Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I found out last night that my Dad left my mother for another woman. He says he is the happiest he’s ever been in his life. I’ve been sick and have been missing school anyway, so I’m going to go home. What can I do?
Wow. I know how hard it is to see your parents go through these kinds of things. I'll be praying for you and them.
I don't know your Dad. Sometimes going right at a guy about his sin is the best way to approach things. You just say something like, “You're in sin. You're not really happy. You're lying to yourself, to me, and to everyone else. You're an adulterer and you need to repent, suck it up, beg your wife for forgiveness and choose to follow Christ and love your wife more than you love yourself.” Because you are his daughter, this is probably not the best tack to take.
The other way to do it is to be sweet, loving, kind, and chatty. Talk about the things you're learning about God, and simply aggressively love your Dad. Pile on the love and respect. Find things about his fatherness that you are proud of and tell him how glad you are that he's your father. Tell him how those things are like how God is a great father and how much you appreciate his modeling Christ's life to you over the years.
Your whole family will be going through what appears to be and is—grief. Grief comes when someone or something we love dies. It is just as much a source of grief when someone leaves as when someone dies. What your father has done to your mother and to your family is a kind of death. The relationships—Husband/wife, family—have died. So, emotionally you will all respond emotionally like someone died. Things will never be the same. Scars will remain for the rest of your lives. Emotions are already and will continue to be nuts. Anger will rise, pain and suffering will present itself. This is normal in these kinds of things just as when someone we love dies.
Cling to the cross. Run to God. Pour out your heart and your emotions to the Lord who died for you and loves you. Let him lift you up and give you comfort. When the waves of emotion splat you against the wall, turn to Christ for solace. Cry on his shoulder. He cares for you. This will take a long time to get over. And you will never completely get over it, but the grace of God can and will heal the wound so that it will leave only a small scar on your heart. So, take your time. Know that the feelings are unrelated to your brain. This is a heart issue and only God can deal with the heart. But he loves you and can heal your heart.
I know this might sound trite and simplistic, but it really isn't. There is nothing else you can do. Love God, Love your mom, respect your father, and let God do the convicting and chastening, and the squashing. Respecting, btw, doesn't mean you can't pray that God would do whatever he needs to do to get your Dad to repent. You should pray this way.
I hope this helps.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
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!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Boys flit around from job to job, school to school, never quite getting a career other than one they are trapped into because of necessity. They often don't purchase a home because they aren't sure where they want to live. They go from woman to woman because they can't make up their mind and "what if a better one comes along just after I've picked Miss Perfect?" They go from one hobby to another, just learning enough to know about it, but never enough to really be committed to anything. Who knows if life will change and things will be different? or what if the world caves in? They drive old cars, telling themselves they are being thrifty, but in reality is because they can't make up their minds about it or because they are afraid to do things with real adu lts.
Old boys may be involved with church, but they aren't really involved with the lives of the saints, they are more into theology and Biblical discussions and wrangles. But they are committed to the Lord and may even look down their noses on those who aren't as enlightened as they in terms of Biblical wisdom and knowledge. The truth is they have lots of time to study these issues because they don't have the cumbersome duties of a family and real job.
Men lead. They make up their minds about things and stick to what they decide. Of course they do all the due dilligence to make a wise decision, but if they make a bad choice they do the right thing and see the thing through to the end. Or they "man up" and fix as much as they can while leaving with grace and humility. Men say what they think and do what they say. Men stand for things and give their lives to things. When a man wants something he works hard for it and doesn't take no for an answer, if he thinks it is a worth while goal.
Godly men stand for Christ no matter what the situation. They believe in strategic withdrawals, but they are not scampering away in fright, they are preparing another assault from another position even while moving away. When a man seeks a woman he knows enough about her to know that he will not hurt her heart, just to have the feelings she might give him. He will not single her out to her hurt. When he marries her he will do whatever it takes to make her beautiful for the rest of her life. He will lay down his life for her no matter how much it brings discomfort to his own desires. When they have children together, he will be just as diligent to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord as he is in making his wife more beautiful. But he will never let his children come between his wife and himself. Loving his children well always means loving their mother first and best. There will never be an doubt who comes first.
Monday, September 28, 2009
You see, anger is one of God's most beautiful characteristics. For God's children, his anger is a place of bright hope. Because he is righteously angry with sin every day, we can rest assured that everything sin has broken will be restored. Everything sin has twisted will be straitened. Everything that has gone wrong will be made right again. God's anger assures us that all things will be made new.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
What this means is that any desire we have can be twisted and spun toward sinfulness if we allow it to. The good desire to be warm can be made sinful if it someone else’s warmth we covet. The good desire for wealth can be made sinful if we steal the wealth from someone else. The good desire for ual pleasure will become sin if we indulge ourselves with someone other than our spouse. Any and every desire man has can be perverted by indulgence in the proper temptation.
Does this mean that every time we are tempted we are doomed to sin? By no means. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way, just like we are and yet he did not sin. This tells us two important things: first, temptation is not sin. If you are tempted, you have not sinned yet. This means also that your desires that have been ed and aroused are not necessarily sinful either. We don’t sin until our desire “conceives” and we do whatever the temptation is enticing us to do.
Second, temptation does not automatically lead to sin. Jesus was tempted, but he did not sin. He was tempted in every way a person can be tempted and he did not succumb to sin. He had all the same desires everyone has and to the same degree. He was fully man. But he did not give in to sin. The point of the text is that because Jesus knows our weaknesses he is more fully qualified to represent us to his Father in Heaven. This is a wonderful truth and one we should remember in our battle with sin.
For our purposes, however, we want to know, “How did he do it?” Did he not sin because he was God? Well, how would that help us or give us confidence in his ability to represent us? Did he do some magic sort of thing? Did he just resist strongly and by steely will power refuse to sin? I don’t think so.
Look at the accounts of his temptations in Matthew 4:1-11. Notice that whenever Satan tempted Jesus with some heinous sin, Jesus always quotes Scripture. What most people don’t notice is that Jesus was not quoting the scripture to Satan, he was quoting it to himself. Satan didn’t need the Word at that moment Jesus did. Jesus, for example, when tempted to change the stone into bread (v. 3) quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Who needed this verse? Jesus did. The temptation was to rebel against faith in God’s provision for Jesus and turn the stones into food. But Jesus trusted God and waited for him. The mechanism he used was to obey God’s word and wait for him. Jesus follows this same pattern in the other temptations as well (see vss. 7, 10).
This illustrates the value of athletics (there are many other ways a person can gain these skills). Paul said he trained his body like an athlete so that he would win the prize (1 Cor. 9:24-27; Phil. 3:14). The author of Hebrews tells us to run the race set before us with endurance. Both of these ideas have the same attribute that is helpful for our battle against sin. They both require intense fitness for the task and they both involve great degrees of prior planning.
In order for the Christian to win the battle of avoiding sin he must be in shape to encounter the temptations and succeed in not falling to them. This means he must fervently draw near to God and allow him to draw near to the Christian (Jas. 4:8). The changes that come to the hearts of Christians are not due to the knowledge about God, but the nearness of God. It is when we spend time in the presence of God that our hearts are changed. We can’t jump through hoops, praying, studying, fellowshipping, fasting, etc. along and expect to be changed into the likeness of Christ. These things are good and necessary, but it is when we do them in the presence of Christ that we are changed into the likeness of Christ. Without Christ’s presence in these things we are simply pietists going through the motions. We have the appearance of godliness, but lack the power. And when we lack the power we fall easily when confronted by various temptations. So, getting in the kind of shape that makes us able to stand before the onslaught of the devils schemes requires that we spend a lot of time in the presences of God becoming like him.
The second thing we need to do to win war for our souls is to know the enemies moves in our lives and to develop natural responses to those moves. Suppose every time you talk to your sister-in-law you are overwhelmed by a sense of rage and anger.
You should notice a pattern and study it. Rethink the events from before the time you are invited to her house to the time you burst out in your sinful anger. Go back to the time when you are walking along with the Lord and not in any sin that you know of. In the order of events, when is it that you are first tempted to sin? Is it when you hear her voice asking you to come to dinner? Is it when you drive down her street? Is it when she begins to lecture you on how your raise your kids (which she does every time)? Go through and list the buttons she pushes and the order in which they occur. Suppose you successfully navigate through the first several temptations and don’t lose your cool. Have you sinned in your heart already? Go back before all the sin and see if you can figure out when you start sinning against your sister-in-law.
Notice the things that happen that cause you to sin. It might be feelings of angst, anger, frustration, tension, whatever. Notice these things.
Think about each one of them in turn and go to the Lord in prayer and ask him to reveal to you the answer to this question, What about this incident causes me so much trouble? Is it because she is saying something that hurts my feelings? Is it something that hurts my pride? Is she causing trouble for others in my family? Is it her condescending attitude? Do you simply not like the way she breaths through her nose like that?
Once you’ve figured out what it is that causes you to be tempted ask this question, Why is this causing me so much trouble? Is it my pride that is being hurt? If it is confess the sin of pride. Is it something else? It may be that your anger is legitimately godly anger.
You have identified Satan’s foothold in your life. You are tempted to sin because your pride is hurt. Now you need to go through a Bible study to ask God to change your heart with regard to your pride and true Biblical humility. Ask yourself this question, Do I have the right to be angry in these situations? Does my anger bring God glory in this situation? Does my expression of anger bring God glory? If the answer to these is no, you need to repent and change your mind about how important your opinion of yourself is in the light of the Kingdom of God.
Now that you’ve identified your areas of weakness, you need to develop a two fold plan. First, you need to learn to anticipate when you will be getting into the situations where your anger is enticed. And second, you need to develop a plan for when you do get into that situation again. What will you do that will bring glory and honor to God instead of what has been happening in the past? Suppose you are invited to a wedding at which your sister-in-law will also be in attendance. You know weeks in advance that she will be there and that you will be tempted to get angry. Since this is true you need to develop a game plan. What will you do to not succumb to the temptation? You should spend the next three weeks developing ways to love her before and above her irritating breathing. You should also keep in mind that fleeing, not putting yourself in that situation, is always a Biblical option (2 Tim. 2:22). But the triumphant option is to train yourself to act in a Biblically loving way toward your sister-in-law and thus win her to Christ and to yourself.
Finally, practice, practice, practice. The reason professional athletes look so fluid and natural when they do what they do is because they practice until the behavior is natural and normal. This is the result you want in your Christian walk with God. Practice loving unlovely people. Practice laying yourself aside and thinking God’s thoughts about others instead of thinking of yourself first. Know that as with everything new it will be difficult at first. It won’t feel normal, it will feel awkward. But everything is like this at first. The fluid sports star had just as much trouble with new things as you are having, but he spent a long hard time developing his skills so that he could win the prize. You want to win the prize? Get aggressive with temptation before it gets to the point of sin.
Remember Jesus and his temptations? Didn’t he look natural and at ease in the midst of his terrible temptations? How did he overcome and keep from sinning? He remembered who he was and who God was. He aggressively obeyed God and didn’t give in to his desires. He drew near to God and allowed God to draw near to him. And as he did Satan fled the scene. It will work for you too. Imitate Jesus, become like Jesus.
