Psalm 106: 19-23 What is our takeaway from this text?
They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a metal image. They exchanged the glory of God[b]for the image of an ox that eats grass. They forgot God, their Savior,who had done great things in Egypt, wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. Therefore he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
The Psalmist continues to reflect on God’s relationship with Israel. Notice what the writer remembers. He remembers that Aaron, under pressure, made an idol similar to the idols of the Canaanites—who worshiped Baal, thought of as a bull. They traded a real relationship with God for a false relationship of an idol.
The writer also remembers that Israel forgot God, who physically delivered them from bondage. He reminds the readers that God had done great things, wondrous works, and awesome deeds for the people of Israel. Israel, in their hardships and discomfort became hard-hearted towards God, disrespectful of God. God wanted to destroy them until Moses stood in the gap for Israel. (See Exodus 32).
What is the takeaway for us? What can we learn from the reflection of the psalmist; of this story? (1) As a leader, or anyone in relationship, we can careful of doing things because of peer pressure. In other words, don’t do anything under peer pressure. (2) Remember God and what he has done for us when we find ourselves in a dry and weary place. (3) We can be sure that we don’t let the culture around us influence our behaviors or whom we worship.
In our day and time, unlike that of Israel during the time of Moses, we need to be more involved in the Word of God versus the entertainment of the day. More often than not, culture is influenced through entertainment. For some, entertainment has become an idol and God is ignored.
I am not saying all entertainment is bad. However, I am encouraging us to be careful of what we allow into our lives. I am also speaking to myself as I write this encouragement.
© Dan Kinjorski 5/31/2019
Psalm 106: 16-18 What is the take away? What can we learn from this?
When men in the camp were jealous of Moses and Aaron, the holy one of the Lord,17 the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.18 Fire also broke out in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.
The psalmist continues to reflect on the history of God’s involvement in the people of Israel, as the people are becoming a Nation. They were in the learning stage of being a people of one God rather than a people of many gods, i.e., Egypt. The stories that the psalmist refers to can be found in the books of Numbers 16:1-3 and Deuteronomy 11:6.
There were some leaders that became very disrespectful, perhaps out of jealousy. Remember a previous blog post where I referred to how our attitudes can get us in trouble. Again, a group of leaders may have been thinking about how the priesthood in Egypt had power and control (as some commentators reflected) and they either wanted to have the same power and control and/or they saw that Moses and Aaron were gaining the power and control. Whatever it may have been, they became jealous and disrespectful.
How do we respond? What is our “takeaway or lesson learned?”
I would suggest that we learn from Moses and his response. He humbled himself before them and also before God. I went to a website titled myjewishlearning.com and I found three points that I would bring out here: (1) Moses listened to the rebellious leaders before he reacted. (2) He had taken a “posture of submission and humility” in the face of insolent (disrespectful, rude, audacious) attitudes. And (3) He led by example in humble submission. (See the website I listed above).
We can learn from Moses when we face difficult situations in leadership or in any relationship, as noted in biblical text above.
© Dan Kinjorski, 5/29/2019
Psalm 106: 13-15, ESV.
But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel.
14 But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness, and put God to the test in the desert; 15 he gave them what they asked, but sent a wasting disease among them.
Here the psalmist reflects on the greed of the people; Israelites during their journey through the wilderness (desert). Ironically, Israel reflects worship of God when miracles happen and when God meets their needs. Do we worship God like that as well--only when there are miracles? (Something to think about). In this particular part of the story (See Numbers 11), the people of God were told to take only what they needed, yet they had taken more and God allowed disease to take place. They had been greedy for more, not content with what they have. Perhaps it was a form of Irritable Bowell Syndrome (I don’t know). Umm, does God have a sense of humor? Seriously, God is a holy God and he is using Israel’s experience to form their character.
