When Men Decide to Take on God–Psalm 2 Part 1

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Since the time of Noah, Men have set about to prove to God that they can do it on their own and do things better than God.  They build towers, statues, Governments and cultures–doing everything possible to be like God but not giving God credit.  In their process, they invariably grow to dislike God and anyone willing to follow him.

Through the ages, Men have tried to take God down, they have persecuted his people and they have been passionate in their drive to rid the world of anything that credits God or encourages the rightful worship of God. God simply laughs! He has been around always. He has been under attack time and again.  The great news is, that God will always win.  He created us and the very earth we inhabit.  He knows the thoughts and the hearts of men; and, despite their continued efforts, he is always well ahead of any plan they devise.

We need to walk in that confidence.  We need to rest assured that if we trust him and follow him he will carry us to the end of our journey and make our path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6). While the world continues to seek ways to minimize God’s name and impact on the world, we need simply to trust and seek him–allowing him to transform us into the people he created us to be.  

We need not fear God’s eradication from our culture–no, we need to celebrate that he is well prepared to deal with the world and its feeble attempts to replace him and dispose of us!  

God Bless You

Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king

Psalms 1–Delighting in The Lord

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As we begin the journey through the book of Psalms, the first message is simple–delighting in God brings blessings to ones life. Each of us has the opportunity to choose how we attack the amazing journey we are taking. We can choose how we live, with whom we fellowship and what we focus our heart and minds upon. David, the man after God’s own heart, speaks specifically to the cost and benefits to choosing God or choosing the wicked.

If we choose to delight in God–we will always be well grounded, we cared for, stable and fruitful. Like a tree planted by a stream. Storms still come, droughts still happen, but in the midst–the stability and provision of God provides the protection, provision and stability to give us a long and fruitful life.

Conversely, the wicked are like chaff, dead leaves or dust in a dust storm. They think they are free, but, in truth, they are prisoners of any breeze that passes through. They are tossed about, they are dry and dirty. They never take root and while they have the occasional updraft, they always end up swept away.

David encourages us to invest our lives in the delight of the Lord. It is a great life–I think I will join him!!!

God Bless You

Psalms 1
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Immanuel–God With Us–Isaiah 7:13-14 Matthew 1:22-23

Of all the names of God, the most amazing and life changing is simply Immanuel.  It is in  that name that the entire history of the life of men was changed.  It is the great gift of God coming to earth to be with us; that gave us back the ability to be in relationship with Him. John 3:16– makes clear that it was God’s love for us that allowed him to send Jesus to be with us.  Romans 5:8– tells us that he made that sacrifice despite our own sinful nature. Romans 10:9-10 tells us that if we confess his Lordship and believe He is God with us (Immanuel); then, we will be saved.

God with us, (Immanuel) is the only hope that makes life doable.  Without the hope of eternity and the guidance of His spirit, we would suffer the same chaotic, aimless and purposeless life the world has to endure. Instead, we know that God will lead us–(Proverbs 3:5-6.)  He will never leave us (Romans 8:33), he will supply our needs (Philippians 4:19) and he will transform us into his image (Philippians 1:6.) That is not the work of a distant, inattentive God. No, God is with us. He Leads, guides, protects and provides for our needs. If we will simply trust him, We will see His hand and feel His presence in our lives for now, and until we join Him for eternity!!!

God Bless You

Isaiah 7

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also?14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[c] a sign: The virgin[d] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[e] will call him Immanuel.

 
Matthew 1
 
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

El HaGadol – The Great God: Deuteronomy 10:17, Jeremiah 10:6, 1 Chronicles 16:25, Ephesians 3: 20

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When we discuss God, often it is in relation to what he has done or how he affects our lives. But, there is just some truth that stands alone–God is simply great! He created all things, He is supreme master of the universe. He sees all, knows all and is in all places and times at once.  He is great, and is greatly to be praised.

We seek that relationship with a loving heavenly father–and rightly so. But to grasp how great, how wise, how mighty, how captivating that God is–leaves us simply in awe at the fact he loves us so. He called the universe into existence. He has parted seas, raised nations, destroyed armies and fed millions. He designed law and systems of governments. He imparted wisdom, restored salvation and patiently has abided with this chaotic world for thousands of years.

He gave his only Son to die for our sins. He created music, beauty, love and life. He is truly a great God. He is also great because of the many attributes we have seen over the last days. The names and attributes of God affirm his greatness.  We are his and he loves us–but we will never be worthy of so great a God. We are blessed beyond measure.  Thanks Lord, for your love, fellowship and salvation.  But, thank you even more for being the great and mighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

God Bless You

Deuteronomy 10

17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.

Jeremiah 10

6 There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might.

1 Chronicles 16

25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods.

Ephesians 3

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Elohay Mauzi – God Of My Strength: Psalm 28, 37, 59, 118, Habakkuk 3, 2 Samuel 22

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It is so comforting that I do not have to be strong on my own.  God is my strength.  He is my fortress, my stronghold.  But what does it mean that God is our strength. In short, this world is a difficult place.  There are trials, and circumstances that seem unbearable, and impossible to rise up and face. It is in those times, that God comes in and becomes the strength we need.

Gideon leads 300 against thousands and decimates them without raising a sword. David, as a teenager, faces a 9’6″ giant with years of training and battle experience–and kills him with a slingshot and a rock. Moses leads Israel through the Red Sea and watches God destroy the Egyptian army. Time and again, When we cannot handle a trial–God becomes our strength and victory.

In our lives, we live in a culture bent on the destruction and obliteration of all reference to God.  They want no mention of anyone that would usurp their control of their own lives. Yet, the harder the world tries to obliterate God and his chosen–the greater he becomes in our lives.  We simply, like those that have gone before, must step back and allow God to be God.  With him leading, he will provide the strength, the direction and the wisdom to face whatever struggle we face–on any particular day. He is glad to be our strength when we have none–all we have to do is ask!

God Bless You

Psalm 28:8

The LORD is their strength, And He is a saving defense to His anointed

Psalm 37:39

But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.

Psalm 59:9

Because of his strength I will watch for You, For God is my stronghold.
Psalm 118:14

The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:19

The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.
Psalm 59:9

Because of his strength I will watch for You, For God is my stronghold.

2 Samuel 22:3

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,  my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me.

Elohim Kedoshim – Holy God: Leviticus 19:2, Joshua 24:19, 1 Peter 1:15-16

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People of faith sometimes become confused. They mistake the patience and love of God, for quirks in his character.  Because God desires that none should perish, he is slow to anger and slow to judgement. Never the less–God is a Holy God.  He will not allow those that refuse to follow–to be in relationship with him.  What is more, He will not tolerate a lukewarm christian that gives a token acknowledgement occasionally without any desire to submit to him and follow him. 

God provided a way for those that were full of sin and death to return to him. He sent Christ to die and rise again–simply to restore the ability to walk with him.  That sacrifice was not the weak plea of a milk toast God–It was, instead, the only way for a Holy God to reach out and restore relationships with sinful people.  Still, with the ability to be restored, God requires that we follow him and him alone.

Being Holy means to be set apart.  It is the call to be different in thought, action and allegiance from the world and its culture. From Abraham, to the promised land–God always told his people to be “Holy”–separate from the prevailing culture. We worship God, not the things he created, and, especially not our own interests.  We serve others first–blessed to be a part of the lives of those that have needs we can meet. We live to leave a legacy of love and humility–to honor the one that left heaven to save us. We live by faith knowing that he who calls us is faithful and he will meet our needs.  

Simply put, holiness does not mean we physically separate from the world! It means that while we are here, like any ambassador, we live a life that honors our God and our faith–Be Holy, as he is holy.

God Bless You
Leviticus 19

“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

Joshua 24

19 Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”

 
I Peter 1

15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]

Elohay Mikarov – God Who Is Near: Jeremiah 23:23, Psalms 73:28,Psalms 34:18, Psalms 145:18

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It sometimes feels like we are facing this journey alone. At least, that is what our enemy would have us believe. The truth is, we serve a God that remains near to us at all times.  What an irony, when we consider the sheer magnitude of the universe. Alpha Centauri, the next closest star from earth is 4.367 light years away which is approximately 25,671,408,688,655.13 miles. Consider the billions of stars and galaxies in the vast universe–and then think about the fact that the same God that placed them stays near to us at all times.
 
Like anything else, we always have time for what is important to us.  The most driven people will stop in their tracks when they have a serious illness.  Or the most focused people will change course immediately for their family–especially their kids. That is why the God that spread the stars across the night skies remains near to us.  He loves us and gave his life as a sacrifice for us.
 
When we pray, He hears us. When we are seemingly alone, He is with us.  His spirit dwells within us to lead, teach and comfort us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. God is not some distant, aloof patriarch that turns a blind eye to the current state of affairs.  Instead, he loves us hears us and most importantly remains with us throughout the journey.  We must never forget–God created us for the purpose of being in relationship with us.  He desires nothing more than to be close and be a part of our lives. We must never take that for granted, nor should we ever deny the fact he is simply one prayer away. Elohay Mikarov–My God who is near at all times! 
 
