Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2020 Mark 4:41.

Mark 4:41.     ​What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?

‘I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me! Yes, I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me… I am under the rock!’ Oh mih people, mih people, I sure hope you all are under the rock with me yes, because when the storms of life come howling through, as they most certainly will, and are currently doing, under the rock that’s Jesus, in the shelter of His safe, LOVING and comforting arms, is the only place that true refuge can be found! Why? Because He is the ONLY one who can calm those hungry angry winds of the storm! 

Case in point; the evening Jesus and His disciples were in the boat crossing over the to the other side and a most fearsome storm arose, so that it threatened the lives of those on the water. But where was Jesus eh? Mark says: ‘And he was in the hinder part (the stern) of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto him, Master, carest not thou that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38) Doesn’t that just make you chuckle? This great storm is happening, the boat is tossing and turning, most likely taking in water, but our wonderful Lord and Saviour is in the back of the boat quietly and serenely snoozing away like nothing is happening. 

But Jesus knew exactly what was happening and knew exactly what He would do. So Mark continues: ‘And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’ (Mark 4:39-40) And that’s exactly what He’s saying to us in these trying and very troubled times my people: Where is your faith eh? The faith you talk about so much when things are going well, but seem to lose when times get tough. 

And what was the disciples’ reaction to all that eh? ‘And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:41) Oh my people, it was the Creator of the wind and the sea, so that’s why they obeyed Him! But unfortunately, although the disciples had seen Jesus do other miracles, their faith in the actual time of storm was not good enough. But that’s how Jesus operates; often questioning us in order to spur us on to deeper trust and faith. 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation of the scriptures here: ‘4:35-5:43. Jesus takes His disciples from the classroom to the laboratory. Having just taught that God’s power will cause His kingdom to grow to worldwide proportion and influence – the parable of the mustard seed – (4:30-32), Jesus now performs four miracles that demonstrate this divine might. God’s power is seen overcoming (1) the danger of a storm (4:35-41); (2) demons in a victim possessed (5:1-20); (3) disease in a woman physically ravished (5:21-34); and (4) the death of a little girl (5:35-43).’ 

But friends, we can’t be too hard on the disciples nuh, for as the scholars further state: ‘4:41. The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ And so it surely would be to all of us, regardless of how much we knew about Jesus’ divine might! But as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer says: ‘When God awakens you to His presence, everything becomes a whole lot more meaningful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Once you truly understand what’s happening with Christ in your life, your entire life takes on a whole new perspective. 

And talking about refuge in Christ and being under the rock, causes me to think of two interesting situations, the one of Moses, and the other of Elijah. Both were going through some difficult times in their earthly ministry. Moses prayed for God’s presence to lead him in the exodus of Israel from Egypt. He desired God’s assurance: ‘show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; And consider that this nation is thy people.’ (Ex. 33:13). And the Lord agreed. ‘My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ (Ex. 33:14) 

But Moses still was not satisfied, and later said: ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And he (the Lord) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee… (but) Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift (cleft) of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.’ (Ex. 33:18-23) 

And I like this explanation that www.frankgantz.com/the-cleft-in-the-rock offers: ‘A cleft is a narrow space or split. This would have put rock under Moses’ feet, behind his back and on either side of him. In a sense he was wedged into this rock which would hold him in place and provide a stable base. From that vantage point he would behold the back of God’s glory.’ That makes sense doesn’t it. 

The same thing with Elijah; after killing the prophets of Baal he got tired and discouraged and ran away into the wilderness hoping to die. But God made him rest by a brook for a couple of days and fed him divinely. Then he went for forty days and nights in the strength of that food to Mt. Horeb and hid in a cave there. But the Lord called and asked what He was doing there and he claimed that he was tired and scared after being very zealous in doing the Lord’s work, but the children of Israel had forsaken the Lord and wanted to kill him. 

‘And he (the Lord) said, Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord: (1 Kin. 19:1-11) And an earthquake happened, but the Lord was not in it. Then a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in that either. ‘…and after the fire a still, small voice (delicate whispering voice). And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering (entrance) of the cave.’ And there the Lord spoke with him, strengthened and reassured him, then sent him back to continue his ministry. (1 Kin. 19:11-18) 

Yes friends, when we are weak and discouraged, and think we can’t go on, the most desirous place to be is in the comfort of God’s arms, in that safe cleft of rock on the mountain top that shows His mighty power. He will give us the peace and calm and the reassurance that we all need at times, to continue to be of service to Him here on earth. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And now it’s time to put those words into godly action! Much LOVE!

…the best place to recuperate…in the LOVING arms of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2013 Deuteronomy 5:32

Deuteronomy 5:32.    Ye shall observe (be careful) to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
 
And the ice melteth… but then the melted ice freezeth… Yes Friends, that’s the kind of action we had going yesterday; mild temps melting the ice, but with that run off freezing up again during the colder night. What a bam bam! And with the inconsistent weather we’ve been experiencing, there’s no telling how it will all end.
 
Sadly too, there are still many people without power here in Toronto, down in the Maritimes and also over in Europe, where the weather has played havoc with them too this past week, although their problem was mainly rain and flooding.
 
Oh my people, this Christmas of 2013 definitely won’t go down as a wonderful one in many parts of the world. In fact, 2013 won’t go down in the annals of history as such a wonderful year period! What with all the disasters, both natural and man made, we experienced, plus what appears to be endless strife in so many parts of the world. And last, but definitely not least, the significant global economic contraction. Hn!
 
The sad part about the whole situation though is that the wealthy are getting wealthier and still living extravagantly, while the rest of the society is struggling to make ends meet, with their lifestyles plummeting down the socio-economic ladder. But what to do eh Friends? Yes, what to do indeed?
 
Ah mih people, there is ONLY ONE solution to our problems! Turn to Almighty God in serious, sincere and heartfelt conviction and repentance, then live lives that will honour Him! And until we do that, our earthly situation will continue to be disastrous and calamitous.
 
Oh Friends, this no hearsay, but what the Lord commanded Israel, His chosen people, from early on. Note when Moses called the people together and reminded them of the covenant the Lord had made with them at Mt. Horeb, which included the Ten Commandments, which he again reminded them of, and also how they were afraid and promised to do as the Lord said. (Deut.5:1-28)
 
Then the Lord sent them to their tents and told Moses the words of our Bit, which he was commanded to teach them. ‘Ye shall observe (be careful) to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.’ What’s so difficult to understand about that eh mih breddren?
 
And the Lord continued: ‘Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord you God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.’ (Deut.5:33) Again my Friends and fellow believers, very simple and straightforward instructions.
 
And it’s interesting to note that when the Israelites obeyed, they prospered, and when they did not, great calamity befell them. But although they experienced both the good and bad, subject to their obedience or disobedience, they still never learned and continued their naturally sinful rebellion against their God and King.
 
So I guess the question can be asked, why should we be any different, or rather any better? Firstly because we’ve have a much more intimate knowledge of God, through Jesus Christ and the Good Book. Then we’ve evolved to possibly a higher level of natural intelligence, plus the historical lessons from the many nations down through the ages, who’ve tried to live without God and failed.
 
Unfortunately though, all of that just seems to have made us more stubborn and resistant to God’s Word, and more intent on doing our own, sinful, rebellious thing. But Friends, we keep saying that our God doesn’t change, neither does His Word, so why should our society fare any differently to all those others who were crushed for their disobedience eh? No reason whatsoever!
 
And it’s not like the Lord didn’t repeat His message numerous times to His people. But since time and space are against us, we’ll just look at one instance. Even in the choice of a King, the Lord was very adamant about how he should be chosen and behave. 
 
‘When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
 
But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
 
And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear (stand in awe of) the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
 
That his heart be not lifted up (proud) above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his day in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.’ (Deut.17:14-20)
 
Oh my people, nothing there has changed. We still need to have godly leaders, not corrupt, ungodly ones who are only intent on making themselves rich and powerful, but rather wise and honourable, leading the people in obedience to the Lord’s commands.
 
Obviously those conditions aren’t being maintained today, so why should we be so surprised at our demise eh? Our countries were built on the Christian ethic, so if we lose that Christian ethic, there’s only one possible result; our eventual downfall.
 
It’s high time for us to wake up my brethren, and return to sincerely worshipping the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD: He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
 
Remember what we’ve been saying for the past few days? That the Lord’s our Judge, our Lawgiver, our King, and that He will save us. Now if that’s true, and we really believe it, then let’s put all it entails into serious action nuh, for then we’ll truly be considered wise. Much LOVE!
 
…the Lord exalts the obedient…but the disobedient are trampled by His wrath…