Echoes From the Campfire

There are those who use a cause to cover their own lust for destruction and cruelty.  He who uses terror as a weapon does it from his own demands for cruelty and not because it succeeds, because it never has.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (The Mountain Valley War)

    “You hate good and love evil.  You tear off people’s skin and strip their flesh from their bones….Then they will cry out to the LORD, but He will not answer them.  He will hide His face from them at that time because of the crimes they have committed.”
              –Micah 3:2,4 (HCSB)
I made reference to the book of Micah several times last week.  Let me give you a look at the condition of the time in which Micah lived.  See if there are any similarities with today.

         1)  The priests were immoral and corrupt and prophets were hirelings.  (Did you see that group of “ministers” saying that they agreed with abortion, even late-term?)
         2)  Nobles took delight in fleecing the poor.
         3)  Greed and cruelty were prevalent.
         4)  Days were filled with unrest and insecurity.
         5)  People were selfish and materialistic.
         6)  There was a disintegration of personal and social values.
         7)  The people were scornful of religion.
         8)  Soothsaying, witchcraft, and superstition were prevalent.
         9)  There was a complacency in the approach to religion as a means of achieving human desires.
        10)  There was a threat of invasion.

My goodness, this could come from today’s newspaper, ooops, I mean media.  There leadership was corrupt and those that were trying to do right were despised by the rest of those in leadership.  Add to that the media of today and there is corruption from top to bottom.  The only thing that matters is their agenda, not right and wrong.
    Here are a few thoughts that Micah had concerning the Almighty, after all he said, “Who is like Yahweh?”

         1)  Micah wanted the people to know that every unsocial act was an insult to God.
         2)  Because of offenses the Lord is determined to bring them into judgment.
         3)  God is glorious in power, holy in character and aim, careful to make definite demands on His people.

Micah condemns and attacks the establishment for abandoning divinely ordained standards in favor of self-interest.  Look at our country.  There are those, primarily on the left, that are interested in self-aggrandizement, in self-promotion, and in self-interest.  Just the other day, Hilary declared that she wanted to be president.  
    I don’t have the space to write down the Scriptures that I would call of permanent value, but take time yourself to read Micah.  Things don’t really change much only in the light of time.  Many of the issues remain the same; they may get more complex, but essentially the same.  However, I will say one more thing.  In our time they are more pronounced and there is more evil.  The day is fast approaching of His appearing and the demons and devils are working feverishly.  There is a dark cloud of gloom hanging over the earth, but in spite of that there is the glow of hope; the hope of His appearing.

The Saga of Miles Forrest

I hurried back to the diner where I saw Merker, sitting at the same table, drinking coffee.  Going to his table I notified him, “Merker, you’re under arrest.”
    He slowly placed the cup back on the table.  “Oh, come now Forrest, not again.  You have no charges.”
    “Douster, the man in the other cell, said he recognized you,” I informed him.
    His eyes widened for a few seconds, then smiled and calmly said, “That’s entirely impossible.  The only time I was at the jail was when I followed you.”  He picked up his cup and slowly sipped at it.
    “Forrest, I’ve had the opportunity to chat with your charming wife.  With all your duties I imagine that she is left alone quite often.”
    I grabbed him by the collar and was ready to smite him when Covney came through the door and hollered, “Miles!”  He walked over to my usual table and motioned for me.  I shoved Merker, and he straightened his jacket and went back for his coffee.
    Molly was already at the table, pouring coffee for Gilford and myself.  Then she grabbed another cup and poured one for herself and sat down.
    “Miles, not now.  We don’t have enough to hold him unless Douster talks.  If you arrest him, he’ll be out tomorrow.  If you assault him, then you’ll be in there with Douster,” he sipped at his coffee after thanking Molly.  “I know it’s hard, but have patience.  This will play out.”
    I put my hand on Molly’s arm.  “What did he say to you?” I asked.
    “Nothing really.  He simply said, ‘good morning,’ and that I looked bright and cheery for one who has to work tables for a living,” she disclosed softly.
    “No threats?” inquired Gilford.
    “No, except that furtive smile that can be interpreted in many ways.”
    Gilford looked at me.  “He’s trying to get your goat.”
    “He’s doin’ a good job.  I remember his bluster and arrogance when I met him in Denver along with that other fellow, Myers,” I uttered.
    We had been sitting for around twenty minutes, drinking coffee and eating pie that Marta had brought to us when Merker finished his meal.  I watched him put money on the table and instead of walking toward the door he came to our table.
    “I just wanted to give my best and said to the lovely Mrs. Forrest, have a good day,” he paused looking at me then back to her.  “Until we meet again.”
    He turned his back and started to walk off.  I was ready to lunge from the table to grab him when Molly grasp hold of my arm.  “No, Miles,” she scolded.
    Merker turned and smirked.
    “Simmer down,” she said, stood and went to the stove to get the coffeepot.
    “I’m waiting a telegram from Denver.  I’m hoping that Mrs. Denton has confessed and opened up the whole plot,” swore Covney.
    “Douster,” I blurted, pushing back my chair and standing up.  “We need to get Douster to talk.  If he says that he saw Merker hang Curt, then we’ve can arrest him.”
    Covney and I started for the jail.  I saw Merker coming out of the tobacco shop when there was a tremendous explosion.  It was at the jail and where we were standing two blocks away we could feel the concussion of the blast.
    “Charlie!” I yelled.

Echoes From the Campfire

But there was a risk connected with everything, and we were hard men bred to a hard life in a hard land, and the lives that we lived were lonely, yet rich with the voice of our singing, and with tales told of an evening by the campfire.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Killoe)

    “But Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.'”
              –Matthew 8:20 (NLT)
Paulus Gerhardt said that “The Book of Psalms is a theatre, in which God allows us to behold both Himself and His works; a most pleasant greenfield; a vast garden where we see all manner of flowers.”  This is very clearly seen in Psalm 8.
    Last week we looked at the first part of Psalm 8 in which the majesty and omnipotence of God is seen.  The rest of the Psalm is dedicated to man, his position and purpose on earth.

              You have made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. (5)
              You made him lord over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet; (6)
              all the sheep and oxen, as well as animals in the wild, (7)
              birds of the sky, and fish of the sea passing through the currents of the seas. (8)
              O LORD, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth! (9) (HCSB)

Man was created to be a honorable and noble person.  Even with the Fall man still has dignity and is above the creation.  David is quick to show that he is less than God (some version say, “heavenly beings”).  That is one reason that Paul states that we should think noble and honorable thoughts (Philippians 4:8).  Because man is honorable he should dwell on the things that are honorable and commendable.  In this Psalm, David does not look at the Fall and the depravity of man, but on the dignity of man.
    Before we can understand the true and proper dignity of man, David shows that we must first have an understanding of the true nature of God.  When that happens then man, as a son of God, can begin to do what God does ceaselessly–that is to live a loving life.  We are created in His image.
    Man is given the job of being the caretaker of God’s wonderful creation.  Much of the time we have left the word “care” out and just became the taker.  Part of our purpose is to care for God’s creation; to be good stewards.  If might be good if we look at the parable of the master who gave out the talents to his servants.  They were to be “good” stewards of the master’s possessions.
    Next time you take a trip–look at the majesty of His creation.  Or, stay at home and glimpse at the heavens at night–look at the majesty of God’s creation.  To look at nature, at the wonder of His creation, is to just get a glimpse of His majesty.

              “This is my Father’s world:
               I rest me in the thought
               Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas–
               His hand the wonders wrought.”
                        –Maltbie Babcock

Echoes From the Campfire

But he welcomed any physical ordeal.  He saw how a great strife with the elements, a strain to the uttermost of his strength and his passion to fight, would save his faith, his hope, perhaps his mind.”
              –Zane Grey  (Wanderer of the Wasteland)

    “And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”
              –2 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)
The world is spinning out of control and that’s a fact.  Maybe not in the physical sense, but in the moral and spiritual sense chaos, and confusion now seems to be the norm.  The great conveyor of confusion–the devil must be smiling with glee as what he is causing in the world.  However, despite his effort, God is in control.
   With all the junk that is happening in the world, yes the world, not just in our country, we may wonder what in the world is going on.  We should look at the words of Jesus,

         “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
                    –Luke 21:28 (NASB)

Maybe it’s my old age, maybe it is because of the confusion and chaos, but it seems that my heart is lighter.  The past couple of days there have been a couple of songs going through my mind, besides the one I shared yesterday.

                 “Heaven is nearer, and the way growth clearer,
                  For I’m in the glory-land way.”
                         –J.S. Torbett

                  “O glory, hallelujah!
                   I am on the way to Heaven,
                   Shouting glory, shouting glory….”
                         –Herbert J. Lacey

    How in the world then, can we have comfort in this crazy world?  By knowing the Lord Jesus, and having His Word in our heart.  There is no comfort apart from that.  It is hard to be encouraged if we do not know the Word.  The Holy Spirit always encourages through doctrine, and yet, doctrine is largely ignored today.  No wonder those in the church are wandering, living as the world and not in it.
    Here is something to ponder.  The day that Jesus died is known as Good Friday.  Now, why is that?  It was a day of suffering and sorrow.  A day of gloom and darkness.  The Messiah was dead.  But because of that Friday Jesus was able to defeat death, hell, and the grave as in shown in His victorious resurrection.  Lloyd-Jones leaves us three questions about that day.  If you understand the doctrine behind this you might just give a little shout.

         1)  Do we realize what eventuates from His going to that death?
         2)  Do we realize the blessings that followed?
         3)  Do we realize that He went deliberately in order that these things might come to pass?

Ponder those!  No wonder it is called “Good Friday.”
    Jesus always meets us right where we are.  He prepares us for this present world and the immediate future.  He made you a child of God and you can have confidence in that.  He dwells within us guiding us through the confusion and chaos of this world and pointing us to that heavenly home that He has prepared for us.