What’s Your One Thing

Mark 10:21

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”  So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”  And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”  Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”  But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

This young man was clearly following the teachings of the Law.  Jesus said he only lacked one thing.  Think of that – Jesus looking at your life and saying there was only one thing lacking in your walk with Him.  Just one thing separated this young man from possessing eternal life.  Just one thing. Yet it was something he was not willing to give up – not even for eternal life.  

For him it was his riches.  Perhaps he was afraid if he gave up all he owned he would be homeless and without any way to meet his daily needs.  Perhaps he was proud of all he had achieved and was afraid without his possessions he would be a nobody.  His very identity or sense of worth was in what his possessions.  

Whatever the reason, he was not willing to sell his what he had and give to the poor.  Possibly the rest of that statement of Jesus was too much also.  To take up the cross.  The cross was the symbol of shame and death.  For him, it was too much to ask.

Trusting in our riches, our possessions is a dangerous thing for any of us.  It is hard to trust in riches and rely upon God alone.  Paul warned Timothy of this danger.

1 Timothy 6:9-12 – But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 – Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.  Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,  storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

One thing

  • What is the one thing that may keep you from fully surrendering to God?
  • What is the one thing you are not willing to give up?
  • What is the one thing you treasure over eternal life?

Jesus asked a very important question:

Mark 8:36-37 – “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Who is God?

Revelation 1:8

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

  • The word used for “God” in chapter 1 of Genesis is “Elohim.” 

            “This verse is His signature, as if to suggest that the book holy men would write under His

            inspiration would be His book.  Just as the author’s name is stamped on the cover of the

            book that he has written, so God’s name is stamped at the beginning declaring Him to be

            the author…….Lockyer         

Elohim appears in Old Testament about 3,000 times.

  • Jehovah – “the self-existing One,” “I AM.” – LORD

Jehovah appears in Old Testament over 7,000 times.

This name was so sacred, the Jews would not say it.  This name was only whispered by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies once a year – on the Day of the Atonement.

  • When Jesus tells John He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  He is trying to tell us He alone is
  • God
  • Savior
  • Preserver, Healer
  • Provider
  • Peace
  • Comforter
  • Rock, Fortress
  • All-sufficient one
  • Lord of Lords and King of Kings

No wonder Isaiah wrote:

Isaiah 6:3 – Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.  The whole earth is full of His glory.

  • God’s Word tells us to

Jeremiah 33:3 – Call to Me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know.

Isaiah 41:4 – Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?  ‘I, the Lord, am the first; and with the last I am He.’”

Jeremiah 32:27 – Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

Deuteronomy 32:39 – Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive;

I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.

Isaiah 45:5 – I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.

Isaiah 43:11 – I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior.

WHAT A MGHTY GOD WE SERVE!!!!!!

Names of God – Jehovah Rophe

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jehovah Rophe –The Lord Who Heals You

Exodus 15:22-26 – So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.  There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”

At the Red Sea, Israel witnessed God’s incredible destruction of the Egyptian army.  The Israelites rejoiced in this victory, playing their instruments, dancing and singing, “I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously!  The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!”

Immediately after this miraculous deliverance, Israel began a journey into the desert toward the Promised Land.  In three days’ time they covered some forty miles…yet they quickly realized they had been going in circles.  To their dismay, they had progressed only about twelve miles from where they had started.  To make matters worse, they found no water.  After two days in the desert, the supply they had brought with them was gone.  In this brief amount of time, they descended from the heights of praise and ecstasy to the depths of despair.  How easy it is to forget some great victory when something goes wrong!

Then someone spotted a body of water ahead.  You can imagine the stampede that took place to get to it.  I can see the fastest and healthiest Israelites arriving first, quickly dunking their faces into the water, taking in big gulps.  A few seconds later, however, they are spewing the water from their mouths.  They cry, “This water is bitter, undrinkable.  Do not swallow it – it’s full of poison.”

The people trailing behind them do not believe their claim.  They also quickly drink in big gulps.  But soon they are spewing out the bitter water too.  Scripture says, in Exodus 15:23 – “Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.”

Isn’t it amazing how Christians will not listen to warnings of other Christians?  They have got to find out for themselves.

What did God’s people do (yes, God’s people) in this situation? 

