The Mad Man And God- Part One

1 Samuel 16:  MSG
14  At that very moment the Spirit of GOD left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by GOD settled on him. He was terrified.
15  Saul’s advisors said, “This awful tormenting depression from God is making your life miserable.
16  O master, let us help. Let us look for someone who can play the harp. When the black mood from God moves in, he’ll play his music and you’ll feel better.”
17  Saul told his servants, “Go ahead. Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.”
18  One of the young men spoke up, “I know someone. I’ve seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He’s also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And GOD is with him.”
19  So Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, “Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep.”
20  Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul.
21  David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man.
22  Saul sent word back to Jesse: “Thank you. David will stay here. He’s just the one I was looking for. I’m very impressed by him.”
23  After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.

1 Samuel 28:   MSG
1  During this time the Philistines mustered their troops to make war on Israel. Achish said to David, “You can count on this: You’re marching with my troops, you and your men.”
2  And David said, “Good! Now you’ll see for yourself what I can do!” “Great!” said Achish. “I’m making you my personal bodyguard—for life!”
3  Samuel was now dead. All Israel had mourned his death and buried him in Ramah, his hometown. Saul had long since cleaned out all those who held seances with the dead.
4  The Philistines had mustered their troops and camped at Shunem. Saul had assembled all Israel and camped at Gilboa.
5  But when Saul saw the Philistine troops, he shook in his boots, scared to death.
6  Saul prayed to GOD, but GOD didn’t answer—neither by dream nor by sign nor by prophet.
7  So Saul ordered his officials, “Find me someone who can call up spirits so I may go and seek counsel from those spirits.” His servants said, “There’s a witch at Endor.”
8  Saul disguised himself by putting on different clothes. Then, taking two men with him, he went under the cover of night to the woman and said, “I want you to consult a ghost for me. Call up the person I name.”
9  The woman said, “Just hold on now! You know what Saul did, how he swept the country clean of mediums. Why are you trying to trap me and get me killed?”
10  Saul swore solemnly, “As GOD lives, you won’t get in any trouble for this.”
11  The woman said, “So whom do you want me to bring up?” “Samuel. Bring me Samuel.”
12  When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly to Saul, “Why did you lie to me? You’re Saul!”
13  The king told her, “You have nothing to fear . . . but what do you see?” “I see a spirit ascending from the underground.”
14  “And what does he look like?” Saul asked. “An old man ascending, robed like a priest.” Saul knew it was Samuel. He fell down, face to the ground, and worshiped.
15  Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by calling me up?” “Because I’m in deep trouble,” said Saul. “The Philistines are making war against me and God has deserted me—he doesn’t answer me any more, either by prophet or by dream. And so I’m calling on you to tell me what to do.”
16  “Why ask me?” said Samuel. “GOD has turned away from you and is now on the side of your neighbor.
17  GOD has done exactly what he told you through me—ripped the kingdom right out of your hands and given it to your neighbor.
18  It’s because you did not obey GOD, refused to carry out his seething judgment on Amalek, that GOD does to you what he is doing today.
19  Worse yet, GOD is turning Israel, along with you, over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. And, yes, indeed, GOD is giving Israel’s army up to the Philistines.”
20  Saul dropped to the ground, felled like a tree, terrified by Samuel’s words. There wasn’t an ounce of strength left in him—he’d eaten nothing all day and all night.
21  The woman, realizing that he was in deep shock, said to him, “Listen to me. I did what you asked me to do, put my life in your hands in doing it, carried out your instructions to the letter.
22  It’s your turn to do what I tell you: Let me give you some food. Eat it. It will give you strength so you can get on your way.”
23  He refused. “I’m not eating anything.” But when his servants joined the woman in urging him, he gave in to their pleas, picked himself up off the ground, and sat on the bed.
24  The woman moved swiftly. She butchered a grain-fed calf she had, and took some flour, kneaded it, and baked some flat bread.
25  Then she served it all up for Saul and his servants. After dining handsomely, they got up from the table and were on their way that same night.

Over the past several years it feels like the world has stepped through the looking glass.  Everything is topsy-turvy.  Black is called white, wrong is right, so on and so forth.  Nothing seems to make much sense in this world.

