THE BREADBOX

The Children’s Bread

THE CHILDRENS BREAD

THE BREADBOX

October 2012

SUCCESSFUL MEDIOCRITY OR EXCELLENCE OF ACHIEVEMENT?

Part Three

(This concludes the series of this feature.)

King Solomon

“Jedidiah,” beloved of the Lord…

As we found in 2 Samuel 12, Solomon was born to King David, of Bathsheba, widow to the murdered Uriah the Hittite. Although Uriah (and Bathsheba) were pledged to serve God under David, their backgrounds were of Baalim. This would eventually catch up with Solomon years after he succeeded his father, the king.

1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. 2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. 3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

Seeing an opportunity, one of David’s sons seeks to command the throne…

5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom. 7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. 9 And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants: 10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.

1 Kings 1:1-10 (KJV)

King David, although old and weak issues one of his final commands…

32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. 35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the Lord God of my lord the king say so too. 37 As the Lord hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David. 38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. 39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. 40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.

1 Kings 1:32-40 (KJV)

The end is near for the king…

1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; 3 And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: 4 That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.

1 Kings 2:1-4 (KJV)

So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. 11 And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

1 Kings 2:10-11 (KJV)

Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.

1 Kings 2:12 (KJV)

One of King Solomon’s first acts was to “discipline” his brother Adonijah for attempting to defile Abishag the Shunammite. The king did not harm his brother when he tried to usurp the throne, but as mentioned above, we humans just don’t know when to quit…

And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife. 18 And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king. 19 Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand. 20 Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.

21 And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife. 22 And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. 23 Then king Solomon sware by the Lord, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life. 24 Now therefore, as the Lord liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day. 25 And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.

1 Kings 2:17-25 (KJV)

Well, if the new king did not take her, why even try? Adonijah was successfully mediocre.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee

1 Kings 3:5 (KJV)

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. 15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

1 Kings 3:9-15 (KJV)

Such a loving, faithful, forgiving, and merciful God!

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.

1 Kings 6:1 (KJV)

And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, 12 Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. 14 So Solomon built the house, and finished it.

1 Kings 6:11-14 (KJV)

And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all Solomon’s desire which he was pleased to do, 2 That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. 3 And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. 4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: 5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

Excellence of achievement! Not so fast…..

6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: 7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:

1 Kings 9:1-8 (KJV)

And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house? 9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil.

1 Kings 9:8-9 (KJV)

And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house? 9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil.

1 Kings 9:8-9 (KJV)

So the king lived in splendor and glory because of his obedience to God and God’s promise to David. We all know it is hard to live a godly life, but this is ridiculous…

But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 2 Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

1 Kings 11:1-8 (KJV)

Really, king Solomon,? Really? Disobedience? All the way into successful mediocrity.

And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. 11 Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. 12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. 13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.

1 Kings 11:9-13 (KJV)

Less than forty years later, the kingdom was split in two, Israel, ruled by Jeroboam of David’s sons, and Judah,ruled by Rehoboam, the son of David’s servants. Two hundred years later, the kingdom of Israel was destroyed, for disobedience, and carried into captivity by the Assyrians. Judah destroyed the Assyrian army around 701 b.c. and Assyria fell to the power of Babylon by 688 b.c. Judah carried on, mostly in disobedience to God, until finally being taken down and captive by Babylon one hundred years later, 587 b.c. This history has given rise to one of the most popular “secular” tunes of the late twentieth century, “By the Rivers of Babylon,” (‘where we sat down-and then we cried, when we remembered Zion [Jerusalem-City of David]-for the wicked carried us away captivity, required from us a song-but how can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?’) It is a song that essentially recognizes the successful mediocrity of God’s chosen people’s continuous disrespect and disobedience.

There are countless other examples of God’s servants who achieved excellence or were successfully mediocre including;

Elisha and Gehazi

Elisha was the disciple and successor to the prophet Elijah (whom queen Jezebel sought to murder)by God’s command.

