Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SPEAK UP

Today’s Reading: Judges 19

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Via Dolorosa (Latin for "Way of Grief" or "Way of Suffering") is a street in two parts, within the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to be the path that Jesus walked, carrying His cross, on the way to His crucifixion. The winding route from the Antonia Fortress west to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a distance of about 600 metres (2,000 feet). There are 14 "Stations of the Cross" that have been marked along the way, with the last 5 Stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Via Dolorosa (Latin for “Way of Grief” or “Way of Suffering”) is a street in two parts within the Old City of Jerusalem. This is believed to be the path that Jesus walked, carrying His cross, on the way to His crucifixion. The winding route from the Antonia Fortress west to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a distance of about 600 metres (2,000 feet). Jesus suffered for our sins as well as the sins of “the perverted men” in today’s reading.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Judges 19:22

As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally!”

 

Perversion, rape, and murder — The moral disease of sin is death! It’s difficult to understand how God, in Christ, took sin into Himself and became the embodiment of all that is evil, all that is destroying the human family. But He did! The words in 2 Corinthians 5:21 assure us that God “made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us.” For encouragement we may want to read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

Our key verse gives us a picture of people enjoying relatively “small sins” inside the house when they were invaded by more dramatic sins from the outside. Actually, there are no pastel shades of sin. Sin is sin. It’s all as dark as the pit of hell. We must live in a state of repentance for our sin, trusting that, as 2 Corinthians tells us, we are a “new creation.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I want to keep on thanking You throughout all eternity for taking my sin into Yourself and bearing the separation from all that is pure, all that is loving, and all that is holy. Grant me grace to live my life here and now in such a way that I do not add to Your sufferings by more and more sin. Amen! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I may have many questions for the Lord in eternity, but perhaps not, as I may be so taken up in worship that I forget my questions. One question that comes to mind concerns a family I knew before I knew my wife, Norma-Jean (we’ve been married almost 57 years). I won’t use their real names. This story comes to my mind frequently. It made such an impact on my young life.

I was still a teenager when I rented a hall and began preaching the Gospel. I was also a public school teacher then and met people who needed Jesus very much. One Sunday, as I gave an invitation to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord, I noticed that Barbara (not her real name) was gripping the back of the chair in front of her so tightly that her knuckles were white. She refused to give her life to Christ. The following Saturday night after a party where there was heavy drinking, she and her husband were driving home drunk and Barbara was killed in an accident. I was asked by the police if I would be the one to tell her husband that she had passed away (he was in the hospital). As a result of this experience, he gave his life to Jesus and was a new man from then on. The following summer, while Barbara’s two children were visiting their grandparents, there was a house fire and both children died. The children had given their lives to Jesus at a summer Vacation Bible School. I may have been 20 years old when I stood beside Barbara’s grave and led in a prayer as the children were buried, their caskets resting on top of their mother’s casket. I weep as I type this. I am still perplexed! I have so many questions. I know one thing that I do not question…God’s overall purposes are good. In the light of eternity, all is well.

Yours for understanding fully God’s purposes some day,

David

Here is Station #7 of the Via Dolorosa. Tradition says that Jesus fell the second time here. However, the Bible does not confirm this.

Here is Station #7 of the Via Dolorosa. Tradition says that Jesus fell the second time here. However, the Bible does not confirm this.

Inside Station #7 of the Via Dolorosa.

Inside Station #7 of the Via Dolorosa.

15 thoughts on “Tuesday, February 17, 2015

  1. Well, I for one I’m no longer shock how vile sin and evil can be. I also know there by the Grace of God go I, because under the right circumstances we are capable of doing heinous things. Being a Christian doesn’t prevent us from our sinful nature but in Christ we know we no longer have to be a slave to it, we know we have a choice, we can chose to flee from sin, to overcome temptations, yet have peace knowing if we fail, God’s grace was provided the means for forgiveness, repentance and restoration from the consequences of sin. So today’s reading don’t disturbed me because how awful the sins were, it just makes me more grateful for the God’s gift of Grace and our Lord’s sacrifice when he died for the sins of the world. Amen.

  2. Dear David,
    Each day I look forward to reading the bible with your devotion. Today, I felt shock and despair. Not only do we face the many sins of the world, but we are trapped in a world that ignores the savage abuse of women! I had to read the chapter once more to make sure that I read this atrocity. What I had hoped David was that you could extend your message, discussing this abuse as an era in cultural insensitivity. I’m afraid that I can’t seem to separate this chapter-it clearly is ‘domestic violence’ in our culture….please tell me how as Christian women we are to see this as anything but ‘domestic violence’. I trust you as a man of God to at least recognize this atrocity as something that we no longer accept in the ‘language of peace’. I believe Christ is in the center of ‘peace’ and He would not wish to engrave this story on anyone’s memory. If you could shed light on this part of the message, I would truly appreciate it. You are a real mentor to me and I only hope that you (as well as myself) will not go blindly into the future of our generation, without challenging this story.
    Thank-you for listening and reading my complaint-please extend your thoughts to those who depend on your devotion.

