether “fornicator” is to be understood literally or metaphorically.2 In nonbiblical Jewish literature Esau was accused of being a womanizer and one who not infrequently engaged in immoral trysts with married women (Gen. Rabbah 65:1; Jub. 25:1, 8). More than likely Heb. 12:16 reflects that tradition.

The incident to which the writer of Hebrews clearly alludes illustrates a misplaced sense of values more than it does sexual immorality. To prostitute oneself, as in Esau’s case, means to be bereft of any spiritual values, to put the needs of the immediate moment ahead of any other considerations, to put feeling ahead of conscience, to give away much (“sold his birthright”) and receive back little in return (“for a single meal”). This, says the writer to the Hebrews, is what Esau did, but what those who pursue peace and sanctification will avoid. Note that Heb. 12:16 describes Esau as both pórnos and béb?los (“profane” [AV]; “irreligious” [RSV]; “degrade religion” [JB]; “worldly-minded” [NEB]); “defiled” [Buchanan]; “unclean” [Attridge]). In the LXX béb?los is associated with cultic matters (e.g., Lev. 10:10; Ezek. 4:14; 21:25; 22:26; 44:23). But in the NT it is always an ethical/religious term, applied either to people (1 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 12:16) or to things (1 Tim. 4:7; 6:20; 2 Tim. 2:16)1

1 Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18–50, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995), 188.

Succumbing to immediate gratification of lust shows contempt toward the gifts you already possess.

Genesis 25:33–34 KJV

And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

The story concludes by expressing a feeling of disdain for Esau: Thus Esau despised his birthright. Despised is used here in the sense of careless indifference or disregard. For Esau the birthright is a worthless object. reb translates “Esau showed by this how little he valued his birthright,” spcl “Esau … left, without attaching any importance to his rights as oldest son.” These and tev are satisfactory translation models.1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Genesis, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1998), 588.

Certainly the profane nature of Esau was a warning for Israel. It is wrong to sacrifice spiritual provisions to satisfy one’s physical appetites. This is a question of priorities. Esau saw only food; and he did whatever was necessary to get what he wanted (cf. Eve and the food on the tree, 3:6).1

1 Allen P. Ross, “Genesis,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 70.

Psalm 106:24 KJV

Yea, they despised the pleasant land, They believed not his word:

Matthew 22:4–5 KJV

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 

But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

So what does this little story tucked away in Genesis tell us? Physical desires can be triggered into a monstrous lustful desire demanding immediate satisfaction. We must take care not to feed those desires and to avoid making provisions for their existence wherever possible. We have learned that  sinful lust comes at a much higher level of long term pain than the short term pleasure it affords. We have learned that lust can blind us in the heat of the moment so it is wise to avoid the heat of the moment. We have learned that in the end, when we give in to lust, we show great contempt to the important relationships and privileges we already enjoy. We have learned that we must keep our face in the Book, our eyes on Jesus and do what it takes to stay away from Blind Passion.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:17 PM January 13, 2021.

Different By Design

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021


Different By Design: Exploring Transgenderism From a Biblical Perspective

Pastor Don Carpenter

Bible Reading Challenge 2021 / Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:24–28; Matthew 19:4–5; Psalm 139:13–14

A Biblical Overview of the Transgender question

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture Introduction: Transgenderism and Christian Ethics

On April 24, 2015, Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner revealed he self-identifies as transgender. In an interview with Diane Sawyer on the television program 20/20, Jenner claimed God gave him “the soul of a female” and boldly asserted, “I am a woman.” On June 1, 2015, Jenner announced via Twitter that he is now “Caitlyn” Jenner and said, “I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world, Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.”2 On the very same day as Jenner’s Twitter announcement, Vanity Fair released its July 2015 edition with Bruce Jenner provocatively dressed as “Caitlyn” on the cover. Just a few weeks later, on July 15, 2015, Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Award at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. Wearing a white Versace gown, Jenner said in his acceptance speech, “I trained hard, I competed hard, and for that people respected me. But this transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine, and that’s the case for so many others, besides me. For that reason alone, trans people deserve something vital, they deserve your respect.” Jenner went on to advocate on behalf of transgendered children who are bullied and consider suicide. Jenner had facial feminization surgery, breast augmentation surgery, and had been taking female hormones for some time, and in 2017 underwent genital gender reassignment surgery.

Jenner’s announcement is all the more stunning since he is remembered as the masculine, athletic man who won the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, setting a world record by amassing 8,616 points in the competition. His photo was famously emblazoned on Wheaties cereal boxes as he represented the “breakfast of champions.” Jenner was the portrait for American virility and good looks, but his life began to take very strange turns. Divorced twice, in 1991 he married Kris Kardashian, the former wife of Robert Kardashian, one of O. J. Simpson’s defense attorneys. Jenner and Kardashian became famous as their family was showcased on the reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which debuted on October 14, 2007. The show seemed to have no other purpose than to promote the self-absorbed and narcissistic personalities of the Kardashians, with accompanying sexual immorality and lewd behavior. With this background in mind, it is hard not to see Jenner’s announcement as part and parcel of someone who has leveraged nothing more than celebrity status into a revenue stream.

