Tag: slow to learn

Jesus: A Priest forever!

Scripture reading for October 20th:  Hebrews 5

High priests in Old Testament Israel came from Aaron, Moses’s brother, appointed by God to that position. He was a sinful man, and could identify with the people and offered sacrifices for their sins as well as his own.  But Aaron and his offspring were limited in their ability to serve the people, in that death took them away.  Although this priesthood was still helpful, God had something better in mind for his people.

“No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.  So Christ also did not take upon Himself the glory of becoming a high priest.  But God said to Him, “You are My Son; Today I have become Your Father.”  And He says in another place, “You are a Priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””  (Hebrews 5:4-6)  Jesus was called by His own Father to become a Priest forever!  Melchizedek was an Old Testament figure that has some mystery about him.  (See Genesis 14:17-20)  He was ‘king of Salem’ and ‘priest of God Most High’ in the time of Abram.  Abram was met by Melchizedek as he returned after rescuing Lot from King Kedorlaomer.  He brought Abram bread and wine and gave Abram a blessing from God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. Abram, in response, gave Melchizedek a tithe of all the spoils!  There was no record of Melchizedek’s birth or death, it was like he just appeared and disappeared.

Jesus Christ was appointed to the order of Melchizedek!  He meets His brethren and offers a meal of bread and wine, His own body and blood!  He is a Priest forever–with eternal existence, past, present and future!  He came to bless His brothers and deliver them from their enemies and make known Father God to them.   He is our great High Priest who blesses us with eternal life!

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Ahab and Jezebel–slow to learn!

Scripture reading for April 9: 1st Kings 20-22

Learning lessons in the school of life can be fun and rewarding.  God places us in a family so that we might learn from those parents who are older and wiser.  Learning from those with wisdom is an easy way to gain understanding.  God may also place a mate in our life. A mate may be a great blessing or may lead us astray.  God also sends people to us who will speak the Word of God into our lives.  The Old Testament called them prophets.  They were sent to give warning, direction, and advice for living God’s way.  Heeding their word resulted in a victorious life; rejecting their word brought trouble and defeat.

As we think back on the lessons God has already given Ahab and Jezebel, we remember the drought of three years that began at the word of the Lord through Elijah.  (1st Kings 17:1)   We remember the cause of the drought was Jezebel killing the Lord’s prophets and feeding 950 prophets of Baal and Asteroth at the king’s table.  Elijah confronted them with this truth and demonstrated God’s power in the contest on Mt. Carmel. (1st Kings 18:18-19)  He then killed the false prophets and prayed for rain again on the land and God sent a storm!   God demonstrated his power and correction to this couple through the prophetic ministry in a way that was sure to make an impression!

In the course of time, God sent another prophet to Ahab with instructions on how to defeat his enemy, Ben-Hadad, king of Aram.  (1st Kings 20:13)  God worked a miracle and the enemy was defeated soundly but Ben-Hadad appealed to Ahab, and Ahab made a treaty with him.  He didn’t even consult the Lord!  God sent another prophet to speak to Ahab a word of judgment.  (1st Kings 20:41-43)  Ahab responded with anger and sulking!  Out of this response, Ahab turns to coveting a neighbor’s vineyard to build a garden for himself.  The neighbor, Naboth, refuses to sell or trade the family property.  Ahab sulks to his wife, who promptly sets in motion a plan to get the vineyard through lies and manipulation.  Naboth is killed and the vineyard is secured for Ahab. God is not pleased, and sends Elijah the prophet to speak another word of judgment.  This time Ahab is humbled and goes about mourning.

What’s the point of all this prophetic intervention and correction?  Why was God so gracious and long-suffering with this king and his wife?  God always gives each person time to repent and to grow in grace.  He is working out purposes that are bigger than one person, but He cares for each person, too.  He understands our weaknesses and tries to work with us.  But, there is a point where patience runs out.  We can harden our hearts and miss the grace of God.  Jezebel was worldly, manipulative, and lived for the present.  She refused correction when God made it plain!  Ahab knew what to do, but allowed his wife to direct him instead of taking charge himself.  When corrected, he was often not teachable but grew angry and sullen.  Would that we would be quicker to learn!

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