In similar ways, when we are greedy and eat more than what we should—disease falls upon us, even in the form of obesity (I can certainly relate). Perhaps it is diabetes? My point is that we can make a choice to trust God for all things, believe in him to meet our needs. However, the recliner is not to be used when we have the ability to go and work. By the way, you can change the way you eat if you do suffer diabetes and keep taking your medicine until the doctor tells you that you can stop.
The take away for us is that God said that he will meet our needs and that he will never leave us nor forsake us. Paul in writing to the Philippians stated that God will meet their needs. We have that promise too. Matthew 6:33 refers to God meeting our needs and it comes with a caveat, first seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness. The Psalmist in Chapter 34 writes that those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Contentment is a good thing and God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Ironically, the writer of Hebrews quotes from Moses in Deuteronomy 31:6, who then quotes from God to the Israel. We have that same promise.
God delivered Israel from enslavement in Egypt. Perhaps God has delivered you from your “Egypt” – maybe it was an addiction or some other form of enslavement. God still loves you, he will meet your needs, he will not leave you nor forsake you.
Trust in the Lord.
© Dan Kinjorski, 5/2019
Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make known his mighty power.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry, and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
10 So he saved them from the hand of the foe and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left.
12 Then they believed his words; they sang his praise.
The psalmist admits to his and Israel’s act and attitude of sin. Sometimes we forget that an attitude can be a sin just as much as any sin. A negative attitude redirects our heart from God and into ourselves, ignoring the prompting of the spirit of God on our consciousness. The people lost their gratitude for deliverance and the love of God. God did save them to show them and other nations that he is God. He delivered them from the hands of Egypt and from the waters of the Red Sea, using miracles to show his power. God redeemed his people and when they saw what God had done, they believed his words and worshiped him. However, it would not last that long before they became disgruntled again.
Do you find yourself with an ebb and flow kind of relationship with God?
Is it possible to have a consistent or constant growth in our relationship with God?
What would that look like; the constant growth?
Later, in the life of Israel, God will speak to his people through Moses and in general through Word, i.e., The Ten Commandments as an example. I would submit to you that a consistent or constant growth in our relationship with God really depends on how much we read and take in the Word of God, the written revelation of God.
© Dan Kinjorski 5/15/2019
Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people;
help me when you save them,[a]
5 that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance. (ESV)
Here the psalmist is asking The Lord to remember him when The Lord looks favorably upon His people, the chosen ones; Israel. The Psalmist is thinking of all the acts of The Lord in the history of Israel, of their prosperity throughout their life as a nation. However, the psalmist also has in mind not only the prosperity, but also the challenges that lead to prosperity (as will be reflected later in the psalm).
The psalmist writes the reason for his request is to be able to look on the success of the people of Israel, that he may be able to rejoice and share the joy of God’s gift to Israel—relationship.
The take away for us today is that we too can rejoice and share the joy of inheritance or relationship with God, along with the psalmist. We share the inheritance of relationship and eternal life with God through Christ, our Lord. Let us choose to rejoice in God’s love, joy, and peace, that is made available to us today. Amen.
How has God given you love, joy, and peace, today?
© Dan Kinjorski, 5/2019
Psalm 106: 1-3, ESV.
Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
3 Blessed are they who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times!
We can do nothing but give thanks and sing praise to God when we reflect on the nature and work of God. God’s love endures forever in terms of eternity or the bigger picture. David writes the same thing in 1 Chronicles 16:36… “from everlasting to everlasting.” The psalmist asked a question about proclaiming the mighty deeds and declaration of praise of and to the Lord. The writer is thinking of Israel here and throughout this particular psalm the writer reflects on the Nation of Israel, their history and response to God.
In the third verse, the psalmist reflects of those of who constantly judge righteously.
How can you and I judge righteously? Those of us who love to do the right thing always and wants to achieve justice (righteously) with a mind towards a godliness of grace and mercy is the person who can remember what God has done historically, is doing, and will do and respond by giving thanks to God. It takes a relationship with God and that relationship is strengthened through the Divine written Word of God.
The take away is for us to give thanks, reflect on God’s goodness in thanksgiving and by expressing that goodness though our acts of justice and righteousness.
What has God done for you lately?
© Dan Kinjorski, 4/2019
Do we really need two eggs?
The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down. Proverbs 21:20, NIV.
I am not a dietitian. I am a consumer who is learning about himself and how to eat healthy.
I have been wanting to lose some weight for the last couple years. I tried different programs or systems to include the infamous NS and JC, one neutral and the other titled with a name of a woman. Can you guess the systems? They are good programs or systems but I lost interest in the both of them as I was eating the same thing or felt like I was eating the same thing over and over again. I actually lost a good amount on JC, but it just became too expensive. So, now I am participating in another program, one with a coach and educational material. Is it working? I have lost 10-11 pounds quickly and that was primarily water loss. I am slowly losing weight by the choices I am making. The system has changed the way I think.
I am currently eating every two to three hours, primarily with 100-110 calories with one exception. I have a lean and green dinner, which can range between 400-500 calories. All together I should be eating 1200 calories a day—only because I am not running or exercising. I am sure I would add calorie intake if I was exercising. I like the program because it seems educational. For instance, experientially I am finding out that I usually have joint pain if I go off the plan and make a choice that includes bad carbohydrates. I eat the bars, shakes, and some of the other food products from the company. I like them, tasty…with some exception.
This is what I learned so far about myself (applicable to the rest of humanity): (1) I ask myself, do I really need two eggs? Do I really need a donut or two, or three? No, to all of it. There is a difference between what I really need and what I want. I only need one boiled egg to get me to the next two-three hours when I will eat again. (Ok, sometimes a toasted bagel may join the egg, but I am wondering if I really need it). (2) Most of the time I eat what I want because I can. It is an attitude of privilege and because of that “attitude” I had become obese, impacting my health. Think about it…it is strictly because “we can” eat what we want when we want and usually it is because we are tired and on an emotional roller coaster in life. Yes, eating unhealthy food that is not good for us is all about comfort. And marketing. Do soft drinks, full of sugar, really quench our thirst? No, just makes us thirstier. By the way, why do we call "soda pop" (cans/bottles of water mixed with various chemicals) "soft" drinks when they are hard to the stomach?
I will be honest and tell you I may order two eggs when I visit a restaurant or I may not. I think it is important to our own health that we consider the primary question when it comes to eating, “Do I really need this?” See, some will say, “no, but I still want it… (Why?) …because I can afford it and I want it, it gives me comfort.” Isn’t that an attitude of privilege? People make money off of our attitudes and privilege.
My hope is that I will order what I need and enjoy the food knowing that I am working on losing the unwanted burden of our fallen world. I do know this, no more “hop” for me- nothing but sugar and too much of that. No more BK or McDs and absolutely no more fast “Americanized” Asian food—you know the one with the drive through. I will end with this one disclaimer. You may see me one day at a restaurant and I may be eating something that I shouldn’t, my hope is that I am not as heavy as I am now and that I can afford a little “play food” as I fellowship with others…I just don’t want to overeat or eat unhealthy food to be a practice of life for me.
© Dan Kinjorski, 2019
In the late 1990’s I was a student at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. It was an opportunity to integrate my journey, experiences, with a theological understanding of God and his word. As a student, I came to understand the concepts of the theological “know, be, do” way of living. Ironically, this same paradigm, “be, know, do” was and is part of Army leadership ideas. I revisit the concept of "being" in this article.
I believe that Christian servanthood or leadership is about being and not doing. No telling what happens when we do a lot, we often make a mess of things. I know because I have lived that life, where I felt the need to do more and do more often, it was part of getting a “top block” on my officer evaluation report; or an attempt to get a top block. It may be that some will do more often to prove their worth as part of the team. I know.
To “do” is more about feeding the anxious mind or the anxiety of the organization. It is true that there are often deadlines and projects that need to be met and managed. However, there is an opportunity for the Chaplain or the Minister/Pastor to influence the agenda of the ministry more often than not. Nevertheless, there are times where the culture of the organization sets the pace and tone.
As a faith leader, or Christian servant, it benefits the organization (Military, Corporate, or Church) for the Chaplain or Pastor to influence their lane of responsibility. The Chaplain or Pastor can set the tone and model what spirituality looks like. It does not have to be “busy” all the time; doing things for the approval of others. We can set the tone by being vs. doing. What exactly does this mean for the Chaplain or Pastor in a military or corporate setting, or in a pastoral setting?
Being is a way of living; a way of being confident in who we are and what we can contribute to the organization. Peter learned this the hard way. While he failed to “do” in the context of the cross, Christ’s suffering and death, he made up for in his letter to the believers in his day. As a leader, Peter may have learned to be and not so much in doing things for the sake of being busy.
God told Israel to be holy because he is holy. The nation of Israel represents God—as a Nation set apart for Him— and their doing or living should be a result of their relationship with him. Peter quotes Leviticus to encourage the readers to be holy because God is holy. How does a spiritual leader, a Chaplain or a Pastor influence his work environment with the idea of being?
First, he or she is already holy in a positional sense. Second, Peter tells us how to be holy. In my Key Word Study Bible, NIV, the word says this: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. . . do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. . .” Being or to "be" is resting in a relationship with God; the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. It is being self-assured that all is in the control of God, the Sovereign.
In conclusion, a servant leader rests in the presence of God as part of the Body of Christ. This is the Being in the old school thought of “know, be, do.” Being a servant leader accepts and rests in the Sovereignty of God and has a focus in his or her consistent communion [relationship] with God, the Trinity. It is about resting in the peace and full acknowledgment of the grace of God in our lives. Our doing springs out of our being. Therefore, when our Soldiers, Patients, or church members interact with us—they don’t see an anxious Chaplain or Pastor—but they see a self-assured Chaplain/Pastor who is being what he or she is called to be—Holy and at peace with God.
© Dan Kinjorski
Why do we forsake the simple for the impressive? The Gospel message is simple. The Word of God is solid. I have seen the gospel, the Word of God, twisted in such a way as to upmarket; making it more glamorous, upscale, and chic – to draw the crowds in. The critics may say that is how you reach the lost, by being more current, more cultured and thereby making the Gospel message more sophisticated. How does this happen? We do this by preaching and teaching that everyone deserves what they don’t have; they deserve success (without the work) and have a destiny in life. Rather than preach or teach on calling or vocation they speak about an ambiguous destination for life. In this life, we are promised eternal life with God, in Christ. The biblical destination for eternal life is either heaven or hell. Eternity with God or eternal separation from God. “Yes, Toto, there is a heaven and a hell. We are not in Kansas anymore.”
As Pastors, ministers of the Gospel, Counselors of Faith, we need to maintain the simplicity of the Gospel. Rather than use trendy words, we need to stay with words like calling, vocation, spiritual (vs. supernatural). Bottom line is that we need to stay biblical.
I have been reflecting on the purpose and message of the Church lately. One of the motivating factors is hearing the radio announcement of a popular Pastor. Many of my pastoral friends like to hear him speak. A few of my former military leaders like him as well. He is a great speaker, can articulate very well. However, I think of his message and for me, it does not fit well with biblical theology. It may for pop-psychology but not from the bible. In fact, he makes statements that I believe only God can make. So, what is the purpose and message of the Church.
The purpose of the Church is to make disciples of Christ, not of me or anyone else. Yes, twitter and blogs are fine—as long as the message points to Christ. Matthew 28: 18-20, (ESV) And Jesus came and said to them [the disciples], “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
That is the purpose of the Church, to make disciples of Christ. To teach them about Christ, about God, so that they can go out and tell others about Christ and disciple others to Christ.