The case of Bruce Jenner/Caitlyn Jenner illustrates several key themes common in current transgender discussions:

  1.   Embracing transgender identity should be celebrated.

  2.   God is actually behind one’s transgender identity.

  3.   People claim to have a female soul trapped in a male body, or a male soul trapped in a female body.

  4.   If you love children, you will agree with the avant-garde stance regarding transgenderism.

  5.   It is a noble and brave thing voluntarily to go through extensive surgery to transform one’s gender appearance.

  6.   Such an experience is liberating.

The following was published by the:

Am J Public Health. 2017 February; 107(2): e1–e8.Published online 2017 February. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303578PMCID: PMC5227946PMID: 28075632

Transgender Population Size in the United States: a Meta-Regression of Population-Based Probability Samples

 We used data from national surveys to estimate the population size of transgender people in the United States. Estimates of the number of transgender adults significantly increased over the past decade, with a current best estimate of 390 per 100?000 adults. That is about 1 in every 250 adults, or almost 1 million Americans. These numbers may be more typical of younger adults than of the entire US population. We expect that future surveys will find higher numbers of transgender people and recommend that standardized questions be used, which will allow a more accurate population size estimate.

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For those of us raised with Biblical norms and values, the concept of transgenderism or gender dysphoria is completely foreign. The truth is that this philosophy is becoming very mainstream in our society and we as believers need to have a loving but Biblical response to both the philosophy and those who genuinely struggle with this very difficult issue.

As we begin tonight we need to understand some terms and presuppositions commonly taught in society today.

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture Sex and Gender

Still, for most people, the words “sex” and “gender” are synonyms, but in modern transgender discussions they mean very different things. “Sex” is used in reference to biological and anatomical traits such as obvious differences between genitalia, bone structure, DNA, hormones, and internal reproductive anatomy. In contrast, gender is used to describe the subjective psychological, social, and cultural aspects of being male or female. To be clear, from a secular perspective, gender is a feeling-based concept and is disconnected from biology. To keep the differences clear, authors

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture Transgender

 Transgender is an overarching term that describes and unites a broad category of people for whom their current gender identity is different from what is commonly expected of their birth sex. In other words, their body is one sex (male or female), while they identify as the opposite gender (masculine or feminine). There are many different subcategories under transgender, including transsexual, transvestite, gender-variant, gender fluid, genderqueer, and cross-dresser. 

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture Gender Dysphoria

 In gender dysphoria, one’s psychological and emotional gender identity does not match one’s biological sex, and this leads to mental health problems. It should be emphasized that one can only be diagnosed with gender dysphoria if he or she expresses significant distress or problems functioning related to the gender conflict. Thus, from a clinical perspective, not all transgender people are necessarily suffering from gender dysphoria. What this means is that if a person experiences the sense of being “a woman trapped in a man’s body” but is not disturbed by this and it does not impair his daily functioning, then he does not qualify for being diagnosed with gender dysphoria. In informal conversation, gender dysphoria is sometimes used in a nontechnical way as a synonym for transgenderism. The term “gender dysphoria” is of somewhat recent origin as a clinical diagnosis, and the story of its development underscores some changes in perspectives within psychiatry and psychology regarding transgenderism.

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So our society is rapidly embracing the concept that one’s gender and one’s sex can be different and that we should help people accept and embrace that difference. This concept is being pushed everywhere from the college campus to the elementary classroom. Time does not permit us to delve into all of the intricacies of this issue, but let us sort out some of this confusion by looking at God’s perfect Word. As we study the creation account, we will discover that God made mankind after His image with two distinct sexes. God also designed marriage as a contract between a man and a woman to enjoy each other physically for both procreation and pleasure. Sex within marriage is blessed. Sex outside of marriage is sin. That is the design.  

God Made Mankind in His Image

Genesis 1:26 KJV

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

God Made Male and Female

Genesis 1:27 KJV

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 5:1–2 KJV

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 

Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

God Designed Them to be able to Procreate

Genesis 1:28 KJV

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God’s Design Starts in the Womb

Psalm 139:13–14 KJV

For thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.

Psalms, Volume 3 Psalm 139

13. For thou hast possessed my reins. The word here rendered possessed means properly to set upright, to erect, and hence the derivative of the verb is applied to a cane or reed, as being erect. Then the word means to found, to create, Gen. 14:19, 22,—as the heavens and the earth; and then, to get, to gain, to purchase, etc. Here the word seems to be used in its original sense, to make, create, etc. The idea is, not as in our translation, that God possessed or owned them, but that he had made them, and that, therefore, he knew all about them. The word reins means literally the kidneys; and then, it comes to denote the inward part, the mind, the soul, the seat of the desires, affections, and passions. Jer. 11:20. See Notes on Ps. 7:9; Job 19:27. The meaning here is, that God had made him; that the innermost recesses of his being had been constituted as they are by God; and that, therefore, he must be able to see all that there is in the very depths of the soul, however it may be hidden from the eye of man.

Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. The word here rendered cover means properly to interweave; to weave; to knit together, and the literal translation would be, “Thou hast woven me in my mother’s womb, meaning that God had put his parts together, as one who weaves cloth, or who makes a basket. So it is rendered by De Wette and by Gesenius (Lex.). The original word has, however, also the idea of protecting, as in a booth or hut, woven or knit together,—to wit, of boughs and branches. The former signification best suits the connexion; and then the sense would be, that as God had made him,—as he had formed his members, and united them in a bodily frame and form before he was born,—he must be able to understand all his thoughts and feelings. As he was not concealed from God before he saw the light, so he could not be anywhere.

– BARNES NOTES

It Was Not Good For Man To Be Alone

All of creation was good.

Genesis 1:4 KJV

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:10 KJV

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:12 KJV

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:18 KJV

And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:21 KJV

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:25 KJV

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:31 KJV

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2:18 KJV

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

God Made A Point To Show Adam He Was Missing Something.

Genesis 2:19–20 KJV

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

God Instituted Marriage Between A Man and a Woman.

Genesis 2:24–25 KJV

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Matthew 19:4–5 KJV

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Hebrews 13:4 KJV

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Unbelief Causes Perversion of God’s Design.

Mankind has to actively suppress truth evident in creation.

Romans 1:18–20 KJV

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

This Suppression Results in Heterosexual Perversion.

Romans 1:24–25 KJV

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

This Suppression Results in Homosexual Perversion.

Romans 1:26–27 KJV

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Leviticus 18:22 KJV

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

This Suppression Leads to Confusion

Leviticus 18:23 KJV

Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon ???????

†??????? S8397 TWOT248d GK9316 n.[m.] confusion, violation of nature, or the divine order

Gender Dysphoria is a Lust of the Flesh Fed By Unbiblical Thinking.

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture :

No One Knows What Causes Gender Dysphoria

At the same time, for many people the experience of gender dysphoria often emerges early in life, is indeed real, causes anxiety and distress, and is a struggle for which the person did not ask. In other cases, gender dysphoria and the accompanying transgenderism are fueled by impure thoughts and sexual practices related to cross-dressing fetishes. Cases in this second category are usually related to gender dysphoria emerging in adulthood.

Since the causes of gender dysphoria are clouded in mystery, a Christian response should always be expressed with a tone of mercy. While this book has focused on the biological and genetic influences suspected in transgenderism, other factors related to dysfunctional homes and childhood abuse are certainly at play in some cases. According to one source, a distinguishing mark of difference between the mental health of transgender people and the general population is the surprisingly high level of emotional neglect during childhood among transgender children. Furthermore, among all people, the age of sexual debut, the context in which it occurred, and the age and gender of the person with whom it occurred all have strong influences on later gender and sexual identity. Considering all these factors, we do not know the painful journeys that lead people to adopt a transgender identity. To add to their confusion, the world has lied to them about the malleability of gender and convinced them their subjective feeling of dysphoria is more important than God’s design for the body.

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture

Gender Reassignment Surgery Is More Akin to Bodily Mutilation

Gender reassignment surgery does not change someone’s sex. Instead, males and females surgically mutilate their genitals in order to look like those of the opposite sex, usually with the hope of playing the part of the opposite gender in sexual intercourse. In these surgeries, perfectly functioning urinary tracts are drastically rearranged. The surgery makes a male into a eunuch with mutilated genitalia and gives a woman a body with awkward appendages intended to imitate male genitals. In both cases, perfectly functioning organs are removed based on the subjective desires of the patient. Postoperative problems are common, and even though most patients seem initially satisfied with the basic appearance afterward, there is evidence that the mental health outcomes of postsurgical transgender people are not significantly better than those who do not have the surgery.

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture

Transgenderism and the Local Church

As we attempt to develop effective ways in which to relate and minister to transgender people, we should not allow psychological categories to blur clear Christian thinking: We are basically dealing with a temptation to reject God’s design and embrace a gender identity separate from one’s birth sex. Seen in this light, transgenderism has much in common with all other temptations; mainly, what we feed will grow. Gender dysphoria can be daunting, but the more a person surrenders to cross-gender behavior, the more compelling the desire actually to be another gender can become.

