Forsaking Our Own Mercies

Jonah 2.8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

What a lot of meat to chew on in this verse! This is a reminder of the Israelites in 2 Kings: they knew God, they knew His commandments, they knew He loved them and had saved them; and yet, they chose to follow the heathen practices of their neighbors. God called those ways vanity:

2 Kings 17.14 – 16a Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.  And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.  And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God.

In Jeremiah 10, God points out the foolishness (vanity) of preparing their own idols from wood or silver, and then worshiping / receiving instruction from them. And then, Jeremiah 16 portrays the wonder of the people that God would pronounce this great evil against them: “What is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?” (v10)

We simply cannot expect the blessings and mercies of God when we are disobedient. He told us so in in the whole Old Testament, especially in Deuteronomy (and especially Chapter 28).

We are without excuse:

Romans 1.19 – 21 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God has made Himself clearly plain:

Psalms 98.2 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

Christians are called by God’s grace, and given His Holy Spirit – divine wisdom. We can live day – by – day for His blessings. We can pray that we see His blessings.

Beloved, we cannot imagine the blessings God has for us when we obey!

2 Corinthians 2.9 But as it is written [in Isaiah 64.4], Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

His blessings are so magnanimous and beautiful that we cannot even imagine them!

May we pray fervently “unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3.20) that we will read His Word, and obey Him Who loves us so deeply and widely!

In that belly of the fish, Jonah recognized that God’s ways are not his ways, and that he forsook the mercies of God by following the vanity of lies he preferred.

How often do we do this? We feel that tap on the shoulder that this activity or person is not what the Lord intends for us; we feel that caution, and we know it’s from God that we should not enter into what is ahead of us.

We will never know the blessings we forsake when we go our own way. We think we can imagine the blessings of following our ways, and it looks good – enticing. Even in the details, we may think this little thing is not going to make any difference. We cannot imagine the peace God will give us when we obey.  We think that it will be worth it to go ahead with this sin this time.

And we forsake our own mercies.

But God always blesses obedience! When we weigh our options, we cannot imagine any kind of blessing by rejecting this thing we love; we can only feel how good it would be to follow the sin. But we can listen to and obey that still small voice, that one Who tells us to walk to the right or to the left.

Isaiah 30.20, 21 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

When we recognize this, when we run to God in the face of sin, we run blindly. But when we run to Him anyway, this is FAITH. God will increase this faith, and He will BLESS you!

Isaiah 55.6 – 12 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Jonah 2.9 tells of Jonah’s final, encompassing confession: “Salvation is of the Lord.” He humbled himself, and gave himself up to whatever God wanted for him.

God directed the fish to vomit Jonah out upon the dry land (v 10). Note that Jonah still could not save himself – God did not direct Jonah to crawl out of the fish. Jonah’s tribulation and deliverance were completely under God’s control.

So are ours. Submit to God.

James 4.7 – 10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

The Light We See, The Light We Shine

Sometimes what we see of God is not so light and bright. Is it because God has shadows, or is it our own perspective?

1 John 1.5b God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

God is light. He has no darkness whatsoever. If we are not seeing His full lightness and brightness, it is because our vision is clouded, jaded, askew. We allow, or set, or run into, issues that stand between us and God, so we do not see Him as He is.

Be sure to read God’s Word to learn Who He really is. God is Light, God is Love; pure and unadulterated. He has no darkness, no sin, no ill-will. He is patient and kind, and He is always good to us. He is truth. Pray the Holy Spirit will shine understanding in you as you read Scripture.

As Christians, we have God’s Holy Spirit within us. That means we have His Light.

Matthew 5.16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Do others see God’s Light in you? If not, what is the issue? Are you shining His Light? This light is not your own light. It is the Light of the Spirit of God. You have your own flesh warring with this Spirit, but if we put our flesh to death daily, then we can shine God’s pure light.

The issues with shining God’s light, then, are 1) our own sin casting shadows along with God’s Light; 2) others’ perception as they look upon what we cast.

Sometimes our light is cast via actions, daily activities, and getting out and about. Sometimes it’s through conversations, our speech. These are ways other people get to know us.

Sometimes we allow our light to be filtered through fear because of 2), above: we don’t know how someone is going to perceive what God wants to deliver through us.

1 John 4.18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

If you allow God to have full reign in your mortal body, then you will begin to understand this amazing love that God has, not only for you, but for everyone with whom you come into contact. If you allow God’s Spirit to work unfettered, then you will have that peace of mind that comes with obedience to God Almighty. Granted, people will not always respond kindly to what God has to say to them through you. Look at the apostle Paul. He endured much suffering when he preached Jesus Christ. Look at the suffering of Jesus, Himself.

If you want the quiet, unassuming, get-along-with-everyone kind of life, try to get over it. God does not call us to such a life. He calls us to obedience, and He calls us to go out and tell the world about Jesus Christ, our Savior. We are to speak His truth in love (Ephesians 4.15).

Other’s response is between them and God. Your obedience is between you and God. Let the Holy Spirit in you so shine that others will glorify your Father in Heaven.

Obey God Rather Than Men

Acts 5.29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men

This was the apostles’ response to the council and high priest when asked, “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?” (v 28) and the apostles were correct.

Sometimes it is easy to remember this verse when faced with a BIG, clear directive in opposition to God’s Word, when obeying that directive sends clanging warning bells.

To how big or how little a thing does this apply?

What about peer pressure? What about advice from a trusted friend? What about when your boss hints that a task should be done ~this~ way? How about a spouse’s suggestion that’s a bit “off?” What about that television show? What about when everyone else in church thinks this is the way to go? What about when the pressure to do something is tremendous, and you think you have no choice?

How faithful and obedient can a person be to God in every. little. thing? Do we even stop to consider? Do we, like the Bereans did (Acts 17.11), stop to examine the Scriptures to see whether these things are so?

When we don’t examine God’s Word, when we don’t have our daily devotionals and time with God, we can quite easily go singing merrily along in our own power and the power of the culture that surrounds us – bombards us, even. The more we stray from God’s Word, the easier it becomes to stray even more.

Be grounded in the Bible. Read it every day. Compare what you hear, what you believe to be true, with what God has to say about it. Pray before, while, and after you read; pray the Holy Spirit will guide and interpret to your poor mind what the truth is in any given situation.

In big things and small, God always blesses obedience. Always. You may conjure up consequences to your actions, but God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3.20). Trust Him.

Then go forth, and obey God rather than men.

Faithful in That Which is Least

Are you faithful in the little things?

Little things:

  • Did you get your daily chores finished before you went to bed, or did you leave some undone so that you could do stuff that may not have been on God’s list?
  • Were you faithful in showing love to your spouse and children?
  • Did you return that little item? You don’t know exactly how it ended up with you, but you know where it goes.
  • Did you spend quality time with God?
  • Did you rejoice in the day the Lord has made, or did you grouse?
  • Did you remember to thank God for all things?
  • Were you respectful to others, counting them as more important than yourself?
  • Did you walk and speak with integrity all the day long?
  • Were your words needed and edifying? How about your facial expressions?
  • Were you wise with your resources: time, money, gifts/talents?

If we are not faithful in the little things, that is an indicator that our faith is small.

God trains our faith. Notice the disciples. In Luke 17, Jesus is in the midst of teaching them about temptations, trespasses, and forgiveness. As happens so many times with the apostles and with us, they were cloudy as to the meaning of Jesus’ Words. Verse 5: And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

One of the first and most important lessons in faith-training is to read God’s Word. He tells us to pray that He will increase our faith.

Pray God to increase your faith.

Also in God’s Word are hundreds of examples for us to follow or learn from:

Noah, by faith, built the ark that saved humanity. He probably did not jump into faith the moment God called him to start collecting gopher wood. Like all of us, he started by being faithful in the little things.

I’m guessing Abram, when he was little, had many little lessons in faith. In adulthood, he was able to, in faith, fully obey his God. How? Abraham had learned that God is always faithful, that God always loved him, and that God would always protect him.

Joseph’s faith was tested in his teens when his brothers sold him into slavery. He was faithful in Potiphar’s house, he was faithful in prison (remember that part about thanking God for all things?), and he was faithful as a high ruler in Egypt. Here, too, Joseph probably had much faith-training as he grew up, and was rewarded time and again for that growing faith.

David was called the Friend of God. He learned as a boy how faithful God is, and he carried that with him all his life.

Study the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11. All these people were able to look back on their own lives. What did they see first? The faith of God. And they could see what God had worked through them.

Faith does not come easily. God has designed us so that we learn through trials, tribulations, and struggles. It has to be that way because our flesh is so strong, and we must learn to put away the flesh.

James 1.2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

AND – look what God can do through those who are faithful!

In the Bible, we get to see the results of the faithful work of others. Every once in a while, God gives us a peek at the results of our own faithfulness (I love it when He does that!). We know not what God intends when we carry out His tasks, when we are faithful stewards with the resources He gives us. Sometimes we get a peek at the results when we are not faithful.   Arrrghh!  Those are faith-lessons, too.

Are you faithful in the little things? Is your faith increasing? What is God showing you about faith?

Hebrews 11.6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

My readings this month have taken me into Revelations. Yeah, wow. The Dragon. The Beast. The plagues. The whore. The golden vials full of the wrath of God.

The wrath of God! Hebrews 10.31 says, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The wrath of God can be no less than bone-knocking, paralyzing, gut-wrenching terror. Look at the folks in the Bible who saw Heavenly beings – they fell down in fear. Anything that holy instantly reveals the depths and awfulness of our sinfulness.

Psalms 4.8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

How many times does God tell us to “fear not?” Isaiah 41.10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

How do I reconcile the awful terror of standing before Almighty God in my sin, with “fear not?”

By simple obedience. God says to fear not, so I will not fear. Hebrews 13.6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 4.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus Christ is my Savior. My name is written in the Book of Life. I may boldly approach the throne of Almighty God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Since the Lord is my helper, I will also not be afraid of what God shall do unto me. God loves me. Because He first loved me, I love Him. I am precious in His sight, a part of the body of His bride.

I welcome with open arms what God will do unto me.

And I praise Him fully:

Revelations 15.3, 4

“Great and wonderful are Your works,

O Lord God Almighty!

Just and true are Your ways,

O King of the nations!

4 Who will not fear You, O Lord,

and glorify Your name?

For You alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship before You,

for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Our Authorities

Romans 13.1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

God Himself has instituted and ordained our governing powers; they are our authorities. Furthermore, God holds the hearts of our authorities: Proverbs 21.1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Romans 13.2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Clearly, we are to obey our governing authorities: Their authority comes from God, and we are to obey God. Damnation is a severe consequence of resistance.

Is it ever right to resist authority? In Acts 5, the apostles were commanded not to teach in Jesus’ name. They responded in verse 29: Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Why should we submit to our governing authorities if we don’t like what they do? Don’t we live in a democracy? Don’t we have the right to protest? After all, our governing authorities gave us that right.

Romans 13.3-5 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Before you protest, before you rant and rave:

  1. Be sure you are obeying God. How to know if you are in obedience to God? Read His Word. Study it: 2 Timothy 2.15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  2. Be sure your actions are motivated in love, and be sure you love rightly. Love God first. Luke 10.27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
  3. Be sure you are acting, speaking, and thinking in peace. Remember, peace has nothing to do with how you feel, nor with circumstances or people around you. Peace is a right standing with God. Romans 14.19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
  4. Be sure your efforts are to bring glory to God. Proverbs 6.16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

What if you’re right? What if you are acting in peace (bringing others to God in love)? Edifying others? Glorifying God? The apostles, and Jesus Himself, certainly stirred things up, but they were obedient, always giving glory to God and honoring Him and His Ways. 2 Corinthians 4.2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

God divides. His truth divides, His Word divides: Hebrews 4.12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Allow God to decide the divisions. That is not our job; it is His. We are to speak the truth in love, and let God work in the hearts of others.

We are to remain steadfast and loyal to God alone. If He prompts to enter into political activities, then enter in. However God directs you, work in obedience to Him. But remember: God instituted our governing authorities; He guides our authorities with their hearts in His hands; and He loves us abundantly, overwhelmingly, and perfectly.

Knowing that, knowing God, is peace.

The Simple Key to Safety and Protection

TheSimpleKeyToSafetyAndProtection

My devotions took me to Ezra 3 this morning. First to back up:

In Ezra 1: 1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

A contingent of Jews headed back to Jerusalem to live.

In Ezra 3, the priests, “builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. 3 And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening.

The Jewish people knew they had enemies all around, people who didn’t want them there, who scorned their God, and who wanted power over them. But the Jews remembered Who they served. They had the Book of the Law. They knew.

They knew the blessings God had promised if they would adhere to His Law (Deuteronomy 28.1). They knew the curses God had promised if His people would not hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God, to observe to do all His commandments and his statues which He commanded them that day. (Deuteronomy 28.15).

Deuteronomy 28. 1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God…. 7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

SO many blessings, in verses 1-14!

But then the curses, if they would not hearken unto God:

Deuteronomy 28. 21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. 22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish…. 25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth…. 33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed always.

Pestilence, consumption, inflammation, fleeing from enemies: sound like anywhere you know today?

The people of Ezra’s time knew that, in order to receive the protection and blessing of God, they would have to bow down and obey Him. They knew that their people had refused to listen to God for centuries, and God had, indeed, taken them away captive from their homeland. They knew that, without God’s protection, they would open themselves up to disaster, disease, tribulation, and suffering. Why would they want to go through that again?

They built an altar and worshiped God, as He commanded. They offered burnt sacrifices to atone for their sins. They humbled themselves before their Almighty God.

And they continued in their obedience: Ezra 3.5 And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.

Are you seeking safety, protection, and peace? Humble yourself before the Lord God. Worship Him. Read His Word to find out how to obey Him. Call out to Him for guidance. Walk in obedience to Him. God always blesses obedience. He will bless you.

Ask for God’s eyes and heart to discern what His protection looks like. King David was a man after God’s own heart. He was often in the midst of danger, and he was spurred into action to go to war for God. Maybe that doesn’t look like safety and protection to many of us. But it did to David. Read his Psalms. David knew he was completely under the protective Hand of the God of Israel Who loved him. David had the peace of God that passes all understanding.

So did the apostle Paul. Paul endured beatings, shipwrecks, hunger, and thirst. But his heart was hard after God, and he knew implicitly that God had His Hand of Protection over him.

Peace with God comes with obedience. The peace includes giving our times, our circumstances, and our wills over to God, and accepting from His Hand all that happens, including death. If we are indeed obedient, we put all our trust in Him. In exchange for our obedience, God blesses us with His joy and peace.

Prayer for Unity

I have been burdened to pray these last times, for unity in God’s people through His Spirit. As children of God, we all have His same Spirit. When that Spirit is allowed full reign, when we are obedient to Him, then we all work in unity, toward the same purpose of glorifying God Almighty.

Please join me as I use God’s Word to pray. As I pray at different times, I direct His Words and my prayer to myself, to my marriage/family, to my church, to my community, my state, my nation, and my world. May my eyes look unto the Hand of my Master; and may He have mercy on us.

Romans 15.5-7

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Psalm 123

{A Song of degrees.} Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Psalms 90.12-17

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.

Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

 

 

Man with a Colt

ManWithAColtimage from google images

In Mark, chapter 11, Jesus sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

And sure enough, certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? The disciples tell them that the Lord has need of it, and the men let them go with the colt.

Whose colt was it? Did it belong to one of the men standing there?

I think that God put it in their hearts to let the colt go. And I think they followed the disciples and the colt, to see what was going on. Perhaps the owner of the colt knew of Jesus and His miracles. Perhaps the owner’s own wife or son or daughter had been healed. Perhaps he had been one of the crowd who had recently watched Lazarus come out of the tomb.

Imagine the owner’s feelings when he saw the garments spread on his colt, saw Jesus Himself sitting upon it, and entering into the city.

The crowd sang praises to Jesus: v9  And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Note: The crowd cried “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The word Lord, here, is the same word that was used back in verse 3, when the disciples told the men that “the Lord” had need of the colt. The language was referring to God in both cases.

The colt owner likely got his colt back after it was all over. Maybe he was proud that his own colt had been used for such an important occasion. Maybe his neighbors and friends, who knew of Jesus, came to touch the colt or look at it.

The man with the colt may likely have been one of the crowd, shortly thereafter, who cried “Crucify Him!”

What was the change? I believe, besides the powerful pull of our flesh, that it was the leaders: the Pharisees and scribes. Those Pharisees had immense power. (In John Chapter 9, the parents of a man born blind were afraid to admit to the Pharisees that Jesus had healed their son. Verse 22: These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.) It was a grave thing to be put out of the synagogue: culturally, socially, and emotionally. The Pharisees had the power to put anyone out, and they would use it. The common people were afraid to displease the Pharisees; they felt the Pharisees must be closest to God, since they served Him all day, and knew all the laws and how to follow them. In Matthew 15.12, the disciples were anxious that Jesus had offended the Pharisees.

It is an immense responsibility to have so much power. Luke 12.48 ends with, For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

And so the people, and perhaps the man with the colt, cried out, “Crucify Him!” And Jesus prayed His Father, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23.34).

This was the most horrible thing in the history of the world! That we could crucify our Savior! We didn’t know. We were blind. We followed the beliefs of the world.

But God made it all better. We cannot imagine, at any given time, that God can make everything all better. But He can! And He does.

That crucified man was God, Himself, and He rose from the dead to save us from our sins.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

We MUST look carefully at those whom we follow. We are to obey those in authority over us, obey our government. But we must carefully discern. We must use the wisdom God gives us.

Listen, God speaks: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32.8

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30.20, 21

We live in a momentous time. Take a careful look at who holds power: government, media, religious leaders, and celebrities. Please scrupulously groom your information sources. Use God’s Word as your plumb line and filter all you receive through Him. Pray for His guidance and counsel. When He calls you, be His hands and feet.

Matthew 9.36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Will you be a laborer for God’s glory?