Lent day 19: Who is Amminadab?

Lent day 19: Who is Amminadab?

Luke 3: 33 “the son of Amminadab”

His name means ‘my people is willing or generous.’

Like many of the Old Testament people who never lived up to their names, Amminadab may have fallen short and yet it only shows the possibility that lies in the heart of God for His people.

I can say YES I am going to be a person of abundance (John 10:10).

I can say YES I can be a mirror copy of God who gives every good gift (James 1:17).

I can say YES when I see someone in need and I can meet it (1 John 3:17).

I can say YES to being a joyful giver (Psalm 16:11).

I can say YES to giving way above a standard measure (Luke 6:38).

In our journey to Easter be reminded that the life, death and resurrection was the gracious generosity of God: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Say YES today and have a willing generous heart. Be a YES person.

Lent day 18: Who is Nahshon?

Lent day 18: Who is Nahshon?

Luke 3: 32 “the son of Nahshon”

His name means ‘sorcerer’ or ‘little snake’.

He was the leader of the tribe of Judah and when the whole nation moved he would be the one who moved first. “The divisions of the camp of Judah went first, under their standard. Nahshon son of Amminadab was in command.” Numbers 10:14

The Talmud (early Jewish writings) has Nahshon plunging with faith into the Red Sea when everyone is standing back in fear. He struggles under the water and appears to be drowning until Moses lifts his staff and stretched it over the sea, Nahshon then leads the Israelites to safety through the waters!

He assisted Moses in taking the census of the people. Numbers 1:1-7   The Lord spoke to Moses … “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families … These are the names of the men who are to assist you … from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab”

On the first day of the dedication of the Tabernacle he brought offerings to the Lord in 7:10-17.

He led the nation in praise as they moved (Judah); He assisted Moses in leadership; he gave generously in the dedication of the Tabernacle and yet … he died in the wilderness.

“Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. For the Lord had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.” Numbers 26:64-65.

 

A man of faith, of praise, a leader of people, generous worshipper and yet what good is all that if you die in the wilderness with a generation who disobey God?

What good is all the things you have achieved in life if at the end of your life you are seen to have been one who fell short of God’s intention for your life?

You may achieve many things and your comrades may point to your successes. You may have plaques for your exploits and the praise of man may be wide and far. You may be seen as a great anointed leader and yet it is not how you start or what you have done but what kind of person will you be at the finishing line? Are you a little snake that writhes across that line or did you become far more than your name?

Some have received all the honour they will ever get, their cabinets have their trophies, they became rich through the work of God but the ones who will get the greatest rewards and honour may be ones that we never heard of, the unsung, the unknown, the least of these, the ones who were not sorcerers and snakes, the ones who made it through the wilderness because they died to their own desires rather than their selfishness cutting their days short.

Lent day 17: Who is Salmon?

Lent day 17: Who is Salmon?

Luke 3:32 “the son of Salmon”

Let’s borrow some detail from Matthew 1:5 “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab …”

So we know that Salmon married Rahab and therefore was one of the 2 spies that Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

His job was to determine if Jericho could be defeated.

Joshua 2: 1 “Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.”

The whole story is full of intrigue and suspense.

Joshua has been the only spy alongside Caleb who had given a good report about a similar reconnaissance. The other spies gave a bad report and Moses lost the support to go forward. So with the detail we have what does this tell us of Salmon? Can we answer these following questions?

  • Joshua chose carefully. Are we like Salmon people who are trustworthy?
  • He was not afraid, he crossed the Jordan River. Will we cross into new spaces and go for change?
  • He entered a prostitute’s house and married a sinner who had a faithful heart. Will we choose to walk with people of faith?
  • He risked his life and Rahab risked hers. King Jericho searched for him and the enemy of our soul is seeking our lives too in this spiritual battle.
  • He told Rahab to let a scarlet cord hang from her window so that when Joshua’s army attacked they would see the red thread and make sure she was saved, much like the Exodus with the blood of the lamb on the houses. As we approach Easter during this Lentern season, Salmon reminds us of the scarlet cord of salvation, the blood of Christ which saves! Will we ask people this year to commit to the blood of Jesus over their lives?
  • He brings a great report to Joshua that they could take Jericho, that this was God’s will and that they would bring defeat. Are we a person who speaks faith and is the sound of our lives saying God can and is able to do all things?