Repentance and Faith is the Answer.

1 John 1:9 KJV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

God has made us by His perfect design. We need to teach our children to embrace the way God has made them… that they are perfect as designed and should endeavor to honor Him that way. When we run into that poor soul who has been duped by the world the flesh and the devil that God made some kind of mistake, we must lovingly understand their struggle and embrace them with the Gospel of truth. God has made us male and female and we are different by design.  

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:35 AM January 6, 2021.

Resist The Devil

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Resist The Devil

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Temptation; Spiritual Warfare

One three-year-old’s explanation for being in the kitchen atop a chair, eating cookies: “I just climbed up to smell them, and my tooth got caught.”1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Last week we discovered that Peter warned us to be alert to an enemy, the devil, that is lurking in the shadows like a lion on his prey. Tonight now that we know about the Lion.. we are given strange advice… Peter does not tell us to be very quiet and hope the ravenous beast of darkness does not see us… we are to dig in and resist him! Wait… WHAT??? Yup … resist. Tonight we will discover that we as believers can use both what we know and who we know to resist the devil.

Resist The Devil With What You Know.

1 Peter 5:9 KJV

Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

You Know Retreat is not an Option

James 4:7 KJV

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 6:11–13 KJV

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The Greek word translated “resist” means “to withstand, to be firm against someone else’s onset” rather than “to strive against that one.” The Christian would do well to remember that he cannot fight the devil. The latter was originally the most powerful and wise angel God created. He still retains much of that power and wisdom as a glance down the pages of history and a look about one today will easily show. While the Christian cannot take the offensive against Satan, yet he can stand his ground in the face of his attacks. Cowardice never wins against Satan, only courage.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 130.

You Know You Stand On Solid Ground – Steadfast

The devil is resisted by being “firm in faith.” The concept is not that of holding certain doctrines firmly, which is a meaning of faith found in the Pastorals (e.g., 1 Tim. 1:19; 6:21; 2 Tim. 2:18), but that of remaining firm in one’s trust in God. The word “firm” originally applied to physical firmness or hardness, such as a firm foundation (2 Tim. 2:19) or solid (versus soft or liquid) food (Heb. 5:12, 14) or (in its verbal form) firm feet (i.e., feet that no longer gave way under the weight of the person, Acts 3:7, 16). Here the term is applied to character, as is its verbal form in Acts 16:5, where the new churches become firm in their commitment to Christ (= faith).1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 191–192.

You Know Brothers and Sisters in the Faith Worldwide Face the Same Struggles.

Romans 1:8 KJV

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

One thing that will make their commitment firmer is the awareness that they are not suffering alone. It is not “just me” who is suffering or even “just us,” laments that make the suffering seem unfair and unjust, but “your brotherhood throughout the world.” Peter stresses this unity in two ways—first, by using the collective “brotherhood” (which he alone in the NT uses, cf. 2:17, his other use, or “brotherly love” in 1:22 and 3:18) instead of the more individual “brothers” (a term he uses only in 5:12), and second, by adding “throughout the world,” which phrase uses “world” in its physical and global sense (as do Mark 4:8; 14:9; Rom. 1:8; 1 Cor. 14:10; 1 Pet. 1:20; cf. 2 Macc. 3:12) rather than in its ethical sense (i.e., human culture in its independence of and hostility toward God, as in John 15:18–19; 16:33; Jas. 4:4)1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 192–193.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

A pastor warned his handsome new assistant about the dangers of immorality in the ministry. The assistant said that he always did his socializing in a group setting and concluded that “there is safety in numbers.” The wise pastor replied, “Yes, that is so, but there is more safety in Exodus.”1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Resist The Devil With Who You Know

1 Peter 5:10–11 KJV

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 

To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The God of all Grace

 • That called you

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 • That called you to His eternal glory

This effectual call is with a view to God’s eternal glory. That is, God calls us into salvation in order that He may derive glory for Himself by virtue of our being saved. He who has called us in His grace will supply all needed grace until we are ushered into the Glory. God’s eternal glory is involved in His keeping a believer in salvation.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 131.

The God Who Will Use Your Temporary Suffering

1 Peter 1:6 KJV

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

 • To Make You Perfect

The words “make you perfect” are not the translation of the Greek word teleioo (???????) which means “to perfect” in the sense of “to make spiritually mature and complete,” but from a word meaning “to fit or join together.” The predominating idea in the verb is adjustment, the putting of parts into right relationship and connection with one another. It is the same word translated “perfecting” in Ephesians 4:12, where the gifted servants of the Lord mentioned were given to the Church for the equipping of the saints for ministering work. The word was used of James and John mending their nets, thus equipping them for service (Mark 1:19). Here the word refers to God mending the lives of Christians, thus equipping them for usefulness in His service. The word in First Peter speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit in rounding out the spiritual life of the saint so that he is equipped for both the living of a Christian life and the service of the Lord Jesus.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 131.

