Memphis Belle

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Matthew 5:1-12


“And seeing the multitudes, he went up on a mountain, and when he was seated his disciples came to him.  Then he opened his mouth and taught them saying, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”


Last week we read as Jesus was going around the area of Galilee and he was ministering, powerfully, blessing lives.  And we were told that he was ministering primarily in three ways, he was preaching, which he did we assume in the streets and villages, out in the open, outside the synagogues.  And then he was teachingHe was preaching and teaching.,  And it said specifically he was teaching in the synagogues.  So he’s there with God’s people, edifying, building up God’s people with the Word of God, expounding it.  And then thirdly, he was healing all those who came to him, and as a result, it stated that his fame spread widely.  And this healing was another essential part of the preaching of the Gospel he was doing, sort of a two-part Gospel proclamation ministry, and right in line with his opening Bible reading in Nazareth (cf. Luke 4:16-20).  Now what follows, in my Bible, verses 3 to 12, are the words of the greatest Teacher ever, in fact, arguably the greatest sermon ever.  These truths that are here stand contrary to what society tells us is vital, and it’s so important for us to be this way.  So very different.  Nevertheless, when what is here becomes a reality in our lives, it is in fact the greatest life that you could ever live.  For those who do, and become what is here, they have learned what it is to be like Jesus.  And they are what the citizens of heaven are all about.


1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit”


Now we hear a whole lot today about self-esteem, being confident in yourself, as if it’s the solution to so many of our personal issues and struggles and fears and anxieties.  The Creator of mankind, the very Designer, says in a loud voice to those who are seated around him, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” that is “Happy are the poor in spirit.”  How can somebody be happy that’s poor in spirit?  Where is the ever-important self-confidence that we’re told about?  It’s interesting too, turn to Luke chapter 6, because when Jesus shares the words that Matthew records, he right after that shares a few other words, that for whatever reason Matthew doesn’t share, but Luke decides to pen these words for us, in verses 24-26.  Right after he says “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” verse 24 of Luke 6, he says “but woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.”  So, a moment later, he says, “Woe to you who are rich.”  “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” and then, “woe to you who are rich.”  Of course from the context there in Luke, and we note all the words that Jesus said before and after, he’s not so much speaking about those that are physically rich, but he’s referring to an attitude in heart.  Those that are rich in the sense of ‘rich in heart,’ those that are opposite to the ‘poor in spirit.’  Those who are in the world’s eyes not only successful but they’re also very confident in their achievements, very proud of what they are and what they’ve accomplished, and secure in their personal strength, and they have that sense that ‘I’ve got life figured out, I’ve got it under control, and I really don’t need anything else.’  He says ‘Woe to them, woe to them.’  I like to visualize a picture, it’s a picture of two roads.  On one road you’ve got, I visualize Ted Turner (or Donald Trump), driving in one of his fancy limo’s, beating down the freeway.  Of course, everybody’s looking, people are gawking, ‘Here he goes, Ted Turner, look at that fancy car.’  Of course, he’s got it made.  And then on another dusty, dirty road goes this missionary, peddling his bike, from one village to another, in Asia (this is quite common for Gospel For Asia missionaries in India).  Nobody’s taking notice, hardly anybody’s seeing.  To the one goes the praises and accolades of the world, to the other not even a word is said, and if anything’s said, it’s maybe a statement of pity.  But then we look here at what Jesus is saying and we learn that with heaven everything is reversed.  It’s completely opposite.  The one praised by the world is instead the one who is pitied.  And the one whose seemingly unnoticed by the world, moves the heavens, has got the attention of the heart of God.  Now what exactly does it mean “Poor in spirit”?  When he says “poor in spirit” and that word “spirit” clearly clues us in, you know, it’s a spiritual poverty that he’s speaking of.  It’s a realization of one’s spiritual poverty.  To be poor in spirit is to be completely absent of pride, of self-assurance, self-reliance.  Those things don’t exist with the “poor in spirit.”  I don’t naturally arrive at being “poor in spirit,” for sure, I am more like the other.  In fact, it’s something I cannot even produce in and of myself.  How does one become “poor in spirit”?  It can be produced in me by the grace of God, and by the work of the Holy Spirit.  In fact, it is what I can’t help but become when I truly seek the face of God.  When truly I am seeking the presence of God, I am poor in spirit, and we see that in the reaction of Isaiah.  You remember that one day early in the book of Isaiah, he sees God high and lifted up.  And what is his reaction?  Isaiah chapter 6, verse 5, “I said woe is me, for I am undone.  Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.  For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”  He said, ‘I saw the LORD, and oh man, my spiritual state is really bad.’  I mean, that’s poor in spirit.  It’s the reaction of Simon Peter there in Luke chapter 5.  You remember when he was with Jesus, and suddenly his eyes opened up, and he really got a good sense of who Jesus was, he fell down at the knees of Jesus, and he says, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”  That’s the heart of what it means to be “poor in spirit.”  Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones put it this way, “To feel that we are nothing and have nothing, and to look to God in utter submission to him, utter dependence upon him and his grace and mercy, to feel that we are nothing and have nothing.” 