 

The name ‘Salmon’ means garment. His father we will see was the leader of a tribe during the wilderness years and therefore Salmon came from a royal line of Judah who marries a sinner who became the ancestor of Jesus. He covered her with his garment and she found salvation.

Lent day 16: Who is Boaz?

Lent Day 16: Who is Boaz?

Luke 3 v 32 “the son of Boaz”

His name means quickness. Though there was some considerable waiting for him to step into the plan God had for him.

It was the intention of God that Boaz, an Ephrathite in Bethlehem, be married to a young Moabite woman named Ruth. It was God’s plan that they would have a son called Obed, who would be the father of Jesse, the father of King David and who’s genealogical line would eventually produce Jesus Christ of Nazareth, God’s Son.

How would that happen?

It would be by a meeting of man’s will and God’s will in a divine encounter.

God had to wait for Ruth to be born, grow up, then marry Mahlon, Elimech and Naomi’s son, wait a further 10 years for Mahlon to die, then wait for her to return with Naomi to Bethlehem.

He would then wait for Ruth to glean the fields. He had to wait for Ruth to enter the part of the field which belonged to Boaz. Finally comes that divine encounter between Ruth and Boaz which God fore-ordained which led to a beautiful love story.

But can you see the long road to that encounter? It wasn’t quick.

Maybe God had to protect situations to make sure the divine encounter took place. Maybe God had to send angels to protect Boaz’s business. Maybe during the famine Boaz thought of selling his fields and angels were sent to make sure there was no sale. “I need that field for in 10 years time there’s going to be a divine encounter there.”

Maybe for you, life isn’t quick.

You may be waiting for something to take place, waiting for God. Think for a moment, how long has God had to wait on us, the years of protecting situations, waiting for us to get into the right place for a divine encounter?

 

At a certain mealtime on a certain day out in the fields of work, Boaz called to Ruth, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” 2:14

At mealtime, when Ruth was hungry Boaz called to her to come to him and eat his food. Likewise, Jesus is still calling out today: come to me, come over here.

 

In this Lentern period as we approach Easter let us remind ourselves of the call from Jesus for closeness.

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6: 35

He is calling you today: Come over here. Share my food. It’s the invitation that you either respond to or you don’t. Ruth could have turned Boaz down and said ‘No thanks, I’ve got my own food here.’

Ruth had no idea just what Boaz could do for her and you have no idea just what God can do for you. He has been waiting for some time.

 

Can you imagine Naomi’s delight on hearing from Ruth about the man she had met that day? Can you imagine the sheer delight that the man who had given Ruth so much as she was working in his field is a close relative of Naomi’s?

“Tell me his name, tell me his name Ruth”.

Naomi his name is Boaz

“Tell me his name, what gives you such amazing hope? Who is he? Tell me his name” His name is Jesus. He is still living, and because He is living my hope is alive and active. His name is Jesus, though he is known by many names, the greatest of which is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is our Kinsman-Redeemer. He has been waiting for this moment. He called me and I went to Him.

Amen!

Lent day 15 Who is Obed?

Lent day 15 Who is Obed?

Luke 3: 32 “the son of Obed”

The name means ‘Servant of Yahweh’.

In one of its toughest times in the history of Israel lived a family, Elimelech and his wife Naomi and their 2 sons. There was lawlessness and there was famine, they lived in Bethlehem which ironically means House of Bread. Elimelech’s name means ‘My God is King’. But God was not king in his life. He made a decision without consulting His God and King. That decision took him to Moab, there he made a further bad decision when he allowed his sons to marry Moabite woman. This was an abandoning of God and His land for the land and people of the enemy.

They had planned only to live for a while in Moab, but they remained ten years. At the end of those ten years, all that remained were three lonely widows. Everything else was gone.

Naomi had lost two things:

Her husband and two sons had died before their time. They had years to live, certainly for the sons, but they were no more. It was just a dream that never came true.

Of most importance was the carrying on of the family name. How more devastating for Naomi is that not only has she lost three loved ones, there is no heir by which the names will be continued and the inheritance guaranteed.

She has lost her future. Naomi would have to come to the realisation that everything has gone because she moved away from God.