Friday, September 18, 2009
You cannot be like God and be free of anger as long as you live in a sin-broken world.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 40:1-3 ESV
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.
My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.
Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.
It Mistakes Commitment to a System of Theology and Rules for Christian Maturity
It Mistakes Doing New “Religious” Things for Heart of Obedience to Christ
It Mistakes Participation in Ministry Opportunities for a Christlike Lifestyle
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift though all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
it’s the secret wish
of every soul struggling in the middle
of what he did not plan
and did not choose.
it is the silent cry
of each of us
as we are forced to deal
who is difficult to love.
we all think that
we’re wiser thane we really are
and more benevolent
than we would actually be.
we all forget that
sin has reduced us to fools
and shrunk our field of interest
to the size of our own needs.
that’s why all of us
secretly wish to be
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly;
save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
What is the difference between Reformed Evangelism and non-Reformed evangelism?
I guess I don't really know the difference between Reformed and non-Reformed evangelism. My views on it haven't changed much since becoming Reformed, but maybe I'm just ignorant too.
I do think most of the Church, especially American church, has it wrong when they talk about evangelism.
When I was in seminary, the goal in my evangelism class was to share the gospel with someone to the point where they were asked to make a choice between Jesus and Hell. If we got them to that point, we were free and could say, “Well at least they don’t have an excuse and I'm off the hook for having talked with them.” I didn't do very well in that class because I didn't believe that was what evangelism is about.
I believe there are very few Christians who are gifted in “cold turkey” evangelism. I’ve seen very little fruit from beach, door to door, or any other kind of contact evangelism, at least in terms of people coming to the Lord. I’m pretty skeptical about evangelistic crusades and revivals because they seldom produce any lasting fruit. A lot of people make commitments, but a year later these same people are very difficult to find.
There have been a lot of studies on the lack of fruit given this kind if evangelism and it is pretty consistent that the fruit is not only not good, it is actually bad. It is one thing if a person isn’t actually saved at a revival, but it is another thing that he thinks he was saved and wasn’t really. It inoculates him against the real Gospel and can be very difficult to help him see his real need for Christ after that sort of experience.
I think the reasons for this false salvation are pretty clear. It is because of a false Gospel and a false motivation for sharing the Gospel. For example, most presentations of the Gospel do not have the Gospel in them. Again, I thought this before I became Reformed so that has nothing to do with it. The Gospel is only good news to someone who is in desperate trouble with God. But a person who believes that God loves them and offers a wonderful plan for his life is not a person who is feeling terrible for having offended the Lord of Glory (most start this way). So what is he going to be saved from? In the end it is a very man centered message. Men are saved because they are wonderful and special.
Also, in my experience and observations over the years has led me to the conclusion that most people come to the Lord over a long period of time with close contact with a Christian or group of Christians. Christianity seems to be more caught than taught. It is a relational thing. Of course God’s Spirit convicting of sin is always necessary, but coupled with loving saints who Christ’s life in front of them is normally necessary as well. Don’t forget the proclamation of the Gospel. Men are in rebellion against God, are in deep trouble, and desperately need salvation. The Spirit confirms that this is true because the person feels terrible for his sin. God provided a substitute for us, by killing his Son in our place. Someone died for me and my sin. When the terror of a sinful life comes together with the offer of help from God the person lays aside his old life, dies in Christ, grabs a hold of God’s gracious offering, and God gives him a new life. When this happens to a person, he has been saved, and we know that he has been saved because his life will change. His life will change because he is not only saved from sin, but he is also saved to a right relationship with God. Jesus rose from the dead to give life to those who die with him. If a person has died because of his sin, God will give him new life because of Jesus’ resurrection. If there is no change, no matter what else has gone on, he is not saved yet. He is still in his sins. And we need to be very careful about proclaiming to the person that he has been saved just because he prayed the prayer, or signed the card or whatever.
I hope this helps.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
These first couple were wrtitten by Nancy Wilson:
This one was written by Rachel Jankovic:
The comment to this one, added by Heather Torosjan, was very good as well.
Finally, this final one was written by Douglas Wilson:
The point Doug makes about not what not loving your children well looks like was very telling and insightful.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
And the LORD said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel." And Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor."
And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting.
When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright.
He became a Christian while attending college.
Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it.
One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and, when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!)
By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.
About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?
It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.
And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read."
LORD help me to be as accepting of others as you are of me. You accept me no matter how I am dressed or what I have done. Open my heart to accept others as quickly and fully in Love! Lord forgive my sins like I forgive other's sins against me. Help me to become more like Christ. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
1. Who wrote the book?
2. Why do you suppose he included Timothy’s name here?
3. Whom do they serve?
4. What does servant mean here?
5. What is a Christ?
6. Why does he have Christ before Jesus?
7. Who is the letter written to?
8. What is a saint?
9. What does it mean to be “in Christ Jesus”?
10. To which church in Philippi was it written?
11. Besides the saints, who was the book written to?
12. What is an overseer?
13. Why does he call them overseers?
14. What is a deacon?
15. Why does Paul list these folks out separately?
Compare the other “Greetings” of the other letters Paul wrote.
What differences do you note?
1. What does ‘Grace’ mean here?
2. What does ‘peace’ mean?
3. Who is this ‘grace and peace’ going to?
4. Who is it coming from?
5. How is it going to get there?
6. What is it used for?
7. What is the relationship between Father and Lord?
1:3–6 – Thanksgiving from a full heart
Notice the different translations of verse 3-6.
1. What does Paul do when he prays?
He remembers (Mentions) them Cf. Rom 1:9; Eph 1:16; 1 Thess. 1:2
2. Who’s God does he thank?
3. How often does Paul thank his God?
4. What is Paul thanking God for?
5. What attitude does Paul have when he prays for the Philippians?
6. How often does he pray?
In the Bible many people had specific time of the day set aside to pray:
Ps 5:3; Ex 9:5; Dan 6:13; 1 Chron 23:30
7. How often does he remember them?
Notice his intensity. My prayers, for you, all the time, with joy. Praying for them is not a chore for Paul.
8. Why does he pray with joy for them?
They remembered him and helped him.
They joinged with him in ministry.
God is the only one who could actually help them (thinking of you)
They have needs that only God can meet. (Them praying for him 1:19)
9. What have they joined with him to do?
Koinonia – Rom 15:26; 2 Cor 8:1-4, 9:13; Heb 13:16
10. How have they shared in the spread of the Gospel? 1:19, 27-28, 29; 4:14-15, 18
11. What is the Gospel?
12. How long have they been working with Paul?
13. What is Paul confident of? Why?
14. What good work did he begin in them?
15. What does it mean that they are going to have it completed in them some day?
Is 41:4; 44:6; 48:12 What God starts, he will finish, he is first and last.
16. What will the completion look like?
17. When will they be completed?
18. What does he mean by the ‘day of Christ Jesus’?
Phil 1:10; 1 Cor 1:8; 1 Thess 5:2, 4; 1 Jn 4:17; 2 Tim 1:12
In what ways can we immitate Paul, from these first 6 verses?
1. Joyful Prayer
2. Consistent Prayer
3. Intercessory Prayer
4. Confidence in the one to whom we pray
5. Participation in the Gospel
6. Confidence in the continuation of God’s work
How does faith work in all of this?
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
“That’s close to what I said, but not exactly,” said the pastor, “You’re still missing the most important point.” "You’re still doing what you do in order to get something for yourself. You are still at the center of all your dreams and aspirations. You are still the focus of your life and the idol of your heart."
What you have done is set up a series of hoops that you think you need to jump through so God will bless you. But it isn’t God’s blessing that you are after, it is you being blessed. You are trying to manipulate God, trying to get him to do what you want by doing what you think will make him happy, to placate him.
"What you still don’t understand is that this is exactly what every religious group and philosophical system in the world does. They avoid submitting to God by setting up a system of works through which they try to manipulate the god they serve. When Christians to this we call it pietism, and legalism."
"The Gospel shines on us when we realize there isn’t anything we can to do make God happy. We are abject failures. There isn’t anything, zilch, nadda, nothing we can to do manipulate God into liking us or blessing us. God made provision for this in the death of his dear Son, Jesus. Nothing we could ever do could out placate God’s wrath against us than Jesus' death on the cross."
"The Gospel shines in us when we stop trying to impress God and simply live with him, in his presence every day, all day. The Apostle said bad company corrupts good morals, and Jesus said we become like our teachers. What this, among a million other verses, says to us is that we naturally become like those we hang around with. So, if you want to treat others like God tells you to treat them, watch how God treats other people. If you want to be treated like God, act like God. If you want to watch and act like God, spend time with God. It’s pretty simple really."
“That all sounds pretty good,” Jim responded, “But what can I do to change my life?” “Well, for starters, read your Bible for an hour every day.” This reminds us to confess our sins.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
How many seals have been opened?
How many seals were there on the scroll?
What happened each time a seal was opened?
v. 1—What/who opened the next seal?
Which seal was it?
How many seals were there?
What does it mean that this is the last one?
What happened when the seventh seal was opened?
How long did the silence last?
What significance is there in the silence? Hab. 2:20; Zeph. 1:7; Zech. 2:13
v. 2—What did John see next?
Where have we seen these angels before? Rev. 2-3;
Things on earth are often related to things in heaven:
1. Kingdom on earth come as it is in heaven—Mt. 6:10
2. Pattern of worship—Heb 8:5; 9:23-24
3. Government of the church—Matt. 16:19; 18:18
4. Worship and demons—1 Cor. 10:20
5. Angels are present in worship services—1 Cor. 11:10; Eph. 3:10
Therefore the angels in heaven before the throne of God may correspond to the angels of the seven churches. This would mean that thing that happen on earth happen in heaven and vise versa.
How many were there?
What was given to them?
What is the significance of trumpets?
A. Trumpets in the Scriptures are used for a number of purposes: 1) to call the congregation together for an assembly, 2) in ceremonial procession (as an escort for the Ark of the covenant), 3) to announce the rule of a new king (1 Kings 1:34), 4) to call Israel to covenant meetings and worship, 5) the Temple liturgy involved the use of seven trumpets (1 Chronicles 15:24; Neh. 12:21), 6) to announce the coming of judgment and to call to repentance.
B. The trumpets here announce the coming of God’s judgment upon the land and herald’s the ascension of the new King. This is the way the Day of the Lord is described in the O.T. (Zeph. 1:14-18; Josh. 6:2-5). Jerusalem, once the holy city has now become like the pagan Canaanite city of Jericho.
v. 3—Then what happened?
Where did the next angel stand?
Which altar was it?
How many altars were there?
What was this eighth angel given?
What did the incense signify? Rev. 5:8
Now the prayers and the incense are separated from 5:8?
What was he to do with the incense?
What prayers are they talking about?
Where was he to use the incense?
So there are at least 2 altars?
Where was this golden altar?
v. 4—What did the incense produce?
What happened to all the smoke?
What was the relationship between the smoke and the prayers?
What prayers are we talking about?
Where did the smoke and prayers go?
What did he mean by “from the hand of the angel”?
It gives us some new things to think about when the minister offers up the prayers of the saints to heavenly throne.
v. 5—What happened after the prayer meeting?
What is a censor?
What did he do with the censor?
What did he fill it with?
Where did he get the fire?
Which altar are we talking about now?
What did he do with the fire in the censor?
What happened when he threw the fire on the earth? Ex. 19:16, 18
What does all this mean?
It is interesting that originally the fire came from heaven to the tabernacle of God from God (Lev. 9:24; 2 Chron. 7:1) and was kept perpetually burning by the priests of God (Lev. 16:12-13). Then the fire went out when the temple was taken and God’s glory left the building. Now the fire is coming back in judgment against the same people he originally blessed with the fire.
A very interesting event occurred at the end of Leviticus 9 and the beginning of Leviticus 10. God sent fire to burn up the sacrifices in 9 and sent the same fire to burn up Nadab and Abihu for using “strange fire.” Not doing what God had commanded. Now in Revelation 8 God is sending fire to the earth to burn up Israel for offering strange fire on the earth, by breaking covenant with God.
When God told Israel to destroy cities they were told to do it in a certain way (Deut. 13:16). They were to burn it as a sacrifice to God so that God’s wrath would cease and blessing would come on the land again. This is part of God’s judgment against a nation and a land. This same judgment was about to come on the nation of Israel for the same sins that caused God to cast out the people from before them after they came out of Egypt. And according to Revelation 8 it is all part of worship, just as it was in Deuteronomy.
How should we then live in front of God? What should we spend our time doing? What should we love, serve, revere, pay homage to? Kind of makes you think doesn’t it?
Summary: From Chilton quoting from J. Massyngberde Ford
1. From the throne and altar, the “mercy seat,” comes wrath;
2. Incense, the “soothing aroma to the Lord” (Lev. 1:13), becomes an agent of death (cf. 2 Cor. 2:14-16);
3. The trumpets, which called Israel to worship, now become heralds of her destruction;
4. The heavenly liturgy itself, appointed for Israel’s sanctification, becomes the means of her overthrow and dissolution.
v. 6—What is about to happen now?
What seven angels is he talking about? (if you weren’t here last week this is a context sort of question.) What did the 7 trumpets remind us of last week? Jericho
v. 7—What happened when the first angel blew his trumpet?
What does the green grass refer to? 7:3; 9:4
v. 8, 9—What happened when the second angel blew his trumpet? Ex. 7:17-21
Israel is God’s Holy Mountain, the mountain of God’s inheritance Ex. 15:17
By falling away from the Lord Israel had become apostate and thus they were a mountain that devoured those around them instead of feeding them. Jer. 51:25, 42; Mt. 21:21-22 (see the context) Rev. 6:9-11; 1:3 heed these things. What does heed mean?.
v. 10, 11—What happened when the third angel blew his trumpet?
What was the star’s name?
How can a star have a name?
Wormwood is the term used to describe bitterness and apostasy (Deut. 29:18; Jer. 9:15; 23:15; Lam. 3:15, 19; Amos 5:7; Prov. 5:4).
This event parallels Isa 14:12-15
What happened as a result of Wormwood falling into the waters? Ex. 7:21
v. 12—What happened when the fourth angel blew his trumpet?
The results of this angel’s blowing is thick darkness Ex. 10:21-23
This imagery describes the destruction of nations and ruler of nations Isa 13:9-11;, 19; 24:19-23; 34:4-5; Ez. 32:7-8, 11-12; Joel 2:10, 28-32; Acts 2:16-21
What things are in common in the first 4 trumpet blasts?
1. Some form of fire comes from heaven (7) fire in the hail, (8) Mountain burning, (10) blazing star fell, (12) 1/3 sun put out. God’s wrath being poured out against the ungodly.
2. They remind us of God’s judgment on Egypt: Ex. 9:22-24; Ex. 7:17-21; Ex. 10:21-23. Israel will be judged like God’s enemies who have gone before: Matt. 23:29-36.
Note all the parts of creation that will be struck.
Note the use of the word “Mountain” in the Bible—Dan. 2:35; 44-45; Jer. 51:25, 42; Ex. 15:17; Mat. 21:21-22.
Notice that this destruction was not total, but it is significant and pervasive.
v. 13—What happened before the fifth angel blew his trumpet?
Where have we seen this eagle character before? Hos. 8:1
Sometimes the eagle (4:7) in scripture is good (Deut. 32:9-11) and sometimes it isn’t (Deut. 28:49; Lam. 4:19; Job 39:30).
Warnings of Israel’s destruction are often associated with eagles and birds of prey: Deut 28:49; Jer. 4:13; Lam. 4:19; Hos 8:1; Hab. 1:8; Matt 24:28.
An aspect of covenantal cursing is that birds will eat the covenant breakers: Gen. 15:9-12; Deut. 28:26, 49; Prov. 30:17; Jer. 7:33-34; 16:3-4; 19:7; 34:18-20; Ez. 39:17-20; Rev. 19:17-18
Who is the eagle addressing his comments to? Those who dwell on the land: 14:6
Note that the woes are not simple words. They represent future events (see 9:12).
Notice too that the curses are becoming more and more terrible, just like in Egypt. The woes correspond to the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpet blasts.
Still part of the events of the sixth seal.
v. 1—Then what happened?
What is the “this” that happened after?
What did John see?
Who were the four angels?
What angels were they?
What were they doing?
Where were they standing?
What does the “four corners of the earth” represent? Job 1:19; Isa. 11:12; Ezek. 7:2; Acts 10:11; Acts 11:5; Rev. 20:8
Where have we seen that term before?
What were they doing while they stood there?
What were they holding back?
What does the four winds represent? Jer. 49:36; Ezek. 37:9; Dan. 7:2; 8:8; 11:4; Matt. 24:31; Mk. 13:27 – Jer. 49:35-38
How does one hold the wind back?
What does the wind represent in Scripture? Gen. 8:1; 41:27; Ex. 10:13, 19; 14:21; 15:10; Num. 11:31; Ps. 18:10; 104:3-4; 107:25; 135:7; 147:18; Jn. 3:8; Acts 2:2
Where was the wind kept from blowing? Hos. 13:15-16
Notice that the events in nature are not without God’s hand and intervention. God did not just wind it up and let it go. He is in it and his angels control the weather.
Also, representation does not mean “not there.” Nor does spiritual mean “not there.” In both cases though it is not exactly what we expect when we look at nature, it is actually larger than nature because it is nature and then some. Not to sound Greek but it is the reality behind what we see. But it is not independent of what we see, it is that and then some.
v. 2—What did he see next?
Where was this angel?
Where was he ascending from? Blessing often comes from the east Gen. 2:8; Eze. 43:1-5; Mal. 4:1-2
How do you go up from the sun? Isa 41:1-4, 25; 46:11; Ezek. 43:1-3
What did he have with him? Luke 1:78; Mal. 4:2
What is the seal of God? A symbol of authority and power.
What was he saying?
How was he saying it?
Who was he talking to?
What had they been given power to do?
Is this the same set of angels we saw in verse 1?
What affect did holding back the wind have on the earth?
v. 3—What was he saying to the four angels?
What was the condition?
What were they to wait for before they harmed the earth?
Who were they waiting to seal? Doulas- slave.
Where were they going seal them? Eph. 1:13; 4:30
What would this look like? 2 Cor. 1:21; 2 Tim. 2:19
On the forehead? Ex. 28:36-28; Deut. 6:6-8
This appears to be reflective of Eze. 9:1-7
The early church thought that the mark was the sign of the put on the forehead of folks who were baptized. The word for “mark” in Ez. 9 was one letter in Hebrew and it was shaped like an X or like a + and was a symbol for the way people would sign their name, or make their mark, in a business deal. As you notice it also looked very much like a Cross and the early church thought it was a sign of the mark that every Christian took on himself when he was baptized. Thus was a fulfillment of both Ez. 9 and Revelation 7.
No matter what is going on in the earth, God is in control and will care for his people (2 Pet. 2:9; Isa. 12:2)
Those who walk with God are those who will walk with God. The seal is the gift of the Holy Spirit, given to those who God has chosen to live and walk with him. God has changed their hearts and thus they should live like their hearts have been changed (Ez. 36:26-27; 2 Tim. 2:19).
v. 4-8—What did John hear?
How do you hear a number?
Who was sealed? 1,000 means a whole lot, many, mucho, bunches (Deut 1:11; 7:9; Psa 50:10; 68:17; 84:10; 90:4) Mic. 5:1-15
The 144,000 represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Two tribes are not listed; Dan and Ephraim. And two tribes that aren’t supposed to receive rewards are listed; Levi and Joseph. I don’t know why.
Throughout the N.T. the Church is described as the true Israel of God (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 3:7,29; 6:15-16; Philippians 3:3; James 1:1; 1 Peter 2:9).
Who are these folks? Rev. 14:1ff the redeemed of the Lord. We’ve already seen in Revelation that not all Jews are Jews (2:9; 3:9), so the only ones left are either all the saved Jews or those who are true Jews (Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 3:7,29; 6:15-16; Phil 3:3; James 1:1; 1 Peter 2:9), or both.
So put it all together you have a vast host, or army of the redeemed, created to fill the earth and subdue it, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, poured out to serve him and to give him allegiance and to worship him forever.
Even though the center of worshipping the true God is going to be destroyed, God will not abandon his people to destruction. He will save them and not just a few. He will save the world (John 2:16).
v. 9—What did John do after hearing the 144,000 (v. 4)? 1:10-13; 5:5-6; 6:1-8, hears and sees
What did he see when he turned?
What does his turning and his hearing in the previous verse have to do with one another?
How many people did he see?
Who does this mean the 144,000 were?
Which nations did these folks come from? Who were all these people?
What were all these people doing?
Standing is something only people who have been cleansed of their sin are privileged to do in the throne room. Which is why Isaiah fell on his face and why everyone else falls on their face before God, unless they are cleansed (Is. 6; Heb. 10:14ff).
What were they wearing?
Have we seen white robes anywhere before? 19:8
What did they have in their hands?
Where in the Bible do palm branches appear? Lev. 23:39-43; Neh. 8:15; John 12:13—Mt. 21:8, 19 Leaves with no fruit
v. 10—what were they doing besides standing and holding palm branches?
What kind of volume were they using?
What were they saying?
What does salvation mean?
Where does salvation come from?
Who does it belong to? And who?
Who benefits from it?
v. 11—Who was standing around the throne?
What were they doing?
Do you think physical positioning has anything to do with worship? Or is it all about, or only about, attitude?
v. 12—What were they saying when they were worshipping?
What does Amen! Mean?
What belongs to God?
Whose God is he?
For how long do all these things belong to God?
v. 13—Who talked to John next?
What did he say?
Why should John know who all these people are?
v. 14—What did John say in response?
How did John address the fellow? Gk. “My Lord”
What did the elder say in response?
Who are these folks?
What great tribulation? Matt. 24:21; Mark 13:19—Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Lk. 21:32
What did they wash their robes in?
How did washing the cloths in blood make them white? Heb. 9:22, 14
What does this mean about persecution for the Christians of the first century? What about subsequent Christians in history? Should Christians today expect to not suffer for their faith?
v. 15—What does therefore mean?
Where are they?
What are they doing there?
How long or often do they worship? Psa 134:1
What is the one on the throne doing for them?
The one sitting on the throne shall spread a tent (dwell) on among them. Deut 32:10-11; Lev. 23:33-43; 25:4; 2 Sam. 22:12; Hag. 2:4-9; Jn. 7:37-39
v. 16—How much hunger will they experience? Is. 49:10
How much thirst?
Will they get sunburned any more?
Will they overheat? Rev. 16:8-9; Isa. 4:4-5
v. 17—Why won’t they suffer anymore?
Who is the lamb?
Is it strange that the lamb will be a shepherd?
What will he do for them as their shepherd? The shepherd does not necessarily take away the problems, he simply protects his sheep in the midst of their problems.
Where will he lead them? Isa 55:1; Jer. 2:13; 17:13; Eze 47:1-9; Zech 13:1; Jn. 4:10-11; 7:38 (the feast of booths, Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35)
What will God do for them?
What tears are in need of wiping away? Isa. 25:8; 49:8-13
See Carson’s commentary on John 7:37-44, pp. 321-323
Who was writing the book? Where is John? What is he doing there? What is the story about? What is the goal of the book?
This is reminiscent of Habakkuk’s description of the coming destruction of unfaithful Israel by the Chaldeans which God is going to bring about (Hab. 3:3-12).
v. 1—What is John watching?
Who was the lamb?
What was he opening?
What is a seal?
What happened when the Lamb opened the seal?
Who was speaking?
What was his voice like?
What did he say?
Who did he say it to? 1 Cor. 16:22
v. 2—What did John do in response to the Angel’s command?
Why if the angel said come, did John look? The angel was talking to the horse and rider.
What did John see?
What kind of horse was it?
What was on the horse? Zech. 1:8; 6:1-7
What was riding on the horse?
What did he have?
What is the significance of the bow and crown? Rev. 14:14; 19:11-13
What was he doing on the horse?
What does it mean that came out conquering and to conquer? Revelation 3:21; 5:5; 19:11; Psalm 45:1-5
Who is this rider?
v. 3—What did he do next?
Who was he?
Which living creature spoke next?
What did the living creature say when the second seal was opened?
v. 4—What came out next?
Came out of what?
What color was this horse?
What did its rider do?
What does it mean to take peace from the earth? God removes his hand of peace.
What happened when peace came from the earth?
What was this rider given?
What was he given the sword to do? The fiery red horse is the symbol of war and bloodshed. Those who refuse to submit to the sword of the Spirit are forced to submit to the sword of warfare. God often warned that if His people rebelled against His rule, He would give them over to war (Leviticus 26:25,33; Isaiah 1:19-20). Apart from God’s active restraint upon the sinful natures of men, there would be constant warfare. When God removes the restraints on man’s degeneracy war is inevitable.
v. 5—What happened when the third seal was opened?
Which living creature spoke now?
What did he say?
What did John do?
What came out of that seal?
What color was the horse? the color of mourning and sorrow
What did that rider have in his hands?
What did what he had in his hands signify? Ez. 4:10 scales to weigh out their food when trading, buying and selling.
What explanation did John hear with regards to this rider?
Whose voice was it that spoke?
What is in the midst of the four creatures? The throne.
What did he say?
What does it mean? signifies economic hardships and scarcity which would befall the enemies of God (Ezekiel 4:16-17). God had promised this would be the case if the people rebelled (Leviticus 26:23-26). Grain will sell at 10 times its normal price and consume an entire day’s wages to pay for it. Scarcity is among the chastisements God sends (Deuteronomy 28:17-18,23-24,48).
How can you harm oil and wine? Oil and wine are used in celebration and healing Psa. 104:15; James 5:14-15; 1 Cor. 11:25.
v. 7—What happened when the fourth seal was broken?
Which creature spoke this time?
What did he say?
v. 8—What did John see after the fourth seal was broken?
What color was this horse? Rev. 8:7; 9:4; Mk. 6:39 Green is the color of a corpse
What was the rider’s name?
Why don’t we know what the other riders’ names were?
What followed this rider?
What is Hades?
What does it mean that Hades followed him?
Where did they come from? Rev. 1:18
What were they given?
How were they able to kill?
How were they to kill? Lev. 26: Deut. 28; Ez. 14:21; Ez. 5:17
How might this come about?
Psalm 46:8-11—calamity and disaster also serve to glorify God; Psalm 90:3-12—unbelievers have nothing to rejoice in; Matthew 12:20, 21—Christians have nothing to despair of.
v. 9—What happened after the fifth seal was opened?
Did an angel say anything?
Where did John look to see his next sight?
What was under the altar?
Why under there? They have been "slain." The imagery here is taken from the O.T. sacrificial system. There were two altars in the temple and tabernacle: Inside the holy place there was the "golden altar" or the "altar of incense" which represented the prayers of God’s people ascending up to God. In the outer court of the temple and the tabernacle, there was the altar of burnt offering. When sacrifices were made, the blood of the animal was sprinkled or poured around the base of the altar (Ex. 29:12; Lev. 1:5; 4:7).
Who were these people?
How had they died?
Was that a good way to die? The Christian is one who willingly gives up his life in the service of Christ (2 Timothy 4:6-7; Philippians 2:17). Mt. 10:38; 16:24; Lu. 9:23—Take up cross and follow Christ 1 Pet. 4:12-17
How could someone be slain for the word of God?
What witness had they borne? Notice translations.
v. 10—What were these folks doing?
How loudly were they crying out?
What were they saying? How long-- Zechariah 1:12;
What are they asking God to do? This may be an allusion of the blood of the innocent "crying out" from the ground for vindication (Genesis 4:10; Numbers 35:33; Deuteronomy 21:9; Hebrews 12:24). Blood has a voice and cries out for vengeance.
What titles are they using of God? Sovereign Lord here is not the normal word used for God it is despotes the normal word for an owner who owns slaves. Acts 4:24; 29-30
What do they mean? God vindicates is people by destroying his enemies
Who were “those who dwell on the earth”? Where have we seen this title before? Rev. 3:10
Who dwell on the earth? 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14, 14:6; 17:2, 8
Idolatrous Israel to be driven from the land Jer. 1:14; 10:18; Ezek. 7:7; 36:17; Hos. 4:1, 3; Joel 1:2, 14; 2:1; Zeph. 1:18
Idolatrous nations being driven out of the land Num. 32:17; 33:52, 55; Josh. 7:9; 9:24; Judg. 1:32; 2 Sam. 5:6; 1 Chron. 11:4; 22:18; Neh. 9:24
Israel has joined the nations of pagans and will be driven from the land in the same way those pagan nations were way back when. Remember that God told Abraham that the pagans’ sin hadn’t reached its point of no return (Gen. 15:16), but when it did they would be driven from the land. Israel went over the Jordan and began driving those nations out. Now God is chasing 1st century Israel out for the same reasons.
What does it mean to avenge blood?
Whose blood were they asking him to avenge?
Who were they asking God to kill? Psalm 79:5-6,9-10; 9:8-10,16,19-20
What do you think about men asking God to kill other men? Deut. 32:43; Ps. 47:3, 8-9; Lk. 18:7-8
What about judging men? Matthew 23:34-38; Acts 7:51-52; Luke 21:22; John 15:18-25
If the Bible models it, what should your attitude be?
Was what they prayed in or out of the Will of God? Mat. 23:34-38; Acts 7:51-52; Lu. 21:22; Jn. 15:18-25
What was their desire in this prayer? For personal revenge? God’s glory? Psa. 79:5-10; 9:8-20
v. 11—What were they given?
Why were they given these robes?
Where have we seen this white robe thing before?
What were they told to do?
For how long?
What does complete or fulfilled mean? The Jews had not yet filled up their cup of wrath Matt. 23:32; 1 Thess. 2:14-16.
v.12-14—What happened when he opened the sixth seal?
Where in the Bible is this imagery used?
Earthquake—Ez. 38:19; Joel 3:16; Hag. 2:6-7; Heb. 12:26-29
Sun became black—Ecc. 12:1-2
Moon becomes like blood—Joel 2:31
Stars fell from the sky—Dan. 8:10; Eze. 32:7
Like a Fig tree—
Sky rolled up—Is. 13:10; 14:12; 34:4
Mountain and Island will be moved—Jeremiah 4:20-24; Isaiah 49:1; Daniel 2:35
What did it mean there? de-creation
What does it mean here? Mt 24:29-31
How can we say that?
Judgment prophesied against a rebellious nation is couched in the terms of de-creation. Just as the salvation of the Lord is described in terms of creation (2 Cor. 5:17) so the covenant judgments of God are described in terms of the destruction of all things (Joel 2:10,28-32; Acts 2:16-21)
1. The destruction of Israel stands as a warning to all nations (Prov. 14:34).
2. What is true of nations is also true of individuals. If you reject the Savior, you too shall perish.
v. 15—What happened when the sixth seal was broken?
Where did all the leaders go?
Where did all the normal people go? Isaiah 13:7-8
Where did all the slaves go? Seven classes of men are mentioned. The whole land is being excommunicated. Everyone who opposes the kingdom of Christ, will be utterly confounded when His day and the judgment arrives (Isa. 2:10-21). As they had forced God’s people to hide in caves from their wrath (Heb. 11:38), so now God causes them to hide in caves from His wrath (Wilkins).
What hills and caves and mountains did they hide themselves in?
v. 16—What were they saying to the rocks as they hid in them?
Why did they want the mountains to fall on them?
What didn’t they want to see?
What did they not want to experience?
What other way could they have avoided this fate?
v. 17—What did they think was happening?
What do they mean by the great day of his wrath? Isaiah 13:9-13; 34:2-4; Ezekiel 32:7-8; Amos 8:7-9; Ezekiel 30:3-4; Joel 2:1-2; Zephaniah 1:12-15; Matthew 24:21
Where would they have heard about this day?
Who can stand? Luke 21:34-36; Isaiah 54:10; 63:4
The four horsemen should not be taken individually; rather as a group. They are God’s agents for controlling the kingdoms of the earth. They raise up nations and they bring down nations. They represent the same four sorrows that Jesus mentions in Mt. 24:6-7; Lk. 21:10-11, 20. The point is to impress on the reader how terrible and awful the day of the Lord is and how important God’s people are to God (Mt. 23:35-37; 24:21). They are like the events in Joel 1:4; Zech. 1:8, 18; 6:1-8; and Mt. 23:33, 36.
Notice the similarity between the events in this chapter as those in Matthew 24:
International strife (vv. 3-4; Matthew 24:7).
Famine and pestilence (vv. 5-8; Matthew 24:7).
Persecution (vv. 9-11; Matthew 24:9-14).
Earthquakes and de-creation (vv. 12-17; Matthew 24:7,15-31).
This is reminiscent of Habakkuk’s description of the coming destruction of unfaithful Israel by the Chaldeans which God is going to bring about (Hab. 3:3-12).