From Servant to Commander in Chief

Victory’s Battle Cry—A Study in Joshua-Part 1; From Servant to Commander in Chief

There was an incredible Christian lady I met once at a conference who declared that in the book of Joshua was found every secret needed by a child of God to be victorious in every battle against the forces of sin within and the enemy without. So, I have decided it is time to embark on a journey through the book of Joshua.

As an introduction to the history behind Joshua, let us quickly review the scene on which this book begins. Moses had been chosen to lead the Israelite nation out of Egypt where they had been enslaved and into the Promised Land that had been given to Abraham so long before. God had promised this land to Abraham and his descendants.

Joshua

Despite the grave moments of failures in faith and the sin filled hearts seeking self exaltation, God had preserved His remnants of faithful followers who sought after God with all their heart and soul. Despite their own human frailties they had seen just enough of God’s Glory that they knew Him to be their greatest treasure and they became those who were chosen to carry on the message of God from generation to generation

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My Betrothed

My Betrothed

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

My betrothed hath gone to distant land

Preparing all that He has planned

Majestic Castle I am told

With streets and walls of purest Gold

And one day soon He comes for me

So I His Glorious Bride might be

What Gracious, wondrous love He’s shown

He paid the price, made me His own

 

How was it that He saw beneath

My filthy rags and did bequeath

His Crown to place upon my head

While taking all my shame instead

 

There’s nothing in this heart of mine

Could e’er deserve such love divine

I’ll never know what He did see

And yet, He did, He’s chosen me

 

He sent His counselor to prepare

My every flaw to then make fair

A righteous robe to then adorn

One day soon, One precious morn

 

My Lord, sometimes, I feel so frail

And fear my love for you will fail

Oh Love, my Love, I need you near

Your face to see, your voice to hear

 

Your letters pressed against my breast

A whispered prayer at each night’s rest

Awakened at some midnight’s hour

I feel your strength in me empower

 

Each day I live, I love you more

That on that Joy my heart doth soar

The trials, pains all fade away

While I await my wedding day

 

My betrothed hath gone to distant land

Preparing all that He has planned

Majestic Castle I am told

With streets and walls of purest Gold

And one day soon He comes for me

So I His Glorious Bride might be

What Gracious, wondrous love He’s shown

He paid the price, made me His own

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Love Song for A Queen

Fountains of Wisdom—A Study in Proverbs Part 57—A Love Song for a Queen

What a beautiful and fitting conclusion to the book of Proverbs!! God is so amazing in the writing and positioning of the scripture.

 

me

photo courtesy of Tony Moran © 1981

Proverbs has been a book which cuts like a surgeon’s scalpel.  For the tender hearted who desire with every ounce of their being to please God, it cuts deep at times.  If I could only learn when to keep quiet, when to speak, and how to cling tight to God’s joy in the midst of every circumstance; then I could feel worthy of God’s love for me.   Perhaps if I were slower to judge others or if I could be more discerning, I wouldn’t have to end the day seeking God’s forgiveness once more.  Perhaps if I just knew a little better how to manage money, then I would have more to give God and He would be pleased with me.  Oh, these are the knives that cut my heart.  Yet, in the midst of all the wisdom found in Proverbs; there is presented as a healing balm the truth of God’s love, grace and mercy.  There is found the truth that I am strong in Him, by Him, and through His everlasting hope, His wisdom and His never-ending, unconditional love for me.  So, how perfectly fitting is that Proverbs would end with this love song as is written in Proverbs 31:10-31.

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Bathesheba-A Portrait of Grace

Fountains of Wisdom—A Study in Proverbs-Part 56—Bathesheba-A Portrait of Grace

As we begin the final chapter of Proverbs, I want to say how much I have enjoyed this journey with you and look forward to whatever study we embark on next.  Believe me, I am open to suggestions as to whether we start through a book again or return to a more spontaneous form of messages—so I would love to hear from you.

Chapter 31 begins with “the words of King Lemuel”; however, there never was a King Lemuel in the history of the Israel nation and most scholars conclude that this chapter was also written by King Solomon.  Since he was writing down the wisdom of his mother, he chose to use a pseudonym.  Was that to protect his mother from scandalous gossips?  Perhaps that is the case.  Do we know truly that much about Bathsheba other than the fact that she was the mother of Solomon, the most beloved of all of David’s wives, and by all accounts the one David had called to the palace while she was married to Uriah. 

