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THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

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THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST – Every saint’s great “hope is in the resurrection of the dead!” (Acts 23:6-note). When Socrates lay dying, he was asked “Shall we live again,” to which he replied “I hope so!” Ours is not a dead hope but “A LIVING HOPE” (1Pe 1:3-note), not a “hope so,” but a “hope sure!” The Egyptian belief in a resurrection from the dead led them to call the mummy case the “chest of the living” and to place a scarab beetle in the corpse’s heart. Why? Because they knew the scarab’s larva buried itself in the earth and later emerged as a mature insect which to them symbolized “resurrection.” Socrates and the Egyptians held a false hope, but Sir Walter Raleigh held fast to a sure hope which served as an anchor for his soul (Heb 6:19-note) and prompted him to write the following words in his Bible the night before he was beheaded: “From this earth, this grave, this dust, my God shall raise me up!” Hallelujah! Martha also believed in the hope of the resurrection, but Jesus moved her from the doctrinal to the personal when He declared “I AM the RESURRECTION and the LIFE. He who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” (Jn 11:25-note) The resurrection is not an “IT” but an “I”, but too often we stop at “IT.” Jesus said “Because I live, you shall live also.” (Jn 14:19-note) The resurrection of believers is guaranteed by Christ’s own resurrection. We can rest assured that one day soon, He will “transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Php 3:21-note). When we take our last breath and leave our loved ones, we can be comforted by the certainty that our grave is but a gateway to His glory (1Th 4:1813-17-note). For believers death is not a period, but only a comma! David believed this truth writing “I will be satisfied with Thy likeness when I awake.” (Ps 17:15-note, cf Ps 49:15-note) Job believed this truth declaring “Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God.” (Job 19:26-note) Indeed, we shall SEE GOD! “Christ shall be the object of our eternal vision and we shall we never want any joy beyond that of seeing Him. Think not that this will be a narrow sphere for the mind to dwell in. It is but one Source of delight, but that Source is infinite. All His attributes shall be subjects for contemplation, and as He is infinite under each aspect, there is no fear of exhaustion. His works, His gifts, His love to us, and His glory in all His purposes, and in all His actions, these shall make an eternal theme which will be ever new.” (Spurgeon) Therefore let us even now “since we have been RAISED UP WITH CHRIST (speaking of our present spiritual resurrection, Ro 6:4-noteEph 2:6-noteCol 2:12-note), keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Let us set our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth, for we have died and our life is hidden with Christ in God and when Christ our life, is revealed, then we also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4-note) “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” (1Jn 3:2-note) SELAH! (Pause and ponder and sing…) “Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o’er His foes, He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!”

As Spurgeon says “The RESURRECTION of Christ is a fact better attested than any event recorded in history!” (cf >500 eye witnesses 1Cor 15:6-note) “Christianity is in its very essence a RESURRECTION religion. The concept of the RESURRECTION lies at its heart. If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed.” (John Stott) “The RESURRECTION of Jesus is the Gibraltar of the Christian faith and the Waterloo of infidelity and rationalism.” (R A Torrey) Contrary to the opinion of the skeptics, the New Testament proclaims a Christ Who once was dead and is now alive, not a Christ Who was once alive and now is dead! J C Ryle rightly said that “in an age of abounding unbelief and skepticism, we shall find that the RESURRECTION of Christ will bear any weight that we can lay upon it.” In the OT on the annual Day of Atonement, if the High Priest’s offering was acceptable to God he emerged alive, but if it was unacceptable, he died behind the veil (read Heb 9:7NLT-noteEx 28:35). The coming forth of our Great High Priest (Heb 4:14-noteHeb 9:11-note) after making His Atonement demonstrates clearly that His offering was acceptable to the Father. The Empty Tomb is the Father’s “Amen” (2Cor 1:20KJV-note) to Son’s cry of “It is finished (Paid in Full = Tetelestai)!” (Jn 19:30-note) “Everything antecedent in the incarnate life of our Lord moves towards the RESURRECTION and everything subsequent rests upon it and is conditioned by it.” (John Murray) Indeed, the “surpassing greatness of His POWER toward us who believe” is the same “RESURRECTION POWER” that brought Christ up from the grave (Eph 1:19-20) and is now operative within all those who belong to Christ (Ro 6:58-12-note, cf Php 3:10-11-note). The same POWER that opened Christ’s Tomb, now opens the door to abundant life (Jn 10:10b-note)! Are you experiencing abundant life? If not consider prayerfully singing this simple song to Him: “Jesus Be Jesus in Me. No longer me, but Thee. Resurrection Power, fill me this hour, Jesus be Jesus in Me.”

Spurgeon rightly says that “The whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that “Christ is risen from the dead” (Mt 28:72Ti 2:8-note) for, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain: you are still in your sins.” (1Cor 15:1417-note) The Divinity of Christ finds its surest proof in His resurrection, since He was “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the RESURRECTION from the dead.” (Ro 1:4-note) It would not be unreasonable to doubt his Deity if he had not risen. Again, our justification, that choice blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ’s triumphant victory over death and the grave; for He “was delivered up (handed over to sinful men to be crucified) for our transgressions, and was raised for (to secure, guarantee) our justification (act of free grace by which God pardons our sin and accepts us as righteous on account of the atonement of Christ).” (Ro 4:25-note) Indeed our very regeneration is connected with His RESURRECTION, for we are “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1Peter 1:3-note) And most certainly our ultimate RESURRECTION rests here, for, “if (as is the case) the Spirit of Him Who (the Father) raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He (Father) Who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who indwells you.” (Ro 8:11-note, cf Ezek 36:27-note) C S Lewis said “Jesus has forced open a door that had been locked since the death of the first man (Ro 5:21-note). He has met, fought and beaten the King of Death (1Cor 15:5557-note). Everything is different because He has done so.” In the Revelation Jesus announced His victory declaring “I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” (Rev 1:17-18-note) George Sweeting recalls that “In the early 1920’s, Nikolai Bukharin was sent from Moscow to Kiev to address a vast anti-God rally. For an hour he ridiculed the Christian faith until it seemed as if the whole structure of belief was in ruins. Questions were invited. A priest of the Orthodox church rose and asked to speak. He faced the crowd and spoke the ancient cry of victory “CHRIST IS RISEN.” Instantly the vast assembly rose to its feet, and the reply came back like a crash of breakers against a cliff, “HE IS RISEN INDEED!” And because He is risen we can sing — “I Know That My Redeemer Lives! What joy the blest assurance gives! He lives, He lives, Who once was dead; He lives, my everlasting Head!” (Samuel Medley) 

THE RESURRECTION IN THE OT – Jesus Christ’s resurrection was foreshadowed in the Old Testament. Abraham believed in the doctrine of the resurrection. As traveled to Mt Moriah to sacrifice his only begotten son, Isaac, he told the men with him to “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you.” (Ge 22:5-note). How could he sacrifice Isaac and yet know they would both return? The writer of Hebrews explains that Abraham “considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received (Isaac) back as a type.” (Heb 11:19-note, cf Ge 22:13-14-note) Jonah illustrated the doctrine of the resurrection. After Jonah’s disobedience, “Jehovah appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17) Jesus used this OT story to illustrate His resurrection, explaining that “just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Mt 12:40) Isaiah foretold that the Resurrection of Christ would “swallow up death for all time.” (Isa 25:8-note1Cor 15:54-note) Isaiah again alluded to the resurrection declaring “Your dead will live. Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy.” (Isa 26:19-note). The prophet Daniel affirmed the resurrection of individual believers writing that “those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake to everlasting life.” (Da 12:2-note) And so “we possess the prophetic word which is altogether reliable, to which we will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star (the Second Coming of Christ) rises in our hearts.” (2Pe 1:19-noteNu 24:17-note cf “The Bright Morning Star”-Rev 22:16-note – even some Jewish Rabbis called Messiah Bar-Kochva, Son of a Star.) And so let us sing – “Our Lord is risen from the dead, Our Jesus is gone up on high, The powers of hell are captive led, Dragged to the portals of the sky.” Amen (Charles Wesley). 

THE RESURRECTION IN THE NT - Jesus Himself taught that “it is written (in the OT), that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day.” (Lk 24:46-note,  cf Lk 20:37-38-note) Our Lord was referring to David’s affirmation that “You (God) will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One (Messiah) to undergo decay.” (Ps 16:10-note) Peter quotes David explaining that “he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.” (Acts 2:31-32-note, also quoted by Paul in Acts 13:35-note) Spurgeon wrote “Into the outer prison of the grave His body might go, but into the inner prison of corruption He could not enter. He Who in soul and body was pre-eminently God’s “Holy One,” was loosed from the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. This is noble encouragement to all the saints; die we must, but rise we shall, and though in our case we shall see corruption, yet we shall rise to everlasting life. CHRIST’S RESURRECTION is the cause, the earnest, the guarantee, and the emblem of the rising of all His people. Let us, therefore, go to our graves as to our beds, resting our flesh among the clods as they now do upon their couches.” Christ’s EMPTY tomb guarantees our FULL salvation. “We are more sure to arise our of our graves than out of our beds” (Thomas Watson) “Since Jesus is mine, I’ll not fear undressing, But gladly put off these garments of clay; To die in the Lord is a covenant blessing, Since Jesus to glory through death led the way.”

