Aug 9, 2020. Ephesians 6:1-4

Please click here to listen to the audio of this message and please click here to view the video on YouTube. Please click here to view today’s bulletin. Today’s Missions Update is a video, presented to you by Micah Lowther, grandson of Pastor Lowther.

FAMILY DYNAMICS. Ephesians 6:1-4. 8/9/20. AM. #31.

Ephesians 6:1-4 [New King James Version]

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”    4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

  • The home–cornerstone of society
    • The home unit established by God = Husband + Wife + Children
      • Children = to be nurtured  in a home under  God’-ordained structure
      • The design of the family was to be Godly parents training godly children  (Malachi 2:15 – God wants godly offspring)
    • Three aspects to biblical child rearing:
      • All children belong to God
      • We are stewards of our children to be reared for God
      • Parents will be held accountable to God for how they reared their children and children will be accountable  as to how they obeyed
    • Two misunderstood verses concerning child rearing in the Bible:
      • Proverbs 22:6 does not guarantee that if you rear your children properly,  they will be godly (emphasis in Hebrew: if you do not rear your children right, they will go by their own “bent” or sinful nature)
      • Ephesians 6:3 if children are obedient to parents, they will live a long life
        • A quote from Exodus 20:12 and Dt. 5:16
        • Meaning: if the children of Israel obeyed godly parents generation after generation, the nation will stay in the land
        • Paul’s point is that this commandment is so important that it is the only one that came with a promise from God
    • This commandment is contingent on doing right (what is biblical)
      • Both to the devout Jew of the OT and committed Christian of NT, children are to be trained biblically for God
      • Doing what is right produces well being
        • If one is right with God = trials don’t matter  (Romans 8:18)
        • Being eternally well is primary
  • Honor to whom honor is due
    • The key to children obeying  their parents is to honor them
    • Honor = to value, respect , and to hold in esteem
      • Value is intrinsic and not feeling -based (parents are to be esteemed because they hold the God-ordained position of parent)
      • Honor is owed to the parent by God given right
      • 1 Peter 2:17 all people are to be esteemed (Genesis 1:26-28)
      • 1 Timothy 5:3 honor godly widows
      • Acts 28:10 Paul honored for healing of Publius’s father
      • Matthew 15:4  Jesus chastised the Pharisees for dishonoring parents
      • Deuteronomy 21:18-23 capital punishment for dishonoring children
      • Matthew 15:1-11 dishonoring parents violates God’s Law
        • John 5:22-23 honor the Son as you honor God the Father
        • The main problem with obeying this commandment is that many parents are not honorable and do not obey the Lord
      • These parents still deserve respect as parents
      • Obey parents “in the Lord” = follow the Lord first (Saul and Jonathan)
      • Ephesians 4:32 important not to be bitter against God or parents  (faithful)
  • Super Dad
    • The father carries the greatest responsibility in the family (accountable)
      • Missing or abusive fathers will be judged severely by the Lord
      • Children need to have godly men as mentors (church leaders)
    • Dad is given 3 commands:
      • Do not provoke (exasperate; irritate) your children to anger
        • Don’t frustrate children via abuse, unreasonableness, arbitrariness, inconsistency, hypocrisy, ridicule…
        • Children are to be nurtured, not misused
      • Nurture children  = to bring up to full health, training,  strength, and maturity (mentoring, caring full,  spiritual  and applied education)
      • Admonish children = to warn children against  evil and to make sure they serve the Lord (training by example, instruction; discipline)
        • Romans 15:14 believers are to admonish one another
        • Hebrews 10:24-25 challenge each other to serve the Lord
    • There is a delicate balance among training, encouraging, and disciplining children
      • Training children is an awesome stewardship responsibility
      • Prideful, self-centered dads can’t do an effective job rearing children
    • There is forgiveness and healing for those who were not effective dads, for moms who reared their children alone, and for children reared in neglecting homes ill – believers who reared by unbelievers and the role of grandparents (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Key verse: Proverbs 3:1-11 [New King James Version]

1 My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4 And so find favor and [a]high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall [b]direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your [c]flesh,
And strength[d] to your bones.

9 Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction

Aug 9, 2020. I Samuel 24:1-22

Please click here to listen to the audio and please click here to open the video of this message on YouTube.

