Ephesians 6:10-11; Standing demands God’s strength and armor – make no other alliances, part 2.

Thursday March 31, 2022


Today’s psalm in the Bible reading poetically sums up our study of late.


“Lord of Hosts” – Lord of the Armies

In whose house, the little bird has found a nest and even her young are protected.


Psa 84:1-4

For the choir director; on the Gittith.

A Psalm of the sons of Korah.


1 How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!

2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;

My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3 The bird also has found a house,

And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,

Even Thine altars, O Lord of hosts,

My King and my God.

4 How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.



The sanctuary is loved by the worshipper. He longs for it.


Imagine a raging army surround a house, ramming the door, hurling a battery of heavy weapons against its walls, unable to break through and inside a swallow safely feeds her young, undisturbed.


Psa 84:5-12

How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee;

In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

6 Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring,

The early rain also covers it with blessings.

7 They go from strength to strength,

Every one of them appears before God in Zion.


8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;

Give ear, O God of Jacob!


9 Behold our shield, O God,

And look upon the face of Thine anointed.

10 For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside.

I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God,

Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield [prosperity and protection];

The Lord gives grace and glory;

No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of hosts,

How blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!


Psa 68:16

Why do you look with envy, O mountains with many peaks,

At the mountain which God has desired for His abode?


Zion as a mountain is really a big hill. God did not choose the biggest mountain in the region by far. Big cities were built on major water ways, but Zion has only small springs. Able to choose any place He desired, God chose this small place. Still, it has resisted being conquered by the world’s biggest empires and has been destroyed twice and rebuilt. Jerusalem is the only city in the world where worshippers worship their ancient God as they did three-thousand years ago. And, it will be rebuilt again. Still, it is a little mount not on a major river, but then again, you and I are not the best of the human race by the world’s standards. Yet you are told to stand firm against the schemes of a creature far superior to you physically and mentally. But the same reason that Zion is forever great is the same reason why you can stand firm – God is in you.


Without the Lord’s presence Zion would have been an ordinary city. The believer in this age is extraordinary.


“If you greet your brothers only, how are you extraordinary? …Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mat 5:47-48)


Mat 5:47-48 “And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


The faithful longed for Zion, not because of its extraordinary beauty or to see the stone of the temple, but because the Lord was there. What made the religious leaders so terrible during our Lord’s day is that they worshipped the stone and the cloth of the veil and didn’t worship the Lord of whom all of it represented.


Psa 83 reflects a festive procession of the faithful to Jerusalem for one of the festivals.


Do we rejoice, finding fulfilling happiness, by just being in the presence of the Lord?


The composition of the psalm has several significant emphases in it. The Lord is designated the Lord of the armies [hosts] in verses 1, 3, 8, and 12. God is also referred to as the living God (vs. 2), the God of Jacob (vs. 8). God is called king (vs. 3), and a sun and a shield (vs. 11). These provide a rich theology. The images present truths about God that consists of many doctrines. The pilgrims traveled to the holy city to worship. This is Almighty God; this is the God of grace and glory, the one who answers prayer and blesses His people (vv. 4, 5, 12).


Last time we saw how the Assyrians destroyed the Northern Kingdom and carried away a great many of the ten tribes of Israel captive. The Assyrians were on the doorstep of Jerusalem ready to destroy it, boasting of how no one was able to stand before the great army of Sennacherib, even mocking Yahweh Elohim. The Assyrian army was destroyed by the angel of the Lord in one night and they were delivered, but they were also warned.


It was made clear through the prophet Isaiah that the South was behaving the same towards God as the North. The next generation, though the story of the deliverance of Judah by God was told them again and again, did not heed the warning and they became worse in a short time.


We are all warned many times of the pain, weakness, and destruction of the paths that do not accompany God.


In reference to this very passage in Isaiah, Peter writes the second chapter of his first epistle.


1Pe 2:1-10

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood [a spiritual house has a solid foundation upon its High Priest], to offer up spiritual sacrifices [what are these?] acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture:


"Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,

And he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." [Isa 28:16]


7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve,


"The stone which the builders rejected,

This became the very corner stone," [Psa 118:22]


8 and,


"A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; [Isa 8:14]


for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people [lost], but now you are the people of God [found]; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


The behavior of the holy priest in the house that God built on the cornerstone Christ … 1Pe 2:11-25.


1Pe 2:11-17

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers [citizens of heaven] to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul [a divided soul cannot stand]. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles [unbelievers], so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers [they are wrong about it], they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.


13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake [not your political party’s sake] to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men [schemes of the devil]. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil [Gal 5:13], but use it as bondslaves of God [complete obedience]. 17 Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.


Though Christ’s house is holy and wonderful, our earthly homes are not perfectly so, and in some cases, they are quite difficult.


No matter what our home on earth is like (even unfair and difficult), we are to live holy as we will in Christ’s house.


1Pe 2:18-25

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up [endures] under sorrows [not that it doesn’t hurt] when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose [one of the reasons for your existence], since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 [and here is His example] who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.





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