The Choice of Every Person
Her daughter was vexed with a devil. She was a gentile believer begging Jesus for help. Jesus, Who was sent but to the lost sheep of Israel said, “It is not appropriate to cast the children’s meat to dogs.” Wow! What a rebuff! In modern times this would be a significant cause for offense. Would this woman return home in a huff with a mouth streaming bad words about Jesus? Quite the opposite. Being outside of the covenant people of God, but understanding the power of Jesus, she would not be denied. Instead of becoming angry, she doubled down in humility. She replied, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Jesus said, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” Her daughter was made whole immediately.
Sin within us is so offensive to God. The righteousness and mercy of God is so offensive to the sin nature within us. When the two meet, sin will be destroyed. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will indeed grind him to powder. Luke 20:18.
So, it is so much better to be broken than to be ground into powder. Those are the only choices. To be offended is to choose the latter, to be blessed is to choose the former. The Canaanite woman would not be offended, she was blessed! So are all those who seek God in a repentant attitude. What about you, dear reader? Are you offended or blessed? Be as wise and as humble at that Canaanite woman!
Tag Archives: Israel
of the annals of history of ancient Israel comes an interesting, but
little noted individual and event. In 2 Samuel 23:11-12 one is
introduced to one of thirty top warriors in King David’s army. His
name is Shammah. Although his name and claim to fame is little known
among nominal Christians, his service to God and to the king was well
known in his day, and it placed him into a sort of “hall of fame”
for David’s generals.
The 80 years of the combined reign of Saul and David were years of war after war. Perhaps the most notable of the continuous enemies of ancient Israel was the Philistines. When they were strong, they would attack Israel in some of their weaker places and take whatever they wanted including people. It appears that the Philistines wanted a field of lentils that belonged to Israelites, and they were willing to go to war to take it. The Israelites including presumably the ones who owned the field fled from before the Philistine warriors. But, Shammah did not. He stood his ground and God wrought a great victory that day by his hand. Interestingly, it was a bean patch he protected. Of course, a field of beans ready or near ready for harvest represented a valuable asset to the owner, as well and to the population at large in the marketplace. More interesting is the name of the defender.,”Shammah,” This is a Hebrew word that means “There.” Shammah was not flighty or fearful. He was solid—he was there. He could be counted on in any time of crisis. Indeed, the bean patch was important but more-so was the principle of not giving in to those who would plunder and steal. What did he do that was so right? Simply put, he trusted in God to help him, and to give him victory. Notice that the Bible does not say that Shammah won the victory. Rather it pointedly says that God wrought the great victory.
Why is this recorded in the book of God for all generations of the ages? It is not accidental, but with great purpose. It is for us upon whom the ends of the world are come, said the apostle Paul in I Cor. 10:11. True believers must know that God and one still make a majority.
Do you run away in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds or do you trust in God to help you and give you the victory? If your trust is in God and you are depending upon His promises, that is so right! It is following a Bible example of many precedents of which Shammah is one.
THE PLACE OF LAW AND GRACE
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
Oil and water do not mix. But, they would mix before law and grace would do so. A question was posed about Exodus 23:3, 6, “Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause,” and “Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.” Does this mean that poor people should be exempt from any law based on their socio-economic status? Following is my reply.
It is my studied opinion that Israel is here commanded to be “straight shooters” under the terms of the Mosaic Law. That is, the poor man was not to be excused simply because he was poor, and the judgment against him was definitely not to be skewed in his disfavor. Now consider contextual meaning as well.
These verses are the initiation of Law to Israel, the covenant people of God. It was vitally important that they learn (and we as well from them) the difference between sin and righteousness, and just how completely righteous God is and how completely sinful man is. This law then became our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, and to His grace, Paul argues in Galatians 3:24-25.
However, the law and the prophets were until John (the Baptist) Luke 16:16. Jesus said they must be fulfilled, Luke 24:44, and He did so according to Matthew 5:18; Col. 2:14-17. The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came to us by Christ Jesus, John 1:17. Grace does not mean that the law was not righteous, quite the contrary. Covenants may change, but principles do not.