    • I also agree with Debbie. And I do not understand why there are so many “trashy” stories in the old testament. I don’t need and I don’t want to read these parts. Isn’t it something like reading pornography–I don’t want that in my brain to remember. I have decided to stop reading Judges! I will be back when this blog gets to the new testament again.

      • Hi Debbie & Betty
        This incident is truly revolting which ever way you look at…;men demanding sex from the male visitor – which was so deplorable to the old man or the old man’s solution of offering the women to be abused in such an animal-like way. Both are totally deplorable. Starting with the story about Samson…and all the final chapters of Judge is all down hill into dispicable sin. From beginning of judges to the end of Judges, we see the escalation of the sinfulness of sin! After Joshua, it says, 2:16, “The the Lord raised up judges who saved them”.. then 2:19b, “they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways” ..3:7, “the Israelites DID EVIL in the eys of the Lord, they forgot the Lord..”and it continues to deteriorates and Chapters 19-21, SIN IS TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL”…. The final verse of Judges (21:25 says it all…it was God’s conclusion because their was no King, no leadership, everyone did whatever they wanted – here is the verse, “In those days Israel had no king; EVERYONE DID AS HE SAW IT!” There is no depth of hell that the world will not grovel to when there are no morals, no standards. Everyone feels they have a right to do what ever they want. The savage killings by ISSI, honor killings, school shootings, pedifiles and pornography, rape, murder…the pit of hell is deep.. and Judges is just showing us how deep it is and how depraved man is…without God. It was the sinfulness of sin that God SO loved that HE GAVE… and Jesus so Loved and He gave Himself as a Sacrifice for sin once and for all., All this reminds us of today…remove God out of our lives, our government, our schools and even our speech…and history repeats itself, “everyone doing what they want to do whether it hurts people or not”…. evil is getting more evil…not only in the days of the Judges, but in our day – and it affects you and it affects me, it is affecting men and it affects and degrades women and it abuses little children. Jesus said that just as it was in the days of Noah so it will be before He returns. So, I truly understand that you are revolted in reading some of these stories.,..probably the worse that we will read…but it was all to point to THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD WHO WOULD COME TO DISPEL THE DARKNESS. The Bible doesn’t hide anything. Sin is sin, evil is evil – but all the Old Testament points to salvation, redemption and ultimately, to glorification, saved from sin, delivered from the power of sin and ultimately, liberated from the presence of sin – when we meet our Master, Face to Face, and tell the story ‘Saved by Grace”. Like I say, Judges talks about the depth of sin, at the bottom of the barrel. I just want you to be encouraged to keep reading the Old Testament.. The next book is Ruth – a delightful love story but significant spiritual implications of our Redeemer-Saviour. Be encouraged, be strengthen. May our hatred for sin and all kinds of abuse push us down on our knees to pray more fervently for an earth shaking revival where we have a fresh demonstration of the power of God transforming peoples lives. As someone reading about William Booths Conversion and how God used, he found himself praying, “do it again Lord, Do it again”. May God send forth his reviving power exposing sin for what it is and transforming peoples live – where the Spirit of Love and Care will prevail. Samuel.

        1st of all, this incident seems very similar to what happened with the men (angels) came to Lot’s house and those outside wanted the man visitor sexually.

        • oops. In the last paragraph, I was planning to refer to “Lot” when visited by the Men (who turned out to be Angels) before the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 19) …or before the Flood, Genesis 6 , The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time and His (God’s) HEART WAS FILLED WITH PAIN” (5-6) God knows how sinful mankind can me. Jesus says in Matthew 2437, “as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” and Paul gives us a birds eye view of the last days – 2 Timothy 3:1-5. It really seems like Paul is describing the days we are living in… Judges could very well be a picture of the degradation of sin before the Lord returns. However, Victory is ultimately ours through Jesus Christ our Lord. We know what the last chapter is all about. We have the promise of his coming repeated a number of times in Revelation 22.. ;ending with “The Spirit” and “the Bride” – the Church – are united in pleading for the Lord to “COME” Even, so, Lord Jesus come!
          Samuel

      • those trashy stories were put there by God as God breathed the Word to be written.. they are there to remind us of this sinful world…they are very real….this is life today and has been and will be until Jesus returns….The Word of God in the Bibile is true! It was written for our edification and our learning, and it’s amazing! but the world has not learned a thing!

    • we have governments that have totally ignored what God says in the Bible, God has been taken out of the governments, schools, many homes, cities, sin rules everywhere, yes, even in churches, we need to be diligent about what we believe and on the other hand we need to be compassionate to those who are suffering. There are so many places where girls are being used and sold as sex slaves, being sold by the hundreds and thousands to other countries, yes, it is a very sinful world and as I have said before, I can only help those who I can touch with the end of my fingers, I can pray and give support and if everyone does this at least that support will be given, Do not give up on this rotten world! God didn’t! Let’s pray for each other and for others always……

  3. I joined in your prayer this morning Rev. David.
    Yes, it is hard to understand the cruelty of man, and God’s Love for all, even the perverted. The world has not changed.
    But Praise God Jesus has Overcome the world!!! God is faithful; His ways are higher than we can understand and His thoughts are higher!!! He is trustworthy and Worthy of all our praise!!!
    Thank You Jesus, Lord of Lord and King of Kings!!!
    Thank you for the photos of the Via Dolorosa, I walked down that road when in Jerusalem.

  4. I must have read this last year but it struck such a feeling of sadness today.
    I agree with Debbie and her thoughts on this passage. How would I ever explain this to an unbeliever as I don’t understand the horror of it. It is the message of our day and the horrific abuse of women that is in our world.
    I too need more teaching on why this is in the Word of God.

    • I would simply ask my non-believing friends what they think these people deserve for doing what they did. Those who raped the woman, the man you threw out there to be raped, and his later actions. Most likely they would say these people should die for the crimes. Then I would tell them in God’s eyes sin is sin and the wages of sin is death. Their sins may not be heinous as these in their eyes, but in God’s eyes all sin leads to death. But because God does not want any of us to die, he provided a way out of sin. His Son, Jesus Christ, died in our place. He is a Savior because the world needs saving from sin. Sin is vile, disgusting, offensive– and unless we truly understand how vile it is, we cannot understand or appreciate God’s Grace. God allowed this to be recorded, He wanted it in His Word. It is part of the message, we might not like hearing it, but to understand the whole message we cannot cherry pick Scripture– to do so, is to question God’s reasoning and leads us to vulnerable to lies.

      If we cannot look at the sins of others without being offended how can we honestly look at the face of Christ on the cross– He became sin for us. How can we look at own sins realistically if we cannot look at what sin truly is. If we find it offensive being fallen creatures imagine how offensive it is to God?

      The best thing about Christianity is it ain’t pretty. It isn’t about pure white angels, and hearts and flowers. It is about pain, it is about suffering, it is about God getting in the mud and dirt and rescuing His creation from evil. Unless you know how dirty you are, how can you understand how different you are when you are clean.

      I apologize for going so long about this, but maybe because I know where I’ve been because of my sinful nature, who I would have been if I had been left there, and knowing where I am today because of Jesus– I understand why Judges is written the way it is and glad it is, just sad that so many missed the point of it.

      • Praise God for giving you the words you have written Donna M. I agree with you wholeheartedly and God would not include these passages if we were not to learn from them. He is sovereign and His Word innerant. We can’t just choose what we want to read and learn the whole story,
        Blessings to all

        Blessings to all.

  5. You might find yourself asking, “Why is life so hard?” Without God, humanity is easily drawn into hatred, racism, sexual abuse, murdering each other. Jesus said, “I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.”

    Just wanted to thank u again dear Beverlee for all the effort u went to in finding resources for info on bullying.
    Thank u Rev. M. for sharing stories from your past. Looks like we’re all in the same boat.
    May God bless all my blog buddies.

  6. WOW! some verygood comments! Yes sin is sin! We are living in a Sodom and Gemorrah era, yes, many have come to the realization of their behaviours (SINS) and have repented and thank God we can come to Him and repent of our sins, and yes, He forgives us because that is what God does! Something I have told people when they feel they don’t measure up to God’s expectations, I tell them, that God understands, there is no evil a person could do that God could not forgive. The person has to want to confess their sins and change their life (Repent, a turn-a-round of their life) I also remind people that WE, us human beings, have the right to make a choice! I mention the picture of Jesus on one side of the door, and the handle is on the other side, we still have the choice to open that door or not……something I just read, What do you think that God is thinking as He looks down on His children! Is He a proud parent? Or is He shedding tears of sorrow and mourning for those who walk away! As for my sinful nature, it is always there, always, someone said that greater the Faith, greater the devil…..I have to repent every day, several times a day, and I chuckle when someone said the best exercise in the world was for people to bend down on their knees,…I love the Lord, life is “tough” but I have a Saviour who does not judge me, but loves me unconditionally! It’s taken years for me to realize that fact! I am thankful that we have a God who does not give up on us! therefore, we should not give up on others, even if all we can do is pray! blessings to all

  7. Dear Samuel,
    I read your posting that you wrote to Betty and myself on Feb.18 at 3:38am. I wanted to extend a thank-you for your explanation of the book of Judges. You spoke with clarity, as well as offering a cultural perspective, highlighting the reality of the past, while understanding the impact of such practices on today’s society . Like Betty, I had considered waiting until David was through Judges before I would begin again….but I think I will try to move through the book, and perhaps post my views when I have any confusion or upset. As Christians, I hope we can all work towards peace. Yes there is so much sin in the world, yet I guarantee that if we can speak about the stories in the Bible and include our contemporary thoughts about these events, we can open the door for others in the world to find meaning in reading the word of God. Thanks again for your insight, God Bless you!

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