Now why then is a man that is poor in spirit happy?


Well of course the reason why blessed and happy is that guy, is because Jesus continues, he says, “for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.”  I mean the kingdom of heaven, the sphere and realm of the rule of Christ.  And that is presently within my heart, that is also physically some day going to be on this planet, that is, in the future for eternity in the kingdom of heaven.  We’ll be citizens in the kingdom of heaven.  Here’s an example.  During Jesus’ day it was a great honor to be a Roman citizen.  If you were a Roman citizen, you just get that even reading through the Bible, the Gospels and Book of Acts, to be a Roman citizen, you know, Paul, being a Roman, it got him out of a couple tight squeezes.  People that were harsh with him, when they learned that he was a Roman, it was like ‘Whoa, you’re a Roman citizen?’  It meant protection, it meant a certain honour, it meant certain privileges, sort of like being an American citizen in our world today, and especially in the last few decades (1950s through 1980s).  But here he says “the kingdom of heaven,” and there has never been an earthly kingdom that in any way compares to the kingdom of heaven.  “Blessed and happy are those that are poor in spirit, for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.”  The Bible says we’re pilgrims and strangers upon this planet until Jesus returns.  We have this incredible future, this incredible status, this incredible privilege and protection, but you don’t quite see it yet, if you’re looking from the world’s perspective.  But one day the King is going to come, and he’s going to establish his earthly Kingdom, and there’s going to be a drastic change on the globe when he does.  The Kingdom of God is coming to this earth when Jesus returns, bringing us with him right after the 1st resurrection to Immortality.  See  You may end up with a whole lot of physical wealth, you may have a lot in this physical world, but if you’re not poor in spirit, you never realize that you have a greater need, that you’re spiritually bankrupt, and that is your greatest need, so you get to the end, and all you’ve got then is what you had, because you weren’t preparing for later.  And you can’t take it with you, as the saying goes.  You’ve missed the whole deal.  God is not impressed with man’s wealth, man’s achievements.  Rather, he focuses on the humble. Isaiah 66:2, “For all those things my hand has made, and all those things exist, says the LORD,” in other words, ‘I made it all, how am I going to be impressed with what you’ve got?---big deal.’  “but on this one will I look, on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.”  When the truths that are listed here become part of your life, they are a reality to you, it is so transforming.  And what is listed here is also the path to salvation, and also the path to personal revival.  It starts with verse 3, starts right here, poor in spirit.  Now do you desire salvation? 