And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

1 Kings 19:15-17 (KJV)

There came the time when Elijah would leave to be with God. Not die, just leave! Have you ever had a favorite teacher in school?

1 And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

2 Kings 2:1-3 (KJV)

And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. 7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. 8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.

2 Kings 2:6-8 (KJV)

When we graduated elementary school, sometimes we would return the next school year to visit our favorite teachers. Elisha was not going to part from Elijah if he could help it!

And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.

13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. 15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

2 Kings 2:9-15 (KJV)

As God worked through him, Elisha accomplished many deeds in excellence of achievement;

-heals the waters with salt, 2 Kings 2:24;

-miracles of the Shunammite’s son, 2 Kings 4:32; Naaman’s leprosy healed 2 Kings 5:14; miracle wrought by his bones, 2 Kings 13:21 and many others. (All from KJV)

Elisha had a servant named Gehazi who proved to very adapt at successful mediocrity;

Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.

2 Kings 5:1 (KJV)

So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. 11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? 14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

2 Kings 5:9-14 (KJV)

And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. 16 But he said, As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. 17 And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord. 18 In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing. 19 And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

2 Kings 5:15-19 (KJV)

But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. 21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? 22 And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. 23 And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. 24 And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed. 25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. 26 And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? 27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

2 Kings 5:20-27 (KJV)

Make of that what you will!

Others in whom we find either excellence of achievement or successful mediocrity– Abraham and his nephew Lot, Genesis 12-19; queen Esther and the lying Haman, Book of Esther; the Apostle Paul and his former self Pharisee persecutor Saul, Book of Acts; and the most important of all, the sacrifice of Yeshua and his being sold by Judas Iscariot, Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

It is so very clear that we have only two paths to follow in this life. Either obedience to God, and enjoy excellence of achievement, or disobedience, and suffer successful mediocrity. God, our Father has given us free will to make a choice.

What is yours?

God bless the tendering of his Word!

 PART TWO

And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent. 55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. 56 And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling is. 57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.

1 Sam 17:54-58 (KJV)

And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? 9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward. 10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.

1 Sam 18:5-11 (KJV)

Saul can no longer contain his jealousy of David and a series of plots to ensare/kill him are launched by Saul, none successfully. David flees and finds Samuel to whom he relates his plight. In one plot that failed, Saul sought to kill his own son Jonathan, because of his brotherly bond with David.

In another plot, Saul slew eighty-five priests and destroyed the city of Nob after they gave David refuge AND the sword of Goliath. Saul spent a lot of time and resources to find and kill David. Once, while sleeping in the wilderness, hunting for David, David slipped into the camp and cut a piece of saul’s garment as a message. Shortly thereafter, Samuel died.

Saul continued his pursuit and David another time slipped in on sleeping Saul and took the King’s spear and water. Another message of “I mean you no harm.” Saul repents and they part as “friends. David knows in his heart that Saul is untrue, so he gathers his house and flees.

Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. 4 And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. 5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. 6 And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

1 Sam 28:3-6 (KJV)

Looks like time is running out on this disobedient one. When one feels “cornered” sometimes one does things backwards…

Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. 8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. 9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? 10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. 11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. 12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

1 Sam 28:7-12 (KJV)

First, you properly ban witchcraft, then you seek it out?

And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

1 Sam 28:13-14 (KJV)

Now, in all creation, there is only ONE who can rightly call upon spirits. The medium that Saul saw knew that she was a fraud and was shocked to find that God had sent Samuel.

15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. 16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 17 And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: 18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day. 19 Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night. 21 And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me. 22 Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way. 23 But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed. 24 And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof: 25 And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat.

1Sam 28:15-25 (KJV)

Saul has received his a sentence-his reward for the successful mediocrity of disobedience

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. 3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. 4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. 5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. 6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together. 7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. 9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. 10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan. 11 And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; 12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.

