OYB July 27
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Jul 27
19:2 Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him. "Why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?" he asked the king. "Because of what you have done, the Lord is very angry with you. King J. had sought a prophet, yet he still went out and did his own thing. I can't help but be reminded by this verse of those people in our families who love the ones who have ill intent and treat the loyal ones unfairly. It's like a need for approval from the unlovable, untrustworthy or something!
19:7 Fear the Lord and judge with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes. I have endured many unjust judgments and even verdicts in my life, and this has given me so much hope. The day in court is coming, God has promised that! One verse God gave me during a particularly horrible season of unjust treatment (by professing believers) in exchange for my not taking vengeance into my own hands was this:
"Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are [believers] and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you." Revelation 3:9
19:9 "You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart." This is what the Lord requires!
20:9 ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.' This whole passage appears to be a parallel to the days leading up to the MK. Pictured is Edom (now the spiritual enemies), the Lord who is ruler over all the earth, and the Abrahamic covenant fulfilled. This will be important to remember in the coming days. None of us wants to think about what might be just ahead, but I would rather be aware and mentally prepared.
Huge Bunny Trail
When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword (war) and with famine and with pestilence (plague) and by the wild beasts of the earth. Rev. 6:7-8
We need to pay attention to what is happening around us currently that might go along with the timing of the other things we've been studying about end times prophecy. We know the world is in some pretty sticky situations politically (potential for war), but what about the other two? Well, we've got the possibility of bird flu breaking out at any time. But what about famine? Do a Google search about dying or disappearing bees. Especially the United States is in a bee crisis because of widespread deaths (see the links). And what does that mean? No bees, no food. The US seems to be the hardest hit by dying bees, however it is also becoming a problem in other countries. And don't forget that the US is a supplier of food to many places in the world!
I'm certainly not predicting anything, and I sure hate to sound like one of those radical doomsayers, but I also don't want to have my head in the sand. Does this mean that we should panic, sell off the homestead, and move to the mountains? Not at all. It just means that we should be ready if and when these things come around to have answers for our fellow man, and to point them to the beautiful truth of the coming Messiah! I think we've learned enough end times prophecy and reading "the signs in the skies" to really help us be ready with answers and hope! Remember that the generation (about 70 years) of Israelites who were around during Israel becoming in nation (in 1948) were prophesied to see the 2nd coming of Christ, so we have to be getting close! By the way, I researched a whole slew of Messianic Jewish sites tonight and found many who agree on the 1948 prophecy, though I had trouble finding out where it is in the Bible. A couple verses that were pointed out were Is. 66:8 "a country being born in a day" and Ezekiel 37-38. Either way, the Jews seem to know what it's all about!
And now for the peace and comfort! I have a growing belief from Scriptures that for true believers, God will protect them from the effects of His righteous judgments against the earth during the Tribulation (not from persecution though). I was reminded of a chapter in Psalms last night that just might be in relation to these events just before the coming of Christ (just like this Chronicles passage appears to be). I cannot imagine what else this Psalm could mean, especially if you remember the cyclical prophecies and the continuing relevance of Scripture. Check it out (and note the reference to the dangers from wild beasts as we saw in Revelation—perhaps in the end of times the beasts will become very hostile to humans):
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day (war); of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the LORD, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone (Jesus pouring out His judgments?). You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
"Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation [Yeshua]." Psalm 91
20:15 Do not be afraid! Don't be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God's. Oh that we could remember this and not be afraid!
20:17 But you will not even need to fight, _______________. Take your position; then stand still and watch the Lord's victory. He is with you, O __________________. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!" Personalize this verse!
20:24-30 Is surely a picture of the future victory for God's people! Valley of Blessing, returned to Jerusalem with singing and praise, full of joy, a huge celebration, peace and rest on every side. Ahhh...feel the relief!
Principles of spiritual battle from King Jehoshaphat:
My Part God's Part
1. Admit weakness (vs. 3-12) 1. Deliverance and rest (vs. 22-30)
2. Stand Still (vs. 17)
3. Give Praise/Worship (vs. 18-19)
4. Stand Firm/Believe (vs. 20)
Romans10:18 "The message of God's creation has gone out to everyone, and its words to all the world (NLT)." Compare to NASB: "THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD." In context, this is not "the message of creation," as NLT would have you to believe. It is the voice of the prophets going out to all the world, to the jealousy of the Israelites. Quite a difference!
10:20 And Isaiah is very bold and says, "I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME, I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME." We Gentiles got into the promise by the grace and initiation of God only!
10:21 But as for Israel He says, "ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE." I believe this is a picture of His dying on the cross, and this is a prophetic expression He used throughout the OT.
11:7-8 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY." Again, this shows that He has saved a remnant for the Kingdom (MK), but the rest He has blinded. Is this for damnation? NO! Says Paul:
11:11-12 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! Paul makes it clear that they have only "stumbled" and not fallen beyond recovery in order to offer salvation to the Gentiles, but the fulfillment/satisfaction of the Jews will be so great when they come to believe in the plan of the ages.
Bunny Trail: I read this wonderful verse today and wanted to share. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And just who is "us"? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:38-39, 32