CAVE CAPER. I Samuel 24:1-22. 8/9/20. #75.

1 Samuel 24 [New King James Version]

1 Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.) 4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6 And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7 So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way. 8 David also arose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down. 9 And David said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’? 10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. 12 Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? 15 Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.” 16 So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 Then he said to David: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil. 18 And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 Therefore swear now to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s house.” 22 So David swore to Saul. And Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

  • Back to the chase
    • Chapters 24-26 forms a unit of David sparing Saul and Nabol
      • On three occasions David could have killed, but did not
      • A theme of “God delivered you, but I stayed my hand”
    • As soon as Saul returns from fighting the Philistines, he seeks to find and kill David again
      • Saul is informed that David is near En Gedi
      • There was no place David could hide that an informant would not see him and report him to Saul
    • En Gedi was the perfect hiding place
      • Full of rocks, caves, springs, crags, and forests
      • Called the Rocks of the Wild Goats
  • Saul in the cave of destiny
    • Saul enters a cave to relieve himself
      • He doesn’t know David’s men are deep in the cave
      • Providence has delivered Saul into David’s hand
    • David’s men are sure that God had delivered Saul to be killed
      • Why else would Saul choose that particular cave?
      • Was this a deliverance or a test?
    • David informs his men that he won’t kill God’s anointed
    • David cuts off a part of the hem of Saul’s robe and even feels guilty about doing this
    • David knows that God gave Saul his position of authority
      • Romans 13:1-7 we are to obey and honor authorities
      • Acts 5 we defy authorities when they demand that we do evil or disobey the will of God
      • Authorities are to be honored to position they hold
  • David demonstrates his fidelity
    • God had delivered Saul into David’s hands
      • David bows down before Saul and pays him homage
      • David states that he means no harm to Saul
    • David makes five arguments:
      • David has shown that he is innocent of rebellion
      • The Lord will judge between him and Saul
      • Wickedness always proceeds from the wicked (David is accusing Saul of being wicked)
      • David does not intend ever to rebel against Saul
      • David will not attack God’s anointed
        • Only God can rightly remove his anointed
        • David refuses to assassinate Saul (ironically, Saul’s death would make Jonathan king)
  • Saul’s humbled moment
    • Saul realizes he came close to death
    • Saul admits eight things:
      • David is more righteous than he is
      • David did well to Saul, who had done evil to him
      • The Lord had delivered Saul into David’s hand
      • David could have killed Saul, but spared him
      • Saul admits to being David’s enemy
      • Saul calls on God to bless David for his gracious act
      • God will make David king after him
      • David will have the power to destroy Saul’s progeny
    • Saul pleads with David to spare his line and David agrees to it
    • Saul’s humble moment is remorse and repentance (Saul is humble due to circumstances, but his heart has not changed)

Aug 2, 2020. Ephesians 5:25-33

Please click here to listen to the audio and click here for the video links to this message. Please click here for today’s bulletin, and click here to view the Missions Update.

HOME GUARD. Ephesians 5:25-33. 08/02/20. AM. #30.

Ephesians 5:25-33 [New King James Version]

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

  • Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church
    • Husbands are commanded to love their wives
    • Many preachers teach that wives are never commanded to love their husbands = not true!
      • Husbands are to love (agape’) their wives
        • A choice love (sacrifice, charity, fidelity)
        • Husbands are to always cherish wives
      • Titus 2:3-5 older women are to teach wives how to love (phileo; have affection for) their husbands (show respect, honor, be tender toward, cherish)
    • Christ is example of how to love wives as he loved church
      • Gave himself (on behalf of) for the church
      • Sanctified (set apart) the church (the husband is to set apart his wife for exclusive relationship)
      • Washed the church clean (Titus 3:5)
        • Psalm 51:7 David asked God to cleanse him
        • Mark 16:1-8 baptism is a symbol of being cleansed by blood of Christ (1 Peter 3:20-21-not with physical water = symbolic)
      • Via the Word (Gospel = Romans 10:17)
      • Christ will purify his bride of all sin (Romans 8:30)
    • The husband = given a high standard to follow (Christ)
  • The buck stops at the groom
    • Adam and Abraham were help responsible to decisions made by their wives (Numbers 30:13 a man could or nullify a vow made by his wife)
    • The husband is to treat his wife as Christ did the church
      • Protector and rescuer (covers his wife with safety)
      • Unconditionally loves his wife
        • Age, changing appearance, marital conflicts, desires, or any other aspect is not to alter or diminish a man’s love for his wife
        • Malachi. 2:14-15 a man is to treat his wife with as much respect, affection, and care as when he first fell in love with her
      • Nourishes his wife as he does his own body
        • Every normal man takes care of his body
        • Nourish = to take care of until maturity is reached (glorification) –used of rearing children, raising plants or animals
        • Cherish = treat something as precious, honored, important, and delicate (caring)
    • Just as all believers are members of one body, the wife is tied to the husband so they become one flesh (Genesis 2)
      • Paul quotes Genesis 2:25 = God commands that when a man leaves his parents he clings to wife
      • Choice love demands undying cherishing of wife
  • The final admonition
    • To love one’s wife as one’s self transcends desire, temptation, and feelings (continue to show love to wife)
      • Men are visual, so are tempted by beauty
      • Men are to resist all enticement and cherish wife
    • Women are to respect their husbands
      • This hearkens back to verses 22-24
      • Wives lose respect for husbands when they do not live up to their relational expectations
      • Titus 2:3 must be taught affection for husband
    • Colossians 3:12-25 only commandment live is blessed of God

Key Verse:  Colossians 3:12-25 [New King James Version]

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

Aug 2, 2020. I Samuel 23:14-29

Please click here for the audio, and please click here for the video portions of this message.

THE ROCK OF ESCAPE. I Samuel 23:14-29. 8/2/20. #74.

1 Samuel 23:14-29 [New King James Version]

14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in the mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. 15 So David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in a forest. 16 Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” 18 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in the woods, and Jonathan went to his own house. 19 Then the Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in strongholds in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.” 21 And Saul said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, for you have compassion on me. 22 Please go and find out for sure, and see the place where his hideout is, and who has seen him there. For I am told he is very crafty. 23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides; and come back to me with certainty, and I will go with you. And it shall be, if he is in the land, that I will search for him throughout all the clans of Judah.” 24 So they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. But David and his men were in the Wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon. 25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David. Therefore he went down to the rock, and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued David in the Wilderness of Maon. 26 Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. So David made haste to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them. 27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” 28 Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place the Rock of Escape. 29 Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi.

  • No place to hide                                                          
    • David and his men leave Keilah and go to Ziph
      • Ziph = SE of Hebron on African  Rift Ridge toward Dead Sea            
      • Later moves to Maon Rock         
      • Finally moves into the Jeshimon (“waste land”) – wilderness of Judah
    • David is hiding 600 men on wilderness ridges on west forested side
    • Saul is seeking daily to find David_
    • Jonathan comes to David to strengthen him
      • Jon. states that Saul knows David will be king
      • Jon. swears to be next to David (support + rule)
    • No one successfully fights the will of God
      • Lucifer (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28), Jonah (Jon. 1), and Saul all lost when they opposed God
      • To fight a losing moral battle is foolish
      • Pride denies and fights against truth to own ruin
    • David is continually harassed (fleeing from place to place)
      • Harassment by evil men is normal for believers
      • God has a great plan even in midst of pressure
      • Harassment of believers by wicked men gives strength to the believer and adds judgment to wicked
  • The Ziphites betray David
    • The Ziphites do not like David’s men near them
      • Saul could accuse them of being traitors, as he did the priests of Nob
      • Ziphites didn’t want to be put between Saul and David                
      • Since the Ziphite’s had not experienced the wrath of Saul, they may still have honored him as king
    • The Ziphites go to Saul and promised to help Saul capture David (Saul blesses them for showing him compassion)
      • Saul’s blessing of the Lord is profane coming from the lips of the murderer of God’s priests
      • Saul uses Ziphites as spies against David
    • This episode is the topic of Psalm 54 where “strangers have helped” David’s enemies, (God will deliver him and punish them)
      • The Ziphites had no part in this dispute
      • Ziphites did not need to meddle in the issue at all
  • In the nick of time
    • David moves from Ziphites to Maon Rock on edge of wilderness
      • The Arabah = desert land between ridge and Dead Sea
      • Saul begins to surround David with desert to south
    • Just as Saul is closing in, he receives word that the Philistines have invaded the land
      • Saul must withdraw to meet the threat
      • David is saved in the nick of time
    • David rejoices and renames Maon Rock to Escape Rock
    • David now moves to En Gedi (a nature spring forming a water fall into a pool, which then flows underground to Hebron 25 miles away)
    • God’s purposes varied, but perfect in his plans
      • David’s struggle trains him to be a king
      • At times, God delivers from enemy (David, Hezekiah, Peter [Acts 12], Jews in Esther)
      • At times God’s people are delivered to martyrdom (Stephen, James, the priests of Nob, trib. saints…)
    • All outcomes for faithful saints glorify God (Romans 8:28)

