Vol. 31, No. 5 May, 2007
“THE CHILDREN OF ISSACHAR HAD UNDERSTANDING OF THE TIMES.” (1Chr. 12:32)
By Pastor George Mills
This text is taken from a very critical time in the history of Israel. The reign of King Saul has ended. Saul’s son, Ish-bosheth reigns in his stead. There is civil war, strife, and rebellion in the land. The men of Judah anointed David King over the house of Judah. The Bible says “There was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David,” (2 Sam. 3:1) These were critical times indeed. As David rises to power, the Children of Issachar understood what action must be taken. May our Dear Lord God give us men of understanding who can see the times and have wisdom to know what we must do. This time in the history of Israel occupies much space, especially in Second Samuel and First Chronicles, so there is no way that I can examine in much detail everything recorded there. I will try to sift some things that were needed at that time in Israel and hope to bring them to our attention today. Some things never change. It seems as though we go through cycles. We wind up where we started. Some of these situations are as up to date as today’s headlines. As I by-pass trying to list the numbers of each tribe and their affiliation, I will just list the men of war as listed in our text in Ch 12: The men of Judah, 6,800. The Men of Simeon, 7,100. The Men of Levi, 4,600. The men of Aaron, 3,700. The men of Benjamin, 3,000. The men of Ephraim, 20,800. The men of Manasseh,(half tribe), 18,000. The men of Zebulun, 50,000. The men of Naphtali, 37,000, the men of Dan, 28,000. The men of Asher, 40,000. The men of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh, 120,000 This lists a lot of men of war, but sometimes the need is not so much Military power as is the need for Spiritual and Moral revival. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for a great Military force. I am well aware of the fact that we are in the middle of a world wide conflict with terrorists who are trying every way they can to destroy us. We MUST be strong, and ready. I am 100% with our President in the battle with terrorism. This is a long lasting, world wide struggle. We must wake up to this reality.
The men of Issachar were listed as only 200 in number, but…
(A) The children of Issachar had understanding of the times.
(B) They knew what Israel ought to do.
(C) They were few in number. They were a minority. Time and time again we see in the Scriptures that God uses the small, the weak, the minority.
I do not know just what role the men of
Issachar played in the rebuilding of the nation. I suppose they were advisers. The Bible says they knew what must be done. As I read this section of Scripture, at least four things came to my attention. These things were needed then, and they are needed today.
FIRST, Worship of Jehovah must be restored in the land. Saul was a poor king. He had all the physical characteristics needed, but he had no heart. The Bible says in 1Chr. 13:3, “Let us bring again the Ark of our God to us, for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.” This wonderful Ark of God that Israel followed for so long had been placed aside. This wonderful Ark where God said, “There, will I meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the Mercy seat.” (Ex 25:22). Israel had cried out for a king. God gave them a king, and he led the nation down. The Philistines had captured the Ark and had taken it to their temple of Dagon, (Their fish-god) (1Sam 5:1-5) Of course, no “god” can stand with the Ark of The Living God, so when the Philistines went to the temple of Dagon they found that overnight, Dagon had fallen upon his face, both hands were broken off, leaving only his stump, (1Sam 5:1-6). What the Philistines thought would be a blessing proved to be a curse. God smote the Philistines with emerods. So they launched their plan to return the Ark. For a trespass offering they placed inside the Ark five golden emerods, and five golden mice, placed the Ark on a new cart, pulled by two cows and sent the Ark to Beth-shemesh. Of course, the Ark was meant to contain the Law, Aaron’s rod, and a pot of Manna. The golden images were an insult. The men of Beth-shemesh looked into the Ark, and over 50,000 were smitten of God. (1Sam 6:10-21). The Ark represents the presence of Christ. The tables of the Law were his Word. Israel had been without these for a long time. As I think about the problems of our nation, the moral decay, the threat of terrorism, I think that the greatest issue of our day, although terrorism is a great issue, the issue of the BIBLE is the greatest issue of our time. Israel was in a time of APOSTASY. We are in the middle of the great APOSTASY as described by Paul in 2Tim 4:1-5. “Denying the power thereof, from such turn away.”(2Tim 3:1-5). The Ark being placed on a NEW CART, with NEW THINGS inside, reminds me of the many new, and unproven things being offered today. New “bibles” all being printed from the “critical text” are offered by the thousands. Over 400 English “versions” have been printed in the last 100 years, and each one claiming to be the very closest to the original. Every TV Evangelist, Pastor, offers his, or her own version. Can we not see that God is NOT in all of this confusion? I cannot understand the many “Fundamentalist” Pastors, Evangelists, and Schools are falling for this NEW CART, loaded with new things, new “Christ’s, new “bibles” being pulled by satanic forces today. The only thing that works is that which God has ordained. There will be no revival in the land until the Ark of God, (Christ and His Word) is in the Holy Place. Don’t fall for this APOSTASY in the land today.
