12 August 2000

"The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider"-Isaiah 1:3 Isaiah was called to prophesy against God's people in a very sad time. They no longer considered Him. To consider means to understand, to exercise the mind towards. Though the ox had a mind to consider his owner and his gentle commands; the ass considered the storehouse of provisions that were found in the master's crib; God's people no longer exercised their mind towards their maker. They had forgotten the fount of their blessings. Jehovah was no longer considered in their daily activities. Considering requires an exercise of the mind which springs from the heart. The infidel will describe the Christian as a shallow minded person who is willing to believe anything and everything without a shred of evidence. God did not hold such an opinion. He did not call upon the infidel or the unbeliever to consider. They were not capable. He called upon "my people". Generally speaking, God should be considered every day. Has a day gone by that you did not think upon the Lord of glory? Has a day gone by that you did not approach the throne of grace and ask for His providential hand of protection for your family; your country; your church? Should a day go by that we do not thank Him for His abundant blessings and ask for the forgiveness of our sins? I am sure that these, and many more categories had slipped the minds of God's people of old. A sad time indeed! Perhaps many of them had forgotten the Hebrew method of prayer. They were to pray at the time of the morning sacrifice; at midday; and at the time of the evening sacrifice. Surely, this was designed as a method of forced consideration. If they prayed, they must think upon Jehovah and their relationship with Him. In such a mode of worship, God would be considered daily. Today, many will consider the stock market; the sports events; politics; ad infinitum, but many days go by without considering the great I AM. As Israel bowed down to their idols of wood and stone, many bow down(spend their time with)to the idols of this day. Today, let prayer be your first method of consideration and call upon the living God who holds our breath in His hands. God should be considered in every decision that we make. As we noticed last week, David asked the Lord to lead him in a "plain path" that his decision would be God honoring. Benjamin Franklin had a method for making decisions that is still in use today. He would make a list, placing the pros on one side and the cons on the other side. He then went down the list, striking out and crossing off until the most important issues were remaining. Then he could make his decision. But let the Christian add another column to his page. At the head of this column place GOD: what would He have me to do? Such a method will keep us from many sins and heartaches. God should be considered in times of adversity. Sololmon wrote, "In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him"-Ecclesiastes 7:14. There is nothing wrong with prosperity if it is gotten honestly. And there is nothing wrong with enjoying it: "be joyful". But Solomon had learned that amidst prosperity, adversity would always be found. Utopia can not be found this side of glory. Since the fall of Adam, God has placed prosperity and adversity side by side that man would not forget the source of his blessings. Adversities come in many shapes and sizes. Jobs fizzle out; problems occur in families; health can fail; and life may become a task. But in all of this, did not adversity bring us to our knees, seeking and considering the only One who can restore what the cankerworm and the palmerworm hath devoured. Had God not humbled us by adversity, this Sunday, we might be heading to the casino in our motor-home rather than the house of God with our family. Consider this my friend. God called upon Satan to consider, "Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?"-Job 1:8. Surely, God is pleased when He considers those who endeavor to please Him. Is it not a source of comfort when we see those around us who live in such a way? It has been for me. When parents, grandparents, presidents and kings assume such a posture, Satan's allies fall by the thousands. It is a source of encouragement to other soldiers to see their comrades stand fast in the battle. Though Satan learned little, Christians can learn much from people like Job. Let us consider the righteous and emulate their behavior. Faith calls upon us to not consider some things. When God promised Abraham that he would have a son in his old age, Abraham was not to consider the fact that he was too old to have a child; he was not to consider that his wife was beyond the age that one could conceive: "And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God"-Romans 4:19,20. Faith calls upon us to look away from the natural to the spiritual; to ignore the hindrances; and consider the one who made the promise. Finally, God's house is a place that we are not only to consider God, but that we are to be considerate. "let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching"-Hebrews 10:24,25. The rebuke is plain. It is considerate to be faithful to God's house and inconsiderate to others when we are not. It is true, the ox may fall in the ditch from time to time and hinder our devotions in God's house. But when that becomes a way of life it is time to mend the fence or sell the ox. Consider God in this matter as well! Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor