Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Covenant of Salt

Welcome to everyone. I trust you all had an enjoyable and spiritually enriching Feast. I hope everyone is adjusting back into the illusion called, “reality”. I know how difficult it can be to return from the Feast where we get to just a foretaste of what the Kingdom of God will be like. This is just a temporal existence to serve as the proving ground to prepare us for the true reality, the Kingdom of God.

When I was just a boy, 4 to 8 years old, I lived in a rental house on a working farm. It was one of two houses that was originally meant for the permanent hands on the farm. By that time the farm had become little more than a summer home for the attorney that owned the property but it still functioned as a working farm but was substantially less than it had been. It was a great place for a young boy to learn about life. There were cows, and horses and chickens and such, and I learned where food and babies come from.

One day I remember coming across a huge block that I picture in my mind as blue in color though it may not have been. I learned that it was called a “salt lick” that was put out for the cows and horses. It was their way of getting their salt intake as their diets didn’t have salt in them. Salt was an important source of minerals and allowed them to regulate the water in their bodies and carried electrolytes needed for proper nerve functioning though I didn’t learn all that until later. It was fascinating to watch a horse with its huge tongue lick the block like it was a huge piece of candy. The foreman of the farm had to put out fresh blocks from time to time as they were worn down by the horses and cows and by the weather and would lose their saltiness.

Salt is extremely important to all of us as well and has had quite an impact on the history of man. Man cannot live without salt. It is as vital as food and water. Nations have gone to war over salt mines, trade was driven by salt and salted meats like fish and pork.

Today we’re going to learn about this common substance called “salt” and its not so common symbolism in the Bible.

What is salt and why is it important?

1.     Combination of a volatile metal [sodium] and a toxic gas [chlorine] – NaCl. It’s from the only family of rocks eaten by humans. The human body contains about 250 grams of salt, which would fill three or four salt-shakers, but is constantly losing it through bodily functions.
2.    We can't live without salt
1.     Water accounts for approximately 60% of total body weight in adults. Insufficient sodium or salt in your blood is called hyponatremia. Sodium is an essential electrolyte that helps maintain the balance of water in and around your cells. Sodium is important for proper muscle and nerve function. It also helps to maintain stable blood pressure levels.
2.    Low blood sodium occurs when water and sodium are out of balance. In other words, there’s either too much water or not enough sodium. Since there is a normal loss daily through sweat, tears, urination, etc. it must be replaced regularly.
3.    Certain factors increase your risk for low blood sodium, including:
·       old age as your body chemistry changes
·       taking diuretics
·       taking antidepressants
·       being a high-performance athlete
·       living in a warmer climate
·       being on a low-sodium diet 
4.    Common symptoms of low blood sodium include:
·       headaches
·       light-headedness
·       weakness
·       nausea and vomiting
·       muscle cramps or spasms
·       confusion
·       fatigue or low energy
·       irritability

A French folktale relates the story of a princess who declares to her father, “I love you like salt,” and he, angered by the slight, banishes her from the kingdom. Only later when he is denied salt does he realize its value and therefore the depth of his daughter’s love.

Salt – A World History – by Mark Kurlansky
1.     Migration and War
a.    Salt is so common, so easy to obtain, and so inexpensive that we have forgotten that from the beginning of civilization until about 100 years ago, salt was one of the most sought-after commodities in human history.
b.    Peoples migrated to areas away from the sea and sought out places where there were salt mines or brine springs
c.     Salt mines prompted war and trade monopolies
2.    Used in trade either as salt itself or as salted fish and meats
3.    Salt’s essence does not change. Even if dissolved in water it can still be evaporated back out to its crystalline form
1.     Salt preserves therefore it has a sense of permanence
2.    Roman soldiers paid in salt
1.     Latin word for salt is “sal” - the origin of the word, "salary"; French word, “solde” meaning “pay” is the origin of the word, “soldier”.
2.   Prompting phrase "a man worth his salt" meaning he was loyal, performed an honest day's work, was able to hold his own, reliable, one that could be counted on

Salt in the Bible

You probably know that God made a covenant with king David but did you know there was an element present that added a certain significance to the agreement? Let’s turn to 2 Chronicles chapter 13 and take a look at what additional ingredient is mentioned there.

2 Chronicles chapter 13 KJV – war between Judah [Abijah] and Israel [Jeroboam]

Verse 4-5 – “covenant of salt”

2Ch 13:4-5 KJV  And Abijah [Judah] stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, [Israel] and all Israel;  (5)  Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?

Verse 10 -11 – “Judah not forsaken God but Israel had”; “burn sacrifices and sweet incense”

2Ch 13:10-11 KJV  But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him and the priests, which minister unto the LORD, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business:  (11)  And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him.

Verse 12 – “fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers”

2Ch 13:12 KJV  And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.

By their rebellion, Israel under Jeroboam was fighting against God. Jeroboam [Israel] had twice as many men as Abijah [Judah] – 800,000 vs 400,000 and outflanked him and so was able to attack from both the front and the rear but Judah trusted in the LORD and God delivered them – vs. 14 and 16
Notice their attitude and their fervor and obedience and complete reliance on God. Despite being outnumbered two to one and surrounded by their enemy, they put their trust in God and he delivered them.

In verse 5, it says the covenant God made with David was a “covenant of salt”.

That’s an interesting phrase, “covenant of salt”. What does it mean? We’ve learned quite a lot about covenants over the years but this phrase is unique and only mentioned 3 times in the whole Bible.

Let’s take a look at where God made that covenant with David through the prophet Nathan. Turn to 2 Samuel chapter 7.

2Sa 7:12-17 KJV  And when thy days be fulfilled, [speaking of David] and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.  (13)  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.  (14)  I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:  (15)  But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.  (16)  And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.  (17)  According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

The following is excerpted from the UCG Online Bible Commentary –
Though Solomon's dynasty is not prophesied to continue forever, that of David himself is. God says, "I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: 'Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations'" (Psalm 89:3-4). In 2 Chronicles 13:5, we are told that "the LORD God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt." Salt is a preservative against corruption and decay. It was required in offerings (Leviticus 2:13), which were often part of covenants. In using the phrase "covenant of salt," then, God is denoting a permanent alliance, an inviolable covenant, established for "all generations."
What this tells us is that this throne must be in existence in our generation. Some might suggest that Christ sits upon it now. After all, He is of the line of David—not through Solomon but through David's son Nathan. Furthermore, Jesus is actually prophesied to sit on David's throne. An angel tells Mary: "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:31-33; compare Isaiah 9:6-7). But Christ never took over a throne in his human life. And since His death and resurrection, He has been in heaven, sharing His Father's throne (compare Revelation 3:21). Yet He is coming back to rule Israel and all nations, as the book of Revelation goes on to show. It is at that time that He will fulfill the prophecy of at last assuming the throne of David.

The prophet Jeremiah was told by the LORD of that same covenant in some pretty strong language.

Jer 33:14-21 KJV  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.  (15)  In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.  (16)  In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.  (17)  For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;  (18)  Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.  (19)  And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying,  (20)  Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;  (21)  Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.

This is a serious covenant! Take a look at with what passion God made this covenant that carries all the way through to the return of Jesus Christ.

Isa 9:6-7 KJV  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  (7)  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The word “zeal” here is the Hebrew word qin'âh (kin-aw') H7065 and it means with ardour or with a jealous disposition as of a husband and carries with it the anger and wrath of God if crossed, as that of a husband defending his wife’s honor. God is quite passionate about this covenant relationship with David and with Israel of which we are part!

Another mention of this covenant of salt is in Leviticus chapter 2.

Lev 2:13 NKJV  And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.

Grain offerings were to include salt. You shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking. It’s another component that must be included. The grain offering itself is not adequate in and of itself. But how about meat offerings? God said ALL offerings.

Eze 43:23-24 KJV  When thou hast made an end of cleansing it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish.  (24)  And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the LORD.

The third mention of the covenant of salt is in Numbers chapter 18. This is the pledge to the Levites and the sons of Aaron regarding the offerings brought to them.

Num 18:18-19 KJV  And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine.  (19)  All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.

The animal sacrifices were also to be salted.

Salt was an extremely valuable commodity. The effort required to make salt from sea water, or mine salt was extensive, worth going to war over. Yet, God required this valuable element be included with every offering.

The meat and the grain offerings were to include salt. The passage we read in 2 Chronicles 13:11 also mentions the sweet incense offerings the sons of Aaron and the Levites made to God.

Let’s take a look at an element of these sacrifices we may have overlooked.

2Ch 13:11 KJV  And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him.

Was the incense offered as a plain and bland offering? Just a few sweet spices together with a little frankincense and sprinkle it on the altar? Let’s see. Turn to Exodus chapter 30.

Exo 30:34-37 AMP  Then the Lord said to Moses, Take sweet spices--stacte, onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense, an equal amount of each--  (35)  And make of them incense, a perfume after the perfumer's art, seasoned with salt and mixed, pure and sacred.  (36)  You shall beat some of it very small and put some of it before the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you; it shall be to you most holy.  (37)  And the incense which you shall make according to its composition you shall not make for yourselves; it shall be to you holy to the Lord.

So we are to add salt to ALL of our offerings to God!

Offerings made to God were holy to God, to be made in humble obedience, in meekness and reverence for God not haphazardly or as a means of trading on God’s good graces.

So why salt? What does the salt represent? Why would God require salt to be added to all of our offerings? What is the symbolism behind the salt? What are the characteristics of salt?

8 Characteristics of Salt

1.Sustains life - human body cannot exist without it. Deut 30:20 “for he is thy life”

2.Permanence – Its essence doesn't change - even if dissolved in water, can be returned to original state through evaporation. Mal 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not”

3.Preservative – meat and fish are cured with salt preventing it from going bad and putrefying. God says throughout the Psalms that he will preserve those who are faithful, for example – 

Psa 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

4.Healing/Purifying - Elisha waters (2 Kings 2:19-22);

2 Kings 2:19-22 NKJV  Then the men of the city [Jericho] said to Elisha, "Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren."  (20)  And he said, "Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it." So they brought it to him.  (21)  Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, "Thus says the LORD: 'I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.' "  (22)  So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.

It wasn't the salt by itself that cleansed the water but it was healed according to the word which he spoke. The salt represented the spirit of zeal of the “Thus says the LORD” behind it.

In Genesis 1:2 it was the Spirit of God that moved upon the face of the waters that began the healing process of the earth.

See Ezekiel chapter 47. The waters of the Dead Sea will be healed by the waters that flow out from under the Temple.

Eze 47:1 KJV  Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.
Eze 47:8 KJV  Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.

5.Something of value - it has intrinsic value. It was important to them. Salt was expensive. It came in various grades and only the rich could afford the very best and purest. The fact that it was required with sacrifices, to offer it was an act of humble obedience to the one who required it. There’s a cost to following God as we know from Luke 14 that we must be willing to sacrifice.

6.Fidelity, Loyalty, & Faithfulness – Loyalty and friendship are sealed with salt because its essence does not change. Salt denotes an indissoluble alliance as it is immutable. It signifies faithfulness, keeping one's promise, you could count on its properties and on the one who employed it. It denoted loyalty. One wouldn’t commit an act that goes against the one who provided their salt.
Ezra 4:14 - The servants of Artaxerxes felt obligated to inform him that Jerusalem was being rebuilt
Ezr 4:14 YLT  Now, because that the salt of the palace is our salt, and the nakedness of the king we have no patience to see, therefore we have sent and made known to the king;

7.Friendship/Fellowship - salt being the great symbol of friendship in all nations – There’s an expression throughout the Middle East, "there is salt between us”; Here we speak of "breaking bread together" – it means we’re close, we have shared a meal together, we are able to let our guard down around each other. There’s a certain level of trust between us. We look out for one another.

8.Adds flavor – it makes things taste better, even things that might not taste good otherwise. It helps us tolerate that bitterness. The word, “salad” comes from adding salt to bitter greens. Salt can add flavor to just about anything. It even helps us be more tolerant when our brother treats us bitterly. We give him the benefit of the doubt if there’s salt between us.

Eph 4:2 NLT  Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

These characteristics of salt as it applies to offerings symbolizes so much more than just another ingredient that God requires of his people. It symbolizes the permanence of God, and our relationship with him. A relationship that is not just a familiarity, or a mere acquaintance but one of friendship and fellowship based on loyalty, faithfulness, and trust. It is vital to our very existence; it sustains our life. It purifies us, it heals us and preserves us for his purpose, his will, as his people.

Salt of the earth

When God chose Jerusalem as his city it was not the shining city on a hill, and certainly not worthy of the name, “The LORD our righteousness”. It had very humble, pitiful beginnings.

Eze 16:1-5 KJV  Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  (2)  Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,  (3)  And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.  (4)  And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.  (5)  None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.  

It goes on to describe the deplorable conditions in which it was found and how God dressed it up to be a nation of renown.

The practice of salting babies was primarily for cleansing and purifying but was also done so that the skin would be made firmer and thicker. This was to help it adjust to the environment outside the womb, to handle the heat and cold and contact with others. It’s no longer recommended as day to day living conditions are no longer as harsh as they once were. We are to be salted by fiery trials to toughen us up and prepare us for what lies ahead.

But there was also a spiritual aspect to this salting. Early superstitions believed that rubbing newborn infants with salt protected them from evil. Firstborns were to be an offering to God and ALL offerings were to be salted. (Exo 13:15; Num 3:12-13) So it was symbolic.

We are to be a living sacrifice, and as such, shouldn't we be salted?

Romans 12:1 KJV  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Since sacrifices were to offered with salt, shouldn't we as living sacrifices be salted? We are! Christ even told us we are the salt of the earth.

Mat 5:13-16 KJV  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  (14)  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  (15)  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  (16)  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

That expression is still common today. When someone says, “Those folks are the salt of the earth,” what does it mean?

Generally, it means they are people of character and bear admirable qualities. They’re kind, decent, dependable, and unpretentious. Simple, good working-class people, honest and trustworthy, straightforward people of moral integrity. Capable and honorable. Peaceable people able to get along with anybody. The type of person who deals with difficult or demanding situations with patience without making any unnecessary fuss. They exhibit grace under pressure. Generous people who would give you the shirt off their back.

Would these be characteristics God would want us to exhibit? Would they reflect God in a favorable light if his people exhibited these qualities? Are they qualities that God exhibits himself? Aren’t they the characteristics called out in Galatians chapter 5.

Gal 5:22-23 NKJV  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

All of these are “salt of the earth” qualities condensed down into just nine (9) fruits of the Spirit, the very nature and character of God. When God makes a covenant, he doesn’t make it haphazardly. It carries with it the legality but also the very essence of God’s Spirit. It doesn’t just carry the letter of the Law but the spirit of the law as well.

When God made a covenant of salt with king David, it carried with it the full faith and character of God himself. Didn’t God have to exhibit all of the fruits of the Spirit as he dealt with David and all his shenanigans? God was committed to the relationship. There was salt between them.

Despite everything that David did - his blunder in moving the ark of the covenant by ox cart causing Uzzah’s death, his pride in counting his army resulting in 70,000 men dying, his adultery, his murder of Uriah by proxy. Despite all of it, David was still a man after God’s own heart because he never turned away from God. He honored and valued their relationship. And God never laid a hand on David personally. He had made a covenant with him. There was salt between them. The salt never lost its savour.

THAT’s what a covenant of salt means!

Notice in Luke 14, right after Christ rehearses the cost of following Him, the "count the cost" chapter, He warns us using the same salt analogy - 

Luk 14:34-35 KJV  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?  (35)  It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

We must never lose our zeal for God.

Just like the incense that was salted, our prayers are our daily sacrifice to God.

Heb 13:15-16 KJV  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.  (16)  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Psa 141:2 KJV  Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Our prayers are our daily offerings to God. ALL offerings are to be salted! They should not be lackluster, half-hearted, sleepy time prayers. Let our prayers be fervent, "salted" with zeal of the Spirit of God!

James 5:16 KJV  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

It doesn’t say “the resigned, obligatory prayer given only because we know we ought to prayer”. It says, “fervent”! The Greek word is,  “energeōWith energy, like we mean it!

We are to honor the covenant with our God.  We should represent his Kingdom with zeal, putting all our heart, mind, soul, and strength into it.

We are to be a preserving influence in the world, preserving the truth of God and His prescribed Way of life. We are to be a preserving influence in our communities. We establish a righteous, godly presence in our communities. If we lose our saltiness, we become like the world, becoming more tolerant of sin in our homes, in our churches, in our communities, in our nation, good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot.

Many who claim to be the people of God today have no salt. Speak the truth of God with zealous salt. Salt will make them thirsty. Thirsty for the living waters of the truth of God! Salt makes everything taste better, even the white of an egg as Job says.

Our message to our fellow man should always carry with it the salt of the covenant, salted by fire, the trials of this life. (Mark 9:49) We should not shy away from speaking the truth of God to our fellow man. However, we do need to season our conversations with the understanding of one who has been through the fiery trials, season them with compassion and grace. We are the salt of the earth.

Col 4:2-6 KJV  Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;  (3)  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:  (4)  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.  (5)  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  (6)  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Meet him where his is and gently bring him into the light with humility and grace. Demonstrate by your life the goodness of the Lord in quietness and confidence. When he has tasted the word of God, it tastes good because it's seasoned with salt. The salt of the covenant.

Salt - A World History -

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Duty Is Ours, Results Are God's

John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States. He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former President John Adams and Abigail Adams. Read more at

"Duty, Honor, Country", is the motto of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Norman Schwarzkopf, the four-star general that led Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, is quoted as saying,

"As young West Point cadets, our motto was 'duty, honor, country.' But it was in the field, from the rice paddies of Southeast Asia to the sands of the Middle East, that I learned that motto's fullest meaning. There I saw gallant young Americans of every race, creed and background fight, and sometimes die, for 'duty, honor, and their country."

The young cadets at West Point are trained and conditioned, and dedicated to something greater than themselves. The ideals of ‘duty, honor, country’ are held in the highest esteem, placed above their own comforts and desires.  They have devoted themselves to these ideals and are willing to die for them.

I’m going to focus on the first one today; that of “duty”.

What is duty? Duty is something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation.  It is what one feels bound to do in fulfillment of the permanent dictates of conscience, piety, right, or law.

Duty is doing that which needs to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of how we feel. It is the selfless fulfilling of our obligations to those we love and serve who depend on us despite what else may be demanding our time and attention.

Duty takes no thought for self. Each of us has assignments that we've been given to accomplish. We have tasks that are solely ours to complete. We each have our part, to do what is expected of us. Duty demands our action even when the outcome is uncertain and we don’t have control over the results. It is by the actions we take that we manifest the resolve and dedication to duty that lies within. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, but duty remains today.

John Quincy Adams, our 6th president, was an amazing man. He’s the only man ever to leave office as President of the United States and then run for Congress. While in Congress he lost many political battles, but when asked why he kept fighting for the cause and refused to give up, he simply said, “Duty is mine, results are God’s.”

Why would the apostle Paul continue on as he did? Even after being beaten and stoned and left for dead he turned right around and went back into the city. (Act 14:19-20) Even in the face of uncertainty when he didn’t know what would befall him at Jerusalem, he went anyway. (Act 20:22-23) He took no thought for his own life. (Act 20:24) He felt duty bound by the permanent dictates of conscience, piety, right, and law. It was his sense of duty and obedience to God, and his love for the followers of Jesus Christ that drove him on.

Even in the face of adversity, duty is ours. Even in the face of uncertainty, duty is ours. Results are God’s.

What is our duty as Christians? Ever wonder why you’re here? I don’t mean why you were born. I mean why are you here in this particular congregation? What brought us here? We don’t always know all the circumstances and forces at work that brought us together; that brought us to where we are in life. Yet here we are.

God’s plan is for each and every one of us to develop the character we need to become full-fledged sons and daughters of God in His Kingdom. We are to trust him and put our faith in him knowing that he has our best interest at heart, trusting the results to him knowing that he knows what's best for us. Much like a child trusts her parents and is totally dependent on them, we put our faith and trust in God.

Is it possible that God placed us here for a reason, for His purpose?

1Cor 12:18 KJV  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

We are being trained to serve in God’s Kingdom.

God placed us in the body of Christ where it pleases him, not us. Why did he place us here? Why not some other town? Why not some other church, some other congregation? There are certain jobs that will need to be done in the Kingdom of God. Who knows better than God what jobs need to be done and who has the potential to best fill those assignments? Do we know what will need to be done during the Millennium to transform what’s left in the aftermath into God’s Kingdom under the rulership of Christ?

Is it possible that we are exactly where we are in this life, and in this congregation, this unique blend of God’s people, because God wants us here? God wants us here because it is the very best place for him to work with us to mold us and shape us into the true servants he will need to serve in his Kingdom.

From the lessons we learn on the job, to things we learn at home and in our relationships, to the things we learn by serving in the Church, this life is a training ground, a proving ground, for the Kingdom of God. We will be serving our king, Jesus Christ, as part of a task force deployed to bring about the Millennial conditions we hear about during the Feast of Tabernacles. We need to demonstrate the faithful performance of our duties now, growing in grace and knowledge with preparation for God’s Kingdom in mind. Doesn’t that seem reasonable, that we are to be ever mindful of the Kingdom as we go about our duties serving our families, friends and neighbors, sacrificing our time, developing relationships, and doing that which we are required to do?

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Which is our reasonable service. Our duty. Sacrificial, selfless, duty.

Presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, denying self, expecting nothing in return and submitting to God’s will is our reasonable service, our duty.

We are being conditioned to serve in God’s Kingdom.

We need to be conditioned to develop the right character so that our training is rightly applied at the right time in concert with the rest of the Millennial Task Force. The right skillset without the right attitude won’t serve well in the Kingdom. We must condition ourselves to the ideal of selfless service, our duty, in a coordinated effort with others.

What if we had all the talent in the world but didn’t apply it in the right manner or with the right attitude? What if we have all the ability in the world but have a contentious or rebellious attitude? We may think that all we need to do is to utilize the skills we have in the way we want to and that will somehow prepare us to serve in God’s Kingdom. We could have all the talent in the world but if it is not properly applied in concert with others who are doing their part it could actually work counter to the overall strategy and plan.

Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, they have been proven to be a stiff-necked and rebellious people. They have demonstrated their wanton desires to do things their own way rather than yielding to God. Every time, God has brought chastisement on them to bring them back in line to an attitude of repentance; to a humble and contrite spirit. (Isa 57:15) It is only with such a humble and contrite spirit yielded to God and Christ that we will serve him in his Kingdom.

We spend the whole of our Christian lives learning to submit to God the Father and Jesus Christ.  We do that in part by learning to submit to authority in the physical sense in this life. In this life we submit to authority starting with our parents and continues with our teachers, the police, our boss, our church leaders, etc. If we cannot obey our parents whom we can see it is difficult to obey a God whom we cannot see. If we have not learned to take direction from our spiritual leaders, whom God has placed over us in this life, can we be trusted to submit to Christ in the Millennium? The physical models the spiritual.

So not only do we need to develop certain talents, we must take learn to take direction from a higher authority so that our talent, our part of the plan, our duty can be effectively coordinated with the rest of the team. We may have some marvelous talents that we feel would be a delight to others if only we were given the opportunity. However, we need to learn to submit to authority in this life if we are to be trusted to do our duty in the next. If we intend to be an effective member of the Millennial Task Force, we must be conditioned to submit to authority, to those placed over us.

Heb 13:17 KJV  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Just like the cadets at West Point, we must be trained and conditioned for service. We have lessons we need to learn and talents we need to develop while we’re here in this life so we’ll have the experience to draw from in the next. We have been called by God to serve Him according to His purpose (will). God has placed us in the body of Christ where it pleases Him, where we’re best suited for him to work with us. (1Cor 12:18) We have been given our duty, our tasks, in this life, according to our individual talents and lessons to be learned. Our reasonable service is to perform that duty diligently to the best of our ability trusting God for the outcome. The results may or may not be what we have in mind but all work together for good to fulfill God's plan in accordance with His greater purpose.

When we have done all that God has commanded us, we shouldn’t feel that we deserve any special reward. It is but our duty to serve the God we love and worship. One day we will be rewarded but now, we are but unprofitable servants in that we have done that which was our duty to do.

Luke 17:10  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

We are the Israel of God, (Gal 6:16) the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven. We must be trained and conditioned, and dedicated to something greater than ourselves to serve in the Kingdom of God. That is our reasonable service, our duty. 

Duty is ours, results are God's.



Who Am I

My photo
I strive to be as the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:10-11 receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searching the scriptures daily, whether those things are so. Check up on me in your own bible. Should you find me in error please let me know immediately. We must prove all things (1Thes 5:21) and rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15) together lest we be deceived. (Matt 24:24)

Get the Bible for your computer FREE!

Share Walk In Truth

Bookmark and Share

Tweets of Truth

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Walk in Truth