Being Poor In Spirit Is Coming To A Condition Of Seeing Your Spiritual Condition---A Sinner Who Needs A Savior


Verse 3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  So then do you realize your spiritual state before a Holy God?  Do you realize that you’re spiritually destitute and in desperate need?  That’s where it starts.  It’s a sinner crying out to God, ‘Oh God, I’m a wretched sinner, save me, I need you.’  Are you a born-again Christian, and in need of revival in your life?  It starts right here, verse 3.  1st Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves” that is, to return to a state of being “poor in spirit,” and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will forgive them, heal their land.”  You could rewrite that and say ‘If you’re poor in spirit and pray and seek my face…’  So, personal revival, it is so powerful.  Matthew 18:1-4, “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Humility is a major ticket into the Kingdom of heaven.  Without it, you won’t be there.



2. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted”


Jesus continues with the next beatitude.  By the way, beatis in Latin means “happy,” that’s why they’re called the Beatitudes, beatis, happy.  He says, verse 4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Now there is a statement for you.  In fact, Luke has it this way, “Blessed, happy are you who weep now.”  What a strange statement though, “Blessed, happy are those who mourn.”  How could you say ‘Happy are those who are weeping’?  Another good picture of this is the parable that Jesus shared of the two men that went up to the Temple to pray.  You had the Pharisee and you had the tax collector.  Good picture of this.  Jesus explained in Luke chapter 18, “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God I thank you that I’m not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers and even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’  And the tax collector standing afar off would not so much as raise his eye to heaven, but beat his breast saying, ‘God be merciful to me, a sinner.’”  And then Jesus says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  I mean, this tax collector, Jesus gave the picture, ‘Be merciful to me a sinner.’  And Jesus says, ‘That man will go away blessed.’  The religious leader, with his perspective of achievements, spiritual pride and all that nonsense, isn’t going to go away happy and blessed.  Happy, when he says happy are those who mourn and weep, it comes through the result of having that experience of realizing my condition, and then the Holy Spirit coming down and just me being forgiven and washed, the joy just comes with it.  David explained in Psalm 32, verse 1 and 2, he said, “Blessed, happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed, happy is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, in his spirit there is no deceit.”  And so that’s what Jesus then follows with in his beatitudes, he says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”


This Mourning Equates To A Grieving Over Our Condition


But as you put all the dots together here, and look at the different passages, he’s clearly referring to our mourning over our sin, a grieving over our condition.  And when you do that, the Holy Spirit just comes into your heart.  Isaiah chapter 61 describes this, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD that he may be glorified.”  Get alone with God, draw near to him, seek his face, open your heart and say ‘Search my heart O God,’ and let the Lord reveal the issues there and just start to humble yourself, and go through and in your heart confess the sin and let God just reveal all the stuff that is there.  It’s very interesting, blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Maybe you’re listening right now, going ‘that is just strange, that is just strange,’ in fact, you could just be listening going ‘You’re irritating me with that.’  It’s irritating to the world.  The world says ‘Positive thinking, positive attitude, bless yourself, think about yourself, your self-esteem, you need it.’  But you know if that’s the case, and that philosophy has just permeated our society, I’ve said over and over again, why are there so many people depressed?  And why is joy so far from our culture?  We’re not a joyful culture.  Luke again, he says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” and then he says this “Woe to those who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.”  He just flips it right around.  Our society is ‘Laugh now, laugh now, it’ll make you feel good.’  Hey, there’s nothing wrong with laughing, that’s not the point, but he’s dealing with the philosophy, an issue of heart.  You get happiness, you get joy, by seeking after these things, which is seeking after God.  And it comes as you’re poor in spirit and broken over your nature, and then God comes with the work of the Spirit in your life.  It comes automatically with the Spirit, it comes automatically.  When the Spirit overflows our hearts, as we are truly poor in spirit, broken and contrite about our sin, the comfort comes, the joy comes, it just overflows.  A good book to read, if you want to meditate on these things, and I encourage you to do it, it’s that book by Roy Hession, “The Calvary Road.”  Great book, little book, won’t take you long, available at  Hession wrote The Calvary Road after experiencing a spiritual crisis in his own life.  A popular evangelist in England, he knew he had lost the power of the Holy Spirit’s presence and needed revival.  God met him in his need, just as he can meet you and revive the dying embers in your heart.  108 pages, softcover.


3. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”


Next thing, verse 5, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Now these are people that are not highly esteemed by the world, again.  It’s partly to do with because they’re not tooting their own horn either.  They’re not talking about themselves, telling you about all their achievements and accomplishments and why they are this and that.  In fact, a meek person rarely speaks about himself or herself.  They rarely are thinking about themselves, that’s why they rarely speak about themselves.  Their thoughts are filled with God.  Their thoughts are filled with other people, so they’re meek, and they’re not thinking about themselves and they’re not talking about themselves, and therefore the world doesn’t take notice.  A meek person has a teachable spirit, very teachable, which is the exact opposite of pride.  A proud person is not teachable.  When you speak about meekness it’s important to note that meekness is not weakness, that is for sure.  In fact, the Greek word for meek here is the word Praus, and it is a word that’s also used when a powerful stallion has become broken and ride-able.  And that stallion, a powerful animal now is praus.  And so he says, blessed are the praus, the meek.  And so there’s this weight to that person, this strength, but it is under control.  It is not to be confused with timidity, that’s for sure.  And really, timidity is more than anything a form of pride, because with timidity, there’s this fear of others and what they think of you.  Timidity is actually closer to pride than it is to true humility.  A meek person is actually very bold when needed, unhindered, just speaks because they don’t care, ‘You can think whatever you want about me, I don’t really care, I don’t think about me, I just know I need to say this and share this.’  They’re not in fear of man, doesn’t matter, has no impact on their life.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be free from the anxieties of worrying about yourself and what others think of you?  Aren’t those fears debilitating?  Don’t they steal your happiness?  “Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Charles Spurgeon says at this point, “They are lowly minded, and are ready to give up their portion in the earth.  Therefore it shall come back to them.  They neither boast nor contend or exalt over others, yet are they heirs of all the good which God has created on the face of the earth.  In their meekness they are like their King, and they shall reign with him…He has the best of this world, who thinks least of it and least of himself.”  That’s what the apostle Paul was telling “the church of God which is at Corinth” when he said in 2nd Corinthians 6, “As sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich” and then he says, “as having nothing yet possessing all things.”  Are you filling yourself with the things of the world?---toys and experiences of the world, whatever it might be?---all the things the world is offering, and yet coming up empty?  If that has been you, then sit down, this is the path to happiness.  David said in Psalm 37:9, “For the evil doers shall be cut off.  But those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.  For yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more, indeed you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more.  But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in abundance of peace.”  He has the best of the world who thinks the least of it and the least of himself.  Now meekness, these beatitudes actually go in order, meekness is a byproduct of the first two.  When you realize you’re nothing before God, poor in spirit, and then you become aware of your awful sin-nature, and you mourn and the tears come [sometimes internally, not always outward], the result is this disposition, it’s a meekness that comes, as God’s Holy Spirit comes and cleanses and heals, there’s then this rest, this peace.



4. “Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled.”


You can work for stuff, as some of you have, and you find out that when you get there, it’s a tremendous bummer, because it wasn’t it.  I think that’s the reason for a lot of mid-life crisis, is that people get to sort of the high-point where they’re going to be in their life, and they discover ‘This is not it.  I shot and I aimed for this, and I got what I aimed for, but it’s not where I want to be.’  And there’s this emptiness on the inside.  People are looking for something, they are hungry on the inside, and it’s a hunger for God, it’s a famine for the Word of God.


Only God can satisfy this basic hunger and thirst found within mankind, and each of us


“Isaiah chapter 55 says this, “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters and drink.  And you who have no money, come, buy and eat.  Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without cost.  Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not”---what?---“satisfy?  Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.  Incline your ear and come to me.  Listen, that you may live, and I’ll make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercy shown to David.”  “The LORD says,” verse 6, “seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.  And let him return to the LORD, and he will have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”  God’s saying ‘I know you’re thirsty, you’re not surprising me at all with your hunger and thirst.  In fact, I created it in you.’  ‘Why would you create it in us, God?’  It’s sort of God’s way of drawing us to himself.  He created us so that we wouldn’t be satisfied, we wouldn’t be filled, we wouldn’t be complete until we have him in our lives, and only have him.  Nobody else is going to satisfy.  That’s why Jesus could say “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)  In John 7, verse 3, in the great Feast of Tabernacles, he said, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”  The Bible ends with this invitation, in Revelation 22, “And the Spirit and the Bride say Come, and let him who hears say Come, and let the one who is thirsty come.”  ‘Let the one who wishes to take the Water of Life without cost come.’  Jesus invites you to come and drink, if you never have before, to drink of the water of life, to drink freely.  You can’t pay for this.  There’s no way that you can buy this.  I think Isaiah 55 is sort of interesting, he says ‘Hey, everybody whose thirsty, come to the waters, come buy, but it doesn’t cost you anything.’  The Word of God shows there has been a big price to it, but the price has already been paid.


We Have A Need For Intimacy With The Lord


This is the missing ingredient, if you will, in a lot of Christian lives, this lack of intimacy with the Lord.  Fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ is absolutely vital for your Christian walk.  Psalm chapter 42, verse 1, look at how David, now this, David knows the Lord, David loves the Lord, David’s grown up in the Lord, if you will.  But listen to his experience as a man of God, as a man in the Lord he says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for thee O God.”  Get this idea, here’s this deer that’s maybe been hunted, and it’s being hunted and running and running, and it’s just, it needs a drink, and it’s looking and longing for this water brook, “As the deer longs for the water, so my soul pants for thee O God.”  My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God, this is what we need, as believers.  You know, if things aren’t going right in your Christian life, look at what you’re drinking.  Are you drinking from the River of Life?  David says ‘My soul thirsts for God.’  “When shall I come and appear before God?  my tears have been my food day and night” he says.  Look at Psalm 63, verses 1 and 2, David writes again this song, “O God, thou art my God, I shall seek thee early.”  In other words, God was the first appointment in his date-book, ok?  “My soul will wait for you, LORD, I shall seek thee earnestly [Hebrew: “early”], my soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  Thus I have beheld you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, because your loving kindness is better than life.  My lips will praise thee, so I will bless thee as long as I live.  I will lift up my hands in thy name.  My soul is satisfied with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.”  ‘I will seek thee early’ refers to David getting up before dawn for his prayer and Bible study, a habit of having his spiritual breakfast even before his physical one.  This habit of spiritual feeding and nourishment can make a Christian strong.  He realizes that the need of his heart is having more of the LORD, ‘I need to feast on you, LORD, I need to drink of your water, LORD.’  David says in Psalm 84, verses 1 and 2, “How lovely are thy dwelling places, O LORD of hosts.  My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD.  My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the Living God.” But Isaiah the prophet records Israel as saying, “We have waited for you eagerly, your name, even your memory is the desire of our souls.”  Isn’t that cool?  “We have waited for you eagerly, your name, even your memory is the desire of our souls.  At night, my soul longs for you, indeed my spirit within me seeks you diligently.”  Again, in Isaiah 26:8-9, “Yea, in the way of thy judgment, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.  With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early:  for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”  And again, in Psalm 36, verses 7-8, “How precious is your lovingkindness, O God.  And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of thy wings.  They drink their fill of the abundance of thy house, and thou dost give to them the drink of the river of thy delights, for with thee is the fountain of life.  In thy light we see light.”  God is offering us, daily, the abundance of his house.  God has oceans of mercies for you.  God has oceans of supplies worth of grace for you, oceans of strength for you, saints.  We don’t even take the little thimbleful sometimes, when there is this vast supply that God has waiting for us.  See if you can empty that ocean.  How precious is thy lovingkindness O God.  “And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of thy wings, and drink their fill of the abundance of thy house” huge abundance there, “and thou dost give to them to drink of the river of thy delights.”  “delights” is eden, Eden in Hebrew, “delights.”  God has an Eden for you.  Are you entering into that intimacy with the Lord?  Are you so busy that when your feet hit the floor, it’s off you go, and you wonder why you’re weak?  You wonder why you’re tired, you wonder why sin gets the victory over you?  You know, it could be you just need time with him, and you need his power and strength revitalizing your life.  I get weak and shaky when I don’t eat, because I need food.  But even more than that, I get weak and shaky when I don’t spend time with the Lord, because I need Jesus, because I’m a Christian, and Christians and Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua don’t live well without him.  Righteousness is a Person, Jesus, Yeshua. 