Christ has risen from the dead and defeated death…
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58-note

Play Glorious Day

Living He loved me, Dying He saved me,
Buried He carried, My sins far away!
Rising He justified, Freely forever.
One day He’s coming. Oh glorious day! Oh glorious day!

One day the grave could hold Him no longer.
One day the stone rolled away from the door.
Then He arose over death He had conquered.
Now He’s ascended , My Lord evermore.

Death could not hold Him.
The grave could not keep Him From rising again.

Play Christ is Risen

CHRIST THE BREAKER (Part 2)

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See Christ the Breaker Part 1
(Micah 2:13-
note)

CHRIST OUR BREAKER BREAKS THE POWER OF SIN - Not a son or daughter of Adam’s race has escaped the chains of sin and death, for sin entered the world and spread death to all, because all sinned (Ro 5:12-note). We were all born in chains and in slavery. Sin held us fast in bondage as children of a fallen race. The first Adam broke God’s Law resulting in a curse (Gal 3:10-note), but the Last Adam (Jesus) kept God’s law and was BROKEN, “having become a curse for us (in our place)” (1Cor 15:45-noteGal 3:13-note). The first Adam made a “breach (a break),” in our relationship with God, but the Last Adam, CHRIST THE BREAKER, repaired the breach between us and God by being made “sin on our behalf,”  (2Cor 5:21-note)  so that “He might bring us to God” (1Pe 3:18-note, cf Ro 5:1-2-note) and we might die to the power of “sin and live to righteousness” (1Pe 2:24-noteRo 6:6-noteRo 6:11-note). The BREAKER has broken the power of sin, so that “sin shall no longer be master over us, for we are not under (the power of the) law but under (controlled by the power of) grace” (Ro 6:14-note), for “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jn 8:36-note) As Spurgeon said “By faith in Christ (the BREAKER), the ruling power of sin is immediately BROKEN, so that every sin of every kind may be overcome by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.” John Piper adds that “The faith that unites us to Christ for justification (declared forever righteous in Christ) also BREAKS the power of sin in our lives. Woe to us if we try to get right with God by faith alone (Eph 2:8-note), and then try to become good people (be progressively set apart or sanctified) by other means (other than by faith - Gal 2:20-noteGal 3:3-note). Trusting Christ (the BREAKER) for all that God is for us in Him is the link to God’s justifying grace, and trusting Christ for all that God is for us in Him is the link to God’s sanctifying grace. We are pardoned (justified) and we are purified (sanctified)–by the same kind of faith.” Indeed, for those who have been set free, “The life of grace is the death of sin, and the growth of grace the decay of sin.” (Brooks) Therefore, let us “praise the Name of God (CHRIST OUR BREAKER) with song” (Ps 69:30-note)…

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
(Play And Can it Be by Charles Wesley)

CHRIST OUR BREAKER has broken the chains of sin, of the law, of death and of the devil. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness into His marvelous light, from the dominion of Satan to God (Col 1:13-noteActs 26:18-note), out of the law gate of conviction and condemnation and through the Gospel gate of conversion (Ro 8:1-note). Our BREAKER has led us into “the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Ro 8:21-note), for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2Cor 3:17-note) And remember that true freedom is not the right to do as we please, but the (supernatural) power to do as we should! True freedom is found in a willing submission to the BREAKER (Ro 12:1-note), Whose grace emancipates and captivates, thus enabling us to lovingly declare “Truly I am your servant. You have freed me from my chains.” (Ps 116:16-note) “Now that you have been set free from the power of sin and have been enslaved to God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification (daily growing in grace) and its end, eternal life.” (Ro 6:22-note) As Piper explains “There are no neutral people. There are only slaves of sin and slaves of God. Becoming a Christian is to have the sovereign Captain of the battleship of righteousness (“Christ The Breaker”) commandeer the slave ship of unrighteousness, put the ship-captain, Sin, in irons; break the chains of the slaves; and give them such a spiritual sight of grace and glory that they freely serve the new Sovereign forever as the irresistible Joy and Treasure of their lives (Col 2:3NLT-note).” So “let all who take refuge in (CHRIST THE BREAKER) be glad. Let them ever sing for joy…over His Victory” (Ps 5:11-notePs 20:5-note) because…

Our BREAKER can still a raging storm,
One Word can calm an angry sea;
So when we put our trust in Him,
He BREAKS our chains and SETS US FREE.
Hallelujah! Amen!

And yet dear child of God, you may still find yourself shackled by some besetting sin (Heb 12:1-note), bound by chains of an evil habit which has a hold on you that you never dreamed possible, until you tried to shake off “the viper,” only to find that the cords of your own sin held you fast (Pr 5:22-note, cf Jn 8:34-note2Pe 2:19-note). C H Spurgeon understood the believer’s life long battle with Sin, writing that “Even the regenerate find that they have a hard struggle with the flesh (Gal 5:17-note1Pe 2:11-note). How can we win our way in face of the direct opposition of our fallen nature? Beloved, “THE BREAKER has gone up before” us (Micah 2:13-note). The Lord Jesus Christ assumed our nature (Jn 1:1,14Ro 8:3-note), and was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:15-noteHeb 2:18-note); He overcame the adversary at every point of the conflict (Mt 4:1-10-note, cf Ge 3:15-note), that through His victory we might be more than conquerors (Ro 8:37-note, cf 1Jn 5:41Cor 15:57). He sends forth the Holy Spirit to renew us in the spirit of our minds (Jn 14:26-noteJn 15:26-noteEph 4:23-note); He takes the stony heart out of our flesh (Ezek 36:26-27-note “and puts His Spirit within us to cause us to walk in His ways”); He breaks the power of sinful habits; He rules the will (Php 2:13NLT-note = “giving us the desire and the power” to obey Him), He governs the affections (Gal 5:24KJV-note), He enlightens the understanding (Jn 8:12Eph 5:8-noteEph 1:18-note), He sanctifies the soul (1Pe 1:2-note2Th 2:13-noteActs 26:18-note); and thus, though weak in ourselves, we are made strong in Him (2Cor 12:9-note2Cor 12:10-note2Ti 2:1-note); so strong that we shall not perish in the wilderness (Jn 10:28-note), but shall pursue our pilgrimage till we cross the Jordan, and stand in our lot (inheritance) at the end of the days (2Ti 4:7-8-note). Because THE BREAKER has gone up before us, we shall break through the ramparts (defenses, strongholds) of sinfulness (2Cor 10:4-5KJV-note), and cut our way to holiness (Heb 12:14NET-note).” Indeed the BREAKER “breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free; His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.” (C Wesley) Piper comments that “Wesley’s hymn is right: the blood of Christ obtained for us not only the CANCELLATION of sin, but also the CONQUERING of sin. This is the grace we live under–the SIN-CONQUERING, not just SIN-CANCELING, grace of God. Triumph over the sin (that so easily entangles us) is all of grace–past grace, canceling sin’s guilt through the Cross of Christ, and future grace, conquering sin’s power through the Spirit of Christ (Ro 8:9-noteRo 8:13-note). That is why the only fight we fight is the fight of faith (1Ti 6:12-note, cf Eph 6:11-12-note). We fight to be so satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus that temptation to sin loses its power over us.” “Look to the wounds of Christ, they will heal your wounds! Look to the death of Christ, it will be the death of your doubts! Look to the life of Christ, it shall be the life of your hopes! Look to the glory of Christ, it shall be the glory of your souls here, and the glory of your souls forever and ever!” (Spurgeon) May Charles Wesley’s hymn be our prayer…

O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free;
A heart that always feels Thy blood,
So freely shed for me. Amen
(Play this hymn by Charles Wesley).

SINCE THE BREAKER “Breaks the power of Cancelled Sin”…
Let us sing as those set free
“O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing”

Christ the Breaker – Part 1

CHRIST THE BREAKER (Part 1)

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SEE ALSO CHRIST THE BREAKER (PART 2)

CHRIST THE BREAKER (Part 1) - Have you ever heard our Lord Jesus Christ referred to as “The Breaker (Heb = happores)?” Spurgeon said “He who has many crowns, has many titles. Jesus, the King of kings (Rev 19:16-note), has many Names, each of them fraught with meaning, and full of sweetness.” The glorious Names of Jesus are like windows through which we see His attributes and character and in which we experience His power and presence, for the Name of Jehovah is forever and ever a Strong Tower for the righteous who run into it and make it their safe haven (lifted up above the fray) (Pr 18:10-note). The more we grow in the grace and knowledge of the great Names of Jesus (2Pe 3:18-note), the Name above every name (Php 2:9-note), the more we will gladly place our trust in His sufficiency to meet our every need (2Cor 9:8-John MacDuff’s note), for as David learned through manifold trials “Those who know (experientially know, not just head knowledge but heart change) God’s Name, will put their trust in Him” (Ps 9:10-note). As Spurgeon said “Ignorance is worst when it amounts to ignorance of God, and knowledge is best when it exercises itself upon the Name of God. This most excellent knowledge leads to the most excellent grace of faith (Ro 10:17-note). Knowing His Name means an experiential acquaintance with the attributes of God, which serve as anchors to hold our soul from drifting (Heb 2:1-noteHeb 6:19-note).” I know not what trial you may be experiencing today (or are about to experience) dear child of the Living God, but I know that while He may bend us, “a bruised and battered reed” the Breaker will not break off (Isa 42:3,Mt 12:20-Spurgeon sermon) So “May the LORD answer you in your day of trouble! May the Name of the God of Jacob (THE BREAKER) protect and defend you and keep you safe from all harm!” (Ps 20:1-note) And may His Spirit enable you to “Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame, Who bears the BREAKER’S wond’rous Name; Sweet Name, and it becomes Him well; Who BREAKS DOWN earth, sin, death, and hell.” Amen

