April 29

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“God also punished the men of Shechem for all their evil. So the curse of Jotham son of Gideon was fulfilled” (Judges 9:57 NLT).

From: April 29, 2019

WHAT WAS THE CURSE OF JOTHAM?

Jotham was the only surviving son of the 70 sons of Gideon. Their half-brother, Abimelech, was born to a concubine of Gideon, who was from the city of Shechem. After Gideon’s death, Abimelech conspired with the inhabitants of Shechem to overthrow Gideon’s sons, and so he murdered all of them but Jotham, who escaped. When Jotham heard that Shechem had declared Abimelech their king, he shouted a curse down upon them from Mount Gerizim.
 
Jotham’s curse was in essence a call for truth and just deserts for Abimelech and Shechem. He called for fire to come out of Abimelech to devour Shechem and for fire to come out of Shechem to devour Abimelech. In other words, he cursed them that they would be the destruction of the other. They chose each other, now they would receive what they had chosen.
 
Jotham’s curse depended on the holy wrath of God, which is His righteous response to sin. The Apostle Paul wrote that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom. 1:18). This wrath or judgment of God against sin is already being revealed in the world in that God has removed restraint, so that He allows sinners to reap what they sow. As Paul wrote, “God gave them up” (Rom. 1:24, 26) or gave them over to their sin and to sin’s reward.
 
God’s punishment was to let Abimelech and Shechem kill one another just as Jotham had predicted. And His divine wrath is still being revealed in the world today. Yet, we can be set free from God’s wrath by believing in God’s “revealed righteousness” (Rom. 1:17), which is the Gospel of Christ.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank you that we will no longer get what we deserve because of Christ Jesus. For the wages of sin is death, but Jesus took our death that we might receive His eternal life. There is no condemnation and no wrath hanging over us because our Lord Jesus has taken it all upon Himself in our place! We offer ourselves as living sacrifices in response to Your great love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

‘Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched.’ (Luke 24:41-43 NLT).

From: April 29, 2018

JESUS ATE NOT IN NEED OF FOOD BUT FOR THEIR FAITH
When Jesus suddenly appeared with the disciples on the evening of His resurrection, they were terrified. They feared they were seeing a ghost! Jesus patiently showed them His pierced hands and feet, but they still “stood there in disbelief.” So, Jesus asked for food to eat, not because He was hungry, for His glorified body had no need of food. He asked for food that the disciples might have faith.

“So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel” (Judges 10:16 NKJV).

From: April 29, 2017

When the Israelites finally “put away” their idolatry, so that their deeds matched their words of repentance, God was moved to answer their cry. The description of the Lord’s response to Israel’s true repentance is revealing. For it described Him as being “no longer” able to “endure” their “misery.” Literally, God was grieved about Israel’s misery.
 
What does this mean? Does the Lord feel the suffering that our own sin inflicts on us? Does it pain Him to see our misery? Is there a limit to His patience? Does God grieve? Certainly, we must be careful not to ascribe human weakness to the omnipotent, unchanging God. Yet, there is something paradoxical of His character revealed here. God’s joy is unconquerable and His will enduring. yet God no longer wanted to endure the misery of Israel.
 
The clearest picture that we can get of God and the fullest revelation of His character are found in Christ. In Christ, God’s holiness and mercy were revealed in the cross. He sent Jesus to die in our place, because in His love, He could no longer endure our misery.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12 ESV)

From: April 29, 2016

Many today claim to have found a new and better “way.” Some say theirs is the way of freedom. Others claim their way is as good as any other. “Aren’t all ways the same?” They ask with a wink and a nod. Yet, God’s Word says that these “ways” only “seem right.” In reality, death lies just around the turn. Death by a thousand cuts: Death of a relationship, of a marriage, death of a desired future… and finally death of the body and the eternal death that follows. The way that seems right to man is paved like a highway, and seems attractive to follow, yet it concludes with a dead end of destruction. However, there is another way, a narrow way, that leads to life, yet few will find it (Matt. 7:13-14).

“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45 NKJV)

From: April 29, 2015

After Jesus was resurrected he “opened the minds” of the disciples, so that they could understand the Scriptures concerning him. There are over 300 Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament and Jesus fulfilled every one. Yet, many doubted or misunderstood. Now, the risen Jesus did more than explain, he “opened their minds.” This is more than instruction. This is a miraculous spiritual sight given to those previously blind. They were now able to see Jesus in the Scriptures. He became not only the object to which the Word pointed, but the lens through which they could rightly interpret it. Jesus is the criterion for right understanding of God’s Word. Without him, there is no true understanding for we would be left as the “natural man” who finds God’s Word as foolishness. Only the spiritual, whose minds have been “opened” can understand (1 Cor. 2:14-16).

“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45 NLT)

From: April 29, 2014

After Jesus was resurrected he “opened the minds” of the disciples, so that they could understand the Scriptures concerning him. There are over 300 Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament and Jesus fulfilled every one. Yet, many doubted or misunderstood. Now, the risen Jesus did more than explain, he “opened their minds.” This is more than instruction. This is a miraculous spiritual sight given to those previously blind. They were now able to see Jesus in the Scriptures. He became not only the object to which the Word pointed, but the lens through which they could rightly interpret it. Jesus is the criterion for right understanding of God’s Word. Without him, there is no true understanding for we would be left as the “natural man” who finds God’s Word as foolishness. Only the spiritual, whose minds have been “opened” can understand (1 Cor. 2:14-16).

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12 ESV)

From: April 29, 2013

Jesus made two statements that refine our understanding of this proverb. He said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Matt.7:13). Then, describing this “narrow” way, he said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man comes to Father except through Me” (John 14:6). There is a worldly highway jammed with traffic that seems right since “everyone else is doing it,” but it leads to death. Only a few follow the narrow path winding past the hill Golgotha and the empty tomb as they follow the risen Lord Jesus. Yet, those who do find rest at the end of the road.

“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45)

From: April 29, 2012

What Jesus did for the disciples after His resurrection, He will do for us. Understanding Scripture requires more than literary wisdom and intellect. It requires spiritual rebirth. One of the marks of an authentic Christian is that Jesus has opened their mind to His Word. Do you love God’s Word?