2. The second thing that comes to my attention from that period in history was the sin of IMMORALITY. According to 1Samuel 7, The Worship of Baal and Ashtaroth had engulfed the land. Baal was the male deity, and Ashtaroth was the female deity. These were worshipped with lewd rites. Carvings in temple ruins depict their concept of what we call pornography. Worship also involved self-abasement, self-mutilation, and sacrifice of children, (Jer 19:5, 1Kings 16:31-32, 1Kings 18:25-28). Israel had an encounter with Baal in Numbers 23-25 when they followed the advice of Balaam and had a “love feast” in the wilderness. 24,000 lost their lives because of that rebellion. Things have not changed through the years. We just call them by different names, but it is still the same sin. Today, we call it Pornography, or “gay,” or an affair, and the murder of the unborn is called “abortion.” (that doesn’t sound quite as bad). But God still calls it; “The shedding of innocent blood,” Idolatry Adultery, Abomination, and just plain SIN. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” The wages of sin is death.” Today, as it was then, from the PROPHET, to the PRIEST, to the PEOPLE, moral corruption fills the land. The sacrifice of the unborn, the pornography industry, the violence, blood shed on our streets, where blood touches blood, and moral decay along with Apostasy and forsaking Biblical values all remind us that Baal and Ashteroth have not gone anywhere. They are still very active. People worship at their feet every day. They wait behind every bush. My, how this nation needs for every pulpit to “CRY ALOUD” How this nation needs every pulpit to proclaim, “THUS SAITH THE LORD”(KJV). There may be a great ingathering numerically in churches, but there will be no revival with corrupt, false, “scriptures” and with corrupt morals. It just will not happen. Before I leave this point, Preachers, don’t copy the world. Our uniform is a suit and tie. Our uniform is the best we have. Don’t come to your pulpit with jeans, sweater, and tennis shoes, or some sloppy outfit. We represent the King of Kings. We should look the part.
3. The third thing that comes to my attention from that period is the MUSIC. The “music” of Baal consisted of “frantic shouts around the alter.” Shouts and chants, and drums, and cymbals clanging. This reminds me of the direction the music is going in most churches today. God’s people are a singing people. It is recorded in 1Chr 6:31-32, “And these are they whom David set over the service of SONG in the house of the Lord after that the Ark had rest. And they ministered in the dwelling place of the tabernacle with singing until Solomon had built the House of the Lord.” Today, there is a dropping of the old Hymns of Worship and praise, and a turning to the “clanging,” and noise, and beat of the world. In fact, so many churches have so conformed to the world that there is no visible difference. “Come as you are, after all, we’re just like you, and leave as you came.” Don’t be carried away by this Hollywood style of the TV “preachers.” All of that is as phony as Hollywood. I recently heard a TV preacher say, “We did away with those old hymn books. Our church is listed as one of the ten Saturday night “hotspots” in Phoenix.” The beat of the drums and loud instruments capture the minds of young people while Satan pours his philosophy into their minds. The old Hymns we sing teach us as we sing. The WORDS tell us something as we sing the sweet melodies. Just read the Jewish Hymn book. It is called the Book of Psalms. David knew that music had to be restored in the land of Israel Not the cymbals of Baal, but the sweet music of Zion. Let us watch carefully our musical program. Every church must guard it’s music program. And let us not get carried away with this 24/7 music. That is, Seven words, and sing them 24 times. Music tells much about the condition of society. I believe that music of today, like in the day of our text tells us much of what’s wrong.
4. The fourth thing that comes to my attention from the time of our text is the word PRAYER. The prayer of Jabez is found in this text. “And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren, and his Mother called his name Jabez, saying, because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me. And God granted him that which he requested.” (1Chr 4:9-10)
Just as sure as the WORD was needed, and MORALITY was needed, and MUSIC was needed, PRAYER was needed. Perhaps the prayer of Jabez was most encouraging to the nation at that needy time. We recall that they had not enquired at the Ark in the days of Saul, indicating that prayer to God was a rare thing in the land. Isn’t it strange and wonderful how that an answered prayer can encourage others. The name “Jabez: means, ‘sorrow’ or ‘grief.’ (1Chr. 4:9). I suppose that after the reign of Saul, and Baal worship had been practiced, this was definitely a time of grief and sorrow. Although the prayer of Jabez contains no more than other great prayers in the Bible, it does give us some clues as to what God can, and will do through Prayer. God is the Great God of Heaven, He is Sovereign, He has all power. But God has limited Himself to the prayers of His people.