CHRIST THE BREAKER is found only once in Scripture in Micah 2:13-note in the midst of a description of divine discipline (Micah 2:1-11-note). Robert Hawker invites us “Pause, my soul, over this precious scripture, for it is indeed most precious.” Spurgeon reminds us “Judgment is God’s strange work, and He rejoices even in the midst of threatening to turn aside and utter gracious words to obedient souls. Surely the brightest and most silvery drops of love that have ever distilled upon men have fallen in close connection with storms of divine justice.” And so against this dreary backdrop “Micah proclaims this bright and brilliant vision of deliverance (C Roll),”  promising “I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the (believing) remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; like a flock in the midst of its pasture. They will be so numerous that they will make a lot of noise (Listen). THE BREAKER (ESV = He who opens the breach) goes up before them. They break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it. So their King goes on before them, and Jehovah is at their head.” (Micah 2:12-13-note). Most conservative writers agree that while Micah’s prophecy may have a partial fulfillment in Judah’s return from Babylonian exile, the final fulfillment awaits Christ’s Second Coming, when He rescues Israel (the believing remnant) from otherwise certain annihilation at the end of this age (Ro 11:25-27-note, cf Jer 32:37-39Ezek 37:21-22-note).

CHRIST THE BREAKER’S MANY TITLES - Notice that in Micah 2:12-13 Jesus is depicted as our BREAKER, our GOOD SHEPHERD (sheep…flock) leading us out of bondage (cf Ps 23:1-3-noteHeb 13:20-note), our victorious KING leading us in triumph (cf Rev 19:11,16,14-note), our Great “I AM” (JEHOVAH) Himself the Covenant Who assures our eternal redemption (Isa 42:649:8Mal 3:1-note) and our HEAD (Leader), our example, in Whose footsteps we are to follow (1Pe 2:21-note). Spurgeon adds that Christ “marches in front of His sheep, the GOOD SHEPHERD clearing the way; the PIONEER of the heavenly army (Heb 2:10NET-note); the BREAKER, breaking through every difficulty; the KING, overcoming all foes.” Indeed, “THE BREAKER is gone forth in love, With power and skill divine, Descending from the realms above, To quell His foes and ours.” Amen

CHRIST THE BREAKER GOES BEFORE US - Micah says our Breaker “goes up before us” so wherever your path leads today, you can rest assured that your Breaker has already tread that path. Let us fix our eyes on His lovely Face (Heb 12:1-note) and our ears on His winsome Voice (Jn 10:5), remembering that Christ never drives His sheep, but always leads them, clearing their way (Jn 10:3-4-note). He is our BREAKER Who has broken all barriers and impediments that obstruct our way to God. The “Goliaths” among men cannot stand before Him or his weakest servant who is strong in His grace (2Ti 2:1-note). Let this assurance be a source of comfort and confidence to your soul today. “He as the BREAKER has made the way POSSIBLE and PASSABLE.” (Paisley) Let us follow Him as we ponder His precious Name, THE BREAKER, looking especially at what transpired when our BREAKER was “BROKEN AND SPILLED OUT, Just for love of me, Jesus, God’s most precious Treasure, Lavished on me” (Gloria Gaither-see link below) on Calvary’s Tree.

OUR BREAKER BREAKS OUR STONY HEART - When the Lord created Adam, He gave man his life (Ge 2:7-note). When He redeemed man, He gave His own life. (Mt 20:28). In the movie, the Last Emperor, the boy emperor of China was asked “What happens when you do wrong?” to which he replied “When I do wrong, someone else is punished,” and proceeded to break a costly vase, causing one of his servants to be beaten! God so loved the world, that Jesus reversed the roles. The first Adam broke the law of God (Ge 3:6-7-note). The Last Adam (1Cor 15:45) kept the law of God, that on the Cross He might be BROKEN for our BROKENNESS and “crushed for our iniquities” (Isa 53:510-Spurgeon2Cor 5:21-noteHeb 10:10-note1Pe 3:18-note). Christ the BREAKER became “the REPAIRER of the breach (break)” (Isa 58:12) which sin had made between God and Adam (and all men - Ro 5:12-note). The BREAKER Himself was BROKEN “once at the consummation of the ages!” (Heb 9:26-note), that we might not suffer a BROKEN relationship with God now and “in the ages to come” (Eph 2:7-note, cf Heb 7:25-note2Th 1:8-9-note) Christ our BREAKER cleared our way to heaven when He broke our “heart of stone and gave us a tender heart”  (Ezek 11:19-note) In fact, one of the few things improved by breaking is the hard heart of an unconverted sinner. “At the conversion of every sinner, Christ breaks open the everlasting doors of our hearts and enters in. He breaks our rocky hearts in pieces and then binds up what He has broken.” (John Gill)  Indeed, when the BREAKER “forgives sin, He purges the RECORD, erases the REMEMBRANCE and empowers the RECIPIENT.” (Bosch) “He breaks His children’s hearts in twain, And brings proud nature down; The hearts He breaks He heals again, And on them puts a crown.”

OUR BREAKER BREAKS THE BARRIER BETWEEN GOD & MAN - What a breakthrough our Breaker made for us when He died on the Cross, for when He cried out and “yielded up His spirit,” the barrier between God and man was removed, the Gospel writers all recording that “the veil of the Temple (separating the Holy Place from God’s glorious presence) was torn in two.” (Mt 27:51-noteMk 15:38Lk 23:45). The writer of Hebrews interprets the rent veil declaring “brethren, we have confidence to enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is His (broken) flesh.” (Heb 10:19-20-note) As Spurgeon says “Jesus Christ’s humanity was a veil which somewhat concealed the glory of His Deity; but the flesh of Christ having been crucified (broken), the veil has been rent, and now we may come right up to the Throne of God without trembling; nay, we may come even with holy boldness and familiarity, and speak to God without alarm. Having such a privilege as this, LET US NOT NEGLECT IT” for “through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” (Eph 2:18-note) “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need (in the nick of time).” (Heb 4:16-note). “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.” (From Christ the Solid Rock by E Mote)

OUR BREAKER BREAKS THE BARRIER BETWEEN MEN - On the Cross, Christ was both Binder and Breaker, Paul writing that “in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ, for He Himself is our peace (peace in Greek literally pictures BINDING together that which was BROKEN), and made both Jew and Gentile into one, having BROKEN DOWN the BARRIER of the dividing wall.” (Eph 2:13-14-note) As Spurgeon says our BREAKER “has swept out of the way all the ordinances which divide us and we are now one in Him. The distance was infinite, but now the nearness is intimate. The blood of Jesus works marvels, annihilating distance, breaking down partition walls and transforming aliens into sons! May it come to pass that (because of the Breaker’s finished work on Calvary) all middle walls of division between men become as useless as the great Wall of China!” “The Breaker broke the barrier down, Which law and sin had made; He did fulfil all righteousness, And full redemption paid.”

Beloved, the precious Name CHRIST THE BREAKER is too rich to expound in one post for as the hymn writer said “Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry.” (F Lehman)

Christ the Breaker (Part 2) – To Follow

Play Steve Green – Broken and Spilled Out

See In Depth Commentary on Micah 2:12-13

Alexander Maclaren’s classic sermon “Christ the Breaker”

MIGHTY TO SAVE (Part 3)

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MIGHTY TO SAVE (Part 3) -
 
The LORD your God is with you (in your midst). He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.–Zephaniah 3:17NIV

Spurgeon writes that “there never was any poem composed by human intellect which could match for a moment, in the sweetness of its notes, the succession of precious promises which God here proclaims in the ears of His chosen ones!” O Palmer Robertson adds that Zephaniah 3:17 moves into “the “holy of holies” by a rapturous description of the love of God for His people. This verse is the John 3:16 of the OT. The love of God for His own people is not a soft, sentimental emotion that has no strength to act on behalf of its object. For this God Who loves is Yahweh…,”the “God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty and the awesome God.” (Dt 10:17). That Almighty God should derive delight from his own creation is significant in itself. But that the Holy One should experience ecstasy over the sinner is incomprehensible.  God breaking out in singing! God joyful with delight! All because of you!” Surely we have to say with the psalmist “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is too high. I cannot attain to it.” (Ps 139:6-note)

And so while these words were originally addressed to Israel in a time of great distress (the future Day of the LORD’s wrath poured out on the unbelieving world – see Zeph 3:8-note, cf Revelation 6-19), God’s promises to Israel in the future are applicable in the present to every blood bought, heaven bound child of God. Perhaps you too are experiencing a day or even a season of adversity and distress which evokes a continual gnawing in your stomach from endless fear and wearisome worry. If so, I understand, for that is the season in which I find myself. In these times of great oppression with no end in sight, we need to recall Peter’s words that our manifold trials (1Peter 1:6-note - manifold in Gk = poikilos =  trials of various “shapes and sizes”) are always accompanied by God’s “manifold grace” (again poikilos = grace just the “right shape and size”)” (1Peter 4:10-note). So let us read Jehovah’s precious promises as personally addressed to us! Indeed, though we may be downcast and in despair because of our trials, in faith like the psalmist we can “Put our hope in God and again praise Him for the help of His presence” (Ps 42:5-note), confidently declaring that “The LORD MY God is in MY midst. He is the Mighty One Who will save ME. He will take great delight in ME. He will quiet ME with His love. He will rejoice over ME with singing!”

