Spiritual Rants: May 4 “The Cost Of An Arm And A Leg” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Judges 19:1-20:48 John 3:22-4:3 Psalm 104:24-35 Proverbs 14:22-24

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Old Testament:  Judges 19:1-20:48

A poor lady was cut in pieces causing turmoil, war broke out and the Benjamites lost their soil.

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Judges 19:1-29   A Cut Up

During this age of lawlessness, a man brought home a concubine.  She got mad at him and ran away back to her father’s house.  The man went out to win her back.  The girl’s father welcomed the man and they partied for five days having a good old time.

Finally, the man said that’s enough and set off for home with his gal.  They were going to stay in Jerusalem but the man thought it to be too corrupt.  They got as far as a town named Gibeah but here was no place to stay so they slept on the square.  An old man came by and told them it was too dangerous to stay there and that they could stay at his house.   Everything was going pretty good when a “gang of sex perverts” (v. 22 TLB) dropped by and wanted to “have their way” with the man.  The old man dissuaded them, offering them his own virgin daughter!  Yikes!

The deviants didn’t take they deal.  They forced their way in and took the man’s concubine and raped her all night.  The man, the sensitive guy that he was, found her out on the steps the next morning clutching the door jam.  “Let’s go,” he said.  She just lay there.  Because she was dead!  So he cut her in twelve pieces and sent her parts to each of the tribes of Israel to rouse them to punish the men of Benjamin.

Judges 20:1-48   The Cost Of An Arm And A Leg

The nation of Israel sent 450,000 men out to exact punitive measures against the town of Gibeah.  The army asked for the men responsible but the Benjamites wouldn’t cough them up.  Instead, 26K of the Benjies came to reinforce the 700 locals.  700 of these were lefty sharpshooters.  Israel numbered 400K at this point.

The Israelites asked counsel from Yahweh and were told to proceed.

The villagers knocked off 22K of the Israelis that day.  They asked Yahweh again if they were on track and the Lord told them again to proceed.  They lost 18K swordsmen the next day.

The Israelis wept and fasted and offered burnt offerings to the Lord.  Then they asked Yahweh, “Are you sure we’re supposed to be doing this?”  Yahweh gave them the go ahead and told them that they’d be victorious the next day.  The Israelites routed the Benjies though they slaughtered about thirty of Israelites while they were retreating.  But the retreat was a ploy by the Israelites to draw them into a trap.  10K of them ambushed the Benjies pursuing the other part of the army.  They killed 25.1 K of them that day leaving just a small remnant of Benjies.  Later, the Israeli army came back and got them, too.  They wiped out the entire tribe of Benjamin, men, women, children and animals except for 600 men who fled and hid on the Rock of Rimmon.  They burned all their cities in the region to the ground.

New Testament: John 3:22-4:3

Both Jesus and John were out to baptize, their purpose was to open people’s eyes.

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John 3:22-4:3  Dunkers

After talking to Nicodemus, Jesus and the boys went to the area of Judea.  Jesus was baptizing there and so was John because there was a lot of water there.

Someone questioned why John was baptizing if Jesus was baptizing.  John told him that his role was that of the friend of the bridegroom.  He said that Jesus’ role would increase but his would decrease.  He was saying that Jesus was much greater than he was.  Jesus was from Heaven, he said, but no one was listening to him.  John told them to believe in Jesus if they wanted to go to Heaven.  If they didn’t it’d be God’s wrath for them and they’d end up in H-E- double hockey sticks [implied].

Jesus wasn’t actually doing the baptizing.  The boys were.  But when He heard the Pharisees were on to him, He moved back to Galilee.

Psalm 104:24-35    A Hymn About Creation By Anonymous

Every mountain and quarry, all of nature, shows God’s glory.

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Psalm 104:24-35     Reports Are Flooding In, Part 2

Today we investigate the second part of Psalm 104.  It is a paean to nature and parallels the Genesis account of creation.

