Tag Archives: messiah

day 22: lover king

Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 1:1; Revelation 22:16-21

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’” – Jeremiah 23:5-6

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” – Matthew 1:1

“‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’  The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” – Revelation 22:16-17

 

david.  shepherd.  poet.  adulterer.  murderer.  temporal king.  beloved.

Jesus.  ShepherdCreatorRoot (Source).  Branch (Effect).  Eternal King.  Lover.

me.  sheep.  poem.  sinner.  saint.  heir.  beloved.

 

how can we embrace and live out of the fact that “The LORD is our righteousness”?   God showed faithful love to david, now Christ invites us into The Kingdom; will we receive and reign with Him or refuse and be reigned over?  will we drink the water of life without price or will we drink from broken cisterns that can hold no water?

thank you Lord that you are Loving King

day 12: outsiders

Isaiah 42:1-8, 49:1-6; Luke 2:25-32

“‘I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.'” – Isaiah 42:6-7

“he says:’It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.'” – Isaiah 49:6-7

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.'” – Luke 2:25-32

these passages of scripture for reading today are just so beautiful to me.  they show such wonderful glimpses into the nature of this servant/savior: his humility, his obedience, his great quiet power.  i am sorry i can not discuss them all at length.  instead, i want to focus in on the explicit common thread found in all three passages: that Jesus would come not only for the people of israel but as “a light for the nations” or more specifically “to the gentiles” (non-jews).  we must not forget that when he walked this earth, Jesus was a jew sent primarily for the jews.  this business about hating on jews for being jesus killers is just nonsense.  yes, he was sentenced to death by some jewish authorities but jesus himself was a jew and if it wasn’t for what God did through 12 of jesus’ closest jewish friends (and a certain 13th super jewish friend that came around later) we wouldn’t even know this jesus.  but thank God He’s not racist.  i am so thankful that He is a big God…that He considered it “too light a thing” to only bring back the jews to Him but that He would reach out to us…gentiles.  without His light shining out to us we would not be able to “see.”  He has a mission for reaching out to the foreigner, the blind, the prisoner, the one stuck in darkness, to the very ends of the earth…to us.  i am so glad He loves like that.

do we thank Him for opening our eyes and including us in eternal blessing, even when He didn’t have to?  in what ways are we reflecting him by reaching out to those who are ignored or forgotten?

thank you Lord that you reach out to outsiders…like us.

day 9: strength

1 Samuel 2:1-10; Psalm 18:2; Luke 1:67-69

“And Hannah prayed and said, ‘My heart exults in the LORD; my strength[horn] is exalted in the LORD.  My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.  There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God…The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven.  The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed.'” – 1 Samuel 2:1-2, 10

“I love you, O LORD, my strength.  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalm 18:1-2

“And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,  ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,'” – Luke 1:67-69

In all three passages we find people praising God after coming out of difficult situations.  Hannah who was barren gave birth to a son.  David who was in danger of being killed by his enemies, even by his own king without reason, got out alive.  Zechariah who was well along in years was given a son.  In all three passages we find in the praises a curious word for a modern audience to describe God – the word “horn” (hannah – “my horn”, david & zechariah “horn of my salvation”).   What does it mean that God is our “horn”?  it seems the horn (as can be discovered from the context as well as other uses of it found in the bible) is a symbol for strength, like the weapon of an ox.  an interesting thing the barne’s commentary pointed out that could be related was that there was a practice in israel that a person could go into the temple of God and hold onto the horns of the altar inside to escape danger (1 Kings 1:50, 1 Kings 2:28).  so in all three passages we find the theme of the strength of God on behalf of his people.