1 Sam 31:1-12 (KJV)

Saul’s head was fastened to the wall (can you say ‘…nail it to the wall…’?) in the temple of Dagon of the Philistines, the same Philistines and a temple of Dagon that Samson destroyed years beforehand. (Dagon was a fish-god, another demon deity in opposition to the Lord God of Israel.  The costume worn in his image was the image of a fish upright and walking, mouth open to the sky.  One can see a version of this today worn by the leaders and proponents of Rome.)

Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; 2 It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.

2 Sam 1:1-2 (KJV)

And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed? 15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. 16 And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed.

2 Sam 1:14-17 (KJV)

And David lamented…over Saul and over Jonathan his son…

2 Sam 1:17 (KJV)

David is now in line to become “the Lord’s anointed,” King of Israel and Judah.  One step at a time…

And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. 2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite. 3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

2 Sam 2:1-4 (KJV)

But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; 9 And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ishbosheth Saul’s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. 15 Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17 And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.

2 Sam 2:8-17 (KJV)

David and Abner negotiate peace, but Abner was assassinated…

When Joab and all the host that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace. 24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone? 25 Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest.

2 Sam 3:23-25 (KJV)

37 For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.

2 Sam 3:37 (KJV)

After Abner was murdered, Saul’s grandson was assainated by turncoats who sought favor with David. David had them executed.  He wanted to protect the house of Saul.

Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

2 Sam 5:1-5 (KJV)

David, in his continued obedience and faithfulness to God enjoyed excellence of achievement when he became King over unified Israel and Judah!

Then, the slide into successful medocrity…

And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. 2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

2 Sam 11:1-5 (KJV)

Oops! Gotta fix this somehow…

And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. 8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. 10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house? 11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. 12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. 13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.

2 Sam 11:6-14 (KJV)

Uriah, although a Hittite, was a believer and follower of the God of Israel. With the ark itself, and the fighting host of Israel and Judah living in tents in open fields, he could not bring himself to enjoy the “comforts of home.” Now David had to provide another “fix.”

And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. 16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. 17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

2 Sam 11:14-17 (KJV)

Well, murder was one way!

And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

2 Sam 11:26-27 (KJV)

Here we are, back at disobedience.

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

2 Sam 12:7-14 (KJV)

And here was a clear-cut reward for that disobedience to God, success in gathering the woman for whom he lusted, mediocrity because he murdered for her after he caused her into adultery.

15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. 16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. 17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. 18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? 19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. 20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. 21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him. 25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord.

2 Sam 12:15-25 (KJV)

David repented himself and the Lord gave him another son, Solomon, whom God called Jedidiah, “beloved of Jehovah.”  Obedience is the key!

However, as humans, we never seem to know when to quit it…

And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people. 3 And Joab said unto the king, Now the Lord thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing? 4 Notwithstanding the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.

2 Sam 24:1-4 (KJV)

More disobedience! By now, we know that disobedience brings its own rewards…

13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15 So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 16 And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand.

2 Sam 24:13-16 (KJV)

The lessons are so clear, as Apostle Price says, “You’d have to hire someone to help you misunderstand it!.”

End Part II

Part I

Too often, we allow our fear of “worldly outcomes,” (what others may think/say/do) to outweigh our faith in the promises of God. We become comfortable in psychologically “binding” ourselves mouth, hand and foot, preferring the broadness of the “devil we know” over the narrow path that leads to the broadest lane we cannot imagine. We become paralyzed, unable to make a decision, make a plan or a move.

The broadness of the world allows us to eat, sleep and act as we want, with a burning desire for the easy way of getting things. The easiest ways, by what the world allows, is to vanity, lie, steal, cheat, adulter, covet, murder, disrespect, dishonor, fornicate, lust, bestiality, sodomy, create fear, and more. Worse, these are all forms of idolatry, worship of something other than God.

By the images it provides, the antics of the world lead us to accept and to strive for, “Successful Mediocrity,” a state where style reigns supreme over substance. The world says it is the judge of what is okay to look good, sound good, talk good, smell good and feel good. God’s word says to judge a man by his fruit. When God judges us do you want your fruit to have style over substance?

