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
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
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!
As usual, here I am on a three story scaffold with a two story rope.
This Psalm was written at the point of the first one third of the ‘time-line’ between Abraham and Jesus. (“And from Abraham to David was 14 generations, from David to the ‘carrying away of Israel to Babylon’ was 14 generations, and from the carrying away of Israel to the birth of Christ was 14 generations.”)
It is amazing in the fact that it was written while the Hebrew Nation was still offering burnt offerings for their sins in accordance with the Mosaic Law. Offerings that would never forgive sin, only roll it back one year until the next ‘Day of Atonement’. The writer David, possessed a spiritual knowledge of ‘God’s Anointed One’, who was yet to come, and that He would wipe away the sins of the World.
Hear now Psalm 103 ‘Out of the depths of my misery I have called out to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my cry! Let your ears stand at attention as I plead for mercy. Lord, if you did keep an account of our sins, who among us could hold up their heads to face you on the coming Day of Judgement? (a) But in you there is forgiveness, and because of this we hold you in our hearts in reverence. (b) I wait for you Lord, I wait for the fulfillment of all your promises. And, in those promises I have much hope. My soul waits for your coming; even more than the those who stand atop the protecting walls of our cities and wait wearily for the dawn, (c) O Israel put your hope in the Lord. For in the Lord is love unfailing, and great is His power to set men free. (d) He alone shall set Israel free, for in Him is love and redemption from all our sins.’
(a) The Lord does keep a book of every thought, every sin, every mummer; also our unkindness as well as our kindness and good deeds towards others. On the other hand we are to judge ourelves (1st John 1:10) and repent of our sins. Then our sins will be cast into the ‘Sea of Forgetfulness.’ (b) We owe, and we pay reverence, to, the King of Kings because of his suffering and for the blood he shed to remove the curse of eternal death from our spirits. (c) In ancient times the cities had walls around the perimeter as a defensive shield. Men took turns walking the tops of those walls at night in order to shout an alarm if the enemy approached. (Josh. 2:15, Neh. 4:15-18)(d) In the ancient text Israel consisted of both the southern nation of Judah as well as the northern nation of Israel. after the Hebrew nation refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah, the gentiles (people other than those born of Jewish blood) were grafted into the ‘Royal Household’ and until the return of Christ will serve in place of Israel. Jesus did not know the date and the time of his return because that time will only come when the very last person of a pre-set number of unholy, non Jewish people are converted to Christianity. Then Jesus will return to Earth. .
The beauty of the 130th Psalm lies in the fact of knowing that not only does God hear, but he responds to our cry for mercy in every situation.
Also we are assured that God is eager to listen, and accept, our cry for forgiveness, and then grant forgive-ness and toss it away, not to be remembered.any more. (Isa. 38.17, Isa. 43.25) If the guilt remains to plague us, this is the soul-tormenting work of the great liar, Satan.
The writer of this Psalm was looking forward to the coming of ‘The Anointed One’; the Messiah in whom he had placed his trust. The last line unequivocally states that the Messiah, and he alone, can set us free from all encumbrances bringing us a Holy Life and Eternal Glory!
All it takes is a little faith; “Therefore, now that we have been justified through faith, let us continue through faith, let us continue at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have been allowed to enter the sphere of God’s grace, where we now stand. Let us exult in the hope of the divine splendor that is to be ours. For at the very time we were still powerless, then Christ died for the wicked. Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, and that is God’s own proof of his love towards us.” (Romans 5: 1-9 selected)
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
The latter portion of vs. 2
“He leadeth me beside the still waters.” (KJV)
As members of a communal soctety we seem to have lost touch with calmness and reflection.
In a world obsessed with cell phones, email, text messaging, Facebook, Instant Messaging, iPod, Blackberry, Kindle, Twitter, BlueTooth, and smart phones; everyone is continuously ‘connected’ with everyone else in an insane amount of babble that is 98% meaningless.
A recent poll showed that as much as 60% of the average workers time on their daily job is spent surfing the web or on social activities.
When out walking or driving have you noticed that the greater portion of drivers are either talking on a cell phone or text messaging?
Is this an indication of people refusing to face reality in this time of turmoil and trouble, or is it a manifestation of the ‘I’m more important than you’ attitude of humanity today?
A recent random poll by The Heritage Foundation found that 70% of those asked could not name even two of the Ten Commandments!
This seems to indicate that in a nation that claims to be 92% Christian, we seem to have lost touch with Psalms 46:10 that states; “Be still and know that I am God.”
As a people we need to withdraw from the things of this world and take time to meditate on the Lord. Not only on his goodness to us, but his promises of goodness to come.
In the second part of the second verse of this Psalm we are told that God will lead us ‘beside the still waters’.
We are aware that fountains, waterfalls and swift flowing mountain streams have a beguiling attraction about them that produces a gleeful, almost manic exhilaration in our minds.
On the other hand; calm, mirror like pools—be they ponds, reservoirs or reflection pools induce a certain amount of tranquility—calmness–if you will. Producing a sense of well-being and relaxation.
God must have put a lot of thought into this promise because the word translated here for ‘still’ is the Hebrew word ‘men-oo-khaw’, and strangely, it is only found in this one verse in the entire Bible! It is the feminine form of the adverb ‘peacefully’. Among its meanings are ‘repose, quite, ease, comforting or resting place’.
Can you find the self-resolve within yourself to set aside a small amount of time each day to shut out the clamor of this present world and read only a single verse from your Bible and meditate on it?
Then, while remaining still, listen.
Listen to God for he is speaking to you!
He speaks to you continually. He is making suggestions, giving instruction, and making your life—and your future—easier.
Will you be led beside the still waters?
Only by allowing the ‘The Shepherd’ to lead you beside the still water will you learn of His plan for your life. This will lead you to the place of having no ‘Want’!
Try this grand experiment today! Because HE is speaking to You!
Are YOU listening?
Intellectual property of Larry Camp.