Jul 26, 2020. Ephesians 5:22-24

Please click here and listien to the audio, and click here for video portion of this message that is posted to You Tube. Additionally, please click here to view the bulletin, and click here to view the Missions Update.

THE GODLY WIFE. EPHESIANS 5:22-24. 07/26/20. AM. #29.

EPHESIANS 5:22-24 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

  • The role of the woman
    • God assigned roles have several dimensions
      • Responsibility – a husband, pastor, teacher…
      • Authority – an elder, a deacon, governor, police…
      • Tasking – to teach, protect, rule, serve, support…
      • Scope – some are gifted more than others and have greater opportunities (Joseph, Moses, Tabitha…)
    • Roles within the triune God
      • All three members are co-equal in their being or essence (John 1, Hebrews 1, Colossians 1, Acts 5, Matthew 28)
      • There is a governmental or command structure within the Godhead of Father, Son, and Spirit (I Corinthians 15:28, John 14:16-26)
    • The role of the woman
      • Galatians 3:28 co-equal in essence and spiritual status  as man (no difference in humanity or spirituality)
      • Woman is assigned a different role than the man: (Genesis 2:18-25 a partner to man, vessel of reproduction, and companion to man)
      • 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and 3:1-14 women are forbidden to teach men, have authority over men in the church, or hold the offices of elder or deacon
      • The term deaconess means “helper” or “one who serves” and was applied to some women (Romans 16), but this was not an official office
    • Women were prophetesses, a judge, queens, and impactors
  • The role of a wife
    • The wife is to submit to her husband
      • The word “submit” means “line up behind”
      • She is to follow his authority
    • She is to line up behind husband AS UNTO THE LORD
      • 1 Corinthians. 11:1 the wife is to follow her husband as he follows the Lord
      • In areas where the husband is not following the Lord, she is not to follow him in doing evil
      • The wife is to submit to her husband for the Lord’s sake as commanded her (1 Peter. 3:1-6)
    • Proverbs 31:10-31 a virtuous wife will do right no matter what her husband does (she will do good for her husband)
      • Esther saved her husband from the guilt of an evil scheme concocted by Haman
      • Abigail saved Nabol and all the males of his household from being killed by David
      • Sapphira was given an opportunity to correct the lie told by her husband, Ananias (Acts 5)
    • A godly wife manages the home well, is frugal, guides the children in holiness, supports her husband in his role as provider and spiritual leader, and is gracious
  • The buck stops at dad
    • The husband carries the burden on how his home is run (1 Tim. 3:4), provides for his family (I Timothy 5:14), protects his home (Mt. 24:43), leads his home into righteousness (Jos. 24:15; 1 Peter 3:7; Job 1; Deuteronomy 6:4)
    • The Lord holds the man to account for what happens in his home (he is responsible for leading his family)
      • Four earthly authorities: family, church, government, and employers
      • The home is the foundational authority
    • The husband is to lead his home for the Lord, while the wife supports her husband in this task
      • A wife can save the husband from foolishness
      • A godly wife enhances her husband’s influence

Key verse: Proverbs 31:10-31

10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.

15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.

16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.

17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.

18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.

19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.

20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.

25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Jul 26, 2020. I Samuel 15:1-13

Please click here for the audio, and click here for video of this message (the vieo is posted on You Tube).

