Sunday, December 31, 2017

Discernment is very important and verses are not to be taken out of a larger context. 515-2 - 16 - 1

Discernment is very important and verses are not to be taken out of a larger context.
Psalm 82:6, “I have said, Ye are gods (H430); and all of you are children of the most High.” 
H430, gods, gods in the ordinary sense; here specifically used in the plural thus, deference to magistrates.
Psalm 82:7, “But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” 
As an aside, the Mormon teaching of Eternal Progression, that a man can become a god, contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture that God has no beginning or end and that there is only one God. Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. “
Joseph Smith is often credited with the quotation "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become," however, it is not found in “The Book of Mormon.” Nevertheless, this profession of faith is found in other declarations including “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” [Doctrine and Covenants 132:20]
I researched this Doctrine of Eternal Progression which is promoted through the twisting of specific scriptures such as John 10:34, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” Jesus was quoting Psalm 82:6, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” They were called gods not because they were divine, rather because they represented God when they judged the people.
Digging a little deeper into Psalm 82:7, “But ye shall die like men, and fall (naphal) like one of the princes (sar).” The Hebrew verb naphal that is translated as "to fall" carries many meanings including cast down, cease, die. In this context, it means to die. The Hebrew noun masculine sar that is translated as "princes" means a ruler of some kind such as an official, captain or prince.
There is an implied warning to those who would abuse their authority through malfeasance while in office. One year of law school taught me the difference between malfeasance and nonfeasance in tort law. Malfeasance is an affirmative (intentional) act that is illegal or wrongful. A nonfeasance is a failure to act that is not intentional. Malfeasance carries a greater punishment.
Reading between the lines, have those in authority been guilty of graft, of corruption. Have the rich have been rewarded while the poor have been oppressed. Has someone put a thumb on the scales of justice? Now why do the names Clinton, Obama and Soros come to mind?
“Though exalted to heaven in privilege, they shall be cast down in punishment. The fact that God calls them gods and children of the Most High does not grant them immunity from judgment. They will be subject to the same treatment as other men, and fall like one of the princes. Actually, the degree of their punishment will be greater because of their greater privilege.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
Again, discernment is important when searching scripture. Also, judges/ politicans, don't abuse your authority.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Reflections on Psalm 73 515-2 - 15 - 1

This is where I was more than a week ago, forming an answer to DQ#1.
Psalm 73:3, “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. “Why does it seem evil is often rewarded?
Several Psalms deal with this including Psalm 37:1-2, “31 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” And Psalm 101:8, “I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.” 
And of course, there is the judgment found in The Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 16:25, “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” 
And now, perhaps it's the fact that I've been sick for more than a week and very lethargic that I've watched two favorite miniseries rather than getting my Psalms' homework done. These two miniseries are Peter and Paul starring Robert Foxworth and Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jesus of Nazareth starring then 26-year-old English actor Robert Powell.
The miniseries Jesus of Nazareth left out several important events including the slitting of the Veil in the temple when Jesus said, “It is finished” and died. That said, many important quotes were included such as:
Caiaphas stating, “Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50.
Jesus said to Pilate, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” To which “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” John 18:38.
As CM has said many times, Jesus was in control. “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11. 
John 19:14, “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!” Some translations quote Pilate as saying, “behold the man.”
So, what does this have to do with Psalms? Psalm 69:9, “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me”. Mark 11:17, “And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Here Robert Powell was very believable in his role as Jesus.
However, the mini-series failed to bring out the unhappy childhood as found in Psalm 69. No hint of Jesus being tainted by illegitimacy or the rejection from his siblings, “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.” Psalm 69:8 
Not made clear was His pain of rejection by His Father as Jesus was sin for us and a righteous God cannot look upon sin. Nevertheless, the ridicule of the crowd while on the cross detailed in Psalm 22 is brought out by the movie.
Quite a transition, from evil being punished to the purity of Jesus being the propitiation for all the sin that ever was or is or will be, the free gift of justification for those of us who choose to follow Jesus.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Psalm 80, from defeat to the Second Coming 515-2 - 15 - 6

Psalm 80:1, “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth." 
The Shepherd of Israel is a name of God enthroned between the cherubim on the mercy seat. Israel would sin and come under judgment, repent, and be reconciled with God the Shepherd and sin again. Finally the Shekinah Glory was removed from Solomon’s Temple.
Ezekiel 10:18, "Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim." Ezekiel, 11:22-23, “Then did the cherubim’s lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city."
When studying Ezekiel, I could nearly feel the sadness and disappointment of God as he withdrew his Shekinah Glory from his chosen people.
Israel again pleads for forgiveness and restoration. Psalm 80:3, "Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved." 
Psalm 80:12-13, “12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? 13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.” So, is Psalm 80 prophetic of the fall of the Northern Kingdom, the Babylon captivity, the abomination of desolation and victory of the Maccabees, the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 AD or the abomination of desolation during mid-tribulation?
Psalm 80:14-15, “14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; 15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.”
A transition from Israel to the Messiah, Psalm 80:16-17, “16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. 17, Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.”
Israel was scattered, nevertheless, God would bring they back home; the State of Israel May 14, 1948 . Ezekiel 34:11, “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.”
Ezekiel 34:1213, “12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.”
Psalm 80:18-19, “18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. 19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”  
Then the Messiah, Ezekiel 34:23, “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.”

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Psalm 71, lots of ground covered in this Psalm 515-2 - 14 - 3

Psalm 71 deals with King David’s faith in God as his rock (foretelling of Jesus) and fortress, his very habitation, then to the coming son of perdition, the remnant escaping to Petra, through completing his tasks before aging overtakes him to judgment on his enemies.
Psalm 71:3, “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.” 
Habitation, H4583, an abode, of God (the Tabernacle or the Temple), men (their home) or animals (their lair); hence a retreat (asylum): dwelling place.
Psalm 71:4, “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.”
Perhaps a bit of a stretch, the Antichrist? If so, could the rock and fortress from verse 3 be Petra in addition to Jesus being our rock. 
Psalm 71:24, “My tongue also shall talk (H1897) of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded (H954), for they are brought unto shame (H2659), that seek my hurt.”
Talk, H1897, to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication to ponder: - imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, sore, speak, study, talk, utter.
Confounded, H954, properly to pale, that is, by implication to be ashamed; to be disappointed, or delayed: cause to be confounded.
Shame, H2659, to blush; figuratively to be ashamed, disappointed; causatively to shame, reproach: - be ashamed, be confounded, be brought to confusion (unto shame), come (be put to) shame, bring reproach.
Although Psalm 71 is not listed as an Imprecatory Psalms, those that invoke judgment, calamity, or curses, upon one's enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God, to me verse 24 speaks to it. The Imprecatory Psalms include Psalms 6, 12, 35, 37, 58,59, 69, 79, 83, 109, 139, and 140. Note Psalm 35:4.
Psalm 35:4, “Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.”
An interesting commentary concerning Psalms 71:24 somewhat follows my inclusion of Psalm 71 as imprecatory:
“Talk of thy righteousness - The righteousness of God is frequently used in this Psalm, and in other places, to signify his justice, judgments, faithfulness, truth, mercy, etc. There are few words of more general import in the Bible.
They are confounded - The counsel of Ahithophel is confounded, and turned to foolishness, and he was so ashamed that he went and hanged himself. As to the vain and wicked Absalom, he met with the fate that he had meditated against his father. Though not yet done, David sees all these things as actually accomplished; for he had got a Divine assurance that God would bring them to pass.”
[Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible]
In my opinion, Psalm 71 is a far-reaching Psalm that covers lots of ground. That said, as usual I likely strayed outside the box.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Psalm 69, insight into the childhood of Jesus and more 515-2 - 14 - 1