F B Meyer says “Well would it be if each Christian were to devote some portion, however brief, in each day, to meditation upon this marvelous fact. “The mighty God, the King, is in the midst of me. I am God-tenanted, God-possessed. The High and Holy One Who inhabits eternity (Isa 57:15KJV-note) has taken up His abode in my heart.” Indeed, God’s people are at the heart of God’s heart. As His people, He is ever in our midst and thus we live in His presence, always on holy ground. Everything we do is sacred. Everything we do should be designed for His glory.

C H Spurgeon remarks “What a word is this! Jehovah God in the center of His people in all the majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us with peace and hope (cf Ro 15:13Jn 16:33). Treasures of boundless might are stored in our Jehovah, and He dwells in His people (now = Col 1:27b-note1Cor 6:19-note1Jn 4:4, and forever = Rev 21:3-note). Therefore may His people shout for joy (Ps 32:11-notePs 71:23-note). We not only have His presence (Ps 95:2-note), but He is engaged upon His choice work of salvation. “He is MIGHTY TO SAVE.” He is always saving: He takes His Name Jesus from it (Yeshua ~ “Jehovah saves”, Mt 1:21). Let us not fear any danger, for He is MIGHTY TO SAVE (Dt 31:8). Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same (Heb 13:8-note); He loves, He finds rest in loving, and He will not cease to love (Jer 31:3). His love gives Him joy. He even finds a theme for song in His beloved (1Th 1:4-note). This is exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing, but simply said, “It is very good.” (Ge 1:31) But when He came to redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song. Think of it and be astonished! Jehovah Jesus sings a marriage song over His chosen bride (cf Rev 19:7-noteIsa 62:5), as a Bridegroom rejoices over his Bride. Beloved, we are to Him His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O Lord Jesus, by Thine immeasurable love to us (Eph 3:18-19-note), teach us to love Thee, to rejoice in Thee, and to sing unto Thee our Life-psalm.” As Matthew Henry once said “The great God not only loves His saints, but He loves to love them!”

Adrian Rogers tells a story of passengers on a ship in a severe storm and in danger of sinking. The passengers were whispering “Are we going down? Are we safe?” One passenger said, “I’ve got to find out,” so he made his way topside across the heaving decks, to the pilot house, where the pilot of the ship had his hand firmly on the wheel. The pilot turned and saw the fear in the passenger’s face and just smiled at him, not even speaking a word. On arriving below the once fearful passenger exclaimed “We’re going be all right. I’ve seen the face of the pilot, and he smiled at me.” What we need to do when we are crippled by fear caused by difficult circumstances or difficult people is look away from the “stormy waves” and into the serene face of our Jesus, the One Who is always MIGHTY TO SAVE (cf Heb 12:2-noteIsa 45:22KJV).

Perhaps you feel like King Jehoshaphat who was afraid when he received the news of a “great multitude” coming against him (2Chr 20:2-3) but instead of focusing on his fear, he made the conscious choice to turn “his attention to seek the LORD” acknowledging “we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but OUR EYES ARE ON YOU.” God answered through a prophet exhorting him  ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2Chr 20:15) He alone is MIGHTY TO SAVE! There are times in all of our lives when we feel overwhelmed by “the multitude who are coming against us” and it is in those times we especially need to imitate King Jehoshaphat’s faith (Heb 6:12-note) and say “OUR EYES ARE ON YOU” Mighty Warrior. It is in those times we need to sense the reassuring presence of our Jesus Who is MIGHTY TO SAVE, Who Alone is powerful enough to calm the storm in our heart by speaking the words “Peace, be still!” (Mk 4:39KJV) But remember that while our Jesus is always mighty to save and may calm the storm around us, often He calms the storm within us, even while the storm around us continues to rage (cf Jn 14:27)! Indeed “He is able” (Heb 7:25-note), for He has sailed rougher seas than the storm we are in now! “O soul, sinking down ’neath sin’s merciless wave, The strong arm of our Captain is MIGHTY TO SAVE; Then trust Him today, no longer delay, Board the old ship of Zion, and shout on your way: Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Shout and sing on your way: Jesus saves!” Amen (M J Cartwright)

Fanny Crosby recalls addressing a group in 1869 and throughout her talk “the thought kept forcing itself upon my mind that some mother’s boy must be rescued that very night or perhaps not at all. So I requested that if there was any boy present, who had wandered away from mother’s teaching, he would come to the platform at the conclusion of the service. A young man of 18 came forward and said, “Did you mean me? I have promised my mother to meet her in heaven; but, as I am now living, that will be impossible.” We prayed for him and he arose with a new light in his eyes and exclaimed triumphantly, “Now, I can meet mother in heaven, for I have found her God.” Stirred by this event Fanny went home that night and wrote these great words “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave, Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, Tell them of Jesus the MIGHTY TO SAVE.” Some 35 years later she was speaking at a YMCA and described the incident that led her to write “Rescue the Perishing,” after which a man came up and introduced himself, saying “Miss Crosby, I was the boy who told you more than thirty-five years ago that I had wandered from my mother’s God. The evening that you spoke at the mission I sought and found peace, and I have tried to live a consistent Christian life ever since.”  May Fanny Crosby’s story that led her to pen the hymn “Rescue the Perishing” encourage us to pray for the lost and “Tell them of Jesus who rose from the grave, Tell them of Jesus the MIGHTY TO SAVE; Plenteous salvation in Him does abound, Cleansing and healing in Jesus are found.” (Entwisle) 

When our world seems to be unraveling at the seams, we do well to recall that the One Mighty to rescue the perishing, is also MIGHTY TO SAVE us daily (sanctifying us by the enabling power of His Spirit - 1Pe 1:2-note1Th 5:23-note).  In those days when we don’t have a song in our heart, we need to meditate on the truth that the One MIGHTY TO SAVE is also the One Who “will rejoice over us with singing.” Many of us cannot imagine that we could bring pleasure to the heart of God (“You don’t know what I’ve done,” “I have too much guilt and shame for God to rejoice over me,” etc), but this text assures us that God definitely thinks differently. Spurgeon says “When your face is blurred with tears, your eyes red with weeping, and your heart heavy with sorrow for sin, the great Father is rejoicing over you. We are questioning, doubting, sorrowing, trembling, and all the while, He Who sees the end from the beginning knows what will come out of the present disquietude (anxiety, agitation, uneasiness), and therefore rejoices. Let us rise in faith to share the joy of God! Let no man’s heart fail him because of the taunts of the enemy (cf Rev 12:10). Rather, let the chosen of God rouse themselves to courage, and participate in the that joy of God which never ceases. Shall we not rejoice in Him when He, in His boundless condescension, designs to rejoice in us?” O what a liberating truth!

John Piper encourages us to ponder this passage asking “Can you imagine what it would be like if you could hear God singing? Remember that it was merely a spoken word that brought the universe into existence (Heb 11:3-noteJn 1:1-3). What would happen if God lifted up his voice and not only spoke but sang?…When I think of the voice of God singing, I hear the booming of Niagara Falls mingled with the trickle of a mossy mountain stream. I hear the blast of Mt. St. Helens mingled with a kitten’s purr. I hear the power of an East Coast hurricane and the barely audible puff of a night snow in the woods. And I hear the unimaginable roar of the sun…but I hear this unimaginable roar mingled with the tender, warm crackling of the living room logs on a cozy winter’s night. And when I hear this singing I stand dumbfounded, staggered, speechless that He is singing over ME! He is rejoicing over MY good with all HIS heart and with all HIS soul (cf. Jer 32:41Dt 30:9)!”

A GOD Who is always near ME. A GOD Who is mighty to save ME. A GOD Who takes great delight in ME. A GOD Who quiets ME with His love. A GOD Who rejoices over ME with loud singing. It’s hard to imagine, difficult to believe, but it is true! How do I know? Because the last words of Zephaniah’s prophecy are “YAHWEH HAS SPOKEN.” (Zeph 3:20HCSB-note) Beloved child of God, Jehovah the Self-existent One, the Unchangeable One, the Ever-living One has said it and He will do it! Amen!