 • To Stablish You

The word “stablish” is the translation of a Greek word whose root is akin to the word translated “stedfast” in 5:9. It speaks of a solid foundational position. Alford translates, “shall ground you as on a foundation.” Bengel has a helpful note on this verse; “Shall perfect, that no defect remain in you, shall stablish that nothing may shake you, shall strengthen that you may overcome every adverse force.” No comments on verse eleven.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 132.

 • To Strengthen You

Third, God will “strengthen” them. This is quite an unusual word meaning “to make strong,” found only here in biblical Greek (a related term appears in 3 Macc. 3:8, but that only once) and rarely in secular Greek. 1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 196

 • To Settle You

Finally God will “settle” them, a term meaning “to found” or “to place on a foundation” (Matt. 7:25; Eph. 3:17; Col. 1:23). This is an image of security, of people who cannot be moved no matter what comes against them. As such it rounds out the result of the other terms. While we have tried to give careful definitions of these four terms, it would be wrong to try to see some new idea in each of them. What Peter has done is pile up a number of closely related terms that together by their reinforcing one another give a multiple underscoring of the good that God is intending for them and even now is producing in their suffering.1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 196

——

When tempted, learn the lesson of the dog. Anyone who has trained a dog to obey knows this scene. A bit of meat or bread is placed on the floor near the dog and the master says, “No!” which the dog knows means that he must not touch it. The dog will usually take his eyes off the food, because the temptation to disobey would be too great, and instead will fix his eyes on the master’s face. That is the lesson of the dog. Always look to the Master’s face.1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:40 PM December 2, 2020.

Know Your Enemy

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020


Know Your Enemy

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Satan; Spiritual Warfare / 1 Peter 5:8

Warren Wiersbe tells this story:

 Since I have no mechanical ability, I admire people who can build and repair things. During a church building program, I was watching an electrician install a complex control panel. I said to the man, “It just amazes me how you fellows can calmly work on those lines with all of that power there. How do you do it?” The electrician smiled and said, “Well, the first thing you have to do is respect it. Then you can handle it.”

Satan is a dangerous enemy. He is a serpent who can bite us when we least expect it. He is a destroyer (Abaddon and Apollyon both mean “destruction”) and an accuser (Zech. 3:1–5; Rev. 12:9–11). He has great power and intelligence, and a host of demons who assist him in his attacks against God’s people (Eph. 6:10ff). He is a formidable enemy; we must never joke about him, ignore him, or underestimate his ability. We must “be sober” and have our minds under control when it comes to our conflict with Satan.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 432.

Tonight we are going to look at a familiar and powerful verse. We are going to be reminded that we cannot be lulled into a false sense of safety. Our foe, an evil predator, is lurking in the shadows. It is important that you know your enemy.

Be Sober!

1 Peter 5:8 KJV

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

30.25 ????a: (a figurative extension of meaning of ???? ‘to be sober, to not be drunk,’ probably not occurring in the NT; see 88.86) to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking—‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’ ???? ?????????? ??? ??????? ‘but we should be awake and sober-minded’ 1 Th 5:6. It is also possible to understand ???? in 1 Th 5:6 as meaning ‘self-control,’ as a characteristic of moral behavior (see 88.86).1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 352.

nepho (????, 3525) signifies “to be free from the influence of intoxicants”; in the NT, metaphorically, it does not in itself imply watchfulness, but is used in association with it, 1 Thess. 5:6, 8; 2 Tim. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7, rv (kjv, “watch”); 5:8.¶ Cf. eknepho and ananepho, under AWAKE, No. 3 and Note.1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 583.

Matthew 24:42–43 KJV

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 

But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

1 Thessalonians 5:6 KJV

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Be Vigilant

1 Peter 5:8 KJV

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

27.56 ????????b: (a figurative extension of meaning of ????????a ‘to stay awake,’ 23.72) to be in continuous readiness and alertness to learn—‘to be alert, to be watchful, to be vigilant.’ ??????????, ??????? ?? ?? ?????? ‘be alert, stand fast in the faith’ 1 Cor 16:13.1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 332.

The words “be vigilant” in the Greek present the idea of “be awake and watchful.”1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 129.

1 Corinthians 16:13 KJV

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Be Aware

1 Peter 5:8 KJV

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Of Who Your Enemy Is

Our adversary

Enemy (compare Matt 5:25) is literally “plaintiff” or “opponent in a lawsuit” (compare Prov 18:7), but in an extended sense is used to mean an enemy (compare Est 8:11). Devil also carries the same meaning (that is, “accuser”), but with the implication that the charge is false. It is possible, however, that Devil has already become a title or a name, and the TEV indicates this understanding by capitalizing the word (also Brc).1

1 Daniel C. Arichea and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1980), 167.

39.9 ?????????b, ?? m: one who is actively and continuously hostile toward someone—‘adversary, enemy.’ ? ????????? ???? ???????? ?? ???? ????????? ????????? ‘your adversary, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion’ 1 Pe 5:8.1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 492.

