I was reading the “Today in History” section of the paper the other day and it said that in 1858 Abraham Lincoln, during his run for the Senate, said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
What got me was that I am absolutely convinced that there are many, many people reading that who think Honest Abe coined that phrase, himself. They have no idea that Yeshua said it, or that it is from the Bible.
That made me think (yes, it hurt, but sometimes I can) about how many other statements or sayings that are biblical, but which people do not know came from the bible, or (even worse) how many things do people think are biblical that are not?
How many times do we hear people say, “The bible says….” and then say something that isn’t in the bible? For instance, “God helps those that help themselves.” I hate that saying because it leads people to the wrong conclusion- it leads them to think that God wants us, first and foremost, to look to our own power for resolving our problems. And, if we do, then He will step in and help us.
WRONG!!!! We need to look to God first: first, foremost, only and always before we do anything on our own. God is the one to count on, and God is the only one who can overcome. Yeshua said that for man it is impossible, but with God anything is possible. If what we need is possible only with God, then why even start on our own?
There is one time that you can say, to a degree, we need to start on our own- that would be regarding faith. When it comes to having faith, I believe that is something we need to show before we can have it fully justified. If we have faith only after some miraculous event, then we are reacting instead of acting. Faith is, to me, more than a word, more than a noun- it is an action verb! We say to “have faith” but it really should be (if you ask me) to “show faith.”
God will be faithful to support our faithfulness. We need to step out in faith, then He will walk beside us and guide us.
But when it comes to anything else, pray first, go to God first, and after you have first asked Him to guide and help you, then walk out in strength; fearlessly, faithfully knowing that God is with you.
We all need to know the bible- what it really says, and just as importantly, what it doesn’t say. We need to be able to right the wrong that people say which can only lead them to Sheol, and not to salvation.
How often do you read the bible? There are calendars that have a bible verse for each day of the week, there are tracts galore, there are online reminders, and every sort of biblical “reading” and daily devotional that you can find. These are not what I recommend, mainly because they are out of context and can be misleading. I believe, and I preach, go to the source. God can show you what He wants you to see, give you spiritual sight that will allow you to receive whatever message He has for you no matter what biblical reading source you use, but why go anywhere other than where He wrote it, in the way He wrote it. See what happened before the verse, and see what happens after it.
Too many of these sayings from or referring to the bible are misleading because they are out of context. The bible is not in true, chronological order, and the Christian order of books in the Tanakh is different from the Jewish order, but at least you get the history, the stories and the events in the way that Moshe wrote them (for the Torah) and in the way that people have learned them for millennia.
If you were given a book to read- history, mystery, self-help, whatever- would you read it haphazardly? I mean, would you read the first chapter, then the middle, go to the third from the end, then the second, and bounce all around like that? I hope not, but the Christian world does that. Pretty much every Christian service I have gone to preaches a sermon that takes from the bible, but the sermons have no biblical order. Now, in all fairness, maybe I am just a little too used to the Jewish system of reading the Torah portions (called Parashot) every Shabbat , in order, so that every synagogue throughout the world is reading the same message at the same time, and we all turn the Torah back to the beginning every Simchat Torah (Joy of Torah) on the eighth day of Sukkot. There is also the haftorah, or additional reading from the other parts of the Tanakh, which emphasize the Torah portion reading.
I am not saying it is bad to use daily devotionals- any time you are reading from the bible is better than not reading from it, at all. But I hear too many people that do not know the bible, and think that there are things they hear that are from the bible. This is the path to destruction because the enemy knows the word of God as well, if not better, than almost anyone else. And he will use that to destroy your soul.
Let’s finish with this- gun control. Yes, gun control. If you own a gun, and don’t know how to use it, you are much more likely to have it used against you or to hurt yourself with it than to get any benefit from it. The word of God is like that- even Shaul tells us, in Ephesians, about how the word of God is both armor and weapon (from shield to sword.) The enemy will try to use the word of God against you, just as he tried to use it against Yeshua during the forty days He was in the desert, so if you don’t know it, and know it well, you may find the very weapons God has provided for you to protect yourself from the fiery arrows of the enemy, being used against you.
You can, and will, be defeated by the very weapons God has given you to defend yourself if you don’t know how to use them! And the way to know how to use them is ….to use them. Read His word, in order, from start to end, then go back and read it again. And make that as much a part of your daily routine as eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth (I certainly hope that is a daily thing!)
And always, always, always pray to God for the Ruach to guide your reading so that all He has for you to see in that book is made available to you.
We are living in prophetic times- the battle is coming. Quickly. If you don’t know how to use your armor and the weapons God has given you, you will be lost. Don’t think that just because you are saved now you can’t be fooled into giving up your salvation. In Revelations it tells us that many will be turned and apostatized. “Many” is a lot of people; in some translations I have seen , it says “most”- meaning more than 50% of the Believers will be fooled into taking the mark of the enemy. I believe those will be among the ones who don’t know the word of God as well as they need to.
Know your bible, know how to use the armor of God, and know your enemy.
He certainly knows you.