And yet what she hadn’t realised was the most gracious and beautiful love story in the Old Testament was about to happen!

A reminder that the reason why Luke’s genealogy is different to Matthew’s is probably not because of the thought one was Joseph’s and the other Mary’s but because of this example, the levirate marriages. When Obed was born (to Ruth), the women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!” (Ruth 4:14).

Naomi left Moab grieving for her husband and two sons. She arrived in Bethlehem a broken widow and with great bitterness. But now the women of Bethlehem share in her joy. Obed is now the levirate son for Mahlon, he is heir of Elimelech. Through Obed, Elimelech’s family name has not been wiped out. Ruth and Naomi were both given a bright future. However, something far greater was on the horizon. Obed would become the grandfather of King David. He was not just a blessing to Ruth and Naomi, not just to Bethlehem, not only to Israel, but to the whole world through God’s hand on David’s life.

Now that we have the background to his birth let us see his name. Obed’s story has what Apostle Paul famously said running all through it: “And we know that in all things God works for good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.”

Romans 8:28-29

It is God’s primary goal for your life to reproduce the image of His Son in you. But what does that look like? Jesus gives the answer:

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

It is very appropriate that Obed’s name means ‘Servant’. Out of the worst of times can come the most powerful and God inspired times. If God has done anything in your life it is so that you may serve and in serving you become like Jesus. With the towel and basin in your hand you wash feet and you give yourself away to even the most unlovable of people. And in doing so, they don’t see you, they see Christ.

Lent Day 14: Who is Jesse?

Lent Day 14: Who is Jesse?

Luke 3:32 “the son of Jesse”

 

His name means ‘firm’ or also ‘wealthy’ and it would appear he was both.

His wealth and position is seen in that he supplied David with a haulage of food to take to his brothers who were supposedly fighting the Philistines in 1 Samuel 17; he also came from a good lineage himself, seen in the genealogy in Ruth 4 where it states that his ancestor was chief of the tribe of Judah in the time of Moses, Nahshon; finally, David entrusted his parents to the King of Moab in 1 Samuel 22 when Saul was pursuing him and this would indicate it could only have happened if Jesse had some kind of prominence.

But he was firm and no more is this seen than with his 8th son, David.

 

Nobody but God would have guessed that David would be God’s chosen leader, Jesse certainly didn’t.

  1. a) Jesse did not consider David ready for anything of importance. (1 Samuel 16:5) When Samuel consecrated Jesse’s family, David wasn’t there. Consecration involved the preparation of washing and putting on clean clothes before attending a sacrifice.
  2. b) Jesse considered his youngest irrelevant, 1 Samuel 16:11. The Message says “Well, yes, there’s the runt.” David was not important in Jesse’s eyes.
  3. c) Jesse didn’t consider David at all. 1 Samuel 16:10-11. Jesse didn’t offer David to Samuel. Samuel had to remind Jesse of David’s existence. David was being overlooked and rejected. This is the life of Jesus, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” Matthew 21:42.

People will always see and maybe say that you’re not ready. God is looking for a heart that has experienced that. According to the world’s standards you may appear foolish, weak, lowly, despised and a person who has not and is not. You may have been overlooked and not considered. God is looking for you!

The Apostle Paul in Romans 15 quotes Isaiah 11:1 “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”

Throughout David’s life he is known as ‘David son of Jesse’ and often in derision, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse?” 1 Samuel 25:12.

Just like our Lord’s title, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’.

Grace makes you become all that you can become.

At the end of David’s life the Chronicler writes, “David son of Jesse was king over all Israel” 1 Chronicles 29:16.

The contrast is huge. It brings us right back to the beginning. To the place of ordinariness, shepherding the sheep, playing the harp. The place of rejection, the youngest lad, the irrelevant son, the one not even asked to be present at the meeting with Samuel. But it does more than speak of the potential of David. It tells of the potential fulfilled. David became all that he could become. He became king. How did that happen? Primarily it happened because of God’s grace. David was because God is. David would never have made it to kingship without God.

Jesse could not stop God’s plans for his 8th son. No man (or woman) can stop God’s plans for your life either. You may have a firm rogue in your family tree but that doesn’t mean this is who you will become. You may be known as coming from a bad stock or even an irrelevant one but with God you can become famous!

