Articles/Illustrations of Faith, Quotes, poetry and devotions…
Smokey Barn News
Sunday November 9, 2014
Robertson County, Tenn.
“The Sunday Post”
…A non denominational column comprised of articles of Faith, poetry and devotions…
God’s Tear Bottle
Tear bottles were prevalent in ancient Roman times, when mourners filled small glass vials with tears and placed them in burial tombs as symbols of love and respect.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, the notion of collecting tears in a bottle appears in Psalm 56:8 when David prays to God, “Thou tellest my wanderings, put thou my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy Book?” David’s words remind us that God keeps a record of human pain and suffering and always remembers our sorrows.
Psalm 56:8 – Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
This is a remarkable insight into the tender heart of our heavenly Father. He has a tear bottle — in fact, perhaps a tear bottle for each of His wandering children.
Ancient “tear bottles” (or wineskins) have actually been excavated by archaeologists in Israel. These vessels were used to catch and preserve the owner’s tears during times of grief or extreme pressure. This psalm was actually written by David when he was being pursued by Saul on one side and surrounded by Philistines in the city of Goliath on the other. David apparently not only had his own tear bottle, but also believed that God somehow was also storing up David’s personal tears in His own heavenly bottle of tears.
There is a touching story in the earthly ministry of Jesus that provides another example: “Behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, . . . and anointed them with the ointment” (Luke:7:38).
The ointment was obviously not the same as the tears, but followed the washing by tears. Some scholars think these tears came from her bottle, which was emptied on His feet and used to wash them. Others think that those tear bottles that have been found actually contained the collected tears of mourners at a burial site.
In any case, God knows all of our wanderings and sorrows and all of our tears, and stores them up for each of us.
– Henry Morris
Know matter what you may be going through
God sees you and your circumstances.
Someday God will wipe away all tears, and He will heal all the broken hearts. Then He will reveal the reasons for those puzzling experiences that you and I had down here.
Do you remember when the children of Israel went through the wilderness? They crossed the Red Sea in great victory, and they sang the song of Moses unto the Lord (Exodus 15). God delivered them. What a victory it was! Immediately, their first experience in the wilderness was that of running out of water. Then they came to Marah where there was water, but when they got down to drink it, the water was bitter. They began to complain — their first experience was a bitter experience. So God said to Moses, “There is a certain tree here. You get that and put it in the water, and it will be sweet.” (See Exodus 15:22-25.)
Friend, you and I need to bring Jesus Christ and His death on the tree into the bitter experiences of our life to make them sweet. That is the only thing in the world that can make the experiences of suffering down here sweet.
We are to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). How? Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher [architect] of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
The most important thing is to draw near to God. When we do, He promises to draw near to us. We need to keep very close to Him in these days.
– V. McGee
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Revelation. 7.17 – And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes
Revelation 21.4 – And he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:3 -4 Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Deuteronomy 31:8 – And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
A Good Thing To Know
A very helpful tip in Bible study is why some words are italicized in the King James Bible. Italicized words are words the translators added to help the sentence flow in English. Below is an example of this, and it is sometimes very helpful in getting the right sense of the verse and other times it is a great hindrance.
Isaiah 26:9 Thy dead (men) shall live, (together with) my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
The words in parenthesis are italicized in the KJV and were added by the translators. Without these words the verse would read:
Isaiah 26:9 Thy dead shall live, my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
By the way, the word “body” is plural in the Hebrew language and it makes the verse more meaningful. Jesus is saying my (possessive) dead bodies shall arise. I take that to mean the dead in Christ. My dead bodies is a more accurate translation.
Judas comes into the Garden leading a band of Jewish officials, temple guards, and Roman soldiers. It is estimated there may have been as many as 600 men who came to arrest Jesus. (a Band was 600 men in the Roman military, Vs.3) They were afraid of Him. They should have been, as they had seen Him work mighty miracles with their own eyes and witnesses unprecedented majestic power not seen in any other man. Judas betrays the Lord with a kiss and then Jesus looks around at the soldiers and says, “Whom seek ye?” They replied, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Then Jesus said, “I am (he).”
Now focus on verses 5-8. Notice the italicized words carefully.
John 18:5-8 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am (he). And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon as he had said unto them, I am (he), they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am (he): if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way
The word he has been italicized and was added by the translators when they made the transition from the Greek language to the English. Jesus gave His name as I AM and NOT I am he. Did you notice what happened when Jesus said I AM? The entire band of men went backward and fell to the ground. Jesus was demonstrating what He had already said. No man takes my life. I have the power to lay it down and to take it up again. (John 10:17-18) One of the most startling things in the Bible happens next. These 600 or so men get up and come towards Him again. Jesus could have blinked and they would have instantly been destroyed.
Do you recall when you first read the name of Jesus in the Bible as I AM? It was in Exodus 3:1-14 when Moses saw the burning bush and said I will turn aside to see this wonder. God spoke to Moses out of the bush and when Moses asked His name God told I AM that I AM. This should help us to better understand Jesus when He said I and the Father are one.
Just think of it. The power of that name that is above every name is I AM. Not I was! The only thing Jesus ever was, was dead. Everything else He IS. I AM includes past present and future. Jesus is God yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready to meet Him? If not, you can be saved right now and right where you are. Come to Him in prayer and in faith believing that Jesus is the Savior. Jesus has said if we will come to Him on His terms He will in no wise cast us out.
– Pastor Brown Sims
The Ant With A Contact Lens
“A published version of the story is in the book Keep a Quiet Heart by inspirational author Elisabeth Elliot. In a chapter she titled Lost and Found she said it came from Brenda Foltz of Princeton, Minnesota.
Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold of the rope, and started up the face of that rock.
Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found.
She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.”
Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it?
An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it on it’s back. Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry it for You.” I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.” God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him…
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41: 13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Faith That Endures
In a world of chaos, Heartache, Financial woes, broken relationships, failing health and the loss of loved ones………looking at theses circumstances one would not conclude that God loves the world. The reason that we know that God does loves the world is not because this world looks like a loving place but because God’s word tells us……
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
That’s how come we know God loves the world. We need only to look at the Cross for this reminder. Indeed the world is a harsh place but for a moment suppose that you are in Heaven and you have been in Heaven for a thousand years and from that vantage point you are now looking back on earth and you are considering the trial that you are going through today. It may be financial, relational, it could be physical, a wayward child…..How will that trial look from the standpoint of eternity? I suspect that it would look very small, maybe it wouldnt even figure in our thinking. I say that because the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 were able to endure because #1. They saw Him who is invisible and #2. They looked at things from the standpoint of Eternity…..
AND YOU AND I MUST DO THE SAME!
God whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our consciences,
but shouts in our pains.
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