Meaning of Life: What In the World Does God Want From Me? 7/10

Over the past six days, we have discovered a lot about the meaning of life from a Biblical perspective. Jesus explained that the purpose of his existence is to help other people experience abundant life. He offers not only eternal life but also being able to live life more abundantly. As a Christian philosopher, Aquinas determined that the goal for all human beings in life is perfect happiness. He presented several ways in which many people waste their time going about trying to achieve perfect happiness such as striving for wealth, fame, or power, but they’ll always end up missing the ultimate achievement of perfect happiness. He agrees with Jesus that many people are on the road to destruction. The ultimate way to find perfect happiness, according to Aquinas, is in knowing and delighting in the divine essence of our Heavenly Father’s presence. Delighting in His presence means that we value His nature and His character, and we gladly participate in His work. In order to participate in His work, we need to know His divine plan.

Yesterday, we found out that the meaning of life directly relates to learning and experiencing the divine plan that has already been set for us. His divine plan includes His hidden will, revealed will, sovereign will, and the work He does in human beings, which is called His preceptive will.

Today we will find out the will of God for all people everywhere.

Q7/10: What is the divine plan for His work in individuals? Is His divine plan for individuals good? Is it good for everyone? Can everyone participate in the divine plan?

Simply put, the divine plan for His work in individuals is redemption and restoration. I read a book over twenty years ago on knowing the will of God, according to the Bible. It said that the will of God includes salvation, sanctification, surrendering to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to authority, suffering for doing what is right and good, giving thanks, and using our gifts and talents for the kingdom. I couldn’t agree more.

Ever since the Garden of Eden, we see time and time again that people need to repent from disobeying the divine moral law. All throughout history, we see divine intervention where the Lord God Almighty has provided what is good for the people in that culture. After Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit, in hindsight, we see divine intervention where a four-fold act of divine redemption had been given. 1.) God placed Adam Even in the Garden of Eden, gave them good things to do, and loved them very much. 2.) Adam and Eve experienced a divine confrontation, “Adam and Eve, have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 3.) Adam, Eve, and Satan all received consequences for what they had done. 4.) A divine covering was made to cover Adam and Eve, and then they had to leave the Garden of Eden. The divine plan for Adam and Eve was for them to be perfectly happy as complete human beings in the Garden of Eden. However, after eating the forbidden fruit, they felt naked and ashamed. Their state of perfect happiness was broken. Since Adam and Eve had the free will to either eat the forbidden fruit or not eat it – and they disobeyed by eating it when they were not supposed to eat it – God took action to reconcile them back to Him through His loving act of redemption.

Today, everyone can also personally experience divine redemption. It has been the same message of salvation for the past 2,000 years, and we can continue to pass the message along. Many people still do not know the message of salvation nor have they cherished it in their heart. The message of salvation is as follows: 1.) Omni-benevolence: In His kindness, God gives us the divine moral law to help us live a good life. 2.) Confrontation: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 3.) Consequences: The wages of sin is death. 4.) Divine Covering: The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We call the gift of Jesus Christ the New Covenant; the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived to tell us about the kingdom on earth. He willingly died on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sin. Three days later, He conquered death and rose from the dead.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

With his heart a man believes, and with his mouth a confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 

Salvation is the divine plan for everyone. Let us take a look at an analogy for whether the divine plan is for everyone, whether the divine plan is good, and whether everyone participates in that divine plan. An engineer hydrologist plans the operation of providing clean water for all the people. The engineer can see to it that clean water is available to all people. If a person continues to go to a dirty well to get his water, then that person is not participating in the engineer’s plan. The person who continues to go to the dirty well will even receive consequences for it. It is the same with the plan of salvation. The divine plan has already been given and carried out in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If a person continues to avoid this salvation, deny it, or think little of it, then he or she will miss out on the gift of eternal life and living life more abundantly.

Psalm 90:15-16 says, Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.  