NO PLACE SAFE. I SAMUEL 15:1-13. 7/26/20. PM. #73.

I SAMUEL 15:1-13 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

1 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” 4 So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley. 6 Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7 And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. 10 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. 12 So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.” 13 Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”

  • The battle for Keilah
    • David and his men are hiding south of the territory of the Philistines
      • They hear that the Philistines were attacking Keilah, due south of Adullam, the caves David had hid in
      • The Philistines were seeking to steal Keilah’s harvest
    • David was still a loyal Israelite
      • He desires to rescue Keilah from the Philistines
      • He uses Abiathar’s ephod to inquire of the Lord (Urim and Thummin) whether he should attach Philistines
    • David’s men were concerned about going back into Judah
      • Saul has spies everywhere looking for David
      • David again asks the Lord if he should attack
        • God guarantees he will deliver Philistines to him
        • As long as David seeks Lord he succeeds
    • David’s men overwhelmed the Philistines
      • David captures all the Philistines livestock
      • David stayed in Keilah, where he was a hero
  • No safe haven
    • Saul heard about David’s victory at Keilah
      • Saul plans to surround Keilah and capture David
      • Saul does not care that David rescued one of the cities in Judah
    • David continually inquires of the Lord
      • At his point until the Bathsheba scandal, David is focused on the will of God
      • David asks God 2 questions: (1) will Saul come to Keilah after him?  (2) will Keilah turn David over to Saul?  God answers “yes” to both questions
    • Several factor must be considered
      • Citizens of Keilah were grateful for David’s rescue
      • Saul’s threat put Keilah in danger again
        • If they died by the Philistines or Saul, they would  still die
        • Keilah had no choice but to surrender David, even though David had saved them
      • The village and David could not hope to hold out against Saul’s army
        • When David asks the Lord if Keilah would give him to Saul, the answer was obvious
        • The village didn’t hate David, they wanted to survive
    • In most cases people will betray benefactors to survive
      • Israel turned Samson over the Philistines
      • Judges 9 Shechem made Abimelech king and helped him kill sixty-nine sons of Gideon
    • Some risked their lives to protect God’s people: the midwives saved the Hebrew boy babies, Rahab saved the Hebrew spies, Stephen was martyred rather than deny Christ…
  • Safety and sacrifice
    • David is forced to leave Keilah, so Saul calls off pursuit
      • David can’t depend on help from populace
      • Citizens of Israel are caught between Saul and David
    • Choices have to be made as to what is worth protecting and risking life for and what should be surrendered
    • Choices of conscience will become more prevalent: allowing your children indoctrinated or trying to protect them and have them taken away; state control of worship (China) or losing church facility; employing homosexuals or being fined…

Jul 19, 2020. Ephesians 5:18-23

Please click here to listen to audio of the message, and click here for the video. Also, click here to view the bulletin and Missions Updates.

FULL TANK CHRISTIANITY. Ephesians 5:18-21. 7/19/20. AM. #28.

Ephesians 5:18-21 [New King James Version]

