Cantarea Cantarilor in imagini si in cantec, o parabola a dragostei noastre pentru Hristos

Cantarea Cantarilor 3:1-2

Am căutat noaptea, în aşternutul meu, am căutat pe iubitul inimii mele; l-am căutat, dar nu l-am găsit…
M’am sculat, atunci, şi am cutreierat cetatea, uliţele şi pieţele; şi am căutat pe iubitul inimii mele… L-am căutat, dar nu l-am găsit!

Cantarea Cantarilor 5:1-9, 15-16

Eu intru în grădina mea, soro, mireaso, îmi culeg smirna cu mirezmele mele, îmi mănînc fagurul de miere cu mierea mea, îmi beau vinul cu laptele meu… -Mîncaţi, prieteni, beţi şi îmbătaţi-vă de dragoste! -
Adormisem, dar inima îmi veghea… Este glasul prea iubitului meu, care bate: ,,Deschide-mi, soro, scumpo, porumbiţo, neprihănito! Căci capul îmi este plin de rouă, cîrlionţii îmi sînt plini de picurii nopţii.“ -
,,Mi-am scos haina, cum să mă îmbrac iarăş? Mi-am spălat picioarele: cum să le murdăresc iarăş?
Dar iubitul meu a vîrît mîna pe gaura zăvorului, şi mi -a fost milă de el atunci.
M’am sculat să deschid iubitului meu, în timp ce de pe mînile mele picura smirnă, şi de pe degetele mele picura cea mai aleasă smirnă pe mînerul zăvorului.
Am deschis iubitului meu; dar iubitul meu plecase, se făcuse nevăzut. Înebuneam, cînd îmi vorbea. L-am căutat, dar nu l-am găsit; l-am strigat, dar nu mi -a răspuns.
Păzitorii cari dau ocol cetăţii m’au întîlnit; m’au bătut, m’au rănit; mi-au luat măhrama străjerii de pe ziduri.
Vă rog ferbinte, fiice ale Ierusalimului, dacă găsiţi pe iubitul meu, ce -i veţi spune?… Că sînt bolnavă de dragoste! -
Ce are iubitul tău mai mult de cît altul, o, cea mai frumoasă dintre femei? Ce are iubitul tău mai mult de cît altul, de ne rogi aşa de fierbinte? -

Înfăţişarea lui este ca Libanul, pare un tînăr ales ca cedrii. 16 Cerul gurii lui este numai dulceaţă şi toată fiinţa lui este plină de farmec. Aşa este iubitul meu, aşa este scumpul meu, fiice ale Ierusalimului! -

Cantarea Cantarilor 6:1-3

Unde s’a dus iubitul tău, cea mai frumoasă dintre femei? Încotro a apucat iubitul tău, ca să -l căutăm şi noi împreună cu tine? -
Iubitul meu s’a pogorît la grădina lui, la stratul de mirezme, ca să-şi pască turma în grădini, şi să culeagă crini.
Eu sînt a iubitului meu şi iubitul meu este al meu; el îşi paşte turma între crini. -

Freddy Hayler

Solomon’s – Song of Songs – a love story about Christ

The Bridegroom…loves His beloved

Song of Solomon 2:8,11-12 and 8:6-7

(and) The Bride Adores Her Beloved

8The voice of my beloved
Behold, he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.1for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice ofthe turtledove
is heard in our land.

6Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the LORD.
7Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it

(Spurgeon from the sermon titled ‘Lovest thou me?’)

When I admonished you to look to yourself it was only to detect the evil; would you find the remedy, you must direct your eyes, not to your own heart, but to the blessed heart of Jesus—to the Beloved one—to my gracious Lord and Master. And wouldst thou be ever conscious of the sweet swellings up of thy heart towards him; thou canst only prove this by a constant sense of his tender love to thee. I rejoice to know that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of love, and the ministry of the Spirit is endeared to me in nothing so much as this, that he takes of the things of Jesus, and shows them to me, spreading abroad the Saviour’s love in my heart, until it constrains all my passions, awakens the tenderest of all tender emotions, reveals my union to him, and occasions my strong desire to serve him.

Let not love appear to thee as a stern duty, or an arduous effort; rather look to Jesus, yield thyself up to his gracious charms till thou art ravished with his beauty and preciousness.

Solomon şi Sunamita – autor Teodor Codreanu

Shulamite bride Solomon

Privesc departe spre Sion prin veacuri înaintate
şi-aud ecoul dintr-un ton vibrând peste cetate.
Ierusalimul e-n amurg sub brazda argintie,
izvoarele la vale curg domoale spre câmpie.

Codreanu
Sclipea palatu-n raze lucii şi în culori de astru,
in parcul de smochini şi nuci stă Solomon sihastru.
Şi visurile-i ce se nasc în zare de-astă data,
sunt izvorâte din Damasc de dorul după-o fată.

De-o fiică de neam sirian, de-o ciobăneasă sclavă.
Ce te-a legat o, Solomon ce stai pe-atâta slavă?
Tu stai pe tron – ea stă la oi, tu-n slavă – ea la stâna.
O, nu sunt fete pe la noi de zici că e regină?

O, cine-i altul mai presus un împărat ca tine.
În neamul tău o, câte nu-s crăiese şi regine.
Tu ai şaizeci la curtea ta, optzeci de ţiitoare.
Mă mir că-n minte poţi purta un chip de servitoare!

Cum porţi tu florile din strat o mie rupte-n mână.
Tu ai regine la palat şi vrei s-aduci din stâna?
Când te aud cum o descrii în versuri de tot stilul,
ca ea nu-i alta pe pământ o, e departe Israelul?

Şi dacă n-am cunoaşte-o chiar că nu e stil de floare,
e arsă, parc-ar fi de jar de razele de soare.
Tu o faci mai mult ca un trandafir şi munte de tămâie.
Şi-ncepi atâta s-o descrii din cap până-n călcâie.

O, ce va spune un popor de tine rege în slavă?
Când tu îmbătat eşti de amor te-a fermecat o sclavă.
Tu-o vezi cum alta-n lume nu-i, o faci şi porumbiţă.
Şi-ncepi atâta s-o descrii cum n-are-n lume soaţă.

Aud mereu acelaşi ton în versuri ziua-ntreagă.
Şi spui că-i laşi regat şi tron, atât îţi e de dragă.
Preferi la stână să te duci, sau păzitor la vie.
Preferi pe orice drum s-apuci, de ce ai vrea să vie?

Repetă versul ce l-ai spus cântându-ţi trista soartă.
Când tu acas la ea te-ai dus, şi i-ai bătut în poartă.
Şi ea răspunsu-ţi-a din pat dar făr să iasă-afară:
“M-am dezbrăcat şi m-am culcat, şi cum să mă-mbrac iară?”

Aşa de rece te-a respins din partea ei copila,
Nici simţ de om nu a simţit, nici dragul şi nici mila.
Afară-ncet se revărsa un vânt de sud cu ploaie.
Dar ei nici pic nu îi păsa că hainele-ţi înmoaie.

Şi nici că-n pieptul tău de foc purtat-o-ai în noapte
prin munţi, prin văi, prin orice loc pentru-a iubirii şoapte.
Tu te-ai întors pe-acelaşi drum fiebând în gelozie.
De ce mă-ntreb şi eu acum, de ce n-a vrut să vie?

O, ce-ai pierdut, o, Solomon de plângi o ciobăneasă.
Cu sila vrei s-o duci pe tron, s-o faci împărăteasă?
Târziu în noapte s-a trezit că nu a făcut bine,
şi te-a strigat, te-ar fi dorit, ieşit-a după tine.

Dat tu de mult ai şi plecat, nici n-apărură zorii.
În ceasul nopţii-ntârziat, au prins-o păzitorii.
Bătut-o şi-au rănit-o rău, era aproape moartă.
Şi-a plâns ea mult că n-a venit când i-ai bătut în poartă.

Şi-acuma ce folos că plângi? Distrus eşti de-o copilă!
C-au dus-o cei străini pe mâini zdrobită fără milă.
Tu între regi eşti renumit, te ştie orice ţară,
palatul ce l-ai construit, şi-nţelepciunea-ţi rară.

Şi slava ta, şi tot ce ai cum poţi a înţelege?
Pentru-o copilă să te dai, o, ce-ai în tine rege?
Ziua şi noaptea o discuţi, cum n-ar fi altă fată.
Ne pari a fi ieşit din minţi, tu rege, altă dată.

Trecut-au mulţi ani rând pe rând prin mintea mea slăbită.
Şi eu aşa ziceam în gând c-o cauţi pe sunamită.
O, azi mă văd că-s păcătos şi vin cerând iertare.
Căci tu prin Duhul lui Hristos, cântai o taină mare.

O, Solomoane tot ce-ai spus În vers de-a ta iubită,
e întâmplarea cu Hristos, e-a doua Sunamită.
De două mii de ani Îl vezi chemând-o-n gelozie.
Pe drum, acasă, prin livezi, dar ea nu vrea să vie.

O cheamă slava Lui mereu, la slava Lui de rege.
Deşi e Fiu de Dumnezeu, ea tot nu-L înţelege.
Tu ai bătut odată-n geam Vorbind s-o chemi odată
Dar ea de Tine murmura de fiecare dată.

O, spune suflete ce stai s-asculţi acestea toate:
De când te cheamă CRIST la rai, de când la poartă-ţi bate?
El nu mai poate de-al tău dor, de-atâta timp te cheamă.
De-atâtea veacuri bate-n geam crezând c-o să-ţi dai seama.

Văzut-ai tu atâta dor în lume la vreun mire?
Să-i fi aprins atâta dor mireasa în iubire?
Să vină El, cerul lăsând şi dezbrăcat de slavă,
să-L vezi în Ghetismani plângând, de dorul tău, o sclavă!

Mai mult ca roaba de la oi pe Solomon să-l poarte.
Pe Crist iubirea pentru noi L-a dat chiar şi la moarte.
Să-L vezi cu sufletu-mbătat, luând o cruce-n spate,
şi-o urcă, urcă ne-ncetat în timp ce altu-L bate.

Şi parcă orice spin şi cui, şi lovituri de bice,
le capătă-n iubirea Lui, răbdând, nimic nu zice.
Şi-atunci pe cruce când L-au pus cu lacrima-n iubire,
pe faţa Mirelui Isus şi-atunci vedeai iubire.

Parcă pe braţe te-ar fi prins ca pe-un copil, o mamă.
De-amorul ce era aprins nimic nu-ţi lua în seamă.
Aprins de-amorul tău cel viu ascultă-L cum se roagă:
„O, Tată iartă-i căci nu ştiu” şi-atunci îi erai dragă.

Tu îi întindeai oţet în sus ca să I-l pui pe buze,
iar dragostea ce-ardea-n Isus, şi-atunci îţi căuta scuze.
Tu te-ai văzut în ochii Lui atât de mult iubită.
Ca Solomon poţi chiar să spui, tu Lui eşti Sunamită.

Ah, bine-ar fi s-asculţi cu drag, pe Solomon cum cântă,
pe Mirele ce-ţi bate-n geam să faci logodna sfântă.
Să dai divorţul la păcat şi poftelor din fire,
Să fii cu sufletul curat că L-ai pe Isus Mire.

O, dă-ţi dar haina veche jos să-mbraci azi haina nouă,
şi-n veci de veci să fii cu El pe tronul sfânt din slavă.

Fă dar acestea ce se cer de vrei s-ajungi acasă,
la Solomon acel din cer a lui Isus Mireasă.

Să ne-ntâlnim la un altar la nunta pregătită.
O, fie-ţi ceasu-acesta, dar, trezirea, Sunamită!

******

Iar voi ce azi simbolizaţi tabloul nunţii sfinte,
să nu uitaţi povestea dinainte.
Tu, mire ia-l pe Solomon exemplu-n orice faptă.
Să dovedeşti prin slăvi şi rang o minte înţeleaptă.

Să nu te uiţi la slăvi şi rang făcând din ele lege,
căci în iubire toate cad exemplu-i vechiul rege.
Iar tu mireasă şi mai mult, cu pilda, cu povaţa,
pe mirele care te-a luat iubeşte-l în viaţă.

Mă bucur că tu ai înţeles, mai mult ca Sunamita.
Când ţi-a bătut, tu i-ai deschis cu dragoste uşita.
Şi noi am vrea în veci de veci, să dovediţi unire,
că unde-s inimile reci nu poate fi iubire.

Aşa cum voi v-aţi arătat, o dragoste pe faţă,
pe ea vă fie cimentat căminul pe viaţă.
La nuntă sus când o să fim, chemaţi cu toţi acasă,
în Templul din Ierusalim, să fiţi din nou Mireasă!

Amin!

VERSURI de la Resurse Crestine

Biblical city Gezer discovered from King Solomon’s era – Arheologii au descoperit un oraş sub ruinele unei cetăţi biblice din timpul lui Solomon

Solomonic gate at Gezer Photo credit Wikimedia

Sursa  www.antiquities.org and photo credit at right, of aerial view of dig.

Dr, Sam Wolff: This summer the ancient city of King Solomon fame has continued to be excavated by a joint expedition of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Solomon’s extensive building projects are recorded in the biblical account where he mentions that he fortified Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer, in addition to the capital city of Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:15-17). While many tourists to Israel visit the archaeological remains of Jerusalem as well as the northern sites of Hazor and Megiddo, Gezer has remained undeveloped since the last major excavations ended in the early 1970s. This is unfortunate since the ancient city guarded the pass up to the capital of Jerusalem and the ancient tell is located in the heart of the country between the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. This situation has all changed in the past two years.

The renewed excavations coincide with the celebration of the opening of the site by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority as a National Park in 2006. The goals of the renewed excavations are to investigate the major fortification systems on the south edge of the site as well as excavate several cultural horizons in order to better understand the growth and development of the Iron Age city. In addition, the new project is working in conjunction with the Israel National Parks Authority to develop the site for visitors and preserve the site for future generations.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Gezer, modern Tel Gezer,  ancient royal Canaanite city, near present-day Ramla, Israel. Gezer is often mentioned in the Old Testament and in the Egyptian records of the New Kingdom, from Thutmose III (1479–26 bc) to Merneptah (1213–04 bc). Gezer was abandoned about 900 bc and was little occupied thereafter.

The excavations at Gezer sponsored by the Palestine Exploration Fund during 1902–05 and 1907–09 disclosed strata covering most periods from the Neolithic Period to the time of the Maccabees. Excavations were resumed in 1923 and have continued intermittently. In 1957 Yigael Yadin identified a Solomonic wall and gateway; these fortifications are identical in construction with the corresponding Solomonic remains excavated at Megiddo and Hazor.

Tel Gezer. Video. Tim Bulkeley, October 19, 2008. YouTube. (via njbrepository.blogspot.com)

Visit Tel Gezer on the edge of the Shephelah in Ancient Judah. The city Pharaoh gave to king Solomon as a wedding present. For more information and photos see http://bigbible.org/israel/gezer/ and http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=oY… for details of the archaeology

ROMANIAN:

Sursa articolului si Photo credit Huffington Post

Săpăturile arheologice din Israel au dezvăluit un oraş nou sub ruinele unui alt oraş, Gezer, din vremea împăratului Solomon. Este vorba despre un oraş canaanit din perioada pre-Solomon, de existenţa căruia nu se ştia până acum.

Ruinele oraşului necunoscut au fost descoperite pe un şantier arheologic între Tel Aviv şi Ierusalim şi se crede că este mai vechi cu 200 de ani decât Gezer. Aici au fost descoperite vase de ceramică, un sigiliu şi un scarabeu de dimensiuni mari, împreună cu cartuşul regelui Amenhotep al III-lea, care atesta existenţa acestui oraş din regatul lui Israel.

Oraşul Gezer a fost menţionat în Vechiul Testament ca popas pe drumul ce lega Egiptul şi Mesopotamia. În jurul anului 1.400 î.Chr., Gezer, care era capitala regiunii, a ars din temelii. Locuitorii din Geizer au fost canaaniţi, dar artefactele găsite indică legături strânse cu Egiptul. (Traducere Semnele Timpului)

Alte articole de interes

ENGLEZA

Evreii cer să li se permită închinarea pe Muntele Templului si VIDEO – Cum a aratat templul in anul 70 A.D.

Temple Mount and Western Wall during Shabbat

Photo credit wikipedia –  Zidul Plangerii (Partea din Vest) pe Muntele Templului

SURSA Religion News (Traducere Semnele Timpului)

Evreii cer să li se permită să se închine pe Muntele Templului, după ce, timp de zeci, de ani le-a fost interzis acest lucru.

Locul cunoscut de evrei sub numele de Muntele Templului,  şi numit de musulmani Haram As-Sharif, este din nou motiv de conflict. Un grup din ce în ce mai numeros de evrei le cer autorităţilor permisiunea de a se închina pe esplanada moscheii, loc rezervat doar închinării musulmanilor, până în prezent, notează religionnews.com.

Potrivit tradiţiei ebraice, Muntele Templului este locul în care a fost zidit Templul din Ierusalim, sau Templul lui Solomon, distrus de către Babilonieni în anul 587, î.Chr. După distrugerea primului templu, evreii au construit un al doilea edificiu, care a fost, și el, distrus de către romani în anul 70 A.D. Tot ce a rămas din acest templu este Zidul de Apus, locul cel mai sfânt pentru iudei, care, se pare că este o ruină a celui de-al doilea templu. Din perspectiva musulmanilor, acela este locul în care s-a înălţat profetul Mohamed la cer. De 500 de ani încoace, şi mai ales după războiul arabo-israelian din 1967, doar musulmanii au dreptul de a se închina în partea de sus, unde se află Cupola Stâncii şi Moscheea Al Aqsa, unul dintre cele trei locuri considerate sfinte de adepții religiei islamice (alături de Mecca şi Medina). Evreii au dreptul de a se închina doar în partea de jos, unde se află Zidul Plângerii, locul cel mai sfânt pentru iudaism.

Însă situația este departe de a fi clarificată, mai ales din pricina nemulțumirilor credincioșilor evrei. Anul 2000, când Ariel Sharon, pe atunci, liderul opoziţiei, a intrat în această zonă, s-a produs cea de-a doua Intifadă, sau Intifada Al Aqsa, care a provocat moartea a 3.000 de palestinieni, 1.000 de israelieni şi 64 de străini, în cinci ani. Aproape în fiecare zi izbucnesc mici conflicte din cauza tensiunilor între cei care vor să schimbe situaţia actuală şi poliţie, care vrea să păstreze ordinea şi liniştea.

În ultimii ani, dorinţa de proprietate a credincioșilor de rit mozaic s-a accentuat, mulți așteptând ca, odată cu venirea lui Mesia, să vină şi cel de-al treilea templu. Aşa se face că din ce în ce mai mulţi evrei cer schimbarea normelor actuale, în condițiile în care musulmanii transmit constant nu vor accepta niciodată propunerile lor. Potrivit islamicilor, schimbarea ar fi posibilă doar prin forţă, lucru care ar provoca un conflict între lumea arabo-musulmană şi Israel. Autorităţile musulmane susţin că cererea evreilor este o provocare, deoarece ei nu au niciun drept asupra acestui loc. Încercarea acestora de a schimba dispoziţiile actuale va stârni mari conflicte, potrivit lui Mahmoud Abu Atta, purtător de cuvânt al Al-Aqsa Institue for the Preservation of the Trust and the Heritage.

Parlamentarul Miri Regev, din Partidul Likud Beitenu, a avut diferite întâlniri, atât cu parlamentarii evrei din aripa dreaptă cât şi cu reprezentanţii arabo-israelieni, în vederea ridicării restricţiei evreilor de a se închina pe Muntele Templului. Din punctul său de vedere, fiecare cetăţean israelian, indiferent de religia sa, ar trebui să aibă dreptul de a se închina în locurile sfinte.

Photo credit http://www.bible-history.com Model cu Ierusalimul primului secol.

Istoria Templurilor din Israel

Al doilea Templu al Evreilor – Model la un Muzeu in Israel wikipedia 

  1. Primul Templu – Templul lui Solomon
  2. Al doilea Templu – reconstruit de Ezra si Neemia. (Imparatul Irod a marit acest Templu.

    TEMPLE, THE SECOND: Foloseste butonul Google translate -sau fa click aici pe Romanian- ca sa traduci in limba Romana.

    The Temple of Solomon was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. (II Kings xxv. 9). It is usually supposed that its sacred site was desolate and unused for fifty years, until the accession of Cyrus made the rebuilding of the Temple possible. This view is shown by Jer. xli. 5 to be mistaken; for two months after the city was destroyed a company of men from Samaria, Shechem, and Shiloh came to keep the Feast of Ingathering at Jerusalem. It is true that Giesebrecht (ad loc.) argues that the men were bound for Mizpah and not for Jerusalem; but if that be so the whole narrative is meaningless. No reason is known why at this date men from a distance should go to Mizpah to worship. More probably they were on their way to Jerusalem, when the messenger from Mizpah enticed them into that town. It is probable, therefore, that, though the building was in ruins, the site of the Temple was used by the poor Hebrews resident in Palestine as a place of worship all through the Exile.

    The Decree of Cyrus.With the accession of Cyrus in 538 it became possible—that monarch replacing the old Assyro-Babylonian policy of transportation by a policy of toleration—for the Jews to resuscitate their religious institutions. The Chronicler, who wrote much of the Book of Ezra, represents Cyrus as issuing a decree for the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem; but this assertion is of doubtful authority. The Aramaic document in Ezra relates that the sacred vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away were delivered to Sheshbazzar with authority to take them back and rebuild the Temple (Ezra v. 14, 15). It states also that Sheshbazzar “laid the foundations of the house,” but it is doubtful if any building was then done, as the house remained unbuilt in the time of Haggai, twenty years later. The Chronicler (Ezra iii. 1) declares that Zerubbabel (whom he puts in place of Sheshbazzar, thus placing him twenty years too early) “builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon”; but as Haggai (ii. 14) declared that all which was offered here was unclean, it is altogether probable that the altar was the same that had been used throughout the Exile, and that the Chronicler’s statement is a mistake.

    The Rebuilding.In the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspes (519) the real rebuilding began. The people were aroused to the effort by the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah; and in the course of three years the rebuilding was accomplished. It is now generally recognized that the representation in the Book of Ezra, that the work was begun immediately upon the accession of Cyrus and was then interrupted by opposition from Israel’s neighbors, is unhistorical.

  3. Al treilea Templu – cu 2,500 de ani in urma, Dumnezeu i-a aratat lui Ezechiel o viziune cu al treilea templu.

Cum arata templul in anul 70 A.D.

The Herodian version of the model shows visitors how excavators believe the Temple Mount site appeared prior to its destruction by Roman troops in the year 70 CE. The focus is on the southern portion of the enclosure, and includes reconstructions of Robinson’s Arch (an early overpass linking the top of the platform with the major city street below), the Hulda Street gates and passages onto the platform, the Royal Stoa, and the Second Temple. The reconstruction is based on the excavations at the Temple Mount under the direction of Ronny Reich and regional archeologist Gideon Avni. On view at the Davidson Center. VIDEO by israelarchaeology

Wake the Dawn: The Story of Jerusalem’s Holy Temple

(Engleza)

Un documentar despre istoria Templului, incepand cu istoria lui Iacov, si ceea ce socotesc evreii ca fiind prima casa de intalnire cu Dumnezeu, Betel, locul in care Iacov a visat scara ingerilor si Dumnezeu i-a vorbit.

VIDEO by Chaim Clorfene The Talmud’s account of many historical events differs from the general consensus amongst Archeologists and Historians. “Wake the Dawn” is a documentary film depicting the history and significance of the Temple, through the eyes of the Talmud and Jewish tradition.

Produced in 1989  Written and Directed by Chaim Clorfene.

Templul #3 din Viziunea lui Ezechiel

The Third Temple: A 3D Introduction to Ezekiel’s Vision

VIDEO by  Chaim Clorfene An introduction to the design and significance of the future “messianic” temple, as described in Ezekiel’s prophecy. http://www.messianic-temple.com/

Ezekiel – Viziunea Templului cap. 40-43

1. Ezechiel cap. 40
2. Ezechiel cap. 41
3. Ezechiel cap. 42-43
VIDEO by bibliaprints  Modele ale templului

Do not forsake your mother’s teaching

You can listen to the audio here.

Proverbs 1:7-9

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head, and ornaments about your neck.

The book of Proverbs begins, “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel.” He was a great king and the son of a great king. That means he was famous and powerful and supreme in all the realm. People bowed in his presence. They did what he said. He had immense authority and honor.

Even Great Kings Should Bow to Their Mothers

How did he treat his mother in this exalted role? You recall his mother was Bathsheba. She had married his father David under very ugly circumstances—very displeasing to God. But she was his mother, and this is what it says in 1 Kings 2:19,

Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right.

Then they had their conversation. He rose for her. He bowed to her. And he called for a throne to be put beside his for their conversation. She was his mother. Even kings should stoop when their mothers enter the room.

Solomon was not a perfect king. He was not a perfect man. None of the writers of the Bible was. But God guided his insights and preserved for us true ones here in the book of Proverbs. And I want us to listen to God’s word through Solomon today.

Six Lessons: The Ultimate Issue Is God

There are at least six things he tells us in Proverbs 1:7–9. They all relate to God. They are not merely the kind of wisdom you might pick up in reading “mindworks” or Parents magazine or Ann Landers. They overlap with the wisdom of the world. But the absence of God in the world’s family-advice is ultimately a fatal flaw. Solomon means for us to hear his counsel as all related to God.

We often think of the book of Proverbs as a book of what you can learn from ordinary earthly life. And much of it is. But the point of the book is to bring all that into relation to God so that he becomes the center of it all.

Just one example. In Proverbs 30:8 it says,

Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, 9 Lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.

Do you see what this says about God? The wise man prays, “Guard me from riches and guard me from poverty.” Why? Because if I’m rich I might say, “Who needs God!” And if I’m poor I might steal. And why is that so bad? Because you might get caught and go to jail? Or because you might lose your reputation? No. He says, Because if I steal, I will profane the name of my God.

Riches are dangerous because the ultimate issue is God. And poverty is dangerous because the ultimate issue is God. The book of Proverbs—the most practical, down-to-earth book in the Bible—is written for God’s sake. That we might not deny God in our prosperity and that we might not profane God in the hour of need.

All six lessons in Proverbs 1:7–9 relate to God, and they are all intensely practical.

1. The Origin of Family

The family is God’s idea.

Solomon takes for granted that there are mothers and fathers and children related in relationship of unique accountability. Verse 8: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” This is just a given with Solomon. It used to be with us too. But perhaps it can’t be taken for granted any more. Families are God’s idea. God’s plan. God’s way. They are not arbitrary evolutionary developments based on instincts. The family is ordained by God in creation.

In the very first chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1:27, it says,

And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth . . . “

How are they to do this fruitful earth-filling? By indiscriminate mating and pregnancies? The second chapter of the Bible (Genesis 2:24) gives the answer: A man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

A profound covenant relationship between one man and one woman—a cleaving to each other alone, in a one-flesh union—is God’s idea of the heart of the family. When this is broken by a tragic death or a tragic divorce, there may have to be single parent families. And God has been faithful to millions of mothers and fathers who have had to raise children alone. But God’s original purpose for the heart of the family was one man and one woman cleaving to each other as husband and wife and becoming one flesh in fruitful sexual union. In that way he meant to fill the earth with humans who image-forth his glory, and with couples whose covenant-relationship shows the world the way that God relates to his covenant people in love and faithfulness.

The family is God’s idea and it is for God’s glory. Solomon assumes that here in Proverbs 1:7–9.

2. The Family as a School

The family is God’s basic school for instructing children how to live in the world.

Verse 8 again: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” The father is an instructor and the mother is a teacher. Therefore the family is a school.

God ordained the family not just to be fruitful and fill the earth with people, but to fill the earth with instructed people and taught people. The family is the place where the next generation is born and where the next generation learns how to live.

Life does not come naturally for human beings. The sucking reflex comes naturally. The falling reflex comes naturally. The iris of the eye closes naturally in bright light. We don’t have to learn to cry when hungry. But that’s about it. And those skills will not get us very far in this world. Humans have to learn just about everything from the most basic skills of walking and talking and eating, to the moral actions of courtesy and gratitude and respect and faith in Christ.

The family is God’s school for this huge undertaking—teaching the next generation how to live in this world and be ready for the next.

And if a mother and a father seek help from others through relatives or nannies or day-care or Sunday schools or day schools or primary schools or secondary schools, the responsibility is still the parents’ and we parents will give an account to God for how the minds and hearts of our children were shaped and molded by the educators and care-givers we entrusted them to.

That’s point number two: the family is God’s basic school for instructing children how to live in the world.

3. The Fear of the Lord as the Unifying Theme

The foundation of family instruction is the fear of the Lord.

Verse 7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” In other words if we ask, what’s the basis and beginning and integrating theme of the father’s instruction and the mother’s teaching—what is it that runs through all their daily modeling and counseling and explaining and correcting and disciplining that give unity and meaning to it all—the answer is “the fear of the Lord.”

The family isn’t just a place where children learn to hold spoons and walk on two feet and say” please” and tie shoes and read and look both ways and cut grass and put on makeup and drive a car. The family is where all of this and more begins in God, is guided by God’s Word, and is shown to be for the glory of God. The fear of God—the reverencing of God, the standing in awe of God, the trusting of God—is what family’s are for.

The family is God’s idea. The family is a school. And the unifying theme in the curriculum of this school is God.

4. The Responsibility of Both Fathers and Mothers

Under God both fathers and mothers share in the responsibility of this family instruction.

Verse 8 again: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

It does not say, “Fathers instruct, and mothers change diapers.” It does not say, “Fathers work at the office and so have no responsibility to teach their children.” Nor does it say, “Mothers work at the office and can turn the responsibility of teaching over to a care-giver.” It says fathers instruct, and mothers teach. They share this responsibility.

If it were Father’s Day I would probably trumpet a challenge to you fathers to take fresh initiatives at home. But it is Mother’s Day, and I want to encourage mothers that this responsibility to teach your children is an immeasurably significant privilege.

God has a way of nullifying the greatness of the great and exalting the lowliness of the lowly. In our culture motherhood is, I think, on the upswing. But only after decades of unusual lowliness and bad-press. The last five our six years have abounded with letters and articles like this one to Ann Landers:

I’m so tired of all those ignorant people who come up to my husband and ask him if his wife has a full-time job or if she’s “just a house-wife.” . . . Here’s my job description.

I’m a wife, mother, friend, confidant, personal advisor, lover, referee, peacemaker, housekeeper, laundress, chauffeur, interior decorator, gardener, painter, wall paperer, dog groomer, veterinarian, manicurist, barber, seamstress, appointment manager, financial planner, bookkeeper, money manager, personal secretary, teacher, disciplinarian, entertainer, psychoanalyst, nurse, diagnostician, public relations expert, dietitian and nutritionist, baker, chef, fashion coordinator and letter writer for both sides of the family.

I am also a travel agent, speech therapist, plumber and automobile maintenance and repair expert . . .

From the studies done, it would cost more than $75,000 a year to replace me. I took time out of my busy day to write this letter, Ann, because there are still ignorant people who believe a housewife is nothing more than a baby sitter who sits on her behind all day and looks at soap operas. (Ann Landers, May 1988, quoted in Mom, You’re Incredible, by Linda Weber, Focus on the Family, 1994, pp. 23–24)

That’s true. And it is good to have it said. But vastly more can be said. Let me give one great illustration from the New Testament: the effect of Timothy’s mother and grandmother.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:5,

I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

Then in 3:14–15 Paul says,

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them [that is, your mother Eunice and through her from your grandmother Lois]; and that from childhood you have known the holy scriptures [because your mother taught them to you] which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Now that’s a remarkable testimony. Timothy’s father was a Greek (Acts 16:3). He probably didn’t know the Scriptures. So Paul celebrates the great heritage that Timothy has through his mother and his grandmother. They did what his father could not or would not do. They filled him with the Scriptures, and the Scriptures brought him eventually to faith in Christ, and faith in Christ brought him salvation.

Timothy will live forever and ever because his mother and his grandmother were faithful to Proverbs 1:8.

5. The Submissiveness of Children

God calls sons and daughters to be submissive to their mothers and fathers.

Verse 8 again: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

These two commands warn against the two common temptations of rebellion. One is when a child is home; and the other is when he is away from home. If he is home, the temptation of rebellion is not to listen when his parent speaks. So Solomon says, “Hear your father’s instruction.” If he is away from home, the temptation is to forsake what he was taught. So Solomon says, “Do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

Young people, when you are at home, listen to your parents. Do not write off what they say. Do it for God’s sake. This is so important in God’s eyes that he made it part of the Ten Commandments that sum up the whole law. Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and mother.” Honor your father by listening respectfully when he speaks. And honor your mother by remembering what she taught you about right and wrong—about the fear of God—when you are away from home and no one can see but you and God.

6. The Promise of Reward

Finally, God ordains a reward for sons and daughters who do not forsake the teaching of their mother and father.

Verse 9: “Indeed [literally, "because"], they [hearing your father's instruction and not forsaking your mother's teaching] are a graceful wreath to your head, and ornaments about your neck.”

