As we continue our study of the men who followed David, another characteristic was their ability to war.They learned how to battle with both the right hand and the left hand for hurling stones. If you have ever thrown a ball, you know that you can aim effectively with your dominant hand — but try it with the opposite hand — it's far more difficult to throw accurately. But the men that followed David learned to throw with both arms effectively! It must have taken months of training to develop such skill.
When David was a fugitive from Saul, the men who followed him recognized his rightful place as King of Israel, and they developed a deep loyalty to him, this little band. As we read yesterday, these men were transformed from distress, debt, and discontentment [1 Sam. 22:1-2] into becoming mighty men of war. Having joined David, they quickly realized that they were joining a conflict.
When David was anointed king over Israel, he didn’t take his place at the throne immediately. He had to wait, and bide his time, until Saul was removed from power, before arriving at his destined place as King. Like His father David, Yeshua (Jesus) was received as Israel's king/messiah at the triumphal entry, (often called "Palm Sunday"), and then, "anointed" King of the Jews, ironically receiving His true title from the Romans, while hanging on a cross. But He is still waiting to reveal His identity as King on earth, during the Millenial reign when His kingdom will replace the kingdoms of this world at His second advent. [Rev. 11:15].
For centuries in Ethiopia, there have lived a people we now know as the Falashas. They kept all sorts of Biblical traditions and call themselves Beta Yisrael (House of Israel). As experts began to study the matter, it became clear that these were descendants of the Jewish people who came to Africa in ancient times and intermarried. Unbeknownst to many, a percentage of them became believers in Jesus over the years. Jesus (or Yeshua, as they called Him) became a part of their identity as Jewish people. Many Falashan Jews worshipped Jesus as their Messiah and continued to practice Jewish tradition.
This interesting passage speaks of a time when Israel had no blacksmiths to make weapons and was without any armament to defend themselves. The enemy had succeeded to disarm Israel by removing their weapons, and those who forged them! He's attempting the same tactic today.
For over 10 years we’ve been covering Christian Persecution, and whenever I come across an amazing story of how a saint endured such hardships, it encourages me. I remember reading about Watchman Nee and his imprisonment. The Chinese government would change the guards at his cell daily for fear that Nee would lead them to the Lord. Their fears were justified — many of those guards did come to faith! Apparently Watchman Nee had learned a powerful lesson from the Apostle Paul.
On December 25, 1908, a newspaper in Messina, Silicy dared God to make Himself known by sending an earthquake. Three days later, the city was destroyed by an earthquake that killed over 84,000 people.
The apostle John quotes Isaiah 53:1, saying to whom has the z’roah [arm] of the Lord been revealed? It’s a question that God answers throughout the rest of Isaiah 53, describing in detail the life of Yeshua (Jesus) and the ultimate price He would pay for the sins of the world.
Isaiah tells us that the LORD'S Arm shall rule for Him and that He is coming with reward — and a similar passage in Revelation declares that the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) is coming to reward His saints.
In Israel, we often see goats and sheep roaming the countryside. Driving through rural Israel often involves suddenly stopping to allow a herd of sheep or goats to cross the road. But interestingly, I have never seen “sheep kill" on the side of the road in all the years that I’ve lived in Israel. It’s because sheep don’t roam without a shepherd!
The story of the Exodus is a story of miracles – yet in the beginning when Moses first appeared before Pharaoh to deliver the children of Israel from 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were severely tempted and became angry because of the initial hardships that were laid upon them.
This scripture makes an astounding promise — God ALWAYS leads us to triumph or victory! But can we ALWAYS count on this amazing word to be true?
A story is told of Peter Miller, a plain Baptist preacher of Pennsylvania, in the days of the Revolutionary War. Near his church, lived a man who maligned the pastor to the last degree. The man became involved in treason and was arrested and sentenced to be hanged.
With war drums beating even more intensely in Iran and Syria, we've received numerous phone calls and emails expressing their concerns — and understandably so! Nevertheless, even in this climate of anxiety, we are preparing to enter into Shabbat (the Hebrew word for Sabbath) this afternoon. And as we do, we are remembering again, the deep lesson of God's entering into His rest following the six creation days.
When Peter and John had gone up to the Temple for prayer [Acts 3], they saw a man who was lame from birth, and were moved to heal him in the name of Yeshua (Jesus). Immediately the religious leaders laid hands on them [Acts 4:3] and kept them imprisoned for a day. The following day, with boldness, they declared this miracle was done in the name of Yeshua. I love what the "religious" leaders said next — "they perceived that they were unlearned men and they marveled at their boldness!" Why were they bold? They had been with Yeshua, and the leaders took note of that!
In the 1883, Captain Sampson of the British navy witnessed one of the greatest volcanic eruptions in history which took place in Indonesia. The eruption was so powerful that its shock waves traveled around the world seven times. The volcano shot miles of debris into the atmosphere which fell to earth as far away as Madagascar – over 2000 miles distance.
I ran across a profound story that shows what happens when the family structure breaks down — but this didn’t have to do with people — it had to do with elephants.
This pivotal passage of scripture, Isaiah 52 and continuing into Isaiah 53, profiles a suffering servant whom the nation of Israel would not recognize. The spiritual leaders of Yeshua's (Jesus) day were blinded to the messianic passages which pointed to the messiah's role as a humble servant and bearer of sins.
When I was growing up in Baltimore, Maryland during the winter I always wished for a snow day so that I didn't have to go to school the following day. I was always watching the news for any hint of snow, even just a ½ inch was usually enough–schools would just close! Aside from the weather report there was one sign that almost always meant freedom the next day: if Mom and Dad rushed to the grocery store, because on the East Coast, the slightest hint of snow sends everyone running for milk, eggs and bread to be sure they're ready for the storm.
The Hebrew expression in this verse from Isaiah is rich with meaning. The root "nus" (from the expression "raise up a standard") is related to or sounds like numerous words which mean "sign", "miracle", "to drive away", "to flee", "cause to disappear", "a waving flag". This abundance of meanings in Isaiah's poetic style reveals the multiple dimensions of God's revelation; in this case, the way he deals with evil. The assertion in this word is that the Spirit of YHVH will be powerfully activated when evil comes.