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

  • The filling
    • Drunkenness is the perfect illustration of total control
      • Proverbs 23 makes clear that a person drunk is neither aware of what he does nor remembers what he did
      • Drunkenness controls via pleasure & addiction
    • Drunkenness occurs when an excess of alcohol is taken
      • Paul does not deal with the issue of abstinence  (1 Timothy 3 a command for elders, but not deacons)
      • Paul’s point is that excessive alcohol controls the mind, will, & body
      • What is pleasurable & soothing in moderation is destructive & deadly in excess (most people do not know when they cross the line to inebriation)
    • Instead of drunkenness, Paul commands control by Spirit
    • Commentators have taken 2 approaches to Spirit control
      • A man must control his own spirit (pnuematos)
      • A man must be controlled by the Holy Spirit
    • If man is to be filled by his own spirit, he is fleshly
    • Filling of the Holy Spirit is what Paul has in mind here
      • Filling = total control all the time (nothing else, including our own desires has control)
      • Filling must be moment by moment since our flesh fights for control (Romans 7)
    • Peter was filled by the Spirit when he declared Jesus to be the Son of God, but not filled when he rebuked the Lord
    • Filling the Spirit implies 4 things
      • A complete yielding to the Lord’s will (John 15:1-8)
      • A complete subjugation of my will (Matthew 26:39)
      • Seeking the Lord’s will in Word & via prayer
      • Doing the will of God (James 1:22-25; Luke 6:46-49)
  • A joy that cannot be contained
    • Those who are filled with the Spirit are joyous
      • John 15:11 Christ gives us a joy none can remove
      • Philippians 4:4-5 a joy & peace that is beyond reasoning
    • Even in grieve there is unsurpassed joy in the Lord
    • God gave us music & poetry to express our joy
      • We are to sing praises to & with each other
      • We are to sing & hum in our hearts
    • Categories of music: psalms, songs, & melodies (I Corinthians 14:7-8 our music must make sense that all may praise)
  • A thanksgiving that does not cease
    • Joy must be coupled with thanksgiving
      • Always be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
      • God blesses us beyond measure with grace, salvation, & promises, that we can still be thankful in pain & trials (Job 1)
    • An unthankful soul has an ungrateful heart
    • If we can’t thank God in trials, our gratitude in the midst of prosperity is fleshly & not genuine (1 Peter 4)
  • A harmony of the body that testifies of God’s grace
    • A church assembly filled with the Spirit submits to  one another (Philippians 2:3; James 2, Ephesians 4:32)
    • Galatians 5 a Spirit-filled assembly is not involved in pride, rivalries, fleshly disputes, strive, envy, or manipulation
    • A Spirit-filled assembly is known by love, peace, good works, kindness, charity, helpfulness, grace, & gentleness
    • If an assembly is full of strife, it is not filled with the Spirit
    • Matthew 18:15-18 strife within assembly is dealt with promptly
    • Filling of the Spirit brings joy, thanksgiving, & harmony

Key verse: John 15:1-8

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Jul 19, 2020. I Samuel 22:20-23

Please click here to play the audio of the message (note, due to technical difficulties, video capture of this message is not available).

THE LAST PRIEST. I Samuel 22:20-23. 7/19/20. PM. #72.

I Samuel 22:20-23 [New King James Version]

20 Now one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the Lord’s priests. 22 So David said to Abiathar, “I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have caused the death of all the persons of your father’s house. 23 Stay with me; do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe.”

  • David’s regret
    • Abiathar is the only priest who escapes Saul’s wrath
      • Doeg the Edomite chief shepherd of Saul’s flocks executes 85 priests and their entire families
      • Saul’s guards had refused to kill the priests
    • Abiathar runs to David and tells him what had happened
    • David acknowledges that it was his fault that the priests and their entire families had died
      • I Samuel 21:1-7 David had fled from Saul and stopped at the tabernacle in Nob for provisions
      • David lied to High Priest as to why he was traveling
        • David claimed to be on an urgent mission
        • David’s lie brought him bread and a sword
    • David knew that Doeg was listening and plotting
    • Convenience to David was death to God’s priests
      • Nob was near Gibeah where David’s home was
      • David never considered that lying to the High Priest in the tabernacle would be a problem
        • Often we take short cuts and would be able “to get by” with our sleight indiscretions
        • David’s miscalculation cost at least 200 people their lives
      • David continued on with his plan even though Doeg was present (Doeg would betray him)
      • David did not consider that if Saul tried to kill his son, he would not regard the priests either
      • David focused only on his immediate need
    • There are times when deception is necessary to fight evil
      • The midwives who saved the Hebrew male babies
      • Rahab who protected the Hebrew spies
      • God who instructs Samuel to withhold from Saul the real reason for going to Bethlehem
    • To lie to someone who deserves the truth is a sin
      • The High Priest did not need to be brought into David’s dilemma
      • Aachen owed Joshua the truth; Sarah owed God the truth; Gehazi owed Elisha the truth
    • The blood of the priests and their families = on David’s hands
      • David did not kill the priests; Saul did
      • David did not betray the priests; Doeg did
      • David’s actions allowed the priests to be killed
    • Carelessness is recognized as a criminal act
      • Exodus 21:33 a man who digs a pit and does not cover it is guilty of harm done to those who fall into it
      • All acts committed by a drunk are culpable
    • We cause harm via lies of convenience and thoughtless acts
      • Is a deception necessary for a higher purpose?
      • Is a deception only useful for my convenience?
  • Abiathar’s tragic life
    • Abiathar loses all his family due in part to David’s lie
    • Abiathar becomes High Priest
    • As predicted in 1 Samuel 1-2, Abiathar, 4th generation from Eli, was deposed by Solomon (Zadok becomes priest)
  • Mole hill to mountain decisions
    • Often small indiscretions become major problems (Aachen’s theft, Saul’s sparing Agag, Solomon’s marriages, …)
    • Deceptions of convenience bring ill results (Galatians 6:9)
    • Lack of total obedience brings tragic results (I Kings 13)
    • Once the results of deception bear fruit, it can’t be reclaimed
      • The immediate benefit is not worth the cost
      • We are known by the level of our integrity

