Date:         Tue, 15 Nov 1994 13:12:32 CET
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 3
    1.   Weekly reading, Bereshit 32:9-11
    2.   Psalm 9:2
    3.   New Testament, Luke 13:23,24
    4.   From the editor
    5.   Discussions
    6.   Books
1.  Weekly reading, Bereshit 32:9-11
And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac,
the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy
kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth,
which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over
this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of
Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with
the children.
Yaakov has become in great problems. Esau came to him; the same Esau whom
he had deceived with the blessing. Yaakov fears enormously, see verse
seven. He expects that Esau will smite him. Then, in his great distress,
he begins to pray to God. He could do nothing better, because God is the
Only Who can help him. "And Yaakov said: o God of my father Avraham, and
God of my father Yitschak". He calls God the God of his fathers. God made
a covenant with Avraham and his seed. Yaakov is of this seed. So, as a
ground of his prayer, he lays the faith of God, and not his own merits.
Many people do otherwise. They pray: O God, I have walked well in Your
ways, help me. Yaakov did not do so, because he knew that he had no
merits. He was a deceiver. Further, Yaakov says that God said that he had
to return to his country. O God, You gave this commandment to me, so, help
me. These two things are the ground of his prayer. First that he was of
Avraham's seed, and second that God gave him this commandment, wherefore
he expected that God would help him. When we do things, which God never
commanded us, we cannot pray to God. Many do this. They go in their own
ways, and when problems arise, they pray to God. This will be in vain. Let
we always keep in mind that we can only do these things, which God
commanded us.
"I am not worthy of this least of all the mercies". See how humble Yaakov
is. He does not see any worth in himself. He does not say: I am righteous,
so God, help me out my problems. He knows that he has not any worth. This
is good. All true believers have this feeling like Yaakov. The others are
not believers, but proud people.
God has done very well to Yaakov. He passed Jordan with only his staff;
that means that he was very poor. And now? Now he is become two bands.
Look how many God has blessed Yaakov. There are people, when they become
rich, they think: I have done this; I am good. Yaakov did not so. He said:
You did it, o my God; You made me so great.
"Deliver me, I pray thee". He asks for help. In his great distress, he
knows where he has to go. God is his Helper. God will help him, and save
him from the hand of Esau.
2.  Psalm 9:2
I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy
marvellous works.
This is a Psalm of David, who was saved from his dangers and enemies by
God. Therefore he says: "I will praise thee, o LORD, with my whole heart".
David was in danger; God saved him, and therefore he praises God. This is
what we have to do, when we are saved from danger, from disease or from
something else. God helps the people in order that they are grateful to
Further, David says: I will praise thee, o LORD, "with my whole heart". He
praises not only with words, but with his whole heart. Between these two
methods of praising is a great difference. The first, praising with the
mouth, is not real but appearance. The second, praising with "my whole
heart", is the right. Only this praising pleases God.
How does David praise the LORD? Does he praise Him in general? No, he
detailed mentions God's works. "I will show forth all thy marvellous
works". He tells God's wonders to the other people. He hopes that they
listen to him, and see how praiseworthily God is. He shows forth God's
works. Who does he do this? It can be explained by an example. When we
love one, and he has done some good things, then we are very delighted in
him. Because we love him, we like to tell to the others what good things
he did. The same is it with David. He loves God. Therefore, he has a great
delight in God's works. Even more, because he himself is saved. This is
the reason that David wants to tell also to the others about God's
marvelous works.
3.  New Testament, Luke 13:23,24
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said
unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will
seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
The Lord was journeying through the cities, and teaching the people. One
of the people asked Him if there were few that be saved. Jesus confirms
this, and says: "For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and
shall not be able". When you look around, you will see that there are many
people, who think that they are saved by Jesus. Yes, but it is the same
Jesus, Who says that there are few who will be saved. So, do not deceive
yourself, thinking that all is well. Why are you so sure that you belong
to the few that are saved, and not to the many who not will be saved? Why
are you so sure, I ask you? Know that it is not easy to enter heaven.
Jesus gives us a spur: "Strive to enter in at the strait gate". First, pay
attention to the word "strive". Going in is not easy, but it needs
striving. You must strive against the world, against your own unwilling
heart, against the lusts of the flesh, against Satan, and against many
other sinful things. Second, pay attention to the gate, which is "strait".
The gate to heaven is strait, that means: narrow. Let we not think: O,
going in is very simple. This would be a wide gate. According to Jesus,
the gate is narrow, strait. I hope that you listen to these words of
Jesus, and know that serving God and the world cannot go together. The
servers of the world go in the wide gate, which leads to death. The
servers of God enter the strait gate, which leads to heaven. What to do?
Pray to God that He may lead you in the narrow way and in the strait gate.
Look out for the world with its so-called nice things. "Strive to enter in
at the strait gate".
4.  From the editor
By this, you receive the third issue of the chr-exp list. Besides
explanation are added now some discussions, which are held with Jewish or
Christian people. Some discussions take many mails to complete. When they
are complete, and are instructive to you, they will be transferred to the
Reviews of Christian books will be given in the future. Although there are
many Christian books, I advise you only a few of them. The reason is that
many books have the name to be Christian, but in fact are not. I warn you
for this kind of books. When you ever read a Christian book, please
compare it with the Scriptures. If they correspond with them, you can
safely read them. If not, do not read them.
I hope that God will bless you when you are walking in His ways. If you do
not walk therein, I hope that God will halt you, and put you on the ways
of the righteous. Read His Word every day. Remember His highness and the
lowness of the people.
5.  Discussions
A reaction on the announcement of this list.
Why is there a list to provide Christian explanations of the Bible to
Jewish people?  The Jewish people have a rich and vast collection of
scholarly works on the bible and other Jewish subjects.  Why would anyone
want to have someone who doesn't believe in the Jewish beliefs try to
explain it to them?  The bible was given to the Jewish people over three
thousand years ago.  Why should we be concerned with the explanations of a
religion that was created over a thousand years later?  If Jewish people
want explanations of the bible they should consult a Jewish list or a
Rabbi.  If a Christian wants an explanation they should consult lists and
clergy of their own faith.  We can live and work together without one
religion always trying to persuade others to give up the religion of
ancestors.  Please.  Leave us alone.
I do not want to make you giving up the religion of your good ancestors,
but to put you back to that old good religion. When you read the
explanations of your rabbis, you see that they are far away from that old
religion. By explaining the Bible in its original intention, I try to
explain the faith of for example Avraham. I hope that you understand that
I seek the good for the Jewish people.
6.  Books
John Preston, The breathplate of faith and love.
John Preston was probably the best-known Puritan preacher of the 1620s.
After hearing Preston preaching before the king, Bishop Neile complained:
"He talked like one that was familiar with God Almighty." Such, Preston
shows, is every Christian's privilege.
ISBN 0 85151 289 5
560 pp. Cloth-bound.
Price around $20,00. Ask your local bookstore or order from:
   Slaak 4-14
   3061 CS Rotterdam        tel. 31 104111607
   The Netherlands          fax. 31 104136682

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