Law is Law! It is commandment plus penalty. If either is absent, the law is not in play. It cannot be injected with anything else and still be law. But, it is recognized that some cases tried by the medium of courts of law may either merit or demand mercy. But, when mercy is injected, it negates law and creates grace. Grace is what Jesus is all about. He as The God-man met each and every demand of Law. He fulfilled it to the very jot and tittle, and offers to us not the punishment of law which we deserve, (and by which God’s standard will always remain) but, His own righteousness by grace through faith.
Moreover, just as the law cannot be injected with anything else and remain law, so it is with grace. It is ludicrous to seek to maintain grace through law. This is the trouble the churches of Galatia got into, and which Paul addressed in his epistle by their name. After all, the law was not given to righteous people, but for sinners. By it, they could understand their lost condition, and their inability to do anything about it except through grace.
That mercy and grace should rule whenever possible among the affairs of men is underscored repeatedly in Jesus’ teachings, especially in Matthew 18:21-3
APRIL 14 – Pastors of the World
2Chronicles 13:10 But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the LORD, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business:
Here is a conflict between Judah and Israel. This conflict is between the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. This conflict is between paganism and the true worship of God. This conflict is between worshiping God in the way He desires or worshiping God the way we desire. This represents our present-day conflict. Continually there are true Churches that wander off into will worship and keep moving farther and farther away from the true worship of God.
Notice how this verse lays everything out. “The Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken Him.” Numbers 26:61 – “And Nadab and Abihu died when they offered strange fire before the Lord.” They only changed one little item. With all the laws and commandments that were given, who would have thought that the source of the fire would make any difference? What difference does it make that the Ark was carried on a cart? Yet a man died because of it. Messing with the worship of God is serious business. Here are three men that made a life and death decision. Sadly, their life was required of them because of their decision.
We talk about ways, means, and methods. Nadab and Abihu had a different method. Carrying the Ark in a cart was a different method. What harm could come with this new method? I personally believe that God’s knows how he wants to be worshiped. I also believe that God knows how He wants to go to the lost. I also God blesses His way and Satan blesses his way.
We are not to be pastors of the world nor are we called to pastor the world. We are called to pastor the flock that has been called out of the world. We are called to win them and not woo them. We are called to baptize them and teach them. I believe in driving them deep into the Rock. There have been times that I have called a Church that a missionary had just left. I wanted to talk to them about the empty pulpit. As I questioned them, I asked the group of men on the other end if they could describe to me what a Biblical Church was. They did not know what I was talking about. Teach, teach, teach all things. It is so needed. Win the lost and TEACH.
ISRAEL: WHOSE LAND IS IT?
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
Visits to middle eastern countries early in my ministry empowered teaching, preaching, and writing about those places. They live in reminiscence helping certain lessons to come alive. There is a story of one witnessing occasion in Israel which has underscored an important truth through the years. If readers thought by these lines I was going to share it, they are correct.
Things were so politically sticky that there had to be an Israeli guide on board the vehicle in charge of destinations and information. But, when in predominately Arab places, an Arab guide had to be in charge. Sometimes, both would be present when travel included both areas.
The Arab guide proudly spoke of the significance of monuments and places. He also emphasized that this land belonged to his Arab people since they were the descendants of Abraham.
When the Jewish guide was in charge, he spoke of the marvelous advancement his people had given the land since 1948. He went on to say that this land belonged to the Jewish people since it was their long ancestral home, and it was given to them by Abraham through Isaac. It was interesting.
In a brief period of silence, I spoke to them asking again about ownership of the land. Each reaffirmed such ownership as they had previously stated. They were both wrong. The truth of the matter is that the land was promised to the seed of Abraham through Isaac. And in the words of Paul, God said not seeds as of many, but as of one, and that seed is Christ Jesus. Therefore those who are in Christ are the inheritors of the land. Well, one can imagine: that bit of theology went over like a ton of bricks crossing the Atlantic. But it made for a most interesting and provocative conversation. perhaps no one had brought that to their attention, at least in that way. But it is nevertheless true.
The time is not far away when the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. His church which has borne the heat of the age in good testimony will inherit with Him, moreover we shall be the inheritance to Him as well.
