S.W.I.M. with Humility

January 6, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Quotes | 2 Comments
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Some of us are lured by pride into believing that we are “deep” thinkers. We ponder the mysteries of God. We believe we have “figured out” some of the inner workings and mysteries of His providence and sovereignty. We are quick to pontificate, but reluctant to utter the dreaded inquiry-stifling words: “I don’t know.

Certainly we want to immerse ourselves as deeply into Biblical doctrine as God would have us to go, but we must be careful not to dive down into sinful frustration, nor to burst up in a splash of hubris, claiming that we are masters of the deep, smugly certain and unteachable.

A god who could be completely fathomed would not be a real God at all. He would be encompassed and susceptible to explanation by the finite minds of creatures. The true God reminds us of our inferiority and our place of abject humility before His majesty.

Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

Job 38:16

Some things in nature must remain a mystery to the most intelligent and enterprising investigators. Human knowledge has bounds beyond which it cannot pass. Universal knowledge is for God alone. If this be so in the things which are seen and temporal, I may rest assured that it is even more so in matters spiritual and eternal. Why, then, have I been torturing my brain with speculations as to destiny and will, fixed fate, and human responsibility? These deep and dark truths I am no more able to comprehend than to find out the depth which coucheth beneath, from which old ocean draws her watery stores. Why am I so curious to know the reason of my Lord’s providences, the motive of his actions, the design of his visitations? Shall I ever be able to clasp the sun in my fist, and hold the universe in my palm? yet these are as a drop of a bucket compared with the Lord my God. Let me not strive to understand the infinite, but spend my strength in love. What I cannot gain by intellect I can possess by affection, and let that suffice me. I cannot penetrate the heart of the sea, but I can enjoy the healthful breezes which sweep over its bosom, and I can sail over its blue waves with propitious winds. If I could enter the springs of the sea, the feat would serve no useful purpose either to myself or to others, it would not save the sinking bark, or give back the drowned mariner to his weeping wife and children; neither would my solving deep mysteries avail me a single whit, for the least love to God, and the simplest act of obedience to him, are better than the profoundest knowledge. My Lord, I leave the infinite to thee, and pray thee to put far from me such a love for the tree of knowledge as might keep me from the tree of life.

Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
“Evening Devotion for September 5”

Preparing to Hear from God: Ready

January 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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If you work in a Christian environment, or attend a Christian school, or live in a Christian home, I would assume that you are presented with multiple opportunities throughout the week – sometimes throughout the day – to hear from God. This is a great privilege, but we often take it for granted. God had no obligation whatsoever to speak to you. He is not lonely, bored, or depressed. When God decided to speak to you and me, we call this “condescension.” It’s when someone bigger and smarter and more important than you takes an interest in you even though you don’t necessarily want anything to do with Him. It’s a stooping down to our level. If God – the greatest, most magnificent, most majestic Being in all of existence – would condescend to speak to you, wouldn’t you want to hear what He has to say? To pay attention?

These lessons are about three “R”s, but not “readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic.” These are a different three R’s. They stand for how you and I should approach the idea of the Lord speaking to us:

R.eady

We know a great deal about getting ready. Students do it before school in the morning (hopefully). They do it before a test (hopefully). People get serious about it before a big a social event. But when we know that we are going to have a chance to hear from God – whether we are coming to a church service or getting ready to read our Bibles – we need to really prepare to hear from God in two specific ways:

1. Prayerfully

Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.

Psalm 119:18

2. Purposefully

Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

Psalm 78:1

Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

Proverbs 23:12

Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Job 38:3

Hearing from God is not a time to be silly. It’s serious, because He is holding you and me accountable for what He says.

Next time, we will think about being receptive in our preparation to hear from God.

Who Do You Think You Are?

June 2, 2010 at 8:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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Most, if not all, Christians have experienced times of sorrow, loss, disappointment, or grief. It would be callous to compare the trials and tribulations of one person to those of another person in an attempt make light of anyone’s troubles. However, in the history of human tragedy, certainly the Bible patriarch Job would rank pretty high on the list of those who have experienced grief.

Despite being a man who feared God and eschewed evil (Job 1:1), Job received the news of the deaths of all his children and the loss of all his property almost all at once (Job 1:13-19).

In the end, Job was patient, persistent, and persevering, and God ultimately blessed him in a great way (Job 42:12). However, God did make it clear that it was God, not Job, who understood and controlled the workings of providence. At one point, the Lord spoke to Job, and asked him,

Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

Job 38:2

We would probably be hard-pressed to find a Christian today, in a solid, fundamental, Bible-believing church, who would pick up a Bible and say, “Some of this Book is true, but a lot of it, I’m not so sure about.” Few Christians would question the truth of God’s revealed Word. However, how many of these same Christians would turn around and question God’s providence: “Lord, why have You let such an unfair thing happen to me?” “Lord, why have you placed me here, or why have you let this terrible person come into my life?”

If we believe God’s Word is perfect, then we must believe His will is perfect, too (Romans 12:2), and we must not challenge His divine providence. Shall we – mere animated vessels of dust – rail against the Lord Who has created, and has the power to smoothly control, all things, events, seasons, and creatures?

The World’s First History Book

September 4, 2009 at 9:27 am | Posted in Genesis | 15 Comments
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And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:21

God created everything in existence. He created the animals that live in the seas, and the animals that live on the land. God charged Adam with the naming of the animals.

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Genesis 2:19

Adam, the first man, was not a brute, a savage, or a caveman. He was probably the smartest man in the history of the world, with an inherent intellect hardwired straight from the mind of God. I have read that most people today only use around 10% of their brains. Apparently there is some dispute about this, as neuroscientists are forced to admit they really still don’t know all that much about how the brain functions. But I have wondered if Adam, before he sinned, used 100% of his brain.

Some people get confused about Genesis 2:19. They say that it sounds like the land animals and the birds were created after Adam, but before Eve. Genesis 1:23–25 makes it clear that Adam and Eve were created after the animals. The solution is in understanding that Genesis 2:19 is giving a summary of what happened previously in Chapter 1. In modern English, we would probably say that God “had formed.”

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

Genesis 2:4

The phrase, “these are the generations of,” in Genesis is a sign post identifying a break in the narrative. There is a similar phrase in Genesis 5:1. The word translated “generations” is the Hebrew word toledoth, which means “origin” or “record of the origin.” There are ten of these toledoth statements in Genesis. It is believed that the written records of Genesis were probably first kept on stone or clay tablets.

The events recorded in Genesis 1 were probably described by God to Adam. Genesis is a historical record, and many ancient historical records are written in a style of giving an overview of big events first, followed by more detailed accounts marked by summary statements from the overview. In Genesis 1, the events are generally in chronological order. In Chapter 2 they are not. These two chapters are not contradictory. The Lord Jesus Himself said:

Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Matthew 19:4-5

Jesus referenced both Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 as though they were both part of the same consistent account.

Do not be deceived by the false teaching that there existed a civilization of human beings living on Earth before God created Adam and Eve.

Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Ezekiel 28:13-15

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

Romans 5:12

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth and all that in them is…

Exodus 20:11

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

Job 38:4-8

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31

These verses refute the so-called “Gap Theory,” as popularized by the Dake study Bible, and used by many Charismatics and Pentecostals today. Jimmy Swaggart’s “Expositor’s Bible” also incorporates Dake’s false claims of a “pre-Adamic” race.


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