“Arise ye, and depart for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.” —Micah ii. 10.
There is a miserable tendency in men to cling to things that are seen. Though that which we behold is only temporal and shadowy, lacking any true substance or permanence; though the things round about us can only endure for a little while, and then will vanish away; yet we give our hearts to them, and are ensnared by their false glitter and glamour.… One of the most needful words for us to hear at such a time is this, “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest.”
Suppose that the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt, and were on the way to Canaan, instead of living in tents, and moving as the fiery, cloudy pillar guided them, had taken it into their hearts to build houses and cities and temples wherever they halted, as if they were to stop in the wilderness forever; would they not have missed much by such a plan? … On the contrary, as you know, they lived in their canvas cities: when the cloud moved, every tent was stuck, and they began the march; when the cloud halted, they rested under canvas still, never knowing how long they would continue in any one place, always expecting that they would be on the move again, seeing that they had not yet come to the land that flowed with milk and honey. Well they knew that in the wilderness was no abiding-place for them;… They were strangers and pilgrims with God, and sojourners, as were their fathers.
C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the Bible, Vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1962), p. 633.
THE BOOKS OF HISTORY ARE FOUNDATIONAL TO THE BIBLE
Today, may I impress upon your heart that the book you hold in your hands is unlike any other in the Universe? And with that truth deeply upon our hearts, in the days ahead, shouldn’t we treat it differently, read it diligently, wait before it expectantly and from it learn to live triumphantly? There are three reasons why I believe the Bible is truly like no other book anywhere: Because The Bible is Unique; Because The Bible is Powerful; Because The Bible is Divine. Today we are going to examine these three components of the Bible’s Character, that make the Bible so precious.
I. THE SCRIPTURES ARE CHRIST CENTERED
A. JESUS SHINES FROM EVERY BOOK OF THE BIBLE. Each reveals some truths about our beautiful Lord Jesus. And, there is one that has as its theme and central purpose to unveil and reveal JESUS CHRIST THE LORD. To see the central theme of Christ in all the Scriptures look at these verses: Revelation 19:10, John 5:39 and Luke 24:27.
B. CHRIST IS SEEN IN THE BOOKS OF HISTORY:
1. In GENESIS He is Creating the Universe. The Scriptures are the only reliable source of information on the origin and purpose of: universe, man, sin, nations, covenant and curse. Key Word = GENERATIONS [used 10x in book as outline].
2. In EXODUS He is Delivering His People. He is the Way out: of Egypt, of sin, of Earth. Key Word = DELIVERANCE.
3. In LEVITICUS He opens the Approach to a Holy God, Who is present with His people[1:3 before the Lord 60x in book]; Who demands holiness in His people [11:44; 19:2; 20:7]. Key Word = HOLINESS occurs 93x in the book.
4. In NUMBERS He is the Faithful One Dealing with His Unfaithful People. Key Word = CHASTENING
5. In DEUTERONOMY He is Seeking Loyalty from His chosen people as their PROMISE KEEPER. Key Word = COVENANT which occurs 27x.
6. In JOSHUA He is Commander of the Lord’s Army, Leading His People in Conquest. Key Idea = OBEDIENCE.
7. In JUDGES He is Chastening His wayward people who follow seven specific sin-salvation cycles though this book. Key Idea = DISOBEDIENCE
8. In RUTH He is Kinsman to His needy people. Key Word = LOYALTY
9. In I SAMUEL – II CHRONICLES He is the Perfect King. IN Samuel God Seeks for a Man; In Kings God Sees All; in Chronicles God Saves, Preserves, Rewards His Own. Key Words = EYES OF THE LORD used 13x.
10. In EZRA He is our Peg in the Holy Place. Key Word = RETURNING
11. In NEHEMIAH He is our Sure Foundation. Key Word = RESTORING.
12. In ESTHER He is our Unseen Defender. Key Word = PROTECTING.
Mark 7; Psalms 105:44-45; Proverbs 18:15Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eatunless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips,But their heart is far from Me.And in vain they worship Me,Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men-the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”-‘ (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.” Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”And they said, “Seven.” So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha. Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said, “Seven.”So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”Mark 7:1-23, 31-37; 8:1-21 WORSHIPHe gave them the lands of the Gentiles,And they inherited the labor of the nations,That they might observe His statutesAnd keep His laws.Praise the LORD!Psalm 105:44-45WISDOMThe heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.Proverbs 18:15
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27,)
In 1 Kings 8, Solomon is dedicating his beautiful temple structure, which took hundreds of thousands of men and seven years to build, to the glory of God. The priests have moved the Ark of the Covenant into the temple and the “Shekinah” glory of God has been revealed in the Holy of Holies.
Yet even with this, Solomon realizes that the presence of God in the temple was only a glimpse of God, not God in totality. Even though God chose to make Himself available in the Temple of Jerusalem and make it His “dwelling place,” God’s bigness was and is such that “heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain” God. Solomon came with a tremendous “smallness” to honor the bigness of God.
Solomon’s temple was grand and beautiful. Still today, its architecture and beauty have given it the “grand prize” in the study of ancient architecture and art. With all its splendor, however, even Solomon realizes it is small stuff in comparison with the bigness of God.
Today, remember God’s bigness and rejoice that no building can contain Him. Rejoice that He is big enough to handle your problems, overcome your temptations, and provide for your needs!
In His Grace, Dr. Randy White
For more solid Biblical teaching, including a daily radio broadcast from Dr. White, please visit Randy White Ministries.