Lent Day 13: Who is David?

Lent Day 13: Who is David?

Luke 3: 31 “the son of David”

His name means ‘beloved’. He was the second king of Israel and alongside Moses the leading figure in the Old Testament. He is found in the gospels because of his Messianic title no less than 35 times. In Acts 10 times, Romans 3 times. He is in 2 Timothy, Hebrews on 2 occasions and in Revelation 3 times. David is important!

Jesus is known as the Son of David, born in the city of David, Bethlehem. He is the new King of the Jews who would shepherd Israel.

John 7: 42 “Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”

Maybe today you could do what I have done and read Psalm 59. It is a song that David wrote recollecting his thoughts of the time in 1 Samuel 19 when Saul sent men to capture him and he fled and escaped through a window and went to Samuel.

David knew that if he just remained the armour bearer and personal musician for Saul he would not do so for much longer. But by escaping, his life became really under threat, for Saul seemed to want to do nothing but kill him.

David made things worse for himself by escaping that night. But he also discovered that he could:

  1. Know HIS Confidence v8

David knew that God was going to win against every evil individual, gang or nation that ever rose up to try to defy him. God knows He will win the war. God is totally and perfectly confident in every situation.

The first step in surviving is to know what God knows. To know that He knows He cannot be beaten or overcome or defeated at any time, in any place. It’s never happened in the past and it will never happen in the future. Even when it looks like it will happen, when Jesus His Son is dying on the cross, it looks like God has been defeated, but then lo and behold 3 days later at his resurrection we find that it was actually God’s plan all along for the bringing about of salvation for all who believe.

 

 

 

 

2, Know His Character v16

‘for you are’. David knew who God was. He lists 12 characteristics of God, he did it because he knew each one of them in a personal way and would do so the remainder of his life.

He is our defender v1. Throughout his life David would know God as a deliverer. He delivers us from the attacks of unbelief, depression, purposelessness, fruitlessness and all sin.

He is our protector v1. The Bible declares God to be the defender of His people. Psalm 20:1 May the name of the God of Jacob protect you. There is protection in the proclamation of His name.

He is our Saviour v2. A Saviour is one who intervenes, who steps in and rescues from either physical or spiritual suffering.

He moves v4. Is 60:1 Arise shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  Be ready for a visitation from God time after time. Not once in your life but numerous, countless occasions.

He sees v4. He is not blinded, nor ignorant to your situation. He knows because He can see it.

He is a fortress v9. The Hebrew definition for the word ‘fortress’ is: a net to capture, a fastness, a fortification, a castle, a fortified city. God provides safety and security from the attacks of the enemy.

He is loving v10.  1 Jn 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us.

He is a shield v11. God wants to shield all His people from the devils schemes. But we must allow Him to be our shield.

He is mighty v11. God is an immoveable, all-encompassing foundation for a person’s past, present and future life. He is mighty to save and mighty to keep. Psalm 91 tells us there is a rest in the shadow of the Almighty God.

He is a ruler v13. The Bible describes God as ruling over heaven and earth and over His people. From the beginning he called for man to rule with him and like him.

He is the Strength v16. God does not want us to faint in the heat of the battle. God wants to be the strength of our spiritual, domestic, emotional and moral lives.

He is a refuge in times of trouble v16. Whenever we are feeling oppressed or suffering from the attacks of the fire there is a place of relief from distress and affliction.

Deliverer, protector, Saviour, one who moves, one who sees, a fortress, loving, a shield, mighty, ruler, a strength, a refuge. This is His character and this is what gives us confidence!!

We truly are the beloved of God!

Lent day 12: Who is Nathan?

Lent day 12: Who is Nathan?

3 v 31 “the son of Nathan”

His name means ‘gift’ and that would indicate he was special wouldn’t it?

I wonder how special Nathan felt being from such a large family?

Taking 1 Chronicles 3: 1-9 and then adding the daughter, Tamar and of course the son that died 7 days after his birth plus the children born from David’s concubines then we can definitely say Nathan is one of 20 children from David plus many others!

Let’s see what the Chronicler writes: “David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there: Shammua,] Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel” v 4-6.

Nathan, ‘the gift’ was born amongst many others and his parents had that horrible story which contained adultery, deception and what amounted to murder!

On top of all this, Nathan, ‘the gift’, wasn’t chosen to succeed his father David, it was another brother, Solomon, not even a step-brother, but the one younger than him who was chosen. Seemingly, Nathan wasn’t qualified, experienced or perhaps ‘gifted’ enough to build the Temple and lead the kingdom.

I wonder how special Nathan felt he was. I wonder if he believed he was indeed a gift?

There are many who have similar situations to Nathan’s in their family.

Some have similar work situations of feeling overlooked.

Or personally, their friends all seem to have what they want but not for this person, they struggle to find their place, their purpose in life. Who am I here for?

Here is our Lentern memorisation verse and I will explain why I include it:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”

When God first promised salvation there were only 2 people in the Biblical story, Adam and Eve. That could have been you. You could have been 1 of 2 people in the garden of Eden and you would have done exactly what they did and God would have said exactly the same thing: He would crush Satan’s head (speaking of Christ’s victory on the cross).

So you may belong to a crowd and feeling the least, the last and the lost and yet God favours you, sees you as the first and has found you! (That’ll preach!)

So say this over your life, “I am more than what I think, I have been bought by a price and that price was Christ alone.”

 

You are not in competition with anyone else, there is none. You are worth far more than the circumstances around you. You are indeed a gift. I wonder if Nathan knew this?

Lent day 11: Who is Mattatha?

Lent day 11: Who is Mattatha?

3 v 30   “the son of Mattatha”

We have met a few variants of this name already, this is the 6th one. The name means ‘gift of Yahweh’.

God is still giving gifts today.

  1. Salvation

The greatest gift is eternal life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. Spiritual gifts are given, (you are born with natural gifts or they are learnt).

 

  1. We can be used to give gifts of God to strengthen the Church.

Romans 1:11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong

  1. God doesn’t take back the gifts He gives.

Romans 11:29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.

  1. There are different gifts given by God

Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith.

  1. We can be blind to what is available to us.

1 Corinthians 12:1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.

  1. We don’t all have the same gifts

1 Corinthians 12:30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

  1. Gifts to be used for people are not as important as loving people

1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

  1. Desiring gifts is good.

1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

  1. We need to improve in the use of our gifts that strengthen the Church.

1 Corinthians 14:12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

  1. We must not stop using our gifts.

1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

 

  1. Silver

We need to be generous with gifts of money.

2 Corinthians 9:5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

 

Those 3 entities, Salvation, Spiritual gifts and Silver cover Mattatha. Salvation is a gift given by God and is available for everyone for their eternity. Spiritual gifts are given for the edification of the individual and mainly for the Church. Silver are gifts we give to demonstrate Mattatha.

Who is Menna?

Lent day 10

3 v 31 “the son of Menna”

His name is also spelt Menan according to the RSV and it means comforting or consoling.

We wake today to the news of ‘Deadly mass shootings in mosques of New Zealand’. Our prayers are for the families that “…the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort …” may be with them today. (2 Corinthians 1)

We know this verse I am sure: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counsellor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever” It is the Amplified version of John 14:6.

Isn’t it wonderful to see the understanding of the role of comforting the Holy Spirit plays in our lives?!

When you are at your lowest and no one is there, He is.

Some lessons about being comforted:

  1. You must receive comfort into your life. Unlike Rachel who refused because of her deep loss (Matthew 2:18).
  2. The kingdom, the rule and influence of God belongs to those who mourn or as the Message puts it ‘when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you’ it is then that God ‘becomes most dear to you’ (Matthew 5).
  3. Be careful who you allow to comfort you because some are more strokers of dead things than raisers of hope (John 11:19).
  4. Trust opens the door to comfort (John 14).
  5. Comfort is a new sound that is needed through the Church to the community (1 Corinthians 14:3)
  6. Turning up is sometimes enough (2 Corinthians 7:6).

When Harry Lauder, the great Scottish comedian, received word that his son had been killed in France, he said, “In a time like this, there are three courses open to man: He may give way to despair and become bitter. He may endeavour to drown his sorrow in drink or in a life of wickedness. Or he may turn to God.”

If your heart is broken today, if you are feeling overwhelmed beyond measure then here He is, Jesus, sending the comforter, the Advocate.

Menna is yours today.