The message of the church is Christ, the good news. Romans 10: 9-17 (ESV) if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
It is simple, nothing too difficult. It becomes difficult when we stray from teaching the bible. Peter, exhorts the Elders of his day [what can be the modern-day Pastors]. 1 Peter 5:1-4 (ASV) So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;[b] not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Let’s stick to teaching the Bible, not destiny, not promises made about success and wealth. The messages of success and wealth are not universal, but the Word of God, the Good news of Christ is universal. By the way, we are promised that God will meet our needs in his time, not ours. He alone is Sovereign
© Dan Kinjorski
Psalm 121… I lift up my eyes to the hills…
I was the Youth Pastor at our Church of God in Rapid City, South Dakota, in the Fall of 1999. It was there that I received orders for my first Chaplain assignment to Ft. Hood, Texas. I wanted Ft. Bragg or Ft. Campbell for personal reasons, (family related, another story at another time). My family and I arrived in time to celebrate Thanksgiving in a Stetson (1stCav, 1stTeam)! It was a great time to be back in uniform. I had competed six years of education to return to the Army. It felt good to be able to take care of my family.
I was assigned as a Field Artillery Chaplain in the Division Artillery. Six-months later, I made it known to the Division Chaplain’s office that I am willing to be the Task Force Chaplain for an upcoming Operation Desert Spring (ODS) tour in Kuwait. It was a five-month tour for the Task Force. I was chewed out by my Division Artillery Chaplain for volunteering. It is not good when a Brigade Chaplain loses a Battalion Chaplain to a tasking. Well, it had taken the Division Chaplain (and others) six months to make a decision of whom they were going to send; Pentecostal/Mormon or Mormon/Imam? I guess it was a difficult decision for a 1200 Soldier task-force, primarily made up of Protestants, Catholics, and no more than a dozen Islamic Soldiers and other faith groups.
One day, while in the staging/living area fortified by sand dunes just south of the Iraqi border, I noticed Soldiers were always looking down at their feet, to the ground, meandering their way from one point to another. A famous Budweiser commercial came to mind and for those that are holy - a scripture came to mind as well. An idea began to form.
That evening we had staff call by Radio and I was to share a thought of the day. I know, cliché—right. Command called on me and I keyed the mike and as loud as I could, I yelled, “Wassup?” In fact, I yelled it twice, “Wassup? Whassupi?”
I was told that everyone within the hearing range of a radio immediately stopped what they were doing and listened to the Chaplain encourage them to lift up their eyes to the sand dunes and see where their help can come from. It was a daring, crazy, way to capture the Soldiers attention and remind them of God’s beautiful skies and help. In fact, Soldiers were waiting to hear from their Chaplain at every Staff Call on the radio after that moment. It was a subject talked about for days.
Lessons learned: (1) Don’t volunteer, tasking will come to you. I admit it, I did it because it would look good to be a Task Force Chaplain on my Officer Evaluation Report. The tour turned out to be both good and bad for me. That will be another story at another time. This same idea of not volunteering is important to the local ministry. Yes, volunteer, but do not overcommit. Take care of yourself so you can volunteer where and when it is important. (2) Be daring, yet careful. I had taken a bold step and won the hearts of the Soldiers and leaders. Yet, it could have backfired—depending on the character of my Commander. For the local ministry, know your community, know your leaders in the community. (3) Our own lives, as Chaplains and/or Pastors, are at stake when we constantly look down at our circumstances and not observe God, his creation, and be reminded that our help does come from the Lord and not the promises of certain positions or tasking.
© Dan Kinjorski
Dan is in a second career, that of Counselor, but he is a pastor at heart. He desires to present the Word of God in its context and then challenge the reader in its application to our lives. It is the Word of God that brings revival to our souls. The psalmist writes, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.
Dan and Maribel Kinjorski
Dan and Maribel are Bible Teachers. They love to expound on the Word of God. Maribel has been involved in Church since an early age. A graduate of the University of San German, Puerto Rico, in Business Administration and Economy. Dan is a graduate of East Coast Bible College (now shuttered) and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity (1999) , Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2019), and now working on a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology: Counseling Education and Supervision.