Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Saturday, May 15, 2021

2021.05.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joel 1:1–3

Read Joel 1:1–3

Questions from the Scripture text: Whose Word is this (Joel 1:1)? To whom did it come? How is he identified? What is the primary command in Joel 1:2a? To whom is it first addressed? How is the command restated in verse 2b? To whom is it now addressed? What question does he now ask? What is the implied answer? What is the primary command of Joel 1:3a? To whom at first? And then to whom does verse 3b apply the command? And then whom in verse 3c?

The Lord wants your attention. Joel is one of the prophets about whom we know the least. All Joel 1:1 tells us is his name and his father’s name. The rest of the Bible tells us nothing about him. Commentators spill a fair amount of ink trying to tell us the possible significance of our not knowing anything about him. But the point seems to be to divert our attention away from Joel and to Yahweh Himself. 

To His Word. Although Joel was the one to whom the word came, Yahweh is the One from Whom the word came, and with Whom we are to deal with in it. It is the Word of Yahweh. This is like the Thessalonians who “heard” a word from the apostle, but rightly recognized it as not the word of the apostle, but as it truly is the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

God brings His Word through men. This gives opportunity for the wicked unbelief of many scholars to shine through as a warning to believers. If they use human instrumentality to cast doubt upon the divine nature of the Word, especially of its perfect truthfulness, then they do not have Jesus’s doctrine of Scripture, and we can easily avoid them as wolves rather than undershepherds.

It also warns us against interacting too much with the man in the pulpit and too little with the God-Man Who speaks from heaven (cf. Hebrews 12:25). One reason for esteeming those who speak the Word to us (cf. Hebrews 13:7, Hebrews 13:17) is so that the weakness of the instrument and the wickedness of our feelings toward him won’t get in the way of our submission to what he preaches. If the text is faithfully presented, it is Christ Himself Who addresses us, and we can tell much about whether we submit to Him and worship Him by how we interact with His Word that has come to and through His appointed servants.

To His works. Has anything like this happened? The rhetorical question demands the answer, “NO!” The reason that it is asked is because we are so dull that we easily miss the significance of what God does in His providence. 

Not every hard providence is a direct judgment for a direct sin, as the book of Job makes quite clear. However, in Luke 13:1–9, Jesus taught that every startlingly unusual death is a reminder that death comes to all of us, and that apart from repentance unto life and saving faith, the first death of the grave will be a moment of horrific transition to the second death of Hell.

Older people are susceptible to an acquired insensitivity to the Lord, like a spiritual callous that makes it difficult to prick the conscience. Children are susceptible to make a big deal out of everything and deal emotionally with all but seriously with none. Both groups are addressed specifically in Joel 1:2-3, but no one is left out of the group, “all you inhabitants of the land”!

When God does something unusual, He wants us to notice it and turn our hearts to Him. Every one of us. Whatever our obstacles are to taking His interaction with us seriously, He commands us to overcome them. And to help one another overcome them. Tell your children. Let them tell theirs. And them another generation. 

The bigger the event, the bigger the reminder of the one event that will dwarf all others: the Day of the Lord. Don’t miss opportunities in your life to have your attention drawn to that great day. And when you speak of a once-a-century event, or hear of a once-a-century event, make sure to look past that little bit of history to the end of all history.

To His worship. We’ll get there again in Joel 2:15–17, but there’s one obvious place where this multi-generational hearing and telling of Joel 1:2-3 occurs: the Lord’s holy assembly. When we gather for that worship, we are especially to listen for the Lord. It is there that His Word comes not just to one, but to all of us, whether through just the one as in the preaching and the praying, or through everyone as in the singing and the supping. So, when we are at worship, He demands our attention. And, in His general demand of our attention, there is especially a demand that we worship.

And that means all of us. It is more difficult for the elderly to get around, but the seasoned believer will make more effort to get to the worship assembly than to anywhere else. It is more difficult for a child to participate in a way that helps others, but the Lord calls them to do so, and both they should put forth the effort to worship well, and others should put forth the effort to accommodate their learning. Not only are many generations worshiping at once, but this is the means by which today’s child generation becomes tomorrow’s adult generation that is telling a new generation of children and so forth.

The Lord demands our attention. There is a great day coming in which we will all be judged by Christ Jesus—not only in the sense that He Himself will do the judging, but also very much in the sense that the great question of the day will be: “What have you done with Christ?” Have you recognized Him as your Creator, to Whom you have owed everything; your King, Whose wrath and vengeance you deserve, but Whose provision and mercy you have continually received; and, your Redeemer, Who has borne the penalty of Your treason so that you might be a co-heir of the kingdom with Him? In His Word, in His works, and in His worship, the Lord demands your attention!

When you are reading or hearing the Bible, what difference does it make to you that it is a personal word from God? What recent events of your life have called for your attention? How do you prepare for public worship? What are you currently working on, when it comes to your participation in public worship?

Suggested songs: ARP128 “How Blessed Are All Who Fear the LORD” or TPH128B “Blest the Man Who Fears Jehovah”

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Great Effort, Intense Emotion, and Willing Sacrifice of True Christian Life and Ministry (Family Worship Lesson in Philippians 2:25–30)

What does it look like to follow Jesus as a living sacrifice? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. Philippians 2:25–30 prepares us for the evening sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these six verses of Sacred Scripture, we learn that Epaphroditus was an example of following the apostle’s instruction to imitate Christ from the first part of the chapter in his great effort, intense emotion, and willing sacrifice.

2021.05.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 2:25–30

Read Philippians 2:25–30

Questions from the Scripture text: What did the apostle consider “necessary” (Philippians 2:25)? What five things does he call him? For what had Epaphroditus been longing (Philippians 2:26)? Why was he distressed? How sick had he been (Philippians 2:27)? Upon whom does the apostle say God had mercy? Otherwise, what would the apostle have had? In what manner did the apostle send the recovered minister (Philippians 2:28)? What effect did he hope this would have upon the Philippians? And what effect would the success of this hope have upon the apostle? “In Whom” does Paul say to receive him (Philippians 2:29)? With how much gladness? Doing what to Epaphroditus and others like him? For what purpose had Epaphroditus come close to what outcome (Philippians 2:30)? What did he not regard as being that important? In order to do what specific ministry/service?

Christian life and ministry is hard work that comes from intense feeling at significant risk.

Christian life and ministry is hard work. We’ve already seen that we are called to work out salvation because of God works in us (cf. Philippians 2:12–13), and that Paul uses significant “effort” words like “running” and “laboring” to describe his own ministry (cf. Philippians 2:16). Now he describes Epaphroditus as a “fellow worker” and a “fellow soldier.” The worker puts forth effort to accomplish something despite obstacles and difficulty. The soldier puts forth effort to accomplish something despite opposition and danger. 

Christian life and ministry depends upon grace to be sure (Philippians 2:13), but it is a life of putting forth effort in the face of obstacles, difficulty, opposition, and danger. The Bible knows nothing of an effortless Christianity or painless Christianity, though we see on every side today false teaching that advances such counterfeits. Victory without a cross is the lie that the devil offered Christ in the temptation; and he has an army of preachers through whom he continues to offer it to Christians.

Christian life and ministry involves intense feeling. New life in Christ, by His Spirit, involves the whole man. Because we tend to compartmentalize things, and because we live in under-working and over-emotional days, we can often make the opposite error and neglect or be suspicious of Christian emotion.

But truly Christian emotion is all over this passage. We see Epaphroditus’s longing for the Philippians (Philippians 2:26), his home church who had sent him in their place to minister to Paul (Philippians 2:25Philippians 2:30). We see the implied concern of the members back home at the report of Epaphroditus’s illness. We see Epaphroditus’s reciprocal distress over their distress. We see the apostle anticipating how great his sorrow would have been if the Lord had taken the dear brother (Philippians 2:27). We see the eagerness of the apostle to relieve both Epaphroditus and the dear ones back in Philippi (Philippians 2:28). We see the anticipated rejoicing at the surprise reunion, when Epaphroditus arrived with the letter. We see the comfort that this anticipation brought the apostle. We even see a command unto gladness in Philippians 2:29!

That’s a great deal of relational emotion in one little paragraph of Scripture. Believers are not to be unfeeling. The comfort and steadiness that we have in Christ enables us to refuse wrong feelings and to embrace intensely proper feelings. There is not only significant effort in a true Christian life, but also significant emotion.

