Lucia's Blog: April 2015
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

THE RICHES AND GLORIES OF GOD'S LAW, PSALM 119 - PART ONE

 "Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day."  
Psalm 119:97


I have wanted for a long time to write about this beautiful and magnificent Psalm 119.  This Psalm is very special and close to my heart because I yearn to love, to seek, to learn, to live, to praise and lean upon God's Law, His Word.  Nothing can satisfy my yearning heart like the Word of God.  He is my Portion.  It is my utmost goal as I walk my path here on earth to live my life according to the Word of God in order that I may glorify Him.
"Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee."  Psalm 119:11

Psalm 119 is one of the longest Psalms in the Bible.  It glorifies God and His Word and as one reads through the Psalm, one discovers that it mentions the written Word of God in one way or another over and over in nearly every verse.   The Psalm is laid out in an acrostic pattern, divided into twenty-two sections of eight verses each, according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  Each of these twenty-two sections is headed by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Each line of a section begins with that letter.  The closest pattern to this is found in Lamentations 3.

Consider how the Psalmist relates to the Law of God in eight descriptive words:
  1. "Law"  is used 25 times in the Psalm.  It refers to God's Divine and direct revelation to us as the whole body of "law."
  2. "Word"  is used 24 times as God's revealed Word as addressed to man.
  3. "Judgments"  is used 23 times to demonstrate God's rules that judge, discern, determine, regulate and order our thoughts and deeds in order that we may discern what is right and wrong, determined according to His Law.
  4. "Testimonies"  is used 23 times in relation to obeying His testimonies.  It means loyalty from our part to His Word.  This is our covenant between Him and us, His creatures - mankind.  
  5. "Commandments"  is used 22 times to emphasize His upright authority in what He dictates.
  6. "Statutes"  is used 21 times to declare His authority and power through the written Word, His laws.
  7. "Precepts" is used 21 times to point out His specific decrees or edicts.
  8. "Word"  is used 19 times to indicate all that God has spoken, commanded or promised to us.

Without a doubt, throughout this Psalm, the glory of God's revealed Word is examined in connection with Him alone.  As I dig deeply into the Psalm, I discover the immensity, variety, beauty, delicacy and intensity of God's Word to man.  It is much to fathom!

Consider the precious riches and glories of God's Word, the Law, throughout this Psalm:

A. ALEPH:  The Blessings of Those Who Walk in God's Laws and the Yearning to do His will.

  • Blessing declared.  (verses 1-2)
"1  Blessed are they that are perfect in the way, Who walk in the law of Jehovah.  2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, That seek him with the whole heart."

The Psalmist starts out by describing how a man can be blessed.  How?  By walking upright in God's Way, His Law, His Word and being undefiled by sin.  It means living the pure life that teaches us true blessedness and joy.  It is sharing His blessedness.  He is the only One who can show us what living a pure life is about, and He shows us as we walk in His Law.  It is vital that we make this walk a daily habit, because this is how we understand His Precepts and put them into practice.  How can one treasure His testimonies?  By studying or meditating on His Word with a sincere heart.
  • Blessing pronounced for those who walk upright.  (verse 3)
"3 Yea, they do no unrighteousness; They walk in his ways."
Those who do no unrighteousness is repeated from the 2 previous verses.  This refers to those who keep His Commandments, His Law.  Those who walk undefiled, living in purity; loving His Way.
  • A yearning to be blessed and approved by His Lawgiver, His God.  (verses 4-8)
"4 Thou hast commanded us thy precepts, That we should observe them diligently.  5 Oh that my ways were established To observe thy statutes!  6 Then shall I not be put to shame, When I have respect unto all thy commandments.  7 I will give thanks unto thee with uprightness of heart, When I learn thy righteous judgments.  8 I will observe thy statutes: Oh forsake me not utterly."
"Thou hast commanded us thy precepts, that we should observe them diligently."  Here, the Psalmist links commanded obedience with the hope of being blessed.  It honors Him, and it is the straight path to being blessed.

The Psalmist starts out by addressing God in praying "Oh that my ways were established To observe thy statutes!" This is to show that he was a man of prayer, as well as a student of the written Word.  We see this pattern in his thinking repeatedly.

God commands us to diligently keep His precepts without making our own new rules.  The aim is to be complete in Him and His rule.

"Oh that my ways were established to observe thy statutes!"   This is a godly plea or prayer that he might obey God’s Word.  He is aware of his helplessness to keep His Law apart from His revealed Word.  The Psalmist longs to be like Him but realizes that he has not reached that goal.  Does that sound familiar?  How many times do we feel frustrated because we are still weak rather than strengthened and established in His Word? 

"Then shall I not be put to shame, When I have respect unto all thy commandments."  The Psalmist felt the shame.  Why?  Because when we don't walk according to God's standards of living, we feel shame.  He prayed to live a life of purity, not defiled.  It is in living upright that one can live with confidence.  My obedience must never be partial, allowing sin to enter into my heart.  This is terrible!   Why?  Because it neglects the soul.  It is my duty to keep my soul pure, undefiled.

"I will give thanks unto thee with uprightness of heart."  The Psalmist not only praises God but thinks strongly that he must do it with an upright heart.  There is no reverence in praising Him when one's life is not upright.

"I will observe thy statutes."  He promises God to keep and guard His statutes.  His written Word.

"Oh forsake me not utterly."  The Psalmist seems to be in distress.  He loves God's Word and yet he is conscious that he is not able to do it apart from God's help in his life.  He is aware he is lost without Him and His Word.  He is mindful of the fact that man can't have fellowship with God apart from obeying His Word.

B.  BETA:  A Pure life and Meditation on God's Word.

We begin the second section of the Psalm.  Each line starts with the Hebrew letter beth which means "a house."  Our heart is a home for God's Word.
  • A young man cleanses his life through God's Word(verse 9)
"9 Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word."
Our song, “How shall the young secure their hearts and guard their lives from sin?  Thy Word …”
"Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way?"  This is not a difficult question to answer.  Why?  Because this young man is concerned with living a pure life.  He knows he has many challenges to overcome but he is determined in his heart to pursue it.  Sadly, many Christians never consider living a life of purity.  They prefer to do it only when it is convenient.  They prefer to enjoy the lusts of the flesh instead of living for Him.  As the Psalmist says, this is a journey that must start when one is young and not later.  The question is, why is the young man called to cleanse his way?  Because God demands the first and the best.  Also, because God wants to spare all man, especially the young from the slavery of sin.  Because when one starts young surrendering to His will rather than sin, it becomes much easier in the future.  Because habits are harder to break with the passing of time since they are being replaced with more bad habits.  Needless to say this is not just for the young man but for all, young and old.  Why?  
  1. Because we all have our challenges and bad habits that we must break in order to live pure lives.  But we must take heed and obey His Word. 
  2. Because His Word is the standard of purity.  
  3. Because His Word demands that we live pure.  
  4. Because His Word makes us conscious of how difficult it is to live pure, reminding us to be on guard.  
  5. Because His Word shows us the blessings of being pure.  It motivates us to live our life as a living sacrifice. 
  6. Because His Word converts our heart so that our inner man may be transformed into His likeness, His holiness, His purity. 
  7. Because His Word shows us the Way to live godly and holy.  
  8. Because His Word is our refuge against temptation.  It gives us a way of escape when we are tempted. 
  9. Because His Word commands us to flee from all lusts.  2 Timothy 2:22.  
  10. Because His Word cleanses us from all impurity, Eph. 5:26; John 15:3.  
  11. Because His Word renews our mind and heart that we may be transformed, Rom. 12:1-2
  12. Because His Word saves us from eternal damnation by showing us how to be saved from sin.  
  13. Because His Word shows us how to conduct our life in a worthy and pure way.

Jesus, our Lord, spoke of the power that there is in His Word that we may be cleansed and keep our heart pure.  John 5:3.  John 17:17.  But one must study His Word in order to walk the straight Way and not fall into sin.
  • Taking heed to His Word.  (verses 10-11)
"10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: Oh let me not wander from thy commandments.  11 Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee."

"With my whole heart have I sought thee."  The Psalmist is declaring his devotion to God.  He is also admitting his failure to maintain such commitment by saying, "Oh let me not wander from thy commandments."  The Psalmist is stating his desire to seek Him.  His heart's desire was to obey God Himself and all His Laws in order to have a close relationship with Him.

When the Psalmist declares, "let me not wander,"  he is claiming purity and devotion.  He knows he needs to lean on God and His Word in order to accomplish this.  He knows this is the path to purity.  It is in following God and His Word that one is not going to wander from His Way of purity.

"Thy word have I laid up in my heart."  The Psalmist is aware of the value of God's Word.  He knows God's Word is to be kept in one's heart that no one might take it away.  He had determined to place it and keep it in his heart and mind.

"That I might not sin against thee."  The Psalmist is firmly declaring the goodness of keeping God's Word hidden in one's heart.  It is our defense weapon against sin.

  • A prayer for God's direction, guidance.  (verse 12)
"12 Blessed art thou, O Jehovah: Teach me thy statutes."
"Blessed art thou, O Jehovah:  Teach me thy statutes." Here the Psalmist seems to connect God's Word with a desire to live a pure life.  He is conscious of his constant need for direction, guidance from God.  He is pleading God to teach him in order that he may not sin.  Why?  Because he knows that sin will keep one's heart away from God's Word.  We must have this yearning heart whose primary desire is to learn from his Teacher.

  • A declaration of loyalty, faithfulness, commitment.   (verses 13-16)
"13 With my lips have I declared All the ordinances of thy mouth.  14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, As much as in all riches.  15 I will meditate on thy precepts, And have respect unto thy ways.  16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word."

"With my lips have I declared All the ordinances of thy mouth."  Here, the Psalmist is acknowledging the importance of declaring God's Word, ordinances or laws with his lips.  It is in speaking God's laws that we are going to glorify God.  His Law not only perfect us but will edify others.

"I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, As much as in all riches."  The Psalmist is indeed acknowledging the value of God's Word.  The Word gives him as much joy as all riches.

"I will meditate on thy precepts, And have respect unto thy ways."  Obeying God's Laws is not a burden but rather a delight.

"I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word."  He has resolved  to never forget His Law.  He wants his life to be filled with His Word.  How?  In his heart, his mind, and in his habits in order that he may honor Him.

C.  GIMEL:  The Word of God And The Trials, Tribulations of  Life.

  • A prayer of blessing to keep His Law.  (verse 17)
"17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live; So will I observe thy word."

"Deal bountifully with thy servant."  What a beautiful request!  The Psalmist is asking for blessing (deal bountifully) as he humbly approaches the throne of God (thy servant) begging for mercy.  He is showing his dependency upon His Master for bounty.

"that I may live; So will I observe thy word."  This is his petition to God, God's blessing.  He desires to honor God by living a life worthy of Him in order for him to have fellowship with God.

  • A Prayer for discernment to understand His Law, His Word.  (verse 18).
"18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold Wondrous things out of thy law."

"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold Wondrous things out of thy law."   The Psalmist recognizes that without God's discernment of His Law, man cannot see what he ought to from God's Law.  This is a powerful reminder to us.  Why?   Because although the Law, His Word, does not need any change, our hearts indeed do need to change.  The eyes of Paul's were unveiled, they were open when Jesus spoke to him.  That was before Ananias healed his physical blindness and baptized him, Acts 9:18.  The Psalmist is definitely showing us that he did not need a revelation of any kind in order to see and understand what God’s Law revealed.  In Matthew 25, Jesus rejoiced that God had revealed His wisdom, "At that season Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes."  The Word of God is filled with all of God's glories that we often forget to see.  It is a shame!  His Word is full of treasures that we neglect to see because our eyes are just not open to discernment and understanding.  This is why it is vital to study and meditate on God's Word which is His Law, so that we may see with the heart.

