Category Archives: Evolution

The LORD is Creator and Sovereign of the Universe

creationFriday, March 3, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Isaiah 45-50

We have read Isaiah’s prophetic warnings that Judah and the capital city Jerusalem would be conquered and destroyed because of the sin and rebellion of the people (fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar’s armies razed the city and Temple and took the people captive to Babylon).  Isaiah prophesied God would send a great king who would conquer the nations and direct the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple.   In a stunning announcement, God identified the king as “Cyrus…my shepherd”, more than a hundred years before his birth (Isaiah 44:28)!cyrus-king-of-persia

Isaiah’s prophecy is directed to Cyrus in chapter 45 where the Lord describes the future king of Persia as His  “anointed”.  Why would God call a heathen king His “anointed” (45:1)? The answer to that question is summed up in one word, “Sovereignty”.  The LORD Who is Almighty, Omniscient, and Creator is the Sustainer and Sovereign of His creation.  No created being is beyond the rule and authority of the LORD. Every nation, king, dictator, and president is an instrument in the hand of the LORD. Consider the words of the LORD in Isaiah’s prophecy:

Isaiah 45:5-8 – “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded [bind; encircle] thee, though thou hast not known me:
6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil [not sin, but calamity; sorrow]: I the LORD do all these things.”

lord-is-kingKings, presidents, dictators, and even pastors may boast, “Look what I have wrought”; however, we are all nothing without God!  We are frail creatures of clay and, though we strive to do much apart from His will, the LORD will have His way with us according to His eternal purposes. Isaiah’s prophecy expresses the foolishness of men who suppose they operate independent of God in these words:

Isaiah 45:9 – “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds [i.e. broken pieces of pottery] of the earth. Shall the clay say to him [the potter] that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?”

More than a century before he was born, the scriptures described the extent of Cyrus’ conquest in Isaiah 45:13-14.  Unlike all the ancient nations of history that rose to greatness only to fall and become a footnote in history, the LORD promised Israel she “shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation” (45:17).  One of the great testimonies of the LORD’s sovereign faithfulness is the existence of an ancient people called the Jews and a state named Israel!

Isaiah 45:18 is one of the great verses of the Bible that eliminates any possibility of evolution or the co-existence of both a Creator and an evolutionary process. This verse declares unequivocally, the LORD, Jehovah, Eternal, Self-existent God is Creator of all things!sovereign

Isaiah 45:18 – “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [lit. without form; confusion], he formed [made and shaped it like a potter shapes a clay vessel] it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”

Proponents of evolution would have you believe the earth was a lifeless mass without form and, somehow over billions and billions of years a process of evolution caused the earth to become an inhabitable place that would support microscopic life forms that would eventually, over billions and billions of years, evolve into the our world [in my opinion, evolution takes a lot of blind faith in a “science” that cannot be tested or proved].

What does Isaiah 45:18 tell us about creation?  “The LORD created the heavens”…the sun, stars, moons, and planets (45:18a).  The LORD “formed the earth and made it”… fashioned and shaped as a potter with a plan and design (45:18b).  The LORD “established” the earth…in other words, He made it perfect according to His purpose (45:18c).   The LORD “created it not in vain”…unlike evolutionist who postulate the universe came into existence out of confusion, Isaiah declares exactly the opposite…God shaped and formed the world so that it was inhabitable from the beginning (45:18d).   To cap off the fact that creation is a reflection of the glory of its Creator, God declares: “I am the LORD; and there is none else.”psalm-19-1

Who is the LORD? Look at His creation and you will see a display of His greatness and glory.

Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

“Will We Stand for Righteousness?”

freedomsMy Memorial Day blog posed three questions in reflection on the sacrifices made by those who gave their lives to secure the freedoms we enjoy as Americans:

How can we, the living, repay the debt we owe for the liberties we have inherited?

How can we express our gratitude to those who died defending the sovereignty of our nation?

What can we give in memory of those who gave their all that we might be free?

james-madisonI suggested three mandates as a response to our indebtedness to those who died serving our nation:

1) We must embrace and exercise our freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States.