Exodus 15:24 – And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”

The very same people of God who had rejoiced in the Lord’s glory just days earlier were now murmuring and complaining against Him. 

These people had seen God perform awesome miracles on their behalf in Egypt.  First, the Lord supernaturally protected them, while all around them he devastated Egypt with plagues.  Then, as they made their way toward the wilderness, God delivered them with the greatest miracle ever witnessed by man; the opening of the Red Sea with giant waves piled high, held back by incredibly strong winds.

In my mind, God provided an even greater wonder.  He removed all sense of reason from the Egyptian army.  Who but a supernaturally blinded army would rush in under such great walls of water?  Any sensible soldier would have seen this wonder and thought, “Wait a minute, this is supernatural.  Only God could do this.  The same God who sent the plagues.  Everybody else can move ahead if they want to, but I’m not going anywhere.”  Yet the entire Egyptian army proceeded and was destroyed. 

Do we ever forget God’s supernatural warnings and march right into trouble?  Then we cry out, “God, why are you doing this to me?”  If we could hear Him, He might be saying, “Hey, you did this to yourself.”  But He still continues to love us anyway in spite of our continued stupidity, in spite of continued stubbornness, in spite of our continued neglect to obey Him.

I ask you, how could any Israelite ever doubt God again, after witnessing such a miracle?  Here’s how:  As soon as the Israelites grew thirsty in the desert, they forgot all about God’s awesome miracles on their behalf.  It took them less than three days to begin to doubt Him.  How long does it take us?  Do we really know our heavenly Father’s nature?  Did He not say, “I will never leave you nor forsake you?”

This is why so many believers rush all over the world looking for signs, miracles, and deliverances.  They are trying to get to know God through supernatural works and wonders.  But nobody truly gets to know the Lord that way.  The apostle Paul tells us in no uncertain terms that faith does not come through witnessing supernatural works or miracles, but through God’s word. 

Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

You may ask, “What is the specific word that produces faith?  It is the word that reveals who our heavenly Father is.  This is how we discover who He is – by seeing and believing for ourselves who He claims to be.  This occurs most often as God meets us in our trials. 

You may wonder, why did God lead the Israelites directly to the waters of bitterness at Marah?  Why did He just not take care of them as He had at the Red Sea?  He took control of an entire sea of water for them so clearly He could have easily changed the waters at Marah as well.  Why did He not do that?

The Lord had brought His people to Marah in order to deal with them.  He was about to begin building His wilderness church.  But He could not begin that work because the camp was filled with a deadly disease, infecting virtually everyone.  What was this disease?  The Hebrew root word for Marah means “corruption of bitterness.”  A spirit of bitterness had spread throughout Israel and it had to be dealt with.

Try to picture the scene at Marah, as the people spewed out the bitter water.  They must have been utterly confused, trying to figure out why God’s blessing and favor had disappeared from them so quickly.  They may even have tried to worship the Lord, but they could not muster up the spirit to do it.  They were unable to quench their thirst, physically or spiritually, no matter how hard they tried.

This is what bitterness does to people.  It brings on confusion, a sense of God’s disfavor, and an inability to worship.  God is trying to warn us about the deadly disease and consequences of an embittered heart. 

Most bitterness among believers can be traced back to a disappointment with God.  Most Christians who are bitter have experienced a deep disappointment with the Lord.  A time of crisis, marriage problems, family upheaval, a financial struggle, a tragic illness slowly draining the life of a loved one.  You were in need, hurting, crying out to God for help, believing for a miracle, doing the best you knew how.  But the Lord didn’t seem to be here for you.  Your trial dragged on, and over time things just got worse.

After a while you begin to wonder, “How could God allow this to go on?  I’ve loved Him, believed Him, and prayed to Him.  But nothing seems to change.”  You did not dare allow yourself to get angry at the Lord.  You made sure you did not do anything to cut yourself off from Him.  But deep down, you were disappointed.  Soon, a seed of bitterness took root in your heart.  Over time that root sprang up and blossomed.  Now it continues to grow and spread in your soul.

Childhood wounds can fester into roots of bitterness.  Certain traumas – abuse, molestation, abandonment – all leave their marks deep inside.  They often leave a trail of bitterness and unforgiveness in their victim’s lives.

