Harmony Baptist Church

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Morning Bible Reading - Hosea 12

  1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.  2 The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.  3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:  4 Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him [in] Bethel, and there he spake with us;  5 Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD [is] his memorial.  6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.  7 [He is] a merchant, the balances of deceit [are] in his hand: he loveth to oppress.  8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: [in] all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that [were] sin.  9 And I [that am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.  10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.  11 [Is there] iniquity [in] Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars [are] as heaps in the furrows of the fields.  12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept [sheep].  13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.  14 Ephraim provoked [him] to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   10-31 Hosea Hosea is supposed to have been of the kingdom of Israel. He lived and prophesied during a long period. The scope of his predictions appears to be, to detect, reprove, and convince the Jewish nation in general, and the Israelites in particular, of their many sins, particularly their idolatry: the corrupt state of the kingdom is also noticed. But he invites them to repentance, with promises of mercy, and gospel predictions of the future restoration of the Israelites and of the Jews, and their final conversion to Christianity.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   10-31 Judah and Israel reminded of the Divine favours. (Hos. 12:1-6) The provocations of Israel. (Hos. 12:7-14) Hos. 12:1-6 Ephraim feeds himself with vain hopes of help from man, when he is at enmity with God. The Jews vainly thought to secure the Egyptians by a present of the produce of their country. Judah is contended with also. God sees the sin of his own people, and will reckon with them for it. They are put in mind of what Jacob did, and what God did for him. When his faith upon the Divine promise prevailed above his fears, then by his strength he had power with God. He is Jehovah, the same that was, and is, and is to come. What was a revelation of God to one, is his memorial to many, to all generations. Then let those who have gone from God, be turned to him. Turn thou to the Lord, by repentance and faith, as thy God. Let those that are converted to him, walk with him in all holy conversation and godliness. Let us wrestle with Him for promised blessings, determined not to give over till we prevail; and let us seek Him in his ordinances. Hos. 12:7-14 Ephraim became a merchant: the word also signifies a Canaanite. They carried on trade upon Canaanitish principles, covetously and with fraud and deceit. Thus they became rich, and falsely supposed that Providence favoured them. But shameful sins shall have shameful punishments. Let them remember, not only what a mighty prince Jacob was with God, but what a servant he was to Laban. The benefits we have had from the word of God, make our sin and folly the worse, if we put any slight upon that word. We had better follow the hardest labour in poverty, than grow rich by sin. We may form a judgment of our own conduct, by comparing it with that of ancient believers in the like circumstances. Whoever despises the message of God, will perish. May we all hear his word with humble, obedient faith.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Hosea 12:1-999 


Morning Bible Reading - Hosea 13

  1 When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.  2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, [and] idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.  3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff [that] is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.  4 Yet I [am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for [there is] no saviour beside me.  5 I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.  6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.  7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe [them]:  8 I will meet them as a bear [that is] bereaved [of her whelps], and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.  9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me [is] thine help.  10 I will be thy king: where [is any other] that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?  11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took [him] away in my wrath.  12 The iniquity of Ephraim [is] bound up; his sin [is] hid.  13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he [is] an unwise son; for he should not stay long in [the place of] the breaking forth of children.  14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.  15 Though he be fruitful among [his] brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.  16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   10-31 The abuse of God|s favour leads to punishment. (Hos. 13:1-8) A promise of God|s mercy. (Hos. 13:9-16) Hos. 13:1-8 While Ephraim kept up a holy fear of God, and worshipped Him in that fear, so long he was very considerable. When Ephraim forsook God, and followed idolatry, he sunk. Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves, in token of their adoration of them, affection for them, and obedience to them; but the Lord will not give his glory to another, and therefore all that worship images shall be confounded. No solid, lasting comfort, is to be expected any where but in God. God not only took care of the Israelites in the wilderness, he put them in possession of Canaan, a good land; but worldly prosperity, when it feeds men|s pride, makes them forgetful of God. Therefore the Lord would meet them in just vengeance, as the most terrible beast that inhabited their forests. Abused goodness calls for greater severity. Hos. 13:9-16 Israel had destroyed himself by his rebellion; but he could not save himself, his help was from the Lord only. This may well be applied to the case of spiritual redemption, from that lost state into which all have fallen by wilful sins. God often gives in displeasure what we sinfully desire. It is the happiness of the saints, that, whether God gives or takes away, all is in love. But it is the misery of the wicked, that, whether God gives or takes away, it is all in wrath, nothing is comfortable. Except sinners repent and believe the gospel, anguish will soon come upon them. The prophecy of the ruin of Israel as a nation, also showed there would be a merciful and powerful interposition of God, to save a remnant of them. Yet this was but a shadow of the ransom of the true Israel, by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. He will destroy death and the grave. The Lord would not repent of his purpose and promise. Yet, in the mean time, Israel would be desolated for her sins. Without fruitfulness in good works, springing from the Holy Spirit, all other fruitfulness will be found as empty as the uncertain riches of the world. The wrath of God will wither its branches, its sprigs shall be dried up, it shall come to nothing. Woes, more terrible than any from the most cruel warfare, shall fall on those who rebel against God. From such miseries, and from sin, the cause of them, may the Lord deliver us.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Hosea 13:1-999 


Morning Bible Reading - Hosea 14

  1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.  2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive [us] graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.  3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, [Ye are] our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.  4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.  5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.  6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.  7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive [as] the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof [shall be] as the wine of Lebanon.  8 Ephraim [shall say], What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard [him], and observed him: I [am] like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.  9 Who [is] wise, and he shall understand these [things]? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD [are] right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   10-31 An exhortation to repentance. (Hos. 14:1-3) Blessings promised, showing the rich comforts of the gospel. (Hos. 14:4-8) The just and the wicked. (Hos. 14:9) Hos. 14:1-3 Israel is exhorted to return unto Jehovah, from their sins and idols, by faith in his mercy, and grace through the promised Redeemer, and by diligently attending on his worship and service. Take away iniquity; lift it off as a burden we are ready to sink under, or as the stumbling-block we have often fallen over. Take it all away by a free and full forgiveness, for we cannot strike any of it off. Receive our prayer graciously. They do not say what good they seek, but refer it to God. It is not good of the world|s showing, but good of God|s giving. They were to consider their sins, their wants, and the remedy; and they were to take, not sacrifices, but words stating the desires of their hearts, and with them to address the Lord. The whole forms a clear description of the nature and tendency of a sinner|s conversion to God through Jesus Christ. As we draw near to God by the prayer of faith, we should first beseech him to teach us what to ask. We must be earnest with him to take away all iniquity. Hos. 14:4-8 Israel seeks God|s face, and they shall not seek it in vain. His anger is turned from them. Whom God loves, he loves freely; not because they deserve it, but of his own good pleasure. God will be to them all they need. The graces of the Spirit are the hidden manna, hidden in the dew; the grace thus freely bestowed on them shall not be in vain. They shall grow upward, and be more flourishing; shall grow as the lily. The lily, when come to its height, is a lovely flower, Matt. 6:28,29. They shall grow downward, and be more firm. With the flower of the lily shall be the strong root of the cedar of Lebanon. Spiritual growth consists most in the growth of the root, which is out of sight. They shall also spread as the vine, whose branches extend very widely. When believers abound in good works, then their branches spread. They shall be acceptable both to God and man. Holiness is the beauty of a soul. The church is compared to the vine and the olive, which bring forth useful fruits. God|s promises pertain to those only that attend on his ordinances; not such as flee to this shadow only for shelter in a hot gleam, but all who dwell under it. When a man is brought to God, all who dwell under his shadow fare the better. The sanctifying fruits shall appear in his life. Thus believers grow up into the experience and fruitfulness of the gospel. Ephraim shall say, God will put it into his heart to say it, What have I to do any more with idols! God|s promises to us are more our security and our strength for mortifying sin, than our promises to God. See the power of Divine grace. God will work such a change in him, that he shall loathe the idols as much as ever he loved them. See the benefit of sanctified afflictions. Ephraim smarted for his idolatry, and this is the fruit, even the taking away his sin, Is. 27:9. See the nature of repentance; it is a firm and fixed resolution to have no more to do with sin. The Lord meets penitents with mercy, as the father of the prodigal met his returning son. God will be to all true converts both a delight and a defence; they shall sit under his shadow with delight. And as the root of a tree; From me is thy fruit found: from Him we receive grace and strength to enable us to do our duty. Hos. 14:9 Who profit by the truths the prophet delivered? Such as set themselves to understand and know these things. The ways of God|s providence towards us are right; all is well done. Christ is a Foundation Stone to some, to others a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence. That which was ordained to life, becomes, through their abuse of it, death to them. The same sun softens wax and hardens clay. But those transgressors certainly have the most dangerous, fatal falls, who fall in the ways of God, who split on the Rock of Ages, and suck poison out of the Balm of Gilead. Let sinners in Zion fear this. May we learn to walk in the right ways of God, as his righteous servants, and may none of us be disobedient and unbelieving, and stumble at the word.

NO J Vernon Mcgee Found


Evening Bible Reading - Revelations 3

  1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.  2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.  3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.  4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.  5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.  6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.  7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;  8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.  9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.  11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.  12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.  13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.  14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   0-999 Chapter Outline Epistles to the church at Sardis; (1-6) at Philadelphia; (7-13) and Laodicea. (14-22)

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-6 The Lord Jesus is He that hath the Holy Spirit with all his powers, graces, and operations. Hypocrisy, and lamentable decay in religion, are sins charged upon Sardis, by One who knew that church well, and all her works. Outward things appeared well to men, but there was only the form of godliness, not the power; a name to live, not a principle of life. There was great deadness in their souls, and in their services; numbers were wholly hypocrites, others were in a disordered and lifeless state. Our Lord called upon them to be watchful against their enemies, and to be active and earnest in their duties; and to endeavour, in dependence on the grace of the Holy Spirit, to revive and strengthen the faith and spiritual affections of those yet alive to God, though in a declining state. Whenever we are off our watch, we lose ground. Thy works are hollow and empty; prayers are not filled up with holy desires, alms-deeds not filled up with true charity, sabbaths not filled up with suitable devotion of soul to God. There are not inward affections suitable to outward acts and expressions; when the spirit is wanting, the form cannot long remain. In seeking a revival in our own souls, or the souls of others, it is needful to compare what we profess with the manner in which we go on, that we may be humbled and quickened to hold fast that which remains. Christ enforces his counsel with a dreadful threatening if it should be despised. Yet our blessed Lord does not leave this sinful people without some encouragement. He makes honourable mention of the faithful remnant in Sardis, he makes a gracious promise to them. He that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment; the purity of grace shall be rewarded with the perfect purity of glory. Christ has his book of life, a register of all who shall inherit eternal life; the book of remembrance of all who live to God, and keep up the life and power of godliness in evil times. Christ will bring forward this book of life, and show the names of the faithful, before God, and all the angels, at the great day.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   7-13 The same Lord Jesus has the key of government and authority in and over the church. He opens a door of opportunity to his churches; he opens a door of utterance to his ministers; he opens a door of entrance, opens the heart. He shuts the door of heaven against the foolish, who sleep away their day of grace; and against the workers of iniquity, how vain and confident soever they may be. The church in Philadelphia is commended; yet with a gentle reproof. Although Christ accepts a little strength, yet believers must not rest satisfied in a little, but strive to grow in grace, to be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Christ can discover this his favour to his people, so that their enemies shall be forced to acknowledge it. This, by the grace of Christ, will soften their enemies, and make them desire to be admitted into communion with his people. Christ promises preserving grace in the most trying times, as the reward of past faithfulness; To him that hath shall be given. Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace, shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation; and the same Divine grace that has made them fruitful in times of peace, will make them faithful in times of persecution. Christ promises a glorious reward to the victorious believer. He shall be a monumental pillar in the temple of God; a monument of the free and powerful grace of God; a monument that shall never be defaced or removed. On this pillar shall be written the new name of Christ; by this will appear, under whom the believer fought the good fight, and came off victorious.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   14-22 Laodicea was the last and worst of the seven churches of Asia. Here our Lord Jesus styles himself, "The Amen;" one steady and unchangeable in all his purposes and promises. If religion is worth anything, it is worth every thing. Christ expects men should be in earnest. How many professors of gospel doctrine are neither hot nor cold; except as they are indifferent in needful matters, and hot and fiery in disputes about things of lesser moment! A severe punishment is threatened. They would give a false opinion of Christianity, as if it were an unholy religion; while others would conclude it could afford no real satisfaction, otherwise its professors would not have been heartless in it, or so ready to seek pleasure or happiness from the world. One cause of this indifference and inconsistency in religion is, self-conceit and self-delusion; "Because thou sayest." What a difference between their thoughts of themselves, and the thoughts Christ had of them! How careful should we be not to cheat our owns souls! There are many in hell, who once thought themselves far in the way to heaven. Let us beg of God that we may not be left to flatter and deceive ourselves. Professors grow proud, as they become carnal and formal. Their state was wretched in itself. They were poor; really poor, when they said and thought they were rich. They could not see their state, nor their way, nor their danger, yet they thought they saw it. They had not the garment of justification, nor sanctification: they were exposed to sin and shame; their rags that would defile them. They were naked, without house or harbour, for they were without God, in whom alone the soul of man can find rest and safety. Good counsel was given by Christ to this sinful people. Happy those who take his counsel, for all others must perish in their sins. Christ lets them know where they might have true riches, and how they might have them. Some things must be parted with, but nothing valuable; and it is only to make room for receiving true riches. Part with sin and self-confidence, that you may be filled with his hidden treasure. They must receive from Christ the white raiment he purchased and provided for them; his own imputed righteousness for justification, and the garments of holiness and sanctification. Let them give themselves up to his word and Spirit, and their eyes shall be opened to see their way and their end. Let us examine ourselves by the rule of his word, and pray earnestly for the teaching of his Holy Spirit, to take away our pride, prejudices, and worldly lusts. Sinners ought to take the rebukes of God|s word and rod, as tokens of his love to their souls. Christ stood without; knocking, by the dealings of his providence, the warnings and teaching of his word, and the influences of his Spirit. Christ still graciously, by his word and Spirit, comes to the door of the hearts of sinners. Those who open to him shall enjoy his presence. If what he finds would make but a poor feast, what he brings will supply a rich one. He will give fresh supplies of graces and comforts. In the conclusion is a promise to the overcoming believer. Christ himself had temptations and conflicts; he overcame them all, and was more than a conqueror. Those made like to Christ in his trials, shall be made like to him in glory. All is closed with the general demand of attention. And these counsels, while suited to the churches to which they were addressed, are deeply interesting to all men.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Revelations 3:1-999 

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