Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 8

“You Put Everything Under His Feet”

July 8 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 25-27 and Psalms 8

I would like to make a short comment concerning the difficult sections in Isaiah that we have been reading. There is plenty of evidence in these passages confirming the fact that God is going to indeed judge the world – that God is at work redeeming a group of people to Himself – that God is sovereign over all the earth and Earth, as we know it, will certainly be destroyed! Many Christians have therefore adopted an “I don’t care” stance when it comes to protecting and caring for the present world that God has entrusted to us. “It’s all going to be destroyed anyway, so why should I care?” – “We are meant for eternal matters, so why focus on the temporal?”

Let’s look in on Psalms 8:3-6 for the answer to this issue; “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:”

The God-given responsibility and order of our present world is clearly outlined here – God has set US over His creation. We have a job to do concerning the world we live in. We should be “rulers” or “stewards” of creation. Surely this should include the care of created things as well as the responsible use of natural resources. Without getting too political about all this, there is a Biblical case to be made for Christians “managing” God’s creation. Does this mean that we should get on the “bandwagon” and declare ourselves to be “hard-core environmentalists”? Hardly. Many of these movements are designed to be purely political or moneymaking enterprises cloaked in political correctness. Let it never be said of Christians, however that we are abusers of the earth or the environment. I’m thinking of the simple things of life – not polluting whenever possible – recycling when feasible – not throwing our garbage all over the place and being careful about the kinds of garbage we create – considering long-term impact before making decisions – etc. These are not complicated things; just common sense issues and we have an obligation as God’s ambassadors to look after His world the best we can until the end of time as we know it.

Let’s never forget that we are the “good guys” and whenever possible, we do the right thing – We align ourselves with all “morally right” decisions. Does this mean that we will always have easy choices to make concerning these complicated matters? No – of course not. But, when the choices are simple, lets chose for good stewardship and good citizenship.

Questions:

1. If you were put in charge of looking after the earth, what would you do to be a good manager of the people – the lands – the waters – the resources – the economy?
2. What small things can you do to make this world a better place?

Such A Great Salvation

January 8 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 22-24 – Psalms 8

We come today to a fascinating account in Scripture where God shows Abraham what His great salvation is all about. The way God goes about this almost inconceivable to us but in ancient days, the “gods” routinely required human sacrifice to appease them. Scripture after Scripture forbids us from taking human life which is why we oppose things such as abortion and murder. At this point in history, God had expressly forbidden taking human life and Abraham knew it.

How then could God seemingly contradict Himself? … Because, it was never God’s intent that Isaac be sacrificed but rather that Abraham gain an amazing revelation of God’s immense sacrifice and His plan for the salvation of mankind. Isaac, like Jesus was like a lamb – innocent of anything that should sentence him to death. Abraham needed to feel the anguish of this offering so that he could prophetically see the heart and plan of God. I believe that God also wanted Abraham to see that He was completely different from any “god” he had ever heard of or encountered. This was not a God who would constantly ask people to perform hideous and sinful acts just to appease Him. One of the favorite practices in this part of the world at that time was for families to sacrifice children to gods such as Molech. God wanted to deal with this abomination once and for all. Old Testament people were in some ways no different than we are – but they looked FORWARD to the Savior of the world – we look BACK to Jesus Christ and what he did for us when he died on the cross. Remember this truth – The God-Head planned salvation from the beginning – God Himself would show his love by suffering and dying for sinful man. Jesus – 100% God and 100% Man – God in the flesh fulfilled that plan.

There are indications here, of the kind of faith Abraham possessed when he told his servant, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” [Genesis 22:5] He then prophetically told Isaac, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” [Genesis 22:8] He also reasoned that, even if the sacrifice actually happened, God would raise the dead. (Hebrews 11:19) After all, had God not promised him that through Isaac would come multitudes?

Some historians suggest that the spot God brought Abraham to in this “test” was actually the same PHYSICAL spot where Jesus would die years later. Some Muslims also believe that this was the place Mohammad was taken to heaven. Still others believe that this is the very place where the Temple Mount is located in Jerusalem.

I find it interesting that through this test there came a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham – it’s almost as though the promise was there in principle but the SIGNATURES on the contract took place after Abraham was tested. How many promises of God hinge on our response to Him? I can’t think of any faith-contracts that don’t. Even Salvation requires a response.

Questions

1. There are “deceived and mentally ill” people in the Christian community who boldly declare that God has “told” them to do some extreme act. How is a Christian to evaluate what they think God has told them to do?
2. If there was nothing Abraham could do to earn God’s favor, then why did God ask him to offer Isaac?

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