Here is what I find most amazing about this passage.  The Lord could have wiped out Israel at Marah.  God had given these people incredible, undeniable miracles of deliverance.  Yet, all through the supernatural plagues and the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, they continued to cling to doubt, fear and unbelief.  First, they did not believe Moses, the Lord’s servant.  Then they constantly questioned whether God was with them, behaving at every turn as if He had forsaken them.  When they got to Marah, God directed Moses to cut down a tree and cast it into the bitter waters.  Then Exodues 15:25 tells us:

So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.

When we look to the tree – Calvary – life is no longer bitter.  We see once more that our God comes to us in our crises and failures, bringing us into a new discovery of who He is and giving us another revelation of His loving kindness.

It is at Marah that we discover Jehovah Rophe – “the Lord who heals you.”  The root word for heal here means “to fix or mend.”  God told Israel,

Exodus 15:26 – If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.

The Lord is telling His people here, “I am a God who wants to heal your diseases, to mend you completely – body, soul and spirit.  I want you to know Me!

What do you need to be healed of?  A trial, a difficulty.  Are you angry at society or certain individuals?  Do you have an unforgiving spirit toward someone who has hurt you?

What is the most important healing to receive – physical or spiritual?  What purpose is there in being healed of bodily sickness if we are not supernaturally healed of our bitterness, resentment and pride? 

Even if you harbor bitterness in your heart, you are still the Lord’s possession.  He is offering you total healing. He has revealed Himself to you as Jehovah Rophe – your healer and mender.  He is waiting for you to trust Him.  He longs to restore you to a clear conscience, to good physical health, to His divine peace and favor.  He stands waiting for you now, wanting to forgive you, cleanse you and give you a new heart.  Your physical healing is included, but the healing of your spirit must come first. 

Just cry out to God:  “Lord, I’ve carried this bitterness for too long.  Now I know it’s time for me to be delivered.  I want to be free.”  He will take it the rest of the way.

“I am the God who heals you.”

Names of God – God All Powerful and All Sufficient

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

EL SHADDAI – God All Powerful and All Sufficient

This name for God is used seven times in the Old Testament.  The first usage is in Genesis 17:1

Genesis 15:1-6 – After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”  But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”  And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”  Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”  And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 17:1 – When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.

Abram (Abraham) – “I know Lord, you are El Elyon, the Creator and Possessor of all things.  So where is my child?  Where is the one to be born in my house from out of my loins?  You told me I would be the father of many nations.  Well, I’m getting old God.  I’m still childless after all these years.”

Years before Abram had been confronted with another crisis.  After years of trying Sarah was still unable to have children.  At that point Abram gave up waiting on God and took matters into His own hands.  He had a child by Hagar, Sarah’s maid. 

Abram thought he was helping God out but it only caused problems.  He hoped the child by Hagar would be the promised heir to Abram.   He was not in God’s eyes.  This child was illegitimate because he was not the child of faith and promise.  The Lord told Abram “this shall not be your heir.”

  • Any time you began to doubt the promise God gave you – you are headed for trouble.
  • Any time you take matters out of God’s hands and do your own planning, you are in trouble.
  • Any time you try to get ahead of God, you are asking for trouble.
  • An illegitimate answer to your dilemma as a result of your manipulation of the situation will result in calamity.

Descendants of Hagar and Abram – the Arabs/Palestinians.  Abram’s solution to God’s promise is still causing problems today.

  • Short cuts do not work
  • Your answers are not always the right answers

There was no sign that Sarah would ever bear a child.  And Abram was just getting older.  By the time Ishmael turned thirteen, Abram was ninety-nine years sold.  This man had to be on the verge of losing all hope that God’s promise would ever be fulfilled.  Once again, his faith was being tried.

Scripture makes a point here to everyone who has chosen to follow Jesus.  It says that God uses our crises…the most difficult, trying times in our lives…to give us hopeful revelations of who he is.  Each revelation is like a separate beam reflecting out of a diamond.  It reveals a different aspect of our Lord’s nature, giving us fresh views of his character and power toward us.

As Abram faced yet another crisis, the Lord decided once again to give his servant a fresh revelation of Himself.  He wanted Abram to be fully persuaded of His faithfulness.  So, scripture says, “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before Me and be blameless.”

