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 11 August 2019 Matthew 6:9.

Matthew 6:9.    ​After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 

‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly the invitation I’m offering us this Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day! Yes, it is good and right that we venture into His house on His day to acknowledge His sovereignty, holiness, grace, compassion and mercy towards us, miserable sinning saints that we are. In fellowship with other believers, we are expected to lift our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving and receive encouragement from listening to His holy Word. 

And since there is strength in numbers, it means when we gather together, we are a powerful group, able to move mountains with our faith, but we also spread the joy of the Lord amongst each other, encouraging each other as needed. So please don’t refuse this invitation today, because you never know what wondrous blessings or opportunities the Lord has in store for you in His sanctuary today. 

And even if there is nothing special, you leave there like a preening peacock, (smile) full of confidence and joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me nothing is better than that in this cruel and oppressive world! Glory to the Most High God Jehovah! Ah mih people, like the ole fella getting excited…And why not eh, since Christ is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind. And if I have to tell you that, then something wrong with yuh faith yes! (smile)

Anyway, putting all of that aside, let’s begin the proceedings with praise and worship. And since we sang the second most popular Bible scripture last week; the Lord is My shepherd, I figured it’s only right to sing the most popular one today, The Lord’s Prayer. So let’s get to it nuh, in strong, sweet, sincere and solemn harmony, so that the Father has no choice but to look down on us with favour. 

‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, short but sweet! And we all know it as the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Luke describes the scene thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1) And the scholars offer this footnote: ‘11:1. Religious communities of the time customarily had their own distinctive prayers. Perhaps the disciples wanted theirs.’ 

And we know what Jesus told them: ‘After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ And He went on to tell them the awesome, far-reaching words that we just sang. It’s amazing how it seems to cover all that our earthly life calls for. But if it comes from Jesus, what else would we expect eh? 

Now the scholars offer some interesting explanations on the prayer, and I’m going to share them. Let’s hope we have enough space. (smile) ‘6:9. The beginning phrase, Our Father, is completely uncommon to the prayers of the Old Testament. The two major elements of the prayer are adoration and petition. Hallowed be thy name addresses the attention of the prayer toward God and reverence for His name and His person. Hallowed (Gr. hagiazo) means to be held in reverence and holy awe.’ 

‘6:10. The phrase Thy kingdom come refers to the eschatological (study of end times) nature of this prayer. Notice that the kingdom is to be prayed for, implying that it has not yet arrived. The kingdom represents the full and effective reign of God through the mediatorial office of the Messiah. The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

‘6:11. The section of petitions begins with the request to give us this day our daily bread. Bread (Gr. artos) may be applied to the provision of food in general. The term ‘daily’ (Gr. epiousios) denotes “indispensable.” The concept of daily provision of bread fits perfectly with the Old Testament example of the daily provision of manna to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness. (Ex.16:14-15).’ 

‘6:12. Forgive us our trespasses refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. The prayer closes with a doxology of praise (expression of praise to God): For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical (pattern for worship) ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11) Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’  

And so it does my fellow believers! I also hope that those explanations give you a better understanding of what our most beloved prayer is all about. I certainly learned a lot from them. And neither did it take up as much space as I expected. (smile) So let’s get ourselves to church sometime today nuh and enjoy fellowship with other believers in the holy presence of Almighty God! That’s my prayer and wish for all of us today! Much LOVE!

…in humble prayer…praise ought always…to come before petition…