Oh what an exciting life we lead!
Here in Northern Texas we have been in a sustained drought for 9 years. None seemed as bad as 2005-2006 when we had 105 to 110 degree heat daily for 110 days continuous days, in addition to 45 to 55 MPH Southwest winds. That year more land burned in Texas than the acreage of New Hampshire and Rhode Island combined . Two percent of the land in Texas burned to a crisp and the wind velocity was such that there was no way to stop the fires. Fire stops, where the land is scraped bare of all things burnable for three quarters of a mile wide, were jumped as if they were not even there.
For the past three years more and more towns and cities, who depend on lakes for their water supply, have simply ran out of water and resorted to treating and drinking their own sewer water. For instance; The city of Wichita Falls with four lakes had only 19% of their total water supply.
But things in Texas can change in a second!
For three weeks we have been deluged with rain. For three weeks we have lived under threat of tornadoes.
In this area, we have had 32 tornadoes in the past 9 days.
Those are only the ones inspected and designated ‘tornado’ by the National Weather Bureau. ‘Spotters’ who risk life and limb and are out nightly have reported far more than that, but the Weather Bureau can’t get around to examining all these sites.
On Wednesday (May 19th) we went to Weatherford, Texas (75 miles SW) to a doctor. On the way there we passed through the town of Mineral Wells, a city of 18,000 souls made famous for its curative water. As we entered town that morning there was evidence that a wind burst, probably from a collapsing thunderstorm, had damaged and completely destroyed a few building on the west side.
However after existing Mineral Wells on the east side we dropped down a hill and there where there had been a giant pecan orchid. We were distressed to see trees as tall as 150 feet uprooted with their root systems as tall as the roof on our house lying on their sides. Others were twisted and torn with limbs broken and blown onto the highway.
On our return, late in the day, after we passed though Mineral Wells, I told my wife, “Look at those clouds over Mineral Wells. They are lowering.” ‘Lowering clouds’ are a sign that tornadic activity is dropping down from the clouds. In other words, they have fingers dropping downward that are spinning.
She turned the radio on to our home town radio station and found there was a tornado spotted eight miles NW of Graham, where we live. (62 miles south of Wichita Falls, Texas, 100 miles west of Fort Worth.) We were watching that storm as we drove. When we got home and turned the TV we discovered that Mineral Wells’ downtown had just been hit by a tornado!
(Now, if I were the author of ‘PowerPlantMen’ I would have these pages full of colored maps for you to better visualize this. Unfortunately I am not as good as he is.) See: http://powerplantmen.wordpress.com
That night, as all other nights for the past three weeks, we had rain with tornadoes all around but fortunately none closer than eight miles. Unknown to us the storm we heard about on the radio had passed north of us and passed over State Highway 16 N. as well as Memorial Highway 281.
The next morning (Thursday) I had to go to Wichita Falls (62 miles North.) to see yet another doctor. As I left town it started raining on me.
Seventeen miles north of town I came to Markley, a place that was once a town, but now is only a deserted service station. I should have been alerted when there was weeds and trash out on the highway. What was strange about that is the fact that Markley is on top of a hill! Weeds and trash on the highway on TOP of a hill?
Since it was raining I was concentrated on my driving and never gave it a second thought. That is–until I got a quarter-mile north of Markley. This is the drainage of the Trinity River that meanders through Ft. Worth and Dallas. There the borrow ditches that are deep and wide were full of water and as I looked to the West, there was water as far as I could see that covered all pastures and cultivated land. As I approached the bridge the water was up to the bridge and when it came out on the East side of the bridge it jumped up about three feet in the air and made a fountain as long as the bridge, topped with white foam!
About a quarter-mile farther I came to two more Trinity bridges and not only could they not handle the vast amount of water that was trying, but couldn’t quite get under them, it was up onto the highway! That answered the question: “Why is there no traffic coming towards me?” This water came from the storm we heard about on the radio the previous night that went north of Graham sprinkling us with only .9 of rain.
I wasn’t scared but I was pretty anxious about this because the area TV stations have been blurting out about every 15 minutes; “Water as deep as 4 inches will sweep your car away–Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”
And this has proven to be literally true! A soldier from Ft. Sill in Oklahoma was crossing a low-water crossing in Wichita Falls flour days ago and was swept away. The television stations are still showing a shadow of the automobile top as the water flows over it. No one knows where the soldier is. Is he still in the car? Did he escape? If so, where is he? The water is too swift for firemen to get into the water and see if there is a body in the car.