Now He has triumphed o’er death and the grave,
He lives our Redeemer, and MIGHTY TO SAVE;
To Him Who exalted forever shall live,
All honor, dominion, and glory we give.”
–Crosby

Play Fanny Crosby’s powerful hymn Rescue The Perishing
May the Father grant you manifold opportunities to tell others that Jesus is Mighty to Save. Amen

SEE RELATED TOPICS:
Zephaniah 3:17 In Depth Commentary
Zephaniah 3:17 The Savior Resting in His Love – C H Spurgeon
Zephaniah 3:14, 17 Zion’s Joys and God’s – Alexander Maclaren
Zephaniah 3:17 The Pleasure of God in the Good of His People – John Piper

Aside

MIGHTY TO SAVE (Part 2)

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MIGHTY TO SAVE (Part 2): In Isaiah 63:1-note the Messiah describes Himself as “MIGHTY to save.” How MIGHTY TO SAVE is our precious Jesus? Isaiah says His Name is “MIGHTY God” (El Gibbor) and “He will not fail, falter, stop or be disheartened nor will He be discouraged until He establishes justice on the earth.” (Isa 9:6-noteIsa 42:4-note) The MIGHTY One Himself asks (rhetorically) “Is anything too difficult for” Me? (Ge 18:14-note) Jeremiah answers “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! (cf Heb 1:2-3-noteRev 4:11-note) NOTHING is too difficult for You!” (Jer 32:1727, cf Job 42:2Lk 1:37) “The MIGHTY One, God, Jehovah (Jesus), has spoken, and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.” (Ps 50:1-note, cf Heb 11:3-noteCol 1:16-note) “Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and MIGHTY, the LORD MIGHTY in battle.” (Ps 24:8-note)

C H Spurgeon affirms “We know the MIGHT of Jesus by the battles which He has fought, the victories which He has won over sin and death and hell, and we clap our hands as we see Him leading captivity captive in the majesty of His strength. Oh for a heart to sing His praises! MIGHTY Hero, be Thou crowned forever King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen (Rev 19:16-note).” Indeed Jesus declares “My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.” (Isa 48:13-note)  Therefore Spirit enable us to daily remember that Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE, even (especially) from “the sin which so easily entangles” us (Heb 12:1-note)! “Jesus, MIGHTY to renew, Work in me to will and do; Turn my nature’s rapid tide; Stem the torrent of my pride. Force me, Lord, with all to part; Tear these idols from my heart.” “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for ALL things are possible with God,” (Mk 10:27), the One MIGHTY TO SAVE. “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? (Jesus, mighty to save.Jn 1:1-3) He Who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of His GREAT POWER and MIGHTY STRENGTH, not one of them is missing.” (Isa 40:26-note). He is the One Who is MIGHTY TO SAVE for “He holds ALL creation together,” “sustaining ALL things by His powerful Word.” (Col 1:17-noteHeb 1:3-note)

Though as scarlet be the stains,
Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE;
Though as steel the binding chains,
Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE.
His the glorious sacrifice;
His the blood which paid the price;
His the love doth now entice;
Jesus is MIGHTY, is MIGHTY TO SAVE.

Fearful soul, discard thy fears,
Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE;
Seeker, haste to dry thy tears,
Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE.
With assurance seek His face,
Doubt no more His love and grace,
Give Him now His rightful place,
Jesus is MIGHTY, is MIGHTY TO SAVE.

Dear reader, what is “too difficult” for you today? In faith, “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ,” (2Cor 10:5-note) the only One Who is MIGHTY TO SAVE you in, through or from whatever difficult circumstance, person, thought, memory, etc you find yourself today. “Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, HE IS ABLE to come (running) to the aid of those who are continually being tempted (or tested).” (Heb 2:18-note) Remember that “Jesus Christ is not only a powerful Savior, but a sympathizing Savior. He is not only the Son of God MIGHTY TO SAVE, but the Son of man ABLE TO FEEL.” (Ryle) “Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE because He is God as well as Man.” (Spurgeon) His tender heart is soft to pity and His mighty arm is strong to deliver. Indeed, He Alone “is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:25-note, cp Ro 8:34-note) The One MIGHTY TO SAVE is able to lift us out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire and set our feet on the Solid Rock, making our steps secure. (Ps 40:2-note, cf Ps 18:16-17-note). In His strength we can crush an army, with Him at our side we can scale any wall. (Ps 18:29-note, cf 2Cor 12:9-note) We are from God, little children, and have overcome every obstacle which opposes Jesus, because greater is He Who is in us than he who is in the world. (1Jn 4:4, cf Ro 8:31-note)

Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE and is preparing us for eternity in heaven and will soon carry us there, in spite of every momentary adversity, trial or heartache we are now experiencing (cf 2Cor 4:17-18-noteRo 8:18-note). “God’s providence and grace are both full of displays of His power. He is in power especially conspicuous as “MIGHTY TO SAVE.” Who will not be strong in faith when there is so strong an Arm to lean upon? Shall our trust be doubtful when His power is beyond all question?” (Spurgeon) So beloved, let each of us joyfully sing out in faith Fanny Crosby’s great words —

“Praise our Creator and Savior eternal,
Him Who redeemed us from death and the grave;
Sing of His greatness, O hail and adore Him,
Strong to deliver, and MIGHTY TO SAVE.” Amen

Sing of His excellent greatnessJesus is Mighty to Save.

See In Depth Study on Jesus – Mighty to Save

MIGHTY TO SAVE (Part 1)

mighty to save
MIGHTY TO SAVE
: “Multum in parro” (much in little)! In Isaiah 63:1-6 (note) we read a description of the triumphant Second Coming of Jesus, where He declares “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Here even in the midst of judgment, when He comes “with power and great glory” (Mt 24:30), He desires for men to know that He is not only mighty to judge, but mighty to save. Isaiah’s description is amplified by the apostle John in Revelation 19:11-16-note which concludes with those glorious words that the One mighty to save is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Rev 19:16-note)

C H Spurgeon describes the words “mighty to save” as “multim in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but He is able to make men repent (Ro 2:4-noteActs 11:182Ti 2:25-note). He will carry those to heaven who believe; but He is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them (Ezek 18:31Ezek 36:26-note). He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of His name to bend the knee before Him (Php 2:9-11-note).”

Nay, this is not all the meaning of “mighty to save,” for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by “the Mighty God.” The bush burns, but is not consumed (Ex 3:2). He is mighty to keep His people holy after He has made them so (1Pe 1:5-noteJude 24), and to preserve them in His (reverential) fear and love until He consummates their spiritual existence in heaven (cf Php 3:20-21-note). Christ’s might does not lie in making us a believer and then leaving us to transform ourselves, but He who begins the good work carries it on (Php 1:6-note2Cor 3:18-noteRo 12:2-note); He who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory (Ro 8:30-note). Believer, here is encouragement. Are you praying for some beloved one? Oh, do not give up your prayers, for Christ is “mighty to save.” You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty (EL Shaddai - Ge 17:1). Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength. Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for His strength is sufficient for you (2Cor 12:9-note2Cor 12:10-note). Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is “mighty to save;” the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you! What a thousand mercies that you have not found Him mighty to destroy!”

Since His blood for thee was shed,
Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE;
Since He lives Who once was dead,
Jesus is MIGHTY TO SAVE.
While in conflict we engage,
When the storms around shall rage,
All our earthly pilgrimage,
Jesus is mighty, is MIGHTY TO SAVE.”
Amen (Coller)

Play “Mighty to Save” by Laura Story

My Saviour, You can move the mountains,
You are mighty to save,
You are mighty to save.
Forever, Author of Salvation,
You rose and conquered the grave,
Yes, you conquered the grave.

See “Jesus Mighty God” – El Gibbor.

See In Depth Commentary on the great prophecy of Isaiah 63:1-6

Read Spurgeon’s sermon “A Mighty Savior” on Isaiah 63:1

Indelible Grace: Inscribed on His Hands

Isaiah 49
Indelible means that which cannot be removed, washed away, blotted out, canceled, effaced or erased and thus speaks of that which is unforgettable, lasting and cannot be lost or annulled. Such is the grace of God in Isaiah 49:16, one of the most beautiful expressions of God’s everlasting love in all of Scripture. 

Have you ever wondered if God has forgotten or forsaken you? Even now perhaps you feel like David who cried out to God his Rock, “Why have you forgotten me?” (Ps 42:9-note) Perhaps like Israel of old you are saying “My way is hidden from the LORD. My cause is disregarded by my God.” (Isa 40:27-song) You find yourself in your own personal Pilgrim’s Progress “slough of despond (note),” bogged down in the “spiritual quicksand” of seemingly endless adversities and afflictions which keep dragging you deeper into despair. I understand for that is where I am as I write. But even better Jesus understands for on the Cross, He cried “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46Ps 22:1-note) Jehovah Rapha (note), the Great Physician, understands for “He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered and is able to come” to our aid as we are tempted (Heb 2:18-note) having given us spiritual truth in Isaiah 49:16 that like the balm of Gilead can heal our souls of what Spurgeon calls that “unbelief which often makes us talk about God forgetting us when He does nothing of the kind. We know not which most to wonder at, the faithfulness of God or the unbelief of His people. He keeps His promise a thousand times, and yet the next trial makes us doubt Him. He never fails; He is never a dry well; He is never as a setting sun, a passing meteor, or a melting vapor; and yet we are as continually vexed with anxieties, molested with suspicions, and disturbed with fears, as if our God were the mirage of the desert.” Father, by Thy Spirit grant us grace to sing in faith

There amidst the love and glory
He is waiting yet
On His hands a name is graven
He can ne’er forget.
(Francis Havergal)

Ancient Zion (a picture of Israel) still smarting from the pangs of exile in Babylon cried out “Jehovah has forsaken me” to which God responded “Can a woman forget her nursing child? (Ed: Not usually, but some have.) Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold! I have inscribed (engraved) you on the palms of My hands. Your walls are continually before Me.” (Isaiah 49:14-16). C H Spurgeon, who preached three sermons on Isaiah 49:16 reminds us that “These words apply, first of all, to God’s ancient people, the Jews (the accurate interpretation), but they are equally true of all believers (a valid application).” Spurgeon adds that the phrase “‘I have graven thee’ does not say, thy name. Our name is there, but that is not all: I have graven THEE! See the fullness of this! I have graven thy person, thine image, thy case, thy circumstances, thy sins, thy temptations, thy weaknesses, thy wants, thy works; I have graven thee, everything about thee, all that concerns thee; I have put thee altogether there. Wilt thou ever say again that thy God hath forsaken thee when he has graven thee upon His own palms?”

Scripture records “Neither shall any man snatch them out of My hand (or) out of My Father’s hand.” (Jn 10:28-29-noteBehold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” (Isa 49:16)” My times are in Thy hand.” (Ps 31:15-note) Vance Havner refers to these passages as “having the situation well in hand. Here is security for time and eternity.  The palm of the hand is a well-protected place and that hand can fold into a fist if threatened! Not only ourselves but our times, all our circumstances, the day in which we live, the happenings of our lives—all these are under His control. Sometimes they are beyond our control, but “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” He not only leads us by His hand, He keeps us in His hand.” J I Packer calls us to affirm the truth that “I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, One Who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters (cf Mt 10:30-31).” Do you believe the beautiful Scripturally sound words of the hymn

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great high Priest Whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
Hallelujah! (Bancroft)

As Kay Arthur says “If you are God’s child by covenant, a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the truth you must cling to when you feel abandoned: You are inscribed on the palms of His hands! For the feelings are just that-feelings. Feelings that are very real, feelings that you must deal with. But remember reality. Reality is the fact that a covenant has been cut on your behalf. Your feelings will betray you-overwhelm you cripple you-if you do not decide, by the gut-level determination of faith, that “feel it or not” you will trust your Covenant God. Put on the music … the hymns of the faith … the choruses of trust. Sing whether you feel like it or not. Sing whether you can sing or not. Sing until your feelings conform to reality.” In fact sing Toplady’s “A Debtor to Mercy Alone” (or a chorale version)…

My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase
Impressed on His heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace
Yes, I to the end shall endure
As sure as the earnest is given
More happy, but not more secure
The glorified spirits in heaven.

As Spurgeon says “If you will think of those hands of which the Lord says, “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands,” you may rest assured that nothing can come from those hands but what infinite Wisdom directs, and infinite Love has ordained.  Rejoice then, O Christian that God’s love does not fail in the furnace, but is as hot as the furnace, and hotter still.”

Normally in ancient times a slave would bear the brand mark of his master, but in Isaiah 49:16 we see an act of ineffable divine condescension in which the Master inscribes the servant’s name on His palm! Charles Wesley applied this Scripture to Christ, writing,

Arise, my soul, arise, shake off thy guilty fears
The bleeding Sacrifice in my behalf appears
Before the Throne my Surety stands
My name is written on His hands. Amen!

What are these marks but the marks of indelible grace, tangible manifestations of God’s covenant cut with us on Calvary’s Cross, covenant marks testifying today and throughout eternity “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you, so that we may confidently say, the Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?” (Heb 13:5-6-note). For God to forget us or abandon us, the scars inscribed in the palm of His hands must disappear! Perish all thy doubting thoughts! Beloved of the Father (1Jn 3:1-note), see the Savior spread out His hands before us with our own name inscribed in His scarred palms. Surely we are not for even a moment forgotten, but are loved faithfully and forever by our great God!

Come with me to that moment in eternity where John is weeping and lamenting that there is no one to open the scroll (Rev 5:4-5-note), writing expectantly “I saw between the throne with the four living creatures and the elders a Lamb standing, AS IF SLAIN, (same verb in Greek of Ex 12:6 describing the perfect lamb Israel was to “slay at twilight”! cf Jn 1:291Co 5:7) (Rev 5:65:912-noteRev 13:8-note). Transported into the future, John saw those scars indelibly inscribed by the nails that once impaled Him to the old rugged Cross, scars that will forever be the brand marks of God’s everlasting covenant, yes, even the scars that bear our names beloved. Inscribed forever. Eternally secure. Precious pictures of passion perfected for His treasured possessions to marvel at throughout eternity. And so the Lamb Who was slain has not forgotten our name, for He cannot forget what is immutably inscribed in the palm of His hands throughout eternity! Spurgeon encourages us to “Look at the nail-print, that is His memorial, His forget-me-not, and by it He says to thee…

Forget thee I will not, I cannot, thy name
Engraved on my heart doth forever remain
The palms of My hands whilst I look on I see
The wounds I received when suffering for thee.

Now come with me and gaze expectantly with eyes of faith at future grace (1Pe 1:13-note), that glorious day in eternity future, when we are seated around the Table of the Lord, celebrating the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. John testifies “Blessed (fully satisfied independent of circumstances) are those who are invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.” (Rev 19:9-note, cf Lk 14:15Lk 13:29Lk 22:28-30Mt 8:11) Now turn to the parable in Luke 12 which records a glorious passage (Lk 12:37-note) that many commentators such as John MacArthur [note] describe as a “remarkable statement (that) pictures Christ, at His return, ministering as a Servant to believers!” Alexander Maclaren has an sermon on this one verse entitled “Servant-Lord.” The esteemed 19th century commentator Johann Bengel called Luke 12:37 the greatest promise in God’s Word, for in it we see a prophetic picture of the Gentle, Humble Jesus, the Servant Lord, condescending to “gird Himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and (He) will come up and wait on them.” (Lk 12:37, cf Jesus girding Himself at His First Coming - Jn 13:4-5) As He gives you the bread, you recall His words to the disciples at the Last Supper: “I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God” (Lk 22:16) and “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” (Mt 26:29Lk 22:18) And as His glorified hands reach out (cf Rev 1:16-17-note) to give you the bread, you see on them the nail-pierced scars, those marks of indelible grace, marks of His eternal covenant (Heb 13:20-note). And then with even greater awe and amazement, you see your name there and you recall His precious promise now made perfect: “I have inscribed you on the palm of My hands.” And you bow humbly in worship and adoration and wonder at the Messiah’s Meekness and Majesty. 

“May our God bring home to you a sense of your safety in Christ Jesus! May He assure you that your name is graven on His hand and whisper in your ear the promise, “Fear not, I am with thee.” Look upon Him, the great Surety of the covenant, as Faithful and True (Rev 19:11-note), and, therefore, bound and engaged to present you, the weakest of the family, with all the chosen race, before the Throne of God (Col 1:22-note2Cor 4:14-noteEp 5:27-note, cf Jude 24); and in such a sweet contemplation you will drink the juice of the spiced wine of the Lord’s pomegranate, and taste the dainty fruits of Paradise. You will have an antepast of the enjoyments which ravish the souls of the perfect saints above, if you can believe with unstaggering faith that “faithful is He Who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” Amen (1Thes 5:24-note) (Spurgeon)

Play “Before the Throne of God Above” by Selah
Note especially the lines
“My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.”

Here is the same Hymn by Shane and Shane

Play Arise, My Soul, Arise – up tempo version by Indelible Grace

Click for many pages of Additional Notes related to Inscribed on His Hands

2014 A Year of Grace

Image
May 2014 be for each of you a “Year of Grace”

G ~ GIFT, the PRINCIPLE of GRACE.

R ~ REDEMPTION, the PURPOSE of GRACE.

~ ACCESS, the PRIVILEGE of GRACE.

C ~ CHARACTER, the PRODUCT of GRACE.

E ~ ETERNAL LIFE, the PROSPECT of GRACE.
(Vance Havner)

May “the GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ and the LOVE of God and the FELLOWSHIP of the Holy Spirit be will you all” in 2014. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Play Robin Mark’s “Year of Grace”

JEHOVAH EZER – Part 2

Help 2
JEHOVAH EZER
 - Part 2 (lengthy post) – Frequent meditation on the great Names of our great God refreshes our memory and recalls to our mind JEHOVAH’S past HELPS and deliverances as David affirms, declaring “When I REMEMBER You on my bed, I MEDITATE on You in the night watches, for You have been my HELP, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.” (Ps 63:6-7). As Spurgeon says “It were well if we oftener read our own diaries, especially noting the hand of JEHOVAH in HELPING us in suffering, want, labour, or dilemma. This is the grand use of memory, to furnish us with proofs of the Lord’s faithfulness, and lead us onward to a growing confidence in Him (cf Ps 71:5). In their time of trouble the children of God return to their Father (cf Isa 44:22). It is according to their new-born nature to seek Him from Whom they came (Ps 24:6). The believing heart is like the needle of a compass: you may turn it round with your finger east and west, but when you withdraw the pressure, it will, beyond all doubt, tremble backward towards its pole. With God the regenerate heart is in its proper position. A mystical force draws the new life towards the Source from whence it came. We may, alas! by the force of temptation or by the demands of business or by an overpowering lethargy, become indifferent to our highest love; but this cannot long continue: we can never rest except in God (Ps 116:7). The winds of trouble blow the dove of our soul back to the Ark (cf Mt 11:28-2-note). Our heart repents of its wanderings when they bring it into a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Then we long after divine refreshments, and cannot be quiet till we have them. Then we cry, “O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Ps 63:1KJV)!” May this be the cry of our heart!