Our Hunger And Thirst Is For Jesus


You could read it like this, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after Jesus, for they shall be satisfied.”  Jesus said in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”  Christians, not just the world, but Christians are drying up for a lack of the “water of life.”  Ian Blakelock tells of an incredible incident that occurred during the liberation of Palestine in World War I.  The Allied British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers were closely pursuing the Turks, driving them out of Palestine, and the Turks were retreating into the desert.  And so the Allied troops were pursuing them but the pursuit was so hot that they left behind their camel water train.  And so they got out there a couple days away from their water supply, and they knew that they were going to be in trouble.  The men’s lips began to crack, they began to swell, they began to see mirages, they were dying.  Hundreds of them died.  And they knew that unless they got to the Wells of Shuria they would die.  And so they made this incredible march, dragging each other along, pulling one another, trying to keep those barely alive, alive, fighting for their very lives against the enemy.  And finally they did, capture the Wells of Shuria, and when they arrived the water began to be distributed to those who were the weakest first.  And it took four long hours for the water to finally get to those who were standing guard over those who were weak.  They stood there, absolutely dying for a drop of water.  They stood there, just 20 feet away from thousands of gallons of water, but they couldn’t do anything.  They stood there, waiting for the order to go for the water.  It’s said that one of the officers who was present reported, I quote, “I believed that we all learned our first real Bible lesson on the march from Beersheba to Shuria Wells.  If such were our thirst for God, for righteousness and for his will in our lives, a consuming, all-embracing, pre-occupying desire, how rich in the fruit of the Spirit would we be” end quote.  We who have come to know the Lord have an intense need for intimacy with the Lord that cannot be satisfied with anything else.  That’s the missing ingredient in so many Christian lives.  Fellowship with the Lord is so vital for us.  To repeat, Psalm 42, verses 1 and 2, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul longs for thee, O God, in a dry and thirsty land.”  Psalm 63, verses 1 and 2, “O God, thou art my God, I shall seek thee earnestly [Hebrew “early”].  My soul thirsts for thee, my flesh yearns for thee in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  Hungering and thirsting is not a one-time event, right?  We have to pursue after these things.  It’s not ‘Once quenched, always quenched’ is it?  We have to eat, and eat another time, and eat another time.  We have a continual need to be nourished, to receive food and water.  And the Lord is saying here that we have a continual need to be satisfied, to be filled and satisfied with him.  That is why having daily prayer and Bible study is so essential for the believer in Yeshua, Jesus.


Why The Lord Called Us To Himself


The Lord designed us for fellowship with himself.  I’ve heard preachers say, I heard it when I was a newborn Christian, ‘Well, we’re saved to serve.’  And the finger was sort of wagging at me, you know.  Service is important, it’s an important aspect in my following after the Lord and my love for Jesus Christ, but we were actually saved because God wanted to fellowship with us.  He wasn’t looking for servants.  He didn’t have an ad out in the paper saying ‘I need slaves, would you like to sign up?’  Instead, we were saved for fellowship.  1st Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  We were called, we were saved, to have what?  Yeah, that’s it gang, we were saved to have fellowship with Jesus Christ.  God wanted our friendship, God wanted our fellowship, he desires it.  Really.  The Greek word is Koinenion, which means “the enjoyment or realization of companionship or fellowship.”  You could say “who has called us into companionship with his Son.”  A companion is a close friend, it’s an intimate friend.


God Called Us So He Could Share His Secrets With Us


Look at Psalm 24:14, “The secret of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he will make them know his covenant.”  The word “secret” is the Hebrew word cowd [Strongs # 5475, cowd, (pronounced sode); a session, company of persons (in close deliberation; by impl. Intimacy, consultation, a secret:- assembly, counsel, inward, secret.]  The word secret is the Hebrew word cowd, which means, literally, “a couch or a cushion.”  A what?  It’s a pillow.  It’s a couch.  It was called the triclinium, it was sort of like the couch that was around the table, you know, there’d be one for you, one for the next person, all the way around the table in a Hebrew dining room of the 1st century AD.  They didn’t sit at tables and chairs, OK, that came much later.  In Biblical times they sat around on pillows, on cushions around the common table, which was low to the ground, and they dipped their food in and ate together, and the men would be in this intimate, close thing, and the women would eat by themselves in the same setting, and exchange secrets and fellowship.  And you have to understand Middle Eastern terms that if you ate with somebody, you were saying ‘We’re friends for life.’  If someone came into your home and ate with you, and an enemy attacked, you would defend them even before your own family, because you had broken bread together, and you had dipped into the same food and the same food that was in you was in them, and so you had a common life now together.  Now this is incredible, because it says, “the secret, the pillow, the couch of the Lord is for those who fear him, who are in awe of him.”  God is saying to us, that “The intimate circle where secrets are shared among friends is ours for the asking.”  I mean, this fleshed out when Christ came to the earth, didn’t it.  And there he ate with his disciples, and he shared with them.  And doesn’t it make sense now why after his resurrection, he was even cooking meals for them (cf. John 21:1-14), right?  He was a bread baker and a fish cooker.  Remember there, after Galilee, when he met them, they saw him on the shore, and he’d cooked the breakfast for them?  Because, the cowd of the Lord, the secret of the Lord is for those who fear him.  Do you get what we are saying?  God has counsel, secrets, to share with you, that he won’t share with anybody else.  He wants to bring you into his intimate circle, he wants to share with you things that he won’t share with those who do not desire this intimacy with him.  It’s not extra-Biblical knowledge that he shares with us, but he opens his Word to our understanding, to us.  Sometimes God will even give you his heart on a matter, you’ll just feel the heart of God for a person or a situation or a city, or a ministry, he will just give you his heart, and you’ll realize, and you’ll wonder, ‘What’s going on with me?  Why am I so concerned?  Why do I have this burden?’  And it’s the heart of God in your life.


The Example Of Abraham Backs This UP


Genesis 18:16, Abraham had been visited by the LORD, Yahweh, the pre-Incarnate Christ.  Genesis 18:1, “The LORD appeared to him in the oaks of Mamre, and the LORD appeared with two others” and as they were about to leave Abraham, verse 16, “the men arose up from there and looked down towards Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to send them off, and the LORD,” and this is interesting, it is the sacred name, “and Yahweh said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?  For I have chosen him in order that he may command his children in his household after him to keep the way of the LORD, by doing righteousness and justice, in order that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what he has spoken about him.” (verses 16-19) The LORD’s saying to him, ‘Should I share with Abraham what I’m about to do?’  Why would God say “Should I tell Abraham what I’m about to do?”  It’s because according to the book of James chapter 2, verse 23, “Abraham was the friend of God.”  Back to Genesis 18, verse 20, “The LORD said, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave, I will go down now and see if they’ve done entirely according to its outcry which is come up to me.’”  And he lets Abraham know that he’s going to destroy the cities down there, Sodom and Gomorrah.  Now he didn’t have to let Abraham in on what he is about to do, but he wanted to, because Abraham was his friend.  Now does God Almighty need a buddy?  Does he need a friend?  I don’t think so.  He comes to us, and desires this relationship with us.  The King of the Universe is saying ‘I want to be your friend.’  He’s initiating, and you’re the one who can say ‘Yeah or nay,’ in this relationship.  What are you going to do?  The King of the Universe is knocking at the door, and he’s saying, ‘I want to come in and share all this with you.’  Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled.”




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