Back on Memorial Highway 281 with no traffic and the rain falling in a deluge, I was able to get to the crown of the highway and negotiate through the torrents of water.
Next I came to the dairy-farming community of Windthorst that lies 45 miles south of Wichita Falls, TX. There the yards and lawns were standing in water. The dairy farmers had already gave up on the wheat and had bailed it. For miles in every direction I could see round-bails standing in about a foot of water.
Passing on through this community I came to the township of Scotland that is 21 miles south of Wichita Falls, It was there I came into the watershed of the Wichita River.
This was worse than the Trinity! The fields as far as I could see to the on either side were submerged. The lower end of Lake Arrowhead, that was previously empty was about 400 feet from the highway. All roads were blocked off with sheriffs deputies standing guard.
On the north side of Scotland the water was up on the highway and the bridge was spouting up on the east side. The reason for this was that Lake Kickapoo upstream had run over its spillway and was trying it’s best to get down the Wichita River without enough room to do so.
As I write this vast portions of Wichita Falls are flooded. The Red Cross has set up facilities in numerous places to provide shelter for those who are flooded out. Hotels and motels were filled Thursday at noon.
Meanwhile trucks have brought in load after load of sand to eight different locations. Volunteers are not only bagging the sand 24/7, but are delivering and placing it around homes. Well. After all this is TEXAS! What else could you expect?
We are entertained minute by minute as we watch Texas Game Wardens in ‘quad boats’ rescue folks in their pickups and cars as they float down the creeks and drainage canals that look like white water rapids.
How many have drowned? No one knows at this time and may not know for weeks or months.
The Wichita Falls Emergency Rescue, Fire Department, the Police Department as well as the County Sheriff’s office have mapped out a perimeter of where they think the water could rise and have stopped all people from entering those areas. To determine this they used flood maps dating back 100 years.
Just now NOAA called the Emergency Rescue and told them that the perimeters were not correct, and there would be more water pouring in than they expected, and they would have to move them back higher!
It has rained every day for three weeks and the prediction is for six to eight more inches of rain to fall before Monday. This entire area has been in a Flood Watch for a week and it has been extended to Next Tuesday, May 26th.
Is the drought broken? Who knows! It was 90 degrees in January, so it might well snow.
Warning! Don’t read this unless you are planning on moving. Go to http://www.grahamtxchamber.com and watch the pictures as they turn from black and white to color. You simply can’t miss moving here.
My name is Billy Ray Spencer and I was brought up in a family that thought you had to go to church every time the door was opened. So. I went happily along to Sunday school every Sunday; no questions asked! And BOY am I glad I went because I learned some strange things there!
The first thing I learned is that there is no use in going to kinder garden. All they do there is get you to run around, chase each other, and swing a lot; anything to wear you down so you will go to sleep and be quite during church.
Do you remember when in the first or maybe second grade; the very first thing you heard was about this baby they put in a picnic basket, one of those woven wooden things made out of thin, flat wood with a handle and then expected it to float?
It was the first Sunday of the new school year and our teacher said, “Now if everyone will sit down and be very, very quiet, I will tell you a story about a little tiny baby that was put into a basket and placed in the water and how this little baby was kept from drowning.”
Well now, THAT got our attention! So we all plopped down on the floor and got real quite because this could prove to be interesting! How could they be sure that little baby didn’t drown?
It seems there was a bunch of people called Hee’brews, or something like that, and they all got made into slaves to make brick for this bunch of evil people called Egypsies—right out in the middle of the hot, burning sands of the desert. But. They never told me why they needed brick right out in the middle of that hot burning sand. That wasn’t in the story, and to this day, I don’t know why they were making brick out there in that hot, burning sand.
Then the Egypsies declared that all the little Hee’brews babies that were born would have to be killed. Yep! Right then and there. First thing! Right off the bat!
But there was one momma and daddy who decided that they wasn’t going to kill their baby and they thought and thought of a way to save the baby. Then daddy hit upon a plan. He would take some thin, flat wood and weave a picnic basket and put some soft cloth in it and put the baby in that and let it float on the water till he come home from being a slave and making brick all day—then he would go and get the baby.
We all listened pretty hard for quite a bit, but then Bronc, who is pretty big for a first grader, up and jumped on little Jimmy Rice who is a second grader. Well Bronc, who is twice as big as Jimmy—Bronc, he jumped on Jimmy’s back and started choking ‘Little Jimmy’, and twisting his arm up behind his back.
So the teacher could see that she had a pretty bad case of boar-drums on her hands.
Cause after the teacher got them two separated, the girls started having to go to the bathroom, All cept me, ‘cause, I ain’t no girl’—an I wanted to know if that basket with the little baby would float!
But the teacher must’uv already received a prophetic message that things were going to go that way, and she was prepared. Cause she reached down somewhere and whipped out a stack of paper with an outline of a man in a bathrobe, with the sleeves rolled up, and a towel wrapped around his head. Did I say he had a big black beard? Any ways he was standing knee deep in water with all these canes and cattails around him and he was putting a little baby in a picnic basket down gently into the water.
I suppose she had another prophetic message too, we are pretty big on prophecy in that church, not that we would handle snakes or anything like that, but we believed in the strong presence of the Lord. Or, maybe it were an angel that whispered in her ear that this guy with the bathrobe had a lotta’ skin showing on his arms, and both legs, but not too much on his face because he had this beard, and like I said, a towel around his head.
What the prophetic message to the teacher was—’is that even in the big box of 54 Crayolas’ there is still only ONE flesh colored Crayola that is ‘flesh’ colored’. So, she had taken that one little flesh colored Crayola and cut it into 4 parts and stirred it up with all the other broken, and some not so broken Crayolas’ that’us in the cigar box.
So everyone got busy coloring and it sorta’ quieted down while the teacher went on with her story. Then someone hollered, “Whirs’ the flesh? Who’s got the flesh colored cra’nola?”
About that time the pudgy little girl with the two orangy pigtails that’us sitting right cross from me shouted, “Use the pink! Use the pink, it’s just as good as flesh!”
Well now. I don’t know, and I doubt if she knew, if the Hee’brews or the Egypsies or both, had pink skin, but she seemed to think they did, or she was shamming us quite a bit.
Well—right then and there I would’a bet my shoes an both my socks that that little pudgy girl with the orange freckels, was coloring with ONE of the ‘flesh’ colored cra’nolas and had the other three pieces of the flesh colored cray’nolas fast in her other sweaty little hand, and I sure didn’t need no prophecy for that!
That was about as far as we got that Sunday and I’ll swear that I didn’t sleep a wink any that night, or any other night, that week, cause I’d just lay there all night and worry bout’ them allie’gaters and that poor little baby out in the reeds an water all by itself.
Stay tuned and next week When I find out, I’ll tell you if that little baby got ate by the allie-gaters or not.
Billy Ray Spencer
Mama tole me to get ready for Sunday school an church, so I warshed my face an hans an wetted down my hair and this is the way I look at church time.
In case you have not read the story of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt in a while, here is a short synopsis of the story to refresh your mind.
Pharaoh Rameses (The greatest builder in Egyptian History.) turned the Hebrews into slaves after deciding that the Hebrews had became too numerous. He than put them under the hands of Egyptian taskmasters on the construction of the two Treasure cities of Pitham and Rameses, while making their lives bitter with hard services in mortar and brick as well as in the rice and wheat fields.
Moses parents were Amram and Jochebed who were of the priestly line that was to become the Levites, the priests of Israel.
When the child we know as Moses was born, his mother kept him hidden for three months. She then enclosed him in a basket woven of rush and sealed it with pitch, concealing him in the reeds along the river’s edge.
Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe at the spot and when she saw the basket she sent a maid to fetch it. On opening it the baby started to cry and the princess felt pity for it, realizing it was one of the Hebrew children her father had ordered killed.
Moses’ older sister Miriam had been posted a little distance away to watch the baby. She approached the princess and offered to find a Hebrew woman to suckle the child. This was agreed on and she ran off to fetch Moses’ mother.
When he was older, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and gave him the name of Moses because it means, “I drew him out of the water”. (Ex. 2:10)
Aaron was older than his brother Moses by three years, though younger than his sister Miriam.
However, that may not be exactly how Billy Ray Spencer sees it at all!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Being Human we tend to spend a great deal more time worrying about how are we going to do this or that, Or, ‘How in the world will we ever afford to pay that bill’? A number of years ago I settled my mind on the Power of God, and that HE will provide for my every need.
Not only my material needs and wants, but the wants, needs as well as the safety of others, if we only ask.
However let’s not overlook the healing power of Jesus Christ upon their, as well as our, bodies and minds. After all; He is ‘THE ALL IN ALL’–The great ‘I AM THAT I AM’ ! (Ex.3:14)
If we spent as much time praying and praising God as we do worrying–things would work out much better!
PS: Stay tuned, Billy Ray Spencer and Sunday school is still coming. It’s taking a LOT more research than I anticipated.
For every man God has a plan; no mans life is purposeless.
God sends everyman into the world to do some definite thing.
