May 27, 2018

God’s Perfect Way by Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

Song Of Our God:

Great, Perfect, Just, Reliable, Fair

Israel finally finished their forty-year wilderness wandering. The children of the unfaithful were approaching the Promised Land, when God revealed to Moses that he would soon die. But first, God gave His law to Israel for a second time and renewed His covenant with them. He commanded Moses to write down the law in its entirety. Then, God gave them a song.

“Now write down for yourselves the following song and teach it to the Israelites. …So on that day Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites, …you must acknowledge the greatness of our God. …his work is perfect, for all his ways are just. He is a reliable God who is never unjust, he is fair and upright.” (Deuteronomy31:19, 22; 32:3, 4 NET)

God intended for these thoughts to be in their minds continually, as they thought about God’s law and were guided by it in years to come.

One of the most common excuses for rejecting or doubting the existence of the God of the Bible, is the foolish opinion that His ways are unfair. Even Christians are prone to complain about the way God deals with them. When we stretch our comprehension toward trying to understand who God is, we are forced to conclude that our understanding will not approach His, that our pitifully uninformed attempts to pass judgment on the ways of God are utterly foolish.

Again and again God reminds us in His Word that His way is perfect and expects us to be singing about it.

“Sing to him a new song! …. shout out your praises to him! For the LORD’s decrees are just, and everything he does is fair. The LORD promotes equity and justice; the LORD’s faithfulness extends throughout the earth.” (Psalms 33:3-5 NET)

“The law of the LORD is perfect and preserves one’s life. The rules set down by the LORD are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced. The LORD’s precepts are fair and make one joyful. The LORD’s commands are pure and give insight for life. The commands to fear the LORD are right and endure forever. The judgments given by the LORD are trustworthy and absolutely just.” (Psalm 19:7-9)

We need to settle it in our hearts that God’s ways are always perfect, whether our feeble understanding appreciates them or not. Reaching the same conclusions reached by the eternal, infinitely holy God, is not expected on the part of sinners. His ways are always in the context of eternity, but we leap to judgment in terms of present inconvenience. What He does is necessarily, absolutely right, and fair and just and pure. Whatever He says must be true.

It may also lead us into suffering and great opposition, but His way is always perfect, and His Word is tried and true. If we trust Him through it all, He will be our buckler as He was for David. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5)

 

 

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May 6, 2018

Prophecy by Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:06 am by sranderson0103

Translations are human efforts to communicate the inspired words of scripture in another language. None are perfect. Most are useful, some very, others not so much. There are some obvious problems with the Septuagint translation (Hebrew to Greek) in some places, though Jesus apparently found it useful enough to use in most of His quotations. Likewise, the New Living Translation, 2nd edition, has problems in some areas, but is exceptionally useful in others. Consider it’s clear and powerful rendering of Isaiah’s confrontation of idolaters, contrasting blind idols with the true God who sees all, past, present and future.

“Present the case for your idols,” says the LORD. “Let them show what they can do,” says the King of Israel. “Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves.” (Isaiah 41:21-23 NLT)

“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens.” (Isaiah 46:9-10 NLT)

When I read such passages, the words of pompous seminary professors echo in my ears, those “main-line” denominational instructors who condescendingly ridicule “ignorant fundamentalist” for using fulfilled prophecy as evidence for faith. If consistent, they would have to add Isaiah to that group. He made it unmistakably clear that he believed prophecy was powerful evidence for faith in the Almighty.

He devoutly believed this, even though he didn’t understand it all. Peter tells us that the prophets tried, but just didn’t have enough information to answer many of their questions. But now, we do!

“This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.…” (I Peter 1:10-12)

Peter is telling us about Old Testament prophecy and while doing so, he too, answers modern “scholars” who scoff at the divine authorship of Scripture.

Much prophecy was devoted to the theme of “Christ’s sufferings” and the “great glory afterward” long before the events took place. Isaiah wrote about both the glory (chapter 11) and the sufferings (chapter 53) with no indication that he knew

how to put the two together. Peter said “the prophets wanted to know more.” “They wondered what time or situation…” They yearned for the glory, such as Solomon displayed; but sufferings? They spoke plainly about it, but how did that fit in this divine picture? Christians now know, but they were mystified.

These factors make it unmistakable that the prophets spoke what they spoke “from the power of the Holy Spirit.” They had divine knowledge of the future, but that knowledge did not come from themselves. It was and wasn’t even intended for them. It was for us!

Now, it all fits together. It was not a human plan. It was from the God who was nothing like blind idols, but from the Almighty God who could see past, present and future. He is the one who has divinely devised and divinely revealed His infinite wisdom, to us. We have been blessed with consummation of God’s plan for the ages. Let us respond in awe, in reverence and humble submission to the Word of God.