The Devil

The word “devil” is the word used in the English translation for diabolos (????????) which comes from a word diaballo (????????) which means literally, “to throw over or across, to send over.” It was used in classical Greek with the meanings, “to traduce, calumniate, slander, accuse, defame,” and was used not only of those who bring a false charge against one, but also of those who disseminate the truth concerning a man and do so maliciously, insidiously, with hostility.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 129.

 The nt uses both “Satan” and “devil” as terms for the chief figure of evil in the Bible. The Hebrew term satan used in the ot means “adversary” (e.g., Job 1:6, 12; 2:1; Zech 3:1–2).

Satan in the Old Testament and the Serpent of Genesis 3

a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour Peter alerts his audience to the devil’s constant threat to the people of God (compare 2 Cor 2:11).1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), 1 Pe 5:8.

This spiritual adversary, shadowy in the OT, was developed in the Intertestamental period and with that background appears in the NT as a well-known image, either as Satan (i.e., a transliterated form of the Hebrew; e.g., Mark 1:13 and Mark 8:33 and their parallels; 1 Cor. 5:5; 7:5) or as “the devil,” as here (i.e., a translation of the Hebrew term, meaning “slanderer”; e.g., Matt. 4:1, 8, 11; Eph. 4:27; 6:11; cf. 1 Tim. 3:11; 2 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 2:3 for the general use of the word). Our author further describes him as an “adversary,” a term that originally meant “opponent in a lawsuit” (Matt. 5:25; Luke 12:58; 18:3) and may mean that here (should Peter be thinking of the picture in Job or Zechariah, or the scene in Rev. 12:10, in which Satan accuses the righteous before God) but is more likely used in the general sense of “adversary” or “enemy,” which use is also found in the Greek OT (1 Kings 2:10; Isa. 41:11; Sir. 36:6), since no reference to a court scene appears in this passage. 1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 189–190.

Roaring Lion

Psalm 22:13 KJV

They gaped upon me with their mouths, As a ravening and a roaring lion.

Lions were viewed as the most ferocious and mighty beasts, and from Psalm 22:13 (probably the background here) they came to be used as figures for enemies of God’s people. In the time of Nero, Christians were fed to some literal lions as well. The small, isolated Christian communities could take heart that their other spiritual siblings—starting with the churches Peter knew in Rome—were experiencing the same trials (1 Pet 5:9), until the end (v. 10).1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 1 Pe 5:8–11.

In a vivid image Peter warns the church of deadly danger. Our image of a roaring lion may come from visits to the zoo, or from the zoom lens of a television nature series. Some who received Peter’s letter would have a stronger horror. They had seen human blood dripping from the chops of lions in the gory spectacles of a Roman amphitheatre. The time was approaching when Ignatius would anticipate his death in the Roman Colosseum:1

1 Edmund P. Clowney, The Message of 1 Peter: The Way of the Cross, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 213.

Of What Your Enemy Is Up To

Walketh about

Walketh about (?????????). Compare Job 1:7; 2:2. This word gave name to that sect of Greek philosophers known as Peripatetics, because they walked about while teaching or disputing. “St. Peter calls Satan the Peripatetic” (Cox, on Job). The Arabs call him the Busy One. It was to Peter that Christ said, “Satan hath desired to have you,” etc. (Luke 22:31).1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 669–670.

Job 1:7 KJV

And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Job 2:2 KJV

And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Luke 22:31 KJV

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Seeking whom he may devour.

Looking for someone to devour describes the typical activity of the lion. That the intended victims are the Christians is clear from someone. Devour is literally “swallow” or “drink down,” “eat up”; in the present context, it refers to the activity of the Devil in trying to destroy believers, particularly their faith, and lead them into apostasy, that is, to deny their faith in Jesus Christ. Implied in all these is the thought that the sufferings experienced by Christians are not simply the work of people, but are instigated by the Devil himself.

Rarely can one translate literally looking for someone to devour, since a term which relates to “eating” may not suggest the process of “destroying.” Therefore, one can sometimes better render looking for someone to devour as “looking for someone to destroy” or “… to ruin.”1

1 Daniel C. Arichea and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1980), 168.

__________________

The devil has a plan for your life: Doubt – To make you question God’s word and His goodness; Discouragement – To make you look at your problems rather than at God; Diversion – To make the wrong things seems attractive so that you will want them more than the right things; Defeat – To make you feel like a failure so that you don’t even try; Delay – To make you put off doing something so that it never gets done.

