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July 10, 2024

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Brent Parrish

8:15‚ÄĮAM (51 minutes ago)

 

 

to bcc: me

 

Psalm 78:59-64
 

When God heard them, he was furious;
    he rejected Israel completely.
 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,
    the tent he had set up among humans.
 He sent the ark of his might into captivity,
    his splendor into the hands of the enemy.
 He gave his people over to the sword;
    he was furious with his inheritance.
 Fire consumed their young men,
    and their young women had no wedding songs;
 their priests were put to the sword,
    and their widows could not weep.
Israel became so indifferent to the things of God that he allowed the Ark of the Covenant - the sign of his presence with them - to be captured by the Philistines. A child born that day was named Ichabod - meaning "the Glory has departed" (1 Samuel 4:21). Because God is holy, sin separates us from the presence of God (Isaiah 59:2). Even in Christians whose sins are pardoned, Jesus finds spiritual halfheartedness as nauseating to him as uncooked food. "Because you are....neither hot nor cold....I....spit you out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16). Have you become nonchalant toward sin in your life because you sat, "God is love"? God does love you, and that is why he will not support you in living apart from him.
Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

July 9, 2024

Psalm 78:54-58

And so he brought them to the border of his holy land, to the hill country his right hand had taken. He drove out nations before them and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance; he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes. But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes. Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow. They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols.

The epitome of Israel's failure is that the people turned from the living God to worship idols. Idolatry is foundational to what is wrong with the human race (Romans 1:21-25). Anything that is functionally more important to you than God is an idol. Anything you love more than God - even a good thing like a spouse or child or social cause - is a false god. Because we love them too much, we are wracked with uncontrollable fears and anger when they are threatened and inconsolable despair when we lose them. Until you can identify your idols you cannot understand yourself. Until you turn from them you can't know and walk with God.
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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

July 8, 2024

Psalm 78:44-53
 

He turned their river into blood;
    they could not drink from their streams.
He sent swarms of flies that devoured them,
    and frogs that devastated them.
He gave their crops to the grasshopper,
    their produce to the locust.
He destroyed their vines with hail
    and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
He gave over their cattle to the hail,
    their livestock to bolts of lightning.
He unleashed against them his hot anger,
¬†¬†¬† his wrath, indignation and hostility‚ÄĒ
    a band of destroying angels.
He prepared a path for his anger;
    he did not spare them from death
    but gave them over to the plague.
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt,
    the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.
But he brought his people out like a flock;
    he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
He guided them safely, so they were unafraid;
    but the sea engulfed their enemies.
 

The plagues God inflicted on Egypt were natural disasters. He made the Nile River undrinkable. That forced frogs out of the marshes, Where they died. Their carcasses led to a plague of flies and gnats, which in turn led to epidemics. The unraveling of nature in Egypt points to a crucial truth. God created the world, so when we disobey him we unleash forces of chaos and disorder. When you, a being created to live for God, live instead for yourself, you violate your design. The ultimate plague is sin, and it will disintegrate you without the antidote - the grace and forgivenss of God in Jesus Christ.

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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

July 3, 2024

Psalm 78:9-16
 

The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
    turned back on the day of battle;
10 they did not keep God’s covenant
    and refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot what he had done,
    the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles in the sight of their ancestors
    in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them through;
    he made the water stand up like a wall.
14 He guided them with the cloud by day
    and with light from the fire all night.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness
    and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
16 he brought streams out of a rocky crag
    and made water flow down like rivers.
The "men of Ephraim" are the northern tribes of Israel that fell into idolatry (1 Kings 12) and were deported and lost to history (2 Kings 17). The root of their problem was spiritual forgetting. Christians too can stagnate because they "forget that they have been cleansed from their past sins" (2 Peter 1:0). The key is to have a heart constantly vitalized by deliberate remembering of the costly sacrifice of Jesus. We must remember that for our sins Jesus was, as it were, forgotten (Matthew 27:46) so that God can now no more forget us than a mother nursing her infant (Isaiah 49:14-16). Remembering that will make you a great heart.

--Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,
 

July 2, 2024

Psalm 78:1-8

My people, hear my teaching;
    listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable;
¬†¬†¬† I will utter hidden things, things from of old‚ÄĒ
3 things we have heard and known,
    things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.
8¬†They would not be like their ancestors‚ÄĒ
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
    whose spirits were not faithful to him.
 

This psalm recounts the history of Israel from its deliverance from Egypt to the kingship of David. Its negative lesson is that this history not be repeated in the lives of the listeners. The positive lesson is that believers be marked by true faith. We should not just know the truth about who God is but must trust him from the heart and show this  saving faith through a changed life of obedience. Throughout history many have honored God with external behavior but failed to have converted hearts (Isaiah 29:13; Jeremiah 4:4). Are you just going through the motions of religion, or have you been born again (John 3:1-16)?

June 19, 2024

Psalm 73:21-23

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.

The antitoxin for envy and self-pity is humility. The psalmist first saw that his sin hurt him and then that it hurt others, but finally he sees he has been as arrogant toward God as the people he despised. There is in us a fierce, instinctive self-will as unthinking and inhuman as that of a wild beast. Augustine remembered stealing pears only because it was forbidden. Deep in us something snarls, "No one tells me what to do." Only by admitting this darkness within can the glorious word of grace - "yet" dawn on him (v.23). God never let him go. Only when we see the depth of our sin will we be electrified by the wonder of grace.

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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

June 18, 2024

Psalm 73:15-20

If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

The first step out of the sinkhole of resentment and envy is worship. The psalmist enters the sanctuary, and in the presence of the true God his sight clears and he begins to get a long-term perspective (vv. 16-17). He realizes that the rich without God are on their way to being eternally poor; the celebrities without God are on their way to being endlessly ignored (vv. 18-19). Without the confines of a dream, you may be very intimidated by some powerful being, but as soon as you wake, you laugh at its impotence to harm your real life. All the world's power and wealth are like a dream. They can neither enhance nor ruin a Chrisrian's deepest identity, happiness, and inheritance.

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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

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