There are many examples, in the word of God, of the choices people have made in the issue of style over substance. We take a few moments to recount the known history of several people whose behaviors indicate “Excellence of Achievement” and  “Successful Mediocrity.”

  PART I

Excellence of Achvievement

Joshua-

”…Be strong…”

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Josh 1:1-2 (KJV)

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

Josh 1:5-7 (KJV)

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou

Josh 1:9 (KJV)

And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.

Josh 3:7 (KJV)

And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the Lord, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. 15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city.

Josh 6:12-16 (KJV)

And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it. 27 So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.

Josh 6:26-27 (KJV)

God implored Joshua to take the place of Moses as leader of the Israelites, to be courageous and strong, and to trust God. When Joshua and the Israelites did just that, God allowed them to triumph in battle and inherit the land (Jericho, north of the Dead/Salt Sea and west of the River Jordan,) He promised under Joshua’s leadership. As result of his obedience to God, Joshua’s fame was “noised,” or proclaimed in all the land! Follow God and live in excellence of achievement!

The “Zeal” of Phinehas and the Moabite woman

The children of Israel, during their experiences in the wilderness, valleys and mountains of northeast Africa, under the leadership of Moses, spent time in Shittim. This area, east of the River Jordan and northeast of the Dead/Salt Sea, was inhabited by the Moabites in the thirteenth century, b.c. These people worshiped Baal-Peor, another name, such as Mithra, Dagon, Molech, Chemosh/Cabah, Ashtoreth, or Baal (e.g. -Zebbub, etc.), for Satan-worship.

[The Moabites were among the descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. When Lot and his two remaining daughters took refuge in the mountains from the destruction of their family and home along with the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah, they lived a lonely and isolated life. Lot’s daughters conspired and executed a plan for each of them to become impregnated by an overly intoxicated father to help preserve their “family line”. Each bore a son; Moab and Ben-Ammi. Each became the progenitor of, respectively the Moabites, and Ammonites/Assur/the Assyrians. Each son and their progeny, by the sins of their parents, were predisposed to the wiles of Satan. See Genesis 12 for Abram’s call from God; Genesis 13 for the splitting of Abram and his nephew, Lot; Genesis 18 and 19 for the destruction of the two cities and the conceptions of Lot’s sons/grandsons.]

And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. 4 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. 5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

Num 25:1-5 (KJV)

And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. 10 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel. 14 Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites. 15 And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head over a people, and of a chief house in Midian.

Num 25:6-15 (KJV)

When God found His people worshiping idols, participating in sacrifices to gods of wood, iron and stone, and co-mingling with Satan-worshipers, His wrath came upon the children of Israel by order to hang all the heads/leaders of the people and in the form of the sword/plague. Yet, a son of the Simeonites, of the Children of Jacob/Israel, brought a Midianitish/Moabite woman into the camp. A grandson of Aaron, brother of Moses, executed both the Simeonite and the woman for violation of God’s commandmants not to associate with these Satan-worshipers.

Then, God took away the plague that had by that time killed twenty four thousand people in the camp, and, placed His high praise and blessings upon the grandson of Aaron “and his seed after him…because…he made an atonement (think ‘blood sacrifice’) for the children of Israel.”

This man, Phinehas, in obedience to God, demonstrated excellence of achievement!

Others who demonstrated Excellence of Achievement;

Ruth the Moabite

After the death of Joshua, and before the children of Israel agitated against God for a king, the chief interpreters/enforcers/deliverer of God’s laws were known as judges. Samson was a judge (Judges 13-16,) as was Samuel (1 Samuel 7:15.) (Samuel was the last judge before God allowed unification of Israel and Judah under King Saul.)

Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. 3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. 5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

Ruth 1:1-5 (KJV)

Naomi attempts to send her daughters-in-law back to their people, the Moabites, as she prepares to return to Bethlehemjudah…but one has accepted the God of Israel!

Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. 18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

Ruth 1:12-18 (KJV)

Together they went to Bethelehemjudah (west of the Salt Sea, south of Jerusalem.) Ruth offered to go to the fields to “glean” for ears of corn for food for the two widows. It was a practice of these times to leave part of the harvest in your fields to help feed those who had fewer resources. It happened that Ruth worked the fields of Boaz, a very “mighty man of wealth,” an in-law of Naomi’s. When Boaz saw Ruth the first time,he knew she was the one! Eventually, they married and…

So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son. 14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. 15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. 16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. 17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, 19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, 20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, 21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, 22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

Ruth 4:13-22 (KJV)

Again, obediance to God brought, for Ruth, excellence of achievement in the line of her seed through her great-grandson, David (eventually King of Israel,) down through Solomon and on to YESHUA!

There is plenty to learn about successful mediocrioty;

King Saul and David

As mentioned above, the first king of Israel was Saul, anointed by Samuel, last judge (with his sons who became corrupted,) of Israel. When the children of Israel rebelled against God in favor of a king, He allowed Samuel to anoint Saul…

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. 7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

Here, we see God’s chosen people rejecting Him as their leader in order to have a “king” like othere nations. It was not enough to serve the KING, The Creator, people wanted to be responsible to a mere man. And we’ve been getting what we deserve since that time…

10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king. 11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day. 19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us,…

1 Sam 8:4-20 (KJV)

Saul led his people to victory over the Ammonites (1 Samuel 11:11,) the Moabites, Edom, Zohah, the Philitines, and the Amalekites (1 Samuel 14: 47-48.) There was continuing animosity with the Philitines and the Amalekites. God commanded Saul to destroy everything of the Amalekites, but Saul disobeyued and spared their king and the best of the cattle, “and all that was good…”

Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night. 12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. 14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

1 Sam 15:10-23 (KJV)

Saul was disobedient.

Samuel mourned for Saul, while the Lord repented that he made Saul king over Israel. That is not good for Saul!

And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. 3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. 4 And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? 5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

1 Sam 16:1-5 (KJV)

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’S anointed is before him. 7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

1 Sam 16:6-7 (KJV)

Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. 11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

1 Sam 16:10-11 (KJV)

And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.

1 Sam 16:12-13 (KJV)

But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

1 Sam 16:14-16 (KJV)

By now, with the seed of jealousy of David planted in him, King Saul had slipped into “successful mediocrity!” He was a king, but one whose bad decisions/disobedience led God to abandon him. He had the style of a king, but not good fruit.

And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him. 19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.

1 Sam 16:17-19 (KJV)

And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

1 Sam 16:22-23 (KJV)

Things were quiet for a little while…

Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines

1 Sam 17:1-2 (KJV)

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.

8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. 11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

1 Sam 17:4-11 (KJV)

Let us remember that God had promised Saul that his time was running short for disobedience. Now his knees were figuratively “knocking together” in fear!

And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul. 15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. 17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren; 18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge. 19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.

22 And David…, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren. 23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them. 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him…

1 Sam 17:13-24 (KJV)

And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. 26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.

28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. 29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? 30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.

1 Sam 17:25-30 (KJV)

David wanted some of the action, upsetting his big brother.  King Saul is afraid for himself!

32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.

1 Sam 17:32-37 (KJV)

40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. 41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. 45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

1 Sam 17:40-47 (KJV)

“…but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defied.” HALLELU JAH! If that knowledge cannot give you strength and courage to obey, nothing will. Someone should have tipped Goliath that this would not turn out well for him! “…for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hands.” David recognized the best way to achieve excellence is to serve the Lord. That is a life lesson for us all to fulfill.

49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

1 Sam 17:49-51 (KJV)

END PART I

You Shall Have What You Say

Sharon Y. Stricklin

Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks – Luke 6:45

If you want to know what’s in your heart, listen to your words. We either are choosing to speak words that bring life or words that lead to death.

What we think about, we talk about; what we talk about, we bring about.

Our words are living organisms and are containers that carry faith or fear. Our words create impressions, images and expectations.

In the beginning, God the Creator spoke and the world came into being—Genesis 1:1-31

Each time God said an action, He saw a result. If God would have said to the darkness—it’s really dark, it would have become darker. But because He said what he wanted to see—let there be light—the light emerged from the darkness!