A number of scriptures in the Old Testament, particularly in Isaiah speak of the details of that marvelous Day of our Lord. In that day, the full promise of boundaries will be given to God’s people. Additionally, they shall rule and reign with Him in a curse-removed earth for a thousand years of peace that will bring unparalleled prosperity and goodness to the whole earth, and to the myriads of people multiplied on it. It will be an environment free of satanic influence and extended human life. All will enjoy astronomical agricultural abundance. In that day from pole to pole, and wherever east meets west, the land will be freed from the curse of sin, and blessed for everyone! “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
FEBRUARY 8 – ALL HOPE LOST
Judges 10:13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.
There are times when the Lord says, No more. The Lord tells Israel, I delivered you from the Egyptians, Amorites, Ammon, Philistines, Zidonians, Amalekites, Maonites. Verse 6 says, “And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD…. ” They were repeat offenders. It seems as if they were weak and easily influenced by their neighbor countries. Verse 7 says that ”the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them. . . ” Notice what was said here – He SOLD them. He gave them over to pagan nations. These were nations that Israel lusted after their gods. God said, if this is what you want, then this is what you get.
God is a loving and forgiving God. Yet there comes that point where God says enough! There are saved that have a history of leaving the Lord and His service and then returning during times of desperation. Chastisement, at times, can bring the wandering one back to the fold. Then there comes the time when God says; no more. There will be no more vacillating. There will be no more running from me and because of chastisement running to me. I will let you stay in your wickedness and pay the penalty for your decision.
It is time for us to do as Daniel did and purpose in our heart to serve the Lord.
May we serve Him with Joy and gladness.
JANUARY 24 – WHAT MEANETH THESE STONES
Joshua 4:20-22 – And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?
22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.
Monuments are built upon events. These events become a narrative about history. Here are monuments for the children of Israel. These monuments are designed to cause children to ask questions. This gives the opportunity to tell children the story of deliverance, provision and protection. This would be a story of victory and set backs and murmuring and complaining and forgiveness.
While we travel the highways of this great nation there are monuments that tell of events, historical events about an event that took place there. I enjoy stopping to read about the events. This reveals the fabric of our nation. Monuments in our lives reveals our fabric as a person. Was it the world or Jesus that brought us to the person we are? Our monuments, the moments of life that shaped us reveal a dependance upon the world or trust and faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
We need monuments in our lives so that our children will ask us what does this mean. Our salvation is a memory that should be a monument. Our children would then ask, why do we do this or that, we can answer based upon our salvation and the will of God in our life. We could the tell them of their need to be save. These are monuments and should not become idols of worship.
We should build monuments to salvation so that our children and loved ones will know how to be saved. We should build monuments about baptism so that others know the proper candidate, authority and mode. We should build monuments about the Lord’s Supper so our children and others know that it is only for Church members of the local Church. We need to build monuments about the Church and how it is local only.
We should build monuments of our lives that are a testimony and a witness to our children and others. These monuments should be a legacy of our faithfulness to the Lord.
Let us go build Godly monuments.
JANUARY 13 – FLEE
Exodus 14:25– “… let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
How often do we face obstacles that seem as if they will crush us? We are consumed with worry and doubt. We don’t know how we will get through a particular situation. God says in the 37 Psalm to “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, … .” He also says “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not theyself… “ Do not get irritated or agitated because of your enemy.
If we could be obedient and put our trust in the LORD, how much better our health would be. There will always be those that oppose us. Don’t worry. There will always be those that want to destroy us, Don’t worry. Our trust is, or rather should be, in the LORD and not our own understanding.
There are times that fear and uncertainty causes us to stop. Remember that Israel was caught between mountains on each side, the sea in front and Pharoah’s army to the rear. God provided a way for them by opening the Red Sea for a safe passage for Israel. This safe passage became a death trap for Pharoah’s army. God delivered the nation of Israel against all odds.
God loves you just as much as He loves Israel. We may face trials and tribulations but God say “fret no thyself.” Do not worry I am hear and I will fight for you. I will deliver you from or deliver you through every problem and trial that you will face. I love you and will keep you from all harm. How much faith do you have in God?
Exodus 19:1 – ye shall be Holy