El is another name that is translated as “God” and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God’s character. Another word much like Shaddai, and from which many believe it derived, is shad meaning “breast” in Hebrew (some other scholars believe that the name is derived from an Akkadian word Šadu, meaning “mountain,” suggesting strength and power). This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child. Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, He is our sustainer.  What an incredible revelation for Abram to receive at this time.  God was speaking very personally to his servant here, saying,

“Abram, you already know I have power over every condition in your life.  I’ve convinced you that I’m in control of all things…that there are no accidents in your life, no situations that are merely fate or luck.  I am the head, the chief, the boss of all creation…and my word is eternal.  Now I’m going to tell you something else about my nature that you need to understand to continue in faith.

“I am not only in control of all things…but I also keep my word.  No obstacle can keep my word from coming to pass.  I’m not bound by the laws of nature or fettered by any man.  I can do anything at any time.  There are no mountains too high for me, no valleys too low, no rivers or oceans too wide.  I’m supreme above the power of all nature, men and devils.  When I say something is going to be done, it’s already done.  Nothing can keep my promise.  I am El Shaddai…all-powerful, all-sufficient keeper of my promises.  I guarantee my word.”

God saw that Abram was focusing on all the impossibilities of his situation.  Abram simply could not see past his age, his dried up body, Sarah’s dead womb.  So the Lord specifically revealed Himself to Abram as the God who gives life to the dead.  He opened Abram’s eyes to the part of His nature that performs the impossible, that calls into existence things thought to be non-existent.

Once Abram received this revelation, he believed God was who He claimed to be.  And, afterward,

Romans 4:20-21 – He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

This godly man knew that God could not lie.  The Lord had sworn to make him a father of all nations.  Surely God would do what He said He would do.

Abram’s newfound faith eventually brought forth the child of promise.  Your faith in God who always keeps His word will cause you to see the promises of God.

May God help us to discover the secret that Abraham knew about walking uprightly before the Lord.  Here is the secret to a godly walk; we are to receive…to acknowledge, believe, embrace and act upon…the revelation God gives us of who He is.  That is the secret, plain and simple.  We are able to walk uprightly before the Lord…not because we have willpower, knowledge, or even a covenant promise in hand; we walk uprightly because we are fully persuaded that El Shaddai will keep His promises to us.

Are you fully persuaded?

Names of God – El Elyon

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

EL ELYON – God Most High

A name of God used in a number of OT books but especially in Genesis and the Psalms.   

 It first is used in Genesis 14.

Genesis 14:10-20 – Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains. Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.  Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.  And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.  Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:  “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”  And he gave him a tithe of all.

How is that God always reveals Himself mightily in our distress, in times of trials, in times of hardship or sickness?

Let me say this:

  • I am not always happy and content in times of distress.
  • I am not always happy and content in times of trial.
  • I am not always happy and content in times of hardship
  • But I sure do love it when God shows Himself great and mighty.

Let’s face it – we grow most in difficult times.  Let us take a closer look at what has happened in the passage we just read in Genesis.

Background in chapter 13 shows that Lot and Abraham separated because of strife…strife will lead to separation, but often separation will lead to a greater problem. 

Verses 11-18 in chapter 13 show us how quickly living in close proximity to sin will put in danger.  Stay away from sin; as far away as possible.

God had just given Abraham a great promise and Abraham worshipped God.  If and when God gives you a great promise, it will cause you to want to worship Him.  Well, that is what Abraham did.

All of heaven is yours, eternal life is yours, ruling and reigning with Christ is yours, reunited with loved ones is yours in heaven.  But, as great as all that is and will be, kneeling at the feet of Christ our Savior will be the greatest experience yet.  So worship Him now.  Why wait until you get there?  We can be rejoicing on our journey.

Chapter 14 tells us about a war between several different city states; four kings against five.  Sodom and Gomorrah and three smaller kingdoms lost the battle.  Some were captured.  Some killed.  The people ran for their lives.  The victors took the spoils of war and went their way.  They also took Abraham’s nephew, Lot, and departed.  At the time of this war Lot was living in Sodom.  Remember, this all started back when Lot and Abraham and their workers and families could not get along.  Strife of any kind causes division; between individuals, families, clubs, nations, and worse yet, churches.

At one point, Lot was only in close proximity of Sodom…now he is in Sodom.  He first looked toward Sodom and thought it would looked like a pleasant and pleasing place.  Then he moved in that direction.  Finally we find him sitting in the gates of the city along with the leaders of the community.  There is a logical and sure progression to falling into sin.  You do not just wake up one morning and decide to sin that day.  Something proceeds your fall.

Abraham went after and won the release of his nephew all the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and all the spoils of war with only 318 trained servants.  It appears guerilla tactics at night were used.

Note this:  Abraham and his 318 servants defeated the men of the four cities.  Some of Abraham’s men pursued their enemies as far as Damascus, nearly 150 miles north.  When you are on God’s side, do things God’s way, and have the blessings of God on your life, God will give you the victory.  You may be outnumbered, but God will see you through.  Why did God allow Abraham to rescue Sodom and Gomorrah, very sinful cities, when He was going to destroy it later?

You know the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.  If those people had been allowed to become captives and remained in the city states they had been captured by, they would have spread their sin.  God used Abraham to bring them back to one location and later destroyed the cities.

In Abraham’s return from battle he was met by two kings, the king of Sodom and he king of Salem (later renamed Jerusalem).

In the first part of chapter 12 Abraham had been blessed by God; now he is blessed by Melchizedek, the king/priest of the Most High God.  This dual title and description is a type of Christ.  As priest, Melchizedek served Abraham a covenant meal of bread and wine and blessed him.  He then told Abraham God was just not God…He is the “God Most High”  He is the Creator of the universe.  Everything belongs to Him – all the wealth, cattle, and possessions.  He is in control of everything you see around you.  In the Hebrew He is El Elyon which means “God Most High, Creator and Possessor of Heaven and Earth.”  WOW, what a title!

After this blessing, the King of Sodom, who had fled the battlefield in the face of war told Abraham, “Just give me my people, and keep the spoils.”  Abraham’s response was “El Elyon is my God…I don’t need your possessions.  I’ve got all the promises of God”

We do not need the possessions of the world has to offer.  We have the promises of God.

In verses 22-23 Abraham said, “I want nothing from you.  I have raised my hand to the Lord God Most High…I’m on His side…nothing you have to offer is going to influence me…I won’t settle for second best.”  Abraham was convinced.

We must be convinced that God is on our side and He can and will supply our every need.

Never accept, even if it looks good to the eye, even if it looks good to the touch, even if it is flattering…never accept what Satan has to offer.  God’s promises are so much better.

God Most High or LORD Most High means there is no idol, god, or created being that should be worshiped or exalted over the Lord because He is superior in every way.

In the New Testament we see that Jesus has been given this place of honor.

Philippians 2:9-11 – Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Names of God – Jehovah Shalom

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jehovah Shalom – The Lord Our Peace

Judges 6:22-24 – Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.”  Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Judges 6:11-16 – Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”  Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”  Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”  So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”  And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

Gideon questioned:  “If the Lord is with us, why?”

Do we not often question God?  Why has all this happened?  Why am I going through this?

  • In the midst of the struggle He will be with you – He will be your peace
  • In the midst of the testing, He will be with you – He will be your peace
  • In the midst of the turmoil, heartache, loss, bereavement, loneliness, pain, sickness, He will be with you – He is your peace!

It is only in times of struggle, turmoil, hurt, defeat, that we truly know His peace.  (If everything was always great, if nothing went wrong, you would not know His peace because you would not have known pain and sorrow.)  Could the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, the Queen of England ever know poverty?  They have everything they want at the slightest whim.  How can they really measure wealth?  They have known nothing else.

The reason for the Israelites’ affliction by the Midianites can be found in Judges.

Judges 2:1-5 – Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’” So it was, when the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept.  Then they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to the Lord.

Their affliction was due to their lack of obedience to do what God told them to do.  They had idolatry to continue in the land they had been promised.

Gideon was being prepared to exercise obedience.  God saw in him a desire to do what was right.  God used him to destroy idolatry.

Judges 6:25-26 – Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.”

When you are going through a time of trouble ask yourself:

  • What is God trying to prepare me for?
  • What is God trying to show me?
  • What can I learn from this experience?