Grace

Picture is the artwork of Ronald Barba and is used herewith the direct permission of Ronald Barba

Nowhere does the scripture tell us whether Bathesheba resisted or if she was so smitten by the King that she willingly was a part of the adultery.  Yet, I tend to see Proverbs 31 along with the truth that God chose Solomon as the successor to the throne of David as a perfect picture of God’s grace, mercy and the truth of a woman that had been stained by sin and washed whiter than snow by Grace as she truly feared the Lord and was raised high as the example of the virtuous woman.

As I have so failed at moments in my life, saved only by a gracious, patient and forgiving God; I find this chapter particularly sweet and encouraging.  God chose this chapter as part of His word, perhaps for that reason.  We will begin with verses 1-9 and listen to the words spoken by Bathsheba to her son; perhaps with greater understanding of the wisdom learned from all that she had lived.  So, what are the three admonitions given to Solomon by his mother?

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The King Above All Kings

Fountains of Wisdom—A Study in Proverbs Part 55—The King Above all Kings

As we began in Proverbs 30, so shall we end that chapter with the glance at the glory, majesty and beauty of Christ glorified even higher when contrasted against the foolishness of pride filled mankind. Once more, Agur uses the portraits of that which surrounds us to show forth the beauty of the Creator.

Proverbs 30:”29 There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: 30 A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; 31 A greyhound; a he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.” So, let us look at these 4 comparisons.

lionandlamb

Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2012 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws Click on the photo for more information

1. So stately stands the lion with no fear as the enemy approaches. The lion so majestic in its walk steps slowly one foot before the other and never turns aside for fear of anything. Such is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

As He goes before His accusers, Christ never retreated in fear. He walked steadily forward into the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing the events that were to come. He stood before His accusers in the courtyard with calm, steady resolve to do the will of His Father and to take upon His shoulders the sin of the world. He did not flinch when the flesh was torn from His body, nor when He was nailed to the cross. He could have called a legend of angels to save Him and yet, He said nothing to save Himself. After all, if He had decided not to die for us and left us to die in sin, isn’t that what we would have deserved? Yet, with the steadiness of a lion; He marched on to finish the work He came to do. 

2. The word translated greyhound in Hebrew was “girted in the loins”. The

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The Small Would be Wise

Since today is Poetry Sunday, I thought I would take the opportunity to do the next part in Proverbs 30 by writing for you this limerick.  The next verses were: 

24 There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: 25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

So, I hope you enjoy this limerick I wrote for you which represents the truth that God chooses the weak, the frail, and the broken.  He pours forth His wisdom, His righteousness, and His strength into us who know beyond a shadow of doubt that without Him, we are nothing.

 

The Small Would be Wise

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

Did the tiny become the known Wise?

As we must now ignore their small size

For they look to the Lord

As His Grace for them toward

Has caused them to strengthen and rise

 

Watch the ant in his constant pursuit

Never tiring of storing the loot

As he marches up hill

With Determined strong will

As he scampers away with your fruit

 

And the Hyrax do hide in the rock

Where the leopards attack they can block

They alarm with a shrill

At the side of the hill

Safe within, they their hunter can mock

 

Watch the locust who have not a King

Yet, together they swarm and they sing

They are bonded as one

As they get their work done

While they eat and they eat, what a fling

 

Though so tiny with legs oh so small

The spider can cling and can crawl

With its house then to form

And well hid from the storm

Can be found in the most royal hall

 

So, dear children we must learn from these

That our strength from the Lord we might seize

As we cling to the one

Who has sent His dear Son

We are strong when we fall on my knees.

1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

That Which Would Cause The Earth To Tremble

Fountains of Wisdom—A Study in Proverbs (Part 53)

Throughout the scriptures we know that God in His perfect Righteousness and as part of His perfect Justice hates sin. He knows that sin is the barrier that prevents mankind from being able to be lavished in the Glory, Love, and Joy that God wishes to pour forth on us. Sin blinds us to the truth of Him being our greatest treasure.

