Sunday, June 30, 2019

The City Is Judged

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

The severity of the judgment against Nineveh is not surprising. The Ninevites and the Assyrians in general were a vicious and violent people. It is not surprising then, that Jonah was reluctant to go to Nineveh when God sent him there 150 years before Nahum wrote of them. In Jonah 1, the Lord said to Jonah, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.”

Jonah did rise up, but he ran in the opposite direction! The reputation of this large city was known throughout Mesopotamia. Cities and Tribes that the Assyrians conquered had their citizens brutalized and killed in the cruelest ways.

Ethnically diverse from the rest of Mesopotamia, the Assyrians worshipped two primary gods: Ishtar was a goddess of love and fertility, and Adramelech was a sun god. Ishtar’s likenesses are found in many ancient civilizations, Ashteroth, Ashtoreth, Dianah of the Ephesians, etc. Adramelech, however, was an odd composite beast, that we actually find described in Romans 1, having the head of a man, wings of a bird, and a four footed beast with hooves for feet. (Google images are available on-line.) He’s simply grotesque!

Idol worship like this will lead a nation into vile affections, and sexual confusion, exactly as stated in Romans 1:21-27. Adramelech is a god of human design, as men saw each parts’ role in their world. Worshiping the things of Earth will have a direct adverse effect on every relationship we have, and in spite of all our “higher learning,” idolatry such as this has resulted in the traits identified in Romans 1:29-32.

Our society is laden with sin because that’s what God’s Word states it will be. Our only hope is in the soon return of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Insulate yourself in these confusing times; put on the full armor of God! The Apostle Paul warned the Greeks of Corinth, “Wherefore my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14). And to the Colossians, Paul wrote:

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” ~ Colossians 2:8 ~

Sunday, June 23, 2019

God’s Love For His People

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

We read a familiar verse in the New Testament that speaks of God’s love for His Creation: 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 God’s sacrifice for us, because He loves us.

Could we go to such an extreme? Could our love for one be set aside so others could be saved? How could we possibly choose?! Yet, that’s exactly what God did for our sakes, and for His own glory. And, God knew just how He would make this incredible sacrifice. Create a perfect embryo and have it miraculously placed in a nice young girl, that she might nurture it, and raise it to adulthood as His only earth-born Son. As her son, the child would experience the joys and pains of life; He would be one of us. As His begotten Son, the Child would be imbued with knowledge and abilities far beyond what was normal for a human. He would teach, and heal, and possess the uncanny ability to know what was coming in the future. That the Word of God was willing to come to Bethlehem so He could go to Calvary 30-some years later is more than we can comprehend. His trial would be unfair. The witnesses against Him would be liars. His execution on a cross would be excruciatingly painful, and “by His stripes we would be healed.” 

There is nothing too difficult for God; He had a plan all along. We find that the Father has gone to great lengths to supply our need(s) indicates a jealous love towards us. He does not want His own creation worshiping someone or something that had nothing to do with our creation. Credit should go to Whom is due!

He asks us to be zealous in returning our love to Him. Zealous? Jealous? There is a correlation between the two. “We love Him because He first loved us.” Our Loving God is jealous for our love, as He supplies all our need(s). 

“For thou shalt worship no other god, 
for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”  
Exodus 24:14

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