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August 10, 2021 7:00 am
What were going to do this week is working to go ahead and were going to talk about the poetical books in the prophetic books of the Old Testament so you ready to do that right now the I will start with the poetical books. The poetical books of the Old Testament or the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes and when we say poetry in English we think of rhyming you know Mary had a Little Lamb its fleece was white as snow and everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go but that was not what Hebrew poetry was built around nor was Hebrew poetry built around cadence. You know I am big pentameter. Y'all remember that from high school. I have no idea what that means but I think it sounds cool to say I am big pentameter. Anyway, I Hebrew poetry is not built around cadence either. Hebrew poetry is built around something we call parallelism that is taking two parts of a verse and paralleling them, juxtaposing them to one another and there were two ways. The Hebrews did this one way they did. It was repetitively in other words both ends of the parallelism said the very same thing and the other way they did. It was in a contrary way, where the two ends of the parallelism set opposite thing. Let's look at some examples are I first repetitively paid Job a 32 verse seven age of should speak, and increased years should teach wisdom. Do you see what I'm talking about both halves of the verse say the very same thing about this one. Psalm 51 verse 17 of the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit of broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise them both have say the very same thing.
So that's repetitive parallelism. The other kind of parallelism was contrary or antithetical parallelism, meaning that the two ends of the verse say opposite things couple of examples. Ecclesiastes 1012 the words of a wise man are gracious, but the words of a fool, shall devour him.
You see how the two sides say the opposite. One more example, Proverbs 10, verse 19 where there are many words, sin is never far away.
But here's the opposite. He who restrains his lips is wise. So this is what Hebrew poetry is all about parallelism and the poetical books of the Old Testament speak to the everyday affairs of life, giving us great wisdom about those things which is why sometimes you'll find these books referred to as the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. If you run into that term. It's the very same term as the poetical books. Now let's go through and talk about each one of these books individually will start with the salt, the majority of the Psalms were written of course by King David around a thousand BC, but other people wrote some of the Psalms as well.
So you might save a lot. How do I tell which ones. King David wrote and how do I tell ones that other people wrote what many of the Psalms have titles that go with them. A title is information that is found between the Psalm numbers Psalm whatever and verse one and you say I've never seen that in their own lives and their trust me, if you look for. Let me give you an example. Psalm 51 says a Psalm of David. When Nathan the prophet came to see David after he David had gone in to Bathsheba and so this heading.
This title tells us not just only who wrote the song, but tells us the historical event that prompted the Psalm and this is why Psalm 51 is all about.
Confession of sin and it's all about repentance of the sacrifices of God are a broken heart, because Nathan had come to rebuke David for his sin with Bathsheba and that's why David wrote the song one more Psalm 63 says a Psalm of David while he was in the wilderness of Judea now show your picture of the wilderness of Judea. It is a barren barren place and David writes in this Psalm. Oh God my soul first for you, as in a dry land where there is no water. Now where was David when he wrote this he was in a dry land where there was no water. And so certainly he was out there and he said you know what my soul thirsts for God, the way my body is now thirsting for water and that's what he wrote down but knowing he was out there in the wilderness makes us all make more sense to guide body tracking with me now. Not every Psalm has a title, but if it does it'll tell you who wrote the Psalm and a lot about the historical setting.
Now the Psalms covered the full range of human emotions in the theater grieve anger, joy hold some Psalms talk about gratitude to God for something that he's done great for you some Psalms talk about confusion before God for something he's doing to you. That is the Psalm is the psalmist didn't understand and didn't like. So essentially, there is no matter what you're going through in life, my friend. There is a song for you and perhaps that's why the book of Psalms is such a beloved book of the Bible because no matter what you're facing in life there is a Psalm where you can go that God addresses that in your life and in my life. So that's the book of song but just before we move on. I do want to mention one very special group of Psalms called the messianic Psalms. These are Psalms that with impeccable accuracy predict many details regarding the Messiah regarding his life, his ministry, his birth, his death, his resurrection even though they were written a thousand years before he was born. Let's take one example, Psalm 22 says in verse 18. They divided my garments among them, and cast lots for my clothing that is apps out there that sound familiar.
Yeah that that with the Roman soldiers did when they crucified Jesus. Listen Matthew 27 verse 35 then the soldiers crucified him, and cast lots for his clothing that it might be fulfilled which was spoken spoken where Psalm 22. Yeah, they divided my garments among them, and cast lots for my clothing.