And so in the psalms we see “the winds of trouble repeatedly blow the dove of the writer’s soul back to the Ark”, causing the psalmist to cry out to JEHOVAH EZER for His HELP. May the sense of urgency and importunity seen in the Psalter pattern serve to guide our prayers in our hour of great need. In the following prayers, take time to meditate on our ever present, ever willing Helper, Jehovah Ezer.—”Make haste to HELP me, O Lord, my salvation!…Rise up, be our HELP, and redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness….O God, hasten to deliver me; O LORD, hasten to MY HELP!….But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are MY HELP (Note David’s repeated personal possession ["my Help"] of Jehovah Ezer, an example we all do well to imitate) and my Deliverer; O LORD, do not delay….O give us HELP against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain….HELP, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men….May He send you HELP from the sanctuary, and support you from Zion!…Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to HELP. But Thou, O LORD, be not far off; O Thou my HELP, hasten to my assistance….Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be Thou my HELPER….O God, hasten to deliver me; O LORD, hasten to my HELP!….O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my HELP!….Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me. Make haste, O LORD, to HELP me….O give us HELP against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain (worthless). Through God (Jehovah Ezer) we shall do valiantly, and it is He who will tread down our adversaries….HELP me Jehovah my God. Save me according to Your steadfast love….HELP us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your Name and deliver us and forgive our sins for Your Name’s sake (for the sake of Your reputation)….Let Your hand be ready to HELP me, for I have chosen Your precepts….Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my HELP and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.” Amen! (Ps 38:2244:2670:1,5108:1212:120:222:111930:1040:1360:11-12109:2679:9119:17340:17)

And so we see David crying out “JEHOVAH is my Strength and my Shield. My heart trusts in Him, and I am HELPED (Lxx = boethos).” (Ps 28:7). Recall the picture conveyed by the Greek word boethos (boe = cry + theo = run) which translates the Hebrew word for “HELP”. The picture is of Jehovah Who “makes the clouds His chariot” (Ps 104:3), “Who rides the heavens to our HELP (boethos)” (Dt 33:26), coming to our aid, to assist us upon HEARING THE CRY of our heart. As Spurgeon says Jehovah Ezer “comes riding on the heavens. They who travel on the earth may be stopped by enemies, but He that rides to our HELP upon the heavens cannot be stayed nor even delayed. When Jehovah’s excellency comes flying upon the sky on the wings of the wind, how gloriously are displayed the swiftness, the certainty, and the all-sufficiency of delivering grace. God has ways to HELP us that we dream not of. He has a way in the tempest, and the clouds are the dust of his feet (Nah 1:3). Jehovah has made for Himself a highway, a chariot road along the heavens (Ps 104:3), that His purposes of love may never be hindered. If we will but trust in God, invisible spirits shall fight for us (cf Da 10:13-note), the great wheels of providence shall revolve for our good (cf Ge 50:20), and God the Eternal Himself (Dt 33:27), dressed in robes of war like a valiant Champion (Isa 19:20Jer 20:11), shall come forth to espouse our quarrel. Fall back upon yourselves, lean upon your fellow creatures, trust upon earth-born confidences, and you fall upon a rotten foundation that shall give way beneath you (Jer 17:5Ps 60:11), but rest upon your God (Jehovah Ezer) and upon your God alone, and the stars in heaven shall fight for you, yea, the stars in their courses, and things present and things to come, and heights, and depths, and all the creatures subservient to the will of the omnipotent Creator, shall work together for good to you, seeing that you love God and are depending upon His power (Ro 8:28-note).”

Spurgeon goes on to comment on David’s trust in Ps 28:7 noting that “Heart work is sure work. Heart trust is never disappointed. Faith must come before our cry for HELP, but HELP will never be long behind. Every day the believer may say, “I AM HELPED,” for the divine assistance is granted to us as a favor of His grace every moment. In circumstances when more manifest HELP is needed, we have but to put faith into exercise (and cry out), and HELP will be given us.” Too often I fear (because of pride, failure to call to mind God’s previous “Ebenezer’s-sermon” [Stones of Help -1Sa 7:12], etc) we fail to cry out to Jehovah Ezer, our Helper in our time of need. May God’s Spirit cause each of us to see the greatness of our continual need for His grace, so that we like spiritual paupers might without hesitation “draw near with confidence (cf Ro 5:1-2-note) to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to HELP (boetheia) in time of need (in the nick of time, just when we need it most)!” (Heb 4:16-note)

Again the psalmist cries out “I Will lift up my eyes to the mountains. From whence shall my HELP (boetheia) come? My HELP comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 121:1-2-note) Beloved, from where does your HELP come? Remember that when we are in trouble, what we do to solve our problems and turn our trouble into triumph is evidence of what or in whom we are trusting. When the day of trouble arrives, some reach for their checkbooks, thinking money will solve their problems, while others reach for the telephone, looking to friends to solve their problems. By looking to God, we look away from ourselves and from all others for strength. We need to remember that our HELP comes from the LORD, Jehovah Ezer, and so in times of distress, we make the choice to turn our eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2-note) looking “full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”  (Helen Lemmel) Like the psalmist, we need to elevate our vision above the hills, affirming that our HELP from is not from the hills, but from the heavens, from Jehovah our HELPER. Beloved, whatever our need is today, our best HELP will come from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth. A God mighty enough to create everything with His Word (Heb 11:3-noteJn 1:3Col 1:16-note) and uphold it by His Word (Heb 1:3-noteCol 1:17-note) is mighty enough to send His assuring Word and heal us and rescue us from the “slough of despond” in which we find ourselves trapped (Ps 107:20NET). Mighty is our God Who “raises the poor from the dust, Who lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles and inherit a seat of honor.” (1Sa 2:8)

What storm are you in now? Are your eyes on Jehovah Ezer, the One in control of the storm, the One Who is also your Helper in the midst of the storm? Remember that God does not always spare us from the storm, but is always ready to succor (help) us in and through the storm! May we cry out with the “prayer of the afflicted when he is faint, and pours out his plea: Hear my prayer, O LORD! And let my CRY FOR HELP come to Thee.” (Ps 102:1). Jehovah Ezer “does not forsake His godly ones” (Ps 37:28) for “I have been young, and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” (Ps 37:25) James Smith wisely asks “Fellow-Christian, are you fearful? “Look up” and hear Jesus saying to you, “Do not be afraid—I MYSELF WILL HELP you! (Isa 41:13b)” Are you discouraged? “Look up”—and your youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s (Ps 103:5Isa 40:31-note), and fresh light, comfort, and courage shall be given to you! Are you despondent? “Look up” for Jesus (our Jehovah Ezer) never breaks the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoking flax.” (Isa 42:3Mt 12:20) LOOK UP…for all that you need; from all that you fear; through all that would obstruct your way. Look up every day, saying with David, “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You—and will look up!” (Ps 5:3KJV) Look up in every trial, saying “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence shall my HELP come? My HELP comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and earth!” (Ps 121:1-2-note) Look only, look always, look intently—to Jesus, your Jehovah Ezer! Run looking, work looking, fight looking, suffer looking, live looking, and die looking — to Jesus, Jehovah Ezer. When your out-look is bleak, remember the up-look!

Again the psalmist acknowledges Jehovah Ezer, writing “You (Jehovah) have been the HELPER of the fatherless.” (Ps 10:14) Jehovah Ezer is the ultimate recourse for the helpless, aptly described here as “the fatherless.” Perhaps you feel like your earthly father has forsaken you (mine forsook me when I was less than a year old) leaving you fatherless and, in a sense, an “orphan.” You can know for certain that Jehovah Ezer has never taken His eye off of you, for He is a “A father of the fatherless,” Who “makes a home for the lonely” (Ps 68:5-6) and Who “HELPS (lifts up) the fatherless and the widow.” (Ps 146:9). In Jehovah Ezer, “the orphan finds compassion.” (Hos 14:3) “Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. When our helpers fail and comforts flee, HELP OF THE HELPLESS, O abide with me.” Three weeks after Henry Lyte penned these words, he died of tuberculosis and was freed from his frail body and at home with his Lord (2Cor 5:8-note). His last words as he entered his eternal rest (Rev 14:13) were “Joy! Peace!” D Martyn Lloyd-Jones said it well that “If a philosophy of life cannot help me to die, then in a sense it cannot help me to live!” The British Press reported the following incident related to Lyte’s hymn. A British submarine lay disabled on the ocean floor. After two days, hope of surfacing was abandoned. On orders from the commanding officer the crew began singing the words of the first verse of Abide with Me (the verse above). The officer explained to the men that they did not have long to live. There was no hope of outside help, because the searchers did not know the vessel’s position. Sedatives were distributed to the men to quiet their nerves. One sailor was affected more quickly than the others, and as he swooned, he fell against a piece of equipment and set in motion the submarine’s jammed surfacing mechanism. The submarine went to the surface and made port safely, even as Henry Lyte made it “safely to port!”

In Ps 38:21-22 David cries out “O LORD, do not abandon me. Be not far from me (be near me), O my God. Come quickly to HELP me, O Lord my Savior.” “Is any afflicted? let him thus pray, let him thus plead, let him thus hope, in singing this psalm.” (M. Henry) “Blessed is that wind which drives the ship into the harbor, blessed is that wave which washes the mariner upon the rock of safety, and blessed is that distress which forces a man to rest only in his God (Jehovah Ezer).” (CHS) David closed Psalm 38 with three cries: (1) “Do not abandon me,” which is answered by Dt 31:68 - “The LORD is the One Who goes ahead of you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed.” (2) “Be near me” which finds its answer in Ps 34:18 - “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (3) “Come quickly to HELP me” which is answered with God’s precious promise (2Pe 1:4) in Isa 41:10 - “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, SURELY I WILL HELP YOU, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” David’s three requests cover just about every contingency we might ever encounter! May God grant us grace to pray this prayer (Ps 38:21-22) to Jehovah Ezer, so that our soul might experience His righteous rest and His perfect peace. We can be confident that He always answers our cries for help, for David attests “He does not forget the cry (for help) of the afflicted (needy).” (Ps 9:12) “Our God, our HELP in ages past, Our Hope for years to come, Our Shelter from the stormy blast, And our Eternal Home.” (Isaac Watts)

Prayer to Jehovah Ezer - When faced with great afflictions, tumultuous troubles, overwhelming opposition, we must remember to cry out in humble dependence and childlike faith as did King Asa when faced with a great enemy host arrayed against him. Maclaren rightly notes that Asa’s great “prayer contains the very essence of what ought to be the Christian attitude in reference to all the conditions and threatening dangers and conflicts of life.” In those moments when victory seems humanly impossible, may God’s Spirit grant us the desire and power (Php 2:13NLT-note) to cry out to JEHOVAH EZER, our HELPER, praying like Asa, “Lord, there is no one besides You to HELP the powerless against the mighty. HELP us, O Lord our God, for we rest (rely, trust) in You, and in Your Name (Jehovah Ezer) come against the multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.” (2Chr 14:11) Indeed, as D L Moody said “True faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength.” John Owen adds that “we have no power from God unless we live in the persuasion that we have none of our own.” And so in answer to Asa’s plea from a position (and admission) of weakness, God smote the Ethiopians, and may He do the same to those who come against us to destroy us, so that His great Name might be exalted among the nations.

God, grant us grace to cry out for HELP to JESUS our JEHOVAH EZER. Amen

Play “My Help Cometh From the Lord

Click for in depth study of Jehovah Ezer

Need Help? Lift Your Eyes – Commentary on Psalm 121

JEHOVAH EZER – Part 1

ebenezer
JEHOVAH EZER (Part 1) - This majestic NAME of God is one with which you may not be familiar, but one which is symbolic of a truth repeatedly affirmed in Scripture that JEHOVAH, the Great I Am, is our HELPER now and forever. Amen. And so it is fitting for David to declare “Our HELP (Heb = Ezer) is in the NAME of JEHOVAH, Who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 124:8-note) Indeed Spurgeon affirms that “In all times of danger from men our wisest course is to fly to the LORD our HELPER. He has ways and means for delivering us which we know not of. He can either turn our enemies into friends (cf Pr 16:7) or else so check all their efforts that they shall do us no real injury (Read Ps 27:1-notePs 56:4-notePs 118:6-noteMt 10:28). Blessed are those men whose trust in the (NAME of) Jehovah never wavers (Ps 40:4-notePs 84:12-note).” David is declaring that our HELP is in God’s NAME, a truth even echoed in his prayer “May JEHOVAH answer you in the day of trouble! May the NAME of the God of Jacob SET YOU SECURELY ON HIGH.” (Ps 20:1-note) “Set you securely on high” is one Hebrew word (sagab), which depicts the individual who is in need of HELP choosing to run into the “Strong Tower” of His NAME (Pr 18:10-note), and being lifted up above the waves of affliction. The trials may still be present (they probably are), but the one who is hidden in Christ, hidden safely in the NAME of JEHOVAH EZER, our HELPER, is lifted up above the trials and enabled to view them “supernaturally” (e.g., with a “Ro 8:28-noteJas 1:2-note Perspective”). As Warren Wiersbe says “The safest place in all the world is in the will of God and the safest protection in all the world is the NAME of God. When you know His NAME, you know His nature. His NAMES and titles reveal His nature. They tell us who He is and what He can do. Each name He bears is a blessing He bestows on us.” And so the better we know His name JEHOVAH EZER, the more we will  trust Him when overwhelming trials create in us a sense of our great need for His gracious help. To paraphrase a wise saying, “Look at circumstances and you’ll be distressed. Look at yourself and you’ll be depressed. But look in faith at JEHOVAH EZER and you’ll be blessed.” Indeed, “How blessed is the one whose HELPER (Ezer) is the God of Jacob, whose hope (absolute assurance of future good) is in Jehovah his God.” (Ps 146:5NET-note).

David affirms that “Our soul waits for the LORD our HELP (JEHOVAH EZER) and our Defender. For our heart rejoices in HIM, because we trust in His holy NAME.” (Ps 33:20-21-note) By being willing to WAIT “the godly avow their reliance upon Him (Jehovah Ezer) Whom the Psalm extols. To WAIT is a great lesson (Is 40:31-note). To be quiet in expectation, patient in hope, single in confidence, is one of the bright attainments of a Christian. Our soul, our life, must hang upon God. We are not to trust Him with a few gewgaws (useless things), but with ALL we have and are. He is our HELP and our Shield. Our HELP in labor, our Shield in danger. The Lord answers all things to His people. He is our ALL IN ALL. Note also the three “ours” in Ps 33:20 – these hold-fast words are precious. Personal possession makes the Christian man or woman. All else is mere talk.” (Spurgeon) 

And how can we be so confident? Because “He Himself has said, “’NO, NEVER, I will NOT leave, NO, NEVER forsake you’ (Note the FIVE Greek negatives, immutable truth you can trust!),” so that we may confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER (boethos), I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT SHALL MAN DO TO ME?” (Heb 13:5-6-note, cf Mt 28:20b-note) “As I look at the past, I see that God has cared for me every step of the way. As I look at the present, I know He is with me. As I look to the future, I know He is ahead of me. He surrounds me….No matter how difficult my experiences are, the Lord is on my side. I need not fear the past, present or future or what anybody can do to me, because I fear God (with a sense of reverential awe) God.” (Wiersbe) Indeed, “All you who fear the LORD, trust in JEHOVAH! He is your HELPER (Ezer) and your Shield.” (Ps 115:11NLT-note) Under girded by the truth of our personal possession of the Name JEHOVAH EZER, may His Spirit enable us to “Be strong and courageous, to not fear or be discouraged because of _______(Fill in the name of your adversary &/or affliction), for the One with us is greater than the one with him. He has with him mere human strength, but JEHOVAH our God, Who is our HELPER fights our battles for us!” (2Chr 32:7-8-note) As Adrian Rogers prayed may “the Holy Spirit emblazon upon our heart the truth that “The battle is not ours, but God’s.” (cf 2Chr 20:15,32:81Sa 17:47). Jeremy Taylor adds that “It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his HELPER is omnipotent.”

In Hebrews 2:18, the writer uses the Greek noun “boethos” translated HELPER, which is the same word used above in the Greek translation (Lxx) of HELP (Ezer) in Ps 33:20-note. The writer of Hebrews encourages the tried, suffering saints with the truth that “since (Jesus) Himself was tempted (tested by trials) in that which He has suffered, He is continuously able to COME TO THE AID of those who are continually being tempted (tested).” (Heb 2:18-note). “Come to the aid” is a single Greek verb boetheia (related to boethos), and is derived from boe = to cry out and théo = to run. Can you envision the picture? While Jesus, JEHOVAH EZER, is always with us, when does He come to our HELP according to Heb 2:18? When we CRY OUT! Recall Peter’s “walking on and sinking in water episode,” prompting him to cry out “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him.” (Mt 14:30-31-note) Indeed, JEHOVAH EZER is always near, ever ready as our “Refuge and strength, a very PRESENT HELPER (Lxx = boethos) in trouble (“tight places)” (Ps 46:1-note). And so we can confidently sing “A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our HELPER He amid the flood, Of mortal ills prevailing.” (Martin Luther’s Mighty Fortress)

“The LORD is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted in Him, and I am HELPED; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” (Ps 28:7NKJV-note) Notice the growth “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2Pe 3:18-note), proceeding from “trusted” (past tense), to “am helped…rejoices” (present tense), culminating in “praise” to Him (future tense). Indeed, the pattern is “Supplicating, seeing, singing.” (Phillips) Notice that based on past experiences with God, David resolved to trust in JEHOVAH EZER, his “Hiding Place,” and was filled with “songs of deliverance.” (Ps 32:7-note) John Phillips reminds us that none of us “live our Christian lives in a vacuum. Where we are today is the result of where we were yesterday; where we will be tomorrow is being determined by where we are today.” Samuel modeled this timeless truth when he “took a large stone (Heb = ‘eben) and set it between the towns of Mizpah and Shen, and named it EBENEZER  (literally “Stone of Help”)” testifying “Up to this point JEHOVAH has HELPED us (Lxx = verb boetheia ~ “run to our aid upon hearing our cry”).(1Sa 7:12-note) Beloved, may the Spirit enable all of us to ever sing these triumphant words “Here I raise my EBENEZER. Hither by Thy great HELP I’ve come. And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at Home.” (Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson)

Beloved, given our natural propensity to forgetfulness, I would encourage you to keep a journal of Jehovah’s “Ebenezer memorials” in your life, so that when the fiery trial “comes upon you for your testing” (1Pe 4:12-note), you might be able to quickly recall JEHOVAH EZER’S past deliverances “in times of trouble.” (Ps 41:1NIV-note), and be enabled by the Spirit to “stand firm in the faith; be men (and women) of courage; be strong.” (1Cor 16:13NIV), fully confident that “after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace (cf JEHOVAH EZER), Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1Pe 5:10-note). Indeed, JEHOVAH EZER is trustworthy, for “His lovingkindness (unfailing love) is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations.” (Ps 100:5-note)

Click for more in depth study of Jehovah Ezer
Jehovah Ezer – Part 2 Post to follow 

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my EBENEZER;
Here by Thy great HELP I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

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