He will be your peace.  This “Prince of Peace” will be your peace.

Ephesians 2:14-15 – For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

John 14:27- Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 – Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Psalm 4:8 – I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Instead of counting sheep, talk to the shepherd.

1 Corinthians 7:15 – Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.

Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Names of God – The Lord is My Shepherd

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jehovah Rohi – The Lord is My Shepherd

 Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. 

This renowned Psalm was written by King David, and its most famous passage is contained in the opening verse:  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

In this brief verse, David gives us yet another reflection of the Lord’s character and nature.  David continues to develop this idea of the Lord as shepherd throughout the rest of the Psalm.  In the next verse, he writes, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters.

What an idyllic picture.  As we read this verse, we envision a flock of fleecy, white sheep, dotting a tranquil, green landscape.  These well-fed creatures graze on the plentiful grass surrounding them in a vast pasture.  Or, they lie about on a lush, green carpet of grass, napping peacefully.  Overhead, the sun is shining brightly.  On the nearby hillside, a grove of tall, leafy trees blow gently in the breeze.  Down below, a beautiful woods is reflect in a pool of cool, clear water.

The whole scene seems so pleasant, peaceful and carefree.  Not a creature in sight has a care in the world.  Why?  Sitting on the plush grass of the gently sloping hillside, overseeing all that goes on below, is a shepherd.  This shepherd is a picture of calm.  He spends his time meditating on the Lord’s blessings.  Occasionally, he gazes out at his flock to make sure all is well.  The shepherd does not hear a single cry or sigh from the peaceful fold in his care.  Instead, he sees below him a contented flock of rested, satisfied sheep, creatures who fully enjoy their peaceful surroundings.

I ask you, what is wrong with this picture?  Simply this:  life is nothing like this image of idyllic existence.  It is my sincere belief that this tranquil picture is not the image David intended to put forth in Psalm 23 – not at all.

The truth is, even the saintliest of God’s people are a motley bunch.  With that in mind, I want to paint for you another picture of the sheepfold David describes here.  Sheep are lying about in green grass beside still waters.  But, according to Isaiah, this flock includes lambs that are frail, weak and unsteady.  Some are barely able to walk.  Others are in deep pain.  A few are pregnant.  Still others have to nurse their restless young.

Isaiah 40:11 – He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.

Isaiah is speaking here of Jesus Christ, our Jehovah Rohi.  Our Lord Jesus is our shepherd.  He came not to tend just healthy, strong sheep, but also those who are sick, broken, diseased and weak.

God condemned Israel’s ministers because they did not fulfill this role for the sheep under their care.  This aspect of ministry was so important in the Lord’s eyes, He spoke His displeasure through every major prophet.

Ezekiel 34:4 – The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.

Ezekiel 34:6 – My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.

Jeremiah 50:6 – My people have been lost sheep.  Their shepherds have led them astray; they have turned them away on the mountains.  They have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place.

Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray.

Note the last verse.  Who is Isaiah talking about here?  He is talking about you, about me, about every person who belongs in the Lord’s sheepfold.  Do not think the prophet is exaggerating for effect.  Mark it down:  every sheep in the shepherd’s fold has gone astray.  Yet, each of us is still in the fold, because our gracious, merciful, loving shepherd has come after us and found us.

Just look around you for a moment at all the sheep you know in the church of Jesus Christ.  What kind of flock are you?  Are you all lying down in green pastures, drinking pure, cool water?  Are you all perfectly contented, healthy, happy, and peaceful?

No way!  You have in your midst believers who keep stumbling and falling.  At times you wonder if they are ever going to be strong enough to walk straight.

Others among us are sick and diseased.  They have drunk polluted water from the well of some false shepherd.  Still others are walking about wounded.  Some were crippled by a bleeding hind leg their shepherd had to pull out of the lion’s mouth.  Others were crippled by bad habits and lust.  Still others among us are naked.  They have been shorn or fleeced by false shepherds. 

All these sick, broken sheep have been brought back to the fold by the shepherd Himself.  Some were so maimed, disabled, hurt and disoriented, Jesus had to put them on His shoulders and carry them all the way back to the flock.

That’s the role of our great shepherd.  Scripture describes this wonderful trait of our Lord even more clearly.

