The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Monday, February 1, 2016
Friday afternoon we took our Amish friends Jesse and Anna Ruth shopping at Costco. After the big storm they were especially pleased to get off the farm for awhile and with with 6 kids they had some heavy duty shopping needs. The best way to get the items to the house was the horse and sleigh, originally his grandpa's sleigh!
"Our Source Of Hope"
Message Summary: As God's people we are all called:
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"Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!" (Isaiah 31:1).
Here in the USA this is a presidential election year. Every four years the people all over America have an opportunity concerning what human leader we choose to lead our country. The choice is a telling indicator of the nation's values and priorities. Although potential candidates have been campaigning for quite a while today is the first day votes will be cast in a primary (actually caucus, whatever that means, in Iowa). It sure seems to us that politics gets nastier and nastier, although in our lifetime it has never been a model for how to graciously compete against another political candidate!
Voters are placing great hope in specific candidates and many have strong opinions. Certainly the various candidates of both the Republican and Democrat parties represent the contrasting directions in which our country is headed. This year catchy campaign slogans are "Make America Great Again", "It’s Your Time", "Reigniting the Promise of America", "A Political Revolution Is Coming", and many others.
We are deeply concerned at the direction our nation (and world) is headed with growing rebellion against the Lord becoming more visible every day. Come November we will vote for a candidate we feel most closely aligns to our Biblical and conservative principles. However it sure seems that many are placing way too much hope in the candidates, some of them with an almost cult-like following.
Today's Scripture may on the surface seem like an old text with no relevance or obvious value for our age. After all it refers to going down to a specific place (Egypt) and trusting in horses, chariots and horsemen, a mode of warfare no longer used in our age. The verse was initially written as a warning during a time when the Israelites were warring with Assyria and sought an alliance with Egypt. Why did they trust in these weapons of warfare? Because the chariots were plentiful and their horsemen were strong, and allying with Egypt where Israel was once held bondage was not a smart move either, for the Israelites were seeking protection from those who had far less power than God.
Today this certainly is not a concern many of us have on our hearts although Israel, Assyria (Syria) and Egypt are all in the news some 2,700 years after this passage was written.
Certainly in no way wanting to change the original intent of the Scripture let us consider that the early part of the text means essentially looking to man's ways for help; politics, government, military might, etc.
The latter part of the text has a timeless word for each generation, certainly our own and it's something many really need to hear and be reminded of: "But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!"
The passage is addressed to God's people and the "Woe" in the beginning of the verse should be strongly heeded by God's people in every generation. Even as the people of old were rebuked for depending on the strength and inventions of man we must be careful of not misplacing our trust, for earthly kingdoms rise and fall, but the Kingdom of God is for all eternity.
A chorus many of us sung in church back in the eighties is based upon a similar verse from the Psalms: "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God" (Psalm 20:7). In fact since this Psalm was written prior to Isaiah's time this could be the basis for our daily text. Consider a phrase from an old hymn in this regard, "The arm of the flesh will fail you, you dare not trust your own."
So let us take both of these verses and seek to learn an application for today.
As God's people we are all called:
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, there are so many people and things in which we can place our trust. To a certain degree it is imperative that we do so, but when our hope is misplaced or is out of balance with the teachings of Scripture we find ourselves disillusioned, disappointed and desperate for your divine intervention. During this election year we look to You for guidance and we ask that You would raise up political leaders who will seek Your counsel, pray without ceasing while resisting special interest groups that would otherwise deter them from doing what is right for this nation. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Joel Rosenberg makes the following point in an article I received today.
"After months of speeches, interviews and TV ads, the actual voting in the 2016 presidential campaign begins tonight in Iowa, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Above all, I ask my readers who are devout Christians to be praying (and perhaps even fasting) all day today. Gather with family and friends to pray for God to show mercy on America, to sovereignly guide the outcome of the Iowa caucuses, and to raise up a humble, strong, wise, Christ-centered leader who has the vision and courage to help turn America around and get us going in the right direction. Above all, this is a spiritual battle for the soul of America. Please be engaged in faithful prayer.
Two out of three Americans know we are on the wrong track, going in the wrong direction. We are heading steadily towards implosion. We’ve murdered some 58 million babies. We have five Justices on the Supreme Court who have decided that the Bible is wrong and they know better than God how to define marriage. We have taken on $18 trillion in debt and there’s no end in sight. We are surrendering to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and ISIS. Our tax code is corruptingly complex and killing jobs and opportunity. We can’t -- or won’t -- control our sovereign borders. Our schools are a mess. Violence, drugs and pornography are epidemic. The list goes on and on.
I’ve been praying about this and studying the Scriptures for many months, asking the Lord for clarity, and here is what I have concluded — America needs a Josiah. A President cannot save America from all our troubles, but leadership matters. Above all, we need a sweeping spiritual revival throughout the Church, based on the principles found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. We need a Great Awakening among those who don’t know Christ personally. We need God to wake up a lost nation from their spiritual slumber to earnestly seek the Lord for individual and national forgiveness and restoration. I’m praying for such sovereign moves of God." (See here for more.)
Follow-up from Friday's message concerning our visit with a father whose son had a relapse regarding drug use. He wrote us concerning the message:
"I found it to be very inspirational, and hope it allows others to consider what a blessing it is to have the faith we all need to look past the bumpy parts of life. We learned long ago to never lose sight of the prize and knowing that whatever troubles have come our way, there's a clear path beyond the problem, and everything will be as it should be. Remaining steadfast and determined to see my son through his issues has been difficult, but for us it's all about faith. Faith gets us through. Our son has always had trouble with faith ... beginning with faith in himself. When things are going well ... his faith in God seems strong ... but as the bumps come along, he loses that focus and reverts to lacking faith in himself. I had the opportunity to visit with him for a couple of hours yesterday, and we concluded that in less than perfect situations, he sees everything as a long term problem ... when most of the issues he faces are short term problems. When you take short term heart ache ... and turn it into a forever more problem ... you're going to be in trouble. He's committed to working on that. We'll see. I'm not sure how you get someone to believe in themselves when they don't. He's damaged ... and so troubled.
And so ... we begin again. One day at a time ... one step at a time. The family is strong ... and will remain steadfast in knowing that every time we've needed help along the way, God has provided ... and He will again.
Thanks for your caring thoughts.
Please stay in touch."
Friday morning we passed a one-room Amish schoolhouse with an Amish snowman, or more accurately a snow woman, based upon the purple scarf!
After delivering the items to the Lapp house last Friday afternoon Brooksyne and I and several of the kids rode the sleigh back out to the barn. It was a lot of fun though the breeze made it extremely cold.
Several years ago we had a temporary 3 year pastoral role at a small country church in the tiny village of Mastersonville, PA. The church closed down but thankfully another Bible-believing church, an old-order Mennonite congregation, purchased the property and God's Word continues to be proclaimed. Several of us visited the church yesterday and joined the new congregation for a meal following the service. The preacher is a full-time truck driver with no formal education who preached a sermon solidly based on God's Word with excellent exposition. The new congregation extensively remodeled the building, built in 1878, along with a new addition and it seems like new!
It was pleasant driving through the country yesterday with many nice sights in the snow.
A neighborly, over the fence pizza delivery.
Our neighbor Frank works in a Pizza Shop and called me early this morning informing me he had a pizza that someone had ordered but didn't pick up last night from the shop, so we are the blessed recipients!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Some Trust In Chariots" Video Robin Mark
"Some May Trust In Chariots" Video Bob Fitts
"We Trust in the Name Of The Lord Our God" Video Steve Green
"Some Trust in Chariots" Video Jaye Thomas
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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