After a person is saved by grace through faith in the divine work of Jesus Christ, that born-again believer can share in fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. After salvation, the purpose of man is to be transformed by allowing him or her to take in more of the divine goodness. After receiving Christ as Savior, we are to be “transformed” daily by the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is even called the Bread of Life because it nourishes our individual lives.

The second aspect of the divine will for each human being is called sanctification. Sanctification means to be set apart, to be made holy. It is the process of being purified. It is a life long process where we are walking in step with the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will. 

1 Thess. 4:3-4, Paul said, It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable. 

During the process of sanctification, a person can discover other aspects of the divine will in his or her life. These include surrendering to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to authority, suffering for doing what is right and good, giving thanks, and using our gifts and talents for the kingdom on earth.

Meaning of Life: What In the World Does God Want From Me? 6/10

Have you ever heard a Christian say, “God has a wonderful plan for your life”? What does this mean? What plan does He have? What is His plan? According to the Four Spiritual Laws, the first law states that God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. If you lost a loved one, you might think that plan is terrible. If things are not going well, is that His plan? If we see cancer and disease in the world, is that His plan? If your child died in an automobile accident, is that His plan? Today, we will find out that cancer and disease and car accidents are not in His sovereign plan. If you had a miscarriage or lost a loved one, it is a tragedy, but it is not His sovereign plan. I actually went on a mission trip one time where they train people to avoid talking about the very important fact that God has a good plan for your life. They were afraid of the topic. They were afraid that the topic might confuse someone. As Christians, we need to get a better understanding of what we mean by God has a good plan for you, plans not to harm you. The first spiritual law is true. God really does have a wonderful plan for you. He wants you to have a biblical understanding of his plan.

Q6/10: What are three characteristics about the divine plan as they are described in the Bible? What are the three different aspects of the will of God? Is the divine plan good for all people or just some people?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

  • HIDDEN WILL & REVEALED WILL – God’s plan is from eternity. It is from Him. No one advises Him. We can learn some of the divine plan – not all of the divine plan. Deut. 29:29 – “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” It would be accurate to say that some of God’s plan is hidden. The hidden will of God is not for us to know at this time, but the revealed will of God can be known. We have been given prophecy to know some things about the future, and at this time in history, we have been given a lot of amazing history where we can see the fingerprint of divine work. We have telescopes for us to see amazing photos of His creation. We can learn plenty of the revealed will/plan/work to live an abundant life. We exist for His glory/fame. He does not exist for our glory/fame. He is not the genie in the bottle who we command. We exist for His sake and for his good pleasure. He takes no pleasure in evil, wrongdoing, or tragedy. The wonderful story of redemption is His revealed plan, and it is currently operating and functioning worldwide. 
  • SOVEREIGN WILL – No one can stop His plan. What He has planned will come to pass. This can be called the Efficacious Will; efficacious means to be successful in producing an end result. It can also be called a De-cre(ee)-tive Will. The most common term is called the Sovereign Will. This plan is active and good. There is never a time when the sovereign will is not good. The sovereign will is good all the time no matter what. It involves creating, preserving, sustaining, directing, and redeeming. Our Father in Heaven is guiding history according to His goal. He is directing His plan. While this will is active, it also allows for the problem of evil, pain, and suffering. Some types of suffering are in His sovereign will, but not all suffering. Jesus suffered a painful death, according to the divine sovereign will. Other times, a painful death is not according to the divine will. It is evil. For example, inducing abortion is not the sovereign will of God. Taking the life of an innocent unborn baby is not in the sovereign plan. Aquinas defines evil as something that is lacking good. The Sovereign Will is only good all the time. It includes things like Creation, the Old Covenant, the New Covenant, the Gospel message, end time events, Judgement Seat, Great White Throne Judgement, and eternal life. 
  • PRECEPTIVE WILL – The divine plan also relates to His work in individuals. This aspect of His will can be resisted or it can be welcomed. It is called the Pre-(ee)cep-tive Will, and it directly relates to His Word, His commandments, and His Law. The Preceptive Will has been revealed to us. Tomorrow, we will be looking at several key items that will help us know for sure God’s plan for our life – for all people, everywhere. The Preceptive Will includes a responsibility on our part. It includes prayer, evangelism, apologetics, and using our gifts and talents to bless one another in the kingdom on earth. 

