Friday, August 16, 2019

Phil Martin sermon links


Here are some sermons that I preached at Tulsa Bible Church (primarily from 2015-2018).  The evening "sermons were more like Bible studies where people broke out into small groups for discussion.

"What to Wear: Making The Right Fashion Statement" (Colossians 3:12-17)

Rediscovering The Reformation | "Sola Fide" (Romans 1:16-17)

"Living Lessons from a Dead King" (2 Chronicles 26:1-23)

"Making Conflict Christian" (1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1)

"The Most Quoted Verse" (Leviticus 19:17-18)

National Day of Prayer | Pastor Phil Martin

"Following Jesus to the Cross" (Matthew 20:1-16)

"Powerful Arrival" (Acts 1:4-8; 2:14-47)

"Givers With A Generous Joy" (1 Cor. 16:3)

"Followers With A Submissive Spirit" (Hebrews 13:7-17)

The Gospel | "A Message About Sin" (Psalm 51)

The Gospel | "A Message We Must Answer" (Luke 18:9-14)

"Christ Our Passover" (1 Corinthians 5:1-13)

"Rejoice, Ye Pure In Heart" Phil Martin PM

"Let Us Do Good" (Galatians 6:1-10)

"Making Conflict Christian" (1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1)

PM Service 01-26-2017

2018 3 25 PM Service | Phil Martin  James 5:7-12 - Do Not Grumble Against One Another.

2017 06 11 PM Service | Phil Martin  1 Samuel 7 - Ebenezar

04 09 2017 PM Service | Phil Martin  1Samuel 3- The Winds of  Change

Phil Martin PM Service 01-26-2017  2 Corinthians 12 - What Is Your Opperating Principle?  Perspective?

“What Guides Our Asking God: The Prayer of Just” Eph. 3

Christ: Your Life | "Serving Christ"


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Notes on Spiritual Leadership (revised) by J Oswald Chambers (Moody Publishers)

Spiritual Leadership (revised) by J Oswald Chambers
www.moodypublishers.com/books/evangelism-and-discipleship/spiritual-leadership/

Ch 1. An Honorable Ambition
“Let it once be fixed that a man’s ambition is to fit into God’s plan for him...” S D Gordon

Ch. 2. Search for Leaders
God alone makes leaders.
Not all who aspire to leadership are willing to pay such a high personal price.”

Ch. 3 The Master’s Master Principle
We do not read about “Moses my Leader”, but “Moses my servant.”
The Sovereignty Principle; The Suffering Principle
The spirit of servanthood: Dependence, approval (by God), Modesty, empathy, optimism, anointing

Ch. 4 Natural and Spiritual Leadership
Leadership may be defined as that quality that inspires sufficient confidence in subordinates...
Leaders are both born and made.

Ch. 5 Can you become a leader?  
Leadership qualities often lie dormant and undiscovered.
List of items to evaluate leadership potential.

Ch. 6 Insights on Leadership from Paul—1 Timothy 3.2-7 
If the world demands standards for leaders, the Church must take even greater care.

Ch. 7 Insights on Leadership from Peter— 
feed them, the humility of an equal, not for personal gain.  
When God calls us, we cannot refuse from a sense of inadequacy.

Ch. 8 Essential Qualities of Leadership
Discipline—Before we can conquer the world, we must conquer the self.
Vision—people who see more and farther than others
Wisdom, Decision—when all the facts are in, swift and clear decision
Courage—face unpleasant and even devastating situations with equanimity
Humility—“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Ch. 9 More Essential Qualities of Leadership
Humor—a keen sense of humor with a clear sense of grace
Friendship—with warm appreciation and personal affection
Tact and Diplomacy—William Cary ...attained the happy art of ruling and overruling others without asserting his authority
Inspirational Power—Inspiring others to service and sacrifice
Executive ability—
The Therapy of Listening—time spent listening is well invested
The Art of Letter Writing—

Ch. 10 Above All Else
To be spirit-filled is indispensable.
Means that the Christian voluntarily surrenders life and will to the Spirit
The coming of spiritual gifts does not eliminate natural gifts but enhances them.

Ch. 11 Prayer and Leadership
We call it indispensable...yet we often fail to pray.
Prayer is hard work, wrestling, struggling
It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone.  (Hudson Taylor)
The Christian who clings to sin closes the ear of God.

Ch. 12. The Leader and Time
The way we employ surpluses hours ... will determine if we develop into mediocre or powerful people.
Our problem is not too little time but making better use of the time we have.  select priorities
Jesus’s twenty-four hour’s a day was sufficient to complete the whole of God’s will.
Keep track of how you spend your time. 

Ch. 13 The Leader and Reading
Read 30 minutes every day.
Careful reading is more valuable than much reading.  Take notes
Read diverse viewpoints.  Correlate your reading.

Ch. 14 Improving Leadership
Exert yourself to lead, zeal, continuing intensity
Leadership that improves; administration, spiritual tone, group morale, personal relationships, problem-solving, creative planning

Ch. 15 The Cost of Leadership
Achievement is bought on the time payment plan.
Self-sacrifice, fatigue, criticism, rejection, pressure and perplexity

Ch. 16 Responsibilities of Leadership
Service—The Son of God became the servant of God to do the mission of God.
Applied discipline—Godly, loving, meekness
Guidance—1 Cor 11:1
Initiative—after cautious counsel take courageous, calculated risks
“The frontiers of the kingdom of God we’re never advanced by men and women of caution.” 

Ch. 17 Tests of Leadership
...they serve to purify...
Knowing when (on principles) to stand firm and resist compromise.
“...three phases in most great tasks undertaken for God—impossible, difficult, done.” —Hudson Taylor
The priority of pursuing God’s glory and not your own
Failure is not final.

Ch. 18 The Art of Delegation
“...would rather put a thousand men to work than do the work of a thousand men.”  —DL Moody
Failure to delegate is poor stewardship.
Even if tasks are not done perfectly...
There is no virtue in doing more than your fair share of the work.

Ch. 19 Replacing Leaders
The ultimate test of leadership is the health of the organization after the leader is gone.
The most gifted leader has liabilities and limitations.
Only one leader holds office forever.

Ch. 20 Reproducing Leaders
2 Timothy 2.2. A Leaders responsibility to train others.  should take high priority
...train others to do the work better than he did it.
Disciples are not manufactured wholesale.  They are manufactured one by one...

Ch. 21 Perils of Leadership
Pride:  The victim of pride is often least aware of it.
Egotism is the practice of thinking and speaking of oneself.  The veil will eventually fall off.
Jealousy:  God’s work in others was to be encouraged not sniffed out.
Popularity: Being disliked is no virtue, but popularity can have too high a price.  Leaders must work to attach people’s affection to Jesus.
Infallibility: perfection alludes is all
Indispensability: ...the missionary should be planning on working out of a job.
Elation and Depression:
Prophet or Leader:
Disqualifications: warning against smugness or complacency

Ch. 22 The Leader Nehemiah
Character: Man of prayer, courage, concern, caution, clear decisions, empathetic, realist, follow thru, vigorous administration.
Methods: redirect focus toward the greatness of God, encouraged, corrected, promptly faced weaknesses, the authority of God’s Word, organize people and projects.

A Final Word
If Spiritual Leadership were easy, everyone would be doing it.
...say “Yes” to Jesus’ invitation, “Follow Me.”

Saturday, July 13, 2019


        Samuel  (1-7)
        Transition to king  (8)
        The Reign of Saul  (9-14)
        The decline of Saul –
      rise of David  (15-31)
-------------------------------------------
        David’s Rule of Judah  (1-4)
        David’s Rule of Israel  (4-24)

CONTEXT The Reign of Saul  (9-14)
9) Search Finds Samuel  (vs. 15-16)
10) Saul Announced King  (vs. 1, 25-27
11) Saul Defeats Ammonites at Jabesh  (vs. 12-13)
12) King Saul Confirmed (vs. 19-20
13) Saul Shows No Heart (War with Philistines)
14) War with Philistines (continued)
15) Sin in Attack on Amalek  (Saul shows he is spiritually unfit.)

Title:  Watch for the Head Fake
Explain what a "head fake" is in sports.
Watch for Saul in this passage to "fake" a loyalty to God while really taking matters into his own hands.
BIG IDEA:
Don't let life's pressures distract you from (obeying) God.
1. Setting
  • Textual problems
  • Troop Strength

Verse 1,  There is likely a textual problem with the numbers in verse one.
·       NKJV and ESV have one year and two years
·       NASB, NIV, etc.  inserted the chronologically more plausible numbers 30 and 42
·       RSV has ellipsis to show indicate they are missing
-------------------------------------------

1 SAMUEL 13:1WHAT IS THE CORRECT NUMBER IN THIS VERSE?

PROBLEM: Among the several translations of the OT, 1 Samuel 13:1 is rendered as “one year” in the nkjv, by “forty” in the nasb, by “thirty” for the first number and “[forty-]two” for the second number in the ___. Which of these is the right number or numbers for this verse?
SOLUTION: The problem arises from the fact that the number is missing in the manuscripts of the Masoretic text. The verse simply reads, “Saul was the son of ... years when he became king, and he reigned two years over Israel.” The verse does not include the word “reigned” in the first part. It literally says that “Saul was the son of ... years.” Consequently, the renderings of the various translations are simply the attempts of translators to fill in the missing information based on other data.
-------------------------------------------
Verse 2  The number of three thousand might simply represent three companies IVPBBC

2. Rising Action 3-8
  • Jonathan's attack
  • Sault's call to arms
  • The Philistines assemble

Verse 3  The Hebrew word nâtsiyb (garrison) may also denote “a prefect” or “official,” and the passage would then denote the assassination of this representative of the Philistines an signal general revolt.  --Merrill Unger
Jonathan's actions showed that the Israelites were going to attempt to throw off the Philistine yoke.

Saul sounded a general call to muster at Gilgal near the Jordan in preparation for battle.

Verse. 4  “Saul” had attacked/smitten/defeated the garrison
Some would use the attribution of this attack to Saul as a sign of dishonesty and pride.  There is often a tendency of leaders to take credit for the accomplishments of their subordinates.

Verses 5-6  An overwhelming Philistine force was deployed.  The Israelites saw they were in serious trouble and began to hide themselves.
-------------------------------------------
1 SAMUEL 13:5HOW COULD THE PHILISTINES HAVE AN ARMY OF 30,000 CHARIOTS?

PROBLEM: According to this passage, the Philistines gathered together 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen. However, an army of 30,000 chariots has never been recorded in all of ancient history, even among the most powerful empires. How could the Philistines have amassed such a large group of chariots?