Ezekiel 34:11 – For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.

The sheep Ezekiel describes here obviously have wandered away.  Yet the Lord still calls them His sheep.  He willingly goes after them.

Ezekiel 34:12 – As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.

Ezekiel is speaking here of sheep who have been through troubled times.

Ezekiel 34:16 – I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.

Ezekiel 34:22-23 – therefore I will save My flock, and they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—my servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd.

Once again, God speaks clearly about setting up one true shepherd to watch over His people.  Of course, he is referring to Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the good shepherd who promises to feed His flock.

Names of God – Jehovah Makkeh

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jehovah Makkeh – The Lord Who Smites

Ezekiel 7:1-13 – Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:  ‘An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.  Now the end has come upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations.  My eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity; but I will repay your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst; then you shall know that I am the Lord!’  “Thus says the Lord God:  ‘A disaster, a singular disaster; Behold, it has come!  An end has come, the end has come; it has dawned for you;
Behold, it has come!  Doom has come to you, you who dwell in the land; the time has come, a day of trouble is near, and not of rejoicing in the mountains.  Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations.  ‘My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will repay you according to your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst.  Then you shall know that I am the Lord who strikes.  ‘Behold, the day! Behold, it has come! Doom has gone out; the rod has blossomed, pride has budded.  Violence has risen up into a rod of wickedness; none of them shall remain, none of their multitude, none of them; nor shall there be wailing for them.  The time has come, the day draws near.  ‘Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is on their whole multitude.  For the seller shall not return to what has been sold, though he may still be alive; for the vision concerns the whole multitude, and it shall not turn back; no one will strengthen himself who lives in iniquity.

Our God, God of love, longsuffering and merciful is also a jealous God.  The Lord who smites.  Smite here means to strike.  An example today would be a blow with the hand/fist or a weapon.

Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.

God corrects, disciplines His children to draw them closer to Him. 

Hebrews 12:5-11 – And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

  • Judgment pronounced/carried out on individuals, families, nations
    • Flood
    • Children of Israel
    • Korah and his followers (Numbers 16)
  • Judgment carried out on Jesus Christ

All of these judgments were a result of sin, but not just sin.  It was continued, open rebellion against God.

Romans 1 – entire chapter speaks of rebellion and God’s judgment.

Genesis 6:13 – And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

And this was just the beginning of time.  How do we cope with this human weakness to sin?

Galatians 5:16 – I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Matthew 26:41 – Watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation.  

James 4:7 – Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 6:10-17 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Judgment is coming.  God is sending His son to redeem the church.  We must be obedient.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

There is coming a day when the judgment of the Lord will be poured out upon the earth.  There is only one escape – Jesus!

Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Names of God – His Name is Forgiveness

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

My Name is Forgiveness

Micah 7:18-19 – Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?  He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.  He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities.  You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Nehemiah 9:17 – …But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them.

Psalm 130:1-4 – Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!  Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.  If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.

Psalm 86:5 – For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Quote of David Wilkerson – “Discovering the Lord as a God who forgives is the only way out of all our depths of despair, all the casting down of our souls brought on by guilt and condemnation.”

No hope – no hope – no hope – but then the shadow of a cross appeared.  The sun grew dark with misery, the moon was cold and chill.  But then the shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill.

  • Without Christ – hopeless eternity        
  • With Christ – eternal hope

A perverted concept of forgiveness is prevalent in the world today.

  • We recognize that God is good
  • We recognize that God is merciful
  • We recognize that God is longsuffering
  • We recognize that God forgives all sin

BUT

  • ·         There is no repentance
  • There is no change of heart
  • There is no attitude change

We feel sorry for the moment because we do not want God’s judgment and we do not want to go to hell, but we do not really change our way of living.

Isaiah 55:7 – Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord,
and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin is seen throughout the Bible.

  • God killed animals to made clothes for Adam and Eve
  • Abel sacrificed
  • Abraham – the ram caught in the bushes
  • The sacrifices in the Old Testament revealed God’s nature of forgiveness
  • John 3:16 reinforced it
  • Jesus’ fulfillment of that promise completed the work

Hebrews 10:18 – And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

God’s continued call to repentance from beginning to end is proof that there is forgiveness in His name.  There is forgiveness through His blood.