Jul 12, 2020. Ephesians 5:15-17

The YouTube (video) link is available, here and the audio link is available here. To view the Missions Update, please click here. If you are reading this prior to 11 AM on Sunday, Jul 12, then you are welcome to log on to the WebEx session that will start at 10:55 AM on Sunday, Jul 12. (Audio on your telephone: 1(415)655-0001, PIN 126 623 4954)

WALK OF WISDOM. Ephesians 5:15-17. 07/12/20. AM. #27.

Ephesians 5:15-17 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

15 See then that you walk [a]circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

  • Walking wisely
    • God expects his children to be wise
      • He does not say “intelligent”, but wisdom
      • There are many foolish smart people (Rm. 1:23)
    • To walk circumspectly = accurately or precisely
      • To know exactly what to do and then doing it
      • Wisdom supersedes feelings and desires
    • Walking with wisdom requires 3 components
      • Knowledge of Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15)
      • Understanding (Pv. 1:7)
      • Prudence (acting wisely; Jam. 1:22-25)
    • Many people reject the wisdom they are given
      • Saul continually disobeyed God
      • Solomon rejected the wisdom God gave him and then indulged himself
      • Judas walked with the author of all wisdom and sold out Jesus for a few coins
    • Prudence (walking in wisdom) is counter to fleshly desires, cultural norms, worldly values, and feelings
    • Knowing what to do and then doing it (we know better than to fellowship with evil people, engage in illicit romances, consume harmful substances, spend frivolously, ignore Scripture, indulge the flesh…)
    • 1 Peter 3:15 a believer should be known to be wise
  • The wisdom of God
    • Jeremiah 10:12; Proverbs 3:19 the world and universe were made by God’s wisdom
    • God owns all wisdom
      • Proverbs 8:22-31 wisdom was with God in the beginning
      • James 1:4-5 only God can dispense true wisdom
      • Proverbs 4:1-13 God tells us to seek wisdom first
        • We are to endeavor to be truly wise
        • We must commit ours to prudence
    • Romans 10:17 wisdom comes through the study and submission to the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
    • The wisdom of man is foolishness to God
      • Proverbs 14:12; 16:25 the wisdom of man leads to death
      • Proverbs 19: 13 the foolishness of man perverts his way
  • No time for foolishness
    • Time is very short for man (James 4:14)
    • Paul tells us to redeem the time
      • Redeem = to buy up or purchase (comes from agora for market place)
      • Redeeming the time is not to do busy work or to fill up our time with activity
    • Redemption of time = making our time count for God
      • Avoiding frivolous waste of time through worldly pursuits, self-indulgence, and laziness
      • Redeeming the time involves Bible study, prayer, service to others, praise, encouraging others…
    • The redemption of time is necessary due to an evil world
      • We live in a fallen world that needs the Gospel
      • Romans 10 only believers can share the Gospel
      • Being a testimony for the Lord is our calling
      • Ecclesiastes 12 once the time is gone, it can’t be reclaimed
    • There is an urgency in our calling to do God’s will
      • Leisure and vacations must not be our main focus
      • We must learn how to enjoy pleasing God
    • Paul challenges us to understand the will of God
      • To understand = bring into focus or clarity
      • We must desire to seek God’s will to do it
    • Considering our lives, we know what is foolish and wise

Key Verse: Proverbs 4:1-13 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

1 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,

And give attention to know understanding;

2 For I give you good doctrine:

Do not forsake my law.

