Tuck in, I had a lot of words to use on you today.  Sorry, not sorry.

Judges 17: 1—18: 31

What a rollercoaster of emotions today.  I got so hopeful when Micah confessed to taking the money and mom said, “The Lord bless you….,” then crushed when she took the money and commission idols.  Then I was excited that this young Levite came because I hoped he would clean house, only to be disappointed that he fell into idol worship too.  Then here comes the tribe of Dan, still floating around trying to find the easiest way to get themselves some land because they did not have faith in God to win a battle for them.  It looks promising because they ask the young Levite if God is with them, and the Levite says yes!  Only to find out they are going to attack a people who are defenseless and when the scouts came back, they want Micah’s idols and his priest.  Dan wins the battle but not because God ordained it but because the people are not warriors.  (words that describe these people like safe and secure and carefree seem to refer to a people group not included in the people Israel was to exact God’s judgement on) Dan finally gets some land only to set it up as an idol worshipping mecca.  Boo!    

Verse 17: 6 perfectly sums up the time period and is actually the theme verse for this book of the bible.  “In those days Israel had no king (Lord, judge, central worship); all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” God warned them in the pages of Deuteronomy, and Joshua that this could happen if they did not adhere to the truth of His commandments. When you step away from God’s truth, absolute truth, this is what happens.  Everyone does what they think is ok.  You trade the truth that sets you free for a lie that enslaves you.  If that lie is taken away from you, you feel like you have nothing left. You better believe history is repeating itself.  The more we undermine the absolute authority of God, the more everyone’s personal truth is what rules them.  “You do you, follow your heart, do what makes you happy,” are all lies that leads to idol worship.  Who is the idol or graven image you are worshiping when you do what is right in your own eyes?  YOU! You are the idol!

John 3: 1-21

What a great example of an absolute truth that is under attack in our day and time.  The popular thinking today is everyone goes to heaven because God is love and would not send people to hell.  Guess what? According to Jesus (Who is God in the flesh) not everyone goes to heaven.  God is love and God is righteous at the same time all the time.  He is Righteous and will perfectly judge sin.  He is love and made a way for us to escape that judgement, all we have to do is believe in Jesus.  He does this for the whole world.  This is what being “saved” is.  You are saved from the penalty of your sin. (death) From the blue haired Baptist wearing her pearls at church to the scruffy pigmy with her exposed chest and red belt that covers just enough.  God sent Jesus so that EVERYONE who BELIEVES in him will not perish but have eternal life.  You don’t just automatically go to heaven because you think that is true.  You are doing exactly what they did in Judges, doing what is right in your own eyes.  Jesus says in this passage that only those who do what is right (believing in Jesus) are doing what God wants.

The second birth is required because this is the birth of our spirit.  We are born spiritually dead and it is only through faith in Jesus that the Spirit comes and dwells in us waking up the spirit and giving us new life.  It is instantaneous indwelling upon belief. You do not have to go to some revival tent out in New Mexico to get the Spirit.  The Spirit helps us to understand the Word and live the Christian life.  It convicts us when we are doing what is right in our own eyes instead of doing what is right in God’s eyes. I love Nicodemus because of his earnest need to understand.  “How does an old man go back to the womb?!?!”

Moses lifted the bronze snake (sin) up on a pole and all who looked to it were saved from the plague of death around them.  God raised Jesus up on a pole and He became the sin of the world.  God poured the wrath we deserved out on Jesus so all that look to Jesus can be saved from the death surrounding us.  Amen. Thank You Lord!  I am saved! How about you?

Psalm 104: 1-23

I will comment on this tomorrow when we have read the whole Psalm. 

Proverbs 14: 20-21

What is it in us that wants to avoid the poor?  Is it because we know they are a liability and we can’t get anything out of them?  Is it because their need will convict us of our wasted spending that could have helped them?  Fight against this because if you are reading this post you are not poor.  You are wealthy and it will bless you to help the poor. 

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