God Bless You
Jeremiah 23:23

“Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off?

Psalm 73:28

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 145:18

The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

El HaNe’eman – The Faithful God: Deuteronomy 7:9, I Thessalonians 5:24, 2 Timothy 2:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:3

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The faithfulness of God brings hope to a hopeless generation. Throughout history, People have consistently failed to keep their covenants with God and with each other.  The level of disappointment men’s behavior has caused is truly staggering and disheartening.  

Conversely, God has remained faithful through time, and He has kept his covenant with Abraham, and with men in general.  As He was literally carving the 10 commandments, the very people he had just liberated were fashioning a golden calf to worship. Still, in the midst of their disobedience and faithlessness, he continued to keep his word and protect, prepare and provide for their every need.  

He was also faithful, in that while we were sinners, he came and died for us (Romans 5:8).  It was never anything we did to elicit His amazing sacrifice.  It was His commitment to keep His word–that marshaled our very salvation and restoration. His faithfulness, like his character is timeless, complete and indiscriminate. We are the beneficiaries simply because He loves us.  It is not ours because we deserve it, no; it is ours because He loves us! 

Thanks, Lord that you are faithful–even when we are not!

God Bless You

Deuteronomy 7:9

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

I Thessalonians 5:24

He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

2 Timothy 2:13 

If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

 

Elohay Selichot – God Of Forgiveness: Nehemiah 9:17, Ephesians 1:7, I John 1:9

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God wanted nothing more than to be in fellowship with men.  Men’s stubborn need to sin and to be independent from God became a recurring theme throughout human history.  As a result, since men did not reach out to God, He had to reach out to us.  To make that a reality, God had to forgive us of our sins.  The name “Elohay Selichot” means Our God forgives! What a beautiful description of the truest symbol of love he has demonstrated in the history of man.  

Men have sinned and worshiped any and all manner of created things to avoid the submission to God. the Bible records time after time when God reached out; and men simply turned away. Still, despite our continued inability to grasp God’s Love, He still forgives us.  He demonstrated his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ deed for us. (Romans 5:8). His forgiveness is not a goal or treasure to be earned–it is a gift, simply to be received.(Ephesians 2:8-9) (Romans 6:23)

In our lives, the treasure of simply trusting God, and allowing Elohay Selichot; (the God who forgives) to restore that relationship in our lives; is freeing and transforming.  We are no longer in bondage to sin, but are free to walk faithfully and humbly in our Father’s shadow and allow him to make us the people he intended us to be. Behold, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation–the old is gone and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5 :17)

God Bless You

Nehemiah 9

16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.

Ephesians 1

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

I John 1

9 If we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness

Elohay Mishpat – (God Of Justice)–Isaiah 30:18, Psalms 50:6, Malachi 2:17, Luke 18:7

There are so many days that I am grateful that the God of mercy is my God.  But, the truth is, there is no one more just than our Lord.  From the beginning, God has always acted justly and has preserved justice in the lands of his people.  In cultures where God is included, justice is still honored, authority has meaning, and injustice is exposed and dealt with.  God led Israel out of slavery where they were asked make bricks without straw and build cities without sustainable life needs.  He led them through the desert for 40 years, he set up a system of laws to address all issues–but kept it simple…(love God and love each other selflessly). He provided food, water and protection from all enemies–not according to class or wealth, but simply according to need.  He made sure the young, old, widows and orphans were all cared for.
 
As Paul began spreading the gospel across Europe and Asia, he said time and again–here there are no Jews or Greek, male or female, Barbarian or Scythian, slave or free. In God’s eyes, all should be treated with decency and respect.  So many people miss the point.  We are not to treat everyone the same–we are to treat everyone with respect.  Even if we do not agree, when all are treated with dignity and respect, they are forced to adhere to the law and rules of the land.  They are forced to take responsibility for their personal choices. They are forced to accept the curve balls life throws–and still make their way through this crazy journey.  Justice simply does not avoid that–it demands it.
 
When justice is the true focus, there is no room for corruption or chaos.  That is why, when God takes the lead, there is both peace and order.  In his word, God does more for the protection of women, children, the poor, the sick and those in need–than the rest of the world combined.  That is the true nature of justice, and that is the true nature of God!
 
God Bless You

 

 

Isaiah 30:18

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
 

Psalms 50:6

And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice.
 

Luke 18:7

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

 

Malachi 2:17

You have wearied the Lord with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”