Remember: He became what we are–to make us what He is.
William Barclay 1907-1978
23rd PSALMS: Vs. 1
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” (KJV.)
Soldiers sob it in foxholes, preachers recite it at funerals, and, children learn it in Primary Sunday School classes. However, this, the most well know of all verses in the Bible, is also the most all-encompassing promise to be found.
Think about it: “I shall not want!”
But don’t dare think about it for very long — for you will quickly discover that you do have ‘wants’. I daresay that everyone on the earth has wants. A new car, bigger house, better neighborhood, more money, better health, more leisure, travel, love, or a big screen TV.
Even pastors have wants, they want larger congregations, larger contributions, more salvations — the list could go on and on because every single human being on earth has wants.
Could this passage be a provision that was exclusive to David, the writer of this Psalm?
Or—could it perhaps be that it only applies to those who have reached that seemingly unattainable state of bliss in Christ Jesus—that state where all our thoughts are centered on being a servant of Christ Jesus—that place where we have no farther ‘wants’ other than to live only to serve Him?
Or, could it really mean just what it says to us; “All my wants are met by Christ Jesus?”
Remember we are concentrating on ‘wants’ here, not needs. Our ‘needs’ have been promised in Philippians 4:19, where it is written: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus’. This is further reinforced in 2nd Corinthians 1: 20, that states: ‘For all the promises in God in Him are ‘Yea’ and ‘Amen’.
No other than our Lord himself asked, “Or what man is there of you whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if fish, will he give him a serpent? If then, being evil you know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7: 9-11)
I choose to take this verse as a promise and that all my ‘wants’ are met. This word translated ‘want’ in the KJV of Psalm 23:1 is the Hebrew word ‘chacer’. In the ancient Hebrew language ‘chacer’ (khaw-sare’) meant: ‘to lack’, ‘to fail’ ‘to decrease’ or, ‘(have) lack’. Nowhere in Psalms 23:1 does it limit this promise to my ‘needs’; it clearly states ‘my wants’. I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty big ‘want’ list.
And to be honest, my ‘wants’ have not all been met.
But wait a moment! At times some or our ‘wants’ are in direct contrast to the commands of the scripture. Could the answer to this apparent contrast between the scriptural promises—and the reality of ‘real’ life—lie in the first portion of this first verse of Psalms 23? You know. . . that portion about “The Lord is my Shepherd.’
Could it possible be that we are not allowing the Lord to be our shepherd?
Have we allowed our dependency upon our own intelligence and abilities to supersede our dependency on Jesus Christ and His ability to fill both our needs and our wants because of our obsession with our wants?
Think about it!
Additional reading: Psalms 34:9, Psalms 34:10, 2nd Peter 1: 3, Hebrews 11:6
Isaiah 54:6 Part 7
In the past I have written of four methods of interpretation of the scripture.
1. Allegorical. 2. Instructive. 3. Prophetical. 4. The Law of Double Reference. Yet here in verses 6 through 8, there seems to be yet another method of interpret-tation which hopefully we will get around to discussing at greater length in the future. However for the moment let us concentrate on verse 6 only.
“You were like a wife who was deserted. And her heart was broken. You were like a wife who married young. And her husband sent her away. But now I am calling you to come back,” says your God.”
Verses 6 thorough 8 were preached in the context of a broken Jewish marriage with the nation of Israel playing the part of a young, unruly, immature, malcontent bride, while God is the husband, who once sent her away in an effort to induce some sense into her, but is now trying to get her back. To begin we must understand the importance of the Jewish wedding. To them it was Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines’ Day, Fourth of July, Birthday, School Graduation, Palm Sunday and Easter and Prom Night all rolled into one.
The only other celebrations in the year were Holy days established by the Law, and by the time a young man or lady was 14 to 20 years old those days were undoubtedly ‘Old Hat’–Strictly 1950’ish–Like for the 142 time you had to go see your Aunt Mitilda, who smelled of rum, breath mints, old sweat and face powder, but always wanted to pinch your cheek and hold you in a sweaty bear-hug for most of your visit.
Even though a real human-to-human marriage contract, along with monetary compensation, might have been made between two fathers’ years in advance, the betrothal only started one year before the actual wedding. All of her life, since early childhood, the bride had been saving coins of various denominations as well as other items of monetary value. Upon reaching a certain age, probably as young as eight, she was allowed to wear these as a head-band at her front hairline to advertise her availability as a bride. This may seem extremely young, but keep in mind that girls were often married as young as twelve years old.
