Faith – Humble, Not Boastful

Matthew 6 speaks of having a humble faith. The Lord already knows our needs and what’s on our heart. Doing faith for recognition from others, or boasting about it, is not humbling ourselves before the Lord.

Again, the Lord is speaking of the heart, or the motivations of man. That is the root of our trouble. Charity is not so others can recognize what we are giving. Giving is for those that we give to and to recognize that all is given by our Father.

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.  For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. Matthew 6:1‭-‬8 NKJV

Wisdom, Patience, Work & Poverty

​The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord , But he  who  is perverse in his ways despises Him. In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find  it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in  him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there  is favor. The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that  seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will  be  satisfied from above. The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps. A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated. The simple inherit folly, But the prudent are crowned with knowledge. The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous. The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends. He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good. In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty. The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is folly. A true witness delivers souls, But a deceitful witness speaks lies. In the fear of the Lord  there  is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord  is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death. He  who  is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he  who  is impulsive exalts folly. A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is  rottenness to the bones. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is  against him who causes shame. Proverbs 14:1‭-‬3‭, ‬6‭-‬9‭, ‬11‭-‬12‭, ‬14‭-‬27‭, ‬29‭-‬31‭, ‬34‭-‬35 NKJV

The Golden Calf & Consequences

When reading the following passage, it is difficult to put myself in the shoes of the Israelites of the time. 

“Hey, Moses has been gone longer than expected. Let’s make ourselves a god and worship it.”

That doesn’t really sound like a good idea to me when the God of Abraham and Moses has just freed them from opression with signs and wonders. Let alone that Aaron would agree to this plan and mold the calf himself. I realize that they just came out of a pagan culture that worshipped golden idols. It’s still hard to understand the thought process here.

Also, the consequences were much more severe than I had remembered. Around 3,000 in the camp were slain by the sons of Levi. Moses had the people drink the gold in water. Also, the people ended up being plagued. It seems like a foreshadowing that those who follow Christ end up dividing some families and friends.

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as  for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the  gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.” Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: “ Lord , why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. So the Lord  relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people. And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets. So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.  And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?” Now when Moses saw that the people were  unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the Lord ’s side— come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’ ” So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Then Moses said, “Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord , that He may bestow on you a blessing this day, for every man has opposed his son and his brother.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the  place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.” So the Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made. Exodus 32:1‭-‬4‭, ‬7‭-‬12‭, ‬14‭-‬16‭, ‬19‭-‬21‭, ‬25‭-‬29‭, ‬33‭-‬35 NKJV

Artisans for the Tabernacle & the Sabbath

There were a few things that stood out to me in Exodus this morning.

  • The Lord filled Bezalel and Aholiab with the Spirit of God as artisans so that they could build the Tabernacle as He designed.
  • The Sabbaths are to remind His people and are a sign that it is the Lord who sanctified them.
  • The two tablets of stone were written with the finger of God.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner  of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner  of workmanship. “And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tabernacle of meeting, the ark of the Testimony and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furniture of the tabernacle— And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it  is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord . Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is  a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ” And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. Exodus 31:1‭-‬7‭, ‬12‭-‬18 NKJV

Jesus’ Emphasis on the Heart

In Matthew 5, beginning at verse 21, Jesus brings up some of the Hebrew laws. In doing so, He emphasizes the heart of the man over the law. Essentially, where there is law, man will find a way to bend it to benefit himself. It is important for us to submit to God.

  1. Do not murder. Jesus says not to even harbor anger towards your. bretheren. Verse 21-26
  2. Do not commit adultery. Jesus says not to even look at a woman to lust for her or you have committed adultery in your heart. Essentially, our intentions matter and it’s not just about sex. Verse 27-30
  3. Do not divorce your wife without a certificate. Jesus expands on this to say that divorce should be reserved for sexual immorality. Whoever marries a divorced woman also commits adultery and causes her to commit adultery. Again, the heart matters and you should not get a divorce unless it is warranted (not just for any reason). Verse 31-32
  4. You shall not swear by oaths except to the Lord. Jesus says not to swear at all, even by heaven. If you promise something, you need to keep your promise. Verse 33-37
  5. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Jesus says to love those who do not love you.Verse 38-42
  6. You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. Jesus says to model ourselves after God and love your enemies. Verse 43-48

Wealthy vs. Poor from Proverbs

Proverbs 13

  • Listen to your father’s instruction and heed rebuke. Verse 1, 7-8, 10, 13
  • Let the fruit of your mouth be good. Verses 2 & 3
  • Riches come to those who are diligent and honest. Laziness does not fulfill your desires. Verse 4, 11
  • Righteousness guards those whose ways are blameless and wickedness will overthrow sinners. Verse 6, 9
  • When you reach a desire and it is fulfilled, it is good and brings life. Hope not achieved makes the heart sick. Verse 12, 19
  • The law of the wise brings life and turns people away from sin. Verse 14
  • Prudence and understanding gains favor and the way of the unfaithful is hard. Verses 15-16
  • A faithful ambassador brings health and a wicked messenger falls into trouble. Verse 17
  • Poverty and shame come to those who disdain correction. Those who listen to rebuke will be honored. Verse 18
  • He who walks with wise men will be wise. He who walks with fools will be destroyed. Evil pursues sinnsers. Verses 20-21
  • A good man will leave an inheritance to his grandkids. The wealth of sinner is stored up for those who are righteous. Verse 22
  • There is much food in the unplanted ground of the poor and for a lack in justice there is waste. The righteous eats to the satisfying of their sour. Verse 23, 25
  • The father who spares the rod of correction hates his son. He who loves his son disciplines him promptly. Verse 24