“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #149
“For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:24–25).
So the body is naturally solicitous for the parts of the body that have less honor. There is a natural modesty we have, given by God, which causes us to compensate. The “comely parts” need no additional honor through clothing or jewelry, but other parts do. This giving of additional care to certain parts of the body is described as God “tempering the body together.”
Genesis 22 contains the famous account of Abraham’s aborted sacrifice of Isaac. But in the aftermath of that event, there was apparently some drama going on in the background. What did Sarah think of all this?
After Abraham came back from the mountain, he lived in Beersheeba. “So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba” (Gen. 22:19).
A few verses later, when we are told that Sarah died, Abraham comes to lament for her, and to arrange for her burial. But she was living at Hebron, about 26 miles away from Beersheeba. Abraham and Sarah were living apart at the time of her death. “And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her” (Gen. 23:2).
Where was Isaac in this? We are not told explicitly, but in the account of Rebekah, we learn that he was very close to his mother. “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death” (Gen. 24:67).
So there you are, and you can make of it what you will. But it seems to me that Abraham’s great act of obedient faith was not exactly met with universal acclaim at the time. Not everyone was thrilled.
On Palm Sunday, we remember the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem shortly before He was betrayed, condemned, and executed. As we reflect on this moment in His mission, we should take care to remember what that mission was. His mission was not just to save people, it was also to save a people.
“And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matt. 21:9).
Summary of the Text:
There are many things that can be drawn out of this story, but this morning, we are just going to focus on one of them. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem—where He was to be lifted up and draw all men to Himself—He was greeted by multitudes. Contrary to the popular assumption that the Triumphal Entry crowd and the “crucify Him” crowd were the same people, we have no reason for identifying them. These people who greeted Him were doing so sincerely. Jesus was approaching Jerusalem in order to save multitudes, and He was greeted there by multitudes. Their central cry was Hosanna, which means “Save, we pray.” In other words, we are praying that You would save us. “Yes,” He answered.
“One great reason why many ministers find expository preaching difficult is, that they have not been sufficiently accustomed to study the Bible” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p. 308).
“But unity in an expository discourse is by many preachers never aimed at” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p. 304).
We should always want to turn to Scripture for instruction on what to do where we are. We ought to minimize the study of Scripture that focuses on what might happen to us some other time. Application should always be now, obedience should never be a matter of postponement.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace . . . And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:1–16).
Summary of the Text:
After laying the foundation of the first three chapters of Ephesians (all indicatives), Paul moves on to the last three chapters, which are full of ethical imperatives. The foundational imperative is that we “walk worthy” (v. 1). We are to be humble with one another, forbearing with one another (v. 2). We do this as we endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (v. 3). Paul then notes the essential unity of the faith (vv. 4-6). Nothing about it is fragmented. Each believer is given a measure of grace (v. 7). Jesus ascended into Heaven, and then gave gifts to us (v. 8). The one who ascended is the same one who descended (vv. 9-10). The gifts that He gave were church offices—apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/teachers (v. 11). The reason for giving these gifts is so that the saints might be perfected for the work of ministry, as the body of Christ is built up (v. 12). The result of that is that we will all come to the unity of the faith (v. 13), growing up into a perfect man. That will prevent us from being blown all over by crafty false teachers (v. 14). Rather, speaking the truth in love, we will grow up into unity (v. 15). The result will be the entire body knit together in love (v. 16).
[Expository preaching misunderstood] ” . . . as some quaint old preacher expressed it, if he is ‘persecuted in one verse, he can flee to another’” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p. 301).
So no, I haven’t seen the movie, and no, this is not a review of it. Aside from that resulting in a couple of hours that I couldn’t get back, there would be the problems caused by the possibility of me writing a review of an Aronofsky film that might run counter to the analysis of soi disant hipster film dude critics. And, as everyone knows, one of my top priorities is to keep those guys from looking at me in scorn and contumely. So a review is really something I cannot risk — risk emotionally, I mean.
Me, avoiding the theater.
But one good thing about the movie is that — as a number of people have pointed out — everybody is talking about a Bible story. That’s something, right? Well, maybe. The possibility exists that we might talk about it all wrong, with our latter case being worse than the beginning.
And that brings me to the focus of my labors this morning. One person on Twitter has been having a little bit of fun with my view that the setup for the Noah story was the fact that “angels get it on with our wimmin,” and so, thought I, why not? As the spelling of wimmin might indicate, this view of mine can easily be represented as being worthy only of those who go up to the high mountain meadows of Tennessee in order to chase the powers of the air with butterfly nets. So let’s talk about it, shall we?