The Lord is Near Daily Bible Meditation



 
30/08/2016

August


30


Tuesday



As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man. (Luke 17:26)




In the days of Noah, wickedness was everywhere. People continuously and intentionally planned their evil deeds. The earth virtually flowed with violence, until God ultimately declared it to be corrupt, full of the putrid decay of sin (Gen. 6:1-12).


Yet Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (v. 8). It is significant that Noah and his family were enfolded by God’s grace, which is in keeping with the Bible’s overarching theme that no one can earn God’s favor by his works. At the same time, we observe that Noah’s reverence for the Lord had produced godly characteristics in his life (v. 9). First of all, he was just. This implies that he dealt honorably with everyone. He did not play favorites, treating some kindly and others harshly. He desired to do the right thing in every situation. Noah was also perfect, which in this context does not mean sinless but “whole”—that is, blameless in every aspect of his public life. Moreover, Noah walked with God, which suggests that he sought God’s ways. Wherever God’s footsteps went, that’s where Noah wanted to go, too.


These characteristics are all the more attractive as bright contrasts to Noah’s sin-darkened world. They are also a model for Christians, living as we do in a world that is hastening on to another day of judgment. We must not despair when darkness seems great, and we must not deride sinners who have yet to heed God’s call to repentance. Instead, we can display the characteristics of Christ, just as Noah did. The Spirit of God will empower us to love justice and live blamelessly, doing what is right and honorable. Then we will walk with God, navigating a godly path amid our neighbors and friends, “among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).


Stephen Campbell




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Newsletter Bible Questions



A) Question How did Christ learn obedience by the things which He suffered even though He was co-equal with God?

Answer
Scripture Reference – Hebrews 5:8 – “though he were Son, he learned obedience from the things which he suffered”

It was an entirely new thing for the glorious Son of God to learn obedience. He who commanded all things from all eternity came into this world of sin, and took the place of obedience, in a pathway of suffering in which He never yielded to temptation – “He suffered being tempted” – never yielded – He learned what it was in this world to obey.

We learn obedience by the subjection of our wicked hearts and wills to God. He learned it as one of whom it was a new thing, and who had a perfect will, but who laid it aside – (“not my will but thine be done”) who submitted to everything, obeyed in everything, and depended on God for everything. His obedience ended in death rather than fail on faithfulness or disobedience to His Father.

How contrary to the first Adam was the second in all this! And the Christian is “sanctified unto the obedience … of Jesus Christ.” May we have grace to be conformed to Him and obey!

B) Question What does the number “five” signify in Scripture as a symbol?

Answer
Scripture Reference – Leviticus 26:8 – “and five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you of you shall put ten thousand to flight, and your enemies shall fall beside you by the sword.”

Five seems to be used to signify that which is relatively small; the number characterizing weakness. In Lev. 26:8, we read, “Five of you shall chase a hundred.” The very smallness of Israel, if faithful, would easily discomfit their enemies in power. In Isaiah 30:17, on the other hand, it is said of them in the time of their judgment, “At the rebuke of five you shall flee; till you be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on a hill.”.

In the parable of the Ten Virgins, we find that after the midnight cry they were broken up into fives –weakness – in the interval between the hope of the Lord’s coming being revived in the Church, and the shutting of the door. We find the Lord (Matt. 9, Mark 6, Luke 9, and John 6) feeding the multitude from five loaves and two fishes. He is equal to the demand, no matter how
scanty the supply, at times of peculiar moment in the gospel history. Paul says, “I had rather speak five words with my understanding … than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue” ( 1 Cor. 14:19)

There are many other places where “five” is used in Scripture, but these passages will help to an understanding of its meaning as a symbol.

C) Question – Is there any Scripture to lead us to believe that the Holy Spirit will dwell in us forever?

Answer

As believers, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. having believed, we are sealed until the day of redemption, and He is the earnest of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13,14). He will eventually quicken our mortal bodies, as we find in Rom. 8:11.

There are no specific Scriptures that I know of which state that the Holy Spirit will abide in us forever. But His action in spiritual power is essential to our power in life. The Spirit is life, and surely is not to be taken as a power of enjoyment in heaven. “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free.” We are to be fully conformed to the image of God’s Son, and we find Him, a Man risen from the dead, giving commands through the Holy Spirit after His resurrection (Acts 1:2).

We shall have the Holy Spirit thus after our resurrection, and His divine energy will be wholly free to guide and direct in the service committed to us by our God, and in unhindered power of joy and worship. This is now checked, because of His now giving power to restrain and mortify (put to death) the flesh in us.

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