3 When I was my father’s son,

Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,

4 He also taught me, and said to me:

“Let your heart retain my words;

Keep my commands, and live.

5 Get wisdom! Get understanding!

Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;

Love her, and she will keep you.

7 Wisdom is the principal thing;

Therefore get wisdom.

And in all your getting, get understanding.

8 Exalt her, and she will promote you;

She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.

9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace;

A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,

And the years of your life will be many.

11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;

I have led you in right paths.

12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,

And when you run, you will not stumble.

13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;

Keep her, for she is your life.

Jul 12, 2020. I Samuel 22:9-20

Please click here to listen to the audio, and click here to watch the video portions of this message on YouTube.

SLAUGHTER AT NOB. I Samuel 22:9-20. 7/12/20. #71.

I Samuel 22:9-20 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

9 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, “I saw the son of Jesse going to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 And he inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 So the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were in Nob. And they all came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub!”

He answered, “Here I am, my lord.”

13 Then Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as it is this day?” 14 So Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, who goes at your bidding, and is honorable in your house? 15 Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? Far be it from me! Let not the king impute anything to his servant, or to any in the house of my father. For your servant knew nothing of all this, little or much.” 16 And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house!” 17 Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not tell it to me.” But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the Lord. 18 And the king said to Doeg, “You turn and kill the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men who wore a linen ephod. 19 Also Nob, the city of the priests, he struck with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and donkeys and sheep—with the edge of the sword. 20 Now one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David.

  • Doeg the dog
    • When David visited the Tabernacle at Nob, Doeg was there
      • Doeg was an Edomite and Saul’s chief shepherd
      • David is not honest with Ahimelech about motives
      • All David took from Nob is bread and Goliath’s sword
    • Ahimelech could not suspect that anything was amiss
      • David was an honored army commander and the son-in-law of the king
      • Ahimelech was unaware of Saul’s change toward David (spear thrown at David and Jonathan)
    • Doeg was aware of Saul’s change toward David
      • Was David aware that Doeg was a threat?
      • David had placed Ahimelech in a dangerous place
      • Doeg sees an opportunity to advance in Saul’s kingdom
    • Doeg is the typical self-promoter
      • He seeks to advance his cause by any means possible
      • Doeg is not loyal to Saul, but to self (he would turn against Saul if it were to his advantage)
      • There are many in church leadership who for self
      • Must avoid placing self-promoters in leadership positions
  • Saul the tyrannical persecutor
    • Saul abandoned all pretense of honoring the Lord
      • Saul believes that everyone is conspiring against him
      • No one is above suspicion
    • Saul interrogates the high priest as if he is a criminal
      • Saul shows no deference to God’s anointed priest
      • Saul accuses the priest of aiding David against him
    • Ahimelech is baffled by the treatment
      • Ahimelech argues that David is the king’s faithful son-in-law and no one is more loyal to Saul than he is
      • Ahimelech knows of no plot by David
      • The priest could not have known of Saul’s paranoia or his intentions toward David
    • Not only is Ahimelech innocent, but he is also correct about David
  • Slaughter at Nob    
    • Saul is convinced the priests are in on the plot to depose him
      • No amount of evidence will change Saul’s mind
      • Saul does not fear killing God’s priests
    • Saul orders the death of all the priests
      • He declares that they are all in the plot to help David
      • No trial, no evidence, no witnesses, and no appeals
    • Saul orders his guards to kill the priests
      • The guards are afraid to harm God’s priests (fear God)
      • The guards refuse to obey an unjust order (Acts 4-5 – God’s will is higher than orders given by men)
    • Saul then orders Doeg to kill the priests
      • Doeg is not even an Israelite
      • Doeg ends up killing 83 priests and their families in Nob
    • A crazed self-centered person is capable of any amount of evil
      • Saul’s conscience is dead and aligns with the pagan Doeg
      • The priests don’t fight back and do not invent any stories
    • Abiathar is the only priest to escape and goes to David
    • This horrific scene has many facets to it
      • Everyone is capable of great evil
      • Saul is not immediately struck down by God, but all things will be brought to account
      • Great evil can come upon you via no fault of your own
      • David told the lie, the guards didn’t stop Saul and Doeg