Yet even at that, the father was obliged to marry the oldest daughter first and proceed down the line of birth ages. Witness: Laban’s deceit in the marriage of Leah and Rachael to Jacob in Genesis chapter 29.
Once betrothed the groom begin construction of a room attached to his parent’s house that was to be the private quarters of he and his young bride. No date was set for the wedding, yet the bride’s maids had to be ever ready for the moment when the groom could come to ‘kidnap’ his bride. (Matt. 25:1-13)
On the night of the kidnapping the groom quietly gathered his closet friends and quietly sneaked up on the house of his ‘Beloved’. Then with a great clamor of shouting and beating of anything that would make noise, the groom would grab his bride and parade her through town with his co-harts banging on doors and making pandemonium in order to awaken the town and announce the marriage.
After rambling through the community he and his bride retreated to the private sanctuary of their bedroom while the assembly of friends might continue the celebra-tion throughout the night, and often for as long as a week or more afterwards.
Early the next morning the groom would rush out to show the blood stain on the sleeping pallet that proved not only was the marriage consummated, but that the bride was a virgin. Then the celebration started all over again. Of course without the presence of the bride and groom, who had by now, long returned to their sanctuary where they might stay for as long as a month.
Following the marriage the groom was released from serving any military service for one year. Additionally for the first year he was not to ‘resume any task that would interfere with his presence at home to cheer up his wife’.
Some materials have it that the women of Israel were more aggressive at promoting sexual activity than were the men. If true, this shows that the act of providing the male heir was the most important thing at that time. Several places in the Bible indicate that the act is a process to be enjoyed by both men and women equally. (After all, neither had TV or Smart Phones with which to occupy themselves.)
When all of these facts, or fantasies, are shaken together and tossed out, they point out the fact that a great amount of love and tenderness was held by each partner in the business of marriage.
In Isaiah’s prophecies it is doubtful that either the upper or the lower half of Israel knew what Isaiah was talking about when he preached verse 6:
“And her husband sent her away, But now I am calling you to come back, says your God.”
Here Isaiah is speaking of the fact that the majority of Israel had turned from God and were worshipping Baal and Ashtoreth.
This is allegorical, as well as prophetical inasmuch as: ‘That God has not yet, but is soon, going to send His chosen people away into captivity into Syria, Babylon and Persia for an extended period of time. After they begged, pleaded and prayed to be returned He would bring them back to their homeland, but only after many years of captivity’.
It would be 26 years following Isaiah’s first preaching before the first of the diaspora would begin. The ‘carrying away’ would begin in the northern portion of Israel which was Jeremiah’s prophetical portion. It would take another 126 years following that before the end of the diaspora with the dispersion of the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Throughout this time God was beckoning and calling his people as if they were young, innocent, brides. Poorly trained, lost to their proper duties, and unable to make the proper decisions.
God had pity on his people and even before the fact, was warning them of the coming calamity and calling them back to himself.
God is a God of mercy and love. A God quick to forgive and forget.
We all have our weaknesses and failures. Sometimes we trip over our shortcomings. Are there currently things drawing us away from your fellowship with God? Are you more involved in community activities, sports, interaction with your friends, social media, more worried about your social status than your ‘God status’?
If you feel as if you are currently engaged in the long walk over the burning sands on your way to India, consider the following words:
‘I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake’. 1st John 2:12 KJV
‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. 1st John 1:8-9 KJV
From that you see that it only takes a few words and a change in our thought process to enter into a new world.
TRY IT—YOU WILL LIKE IT!
THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF JEWISH POWER
“For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Isaiah 54:5 KJV
The central thought of this verse is: ‘For your maker is your husband;” Magnifying the central issue that both the Jews as well as the Christians are ‘The Bride of Christ.’
We were created to be ‘The Bride of Christ’. In fact God said that our names are engraved on the palms of His hands. Think about that!
About 760 years before the birth of the Christ, God called Isaiah, son of Amoz, of the priestly tribe of the Levis, who was brother to King Amaziah of Judah, to warn the sub-nations of Judah and Benjamin of the coming destruction of their kingdoms if they did not turn away from idol worship and return to the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah was ignored and 26 years later, in 734 BC, the Assyrians under king Tilgath-Pileser III captured portions of the northern division of Israel, removing the occupants and scattering them throughout Assyria and Babylon.
However it was 136 years before the two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were dispersed. This took place under King Cyrus II of Persia. This involved a period of 24 years and three separate disper-sals. The number removed was reported to be as many as 40,000 men. Women and children were not counted.
