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“And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel.” (1 Kings 11:9)
The Scriptures have an interesting commentary on Solomon’s life: “When Solomon was old…his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God” (1 Kings 11:4). How is it possible to start well and end sadly?
We Must Guard Our Heart: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” Solomon admonished in Proverbs 4:23. The Hebrew word for “keep” is natsar and the main verb for “guard” or “set a watch.” Psalm 119 uses natsar 10 times to demand our careful “watch” on our obedience and use of the Word of God. The promise is: “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:2).
Store the Good Treasure: In one of his many confrontations with the Pharisees, Jesus gave several illustrations about the impact of the “heart” part of our nature. Jesus spoke of binding the “strong man,” noting that a tree produces the fruit it was grown for, and that snakes are always snakes. Then Jesus makes this observation: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).
Others Will Try to Turn Your Heart: Jereboam (1 Kings 11–12) led Israel in rebellion against Judah and against God. He “devised of his own heart” (1 Kings 12:33) liturgical practices that “made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 15:34). Peter warns: “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).
We must guard our hearts, “for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Shalom!
by Henry Morris III, D.Min.
May 22, 2015
Ezekiel 37:1-28 (Good News Translation)
God’s Renewing Word
Ezekiel 37:1-28: The Israelites living in exile were feeling as if their hopes had dried up; but like an army of dry bones that rose from death, the people will stand up and return home. God promises that the kingdoms of Judah and Israel will once again be united.
Today’s Scripture: Ezekiel 37:4
He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the LORD.”
The Valley of Dry Bones
1I felt the powerful presence of the Lord, and his spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones.2He led me all around the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry.3He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?”
I replied, “Sovereign Lord, only you can answer that!”
4He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the Lord.5Tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life.6I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
7So I prophesied as I had been told. While I was speaking, I heard a rattling noise, and the bones began to join together.8While I watched, the bones were covered with sinews and muscles, and then with skin. But there was no breath in the bodies.
9God said to me, “Mortal man, prophesy to the wind. Tell the wind that the Sovereign Lord commands it to come from every direction, to breathe into these dead bodies, and to bring them back to life.”
10 So I prophesied as I had been told. Breath entered the bodies, and they came to life and stood up. There were enough of them to form an army.
11God said to me, “Mortal man, the people of Israel are like these bones. They say that they are dried up, without any hope and with no future.12So prophesy to my people Israel and tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to open their graves. I am going to take them out and bring them back to the land of Israel.13When I open the graves where my people are buried and bring them out, they will know that I am the Lord.14I will put my breath in them, bring them back to life, and let them live in their own land. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have promised that I would do this—and I will. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Judah and Israel in One Kingdom
15The Lord spoke to me again.16“Mortal man,” he said, “take a wooden stick and write on it the words, ‘The kingdom of Judah.’ Then take another stick and write on it the words, ‘The kingdom of Israel.’17Then hold the two sticks end to end in your hand so that they look like one stick.18When your people ask you to tell them what this means,19tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to take the stick representing Israel and put it with the one that represents Judah. Out of the two I will make one stick and hold it in my hand.
20“Hold in your hand the two sticks and let the people see them.21Then tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to take all my people out of the nations where they have gone, gather them together, and bring them back to their own land.22I will unite them into one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. They will have one king to rule over them, and they will no longer be divided into two nations or split into two kingdoms.23They will not defile themselves with disgusting idols any more or corrupt themselves with sin. I will free them from all the ways in which they sin and betray me. I will purify them; they will be my people, and I will be their God.24 A king like my servant David will be their king. They will all be united under one ruler and will obey my laws faithfully.25They will live on the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where their ancestors lived. They will live there forever, and so will their children and all their descendants. A king like my servant David will rule them forever.26I will make a covenant with them that guarantees their security forever. I will establish them and increase their population, and will see to it that my Temple stands forever in their land.27 I will live there with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.28When I place my Temple there to be among them forever, then the nations will know that I, the Lord, have chosen Israel to be my own people.”
The valley of dry bones is depicted as a battlefield representing the land after the Babylonian invasion. What hopeful message is given in verses 1-14? About three centuries before the time of Ezekiel, the tribes of Israel divided into two kingdoms; the northern kingdom (Israel) was defeated by Assyria, and the southern kingdom (Judah) was defeated by the Babylonians. What does God promise once the two kingdoms are united (verses 20-28)?
Sovereign God, unite the hearts, minds, and will of all your people in loving service to you. I thank you for your life-giving breath and for the hope of new life you offer me each day. Amen.
Countries experiencing political turmoil
Joel 2:28—3:21: The LORD’s Spirit will be poured out on everyone.
Corrupt the Marriage Covenant, corrupt the family.
Think about it.
VICTORY OVER SATAN, THE DEVIL,
AS A LIAR (John 8: 44):
"He was a murderer from the beginning, and
stood not in the truth, because there is no truth
in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of
his own; for he is a liar, and the father thereof."
This does not mean that the enemy never tells
the truth, but his truth has the objective of getting
the believer involved in evil; e.g., when the spirit
of divination spoke the truth, that Paul and Silas
were the servants of God, it was to suggest the
lie that Paul and Silas derived their power from
the same source as the girl under the evil spirit's
power. The devil and his wicked spirits will speak,
or use, ninety-nine parts of truth to float one lie,
but Paul was not deceived by the witness of a
soothsaying prophetess acknowledging their divine
authority. He discerned the wicked spirit and its
purpose, exposed it, and cast it out.
Even so must the believer be able to triumph over
Satan as a liar, and be able to recognize his lies,
and those of lying spirits, in whatever form they
are presented to him. This he does by knowing
the truth, and using the weapon of truth.
War on the Saints by Jessie Penn-Lewis
Tomorrow: Victory Over Falsehood By Truth
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