Daily Encouragement

Daily Encouragement

December 9 – The only book with a blessing for hearers

December 9
Joel 1:1-3:21
Revelation 1:1-20
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 29:18 

Joel 1:4 – This event is the biggest event in 5 generations (Joel 1:2-3), and has 4 layers of destruction (Joel 1:4). 

Joel 1:14 – A solemn assembly. Several groups have put out guidelines for calling a “solemn assembly” including the Southern Baptist Convention, Family Research Council,  and Presbyterian Mission.

Joel 2:10 – These events look like the events of the fifth seal (Revelation 6:12-13), and are reiterated in Joel 2:31).

Joel 2:13 – “Rend your heart, and not your garments.” God wants internal, actual change, not just external conformity.

Notice who God is – “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” That’s almost word for word from Jonah 4:2, which showed that Jonah was familiar with these writings.

Joel 2:25 – How’s this for a promise – in spite of four layers of destruction (Joel 1:4), God is promising to restore the lost years!

Joel 2:28 – This was quoted as a fulfillment in Acts 2:17 in Peter’s Pentecost message.

Joel 2:32 – This is almost an exact quote of Romans 10:13! Those days are now here – the message of salvation is offered universally!

Revelation 1:1

Revelation 1:3 – Revelation can be hard to follow, but it comes with a blessing for those who read and hear this book!

Revelation 1:5 – Yes, Jesus washed us in His blood! 

Revelation 1:11 – Jimmy DeYoung has produced a documentary “Let them Hear” – you can watch it online at ChristianCinema.com.

Psalm 128:1 – Speaking of blessings, let’s be sure to fear the LORD!

Proverbs 29:18 – More blessings for those who keep the law!

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Daily Encouragement

December 8 – What on earth is Admah and Zeboim?

December 8
Hosea 10:1-14:9
Jude 1:1-25
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 29:15-17 

Hosea 10:12 – This chapter has been difficult to read, but this verse is clear. “Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD.” A.W. Tozer preached a message on this verse. Also, from Steve Pettit Team:

Hosea 10:1315% of people pray something bad they did will not be discovered.

Hosea 11:1 – Notice as God retells the story of Israel. Ransomed from Egypt thru the Passover. Immediately sacrificing to Baal (Hosea 11:2), bent to backsliding (Hosea 11:7).

Hosea 11:8  –  What on earth is Admah and Zeboim? They are allies of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14:2-3) that were likewise destroyed (Deuteronomy 29:23). Will God destroy Israel like Sodom & Gomorrah? No (Hosea 11:9), He will make them walk after Him (Hosea 11:10).

Hosea 12:6 – In spite of all the judgment God is bringing, He pleads, “turn thou to thy God.”

Hosea 13:4 – Notice the comparison to the First Commandment (Exodus 20:2-3).

Hosea 13:14 – God is more powerful than death and the grave! (1 Corinthians 15:55). 

Hosea 13:16 – How could God be so cruel? GotQuestions compares to Nahum 3:10:

The immediate context speaks of the defeat of the Egyptian city of Thebes by Assyria, of which Nineveh was the capital. When Thebes was defeated by Assyria in 663 B.C., the detestable acts of Nahum 3:10 took place. The Assyrians sold people into captivity and killed infants (cf. Hosea 13:16). The infants were likely killed by the Assyrians as a gratuitous act of cruelty and because the infants could not be easily exiled.

https://www.gotquestions.org/infants-dashed-to-pieces.html

Hosea 14:1 – Calling out again to Israel – “Return unto the LORD thy God.” Aren’t you thankful for His patience with us? How do we return? Repent (Hosea 14:2), and turn (Hosea 14:3), and be healed (Hosea 14:4).

Jude 1 – According to Insight.org and J. Vernon McGee, Jude is the half-brother of Jesus, yet introduces himself as “the servant of Jesus Christ.” McGee makes an interesting point:

Neither James nor Jude believed in the messianic claims of Jesus until after His resurrection. It was the Resurrection that convicted them and confirmed to them that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Up until that time they thought He had just gone “off” on religion, that He was, as the Scripture puts it, beside Himself. But after His resurrection they became believers. You see, it was possible to grow up in a home with Jesus in the days of His flesh and not recognize Him.

https://www.ttb.org/resources/study-guides/jude-study-guide

Jude 4 – Again, heresy in the early church! What does Jude show? Doctrinal error (Jude 4), Promised destruction (Jude 5 – effective destruction, Jude 6 – everlasting chains, Jude 7 – eternal fire.)

Jude 14 – No Jude isn’t endorsing the extrabiblical alleged Book of Enoch.  But He is showing that for hundreds of years before Noah the Preacher of Righteousness(2 Peter 2:5), God did not leave Himself without a remnant prophet.

Jude 17 – 1) The brother of Jesus is submitting to his brother’s disciples.  2) Jude 18 is a good description of today.

Jude 22-23 – Great verses today “Of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22), and “save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” Let’s remember that hell is real, and as someone once said, “The Most sobering reality in the world today is that people are dying and going to hell today.

Psalm 127:1 – A great reminder to those of us who like to build projects – ask God what He thinks first!

Proverbs 29:16 – Thankfully the wicked reign is not forever!

Daily Encouragement

December 7 – Sow the wind, Reap the whirlwind.

December 7
Hosea 6:1-9:17
3 John 1:1-14
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 29:12-14 

Hosea 6:1 – We’ve read so much about judgment in the previous chapters, we have hope in this verse. Return to the LORD and He will heal, He will bind us up.

Hosea 6:2 – While other commentators disagree, Matthew Henry sees this as pointing to the Resurrection!

But this seems to have a further reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us admire the wisdom and goodness of God, that when the prophet foretold the deliverance of the church out of her troubles, he should point out our salvation by Christ; and now these words are fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ, it confirms our faith, that this is He that should come and we are to look for no other.

https://biblehub.com/hosea/6-2.htm

Hosea 6:6 – Notice this continuing theme in the Bible? Jesus used this verse to argue with the Pharisees that the disciples did not violate God’s Sabbath law, only man’s Sabbath extension, and that far from being “less holy” – the Pharisees were hypocrites.

Hosea 7:8 – “a cake not turned” gives us the picture of someone “half-baked.” He is weakened but “he knoweth it not” (Hosea 7:9). 

Hosea 7:13 – Notice this imagery: God redeemed them, they lie against Him. God strengthened them, and they plot evil against Him.

Hosea 8:7 – This phrase has gone into popular culture:

The phrase was famously used by Arthur “Bomber” Harris in response to the Blitz of 1940 when he said:

The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everybody else, and nobody was going to bomb them.

At RotterdamLondonWarsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put that rather naïve theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now, they are going to reap the whirlwind.[2]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reap_the_whirlwind_(phrase)

Hosea 9:14-17 – God takes sin seriously.

3 John 2 – Is John creating a universal promise of the “prosperity gospel?” That we should be “healthy, wealthy, and rich?” Or is it just a greeting and expression of concern for his friend Gaius, similar to Paul’s request for the cloak at Troas (2 Timothy 4:13). The key is looking at the verse – Paul says “thou” not “you all” (or y’all as a Southerner might render it). Gaius must have been having health and financial issues, but Paul is encouraging him by recognizing that it’s more important that his soul prospers than his health prospers.

3 John 4 – In case you missed it – Paul is most excited by his children walking in truth, than in financial prosperity.

3 John 9-10 – We’re still in the first century and we have serious problems in the church! Thankfully we’re not alone in the stream of church history with problems!

Psalm 126:5 – Matt Black recorded a song based on this verse. “Someone prayed for me, They saw my agony, And they sowed with tears of sorrow for my soul. God did a work in me, Sin’s record he destroyed, Yes they that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Proverbs 29:12 – Interesting – the servants bear the guilt for the decisions of their ruler. Similarly we bear the guilt for Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12-14).

Daily Encouragement

December 6 – What’s the difference between a fool and a wise man?

December 6
Hosea 4:1-5:15
2 John 1:1-13
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 29:9-11 

Hosea 4:2 – Note the sins: Swearing (Leviticus 19:12/3rd Commandment), Lying (9th Commandment), Killing (6th Commandment), Stealing (8th Commandment), Adultery (7th Commandment). The LORD is not even pointing out the “minor sins” – the 613 commands of the Torah, but just the “Big Ten!”

Hosea 4:6 – Many people use this phrase – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:” but they ignore the context. The knowledge is knowing the Law, and obeying the Law!

Hosea 4:13 – We’re back to the 2nd Commandment – and God ties the 2nd Commandment to the 7th Commandment. The argument being, if you’re not faithful to me, your spouses will not be faithful to you.

Hosea 5:15 – Do we take spiritual adultery as seriously as God takes it? Do we realize that God takes it as seriously as we take physical adultery? Do we know that God will let us suffer the consequences of our sin until we seek His face?

2 John 1:1 – Who is the “elect lady”? GotQuestions notes that she has a sister, and is part of the church, but that is all that is known. Chuck Missler suggests that it might be Mary, the mother of Jesus based on Jesus entrusting Mary to John’s care. Also Mary had a sister (John 19:25).

2 John 1:5 – In this short epistle we have a few commands: “love one another” (2 John 1:5), “walk after his commandments” (2 John 1:6), and “abide in the doctrine” (2 John 1:9). These are similar to the theme of John’s gospel.

  • Love!  (John 15:12) – 57 times in John’s gospel.
  • Obey! (John 14:15) – If Love, then Keep!
  • Believe! (John 20:31) – That’s the point of the writings!
VIEW OF JERUSALEM AND THE SURROUNDING JUDEAN MOUNTAINS PHOTOGRAPHED IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY BY FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER, BONFILS. öéìåí öáò îñåó äîàä ä 19 ùì äöìí äöøôúé áåðôéñ. áöéìåí, ðåó èéôåñé ùì äøé éäåãä åéøåùìéí.
Balage Balogh (www.Archaeologyillustrated.com)/FreeBibleimages.org.

Psalm 125:2 – If you’ve been to Jerusalem, the mountains around the city are incredibly impressive. Deep valleys, tall heights, and sharp cliffs. This Psalm is part of the “Song of Ascents” from Psalm 120-134, songs to sing while climbing the road to Jerusalem.

Proverbs 29:11 – No comment necessary!

Daily Encouragement

December 5 – Hosea, and why does God care about the poor?

December 5
Hosea 1:1-3:5
1 John 5:1-21
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 29:5-8 

Hosea 1:1 – Hosea is a unique story. Rich Christiano has produced a great movie on the book of Hosea, Amazing Love:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agtN64fdNF8

Hosea 1:2 – WHOA! Did God really tell Hosea to take a prostitute as a wife? And Hosea did (Hosea 1:3)!

Hosea 1:7 – For context, Hosea is written shortly before the fall of the Northern Kingdom. We’ll read this idea again in Zechariah 4:6, and we’ve read this idea in Psalm 44:3.

Hosea 1:10 – God appeared to disown His people in Hosea 1:9, but now we read that God will regather His people and reclaim them (Hosea 1:11).

Hosea 2:6 – Ever find yourself running into a wall? Sometimes God closes a door to block us from what we want, to drive us back to our God. Sounds a bit like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

Hosea 2:16 – So we have a play on words here.

  • Ishi – My Man / Husband / Love
  • Baali – My Owner / Lord / Master

The LORD/Jehovah is saying that He supported his bride Israel, even while she sought other lovers (Hosea 2:8), now He will chasten her (Hosea 2:11), but then He will woo her (Hosea 2:14). He will change her heart from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). Israel will not be under a circumcision of flesh, but a circumcision of heart.  Now the relationship is not fear (Baali) but Love (Ishi).

Notice the contrast – the LORD/Jehovah is saying I don’t want to hear Baalim (Lord) – because you’re serving Baal instead of me.  Baal is a cruel Baali (Lord) – Baal is using you for what the LORD/Jehovah  has given you. But the LORD/Jehovah will bring you back and will give you even more.

Hosea 2:23 – Lo-ruhamah (no mercy) and Lo-ammi (not mine) will become mercy and mine!

Hosea 3:2 – What a great picture of what Christ did for us – God redeemed us!

Hosea 3:5 – Another reference to “David their King” – Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel all prophesied that there would be a King David “in the latter days.”

1 John 5:1 – Do you need assurance of your salvation? This is the book for you!  What do you believe about Jesus? Was He born of the flesh (1 John 4:2-3)? Is He born of God? (1 John 5:1)? Do you love God’s people? (1 John 5:1)? Do you love God (1 John 5:2)? Do you keep His commands (1 John 5:3)? These are some of the symptoms – but we’ll get to the key verse in a bit:

1 John 5:13 – How can we know that we can have eternal life? Believing on the name of the son of God! In Hebrew, at five letter intervals, you can see the name of Jesus hidden in the phrase.

1 John 5:15 – Because we believe in Him we can have our prayer answered! 

Psalm 124:8 – Thank God that He is on our side!

Proverbs 29:7 – Why does God care so much about the poor? What is the difference between “middle class” and poor? Possession of money. Can we boast of the money we have? Only if it is truly ours – and we cannot say that – all we have is His. Perhaps it’s another extension of humility (James 4:6) – whether we are proud in our thoughts, or in our wallets, all we have is God’s.