2) We must be willing to sacrifice our time, talents, and strength to stand and defend our liberties!

3) We must recognize the greatest threat to our nation and freedoms is not Islamic terrorists, but our own government.

We are in an ideological war with our leaders, government, media, and much of society.

Right and wrongWe are in the midst of a spiritual war between Good and Evil; a struggle to define right vs. wrong and moral vs. immoral.  The Supreme Court, President Obama and his administration, the U.S. Senate, the U. S. House of Representatives, and federal agencies have all demonstrated a willingness to threaten, intimidate, and crush those who resist their efforts to promote a morality that opposes traditional marriage, family, and home.  The battle lines are drawn, but we face a foe that is more than flesh and blood.

In his letter to believers in Ephesus, Paul writes, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).  Satan, his demons, and their human instruments are assailing marriage, families, and our homes and, if the wicked have their way, the church and Bible believers will soon be silenced.

How did America get here?

For over two centuries, biblical morality held a dominant influence in American society.  From her founding by the Pilgrims (many who came to America seeking religious freedom), through the Great Revivals of the 17th and 18th centuries (referred to as The Great Awakenings, the first in 1734-1743 and the second in 1800-1840), the United States enjoyed a reprieve from the dominance of moral depravity and wickedness that has troubled humanity since the fall.  The Supreme Court’s recent decision to legalize “same-sex” marriage (June 2015) and the president’s advocation for Transgenders to use the restrooms and showers of the opposite sex in public schools (May 2016), removes all doubt America’s reprieve from the destructive consequences of moral depravity has ended.Biblical Christianity

Beginning in the late 19th century, several mitigating factors eroded Biblical Christianity’s spiritual and moral influence in America.  The introduction of Charles Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution” in 1859 and the rise of liberal theology that not only accommodated evolution, but also denied the historical and fundamental doctrines of the scriptures, overtook America’s Bible colleges, seminaries and eventually her denominational churches.

Christian fundamentalists, recognizing the devastating influence of liberal theology and its accommodation of evolution, began calling Christians and churches to return to the Bible for their sole-authority in faith and practice.   20th century Fundamentalist preachers like Dwight L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, Billy Sunday, Harry Ironside, Bob Jones, Sr., and Oliver Greene, not only called the churches to revival, but also founded Bible colleges and seminaries to battle the inroads of modernism.   A new generation of Christians, dedicated to the fundamental doctrines of the Scriptures as their sole basis of faith and practice, graduated from Bible colleges and started churches, schools, mission boards, colleges and seminaries.

dying churchSadly, many of the fundamental churches, Bible colleges, universities, and seminaries that had once been robust defenders of the Christian faith and bastions of spiritual separation, are today grappling with seeds of compromise and carnality that has divided Christian families and left fundamental churches and institutions weak and spiritually anemic.  At an hour America needs churches and Bible believers dedicated to the fundamentals of the faith, distinctively Christian and separated from worldliness, we find ourselves in the throes of compromise, weakened by a malice that labels the old fundamentalists “Legalists” and pursues “Christian Liberties” masking a carnality that has given rise to a piety for the Gospel, but lacks the trademark of Biblical Christianity–sanctification.

1 Peter 1:13-16 – “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

I will continue my analysis of our nation and the failure of America’s churches in my next post.

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Psalm 34:8-10 – “God, Our Provider”

God providesOur preceding meditation on Psalm 34:7 comforted us with the promise God is our Protector.  David assured the saints of God:

Psalm 34:7 – The angel [messenger; ambassador] of the LORD [i.e. perhaps none other the Messiah Himself] encampeth [abides; dwells] round about [encircles; surrounds] them that fear [revere] him, and delivereth [rescues] them.

What comfort to know the LORD watches over them who revere Him and is ever ready to deliver them out of trouble.  In those hours when our hearts tremble and our souls are troubled, we can rest in the promise the LORD is ever encamped around us and is ready to rescue us in His time!

Not only is the LORD our Protector; He is also our Provider (Psalm 34:8-10).

