God always wants us to take the “high ground” In fact, that is where He will lead us if we follow Him faithfully There is a familiar Old Testament account from which we can learn valuable lessons on this principle if we will study and emulate it (Rom. 15:4), the battles surrounding Jericho & Ai (Josh. 6-7) How do we seek and take the “high ground?”
God has poured out his blessings upon us in working out His scheme of redemption. In Ps. 145, David proclaims God’s: “greatness is unsearchable…Your great goodness…His tender mercies are over all His works…They shall speak the glory of Your kingdom…Gracious in all His works.” We are quickly approaching a holiday in our nation that we call Thanksgiving. A holiday in which we are thankful for the blessings we have of living in a free society and we should count our blessings and acknowledge them before our great Creator.
There has always been immorality since the earliest days of mankind. "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."(Gen 6:5) However, there have been times, even not too many years ago, when, due to a greater faith in God and acceptance of the Bible, a common sense of shame and decency existed in society.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” If we were as concerned for our souls as Christ is there would be no statements of “almost you have persuaded me…” We would all be saved! Salvation requires change and if we want to change the world about us we must first be “willing” to change ourselves.
“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.” A proper fear of Jehovah God is essential for one’s salvation. When fear is properly developed we have an ever-growing respect for our creator. We develop intimacy and fellowship with our Lord.
The songs we sing in our worship we should be singing with the spirit and understanding. It is an opportunity that we can teach and admonish one another. A mighty Fortress may be an old song, but this hymn presents God as a source of protection, like a strong castle, a MIghty Fortress. Do we think of God like he is our fortress?
This prophet of God likes to learn lessons the hard way. He will be on a hillside bemoaning the fact that God relented in punishing Nineveh. He is angry with God and let’s God know just how upset he is. God uses this as an opportunity to teach Jonah a lesson about compassion
Who are you? If you begin with “I am a child of God” then your priorities are correct. If you start with anything else and “I am a child of God” is further down the list ask yourself why it isn’t at the top of your list. Recently Cindy and I heard a line in a movie that really hit me between the eyes “Your identity is who your heart is tied to.” I want to suggest to you tonight as we look at this Psalm, David’s heart is tied to God. He knows he is a child of the living God.
It is true that there are many difficult passages of scripture found within the pages of God’s word, yet it was God’s plan to reveal himself and His will in such a way that men could understand it. The Bible was not given to us to simply be memorized and stated as mere facts without understanding its precepts.
Nehemiah now leads an effort to rebuild and restore the hearts of the people. This will be the most difficult job of all. The spiritual reconstruction of a people who have spent years away from God. What takes place in chapter 8 is one of the biggest revivals of all time.