The Divine Will includes the 1.) Hidden will 2.) Sovereign Will and 3.) Preceptive Will.

Aquinas explained that the purpose of man is for man “to rest in the knowledge of God alone.” This is why I believe the study of the Trinity is so important. Studying the attributes of God is incredibly significant. Studying the character, nature, and works of God should be a top priority. 

Over the past six days, we have discovered what God wants from us. He wants us to have perfect happiness in the way that He has intended for us to have it. We can find this perfect happiness in knowing and delighting in the divine essence of His presence. He wants us to know Him, His nature, and His work. His work includes his hidden work, His sovereign work, and His work in human beings. Tomorrow, we will examine His divine will in us.

Meaning of Life: What In the World Does God Want From Me? 5/10

Today is the fifth day, out of ten days, when I will be exploring the meaning of life from a biblical perspective. So far, we have discovered that many people are trying to create their own way of achieving perfect happiness – such as wealth, fame, or authority – but according to Aquinas, perfect happiness can only come from knowing and delighting in the divine essence of our Heavenly Father’s presence. Jesus explained that we cannot serve two masters. For example, we cannot serve both God and money. Our brain is not wired to operate that way. We also discovered that when some people say that happiness comes and goes, what they are really saying is that pleasures come and go. Happiness is meant to stay, and deep down inside, we will continue to search for perfect happiness until we find it. Today, we will discover more about what it means to find perfect happiness. It has to do with learning and experiencing the divine plan.

Q5/10: What is the key to understanding a biblical meaning to life? What do we mean by the divine plan and will of God?

The key to understanding a biblical meaning of life is to experience the divine plan. Learning the divine plan can also be called learning the will of God as it has been revealed to us. For example, a person can learn all he wants about roller coasters, but if he wants to experience what it is like to ride on a roller coaster, then he ought to get in, buckle up, and see for himself. Aquinas explained that the final end for us in life is perfect happiness, but many people go about it the wrong way. Jesus said that many people are on the road to destruction while other people find the small gate and narrow path that leads to life. Aquinas and Jesus agree. They both determined that all good things come from heaven above, but these good things are not material things. When we want to learn how to live an abundant life, it can help a great deal if we begin with learning the divine plan.

We will explore the nature of the divine plan, but if we really want to get to know the divine plan for us, then we will need to learn and experience it. Learning and experiencing the divine plan is for everyone. For example, if we want to learn the game of baseball, it would help if we could learn the rules of the game. If we really want to experience baseball, then we would need to get in the game. One big difference between experiencing baseball and experiencing the divine plan is that not everyone can perform baseball skills at a high level, but everyone can participate in the divine plan.  

So if we want to learn the meaning of life, it would help if we can learn the structure and guidelines that have already been set. If we really want to experience a better quality of life, then we would need to start following the guidelines that have already been given to us. A few things need to be said about attempting to know the “divine plan.” What do we mean by the terms, divine plan and will of God? 

This divine plan relates to divine action in our world and divine decisions that have already been made, not arbitrary or haphazard decisions, but intelligent decisions. As an analogy, even though this analogy is insufficient (analogies are difficult for some people as apologist RC Sproul pointed out in his book “Defending Your Faith”) here’s an analogy that might help us understand what we mean by divine plan. The divine plan is like an architect’s plan. The architect has a plan in mind and then he draws them on paper according to intention and design. Then the plan is carried out in an actual structure. Another example would be a watchmaker. He has a plan in mind for what he wants to make. He uses materials to make the watch. Then the watch begins to move its second hand, minute hand, and hour hand. The big difference between a watch and a human being, though, is that the human being is a rational creature who has free will. The watch does not have free will. By definition, an analogy compares two things for the purpose of explanation or clarification. One thing is usually something familiar to us, and the other thing is usually less familiar. The thing that is less familiar is what we are trying to bring into light, getting a better understanding. In an analogy, two things will share something in common, but there will be something about those two things that differ.

When we refer to divine decisions that have been made with respect to any matters within the realm of cosmic history, we will use the term “foreordain.” In the Bible, we find a rich set of teachings regarding to the divine plan that has been foreordained. 

Over the next five days, we will take a good look at three main aspects of the divine will and the specifics of the divine will for each individual. The divine will is the best adventure anyone could ever experience, and it is for all people. Once we realize how wonderful it is to set aside our own will and do the will of our Heavenly Father, it becomes easier to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).

Meaning of Life: What In the World Does God Want From Me? 4/10

For the past three days, I have been writing about the meaning of life. Today, I will be taking a look at question number 4. I hope you find this topic, Meaning of Life, as important as I do. Thank you for taking the time to consider these kind of questions.

Q4/10: Where should we begin in order to understand the meaning of life from a biblical perspective? If the goal in life is to have perfect happiness, where does one begin? In order to know and delight in the Lord our God, how does one begin that process? Is it ever too late to begin?

It might seem obvious to a Christian where one would begin in order to understand the meaning of life from a biblical perspective. We need to refer to the Bible in order to gain an understanding from a biblical perspective. Let me point out that the Bible is not just a historical document consisting of numerous books. It has been written over a thousand years, written by over forty authors, and preserved so accurately, that the copies we have today match the earliest copies that exist. For example, the Dead Sea Scroll discovery proves that the Old Testament we have today matches exactly as to what was written before the life of Christ. By carefully using textual criticism, we can be certain the New Testament we have today also matches the earliest Greek manuscripts. Our Bible today is not corrupt. It has not been changed over time. The authors were holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The theme of redemption runs throughout the entire book, a love story where God demonstrated his love and grace from the beginning of time. Holy men of God preserved and protected the scrolls decade after decade. Copies were carefully made, word for word, in a publishing process so foreign to us in this day and age. When we refer to the Bible to get a biblical perspective, we are looking to verses and passages that have been given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we look to the Author of Life for the meaning of life, we will begin with knowing the divine plan. This is also called knowing God’s will.

Over the past three days, we have discovered that the ultimate goal in life is to have perfect happiness. Many people go about it the wrong way, though. Even though some people think that happiness is only something that comes and goes, it was Aquinas who clarified the misconception by explaining out that pleasures come and go, but perfect happiness can be here to stay. Psalm 146:5 says, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God.”Aquinas goes on to describe the nature of perfect happiness. He stated that perfect happiness is in knowing and delighting in the divine essence of His presence. In order to do begin that process, we need to begin knowing the divine essence. The study of how we know what we know is called epistemology. In Proverbs 3:13, it says, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.”

Jesus said that His purpose is to give us life and for us to have life more abundantly (John 10:10). This abundant life is found when a person looks to the Lord for daily guidance. Jesus said that we will have troubles in this world, but He also encouraged us to put our confidence in Him since He overcame the world. He meets us right where we are at and helps us every step of the way (John 6:33). We hear stories every now and then of famous people who feel lonely, drunk people who hit rock bottom, inmates who admit they followed their own way, rich people who feel empty, and high achievers who feel unsatisfied. In order to be perfectly happy, there must be some way to find it. Jesus described it like this. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).

Since the Lord our God wants us to know and delight ourselves in Him, it makes sense to make it a priority to know His nature, His character, and His work. Our next step will be to take a closer look at the work of His will. Tomorrow, we will begin to unfold the mystery of knowing God’s will and how it really makes all the difference in knowing the meaning of life.

Meaning of Life: What In the World Does God Want From Me? 3/10

So far, we have found out that happy are those people whose God is their Lord. We found the verses in the New Testament stating that man cannot serve two masters. He cannot serve both God and money. We have also discovered that some kind of perfect happiness is given by God to His people. Perfect happiness and peace are things that can be given to us. Peace that passes all understanding can guard our heart and mind. This kind of peace is not our own. No one can muster it up. It is a gift given to us. Philippians 4:6-7 says the following:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Aquinas pointed out that imperfect happiness can be found in temporary things such as a career, family, and an education, but perfect happiness is found in a good relationship with God, knowing and delighting in the divine essence of His presence.

Yesterday, we found out that morality and freedom in one’s own country are both at stake if you set aside the Divine Moral Law and ignore the true meaning of life. One reason why the meaning of life matters so much is that it can really make all the difference between morality and immorality in your life and in the lives of the people around you. When a person is really knowing and delighting in the divine essence of His Presence, we come to know that we will be firmly planted on a firm foundation and begin to value the Divine Moral Law that has already been given. Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. In Psalm 1, it says the following:

Blessed is the one

who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take

or sit in the company of mockers,

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,

and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither—

whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!

They are like chaff

that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Here is the moral law syllogism to help bring things into focus a bit. 1.) Laws come from a law maker. 2.) Moral laws exist. 3.) Therefore, moral laws come from a moral lawgiver. The question becomes, “Who is the Moral Lawgiver?” Does a society determine what is the moral law? Does an individual determine the moral law? Or has the moral law already been given by the Lord God Almighty?

When you let your light shine, other people around you will see it. They might fuss about it, complain, insult you, or deny that a divine moral law exists. As Schaeffer so boldly pointed out in his book, Christian Manifesto, in a society where people who follow the divine moral law remain silent, it gives room for corrupt leaders to develop their own moral law. Schaeffer gives a bold call for good people to stand up and make a difference. He is calling us to honor the Divine Moral Law, not just in our heart and at home, but at work, at school, and in our neighborhood and city.

Meaning of Life: What In the World Does God Want From Me? 2/10

Q2/10: What kind of danger is there to creating your own meaning in life? 

I will first present seven dangers to creating your own meaning in life as described by Aquinas. Then I will present two main dangers to any society where leaders come up with their own meaning in life and enforce it by law.

We are blessed to look back in history and learn from other people’s mistakes. Some people have tried to create their own meaning in life, but they failed. Other people have focused on a career, a family, a good education, or a big house, and those kind of goals can be meaningful up to a certain extent, but is that all there is to life? As we saw yesterday, Aquinas pointed out several things that people look to for happiness, but they can end up miserable. Wealth, honor, fame, power, and temporary pleasures are not necessarily bad in and of themselves, but they can be.

First, wealth can turn sour if a miser becomes hateful and hoards what he has. Wealth can shine when the person makes an effort to give out of the abundance of his heart.

Second, happiness cannot be found in honor because, as Aquinas pointed out, happiness is in the happy while honor is not in the one being honored. Honor is found in the one who is giving the honor. Steadfast, lasting happiness cannot be found in receiving honor.

Third, lying reports among the famous, in order to bring someone honor, that are spread among the people is shameful. Fame is not the highest good for all people. Perfect happiness is not limited to a handful of famous people.

Next, Aquinas stated that power does not relieve the gnawings of care, nor can it avoid the thorny path of anxiety.

The fifth item that cannot bring about perfect happiness is pleasure. A wedding day can be a day of enjoyment, but all weddings come to an end. Aquinas stated that pleasures end in sadness because they are only temporary. A person can enjoy a good concert, but at the end of the night, it ends. Unless the person can express gratitude for pleasures such as a wedding day and a good concert, he might end up like a man who builds his house on the sand. His good times wash away, leaving him depressed.

Sixth, Aquinas went on to say that man is not to love for his own sake. A person who loves other people for his own sake will not find perfect happiness. Instead, man is to love others for God’s sake.

Seventh, Aquinas finished by noting that God alone satisfied the will of man. Any created good will not bring about perfect happiness.

Evangelical and apologist, Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) pointed out two dangers to creating your own meaning in life. (loss of morality, loss of freedom)

In his book, A Christian Manifesto, published in 1982, Schaeffer warned us about two important things that can crumble from within a society if a society is led by “man creates his own meaning.” Schaeffer pointed out that a society led by leaders who follow Humanism will end up opposing a Divine Moral Law, and they will end up taking away the freedom of the people. Morality and freedom will crumble in a society operated by total Humanism. By Humanism, Shaeffer means that man is the measure of all things.

In Humanism, the reality that we see today exists only as material and energy that has been shaped into its present complex form by pure chance. In Humanism, there is no place for any Divine knowledge. In a government that is guided by a philosophy according to Humanism, leaders can make laws and change laws apart from the Divine Law. In a society where leaders appoint their own moral law, apart from the Divine Moral Law, then they can write laws and change laws, without any adherence to the Divine Moral Law. However, a society that honors the Divine Moral Law will thrive, keep a sense of true morality, and experience life, liberty, and freedom. Aquinas did an excellent job describing what it means to be human. For example, if a person is a complainer, Aquinas would note that the act of complaining is an action that man is capable of acting out. The act of complaining is not human, though. The act of complaining will not give anyone perfect happiness. For a human to achieve perfect happiness, he can find it in knowing and delighting in the divine essence of our eternal Creator.

Meaning of Life: What In the World Does God Want From Me? 1/10

I will be asking ten main questions, over the next ten days, relating to the meaning of life from a biblical perspective, and I will also include other sub-questions. I will be showing how the biblical meaning of life is the divine plan for your life. Whether one believes the meaning of life is created by society or individuals, Christians know that the biblical meaning of life can be discovered by anyone. It has already been determined. My hope is for you to discover a better understanding of the divine plan and how it applies to your life.

Q1/10: What are some of the ways that people create their own meaning in life? What does Aquinas say is the goal (he calls it, the ‘last end’) in life? What does Jesus say about serving two masters? What does Solomon say is the meaning of life? 

Apologist Thomas Aquinas stated that some people are in error, people who seek happiness in things such as wealth, honor or reputation, fame or glory, power, striving to be the best, fastest, strongest, etc. (fastest swimmer, strongest boxer, #1 quarterback); some people seek happiness in temporary pleasures, some people seek happiness in loving others for one’s own sake (instead of loving for GOD’S SAKE), and some people seek happiness in any created good. 

Apologist Thomas Aquinas stated that the goal of human life is perfect happiness, not imperfect happiness.  

Augustine stated that all men agree in desiring the goal which is happiness. Do you agree or disagree with Aquinas and Augustine? Today, some people think that happiness “comes and goes,” but according to Aquinas, that kind of happiness he calls pleasure. Pleasures come and go, but happiness is meant to stay. 

In Psalm 102:5, it says the Lord “satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Psalm 143:15 says, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” 

Jesus said in Matt. 6:24, “No man can serve two masters.” Therefore, Aquinas says, it is impossible for one man’s will to be directed at the same time to diverse things as “last ends.” 

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon gives his advice for having a meaningful life. He wants to spare future generations the suffering and misery of seeking after foolish, meaningless, materialistic emptiness. Solomon offers his wisdom by discovering truth in:

  1. Seeking after God
  2. Consider the work of God 
  3. Fear God, and 
  4. Keep His commandments (7:13, 12:13)

In the next question tomorrow, we will explore two main dangers to creating one’s own meaning of life.

Cherubim

What are cherubim? Where do cherubim appear in the Bible? What do they do?

(Genesis 3:22-24, Ezekiel 1 & 10, Exodus 25:22, Revelation 4:6-8)

I. What are cherubim?

Cherubim is plural for cherub, one kind of good angelic beings. The word angel comes from the Greek word, angelos, meaning divine messenger.

In Ezekiel chapter one, Ezekiel describes an incredible vision of four living creatures. These creatures are one kind of special angelic beings of high rank called cherubim (Ezekiel 10:20). The cherubim in Ezekiel were made by God (Psalm 148:2-5, Colossians 1:16). They obey Him. They are closest to God along with seraphim and others.

Each cherub is human-like, but has 4-6 wings, four faces (human, eagle, ox, and a lion), human hands, straight legs, feet of hooves, two wheels turning crosswise within, and covered with eyes (Ezekiel 1 & 10, Revelation 4:6-8).

II. Where do cherubim appear in the Bible?

1.) Garden of Eden – Cherubim blocked the entrance, keeping everyone from the tree of life after Adam and Eve disobeyed (Gen. 3:22-24).

2.) Wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land – Moses was given instructions to place two gold cherubim over the mercy seat in the most holy room of the portable Tabernacle. (Exodus 26:1, 25:22).

3.) Kebar River, Babylon (BC 590 circa)- Ezekiel saw a vision of four cherubim (Ezekiel 1:4-28, 10:1-22).

4.) Patmos Island, Aegean Sea, Greece – John saw a vision of cherubim (Rev. 4:6-8).

III. What do cherubim do? On four distinct occasions in the written Word of God, we become familiar with the duties of cherubim.

1.) They guard the tree of life. They protect the righteousness of God (Gen. 3:22-24).

2.) They hover over the mercy of God at the place of communicating to a human. In the most holy room, the Lord would meet the priest and give His commands under the cherubim (Exodus 26:1, 25:22).

3.) They praise the Lord in heaven and on earth (Job 38:7, Psalm 103:20, Luke 2:13-14).

4.) They serve to help bring God’s message to humans. Be careful when you draw near to God that you do not fall (1 Cor. 10:12).

5.) They signify the movement of God’s presence to any location. (Ezekiel 10:9-19). God is on the move!

6.) They represent divine knowledge. God sees all. He knows all (Ezekiel 10:12).

7.) They are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (Heb. 1:14).

Dear Lord, Thank you for winning the battle of good and evil through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Help us take comfort in this realization. Thank you for numerous angels who help us in our need. Thank you for the angelic example of praise and service to You. As we draw near to You, help us be careful to not fall. Thank you for loving us! In Jesus name, Amen.

How Was King Zedekiah Evil?

How was Zedekiah king of Judah being evil?

(2 Chronicles 36:11-14, Jeremiah 52:1-3, 2 Kings 24:18-20)

1.) He refused to turn to the Lord.
2.) He was a hard and stubborn man.
3.) He led priests and people into pagan practices.
4.) He desecrated the Temple of the Lord.
5.) He refused to humble himself.
6.) He rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar.
7.) He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

What resulted?

  1. The Lord’s anger burned against the people of Jerusalem and Judah.
  2. The Lord banished the people from His presence.
  3. The Lord sent them into exile, into Babylonian captivity.

Lord, help us humble ourselves, turn to You, repent from sin, and honor the two greatest commandments of loving You and loving one another. In Jesus name, Amen.

Start your daily devotion today, a 2-week plan for August 15-31. Bible devotions in chronological order. Rest in the written Word of God and renew your strength.

HOLY BELLS

I had another beautiful dream of a lady singing a praise song to the congregation. The melody is upbeat, uplifting, and it is super awesome! 

HOLY BELLS 

I will praise Him, praise Him

Praise Him when the sun goes up

Praise Him, praise Him

Praise Him when the sun goes down

I will praise Him, praise Him

When everything is going well

Praise Him, praise Him

With a thousand holy bells. 

 

I will praise Him, praise Him

In the middle of the day

I will praise Him, praise Him,

In the middle of the night.

Praise Him when I see a shadow,

when I see lightning, 

when I hear thunder, 

I will praise Him, praise Him,

No matter what is going on

No matter what I see

No matter what I hear

I will praise Him, praise Him

No matter what the time might be

No matter if the tide is high

No matter if the tide is low

I will praise Him, praise Him

At the lowest time

In the lowest place

I will praise Him, praise Him

Praise Him all the time. 

 

My God is faithful, faithful

Faithful in the shadow

He is faithful, faithful,

Faithful in the valley

He is faithful, faithful,

Faithful to the humble

Faithful to the meek,

Faithful to those who show mercy

Faithful to those who make peace.

 

I will praise Him, praise Him

Praise Him when the sun goes up

Praise Him, praise Him

Praise Him when the sun goes down

I will praise Him, praise Him

When everything is going well

Praise Him, praise Him

With a thousand holy bells. 

6/17/20

Lyrics by Heather Marie Schuldt

Melody given in a dream