What this verse makes plain is that the instruction of fathers and the teaching of mothers, rooted in the fear of the Lord, is good news. Kids don’t always feel that. Sometimes parents have never grown up into grace enough to feel it either. But that’s what the verse says: hearing a father’s instruction and not forsaking a mother’s teaching will be a wreath of grace and glory and joy; it will be like gifts and prizes around your neck. In other words it will mean triumph and celebration and joy.

The apostle Paul said in Ephesians 6:2 that “honor your father and mother” is “the first commandment with promise.” All the commandments are full of promise, but God goes out of his way to make this explicit for sons and daughters. There is great promise in honoring your mother and father and embracing the fear of the Lord which they taught.

  • “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence . . . The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life” (Proverbs 14:26–27).
  • “The fear of the Lord leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil” (Proverbs 19:23).

This is the wreath on your head and the ornament on your neck for embracing the fear of the Lord that your mother and father taught you—a fountain of life and strong confidence and deep satisfaction.

A Mother’s Crown of Joy

But since today is Mother’s Day, perhaps the way we should end is by reminding ourselves as sons and daughters—whether old or young—that the fountain of life, and the strong confidence and the deep satisfaction that come from honoring all the truth that our mothers taught us also comes back to them as a crown of joy and honor and blessing in their later years. “Do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22). “Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you” (Proverbs 23:25). Do not forsake the teaching of your mother. It will be a wreath of grace to your head and a crown of joy upon hers.

By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

Florin Ianovici – Cand s-a departat Duhul Domnului – Biserica Agape Atena, Grecia 16 Martie 2013

PAGINA Florin Ianovici PREDICI

Vezi prima predica aici:

  1. Florin Ianovici – O gradina mai frumoasa ca a Edenului 14 Martie 2013
  2. Florin Ianovici – Casatoria si ce Invatam la Cruce 15 Martie 2013

Agape Atena

In saptamana de 10 Martie 2013 Pastorul Florin Ianovici a vizitat Biserica Agape din Atena, Grecia. Pastor principal al Bisericii este Dănuţ Samoilă, impreuna cu Colesniuc Petru. Vezi aici pagina Bisericii - http://agapeatena.gr/ (Fisierele audio sunt disponibile pe situl bisericii).

Textul 1 Samuel 16:14 Duhul Domnului S’a depărtat dela Saul

Aveti Duhul Sfant? Foarte bine!

  1. Iubiti-va fratii
  2. Iubiti-va aproapele
  3. Recunoaste-ti binele pe care Dumnezeu l-a facut
  4. Si nu conteaza prin cine lucreaza Dumnezeu

Cand ii spune Saul lui David, “Tu esti bun, eu sunt rau,” cumva cu capul in jos, ce inseamna asta? Inseamna ca vii la biserica, cunosti adevarul si n-ai putere sa-l traiesti. Pentru ca acesta este principalul simptom al departarii Duhului Sfant din viata ta. Vii la biserica, recunosti ca esti rau, recunosti ca esti pacatos, mai strivesti 2-3 lacrimi, juri inaintea Domnului ca nu mai faci ceea ce faci, si dupa aceea, te intorci la nenorocita ta de viata . Te intorci luni si stai in aceeasi mocirla, Marti mergi cu aceiasi prieteni, Miercuri deschizi acelasi computer, Joi stai iar si pierzi vremea si n-ai putere sa te schimbi. Fratii mei, surorile mele, va spun in numele lui Isus Hristos: Sa recunosti ca esti pacatos, sa recunosti ca esti rau nu e totul in viata. Sa recunosti si sa te schimbi, asta e totul in viata.

Transcrierea notitelor din predica continua sub video:

Iubitii Domnului, astazi am fost inre-un punct inalt al Atenei, sa vad ceea ce oamenii au facut. Si m-am uitat la cer si am bagat de seama un lucru- ca cerul nu-i pe petece. Nici Ortodox, nici Baptist. Asa de mult mi-as dori sa coboare cerul lui Dumnezeu in inima noastra. Dumnezeu nu ne imparte cum se impart oamenii. Dumnezeu stie daca suntem sau daca nu suntem oamenii lui Dumnezeu. De ce va spun lucrul asta, iubitii Domnului? Pentru ca exista un risc, de-a lungul vietii de credinta- riscul sa stii despre Dumnezeu, riscul sa cunosti despre Dumnezeu, riscul de a veni la biserica si totusi, intr-un mod paradoxal, sa nu te faci mai bun. Spunea ap. Pavel cu durere: V-ati strans la biserica, v-ati adunat si nu v-ati facut mai buni, ci v-ati facut mai rai. Nu vi se pare ca e o insulta, pe care Satana o arunca asupra bisericii si o palma, pe care ne-o da intunericul. Sa venim la biserica si sa plecam mai rai? Nu cunosc nici o alta ocara, pe care sa o arunce cel rau, mai mare decat aceea de a sta 3 ore pe un scaun la biserica si cand plec sa fiu mai rau. Nu-mi doresc nimic mai mult in aceasta seara, decat sa plecam de aici mai buni, mai curat sufleteste, mai sfinti, cu privirea atintita mai mult spre acela care merita, cu gandurile noastre patrunse de Dumnezeu si cu o orientare noua in viata.

Cand ne-am nascut, Dumnezeu s-a uitat la noi si a zis: Tu esti un vas. Biblia spune ca, inviata oameni nu pot fi decat de doua feluri: vase de cinste si vase de ocara. Noi, intotdeauana in viata credem ca staifu e tot- adica exteriorul vasului. Si tot incercam sa lucram la exteriorul vasului, sa fie cat mai bine impodobit, cat mai bine pictat. Daca am putea, sa-i punem cele mai frumaose etichete, snururi. Dumnezeu se uita si spune: Pe Mine nu ma impresioneaza ce face omul la exterior. Dumnezeu spune: Ceea ce defineste pe un om si ceea ce-l face sa fie vas de cinste sau vas de ocara nu este ceea ce la exterior are, ci ceea ce-l umple. Oricine ar veni sa va spuna ca voi sunteti liberi, noi nu suntem liberi.

Noi suntem intotdeauna umpluti de cineva, sau suntem umpluti de ceva. Avem doar libertatea sa alegem cine sau ce ne umple, ca dupa ce ne-a umplut, noi nu mai suntem liberi niciodata. Niciodata, Dumnezeu din cer n-are sa iti zica: Te fortez sa te umpli de cuvantul Meu. Dumnezeu este singurul care spune: “Dace vrea cineva sa vina dupa Mine, sa-si ia cruce si sa ma urmeze.” Domnul Dumnezeu vine la usa omului si bate si spune: “Iata, eu stau la usa si bat. Daca aude (cineva) glasul Meu si daca deschide (cineva), voi intra la el, voi cina cu el si el cu Mine.” Satana niciodata n-are sa faca lucrul asta. Satana este un rapitor si el totdeauna, cand tu nu esti umplut cu Dumnezeu, va veni sa umple spatiul gol cu el. Aceasta este viclenia celui rau. Cel rau, niciodata nu va spune: Eu vreau sa te umplu. Intotdeauna, orice spatiu gol ramane in noi, totdeauna va fi umplut de cel rau.

Cati dintre dumneavoastra a-ti vazut urmatorul lucru? A venit Satana la voi si a zis, “Eu sunt Satana. Vreau sa te trimit in iad. Pacatuieste si te voi trimite in iad.” A-ti avut vreo intalnire de asa gen vreodata? Nu. Dar, intotdeauna cand ajungem intr-un moment rau al vietii noastre, cel rau stie sa impacheteze lucrurile intr-un fel incat nu ne dam seama ca avem de a face cu cel rau. Intotdeauna, oamenii sunt framantati si spun asa: Pastore, cum pot eu fi sigur ca am Duhul Sfant? Si atunci, luam semnele din Biblie si spunem: Iata, cand ai Duhul Sfant, primul semn e ca vorbesti in limbi, apoi ai o bucurie cereasca, te lipesti de Dumnezeu, si doresti sa lucrezi pentru Dumnezeu… Dar eu, am venit in seara asta sa va pun o intrebare: Cum sa fii sigur ca nu mai ai Duhul Sfant. Nimeni nu-si pune intrebarea asta de bun simt: Cum poti sa fi sigur, pe Biblie, ca nu mai ai Duhul Sfant? Inca odata va spun ca nu doresc sa tocesc acest plus al scaunelor de la biserica. Doresc sa am un folos de la viata spirituala. Doresc sa fiu cu Domnul Dumnezeu in viata spirituala si Dumnezeu sa ne ajute. Poza mai jos via zionteacher.org

Sa va dau cateva exemple Biblice:

  • 2 Timotei 2:20 Într’o casă mare nu sînt numai vase de aur şi de argint, ci şi de lemn şi de pămînt. Unele sînt pentru o întrebuinţare de cinste, iar altele pentru o întrebuinţare de ocară. Deci, ceea ce te defineste este ceea ce te umple. Un vas de argint sau de ocara nu esti din cauza ca esti din portelan, cermaica sau lut simplu. Ci, ceea ce te umple, aceea te face de lut sau de ocara.
  • Matei 12:43  Duhul necurat, cînd a ieşit dintr’un om, umblă prin locuri fără apă, căutînd odihnă, şi n’o găseşte. 44 Atunci zice: ,,Mă voi întoarce în casa mea, de unde am ieşit. Şi, cînd vine în ea, o găseşte goală, măturată şi împodobită. 45 Atunci se duce şi ia cu el alte şapte duhuri mai rele decît el: intră în casă, locuiesc acolo, şi starea din urmă a omului acestuia ajunge mai rea decît cea dintîi. In momentul cand Domnul Isus curateste inlauntrul nostru, duhul necurat, cand a iesit dintr-un om, umbla prin locuri fara apa, cautand odihna si n-o gaseste. Se intoarce inapoi cu alte 7 duhuri. De ce? Pentru ca nu e totul in viata sa fi curatit. Dumnezeu ne curateste si apoi vine Dumnezeu si spune: Dupa ce te-am curatit, tu trebuie sa vii si sa umpli viata aceasta a spiritului tau. Dumnezeu a scos tot gunoiul din noi, Dumnezeu a maturat tot aluatul din noi, Dumnezeu a facut curatenie in inima noastra. A scos afara tot ce era gresit si noi suntem mantuiti, fericiti si naivi. Si stam si asistam la propriul spectacol al mantuirii noastre, nestiind ca viata de credinta inseamna sa zidesti impreuna cu Dumnezeu. Sa aduni in fiecare zi, sa depozitezi in fiecare zi, sa strangi cuvantul in inima ta, pentru ca altminteri, de nu te umple Dumnezeu cu Cuvantul Lui, tu ramai un vas gol pe care-l va umple primul venit. Oameni buni, iubitii Domnului, in seara aceasta imi doresc din toata inima sa ne trezim si Dumnezeu sa ne faca atenti, sa ne trezim asupra faptului ca in viata, poti fi curatit de Dumnezeu, dar, daca nu esti un om care sa aduni impreuna cu Dumnezeu, vei risipi la un moment dat.

Cum stam noi cu Domnul Dumnezeu? 

Eu nu sunt impresionat de omul care se roaga si tremura peretii. Eu nu-s impresionat de omul care iese in fata cu o rugaciune. Ba, as putea spune ca sunt impresionat- la modul negativ. Cand toti se roaga la intensitate, tu te rogi peste. Poate ca esti un om care ai necazuri, poate esti un om care ai probleme, nu stiu- tu sti. Eu nu sunt impresionat de oamenii care canta neaparat in biserica si nu sunt poate impresionat de oamenii care varsa o lacrima in biserica. Eu sunt impresionat de oamenii care in viata, atunci cand oamenii cedeaza, ei raman in picioare. Cand toti ceilalti mint, ei sunt curati sufleteste si nu fac compromis. Pe mine ma impresioneaza omul, nu care neaparat vorbeste la biserica, ci care vorbeste limba lui Dumnezeu in toate zilele vietii lui. Sunt foarte impresionat de omul care are caracter, de omul care dovedeste ca nu are goluri launtrice. Eu sunt impresionat de omul care are acea legatura cu Dumnezeu, care se dovedeste in fiecare zi a vietii lui. Vine la biserica- si iertati-ma dragii mei, ascultati-ma ce va spun: Putem juca un rol, putem juca un rol pe care l-am invatat, putem spune: Sunt Penticostal si sa nu mai fi. Putem sa spunem: Sunt un credincios- si sa nu mai fi. Pentru ca ceea ce e important nu e inauntru, ce suntem in biserica, ci, in afara. Aici venim sa ne hranim, aici venim sa ne marturisim ca Isus Hristos este Domnul. Aici venim sa sarbatorim. Dar credinta noastra este acolo. Nu aici ma intereseaza sa fiu credincios, ci in afara. (19:00)

Biblia spune un verset care trebuie sa ne puna in garda, simplu, clar si la lumina zilei. Dumnezeu si Duhul Domnului s-a departat de Saul. Nu-i poveste, nu-i metafora, nu-i literatura, nu-i parere omeneasca. Clar si simplu: Duhul Domnului s-a uitat la Saul si a inceput sa faca pasi, sa dea inapoi. L-a lasat pe Saul cu ale lui si El a plecat de la el. Si acuma, as vrea sa facem aceasta verificare a fiintelor noastre, incepand cu mine. Eu sunt primul care ma cantaresc. (Poza – Caves where David fled from Saul- locurile unde David a fugit de Saul via www.wysinfo.com )

1 Samuel 16:22  Dupa ce David ajunge la Saul, Biblia spune ca facea o slujba. Si in 1 Samuel 16:23 spune: Şi cînd duhul trimes de Dumnezeu venea peste Saul, David lua arfa şi cînta cu mîna lui; Saul răsufla atunci mai uşor, se simţea uşurat, şi duhul cel rău pleca dela el. Cum spuneam, daca nu e Duhul Sfant vine un alt duh. Care este punctul? Saul a trimis dupa David si a zis: Sa vina la casa mea. Venea peste Saul o stare foarte rea, o stare de manie, o stare din aceasta in care nu mai avea control asupra lui, pentru ca, de cate ori un duh rau vine peste un om, primul lucru pe care omul il pierde este controlul lui si echilibrul lui launtric. Spune Biblia ca David lua atunci harfa si canta. Saul se uita la David, care canta  si acuma, uita-ti ce se intampla dupa acest eveniment.

1 Samuel 17:55 Cînd a văzut Saul pe David mergînd împotriva Filisteanului, a zis lui Abner, căpetenia oştirii: ,,Al cui fiu este tînărul acesta, Abner?“ Abner a răspuns: ,,Pe sufletul tău, împărate, că nu ştiu.` Spune Biblia ca are loc acest razboi cu filistenii, in care apare Goliat, merge imparatul, vine si David, care intre timp cat a fost razboiul s-a intors la oile tatalui lui si cand il vede imparatul, imparatul care se duse cu David atata vreme, intreaba: Al cui fiu este acesta?

Disparitia Duhului Sfant din viata noastra

Primul semn – nu mai stim cine ne sunt prietenii

Primul semn al disparitiei Duhului Sfant in viata noastra si a departarii Duhului Sfant si a lui Dumnezeu insusi e cand nu mai stim cine ne sunt prietenii. M-ati auzit tinerilor? De atatea ori mi-ati strapuns inima. In ziua in care a-ti spus: Frate, eu nu mai ma duc la biserica pentru ca aia din biserica sunt cum sunt si eu am prietenii mei. In ziua in care noi am ales tovarasia lumii, in locul tovarasiei fratilor nostri, in ziua in care am ales sa dam mana cu cei din afara si nu ne mai este draga biserica si partasia, nu mai vorbiti de Duhul Sfant, pentru ca acela este duhul lumii. Duhul lui Dumnezeu ne strange, Duhul lui Dumnezeu ne leaga, Duhul lui Dumnezeu ne pune impreuna. Duhul lui Dumnezeu iti face placere de mine si mie de tine. Duhul lui Dumnezeu ne duce laolalta pentru ca este duhul unitatii. In ziua in care ajungi sa faci comparatii, in ziua in care ajungi sa stai in afara bisericii, cine isi gaseste Duminica dimineata placerea sa bea cafele cu prietenii lui, in timp ce oamenii stau aici pe genunchi, omul acela nu marturiseste decat un singur lucru, ca Duhul Domnului  a facut pasi din viata lui.