SOLUTION: It is probably an error that has crept into the manuscripts during transmission. It is very unlikely that there would be such a ratio of chariots to horsemen. It is much more likely that the original manuscripts recorded the number of chariots at 3,000. This would give a better ratio of chariots to horsemen. Because the Hebrew numbers are very similar, it is quite probable that some copyist simply miscopied the 3,000 as 30,000. The accurate recording of numerical designations is very difficult, leading to this kind of problem.
-------------------------------------------
  • With this flurry of events and the serious situation our attention is diverted to what is going to happen with the Philistines.
  • Instead, the text points us to Saul’s hasty act of sacrificing the burnt offering.

Verses 7b-8  Evidently ritual was very important to him, so he offered the sacrifice and disobeyed Samuel. His choice suggests that he had a rather superficial relationship with Yahweh. --JStubbs
Only a priest could offer that sacrifice (cf. Num. 16:1-40)
APPLICATION: Why was Saul impatient?  Taking matters into his own hands?  What happens when we take matters into our own hands today?  --JStubbs

3. Climax 9-15
  • Samuel's delay
  • Samuel's rebuke
  • Saul's fullish excuses
  • Samuel leaves

10b SAUL:  Greets Samuel.
11 SAMUEL:  What have you done?
(Note the value of not jumping to conclusions though here it seemed obvious)
SAUL:  Excuses
1. The people were scattering.
2. You did not come within the days appointed.
3. The Philistines had mustered at Michmash, soon coming to Gilgal.
4. I needed to seek the favor of the Lord, so I “forced myself.”
APPLICATION: Excuses squelch repentance.  "If we confess OUR sins..."
13-14  SAMUEL:
1. You have done foolishly.
Why does Samuel call Saul’s behavior?  (foolish, disobedient)
Relying on feeling is always dangerous, need to always discern between God’s leading and our own “compelling” desires and leadings…..
2. You have disobeyed.
3. The Lord would have established your kingdom, but…
4. The Lord has sought a man after His own heart.
You have done foolishly is a stronger condemnation than we might suppose, for in Scripture the fool is morally and spiritually blameworthy, not merely lacking in intellect. Saul had seen the Lord undertake for him in the Ammonite battle; he had heard the Lord’s word of assurance through Samuel (1 Sam. 12:14), but at the first moment of strain he has failed to be obedient to the Lord his God.  Tyndale OT Commentary
APPLICATION:  “Watch for the head fake.” 
While Saul was preoccupied with the events around him, God was watching his heart.
Would he allow this world to conform him to human expediency? or would he trust and obey?
 He had no rational hope of defeating the Philistines anyway.
APPLICATION:  Where is your heart?  Part of seeking the kingdom of God (Matt 6:33) is looking for what He is doing, what He wants us to do, and not allowing our faith in Him to be dislodged by circumstances.

4. Resolution 16-23
  • Raiding parties
  • No Iron in Israel

Verses 15b – 18
The Israelites pretty much observed helplessly as the Philistines sent out raiding parties at will.
Verses 19-23 
The lack of iron weapons gave the Philistines a huge economic and military advantage.
What is the writer’s point in bringing up the blacksmith issue?
The main physical advantage the Philistines enjoyed was their ability to smelt iron. This advanced technology gave them a strong military edge over the Israelites.[1]
The lack of iron also made the Israelites subject to exorbitant fees to sharpen their tools.

APPLICATION:  Were the disadvantages in technology the real problem?
We see a description of events when Israel has removed God's favor by rejecting his Lordship over all their lives.
Notice how the acts of the leaders affected the lives of those under their authority.  The same is true for parents, bosses, and other kinds of leaders today.
BIG IDEA:
Don't let life's pressures distract you from (obeying) God.


[1]Dothan, p. 20. 




Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Tim Keller on Romans 8:28-30



Tim Keller on Romans 8:28-30
“Happiness and Weeping” Series

Christianity is supposed to be about a joy that is not subject to circumstances.  There is a joy that the deepest trouble, grief cannot be put out.
Jesus prayed that we would have the full measure of his joy.  In sixteen he told His disciples He was giving a joy nothing could take away from them. (and He knew what would happen to them)
What is that (impervious, relentless) joy made of?
Romans 8 (17-18) is talking about trouble. Romans eight is about living in a world of suffering.  How do we live in a world like that?

In these three verses (28-30), you have three principles that bring, cause, need to be understood
·        v. 28  Bad things turn out for Good
·        v. 29 Our good things can never be lost.
·        v. 30 Your best things are yet to come.
This is the basis for your joy that you need to grasp and implant.
I. Bad things turn for good. 
A literal the translation says “For (to )those loving Him, God works together all things for good
A. All things will happen to you.
This text and experience tells us that all the same stuff that happens to other people will happen to the people of God.  See examples in the following verses.
B. When things work together for God, it is because of God.  They never work together on their own.
Previously in Chapter 8 (18-20) All things fall apart, are subject to decay.  It is the nature of things.
Christians get rid of the idea that things ought to go right.  If my health is intact, people love me in spite of my flaws, it’s God doing it.  It is a miracle of grace.
C. It doesn’t mean that bad things are really good things.
“They are not blessings in disguise. (ie There is a silver lining behind every dark cloud.)  No bad things happen even if God is working good through them.” 
The promise is not that if you love God you will have more good things happen, not that bad things won’t happen, or that bad things are really good.  The promise is that taken in the totality they will work them for good.  The promise is that taken in the totality of your life and the whole of everything that if you love God He will make sure it works for good.
“Everything is necessary that He sends.  Nothing can be necessary that He withholds.” -- John Newton:
The premise is the things that really hurt you that kill you are foolishness, selfishness, pride, hardness of heart, denial of your weakness and the denial that there is a god.  Those are the only things that can hurt you in the long run and the totality of your life.
Good things, if God has withheld them, they would not be good in the macro.  God will only bring in the bad things to kill the things that will destroy you.
Bad things will happen to you.  You should not be surprised, shocked when they happen.  The promise is not that I live God so more good things are going to happen.
APPLICATION:
Routine praise.  If bad things happen, you won’t be shocked. 
“The lower you (bad things) lay me the higher you will raise me.