One more example letter that same song. Verse 16 says they peers my hands and my feet.
What was that all about, was about the crucifixion, of course, right, and the there about 20 of these messianic Psalms in the Bible and their perfect predictions regarding the Messiah are one of the greatest proofs of the Bible's veracity and its trustworthiness and its supernatural character and we know that these Psalms were not faith. We know that this is not a hoax that somebody wrote these things into the Psalms after Jesus had lived so they went okay.
They could cast lots for his clothing.
When we go back and write that in the Psalm 22 we know that can't be true because we have a copy today of the entire book of Psalms from 50 to 100 BC. That's the date that's placed on it by even liberal scholars. That's part of the Dead Sea Scrolls collection and so we have Psalm 22 written 50 to 100 years before Christ was ever born. And guess what it says it says they cast lots for my clothing and they peers my hands and my feet. There was no fraud here, my friends, this is genuine, supernatural prediction by God of what was going to happen to the Messiah.
And as I said one of the greatest proofs of the trustworthiness of the Scripture. Now let's move on to the book of Proverbs, the book of Proverbs is a iffy collection of statements that give practical wisdom that are wise sayings about the affairs of everyday life and their 31 chapters to the book of Proverbs. So I don't know about you but I read want today.
I mean it's easy for me. I say all right today is the 19th so today is my day to read Proverbs chapter 19 you say what happens on a 30 day month. Well, I skipped 31 and come back to it. The next month.
What about February well I don't know why but skip couple chapters and come back to them, but for the most part you'll cover the whole book of Proverbs every month.
If you read whatever day it happens to be, and I think it's fair to say that anybody who runs their life based on the wisdom in the book of Proverbs will avoid a bushel and a pack of trouble in their life just by obeying the practical life principles.
The book of Proverbs lays out when my son Justin, my middle son I three boys. In addition to my daughter Jill was a teenager.
Yet this terrible habit of entering the room mouth first unit, you have never met people like that yeah okay what I was Justin.
And so one of my favorite Proverbs is Proverbs 1019, which we read just a little earlier where there are many words, sin is never far away, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
And one day I got Justin I said I want to sit out the table. I want to read a Bible verse to your gossip set out shop and so I setting down and I read this verse to him and I said Justin you to memorize this verse, which I may have thought of you memorizes that maybe God will help me some a little sink in and I said I want you to know I have declared this verse to be your special life. First Justin this is your life. First he who restrains his lips is wise. Well, later on, I told my wife Brenda that I had done this, and without even looking up from the sink. She simply said physician heal thyself. Yeah, I thought that was kind of funny because that's from the Bible to you know and the but it's true. Justin and I both would get in a lot less trouble if we learn to restrain our lives and keep our big mouth shut. This is the book of Proverbs and what a great source of wisdom, it is hey the book of Joe is on the deals with the problem of human suffering. The book of Ecclesiastes deals with the issue of living for the things of this world, and finally the song of Solomon deals with physical sexual love between a husband and a wife and makes it clear to us that God is pleased with this expression of love within the bounds of biblical marriage, which is why the New Testament the Bible says Hebrews 13, four marriage is honorable in all ways, and the marriage bed is holy. Now that's the end of the poetical books of the Old Testament.
So why don't we turn our attention out of the prophetic books of the Old Testament and when we do this. The minute we say the word prophecy. Most of us immediately think about foretelling the future, but in the Bible prophecy means something much broader than just predicting the future a profit in the Bible was a person who received direct information from God himself.
Divine revelation from God that God wanted him to communicate to people now. Sometimes this involved foretelling the future. Indeed, most of the time it involved the prophet simply telling the people around him. What God wanted them to hear and so what I really want you to understand is because of that the Bible that we have today is merely prophecy written down.
Let me repeat that it's prophecy written down because think about it. Now what we have here in the Bible is direct information from God that God gave to a profit because he wanted you and me to have that information, and then he instructed that profit to write it down as every body tracking with me on stamp just prophecy written down that we don't know much about the process of how prophecy got written down. We do know. Second Peter chapter 1 says that sometimes the prophet himself didn't even understand what he was writing down, particularly when it dealt with the Messiah in the future. We only have one example anywhere in the Bible that actually describes the writing down of prophecy and that's in the book of Jeremiah. Let me read it to you. Jeremiah 36 verse one says now this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, take a scroll and what's the next three words right on its all the words I have spoken to you in so Jeremiah called his scribe whose name was Barack and his Jeremiah dictated the words the Lord had spoken to him. Barack wrote them down, and the result is what we call today the book of Jeremiah exactly that's the only description we have of prophecy being written down now. Not every profit was instructed by God to write down their prophecies. Elisha was a great prophet, but there's no book of Elisha in the Bible. Elijah was a great prophet, but there's no book of Elijah in the Bible. Nathan the prophet that rebuked David about his sin with Bathsheba was a great prophet. There is no book of Nathan in the Bible how how did God decide what profits to have right there prophecy down which ones not to.
I have no idea folks we got what God wants us to have. That's all I can tell you now.
In that regard, I want you to understand that the Bible then divides the prophetical books into two broad categories. The minor prophets and the major prophets. The major prophets are for Isaiah, Jeremiah, including Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel and the minor prophets consist of the 12 books between Hosea and Malachi, and the difference between the major prophets in the minor prophets is not important. Slover's major prophets, not more important than the minor prophets. It's a difference of length. The major prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel are longer books and the minor prophets or shorter books. That's all. But they're all inspired Scripture and therefore they're all equally important and sometimes it helps if you can see these prophets of the books broken up by the year they were written in the King who was ruling in who the prophet prophesied to.
So we have a chart for you.
Let's put that up and you say, what are you serious that nobody can read that crazy thing I know that's why we gave you an MP3 that's Robert going to give you an enhanced CD where you can blow it up and you can see it all, but that'll be on their okay and it'll tell you what empire was ruling during each prophets prophet you would you got it right okay so get the MP3 and that'll be on their now as we said most of the prophetic writings were not predicting the future. Most of them were messages addressed to the people that the prophet was talking to, for example in the book of Amos Amos is rebuking the leaders of Israel for ignoring the poor, ignoring the orphan, ignoring the widow and greedily keeping all the money for themselves and perverting justice so that that's what most of the books of the prophets are about.there are some messianic prophecies in the Bible. Just like there are messianic songs. These are sections of the prophetic books that do speak in a future sentence in a foretelling sense to the ministry of the Messiah that was coming centuries later. Now the greatest single example of this is the is Isaiah 53 right we all know Isaiah 53 okay but let me just give you a shorter example Micah chapter 5 verse two says, but you, Bethlehem, out of use shall come forth. The one who shall be the ruler of Israel. Who's going for us are from old from ever lasting not lose whose of Micah talking about some of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born in Bethlehem right, but this was written in 750 BC and Zechariah Chapter 11 which was written 500 BC says so I said to them, if it is agreeable to you.
Give me my wages, so they weighed out for my wages.
30 pieces of silver. Her that sounds familiar.net.
Then I took a 30 pieces of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord who we talking about here.
Judas yeah look at Matthew 27.
Let's compare Matthew 27 that the Bible says that Judas was remorseful and brought back to 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the temple, then the chief priest talk the silver pieces and bought what kind of a field. A potter's field. So once again, as you can see all these prophecies were made centuries before the Lord Jesus Christ was born and they all came true exactly the way God said they were going to finally the last prophet to write was a fellow named Malachi in 400 BC and as I told you last week after this the Old Testament goes silent for 400 years. It's not that history didn't happen.
It's just that the Bible has nothing more to say until the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ you say why did the Bible goes silent friends. I have no idea. I guess God said everything he needed to say. Up to that point and we pick up again with the Bible at the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in the beginning of the New Testament. Okay, now you guys to just survive that. Okay again the fastest course and in Bible survey known to man. You just had but hopefully you kept up and get the enhanced CD or go online and you get all those notes and all that information and all that that you can study at your leisure, but it brings us today. Now to our most important question so all you guys at Bethesda and all you guys of Prince William and all you guys at Tysons and on the Internet and here are we already sure art on the count of three. Here we go one to pray. Oh yeah, that's really the salon. So what will remember what we said last week. Romans 15 verse four says that what was written in earlier times, meeting the Old Testament was written for our learning, that through the encouragement of the Old Testament Scriptures we might have hope and therefore the prophetic books in the poetical books. The Bible tells us are full of passages designed for learning design for our encouragement and designed to give us hope.
So why don't we pick a passage somewhere in there and let's get some learning some encouragement and some hope from it today. How's that sound so good. All right, let's pick something out of the prophetic books about the book of Daniel, one of the major prophets chapter 1.