Let’s take a brief look at Genesis 1:

1:3 Then God SAID, Let there be light; and there was light.

1:6 Then God SAID, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”

1:7…AND IT WAS SO.

1:9 Then God SAID, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place and let the dry land appear”; AND IT WAS SO.

1:11 Then God SAID, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; AND IT WAS SO.

1:14 Then God SAID, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 “and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; AND IT WAS SO.

1:20 THEN GOD SAID, Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens…and God SAW that it was good.

We are created in the image and likeness of God the Creator therefore, we have the same creative power to speak words that create positive or negative situations in our lives. Our lives today are the totality of what we have been thinking and speaking.

If we speak doubt and fear, the “aroma” of those words can be “smelled” by the adversary the same way the “aroma” of belief and faith can be “smelled” by God.

There are many reports in the Bible that testify to the power of words but one that hinges on the foundation of the coming of our Lord and Savior Yeshua is in Luke 1:11-17. Because of Zacharias’ doubt, his mouth was shut so his negative words could not be spoken to prevent John—the forerunner of Yeshua—to be born! In Luke 1:59-80, Zacharias was able to speak and named his son John. Not only did he name him, he became filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophesy.

In Mark 11:20, Jesus explains to the disciples that our faith can move mountains and we will have what we say. God speaks those things that be not as though they were. We can do the same thing. Each day we have a decision before us; will we speak words that bring life or words that bring death.

In Deuteronomy 30:19, God says that He calls heaven and earth as witnesses against us that He sets before us life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may prosper.

When my life was in a negative state, my words continually condemned my days. My thoughts focused on my low self-esteem and I spoke out of fear and doubt. As a result, my life was a testimony to my words. As God taught me about His goodness and that in Him I was complete, I gave Him the broken pieces of my life and He transformed them into a magnificent tapestry. When I look at that tapestry today, I still see the so-called negative events of my life but I now understand their purpose—God was transforming me into the image of His Son. My thoughts began to change because I began to fill my mind with His Word daily. I created prayers out of scripture—my favorite is from the book of Phillipians. God said in Jeremiah 29:11 that His thoughts towards us are good therefore our thoughts toward ourselves should be good and not evil. When my thoughts changed, my words changed and when my words changed, my life changed—Hallelujah! Faith expressed through our words and our prayers to the Father in the name of Yeshua will change our lives. Choose life today and speak only belief and faith.

THE CHILDRENS BREAD

COVERED IN BLOOD!

…the blood that gives me strength, from day to day…will never lose its power!” is a line from a song that many sing when they take Holy Communion. In the song, and in Communion, the blood and the bread-wine/juice and crackers represents the sacrifice of Yeshua na Messiah on Calvary to preserve everlasting life for all who believe and obey. It ”removes all doubt…” and “takes away all sin.” As such, only believers are eligible to take Communion in good faith.

For I have received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup, For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep(die from things other than old age.).

I Corinthians 11:24-30 NKJV

THE GLORY OF GOD IS GREAT!

Have you ever wondered just where this practice comes from? What does it mean? We must return to Moses and the book of Exodus. As we should know, Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, had twelve sons from whom the Twelve Tribes of Israel sprung. Jacob had an encounter with a messenger of God and was renamed, “Israel” by God himself. Of these sons, one was hated and sold by the other brothers and became a chief administrator in Egypt. When drought struck Palestine, Israel sent all but one of his remaining sons to Egypt to purchase food. These brothers and Israel were eventually shocked to find that the administrator who looked after them was their long thought dead brother Joseph. The family was re-united and brought to Egypt to live as guests.

