Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Samaria’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– A lord on whose hand the king leaned, answered the man of God and said, “Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?”  And, Elisha said, “Behold, you will see it with your own eyes – but you shall not eat thereof.” – 2 Kings 7:2

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have windows in heaven to see what goes on behind the Pearly Gates on a regular basis?  A lord back in the Old Testament wanted such a thing – because he would not take God at His word.  Even though He had already promised to end a long Samarian famine in exactly 24 hours and provided exact details about the provisions, He didn’t say how it would come to pass (2 Kings 7:1,3-16).

Despite God’s assurance, all this lord could see were dry skies and hear nothing but the rumbling of empty, hungry stomachs.  He could not perceive anything but more starvation.  So, he wanted some proof – not a promise.  Well, God delivered as declared.  Everyone had food to eat and share.  Except this man – whose doubt shut him out from the bounty.  God killed him for his lack of faith (2 King 7:17-20, Hebrews 11:1).

There’s an old saying of “Be careful what you wish for.”  What we may want to have or see, can be quite different when actually before us.  It can be a far cry from what we might have perfectly imagined in our minds beforehand.  Many may wonder what a God who does not sleep (Psalm 121:4) keeps busy with sitting upon this earth’s circle (Isaiah 40:22).  What would we really see if we could peek into heaven?

Would we see how God goes about performing a much-needed miracle in someone’s life?  Perhaps. Would we view how He arranges for an unexpected blessing to be bestowed on a desperate soul?  Maybe. Would we witness how He orchestrates the death of someone?  Well, this is exactly what we read about in 1 Kings as God asks all the host of heaven who will execute His evil upon King Ahab (1 Kings 22:19-21).

Why?  Ahab had hardened his heart against heaven (Hebrews 3:15).  Following after idols and working much wickedness in the Lord’s sight (1 Kings 21:25-26).  Repeatedly disobeying God – until God cut Ahab off without remedy (Proverbs 29:1).  Sending down an angel to make Ahab’s prophets lie to him (1 Kings 22:22-23) – so he would go to Ramoth-Gilead as he wanted all along, and die there (1 Kings 22:29-37).

Heaven doesn’t have windows for good reason.  We could see God creating evil (Isaiah 45:7) – and not pleasing things.  We would not have any need for the spiritual work of believing a God we can’t see (John 1:18, John 6:29) – if we could see all He was doing   Nor would we have to live by faith (Romans 1:17). We could just turn our faces to the sky and witness how and why some things happen – and some don’t.

Read Full Post »


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Cast not away therefore your confidence; which has great recompense of reward.  For you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God – you might receive the promise. – Hebrews 10:35-36

– Patience is tied very closely to faith in our heavenly Father.  When we are unduly impatient – we are suggesting we know what is best – better than God. Or, at least we are asserting our timetable is better than His.  We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait for God’s purposes and patterns to unfold in our lives – on His timetable. – Neil Maxwell

Abraham and Sarah had need of patience in waiting for God to perform as promised – by giving Abraham an heir (Genesis 15:1-4, Romans 4:21).  However, they did not want to wait faithfully the first time. Abraham was 86 and Sarah was barren.  She was far past child-bearing years.  How long were the two supposed to wait on God – when He didn’t say how long?  It was time to take matters into their hands.

Sarah talked her husband into conceiving a child by their Egyptian handmaid, Hagar (Genesis 16:1-4) – casting away their confidence in God’s promise by doing so.  It all caused loathing between the two women (Genesis 16:4-5).  The son born a little later – Ishmael – was not what He had planned for the couple.  An angel of the Lord told Hagar that Ishmael would be a wild man (Genesis 16:11-12).

The first time God spoke to Abraham about this matter, He didn’t say when the child would be born (Genesis 15:1-4).  Maybe He wanted to see how long the couple would wait before trying to do it according to their clock.  Regardless, God’s timing was to set up the lineage leading to the birth of Jesus.  At precisely the right time He had planned all along for mankind – from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10, Titus 1:2).

After the first attempt to birth his promised heir – it would be 13 more years before Abraham would hear about this subject from God (Genesis 16:16, Genesis 17:1).  This time, He gave the set time when Sarah would conceive (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 21:2).  The couple had learned their lesson.  This time the two waited patiently for the promise.  Isaac was born exactly when God said he would be (Genesis 21:3).