Psalm 34:8-10 – “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 9  O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. 10  The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.”

What an interesting exhortation David puts to his men when he challenged them to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (34:8a).   Do you remember your mother challenging you to eat your vegetables or take your medicine?  She knew there were some things you would have to accept by faith, trusting her maternal assurance, “It’s good for you!”the Lord is good

It is that same encouragement David gave his men concerning the LORD. The king writes:

Psalm 34:8 – O taste [sense; perceive] and see [behold; consider] that the LORD [Jehovah; Yahweh; Eternal God] is good [pleasing; pleasant; best]: blessed [happy] is the man that trusteth [flee to; make a refuge] in him.

David had experienced God’s protection and provision in the wilderness and was well equipped to encourage others to trust the LORD and find refuge in His promises and provisions.  My friend, it is wonderful to hear the testimonies of saints who have sought refuge and safety in the LORD, but how much better to “taste and see” and share your own life experiences and confidence in trusting God’s unfailing promises.

Psalm 34:9 – O fear [be afraid; reverence; stand in awe] the LORD, ye his saints [holy ones; set apart; pure]: for there is no want [lack; need] to them that fear [afraid; revere] him.

I am afraid our generation has lost the reality we are not only to love the LORD, but we are also to “fear” Him!   Who is the LORD?   He is Jehovah; Creator, Eternal, Self-existent God.  He is altogether righteous, holy and good.  David assures the saints, if you “fear the Lord”, obey His Word, and stand in awe of His majesty you will never want!Young lions

Psalm 34:10 – The young lions do lack [needy; destitute; poverty], and suffer hunger [famine; famish; i.e. a voracious hunger]: but they that seek [enquire; search; ask] the LORD shall not want [lack; fail; have need] any good [better; pleasant; favorable] thing.

Perhaps reflecting on his years as a shepherd boy, David recalls the roar of young, inexperienced lions seeking prey to satisfy their hunger.  Unlike the young lions, David assures the saints when they humbly seek and obey the LORD He will not withhold anything that is right and good for His people.

Dear friend, God allows us to go through seasons of trials and troubles, not to bring us to despair, but to grow our faith and teach us to trust His promises.  Too many Christians are like the evolutionist; always talking about things we have never seen or witnessed.

David was a great leader because he could give testimony to what he had experienced firsthand in his walk with the LORD.  The LORD wants the same for you!

Matthew 6:31-33 “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Psalm 2:5-12 – The King is Coming!

the KingContinuing an earlier devotion from the Messianic Psalm 2, we pick up today’s prophetic reading when the LORD, in response to the rebellion of the kings and inhabitants of the earth, not only laughs at their preposterous supposition they should rebel against the God of creation, but reveals His wrath against them (2:5).

Psalm 2:5 – Then shall he [the LORD] speak unto them [the kings and rulers of the earth] in his wrath [anger], and vex [trouble; dismay; alarm] them in his sore displeasure [burning anger; wrath].

The psalm continues with the LORD Jehovah revealing His plan to appoint His Son, Messiah, Christ the King, to rule the earth “with a rod of iron” (2:9).

Psalm 2:6-9 – Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion [a mountain upon which Jerusalem was built]. 7  I will declare [number; tell] the decree [statute; ordinance]: the LORD hath said [commanded; to tell] unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten [beget; bare; born] thee [i.e. according to Acts 13:33, this is a reference to Christ coming forth from the tomb]. 8  Ask [desire; require] of me, and I shall give [put; deliver] thee the heathen [nations; Gentiles] for thine inheritance [possession], and the uttermost parts [ends] of the earth for thy possession. 9  Thou shalt break [hurt; afflict] them with a rod [i.e. like a shepherd’s rod] of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces [scatter; disperse] like a potter’s vessel.

signs of the timeWe live in a day of God’s bountiful grace and mercy; however, God warns He has appointed a day when His wrath will be unleashed against the rebellious people of the earth.  Peter warned the last days would be marked by a generation of “scoffers”, men who openly mock the God of Heaven, pursuing and enslaved to “their own lusts” (2 Peter 3:3); holding in derision those who look for the coming of the Lord and asserting nothing has changed from “the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4).

Surely this is that generation, a generation that despises the God of Creation and is willfully blind to the handiwork of the Creator, Maker and Designer.  They reject the revelation of God’s judgment against the antediluvian world of Noah’s day.  They deny the evidences of the catastrophic judgment of the worldwide flood (2 Peter 3:5-6) and foolishly presume upon the grace of God that they shall escape the wrath of God (2 Peter 3:7).  They mock the faith of believers who, after 2,000 years, continue to watch and wait upon the LORD’s coming; failing to understand that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).grand canyon

My friend, 2015 has passed into history and 2016 may be the year the LORD will return for His bride, the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).  Rather than fretting and worrying over the state of the world and wondering when the Lord will return; realize every day that passes without God’s judgment is a testimony of His grace and “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  As sure as the sun rose on the eastern horizon this morning, we are assured the Lord is coming and His judgment will prevail (2 Peter 3:10).

Psalm 2 concludes with a twofold message; verses 10-11 addresses kings and leaders of humanity; verse 12 is directed to all the inhabitants of the earth.

Psalm 2:10-11 – Be wise [understand; prudent; act wisely] now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed [disciplined; corrected; taught; warned], ye judges of the earth. 11  Serve [do; work; worship] the LORD with fear [dread; reverence], and rejoice [be glad; delight] with trembling [fear].

The leaders of the earth are admonished to be wise, teachable and serving the LORD with reverential fear knowing God will hold them accountable, not only for their rule, but also the influence they bear upon those entrusted to their care (2:10-11).

Psalm 2:12 – Kiss the Son, lest he be angry [displeasure; enraged], and ye perish [die; fall] from the way [journey; path], when his wrath is kindled [burns; consumed by fire] but a little. Blessed [Happy; i.e. prosperous] are all they that put their trust [confidence; hope; i.e. find refuge] in him.

We close today’s devotional thought with an exhortation and a promise of the LORD’s benevolent care.  God’s people are exhorted to “Kiss the Son”, indicating the intimacy of the Lord’s company and find sanctuary in His good graces (2:12a).  Finally, an abiding promise that those who put their faith, hope and confidence in the LORD are the benefactors of His love, grace and care: “…Blessed [Happy; i.e. prosperous] are all they that put their trust [confidence; hope; i.e. find refuge] in him” (2.:12b).

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

Psalm 29:1-11 – A psalm of praise

creationWe examined the opening verses of Psalm 11 in an earlier devotion and noted the angels of heaven were called upon to give the LORD the praise and honor due His name (29:1-2).

Psalm 29:1-11 – Give [bring; ascribe] unto the LORD [Jehovah; Self-Existent, Eternal God], O ye mighty [son; children], give [bring; ascribe] unto the LORD glory [honor] and strength [power; praise; boldness; might].  2 Give [bring; ascribe] unto the LORD the glory [honor] due unto his name [character; reputation]; worship [bow; do reverence; prostrate] the LORD in the beauty [honor; glory; splendor] of holiness [hallowed; consecrated; sacredness].

The presence and majesty of the LORD in His creation is stated in verses 3-10.  Caution: Before you rush through the reading of the following verses, take time and reflect on how the order of creation, its design and perfect balance reflect the omnipotence and omniscience of the creator.  As I am writing this brief devotional thought I am looking out over the Atlantic Ocean and the sun is predictably rising in the east and the tides of the ocean are  rising and falling in their course.

sun and cloudsPsalm 29:3-10 – The voice [sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory [honor; reputation] thundereth [roar]: the LORD is upon many [great; much] waters.
4  The voice
[sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD is powerful [strength]; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty [glory; honour].
5  The voice
[sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD breaketh [destroy; crush; abolish] the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh [destroy; crush; abolish] the cedars of Lebanon.
6  He maketh them also to skip
[spring; leap; frolic] like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion [mountain peak in Lebanon] like a young unicorn [i.e. wild bull or ox].
7  The voice
[sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD divideth [cut in pieces; engraved] the flames of fire.beauty of creation
8  The voice
[sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD shaketh [be pained; tremble] the wilderness [desert place]; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh [i.e. a place in the desert].
9  The voice
[sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD maketh the hinds [doe or female deer] to calve [give birth], and discovereth [make bare; uncover] the forests: and in his temple [palace; sanctuary] doth every one speak [command] of his glory [honor; great reputation].
10  The LORD sitteth
[dwells; abides] upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth [dwells; abides] King for ever [everlasting].