Christian life and ministry comes at significant risk. The apostle tells them that Epaphroditus almost died in Philippians 2:27. But in Philippians 2:30, he adds the info that he willingly came close to death in order to do the work of Christ at the risk of his life. Of course, we cannot keep our lives, and as soon as our usefulness is up, we shall leave this world. This attitude of Epaphroditus is essentially the same as that of Timothy in Philippians 2:20-21, and it should be ours as well.  

The apostle even implies that this is what the Philippians would have (ought to have?) done, if they could, when he says, “to supply what was lacking in your service” (Philippians 2:30). Christ has done everything for us, and we cannot lose what He has worked for. So, we should be willing to “lose” anything else, in order to work for Him. Offer your bodies as living sacrifices!

What effort are you putting into your walk with Christ? Into serving others in your congregation of Christ’s church? What circumstances in your church have been the occasion of biblically Christian emotions for you? What expense or risk have you put forth to serve Christ in His church?

Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH405 “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Personal Prayer and Its Infinitely Powerful God (2021.05.12 Prayer Meeting Lesson in Psalm 18:1–19)

In our working straight through the Psalms at the prayer meetings, the Lord gave us a passage that dovetailed marvelously with Lord's Day morning's sermon. The God of creation, the God who destroyed Sodom, the God who parted the sea, the God who shook and burned Sinai—this God moves, with all that He is, in response to the smallest cry of the one who is His in Christ in Whom He delights!

2021.05.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 18:15–17

Read Luke 18:15–17

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom did they bring to Jesus (Luke 18:15)? To do what to them? Who saw it? What did they do to the parents? Who called to them (Luke 18:16)? What does He command to be done to the children? What does He command not to be done to the parents? Why—of whom is the kingdom at least partly composed? Who else must conform to the children in what way (Luke 18:17)? How did the infants “come” to Jesus? So, how must each of us enter it? How else may we enter?

We see something here of the character of Jesus toward infants. Parents seemed to have good hope that their infants were welcome with Him (Luke 18:15). These parents knew what Jesus would do (in part) with their children: touch them. He would communicate Himself and His power and His blessing to them as implied and perceived by touching—which is a communication uniquely suited to the children’s own perception, not just the parents’.

They turned out to be correct (Luke 18:16). This is a great encouragement to parents today whose children are too young to come without help or even to help themselves come. Jesus is happy to receive those who are so unable as yet that they must be carried. He isn’t any more impressed with Pharisees (preceding passage) or young rulers (following passage) than He is with infants. 

We also see something here of the policy of Jesus, concerning infants. It’s easy to miss what Jesus says about infants in Luke 18:16 because of what He says about the rest of His people in Luke 18:17. But He does say both things, and we must receive both things. In Luke 18:16, He gives the command both in the positive (“Permit them”) and in the negative (“Forbid them not”) on the basis of their status (“Of such is the kingdom”). This “of such” is a statement of citizenship status; or, if we are using our common lingo, “membership” status. Jesus flatly says that they have a right to the King because they have a citizenship in the kingdom that is on equal footing with anybody else’s. 

Finally we see something of the policy of Jesus, concerning everyone. We’ve been done a disservice by the romanticized view that we have of children: implicit trust, playfulness, apparent innocence. But none of these were the way by which these infants (Luke 18:15) had “come” (Luke 18:16) to Jesus or received their citizenship status. 

In fact, many commentators point out that in neither the Greco-Roman nor Hebraic worldview were children associated with those things. Rather, they were considered little fools that needed a lot of training and a lot of providential preservation if they were going to survive their childhood long enough to come into an age of usefulness.

That further highlights Jesus’s obvious (even without this cultural knowledge) point: in order to come to Jesus, these infants had to be carried. It was not as if they had such small ability that they needed a large amount of assistance. Rather, the reality was that they had no ability at all, and for them to “come” to Jesus, the totality of that ability needed to be supplied by another.

In effect, Jesus is saying that unless the Holy Spirit carries us to Him spiritually in the way that these parents had carried their infants (Luke 18:15) and little ones (Luke 18:17) to Him physically, we’ll never come to Him at all. It’s another variation on the same theme as John 6:44 or Ephesians 2:1, Ephesians 2:5

Some point (correctly) to Luke 18:16 as validating putting the kingdom sign of the King’s authority upon kingdom citizens/subjects (cf. Matthew 28:18–20). This is what is sometimes called “infant baptism,” when we might more helpfully call it “kingdom baptism” or “covenant baptism.” 