however, hannah mentions another person: “his [God’s] king” and “his [God’s] anointed (or messiah).”  zechariah, also recognizes that God has raised up a “horn of salvation” that would be a person from the house of david.  this person, we discover, is Jesus.  Jesus was born to be the strength and power of God expressed on our behalf.  we are unable to save ourselves from our sin, so Jesus came to defeat sin.  we need a horn, a strength, greater than us to fight this overwhelming battle.  yet, this powerful warrior and weapon did not come at first in the way we might have expected…a lowly baby…then as a homeless preacher…then hung on a cross like a criminal.   He fought the battle for our souls with the power of a humble and blameless life.  something no one had the strength to do before.  by shedding no one’s blood but His own as a sacrifice, He completely disarmed the power of sin.  only those that run to Him are safe.  the first time He came, He fought and won the battle against sin.   the next time He comes, He will come to fight and win the battle against sinners.  He is giving us time.  may we be found with the Horn of Salvation.

where and to whom do we run to, especially in times of trouble?  can we admit that we need strength?  do we believe that He is not only strong enough but that He is the only one strong enough to save us?

thank you Lord that you are our strength.

rev. 2:8-11 -> what are you made of?

To the Church in Smyrna

8“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

****

WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE TELL US ABOUT JESUS?

v. 8 – He is the First and the Last. This title was used of God in the OT (Isaiah 44:6, 48:12, 41:4) equating Jesus with God.  the First and Last of what? Of everything.  He is the first word as well as the last word on all things.  He is the creator and the completer.

*Do I live with Christ as the First and the Last of all things in my life?  Of me?   Too often I think of him as on the side of my world and I forget I am just an agent in His world.  It is so comforting when I relinquish myself to recognize that whatever situation I find myself in, He is the first and the last word on the matter.

v. 8 – he died and came to life again.

Christ is the only one who rose himself from the dead.  He is the only one who actually defeated death, so that those who trust in him might also be raised.

*I can entrust my future, my life, into his hands as I fully embrace that he can carry me beyond death. His resurrection proved that He was telling the truth, that he has authority even over death.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

WHAT IS GOING RIGHT WITH THIS CHURCH?

In all accounts, from the world’s perspective, this church is in the pits…it is in a totally undesirable situation: afflicted, slandered, poor, and persecuted to the point of death.  Yet THIS is the church for which Jesus has no criticism.  This is the church that Jesus considers rich.  They are true to Jesus. In the midst of the most terrible suffering, they have shown how loyal they are to Jesus.  Indeed is this possibly how they have been so refined?

*this total upside down value system of God just continues to blow my mind.  I still don’t think we get it.  I don’t get it. I don’t like being uncomfortable.  I don’t like to be slandered…and this for doing right.  It infuriates my sense of justice.  It sucks to be poor.  As for persecution…what do I even know about real persecution?  Now I don’t think that Jesus is saying that these things are good in it of themselves, yet these things have a way of really showing our true colors…what we really hold on to.  I think in this way the Smyrnans are rich.  They know where true life comes from, they don’t have any delusional/false securities.  When grapes are crushed, sweet juice is revealed. When jars of clay are crushed, the treasure inside is revealed.  When we are crushed what will come out? This reminds me of the story of how James, the brother of the writer of this revelation, died.  The very person that was responsible for bringing James to the authorities to be killed, was so moved by James’ faith, he asked for James forgiveness and they were beheaded together.  God help me to be true to you, to hold onto to YOU in the midst of suffering.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THEY CONTINUE?

He sees their suffering but does he promise that suffering will relent for their faithfulness?  No, in fact he tells them that even more suffering will come.  However, even if they die, they will have shown their true faith and would receive “the crown of life.”  By going faithfully toward death they are actually going toward true life. By facing the hurt in this life, they will not be hurt at all by the second death.

*I need a transformation of my paradigm…by dying to myself now I can have real life.  By holding onto my security now more than Christ, I will be letting go of eternal security (Luke 9:23-27).


rev. 1:9-20 -> from the gatekeeper of life and death

One like a Son of Man

9I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

12I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,”[b]dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

19“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels[c] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

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a guide to reading this post: if you want the gist, just read the bold.  If you want explanations and applications (indicated by the s*symbol) of the bold, read everything else around it.

SUMMARY

John recounts how Christ spoke to him to deliver this message to the 7 churches of asia


WHAT DO WE SHARE AS CHRISTIANS?

