Where is the Lamb?

Genesis 22:7 records a very poignant question that Isaac, the son, asks of his father Abraham. Isaac, noticed that the fire and the wood was there for the burnt offering, but the lamb wasn’t. Abraham’s response to Isaac, was a expression of his trust and reliance on God, for even though he knew that he was to sacrifice his son (as the lamb), believing that God could raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:19), he faltered not in believing in the providing nature of God.

Points to ponder:
Fast forward a couple of thousand years to the time of Jesus’ time on earth and his crucifixion and you will find the answer to the question posed by Isaac. John the Baptist identified Jesus Christ to be the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) and on the Cross on Golgotha (Calvary), you find Jesus as the lamb offered to take away the sins of the world (Isaiah 53:7-10). Jesus is the Lamb that God provided (as the perfect sacrifice) to redeem mankind, making his soul an offering for our sins. Behold Jesus, the Agnus Dei – the Lamb of God, provided for you and me.

For those interested to know more about the significance of the burnt offering, you can check out a previously written Hidden Treasures article at >http://wp.me/p4Ui4-2F

Genesis 22:7-8 (KJV)
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

John 1:29 (KJV)
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Isaiah 53:7-10 (KJV)
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

All the world’s a herbivore, until …

When God created man, after he had blessed him and commanded him to be fruitful and multiply, God gave every seed bearing herb and seed bearing tree as provisions of sustenance to man. It is important to recognize that seed bearing herbs and trees have the ability to reproduce and so they would not go extinct upon consumption.  To every living thing that was in the earth or the air, God gave every green herb as food. In other words, there were no carnivores. Everyone and everything were herbivorous according to God’s plan. Everyone and everything (including man and animal) was at peace before the fall of man, which led to sin and increased wickedness that provoked God to send the flood. It is only after the flood, does God give man every living thing that moves, as food, to man (Genesis 9:3-4).  Why would God add meat as food for man? Since the flood killed all living things including plants, except Noah and his family, one plausible explanation is that after the flood, the amount of trees and herbs was scarce and God wanted to make sure that his most prized possessions (i.e., man) had the means to continue and sustain life.

Points to ponder:
God is a provider. His plan is to provide with peace and to provide peace. Man’s sinful life brings a flood of issues including death. Only in Jesus Christ is found the peace that passeth all understanding and when we are in Christ, the floods of sin and death can’t drown us. God is THE provider for our life to continue. He has been since creation … Are you in Jesus Christ?

Genesis 1:29-31 (KJV)
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 9:3-4 (KJV)
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all thin
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Our Father :: The Providing Father God

From the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples we can learn of many characteristics of the kind of God, Our Father, is. In this prayer, he teaches us to ask God to give us our daily bread. This establishes the fact that our God is a providing Father. Additionally, it also reflects the fact that God the Father is one who is willing to meet us daily. Jesus asserted this fact when he asked us to consider the birds of the air, which neither sow, nor reap nor gather, yet God the Father provides for their needs (Matthew 6:26). Interestingly, the Bible also records of birds (ravens) that were used by God to provide for the sustenance needs of God’s prophet, Elijah, twice daily (1 Kings 17:1-8). God as a Righteous Father is ready and willing to provide his children of what they ask him (Matthew 7:11), for He is a Providing Father God, but the important thing is that we must ask God (and not anyone else) – Give us this day our daily bread.

Point(s) to ponder:
Our asking of God not only affirms that God is a providing Father God, but it also demonstrate our ongoing (daily) dependence and reliance on Him to provide for our needs.

Matthew 6:11 (KJV)
11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Matthew 6:26 (KJV)
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

1 Kings 17:1-6 (KJV)
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

God the Giver

A well known verse that is often quoted amongst Christians to encourage those who are in need is “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory”, but often this is quoted incompletely, because what follows is “by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). It is Christ Jesus that fulfills all our need.  Through the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are given Peace (1 Peter 1:2), Power that is divine (1 Peter 1:3), Provisions of all things that pertain to life (1 Peter 1:3), Promises that are precious (1 Peter 1:4) and Prudence (1 Peter 1:5).