Atatia oameni critica astazi biserica. Atat de multi oameni i-am vazut, vorbind cu usurinta si n-am inteles un lucru- ca in momentul cand vorbim cu usurinta despre aproapele nostru, despre cel care este spalat in sangele Domnului nostru Isus Hristos, despre cel ce este madular in biserica Lui, noi nu marturisim decat un singur lucru: Ca de noi s-a departat Duhul lui Dumnezeu. Am toata credinta, ca se afla astazi, in sala aici, oameni sfinti, curati, si care au venit pentru Dumnezeu. Nu mi-a trecut si nu-mi trece niciodata prin minte ca voi veniti la biserica pentru un alt scop, decat sa va intalniti cu Dumnezeul vostru. Rusine omului care judeca in felul acesta! Si el trebuie sa inteleaga, ca orice om care vine si are o privire banuitoare, orice om care sta pe scaun si judeca pe aproapele lui, nu marturiseste decat un singur lucru: Ca sa golit incetul cu incetul de Duhul lui Dumnezeu. Adu-ti aminte cand ai venit in Biserica. Adu-ti aminte cand ai cunoscut biserica celor intai nascuti in Domnul. Ce sentiment aveai? Oh Doamne, ce zambet, ce cantec! Ce lauda la adresa ta. Ce rugaciune! Ce oameni! Si ce s-a intamplat intre timp? Inima noastra s-a racit. Stiti de ce? Pentru ca Duhul lumii a venit si ne-a luat incetul cu incetul si ne-a furat. Ne gasim placeri vinovate, in locuri in care n-ar trebui sa ne gasim placerea. Avem discutii si avem partasii cu oameni care n-ar trebui sa avem. (25:00) (Photo via sfgate.com)

Intotdeauna exista o separare. Omul lui Dumnezeu isi gaseste placerea in oamenii lui Dumnezeu si in lucrurile lui Dumnezeu. Nu mai pot sta, nu mai pot barfi, nu mai pot gasi placere in ce spui tu, in nimicurile lumii acesteia. Nu mai am timp de asa ceva. Sunt contra cronometru. Omul lui Dumnezeu, care este umplut de Duhul lui Dumnezeu va gasi placere sa stea in casa copiilor lui Dumnezeu, va gasi placere sa aiba partasie cu ei. Va gasi placere sa stea langa cineva. Va privi cu ochi curati. Spune Biblia, pentru cel curat toate sunt curate si pentru cel murdar toate sunt murdare. Oameni buni, orice credincios, care Il are pe Duhul Sfant, va avea dragoste si placere fata de fratele si sora lui. Orice om, care este umplut de Duhul lui Dumnezeu va deschide bratele, nu va intoarce spatele. Orice om, care va avea Duhul lui Dumnezeu va avea un cuvant de mangaiere, nu va fi urzica! Noi nu suntem aricii lui Isus, suntem porumbeii Lui. Ajuta-ne Doamne!

Iubitii Domnului, in seara aceasta vreau sa-ti pui urmatoarea intrebare. Eu nu sunt un om naiv, stiu ca suntem nedesavarsiti. Stiu ca suntem uneori greoi la intelegere. Stiu uneori ca ne lipseste aceasta frumusete a trairii cu Dumnezeu. Stiu ca uneori am suparat pe cei din casa lui Dumnezeu. Stiu ca uneori am fost si eu suparat de catre ei. Dar, nici odata n-am sa spun ca e mai buna lumea decat cei pe care Hristos i-a rascumparat. Pentru ca asta imi spune Duhul Domnului, ca o oaie, chiar si beteaga, tot e mai buna ca si un caine mort. Te intreb in aceasta seara, tu cel ce vorbesti in alte limbi, tu cel ce te rogi cu putere, tu cel ce canti cu insufletire, ai ochi, sa spui in aceasta seara: Multumesc Doamne pentru  fratii si surorile din biserica. Multumesc pentru biserica Ta, pentru credinciosi, multumesc pentru cei care au venit la 6:30 sa descuie biserica. Multumesc pentru cei ce au venit azi dupa amiaza sa repete, s-au ridicat in picioare si au cantat. Multumesc Domnului pentru corul acesta ce mi-a imbogatit sufletul. Multumesc Doamne pentru scaunul acesta care nu m-a costat nimic pe mine. Multumesc pentru lumina asta de astazi. O Duhule Sfant, vino Doamne, pune stapanire pe mintea mea si fa-ma generos. Nu sarac, nu pungit, nu uscat, ca ala nu-i Duhul lui Hristos. Duhul lui Hristos te face sa fi ca un boier. Ai de unde sa dai, ca-i tata bogat. Pot sa-ti dau un cuvant bun, ca imi da Dumnezeu o multime. Pot sa fiu generos cu sufletul meu, ca Dumnezeu  l-a umplut. Marire lui Dumnezeu!

  • Vreau sa mai spun un lucru si Dumnezeu sa ne ajute sa-l intelegem in aceasta seara. O intrebare simpla: Aveti necazuri cu oamenii? Poate ca unii da, poate ca unii nu. Hai sa ne punem in aceasta seara, un pic, un termometru. Stiti ca Biblia spune ca in ultima parte a vietii lui, Solomon a fost tarat de iubiri straine? Adica, ce a facut Solomon? A inceput sa iubeasca ceea ce nu a putut sa iubeasca. S-a uitat si a zis, “Mai, si asta-i frumoasa. O iau. Si asta-i frumoasa. Si pe asta o iau.” Dar, Dumnezeu a zis, “Tu nu poti sa te amesteci, tu trebuie sa ramai ceea ce ai zis ca esti.” Si atunci Dumnezeu zice ca el a fost tarat de iubiri straine. Stiti care a fost reactia lui Dumnezeu?
  • 1 Imparati 11:4, 14 Cînd a îmbătrînit Solomon, nevestele i-au plecat inima spre alţi dumnezei; şi inima nu i -a fost în totul a Domnului, Dumnezeului său, cum fusese inima tatălui său David - 14- Domnul a ridicat un vrăjmaş lui Solomon: pe Hadad, Edomitul, din neamul împărătesc al Edomului. Dumnezeu i-a zis, “Ti-e draga lumea? Foarte bine, ti-i dau cu toata inima, spala-te pe cap cu ei.” Si i-a ridicat un dusman, zice Biblia. O sa spuneti ca Dumnezeu s-a oprit aici.
  • 1 Imparati 11:23 Dumnezeu a ridicat un alt vrăjmaş lui Solomon: pe Rezon, fiul lui Eliada, care fugise dela stăpînul său Hadadezer, împăratul din Ţoba I-a zis Dumnezeu: Te-ai pocait Solomon? La care Solomon a zis, “Tot mi-e draga lumea asta si fetele astea.” “Da,” zice Dumnezeu, “foarte bine.”
  • 1 Imparati 11:26 Şi Ieroboam, slujitorul lui Solomon, a ridicat mîna împotriva împăratului. El era fiul lui Nebat, Efratit din Ţereda, şi avea ca mamă pe o văduvă numită Ţerua Prieteni, uitati-va la mine. Ce vreti sa aveti in lumea asta? Parte de lume? Sau parte de Dumnezeu? Cine e prieten cu lumea, “Las ca ti-i dau,” zice Dumnezeu, “sa fi prieten cu ei, sa-i vezi cum sunt.” Ca poate voi nu mai stiti cum sunt oamenii lumii acesteia. Si hoti, si vicleni, si mincinosi. “Daca tot iti sunt dragi, ti-i dau sa le ai parte,” zice Dumnezeu, “pana la adanci batranete.”

Nu ne mai numaram binecuvantarile

(Photo via ourfamilyoffour.blogspot.com )

Eu in seara aceasta zic asa: Iarta-ma Doamne, ma pocaiesc si vreau Doamne sa-i iubesc pe cei ce sunt ai Tai si sa iubesc biserica. SI iarta-ma Doamne  si departeaza de la mine vrajmasi. Pune-ti intrebarile urmatoare: De ce am eu atatia dusmani? Dar, de ce s-au ridicat atatia impotriva mea? Din cauza neprihanirii sau fiindca ti-s dragi?

1 Samuel 18:7-8  Femeile cari cîntau îşi răspundeau unele altora, şi ziceau: ,,Saul a bătut miile lui, -iar David zecile lui de mii.“Saul s’a mîniat foarte tare, şi nu i -a plăcut vorba aceasta. El a zis: ,,Lui David îi dau zece mii şi mie-mi dau mii! Nu -i mai lipseşte decît împărăţia.` Cine erau femeile acelea care cantau? Mamele a caror fii nu mai murise pe campul de lupta. Si sotiile a caror soti nu mai murisera pe campul de lupta. Nu-i un lucru extraordinar? Un singur om s-a ridicat si a zis, “Ma duc eu la lupta si toata ostirea lui Israel s-a intors acasa neatinsa, nevatamata. Cine canta? Canta mama, canta fiica, canta sotia. Aleluia! Zi de sarbatoare in Israel. Ne intoarcem acasa din razboi fara raniti. Primul razboi in care nu moare nimeni, afara de dusmani. O biruinta! Stiti ce trebuia sa spuna Saul in ziua aceea? Un Aleluia! Slavit sa fie Dumnezeu. La care, Saul se uita si spune: Cum adica? S-a maniat. Cum adica, a dat Dumnezeu izbavire prin altul? E altul mai important decat mine?

Credem ca Dumnezeu lucreaza doar prin noi, sau doar prin unii

Nu conteaza prin cine lucreaza Dumnezeu. Daca lucreaza printr-un copilas si la poezia lui, Dumnezeu aduce cercetare in biserica, sa spunem, “Laudat sa fie Dumnezeu!” Noi nu am venit la biserica sa ni se puna medalii in piept, noi n-am venit la biserica sa fim decorati. Am venit la biserica sa putem impodobi si sa putem sarbatori pe Dumnezeu si sa putem spune, “Doamne, lucreaza tu.” Nu mai recunosti binele. Fratii mei, avem o memorie blestemata. De ce spun asta? In fiecare zi Dumnezeu ne-a pus painea pe masa. In fiecare zi Dumnezeu ne-a ajutat intr-un fel sau altul. Si ni se intampla si noua un necaz. Cand ni se intampla un necaz, nu ne mai amintim de loc de binele care l-a facut Dumnezeu, dar numai necazul ala ni-l amintim si nu mai iesim din el.

Biserica asta te-a binecuvantat. Te-ai imbracat in alb, te-ai botezat, ai primit hrana. Si te-a jignit unul. Nu mai sti nimic decat jignirea aia. De ce? Memorie blestemata. Dar, adu-ti aminte de toate binefacerile Domnului. Vreau sa va spun un lucru frumos in aceasta seara. Stiti ce I-a spus Domnul Isus Hristos lui Petru dupa ce a pescuit? Zice, “Petru, numara pestii.” Dar, asa o sarcina ciudata. Am stat si m-am intrebat: Cum de pe Petru l-a pus sa numere pestii? Au fost 153 de pesti mari. De ce spune Biblia ca au fost 153 de pesti mari? Pentru ca in Marea Tiberiada era numai plevusca. A aruncat navodul, la porunca Domnului si nu era decat plevusca. In Marea Tiberiada atata era pestele. Petru i-a numarat toti cei 153 de pesti mari. Cand voi va treziti dimineata, va aduceti aminte de tot ceea ce trebuie sa faceti. Probleme pana peste cap. Cand te uiti, deja te intuneci. Nut-i gasesti papucii, baia e ocupata. Dupa care primesti un mesaj si gata esti, esti copt. Satana ti-a stricat toata ziua. Ce sa mai stai tu in genunchi: Doamne iti multumesc…. dulceata diminetii- s-a dus toata.

Dar, ce trebuie sa facem noi? Oameni buni, va treziti dimineata si spuneti asa: Una bucata trup sanatos. Amin! Slava Domnului. Am dormit azi noapte 2 ore, 3 ore, 5 ore… Slava Domnului. Ma cobor dintr-un pat care este al meu, nu-i cu chirie. Slava Domnului! Pot sa beau o cafea. Marit sa fie Dumnezeu! Am un acoperis deasupra capului… Numarati-va binecuvantarile.  Am copii sanatosi. Stiti cum se intampla? Vine Satana de dimineata si vrea sa puna mana pe tine. Numarati ca Petru pestii si cand ajungi la 153, Satana e in afara orasului (Atenei). Dar, nemultumirea, cartirea- Asta-i cantare, asta-i predica, asta-i Biserica? Vine Satana si zice: “Noi doi, parteneri.” E simplu, oameni buni. Duhul Sfant al lui Dumnezeu te invata sa numeri binecuvantarile. Duhul Sfant al lui Dumnezeu te invata sa fi bucuros. Laudat sa fie Dumnezeu pentru tot.

Cand in biserica se intampla ceva care nu merge bine, dar, nu ma tem si nici nu ma supar. Stiti de ce? Pana la urma este biserica lui Dumnezeu. El o tine in picioare. Nu ma supar pentru ca asta m-a invatat Duhul lui Dumnezeu, sa fiu multumitor. Sunt multumitor pentru fiecare, sunt multumitor si pentru ala care nu-i multumitor, pentru ca ma invata sa fiu multumitor cu mine. (43:30)

  1. 1 Samuel 24:17 Şi Saul a zis lui David: ,,Tu eşti mai bun decît mine; căci tu mi-ai făcut… bine, iar eu ţi-am făcut rău. 
  2. 1 Samuel 26:21 Saul a zis: ,,Am păcătuit; întoarce-te, fiul meu David, căci nu-ţi voi mai face rău, fiindcă în ziua aceasta viaţa mea a fost scumpă înaintea ta. Am lucrat ca un nebun, şi am făcut o mare greşală.“ 

Acestea sunt doua pasaje, la o distanta cronologica de 3 luni. Saul, imparatul, il fugarea pe David si vroia sa-i ia viata. La care spunea Biblia, ca el a ajuns in pestera Ein Gedi, unde s-a culcat la intrare. Iar, David era in spate si in momentul cand Saul a adormit. David putea sa-l omoare, ca avea tot dreptul. Dar, a taiat coltul hainei si a plecat si a strigat la Saul, spunandu-i ce putea sa-i fi facut. Apoi, Saul ii raspunde in vers. 17. Zice, “Am inteles ca tu esti bun si eu sunt rau.” La trei luni de zile il gasim din nou pe Saul, pe cai, fugarindu-l pe acelasi David. De data asta, David i-a luat ulciorul si sulita, cand s-a coborat un somn peste el. La care iarasi zice Saul: Vad acuma lamurit ca eu sunt rau si tu esti bun si ca Dumnezeu imi arata lucrul asta.” Dupa asta, Saul iarasi a inceput sa-l fugareasca, pana ce David a fugit la Filisteni. (Poza via tjgilliam.net)

Oamnei buni. Venim la biserica si Duhul Sfant al lui Dumnezeu lucreaza. Stiti cum lucreaza? Imi dovedeste pacatosenia si imi dovedeste rautatea. Si-mi dovedeste micimea, si importanta. Stiti care este cea mai importanta slujba a lui Dumnezeu in seara asta? Sa-ti dovedeasca cine esti tu si sa-ti arate cine este El. Sa ne aduca Duhul lui Dumnezeu la adevar pentru ca Duhul Sfant este Duhul Adevarului. Si Duhul lui Dumnezeu vine si iti spune adevarul. Ce esti tu, cum esti tu, cum sunt gandurile tale si ale mele.

Cand ii spune Saul lui David, “Tu esti bun, eu sunt rau,” cumva cu capul in jos, ce inseamna asta? Inseamna ca vii la biserica, cunosti adevarul si n-ai putere sa-l traiesti. Pentru ca acesta este principalul simtom al departarii Duhului Sfant din viata ta. Vii la biserica, recunosti ca esti rau, recunosti ca esti pacatos, mai strivesti 2-3 lacrimi, juri inaintea Domnului ca nu mai faci ceea ce faci, si dupa aceea, te intorci la nenorocita ta de viata . Te intorci luni si stai in aceeasi mocirla, Marti mergi cu aceiasi prieteni, Miercuri deschizi acelasi computer, Joi stai iar si pierzi vremea si n-ai putere sa te schimbi. Fratii mei, surorile mele, va spun in numele lui Isus Hristos: Sa recunosti ca esti pacatos, sa recunosti ca esti rau nu e totul in viata. Sa recunosti si sa te schimbi, asta e totul in viata.