Names of God – Jehovah Nissi

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jehovah Nissi – The Lord our Banner

Exodus 17:8-16 – Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

  • Rod of God – Moses stood on top of the hill with the rod of God.  This was a simple shepherd’s crook.  This was the one that in Egypt Moses threw on the ground and it became a snake.  It was a symbol of the cross on top of the hill Calvary.
  • Three men – Moses, Aaron, Hur – symbolic of Christ and the two thieves on the cross.
  • When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed in battle.  When we lift up the Lord in prayer, we will prevail.  John 12:32 – And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  When we slack off in prayer, the enemy begins to prevail.
  • Moses’ hands became heavy so he sat down.  Aaron and Hur supported his hands.  In the garden, Jesus was weary in prayer.  James, John and Peter could not watch even one hour.  Sometimes we need to have help and support in prayer by others when we become weary with care.  Sometimes we need to help and support others when they become weary with care.
  • Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is Our Banner – Isaiah 59:19 says “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”  That standard is Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is Our Banner.  USA has a standard – we pledge allegiance to it.  Jesus is our standard – Jehovah Nissi.
  • Moses built an altar – praised and worshipped God.  When we are victorious, we should want to praise and worship the Lord also.
  • The enemy in this passage was Amalek – symbolic of Satan, of Satan’s hostility toward God and every Christian who walks with God.
  • God declared “I will utterly destroy – blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”  In the meantime, Amalek was a thorn in the flesh of Israel.  This constant battle with Amalek also represents the spiritual war we fight with Satan even today.  Satan is hostile toward you if you belong to Jesus.  But remember – Jehovah Nissi – the Lord’s Banner will prevail.  Satan will ultimately be destroyed. 

Amalek was the grandson of Esau, Jacob’s brother.  Esau was a despiser of holy things.  He sold his birthright (Genesis 25). 

  • God despised Esau because of his wickedness. 

Malachi 1:3-4 – But Esau I have hated, and laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness.  Even though Edom has said, “We have been impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places,” thus says the Lord of hosts:  “They may build, but I will throw down; they shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, and the people against whom the Lord will have indignation forever.”

  • Why did Amalek constantly come against Israel?  To destroy the seed that would produce Christ.  Satan is against things holy.  But the Lord – Jehovah Nissi – our banner over us, our standard bearer, is with us.
  • We see conflict again with Amalek when God pronounced judgment on Israel for not wanting to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14).  This was a spiritual low for Israel, a time of doubt, not claiming God’s promises.  When we turn our faces from God, Satan comes after us too.  No more banner of protection.  We have turned our backs on God; we do not have His protection.  You need to walk under the banner and protection of the Lord.  He is your only hope.

Next time we see Amalek is when Saul refused to kill Agag, the Amalekite’s king (1 Samuel 15).  Samuel took a sword and killing Agag himself saying,

1 Samuel 15:22 – to obey is better than sacrifice.

Later David battled the Amalekites.  Still later, Hezekiah also battled them.  You see, Satan never gives up, but God’s standard is lifted high for those who choose to follow the Lord in obedience.

Haman, in Queen Esther’s day, was a descendent of Agag.  What was his role?  He wanted to destroy all the Jews, all of Israel.  Again, an attempt to destroy the “seed” Christ Jesus.  Did he succeed?

NO!  The banner, the standard of God prevailed.  Queen Esther made the statement, “Who knows if I have come to the throne for such a time as this?”  She lifted the standard high and God prevailed.

1 Peter 5: 8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Why did Israel have constant problems with Amalek?  Because they continued to sin, to do their own thing.

1 Corinthians 10:11 – Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Paul is telling us “all the wars, the battles, the conflicts happened to Israel for our instruction.  In other words, follow the standard, swear allegiance to the banner – Jehovah Nissi (Christ Jesus). Make up your mind to serve and trust God.  God will win the battle for you.  You have no need to fight – the battle is not yours, but the Lord’s.

Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Stay rallied around the banner, the cross, the standard that will prevail.  He is faithful that promised.

Zechariah 3:7 – Thus says the Lord of hosts:  “If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My command,

then you shall also judge My house, and likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk

among these who stand here.”