V. 9 – The following are ours in Christ: Suffering, Kingdom, Patient endurance

We are in Christ as well.  We are a part of His kingdom.  The bible, especially I think of in the book of 1 Pet. talks about how suffering would be a part of our walk.  We are to be patient people.

*do we think this way?  The kingdom part is nice.  I need help though to see suffering and patient endurance as something I am privileged to share in my relationship with Christ.  Granted, not suffering for doing something wrong for that is not how Christ suffered, but suffering for what is right.  Why suffer for what is right?  Because sometimes to stand up for and live for what is right, invites suffering…it is not an easy path.  However, we can be refined through it, it may cause us to place our hope in him not in ourselves or other things, and it can be a blessing for others.   Because Christ suffered for us, we get to experience the blessing of God rather than His wrath.  Maybe when we suffer on behalf of others, they get to experience the blessing and mercy of God.  Maybe we learn more of the heart of God through suffering.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE IN THE SPIRIT?

V. 10 – We know as a xian John has the Holy Spirit in him.  However this seems to be something different.  If it meant simply he had the spirit, there was no reason to make a distinction that he had the sprit this day.  It doesn’t say the Spirit was in him, which should be always, but rather that he was in the Spirit…like in step with the Spirit.  He was in some sort of state.  A special communion.  “In the Spirit” seems to be some sort of state, a state of communion with the Lord such that he could receive a vision.

*Have I ever been in the Spirit?  Can I be in the Spirit or is that something just from some people at a particular point in time?  At the very least, I know from Galatians (gal 5:25) as well as Romans (Romans 8:12-14) that I can choose to live a life in step with the spirit or led by the Spirit.  So am I led by the Spirit these days?

WHO IS THE SPEAKER OF THIS VISION?

V. 10-20 – Jesus (“God is my salvation”) Christ (“the messiah” aka the anointed one).  Evidence:

1) v.13 – someone “like a son of man” is a reference to Daniel 7:13 that speaks of an exact person who comes before God’s throne and also is worshiped.  (this is a great verse to show that we see the glimpses of the trinity in the old testament too.  someone who is God but seems to be a certain expression of God)

2) v. 18 – someone who was dead but is now alive forever.  someone who has authority over death and the abode of the dead (aka hell).

WHAT AUTHORITY DOES HE HAVE (as stated in this passage)?

1) v. 16 “In his right hand he held seven stars…” we know from v.20 that the stars are angels.  The right hand, the stronger hand, means strength and authority.  Who are these angels that God exerts special strength and authority over?  There are a couple interpretations of this:

A) these are actual angels connected to churches (to do God’s bidding, to guard, to send messages) because stars are often    symbols for angels (Fruchtenbaum) as well as a likely interpretation from the context of the book.

OR

B) these are key messengers of the churches, since the word angel means “messengers.”  MacArthur also points out that it seems strange that God would use a John, a man, to write to an angel when God usually speaks directly to angels.

*in either case what does this mean for us? Ultimately that God has control over the safety and anointing of his church.  We can depend on His power for us, or not.


2) v. 18 he has authority, specifically decisive power, over death and the place of the dead

Hades is the Greek word for the underworld or the abode of those no longer living (Sheol being the Hebrew equivalent), and according to Fructenbaum a temporary state not an eternal state – the eternal state for those unsaved being the lake of fire.  It is somewhat another word for hell, which is an English word for which there is no Hebrew or Greek.  The concept of hell seems to speak specifically to the abode of the dead who are not saved (aka abbadon or the pit).

What do key holders mean?  Without a key holder we are unable to enter into life, exit death and hell.

*Do we believe this, that only Christ has decisive power over who passes from death to life, who moves from the underworld to heaven?  Do we then treasure and share Christ as the only hope for life after death?  Do we seek Him on behalf of others, or do we leave them without the person who holds the keys to their life?

WHAT IS THE CONTENT OF THIS REVELATION?

v. 19 – this is how many scholars actually break up this book of revelation

1) “what you have seen”  – Rev. 1:9-20

2) “what is now” – Rev. 2:1-3:22

3) “what will take place letter” – Rev. 4:1-22:21