  • A Prayer and longing for God's Revealed Word.  (verses 19-20)
"19 I am a sojourner in the earth: Hide not thy commandments from me.  20 My soul breaketh for the longing That it hath unto thine ordinances at all times."

"I am a sojourner in the earth: Hide not thy commandments from me."  The Psalmist is making the same request as in the prior verse but for a different reason.  He yearns to know God’s Law and keep it.  That is why he fervently prays for it to be so.  He also acknowledges that this world is not his home and that he is a sojourner.  He recognizes the need for his true home, which is heaven.

"My soul breaketh for the longing That it hath unto thine ordinances at all times."  His soul long for God's Law because he is a stranger on earth.  Heaven and Gods Law is what he truly treasures and lives for.  When he says "my soul breaketh," we hear an extreme longing, perhaps in the midst of disappointments, hopelessness and sorrow.  But he is hungering and thirsting after righteousness. 

  • A Prayer for Refuge in God's Law.  (verses 21-24)
"21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, That do wander from thy commandments.  22 Take away from me reproach and contempt; For I have kept thy testimonies.  23 Princes also sat and talked against me; But thy servant did meditate on thy statutes.  24 Thy testimonies also are my delight And my counsellors."

"Thou hast rebuked the proud, That do wander from thy commandments. Those who reject God's Law go astray and are cursed.  They are also proud and disobedient.  Think of the Bible account of such men as Cain, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Herod.

"Take away from me reproach and contempt."  The Psalmists recognizes that turning away from the meditation on God's Law leads one into behavior that causes reproach and contempt.  On the other hand, he asks God's help in dealing with any reproach or contempt princes or leaders might lay on him for speaking His Word.  Apparently he had been slandered (sat and talked against me).

"But thy servant did meditate on thy statutes."  Here the Psalmist shows us that the best way to deal with slander is to pray to God about it.  God will help us heal the wound.

"Thy testimonies also are my delight And my counsellors."  It is evident that the Psalmist delighted and trusted in God's Law much more than the higher classes of people on this earth such as princes.  When he says, "my counselors," he is acknowledging the need for divine direction rather than our own counsel.  There are many things that can hinder our reception of God's Word and our fellowship with Him.  That is why he prays.  He sees the dangers of a dead soul, a darkened heart lacking in understanding, of living as a stranger in a foreign home.  He saw his failures and weaknesses, the danger of pride, the reproach and contempt and rulers plotting against him, therefore he prayed for all.

D. DALETH:  Revived From The Dust.

  • A Prayer for revival from a dead soul.  (verse 25) 
"25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust: Quicken thou me according to thy word."

"My soul cleaveth unto the dust."  The Psalmist declares that he is near death.  Dust is the place of death and humiliation.  It seems that his concern was more spiritual than physical.

"Quicken thou me according to thy word."  He is praying for revival (quicken).  He felt the shame of sin and his need for brokenness and his urgency to confess his sin and find the remedy in order to do things right before God.  This is true revival in a Biblical sense.  He indeed knew what his soul needed.  He was aware that only God's Law, His Word can bring restoration to one's soul when he is dying in sin.  Romans 6:1-8.

  • Teach me, make me understand.  (verses 26-27)
 "I declared my ways, and thou answeredst me: Teach me thy statutes.  27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: So shall I meditate on thy wondrous works."
"I declared my ways, and thou answeredst me: Teach me thy statutes."  The Psalmist had told God everything that there was in his heart.  He had confessed fully and freely everything to God.  "My ways" is an implication of a humble petition to God with regard to his sins, his cares, his fears, his troubles, sorrows and concerns.  He opened his heart to God as a dear Friend who dearly wanted to learn all His Laws.

"Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: So shall I meditate on thy wondrous works."   He knew his need for wisdom and understanding of God's Law. He was aware that by having both he was able to meditate on God's Law. 

  • A Plea for God's strength for a dying soul(verse 28)
"28 My soul melteth for heaviness: Strengthen thou me according unto thy word."

"My soul melteth for heaviness."  His previous circumstances had made his soul heavy.  He felt as if his soul was melting, lacking in strength and steadiness, lacking in faith.

"Strengthen thou me according unto thy word."  Indeed, he prayed for strength according to God's Word, His Law.

  • Choosing God's Truth.  (verses 29-30)
29 Remove from me the way of falsehood; And grant me thy law graciously.  30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness: Thine ordinances have I set before me."

"Remove from me the way of falsehood."  The Psalmist chose the Way of Truth rather than falsehood.  We are often tempted to lie.  But like him, we must determine in our heart to choose the way of Truth from God's Law.

"And grant me thy law graciously.  I have chosen the way of faithfulness."  He wants to keep us from sin.  God's Law will teach him how to live godly, righteously and holy in order to receive salvation.  This is what God's grace teaches us.  "For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us, to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world..."  Titus 2:11-14.

"Thine ordinances have I set before me."  By loving the Truth and abiding in it, we are able to choose the way of Truth and have a relationship with His Word and the Father.

  • Rescue me.  Enlarge my heart.  (verses 31-32)
"31 I cleave unto thy testimonies: O Jehovah, put me not to shame.  32 I will run the way of thy commandments, When thou shalt enlarge my heart."

"I cleave unto thy testimonies: O Jehovah, put me not to shame."  The Psalmist understood his need to cling to God's Law and give himself entirely to Him.  He was confident that by doing this, he was not going to be put to shame.  He is clinging to His Word that he might run the race that is set before him with joy.  I Corinthians 9:24,  Hebrews 12:1.

"I will run the way of thy commandments."  He is running and clinging to God's Law to win.

"When thou shalt enlarge my heart."  He is acknowledging his dependence on God's Law, but he knows he needs to enlarge his heart to His Law to accomplish his task with steadfastness and confidence.  This is the way we enlarge the heart toward God's Law.


