Archives For Israel

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
Matthew 28:5‭-‬6 NASB
http://bible.com/100/mat.28.5-6.NASB

He is not here. On this statement the crux the Christian faith stands. We serve, obey, worship, follow, a living God who died for our sins and rose again from the dead in victory. The victory is complete, the debt we owe is paid for. Through His sacrifice on the cross, we can find forgiveness in Him, which is necessary, but it’s His resurrection where that is sealed for all time.

but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:24‭-‬25 NASB
http://bible.com/100/heb.7.24-25.NASB

Jesus is always living to step in on our behalf. He is the way to God and He is always living to step in and be that mediator for us. Have we accepted Him and do acknowledge Him for who He is? The tomb is empty. He is not here, but He has risen!

Do you want to get well? This is such an odd question to ask someone. Typically most people want to feel well and to get better if they have something that ails them. Yet Jesus asks this very question in John chapter 5. There we find the story of the man sitting by the pool of Bethesda. He has been there for 38 years waiting for an angel to store the waters so that he can be the first one in and be healed. Jesus finds him there and ask him, do you want to get well?

Here is the actual site of the pool in Jerusalem. We know this because of water and the fact that this is the specific site where the water has been and comes up. Why did Jesus ask this question? It seems so odd, yet so many people we know have problems, difficulties, frustrations, and sin in their life, don’t really want to get well. They simply want a way to be able to enjoy their sin. For us to be made well, it means we must leave the things that are against God. We must be obedient to him. Are we willing to leave behind the things in our life that are in Rebellion to God? If we want to be made well, we can only be made well by following him.

In Genesis 21, we see an amazing peace treaty. Abraham and Abimelech agreed to have peace when Abraham gave 7 lambs to Abimelech in exchange for the right to claim a well as his property. This was a great step toward peace in this land in those days. The offer was accepted and they had peace.

This is the site that tradition holds is the well that Abraham dug. God sent Jesus to be the sacrificial lamb for us. With our sin, we are at war with God. Through Jesus Christ we have a way to be made right and at peace with God. The question becomes whether we will agree to allow Christ to be Lord of our lives in exchange for the sacrifice of our Son? It’s not enough to know about God or to believe that Jesus Christ was a good man. To receive God’s gift of peace, we must allow Christ to be the Lord of our life and to be first in everything. It becomes about His will for us, not our will for ourselves. Will we accept His peace offering today?

What do we think of God’s Word? Do we treat and respect it as being a message to us from God? The Bible says:

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17 NASB
http://bible.com/100/2ti.3.16-17.NASB

Here is Qumran, the site where the Bedouin shepherds found scriptures hidden in caves, the earliest known portions of scriptures that we have. They found hundreds and hundreds of the scrolls and portions of scrolls hidden in caves here. At the time, they only saw the scrolls as a way to get rich and to sell them. They did not respect the words written on them, only what they could get out of them.

What do we see when we look at our Bible? Do we see something designed only to benefit us or to see what we can get out of it? Or do we recognize that it is the words of a Holy God to us in order to share how much He loves us and the plan that He has for us?

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:16 NASB
http://bible.com/100/mat.16.16.NASB

Tradition holds that Peter made this statement somewhere near this site, the Springs of Banaius. This is one of the springs that feeds into the Jordan river in northern Israel.

This verse has come to be called Peter’s great confession of faith. Peter declares who Christ is to Him. Jesus had asked them what others were thinking about Him and saying about Him. We can be the same, focusing on what others are saying or thinking, but in the end, it really only matters what we think about Jesus. Do we believe what He says about Himself and are we willing to follow Him wherever He leads?

 

We’re going to take a quick break from Proverbs for the next several days as I am currently traveling in Israel. I wanted to use this time as a chance to share with you based on where I am in this beautiful country. Jesus himself spent 33 years as a man walking in this wonderful country as He sought to teach us about what it means to be God’s Messiah and the sacrifice for the sin of the world. This evening as I was standing on the beach of the Mediterranean Sea, even though it was dark already, I could hear the waves rolling in, over and over again.

I was reminded of Job 38:11 where God is explaining to Job just exactly what it means to be God. God tells Job

And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?
Job 38:11 NASB
http://bible.com/100/job.38.11.NASB

The sea, in all its pride, sounds mighty and forceful, but yet God not only created it Himself, but He gives it limits and tells the waves how far they can go. Do we give God the credit and the glory for just how mighty He is, and yet realize that He is concerned with the tiniest details of, not just our life, but all of His creation. Do we rejoice in Him for who He is? Today, praise Him for He is worth and even the waves do not act outside of His will.

VERSE:

Ezekiel 25:6-7a–For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land of Israel, therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations.

TRUTH:

Two ideas can be seen in these verses. First, we are not to rejoice when others go through the judgment of God. The Ammonites were excited to see that Israel was being judged by God. God does not want us to be happy and rejoice in the downfall and destruction of others, no matter how evil their actions have been. Second, the people of Israel, even when they go through times of separation and disobedience to God, still hold a special and important place to God and He will judge those who rejoice at their suffering.

RESPONSE:

Father, I will mourn and seek to learn from the judgment You bring about others, not rejoice in their downfall. I will respect Your love for Israel and I will seek to be obedient to You in all things.