And remember, let me just remind you what's happening in Daniel chapter 1 Nebuchadnezzar. We talked about him last week conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC.
We talked about that last week he tore down the city. He tore down the temple and he also left his chief officer. His brassiere they are in town and said I want you to find a bunch a young Jewish guys, sharp guys, now that you can train and we can turn him into my personal servants.
Okay so that's the background and three of the people that the brassiere. Were Shadrach me shack and Abednego and then he also picked their friend named Daniel. That's where we pick up the story. Here we go. Daniel chapter 1 verse five and the king appointed for these men a daily provision of the king's choice food and his wine and he also appointed that they be educated for three years, Daniel, Shadrach me shack and Abednego that at the end of that time, they might serve before the king. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the kings food, the folks what was wrong with the kings food. Well, I'm sure was good food. The king aided Saul was wrong with it. Well actually for Jewish young man. There were three things wrong with it.
Number one. Many of the foods that the king eight were forbidden for a pious Jew to eat as part of the Old Testament law, you know, things like ham and bacon and red hot and blue you understand what I'm saying could eat that stuff also the other. The second problem is that the animals that would be that that would've been slaughtered to be used for the kings food would've been slaughtered in a nonkosher way. Even if you have a clean animal that is acceptable to eat.
You must slaughter it in a certain way according to the Old Testament for it to be kosher meaning have to drain all the blood out of the animal first before you actually cut it up because Jews checked the book of Leviticus are not allowed to eat blood so the king wouldn't of done that inferred most of these animals would've first been through a sacrifice in the temples of the gods of Babylon before they were used for food which was the filing to the animal in the mind of Daniel and so Daniel said I don't care what it cost me. I am not going to defile myself and eat this food now. I want to point out to you that it could cost Daniel severely.
To do this. King Nebuchadnezzar is not exactly what we would define as an enlightened ruler.
Remember the story of following the three guys in the fiery furnace, Shadrach me shack and Abednego the furnace didn't burn them up.
Read the story, Nebuchadnezzar was so mad that he said well it's going to burn somebody up and he took his own officers and threw them in the fire and they got burned up. These also the guy Nebuchadnezzar that when the last king of Judah made a mad king Zedekiah and revolted against them didn't do what he said he called Zedekiah and his two sons killed his sons in front of Zedekiah's eyes gouged Zedekiah's eyes out right after that. So the last thing he would ever see on earth was the death of his two sons then took Zedekiah back to Babylon and burned them at the state this is not the guy you want to make angry at you that clear. Yeah okay so but Daniel said I don't care I'm not eating his food, so I went to the brassiere and asked for permission not to eat the kings food now watching the brassiere said I'm afraid of my lord the king Nebuchadnezzar, for he will see your face looking worse than the other young man and this will endanger my head before him notice his own prime minister scared of this guy. Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel said look I got an idea. Please test the four of us for 10 days. Give us only vegetables to eat and water to drink and then compare our appearance to that of the other young men not friends. This is the key to the whole chapter missed this point and we missed the point of the whole chapter here is the point is that Daniel believes that he is God was big enough and his God was powerful enough that if he put God first in his life if he honored God above the king in his life that God would honor him back and supernaturally nourishes body you got that when he repeated this is the whole point Daniel believed his God was big enough that if he honored God. God would honor him back and nourish his body. Regardless of what he ate, thereby got that okay now let's see what happened. Daniel one verse 15. At the end of the 10 days the appearance of Daniel and his friends was better, and their bodies were fatter than all the others who been eating the kings food usually sounds like the diets I go on I eat nothing and I get fatter yet, so I don't know God.
Maybe there's some about dieting as a Jewish person. I don't know but but but this about how my diet works anyway and God look for this more, Dave. These four young men. Wisdom and knowledge and insight into all things, and when the king interviewed them watch. There was no one who matched up to them and therefore the king chose them.
Daniel Shadrach me shack and Abednego to serve before him out of all the other candidates now is a wonderful verse in the Scripture that says this first Samuel 230. It says those who honor me, I will honor saith the Lord. What we see here in Daniel chapter 1 is God keeping that promise to Daniel right Daniel honored God's that are not eating that food all eat vegetables and water and trust God and God honoring back.
Sure did not just by making fatter but by making him the man at the king chose to be writing this court, you know, God honored the same promise for Joseph member Joseph said the Potiphar's wife.
No no no no, I'm not committing adultery with you. How can I sin and do this awful thing before God, she threw him in jail but did God honoring in spite of that. Yeah he came out of jail to be the prime minister of all of Egypt, and God honored this promise for Ruth. Ruth said I'm not going to abandon my mother-in-law, but her God will be my God her people will be my people. Now for a while. She and her mother-in-law lived in abject poverty poorer than church mice but to God. Honor this promise to her. Yeah, she's out there in the field and along comes Boaz all year and they get married and all of a sudden she's one of the wealthiest women in Israel and also not only has a godly husband but is the great-grandmother of King David. The God honored this principle for King David himself.
You member souls chasing them around in the wilderness and David said I will not raise my hand against the Lord's anointed.
Even though we had a chance to kill King Saul. Now he spent seven years in caves with the God honor this principle with David. He sure did mating the greatest king in the ancient near East during his reign, and in just a little while, God is going to honor this promise for Daniels three friends when they refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar statue and go into the fiery furnace to God.
Honor them back where they went in the furnace. Yet they came out without a mark on friends. God honored this promise for David for Ruth for Joseph for Daniel for Daniels three friends and I'm here to tell you that God, if you're a follower of Jesus will honor this promise for you and me today and this is the so what for today. This is it ready. So what is that in every situation in life we need to try to figure out what course of action will bring the most honor to God and then with the Lord's help we need to do it. We need to figure out what course of action available to us brings God the most honor and then with God's help we need to do it. Why because we have a promise that if we will do that God will honor us back.
This may mean forgiving someone is hurt you, even though you don't want to. This may mean giving full disclosure even though it may mean you can't get to do what you want to do this may mean keeping your promise to somebody even though your sorry ever made it in the first place and you wish you could go to call those words and going right back in your mouth, but you made the promise one honors God. Hey.
David said I keep my word even to my own hurt in the book of Psalms. Hey, I don't know what it may mean for you, but I can promise you three things about choosing whatever honors God number one. It'll always be the hardest choice of all the ones available. Number two, it'll always be the choice that your/least wants to do. I can promise you that. And third, it'll always be the most humbling of the choices available to you.
Sarai don't worry about it do with anyway because you've got a promise from God that you honor me and I will honor you back and you know when we live like this.
In the short term, it looks like we might were losing, I mean, when Joseph live like this. In the short term. What happened to it. He went to jail when David live like this.
In the short term. What happened to it. He spent seven years hide in caves. When Ruth did this in the short term.
What happened to your she ended up living in abject poverty for a while. When Daniels three friends did this, what happened to them. They went into the fiery furnace. Hey don't worry about the short term because in the long term.
Didn't God keep his word to every one of these people say yes yes he did and he will keep it to you yet you may suffer some short-term loss. Sarai short-term losses great for long-term gain right right that's what God says let me close by saying that when I first came to Christ at University North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a Tar Heels here okay well why did come to Christ if you personal time.
Chapel Hill and one of the very first verses that I ever memorized was first Samuel 230. I'm not sure why I ran into that verse so early in my Christian life. But I did those who honor me, I will honor saith the Lord, and I decided to make that my life first I thought this would be a great verse to build my whole life around and I have to tell you folks that verse has done me well you know I haven't always got it right. I mean there were times I made the wrong choice but I've really tried my best to always get it right and choose what honor God, even though it was harder. Most of the time and I gotta tell you, God has honored my life and blessed my life beyond my wildest dreams beyond my wildest comprehension over the last 44 years. It wasn't because I'm special. It wasn't because he loves me more and he loves you.
It simply because he made a promise that when we try to honor him from the heart, and we mean it. He's going honor, respect, friends. Make this your life.
Live your life this way. Build your life around this principle and I promise you, you will be so glad that you did. If we can believe what Daniel believed we can live like Daniel live purpose to do that God will do what he did for Daniel. May God help us do that for Lord Jesus, thank you so much for the word of God today and thank you Lord for writing these things down through your profits that we might have them for encouragement and for learning and for hope and from the book of Daniel, today you have given us all of those things we have learned how you want us to live life and I'm encouraged and I have hope by remembering that when we honor you, you honor us so God use this verse in a mighty way in our heart lies use the word of God today in a mighty way in our lives. And thank you for writing it down and giving it to us. We pray these things in Jesus name what it allows everybody else say a man