Dacă ascultam de la început…

…făceam mai puţine greşeli…
Poza asta mă face să îmi aduc aminte de Proverbele lui Solomon:

Cap. 1 Pildele lui Solomon, fiul lui David, împăratul lui Israel,
pentru cunoaşterea înţelepciunii şi învăţăturii, pentru înţelegerea cuvintelor minţii;
pentru căpătarea învăţăturilor de bun simţ, de dreptate, de judecată şi de nepărtinire;
ca să dea celor neîncercaţi agerime de minte, tînărului cunoştinţă şi chibzuinţă, -
să asculte însă şi înţeleptul, şi îşi va mări ştiinţa, şi cel priceput, şi va căpăta iscusinţă-
pentru prinderea înţelesului unei pilde sau al unui cuvînt adînc, înţelesul cuvintelor înţelepţilor şi al cuvintelor lor cu tîlc.
Frica Domnului este începutul ştiinţei; dar nebunii nesocotesc înţelepciunea şi învăţătura.
Ascultă, fiule, învăţătura tatălui tău, şi nu lepăda îndrumările mamei tale!

invata din greselile altora

David Platt – Song of Solomon

photo via allposters.com

Watch the message-video farther down, at the middle of post.

Wisdom books, such as Proverbs, Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes are given to us to show us how obedience to God, the glory of God are carried out and made known in the day to day routine of our lives. Think about the competitors to Christianity in our culture:

  • Egotism: The idolatry of self – is addressed in the Book of Proverbs.
  • Materialism: The idolatry of stuff – is addressed in the Book of Ecclesiastes
  • Today we will look at (what some say is) the fiercest competitor to Christianity, in our culture, and that’s- Eroticism: The idolatry of sex – This is addressed in the Song of Solomon.

There is no question, over the last century in our culture, we have undergone a sexual revolution. Mark Dever writes: The most important revolution over the last century has been the sexual revolution. Contraception replaced conception. Pleasure was separated from responsibility. It was as if a license was given out, legitimizing the bending of every part of our lives to serving ourselves. Since that time, divorce, remarriage, abortion, premarital sex, and extramarital sex, as well as homosexuality have been accepted by increasing percentages of the public. Pornography is huge business, and this is not just a problem with society, out there. Many churches have found their members plagued by failed marriages and illicit affairs. The so called private sins, that turn into public disgraces, some of which are known, some of which are not yet known.

We see the effects of the sexual revolution every single time we turn on the TV, or every single time you go to a movie. Or, every single time you stand at a checkout line at the grocery store and you’re surrounded by magazines. Every time you hear someone make a joke about sexuality. We see the effects. In political discussions, it’s all across the board. Among, other good reasons, it is really a good thing that we have the Song of Solomon. Because, if you think about it, it would really make no sense if we didn’t have this book. God has created us as sexual beings. It is really an integral part of who we are, and how He has created us to relate to one another. It would make no sense, if we had no account of Scripture where God addresses it.

And so, what we have is the Song of Solomon, that says: Yes, you have physical longing and craving, and desires and urges, and you have them because God gave them to you. And He gave them to you for your good, and for His glory. And so, how can sexual love be experienced for our good and for God’s glory? Song of Solomon gives us the answer.

Now, there’s a lot of questions from the Song of Solomon, from the history of the church. One commentator said this is the most debated, most difficult, most mysterious book in the entire Bible. It’s a complicated book, difficult to understand. A lot of the language, lot of the words contained here are not found anywhere else. Scripture makes a lot of these words unique, difficult to interpret. And, you get images in this book that are unfamiliar to us, there are all kinds of animals, and spices, and perfumes, and unfamiliar places. And then, the metaphors don’t always translate so naturally into our context.

If you look at the history of the church, you will see all kinds of interpretation. People have asked:

  1. SongOfSongsIs it allegorical? So people throughout history have said it is a story that points us to God’s relationship with His people. And, as a result preachers have come up with all kinds of fanciful interpretations.
  2. Is it typological? A type is like a shadow that points to an object. It reflects something else, or it points to something even greater. And, usually, this book is used as a type of Christ and the church. All that we’re seeing here, for example, in the man points to Christ, and all that we’re seeing here in the woman points to the church.
  3. Is it literal? Is it, just naturally a story about a man and a woman that love one another, and are being loved by one another? But, even among those who say it’s literal, there’s debate. Is it a story, or is it just songs. Is it giving us a step by step narrative?
  4. Is this book written to Solomon, by Solomon, or about Solomon? In the beginning of the book it says “The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s”. It literally can be translated into any one of those ways. (10:00)

MUSICAL – The finest of all songs! We’re going to look at an overview of this book and see what is pretty clear, and at the base, understanding this book- it is clearly musical. In other words, it is a song, it’s a poem. This is love poetry. When it says “The Song of Songs”, it literally means that it is the “finest of all songs”. That’s the title: The finest of all songs!  The claim is and it’s backed up, that this song is unmatched in its beauty, and its arrangement, its poetry. Just think about this: divinely inspired love poetry. Now, you can’t get any better than that. God breathed romance. God breathed poems about love, inspired by His Spirit. This is unmatched by anything else in all history.

Showing us a celebration of sexual love. One commentator said, “The Song of Songs is primarily an unabashed celebration of the pleasure of sexual intimacy.” And, pleasure is the right word there. Because, you will notice, in 8 chapters, you don’t see kids mentioned anywhere. Think about this with me, clearly, sex is not just for procreation. Sex is given by God for pleasure. Sex is not just given so we would multiply. Sex is given so that we would enjoy. That’s the picture we’ve got her. It’s a celebration of sexual love.

Cautions about sexual love. At the same time, this book is reminding us about cautions about sexual love. This is where I want to show you one phrase, mentioned 3 different times. This is huge. 3 times in this book, this author reminds us that sexual love is good only  at the timing, which God has set.  Chapter 2:7 “I adjure you, oh daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love, until it pleases.” Look over at chapter 3:5 and chapter 8:4 the same phrase is repeated. This is so different form the world. The world says: Anytime, any place, any person. And what Song of Solomon is going to show us is that this only happens like this in God’s time, in the place that God has ordained, with the person God has given to you. This is very different from what our culture would say.

This is where I want to pause, because I know there are many brothers and sisters in our faith family who are not married. Maybe you’re students, maybe you’re adults who are single. Maybe divorced, widowed, a variety of different circumstances all across this room. And, what I want to say to you is, if you are not married, this book and this sermon are not just for married people. They are for single people as well. Here’s why. Clearly this book is for married people; it’s an encouragement and an exhortation to remember and enjoy the beauty of sexual love. And, it is an exhortation and an encouragement, for all who are single in this room, to make sure, not to try and steal away the beauty and enjoyment of sexual love of its context and end up missing the whole point. You’ll miss it, when what we’re seeing about sexual love in Songs is ripped away from the context of marriage.

Usually, when it comes to us preaching to students and singles, the message coming from us is: “Sex is bad. So, don’t do it. Okay, now, go and have a nice life.” Like that is what we say. What I want to say to you today, is in some sense the exact opposite. I want you to see that sex is really good. It is good, it is valuable, it is grand, it is majestic and wonderful, in the context God has put it in. Take it out of that (context) and we rip it all apart. And so, I want you to value it, so highly, I don’t want you to see it as bad. I want you to see it as wonderful enough, to make sure to keep it in its proper context. And to avoid every impulse in your sinful nature, and in the culture which surrounds you, to pull it out of that context. Cause, once it’s ripped form that context, it’s obliterated in its beauty. So, guard it.

Read the rest of the transcript below video.

A King and His Bride – The Song of Solomon

Five facets of this relationship between the King and his bride. Facets that are repeated through out Song of Solomon over and over again.

1. Exclusive devotion – They sought out only each other. Married couples in this room, do not let another woman distract you, for a second. Don’t even look, and do not let a magazine substitute for your wife. Do not let the internet substitute for your wife. Ladies, do not flirt for a second. Run from any thought of it. Why would you settle for garbage in another man, when you have gladness in the husband, that God has ordained for you? Men, why would you settle for trash? And, that’s what any other woman is to you in this way. Trash, when you have treasure in your wife. Or, your future wife, or your future husband. Don’t settle for less, don’t have weak desires. Have strong desires for that which is best. And, it is in this garden, that is walled off to everybody else, that things get really, really good. (27:00)

2. Heated anticipation – the anticipation that builds between the man and the woman in Song of Solomon. (A) First, they began with tender words. You see them just complimenting and affirming one another throughout this book. It’s love poetry. See chap. 5:10 and 6:4. She is affirming him, and he is affirming her. Don’t miss this: Pleasure with one another is grounded in praise for one another. It is good to build up one another. That’s where it starts. Notice chapter 1:1 doesn’t just start with: “Well, here’s the picture of sex in the Bible”. Instead, we see it built up to, surrounded on all sides, tender words that (B) Lead to tantalizing work. Now, this right here is the climax of the book. Chap. 4:1, it is in the middle of the book, and it is where the King looks at his bride and begins to basically mentally, if not physically undress her. Evidence that this is appropriate and good, in the context that God has put it, evidence of the goodness of God and the grace of God. (34:00)

Here David Platt quotes Daniel Akin (President of Southeastern Seminary) who wrote a commentary on Song of Solomon called “God and Sex”. He wrote this, “Note, that there is nothing even remotely pornographic about this imagery here. “Porneia” clearly refers to evil sexual desire. And, an entire industry is built on exploiting this simple passion. But, the point here is that the man’s desire for his wife is holy. His pleasure and erotic desire for her is holy.” To deny this is to deny one of God’s good gifts.

3. Leads into Intimate Consummation. They gave over their bodies to one another. She calls on the wind to let free what has been encapsulated and let it flow to her husband now. And she says, “Let my beloved come to his garden. Not, let my beloved come to my garden. I am my beloved and he is mine. That is the picture here. United together, and this is based on the climax of the book.

4. It is pure satisfaction. Don’t miss it, this is pure satisfaction on every level. Emotional satisfaction. There is joy and desire and intimacy, and honor here. This is so much more than the joining of two bodies here. It’s the joining of two personalities. All the more reason to guard this. When we toy with our sexuality, we’re toying with that which is deepest about who we are. That’s why, when we see a man and a woman coming together, we see the language- they knew one another. This is the deepest, most intimate knowledge of one another. This is more than what is happening between two bodies. There is this emotional connection and union that is brought together by God’s design.

Which leads to the second: Spiritual satisfaction. It is evident. When you take this book and compare it with Genesis 2, esp. vv. 24-25, the man and woman, talking about Adam and Eve, were together, they were naked together and they felt no shame. Then, it says they came together as one flesh. This is a virtual commentary on that, on what God has designed for man and woman to experience. And, do you remember when they sinned in Genesis 3? What is the first effect, that we see, of their sin? They noticed they were naked and they clothed themselves. And the intimacy that they had once shared in a sinless world was ripped apart. The Song of Solomon is obviously not saying this is a man and a woman who were sinless, But, here’s the picture. God redeems this. And what He does in sexual love is He takes His original design and He makes it available for His people. He says, “This is what you were created for, the kind of union that is happening: a one flesh, vulnerable, open, union with one another.

Intellectual satisfaction. Emotional satisfaction, spiritual satisfaction, intellectual satisfaction. We’ve seen the man and the woman targeting the most important sex organ we have – our minds. They’ve built up one another and encouraged one another. They’ve mentally and verbally acknowledged one another’s beauty. And, don’t miss it here, don’t get the wrong idea, nowhere in this model do we see that this couple is the modern Hollywood couple. We don’t get any details of what they look like. Instead, we see, the only glimpses we see of this man and this woman are through the eyes of each other. And they see the beauty that God has uniquely designed  for them, in a way that is not for anyone else to share. That God has designed us in our marriages to experience a satisfaction on these levels, that can only be experienced between wife and husband. That is the picture here.

Physical satisfaction. All of it, leading of course, to physical satisfaction. I love how chapter 4 ends and goes into chapter 5, because it doesn’t give us all the details. It doesn’t give us the whole picture of this whole scene. Instead it uses imagery. Akins said, “We cannot be certain of what all the imagery means by “coming to the garden, tasting the choice fruits”, but, it is not difficult to imagine all sorts of stuff. This is the picture God has designed: pure satisfaction on every level.

Song of Solomon 8:14, the very last verse, where the book ends. What you’ve got is this enraptured romance on every single verse, every single page. And then, you get to verse 14. She says to him, “Make haste, my beloved. and be like a gazelle, or a young stag on the mountain of spices.” This is the beauty of sexual love. It perseveres, it lasts again, and again.

Foster health in this area of your marriage. Promote, nourish, this area of your marriage. And, for every person that is not married, no matter what the situation is, I pray that you will see the beauty of sexual love in this context, and guard it, and not take that which God has created as beautiful here and rip it apart, outside of the context for which He has ordained it in any way, mentally, emotionally, physically. And God is gracious. He has created us in this way and He is gracious to sustain us in that. You see, everything in this canon of Scripture is pointing us in a sense to something greater, pointing us to redemptive history. This is where I want us to think about: Where does a book about sex – the Song of Solomon, fit into redemptive history?

We’re not going to go typological here and say: This means CHrist, this means church, but, turn over to Ephesians 5:22. We’ve already looked back at Genesis chapter 2, and seen God created man and woman for one another, to be joined together as one flesh. And, Song of Solomon is a reflection on that. A commentary on what that means. So, I want us to look at what the New Testament teaches about this one flesh union, that we’ve just read in the Song of Solomon. Ephesians 5:22- “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is HImself the Savior. Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything yo their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word. So that He might present her in splendor, without spot, wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives, as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself. For, no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.  Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother, and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respect her husband. In verse 31, Paul quoted form Genesis 2:24-25- A man shall leave his father and his mother and the 2 shall become one flesh. And Paul says, “Here’s what that means: This mystery is profound, and I’m saying that it refers to Christ ad the church.

Don’t miss this. What Paul is saying, is that when God designed marriage, and this union, the sexual union in Genesis 2, He did it with a bigger picture in mind. He designed marriage this way, to point one day, to the love of Christ for His people. And so, what we realize, what God has designed, what we see pictured here in the Song of Solomon, we realize that this picture between man and woman in love is a picture of Christ and his church. And, just as a man gives his body over to his wife, so Christ has done this for His church. And, just as man and woman delight in one another, find satisfaction in one another, so Christ and His church find deeper satisfaction in relationship to each other. Photo below from share faith.com

A King and his bride in Ephesians.So, Ephesians is pointing us here between the relationship of a king and his bride. In humble devotion, King Jesus has sought after you, like a husband seeking a bride, and in a much greater way.

Historic Anticipation. What the Old Testament longed for- Jesus is the fulfillment of all God’s word. All these pictures, and all of these promises we’re seeing in the Old Testament are pointing us to a redeemer. Christ is flawless in all His works. He gave over His body for us. This perfect Son of God, in perfect consummation gave ip His body for us. That’s what Ephesians 5:25 said, Total satisfaction - so that you and me, in him may be reconciled to God, and experience total satisfaction. That we might find  our greatest delight. So we may love Him with all of our heart. Loving Him with all our soul. Loving Him with all our mind (intellectual satisfaction). Delight is found in knowing God and loving Him with all our strength.

A merciful invitation. Coming together, and all made possible by a simple invitation to trust in Christ as Savior and King, and He will forgive your sin and present you as his bride, holy and without blemish. That is the Gospel right there. The Holy God of the universe has sought you out, sent His Son, to bear His wrath to our sin on the cross. To show His power over sin in the resurrection of Christ, so that everyone in this room who trusts in Christ as Savior and King may be reconciled to God in relationship with Him forever. That is glorious news. And, it is what marriage is intended to point us to. And, it raises the Song of Solomon to a whole new level.

Husbands, why do you need to have exclusive devotion for your wives? We need to do this because we are showing the world how Christ treats His church. And, if Christ gives up on His church, then maybe it would be okay for us to give up on our wives. But, Christ will never give up on His church, and we can never give up on our wives. And, just as we, as a church are intended to find our delight in our Savior, so wives, I implore you to encourage to love. Husbands, it’s the way Ephesians 5 says, so that we would show Christ is indeed delightful, to the world around us.

A King and His bride in Revelation. That’s the Gospel here. And it points to an even greater picture. Earthly marriage is a foretaste of something greater in heaven, of heavenly marriage. Where we, as God’s people are depicted as the bride of Christ. And, our glorification in heaven is actually pictured as a wedding day. Revelation 19:6- “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” And Revelation 21- “ Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He willdwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Glorious consummation. This is the beauty of marriage in heaven, which marriage on earth is intended to point us. To point us to the reality of a relationship  marked by continual devotion. Brothers and sisters, the King who sought you on the cross will never stop seeking you. Your king will pursue you as His beloved.. until that day. It doesn’t mean it will always be easy. It wasn’t easy for these suffering borthers and sisters in Revelation facing persecution. But, what he says- in hopeful anticipation, cling to God’s word.

