Search

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Category

Service

Carrying Your Tent Peg

tabernacle

Numbers 4:29-33
As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by the house of their fathers;
From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service, to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tabernacle of the congregation; the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof,
And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.
This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the tabernacle of the congregation, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

 

Numbers 4:1-4
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things:

 

Just some brief data about the Tabernacle here:

  • External Courtyard 150 x 75 feet. Outer walls 7 feet high.
  • Tabernacle tent itself. 45 x 15 feet, covered by an external tent structure.
  • Made of animal skins, ropes, poles and pegs, really a huge tent.
  • The Israelites were led by the Shekinah Cloud of Glory by day and the pillar of fire by night. When the cloud or pillar moved, so did the camp
  • It would have taken many wagons, oxen, and men to move all of the different parts of the Tabernacle, and God as was His habit, specifically assigned duties to different people. They did not simply pick and choose who did what, God assigned it.

 

That is even how it is today, God has a plan for all of us, every single one of us. This plan is specific to each of us and includes the tiniest details of our lives. God made this plan for each of us in eternity past and knows how us following or not following His plan will affect His ultimate plan for eternity future. And yes, we can exercise our God-given free will and choose not to follow His plan for our lives.

Some of us are Kohathites and some of us are Merarites. That is, in the service of God, some of us get to do the “important” jobs and some of us get to do the “Not so important” jobs. That was also the case for the Israelites as they wandered the desert for 40 years, One of the assigned responsibilities of the sons of Kohath was to carry the Ark of the Covenant, and lead the procession as the people moved from one place to another. The sons of Mera were assigned to carry the frames of the Tabernacle: the ropes, bases, and tent pegs. There is little doubt that carrying the Ark of the Covenant was seen as much more glamorous and “important” than carrying a tiny little tent peg!

The 4 men who each carried the four corners of the Ark of the Covenant were literally one in a million men, while men who merely carried tent pegs may have been barely noticed as they trudged through their lives diligently doing their duty and carrying their tent peg.

Imagine being Joe the Merarite, carrying your little unimportant tent peg year after year for forty years of wandering in the desert. Imagine packing up your peg year after year after year as the Tabernacle was moved from on place to the next as the Pillar of Fire moved. Imagine seeing how everybody noticed and fawned over the men carrying the Ark, or the altars or the contents of the tabernacle such as the lampstands and so forth.

It’s easy to imagine how Joe the Merarite might feel or what he might say as time marched on and he carried his little unimportant tent peg. “This tent peg can’t be very important, there are dozens of them!”,;” Why hasn’t Aaron the Priest ever come by and patted me on the back?”: “Look how everybody notices Bob the Kohathite and his stupid Ark!” It’s easy to see how over years Joe could become disillusioned.

What if Joe just got fed up one day and decided he was simply done carrying that little tent peg? It’s easy to picture one day as, the Pillar of Fire moved onward signifying that the camp was to move, that Joe the Merarite might just say to himself that he might just sleep in that day, since nobody would even miss his little unimportant tent peg. It’s easy to imagine the whole camp packing up, traveling through the desert, and setting up wherever the Pillar of Fire settled down. But, what might have happened when the Camp arrived at the new location, set everything in place, and then discovered that all was ready except for that one little, unimportant tent peg? Is it possible that the entire congregation might have been prevented from properly worshipping God just because of one small tent peg? After all, the design of the Tabernacle was very specific, down to the smallest detail; the truth is, without that one little unimportant tent peg the Tabernacle was in fact not complete the way God designed it.

Are you called to carry an Ark or a tent peg? Are you called to Preach? Are you called to sing in the Choir? Are you called to teach Sunday School? Are you called to clean the Sanctuary after Sunday service? Are you called to mow the Churchyard? Are you called to clean the bathrooms? Not everyone is called to carry an Ark. Some of us may spend years doing no more than carrying a tent peg.

But, whatever it is we have each been called to do, every task is ordained and designed by God. Each and every task is part of God’s design and the Tabernacle we call our Church is not complete without every single component in place. And, without every single component in its proper place, God’s design for our worship is not complete. What that means to us in our everyday lives of Christian service is that, whatever we have been called to do, every job is important. In fact, no job, no matter how “important” or “not so important” is actually of equal importance in the eyes of God. And we are to do our called and assigned tasks for as long as God requires it of us and to the best of our ability for that assigned duration

Taking Off Your Uniform

 

 

2 Kings 5:9-11

“So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.”

The full story for the background for this article can be found in 2 Kings 5, but we will briefly recap it here. Naaman, the Syrian General, had been afflicted with leprosy and was, of course, desperate for a cure. Word came to Naaman that the great Prophet of the Jews, Elisha, could cure him of his disease. As befitting a great general, Naaman showed up at Elisha’s home complete with Chariot and entourage, like the great man he was back in Syria.