Everything that our mothers taught us not to become is now the “cool” thing to be.  Respect and civility to others is now frowned upon by the leaders of our countries.  Upheaval seems to be the agenda of the day.

The moral fabric of our nations seems to be unravelling in front of our very eyes.  Living peaceably with all people has been thrown out with the bath water.

To borrow from an old sixties movie, ‘it’s a mad mad world’!  People running to and fro looking for a quick fix in some philosophy or incantation only to find themselves out of strength and no more the better in the end of their search.

I cannot think of one leader in the church or the world that I would want my grand-children to emulate.  That is a sad thing to say, but, I feel that is exactly how things are at this moment in time.

Preachers and teachers it seems have thrown out the very fibre of the Gospel and given in to doctrines of devils in their pulpit.

Church congregations if you didn’t see the name above the door you would believe you have walked in on a rock concert or some ‘positive thinking’ seminar.

The Gospel of laying up our treasures in heaven has been cast by the way side and in it’s place a gospel of get all you can while you are living on earth.

Matthew 6:  MSG
20  Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars.

James 5:1-6 MSG
1  And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You’ll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you.
2  Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink.
3  Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you’ve piled up is judgment.
4  All the workers you’ve exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger.
5  You’ve looted the earth and lived it up. But all you’ll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse.
6  In fact, what you’ve done is condemn and murder perfectly good persons, who stand there and take it.

I’m reminded of a story about a man who was looking for a new chauffeur.  Many showed up to apply for the job.  So each man was taken to the car where the man who was hiring would ask them to go on this mountainous road.  The interviewer would ask each applicant to try and get as close to the edge as possible.

The first came within about ten feet, the next about five feet and so on until one came within several inches of the cliff.  Finally, the last man sat behind the wheel and was told like the previous before him to get as close to the edge of the cliff.  Instead this man turned the wheel in the opposite direction and steered the car as far as possible from the cliff.  Who do you feel was hired for the job?  You would be correct if you chose the last man.

Too many ministries and congregations have come too close too the edge of the road.  Few have made sure to steer away as far as possible from the edge.

Saul was chosen king not because it was God’s first choice.  That is not what God wanted for the children of Israel.  God’s way was for the children to be lead by the priests and the prophets.  Israel wanted to be like all of the other nations that surrounded them, they wanted a king.  God relented and gave them what they wanted but gave them spiritual dryness in their soul.

Eventually the nation of Israel looked and sounded just like all of those other nations.  As you read about the life of King Saul you will find that God’s spirit was withdrawn from him and God had already picked out a new king to take Saul’s place.

When God withdrew His spirit from King Saul, Saul started on a downward spiral that led him into the depths of complete despair.  Nothing could bring him out of this except when his advisors would bring the young man named David before him to play his harp.  The spirit of God, the anointing, that was on David seemed to sooth Saul.

Israel was in the greatest battle of their being that eventually they would lose and be taken into captivity.

Saul knew that the army of Israel was losing and he needed an answer, a plan that might bring victory for the nation of Israel.  He instructed his closest advisors to go and search out a medium, a diviner of the occult.  They reminded the King that he had banned them from Israel, but Saul insisted.  They found one in Endor and reported this back to Saul.  This is the beginning of the end for the king of Israel.






Business As Usual

Matthew 24:  MSG
36  “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.
37  “The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s.
38  Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark.
39  They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away. “The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that:

Days seem to meld together as I live my life.  Routine turns to a stale rut.

Every morning the sun rises in the east and as it does alarm clocks start to ring announcing a new day.  Mom gets up and begins to wake the children to start the morning routine of getting them ready for school.

Meanwhile dad is in the washroom preparing for his day as he begins another day of work.

Traffic in the streets begins to get congested with those going to their daily jobs, school buses delivering children to school.  On the sidewalks other children walking towards their school.

Merchants arrive at their stores preparing them for another day of business.  Staff arrive to take their place on the sales floor readying themselves to meet the customers to meet their needs.

Then just like how people busied themselves for the start of the day they then find it is time to start their evening duties.  Schools let out and children head for home.  Mom and dad arrive, mom heads to the kitchen to start the evening meal and children sit at the table to work on home work.  Dad finds tasks around the home that he must attend to.

The sun begins to set in the west announcing the end of another day.  Soon, darkness arrives as the sky lights up with light from the moon.

So it is with the message of the second coming of Jesus Christ.  I have heard this glorious message ever since I was old enough to form memories.  There have been times when I would think, ‘here we go again’ and ask within myself if this event would ever happen.  Somehow along the way the message has lost it’s urgency.

This is just what life was like during the days of Noah.  God spoke to Noah and warned him that it will soon begin to rain, and then a flood would destroy all life that was not on the ark.  Noah was told to begin building an ark.  God gave him the dimensions of the ark and the material to use in building it.  Also, to start to gather two of every species.

The community began to notice that Noah was building something.  I am sure they asked Noah what he was doing.  Noah would give the people the answer that he was building an ark because God was going to flood the earth.  Their response was laughter and mocking, for they had never even seen rain.

Days turned into years and then years into decades.  Decades into over a century.  

Noah kept warning the people about the flood and that everyone not on the ark would be destroyed.

They soon became unaffected by the preaching of Noah.  They went about their life and daily routines.  People continued to be married, giving birth to children, continuing with riotous living.

Yet Noah not being deterred from what God had commanded him to build.  Eventually God gave the command to enter into the ark with his family and all other living species and close the door.

Soon the sky took on a onimous character, clouds began to roll in from all directions and the first drops of rain began to fall.

Over time rivers and oceans began to overflow and the land was starting to be completely immersed in water.  The water levels rose and as they did the ark began to float.

The events that Noah warned the people about started to happen.  Outside the ark people began to panic pounding on the ark yelling at Noah to let them in.  No response from within the boat.

Men, women, boys and girls soon lost their life as they drowned in the never ceasing rain.  It rained for forty days and nights.

The only life left unscathed from the flood was found on the ark, all other life on earth destroyed.  If only the people would have heeded the warning, but, instead continued on in the lives with business as usual.

The body of Christ has seen to have become tone deaf to the message of the second coming of Christ.  Pastors and leaders seem to compete with one another to see who can build the bigger church building.  They continue with business as usual with their fund raising and other aspects that they feel is part of a ministry.

During the week preparing to deliver a sermon to those gathered in their stain glassed sanctuaries.  It is business as usual as the choir assembles in their place in the choir loft.  The children are gathered together in another area of the building for what is called Sunday School or children’s church.

All around the world messages are preached on how to feel good, how to improve your self esteem.  Yes, it is business as usual as preachers, teachers, evangelists, and others tell people how God wants them to be wealthy.  It is business as usual every sermon speaks of anything except that Christ is coming back for a bride without spot or wrinkle in it’s wedding garment.

Ephesians 5:27 KJV
27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

No alarm is being sounded for the body of Christ to get the lamps all trimmed and buring full of oil.  It’s business as usual just like the five foolish virgins.

Matthew 25:1-10 MSG
“God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom.
2  Five were silly and five were smart.
3  The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil.
4  The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps.
5  The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.
6  “In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bridegroom’s here! Go out and greet him!’
7  “The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready.
8  The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’
9  “They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’
10  “They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.

If we continue as business as usual we just may be caught short handed without our lamps ready when the bridegroom arrives.  It will then be too late, too late to buy oil for our lamps, too late to make sure our wedding garments are without any spot, wrinkle or blemish.

The body of Christ needs to stop their business as usual.  Those in the pulpits need to start sounding the alarm because Christ will soon be on our doorsteps.  We cannot continue as business as usual or we will miss the marriage supper of the lamb.





Sibling Rivalry

Genesis 21:8-21 MSG
8  The baby grew and was weaned. Abraham threw a big party on the day Isaac was weaned.
9  One day Sarah saw the son that Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, poking fun at her son Isaac.
10  She told Abraham, “Get rid of this slave woman and her son. No child of this slave is going to share inheritance with my son Isaac!”
11  The matter gave great pain to Abraham—after all, Ishmael was his son.
12  But God spoke to Abraham, “Don’t feel badly about the boy and your maid. Do whatever Sarah tells you. Your descendants will come through Isaac.
13  Regarding your maid’s son, be assured that I’ll also develop a great nation from him—he’s your son too.”
14  Abraham got up early the next morning, got some food together and a canteen of water for Hagar, put them on her back and sent her away with the child. She wandered off into the desert of Beersheba.
15  When the water was gone, she left the child under a shrub
16  and went off, fifty yards or so. She said, “I can’t watch my son die.” As she sat, she broke into sobs.
17  Meanwhile, God heard the boy crying. The angel of God called from Heaven to Hagar, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. God has heard the boy and knows the fix he’s in.
18  Up now; go get the boy. Hold him tight. I’m going to make of him a great nation.”
19  Just then God opened her eyes. She looked. She saw a well of water. She went to it and filled her canteen and gave the boy a long, cool drink.
20  God was on the boy’s side as he grew up. He lived out in the desert and became a skilled archer.
21  He lived in the Paran wilderness. And his mother got him a wife from Egypt.

Everyone who has a brother(s) or sister(s) knows the chemistry of sibling rivalry.  It may be through sports, education, or just the attention of one or both parents.

I am the oldest of five children, one brother and three sisters.  I understand and can relate to sibling rivalries within a family.  My brother and youngest sister are seven and eight years younger than myself.  It is the two sisters in the middle that it seemed like they were constantly sparring over one thing or another.  Most of it stemmed from them always having to share a bedroom.  The other times were when the middle sister felt like she was not receiving all the attention from our mother.  From what I understand the rivalry in a small way still exists even to this day.

Now let’s take our focus to Israel, the Mount of Olives and the Dome of the Rock.  Also, the constant friction between Israel and Gaza.  Every time tensions rise between the two I have been known to quip, “those two brothers have been fighting since the days of Abraham”.

When it comes to the Mount of Olives and the Dome of the Rock both brothers claim they have complete rights to that space.  Both declare that it is a sacred holy place.  The Jewish people because of Moses and how God gave him the commandments.  The Arab Nations because it is where it is said the Prophet Mohammed ascended into the heavens.

The two brothers I am speaking of is, Isaac and Ishmael.  Isaac the ancestor of the nation we now call Israel, and Ishmael the ancestor of the Arab Nations.  

The conflict started when Sarah had Abraham send the bond woman, Hagar, and Ishmael into the desert.

I can imagine as a young boy Ishmael wondered what he and his mother had done to be sent away into a far land.  Could it have been that Abraham was ashamed of them both.  Did Ishmael do something that displeased his father, Abraham?  It wouldn’t take much to believe that this started a seed of resentment to grow within the young Ishmael.  Maybe, somewhere deep in his spirit even revenge.

Now almost seven thousand years later we seed that same rivalry alive within the two nations that came from those two brothers.

Consider this, Ishmael is the result of man trying to bring forth God’s promise, Isaac the promise of God by faith.

The space occupied by the Dome of the Rock is also the space where the first Temple was built.  When the Dome was built the Jewish people considered it an abomination of desolation spoken of by the Prophet Daniel and referanced by Christ himself.

I believe the prophecy by Malachi about the restoration of Israel and the rebuilding of the Temple was set into motion when Israel became a nation in May 1948.  I do not know what will take place for the actual new Temple to be built again.  Somewhere as I see it an event that is yet to take place allows the Jewish people to reclaim the Mount of Olives and the land where the original temple stood.

I am not sure of all of the future events in Bible prophecy, but, I do know that we are living in the last days.

I always try to look at the world headlines in the news through the eye piece of Biblical prophecy, thus the reason for the writing of this article.

There are many other examples in the written Word of sibling rivalry, one that comes to mind is the parable of the prodigal son and the brother who became jealous because of the father’s actions on the return of the wayward son.

I have written in past articles that I truly believe that Babylon which is located in Iraq, formerly part of Persia, will be rebuilt.  So, with that in mind there must be a purpose of God creating two great nations from the seed of two brothers, Isaac and Ishmael.

The next time you hear in the news about rising tensions between Israel and the Arab nations you can see and understand what started all this.

Again, it behooves each and everyone of us to study and understand the Bible. 

2 Timothy 2:  KJV
15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.