Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Holy Place Part II: The Lampstand

Exodus 25: 31-40; 27: 20; 37: 17-24; 39:37; Revelation 1: 12-16, 20

To bring back his soul from the pit, to be Enlightened with the light of the living.  
Job 33:30
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out
of his roots: Is. 11:1

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill  cannot be hidden; nor does  anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matt. 5:14-16

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. Jn. 1:4

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,  but will have the Light of life. Jn. 8:12  

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  Jn. 9:5

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light  in the Lord: walk as children
of light:  Eph. 5:8 

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that  God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5  

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  John 3:19

The Light of Your Presence 

I walk into the Holy Place and what do my eyes see
A Golden Lampstand a light by which all the darkness must flee
The Lamp stand is so beautiful I long to come and touch it
The almond pots of gold, the lily flowers, they were so lovingly writ

You are the Vine we are the branches it is told us in Your Word
Your Light is now in us to go and tell those that have not heard
We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth we must go and do
To lead the lost and the hurting to come into Your Light too

I will bring my oil and trim the wicks each and every day
To cut off that which hinders me and trips me up along the way
I want my path illuminated so that I may see
All that I must do and all I am to be

Oh Holy Spirit light my path and reveal Yourself to me
So I know which way to go and so that I may see
I prepare my lamp to be ready, for I know that He will call
I know the Bride Groom is coming with a Feast for one and all
By Piper Green
© 2003-2015 All Rights Reserved.

The Holy Place, the name alone is enough to send chills up and down her spine. Sarah has heard many accounts concerning the majestic Sanctuary. She takes in yet another deep breath in expectancy of what her eyes will behold. He lifts the curtained entrance to the Holy Place; also knit of white linen with blue, purple and scarlet. The curtain is like an artist’s canvas; intricately woven-awesome and beautiful. Sarah can’t believe her eyes; this place is more magnificent than any palace she had ever seen in Egypt. The columned halls and grandiose ornaments could not compare to what she is witnessing in this place. Words escaped her and she finds herself besieged by the presence of God. Her legs weaken as she endeavors to stand.

The only light in the Sanctuary is the Lampstand; it is positioned opposite the Table of Shewbread. Sarah’s eyes reflect the flickering flames as their shadows dance on the pure gold walls. The Lampstand illuminates the entire room, no other light can compare. Amazed at the grandeur, she basks in the presence of the Lampstand; she can feel the power of it illuminating her spirit. The joyful ones had gone before her, though some remained-still eating at the table.

Sarah’s attention is now turned to see the joyful ones as they come and tend the Lampstand. They pour the freshly pressed oil skillfully into the buds and charily trimmed the wicks; careful to trim just enough as to not snuff the flame. Just as he predicted, some stood at the opening; observing but would not come. The aroma in the Sanctuary is brimming with the fragrance of freshly baked Bread and frankincense. Intermittently a certain aroma she recognizes, but cannot recall, arouses her senses; she is not certain from where the scent is coming as it subtly conspires with the present aroma of the frankincense-seasoned Bread.

She cannot pull her gaze from the Lampstand; it is simply breathtaking. Her mind takes her back to Bezaleel and Aholiab; she recalls Moses following God’s instruction to anoint them with His Spirit to craft the pure gold instrument. It is crafted with a shaft in the middle and three branches on each side. Truly spectacular indeed is the design of the shafts and branches. What began as one piece of gold was molded and fashioned by these anointed men, just as clay is a lump in the hand of a potter. Each branch is formed with three knobs shaped as a pomegranate, with the exception of the main shaft which contains four. He instructs her concerning the symbols of the Lampstand. “The pomegranate symbolizes peace. Each branch has a bowl of gold shaped like an almond.” Sarah remembers the seam of the high priest’s garment, the pomegranate embroidered within. Each branch contains a bowl, a knob, and a flower. The almond- Oh yes, the budding rod of Aaron the High Priest. Sarah recalls that day like it was yesterday-God brought forth the flowering almond on Aaron’s rod. What a miracle! From that day forward no one dared again to question his position or authority.

This is the first time Sarah has seen the Lampstand since the day the Tabernacle was consecrated before the Lord, as the people of Israel watched with amazement at the power of Qedosh Yisrael; the Holy One of Israel. Sarah knows it is the duty of the priest to fill the oil lamps and trim the wicks every morning and evening. Pondering this in her mind quickens her to ask, “Where are the priests? They are to be tending the work here.” A smile appears upon his loving, gentle face as he replies, “Everyone who sees the Messiah and accepts their portion in Him is a priest. As you look upon the Lampstand, remember the main shaft represents the Messiah; the branches symbolize those that believe. Once you believe in Him you must let your light shine every day. Fill your lamp with oil, trim the wicks; you must care for your lamp as your very own. By your light you will lead others to the Messiah. If you let your light grow dim or go out, you can’t know the fullness of the Messiah or lead others to Him.”