FIRST, The Bible says that Jabez was an honorable man. God hears the prayers of the honorable, the honest the just, the one who seeks to live for and to please God. Jesus said, “We know that God heareth NOT sinners, but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doesth His will, him He heareth.” (Jn 9:31) God’s ear is always open to hear the prayer of faith, but He will not hear every prayer unless our heart is right with Him. Jabez was an honorable man, and God heard his prayer. He prayed that God would bless him, and the Bible lists the things he prayed for…
“ENLARGE MY COASTS” Increase my territory, my region. Nothing wrong with praying that God would bless us financially, physically, materially.
“THINE HAND MIGHT BE WITH ME” With God’s hand upon him, loneliness and fear are dispelled.
“KEEP ME FROM EVIL” Keep me from harm, from the enemy, and from the tricks and traps of Satan.
“THAT IT MAY NOT GRIEVE ME” Perhaps Jabez had seen only grief in his lifetime. “Lord, grant some relief.” “Lord, revive thy Work.” Hear the cry of his heart.
God heard, and answered his prayer. The nation needed this prayer, and the answer. This would be a great encouragement. Our friends, and loved ones need to hear from our lips the many times God hears, and answers, and blesses us. If God hears your prayer and grants your request, that will never make me jealous. To hear that God blesses you, your home, your work, your business, your Church, your Ministry, will only increase my faith. I love to hear the testimonies of answered prayer.
We are living in critical times. People are seeking answers. Nations of the world are troubled. We need men who have a real understanding of the times. We need people who will pray. We need people who will stand up for Biblical morals. We need a returning to the old Bible, The Bible our forefathers used. As God heard the prayer of Jabez, He will hear the prayers of Faith today. Child of God, if you know your Bible (KJV) you know the TIMES and the NEEDS. The men of Issachar were few in number. God by-passes the crowd and chooses the faithful few. Be one of the few who will intercede, and pray for Revival.
And if you do not know the Lord Jesus, Today is your day. REALIZE your condition, that You are a sinner. RECOGNIZE that God alone can save you from the PENALTY and POWER of sin. RECEIVE Him today as your Saviour, your only hope for time and eternity. “How do I receive Him?” The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Ask Him forgive your sin, and to save you just now. God always hears the cry of the REPENTANT heart. Begin TODAY to live FOREVER. One by one, as men and women receive Christ, we are doing as WE OUGHT TO DO.
May God Bless our nation with men who have an understanding of the times.
KING JAMES PENNED THE FOLLOWING ADVICE TO HIS SONS..
“But the principal blessing is in your marrying of a Godly and virtuous wife…being flesh of your flesh and bone of your bone. Marriage is the greatest earthly felicity. Without the blessing of God, you cannot look for a happy marriage.”
“Keep your body clean and unpolluted while you give it to your wife whom to only it belongs for how can you justly crave to be joined to a virgin if your body be polluted.”
“Marriage is one of the greatest actions that a man does all his time. When you are married, keep inviolably your promises made to God in your marriage.”
“Especially eschew to be effeminate.”
“Therefore first of all things, learn to know and love that God whom to ye have a double obligation.”
“The whole scripture is dictated by God’s Spirit.”
“As you are a good Christian, so may you be a good king, establishing good laws, among your people.
“Abstain from the filthy vice of adultery, remember only what solemn promise ye made to God at your marriage.”
“Holiness being the first and most requisite quality of a Christian.”
King James 1 of England
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
May 13, 2007
We wish for every Mother across our Great land a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.
May God Bless you. Your calling is a high calling indeed.
If your Mother is alive and near, spend time with her today. Let her know how much you appreciate her sacrifice for you. If she is not so near, give her a call today, and express the same. If she is in Heaven today, perhaps you could visit her gravesite with a beautiful bouquet.
Our first message for this month’s issue of the “WILDERNESS” was in the Books of Samuel and the Chronicles, so we had no other choice for our text than to look at the MOTHER of Samuel; the wonderful person of HANNAH, a Godly Mother. She went from PAIN to PRAISE. Our text is First Samuel 1-2.
1. HER PROBLEM. (1Sam 1:1-5) She lived in a divided home. Her husband, Elkanah had two wives. Of course this would be a great source of division and contention. It was never God’s will for man to have more than one wife. However, many of the outstanding men of the Old Testament did have multiple wives. King David in 1Sam 25:40-43. Solomon wrote about his home life living with his father David and all his wives. He wrote, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman.” (Pr 21:19) “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” (Pr 25:24). Her home was divided in one way, our home may be divided in another way. God wants every home to be in Biblical order.
2. HER PROVOKATION. “And her adversary provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.” (1:6) Peninnah, the other wife of Elkanah constantly mocked Hannah because she could not bear a child. It was believed that barrenness was a sign of judgment. “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” (Psa 127:30).
3. HER PRAYER. V11-12. Hannah was without child, but not without prayer. She prayed and asked God for a son. As she prayed, her prayer was not audible. The Bible says that Eli, the priest, “Marked her mouth.” He saw her lips moving, but heard no sound, and accused her of being drunk, (V14). Eli had his own problems. He is in no position to judge anyone. He was not much of a priest. “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.”
4. HER PROMISE. She prayed, “Remember me, and not forget Thine handmaid, but wilt give unto Thine handmaid a man child, then will I give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.” (1:11). When her child Samuel was born and was weaned, she took him to Eli, the priest and dedicated him to the Lord, as she promised. “For this child I prayed, and the lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore also have I lent him to the lord, as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there,” (V27-28). I wonder, how many times do we ask God for something, and in His Graciousness He answers, and we so soon forget the things we promised Him.
The ministry of The Prophet Samuel cannot be explained apart from his mother Hannah who gave him to the Lord before his birth, and brought him to the House of God in Shiloh when he was just a child.
5. HER PRAISE. Please read Hannah’s Praise in ch 2:1-11. After you read that passage, read Mary’s Praise in Luke 1:46-55. The language in these are so similar in rejoicing, salvation, holiness, hatred of pride, help for the poor, the mighty broken, the hungry fed, that it causes us to wonder if Hannah’s Song was not on Mary’s mind when she visited her Cousin Elisabeth at the announcement of the angel concerning the Birth of our Saviour. While Hannah’s husband was worshipping, she was PRAISING.
What a wonderful illustration and example of a Mother we see in Hannah.
Let us also see two things..
1. Never underestimate the power of sin in a family. Think of Eli’s sons. Eli pampered them. The Bible says that Eli’s sons “Lay with women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,” (2:22). “For I have told him (Eli) that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which HE KNOWETH, because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not,” (3:13). Known sin, unchecked, has an awful end.
2. Never underestimate the power of prayer in a family. Hannah prayed, and prayed, and did not give up, and God answered her prayer. According to Ch 2:21, Hannah bare three sons and two daughters.
May our Dear Lord God bless and hear and answer the prayers of every Good, and Godly Mother today.
HAVE A GOOD, AND GODLY DAY!
By Pastor George Mills
“Honor thy Father and thy MOTHER”
A Mother is a bundle, sweet,
With working hands, and busy feet,
Her day is spent, our need to meet,
Yes, a Mother is a Bundle, Sweet
A Mother is a Flower, rare,
With wrinkling hands, and graying hair,
Her love displayed, in her every care,
Yes, a Mother is a Flower, Rare.
A Mother is a Gift of Love,
With gentle whispers like a dove,
A Gift from Heaven up above,
Yes, a Mother is a Gift of Love.
A Mother is a Tower, strong,
A Fortress in a world of wrong,
A haven for the whole life long,
Yes, a Mother is a Tower, Strong.
A Mother is a Gift of Grace,
God’s love displayed upon her face,
In my heart, she has her place,
Yes, a Mother is a Gift of Grace.
A Mother is beyond compare,
Much pain and hurt she’s had to bear,
A life of giving she does share,
Yes, a Mother is Beyond Compare.
A Mother’s Prayer helps lead us o’er
To that Dear Land on yonder shore,
To live with Christ for evermore,
Yes, a Mother’s Prayer helps lead us o’er.
One day we’ll see our Mother’s Face,
When we meet again in that Dear Place
Where by the Saviour’s Loving Grace,
We will see again, our Mother’s Face.
From time to time the question comes to me, “Now Preacher, if you believe so strongly in the King James Bible, how about the italics? Shouldn’t these be changed?”
NO! I have not found anything wrong with the italics. In fact, I haven’t been looking for anything wrong. If you change one, then you must change all.
Some italics seem to be a problem for some “scholars.” For instance, Acts 12:3. The King James Translators got this right also. Some insist that the passage should read “Passover” instead of “Then were the days of unleavened bread.” Passover would be wrong. Passover is ONE NIGHT. Passover has ended. The next Passover is a year in the future. Following Passover would be a week of unleavened bread. The King James Translators got it right.
David killed Goliath. We learned that in Sunday School, many years ago. In 2Sam. 21:19, The King James Translators got it right. In Italics they identified Elhanan as slaying the BROTHER of Goliath.
That same verse in the N.I.V. says that Elhanan slew Goliath. (WRONG AGAIN!)