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The Whole Man

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“…if Christianity is really true, then it involves the whole man, including his intellect and creativeness. Christianity is not just “dogmatically” true or “doctrinally” true. Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area of the whole man in all of life.” – Francis A. Schaeffer

Source: Art and the Bible

 

Written by Agrammatos

May 28, 2017 at 10:37 PM

Posted in General, Scripture

A Quickly Kindled Fire

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And the strong shall become tinder,
    and his work a spark,
and both of them shall burn together,
    with none to quench them.”  
– Isaiah 1:31

“Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” – James 3:4-6

Isaiah 1:31 presents an immediately ironic picture of the strong, the ones who would of their own strength stand in opposition to God. The powerful – the ones that should be counted on to defend themselves, and those that fall within their purview – they will be burned, and there will be none powerful enough to quench the fire. Not only will the strong be burned, but the image is not one of a slow starting fire. The strong are not compared to a wet cord of wood that takes effort and time for the fire to consume. God does not find himself taxed to bring about judgement… No, the strong will be tinder: the leftover chaff that catches immediately and burns throughly.

It doesn’t take a raging fire to consume tinder – only a spark; and the spark is nothing but the works of those that were considered strong. Their own actions provide the brief spark that immediately consumes the whole lot.

Written by Agrammatos

October 16, 2016 at 6:19 PM

Posted in General, Scripture

A Day of Gloom with No Brightness

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“Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
    Why would you have the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, and not light,
    as if a man fled from a lion,
    and a bear met him,
or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,
    and a serpent bit him.
Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light,

    and gloom with no brightness in it?” – Amos 5:18-20

I’m not going to address the full context of Amos here, but I will offer one observation. Amos was addressing a people who had been incorrectly expecting that the day of the Lord would bring blessings to them. Amos tells them they shouldn’t expect blessings, but judgement. He compares their present situation as being one who flees from a lion, only to encounter a bear. Or, a man that goes in to lean his hand against the wall and is bitten by a serpent. A people seeking a better situation (rest) than what they have currently, and will find instead of solace, a much worse situation.

There will always be those that believe they are in line to receive blessings from God, only to discover that not only are they not receiving blessings, but judgement is coming instead.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ – Matthew 7:21-23

Written by Agrammatos

May 25, 2014 at 1:00 AM

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A Difficult Marriage

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I’m not going to offer any real commentary on this other than the fact that David and Michal’s marriage was a little less than ideal.

Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time,“You shall now be my son-in-law.” And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king’s son-in-law.’” And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?” And the servants of Saul told him, “Thus and so did David speak.” Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired,David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.– 1 Samuel 18:20-27

Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled away and escaped. Michal took an image and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with the clothes.And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.”Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” And when the messengers came in, behold, the image was in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head.  Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go. Why should I kill you?’”– 1 Samuel 19:11-17

Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.– 1 Samuel 25:44

And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, “To whom does the land belong? Make your covenant with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you to bring over all Israel to you.” And he said, “Good; I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you; that is, you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face.” Then David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying, “Give me my wife Michal, for whom I paid the bridal price of a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” And Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband Paltiel the son of Laish. But her husband went with her, weeping after her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return.” And he returned.” – 2 Samuel 3:11-16

As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat,and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.

And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.”And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.– 2 Samuel 6:16-23

Written by Agrammatos

May 19, 2014 at 1:00 AM

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The Providential Timing of the Philistines Attack on Israel

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The providential timing of the Philistines attack on Israel becomes obvious when you read the final three chapters of 1 Samuel together:

Now the Philistines had gathered all their forces at Aphek. And the Israelites were encamped by the spring that is in Jezreel. As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with Achish, the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day.” But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here? – 1 Samuel 29:1-4

And Achish answered David and said, “I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’ Now then rise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who came with you, and start early in the morning, and depart as soon as you have light.” So David set out with his men early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel. – 1 Samuel 29:9-11

Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and allwho were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. – 1 Samuel 30:1-3

 And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, “This is David’s spoil.” – 1 Samuel 30:16-20

When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord.” It was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir, in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa,in Racal, in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, in the cities of the Kenites, in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach, in Hebron, for all the places where David and his men had roamed. – 1 Samuel 30:26-31

Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa.And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. – 1 Samuel 31:1-4

Some observations on timing:

1. If David and his men had not initially marched with the Philistines, the Philistine land would not have been unguarded and easily overrun by the Amalekites.

2. If the Philistines had not grown suspicious of David when they did, he may have been placed in an even more difficult and dangerous situation of being at war against his own people (something he had been very careful to avoid).

3. Because the Philistines turned David back when they did, he had enough time to catch up to the Amalekites and defeat them.

4. Because the Amalekites had successfully spoiled the land of the Philistines, and David had defeated the Amalekites, he was able to redistribute the wealth of the enemies of God to his own people in Judah.

5. The Philistines effectively removed David’s obstacles to the throne of Israel, all while having their homeland plundered and redistributed to the enemy they thought they were in the process of defeating. While the Philistines were occupying the cities of Israel (31:7), David was sending their real wealth to his own friends in Judah.

In a final stroke of irony in the book of 1 Samuel, God uses his own enemies to destroy his unfaithful servant Saul, uses the Amalekites to bring some immediate judgement on the Philistines, and then uses David to bring immediate judgement on the Amalekites, and indirectly take the wealth of the Philistines while they assumed they had won a great victory.

Written by Agrammatos

May 14, 2014 at 1:34 AM

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On Contempt for The World

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Now he had not run far from his own door when his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on crying, Life! life! eternal life! (Luke 14:26). So he looked not behind him, (Gen. 19:17), but fled towards the middle of the plain.  – John Bunyon

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26

“And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” – Genesis 19:17

Source: Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Written by Agrammatos

May 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

A Precedent for Hypocritical Pastors Everywhere

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Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”

So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” – 1 Samuel 28:3-12

A leader disguising himself to go see someone he has publicly denounced and declared to be an enemy of God? That would never happen today, right?

Written by Agrammatos

May 11, 2014 at 4:34 PM

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