All things work together for good (all by itself) does I not mean if I don’t get what I want, there is a better something waiting for me.  There  is a little word “for” that means verse 29 explains verse 28.
II.  Our good things can never be lost.
God does not promise you better life circumstances, but a better life.
Jesus Christ did not suffer so that you would not suffer but so that when you suffer, you will become more like Him.  Verse 29 is explaining what the good is.
Paul is not using this verse to explain the word predestined and all the theological difficulties that go with it.  He is using this word as an encouragement, a statement of certainty.  Something that is predestined is fixed.  The word conformed does not refer to outward conformity, but to change (like metamorphoses) by and to the character of Jesus.  Everything is molding and shaping you into the image of God’s son.  He is giving you that incredible…
It is predestined, guaranteed. 

Glorified is in the past tense.  It is so absolutely certain that He is going to make you like Jesus that He states it in the past tense, like it already happened, make you as holy and happy as Jesus.
The two good things that we have as Christians and we will never lose.  1. We are on a collision course with greatness. When we suffer, we will become like him.  2.  That we will be in this family. “the firstborn of many brethren.”  Most people adopted in the Roman world were adopted as adults by a wealthy man who had no heir.  Firstborn among many brothers is something that happens now.  Everything Jesus accomplished is yours.
All “sons” seems to not be inclusive.  In many cultures, the son would get more provisions and inheritance.  St Paul lived in a culture where women were second class.  Paul is saying there is no second class in God’s family.  You are all sons.  None are excluded.  There is no second class.  Every one of us is a son.
Paul is not promising us better life circumstances: He is promising you a far better life.  He is promising you a life of joy, of humility, of nobility that goes on forever.
Why can you be happy?
III.  The best is yet to come.  Glory.
Do you understand glory?  If you understand what is to come, you can handle anything here.
“I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.” -- ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Where does this leave someone who is not a Christian?  Don’t come to Christianity because it is comforting, because it is encouraging, because it is relevant, because it is exciting.  Come to Christianity because it is true, because if it is not true, how can it be all those other things. 
It would be stupid to think you have all these intellectual doubts, but I want to come for the joy.  The joy is based on these convictions about Christ and the Gospel.  Paul says, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.”  That is where the joy comes from… thinking.  Christianity is not the absence of thinking.  Christianity helps you get by adding this perspective.  Paul reckons, he thinks, he works this out. 
This talk about glory and heaven does not trivialize your suffering.  It is the only world view that takes your suffering seriously.  Your souls are so great, and your suffering is so deep that nothing but this will overwhelm it. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

"Father is not a culturally conditioned term but the proper name of God given by divine revelation."

© 2016 Christianity Today
Christians have good reasons to resist gender-neutral alternatives.
Simon Chan/ August 13, 2013
For at least the past 40 years, traditional language for God has come under fire. While formal feminist theologians disagree about what language to use instead, they are unanimous that masculine words for God, especially Father, must be expunged from our theological vocabulary. For the church to be inclusive, they argue, it must replace man-centered language with language that accounts for both male and female. Furthermore, since our human words cannot adequately portray God's fullness, no single characterization will suffice. God could be addressed as father and/or mother in order to bring out his multifaceted nature.
Underlying this view is a belief that terms like father and mother are mere human characterizations of God, shaped by specific cultural and backgrounds. The predominantly masculine images of God in the Bible reflect an ancient patriarchal society. As a consequence, critics say, biblical religion has absorbed patriarchal values, which in turn are used to justify beliefs and institutions that harm or subjugate women. Theology, therefore, must be reconstructed to yield a valid religion for women based on women's experience.
The quest for gender-inclusive language has been a preoccupation of many mainline Protestants and liberal Catholics for decades. Some evangelicals also make compromises to accommodate these concerns. But before we jump onto the theological bandwagon, we need to reexamine the reasons for the use of masculine terms for God in Scripture and throughout the Christian tradition.
Not an Invention
Feminine images are used throughout Scripture to describe God's compassionate and loving nature. Examples include the frequent images of God protecting and comforting his children (Isa. 66:12–13; Hos. 11:1–4). But it's important to note that God is never addressed as Mother. This phenomenon is unique...

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT....