We all know the story. Elisha didn’t even go outside to greet the great general; he simply sent a messenger out and told Naaman basically, “Go wash in the Jordan river, and you will be clean.” That was simple and with no fanfare at all. Needless to say, Naaman was greatly insulted, as he expected some great miracle from the Prophet. Naaman surely thought Elisha would come to the door, make a big greeting and perform some showy ritual for the big General. Elisha did not so Naaman stormed home in a huff basically. Of course, he was still leprous!

It was not until later in the passage, when Naaman’s servants spoke with him, that he changed his thoughts about what had happened. They pointed out to him, basically, that if Elisha had asked him to do some great thing that made him look good he would have done it; yet he had refused to do this simple thing that only glorified God.

Are we like that? Do we make a pretense of seeking what God wants, but what we really seek is the thing that preserves our status in our own eyes? Are we willing to “Take off our uniform?” Are we truly willing to humble ourselves and submit to the will of God, even when it doesn’t make us look good?

Naaman finally did humble himself and submit and was healed of his leprosy. We too might find that if we humble ourselves and submit we would also be healed of the diseases that afflict us: sin, death and lack of joy among them.

Throwback Thursday-Jesus Owns Us

throw back thursday

1 Corinthians 6:20

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.


When we buy something, what does that mean for us? It means we own it, whatever thing it is that we have purchased. At the point we buy it, that thing and its future are wholly in our hands. We become free and entitled at that point to do with the purchased item whatever we want to do. We control the daily existence as well as the future for the purchased item.

Well, Jesus purchased us; our text says we were purchased with a price. What was the price? The Blood of Jesus Christ, of course, is the price that was paid. There was a price owed of course; we owed the payment for our sins. As we all know, the “wages of sin is death.” If we have repented and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, then He paid it for us. But not only did He pay what we could not, our verse indicates He also purchased ownership of us on behalf of God the Father.  We have been purchased.

The rules do not change just because it is us that has been purchased. We are, if we are saved, His purchased items. He owns us. He is free at the  point of our salvation to do whatever He wants to do with us. He controls our daily existence as well as our future.

Is that how we strive to live? Do we truly attempt to conduct our lives in the sense that we are doing what He wants us to do? Our devotional verse says we are to glorify Him with both our bodies and our spirits. Is that our daily goal, to glorify God in both of those ways? Or, is God just a sideline? Does He have complete ownership or just a Sunday rental?


Working Our Garden

Work is NOT a dirty word. Our Lord made us to work, in Him and for Him. Comments closed here, so head over and share your thoughts. Blessings and enjoy!

potters-hands.jpg

I am passionate about faith, life, and work.

Throughout my journey, God has provided me with different work. While I did not always see it at the time, God was at work, weaving His plan in my life. Work is an important concept, discussed often in the Bible.

Early in Genesis, Scripture reveals work as part of the Lord’s created order in the World. Work is not a result of the Fall, for the concept of tending the garden and cultivating the Earth is mentioned in advance of the Fall in Genesis, Chapter 2.

Genesis 2:5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground (NIV).

Read the rest here: Working Our Garden

The Armor of God-Don Your Breastplate

Originally posted in 2014

armor

Ephesians 6:14

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;


 

Again, if you want to read the entire devotional passage on the Armor of God, read Ephesians 6:10-18.

Today we are discussing the breastplate of righteousness. A Roman soldier going into battle would wear a breastplate made of primarily leather pieces put together which would cover most of him other than arms, legs and head. Obviously, this was designed to protect the soldier’s vital organs from injury.

What is the breastplate of righteousness Paul refers to here? We will briefly discuss what it is not, then a couple of ideas on what it is.

It is not a breastplate constructed from any self-righteousness we might come up with.  This would be a shield composed of some “holier than thou” attitude we sometimes assume when dealing with the world around us.  The truth is, we are all lousy and have absolutely no righteousness of our own.  If that is the best we can come up with, that we are somehow better than others, then defeat at the hands of Satan is just around the corner.

It could be a reference to the imputed righteousness we all possess the instant we are saved by the Grace of God. This would be a breastplate constructed from the knowledge we are 100 percent forgiven by God and declared righteous in His eyes at the moment of salvation.  One of Satan’s favorite tactics is to make us doubt the goodness of God and our status with Him.  The assurance of our salvation would certainly be protection when that attack comes from the Evil One.

It could, and likely is, a reference to the daily righteousness we have from living in daily obedience to God’s Word. If we strive to learn and obey the Word of God daily, then we will be able to stand before both men and God daily knowing we are protected from any condemnation from either.

As before, however, this requires action on our parts. We must know what God wills for us in order to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. Again, prayer, reading, studying and meditating are they keys. In this case, it also requires a willingness to take what we have learned and put it into action in our daily lives.

All Of Your Ways

proverbs-3_6

Proberbs 3:5.6

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.


This particular Proverb is often quoted by people as one that provides comfort and illustrates how God oversees and directs our lives; and it should be, as that is exactly what it illustrates to us.

On the other hand, there are large numbers of people who fail to see and feel the guiding hand of God in their lives, and then question God as to why and even hold it against Him.

What we sometimes fail to see is that this Proverb has two parts; it is a conditional statement. If we want to see the realization of one part of God’s Word, we have to meet the requirements of another part; this Proverb is a great example of that.

“If” we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, then He will direct our paths. In other words, as normal, God has to be the focus rather than us. When we expect God’s guidance and hand in our lives, but offer nothing in return, then it only becomes another sad example of our faith being man centered rather than God centered. What, then, does it mean to acknowledge Him in all of your ways?

Its like a sport in some ways; we only have to get back to the basics:

  • Are you saved? If you aren’t, the your sin has you separated from God, both in this life and eternally. Until that gulf is crossed by the restorative work of Jesus Christ, God cannot direct your paths.
  • Do you read and study God’s Word daily? If we aren’t seeking His revealed will from His Word, why would we expect any special guidance and direction?
  • Do we pray, meditate and spend alone time with God daily? Seeking His guidance means seeking His will. We can only know His will if we know Him. Study and prayer are the ways we accomplish that.
  • Are we striving to live like Jesus and for Jesus? It seems that if we are constantly out of line with the life He would have us live, that His efforts will be solely devoted to getting us back in line. Once again, why would He share with us His special guidance if we aren’t even following His specific guidance?

Become saved by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Read, study and meditate daily. Spend time in prayer and communion with God daily. Do these things and acknowledge Him in all of your ways, and He will direct your paths.

Faith In Action-Don’t Swear, Pray

faith in action

James 5:13

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

It seems like there is a pretty clear linkage here between this verse and the section before. James had been talking about patience through trials; then he covered how not to react to these trials. His injunction to us was to not react to our trials and adversities by saying things we do not really mean. As God has a tendency to do, he immediately offers a solution to the problem. Cool huh? What we have here amounts to this basically: “When life gets tough, don’t say things you don’t mean and can’t back up, pray instead!”

It’s time for another language lesson very quickly, especially in light of the fact that shortly we will be talking about physical illnesses. This is important because, in the verse we are talking about, the word afflicted is not a reference to sick; it is not related to the sickness we see described later on in this passage. This is simply another reference to being afflicted with trials, mistreatment, and persecutions. This is the main reason this verse seems so connected to the discussion before. When we face trial, we should pray; when we face persecution, we should pray.

We pray for a solution; we pray for God’s will; sometimes we simply pray for comfort during these times. The answer to what we face is there, we just have to reach for it, and we reach for it by prayer. One writer used this Hymn to illustrate what we give away when we fail to pray, and instead act inappropriately.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Ev’rything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged,

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden?

Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge,

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Faith In Action-Praying Through the Pain

faith in action

James 5:13-18

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

James is beginning to wind down towards the end of his Epistle as he heads off into another direction. James is preparing to discuss prayer, a subject he apparently had much experience with. According to tradition, and some ancient writings, James spent so much time on his knees praying that his knees became tough and leathered; they were so much so that he apparently was referred to as “Old camel knees.” That is serious prayer time, for sure.

James is about to share with us one of the strongest passages in Scripture regarding prayer. He has not, however, taken any sort of U turn in this section, as he is still seemingly addressing patience through the trials and tribulations of life; now he is simply telling us the best way, ultimately, to deal with those trials.

As we launch into this section, I ask readers to read with an open mind. Not all things covered during the next few days will find agreement with all readers. Please, disagree if you find cause; however, let us keep it nice! I raise that point, because it seems this section has a wide range of interpretations from many different quarters.

Many questions come to mind as we begin to study this section of scripture. Are there different types of suffering and sickness being talked about here? Does God promise that prayer will always result in healing? Why the elders? Are we supposed to be anointing people with oil? What does Elijah have to do with all of this?

As we head into this passage remember the old maxim; A scripture with out a context is a pretext.

Any body care to take a try at some of our questions?

Anyone have any brief thoughts they want to share on this section before we start our study?

Faith In Action-Speak Honestly

faith in action

James 5:12

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

Here, it almost seems James has taken off in yet another direction. In this verse, James teaches a point on, basically, honesty in one’s words. There is some discussion among commentators about how exactly this verse fits with the previous discussion; not all even agree that it ties in with the previous discussion. It may stand alone as an instruction, but it also may be tied to earlier statements. It is very possible that James is instructing us to watch what we say during times of stress and conflict, In other words, do not let the stress of a moment cause us to make promises we have no plan to keep. Personally, I like that linkage. Either way, the point of the lesson does not change much.

Let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; If you say yes mean yes; if you say no, mean no. It’s all about integrity. This is a critical point in our Christian walks and in our testimonies. Christians should be instantly known as people whose yes means yes and whose no means no. There should never be any doubt in the mind of the people we engage with that the words be speak are, to our knowledge, true.

This matters to God. Jesus said the following:

Matthew 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, also had something to say about words of integrity.

Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

How do we know this matters to God? We are to deal honestly in our words lest ye fall into condemnation. Lying is a sin.

Let’s be honest, the world as a whole has many opportunities to find ways to present Christians as hypocrites; do we need to give it one more?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: