Date:         Tue, 29 Nov 1994 11:36:10 CET
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 7
    1.   Weekly reading, Genesis 42:38
    2.   Lamentations 4:6
    3.   New Testament, 1 John 1:8,9
    4.   From the editor
    5.   Books
1.  Weekly reading, Genesis 42:38
Genesis 42:38
And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead,
and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye
go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
This text is about Yaakov (Jacob) and his sons. There was a great famine
in Canaan, why they had to go to Egypt to buy bread. Joseph, who was
governor in Egypt, said that Benjamin had to come with the brothers, when
they would come the next time to get food. Their food was out of stock
now, and they had to go for new. The brothers said to Yaakov that Benjamin
had to go with them. In our verse, you read the answer of Yaakov. "My son
shall not go down with you". Why not? Yaakov feared that he would loose
also Benjamin. He already lost Joseph, and now also Benjamin.
In reality Joseph lived, but Yaakov thought that he was dead. The brothers
of Joseph had said to their father that Joseph was dead. From this, Yaakov
had much grief. We see what false tidings can do. They can make a man
having much grief. After the brother had sold Joseph to Egypt, it was
better that they had said the truth to their father. That had saved him
much distress.
Yaakov has had many sorrows in his life. He was hated by Esau his brother,
but he himself was to blame for that because of his deceiving. See Gen.27.
He had to flee to Padanaram, away from his beloved father and mother. He
was often deceived by Laban. First in his wives, afterwards in the sheep.
His wives had mutually quarrel, what is the bad result of having more
wives. And in this way, I can continue telling sad stories of his life.
Therefore, when he also would loose his beloved son, Benjamin, he would
die. By taking Benjamin with them on the dangerous journey, and by thus
exposing him to enemies who would kill Benjamin, the brothers would "bring
down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave".
Yaakov was not a man who had a happy life on earth. Therefore, at the end
of his life, "Jacob said unto Pharaoh: The days of the years of my
pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of
the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the
years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
Fortunately, Yaakovs hope was not on this life. For, when his hope would
be only on this world, he would have had a bad part. His hope was not on
this collapsing world, but it was on God, Who lived in heaven. Therefore,
Yaakov said to God: "I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD. (Gen.49:18)
Happy Yaakov. Your part is not on this unrighteous world, but you have a
better part. Your part is not on this cursed earth, but your part is in
heaven. The ground is cursed because of the sin of Adam. And unto Adam he
(God) said: (...) cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou
eat of it all the days of thy life. (Gen.3:17).
Yaakovs part was God's salvation. "I have waited for thy salvation, o
LORD". In later times, David said the same. "A Psalm of David. Truly my
soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. (Ps.62:1)
Reader, where is your part? Are you always busy in the things of this
cursed world? Know that you have chosen the worst part. Choose with your
forefathers Yaakov, David, and many more, the better part, saying: "I have
waited for thy salvation, o LORD".
2.  Lamentations 4:6
For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater
than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a
moment, and no hands stayed on her.
Why is the punishment of Jerusalem greater then the punishment of Sodom?
The reason is simple. Sodom was damaged at once. The people had no time to
think about it. At once, fire came down from heaven and put all in the
flames. Their destruction was suddenly and unexpectedly. The destruction
of Jerusalem happened in another way. Not suddenly, but slowly. Because of
the long time of their suffering, the punishment was greater. "The tongue
of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the
young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them." (Lam.4:4)
What was the reason of this punishment? It was "the iniquity of the
daughter of my people", says Jeremiah. The iniquity of the people of
Jerusalem was greater then that of Sodom. Why? Because Jerusalem knew the
will and the commandments of God, but Sodom did not know them.
Who knows God's will and nevertheless transgresses His law, will be
punished more then the ignorant. Jerusalem had got many benefits of God;
nevertheless, they did not obey Him. They had seen God's majesty;
nevertheless, they did not fear Him. They ware saved by Him from the
enemies; nevertheless, they did not confess Him as their Lord. They had
got  His law; nobody kept it.
What to do in this situation? In modern times, it is the same. God has
given us His Word, but few love Him. What will we do? Let we pray to God,
and say: "Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew
our days as of old." (Lam.5:21) Let we ask God that He turns us unto Him.
Here is not written that we turn us to Him by ourselves, but here is asked
if God will turn us unto Him. Why is Jeremiah asking it in this way?
Because he knows how unmighty the people are to do it by themselves.
Therefore, reader, do not think that you are able to turn yourself to God.
Listen to this holy prophet Jeremiah, who is asking for God's grace. Do
the same as he did, and you will get grace.
3.  New Testament, 1 John 1:8,9
1 John 1:8,9
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not
in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves". Does this occur,
that somebody says of himself that he has no sin? Yes, incredible enough,
it happens. There are people who think that they are righteous. How is
this possible! How can they think it, while the Scripture so clearly says
that there is nobody who sins not. Listen for example to Solomon. In his
prayer, he says: "If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that
sinneth not). (1 Kings 8:46)
If we say that we have no sin, "we deceive ourselves" Why are we deceiving
ourselves? There are several reasons. We deceive ourselves because we
think well about ourselves without reason. We deceive ourselves because we
do not speak according to the Scriptures, which says that everybody is a
sinner. We deceive ourselves because we think to walk in the way of the
righteous, while in reality we walk in the way which leads to the death.
We deceive both ourselves and the other people.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, "and the truth is not
in us." When the truth would be in us, we would say that we were sinners.
While we not say this, the truth of God is not in us. Instead of truth
being in us, lies are in us. God says in His Word that nobody is without
sin. Let this holy truth be in us.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins."
If we confess our sins, God will surely forgive them. Read this in the
Bible. "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid.
I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest
the iniquity of my sin. Selah." (Ps.32:5). David sincerely confessed his
sins unto God, and what happened? God forgave the iniquity of his sins.
This is the good way. It is not good to say that we have no sins, but we
must confess them. Then, God will forgive us.
"If we confess our sins". This confessing is not that we during one day of
the year humble ourselves, speak out some words about sin, and live the
rest of the year happy-go-lucky. Who does it in this way, I think that it
was only words, not truth. The confessing has to involve true repentance
and true turning back to God.
If we confess our sins, "he is faithful and just to forgive us." Why is
said that God is faithful when he forgives us the sins? He is faithful
because, when He forgives us the sins, He fulfills the promises. So, He is
faithful to His promises. He promised to forgive the sins to them, who
confess the sins and leave them. Why is further said that He is "just"
when He forgives us the sins? When God is just, would He not punish the
sins? Yes, this is one meaning of the word "just". There is another
meaning. "Just" also means that God will do what He ought to do and what
He promised to do. He is just because He promised to forgive the sins of
them who truly confessed them, and He fulfills it. So, He is righteous.
This word "righteous" is also used with this meaning in the following
text. "Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy
faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness." (Psalms 143:1).
Let us, through the grace of God keep this in our eyes, and bring in
practice: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
4.  From the editor
Chr-exp is no longer moderated. Everyone can send his or her messages to
the list. Please, only send reasonable messages.
The contents of the list are stored in a notebook. You can get the old
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to the listserver, you will get that archive. Log9411 means: logfile, year
1994, month 11 (November).
5.  Books
Richard Rogers, Judges.
Richard Rogers was "Preacher of God's Word" in the village of Wethersfield
and his folio on Judges was one of the richest fruits of these labours. It
is an eminent example of how the lesser-known books of the Old Testament
can be made contemporary and powerful by true preaching.
This is a facsimile reprint of the original 1615 edition.
ISBN 0 85151 377 8
990 pp. Cloth-bound.
Price around $42,00. Ask your local bookstore or order from:
   Slaak 4-14
   3061 CS Rotterdam        tel. 31 104111607
   The Netherlands          fax. 31 104136682
Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
Editor: Teus Benschop
No copyrights on this publication
Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands

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