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Psalm 19:7–10 / Law, Testimony, Statutes, Commandment, Fear, Judgments

Psalm 19:7–10 (NKJV): 7
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-ykfw3-i7s&fbclid=IwAR3ubcYAtFAX5FZgSb05297REm5CI3JuK7YIzDjbrgy_I6sVNemU7h5DwZ4&app=desktop

LAW

Strong's Enhanced
8451 תֹּורָה [towrah, torah /to·raw/] n f. From 3384; TWOT 910d; GK 9368; 219 occurrences; AV translates as “law” 219 times. 
1 law, direction, instruction
1a instruction, direction (human or divine). 
     1a1 body of prophetic teaching. 
     1a2 instruction in Messianic age. 
     1a3 body of priestly direction or instruction. 
     1a4 body of legal directives. 
1b law. 
     1b1 law of the burnt offering. 
     1b2 of special law, codes of law. 
1c custom, manner. 
1d the Deuteronomic or Mosaic Law.
James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

TWOT (tôrâ). Law, teaching. ASV always “law,” RSV sometimes “teaching,” “instruction” and “decisions.” The word is used some 221 times.
Teaching is the special task of the wisdom school as seen especially through the book of Prov and of the priesthood. The latter accompanies a revealed religion. The priests are to teach the law given by Moses (Lev 10:11; Deut 33:10); e.g. King Jehoash acted uprightly because he was instructed by the high priest (II Kgs 12:2 [H 3]). Ezra the priest faithfully taught the Law of Moses in the fall Feast of Tabernacles in accordance with the Deuteronomic injunction (Deut 31:9–11; Neh 8:1ff.). Unfortunately the priests were not always true to God; they taught for money and became teachers of lies (Isa 9:15 [H 14]; Mic 3:11). Similarly an idol is deemed “a teacher of lies” (Hab 2:18f). 
Teaching is associated with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Bezalel and Oholiab were inspired to teach the skills of the artisan so that the tabernacle and its furnishing could be built (Ex 35:34). God himself is particularly described as a teacher. He taught Moses both what to do and say (Ex 4:15). He also teaches sinners the right way (Ps 25:8) and instructs those who fear him in the way they should choose (Ps 25:12). Therefore the Psalmist often beseeches God to teach him so that he may keep the statutes and walk in the way of truth (Ps 27:11; 86:11; 119:33; cf. Job 6:24; 34:32). In the last days God promises the people of Jerusalem a teacher whom they will behold (Isa 30:20). The nations also will come to Jerusalem so that God might teach them (Isa 2:3). No wonder Jesus, as God incarnate, assumed the title of teacher and performed much of his ministry as a teacher.
Scope of the Word
The word tôrâ means basically “teaching” whether it is the wise man instructing his son or God instructing Israel. The wise give insight into all aspects of life so that the young may know how to conduct themselves and to live a long blessed life (Prov 3:1f.). So too God, motivated by love, reveals to man basic insight into how to live with each other and how to approach God. 

Law and Covenant
Covenant precedes law; and the law was given only to the nation which had entered into covenant with God [although in the sense of moral principle, law is as old as human sin and God’s governance, Gen 3:7; 9:6; 26:5.—R.L.H.]. The law specifically is the stipulations of the covenant. 

The Property of the Priests
The law was the special property of the priests. They were to teach its precepts and follow its regulations (Deut 17:8–11; 33:10). They were known as “those who handle the law” (Jer 2:8). 

The Law at the Time of Ezra and Nehemiah
In the postexilic community under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, the law became central to the community’s life. Both men struck out at the lax, selfish lives the people were living and sought to turn them back to the true worship of God through having the law taught. 

Praise for the Law
Some psalms render praise to the law. The chief, of course, is Ps 119. The Psalmist yearns for understanding in order that he can keep the law, the object of his delight and love (vv. 1, 61, 92). Psalm 19 speaks about God communicating his glory through the heavens and through his spoken word. The latter communicates directly and specifically God’s will. The law turns (RSV “reviving the soul”) the whole person to God. Thereby it enlightens, makes wise and is a cause of rejoicing (vv. 7–8 [H 8–9]). It also warns against evil and prevents one from inadvertently turning from God (v. 11 [H 12]). No wonder its value is higher than the finest gold and its taste sweeter than honey (v. 10 [H 11]).

The Law in the Coming Age
Because of Israel’s constant disobedience, the prophets looked for a time when once again the law, directly from God, would go forth from Jerusalem (Isa 2:3). Then God himself will both teach and judge according to the law. Such is a part of the suffering servant’s task, namely to render judgment according to truth and to give forth a new teaching or law (Isa 42:3f.). 
John E. Hartley, “910 יָרָה,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 403–405.

TESTIMONY
Strong's Enhanced
5715 עֵדוּת [ʿeduwth /ay·dooth/] n f. From 5707; TWOT 1576f; GK 6343; 59 occurrences; AV translates as “testimony” 55 times, and “witness” four times. 1 testimony.
James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

TWOT  (ʿēdût). Testimony, reminder, warning sign. (ASV and RSV are similar but the latter will occasionally use the rendering “warning,” cf. II Kgs 17:15; Neh 9:34, which is justified since the meaning of this word is not simply a corroborative testimony but also a warning testimony.) This substantive is from the root ʿûd meaning “to bear witness.” Synonymous and derived from the same root are ʿēdâ III, found less frequently and only in the plural, meaning “testimonies” of God and tĕʿûdâ, also meaning “testimony” but somewhat more restricted since it seems to designate the particular prophetic testimony of Isaiah (8:16, 20) rather than the law in general. (For this latter word cf. UT 19: no. 1832, tʿdt, which has the dual meaning of message and messenger—UT. 16: T nos. 137:22, 26, 30, 41, 44.)
This word is always used in reference to the testimony of God. It is most frequently connected with the tabernacle (Ex 38:21; Num 1:50, 53), resulting in the expression “tabernacle of the testimony,” and with the ark (Ex 25:22; 26:33, 34; 30:6, 26), resulting in the phrase “ark of the testimony.” In fact in several instances this word stands alone to indicate the ark (Ex 16:34; 27:21; 30:36; Lev 16:13). Moses was instructed to put the testimony in (“before,” Ex 16:34; 27:21) the ark (Ex 25:21) and he did so (Ex 40:20; cf. Heb 9:4). Here the meaning is made quite clear. It designates the two tables of stone upon which the Ten Words (commandments) were written (Ex 24:12; 31:18; 32:15; 34:29). These two tables represented God’s covenant with Israel (Ex 34:27, 28) and as such are called the “tables of the covenant” (Deut 9:9; 11:15). 
The law of God is his testimony because it is his own affirmation relative to his very person and purpose. While in the ot the written words constitute the testimony, it is the proclamation of the gospel which is the essence of the testimony in the nt. TWOT
John E. Hartley, “910 יָרָה,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 403–405.

STATUTESStrong's Enhanced
6490 פִּקּוּדִים [piqquwd, piqqud /pik·kood/] n m. From 6485; TWOT 1802e; GK 7218; 24 occurrences; AV translates as “precept” 21 times, “commandment” twice, and “statute” once
1 precept, statute.
James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

TWOT pāqad occurs primarily in the Qal, Niphal, and Hiphil stems. It also occurs a few times in the Piel, Pual, Hophal, Hithpael, and Hothpael stems. The basic meaning is to exercise oversight over a subordinate, either in the form of inspecting or of taking action to cause a considerable change in the circumstances of the subordinate, either for the better or for the worse.
פִּקּוּדִים (piqqûdîm). Precepts, statutes, commandments (used only in pl.) (RSV “precepts” in all twenty-four occurrences), used only in Ps (all but three of its occurrences are in Ps 119), is a general term for the responsibilities that God places on his people.
R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, eds., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 732.

COMMANDMENTStrong's Enhanced
4687 מִצְוָה [mitsvah /mits·vaw/] n f. From 6680; TWOT 1887b; GK 5184; 181 occurrences; AV translates as “commandments” 177 times, “precept” four times, “commanded” twice, “law” once, and “ordinances” once. 
1 commandment. 
     1a commandment (of man). 
     1b the commandment (of God). 
1c commandment (of code of wisdom).James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

TWOT מִצְוָה (miṣwâ). Commandment. In a deed of purchase for a plot of land, miṣwâ refers to the terms of the contract (Jer 32:11). It is also the word used by the wisdom school for the instruction of a teacher to his pupil (Prov 2:1; 3:1). More frequently the commandments are the particular conditions of the covenant. It is used for the Ten Commandments in Ex 24:12.
God clearly reveals his commandments in order that they be available to all the people. No one has to spend a lifetime in search of them (Deut 30:11). They are right at hand. The Lord reaches out to man long before man seeks him. God’s commandments are considered pure (Ps 19:8 [H 9]), true (Ps 119:151), reliable (Ps 119:86), righteous (Ps 119:172). The man of faith has his delight in God’s commandments; and he is called blessed (Ps 119:47; 112:1). The commandments of Yahweh provide insight into the meaning of life in order that it may be lived to its fullest significance (Ps 19:8f. [H 9f.]; cf. Deut 5:29; 6:2; 8:11). Following God’s commandments gives one wisdom and the respect of his neighbors (cf. Deut 4:5f.). Consequently the one who follows them often rises to a place of leadership. So too, Israel would become a leading nation if she remained true to the Lord’s commandments (Deut 28:13). The splendor which it experienced under David and Solomon bears witness to the validity of this affirmation. The reason Israel was to obey the commandments rests in God himself (Lev 22:31). By his very nature he knows what is best for his people and by his very position they are bound to serve him. The one who loves God keeps his commandments (Deut 11:1). Thereby he shows his reverence for (or fear of) God and develops a walk with God (Deut 8:6; 13:4 [H 5]). God extends his love (ḥesed) to those who obey him (Deut 5:10).
To do the commandments, man must remember them. The Hebrews were to make fringes (or tassels) on the corners of their garments to remind them of the law (Num 15:39). Also they were to bind God’s words on their foreheads and on their hands and write them on the doorposts of their houses. The fathers were to teach them to their sons and to speak of them frequently (Deut 6:6–9). And they were preserved by being written in the book of the law (Deut 30:10). However, the commandments possess no real value if they are considered only a human document learned by rote (Isa 29:13f.).
Furthermore, man in his depravity is tempted on the one hand to reject God’s commandments and on the other hand to add to them by interpreting them very minutely. The latter leads to the sense of secure arrogance that one is even doing God a favor. Therefore God declares that one is not to add to or to diminish from the commandments given (Deut 12:32 [H 13:1]; cf.5:32).
The violation of any commandment results in guilt and the need for atonement (cf. Lev 4). But whoever goes so far as to spurn God’s commandments is cut off from God’s people (Num 15:31). Solomon’s failure to follow the commandments in his later life resulted in the division of the kingdom (I Kgs 11:31–39; 14:8). Then the continued disobedience of various kings, especially Manasseh, led to the end of David’s dynasty. But God extended his mercy to Israel even in captivity (cf. Neh 1:Sf.). And he will fulfill his promise to David through the Messiah.
In the postexilic period the scribal class developed. They were skilled in the commandments, i.e. they interpreted the law for the people (Ezr 7:11).
The writer of Eccl searched every possibility for meaning to life and came to this conclusion: “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man” (12:13).


FEAR

3374 יִרְאָה [yirʾah /yir·aw/] n f. From 3373; TWOT 907b; GK 3711; 45 occurrences; AV translates as “fear” 41 times, “exceedingly + 1419” twice, “dreadful” once, and “fearfulness” once. 
1 fear, terror, fearing. 
1A fear, terror. 
1B awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear). 
1C fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety. 
1D revered.
James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

907b      יִרְאָה (yirʾâ) fearing, fear.
In this discussion, biblical usages of yārēʾ are divided into five general categories:
1) the emotion of fear, 
2) the intellectual anticipation of evil without emphasis upon the emotional reaction, 
3) reverence or awe, 
4) righteous behaviour or piety, and 
5) formal religious worship. Major OT synonyms include pāḥad, ḥātat, and ḥārad as well as several words referring to shaking or quaking as a result of fear.
יִרְאָה (yirʾâ). Fearing, fear, etc. Used both as a noun and as the infinitive for yārēʾ. Found in all usages (above) of yaraʾ, except 5.
The usages of this noun are similar to those of the verb. It may refer to the emotion of terror or fear (Ps 55:5 [H 6]; Ezk 30:13). This terror may be put into men’s hearts by God (Ex 20:20; Deut 2:25). Isaiah 7:25 uses the term for an unemotional anticipation of evil. When God is the object of fear, the emphasis is again upon awe or reverence. This attitude of reverence is the basis for real wisdom (Job 28:28; Ps 111:10; Prov 9:10; 15:33). Indeed, the phrase sets the theme for the book of Proverbs. It is used in 1:7: recurs in 9:10 and twelve other verses. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil (8:13), is a fountain of life (14:27), it tendeth to life (19:23), and prolongeth days (10:27). Numerous passages relate this fear of God to piety and righteous living: it motivates faithful living (Jer 32:40). Fear of God results in caring for strangers (Gen 20:11). Just rule is rule in the fear of God (II Sam 23:3). Fear of the Almighty does not withhold kindness from friends (Job 6:14). Economic abuses against fellow Jews were contrary to the fear of God (Neh 5:9). The fear of the Lord turns men from evil (Prov 16:6).  Bibliography: TDOT, IX, pp. 197–208. THAT, I, pp. 765–77.
Andrew Bowling, “907 יָרֵא,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 401.


JUDGMENTS
Strong's Enhanced
4941 מִשְׁפָּט [mishpat /mish·pawt/] n m. From 8199; TWOT 2443c; GK 5477; 421 occurrences; AV translates as “judgment” 296 times, “manner” 38 times, “right” 18 times, “cause” 12 times, “ordinance” 11 times, “lawful” seven times, “order” five times, “worthy” three times, “fashion” three times, “custom” twice, “discretion” twice, “law” twice, “measure” twice, “sentence” twice, and translated miscellaneously 18 times. 
1 judgment, justice, ordinance. 
1A judgment. 
     1A1 act of deciding a case. 
     1A2 place, court, seat of judgment. 
      1A3 process, procedure, litigation (before judges). 
      1A4 case, cause (presented for judgment). 1A5 sentence, decision (of judgment). 1A6 execution (of judgment). 
     1A7 time (of judgment). 
1B justice, right, rectitude (attributes of God or man). 
1C ordinance. 
1D decision (in law). 
1E right, privilege, due (legal). 1F proper, fitting, measure, fitness, custom, manner, pl

James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).


TWOT מִשְׁפָּט (mišpāṭ). Justice, ordinance, custom, manner. Represents what is doubtless the most important idea for correct understanding of government—whether of man by man or of the whole creation by God. Though rendered “judgment” in most of the four hundred or so appearances of mišpāṭ in the Hebrew Bible, this rendering is often defective for us moderns by reason of our novel way of distinctly separating legislative, executive, and judicial functions and functionaries in government. Hence šāpaṭ, the common verb (from which our word mišpaṭ is derived) meaning “to rule, govern,” referring to all functions of government is erroneously restricted to judicial processes only, whereas both the verb and noun include all these functions.

An analysis of all uses in the Bible turns up at least thirteen related, but distinct, aspects of the central idea, which if to one rendered by a single English word with similar range of meaning, ought by all means to be the word “justice.” Even the ASV, which inclines strongly toward regular rendering of Hebrew and Greek words has thus updated the rendering of mišpāṭ, though not regularly (contrast “thy judgments” [Ps 72:1] with “with justice” [72:2]). The noun mišpāṭ can be used to designate almost any aspect of civil or religious government, as follows:

1. The act of deciding a case of litigation brought before a civil magistrate. BDB finds 204 instances beginning at Ex 21:31–though RSV and NASB disallow this first, rendering otherwise. But most of the occurrences are very clear (Deut 25:1; Josh 20:6 are examples).

