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This Week’s Bible Verse(s) Which Will Never Appear In Your “Verse Of The Day” Email: Matthew 11:25-26
Many Christians are quite familiar with the words of Jesus when He gives a call to group of people whom He describes as “weary and heavy laden.” He says He will give them rest if they take His yoke upon them for “His yoke is easy and His burden light.” He tells them He is “gentle and lowly in heart and [they[ will find rest for their souls.” (Matt. 11:27-30)
However, what immediately precedes this is quite a contrast. Back to verse 20, where he pronounces judgment upon entire cities – cities where He had done some of His mighty works. He pronounces judgement upon Chorazin and Bethsaida, saying it will be worse for them than for Tyre and Sidon, for if the works He had done for them (Chorazin and Bethsaida) had been done for Tyre and Sidon, Tyre and Sidon would have repented, with the clear implication being that Tyre and Sidon did not repent and that the works done for Chorazin and Bethsaida could have been done for Tyre and Sidon and were not (more on that shortly). (vv. 21-22)
He then, in a form of parallelism, pronounces a judgment upon Capernaum in the same manner, stating it will be better on the day of judgment for Sodom than it will for Capernaum. This is not to say things will be good for Sodom – just that they will be worse for Capernaum than for Sodom. Why? Because if the works done in Sodom were done in Capernaum, Sodom would not have been destroyed (vv. 23-24).
Here’s the “more on that shortly” point: God sovereignly withheld these things from Tyre, Sidon and Sodom. He could have revealed Himself in the same way He revealed Himself through His Son – but He chose to not do so. Jesus, of course, knows this, and prays to His Father a prayer of thanksgiving. Quite a prayer of thanksgiving, as we see in Matthew 11:25-26:
25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
Jesus thanks the father for hiding “these things” – the “things” of vv. 21-24 – from certain people. He thanks God for certain people not having truth revealed to them, resulting in those people perishing, as the people of Sodom did. He thanks the Father for that being His will – His will which hid “these things” from some and revealed them to others.
Then He immediately goes into those most comforting words, calling people to Himself in vv. 27-30.
Shocking, indeed. But only shocking if we come to the passage with a preconceived notion of how Jesus is to behave and who God is to be. Revelation will tell us that – not carnal presuppositions.
This Week’s Bible Verse(s) Which Will Never Appear In Your “Verse Of The Day” Email: Deuteronomy 2:30
The “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” greeting would not be gladly received by the Sihon, the king of Heshbun. God indeed had a plan for his life – but one’s definition of “wonderful” would need to be stretched quite far to apply here:
30 But Sihon the king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that he might give him into your hand, as he is this day.
Taken out of context? Of course. Placing it in context, however, does not change the meaning. One cannot, though, at the end of the day deny that how the Psalmist chose to end this Psalm strikes us “enlightened” denizens of contemporary society as shocking, to say the least, because it still says what it says (and it is not the only time in the Scripture this subject is broached. More to come.):
9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!
This Week’s Bible Verse(s) Which Will Never Appear In Your “Verse Of The Day” Email: 1 Chronicles 10:13-14
Much debate has occurred in biblical interpretation over “who killed Saul?” Was it Saul himself, in light of his severe battle wounds (1 Samuel 31:4) or was it a man from Saul’s camp (2 Samuel 1:10)? What can be overlooked is a passage which explicitly tells us who was responsible for Saul’s death – 1 Chronicles 10:14 leaves no doubt:
13 So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. 14 He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.
29 And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.
30 But before they had satisfied their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
31 the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed the strongest of them
and laid low the young men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they still sinned;
despite his wonders, they did not believe.
33 So he made their days vanish like a breath,
and their years in terror.
34 When he killed them, they sought him;
they repented and sought God earnestly. (emphasis by the present writer)
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
This is the final class I taught at IRBC prior to my move to Texas. The first 10-12 minutes discusses the circumstances of the move and you can advance past that if desired.
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.