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The Branch

Jeremiah 23:5,6

 

Time has a way of making us forget things.

Saying to express this: " Time heals all wounds. " or " Time wounds all

heels. "

 

A short time after fleeing Egyptian oppression, set free by the power of

God, the people complained about God and even wished they were back in

Egypt. Even Moses forgot and wondered aloud to God how he would feed 600.000

footmen along with their women and children even after God had promised to

do so to the point that quail would come out their nose. I believe that you

could say that God was sick of their whining.

Sometimes People Forget God's Power - Numbers 11:23

" The Lord said to Moses, Is the Lord's power limited? Now you shall see

whether My word will come true or not! " Numbers 11:23

 

Oh, those Israelites! Why did they never learn?

God delivers. They forget. God punishes. they cry out. God rescues? They

...forget.

 

God's answer is one that we ought to memorize and keep close to our heart to

guard our soul from the same kind of foolishness. When faced with dilemma

beyond our understanding we need to ask, Is God's power limited? or from the

KJV Is the Lord's arm too short ? ( that all of a sudden it can't reach

me? )

 

The example of Mary, mother of Jesus. She asked how would it be possible for

her to have a child in that she was a virgin. The response given to her and

accepted by he was, " Is there anything to impossible for God? "

 

The nation was strong but beset by foes when Isaiah recorded these words, "

Zion said, ' The Lord has forsaken me and the Lord has forgotten me. "

Isaiah 49:14

People Forget God's Promises - Isaiah 50:2

" Why was there no man when I came? When I called why was there none to

answer? Is My hand so short that it can not ransom? or have I no power to

deliver? "

 

God's answer is one that will keep us from the same kind of arrogance that

attempts to suggest that we are sufficient without God or that the powers

that face us are greater than He is.

 

God's people were engaged in all sorts of sins from lying to murder and

wondered what had happened to God in their land and in their lives..

People Forget God's Patience - Isaiah 59:1

"" Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it can not save nor His ear

so dull that it can not hear. But your iniquities have made a separation

between you and God. "

 

God declares that He stands ready to forgive but people must seek

forgiveness and change their ways before He will help.

 

People forsake the Lord and try to solve their own problems in many

different ways.

 

Political Systems - republics, democracies, socialism, communism,

monarchies, beneficent monarchies.

 

Religious Security - systems of salvation, codes of law

Pleasure of Sin - Some just indulge themselves and hope that God's arm is to

short. " Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. "

 

God called His people to remembrance of Him and promised that He would send

The Branch to rescue them.

 

For those who would rely on government to save them:

The Branch Would Save Them From Political Oppression - Isaiah 11:1

 

Militias - will not save the nation or save themselves.

 

Social programs - will not save you

 

Military might - will not save our nation from destruction if we don't seek

God.

 

Laws - One law leads to another until we are bound in law and unfree.

 

Political clout - Pac committees, Union endorsements; Republican party,

reformed party, democratic party will not save you. Party politics will not

save us.

 

Anti-this anti-that groups - Stand together in protest marches opposing each

other and the law. Being a part of this party or the other group will not

save you. Lobbying not save you.

 

Each of these has way of coiling itself around our souls and depriving us of

the real power of God.

 

Is His arm too short now that He can not deliver us from a crooked and

perverse generation. Does He turn a deaf ear to us? or have we quit asking

and tried other solutions to our problems?

 

Look to the Tender Shoot, He is the only means of salvation.

 

To Those who would wrap themselves in the security slick talking preachers

inventing religious rites and rituals that replace truth and justice for

all:

The Branch Will Save You From Religious Oppression - Jeremiah 23:5,6;

33:14-16

Israel was overly religious and underly holy.

 

Pernicious priests were adulterous, bribe taking, sin accepting, lying

slippery slopes leading the people astray.

 

For Profit Prophets were slick crowd pleasing, sin promoting, inventors of

visions, needs ignoring self feeding, lying, sons of perdition headed for a

showdown with God.

 

Sloppy Shepherd were reckless boasters, bottom feeding, egoists concerned

only with feeding themselves and filling their pockets with the peoples gold

 

Don't put your trust in preachers; put your trust in God.

Don't put your trust in systems of religion put your faith in the Lord's

church.

Look for those serving God and others and then follow their example.

 

To those who would try to find happiness in worldly pleasures:

The Branch Will Save From Satanic Indulgence - Zechariah 3:8

God here says that the Old Testament priesthood would be a of those who

would come to God from the nations; from us gentiles. We would be brought

into become God's Holy people.

 

Satan would accuse us but God would cleanse us and make them His own.

The gentiles ( that's us ) indulged in every imagined sin ignorant of it's

consequences.

Zechariah 2:11

 

" The consequences of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. "

Romans 6:23

just in case you were wondering.

 

The Branch came and rescued us in the nick of time. We will build up and

become the temple of the Lord along with believing Israel, Zechariah 6:13

 

Conclusion:

 

I spent several summers as a life guard/aquatics instructor. when we saw

someone drowning we had a little mantra that we recited to ourselves and to

those who we taught the fine art of lifesaving. Reach, throw, row, go.

 

It's dangerous to try to save a drowning person so we needed to remember the

four words that would protect our lives from the one about to die. Reach

first, throw second, row third and only as a last resort, Go.

 

One day my friend and I decided that we would sneak into the paper mill and

go to the spillway below the dam to club suckers while they were running. On

the way we reached into the ladder factory window and grabbed a few ladder

rungs to use as our sucker clubs. We took a couple of gunny sacks to fill

with fish as they would fetch all of fifty cents a bag. Listen, a nickle

would buy a lot in those days.

 

We got down under the dam right on the spillway overlooking the races. The

water was swift but the fish were running strong. We were clubbing them left

and right until the surface that we were standing on was slimy. Striking out

once more i fell into the raging boiling water.

 

Even though I was on the swim team I could not keep my head above water. The

thought that ran through my mind was the headline the next day and I would

be embarrassed, " YPSI SWIMMER DROWNS." That was not to be because my friend

extended a fish slimy ladder rung to me which became my salvation. Not a

branch but a slimy ladder rung. Reached out to me and saved me from certain

death.

 

My first recollection of God's interest in saving me can be found on the

window of the Methodist church in Mondovi, Wisconsin. There is a picture of

the cross in the midst of the sea and a hand reaching down from it to

someone drowning. Before I knew what sermons were about I knew the message

of salvation from that window.

 

God has tried over and over to reach down to us and save us but we failed to

take his hand. It wasn't too short, we just didn't want it.

 

He threw us rescue line after rescue line through sermons and letters from

prophets who He had given His message.

 

Occasionally He rowed across the heavenly abyss with an angel confronting

us, sometimes aware sometimes unaware.

 

Finally, God came down Himself putting Himself at our mercy so that He could

rescue us from a fate worse than death.

 

He came as a baby and died like a man so we could be rescued.

 

No post humus awards though because He returned from death to glorious life

that He might extend again to us His strong right hand of salvation.

 

That's the message of this Advent season.

 

Are you going to take His hand or are you going over the falls into the

great lake of fire?

 

Quickly now, grab the Saviour's hand before it's too late?

"The objects of the present life fill the human eye with a false

magnification because of their immediacy." William Wilberforce