But what Jesus is saying in Luke 18:17 is that, to understand the sign and thing signified correctly, we ought to understand every Christian baptism as an “infant” baptism. Professing or not, it was God the Holy Spirit who carried them into the visible kingdom of the earthly church. And if they are coming into the invisible and everlasting kingdom, then it will only be because God the Holy Spirit carried them there as well.

How does your interaction with infants mirror that of your Lord’s? What are you doing to help them come to Jesus in the means that He has appointed, since they cannot help themselves? How does His official statement about their kingdom status factor into how you view them? How has your coming to Him mirrored that of a helpless infant?

Suggested Songs: ARP87 “The LORD’S Foundation” or TPH195 “Shine Thou upon Us, Lord”

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

2021.05.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 12:26–31

Read 2 Samuel 12:26–31

Questions from the Scripture text: To what history do we now return (2 Samuel 12:26, cf. 2 Samuel 11:1)? What does Joab do? To whom does he send in 2 Samuel 12:27? What does he tell him? What does Joab ask David to do (2 Samuel 12:28a)? to prevent what from happening (verse 28b)? So, what does David do in 2 Samuel 12:29? What does he take in 2 Samuel 12:30? What does the Scripture note about it? What else does he bring out? Whom does he bring out in 2 Samuel 12:31? What does he do to them? To whom else does he do this? Then what does he finally do (end of verse 31, cf. 2 Samuel 11:1)?

Wars and sieges and subjugation of enemies (cf. 2 Samuel 12:31)… that’s the stuff that tends to get all the press. You can even see it highlighted here in Joab’s message that David should probably want his name on this (2 Samuel 12:28), and in the puff-piece in the Jerusalem Times about the weight and design of the recently acquired Ammonite crown (2 Samuel 12:30). 

But that seems to be sort of the Spirit’s point to us here. David “returned to Jerusalem” (v31), where he had made the unusual decision to remain in 2 Samuel 11:1. The stuff that man seems to focus so much upon is almost a throwaway introduction (verse 11:1) and conclusion (2 Samuel 12:26-31) to the main narrative (2 Samuel 11:2–12:25). God emphasizes much more to us the conduct and sanctification of His people, the spiritual condition of His church and its leadership, than He does the rising and falling of kingdoms.

The fact that the Lord was in the midst of giving David yet another victory, and putting yet another extravagant crown on his head, and subjugating yet another nation into service to him all ends up reinforcing the point that He had made in 2 Samuel 12:7–8

We have a God and King and Redeemer Who has front-loaded our lives with tremendous blessing and guaranteed that limitless blessing is our ultimate outcome. Even the fact that Joab is still more devoted to David’s name than his own (end of 2 Samuel 12:28) is evidence of what God has done for David and is doing for David. 

And we have continual evidence set before us as well—daily bread, the ability to forgive, the knowledge of God as both Father and yet also holy. Weekly, we even gather into glory, through the shed blood of Christ, hear Him speak to us from heaven, have His death shown forth at the table, and eat and drink the feast of the everlasting covenant.

It is easy for us to focus upon “what’s going on in the world”—to give more weight to wars and rumors of wars. But this passage pushes us to give more weight to showing up to work on time and consistently, guarding where we let our eyes linger, listening to wise counsel, resisting the urge to cover sin up or throw others under the bus (or Ammonite archers) when it suits how we want others to think of ourselves.

And this passage most of all wants us to give weight to how merciful it is when God sends His Word to convict us. And grants us a repentance that neither makes excuses nor downplays the severity of our sin. And convinces us that His covenant is still in place because it is His, and that our children are His beloved because they are His. And, most of all, this passage wants us to remember that the only King that will ultimately do for us is Jesus.

Australia and China may be getting ready to go to a war that will suck in the entire world. The new Tech Oligarchs may be subjugating the world. The old-money nobility may be employing the woke-mob to suppress any threat they perceive to their power. But the Lord wants us keenly interested in everyday living as the proper response to His everlasting mercy in Christ. Therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your reasonable response of worship.

What things that seem like a big deal politically and militarily threaten to occupy more of your attention than what God wants from you on an hourly and daily basis? What is it that God wants from you on an hourly and daily basis? What has He done for you and promised you, that you can keep in mind so that you focus primarily upon loving Him back with obedience and service? What can you be sure that He is doing in all of those political and military things that are happening?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH515 “More Than Conquerors”

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

2021.05.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 3:14–19

Read Ephesians 3:14–19

Questions from the Scripture text: What (Ephesians 3:14, cf. Ephesians 2:14–22) does the apostle now pick up from Ephesians 3:1 as the reason for this prayer? What posture does he take for this prayer? What does He call God, Whom he addresses (Ephesians 3:14-15)? According to what does he pray that this request will be granted (Ephesians 3:16)? With what does he pray that they will be strengthened? Through Whom does he pray that they will be strengthened? In what does he pray that they will be strengthened? What does he pray that the Spirit will do in their inner man (Ephesians 3:17a)? In what will this root them and ground them (verse 17b)? What would this enable them to do, with whom (Ephesians 3:18)? What is the thing that he prays that they will begin to know the measure (or, rather, immeasurability!) of (Ephesians 3:19)? With what will such knowledge fill them?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from Ephesians 3:14–19, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

Heaven has been reconciled to earth, with God making redeemed sinners the trophy in which He displays His grace even in glory to the angels (Ephesians 2:6–7; Ephesians 3:10–11). Paul began to say “for this reason” in Ephesians 3:1, and now he picks the train of thought back up in Ephesians 3:14, having uncovered and displayed several more facets of this glorious, multicolored diamond of the wisdom and the grace of God. 

It is the glory of this mystery that we can call God Father—not only are all of the ethnicities of believers being brought together into one family on earth, but in heaven they actually appear in glory, the same glory that was being accomplished even through Paul’s imprisonment (end of Ephesians 3:13). 

Of course, a part of the blessedness of our glorious adoption is access to the family estate, the riches of God’s glory. And it is in realizing that God is building this family that the apostle now bows his knees and requests access to the family treasure. The fatherhood of the Father. The strengthening of the Spirit. The indwelling of the Son.

It must be a great request indeed! And what is all of this being requested to do? To enable the Ephesians to comprehend (to take hold of) by experiential knowledge something that our brains can’t wrap around.

He has been reflecting upon the fact that the love of Christ goes widely through all the earth to all of its families, that the length of the love of Christ began before all things hidden in God Himself and continues for all eternity, that the love of Christ reaches down all the way to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and that the love of Christ takes us up onto even the highest throne of the highest heaven.

How could we come to take hold of such a thing? How could we come to take hold of something that will fill us, continually, abundantly, forever? Filled with all the fullness of God! It would be blasphemy if the Holy Spirit had not been the One to say it. What a glorious way to say continual, abundant, and forever fullness. It is not the fullness of that which is finite but the fullness of God.

No wonder, then, that the apostle makes this great Trinitarian prayer when coming with such a request. And, how much we need to consider the great necessity and glory of the church that such knowledge must come together “with all the saints.” Shall we not bow our own knees for this?

How do we grow in the love of Christ? Who must make those activities effective? Ask Him!

Suggested songs: ARP98 “O Sing a New Song to the Lord” or TPH463 “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”


Monday, May 10, 2021

Trusting the Lord Jesus for Being Like the Lord Jesus (2021.05.09 Evening Sermon in Philippians 2:19–24)

This Scripture teaches us to think and speak of our plans as something for which we are "trusting in the Lord Jesus." Therefore, we must plan to do that which serves Christ by serving His church. This is what the Philippians had seen Timothy learn from Paul, who had learned it from Christ. We must trust in the Lord Jesus to live lives of sacrifice for His church.

WCF 14.3.1 Varying Degrees of Saving Faith (2021.05.09 Sabbath School)

"This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong"

2021.05.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 1:15–21

Read Exodus 1:15–21

Questions from the Scripture text: Who speaks to whom in Exodus 1:15? What are the names of the midwives? What is the name of the Pharaoh? What does he tell them to do to whom (Exodus 1:16)? Whom did the midwives fear more than Pharaoh (Exodus 1:17)? What did they do to the male children? Who calls for them in Exodus 1:18? What does he ask them? What do they say about the Hebrew women (Exodus 1:19)? Whom do they say are not vigorous like this? What were the midwives waiting for to happen before they would arrive at a Hebrew home? With whom did God deal well in Exodus 1:20? What desire/effort of theirs did He bless? What else did He do for them (Exodus 1:21)?

The devil’s fingerprints are all over Pharaoh’s actions. He was the “murderer from the beginning” as Jesus called him (cf. John 8:44), trying to use the woman to kill the man, even in the garden (Genesis 3:1–6). Now, he hopes to do the same by the hands of the Hebrew midwives. It is precisely because man is made in God’s image, from womb to tomb, that Satan would like for the former to be the latter. He’s been at it ever since (cf. Revelation 12), and he’s still at it today even in post-Christian and purportedly-Christian nations (abortion). From Molech to Herod, and everywhere else murder happens, it is precisely that which makes murder so offensive to God (cf. Genesis 9:5–6) that makes it the devil’s number one choice for stopping the being fruitful and the multiplying and the filling of the earth (cf. Exodus 1:7, Genesis 9:7) with the people of God.

And here is the king of Egypt, especially targeting the male children (Exodus 1:16b, Exodus 1:17b, Exodus 1:18b). God had made them male and female in His own image, so the attack on His image is concentrated at the point of distinction. Indubitably, to Pharaoh the males were the greatest threat in insurrection and war, and the females could be used to make “half-Egyptians” easily enough. 

So Pharaoh sought to eliminate the men because they were men and un-woman the women, making them unable to bear or nurture men’s lives. In Shiphrah’s and Puah’s case, he even sought to make them the murderous enders of those lives. And still today Satan attacks with the defeminizing of women and emasculating of men through feminism, and even confusing the two in particular individuals—often, now, perpetrated upon children by their parents! Male and female God created them in His image. Un-male and un-female, the devil attempts to convert them in his own anti-image.

Indeed, the devil’s fingerprints are all over this passage, so that the king of Egypt could have hardly guessed that he was a pawn of the one whose special hatred is for that Seed of the woman who would crush his head (cf. Genesis 3:15, cf. Revelation 12:4–5), and whose hatred has never abated, despite his failure (cf. Revelation 12:17). 

Satan’s twin hatreds of the Godhead and the redeemed manhood in the Seed Who is Christ, fuel his continual rage. He hated Israel, for the Christ would come from them. He hates the church, for they have come from Christ and are in Christ. Just by being male, or female, as God created us; and, by believing in Christ and pursuing likeness to Him; and, by being fruitful and multiplying and filling the earth with renewed image-bearers, we find our heels upon the devil’s head—God Himself hastening the completion of the crushing (cf. Romans 16:20).

For, this passage has God’s fingerprints upon it far more than the devil’s. Never has anyone intended more evil than the devil. Never has anyone intended more good than God, and He will succeed. Though the king built a city for his name, Exodus 1:15 refuses even to mention it, giving instead the vastly more important names of Shiphrah and Puah. Rather than jealousy of women who could bear, the Spirit had given these women the fear of God (Exodus 1:17). He mocks Egyptian weakness by giving the slave women comparatively extraordinary strength (Exodus 1:19), even giving Shiphrah and Puah the privilege of delivering the cutting comparison themselves (pun intended). God gives the midwives their first goal: the continuing multiplication and mightiness of God’s people (Exodus 1:20), and then superadds to them the personal blessing of covenant families of their own (Exodus 1:21).

Oh yes, God’s fingerprints are all over this passage. And all over what He is doing in our day. The blood of the martyrs has ever been the seed of the church. And if you are a Christian, your faith and your family and your faithfulness are the super-abounding goodness and power of God at work even now, wherever you are. Christ would come from the people of Shiphrah and Puah. And, in 2021, He is still building the church for which He will come again. War’s days are numbered. Abortion’s days are numbered. Gender perversion’s days are numbered. The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

Name several things that Satan hates about you. How can you maintain and grow in these things? Who will make sure that this succeeds? Where else do you see him attacking God’s image, or maleness or femaleness, or the church? What will you pray and do in response?

Suggested songs: ARP128 “How Blessed Are All Who Fear the LORD” or TPH128B “Blest the Man Who Fears Jehovah”

Sunday, May 09, 2021

The God of Peace Will Soon Crush Satan under Your Feet (2021.05.09 Morning Sermon in Exodus 1:15–21)

How is it that you can live with joy, and confidence, and zeal, even if you "call a spade a spade" and rightly recognize that Satan has his fingerprints all over what's going on? Because a truly complete perception will recognize, even more, that the LORD has His fingerprints all over what is going on—fingerprints that are inked with the victorious blood of our serpent-crushing Redeemer!