Eternal satisfaction. Trust in His word. The King is coming for you. Commit to God’s word. One day, our bodies will be made complete with Him. Together, we will experience in its fullness eternal satisfaction, eternal delight in our husband Christ. He will heal our hearts. For everyone that Song of Solomon has opened up difficult wounds, from broken marriages, or damaged relationships, or lost loved ones, I want to remind you that you have a husband in heaven, who will one day heal your heart completely. We will wear His righteousness. For every person in this room, Song of Solomon has convicted you of sexual sin =, maybe in your past, maybe in your present, and you feel stained. His forgiveness is complete, and His righteousness is yours to wear. The righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself. We will see His face. And we will feast at His table and enjoy His presence for all of eternity. 

The ultimate invitation: Will you surrender to the love of this King?

 

What implements have been made for the new Temple?

It is fascinating to watch, as the Jews in Israel await the coming of the Messiah. They have produced all of the utensils needed, in order to be able to serve in the Temple, according to the qualifications God had required in the First Temple period. The harp maker is very much looking forward to seeing King David. May the Lord open their eyes to see the true Messiah, that already came, and who showed us the Father, and through whom we have eternal life.

John 12:45 - “He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.

John 14:9 - Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 6:40 - For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

What Solomon’s Temple looked like

temple esv

http://www.esvstudybible.org/sb/objects/illustration-solomons-temple.html

For more photos and Historic Bible study from II Chronicles

click here - http://www.ccmanitowoc.org/Library

Almost two thousand years ago, after nearly two years of terrible seige, the brutally efficient legions of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Temple to the ground. Led by General Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian, the Roman army completed its mission of destruction on the ninth day of Av (August) in A.D. 70.

The glorious temple, built by King Herod, was the second of the sacred temples to stand on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The First Temple had been built by King Solomon approximately 1000 B.C. and was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C.. The Second Temple that was built by the Jews who returned to Jerusalem following the Babylonian Captivity in 536 B.C. remains in ruins today. However, exciting developments are taking place in Israel that will result in a Third Temple being built again on the ancient foundations that Solomon put in place nearly three thousand years ago. You and I are part of the prophetic generation that will live to see a Temple of God once again stand in Jerusalem, the spiritual crossroads o the world.

The rebuilding of the Temple has profound prophetic significance equal to the appearance of the Antichrist or the forming of the pagan armies to invade Israel in the coming Battle of Gog and Magog. Many students of biblical prophecy have debated the role that will be played by the Third Temple in end-times developments. But the scriptures make it clear that just before Christ returns, the Third Temple of God must stand once more on its original location on the Temple Mount.

Preparations to build the Third Temple have progressed on several fronts in recent years, with detailed plans and practical preparations that go far beyond the awareness of most people.   (Grant Jeffries)

Yeshua (Jesus) Kadosh (Holy) ! from Rodica on Vimeo.

The Temple at the time of Jesus

photo (more on site) from - http://www.katapi.org.uk

12 - Court of the Israelites

17 - Holy Place

19 - slaughtering place

20 - altar

21 - laver

22 - Court of the Priests

23 – porch

Illustration adapted from: 4. “The Lion Handbook to the Bible” ed: David & Pat Alexander (page 567). Lion Publishing. 1973.
Illustrations (1, 2 & 3) are of the 1/50th scale model by the late Prof. Avi Yonah of the Hebrew University, in the Holyland Hotel, Jerusalem. (4) is a model of the sacrificial area by Alex Gerrard.
Temple area today: “Picture Archive of the Bible,” ed: C Masom & P Alexander, Lion Publishing, 1987.
Solomon’s Stables: “Jerusalem – die lebendige stadt,” Armon, Jerusalem, 1969.

See more photos and descriptions here -  http://www.katapi.org.uk

Jerusalem – the making of a city

This is a BBC production that aired in Europe, thus you will hear the narrator giving equal footing to the 3 major religions and at one point stating that although Christians believe every word is inspired, the narrator being in the ‘historical thinking mode’ says some of the Bible is mythological. Putting aside this caveat, the video is an excellent and useful tool in learning the history of the city, while looking at the actual places being discussed. There is a chronological timeline of historic events, some taken from the Bible. And  the BBC’s cinematography is of course excellent, with some  rare footage, including a clip from the underground, 90 feet under the site of the Holy of Holies part of where Solomon’s temple once stood (in video part 1).

Part 1

From Antiquity to Constantine

Part 2

From Islam’s rise to the 13th Century

Part 3

The divided city – 13 th Century to Present

A W Tozer – Riches that Bring No Sorrow

A W TOZER – Sermon PAGE

Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

From the introduction:

The blessing of the Lord; what it is and what it means to us and it leaves no bitter taste. Solomon was one of the richest and the wisest and as he writes in Proverbs in his old age, he says very simply that a man who has God’s blessing on him is a rich man and that he will never have any regrets or sorrow as a result of those kinds of riches.

Here was an old man, Solomon and he had lived it up in his days, he had plenty of everything and time was running up on him and he was writing his proverbs. Solomon wasn’t putting sour grapes in here, he watched the drama of humanity  and he looked in his own heart and saw how empty it was, and so he said, “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich”. What is this blessing of the Lord?

If I was reading this without the benefit of reading the rest of the Bible I wouldn’t know what this man means; but, when you allow the rest of the Bible to be a commentary on this, then you know what this means. It began back there, when God said to Abraham, “Abraham, come out of that country and thy kingdom and  come to a new place and I will show thee and I will bless thee and make thy name great…

Published on Jun 3, 2012 by  A.W. Tozer Sermon – Riches that Bring No Sorrow

Aiden Wilson Tozer was born April 21, 1897, on a small farm among the spiny ridges of Western Pennsylvania. Within a few short years, Tozer, as he preferred to be called, would earn the reputation and title of a “20th-century prophet.” Able to express his thoughts in a simple but forceful manner, Tozer combined the power of God and the power of words to nourish hungry souls, pierce human hearts, and draw earthbound minds toward God.

When he was 15 years old, Tozer’s family moved to Akron, Ohio. One afternoon as he walked home from his job at Goodyear, he overheard a street preacher say, “If you don’t know how to be saved . . . just call on God.” When he got home, he climbed the narrow stairs to the attic where, heeding the preacher’s advice, Tozer was launched into a lifelong pursuit of God. In 1919, without formal education, Tozer was called to pastor a small storefront church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. That humble beginning thrust him and his new wife Ada Cecelia Pfautz, into a 44-year ministry with The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Thirty-one of those years were spent at Chicago’s Southside Alliance Church. The congregation, captivated by Tozer’s preaching, grew from 80 to 800.

In 1950 Tozer was elected editor of the Alliance Weekly now called Alliance Life. The circulation doubled almost immediately. In the first editorial dated June 3, 1950, he set the tone: “It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that.”

Tozer’s forte was his prayer life which often found him walking the aisles of a sanctuary or lying face down on the floor. He noted, “As a man prays, so is he.” To him the worship of God was paramount in his life and ministry. “His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life,” comments Tozer biographer James L. Snyder. An earlier biographer noted, “He spent more time on his knees than at his desk.”

Tozer’s love for words also pervaded his family life. He quizzed his children on what they read and made up bedtime stories for them. “The thing I remember most about my father,” reflects his daughter Rebecca, “was those marvelous stories he would tell.”
Son Wendell, one of six boys born before the arrival of Rebecca, remembers that, “We all would rather be treated to the lilac switch by our mother than to have a talking-to by our dad.”

Tozer’s final years of ministry were spent at Avenue Road Church in Toronto, Canada. On May 12, 1963, his earthly pursuit of God ended when he died of a heart attack at age 66. In a small cemetery in Akron, Ohio, his tombstone bears this simple epitaph: “A Man of God.”

Some wonder why Tozer’s writings are as fresh today as when he was alive. It is because, as one friend commented, “He left the superficial, the obvious and the trivial for others to toss around. . . . [His] books reach deep into the heart.”
His humor, written and spoken, has been compared to that of Will Rogers–honest and homespun. Congregations could one moment be swept by gales of laughter and the next sit in a holy hush.

For almost 50 years, Tozer walked with God. Even though he is gone, he continues to speak, ministering to those who are eager to experience God. As someone put it, “This man makes you want to know and feel God.”

A W TOZER – Sermon PAGE

more Mother’s Day thoughts – the mother whose wisdom is included alongside the wisdom of Solomon

Have you ever paid close attention to Proverbs 31? This is an oft cited chapter that refers to the “virtuous woman”  / or the “woman who fears the Lord...” and lists her qualifications. If you have not read the entire chapter, you might mistakenly attribute this chapter to Solomon. Yet verse 1 states:

“The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:”

Now, there is no other mention of this king anywhere else in the Bible, and some older commentaries attribute King Lemuel to being Solomon. Regardless who this king is, the verses in Chapter 31 are quoted from this mother of King Lemuel.

Now read this chapter again, noting that it is written by a woman and if you are one of those women who usually cringes or avoids reading this chapter altogether, because you think it describes a “superwoman” or that it is an impossibility for one woman to display all of the qualities described here, I would encourage you to read the article attached in the link at the bottom of this article, beneath the notes.

The Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?
What are you doing, son of my vows?
Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10  An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Some short notes which makes some  great points from this Proverbs 31 commentary at www.graceinabundance.com:

Her textual identity -

  • The text of Proverbs does not name the noble woman it describes in such detail. The author is King Lemuel, who was known by Israel‟s sages even though he remains unknown to us. He received the instruction from his own mother. In addition to admonishing her son that a king must not give in to any unrestrained living that would jeopardize his ability to rule, she summarizes the kind of wife that would add honor to his name. He must look for a truly valiant6 wife who fears the Lord and not be tempted by mere beauty and charm. Lemuel applies the advice to more than the royal household, for the husband described within is an elder of the city, not a king. Thus, what was originally designed as advice for a prince has been included in Scripture for the benefit of all classes.
  • Some deny that this too-good-to-be-true wife could be just one woman. She must be an ideal, composite picture of what one could desire in a wife if it were possible to acquire it all in one package.  Nevertheless, we cannot escape the textual presentation of her as one, distinct person whose wisdom benefits not only her household but the community as well. Seeing her as a composite creates unwarranted opportunity for excusing ourselves from any obligation to be like her.

Before determining how this instruction should be applied to today‟s woman, several assumptions need to be recognized.

  1. Assumption 1: She is a mature woman.The woman described in the text is a mature woman, not a new bride. She shows the confidence of one who has gained experience over time, both in her spiritual development and in her skills as a homemaker. Young men hoping to discover a readymade Proverbs 31 wife are setting themselves up for a disappointment if they expect to say “I do” to a bride with this much skill or wisdom. In the same way that homemaking skills become perfected with practice, so also understanding and wisdom increase over time when one walks with the Author of wisdom. A new bride may not match the Proverbs 31 woman‟s skill, but she will be counted wise if she makes a conscious choice to follow the Way of Wisdom.
  2. Assumption 2: Her husband is a wise and mature man. Second, this woman is married to a man who is qualified to sit in the gates as an elder of his people. He has presumably been successful in his own endeavors and thereby has gained the respect of the community. He recognizes that he has a superb wife and appropriately leaves the management of the home to her.
  3. Assumption 3: Her household is economically well off. Third, the Proverbs 31 wife is part of a well-to-do household. Waltke mentions that the poem “assumes the husband has founded the home on a sound economic foundation (24:27) and within that context his wife can settle down and function to her maximum ideal.20 The text indicates that the woman‟s prudent management of the family‟s resources brought economic security to all of her household. Many women conclude that it would be impossible to live up to this woman‟s example without also having her servants. In their dreams, the servants would do the household work and leave them free to carry on her other pursuits. However, this betrays both a misunderstanding of the role of servants and of the author‟s point. In the North American context, servant brings to mind either  the historical slave of  the Southern plantation, or (2) a domestic worker whom only the rich can afford to pay. Neither description comes close to depicting the Proverbs 31 household servant. Even today where modern “electric servants” to which the West has become accustomed do not exist, household chores can be both physically demanding and time consuming. Without readymade clothes, canned foods, and prepared spices, clothing and feeding a household require a huge amount of one‟s day. With no electricity or indoor plumbing, every chore done by the machines the West takes so much for granted becomes a major job. The housewife needs help. Servants help, but they also bring responsibility. The Proverbs 31 woman shouldered this responsibility as normal routine in her household and did it well. The wise woman can live with or without servants. In either case, she organizes and carries out her work with wisdom, overseeing and advising everyone in her household.
  4. Assumption 4: The Proverbs 31 woman is a healthy woman. The fourth assumption from the text is that the Proverbs 31 woman is healthy, strong and fit for her job. Can a woman excuse herself from being a Proverbs 31 wife, then, if she has not been blessed with a healthy body and a vigorous immune system? If the amount of household tasks accomplished is the rule by which we measure a woman‟s worthiness, then we have established a superficial standard for wisdom. Certainly a healthy body is valuable, but wisdom is not dependant upon physical strength. Being a Proverbs 31 woman does not demand the perfect body. Instead, it needs a healthy spirit that is attuned to the Spirit of God.

In summary, then, although the author of Proverbs 31 delights in all this jewel of a woman does in the ruling of her household, her above-rubies value is not dependent upon her homemaking skills, her worthy husband, her comparative wealth, or her physical health. Her value is in using the wisdom God has given her, a wisdom that springs from her fear of the Lord. 

This is no assumption. The writer summarizes this remarkable wife with these words: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”24 Herein is the key to understanding the entire poem: the noble wife is a woman who fears the Lord. Focusing only on this industrious woman‟s work will cloud this crucial point.

Many women, even non-Christians, out of innate common sense and providential goodness devote themselves to caring successfully for their husbands and children, making the needs of their household the primary focus of their lives. What, then, differentiates the wise wife of Proverbs 31 from her counterparts? It is her fear of the Lord, not her wise shopping or her control over her children.

How does the Proverbs 31 woman‟s fear of the Lord make her different from other accomplished homemakers?

1. Her focus is on God.
2. She hates evil.
3. She is compassionate and fair to all.
4. She delights in the Lord’s commands.
5. She is teachable.

You can read the entire commentary here - http://graceinabundance.com/userfiles//Superwoman%20translit.pdf

Florin Ianovici – Desertaciunea Placerilor Partea 1

Vezi Partea 2

          Partea 3

          Partea 4

Cintarea Cintarilor 1:1-5

Notite din predica;

Introducerea: Cel mai bun om dupa fata pamintului, socotit de Biblie, este Moise. Cel mai incercat om este socotit Iov. Cel mai mare om, nascut din femeie este numit Ioan, Botezatorul, Iar, cel mai intelept om de pe fata pamintului poarta numele de Solomon. Lucrul acesta nu este insemnat in registrul omenesc. Dumnezeu privind pe pamint a zis ca Solomon este cel mai intelept om. Omul acesta scrie niste cuvinte prin inspiratia Duhului Sfint in Eclesiastul, unde declara: “Iata, ca totul este desertaciune si goana dupa vint”. Un om, care a fost bogat, intelept si faimos, socotit cel mai intelept dintre oameni ajunge sa scrie o carte dincolo de care va veti uita, concluzia ca “Totul este o desertaciune”. De ce o fi lasat Dumnezeu cartea asta?

Cheia, intelegerea este aceasta. A avut o indeletnicire acest om, anume: Si-a pus inima sa cerceteze toate lucrurile care sunt sub soare. Acelasi om, Solomon a alcatuit 1005 de cintari. Dar in aceste 1005 cintari exista una care se numeste Cintarea Cintarilor. Aici el a avut revelatie. “De-odata m-am uitat si am zis: Oare nu exista ceva dincolo de soare?” Si vine si il ajuta colegul sau Maleahi si ii spune: este un soare al neprihanirii care a rasarit in inaltime”. Muta-ti privirea de pe pamintul acesta framintat catre acela care are lumina.

Noi suntem nepotriviti cu tot ce se intimpla pe pamintul acesta.

Solomon a facut niste clasificari uimitoare (De exemplu “Priveste la furnica… lenesule…”) Dar cu toate licentele lui s-a lamurit si nu i-a mai venit sa faca nimic. Dar, intr-o zi Dumnezeu ia dat o lumina sa scrie Cintarea Cintarilor.

Sa ne mutam privirea dincolo de soare

Oricine-ai fi tu, cind vei simti atingerea lui Dumnezeu vei recunoaste si lucrul de care avem nevoie – este dragostea. Calea este calea dragostei. Sa ne mutam privirea dincolo de soare. Ca si in pilda fiului risipitor, Dumnezeu te asteapta si pe tine.

Ce-ai facut din casatoria ta si din casa ta? In fiecare zi il vindem pe Domnul Isus bucata cu bucata. Il omorim cu indiferenta noastra, cu nepasarea noastra, cu formalismul nostru, cu materialismul nostru, si cu boala dupa un nume. Ne-am hotarit sa ne zidim un nume sub soare. Vrem s-avem un nume. Vrem sa fim recunoscuti, cinstiti si apreciati. Dumnezeu ne cheama sa ne intoarcem la El.

Partea 1

La Biserica Poarta Cerului 2007

Gabi Lupescu – Mai buna este intristarea decat rasul

“Mai mult face un nume bun… decat untdelemnul mirositor si ziua mortii decat ziua nasterii. Mai bine sa te duci intr-o casa de jale, decat sa te duci intr-o casa de petrecere, caci acolo iti aduci aminte de sfarsitul oricarui om si cine traieste isi pune la inima lucrul acesta. Mai buna este intristarea decat rasul, caci prin intristarea fetei inima se face mai buna.” ( Eclesiastul 7, 1-3 )
Cum este posibil ca ziua morti…i sa fie mai buna decat ziua nasterii? Afirmatia Bibliei pare sa sfideze orice ratiune. Si aceasta cu atat mai mult cu cat chiar Solomon, autorul cartii Eclesiastul, afirma mai departe ca in “locuinta mortilor” nu mai exista “nici lucrare, nici chibzuiala, nici stiinta, nici intelepciune.” ( Eclesiastul 9, 5.6.10 )
Cand te nasti, ai intreaga viata in fata, se deschid perspective largi , iar planurile de viitor sunt numeroase. Dar cand mori …? Ce perspective si ce planuri mai raman pentru cel care pleaca ? Si atunci, cum poate Biblia sa afirme ca ziua mortii e mai buna decat ziua nasterii ?
Am gasit un singur raspuns la aceasta intrebare: Atunci cand te nasti, nu aduci cu tine nimic in aceasta lume. Nici macar numele!!!… caci si acesta ti se da…Mult incercatul Iov stia si el acest lucru atunci cand afirma: “Gol am iesit din pantecele mamei mele…” ( Iov 1, 21 )- Si totusi, atunci cand mori, iei cu tine ceva foarte important: caracterul. Si lasi in urma ta ceva la fel de important: influenta. Un caracter pe care l-ai cladit zi de zi si cu care te vei prezenta la marea judecata a lui Dumnezeu, precum si o influenta pentru care, de asemenea, vei raspunde candva inaintea Creatorului.
“Caracterul pe care-l aveti in aceasta viata , va fi caracterul pe care-l veti avea la revenirea Domnului Christos. Daca vrei sa fii un sfant in ceruri… trebuie sa fii un sfant pe pamant !. Trasaturile de caracter pe care le cultivi in viata nu vor fi schimbate prin moarte sau inviere. Vei iesi din mormant cu aceeasi dispozitie… pe care ai avut-o in camin si in societate!. Domnul Isus nu ne va schimba caracterul la revenirea Sa. Lucrarea de transformare trebuie facuta acum !!!. Viata noastra de zi cu zi …determina destinul nostru !.” .Amin.

Al Baker – Why are we Losing our Children?

Via Banner of Truth Trust, UK (05/11 issue)
It was a turn of events from God. (2 Chronicles 10:15).

In his book, Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it, author Ken Ham sites a survey that says two-thirds of evangelical young people will leave church by their early twenties.1 Surprisingly, Ham has found that those who attend Sunday School are the most likely to leave the church. Why? The children are more than likely told that God made the world out of nothing (so far so good) but their exposure to atheism in general and evolution in particular in public schools and in television and movies undermines what they hear at church. That’s because pastors, parents, and Sunday School teachers are not giving their children a reason for the hope that is in them (1 Pet. 3:15). These twenty somethings are living with a gross inconsistency and they opt for the broad way that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13-14).

While no doubt true, there is also a deeper cause for this apostasy. In 2 Chronicles 10 we are told that after Solomon’s death, Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who had been in exile since Solomon’s attempt to murder him, ventures back into Israel with hopes of repairing the rift between him and Solomon’s administration. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, is made king after his father’s death, and Jeroboam comes to him, hat in hand as it were, agreeing to serve him if he will ‘lighten up’ on Jeroboam and his friends. Rehoboam tells him to go away for three days and then return for his answer. Rehoboam consults the older men who had been his father’s consultants, asking them what they thought he should do. They said that by all means he should go easy on them. If he did so, then they would serve him forever. We are told twice, however, that Rehoboam did not listen to their counsel, and instead consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. They told him to be hard on them. In their sophomoric bravado they, in essence, were saying, ‘You are the king. You must show your power and authority. Anything less is a sign of weakness not becoming such a great, young king.’ Jeroboam returned for Rehoboam’s answer and he said, ‘My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’ The people naturally rebelled saying, ‘What portion do we have in David? Every man to your tents, O Israel!’

If we stop here then we may conclude that the moral of this historical narrative is to listen to wise counsel coming from older people and reject ungodly counsel coming from young people. But not all older people give wise counsel and not all young people give foolish counsel. Something deeper is brewing here and that’s where verse 15 comes into play. A vast portion of the kingdom was taken from Solomon and given to Jeroboam. Why? ‘It was a turn of events from God that the Lord might establish his word, which he spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat,’ (1 Kings 11:29-39). Why was God upset with Solomon? We are told in 1 Kings 3:3 that as he began his reign Solomon loved the Lord and walked in the statutes of his father. By 1 Kings 11:1, however, he loves foreign women and has gone after their gods. More specifically, Solomon brought to Israel Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, the female counterpart of Baal, the fertility god and goddess. In order to ensure prosperity by having many children, animals, and crops people regularly engaged in cult prostitution to appease Ashtoreth. Solomon also built a high place for Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, on the Mount of Olives, the place where Jesus would sweat drops of blood for us some nine hundred years later. Solomon did so for geo-political reasons. He felt threatened by the Moabites and needed a way to keep them in check. But the worst of all was the Ammonite god Milcom, a bronze god with a bull’s head, having outstretched arms with a hole in its belly. This god was made red hot with fuel and while drums were beating to drown out the cry of babies, parents regularly placed their infants in Milcom’s arms, rolling them down into his belly, they being burned alive as sacrifices to their parents’ desire for pleasure.2

Solomon forfeited ten of the twelve tribes because of his idolatry. This came not merely as a divine fiat. Cause and affect are always in play. Rehoboam grew up in a household where he heard his father Solomon say one thing, but do another. He said that he loved Yahweh, but in addition to Yahweh he also bowed down to Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Milcom. So Rehoboam never considered the fear of Yahweh as important. Instead he was prejudiced against the counsel of the older men. He considered himself to be one with the young men in their sophomoric bravado. He was filled with pride too. He loved the idea of running roughshod over Jeroboam. After all, he was the king. He could do as he pleased.

Solomon turned his heart away from God

As with Solomon and his idolatry, the big three of sex (cultic prostitution through Ashtoreth), power (geo-political security through Chemosh), and money (sacrificing children to Milcom to allow a woman the lifestyle she chooses or sacrificing one’s children for one’s career) are very much at play today. So bottom line — we are losing our children, just as Rehoboam lost most of the kingdom, because of our idolatry. Sex, power, and money still plague us, threatening to destroy our children, seeking to tear them from our covenantal grasp.

Are you bowing to the god of sex? Women, are you dressing immodestly? Are you spending too much time and money on the way you look? Men, are you secretly on the internet looking at pornography? Sin always costs us dearly. You may think you are getting away with your actions but your sins will eventually find you out. You will be exposed. It will negatively impact your children. Count on it! Are you worshipping at the high place of power? Do you compromise biblical convictions to get to the next level in your company? Women, are you buying into the world’s lie that you get your worth from your career, that staying home with young children is boring and below your gifts and talents? Are you seeking the god of wealth? Jesus says that you cannot serve both God and mammon, that you will love the one and hate the other (Matt. 6:24). Do you sacrifice your young children’s spiritual lives by placing them in public schools because you want to work outside the home? Is there no other alternative?3 Have you really thought about the implications of exposing your children to seven hours per day, one hundred and eighty days a year, to godless atheism? As I am wont to say from time to time — just raising the question. Can there be anything more precious to us than our children and grandchildren! We lose our children, as Rehoboam lost the kingdom, because of idolatry. May God give us grace to tear down these altars that threaten to undo us all!



Notes:

1. Pages 37ff address this ‘Sunday School Syndrome.’

2. Can you see the parallel today with these abhorrent gods? Worship of Ashtoreth, the fertility goddess, observed through sexual perversion, reminds us of our god of sex. Setting up Chemosh on the Mount of Olives to solidify geo-political power smacks of worshipping at the altar of power. And sacrificing children to Milcom reminds us of a woman’s ‘right’ to her own body, aborting her children because she wants nothing to get in the way of her career; of men sacrificing their children’s nurture by working ridiculous hours to make more money and gain more financial security. As Solomon says, ‘There is nothing new under the sun’ (Eccles. 1:9). Man still pursues the big three — sex, power, and money.

3. Sometimes there is no alternative. A single mother must work. Perhaps the husband does not make enough money to put the children into a Christian school. Perhaps the mother does not have the gifts or patience to home school her children. And it may be that older children, say teens, are able to ‘stand above the crowd’ and go to public schools, having been firmly grounded on the Christian world view. My intent here is to challenge you to your present way of thinking on these matters.

Rev. Allen M Baker is Pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church in West Hartford, Connecticut. His sermons are available at sermonaudio.com

Do Not Forsake Your Mother’s Teaching by John Piper

You can listen to the audio here.

Proverbs 1:7-9

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head, and ornaments about your neck.

The book of Proverbs begins, “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel.” He was a great king and the son of a great king. That means he was famous and powerful and supreme in all the realm. People bowed in his presence. They did what he said. He had immense authority and honor.

Even Great Kings Should Bow to Their Mothers

How did he treat his mother in this exalted role? You recall his mother was Bathsheba. She had married his father David under very ugly circumstances—very displeasing to God. But she was his mother, and this is what it says in 1 Kings 2:19,

Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right.

Then they had their conversation. He rose for her. He bowed to her. And he called for a throne to be put beside his for their conversation. She was his mother. Even kings should stoop when their mothers enter the room.

Solomon was not a perfect king. He was not a perfect man. None of the writers of the Bible was. But God guided his insights and preserved for us true ones here in the book of Proverbs. And I want us to listen to God’s word through Solomon today.

Six Lessons: The Ultimate Issue Is God

There are at least six things he tells us in Proverbs 1:7–9. They all relate to God. They are not merely the kind of wisdom you might pick up in reading “mindworks” or Parents magazine or Ann Landers. They overlap with the wisdom of the world. But the absence of God in the world’s family-advice is ultimately a fatal flaw. Solomon means for us to hear his counsel as all related to God.

We often think of the book of Proverbs as a book of what you can learn from ordinary earthly life. And much of it is. But the point of the book is to bring all that into relation to God so that he becomes the center of it all.

Just one example. In Proverbs 30:8 it says,

Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, 9 Lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.

Do you see what this says about God? The wise man prays, “Guard me from riches and guard me from poverty.” Why? Because if I’m rich I might say, “Who needs God!” And if I’m poor I might steal. And why is that so bad? Because you might get caught and go to jail? Or because you might lose your reputation? No. He says, Because if I steal, I will profane the name of my God.

Riches are dangerous because the ultimate issue is God. And poverty is dangerous because the ultimate issue is God. The book of Proverbs—the most practical, down-to-earth book in the Bible—is written for God’s sake. That we might not deny God in our prosperity and that we might not profane God in the hour of need.

All six lessons in Proverbs 1:7–9 relate to God, and they are all intensely practical.

1. The Origin of Family

The family is God’s idea.

Solomon takes for granted that there are mothers and fathers and children related in relationship of unique accountability. Verse 8: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” This is just a given with Solomon. It used to be with us too. But perhaps it can’t be taken for granted any more. Families are God’s idea. God’s plan. God’s way. They are not arbitrary evolutionary developments based on instincts. The family is ordained by God in creation.

In the very first chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1:27, it says,

And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth . . . “

How are they to do this fruitful earth-filling? By indiscriminate mating and pregnancies? The second chapter of the Bible (Genesis 2:24) gives the answer: A man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

A profound covenant relationship between one man and one woman—a cleaving to each other alone, in a one-flesh union—is God’s idea of the heart of the family. When this is broken by a tragic death or a tragic divorce, there may have to be single parent families. And God has been faithful to millions of mothers and fathers who have had to raise children alone. But God’s original purpose for the heart of the family was one man and one woman cleaving to each other as husband and wife and becoming one flesh in fruitful sexual union. In that way he meant to fill the earth with humans who image-forth his glory, and with couples whose covenant-relationship shows the world the way that God relates to his covenant people in love and faithfulness.

The family is God’s idea and it is for God’s glory. Solomon assumes that here in Proverbs 1:7–9.

2. The Family as a School

The family is God’s basic school for instructing children how to live in the world.

Verse 8 again: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” The father is an instructor and the mother is a teacher. Therefore the family is a school.

God ordained the family not just to be fruitful and fill the earth with people, but to fill the earth with instructed people and taught people. The family is the place where the next generation is born and where the next generation learns how to live.

Life does not come naturally for human beings. The sucking reflex comes naturally. The falling reflex comes naturally. The iris of the eye closes naturally in bright light. We don’t have to learn to cry when hungry. But that’s about it. And those skills will not get us very far in this world. Humans have to learn just about everything from the most basic skills of walking and talking and eating, to the moral actions of courtesy and gratitude and respect and faith in Christ.

The family is God’s school for this huge undertaking—teaching the next generation how to live in this world and be ready for the next.

And if a mother and a father seek help from others through relatives or nannies or day-care or Sunday schools or day schools or primary schools or secondary schools, the responsibility is still the parents’ and we parents will give an account to God for how the minds and hearts of our children were shaped and molded by the educators and care-givers we entrusted them to.

That’s point number two: the family is God’s basic school for instructing children how to live in the world.

3. The Fear of the Lord as the Unifying Theme

The foundation of family instruction is the fear of the Lord.

Verse 7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” In other words if we ask, what’s the basis and beginning and integrating theme of the father’s instruction and the mother’s teaching—what is it that runs through all their daily modeling and counseling and explaining and correcting and disciplining that give unity and meaning to it all—the answer is “the fear of the Lord.”

The family isn’t just a place where children learn to hold spoons and walk on two feet and say” please” and tie shoes and read and look both ways and cut grass and put on makeup and drive a car. The family is where all of this and more begins in God, is guided by God’s Word, and is shown to be for the glory of God. The fear of God—the reverencing of God, the standing in awe of God, the trusting of God—is what family’s are for.

The family is God’s idea. The family is a school. And the unifying theme in the curriculum of this school is God.

4. The Responsibility of Both Fathers and Mothers

Under God both fathers and mothers share in the responsibility of this family instruction.

Verse 8 again: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

It does not say, “Fathers instruct, and mothers change diapers.” It does not say, “Fathers work at the office and so have no responsibility to teach their children.” Nor does it say, “Mothers work at the office and can turn the responsibility of teaching over to a care-giver.” It says fathers instruct, and mothers teach. They share this responsibility.

If it were Father’s Day I would probably trumpet a challenge to you fathers to take fresh initiatives at home. But it is Mother’s Day, and I want to encourage mothers that this responsibility to teach your children is an immeasurably significant privilege.

God has a way of nullifying the greatness of the great and exalting the lowliness of the lowly. In our culture motherhood is, I think, on the upswing. But only after decades of unusual lowliness and bad-press. The last five our six years have abounded with letters and articles like this one to Ann Landers:

I’m so tired of all those ignorant people who come up to my husband and ask him if his wife has a full-time job or if she’s “just a house-wife.” . . . Here’s my job description.

I’m a wife, mother, friend, confidant, personal advisor, lover, referee, peacemaker, housekeeper, laundress, chauffeur, interior decorator, gardener, painter, wall paperer, dog groomer, veterinarian, manicurist, barber, seamstress, appointment manager, financial planner, bookkeeper, money manager, personal secretary, teacher, disciplinarian, entertainer, psychoanalyst, nurse, diagnostician, public relations expert, dietitian and nutritionist, baker, chef, fashion coordinator and letter writer for both sides of the family.

I am also a travel agent, speech therapist, plumber and automobile maintenance and repair expert . . .

From the studies done, it would cost more than $75,000 a year to replace me. I took time out of my busy day to write this letter, Ann, because there are still ignorant people who believe a housewife is nothing more than a baby sitter who sits on her behind all day and looks at soap operas. (Ann Landers, May 1988, quoted in Mom, You’re Incredible, by Linda Weber, Focus on the Family, 1994, pp. 23–24)

That’s true. And it is good to have it said. But vastly more can be said. Let me give one great illustration from the New Testament: the effect of Timothy’s mother and grandmother.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:5,

I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

Then in 3:14–15 Paul says,

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them [that is, your mother Eunice and through her from your grandmother Lois]; and that from childhood you have known the holy scriptures [because your mother taught them to you] which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Now that’s a remarkable testimony. Timothy’s father was a Greek (Acts 16:3). He probably didn’t know the Scriptures. So Paul celebrates the great heritage that Timothy has through his mother and his grandmother. They did what his father could not or would not do. They filled him with the Scriptures, and the Scriptures brought him eventually to faith in Christ, and faith in Christ brought him salvation.

Timothy will live forever and ever because his mother and his grandmother were faithful to Proverbs 1:8.

5. The Submissiveness of Children

God calls sons and daughters to be submissive to their mothers and fathers.

Verse 8 again: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

These two commands warn against the two common temptations of rebellion. One is when a child is home; and the other is when he is away from home. If he is home, the temptation of rebellion is not to listen when his parent speaks. So Solomon says, “Hear your father’s instruction.” If he is away from home, the temptation is to forsake what he was taught. So Solomon says, “Do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

Young people, when you are at home, listen to your parents. Do not write off what they say. Do it for God’s sake. This is so important in God’s eyes that he made it part of the Ten Commandments that sum up the whole law. Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and mother.” Honor your father by listening respectfully when he speaks. And honor your mother by remembering what she taught you about right and wrong—about the fear of God—when you are away from home and no one can see but you and God.

6. The Promise of Reward

Finally, God ordains a reward for sons and daughters who do not forsake the teaching of their mother and father.

Verse 9: “Indeed [literally, "because"], they [hearing your father's instruction and not forsaking your mother's teaching] are a graceful wreath to your head, and ornaments about your neck.”

What this verse makes plain is that the instruction of fathers and the teaching of mothers, rooted in the fear of the Lord, is good news. Kids don’t always feel that. Sometimes parents have never grown up into grace enough to feel it either. But that’s what the verse says: hearing a father’s instruction and not forsaking a mother’s teaching will be a wreath of grace and glory and joy; it will be like gifts and prizes around your neck. In other words it will mean triumph and celebration and joy.

The apostle Paul said in Ephesians 6:2 that “honor your father and mother” is “the first commandment with promise.” All the commandments are full of promise, but God goes out of his way to make this explicit for sons and daughters. There is great promise in honoring your mother and father and embracing the fear of the Lord which they taught.

  • “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence . . . The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life” (Proverbs 14:26–27).
  • “The fear of the Lord leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil” (Proverbs 19:23).

This is the wreath on your head and the ornament on your neck for embracing the fear of the Lord that your mother and father taught you—a fountain of life and strong confidence and deep satisfaction.

A Mother’s Crown of Joy

But since today is Mother’s Day, perhaps the way we should end is by reminding ourselves as sons and daughters—whether old or young—that the fountain of life, and the strong confidence and the deep satisfaction that come from honoring all the truth that our mothers taught us also comes back to them as a crown of joy and honor and blessing in their later years. “Do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22). “Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you” (Proverbs 23:25). Do not forsake the teaching of your mother. It will be a wreath of grace to your head and a crown of joy upon hers.

© Desiring God

C.H.Spurgeon – A Greater Than Solomon Part 1

(source)

A Greater Than Solomon

by C. H. Spurgeon

“Behold a greater than Solomon is here” (Luke 11:31)

OUR FIRST thought is that no mere man would have said this concerning himself unless he had been altogether eaten up with vanity; for Solomon was among the Jews the very ideal of greatness and wisdom. It would be an instance of the utmost self-conceit if any mere man were to say of himself—“A greater than Solomon is here.” Any person who was really greater and wiser than Solomon would be the last man to claim such preeminence. A wise man would never think of it; a prudent man would never say it. The Lord Jesus Christ, if we regard Him as a mere man, would have never uttered such an expression, for a more modest, self-forgetting man was never found in all our race. View it on the supposition that the Christ of Nazareth was a mere man, and I say that His whole conduct was totally different from the spirit which would have suggested an utterance like this—“A greater Solomon is here.” For men to compare themselves with one another is not wise, and Christ was wise; it is not humble, and Christ was humble. He would not have thus spoken if there had not been cause and reason in His infinitely glorious nature. It was because the divinity within Him must speak out. For God to say that He is greater than all His creatures is no boasting; for what are they in His sight? All worlds are but sparks from the anvil of His omnipotence. Space, time, eternity, all these are as nothing before Him; and for Him to compare or even to contrast Himself with one of His own creatures is supreme condescension, let Him word the comparison how He may. It was the divine within our Lord which made Him say—and not even then with a view to exalt Himself, but with a view to point the moral that He was trying to bring before the people—“A greater than Solomon is here.” He did as good as say, ”‘The queen of the south came from a distance to hear the wisdom of Solomon, but you refuse to hear me. She gave attention to a man, but you will not regard your God. You will not listen to me incarnate Deity who tells you words of infinite, infallible wisdom.” Our Lord Jesus is aiming at His hearers’ good, and where the motive is so disinterested there remains no room for criticism. He tells them that He is greater than Solomon, to convince them of the greatness of their crime in refusing to listen to the messages of love with which His lips were loaded. Foreigners came from afar to Solomon; but 1, says He, have come to your door, and brought infinite wisdom into your very gates, and yet you refuse me. Therefore the queen of the south shall rise up in judgment against you, for, in rejecting me, you reject a greater than Solomon.

The second thought that comes to one’s mind is this: notice the self-consciousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He knows who He is, and what He is, and He is not lowly in spirit because He is ignorant of His own greatness. He was meek and lowly in heart—“Servus servorum,” as the Latins were wont to call Him, “Servant of servants,” but all the while He knew that He was Rex regum, or King of kings. He takes a towel and He washes His disciples’ feet; but all the while He knows that He is their Master and their Lord. He associates with publicans and harlots, and dwells with the common people; but all the while He knows that He is the only begotten of the Father. He sits as a child, in the temple hearing and asking questions of the rabbis; He stands among His disciples as though He were one of themselves, conversing with the ignorant and foolish of the day, seeking their good; but He knows that He is not one of them; He knows that He has nothing to learn from them: He knows that he is able to teach senates and to instruct kings and philosophers, for he is greater than Solomon. He wears a peasant’s garb, and has not where to lay His head; but He knows that, whatever the lowliness of His condition, He is greater than Solomon; He lets us perceive that he knows it, that all may understand the love which brought Him down so low. It is grand humility on Christ’s part that He condescends to be our servant, our Saviour, when He is so great that the greatest of men are as nothing before Him. “He counted it not robbery to be equal with God”: mark that; and yet “He made himself of no reputation.” Some people do not know their own worth, and so, when they stoop to a lowly office it is no stoop to their minds, for they do not know their own abilities. They do not know to what they are equal; but Christ did know: He knew all about His own Deity, and His own wisdom and greatness as man. I admire, therefore, the clear understanding which sparkles in His deep humiliation, like a gem in a dark mine. He is not one who stoops down according to the old rhyme—

As needs he must who cannot sit upright;

but He is One who comes down wittingly from His throne of glory, marking each step and fully estimating the descent which He is making. The cost of our redemption was known to Him, and He endured the cross, despising the shame. Watts well sings—

This was compassion like a God,

That when the Saviour knew

The price of pardon was his blood,

His pity ne’er withdrew.

Brethren, if our Saviour Himself said that He was greater than Solomon, you and I must fully believe it, enthusiastically own it, and prepare to proclaim it. If others will not own it, let us be the more prompt to confess it. If He Himself had to say, before they would own it, “A greater than Solomon is here,” let it not be necessary that the encomium should be repeated, but let us all confess that He is indeed greater than Solomon. Let us go home with this resolve in our minds, that we will speak greater things of Christ than we have done, that we will try to love Him more and serve Him better, and make Him in our own estimation and in the world’s greater than He has ever been. Oh for a glorious high throne to set Him on, and a crown of stars to place upon His head! Oh to bring nations to His feet! I know my words cannot honor Him according to His merits: I wish they could. I am quite sure to fail in my own judgment when telling out His excellence; indeed, I grow less and less satisfied with my thoughts and language concerning Him. He is too glorious for my feeble language to describe Him. If I could speak with the tongues of men and of angels, I could not speak worthily of Him. If I could borrow all the harmonies of heaven, and enlist every harp and song of the glorified, yet were not the music sweet enough for His praises. Our glorious Redeemer is ever blessed: let us bless Him. He is to be extolled above the highest heavens; let us sound forth His praises. Oh for a well-tuned harp! May the Spirit of God help both heart and lip to extol Him at this hour.

First, then, we shall try to draw a parallel between Jesus and Solomon; and, secondly, we will break away front all comparisons, and show where there cannot be any parallel between Christ and Solomon at all.

I. First, then, BETWEEN CHRIST AND SOLOMON there are some points of likeness.

When the Saviour Himself gives us a comparison it is a clear proof that a likeness was originally intended by the Holy Spirit, and therefore we may say without hesitation that Solomon was meant to be a type of Christ. I am not going into detail, nor am I about to refine upon small matters; but I shall give you five points in which Solomon was conspicuously like to Christ, and in which our Lord was greater than Solomon. O for help in the great task before me.

And, first, in wisdom. Whenever you talked about Solomon to a Jew his eyes began to flash with exultation; his blood leaped in his veins with national pride. Solomon—that name brought to mind the proudest time of David’s dynasty, the age of gold. Solomon, the magnificent, why, surely, his name crowns Jewish history with glory, and the brightest beam of that glory is his wisdom. In the east, and I think I may say in the west, it still remains a proverb, “To be as wise as Solomon.” No modern philosopher or learned monarch has ever divided the fame of the son of David, whose name abides as the synonym of wisdom. Of no man since could it be said as of him, “And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.” He intermeddled with all knowledge, and was a master in all sciences. He was a naturalist: “and he spoke of trees from the cedar trees that are in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spoke also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.” He was an engineer and architect, for he wrote: “I made me great works; I built me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees.” He was one who understood the science of government— politician of the highest order. He was everything, in fact. God gave him wisdom and largeness of heart, says the Scripture, like the sand of the sea: “and Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezralite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.” Yes; but our Saviour knows infinitely more than Solomon. I want you tonight to come to Him just as the Queen of Sheba came to Solomon, only for weightier reasons. You do not want to learn anything concerning architecture or navigation, agriculture or anatomy. You want to know only how you shall be built up a spiritual house, and how you shall cross those dangerous seas which lie between this land and the celestial city. Well, you may come to Jesus and He will teach you all that you need to know, for all wisdom is in Christ. Our divine Saviour knows things past and present and future: the secrets of God are with Him. He knows the inmost heart of God, for no one knoweth the Father save the Son and He to whom the Son shall reveal Him. To Him it is given to take the book of prophetic decree and loose the seven seals thereof. Come, then, to Christ Jesus if you want to know the mind of God, for it is written that He “is made unto us wisdom.” Solomon might have wisdom, but he could not be wisdom to others; Christ Jesus is that to the full. In the multifarious knowledge which He possesses—the universal knowledge which is stored up in Him—there is enough for your guidance and instruction even to the end of life, however intricate and overshadowed your path may be.

Solomon proved his wisdom in part by his remarkable inventions. We cannot tell what Solomon did not know. At any rate, no man knows at this present moment how those huge stones, which have lately been discovered, which were the basis of the ascent by which Solomon went up to the house of the Lord, were ever put into their places. Many of the stones of Solomon’s masonry are so enormous that scarcely could any modern machinery move them; and without the slightest cement they are put together so exactly that the blade of a knife could not be inserted between them. It is marvelous how the thing was done. How such great stones were brought from their original bed in the quarry—how the whole building of the temple was executed—nobody knows. The castings in brass and silver are scarcely less remarkable. No doubt many inventions have passed away from the knowledge of modern times, inventions as remarkable as those of our own age. We are a set of savages that are beginning to learn something, but Solomon knew and invented things which we shall, perhaps, rediscover in 500 years time. By vehement exertion this boastful nineteenth century, wretched century as it is, will crawl towards the wisdom which Solomon possessed ages ago. Yet is Jesus greater than Solomon. As for inventions, Solomon is no inventor at all compared with Him who said, “Deliver him from going down into the pit, for I have found a ransom.” O Saviour, didst thou find out the way of our salvation? Didst thou bring into the world and carry out and execute the way by which hell-gate should be closed, and heaven-gate, once barred, should be set wide open? Then, indeed, art thou wiser than Solomon. Thou art the deviser of salvation, the architect of the church, the author and finisher of our faith.

Solomon has left us some very valuable books—the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the matchless Song. But, oh, the words of Solomon fall far short of the words of Jesus Christ, for they are spirit and life.. The power of the word of Jesus is infinitely greater than all the deep sayings of the sage. Proverbial wisdom cannot match His sayings, nor can “The Preacher” rival His sermons, and even the divine Song itself would remain without a meaning—an allegory never to be explained—if it were not that Christ Himself is the sum and substance of it. Solomon may sing of Christ, but Christ is the substance of the song. He is greater than Solomon in His teachings, for His wisdom is from above, and leads men up to heaven. Blessed are they that sit at His feet.

Again, Solomon showed His wisdom in difficult judgments. You know how he settled the question between the two women concerning the child; many other puzzles Solomon solved, and many other knots Solomon was able to untie. He was a great ruler and governor—a man wise in politics, in social economy, and in commerce—wise in all human respects. But a greater than Solomon is present where Christ is. There is no difficulty which Christ cannot remove, no knot which He cannot untie, no question which He cannot answer. You may bring your hard questions to Him, and He will answer them; and if you have any difficulty on your heart tonight, do but resort to the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer, and search His word, and you shall hear a voice as from the sacred oracle, which shall lead you in the path of safety.

My point at this time, especially as we are coming to the Communion table, is this: I want you that love the Lord Jesus Christ to believe in His infinite wisdom, and come to Him for direction. I fear that when you are in trouble, you half suppose that the great keeper of Israel must have made a mistake. You get into such an intricate path that you say, “Surely, my Shepherd has not guided me aright.” Never think so. When you are poor and needy still say, “This my poverty was ordained by a greater than Solomon.” What if you seem to be deprived of every comfort, and you are brought into a strange and solitary way, where you find no city to dwell in? Yet a guide is near, and that guide is not foolish; but a greater than Solomon is here. I think I look tonight into a great furnace. It is so fierce that I cannot bear to gaze into its terrible blaze. For fear my eyeballs should utterly fail me and lose the power of sight through the glare of that tremendous flame, I turn aside, for the fury of its flame overpowers me. But when I am strengthened to look again I see ingots of silver refining in the white heat, and I note that the heat is tempered to the last degree of nicety. I watch the process to the end, and I say, as I behold those ingots brought out all clear and pure, refined from all dross, and ready for the heavenly treasury, “Behold, a greater than Solomon was in that furnace work.” So you will find it, O sufferer. Infinite wisdom is in your lot. Come, poor child, do not begin to interfere with your Saviour’s better judgment, but let it order all things. Do not let your little “Know” ever rise up against the great knowledge of your dear Redeemer. Think of this when you wade in deep waters and comfortably whisper to yourself—“A greater than Solomon is here.”

I have not time to enlarge, and therefore I would have you notice, next, that our Lord Jesus Christ is greater than Solomon in wealth. This was one of the things for which Solomon was noted. He had great treasures: he “made gold to be as stones, and as for silver it was little accounted of,” so rich did he become. He had multitudes of servants. I think he had 60,000 hewers in the mountains hewing out stones and wood, so numerous were the workmen he employed. His court was magnificent to the last degree. When you read of the victuals that were prepared to feed the court, and of the stately way in which everything was arranged from the stables of the horses upwards to the ivory throne, you feel, like the queen of Sheba, utterly astonished, and say, “The half was not told me.” But, oh, when you consider all the wealth of Solomon, what poor stuff it is compared with the riches that are treasured up in Christ Jesus. Beloved, He who died upon the cross, and was indebted to a friend for a grave; He who was stripped even to the last rag ere He died; He who possessed no wealth but that of sorrow and sympathy, yet had about Him the power to make many rich, and He has made multitudes rich—rich to all the intents of everlasting bliss; and therefore He must be rich Himself. Is He not rich who enriches millions? Why, our Lord Jesus Christ, even by a word, comforted those that were bowed down. When He stretched out His hand He healed the sick with a touch. There was a wealth about His every movement. He was a full man, full of all that man could desire to be full of; and now, seeing that He has died and risen again, there is in Him a wealth of pardoning love, a wealth of saving power, a wealth of intercessory might before the Father’s throne, a wealth of all things by which He enriches the sons of men, and shall enrich them to all eternity.

I want this truth to come home to you: I want you to recognize the riches of Christ, you that are His people; and, in addition, to remember the truth of our hymn—

Since Christ is rich can I be poor?

What can I want besides?

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