E.  HE:  A Plea For Guidance, Instruction in Life.

  • A prayer of instruction to live a righteous and godly life.  (verses 33-35)
"33 Teach me, O Jehovah, the way of thy statutes; And I shall keep it unto the end.  34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.  35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; For therein do I delight."

"Teach me, O Jehovah, the way of thy statutes; And I shall keep it unto the end."  The Psalmist needs and desires to keep the Way of the LORD and His Law.  He knows only God can teach it to him.  His Word, Law, can keep him saved to the end.  Only a man whose heart has been transformed can pray like this.  The Psalmist prays to let God's Word, Law, work in him with fear and trembling in order that he may obey Him and do His will.  Titus 2:13-14.

"Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart."  Without this understanding of God's Law, no one can be transformed and molded.  It is the only way to prevent apostasy.  The Psalmist has no doubt that God's Law can be understood correctly if one had the right heart.

"Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; For therein do I delight."  He is conscious that he cannot walk God's path without the power and instruction there is in His Law, His Word, in order to defeat sin. 

  • God's Law and the problem with earthly riches and vanities.  (verses 36-37)
"36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, And not to covetousness.  37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, And quicken me in thy ways."

"Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, And not to covetousness."  The Psalmist understands correctly the threat that covetousness presents in our walk with God.  But he also knows that a heart that is willing and humble toward God's Law is able to do it.  His right heart will help him be satisfied in what He provides.  The Word of God has warned us over and over about the danger of covetousness.  Why?  Because one can easily turn away from God's Law, ruining our heart eternally.  We have several examples in His Word of those whose heart turned away from the Almighty God:  Numbers 22; 2 Peter  2:14-16; I Kings 1:1-13; 2 Kings 5:20-26;2 Samuel 6:2-17; Joshua 7:21; John 12:6 and Matthew 26:14-16; Acts 5:1-8.  Covetousness is the chief of all sins.

"Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity."  He understands rightly that some things are vain and not worth pursuing.  Why?  Because they are of no value to the eternity of our soul.  His prayer is an urgent request to God to keep his heart and eyes away from such distractions, such worthless things.   Why are they worthless?  Because they are not good, they do not last forever, because there is no refuge in them, because it does not build up our faith, our hope and our love for God, His Word and His kingdom; because they are merely a distraction to us; and they have nothing to do with our Lord and Savior and His rule.

"And quicken (revive, make alive) me in thy ways."  This is another prayer for revival, making alive again in the ways or paths of God.  He desires to walk God's paths with a heart that is not dead but alive.  Dead to sin but alive to the Spirit.  My question is, how does God revive us? Through HIs Word or Law.

  • Yearning for revival through God's Law, Word.  (verses 38- 40)
"38 Confirm unto thy servant thy word, Which is in order unto the fear of thee.  39 Turn away my reproach whereof I am afraid; For thine ordinances are good.  40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: Quicken me in thy righteousness."

"Confirm unto thy servant thy word, Which is in order unto the fear of thee."  This prayer asks for a change of heart and mind.  Each Christian ought to pray for this.  Why?  Because it is the only way for our heart to be established and confirmed in the fear of God that we may willingly obey His Law or Word.

"Turn away my reproach whereof I am afraid; For thine ordinances are good."  God’s laws or ordinances are righteous.  He prays that God will take away any reproach from his heart.  His Law or Word can cleanse him from all reproach.

"Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: Quicken me in thy righteousness."  The Psalmist finds himself praying one more time to his Jehovah God for revival (quicken).  His heart is indeed a heart that loves and thirsts for God's Law (precepts).  He longs to be made alive in righteousness through God's Word.


F.  VAV:  Liberty, Freedom, Comes From Loving God's Law.

  • Receiving God's mercy, loving kindness and defending it.  (verses 41-42)
"41 Let thy lovingkindnesses also come unto me, O Jehovah, Even thy salvation, according to thy word.  42 So shall I have an answer for him that reproacheth me; For I trust in thy word."

"Let thy lovingkindnesses also come unto me, O Jehovah, Even thy salvation, according to thy word."  God's mercy (lovingkindness) and salvation come from obeying His Law, His Word.  It teaches us godliness, righteousness and holiness in order that we may zealously do good works and purify our souls from all lawlessness.  This is true redemption.  This is salvation.  This is God’s mercy, grace.

"So shall I have an answer for him that reproacheth me; For I trust in thy word."  When one trusts in God's Word, Law, like the Psalmist did, one is giving an answer for his hope and salvation to those who reproach us.  When one believes and defends God's Word and our hope, His Son, the disapproval of this world is answered.  We see this in Acts 4:29 as the disciples speak boldly about His Law, Word.  His Word, must be spoken, obeyed, trusted, sought and loved. 

  • A prayer that the Word, not be taken away from the Psalmist's mouth but remain for ever.  (verses 43-44)
"43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; For I have hoped in thine ordinances.  44 So shall I observe thy law continually For ever and ever. " And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth." 

"And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth."  It is a request rooted in the understanding of God's Word, Law, His righteousness, and mercy so that it may dwell in us.  He prays that God might help him continue in His Law forever.  

"For I have hoped in thine ordinances."  He has hoped in the Word of God (Ordinances) in the past and will do again since he has not been disappointed. 

"So shall I observe thy law continually For ever and ever.  And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth."   The Psalmist desires to remain in God's Law; to glorify God by his obedience to his Law."

  • Loving the Law of liberty.  (verses 45-48)
"45 And I shall walk at liberty; For I have sought thy precepts.  46 I will also speak of thy testimonies before kings, And shall not be put to shame.  47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, Which I have loved.  48 I will lift up my hands also unto thy commandments, which I have loved; And I will meditate on thy statutes."

