Year 2 Day 192
Read - Genesis 2
Message - Scott Woodburn
As the Lord God completed His work of creation, He rested on the seventh day (v2). This doesn’t mean that God was tired and needed a break, instead we say that God’s creating work ceased and He blessed the seventh day as a day of rest. This would later be republished on tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20v8-11) and to this day Christians spend the Lord’s day putting away trivial issues and attending to the things of God. All of this reminds us that we look forward to an eternal, heavenly rest (Hebrews 4v9).
With creation complete the Lord planted a garden in a place called Eden (v8). It is correct to say that Eden was a region where the garden existed rather than Eden just being a garden. We see this as a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden and this source divided into four rivers called the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates (v10-14).
It was in the garden that the first man would find his place of employment, working and keeping that which God had made (v15). Additionally it was in the garden that the Lord entered into a covenant with the first man. It is by way of covenant that the Lord deals with humanity. We are not like the Lord. We are not His equal. We cannot sit around a table with Him and thrash out a deal. Instead the Lord willingly lowers Himself to us and enters into a relationship. He covenants or promises and He is always faithful to what He says.
In Eden we speak of God entering into the “Covenant of Works”. God set the terms and allowed the man to eat from every tree in the garden but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If the man broke these terms he would surely die (v16-17). In the beginning there was no death in God’s creation but later Paul tells us where death came from. He teaches that sin entered the world through Adam and death entered through sin (Romans 5v12). So as long as Adam obeyed the terms of the Covenant of Works, he and all those after him would enjoy everlasting life.
As we know, the story ends in tragedy. Adam falls into sin, the Covenant of Works is in tatters and humanity is without hope. Thankfully, even in the earliest chapters of the Bible we see Christ. He is the second Adam who perfectly obeys God’s commands. He is the true Adam who in flesh and blood pays the price for sin at Calvary. He is the perfect man who stands again from the grave putting death to death. Just as the first Adam became a bridegroom when God made woman (v22), so the second Adam is our bridegroom who lays down His life for His Bride the church. Adam fell in the garden to sin, Christ fell in Gethsemane and prayed “not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26v39)
Christ succeeded where Adam failed and all who trust in Him will be saved “for as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5v19)
Q74 What is required in the eighth commandment? The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.
Year 2 Day 191
Read - 1 Samuel 2:30-33
Message - Alan Burke
A couple of weeks ago now Prime Minister Boris Johnson carried out a reshuffle of his cabinet. This was the second major reshuffle since he became leader of the Conservative party. If you paid any attention to it you will have learnt of how heads rolled, and to replace them there were some new faces along with some sideways moves. There are of course some things that are going to see your head roll from the cabinet, like doing a rubbish job, stabbing Boris in the back (metaphorically speaking) and singing a different tune, of course there are other reasons like Matt Hancock learnt.
Well Eli’s in his actions and his inaction he had made it impossible to continue in the roll that he was in, he had not honoured the Lord and now his position was untenable. He had shown himself that he was not fit for service. He was relying on his heritage, his family line, there was no other reason why he would be in the role that he was in expect for the fact of his birth. He knew the word of God and ignored it, he had allowed his sons to make the worship of God a mockery, he had scorned the scarifies and offerings of the Lord (28).
Maybe there is part of us that wants to say, this wasn’t really Eli’s fault, after all his sons were grown lads. Yes, there is a sense that there comes a time when our children grow up and have to make their own way in life. But Eli was responsible for it all because he was the one who led the people of God and he allowed his sons to live as hellions when they ministered before the Lord. This was the issue, he allowed them to do this before the Lord and he knew it, who will intercede for them before the Lord he asked them (2:25).
Let me ask a question, are you honouring him in your life, in the things that no one sees, when no ones looking, when you’re in public when you are here, or are you by your actions and your inaction in your life where ever that my be, home, work, bowls, football, are you dishonouring the Lord?
Maybe you are trusting in your family heritage, that your great grandparents were one of the founding members here, or your dad was on the committee or an elder, that you’ve kept coming and you’ve played your part in keeping the doors open. What matters today and every day is that you are trusting in Jesus Christ, that you are honouring him in your life.
The judgement that came to Eli was that his time would be cut short, the strength of his father house would be cut short, there would never be an old man in the house of Eli. The judgment of God comes because Eli did not honour the Lord. This out to be a reminder to us that God indeed does hold us to account for the people we are, we have privileges and responsibilities and those who are baptised into the covenant of Grace, who have the visible sign and seal placed upon us, and unless we see that privilege and respond to the call of God to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus then we will face the eternal judgment that all men deserve.
Q73 Which is the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal. (Exod. 20:15)
Year 2 Day 190
Read - Genesis 1
Message - Scott Woodburn
My mother recently gave me some crafts that I’d produced for her back in the day. One of them is a painting of Santa which must be about 35 years old. I know why my mum kept it (I’m her favourite) but honestly the quality is poor! I’m no Monet that’s for sure. I’ll not lose any sleep - even the greatest artist in human history doesn’t compare to the Lord.
In the beginning our Triune God made all things and He made them out of nothing. The fancy phrase for this is “ex nihilo”. God made everything out of (ex) nothing (nihilo). The Lord didn’t begin with a storehouse full of stuff. Before there was anything there was only God. He didn’t gather the atoms and start joining them together - the atoms didn’t exist. Once more, in the beginning there was only our eternal Triune God.
We need to stress too that our God has always been one yet three and three yet one. The Father didn’t create the Son and nor did the Spirit begin at Pentecost. As Genesis begins we see the Triune God moving in the mighty work of creation. We can say that the Father took the initiative (v1), the Spirit hovered over the face of the waters (v2) and the Word of God went forward. The Father, Son and Spirit, in perfect harmony created and preserved all things.
So what did God make? On day one the Lord created light out of darkness (v3-5). The sun would be made later but the glory of God filled the universe with His radiance. On day two the Lord created the heavens (v6-8). On day three the Lord caused the dry land to appear and for vegetation to grow (v9-13). On day four the Lord created the sun, moon and stars (v14-19). On day five the Lord created the fish in the sea and the birds in the air (v20-23). Then on day six the Lord created the animals and the pinnacle of His creation which was humanity (v24-31).
Only humankind was made in the image of God and blessed with a soul. Humanity was to represent God on earth with Adam, the first man, being the head of mankind. As humans we have greater abilities than the animals and as humans made in God’s image we have great responsibilities. We and our children are blessed with living and eternal souls and we are to have dominion over the earth, caring for the creation as God’s ambassadors.
God made everything in the space of six days and He declared it to be good, but why? All of it was for Jesus. Paul said “For by Jesus all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1v16-17)
So the Lord didn’t move in creation because He lacked something. God wasn’t lonely or bored and I’m sorry to pop our bubbles but we don’t complete God or add to Him. Creation was God’s gracious act and every inch of it was for the glory of Christ. No wonder David wrote “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19v1)
Creation shows us God’s invisible attributes. We see His eternal power and we see that He is God (Romans 1v20). When the Mournes take our breath away, when the storm causes us to tremble and when the sunset stirs our heart, remember, all of it is by Christ and for Christ - praise the Lord!
“Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?” (Psalm 113v2-6)
Q72 What is forbidden in the seventh commandment? The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.
Year 2 Day 189
Read - 1 Samuel 2:27-29
Message - Alan Burke
A couple of Sunday evenings ago I asked three questions during the sermon; Why do you think that? Why do you feel that way? Why do you believe that? They are simple enough aren’t they. Why do you think that? Why do you feel that way? Why do you believe that? If you’re talking about the love that I have for Tayto Cheese and Onion crisps then the answers don’t really matter, but when it comes to matters of faith, how we bring glory to God and what God requires of us, the answers do matter and the answers should be each case because it is founded upon and agreeable to the word of God. Here’s the thing, does it matter to you what the word of God teaches, do you really care, do you take the time examine his word? I’ll leave this with you for a moment or two.
Here we are introduced to a man of God who came to Eli, who came with the word of God. Were not told anything about him, it doesn’t matter if he was a price or a pauper, what mattered is that he came with the word of the Lord in a time of desperate need.
Eli is reminded what Lord had done. How he revealed himself (27c), how he chosen them to be his priests (28a), how he gave the offerings providing for the them (28b). In their priestly duty as they ascended the alter of the Lord, to the place of sacrifice, to burn incense, to wear an ephod that made the priest a representative of the people before the Lord, and represent the Lord to the people. They were also given all that they needed in the sacrificial system. The priest were generously provided for, they did not have the back breaking labour in the field, in a time of substance farming the family of Eli and his sons who were the inheritors of the promise to Aaron were blessed.
This was a high calling and a privilege. Even though the Lord had done all of this for Eli, he had not been a faithful priest. Look there in verse 29 the retort that comes to Eli, the language that is used… “Why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings that I prescribed for my dwelling. Why do you honour yours sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?” (2:28-9)
God had not left them to their own devices or imaginations in how he was to be worshiped, rather he had given his people the ceremonial law that directed his people how they should come before him a holy God. Eli might have thought, he might have felt, he might have believed, but it is clear that it did not matter what the word of God taught, that he did not really care, even if he did take the time to examine the word of God, it no longer mattered. I asked earlier, ‘does it matter to you what the word of God teaches, do you really care, do you take the time examine his word?’ In your life is it God’s Word where you turn to, at worship individually, with family and corporately is it the Word that is the foundation of what you do? What areas of life are we happy to have that are not founded upon and agreeable to the word of God?
For those in Christ today, in our lives as we love the Lord we should see to obey him, not to earn salvation but to show we love our God, it should not be a burden to us it should not be a weight around our neck, rather it should become freeing. We are to love our God and if we love our saviour Jesus Christ then we should desire to keep his commands (Jn 14:15). We will not do this perfectly but it should be our desire as we seek to bring glory to God.
Q71 What is required in the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbour’ s chastity, in heart, speech, and behavior. (1 Cor. 7:2–3,5,34,36, Col. 4:6, 1 Pet. 3:2)
Year 2 Day 187
Read - 1 Corinthians 15v1-11
Message - Scott Woodburn
In the history of the church there has never been a perfect leader, nor has there ever been a perfect Apostle. There wasn’t a single Apostle who was without sin, none of the original twelve, not Matthias and certainly not the Apostle Paul. Paul knew this fact all too well and as he wrote to the Corinthians he described himself as the least of the apostles (v9a) and unworthy to be called an apostle (v9b).
Why was Paul so hard on himself? Because unlike his fellow Apostles, Paul had actively sought to destroy the church of Christ (v9c). Paul was a devout Jew, a Pharisee, and it was his goal to stamp out the church believing it to be a dangerous and heretical sect. Paul would call himself an Apostle who was “untimely born” (v8). In other words Paul compares himself to a child born prematurely. If you have experience of little ones born early, then you know it is a time of deep uncertainly and worry for the parents and a time of great danger for the little child.
As Paul walked the road to Damascus he walked in grave danger. He was an enemy of the Gospel fully determined to find any Christians he could and have them arrested. To be an enemy of Christ is the most dangerous position of all. You may have money in the bank and not a care in the world but if you do not have Jesus then the wrath of God abides upon you. It is an awful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.
Yet as Paul walked the road full of sin and fury he met with the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus in His grace took Paul in his sin and great weakness and brought him to everlasting life, appointing him as an Apostle to the Gentiles. Paul knew what his awful past had been like but he also had come to realise the glory of the grace of God.
All of us have a past and if the whole story of who we are and what we are was written it would shame us utterly. Yet by the grace of God we are what we are. He has redeemed our lives from the pit. He has forgiven us every sin. He has taken the vile, the slanderer, the murderer, the adulterer and He has made them clean. It is by grace we have been saved - thank God! Paul knew it and preached it and I hope we understand it too.
And so today we complete our look at the Apostles. The famous and the unknown. Those who walked with Christ and the one who met Him later. Those who were with Him and the one who was against Him. As we reflect on their stories and their lives we remember the importance of their message. The untimely born Paul put it this way…
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” (v3-5)
Here is the Gospel. It was the message of the Apostles and the foundation of the church of Jesus Christ. It is the Gospel of grace to everyone with a past and in this particular day of busyness it remains the most important message you’ll hear all day or indeed in any day. Christian, rejoice in the Gospel for by it you have been saved! Unbeliever, repent of your sin and believe the Gospel. Jesus made Saul into Paul and today He can forgive your every sin.
Q70 What is the seventh commandment? The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Year 2 Day 186
Read - 1 Samuel 2:22-25
Message - Alan Burke
It’s amazing what I hear on the grapevine, sometimes the grapevine is useful but other times I wonder. There is a world of difference though between someone coming to you to tell you that your uncle has been taken to the Royal or the City and someone coming to tell you what your uncle was up to the other day. Even though we may not want to hear it, some times its pretty clear that everyone knows and what ever it is, is the worst kept secret ever. Here were told how Eli heard what his sons were up to, remember they were worthless men (12), their sin was very great in the sight of the Lord (17), they were treating the offerings and the worship of the Lord with contempt. Even though the Lord God had laid out in his word how he was to be worshiped and He has done it for a very good reason, they did not care.
How on earth did they end up like this? How on earth did were they allowed to continue doing this? It wasn’t that only every man did what was right in their own eyes but also those who were to lead the people of God, the priests they also did what was right in their own eyes. But as we come to verse 22, even though Eli is very old somewhere around 90 (in 4:15 he is 98) Eli was hearing from all the people and Eli went to speak to his sons (23). Imagine the heartbreak on hearing and observing what is sons were doing, while the boy Samuel, the son of the pilgrim who came year after year was faithfully serving. His sons had turned the temple into a den of iniquity, it was a place where sin was committed rather than confessed. That first day all those years ago he looked into the eyes of his sons as any new parents does would have seemed like a long time ago, with the thoughts running about Eli’s head blaming himself, wishing he could do it all over again.
Eli challenges their behaviour, but they would not listen, he tried to help them but they placed themselves beyond his help. To his sons he is no longer see a father who protects and guides but an old man whose time is nearly up and all that Eli had would be theirs. There might have been a time when Eil’s words to his sons would have made a difference but that time has long past, his speech is a reminder to the depths which they have sunk and the abuse of their position. He warned them but they would not listen, he trie to help but they did not heed his warning.
What we are told in verse 25 is frightful, because of their actions, Lord had brought his judgement upon them, a perfectly just judgement, because of their persistent rebellion had decided to put them to death. Here we learn that someone can remain so firm in their rebellion that God will confirm him in it, he will give the sinner over to the desires of their heart. So that they will be utterly deaf to and unmoved by any warning of judgement or the plea for repentance. It should make us tremble before a God who can justly make sinners deaf to the very call to repentance.
God left them to their own devices, they had made their choices and they were doomed. Sinners should know that when they disregard the truth of God for long enough he will have them up, leaving them to their own devices and they await the just judgement of God. Yet for all who believe, who receive the Lord Jesus Christ, who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, ho were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. Know this confident hope of salvation in Jesus in what you face (Jn 1:12-13).
Q 69 What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto. (Acts 16:28, Gen. 9:6)
Year 2 Day 185
Read - Acts 1v12-26 (Matthias)
Message - Scott Woodburn
We have almost finished our little study of the Apostles and at this stage we might be tempted to run, skip and jump to the man called Paul. We’ll not do that. We need to slow down first and remind ourselves of the Apostle who replaced Judas Iscariot. What was his name? It’s a head scratcher isn’t it? His name was Matthias and he is perhaps the least known and least remembered of the Apostles.
As the Apostles return to Jerusalem (v12) they come to the realisation that Judas must be replaced. A field had been bought with the money Judas had received for his betrayal of Christ (Matthew 27v7). Judas had hung himself in the very same field and after his body had decomposed it had fallen and burst open giving the field the name “Akeldama” or the “Field of blood” (v18-19). The field had been bought with blood money and saturated with the blood of Judas - there is no glory ahead for those who reject Christ.
Judas needed to be replaced so that the Scripture would be fulfilled (Psalm 69v25 & Psalm 109v8). Yet his replacement couldn’t just be any old person. It was necessary to appoint someone who had been with Jesus and had been an eyewitness of the resurrection (v22). Once more we realise that there is no one today who would meet this Biblical standard - regardless of what you hear…there are no Apostles today.
Two individuals were part forward for the position. One man called Joseph Barsabbas Justus and another by the name of Matthias (v23). After prayer and the casting of lots it was clear that Matthias was to the man who replaced Judas and once appointed he immediately disappeared from the pages of the Bible!
Poor Matthias! Nothing is said about his acts! Nothing is mentioned about his preaching! He replaces Judas and then vanishes like snow off a ditch. It has led some to suggest that the appointment of Matthias was a mistake. The thinking goes that the Apostles jumped the gun. The real replacement for Judas was going to be Paul not Matthias.
I don’t agree with those who believe Matthias was a mistake. The Apostles replaced Judas in full agreement with the Scriptures. They ensured that the requirements of a true Apostle were met. They sought the Lord in prayer and only then did they draw lots. This is a careful process and while the drawing of lots is not the norm today (we see no more lots drawn after the Spirit’s arrival) we still recognise “the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16v33)
I’m certain that Matthias was not treated like an outsider and I can assure you that he has no worry about his status in heaven today. But there is something of Matthias that we can relate to. If we’re honest about our own Christian walk we more closely resemble Matthias than we do Peter. We are not known to the world and our testimony doesn’t have much fizz, bang or wallop. We’re not desperately zealous in prayer and to the best of our knowledge we’ve never brought anyone to the Lord. What if…in your salvation…there has been some horrible mistake?
My fellow Christian I am so glad that we are not saved by our works, nor do we stay in God’s good book by our actions. There is something incredibly wonderful about a little known child of God faithfully serving the Lord without the attention of the world or fame within the church. The Lord does not make mistakes and when the Holy Spirit called you to faith He didn’t do it accidentally.
It may be true that your sister is more attractive. It may be true that your brother is your mother’s favourite. It may be true that at times you have been something of a disappointment in your dad’s eyes. Yet…hear this…the one who has received Christ by faith has been welcomed into the family of God. By faith you are now in a wonderful union with Christ and if the Father is well pleased with the Son, then He is also well pleased with you.
You may be more Matthias than Peter, but that’s okay. God doesn’t play favourites, nor does he make mistakes. Christ’s blood paid the price for all of His church, the famous and the unknown, Matthias and Peter, even one such as you! Rejoice for Jesus loves every single soul for whom He died.
Q68 What is required in the sixth commandment? The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.
Year 2 Day 184
Read - 1 Samuel V18-21, 26
Message - Alan Burke
If you read chapter two of 1 Samuel there is something that you will notice and that is the contrast between Samuel and Eli’s sons Hophni and Phinehas. V11 Samuel, v12-17 Eli’s sons, v18 Samuel, v21 Samuel, v22-25 Eli’s sons, v26 Samuel, you get the idea the patter continues into chapter 3. Each time Eli’s sons are mentioned they are bracketed with a report of Samuel. We were left reeling with the news of Eli’s sons in v12-17 now we have Samuel. What a contrast between Hophni and Phinehas and Samuel. Here we are told he was ministering before the Lord, in a ephod, a priestly robe which his mother made for him and brought each year. This is a wonderful scene in which it shows Hannah’s love words Samuel.
On one of the many journeys back to Shiloh we are told of Eli blessing Elkanah and his wife Hannah (20) and said… “May the Lord give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the Lord.” So then they would return to their home.” Remember the words of Peter when he said to Jesus in Mark 10, “‘See, we have left everything and followed You,’ and Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for My sake and for the Gospel who will not receive a hundredfold.’”. God’d blessed Hannah in this way, and he blesses his people in many ways though our sacrifice.
The Lord in his generous kindness gives her five additional children, Hannah had asked the Lord for Samuel but she had not for herself, and she gave Samuel to the Lord. But she receives grace on top of grace, she received more than she ever sacrificed, Hannah and her husband now disappear from our story but they and their household are witness to the giving of God (James 1:5). As Elkanah and Hannah depart from the continuing story redemptive history once more the focus is on Samuel (21), the boy grew in the presence of the Lord.
Here’s the thing, it was a time that every man did what was right in his own eyes (Jd 21:25), things from the outside looked bleak, even the worship of the Lord was a farce with the sons of Eli showing contempt to the Lord in what they were doing, BUT the Lord was at work, the Lord was raising up a faithful priest to serve him, who would be a servant of the Lord. Like Jesus, Samuel grew in favour with God and man (26), for these words echo those in Luke 2:52. Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man (Lk 2:52). All that is going on here is a sign of how God was at work in the background to the new things that he was doing. Samuel pointed forward to one who would come who would indeed deal with the sin of the people, the Lord was preparing Samuel for kingdom service and he sent his son to bring about the kingdom so that we who by our nature are rebellious sinners, who do by nature what is right in our own eyes might become the very children of God as we repent and believe. Even when things look at their worst the Lord God is still at work, he was in the days of Samuel, he is in this day.
Q 67 Which is the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill. (Exod. 20:13)
Year 2 Day 183
Read - John 12v1-8 (Judas Iscariot)
Message - Scott Woodburn
Amazingly the names of some of the Apostles have crept into everyday speech. To the man who isn’t convinced we often say that he is a “doubting Thomas” and to the woman who betrays us we often describe her as a “Judas”. Between you and me I would rather be a Thomas than a Judas. To this day the name of Judas Iscariot is synonymous with betrayal and deceit.
But what do we know about Judas Iscariot? Not very much, but we can be reasonably sure that he is the only disciple who did not come from the region of Galilee. Additionally, within the twelve he performed the role of treasurer. Judas also bears the name Iscariot which separates him from the other Judas who is more commonly known as Thaddaeus.
There has been plenty of discussion over the meaning of Iscariot. Most likely it describes where Judas has come from. Isacriot means “man of Kerioth” which is a region of Judea (Joshua 15v25). However some have suggested that Iscariot comes from an Aramaic term meaning “false one” with others suggesting that Isacriot comes from a Latin term meaning “assassin”. Both suggestions would suit Judas Iscariot well.
John tells us that even before the betrayal of Christ, Judas wasn’t to be trusted. Judas complains about Mary wasting expensive ointment saying “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (John 12v5) But Judas had no concern for the poor. John explains the motives behind Judas’ statement “Judas said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12v6) So Judas the man of Kerioth was a thief and was soon to be the man who would betray Christ.
The story of Judas is written for our instruction and it is an incredibly tragic tale. We can only imagine the things that he saw and the things that he heard. Judas walked and talked with Jesus! He spent hours with Christ! He spent years with Christ! Yet when push came to shove this same Judas went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” (Matthew 26v15) Judas loved money more than he loved Christ and so “the betrayer” turned Jesus over to wicked men for just 30 pieces of silver.
I once talked to an old man who had visited Israel many times. He talked vividly about the magnitude of his experience and he would always tell me that as he walked the streets of Jerusalem it was so easy to imagine where Jesus had been. Judas didn’t have to imagine, he saw with his own eyes and yet rejected Christ regardless.
This generation is not hard done by because we haven’t physically seen Jesus. Indeed the Lord once told Thomas “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20v29) Dear Christian, today you do not see but know that one day, with your own eyes, you will see Jesus. He will not betray you, nor will he leave you ashamed.
But to the one who rejects Christ…repent for the hour of His return is at hand. Do something with the Word you have heard. Do something with the sermons you have sat under. Do not allow yourself to walk Iscariot’s path - hearing Christ yet rejecting Him and slowly making your way to Hell. To the thief, the betrayer, the liar, the sinner…Jesus calls you to be saved. Repent and believe the Gospel!
Q66 What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment? The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is, a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory, and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.
Year 2 Day 182
Read - 1 Samuel 2:12-17 and 1 John 3:4-6
Message - Alan Burke
As we begin I want you to notice is where verse 11 ends, how “the boy (Samuel) minister before the LORD under Eli the Priest”. Samuel the son that Hannah, that she had so longed for, that she had given to the son to serve the Lord at Shiloh ministered before the Lord, immediately after which we are told of Eli’s sons. This isn’t our first introduction to them, we are told of how Eli’s sons were also priests in 1:3 and that’s not really that surprising, they are following in their Da’s footsteps. We may not know many ministers of the Gospel who’s sons have followed them in service but we know plenty of farmers who are the sons of farmers. Among God’s people the house of Arron were to be priests, Eli was a descendant of Aaron and continued the task set for that house and Eli’s sons did likewise.
But everything up to this point in the book of Samuel has been in a sense preparing us for what we read now, how we are told that Eli’s sons were wicked men who had no regard for the LORD. These men, who were brought up in the household of faith, in a covenant family, they knew lots about God, they know off him, they even knew what was expected of God’s people, but they were wicked men, they had no regard for the LORD. They had a privileged position but their sin ruled their lives. The language that is used here to describe Eli’s sons is the language that is used of those who are idolatrous, sexually immoral, liars. We may be unfamiliar with the sacrificial system, but if you take the time to compare what is laid out in Leviticus (7:31-36) to what is going on here it’s clear that what they were doing had little in common of what the Lord had commanded the share that was to be given to the priest. They treated the Lord’s offering with contempt, showing their contempt to God, they rob him of what is his and sin agains him and the people.
It wasn’t that they were quare fella’s one day, and the next morning they were reprobates. No this happened over time. That’s what sin does, we ignore the wee thing, excuse it, say it doesn’t matter, excuse our actions because sure everyone else does it. What happens over time is like a Callus forming, starts off small and grows. Well the effect of a callus on the heart is that as we ignoring sin, excusing it it grows and before we realise we are hardened to it, we don’t see it as sin, we are blinded to it. These men were not the Lord’s, for the believer 1 John 3 gives this warning; “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (1 Jn 3:4-6 ESV).
John has already made the point that “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (1 Jn 1:8), In chapter 3 he is not teaching that we can be sinless, rather lawlessness should not define the life of the believer. Hophni and Phinehas they practiced lawlessness, we are at the same time justified and also sinners, we will struggle with sin but that is no excuse to let it go unchecked, or let it go unchecked in others, we should seek to submit to the sanctifying work of the Spirit, being obedient to Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:2)
Q65 What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing any thing against, the honor and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations. (Matt. 15:4–6, Ezek. 34:2–4, Rom. 13:8)