Tag Archives: righteousness

Hebrew Word – LORD of Recompense [Jehovah-Gemûlâ]


 

Yāhweh Gemûlāh

 

Because of His perfect, absolute righteousness, God is also called by two names that speak of His judgment upon unrighteousness. We find the first, for example, in Jer_51:56, where He is called Jehovah Gemûlāh. The prophet foretells that God will come “upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.” The Hebrew gemûlāh (H1578)—a derivative of gāmal (H1580), “to deal, to recompense, to ripen”—speaks of full repayment for what is deserved.

 

There are many instances of this word (and other derivatives) that speak of recompense, both of judgment and blessing. Used positively, for example, when David was fleeing from Absalom, Barzillai provided him with supplies (2Sa_19:32), and David returned the favor (2Sa_19:36). It is even used to speak of benefits God has given (Psa_103:2). At times, the positive and negative are actually contrasted, as in the Virtuous Woman, who “will do [gāmal] him [her husband] good and not evil all the days of her life” (Pro_31:12).

 

It is the negative, however, that is truly sobering. The instance here in our text speaks of God’s retribution on His enemies, as does Isa_59:18 : “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.” The psalmist calls upon this God of Recompense to “give [the wicked] according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert [gemûl]” (Psa_28:4).

 

We cannot help but make special note of Psa_94:2 : “Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward [gemûl] to the proud.” As we will observe in a future study, pride is never used in a positive way of man in Scripture. Here we read of, in fact, its costliness; God will recompense it, judging it as harshly as He did the Babylonians. How this should show us what a serious sin pride is!

 

Scriptures for Study: On the positive side, what does Psa_116:12 command? On the negative side, what does Isa_3:9 warn?

 

 

 

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The LORD Our Righteousness (2)


 

Yāhweh Sidqēnû

 

Yesterday we studied the compound Jehovah-S.idqēnû, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, in Jer_23:5-6. Based on this name of God, the beloved Scottish preacher, pastor, and poet Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813–43), who was also a Hebrew scholar, wrote the wonderful hymn, “I Once Was a Stranger,” (which can be sung to the melody of “My Jesus, I Love Thee” by Adoniram Gordon). It is a truly blessed piece of work:

 

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

 

I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

 

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu—’twas nothing to me.

 

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see—
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

 

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free—
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

 

Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In thee I shall conquer by flood and by field,
My cable, my anchor, my breast-plate and shield!

 

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This “watchword” shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu, my death song shall be.

 

Scriptures for Study: What is the assurance and promise of Isa_41:10? Where does God lead us, according to Psa_23:3?

 

 

 

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Truth About Clean and Unclean


 

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” Romans 14:17.

 

There is a certain chocolate-covered peanut candy with a hard candy shell-—that does not melt in your hands—I absolutely enjoy eating it. If there were  a small bowl of this candy in front of me, I will probably eat the entire bowl. If there were a fifty-gallon drum full of this candy in front of me, I would probably not be able to prevent myself from trying to eat it all. It is a weakness, I admit it.  Consequently, we do not keep that candy in the house consistently. I know that it is essentially harmless in small quantities. But I also know that my own natural tendency is to turn something harmless into an opportunity for uncontrolled gluttony, which would create a problem between me and my God. I must determine whether the exposure to temptation is worth the risk to sin.

 

In the text, Paul explained that he was convinced there was nothing unclean in and of itself. That is, there is no food or drink one could ingest in moderation that would affect his standing before God as His child. But in our human weakness, when it comes to food and drink, we need to understand there are at least two different kinds of people. (1) There are those who are tempted to overindulge by certain foods or drinks. (2) There are others who believe in their hearts that if they indulged in certain foods or drinks at all, they would be doing something wrong.  How do we get along and grow in the kingdom of God? We go out of our way to make sure we do not put stumbling blocks in each others’ paths and make the kingdom of God about food and drink when there are far greater blessings available—righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you deny yourself physical pleasure to enjoy

 

spiritual blessings today?

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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Mouth and Heart—Hearing and Doing


 

And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not,” Ezekiel 33:32.

 

Our pet dog is trained to ring a little bell hanging by the back door every time he needs to go outside. You would think that in a small house with six people living in it, there would always be someone available to respond to the ringing bell and open the back door to let out the dog. But, surprisingly, there are times when our poor dog rings the bell for five or even ten minutes straight, waiting for someone to open the door, even though there are four children who are in the same room. They all undoubtedly hear the bell, yet each child assumes that someone else will open the door for the dog. It is not until an adult yells above the volume of the music, TV or video game, “Somebody let the dog out!” that one of the children responds and opens the door.

 

God is always speaking to us. Like a persistent bell ringing in our ears, there is a constant, steady flow of guidance from God’s Word and Spirit, pouring into our hearts, giving us guidance, direction, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Unfortunately, His Word does us no good unless we lower the volume of competing noises and listen with the intent to obey. And, every now and then, thankfully, mercifully, He raises His voice in our direction to prod us into a greater obedience. C. S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain, said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you listen to God’s voice today with the intent to obey?

 

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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95 –April 05 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


The Aristocrat, by Christ Apprehended, Served Humbly

The preacher who bought back his slaves and resettled them in the North

On April 5 1878 – Was the death of Dr. William H. Brisbane, who truly was the salt of the earth in that he influenced the society in which he lived by humbly and conscientiously dedicating himself to the cause of truth and righteousness.

At age fifteen he was sent to a military school at Middletown, Connecticut, from which he graduated with honors at the age of nineteen. Shortly after graduating, he was converted to Christ, and immediately he felt it his duty to preach the gospel. His fine culture and attainments and his dedication to the work placed him in the front ranks of the Baptist ministry of the South.

Because he was a large slaveholder, the subject of slavery had taken a deep and absorbing hold upon his mind early in his life. He struggled with this question honestly and prayerfully over a period of years, and he finally concluded that slavery was morally and spiritually wrong. Because he was a man of principle, Brisbane wanted to rectify his wrongdoing as a slaveholder justly and with compassion. He expended some of his wealth and purchased some land in Ohio, and after purchasing back some former slaves that he had sold, he went to Ohio and settled them in their new homes, supplying them abundantly with their immediate needs. Dr. Brisbane then became a resident of Cincinnati, where he labored with renewed vigor in the work of the ministry.

Brisbane later moved to Wisconsin where he preached the gospel for twenty-five years. In declining age, he was known widely as a friend and champion of every good cause.

Dr. Dale R. Hart:  Adapted  from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 139-140.

 

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55 – Feb. 24 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Shine as the Stars

How unlikely that a pastor who lived his entire life from birth to death in a rural area would ever have such godly influence as to baptize almost 5,000 people.  In the country churchyard of Bethel Baptist Church in Charlotte County, Virginia, a modest grave marker designates the resting place of the body of the beloved pastor Elijah White Roach.  How fitting that the words of Daniel 12:3 have been incised on the marker: “They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever.”

In coming to maturity, Elijah made a profession of faith and became a member of the local Baptist church.  As he matured spiritually and developed leadership, he was invited occasionally to preach.  At that time, a seasoned pastor, Abram Poindexeter, took Elijah under his wing and began to train him for Christian service.  Elijah’s ability in the pulpit grew, and the following year a church building was constructed in Midway and thirteen members constituted the new church, and Elijah was ordained and became the pastor of that congregation.  The church grew immediately.  He preached two hundred times a year and kept up with pastoral visitation.  Other congregations were formed, and in time Elijah was pastoring four such churches.  Elijah W. Roach preached into his eighty-seventh year.  In fact on the Lord’s Day before his home-going, he preached at the Midway Baptist Church, then arriving home on Monday, he fell asleep in Jesus.  Great crowds gathered for his funeral, and the text used was the goal of his life.  “They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever.”

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 112-114.

 

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