Psalm 69 not only deals with the crucifixion, it provides insight into the childhood of Jesus. Jesus was considered illegitimate by many and possible mentally defective by his siblings. I can nearly feel his emotional pain of rejection as He cries out in verses 8 and 10.
Psalm 69:4, “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.” 
How very difficult to understand the hatred directed at Jesus by the very people He came to offer eternal life. Jesus was without sin but as our propitiation, He justified us before God.
Psalm 69:5, “O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.” 
Jesus was sinless but as the lamb of God He took on the sins of the world.
Psalm 69:6, “Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.”
Jesus prayed that His death would not be an obstacle to His believers. Except for John, all disciples deserted Him while on the cross, nevertheless, after the resurrection the disciples boldly proclaimed the Good News.
Psalm 69:8, “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.” Psalm 69:10, “When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.”
Jesus siblings likely rejected and ridiculed Him. And then the resurrection, must have been a big oops as James and Jude wrote two books of the Bible.
Psalm 69:9, “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” Prophetic of John 2:17, “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
“When His disciples saw what was happening, they were reminded of Psalm 69:9 where it was predicted that when the Messiah came, He would be utterly consumed with a zeal for the things of God. Now they saw Jesus manifesting an intense determination that the worship of God should be pure, and they realized that this was the One of whom the Psalmist had spoken.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
Psalm 69:12, “They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.”
 The men who sat at the gate of the city would be like today’s city council members. They would speculate as to who was the father of Jesus and the town drunks would make up vulgar songs.
Psalm 69:21, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” John 19:28-30, “28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Psalm 51 and 62, Jesus the Rock! 515-2 - 13 - 1

King David likely wrote these Psalms during Absalom’s rebellion. Absalom and his rebels seemed to consider King David to be a tottering fence to be cast down. Just as King David placed his reliance on the rock we/ I can in these days as 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.” Ephesians 6:12.
Psalm 61:2-4, “2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 4 I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.” 
Psalm 62:5-7, “5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.”
Rock is referenced 26 times in the Book of Psalms and in 17 chapters many with messianic overtones. Just two examples, Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” and Psalm 18:31, “For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?”
Also in Isaiah 32:1-2, “1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”
The Man, Jesus who will provide shelter and refreshing Living water.
Exodus 17:6, “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” Jesus, our living water. Later Moses was to speak to another rock, instead he struck it twice. Strong’s H5553 includes rock as a fortress or a stronghold. Here this rock is a type of Jesus, our fortress, our stronghold, and the provider of Living Water. Striking the rock, a harbinger of the crucifixion of Jesus?
To me the message of Psalms 61 and 62 is the foretelling of our Messiah, Jesus, the only true refuge in which I can trust.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Psalm 65, verse 8, most interesting 515-2 - 13 - 4

Is Psalm 65:8 a foretelling of America? We are a primarily a Gentile nation half a world removed from Israel.
Psalm 65:8, “They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.”
Psalm 2:8, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (H1471) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts (H657) of the earth for thy possession.” In the Millennium, God has promised Jesus that all the earth will submit to His authority, and His rule will extend from shore to shore.
H1471, a foreign nation; hence a Gentile, heathen, nation, people.
H657, an end (especially of the earth); no further
America afraid of God’s tokens? “Thy tokens - Terrible thunders and lightnings, and earthquakes, and comets or other strange meteors, or works of God in the air. Morning - The successive courses of the morning and evening; or of the sun and moon which go forth at those times. Thus, the whole verse speaks of the natural works of God, the former clause, of such as are extraordinary and terrible, the latter of such as are ordinary and delightful.”
[John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible]
Is it too late for the USA? Ezekiel 14:12-14, “The word of the Lord came to me: 13 “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, 14 even if these three men—Noah, Daniel[a] and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
Jeremiah 15:1, “Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.”
Is America a factor in the Last Days? One possible verse pertaining to the United States is Ezekiel 39: 6, “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord.” Although less hopeful every day, I’m praying for a great revival taking place in the United States and most of the population being raptured. Perhaps the United States will simply decline as a world power. Is the United states decimated in a nuclear attack? What of a failure of our electric grid due to either an enemy EMP attack or a solar event, God's token?
Are we in America the ones “that dwell in the uttermost parts” and are we afraid at God’s tokens?