The Lord Heard Him

“The poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him” (Psalm 34:6). The man was alone, and the only one who heard him was the Lord. Yes, the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts, the All–glorious, heard his prayer. God stooped from His eternal glory and gave attention to this cry.

Never think that a praying heart pleads to a deaf God. Never imagine that God is so far removed that He fails to notice our needs. God hears prayer and grants His children’s desires and requests.

We can never pray earnestly until we believe that God hears prayer. I have been told, “Prayer is an excellent exercise, highly satisfying and useful, but nothing more. Prayer cannot move the Infinite Mind.” Do not believe so gross a lie or you will soon stop praying. No one prays for the mere love of the act. Amid all the innumerable actions of divine power, the Lord never ceases to listen to the cries of those who seek His face. This verse is always true, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). What a glorious fact! Truly marvelous!

This is still Jehovah’s special title: the God who hears prayer. We often come from the throne of grace as certain that God heard us as we were sure that we had prayed. The abounding answers to our supplications are proof positive that prayer climbs above the regions of earth and time and touches God and His infinity. Yes, it is still true, the Lord will hear your prayer.

~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Yeshua The Face Of Mercy

Knowing that we are called one of His very own, is revealing the revelation of love that is being manifested in our lives.
But, to know that YHVH Elohim has prepared beforehand vessels of mercy, so that we can receive His glory, is an entire separate marvelous mystery in itself.

In the Hebrew, there is a cluster of related words that are often translated as “mercy,” depending upon where they appear in the sentence.
There is “ahavah,” which refers to God’s enduring love for Israel, much like the love between man and woman.
Then there is “Rachamim,” which comes from the root word “rechem,” or womb, and therefore might be more literally understood as suggesting a “maternal connection” between YHVH and human beings.
In Psalm 85 it speaks of the Israelites’ return from exile, it is said that when “mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed.”
“Chesed,” the word translated as “mercy” in this verse, additionally suggests YHVH’s quality of “steadfast loyalty.” The psalm thus relates steadfastness and mercy with “truth”. In Hebrew the word for truth is “emet”, which means behaving ethically and being faithful to YHVH’s will.

Yeshua is the face of mercy.
In Matthew’s gospel, Yeshua tells His disciples to understand the meaning of the phrase:
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Perhaps most significantly for us is that Yeshua shows us what it means to be merciful: He healed the sick, welcomed the stranger and pardoned those who persecuted and killed Him. He came to set us free from the curse of death and to reconcile us with Abba.

Mercy does matter!
And to know that you can be a vessels of mercy, and carry the glory of YHVH, is to know that you have the nature of Christ inside of you. Every morning we receive new mercy from YHVH. Every morning we should become empty vessels of honour in serving our King, knowing His mercy is inside of us, so that we can take it out into the world.
In this the revelation of the wealth of His glory, will be revealed to all, and all will know who YHVH Elohim is. His glory will be release to those who carry His mercy.

And doesn’t He also have the right to release the revelation of the wealth of His glory to His vessels of mercy, whom God prepared beforehand to receive His glory? Even for us, whether we are Jews or non-Jews, we are those He has called to experience His glory. – Romans 9:23-24

Warning Against The Teachers of The Law

Mark 12:38 “And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and [love] salutations in the marketplaces,”

“Beware Is to see or watch. It carries the idea of guarding against the evil influence of the scribes.

” A long, flowing cloak that essentially trumpeted the wearer as a devout and noted scholar.

“Salutations”: Accolades for those holding titles of honor.

These scribes, above, were not servants of their fellow men. They wanted to be looked up to as being special. Their prayers were are not sincere, they were only for those around them to hear and brag about how great they were. God does not care about fancy big worded prayers. He just wants us to pray from our hearts.

Mark 12:39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.

“Chief seats in the synagogues”: The bench in the synagogue nearest the chest where the sacred scrolls were housed, an area reserved for leaders and people of renown (see note on James 2:3).

Mark 12:40 “Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.”

“Devour widow’s houses”: Jesus exposed the greedy, unscrupulous practice of the scribes. Scribes often served as estate planners for widows, which gave them the opportunity to convince distraught widows that they would be serving God by supporting the temple or the scribes own holy work. In either case, the scribe benefited monetarily and effectively robbed the widow of her husband’s legacy to her.

“By saying long prayers, The Pharisees attempted to flaunt their piety by praying for long periods. Their motive was not devotion to God, but a desire to be revered by the people.

Many scribes of that day were dependent on generous individuals for their livelihood. Some abused the hospitality they were shown and brought their hopeless donors to the brink of financial ruin. Others flaunted their religion for the sale of impressing others with their spirituality, perhaps thereby obtaining more support.

Jesus Sober Words

Mark 12:38-40 and Jesus’ tough words of warning against the teachers of the Law.

The tension between Jesus and the Jewish authorities has been bubbling away all through this chapter – and not under the surface. Here Jesus gets explicit in his blunt criticism of the teachers of the law.

Scribes would have worn distinctive white long robes and been venerated as men of the Law. People would have risen when a Scribe passed by, they were treated with huge respect and given titles like Rabbi, Master or Father. It was an honour to have one at a banquet and prominent seats were reserved for them in the Synagogues.

As we’ve been reminded in the posts on One.Life, Jesus’ passion for justice lies at the heart of his preaching on the kingdom of God.

It so it is injustice that provokes this severe warning. The widows reference is probably about the unpaid scribes being dependent on gift income and taking advantage of widows hospitality and resources.

Comment: It is very hard to read this passage in an Irish context and not make a link to the abuse of religious power in this country. Where men were venerated and given untold respect and status. And where so many of those men used that position of trust and power for selfish and abusive purposes, taking advantage of the weak and vulnerable, and all the time being seen as models of piety.

One thing is clear – according to Jesus, such actions lead to severe punishment. God’s justice includes judgement.

But it is also hard to read this text and not feel Jesus’ call for integrity and authenticity in ministry. Those called to positions of leadership and public ministry need prayer: for honesty and humility and accountability along with a passion to serve God and others rather than themselves.

Warning Against the Teachers of the Law

38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

The Lord of Lords

Deuteronomy: 10:17

Of angels and civil magistrates, who are sometimes so called. These are his creatures, act for him and under him, and are accountable to him.

“The Lord of lords”: Of the kings and princes of the earth, who have their crowns, scepters, and kingdoms from him. And hold them of him, by and under whom they reign and decree judgment, and who are subject to his authority and control.

“A great God”: As the perfections of his nature, and the works of his hands. The blessings of his providence and grace, and the extensiveness of his dominion in heaven, earth, and hell, show him to be.

“A mighty and a terrible”: Mighty and powerful to help, protect, and defend his people. Terrible to his and their enemies, even to the kings of the earth.

“Which regardeth not persons”: But bestows his favors, whether in a way of providence or grace, according to his sovereign will and pleasure. Without regard to the works and merits of men, their characters or circumstances.

“Nor taketh reward”: Or bribes, to avert threatened and deserved judgments (see Job 36:18).

The nations around them worship false gods. The True God is the only God. He proved that over and over. One of the purposes of the ten plagues on Egypt, was to defame the false gods of Egypt. God showed His supreme power over nature, when He parted the Red Sea at His command. He showed His power over all provisions, when He caused water to flow from the Rock. He needs nothing at all. He wants our love and respect.

Deuteronomy 10:18 “He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.”

“He doth execute the judgment”: The sovereign, authoritative God is also impartial (verse 17), as seen in His concern for the orphan, the widow, and the alien (compare Lev. 19:9-18; James 1:27).

He is the Provider of those who trust Him. God cares for those who are unable to care for themselves. He is Father to the fatherless, and takes up the gap for the widow as well. He provides food for those who are His, even if He has to rain it down from heaven. He provides their robe of righteousness to all who believe