Verses 2 parallels Genesis 1:3   Day One     light

Verses 6 parallels Genesis 1:5-6   Day Two      earth, waters

Verses 7-8 parallel Genesis 1:9   Day Three     dry land

Verse 19 parallels Genesis 1:14    Day Four      stars, sun, moon

Verses 25-29 parallel Genesis 1:20-25   Day Five     birds, fish

Verse 30  parallels Genesis 1:26-27   Day Six     humans

In 2005, a huge tsunami hit Indonesia.  Unfortunately, Greta Van Sustern announced, “reports are flooding in . . . .”  I’ll bet they were.  In this psalm, the writer is reporting that God is above all.  He created all things.  Reports are still flooding in and human beings are not paying attention.

The psalmist shouts to the world about God’s great works (v. 24).  The seas and all creatures speak of His greatness but mankind comes up with stupid ways to explain it away like macro-evolution.  Of course, there is micro-evolution within a species but no one has ever discovered proof of evolution between species like amoeba turning into fish turning into  apes turning into human beings.  A network like CBS may all of a sudden report that they have proof and a few days later the evidence becomes like the dandelion seeds that dissipate in the soft breeze of summer.

Leviathan could be crocodiles, huge animals that you don’t want to mess with (v. 26).  God feeds all creatures, if He didn’t, they would “expire” (vv. 27-29).

Man was created when God breathed His breath of life into him (cf. Gen. 2:7).

All of God’s works reflect His glory (vv. 31-32).  That is one reason to worship Him (v. 33).  We should meditate on His works (v. 34).  Christians often do not consider nature as they should.  They just take it for granted.  All Christians should be tree-huggers and gardeners.  Or, at least, mow their lawn.

Some day sinners and evil people won’t exist (v. 35).  Since the Rapture occurs before the Seven Year Tribulation then the Millennium begins, Christ could be ruling on earth as soon as seven years from today’s date (see Jacob’s Trouble)!  Wouldn’t it be a lot better to look forward to that event than then next presidential inauguration?

Proverbs 14:22-24      The Department Of Redundancy Department

Work hard, you’ll be blessed and all your children will learn what is best.

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Isaiah says that we all go astray like sheep that wander (cf. Isa. 53:6).  Everyone who has not trusted Christ goes astray (v. 22a).  Those who trust the Lord are capable of pleasing Him (cf. Heb. 11:6) and doing good (v. 22b).

All work is good, even if that means you are doing your school work or volunteering (v. 23a).  If you just sit around and talk about stuff, you’ll end up poor (v. 23b).

Wise people are the richest people in the world (v. 24a).

I think I already said what was in verse 24b.  Or it seems like it maybe because the book of Proverbs keeps saying something like it.  The folly of fools is foolishness.  Is that from the department of redundancy department?   Foolish fools are foolish.  They do foolish things.  Like things like folly.  Even a caveman could understand that.  I’m not kidding.

Maybe that’s like saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Choose Life: Scripture:  John 3:36    NASB    “Probation”

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”  John 3:36

We are all on probation.  We have one thing we must be sure to do before we leave planet earth.  This verse explains it.  It is very clear.  If we trust and believe in Christ and His salvation for us, we will go to Heaven.  If we do not “obey” Him, the wrath God has against sin will be taken out against us in the nethermost regions.  Notice the issue is obedience where obedience means to obey the command to trust Christ (cf. John 1:12).

One of the greatest things about this verse is that it indicates that eternal life begins immediately at the point in time we trust Christ.  It does not begin on the day we die physically (cf. John 5:24).

Did you realize that if you have already trusted Christ, you have the life of God?  Did you realize your eternal life has already begun?  Do you realize that you are no longer on “probation”?

If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:   

Most people believe that they will be able to do enough good deeds to get God’s attention and earn their way into Heaven.  That is the opposite of what the Bible says.  The Bible says that we can’t do enough good works to offset our sin.  Only Christ’s death satisfies God’s wrath.  Why are people so blind to the truth?  Could it be that Satan has blinded their minds (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4).  So what should we do if we want to see people trust Christ and punch their ticket to eternal life?  We should pray that God lifts the covering from their eyes.

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   An Arm And A Leg

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