So Be Sober- free from mind distractions

Be vigilant – aware and awake

Be aware – the Devil is like a lurking Lion… and he is furiously hungry… know your enemy.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:45 PM November 25, 2020.

Everybody Wins

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020


Everybody Wins!

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Strange and Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Humility; Submission; Submission of the Clergy / 1 Peter 5:5–7

Robert Roberts writes about a fourth grade class in which the teacher introduced a game called “balloon stomp.” A balloon was tied to every child’s leg, and the object of the game was to pop everyone else’s balloon while protecting one’s own. The last person with an intact balloon would win.

The fourth graders in Roberts’ story entered into the spirit of the game with vigor. Balloons were relentlessly targeted and destroyed. A few of the children clung to the sidelines like wallflowers at a middle school dance, but their balloons were doomed just the same. The entire battle was over in a matter of seconds, leaving only one balloon inflated. Its owner was, of course, the most disliked kid in the class. It’s hard to really win at a game like balloon stomp. In order to complete your mission, you have to be pushy, rude and offensive.

Roberts goes on to write that a second class was introduced to the same game. Only this time it was a class of mentally handicapped children. They were given the same explanation as the first class, and the signal to begin was given. But the game proceeded very differently. Perhaps the instructions were given too quickly for children with learning disabilities to grasp them. The one idea that got through was that the balloons were supposed to be popped. So it was the balloons, not the other players, that were viewed as enemies. Instead of fighting each other, they began helping each other pop balloons. One little girl knelt down and held her balloon carefully in place, like a holder for a field goal kicker. A little boy stomped it flat. Then he knelt down and held his balloon for her. It went on like this for several minutes until all the balloons were vanquished, and everybody cheered. Everybody won.

Who got the game right, and who got the game wrong? In our world, we tend to think of another person’s success as one less opportunity for us to succeed. There can only be one top dog, one top banana, one big kahuna. If we ever find ourselves in that enviable position, we will fight like mad to maintain our hold on it. A lot of companies fail to enjoy prolonged success because the people in charge have this “balloon stomp” mentality. In the church, the rules change. Jesus Christ gets top billing. We’re just here to serve his purposes, and we do that most effectively by elevating others and humbling ourselves.

We humans can be prideful, competitive and selfishly independent. “You are not the boss of me!” is a phrase uttered from the youngest among us. We do not do well as a community of believers if we all function like that. We were designed to function within a body all with different roles that complement not compete with each other.

As the Apostle Peter draws his first letter to scattered pilgrims in the first century, he focuses on preparing them for the ongoing battle with the forces of darkness by working together. Last week we learned the role and function of the Elder/Pastor/Bishop in the local church. Tonight we will discover the role and attitude we all must take on in order to ensure that in this game of the Christian life, everybody wins.

Everybody Wins When We Follow The Leader

1 Peter 5:5 KJV

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

New Testament 5:1–5—Faithful Caretakers of the Flock

Respect for parents, elders and, in Judaism, those more knowledgeable in the law was socially obligatory in antiquity; some Jewish traditions regarded it as an expression of one’s respect for God. Such respect included deferring to the wisdom of older men and allowing them to speak first. Peter advocates submission to the ruling elders (5:1), but he also urges—against Greco-Roman society’s ideals—mutual humility, based on the teaching of the Old Testament (Prov 3:34).

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Subject, Subjection

hupotasso (????????, 5293), primarily a military term, “to rank under” 

Hebrews 13:17 KJV

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Everybody Wins When We Clothe Ourselves With Humility

1 Peter 5:5 KJV

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament 18. Christian Humility, a Safeguard against Satan and a Source of Strength in Suffering (5:5b-14)

THE subject of humility begins with the second sentence of verse five. The words “be subject to” are not in the best Greek texts. We have left them out of the fuller translation. “Be clothed with” is the translation of a word which speaks of the act of tying or tucking up the long outer garments of the oriental around the waist as a roll or band or girth. It refers to the same action as Peter mentions in 1:13 where he says, “Gird up the loins of your mind.” The word in its noun form referred to a slave’s apron under which the loose outer garments were gathered. The exhortation is to put on humility as a working virtue which would make all the other virtues what they should be, thus workable in the Christian scheme of things. The other virtues such as kindness, generosity, justice, goodness, longsuffering, when saturated with humility, are most acceptable and praiseworthy, but when seen in a proud person, are like clanging brass or a tinkling cymbal.

John 13:4–5 KJV

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 

After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

The word he uses for to clothe oneself is very unusual; it is egkombousthai, which is derived from kombos, and describes anything tied on with a knot. Connected with it is egkomb?ma, a garment tied on with a knot. It was commonly used for protective clothing; it was used for a pair of sleeves drawn over the sleeves of a robe and tied behind the neck. And it was used for a slave’s apron. There was a time when Jesus had put upon himself just such an apron. At the Last Supper, John says of him that he tied a towel around himself, and took water and began to wash his disciples’ feet (John 13:4–5). Jesus put on the apron of humility, and so must his followers.