David concludes today’s psalm of praise assuring Israel that the God of heaven and creation will strengthen and bless the people and nation that puts their trust in Him.

Psalm 29:11 – The LORD will give [grant; put; deliver] strength [power; might] unto his people [nation]; the LORD will bless his people with peace [shalom; health; prosperity].”

“Oh Lord, gives us men and women who will call upon you and lead our nation in the path of righteousness.  Give us preachers who will preach your Word with boldness and challenge this nation to repent, turn from its sinful ways and put their trust in you. Amen!”

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith

Psalm 2:1-4 – The Sovereign of Creation is King and the King of kings!

creationIf you read the entirety of Psalm 2 you should realize it is a Messianic Psalm, a prophetic utterance regarding the person and coming of the Messiah the Lord Jesus Christ.  Notice God the Father’s declaration in Psalm 2:6-7 that His Son, the “begotten” of the Father is King who will reign on the “holy hill of Zion” (the historic and ancient site of Jerusalem).  The psalm ends with an exhortation to make peace with the Son of God [“Kiss the Son”] and an invitation to place one’s faith in Christ–“Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” (2:12).

Our devotional study today is taken from Psalm 2:1-4.

Psalm 2:1-4 – “Why do the heathen [the nations of the earth] rage, and the people imagine [ponder; speak; declare] a vain thing [empty; worthless]2  The kings of the earth set [stand; withstand] themselves, and the rulers take counsel [consult] together, against the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-existent God], and against his anointed [Messiah], saying3  Let us break [break down; pluck off; tear away] their bands [bonds; chains; shackles] asunder [break down; tear away], and cast away [cast down; fling] their cords [ropes; chains] from us. 4  He that sitteth [dwells; inhabits; abides] in the heavens shall laugh [scorn; mock; hold in derision]: the Lord [God] shall have them in derision [mock; scoff; sneer; deride].”

united nationsThe raging of the nations of the world and their bent for war and bloodshed dominate the nightly news around the earth.  It seems there is not a corner of the world where there is not war or impending war.  The United Nations, the embodiment of the nations of the world congregating and orchestrating with no consideration of the Sovereign God of Creation, plot and plan in vain to keep peace apart from and in opposition to the Prince of Peace.  Make no mistake; the rulers of the earth are mere figureheads, front men (and women) for Satan and his minions—the rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12) who, from the fall of Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-15), have set themselves against the God of Heaven (Psalm 2:2).

Why this provocation of rebellion against God? Why this hatred for the Son of God?  We read in verse 3 it is because men have rejected God, His Law and the order of His creation. Some declare themselves atheists, agnostics or skeptics; others are atheists in the practical sense—stating their belief in the existence of God while living in opposition to His Law and order.  There is no God declares the fool (Psalm 14:1; 53:1), as though His rejection of the LORD of heaven and earth diminishes His rule or judgment.

The nature of man is one of sin and rebellion.  Having denied God, rejected His Law and turned to his own way, man proposes he is the sovereign of his soul and destiny.  We read in Psalm 19:1, The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.”  Romans 1:20 declares, For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”; and yet man denies the Creator and proposes his own explanation for nature.war

Having rejected His Creator, cast aside the “bands” and “cords” of God’s Law (Psalm 2:3), man becomes a law unto himself.  The diminishing of America’s military leadership in the world has paralleled her moral decay as a nation.  The murder of the unborn and the celebration of moral depravity on a scale that rivals ancient Rome are indicative of a people whom God has given “over to a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28).

What is God’s response to the foolishness of men and nations that reject Him? “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision” (Psalm 2:4).

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith