Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2020 Isaiah 30:1.

Isaiah 30:1.     ​Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering (devise plans), but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin (weave a web of sinfulness).

Well mih bredrin, we certainly off to a late start this Friday morning, and my humble apologies for that, but yuh know, unfortunately, we cannot always control the vicissitudes of life; the crazy ups and downs that life ofttimes forces on us. And you know the number one policy in the Lord’s economy is that you reap whatever you sow. Thus, it follows logically, that if I went to bed late, I would most certainly also arise from slumber late. And that’s the whole crux of the matter! (smile) Yeah, that’s why they say B.S. baffles brains, and is it ever so true. 

Now let’s see what the ordinary working man has to say on this long weekend Friday. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and another weekend is here. And this one special too, because is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Means no work for three whole days. Yeah! But can you imagine what the state of the Corona virus going to be after this weekend, it already reach higher than it’s ever been; seven hundred and something, almost eight hundred, in one day in Ontario alone! 

Wow! Only Quebec province higher. Blouse and skirt eh! People not listening, they not paying attention to the security and safety precautions, not wearing masks, not physical distancing, not washing deh hands and still partying in good sized crowds with people they don’t know. And with that Mad Hatter down in the U.S. encouraging the foolishness, although he claims to have it, yuh know this weekend going to be bad. Is a weekend where people accustomed gathering in large groups, and the irresponsible behaviour most likely to spread even more, so we bound to see a sizeable increase in cases and consequently deaths. Steups! 

But as they say, you can only talk to people, yuh can’t make them do the right thing! And that’s exactly why the pandemic still eating we alive, because not enough of us doing the right thing; too many of us doing the wrong one. And until we learn sense and change we ways, the virus going to keep on winning. 

Ah Lord eh! What it going to take for us to realize what happening and learn sense eh? Ah guess not until we catch the bloody thing we self and see how dangerous it really is – although that didn’t work with Trump. But thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes! At least me and mine don’t have to go out in the world and risk catching it for another few days, and this weekend we certainly going to give much thanks for all we blessings!’ 

Ah mih people, the words of the ordinary workingman are oh so true. People not listening, so we going to continue to feel. And in one of God’s mysterious moves, I just opened the Good Book and again it opened on Isaiah 30. But this time to the first verse, where the prophet is telling the people of Judah about the futility of relying on Egypt and not the God of their forefathers. Listen up: ‘Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering (devise plans), but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin (weave a web of sinfulness).’ (Is: 30:1) 

And isn’t that exactly what our society is doing; seeking counsel from everybody and everywhere else but from Almighty God, our Creator and Provider? And yuh know that doesn’t sit well with the Lord, for He desires His creation to turn to Him first when they need help. And unfortunately, we don’t seem to think we need His help. So, as we said above, we going to reap what we sow. And our harvest will come upon us, just like the Lord promised Judah. 

‘(They) That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth (have not asked my advice); to strengthen themselves in the strength of the Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion (humiliation) (Is. 30:2-3) And here’s another most appropriate verse from earlier on in Isaiah, when he’s talking about the blindness of Israel. ‘Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?’ (Is. 29:15) 

Ah friends, we have behaved the same way, and thus the same thing is happening to us right now; we are paying the price for our ungodliness, for being so presumptuous as to try to hide from, and simultaneously kick the Creator out of His creation! Hn! Please remember the debacle of Lucifer when he foolishly and pridefully tried to overthrow the Lord in heaven! He didn’t win…obviously, but got kicked out of his comfortable lifestyle to live in torment and anguish. (Is. 14) 

And NO ONE is ever going to win a battle of that nature. The Lord will always have the upper hand, so let’s get wise and instead of turning away from Him, turn to Him nuh. And we can begin doing that right now, through the awesome medium of prayer. So with the requisite change of heart, meaning repentance, and humility, let’s cry out to God through our Friday Chant. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now we believers have to go out and prove our faithfulness so that others can trust us, and consequently come to Jesus. Only faithful action on our part will ever change anything. Much LOVE!

…if yuh don’t hear…yuh going to feel…as simple as that…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2019 Genesis 28:15.

Genesis 28:15.    ​And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 

Sunday morning, Sunday morning, the Lord is calling‘Come to my house, hear my Word, sing my praises, encourage each other and find joy, unspeakable joy in the house of your God!’ Oh friends, it’s an open invitation to ALL: whosoever will may come! Now that’s an offer we surely can’t refuse, because there’s none better than it! And if you don’t believe me, then please take up the Lord’s offer, try Him, test the reality and faithfulness of His promise. And if it doesn’t work out like He says, then I’ll be your slave for life! (smile) 

And I can make that bold promise because I know from personal experience, that if you check out the Lord’s sanctuary today, you’ll have such a great time, you’ll want to come back each and every week. Mama Mia! Fellowshipping with other believers under the Lord’s watchful and parental eye, with His mercy, grace and forgiveness just flowing freely into our souls and spirits… Brother…it’s just the greatest! 

So let’s start the proceedings as always with a song of praise and exaltation to our great and wonderful Jehovah God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And today’s song is another marvellous hymn that we all know and LOVE: it’s titled ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ The internet site, God Tube, rightly tells us that “Even when we cannot see or feel Him, the Lord never leaves our side. As we walk through each day, let us remember to call upon His name and give thanks. The beautiful lyrics of ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ are the perfect call to the Lord.” 

 It was reputedly written by British hymnist Sarah Flowers in the mid 19th century as a follow up to her pastor’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, known as the story of Jacob’s ladder, or Jacob’s dream. As one vibrant and harmonious voice now, let’s thrill the hordes of heaven with a moderate tempo version of the song. ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Saviour’s LOVE, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Yes friends, the hymn does do the story of Jacob’s dream justice and we also pleased heaven with our rendition. So let’s delve into Jacob’s story a li’l deeper now nuh. All of this happened when his father Isaac sent him away to his families’ homeland of Padan-aram to get a bride from his uncle Laban’s daughters because the daughters of the Canaanites weren’t good enough for him. This was after Jacob had deceived the blind Isaac, who blessed him with what was supposed to be Esau’s birthright. (Gen.27) 

Obviously that created a serious feud in the family, and no doubt Jacob was only too glad to get away from Esau. And it’s said that Jacob’s name meant, cheat, deceiver, con-man, etc. so he certainly lived up to his name. Now one night on his journey, as the sun set, he stopped at a certain place, took up some stones to use for a pillow and went to sleep. Then the Good Book tells us: ‘And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land where thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants). And thy seed (descendants) shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’ (Gen.28:12-15) 

Now doesn’t that just boggle the imagination, that God would use such a trickster to do such meaningful work on his behalf. Change His name to ‘Israel – Prince with God – (Gen.32:28) and thus have him become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. But He did! Just goes to show how He likes to confuse mankind by using those we’d consider very unlikely to be His front-line people. But the Lord’s unconventional approach did seem to work on Jacob, because he awakened afraid, realizing that the Lord was there, unbeknownst to him. 

Then, taking the stone he had used for a pillow, he set it up as an altar to God and poured oil on it, and called the place ‘Bethel’ (the house of God) (Gen.28:16-19) Then he made this life changing vow. ‘If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar (altar), shall be God’s house: and all of that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’ (Gen.28:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see how our mighty God moves in mysterious ways? Who would ever have thought that He would use Jacob as one of His main men eh? But that ought to give us hope and encouragement, that no matter how bad we are, how low we fall, that it doesn’t prevent our God of many chances from using us to do big things in His name. So please let the words of the Good Book and the hymn detailing Jacob’s change of heart, resonate in our own hearts, souls, bodies and minds today, and thus cause us to desire the most wonderful option possible… ‘Nearer My God to Thee…Let me draw… Nearer My God to Thee…! Much LOVE!

…no one’s past…eliminates them…from being involved in God’s future…