Watching Daily At Wisdom's Gates

A Yorkshireman's take on life, death, and eternity

Month: Jul, 2020

Laziness

brown concrete buildings

Photo by BECCA SIEGEL on Pexels.com

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. And Joab struck down Rabbah and overthrew it.

1 Chronicles 20:1 ESV

https://bible.com/bible/59/1ch.20.1.ESV

Whilst the book of Samuel goes into the sorry saga of what happened when David remained at Jerusalem, Chronicles glosses over it. I don’t think the writer of Chronicles is trying to whitewash history, I think he’s writing from a different perspective to the writer of Samuel. Samuel emphasises David’s relatable human flaws, whilst Chronicles emphasises how David reflects the Son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ whose kingdom will never end.

The two accounts can be read alongside each other to compliment each other. Even the writer to the Chronicles strongly hints that David should have been out to war. He was king of Israel, but he wasn’t living up to his calling.

We as Christians are a kingdom of priests. We have a responsibility to wage spiritual warfare against the old nature within us as well as satan and his demons who hold the world captive. We do this by proclaiming the good news of Jesus, that salvation and transformation are possible through Him.

Sadly, like David, we as Christians are often found lounging around when we should be about the Lord’s work. Maybe David decided to stay at home and write Psalms, but his job was to go out and fight for God and his people. May we be found about the Lord’s business, and not being idle and opening the door to other sins.

“Lord and King, may we fulfil our duties to You, and not be found slacking. Please have mercy upon us if we’ve failed in this regard, and restore us to serve You once again. For Your glory, amen”

Brief update

Sorry I’ve been AWOL the last few days. Tbh, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, but please pray for me as I seek to live a holy life as a good husband and father.

I’m not going to promise a consistent presence on WordPress, but I will keep writing, one way or another.

God bless,

Robert

 

House

woman sitting on the floor using a laptop

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord .

Jeremiah 7:11 ESV

https://bible.com/bible/59/jer.7.11.ESV

The Jews were professing faith in the Lord. They were even making appearances in the temple. But they were oppressing the poor and needy. They were committing adultery and going after false gods.

God saw through their hypocrisy. He saw that they were turning His house into a den of robbers. They would rob from God from Sunday to Friday, only to pay Him lip service on the Sabbath.

Jesus applied this verse to the Jews of his day. In fact, He quoted it as He upturned tables of market traders in the temple courts and drove out the animals for sale for sacrifice. Our God is a jealous God, He will not share His glory with another.

Sadly, I fear this verse might be applied to the house of God in the new covenant age, the church of Christ. I’m not talking about gift shops in cathedrals, but injustices, immorality and idolatry committed by professing Christians. God sees us, and He isn’t necessarily pleased.

“Lord, have mercy upon us we pray for robbing You of the worship and love You deserve and demand. Please forgive our trespasses and sins against You, in Christ’s name, amen”

Judgement

wisdom in colorful cutouts

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

Matthew 11:24 ESV

https://bible.com/bible/59/mat.11.24.ESV

Religious people tend to be blinkered to their own shortcomings. The likes of the religious towns of Capernaum and Bethsaida thought they were okay. But in their self sufficiency they rejected their greatest need: Jesus the Saviour.

So Jesus made this shocking statement: that it would be more bearable for Sodom than for them. Sodom, that was destroyed by fire for their injustices and abominations! How could Jesus say such a thing?

Jesus knew that if Lot had actually proclaimed the embryonic good news that blessing was coming upon the undeserving world through Abraham’s Descendant, Sodom would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes. Sadly, Lot didn’t, and Sodom was destroyed. But Capernaum had no such excuse.

We won’t all be judged the same. We will be judged according to what we know. It would be better to not know, than to know and reject. But it’s best to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour now, whilst we can.

“God, have mercy upon us we pray for times we reject You. May we accept You as our Lord and Saviour while we can. For Your glory, amen”

Truth

cutouts of letters

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her.
Jeremiah 5:1 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/jer.5.1.ESV

I can just picture Jeremiah literally running around Jerusalem, as commanded by God, as a vivid visual aid of the lack of truth and justice in the city. Maybe Jeremiah didn’t take the word of the Lord literally. But even if he did, the suggestion is that he wouldn’t find any truth or justice.

Justice involves looking out for the needy in society and making sure they’re provided for. Justice doesn’t show partiality to the poor however. Neither does it defer to the rich and powerful.

Truth is in short supply nowadays. We live in a post truth age where fake news and conspiracy theories abound. I’ve heard it said that when people don’t believe the truth they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

Thankfully, there was a just and true man found in Jerusalem, but He was crucified for challenging the unjust and deceitful status quo. Thankfully, it is by Christ’s crucifixion that the just and true God can pardon sinners like us. Praise the Lord!