"And I shall walk at liberty."  Obedience comes from loving His Law, Word.  God's Law brings liberty and freedom to our life.  Freedom comes through obedience to His Word, so obedience is wisdom.  Disobedience to God's Law leads us to the bondage of sin.  Freedom from the bondage of sin leads us to holiness, sanctification, and godliness.  His Word sets us free from the bondage of sin.

"For I have sought thy precepts."  God's precepts or rules are to be sought and not forced on us.

"I will also speak of thy testimonies before kings, And shall not be put to shame."   God's Law gives us freedom to speak boldly and freely of Him before kings and great men.

"And I will delight myself in thy commandments."  The Psalmist delights in God's Law.  He chooses to delight in it.

In verse 44, the Psalmist declares that he will keep His Law continually in obedience, liberty, courage (will not be ashamed) and delight. These are true deeds of righteousness brought on because of an obedient life.  These deeds will give him salvation.

"Which I have loved; And I will meditate on thy statutes."  The Psalmist is showing his deep love for God's Law.  His love is manifested in his delight for God's Law but also as a desire to honor His Law, Word when he meditates on it. We show our love for God's Law when we meditate on it, love it, know it and obey it.

G.  ZAYIN:  The Power of God's Law, Word to Comfort and Strengthen us.

  • God's Word gives us comfort.  (verses 49-50).
"49 Remember the word unto thy servant, Because thou hast made me to hope.  50 This is my comfort in my affliction; For thy word hath quickened me."

"Remember the word unto thy servant."  He understands very well that God is faithful and keeps His Word.  How?  He fulfills all His promises stated in His Word.  This is why we must pray to Him.

"Because thou hast made me to hope."  He is acknowledging his trust and confidence in God's Word.

"This is my comfort in my affliction; For thy word hath quickened me."  God's Word has brought him back to life in the past.  He found comfort in his affliction.  He wants to continue steadfastly in God's Law even during affliction.  He knows God will deliver him. 

  • God's Law adds strength to comfort.  (verses 51-52).
"51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: Yet have I not swerved from thy law.  52 I have remembered thine ordinances of old, O Jehovah, And have comforted myself." 

"The proud have had me greatly in derision."  The Psalmist appears to be mocked and reproached for loving and trusting God's Law.  The proud mocked his dedication to God's Law and ridiculed him.  Isn't it something that those who passionately love God's Law, Word, are the ones mocked and scorned the most by the proud who willfully reject God's Word?

"Yet have I not swerved from thy law."  He is determined to be faithful to his God and His Law in spite of all the scorn and mocking.  He will not turn away from God's Law. Such loyalty and commitment!

"I have remembered thine ordinances of old, O Jehovah, And have comforted myself."  The Psalmist responds wisely with confidence to those who mock him.  He trusts and hopes in God's Law.  It is here that he finds comfort.  He remembers how God dealt with men in the past.  How He dealt with those who opposed His Law.  He destroyed them as in the case of the Pharaoh when he drowned them in the Red Sea.  He confused the men at Babel.  He drove them out of Canaan.  He has done it in the past and will do it today.

  • Describing the comfort and strength the Word of God provides.  (verses 53-56).
"53 Hot indignation hath taken hold upon me, Because of the wicked that forsake thy law.  54 Thy statutes have been my songs In the house of my pilgrimage.  55 I have remembered thy name, O Jehovah, in the night, And have observed thy law.  56 This I have had, Because I have kept thy precepts."

"Hot indignation hath taken hold upon me."  This is how he thought of the wicked, the proud, the mocker and the scorners who abuse those who love and trust in God' Law.  It made him indignant when they chose to forsake God's Law.  And what is worse, they often lead others to sin.  Luke 17:1-2.

"Thy statutes have been my songs In the house of my pilgrimage."  The Psalmist is affirming God's Statutes, Law, Word.  God's Law brings him joy and confidence.  Those of us who love to sing praises to our God know the great comfort it brings when one is in the house of pilgrimage.  Even Paul and Silas could sing in the midst of suffering, Acts 16:25.  So could the Psalmist sing to God.

"I have remembered thy name, O Jehovah, in the night."  This can be both literal and figurative.  The Psalmist found real comfort through God's Word in the dark of the night when fear and anxieties often assail us.

"And have observed thy law."  Here we are reminded of remembering God's Law at night if we have indeed obeyed it during the day.

"This I have had."  This is a declaration of triumph.  He has overcome because of his faith, God's Word, Romans 10:17 His faith has given him strength, righteousness, and comfort.  The power of God's Word has kept his faith.

"Because I have kept thy precepts."  The Psalmist enjoys his victory not only because he knows the Law of God but because he obeyed it (I have kept thy precepts).  He claims complete obedience and a life lived in faithfulness toward the Law of God.

H.  HHETH:  Hurrying, Rushing to God With All My Heart.

  • Loyalty proclaimed, and mercy requested.  (verses 57-58)
"57 Jehovah is my portion: I have said that I would observe thy words.  58 I entreated thy favor with my whole heart: Be merciful unto me according to thy word."

"Jehovah is my portion."  These are the words of a pleased heart.  He is contented with the portion he has received.  That portion is the LORD.  The LORD Himself is the Psalmist's satisfaction because he has found in God's Law, Word, all that a man needs to be satisfied.  He can say, "Jehovah is my portion" with confidence.  He knows he has received that portion as he comes to know Him through God's Word.  Therefore, he wants to live it out. Truly our God and His Word is our portion, our satisfaction.  To understand and to keep His Law, Word, is his own portion.  His Law is the highest favor or grace that came to him as well as to us. God and His Law is enough for us.  He, Himself, is our own possession.

"I have said that I would observe thy words."  The Psalmist knows he would be nothing without God's Word in his life.  He would be empty.  He had resolved to keep God's Word.  Jesus said, “If a man loves me, he will keep my words.” and this is the case with the Psalmist.  He vowed to keep and obey God's Words.  He knew for certain that if God was his portion, then that would lead him to follow God's Words.  Therefore, he was resolved to obey and store it up in his heart no matter what his circumstances were.

"I entreated thy favor with my whole heart; Be merciful unto me according to thy word."  There is an urgency to seeking His Truth in the Law, and pleasing God.  The word "favor" means "Your face."  It means that in order to enjoy God's face one must experience His favor. The Psalmist declares that he had sought the face or favor of God by loving and keeping His Law.  When he said God was his portion, he meant to obey Him.  Therefore, he was resolved to please Him all the days of his life.  This will lead him to God's favor.  Since God was his portion, His Word was his rule.

"Be merciful unto me according to thy word."  The Psalmist is imploring God to have mercy on his soul.  He wants God to teach him His Word, His Law, as the highest and most precious mercies of all.

  • A life that is ruled by the Word of God.  (verses 59-60)
"59 I thought on my ways, And turned my feet unto thy testimonies.  60 I made haste, and delayed not, To observe thy commandments."

"I thought on my ways, And turned my feet unto thy testimonies."  The Psalmist had spent plenty of time studying and meditating on God's Law.  This led him to reflect and consider his own personal ways, his life,  and turn to the right path.  He knew man's ways are destructive leading to his soul's destruction, but he resolved to walk in God's Ways instead. Isaiah 55:8-9.

"I made haste, and delayed not, To observe thy commandments."  Now, he was resolved to keep and obey God's Law, quickly and joyfully although the snares of evil men surround him.  His gratefulness toward God's loving kindness and mercy, rushed him to get up and humble himself before the throne of God by praying.  This is what a man who fears God will do.  This was a speedy repentance, revival and obedience toward God.

  • Faithfulness to God's Law in difficulties and adversity.  (verses 61-62)
"61 The cords of the wicked have wrapped me round; But I have not forgotten thy law.  62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee Because of thy righteous ordinances."

"The cords of the wicked have wrapped me round; But I have not forgotten thy law."  Apparently, the Psalmist was surrounded by evil men who wanted to attack and afflict him. In spite of all these difficulties, he was resolved to not forget or forsake God's Law.

"At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee Because of thy righteous ordinances."  Notice the Psalmist's posture as a sign of humility before the throne of God.   He would get up, not lie in bed and prostrate himself and praise His God.  His devotion to God's Law was sincere, earnest, precious, valuable, sacrificial, reverencing, praising, and grateful.  All of these traits require our soul and mind.

  • Friendship with those who fear God's Law.  (verses 63-64)
"63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, And of them that observe thy precepts.  64 The earth, O Jehovah, is full of thy lovingkindness: Teach me thy statutes."

"I am a companion of all them that fear thee, And of them that observe thy precepts."  The Psalmist evidently enjoys the fellowship with those who fear and honor God's Law.  The company of those who keep His precepts.  It is such a blessing to have fellowship and friendship, with those of the same precious faith from all races, classes, nationalities, backgrounds... These are the Lord's people who fear Him with all their heart and soul.  It is beyond words!

"The earth, O Jehovah, is full of thy loving kindness."  The Psalmist acknowledges God's mercy for all men.  This prompted him to seek Him even more through His Word, which led him to a deeper satisfaction and obedience (Teach me thy statutes).  When one lives in total obedience to the Law of God, one feels as if the earth is full of the mercy of God.  It is in living an obedient life that one can be blessed, blessing others, experiencing the loving kindness of God.   Isn't this beautiful?

I.  TETH:  God's Word Aids us and Brings us Comfort During Our Time of Affliction. 

  • A prayer of praise and petition.  (verses 65-66)
"65 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Jehovah, according unto thy word.  66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge; For I have believed in thy commandments."

"Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Jehovah, according unto thy word."  This section of the Psalm starts out with a note of thankfulness.  The Psalmist is thankful for God's good dealing toward him which has come according to His Word.  Think of all the times our God has dealt with us in our weaknesses, our failures. But He remains faithful to us.  Just think of His love for us by sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins, for our redemption.  He has forgiven us through the precious blood of His Son.  He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and brought us to His kingdom of light.  He has adopted us as His Children.  He has made us kings and priests and co-workers with Him.  He has promised to reward us if we obey and abide by His Law, His Word.

"Teach me good judgment and knowledge."  The Psalmist prays for wisdom to live a righteous life; to abide by God's Law for His glory.  He is confident that God will teach him good and righteous discernment as well as knowledge.   Nothing apart from God's WORD can ever teach us good judgment and knowledge.

"For I have believed in thy commandments."  He holds tightly to God's commandments to teach him.  He firmly believed in God's Law.  It means that if we truly believe His Word, we will want Him to teach it to us.  We want to obey it.  He knows it is wise.

I will be dividing Psalm 119 into three parts.  My next part will begin with verse 67.

May the LORD help us to walk according to His Law, seeking Him with our whole heart in order that we may walk in righteousness, undefiled and not be put to shame.  May He also help us to  allow His Word  enter our heart in order that it may be a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path.  Let us love, stand in awe, rejoice, praise, keep, hope, be faithful, be revived and never forget His Law, all of His Commandments, His precious Word.  May His Word dwell in our heart in order that we may live forever.

Luci

Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE DIVIDED KINGDOM - THE PROPHETS ELISHA & OBADIAH

"And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I am taken from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.  And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof! And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.  He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him."
II Kings 2:9-13


GIANTS OF THE FAITH:  ELISHA (II KINGS 2-13)

Elisha meaning "God saves" was a good prophet of God for fifty years.  He lived during the reigns of Israel's kings:  Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Jehoash.  He was accompanied during his ministry by another servant of God named Gehazi as Elisha had accompanied Elijah before.  Elisha lived in Samaria when he was not traveling.

I.   Elijah Is Taken Up To Heaven (II Kings 2:1-18)

When the time arrives for Elijah to ascend to heaven, he presents Elisha three chances to turn away the ministry that he was going to inherit.  In each occasion, Elisha affirms he is not turning away.  When they reach the Jordan River, Elijah parts the waters and the two of them cross on dry land.  II Kings 1:8.  Then Elijah asks Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.” Elisha answers, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." He said, "You have asked a hard thing."  This request made by Elisha reflects the double portion that was given to the firstborn as his inheritance.  It means that Elisha wants to continue the LORD'S work, taking Elijah's place.  This was precisely what the firstborn son was to continue for the father.  Elijah then tells Elisha that his request might be granted if he saw Elijah taken up to heaven.  As they were walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them.  Afterward, Elijah was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind.  II Kings 2:9-14, and although Elisha knew that Elijah was not dead but had ascended to heaven, he still mourned.   Elisha cried out, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!' And he saw Elijah no more.'"  II Kings 2:12.  Then he took Elijah's mantle (a symbol of his duty as God's prophet) and returned to the Jordan River.  There he parted the waters, crossing over dry land, just as with Elijah's miracle.  Notice that Elijah's many miracles are reflected in many of Elisha's miracles.  Some were even more impressive.  He performed at least 17 miracles in his lifetime.  They would range from supernatural feeding to complete healing.  He was indeed magnificent!

The Bible is filled with many parallels where God uses similar stories to make His point.  In the case of Elijah and Elisha, we find a parallel relationship to John the Baptist and, of course, our Lord and Savior.  You see, Elijah like John the Baptist dedicated a major portion of his time away from the crowds.  They both lived off the land.  They spoke boldly on behalf of God.  Notice that Elijah was fed by ravens in the wilderness.  And so was John the Baptist who also spent a lot of time preaching of repentance and preparing the Way of the Lord.  He ate wild locusts.  Elisha spent more time with Israelites performing life-giving miracles as Jesus did.  The purpose of miracles back then was to declare the glory and greatness of God, leading many to believe in Him.  Let us consider Elisha's miracles.

II.  Elisha's Miracles:


  • II Kings 2:19-22:  Elisha heals the waters of Jericho using salt.
  • II Kings 2:23-25:  Elisha curses a group of boys from Bethel that were mocking him because of his "bald head."  Daring to mock God's prophet was the same as mocking God Himself.  It was an act of profanity and blasphemy.  Notice that he curses the boys in the name of the LORD.  After he curses them, two bears show up, tearing them apart.  There were forty-two of those young men.  What a shocking story!
  • II Kings 3:  The Moabites who were living in modern day Jordan rebelled against the Israelites.  Remember David had defeated them and made them his servants.  He also made them pay a yearly tribute to him, II Samuel 8.  Now they no longer wanted to pay that tribute since the nation of Israel was in decline.  Jehoram (Joram), king of Israel, made an alliance with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and with the king of Edom in order to fight the Moabites.  As they were marching south through Judah in the direction of the Desert of Edom after seven days, they ran out of water and called for Elisha.   This great prophet told them to dig ditches in order for the valley to hold all the water that God was about to send for them and their cattle. The miracle served two purposes:  it watered the armies, and it confused the Moabites.  Not only did the Moabites see the water as blood but they also believed that the blood came from the kings who had fought each other.  Then the Israelites arose to attack the Moabites defeating them all.  Elisha had prophesied victory for the Israelites.
  • II Kings 4:1-7:  A widow begs Elisha for help since she owed so much money.  He tells her to collect empty jars.  Then he miraculously fills them with oil.  This widow had enough oil to pay all of her debts and provide for her family. This story is very similar to that of Elijah's with another widow.
  • II Kings 4:8-37:  Elisha meets a Shunamite woman who gives him food and shelter every time he came to her town in Northern Israel.  This woman had no son, and her husband was old.  In return for her hospitality, Elisha promised her she would have a son.  And she did.  Later, this same boy was very ill and died in his mother's arms.  This was a woman of great faith who believed that Elisha could bring him back to life.  Miraculously Elisha did.
  • II Kings 4:38-41:  Elisha cleanses poisonous food that had accidentally been placed in the stew.
  • II Kings 4:42-46:  Elisha multiples food to feed 100 people with 20 loaves.
  • II Kings 5:  Elisha heals Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram.  He was a leper.  His wife's servant girl tells Naaman that God's great prophet Elisha could heal him.  This servant girl had no reason to tell Naaman how to be cured of his leprosy.  Remember that she was a captive in a foreign land.  Moreover, she was separated from her family and of no importance to anybody.  She is still an Israelite, God's chosen people.  Besides that her faith in her God was evident.  By sending Naaman to see Elisha, she is risking everything.  
Naaman then went to the Aramean king with the news that Elisha, a prophet of God, had the power  to heal him.  The king sends gifts and letters to the king of Israel.  This king fears that Elisha might fail to heal Naaman.  You see, he does not have the same faith that the poor servant girl had.  When word came to Elisha that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.'  So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, 'Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.'  But Naaman was furious and went away and said, 'Behold, I thought, 'He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.'  Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?'  So he turned and went away in a rage. Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, 'My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you,'‘Wash, and be clean?'  So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean."'  2 Kings 5:8-14.

As an action of gratitude, Naaman tries to give Elisha gifts but he refuses them.  Then Naaman swears allegiance to Jehovah God, taking a load of earth so he can build an altar to God in his homeland.  Finally, he asks forgiveness since he knew he would have to escort his king into the temple of Rimmon (another name for Baal).  He would have to bow down to Rimmon as the king bows.  He wants Elisha to know this and that he would have to do it out of duty to the king, not belief.  Elisha gives him his blessing and Naaman walks out.  Now Gehazi, Elisha's servant could not believe that Elisha had refused the gifts that Naaman offered him. He then pursued Naaman and  told him that his master had reconsidered.    Naaman stops the chariot and came down from it and gladly yielded the gifts that were two talents of silver in two bags with two changes of clothes.  When Elisha confronts Gehazi, he lies.  As a punishment Gehazi is afflicted with the leprosy of Naaman and so were his descendants forever.  He was white as snow as a leper when he left Elisha.  Isn’t it something that this story began with a faithful servant who had no leprosy and ends up as a faithless servant with leprosy?  The harm that greed can cause!
  • II Kings 6:1-7:  Elisha causes an axe-head to swim.
  • II Kings 6:1-23:  When the Aramean army comes to attack Israel and capture Elisha, his servant is afraid.  Elisha prays that God would open the servant's eyes.  Suddenly he is able to see an angelic army with horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.  Elisha then blinds the enemy and escorts them into Samaria.  Elisha did not kill them but rather fed them and let them go home.

Not only did Elisha performed many miracles, but he also predicted or prophesied future events.  Consider them:
  • II Kings 3:24-27:  Elisha prophesies victory for Israel.
  • II Kings 6:8-12:  He reveals the location of the Syrian camp.
  • II Kings 7:  Elisha prophesies the end of the famine caused by the siege.  The prophecy was fulfilled when the Syrian host fled.
  • II Kings 8:1-2 :  Elisha prophesies seven years of famine.
  • II Kings 8:7-15:  He predicted the death of Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria.
  • II Kings 8:13:  Elisha  predicted that Hazael would be the next king of Syria who would do evil to the sons of Israel.  He did!  Hazael threatened the kings of Judah and Israel for 43 years.  He forced king Joash to pay him tribute.  He also wounded king Jehoram in battle. And he seized lands east of the Jordan from king Jehu.
  • II Kins 13:14-19:  Elisha prophesies deliverance from Syria.
  • II Kings 13:20:  Elisha dies and the Moabites invade Israel.
  • II Kings 13:20-21: When Elisha was buried, another dead man was buried in Elisha's grave and when the man touched the bones of Elisha, he was revived.  Isn't it amazing!
  • II Kings 13:23-25:  Jehoash defeats Benhadad, king of Syria and his son Hazael , three times recovering the cities of Israel as prophesied by Elisha. 

III.   Fascinating Fact:  Leprosy:

Leprosy is a skin disorder or disease distinguished by skin sores, nerve atrophy, and progressive debilitation.  The disease numbs the nerves especially in the feet and hands.  That is why the leper has a hard time distinguishing pain when he is injured since he has no feeling at all.  Often the leper is more prone to infection and gangrene.  Indications of leprosy include skin lesions that do not heal after a long period.  There is prolonged numbness of the feet and hands.  If the infections go untreated, there is the danger of developing gangrene and forcing amputations of toes, fingers, feet, legs and arms.  Blindness is caused by infection in the eyes.  This is common.  There was no cure for leprosy back in those days and even today there is no cure.  Although there are treatments that can help alleviate the infection and keep it under control, limiting nerve damage.  A modern leper can live for many years with enough care and caution.

In the Bible "leprosy" covered a wide range of skin diseases.  Anyone who suffered from leprosy was forced out of towns and into leper colonies.  Lepers were required to wear torn clothes, let the hair grow long without caring for it.  They were also required to cover the lower part of their faces and to warn everyone who came near them saying:  "Leper!  "Outcast!  Unclean!"   Leprosy was sometimes considered a curse of God's judgment or punishment, as was the case with Elisha's servant.


A HIGHLIGHT ON SCRIPTURE:  OBADIAH

Obadiah is one of the minor prophets in the Old Testament.  That is not because of his rank in history but because it is a short book.  And although he is called a minor prophet, it does not mean he is less important than the major prophets.  Major is given to the longer books of prophecy such as Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah.  Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament.  It has only one chapter and 21 verses.  The exact date of this prophet is uncertain.  It may date to the reign of king Jehoram of Israel or it may date to the time of Judah's fall when the Babylonians took Jerusalem captive and destroyed the city.

The message of Obadiah was to the Edomites and the Israelites.  He spoke to the Edomites somewhere around 587 B.C.  Do you remember Jacob and Esau?  Esau was the rough hairy brother who sold his birthright for a bowl of lentils.  Edom means "red" and was used to describe red headed Esau, his descendants and the territory they occupied.  They settled in the mountain region and were rough people.  A deep bitterness persisted between the Edomites and the Israelites.  They became long term enemies.  When the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians, circa 599-588 B.C., the Edomites mocked them during this time of distress.  Then they plundered what was left of Judah.  This made the LORD furious, Ezekiel 25:12-14.
Thus says the Lord God, “Because Edom has acted against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has incurred grievous guilt, and avenged themselves upon them,”  therefore thus says the Lord God, “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom and cut off man and beast from it. And I will lay it waste; from Teman even to Dedan they will fall by the sword. I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel. Therefore, they will act in Edom according to My anger and according to My wrath; thus they will know My vengeance,” declares the Lord God.'"
God spoke to the Edomites through the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Obadiah.  Obadiah wrote the most.  Obadiah preached to them warning them of God's judgment over them; about His vengeance and the destruction to come upon them.  The Edomites were arrogant and did not care to worship the One True God.  Obadiah's words to them were, "Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you are greatly despised.  'The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, Who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’ Though you build high like the eagle, Though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,' declares the Lord.  'If thieves came to you, If robbers by night— O how you will be ruined!— Would they not steal only until they had enough?  If grape gatherers came to you, Would they not leave some gleanings?  'O how Esau will be ransacked, And his hidden treasures searched out!  'All the men allied with you Will send you forth to the border, And the men at peace with you will deceive you and overpower you.... will I not on that day,” declares the Lord, 'Destroy wise men from Edom and understanding from the mountain of Esau?  Then your mighty men will be dismayed, O Teman, so that everyone may be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter.'" Obadiah 1:2-9.

The LORD was angry and serious!  In fact, the Edomites were banished from the face of the earth.  They don't exist anymore. This short book ends with these Messianic words, "The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be the Lord’s."  Obadiah 1:21.

In my next studies, I hope to cover the remaining kings of Israel as well as the kings of Judah and their prophets.  We will be also studying Assyrian History.

Luci