We are given Peace that passeth all understanding when we believe in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:7).
We are given Power to live a free and victorious Christian life. But often our humanness takes priority and we falter, but praise be to God that even if we sin, we have a High Priest who is our advocate (1 John 2:1) who represents us.
We are given Provisions that pertain to all things in life, meaning we are given everything and yet we find ourselves struggling hard to provide and feed our own hedonistic appetites, not trusting Him at His word.
We are given Promises that are precious but we try to hurry up God’s time table by not waiting for His Promises to be fulfilled (as did Abram) which often leads to conflicts.
We are given Prudence (diligence) to accept Jesus for His Peace, believe in Him for His Power, trust Him for His Provisions and wait on Him for His Promises.

God the giver, has given us Peace, Power, Provisions, Promises and Prudence so that we may be partakers of His divine nature.

Point(s) to Ponder:

  1. Do you have the Peace that passeth all understanding?
  2. Do you feel like you have God’s Power?
  3. Do you trust God for His Provisions?
  4. Do you trust God and His Promises?

Let us all be Prudent to trust Him and take Him at His word.

2 Peter 1:3-5a (KJV)
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence [prudence],

Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Lack(ed) Nothing

When our beloved 4 year old son, Reuben, was repeating Psalm 34, when he came to verse 10, instead of saying “but they that seek the LORD shall not want (lack) any good thing”, he left out the word “good” and said “but they that seek the LORD shall not want anything“. In other words, he was saying, that those who seek the LORD lack nothing and in essence meaning that the LORD shall supply all the needs of His people, who seek Him, in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Those who seek the LORD shall find Him in Christ Jesus and shall have the need for nothing else.

Though the operative word is “seek”, the one in operation truly is the LORD, who is Jehovah Jireh, THE PROVIDER. Nehemiah 9:20-21 is an attestation of this Truth for it reads that the people in the wilderness were sustained by the LORD who gave them a good spirit to instruct them besides provisions of manna and water for their hunger and thirst. The Psalmist avers that God will teach us and instruct us in the way we should go (Psalm 32:8). Jesus is the teacher from heaven (John 3:2); Jesus is the manna from heaven (John 6:31-33) and Jesus is the living water (John 4:14; John 7:37-39) that sustains us always, especially during the dry spells (wilderness) of our lives.

When we find Jesus (as we seek the LORD), we shall lack nothing. When we have Jesus, we have it ALL. When we have Jesus, nothing else is needed. In other words, as our loving son aptly put it, those who seek the LORD shall not want (lack) ANYTHING.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Are you/I seeking the LORD?
  2. Do you have (believe in) Jesus, in which case, you have shall not lack anything?

Nehemiah 9:20-21 (KJV)
Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.

The gifts at and the Gift of Christmas

For the past couple of nights, we have been as a Church going home to home, caroling and proclaiming the good news of God’s presence with man (Emmanuel) by being born into this world in the form of a baby, who is named Jesus, which means Savior a.k.a. He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21-23). One of the songs we sang was ‘We three kings of Orient are’ which narrates the event of the wise men from the east that sought the king of the Jews who fell down and worshipped Jesus, when they came into the house and saw Jesus the child with his mother, Mary and in their act of worship, opened their treasures and presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).

While the presentation of gifts may be considered customary and happenstance, there is more to learn from this portion of the Scripture, just as any other narrative in the Christmas account.

Let us at first we look at the givers and then we shall look at the gifts.
The givers first and foremost fell down and worshipped Jesus, then they opened their treasures and presented him with their gifts. We must do likewise as well. We must first fall down and worship Jesus for He is King of kings, then we must open up our heart (for out of it is the wellspring [treasures] of life) and present ourselves to Him.  In other words, our act of worship must include wholeheartedly surrendering all we have and are to Him, the King over all.

Now looking at the gifts. The gifts that were given were gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Gold signifies royalty and divinity. It is the gift given to kings. Here we see that Jesus is the King given the gift of gold.
Frankincense signifies the prayers of the saints. Jesus is given Frankincense to symbolize that He is indeed a Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek, the High Priest of the Most High God who is the intercessor on our behalf to God.
Myrrh signifies aroma/perfume which was used when preparing someone for burial. By the presenting of myrrh to Jesus, it symbolizes the preparation for his death on the cross of Calvary as the final and acceptable sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. The cross overshadowed the cradle in the manger on the First Noel, the first Christmas, when the Son of God became the Son of Man, so that the sons and daughters of man could become the sons and daughters of God.

Additionally, we must not forget that the greatest giver was none other than God, Jehovah Jireh, The Provider of a provision for reconciling God with man (Emmanuel), through the greatest gift which was His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, THE GIFT.

What is the gift you/I are/am going to give Jesus?

Matthew 2:11 (KJV)
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

John 3:16  (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.