Eventually, these men and the helpful rulers of Egypt died out and new rulers became suspicious with the “children of Israel” to the extent of enslaving them. As their plight grew worse, their cry to the Lord for relief grew great. God turned His ear to their woes and sent them Moses, an Israelite raised by the royalty of Egypt. Moses was charged by God to petition Pharaoh to “Let my people go…”

As Pharaoh resisted God’s commands, woe upon woe piled upon Egypt in famine, blood polluted water, lice, frogs, locusts, flies and other calamities. Each time, Pharaoh promised to comply and each time, he did not. Finally God told Moses that the ultimate calamity would befall the Egyptians, anyone who was with them and all their livestock-the first born of each would be destroyed in the night.

The only people to be saved would be those who would obey a command given by God to Moses…

Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb…according to each man’s need…Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…keep it safe until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

Exodus 12:3-7 NKJV

It is the LORD’S PASSOVER” For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt will I execute judgement: I am the Lord. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:11-13 NKJV

As part of our years of research and study on Africa/Africans and history, we’ve learned that Egyptian royalty was often referred to as this or that “god.” When they disobeyed God’s command, they found out who “God” and His executed judgement really is!

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take the lambs…and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood…and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood…And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.

Exodus 12:21-22 NKJV

And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh…to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.

Exodus 12:29 NKJV

Surely you are familiar with the rest of that story-Pharoah relents and lets them go, changes his mind to then pursue and kill, and God saves His people with the parting of the Reed Sea and the deaths of Pharaoh’s pursuing army.

WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN “PASSOVER” AND “COMMUNION?”

Much of the Old Testament is concerned with prophesy of the coming Redeemer;

Born in BethlehemMicah 5:2 (726 B. C.)

fulfilled in Matt. 2:1-7; John 7:42; Luke 2:4-7.

Given vinegar to quench His thirstPsalm 69:21;

fulfilled in Matthew 27:34

Executed by crucifixion as a thief (30 A. D.)
Psalm 22:16-18; Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 53:5, 12;

fulfilled in Luke 23:33; John 20:25; Matthew 27:38

Executed without having a bone brokenExodus 12:46 (1270 B. C.); Psalm 34:20;

fulfilled in John 19:32-36

Buried with the rich when deadIsaiah 53:9;

fulfilled in Matthew 27:57-60

Raised from the dead(30 A. D.)
Isaiah 53:9-10; Psalm 2:7; 16:10;

fulfilled inMatthew 28:1-20; Acts 2:23-36;13;33-37; Luke 2

Another prophesy about Yeshua na Messiah is found in Isaiah 53:7

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter…NKJV

Here, the Redeemer is pictured as a “lamb” led to slaughter. There are many pictures of Yeshua as a/the Lamb;

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:29 NKJV

…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

I Peter 1:19 NKJV

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…

Revelation 1:11 NKJV

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

Revelation 19:7 NKJV

Then he said to me, “Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”

Revelation 19:9 NKJV

But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Revelation 21:27 NKJV

It is clear that the blood spilled by the Passover lamb, in Moses’ time, to redeem the children of Israel from the sins of Egypt, was a clarion call for the spilling of the blood of the Lamb of Redemption, Yeshua na Messiah. Just as God made a covenant with the children of Israel to protect them if they trusted in His word and, the lamb’s blood He had them shed for Passover, He has made a covenant with us that whosoever believes in and trusts in the righteousness of the blood spilled by Yeshua, the Lamb of God, will not perish in sins, but have everlasting life.

Lastly, about that marriage in Revelation 19:9. If you turn to Matthew 22, Yeshua is teaching the Pharisees in parables…

The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come…they made light of it and went their ways…seized his servants…and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up the city. Then he said to his servants…go into the highways, and as many as you find invite to the wedding…and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.’

Matthew 22:2-14 NKJV

We, the believers/followers of Yeshua are the “wife,” Yeshua is the son/bridegroom, God is the King. Only non-believers would dare attend the marriage supper without a proper garment, that is without being covered in the blood. The bad news is that those persons will be bound and “cast…into outer darkness.” It is very simple;

There is no news better than being “COVERED IN THE BLOOD OF YESHUA NA MESSIAH!”

Ronnie and Sharon Stricklin

The Childrens Bread

2012 All Rights Reserved

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3 thoughts on “THE BREADBOX

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