“Heavenly Father, thank You for the pardon we find in You from our injustice and lies. Please help us become just and true, for Your honour and glory, amen”

Forgiveness

happy women hugging

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” โ€”he then said to the paralyticโ€” “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”

Matthew 9:6 ESV

https://bible.com/bible/59/mat.9.6.ESV

The Son of Man is the One Daniel saw descending through the clouds to claim dominion over all. But here was this itinerant Rabbi telling a paralytic that his sins were forgiven. Surely He could see that the man wanted healing!

But the religious people saw something else. This offer of forgiveness seemed to them like blasphemy, because only God can forgive sins. The thing is, Jesus actually is God!

Jesus sees through our physical ailments to our greatest need: the forgiveness of sins. But He graciously healed this paralytic as well. He knows what we need even if we don’t ask Him.

What do we see our greatest need as? Healing? A breakthrough in a relationship or our career? Or the forgiveness of our sins? God knows that the latter is our greatest need.

“Dear Lord, please cut through all my concerns to get to what really matters: the forgiveness of my sins. Please help me to wholeheartedly turn from them to You, for the honour of Your name, amen”

Black Lives Matter

 

handwritten text on paper

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

I’m not here to debate conspiracy theories about Marxist revolutions. Neither am I seeking to defend rioting.

But I do want to state that Black Lives Matter. And it’s not even primarily because I’m married to a black woman that I’m saying that, but because I’m a Christian, and I believe that all of us are equally made in the image and likeness of God, and every one of our lives matter to Him.

The alternative to Black Lives Matter is that black lives don’t matter, and I will side with my black brethren over racists any day.

Some claim that the Bible is a racist book itself. Just because the Bible describes racism and injustices doesn’t mean to say that it justifies them.

One of the most important Bible texts on racism is Numbers 12- about Moses, his African wife, and his racist sister Miriam.

I’m not really going in depth in this post, I just want to stand with my black brethren and say that yes, black lives really do matter.

Lion

close up photo of lion

Photo by Gareth Davies on Pexels.com

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

 

Revelation 5:5 ESV

 

https://bible.com/bible/59/rev.5.5.ESV

 

One of the pictures of history in Revelation is of a sealed scroll. John saw that no one in heaven or earth was worthy to open the scroll, and it grieved him. The way the world is right now should grieve us too, and we should long for the unfolding of God’s plans in human history.

 

Thankfully, there is one who is worthy to unfold human history, and He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Root of David, his greater Son. Normally we would describe offspring as a branch rather than a root, but Jesus is the fine, and we are the branches, His spiritual offspring.

 

Jesus has conquered death’s curse which plagues human history. We’re always one generation away from extinction, but thankfully, Jesus has defeated death by rising again from the tomb. Through faith in Him, we too can have victory.

 

People often talk about being on the “right side of history”. By that they tend to mean being on the right side of their generation’s biases. But if we belong to Jesus, we truly are on the winning side of history, and face not extinction but an eternity with Him in glory.

 

“Lord Almighty, thank You for ruling and reigning in our lives, and throughout history. We’re grateful that the victory is assured, and trust You to bring us home to glory, for Your name’s sake, amen”

Blood

person getting his blood check

Photo by Pranidchakan Boonrom on Pexels.com

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

 

Revelation 12:11 ESV

 

https://bible.com/bible/59/rev.12.11.ESV

 

How do we conquer the devil? Is it by the strength of our own willpower? Is it by us in our strength refusing to give in to his temptations? No!

 

We conquer the devil by the blood of the Lamb. When he would accuse us with our sins against God, we can plead the blood of Christ, shed on our behalf. By His wounds we are healed of our sin-sickness.

 

What is our testimony? That we spiritually “pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps”? No, it is that Christ shed His blood on our behalf.

 

Because Jesus gave His life for us, we shouldn’t love our lives so much to shrink from facing death. And by the grace of God we won’t. If our lives are demanded of us, our testimony will be that God gave us the strength to submit to death.

 

“Father God, thank You that Jesus shed His blood on our behalf. May our testimonies be of Him, not ourselves, and may we be willing even to give our lives for Him, in His name, amen”

Sword

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

 

Revelation 19:15 ESV

 

https://bible.com/bible/59/rev.19.15.ESV

 

Upon His return, Jesus will appear as a rider on a white horse, as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Just as His mouth spoke creation into being, so His mouth will wrap this creation up and usher in the new creation. His mouth can both create and destroy.

 

It’s no coincidence that Paul pictures the sword of the Spirit as the word of God, in Ephesians 6. God’s word is powerful, an offensive weapon in more than one sense! Any nation that isn’t living in accordance to God’s word will be struck down.

 

Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron. If nations don’t live according to the love of God and love of others, they’re in trouble. The rod of iron symbolises the judgement Jesus will meet out to those who don’t live according to His word.

 

A winepress is where grapes are trodden out to make the juice that forms wine. I’ve never trodden out wine, but I’m sure that in order to do so it helps to have some pent up rage to express. I’m sure treading out grapes can’t be done delicately. That’s the image of God’s judgement of His enemies.

 

“God Almighty, may we not get on the wrong side of Your wrath. May we submit to the teaching of Your word, in Jesus’ name, amen”