 

IMG_0051

Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2011 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws  Click on the photo for more information

As we look at the next verses in Proverbs 30:21-23, let us remember this—it is our sin which separates us from God. Nahum wrote of the judgment that would come upon Ninevah for their sin; while at the same time comforting those who had placed their trust in God for their Salvation. How true this remains for today as well. Judgment will come; even, if God by Grace tarries one more day so that you might come to know Him. So let us look at the prophecy of Nahum and realize that it is God’s judgment referred to when we think of the earth quaking.

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The Wonder of It All

Fountains of Wisdom—A Study in Proverbs—Part 52—The Wonder of it All

Proverbs 30: (EXP)  18 “There are three things that are too ·hard[wonderful]for me,
really four I don’t understand:
19 the way an eagle flies in the sky,
the way a snake slides over a rock,
the way a ship sails on the sea,
and the way a man and a woman ·fall in [or make] love.

Have you ever stopped to marvel at the beauty of a sunset, the splendor of a rainbow, the magic of a baby being formed from two tiny cells, or the wonder found in the array of emotions that we humans feel? In our studies and attempts to understand everything around us or to micromanage our lives, we need to be cautious to never lose the wonder, the beauty and the majesty of all that we have been given. 

M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy Captured with an amateur Telescope

photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

We have been so blessed with glimpses of glory that we might seek and desire God—the Creator of all that we are and all that surrounds us.  God has displayed echoes of Himself throughout the universe which are being newly discovered by mankind little by little such as the details of the galaxies we only now are discovering which exist beyond our farthest imaginations with beauty indescribable.

  We search and discover new frontiers in medicine; yet, we are merely discovering the principles which God had already known from before the creation.  I am amazed by computers and how they work; yet, every scientific principle was present at creation so that one day someone would be enlightened to discover how to put those principles to work in developing the computer.  Think about it.  So that is where we find ourselves in Proverbs 30: 18-19.

There are three things too wonderful for my imagination to understand and a fourth that is far too marvelous for me to explain.

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Never Enough

Fountains of Wisdom-A Study in Proverbs Part 51- Never Enough

In chapter 30, we have seen Agur awed by God’s Glory, overwhelmed with grace that God would consider him for these revelations, acknowledging his own inability to climb his way up to God, and there it was he made only two requests of God. The one being a request that God keep him from vanity and lies while the second would be to give him only what he needs; nothing more and nothing less. Then, he turns and looks around him with sadness as he realizes that the generations are filled with pride, self-exaltation, and sin. A generation that is lost in the deceit that they have created. Indeed he leaves us with the graphic picture of the horror of this kind of self centered pursuit of one’s human desires when he compares it to a horseleech that sucks the blood of another creature relentlessly with no care or concern for the life they are taking.

iStock_000007410645Small

photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

We should never walk through this life with blinders on ignoring the wisdom that God has surrounded us with in nature.  We must take a closer look at the common day objects and situations that are around us so that we might gain wisdom to continue on this pilgrimage journey with expectant hope, boundless joy, divine strength, and living faith.

  This is where Agur is taking us as he continues on in this chapter.

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The Name of Joy

The Name of Joy

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

With Glorious shout, I must proclaim

True Joy does have a name

A name so sweet so filled with love

Innate with power from above

That all before His name must bow

Yet, Majesty saw me somehow

Thus Jesus Christ, He died for me

That I this wretch might be set free

From quilt laid chains that bound despair

This heart so caught in sin’s dark lair

Set Free by Grace-now lifts in flight

My path illumined by His light

To rise above my shame to soar

Drawn by His Glory evermore

And cloaked with righteousness not mine

A Mystery of Grace, divine

That all my heart did once desire

I’d cast into the murky mire

That I might go where’er He lead

And to His will I long concede

My voice resounding joyous strains

Amidst these earthly trials, pains

My eyes are fixed upon my Lord

My heart in His with one accord

Held firmly by His Mighty Hand

That I, in victory may stand

And one day on that distant shore

I’ll be with Him for evermore

 

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Fighting for Joy In a Chaotic World EFFIE DARLENE BARBA

Are you fighting to hold tight to the joy in Christ throughout the trials of your life? Join me and know that we can do this together.