In 723 BC the Assyrians deported more Israelites from the northern kingdom replacing them with colonists from Assyria and Babylonia. The ten northern nations of Israel were in essence ‘blotted out’.
Among those displaced from the northern dysphoria was Daniel who survived the ‘fiery furnace’, read the finger writing on the wall, survived the lion’s den and interpreted the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar.
In 597 BC, 126 years later, the Persians made a pact with the Medes and joined forces to wage war against Babylon and Assyria. Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar was no longer King of Babylon, as Babylon was made became a ‘vassal’ state to Persia.
After the war, King Cyrus I of Persia seized the Medes (Afghanistan), and in the process ruled all of the land from Babylon, to India, including Bulgaria, Assyria, Media, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Armantan, the western part of India, as well as the eastern and western coasts of the Gulf of Arabia.
His son, King Cyrus II expanded the territory to include northern as well as southern Arabia and Israel. This included both Judah and Benjamin. They deported a goodly portion of the inhabitants to Babylonia (present day Iraq), Persia (Iran) and Media (Afghanistan and western India).
His nephew Cambyses sacked Egypt and Libya because Egypt replaced a betrothed Egyptian bride to Persian nobleman with a ‘fake’ bride.
Next, King Cyrus’s grandson Darius I captured all of the Baltic States as well as Turkey and Hungary.
Darius II’s grandson Xerxes defeated the Greeks and was knocking at the back door of Rome before they were slowed down by other events. At that time the Persians controlled 44% of the World Population!
In the first year of his reign, King Darius II issued a proclamation stating: ‘The Lord God of Heaven who had given me all the kingdoms of the earth, he has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah’.
This required that a great deal of Jewish men return to their homeland. The first of those to return were 42,360 men. The journey, from Persia to Jerusalem, took four and one half months . He also had the inhabitants of his own country take ‘free will’ offerings to support the returning Jews on their travels and to provide for their lives until they could grow their own foodstuffs.
One group set to re-building the city of Jerusalem’s walls, while the Levites and the Priests rebuilt the Temple.
It was not until three years later, on a night when King Darius II could not sleep, that he requested the ancient scrolls of the history of his people be brought to his bed chambers in order to occupy himself.
In reading these scrolls he discovered the location where the ancient gold and silver utensils of the Jewish Temple had been hidden by Nebuchadnezzar.
King Darius II had the items retrieved, repaired, cleansed and polished before returning them to the Priests in Jerusalem who at that time were near completion of the rebuilding of their new temple.
This is the true story of ‘The Redeemer’.
He purchased our souls with his blood.
“For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Isaiah 54:5 KJV
TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS AND . . . . . . PATIENCE?Part 5:
Isaiah Chapter 54
In Parts one and two we saw that the true meanings of ‘Trials’ is tests. ‘Tribulations’, on the other hand, are similar to the balloons that have been twisted out of shape so as to resemble an object or an animal. In other words the balloon is ‘bent all out of shape’. We all can certainly all recognize THAT feeling.
Also in Part Two, we learned that it was God who created the ‘Smith that blows upon the coals of our very own forge to make the fire even hotter.
Later in Part Three we saw how the ‘Lack of Patience’ by Abram and Sarai gave us Ishmael—the blight of the entire world.
Also in that portion we touched on how quickly or nation has turned from its high ‘Moral Values’ to ‘Love of Self’. That is: People killing their own children, school killings, theater killings, random killings, abortion, the list seems endless. In short, we now stand at the place we were before God annihilated the entire world with Noah’s flood.
In Part Four, we saw the four different ways to interpret scripture.
1. Allegorically. 2. The Law of Double Reference. 3. Prophetical. 4. Instructive.
As we experience the present age drawing to an end, we find the following three verses written expressly to the remnant of the Jewish Nation that will escape death at the hand of the Abomination of Desolation. (Matt. 24:15-15, Rev. 17:5-6)
Today we will concentrate on verse three of the 54th Chapter of Isaiah.
Isaiah 54:4 (KJV)
Fear not; f. for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, g, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
We find this verse to be entirely prophetic. First we hear God telling the survivors of the Great Tribulation to e.‘Have no fear’.
Where could this ‘fear’ come from? There are two possible answers that could apply to this question.
Christians who in their zeal blame the Jews for the torture and death of the Savor in some far-fetched reach of vengeance—or ignorance. They seem to have forgotten that if not for the torture, there would be no healing. If not for shed blood and spiritual death there could be no salvation.
Another, is the fact that even after the Second Advent, there will still be nations of ‘animalistic murderers’ intent on destroying those both of the Jewish race as well as the Christian faith.
Witness: “Thus know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves . . . without natural affection . . . despisers of those that are good.” (2nd Tim. 3:2)
‘For thou shall not be ashamed’. ‘Prophetical as well as allegorical. ‘A promise that those of Jewish blood who accept Jesus as Messiah shall never be embarrassed or put to shame at the End Time Judgment. They will sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob on that Great Day of Judgment’. (Matt. 8:11-12)
One can only imagine the ‘shame’ and ‘guilt’ the People of Promise will feel when the realization dawns that it was THEY (Their predecessors. in reality.) who killed the Savior of the world.
Don’t let anyone fool you with the deceitful words: “The Romans killed Jesus.” Yes, they carried out the orders issued by the Sanhedrin (70 Jewish Leaders.). It is to be noted that under Roman rule an Israelite could not kill. Only the Romans had the power of execution. And wasn’t it the fanatical Jewish crowd that shouted out, “Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!”
It was the fanatical Jews that incited the riot that killed Jesus because they were afraid he would end their corruptive use of ‘Religion’.
‘And shall not remember the reproach of thy widowhood’. In that age a woman could be divorced for the simplest of reasons. Even too much salt in the food, or social matters such as being accused of being a ‘gadabout’; (a gossip monger.).
Although a woman could never divorce a man, a man could divorce his wife by repeating, in the presence of two witnesses, “I divorce thee.” Or, he could even write on a piece of papyrus, ‘I divorce the.”
Women were property—to do as one pleased. Once divorced, where would a woman go? How would she support herself? The Law stated that a Hebrew could not take another Hebrew as a slave, so what occupation was left other than prostitution?
The word here rendered ‘reproach’ g. in the KJV means ‘shame’ or ‘disgust’. In the time period in which this was written a woman who could not have children was a shame and a disgrace to her husband. The burden to reproduce was on the woman, never the man. (Luke 12”:25)
The man who had many sons was called, “Blessed’. On the other hand female children were considered a burden as they had to be fed and clothed. They were considered too weak to work in the fields, or else their skin might become sun darkened and lower the value of their ‘bride-price’. (Song of Solomon 1:6)
it this way: As a teenager we did senseless things things that we wish we could recall now that we are adults. In the ‘prophetic’ sense it means: “You will no longer remember that you carelessly tossed out the Messiah when He came to save you from your sins.”
Women were property—to do with as one pleased. Once divorced, where would a woman go? How would she support herself? The Law stated that a Hebrew could not take another Hebrew as a slave, what occupation was left other than prostitution?
Thus we find that ’reproach of thy widowhood’ g. does not convey the thought of a widow who should be embarrassed because her husband died or even divorced her.
Quite the contrary, for after rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God turned his back on the Jewish nation making them ’Spiritual Widows’. Please note that God did not turn away from them because he was mad at them, it comes down to the fact that all who do not believe that Jesus is the Christ–is of the ‘antichrist.’ 1st john 4:1-3, 1st John 5:1-5, 1st John 5:9-12.
In the natural sense the phrase means: “You will not remember the shame of your youthful years’. Think of
From Noah until the birth of Jesus there were many Jews who looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. They will be judged the same as if they had accepted Him. It is by ‘FAITH’ we are judged righteous—either before or after the affirmation of God: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17)
It is unfortunate that the Jewish Nation, who was intended to be ‘The Bride of Christ’ had a rebellious streak that always led them away from the true intent of God. One has only to read of the uprisings in the forty years spent running around in circles in the desert—to the split of Israel from Judah that resulted in the Samaritans creating two golden calves they worshipped to supplant God—to demonstrate their stubbornness.
In their desire to not obey the Levitical Law, yet to maintain the appearance of doing so, they created ‘commentaries’, which are called ‘Talmuds’, that explain what Moses really meant when he laid down God’s Law. (matt 15:1-9)
The most inclusive of these is ‘The Babylonian Talmud’ that consists of 51 books explaining what God really meant in the single book of Leviticus. This allowed the Jews to bypass the True Laws of God by providing ways to evade the ‘Real Law’.
The lesson we should pick up from this is that we should place little to no reliance on the commentaries of the Bible written by men.
Rest assured that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the message in the scripture that HE intends for YOU to receive!
“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and know God. 1st John 4:7
TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS AND PATIENCE . . . . CONTINUED?
PART FOUR: A closer look at Isaiah Chapter 54
In part three, of the past three parts of: ‘Trails, Tribulations and Patience’ I used as an illustration the results of denying the ‘Power of God’ (i.e. the lack of patience.), by Abram and Sarai that produced a son, Ishmael via Sarai’s bondwoman Hagar.
Showing also that this event as presenting the trouble generated by the descendants of Ishmael from about 700 BC– leading up to the present threat to the world today.
In Part Two, I inserted a verse from Isaiah Chapter 54; in which God tells us that ‘it is indeed ‘HE’ that formed the Smith that blows on the coals of our personal forge’.
With this in mind, please join me as we take a closer look at the entire chapter of Isaiah 54. This is a very important chapter that is most often overlooked. It is important in the fact; ‘that not only does it tell us previous history, but also things that will come to pass in the future’.
Chapter 54 is written in four manners. It is part ‘allegorical’ and part ‘The Law of Double Reference’ Also we will find parts as being both ‘prophetical’ and ‘instructional’.
1. Allegorical means: ‘Having hidden spiritual meaning that transcends the literal sense of a spiritual message.’‘
2. The Law of Double Reference’: Is a scripture that could be one verse, or several verses, that refer to a certain point in time—that might have already come to pass–but also to another point in time that is reserved for the future.
3. There is also a third component of scripter that is called: ‘Prophetic’ or ‘Instructional’. By explanation: ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ is instructional.
Verse 1 of Chapter 54 states: a..“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear! Break forth into singing and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child! b. far more are the children of the desolate c. than the children of the married wife” saith the Lord. KJV.
a. This portion is allegorical in posture and is speaking to the Christian Gentiles. The Christians never waited thousands of years for their Messiah–simply because without a Christ–there could never be Christianity.
No other nation or group has ever kept such precise record of births and deaths as did the Jewish Kingdom. Although the Law and the Prophets told them from what tribe, and where the ‘King of the Jews’ would be born, they kept these records to determine IF the prophets were correct. Sadly. Even then they did not believe.
Therefore the words, a.“Sing, O barren, thou that did not bear’. Indicates the Gentile are the barren, because they never produced the Messiah, but were ‘grafted in’ to Grace by faith. KJV.
b .‘For more are the children of the desolate’; we, as Christians, are the ‘children of the desolate’. The Hebrew word rendered ‘desolate’ has the following definitions: ‘to stun’, ‘to bring into’, (fig.) stupefy’, ‘be astonished’, ‘lay’, or ‘make’. The Christian should well ‘be astonished’ for ‘being brought into’ the promise of a joyful hereafter that was recognized by only a very few of the Jewish population.
c. The latter part of verse 1 states, “Far more are the children of the desolate than the married wife.” It is a fact that the ‘children of the desolate’ (Christian Followers) far outnumber the children of the married wife (Jewish posterity; i.e. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.)
This verse is basically allegorical in content with the ‘desolate’ representing the ‘bondwoman’ Hagar as the outcast; versus the ‘freewoman’ Sarai as the favored of God. However the latter phrase (c.) falls under ‘The Law of Double Reference’ as well as allegorical, inasmuch as the ‘desolate’ equal the ‘drafted in’ Gentiles, (Representing ALL that are not of the blood lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) versus the ‘married woman’ representing ‘the chosen Race’.
The second verse of this chapter is instructional. d.‘Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;’ KJV.
d. Even though it is commonly believed that this portion of Isaiah was written about 760 years before the birth of the ‘Anointed One’, Jesus the Messiah; the Prophet Isaiah teaches that the Jewish race should reach out and accept as well as to become part of the Christian movement.
Verse 3. e. ‘For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited’. KJV.
Abraham was promised his descendants would be numbered ‘as the sands which is on the sea shore’. Yet Isaiah, speaking through the unction of the Holy Spirit, predicts the blessing of salvation that belonged to the ‘Seed of Abraham’ shall pass over to the non-Jewish nations and multiply to the extent of making the deserted areas full of the (grafted-in) God-followers. e. Prophecy-fulfilled. Neither allegorical nor double reference. This has already been fulfilled and continues to be fulfilled. As the children of the ‘bondwoman Hagar’ have spread Christianity into all parts of the world. Parts that Isaiah did not even know existed such as Europe, North and South America. Australia and so on.
Thanks for reading, and as always, your input is appreciated. I pray you meditate on these words and wait for ‘Part Number Five’ of ‘Trails, Tribulations and . . . Patience?
Part 5 and following, grow even more exciting as the intent of God is foretold towards His ‘Own Beloved Nation’ and how we (The Gentile Christians) are melted into the eternal mix.
With Christian Love, Larry Camp,
Straight to the Top / Our Walls are Crumbling No right retained. The Word of God is Public Domain! Share it forward!