I would like to take as an exhortation, the story of Zacchaeus. Let us turn up the passage in Luke 19 and read v1-9. What I am going to do, is split the record into four sections and have a quick look at each one and see what we can learn from it, it’s a simple story with a simple message but I think for me sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the simple things. Life in the meeting can get very complicated sometimes, but it does all boil down to a few things really and I’d like for us all to just think about these things this morning.
1 And Job answered and said,2 No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?4 I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.5 He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.6 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.16 With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.
1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.2 God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.10 For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.11 There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor.12 Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.14 And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.
1 He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.2 For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches.3 The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.4 The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.5 He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared.6 The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.7 And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.8 But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.9 Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.11 Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid?12 The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.13 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.