A Thought for Today

“Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerates, their political character must soon follow.”
― Elias Boudinot

History has shown this statement to be true over and over again.  So instead of calling our leaders ugly names, instead of becoming way less than Christ-like in our words and attitudes about the present sad offering of Presidential candidates, we need to do some self-examination.

Was there “good government” in your family? Were you grounded in God’s Word?  Were you taught manners, respect, the value of hard work, and the good stewardship of your finances? Were you taught to be decent toward others, even those with whom you disagree?

No family is perfect, but we do tend to pass on to our children what we learned growing up.

So if you were allowed to set your own boundaries as a child; if you were permitted to throw tantrums, if your parents were obedient to your every whim, then that’s most likely what you are passing on to your children.

Or, if there were things you felt were unfair when you were growing up, you’re probably not requiring that thing of your own children.That philosophy teaches them pretty quickly that if there’s something they don’t like, then they shouldn’t have to do it.

I’m not completely sure when good government in the home fell apart in America. Some would point us back to the permissive parenting styles of child psychologists like Dr. Benjamin Spock. His book does seem to have been something of a landmark in parenting practices.

I never read it. Neither did my parents.

I’m about to make a very general statement here that will probably get me into a lot of trouble, but here goes:

If you came from an orderly, Christ-centered,  well-governed home, you’re probably not out there with screaming, looting, rioting, angry people who know no other way to express themselves and wouldn’t care if they did.

yes-758x392

Government, as Hillary believes it should, must NOT be the primary molder and shaper of our children. No government ever gave birth to a baby. Parents conceive babies together in an act of mutual love and caring, and no government should ever have the right to snatch that baby and leave the parents with nothing more than a guardianship role to play in the child’s life.

In America, government was designed to serve and protect, not to  control and supervise us in the smallest details of our lives.

When that balance of power shifts, and government becomes primary in influencing families and children, then any nation is in deep trouble.

America is no exception.

 

Israel Cleansed and Restored

Isaiah 4:3-4. “And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of burning.

Image result for He that remaineth in Jerusalem will be called holy

(This is Jerusalem today as seen from the Mount of Olives)

When God comes in all His wrath and splendor to deliver the remnant in Israel from their enemies, that remnant will finally turn to God. God will fulfill Is. 1:18, to “wash you, make you clean” that the people themselves failed to fulfill. He will do so by the spirit (or blast) of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

Fire cleanses.  Judgment restores.  This baptism of fire is foretold by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11. Israel will finally come into her own right relationship with God, and the promises of her greatness and restoration will be fulfilled.

The Branch and the Fruit

Isaiah 4:2. “In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the Fruit of the Earth shall be excellent and comely, for them that are escaped of Israel.

Image result for Isaiah 4:2

Jesus is the Branch of the Lord; He is the Fruit of the Earth. These two titles denote His deity (His is God) and His humanity (He was man).  The words beautiful and glorious are the same words that described the priestly clothing in Exodus 28:2, 40.  He will be excellent and comely,   having majesty and splendor. When He comes to receive the dead saints and to change the living, He will be “our Deliverer from the coming wrath”–that is, His destruction of the world at the end of this age. He will come with the angels and the Church. He will be the Deliverer of the godly remnant in Israel who have finally turned to Him as Messiah.

Cross references: I Thess. 1:10;Romans 11:2 ;Luke 10:20; Phil. 4:3; Heb. 12:23; Lev. 17:8., Exodus 19:6.

Man -Hungry

Isaiah 4:1. “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.”

Image result for Isaiah 4:1

The phrase in that day is a clue that we’re talking about the Millenium.

So many men will die when AntiChrist attacks Judah and Jerusalem that women will have no one to marry, and being a single woman, a spinster, was a reproach to a woman.  How did she have any chance of becoming mother to Messiah if she were not married?

So desperate will they be that many will beg one man to marry them all, at their own expense and upkeep, so that they not be reproached.

The proud, vain, and frivolous lifestyles they had been leading would now be so changed that it would be unbelievable to them.  Where before, they had gloried in a show of physical attraction and a choice of suitors, now they would be reduced to agreeing to all marry one man, simply to remove the reproach of being single.

But there is hope.

Death and Humiliation

Isaiah 3:25-26. “Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.”

Image result for They men shall fall by the sword, and they mighty in the war

The future is pretty bleak for Judah and Jerusalem. Strong men will be killed by the swords of the enemy;  “the might” refers to the military, those trained as soldiers.

The gates were places where worshipers gathered for ceremony and celebration; the city would be desolate, or ruined; the people would cry, weep, mourn, and sit upon the ground, a picture of utter humiliation.

I need to clarify here, because I think I missed it earlier. In verse 18, the phrase “In that day” tells us that the following prophecies concern not just the present times, but more specifically the far future when AntiChrist will destroy Jerusalem and humiliate the people.  Refer to Zech. 14:1-5, 14; and Rev. 19:11-21.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Showers of Blessing

Rain!  We’re six inches behind the normal annual rainfall this year.  Leaves are falling off trees because it’s so dry, and there won’t be much color this year if this keeps up.

Root vegetables like carrots have a more bitter taste to them when there isn’t enough water. The grass is brown and crunchy, and why anyone is still mowing is beyond me. Their lawn tractors just send up clouds of dust.

My son is in from California, and he says he’d forgotten how green it is out here, even in a dry year.  He’s living in SoCal, southern California, and it’s more desert than anything. He’s gotten used to that, and really is enjoying the green of even a dry Pennsylvania.

Some will complain about the rain, especially if it lasts more than just an hour or so. They  want clear blue skies all the time. They should move to Arizona. It always amazes me when people gripe about the gift of a good, steady rainfall. I love the rain, always have. Life-giving, refreshing, cleansing rain that cools down the heat of a late summer day cannot be anything but a blessing.

And of course, I always think of this good old gospel song:

/

Thank You, Lord, for the rain.  Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy that  falls on us like a gentle, cleansing, refreshing rain.