April 25 – Men at Peace
Obadiah 1:7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.
Obadiah writes to Edom and they are descendants of Esau the brother of Jacob. Obadiah has a severe warning to the “wise men of the east,” Edom. Destruction is coming. This destruction will be by those that claim to be friends, like-minded, with the same goals. They have come as men of peace, proclaiming love and a common desire. They have formed a confederacy and shared meals together. Then we find the wound that has been planned by beguiling Edom. This will bring about the destruction of Edom.
Yet there is a similarity to this very situation today. Churches holding the truth of God’s Word have a desire to fellowship together. These churches form a union with other Churches proclaiming they believe the same core doctrines and set down to break bread together. They proclaim love and are at peace with the truths proclaimed by each other. They hold hands while some that have proclaimed to be like-minded are setting a snare and a trap. Some that know of the infiltration are afraid to say anything because of retaliation. Others know but stray to follow for acceptance sake. This is a progressive festering of a wound that has been by subterfuge and God’s work and Word has been undermined.
This brought about the destruction of Edom. What about the true Churches? How much destruction will God’s Churches experience before they stand up to the enemy among us?
He repudiated infant Baptism
1790 – John Macgowan, aged 54, died and was buried in Bunhill Field, London, England. The following words marks his resting place, “Here lies John Macgowan, U.D.M., who at the hand of God merited nothing but final destruction, yet, through grace, was enabled to hope in a finished salvation.” Eph. II, 8. The letters “U.D.M.” stand for Verbum Dei Minister, i.e., “Minister of the Word of God.” During his final sickness he was visited by a pastor friend, Rev. John Reynolds, who said, “I found him in a sweet and heavenly frame; his countenance indicated the serenity of his mind. He said…hear of the loving kindness of my God. Methinks I have as much of heaven as I can hold.” Then tears of joy like a river flowed from his eyes…We are to part here; but we shall meet again. You cannot conceive the pleasure I feel…, that I have not shunned to declare (according to my light and ability) the whole counsel of God. I can die on the doctrines that I have preached – they are true – I have found them so. Go on to preach the Gospel of Christ, and mind not what the world may say to you.” Upon parting, he said, ‘My dear brother, farewell—I shall see you no more.” John Macgowan was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, about 1726, obviously into a household of penury, for at an early age he was apprenticed to a weaver to be trained for that occupation. He was converted through the influence of the Methodists, but after a thorough examination of the scriptures he repudiated infant Baptism and was immersed as a believer. He became pastor of the Devonshire Baptist Church in London at age 41 in 1767, and stayed until his death. [Alfren W. Light, Bunhill Fields (London: C.J. Farncombe and Sons, Ltd., 1915), pp. 226-27. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 645-46.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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We have become a nation of no responsibility. We do not want to be responsible for the choices we make. We do not want to be responsible to support and care for ourselves. We certainly do not want to be responsible for mistakes we make.
This reminds me of a young man that was being interviewed for a job and the interviewer asked this young man “are you responsible”” The young man replied, “very much so, my last job, anything that went wrong, they said I was responsible.”
We are put by God into a family whose purpose is to raise us in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord,”They also are to bring us to the point of maturity, where I decisions will be deliberate and wise. My how we fail in this today. I pastored a man and his wife that had attained the age of 90 years old. Here is what he related to me about his youth. By the age of 11 he was barely able to reach the handles of the plow. Now he was responsible for plowing a field with a mule and keeping the rows straight. He was expected to put in a full day of work. The parents are not being responsible to raise heavenly citizens today and therefore our children are not responsible citizens any more.
We have neglected to teach our children that the Bible teaches, that “one will not work will not eat.” I remember the day when a person might be thrown on government support temporarily but the shame caused them to redouble their effort to be self-sustaining. Today day there is no shame in living off of other people. They are on the government dole, some not realizing that government does not have money. It is their neighbor that earned that money. Now I am not talking about injured, handicapped or the elderly that is on Social Security. I am talking about healthy, able-bodied people. They have not learned responsibility for self or family.
Many will not accept responsibility for the choices they make. A person I worked with years ago was complaining about men and there was not a good man around. My statement to her was – would you look for steak in the hamburger section – why no. So why do you search for fine, considerate, upstanding men among the dead beats. This is the situation today. Flash attracts. When flash attracts people rush to the flash. Soon the flash is out, the thrill and beauty is gone and destruction is left behind. Having not looked far enough down the road to see what would transpire, people experience devastation in choices and decisions. What choices and decisions we make have to be tempered by looking at results down the road. This is a responsibility in governing our life by right decisions. Take responsibility in decisions.
Having managed a business and owned my own business, I appreciate a person that steps up and says I am responsible for that mistake. When we deny our mistakes, we lie and God hates a liar. Those that admit mistakes are more easily forgiven. They will be corrected and instructed but punishment will be less than a person that lies about mistakes. We should be responsible in accepting our mistakes and owning them.
We teach responsibility here because we are ultimately responsible to the LORD.