It so happens that egkombousthai is used of another kind of garment. It is also used of putting on a long, stole-like garment which was the sign of honour and prestige.

To complete the picture, we must put both images together. Jesus once put on the slave’s apron and undertook the humblest of all duties, washing his disciples’ feet; so we must in all things put on the apron of humility in the service of Christ and of other people; but that very apron of humility will become the garment of honour for us, for it is the one who is the servant of all who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.1

1 William Barclay, The Letters of James and Peter, 3rd ed. fully rev. and updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 312–313.

Proverbs 3:34 KJV

Surely he scorneth the scorners: But he giveth grace unto the lowly.

James 4:6 KJV

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament 18. Christian Humility, a Safeguard against Satan and a Source of Strength in Suffering (5:5b-14)

The word “resisteth” in the Greek is a military term, used of an army drawn up for battle. Pride calls out God’s armies. God sets Himself in array against the proud person. The word “proud” is the translation of a Greek word which means literally “to show above,” and thus describes the proud person as one who shows himself above others. The word “humble” is the translation of the Greek word rendered “lowly” in Matthew 11:29, where it describes our Lord’s character. The word is found in an early secular document where it speaks of the Nile River in its low stage in the words, “It runs low.” The word means “not rising far from the ground.” It describes the Christian who follows in the humble and lowly steps of his Lord.

…gives grace to the humble Speaking now to all believers, Peter draws on the Septuagint (ancient Greek ot) version of Prov 3:34 to stress the importance of humility in the Christian community. The nt frequently exhorts believers to cultivate an attitude of humility (e.g., Eph 4:2; Phil 2:3; Col 3:12; 1 Pet 3:8).1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), 1 Pe 5:5.

Everybody Wins When We Allow Ourselves to be Humbled By God.

1 Peter 5:6 KJV

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

The verb translated “humble yourselves” is not in the aorist middle but the passive voice, which means that the subject of the verb is passive in the hands of God and is acted upon by Him. The exhortation is, “Be humbled,” or “Suffer yourselves to be humbled.” The humbling process which God was using was the persecution and suffering through which these Christians were passing. Peter exhorts these believers to react towards these in a God-honoring way, to be submissive to the discipline which God was using to make them more humble. But with this exhortation comes also a note of comfort and hope in that the presence of humility in the life of a Christian is the prerequisite that God demands before He will exalt that Christian to a high place of privilege and honor in His service. As someone has said, “He must take a low place before God, who would take a high place before men.”1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 128.

James 4:10 KJV

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Everybody Wins When We Cast Our Care On God.

1 Peter 5:7 KJV

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Then comes an exhortation to cast all our care upon Him. The command is directly and vitally related to the context. These Christians were undergoing such persecution that the circumstances in which they found themselves gave abundant opportunity for that sin called worry. The apostle exhorts them that while this humbling process is going on, they should cast all their care upon God. The word “care” is the translation of a Greek word which means “anxiety” or “worry.” The word “all” in the Greek text has the idea, not of every worry that comes along, but the whole of their worries. They are to cast upon God the whole of their worries, that is, come to the place where they resolve to cast the whole of their future worries upon Him, and the result will be that when those things that would otherwise worry them come up, they will not worry. The word “cast” is the translation of a word that means “having deposited with.” It refers here to a direct and once-for-all committal to God of all that would give us concern

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 128–129.

The words “for he careth for you” can be translated literally, “for it is a care to Him concerning you,” or “for you are His concern.” Anxiety is a self-contradiction to true humility. Unbelief is, in a sense, an exalting of self against God in that one is depending upon self and failing to trust God. Why worry therefore, if we are His concern. He is more concerned about our welfare than we could possibly be. Furthermore, since the humbling process has been allowed to come to us in the permissive will of God, and He is using it to accomplish His purpose in our lives, He has it under His control and us in His care. In it all He is concerned about us, therefore, again, why worry?1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 129.

A doctor had to give a painful shot to a four-year-old girl. When she learned what the doctor was about to do, her face showed her anxiety and her body tensed. As the doctor picked up what looked to the little girl to be a needle large enough to kill an elephant, she turned her eyes to her father, who then took her hand and fixed his eyes on hers. An expression of confidence and calmness came on her face. She knew she was not alone and found comfort, not in her father’s spoken answer, but in his presence with her in her time of trial.1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

God has given us exactly what we need to navigate these difficult times. We have Under-Shepherds to guide us. We have Humility to redirect us. We have Prayer to unburden us. We all win when we work the plan and when we work it together.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:57 PM November 18, 2020.