This world today is filled with many wants, wishes, desires – and “must-have now” messages from the marketing arena.  A major corporation now runs commercials where one of the lines within is “Why wait – when you can have it now?”  We have our on-demand access to movies, and automated access to money.  If this is the way we like it as adults, aren’t we passing impatience on to our kids?

Paul Sweeney once wrote, “How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras – teach patience to its young?”  Because of such things and more, patience can be a huge problem for anyone in modern society.  How can we teach it to our children if we have a hard time waiting for stop lights to turn from red to green while driving?

How can we teach tolerance to our kids, if we ourselves can’t stand getting behind a slow-moving car for more than just a few minutes – if that long?   What do the young ones learn when they see us getting antsy for having to wait in a check-out line for more than just a matter of 15-30 seconds?  How are they ever going to learn to wait on God if we can’t – especially if we are Christians?

However, if it’s any comfort – there is never anything new to God under His sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  The human race has always had problems waiting on God since the Garden of Eden.  Eve desired wisdom – and she didn’t want to wait.  When the serpent tempted her into taking a bite of the apple to get it – it was too much to resist (Genesis 3:4-6).  Eve’s lack of patience in waiting was eye-opening  (Genesis 3:7).

A failure of patience can also make us miss out on our Father’s positive promises – if prolonged periods of difficulty dash any hopes we had of ever seeing or receiving them.  We could also begin pointing the wrong fingers.  When a great famine hit Israel’s Samaria region – some resorted to cannibalism for survival.  The king of Israel got tired of waiting on God to end it (2 Kings 6:25-29).

God ended up being blamed.  “This evil is of the Lord; why should I wait for Him any longer!?” – the king cried (2 Kings 6:33).  If he had waited one more day – the famine would end how God had planned all along.  According to His timing and methods.  Who would have considered four hungry lepers, stumbling across an abandoned stash of army provisions as a way to end a famine (2 Kings 7:3-16)?

It didn’t get much better in New Testament days. When Jesus passed through Jericho – being near to Jerusalem – those that heard the Son of man speak thought the kingdom of heaven should immediately appear.  Why wait for Christ to be crucified and then come back for them sometime later?  What would they do while waiting in the meantime?  What if Jesus never returned at all (Luke 19:11-12)?

Do any of us think like this today?  There shall be those walking after their own lusts in the last times, scoffing at this promise of Christ’s return.  Some people will become weary of waiting for it, because everything will be continuing on just like it has since the beginning.  How long will we keep waiting for salvation later when things seem to worsening now – not improving (Matthew 24:12, 2 Peter 3:3-4)?

Patience means we wait upon God – even when we may not feel like waiting anymore.  Impatience causes us to rush.  A rushed life is undisciplined.  We can begin trying to speed up the process of receiving God’s promises as Abraham and Sarah did.  We can start succumbing to Satan’s subtle temptations – as Eve did.  We can begin blaming Him for evil things like famines, as Israel’s king did.

Our need of patience is extremely important with God.  Forms of the word (e.g. patience, patient, patiently) appear 52 times in the KJV.  Just because any spiritual seed is planted – does not mean it is going to prosper (Ezekiel 17:10).  Producing the spiritual fruit God requires of us, in keeping with His commandment to repent – can’t be done without patience (Luke 8:15, Acts 17:30, Galatians 5:22-23).

We are to follow after patience, among several other spiritual disciplines (1 Timothy 6:11).  Sadly, waiting is not a trait normally learned by all the instant fixes the world often offers us for the troubles we face. However, if we should encounter any type of trial from God, we are to glory in it – not grumble.  For enduring such works patience.  Patience leads to experience; followed by hope (Romans 5:3-4).

Hope is the overriding reason for our patience with God – the promise of salvation.  However, hope seen is no longer hope.  We are all waiting patiently here below heaven for a hope and promise nobody has seen yet (Romans 8:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:8). We are to rest in Him, abiding quietly unto salvation, no matter what others may be doing while they wait (Psalm 37:7, Lamentations 3:26).

Keeping our confidence now – has great recompense of rewards later (lead passage).  The eternal ones promised to us by God, if we remain steadfast in our faith until the end (Hebrews 3:14) – doing His will daily while waiting for Jesus to return (Luke 11:2). When God’s grace, salvation, and kingdom will be brought to those of us who waited with patient faith (1 Peter 1:9, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:10).

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: