A Humble Servant
The King of Kings humbled himself and was born to a poor Jewish family in Bethlehem of Judea. Imagine this the creator of the universe came down from heaven as an infant and was totally dependent on Mary and Joseph for his care. God the Son created man and now the descendants of Adam cared for the creator.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (AV)
The world then and now recognizes kings and celebrities and “worships them” A king is born with a gold spoon in his mouth and is given the best and finest for his life. A palace to live in; fine clothes and food, an education. If the king is just his subjects will prosper if not they will despair.
Our King of Kings was born in a relative’s house in Bethlehem because Mary and Joseph had to go there for the census. They were put in the lower level where animals were protected at night since all the rooms had relatives in them due to the census. After his birth Jesus was laid in a feed trough used for animals. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes like a newborn lamb was.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; (AV)
Other than the immediate family, that most certainly visited the newborn, the first outside visitors to see the newborn babe were the shepherds that the angels had told of the birth.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (AV)
Shepherds were poor outcast members of that society in those days. The shepherds visited and wondered at the birth of the promised Messiah and they witnessed what Scripture has promised!
Earthly kings then or now wouldn’t dream of such an introduction into the world. Our Savior’s first coming was as a servant to his creation. He humbled himself in birth, he humbled himself to wash the feet of those he served and he humbled himself on a cross 33 years later to take your sins and my sins upon himself so we could have everlasting life if only we believe in him. Believe in Jesus our King and you will prosper in your daily walk with him and will have the reward of everlasting life.
May God Bless you,
The Harvest Festival
The first national Thanksgiving proclamation was made by the Continental Congress on December 18, 1777. On October 3, 1789 President George Washington, after receiving a request of Congress, declared a day of “thanks-giving and prayer” to be held on Thursday November 26, 1789. These proclamations did not create a “holiday” like we celebrate today with a day off from work and a turkey dinner. These set aside days were for giving thanks and praying to our Creator who provides our bounty.
While there are competing claims for the first Thanksgiving in the Americas we will briefly describe the “first” Thanksgiving held by the Pilgrims of Plymouth colony in the fall of 1621. The Pilgrims came to the shores of New England in 1620 to escape religious persecution in their homeland. Many died on the Mayflower during the voyage and more died during that first winter. The Pilgrims were familiar with celebrations in England for Christmas, Easter and harvest festivals but separated themselves from these because of the pagan influences that had found their way into these observances.
So in the fall of 1621, as a celebration of the harvest, the Pilgrims over three days feasted and had recreations. There were 53 Pilgrims in attendance and 90 Wampanoag Indians from a nearby village, including their leader Massasoit. The food served at this celebration consisted of venison and fowl. No other mention is made of the foods served. Today the only account of this harvest celebration is from William Bradford’s journal “Of Plymouth Plantation” and an account by Edward Winslow titled “Mourt’s Relations.“
Our traditions of turkey and all the fixin’s was later established through the efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, who was the editor of a magazine called “Godey’s Lady’s Book.” After reading the accounts of a harvest celebration at Plymouth Colony and a mention of wild turkeys being stored up she wrote of the celebration and created recipes in order to reestablish this celebration. She began a letter writing campaign to a number of Presidents to establish a Thanksgiving Day. On October 3, 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the fourth Thursday of November would be recognized “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” This began the official observance of a day of Thanksgiving for the country.
Scripture is our focus and a harvest festival was established by God and celebrated by the nation Israel during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.
33 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37 These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38 beside the sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.
39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. 44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord. (AV)
10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 when all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: 13 and that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. (AV)
God’s provision to Israel to celebrate the fall harvest and remember the wandering in the wilderness also extended to the Gentiles referred to as “thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: (Deuteronomy 31:12)
The provision of God’s mercy and example is to all people as this is the redemptive plan established by the Holy Trinity in eternity past. All scripture tells of this plan and is presented throughout the Old Testament as types and shadows of the coming Savior and is fully revealed in the New Testament when our Savior walked among us.
Jesus observed the feasts and during the Feast of Tabernacles at the Temple in Jerusalem:
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (AV)
What greater celebration can we be a part of other than the fruits of God’s harvest of those who have accepted the free gift of everlasting life by believing in God’s son?
Today we at Phelps Chapel pray that you can spend this national “Day of Thanksgiving” with family and friends and remember that this holiday has as its roots a feast of the Bible to recognize our need for a Savior and who provides our daily bread.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving,
God’s Chosen People
No nations were listed as existing on the earth prior to Noah’s flood. After the global flood of Noah, as a judgement upon mankind, God confused their language at Babel because they disobeyed and did not want to spread out and fill the earth.
1And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (AV)
32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood. (AV)
God instructed man that he was to spread out on the earth. So the sons of Noah have children and they have children and the nations are established of these family groups as they are spread out from the confusion at Babel. Babel occurs so soon after the flood as man continues his rebellion against God and refuses to spread out on the earth.
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (AV)
So man is now forced to spread out and nations have been established but none of these nations were worthy to witness to all the nations about God and be the nation from which the promised “seed of the woman” our Lord and Savior would be brought forth.
So God established a covenant relationship or a promise with Abraham and he was made a great nation and God promised Abraham a land for this nation.
12 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (AV)
Eventually Abram was renamed Abraham or the “Father of many” of this new nation and was made a promise of greatness and a blessing to all families of the earth. So what is the blessing that comes out of this new nation to all the families of the earth – the coming Savior!
14 And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. (AV)
So God has established a new nation or put another way His Chosen People to have the land he gives them forever and to be the nation that the Messiah will come from. This establishing of a new nation is not part of the Mosaic Law, Moses isn’t even born yet. God has made a promise to Abraham and his descendants that will never cease. God never breaks any promise he makes so the land and the purpose of this new nation will not be rescinded.
As believers in the Authority of Scripture you cannot deny that the Promised Land in the Middle East has been given to God’s Chosen People. No man can split that land up and give it away. If you believe you can through political means or by force to take that land away from God’s Chosen People then you deny the Authority of Scripture!
Some say that the Christian Church has now replaced God’s Chosen People or the nation of Israel and all the prophecies yet to be fulfilled are now the for the church and not Israel. This belief is called Replacement Theology. It is actually the replacement falsehood because God in his Holy Word says the Chosen is Israel and that nation will come to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and rule with Him over all the nations during the millennial Kingdom after his Second Coming. Israel will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ after the tribulation and will fulfill its purpose of a witness to the Gentile nations and will occupy all of the Promised Land that God had promised Abraham and his descendants.
The Jewish people are God’s Chosen and Israel will believe!
May God bless you,
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