Showing posts from July, 2022

Revival in Our Relationship with God, Psalm 85

For the situation to change God must deal with our sin. If we think that we can keep asking for God’s blessings while living in sin then all we are is a spiritual version of the Jerry Springer show. We are like a man who says that he wants to work on his marriage and keep his mistress. And we see the Psalmist repent in the first portion of Psalm 85. He seeks God for revival by first repenting of sin. Alright. Now what? What do we do? What are we looking for next? How do we know if prayer is working and if God is answering? It would be nice if you could somehow run a test for revival. Revival would be much easier if it were more medical in nature. Think about it. You start feeling a little off. You go to the doctor and they run tests, diagnose you with high blood pressure and then they send you home with a prescription of medicine and a low salt diet. They tell you to come back in a month. So you go back after 30 days of pills and the most bland, boring food you’ve ever eaten in your li

Revival From Sin, Psalm 85

We all know that there are some really twisted things online. There are some crazy things happening in people’s  marriages. I scanned through columns in magazines, podcasts, bloggers, and radio personalities that do the “relationship advice” thing. These people are like those sappy Dear Delilah type shows. And I found numerous columns about a crazy marriage situation. Women described a situation in which their husband wanted to save their marriage, but keep his mistress! Most of the comments on those articles center on the mentality of a man who exhibits such calloused, obtuse thinking. A person who thinks like that is completely self-centered and exhibits that they really don’t care about the affect of their actions on their spouse. This person’s only concern is keeping what he likes of his marriage and his mistress. As Jerry Springer of a situation as that sounds, there are instances in the Bible in which God describes the audacity of his people to live in sin in much the same way. H

Revive us Again, Psalm 85

When we think of revival we have fond memories and high hopes for a few days that we might set aside for preaching and prayer.  The common practice is to invite an evangelist to preach and our unchurched family and friends to attend in hopes that they would be saved. Perhaps people in the church would recommit. We want the backslider to reconnect. And if it all goes well, we may put it on the calendar again for next year. And we have seen God do great things in those meetings. Praise God for that. But, when you read Psalm 85 you hear a man ask God to “revive us again.” But as you read the text, you hear no plans. There is no mention of a speaker. He indicates no dates he has reserved on the calendar.  These omissions are no indication that any of this is unbiblical or sinful, but it does indicate that when it comes to revival, this man wants something else, maybe something more. What you hear is desperation. You hear a man going to God and asking God to do what only He can do. You hear

Leviticus 9 and 10, Tragic Worship Fails

There is a section in our closet of things I would consider to be Christmas fails. Hanging neatly in a row were numerous articles of clothing that I bought for my wife that she won’t wear. Shannon would ask for a nightgown for Christmas. She would then go into intricate detail about its length, thickness, fabric, color, texture. She was particular that she wanted it like this, but not like that.  Despite all the detail, all I heard her say was, “I want a nightgown.” I didn’t pay attention to the rest of it. So I would buy her a nightgown that I thought she should like, but she didn’t. So after several Christmases like that, she now gives me a list of EXACTLY what she wants. And when I say EXACTLY, I mean that she finds it online and gives me a link. So Christmas shopping for Shannon is a point and click, dummy-proof experience.  Even I can do it.  But what about the joy of the unexpected Christmas gift? What about the fun of surprises? Surprises?  I’m surprised I bought so many gifts s

Leviticus 8, Doomed to Fail

  In my  previous post  on Leviticus 8, I drew attention to the problematic choice of Aaron as Israel’s inaugural high priest. Aaron was doomed to fail. But God is sovereign. He possesses all possible information, and He does not make mistakes. God takes no bribes. He knows the past, present, and future perfectly.  God knew what Aaron did, and He knew what Aaron would do. So we could say that in His sovereignty, God chose a human to be the first high priest of Israel who was doomed to fail. God also knew that every high priest after Aaron would have the same problem. All of them would need forgiveness. They would all have on their resumé “sinner” and the same set of instructions for installation. Strip him. Wash him. Sacrifice for him. Forgive him. Anoint him.  Be careful with him. Realize what you have in him. He’s a sinner, graciously clothed in glory.  Leviticus 8 highlights the fact that the high priest needs a sacrifice before he can offer sacrifices. Thus, every human high priest

Leviticus 16, Yom Kippur an Appointment for Atonement

The Bible doesn’t portray the death of Jesus as natural or accidental but orchestrated. Jesus speaks as if He has an appointment with crucifixion. As he works His way toward Jerusalem, Jesus speaks of his suffering with certainty. His death is not to inspire others as a martyr, but His death will give new life to others as a sacrifice. His is no ordinary death. The death of Jesus was different.  But have you ever wondered why did Jesus have to die? Why did Jesus see the way to fixing people’s problems and redeeming a broken world being inseparable from his suffering and death? There are certainly less traumatic ways to fix the world. So why not choose something more conventional like protest, revolt, or reform?  We have heard plenty of ideas of how to fix the world. We have conservatives and liberals, capitalists and socialists, evangelicals and ex-vangelicals. In Jesus’ day, it was Pharisees and Sadducees, Zealots and Hellenists.  Then as now, each tribe firmly believes that they have