Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Righteous Revolution Pt. 10

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
(1 Peter 2:24)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Righteous Revolution Pt. 9

Do not fret because of evil men

or be envious of those who do wrong;

for like the grass they will soon wither,

like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the LORD and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the LORD

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD;

trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

do not fret when men succeed in their ways,

when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

do not fret—it leads only to evil.

For evil men will be cut off,

but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will be no more;

though you look for them, they will not be found.

But the meek will inherit the land

and enjoy great peace.

The wicked plot against the righteous

and gnash their teeth at them;

but the Lord laughs at the wicked,

for he knows their day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword

and bend the bow

to bring down the poor and needy,

to slay those whose ways are upright.

But their swords will pierce their own hearts,

and their bows will be broken.

Better the little that the righteous have

than the wealth of many wicked;

for the power of the wicked will be broken,

but the LORD upholds the righteous.

The days of the blameless are known to the LORD,

and their inheritance will endure forever.

In times of disaster they will not wither;

in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

But the wicked will perish:

The LORD's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields,

they will vanish—vanish like smoke.

The wicked borrow and do not repay,

but the righteous give generously;

those the LORD blesses will inherit the land,

but those he curses will be cut off.

If the LORD delights in a man's way,

he makes his steps firm;

though he stumble, he will not fall,

for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

I was young and now I am old,

yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken

or their children begging bread.

They are always generous and lend freely;

their children will be blessed.

Turn from evil and do good;

then you will dwell in the land forever.

For the LORD loves the just

and will not forsake his faithful ones.

They will be protected forever,

but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;

the righteous will inherit the land

and dwell in it forever.

The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom,

and his tongue speaks what is just.

The law of his God is in his heart;

his feet do not slip.

The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,

seeking their very lives;

but the LORD will not leave them in their power

or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

Wait for the LORD

and keep his way.

He will exalt you to inherit the land;

when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

I have seen a wicked and ruthless man

flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,

but he soon passed away and was no more;

though I looked for him, he could not be found.

Consider the blameless, observe the upright;

there is a future for the man of peace.

But all sinners will be destroyed;

the future of the wicked will be cut off.

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;

he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

The LORD helps them and delivers them;

he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,

because they take refuge in him.

(Psalm 37:1-40)

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Righteous Revolution Pt. 8

I've blogged on different portions of Isaiah 6 before - with different revelation each time but when I was running tonight, & praying about a righteous revolution, God spoke to me again, bringing together what had previously been two separate lines of thought.

(December 10, 2007)
Isaiah 6:1 says, 'In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.'
We know that in the times of the Old Testament when a King would send his men into war, after they defeated their enemy, the King would walk through the battle ground and take for his men the spoils. But the greatest recognition for the King that he had been victorious was signified when he would have a piece of the defeated King's robe cut off and then sewn onto the bottom or the end of his own. So for a King, in Old Testament times, the length of his robe would therefore be a sign or an indication of his greatness i.e. the longer his robe, the move victories he had won and the more powerful a King he was.
The temple of the OT was a place where the people would come to offer sacrifices because of their sin, because of their defeatedness. It was a place where they would bring their failure, their insecurity, and their inadequacy. Not much has changed over the years. For us, the new Israel, the temple of the church is still a place where we bring our brokenness. As we attend every week, our failure, our fear, our insecurity, and our sin all follow us through the door. But then came the revelation; 'the train of His robe filled the temple'. We worship a God of Victory, a King who has defeated the power of sin. And if that piece of cloth is sewn to the train of His robe, and if His robe fills the temple...our, then everything we bring is covered, everything we bring into the temple is defeated. We are covered by the robe of the King who has conquered death! The train of his Robe signifies Christs defeat over the enemy. His Blood seals our redemption and our righteousness (past, present & future) in His name.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Here's the second thought.
'In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" (Isaiah 6:1-3)

The first 5 words of verse 3 in my opinion is the revolution, the Righteous Revolution.
'And one called to another'
Our focus should rightfully be on the Holiness of God, but if we can get a revelation of the Righteousness of Christ in us (the train of His robe fills our temple), the next step is for 'one to call to another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" There's no revolution if we spend all of our time singing worship songs to Jesus yet watch the people around us go to hell at the same time. What greater worship can we offer God than to draw the people around us to see the Holiness of God, to call their attention to the Glory of the Lord of Hosts

'And the train of his robe filled the temple...And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!".

That's a Righteous Revolution.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Righteous Revolution Pt. 7

'God's love does not conflict with His holiness and righteousness. On the contrary, the nature of God's holiness and righteousness demands that He be a God of love. His holiness is the absolute uniqueness and infinite value of His glory. His righteousness is His unswerving commitment always to honor and display that glory. And His all-sufficient glory is honored and displayed most by His working for us rather than our working for Him. And this is love.'
(Piper, Brothers, we are not professionals)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Righteous Revolution Pt. 6

The actions and positive results of a sound relationship within a local community or between God and a person or His people. Translators have employed “righteousness” in rendering several biblical words into English: sedaqah, sedeq, in Hebrew; and dikaiosune and euthutes in Greek. “Righteousness” in the original languages denotes far more than in English usage; indeed, biblical righteousness is generally at odds with current English usage. We understand righteousness to mean “uprightness” in the sense of “adherence or conformity to an established norm.” In biblical usage righteousness is rooted in covenants and relationships. For biblical authors, righteousness is the fulfillment of the terms of a covenant between God and humanity or between humans in the full range of human relationships.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Righteous Revolution Pt. 5

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

(Psalm 23:1-6)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Righteous Revolution Pt. 4

Hear this word, O house of Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:

"Fallen is Virgin Israel,
never to rise again,
deserted in her own land,
with no one to lift her up."

This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"The city that marches out a thousand strong for Israel
will have only a hundred left;
the town that marches out a hundred strong
will have only ten left."

This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel:
"Seek me and live;

do not seek Bethel,
do not go to Gilgal,
do not journey to Beersheba.
For Gilgal will surely go into exile,
and Bethel will be reduced to nothing. "

Seek the LORD and live,
or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire;
it will devour,
and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

You who turn justice into bitterness
and cast righteousness to the ground

(he who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns blackness into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
the LORD is his name-

he flashes destruction on the stronghold
and brings the fortified city to ruin),

you hate the one who reproves in court
and despise him who tells the truth.

You trample on the poor
and force him to give you grain.
Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,
you will not live in them;
though you have planted lush vineyards,
you will not drink their wine.

For I know how many are your offenses
and how great your sins.
You oppress the righteous and take bribes
and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts.

Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet in such times,
for the times are evil.

Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,
just as you say he is.

Hate evil, love good;
maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy
on the remnant of Joseph.

Therefore this is what the Lord, the LORD God Almighty, says:
"There will be wailing in all the streets
and cries of anguish in every public square.
The farmers will be summoned to weep
and the mourners to wail.

There will be wailing in all the vineyards,
for I will pass through your midst,"
says the LORD.

The Day of the LORD
Woe to you who long
for the day of the LORD!
Why do you long for the day of the LORD ?
That day will be darkness, not light.

It will be as though a man fled from a lion
only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him.

Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light—
pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?

"I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.

Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.

Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.

But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

"Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?

You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
the pedestal of your idols,
the star of your god —
which you made for yourselves.

Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,"
says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty.

(Amos 5:1-27)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Righteous Revolution Pt.3

Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.

Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.

The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.

You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the LORD abhors.

But I, by your great mercy,
will come into your house;
in reverence will I bow down
toward your holy temple.

Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make straight your way before me.

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongue they speak deceit.

Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

(Psalm 5:1-12)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Righteous Revolution cont.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
'The renewed man acts upon new principles, by new rules, with new ends, and in new company. The believer is created anew; his heart is not merely set right, but a new heart is given him. He is the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Though the same as a man, he is changed in his character and conduct. These words must and do mean more than an outward reformation. The man who formerly saw no beauty in the Saviour that he should desire him, now loves him above all things. The heart of the unregenerate is filled with enmity against God, and God is justly offended with him. Yet there may be reconciliation. Our offended God has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. By the inspiration of God, the Scriptures were written, which are the word of reconciliation; showing that peace has been made by the cross, and how we may be interested therein. Though God cannot lose by the quarrel, nor gain by the peace, yet he beseeches sinners to lay aside their enmity, and accept the salvation he offers. Christ knew no sin. He was made Sin; not a sinner, but Sin, a Sin-offering, a Sacrifice for sin. The end and design of all this was, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, might be justified freely by the grace of God through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Can any lose, labour, or suffer too much for Him, who gave his beloved Son to be the Sacrifice for their sins, that they might be made the righteousness of God in him?' (Matthew Henry)

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Righteous Revolution

sedeq is the Hebrew noun for Righteousness, usually rendered "righteousness, justice, righteous." Mounce explains that 'God wants his people to pattern their life after him. Therefore, he wants them to live righteous lives, both religiously and morally (Ps. 4:5; 15:2). This applies to the king, whose job it is to promote the righteous laws of God (Ps. 72:1-2; Prov. 25:5).
Mounce goes on to say that 'sedeq especially refers to a need for social justice to be done to the poor, the needy, and the oppressed (Job 29:14; Isa. 1:21). Unfortunately, Israel's leaders often failed in this regard.' (p593:2006)
May the Church not continue to do the same.
Be a Righteous Revolution.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Let it rain

Arielle and I walked to the park this morning because 'park' is all she said for about 1 hour non stop! As we were getting closer and closer it started to rain. For about 2 minutes i seriously considered turning around as i was aware that as the rain was getting stronger and stronger, and we were getting further and further away from home and any kind of shelter. However we pressed on.
As we arrived at the oval we headed straight for the nearest tree. This was torture for Arielle because the playground was in full view - rain and a large oval were all that were between us. So i started to explain to her that it was raining and that we needed to wait until it had stopped before we could get there. "How inconvenient" i said. How annoying that the rain would get in the way of our desired destination. But then i began to explain that rain is good. Rain is necessary. We should appreciate the rain - even in its inconvenience. "Jesus sends the rain" i said. Rain causes things to grow. "Thank you Jesus for the rain". ...she didn't seem to agree at the time :-/
Spiritually speaking we know that rain is often attributed to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And this is what we seek is it not? Would it be fair to say that many of us inconveniently make our way to church because we conveniently seek an outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Haven't we learn't to chase after a supernatural event - on Sunday? A self indulging, self gratifying, I need a touch from God encounter and at this point nothing will get in my way? I wonder how often we seek what we want and what we believe to be good yet whilst doing so we miss what God has for us and therefore what is far better at that moment in time. I wonder how often God desires to communicate with us yet because its not Sunday and because there's no worship team, all we see is an interruption?
I pray for rain. I pray for a rain that interrupts. I pray for rain that is inconvenient. I pray for rain that is unexpected, unplanned, unmanufactured, unsught and unrecognisable. I pray for rain that shifts my mind from my desired destination to Gods presence, and i pray for it on a Saturday before a Sunday.
From the inner most parts of my being will flow streams of living water Jesus said (John 7:38). Seek Jesus and your rain will come - hopefully at an unexpected, unplanned, unmanufactured and inconvenient time.