By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
[Hebrews 11:11-12 NKJV]
Sand is often mentioned in scripture, and with a variety of meanings. We read of “sand in the sea” and “sand by the sea” and “sand of the sea”. Each has its own nuance and aspect. Sand was obviously a major thing in the desert lands of the Middle East.
We are looking at “sand by the sea” here. It is plain from the context that the ‘sand by the sea‘ is similar to, if not the same as ‘the stars in the sky’. In other words it refers to a great number, as we see in Genesis:
Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
[Genesis 22:15-17 NKJV]
As noted above there are other types of sand - in the sea and of the sea, but there is also ‘desert sand’, and each has a relevance based on what The Lord is saying to us.
Without going into this in too much detail, while desert sand blinds you to the truth (as in a sandstorm), seashore sand is truth revealed; each grain aspires to be dry land or solid ground. In the words of the song “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
Returning to Abraham; his descendants were to be as the sand by the seashore - which is each of us who believe. Found in those descendants of Abraham is ‘the remnant’:
For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will return; the destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
[Isaiah 10:22 NKJV]
That remnant, which is The Lord’s chosen people, chosen before the beginning of time, are His special treasure ...
They shall call the peoples to the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness; for they shall partake of the abundance of the seas and of treasures hidden in the sand.”
[Deuteronomy 33:19 NKJV]
“Lord You Have Come To The Seashore” - Tim Lewis
OSWALD CHAMBERS - RUN TODAY’S RACE
Tuesday 30th June 2020
If you want to be of use to God, get rightly related to Jesus Christ and He will make you of use unconsciously every minute you live.
And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;
[Luke 4:17-18 NKJV]
Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[Matthew 5:1-2 NKJV]
Here is Jesus showing us that His Word - good for Isaiah, good centuries later for Jesus Himself, and good for us in today - is an eternal word, liberating us from present troubles and releasing us into the eternal now of His Kingdom. Jesus - as a young man, began His ministry by quoting Isaiah in the synagogue, but with an authority that came from His being ‘the anointed one’.
This blend of Isaiah 61 and Matthew reveals that His word does not change. Something to meditate upon.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the meek;
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
To comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
And a final word from Matthew 5: ...
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
“The Beatitudes” - Robert Powell as Jesus, in Franco Zeffirelli’s “Jesus of Nazareth”.
OSWALD CHAMBERS - RUN TODAY’S RACE
Monday 29th June 2020
Jesus said “Go ... and make disciples” (RV), not converts to your opinions.
Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king's gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.”
So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honour!”
[Esther 6:10-11 NKJV]
The character of Haman in the Book of Esther is a ‘type’ for what scripture calls ‘the flesh’; the way we are when we are all out for self. In Esther 6 and 7 - with the destruction of Haman - that this nature in us will be put to death by coming before the King and serving Him. In 1 Samuel 2:30 we are told, But now the LORD says: 'Far be it from Me; for those who honour Me I will honour,, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
In our reading Mordecai is honoured by the King - a man whom the King delights to honour - because of his servant’s heart. In John’s gospel we read:
But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour.
[John 12:23-26 NKJV]
God will honour those who put themselves aside to serve Him. The King will honour him with the robe of righteousness (God’s covering) and set him on a horse (power of mastery over the flesh nature).
Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who rejoice at my hurt;
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
Who exalt themselves against me.
Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
"Let the LORD be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant."
And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long.
[Psalm 35:26-28 NKJV]
“Let There Be Glory and Honour and Praises” - Kent Henry
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Sunday 28th June 2020
God engineers everything; wherever He puts us, our one great aim is to pour out a wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatsoever thy hand finder to do, do it with thy might.”
GEORGE and GILL STEWART