"Strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord's house."
In this account the faces of the Lord's people were covered with shame, for it was a terrible thing that men should intrude into the Holy Place reserved for the priests alone. Everywhere about us we see like cause for sorrow. How many ungodly men are now educating with the view of entering into the ministry! What a crying sin is that solemn lie by which our whole population is nominally comprehended in a National Church! How fearful it is that ordinances should be pressed upon the unconverted, and that among the more enlightened churches of our land there should be such laxity of discipline. If the thousands who will read this portion shall all take this matter before the Lord Jesus this day, he will interfere and avert the evil which else will come upon his Church. To adulterate the Church is to pollute a well, to pour water upon fire, to sow a fertile field with stones. May we all have grace to maintain in our own proper way the purity of the Church, as being an assembly of believers, and not a nation, an unsaved community of unconverted men.
Our zeal must, however, begin at home. Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord's table. Let us see to it that we have on our wedding garment, lest we ourselves be intruders in the Lord's sanctuaries. Many are called, but few are chosen; the way is narrow, and the gate is strait. O for grace to come to Jesus aright, with the faith of God's elect. He who smote Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of his two ordinances; as a true believer I may approach them freely, as an alien I must not touch them lest I die. Heart searching is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord's table. "Search me, O God, and know my way, try me and know my heart."
"And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not."
A golden truth is couched in the fact that the Saviour put the myrrhed wine-cup from his lips. On the heights of heaven the Son of God stood of old, and as he looked down upon our globe he measured the long descent to the utmost depths of human misery; he cast up the sum total of all the agonies which expiation would require, and abated not a jot. He solemnly determined that to offer a sufficient atoning sacrifice he must go the whole way, from the highest to the lowest, from the throne of highest glory to the cross of deepest woe. This myrrhed cup, with its soporific influence, would have stayed him within a little of the utmost limit of misery, therefore he refused it. He would not stop short of all he had undertaken to suffer for his people. Ah, how many of us have pined after reliefs to our grief which would have been injurious to us! Reader, did you never pray for a discharge from hard service or suffering with a petulant and wilful eagerness? Providence has taken from you the desire of your eyes with a stroke. Say, Christian, if it had been said, "If you so desire it, that loved one of yours shall live, but God will be dishonoured," could you have put away the temptation, and said, "Thy will be done"? Oh, it is sweet to be able to say, "My Lord, if for other reasons I need not suffer, yet if I can honour thee more by suffering, and if the loss of my earthly all will bring thee glory, then so let it be. I refuse the comfort, if it comes in the way of thine honour." O that we thus walked more in the footsteps of our Lord, cheerfully enduring trial for his sake, promptly and willingly putting away the thought of self and comfort when it would interfere with our finishing the work which he has given us to do. Great grace is needed, but great grace is provided.
Today's reading: Psalm 100-102, 1 Corinthians 1 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 100-102
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations....
Today's New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 1
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ-their Lord and ours:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way-with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge- 6God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord...
[Ĭsh'mael] - god heareth.
1. The son of Abraham, by Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian maid. Ishmael was born when Abraham was eighty-six years of age, and was circumcised when he was thirteen years of age, along with his father and his servants. He received the divine promise that he would beget twelve princes and become a great nation. He died at the age of 137 (Gen. 16:11-16; 17:18-26; 25:9-17; 28:9; 36:3). Ishmael was the founder of the tribal family called Ishmaelites, sometimes referred to as Midianites ( Gen. 37:25-28).
The Man Who Became an Outcast
Ishmael, who was some fourteen years older than Isaac, was not his father's heir and did not share his father's property. Abraham was tenderly attached to Ishmael (Gen. 17:18), and the casting out of the boy and his mother by Sarah was a great grief to Abraham. Such a hard transaction was necessary to keep the inheritance unbroken for Isaac's possession. "To thee will I give it" (Gal. 3:16; 4:30 ). Ishmael's name is a monument of God's goodness in answering prayer. "God shall hear." What did He hear? He heard the moaning of Hagar's broken heart. God said concerning Ishmael: "I will make him a great nation" (Gen. 21:18).
The names of Ishmael's twelve sons have been preserved but there is no record of any good they achieved (Gen. 25:13-16).
Paul tells us that the record of Hagar and Ishmael is an allegory (Gal. 4:24 ). Hagar and Sarah represent two covenants - Jewish and Christian. Hagar represents the law, and Ishmael, because he was born of the bond woman, typifies those who are under the law. Isaac, because of his super-natural birth, represents those born anew by the Spirit of God.
The casting out of Ishmael has been productive of bitter fruit, surviving in the religion of Mohammed. The wild hearts beat on in the bosoms of those who form the Arab world. Little did Sarah know, when she persuaded Abraham to take Hagar that she was originating a rivalry which has run in the keenest strife through the ages, and which oceans of blood have not stopped.
The Moslem Arabs claim descent from Ishmael. Ishmael's mother and wife were Egyptian, which differentiates them from pure Hebrew. Arabian tribes springing from Ishmael are scattered throughout the Arabian peninsula. When Ishmael received his name, the Lord said that he would be "a wild man," or "a wild-ass man" as the Hebrew expresses it.
2. An ancestor of Zebadiah who was one of Jehoshaphat's judicial officers (2 Chron. 19:11).
3. A Son of Azer and a descendant of Saul through Jonathan (1 Chron. 8:38; 9:44).
4. A son of Jehohanan and one of the military officers associated with Jehoiada in the revolution to raise Joash to the throne (2 Chron. 23:1).
5. A son of Pashbur and one of the priests persuaded by Ezra to put away his foreign wife (Ezra 10:22).
|The Middle East is on fire.|
Popular uprisings are toppling once powerful regimes across the region.
In the short term, these changes pose grave risks to Israel. Among the first to be deposed were leaders who had been living in peace with Israel. Meanwhile, those tyrants most dedicated to destroying the Jewish State have maintained their hold on power. Even here at home, Israel is facing increasing enmity. In cities across America, a concerted effort is being made to boycott and delegitimize Israel. Make no mistake about it, these activists do not seek to change any particular Israeli policy; they seek to challenge Israel's very existence. And they are focusing their efforts on our college campuses.
As the threats to Israel continue to mount, you need not sit by with silent regret. There is something you can do—learn more about Israel and the Middle East so that you can stand up for Israel in her time of need.
As the challenges to Israel mount, silence is not an option.