Suddenly in her hands appears a vessel of oil. She looks to him for direction; he motions her to go to the Lampstand. She observes some of the joyful ones as they fill their pots with oil. However, there remain some that did not fill their pots full and carelessly neglected the wicks. She feels sad for them knowing their lamp will not burn long. Sarah does not want to neglect her lamp; she is honored by the task. She pours her oil to the top and carefully trims her wick; her light brightly shines. From that moment she purposed in her heart to come every day to refill her pot. He motions her on to the Altar of Incense. “Every time you trim your wick and care for you lamp you must also burn incense on the altar. The incense is prayer, true worship to God”. She approaches the altar and she is overwhelmed by the scent; she now remembers the fragrant aroma she could not recall earlier. The fragrances conjured up many memories of the Israelite’s trials in the desert. She can recall the day; a sad day in the history of Israel. Once again the people were grumbling against God and He sent among them a plague. Dead bodies lay everywhere-God purposed to annihilate His people. Because of the rebellion of Korah and his followers over fourteen thousand people died. More certainly would have died if Moses had not instructed Aaron to take fire from the altar along with incense and run through the midst of the people with the censor that stayed the plague. She recalls the same aroma from the censor of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. The fragrance is the most beautiful scent imaginable.

Many others came in to tend their lamps as well; she is amazed at how many came. Some of the few that before stood at the door and would not come, changed their minds and also came; Sarah was happy they decided to come, yet saddened that some would not. She did not understand how they could not after witnessing the blessings and miracles at each station. They remain deceived and lost. If only they would come to be illuminated by the Lampstand, they could see the truth, and the gifts God has for them. He has such a purpose for them, if only they would come.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Psalms To See Me Through: Psalm 17 Prayer for Protection Against Oppressors

A Prayer of David.
Hear a just cause, O Lord, give heed to my cry; Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips. Let my judgment come forth from Your presence; Let Your eyes look with equity. You have tried my heart; You have visited me by night; You have tested me and You find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress. vv. 1-3

You will have trials in this world; these encouraging Words of Jesus flood my thoughts when I read his prayer; I feel the desperation in David’s voice. I have felt this desperation recently; circumstances tend to leave us parched and feeling alone. God uses our parched, desperate, crying to draw us deeper in Him.  

God will visit us in the night and try our hearts; are we listening?

I was asleep but my heart was awake. A voice! My beloved was knocking: Open to me... Song of Songs 5:2 

The only way to contend our innocence, is if we are truly repentant for what He found there; He will find something. Once we confess it, allow the Blood to wash us, we are redeemed. Only then are we guiltless; Christ’s sacrifice makes it possible.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 Jn. 1:9

People are fallen. How easy it is to fall from grace; none of us are immune. Because we live in a fallen world, we will have trials; people will betray us, let us down, and disappoint us—and we them. In the Tabernacle of Moses, the priest was required to wash—a picture of the washing of water with the Word (see Eph. 5:26). The priest looked into the Bronze Laver—the polished mirror of bronze, and washed. He saw only his reflection, not another’s. The bronze mirror was to judge one self and wash before performing any service before the Lord.  

As for the deeds of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept from the paths of the violent.
My steps have held fast to Your paths. My feet have not slipped. I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech. vv. 4-6.

Stay on your path, no matter what others do or say. God will guide you and you will not slip—but wholeheartedly keep to the path God set you on.

Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand
From those who rise up against them.  Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who despoil me, My deadly enemies who surround me. They have closed their unfeeling heart, with their mouth they speak proudly. They have now surrounded us in our steps; They set their eyes to cast us down to the ground. 
He is like a lion that is eager to tear, And as a young lion lurking in hiding places. vv. 7-12

Often, we expect God to deliver us from the situation instead of seeking wisdom in the situation. God may be using the hard place to teach things to us and to reveal things about ourselves. David learned this each time he faced an enemy. Our expectations in a situation are usually different than what the Lord has planned; how many times have we heard, Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He calms us in the midst of the storm? God is our Refuge and Strong Tower, and we can run to Him and be safe (see Prov. 18:10).

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Rom. 5:3-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1: 2-4

This scribe battles this often—some circumstances prove too challenging, and it takes all the strength I can muster to look beyond them to the Lord. Peter, after taking his step of faith to walk the lake’s surface, sank only when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the wave. It only took him under because his focus was turned; the enemy distracted him.

The Lord gives us the assurance that He will help us through the trial, all we have to do is ask. He hides us in the shadow of His wings. He will keep us. James continues his admonition on tribulations with the key to making it through the hard times;

 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8

Peter learned this in his leap onto the lake. God will give us wisdom for every situation if we ask. If however, we allow the circumstances to toss us to and fro, and keep us from seeking God, we can’t receive that wisdom, and we go around the mountain again; the trial overwhelms us, and we receive nothing.
 Arise, O Lord, confront him, bring him low; Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword, from men with Your hand, O Lord, from men of the world, whose portion is in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your treasure; They are satisfied with children, And leave their abundance to their babes. vv. 13-14

God will fight our enemies; He assures us time and again in Scripture. He will keep us; the wicked are concerned only with the things this world has to offer, and are subject to the world’s systems and processes. But we are to have a Kingdom perspective. Everything you are going through is to enhance the Kingdom of God, and to know God deeper. He wants to know us and have an intimate relationship with His people. And after the tribulation is over, and we have wrestled with God, we may leave with a limp (see Genesis 32:22-32), but we will have a new name and a deeper relationship with God. When you awake you will say to the Lord—

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake. v.15

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Holy Place Part I: The Table of Shewbread

This Bread 

As I walk through the curtains I see a Table set
I see the golden glowing crown of it and yet
I am afraid to approach, for this Bread is not for me
So why do I feel so drawn to it this I cannot see

I see on the table the cups and bowls of gold
The drink and the Bread these vessels hold
Yes I see the Bread it is so divine
The precious body of my Saviour—it is mine

This Bread of Life will fill me up I will not hunger again
Every day I will come and eat He did not suffer in vain
Because of this Bread I will grow to know Him more and more
For by this Bread He stands and knocks He is at the door

This Bread that He has given us it is to give us strength
It will make you strong and able to go for a great length
The more you eat the more about Himself He reveals

This Bread washes me and renews me every day
It shows me what my Savior will do and say
This Bread He gives it is like a sword
For the Bread reminds us of the Body of our Lord 

By Piper Green 
© 2003-2015. All Rights Reserved.

The two make their way to the Table of Shewbread. However, Sarah is distracted by his face; he looks different to her. He appears young, but wisdom pours from him like oil poured from a vessel. His face is strong yet caring and gentle. He radiates peace that has the power to comfort even the most discouraged of souls. Love pours from him like a cool spring of water. She sees him in a new light; the Lampstand illuminates him to her in a new way.

The joyful ones are partaking of the Bread and as each one finishes eating, they disappear only to reappear with fresh Bread, which they place on the table. Once finished, they are able to continue. He motions her to the table to eat; miraculously, there is room for as many as will come. As she approaches, the fragrant aroma of the Bread coupled with the frankincense permeate her senses. Sarah reaches the table—everyone else has gone; she notices the table void of chairs. He perceives her thoughts and speaks in a voice she had not heard before, “The priests are never to sit down because their work is not done.” The continued lingering of the undecided became a burdensome distraction; her heart broke for each of them. She hopes they will change and make the decision to partake of the Bread, she can sense their discouragement and her heart is heavy for them.

The table is stunning; it is crafted from acacia wood overlaid with gold. The pure gold crown of the table shines in the light of the Lampstand, which creates a majestic display with the Bread of Presence. The rings and poles, plates, cups and all the vessels, crafted in gold, fashion a room so magnificent it would take the breath of even the bravest warrior. On the table is placed twelve loaves of Bread. Each loaf represents one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel; upon each loaf the priest carefully sprinkles frankincense, and the rest is poured on the Altar of Incense. The aroma is captivating. Sarah looks at the door and rejoices, so many are coming; they are crying and hungry and need Bread. Some try to push their way past the table through the veil; he does not allow them.

He says to Sarah, “Eat I know you are hungry. This will give you the strength you need to make it the rest of the way through. This Bread is in the very presence of God. When you eat this Bread, remember that God wants to dwell with you; and fellowship with you in His presence.” The Bread melts in her mouth like warm butter; as she eats, scales fall from her eyes. The Bread is healing; she can feel a warmth flow through her body like a stream. She does not know what the warmth is, but she feels different. Though she has not been ill she feels healed. Words cannot describe how she feels.

The Bread is opening her eyes to God; Sarah’s father teaches her family God’s Law—it is not to depart their lips. Somehow, after eating the Bread, she possesses a new understanding of the Law. She has a renewed love for God; she wants to obey His Law, not because it is required, but out of her love for Him; she truly wants to. “Lord I purpose in my heart to follow your Law and keep it for the rest of my days.” Tears well up in her eyes; tears of joy and happiness. She looks up at him; she knows him. She knows his name; she knows...this is Judah. As she heads for him, her attention is drawn to a young woman kneeling on the ground crying just inside the curtain to the Holy Place. Apprehensive and unsure of herself, Sarah, moves with compassion, walks over to her; the young woman reminds Sarah of herself when she began the journey. She kneels down and asks her why she is crying. “I don’t know which way to go! I don’t know what to do. I want to know God but I don’t know where to begin. I have come this far but I fear I have lost my way.” Sarah can see the despair deeply engraved in her face, “I will show you.”

Judah calls to Sarah. His voice captures her as if she is under a spell. She walks to Him and He says, “The space where you ate is now empty, you must replace the Bread.” She inquires, “What about these empty spaces?” “No.” He answers. “You only need to replace the Bread you eat. It is for the others to replace the Bread they eat.” She turns and locks her gaze on the young woman. “For her?” He smiles. Sarah leads her to the table, places the Bread in front of her, “This Bread will reveal the Messiah to you. It will give you the strength you need to make the rest of the journey.” Sarah continues to teach her everything she has learned thus far. “We must go Sarah.” She knowingly looks at Judah and renders one last encouragement, “I must go, but you will be fine, just eat the Bread.” Sarah joins Judah to continue their journey. “You have done well Sarah; I am pleased that you helped her instead of being only concerned for yourself.” “Keep it for myself? I could not, she reminds me so much of myself when I began my journey, I would have despaired had I been left alone. So few are willing to come as far as she did; she did not want to give up, and I had to help her.” Judah is delighted by her compassion. “You have already learned so much, let us continue on. You will need the strength of that Bread for the rest of the journey.”

 By Piper Green 
© 2003-2015. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Purim Poem

I raised up My daughter fair, deep dark eyes, long flowing hair
To attract a king who signed a decree to destroy My people
He was deceived by one who would plan and plot and prepare
He would have them destroyed and erased from the earth

She was an orphan living in exile, none would give her a glance
I raised her up to be one who fasts and prays for what touches My heart
I ordained her days to win his heart, she was not in the palace by chance
She was purposed to fulfill her role as queen and to take her part

I have raised you up to be a people who fast and pray and to be one
Who will seek what is on My heart and to intervene for the perishing
For the Evil One has a mandate to deceive the lost and the alone
He is relentless in his pursuit to destroy by planning and conniving
But I will thwart his plans when My people rise up to pray

He has marked My people Israel and My grafted branch
Perhaps you are ordained for such a time as this
I will rise and fight, he does not stand a chance
When My people intercede and cry out for justice

Do not take this battle lightly or believe that it will pass
If you are quiet, for deliverance will rise but you will expire
I have called you to this time and for your sword to grasp
And wield it on the enemy for My Word makes him a liar
He will cower in despair

Rise up My people we are in such volatile times
I hear the cry of many but see the sword of few
You must remain vigilant and lay passivity aside
I will answer when you call to defeat the minions
They are no match for the thousands of angelic legions

Rise up for such a time as this, pray, fast, intercede
For the lost, hurting, and perishing and those marked
For annihilation from the face of the earth
The enemy is on the move he knows his time is short
He has already been defeated he and all his cohorts

My people shall arise their swords wielding in their hand
By the Blood of Jesus and their testimony they will take a stand
Watch Me move on your behalf when you prepare for battle
You will see the enemy defeated and take back your land

…Answer the call…for such a time as this…

Piper Green
© 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Psalms To See Me Through; Psalm 16 The LORD the Psalmist’s Portion in Life and Deliverer in Death

Mikhtam of David. A Mikhtam is a poem. I long to be as poetic as David in my prayers. The real meaning of Mikhtam intends the poem to record memorable thoughts—engraving it upon the soul. David certainly had the Lord engraved upon his heart. David knew where to go when he needed refuge.

Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge  in You. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”  As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. vv. 1-3

God is my refuge from every storm; every need I have He is my source. He is all I have in this world and He is all I need. You don’t need to worry that He will change course or be too busy; He is there when we come to Him; when we call out His Name. He has only good things for us.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17 NASB

The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips. v.4
In this season of remembering the sacrifice Christ gave, I lift up in prayer and will not forget all of those in places that seem a world away, that are losing their lives for the sake of 
the cross. I remember those too, that are suffering and losing their lives to a cruel evil that will not relent—regardless of their religion. The same evil hunts and terrorizes those that will not bow the knee to a false god. They will reap their reward from the Coming King. 

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. vv. 5-6. 

Take refuge in the Lord, He has promised many things to those that are faithful; and He will not relent in fulfilling His Word to you.
I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. v.7
I am asleep but my heart is awake listening for the voice of my beloved. Song of Solomon 5:2

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. vv.8-10

God did not abandon Christ—this prose is about Him; He will not abandon you. He is The Refuge; for safety, security, peace, rest and joy. All that you need, HE is. 
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. v. 11