Daddy blog

I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

False Prophecy is a Grievous Thing


S: Ezekiel 13:1-7 Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to the prophets who prophesy from their imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit but have seen nothing! Your prophets have become like jackals among the ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up in the breaks in the wall, nor repaired a wall for the house of Israel that it would stand strong in the battle on the day of the Lord. They see delusion and their omens are a lie. They say, “the Lord declares,” though the Lord has not sent them; yet they expect their word to be confirmed. Have you not seen a false vision and announced a lying omen when you say, “the Lord declares,” although I myself never spoke?”

O: God views false prophecy as a very serious offence. These prophets prophesying that all would be well and that the Lord would rescue Judea from the Babylonians were engaging in wishful thinking, misleading the people of Israel. God had allowed the Babylonians to conquer Judah because of their centuries of turning away from Him. The exile was necessary to purify Judaism and bring them back to worship the Lord.

In our Charismatic Christian circles, I have observed wishful thinking claiming to be prophecy. Many a beloved Christian dying has had "prophecies" said over them claiming that they would be healed... and then, when they die, many have lost their faith either partially or altogether.

A: We must not be glib about prophecy. Before you prophecy, you'd better be sure it's from the Lord. If you have falsely prophesied, repent and seek forgiveness both from God and from the persons you have harmed.

For this reason, I am also skeptical of the practice in certain Charismatic circles of telling people to "practice" prophecy. I've been in a crowd where we were told to pair up with some other person and to pray and ask God for a prophecy to speak over him or her. It seems to me that this is a good way to encourage people to make wishful thinking into fake prophecy.

Prophecy is God's prerogative. Its source is God, not man. We have God's written revelation and we can study the Bible and apply it to our lives and counsel others. (2 Timothy 3:16) We must not use "prophecy" that is actually wishful thinking as a short-cut to bypass this process.

Therefore, we must diligently study the Word of God like the Bereans did (Acts 17:11). If God gives you a prophecy, great! But it's His prerogative, not yours.

P: Father, teach us Your Word, Your Truth, and lead us to Your Life. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

David the liar and genocide?


S: 1 Samuel 27:6-12 So Achish gave him the town of Ziklag (which still belongs to the kings of Judah to this day), and they lived there among the Philistines for a year and four months. David and his men spent their time raiding the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites—people who had lived near Shur, toward the land of Egypt, since ancient times. David did not leave one person alive in the villages he attacked. He took the sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing before returning home to see King Achish. “Where did you make your raid today?” Achish would ask. And David would reply, “Against the south of Judah, the Jerahmeelites, and the Kenites.” No one was left alive to come to Gath and tell where he had really been. This happened again and again while he was living among the Philistines. Achish believed David and thought to himself, “By now the people of Israel must hate him bitterly. Now he will have to stay here and serve me forever!”

O: Look what this "man after God's own heart" did! He lied to King Achish who had given him shelter from King Saul who had wanted to kill him. He attacked and massacred villages that did nothing against him, committing genocide upon those villagers. How can this be a "man after God's own heart"? He had shown no remorse or repentance for any of these horrible acts that today would have had him condemned in a United Nations war crime tribunal.

What, indeed, did God reprimand him for? For one adulterous affair with Bathsheba, for one murder of Bathsheba's husband, Uriah the Hittite. (2 Samuel 11-12).

Why was that? Why did God overlook monstrous crimes where large numbers of people were massacred, and make such a big deal about one single case of adultery and one single case of murder?

I think the answer lies in what God could expect David to know about right and wrong. It was acceptable in David's time and culture to attack foreign villages and rape, plunder and kill them. But David knew full well it was wrong for him to steal the wife of a friend and murder him.

It was not that David's sins which he did not know were sins had no consequences. God forbade David from building the Temple because of the blood on his hands. (1 Chronicles 22:8) However, God did not expect David to repent of sins he did not know were sins.

A: I have been teaching my daughter Joni about confession and repentance before partaking of Holy Communion lately. One of the things that a spiritually-attuned child might worry about is "What if I forget to confess some sin before I take Holy Communion? Will I be then guilty of the body and blood?"

The example of how God dealt with David is one of the pieces of evidence that God does not expect us to confess and repent of sins we are not aware of. If at some point, He teaches us that something we had been doing in the past is wrong, we can confess and repent of it. Meanwhile, He only expects us to confess and repent of what sins we do know about.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) The blood of Jesus covers all our sins, whether we know them to be sin or not.

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

P: Father, thank You so much for Your grace and mercy upon us. Thank You for sending Jesus to pay for our sins and bring us into Your family. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Green-Eyed Monster; loyalty to God transcends loyalty to the government


S: 1 Samuel 18:6-11 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.

1 Samuel 20:42 At last Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn loyalty to each other in the Lord’s name. The Lord is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan returned to the town.

O: Saul was the anointed king of Israel, chosen by God Himself. Yet, he disobeyed God several times and did not repent, and now he was getting jealous of David.

This jealousy led him to attack David and try to kill him, even though David had always been loyal to him and only did him good. This eventually led to Saul's downfall.

Jonathan and Michal, though they were Saul's children and though their father was the legitimate king and government, recognized this and helped David escape their father's murderous intent.

A: Jealousy can lead one to grievous sin. It can blind one to ones' friends and make one their enemy.

As we celebrate Malaysia day this weekend, the example of Jonathan and Michal in defying their rightful government leader because of his abandoning God's principles also is applicable to our own situation. As people who want to change the government, however, we should also recognize that there are good people who continue to be in the government's party and not demonize them.

Jonathan continued to fight on his father's side when his father was legitimately fighting the Philistines. In fact, Jonathan died in such a battle, partially as a consequence of his father's folly.

There is a good and Godly man with whom I sometimes carpool who supports the corrupt BN government. He is a good reminder to me that not everyone who supports the BN government is evil.

Happy Malaysia Day!

P: Father, when we see our brother or sister doing well, keep us from jealousy. And help us to remember that those who politically oppose us are also people made in the image of God. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Looking beyond personal hurt


S: 1 Samuel 12:23 As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right.

O: Samuel felt hurt when the people demanded a king. (1 Samuel 8:6) However, he did not allow his own personal hurt prevent him from doing the right thing.

Often, when I feel unjustly treated, I feel like hitting back. However, that's not the right thing to do. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but He only wants them to turn from their evil ways so that they may live. (Ezekiel 33:11)

A: We need to continue to follow God's Word and do the right thing even when we've been unjustly treated.

P: Father, sometimes it is so hard to keep on doing right when we have been hurt by others. But it is what You want me to do. Please help me to continue following you when that happens. In Jesus' name, amen.

Thank you, Lord, for the trials that come my way. In that way I can grow each day as I let you lead,

And thank you, Lord, for the patience those trials bring. In that process of growing, I can learn to care.

But it goes against the way I am to put my human nature down and let the Spirit take control of all I do. 'Cause when those trials come, my human nature shouts the thing to do; and God's soft prompting can be easily ignored.

I thank you, Lord, with each trial I feel inside, that you're there to help, lead and guide me away from wrong. 'Cause you promised, Lord, that with every testing, that your way of escaping is easier to bear.

I thank you, Lord, for the victory that growing brings. In surrender of everything life is so worth while. And I thank you, Lord, that when everything's put in place, out in front I can see your face, and it's there you belong.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)