2. The place of deciding a case of litigation. A clear case of this rather rare (because indecisive) use is I Kgs 7:7.

3. The process of litigation is called mišpāṭ. There are many doubtful cases, it being hard to distinguish between meanings 1 and 2. An instance is Isa 3:14. “Litigation” would be an apt rendering for this class. The clearest instances employ ʿim with a following noun “a judgment with so-and-so” (Job 22:4) or ʾet (Ps 143:2).
4. A case of litigation (i.e. a specific cause brought to the magistrate). Solomon, e.g., asked God for understanding that he might “hear mišpāṭ.”—a case brought before him (I Kgs 3:11, ASV marg.) If this case be disallowed (RSV) then Job’s ʿāraktî mišpāṭ (“I have set in order [my] case” 13:18) seems unassailable. See also I Kgs 8:59. This usage parallels the noun rîb.
5. A sentence or decision issuing from a magistrate’s court. This is very common. In such cases the prevalent “judgment” as rendering is entirely correct (I Kgs 20:40). In Jer 26:11, 16 “worthy of death” renders mišpaṭ mawwet, in each case clearly meaning, a sentence of death.
6. The time of judgment. A clear case is Ps 1:5; Eccl 12:14, “God will bring every work into mišpāṭ” is close to presenting the same. BDB assert that “execution of judgment” in general is the meaning in a group including the preceeding instance. The cases cited, however, seem better classified in relation to the idea or attribute of justice.
All the above are examples mainly of mišpāṭ in the judicial side of government.
There now follows a use closely parallel to what men now think of as authority.
7. Sovereignty, the legal foundation of government in the sense of ultimate authority or right. Men today are accustomed to finding this in constitutions and the nature of man (“natural rights”) but in the Hebrew Scriptures 
(a) all authority is God’s and it is this authority which is denominated mišpāṭ. “The mišpāṭ is God’s” (Deut 1:17); “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole mišpāṭ thereof is of the Lord (Prov 16:33). Individual men, as created by God, have inalienable mišpāṭîm (“rights”). (See R. D. Culver, Toward a Biblical View of Civil Government, 1974). 
(b) The magistrate’s mišpāṭ is conferred by God as best shown by the reference to King Messiah’s magisterial authority (Ps 72:1–2). Of course, the doctrine of providence is basic to this idea (Ps 103:19; cf. Rom 13:1ff.). This universal reign and rule of God seems to be the idea conveyed by mišpāṭ in Jer 8:7, “My people do not know the law (mišpāṭ) of God.”
There are also uses involving the legislative side of government.
8. The attribute of justice in all correct personal civil administration is emphasized. 
(a) This justice is primarily an attribute of God, all true mišpāṭ finding its source in God himself and therefore carrying with it his demand. “When therefore the Scripture speaks of the mišpāṭ of God, as it frequently does, the word has a particular shade of meaning and that is not so much just statutes of God as the just claims of God. God, who is the Lord, can demand and He does demand” (Koehler, ot Theology, pp. 205–206). All the right (justice, authority, etc.) there is is his, “because Jehovah is the God of justice” (Isa 30:18; cf. Gen 18:25). God loves mišpāṭ in this sense (Ps 37:28). Psalm 36:6 [H 7] in kĕtîb reads, “Thy mišpāṭ (singular) is a great abyss.” 
(b) mišpāṭ, as justice, i.e. rightness rooted in God’s character, ought to be an attribute of man in general and of judicial process among them (Ps 106:3). Wise men speak it (Ps 37:30) and think it (Prov 12:5) and God requires it of them (Mic 6:8). The righteous enjoy it (Prov 21:15) and righteous magistrates employ it in judgment (Mic 3:1; cf. Prov 29:4).
9. mišpāṭ also designates an ordinance of law—often used co-ordinately with ḥōq “ordinance” (Ex 15:25) and tôrâ “law” (Isa 42:4). The Pentateuchal ordinances are mišpāṭ (Lev 5:10; 9:16, et al.), in fact the individual ordinances of Mosaic law are mišpāṭ (Deut 33:10, 21; 16 times in Ps 119).
10. A plan (Ex 26:30) or 
11. custom (II Kgs 17:33) or even 
12. a fitting measure taken (I Kgs 5:8) seem to come under the scope of this word, though they are extended meanings, hardly standard.
13. One’s right under law, human or divine, is denominated mišpāṭ (Deut 18:3; Jer 32:7).
Frequently associated with ṣedeq and ṣĕdāqâ in ot descriptions of God’s reign and ways with his creatures, this idea lies at the very heart of a true understanding of the Biblical world-and-life view.
Note: The breastplate worn by the high priest is called a “breastplate of judgment” (Ex 28:15, 29–30), not from any alleged revelation given by the stones Urim and Thummim but because the breastplate covered Aaron’s heart and “they shall be upon Aaron’s heart when he goeth in before the Lord and Aaron shall bear the judgment (mišpāṭ) of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually.” What Aaron was concerned with before God was Israel’s justification, i.e. judicial sentence (see above) of guiltiness. Thus “in prophetic vision as in actual oriental life, the sentence of justification was often expressed by the nature of the robe worn. …Isaiah 61:10 is a good illustration of this.” Also see Isa 62:3; Rev 3:5; 7:9; 19:14; Est 6:8–9, 12 (A. C. Hervey, Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, Hackett ed., 11, pp. 1066–67).
Bibliography: McKenzie, Donald A., “The Judge of Israel,” VT 17:118–21. THAT, II, pp. 999–1009.  R.D.C.

R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, eds., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 732.