Greetings on another day of rest in Jesus Christ! What a blessing to know that He has delivered us from sin, slavery and death and given us righteousness, freedom, and life everlasting! All of this is due to His grace and the obedience of Jesus Christ to follow His Father’s plan to save lives! We are included in these plans by His grace and by the drawing of the Holy Spirit.
In our reading this past week we saw God’s people being invited to stay in Egypt. They were forced by a famine to seek out food there because God Himself had sent Joseph there with the express purpose of saving lives. God used the world system of Pharaoh’s Egypt to store up grain to feed a multitude during the famine. God controls the governments of the world and uses the leaders to fulfill His purposes!
Egypt is a type of the world without a true knowledge of God. It is a system of humanistic government, business and religious idolatry. It is a system based on power, wealth, and man’s inner need to worship. Without God, humanity values what can only satisfy the flesh. Idols come in as a means to satisfy the inner need to worship. Idols are a form of god crafted by man to try to fill this desire to worship. By making an idol, man can design a convenient god that allows him to do whatever he wants and at the same time controls others or even shuts them out. In the end, this system of Egypt is pure slavery, results in what God calls “sin”, and ends in death.
All men must be born again to escape the power of this system. God must deliver them and help them to choose to worship Him alone! People must be willing to escape this system and enter the freedom of knowing the one True God! God places His people in this system to show a way of escape to those who are trapped by the system! The blessing of God on our lives should be so evident that the lost ask us for help!
May your life be marked by willing submission to our loving King, Jesus Christ! May His provision make you smile with joy every day! May every trace of Egypt be removed from your soul!
In His Love, Pastor John
Scripture reading for July 4th: Proverbs 1-4
I have personally read Proverbs dozens of times over the last thirty years. For many years I read the entire book of Proverbs each month as a daily discipline. For the past 8 years, I have read the chapter of Proverbs for that day at the bi-weekly men’s accountability breakfast that I am a part of. Even though I have read or heard Proverbs many times, I am still impressed at how they speak freshly to us about our daily lives. Wisdom is a bubbling brook!
Hearing and listening can be two different things. Almost everyone can hear what is being said but listening in order to learn and apply truth is a different process requiring humility and a teachable spirit. As we begin the book of Proverbs, take a moment to check your hearing and listening abilities. Put your mind in a learning mode. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you new insights about successful living and decision making as well as who God is.
Solomon is the author of many of the proverbs. He was David’s son through his wife Bathsheba. Solomon was visited by God and given an opportunity to ask for anything he desired. He asked for wisdom to rule God’s people. God was pleased and the proverbs are some of the written record of the wisdom God blessed Solomon with. Solomon wanted to pass that wisdom on to his sons. These early chapters talk about the benefits of wisdom and how it may be found. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7) There are those who either don’t want wisdom or are so enthralled with their own way that Solomon gives them names. Simple, fool, and mocker are the three names of those who refuse to listen and learn! (Proverbs 1:7, 22) Thankfully, those names are not descriptive of any of us!
Listening to wisdom has many blessings. It brings knowledge and discretion to the young as well as guidance. (Proverbs 1:4-5) It brings safety to those who listen and they have rest and no fear of harm. (Proverbs 1:33) A person who listens to wisdom understands the fear of the Lord and finds knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:5) Your soul will find joy and you will rest in God’s protection. You will be kept safe from wicked men who are on crooked paths leading to destruction. (Proverbs 2:12-15) You will also avoid the adulterous woman and her path that leads to death. (Proverbs 2:16-19) Listening and keeping wisdom brings long life and prosperity. (Proverbs 3:2) Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her and they will be richly blessed! (Proverbs 3:18)
Wisdom is to be prized above any other treasure. (Proverbs 3:13-15) We must lay hold of wisdom by taking hold of the words given by the Father. (Proverbs 4:1-5) We must prize it and faithfully esteem wisdom. We must hold onto instructions of wisdom and guard them. Wisdom is our life and health to our whole body! (Proverbs 4:22) Wisdom is to reside in our heart! (Proverbs 4:23) Wisdom sounds a lot like Jesus Christ, in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! (Colossians 2:2-3)