With World War I looming on the horizon, the United States faced a need to recruit men willing to serve in the army. To help with the recruitment effort, an artist by the name of Montgomery Flagg, conceived a recruitment poster that featured an iconic patriotic figure known as Uncle Sam. With a ribbon of blue and white stars encircling his white top hat, and clothes boasting red, white, and blue, Uncle Sam was portrayed with an intense stare, and the words, “I Want YOU for the U.S. Army.”
I am not Uncle Sam; however, I am the pastor of Hillsdale Baptist Church, and I Want You, if you are an instructor who is a sincere believer, and looking for an opportunity to be a part of a ministry like Hillsdale Christian Academy (HCA).
Founded in 2005, HCA is a ministry outreach of Hillsdale Baptist Church, and is located in a beautiful, modern facility in north Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL. We have a reputation in our community as a traditional institution of the highest academic standards.
We are philosophically Bible-based, and devoted to a loving, nurturing environment, that pursues educational disciplines in the classroom.
With a Biblical world-view as our foundation, HCA is growing and we are hiring passionate, experienced instructors of our conviction – teachers who are willing to relocate to beautiful Tampa Bay, join Hillsdale Baptist Church and our team of Christian professionals, and grow with our ministry.
We are expanding our middle school, and want to fill elementary and middle school openings this fall. We are also looking to hire an administrative assistant for the school.
To inquire, or apply, please contact HCA’s Principal, Mrs. Tanya Henry, or administrator Pastor Eric Peterman, by calling 813-884-8250, ext. 235, or emailing email@example.com.
Although not a festival, the LORD commanded Moses to remind the people of the fourth command: “3Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings” (23:3; Exodus 20:8-11).
The Passover (23:5), commemorating the LORD sparing the firstborn, and delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery, was observed with the sacrifice of a one-year-old lamb. On the following day after the Passover, the people were to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, remembering Israel’s departure out of Egypt. Its observance lasted seven days, and was a reminder of how swiftly the people had to leave Egypt. The first and last days of Unleavened Bread are counted as Sabbaths [High Sabbaths], though these days may not necessarily fall on the weekly Sabbath (23:6-8).
There was the Offering of the First Fruits, also known as the wave offering (23:9-14). A sheaf of wheat was brought to the priest, who waved the grain before the altar as a sign of praise and thanksgiving. Accompanying the wave offering was the Burnt Offering (23:12, the sacrifice of one male lamb, not more than one year old), the Meat (or meal) Offering (23:13), and a Drink Offering (23:13). All were reminders of God’s bountiful provision, even as we should pray and give thanks at every meal.
Pentecost (meaning fifty), also known as the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Harvest (23:15-22; Exodus 23:16; Deuteronomy 16:9), was observed fifty days after the Passover (remember, fifty days after Christ’s Resurrection, Pentecost was the day the Holy Spirit came upon the LORD’S disciples, whom He told to remain in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost (Acts 2).
Two loaves of wheat bread with leaven (23:17a) were also offered as “firstfruits unto the LORD” (23:17). Pentecost was observed with a burnt offering consisting of seven lambs, one young bull, and two rams, “all “without blemish of the first year” (23:18). There was also a meat offering (an offering of grain), drink offering, and a sin offering of “one kid of the goats…and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offering” (23:19).
Reminding the people, “I am the LORD your God,” the people were commanded to not harvest the corners of their fields, and “leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger” (non-Hebrews) to gather (23:22).
The Feast of the Trumpets was observed the seventh month, on the first day of the month in the Hebrew calendar (23:23-25). The Day of Atonement was observed on the tenth day of the same month (23:26-32; Leviticus 16-17).
The final feast on the Hebrew calendar was the Feast of Tabernacles (23:33-41), and was observed on “the fifteenth day of this seventh month” (23:34), the last day of the harvest. Each family would gather “on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook,” and live in the booths for seven days (23:40). Dwelling in booths commemorated Israel’s years of wandering in the wilderness, and living in tents (23:43).
Leviticus 24 – God’s Laws were not suggestions, they were commands.
After rehearsing the laws and guidelines regarding the for the lamps, and the lighting of the Tabernacle (24:1-9), we are alerted to a judicial crisis that arose in Israel, and demanded the death of the offender (24:10-16).
The son of Israelite woman, whose father was Egyptian, was witnessed cursing and blaspheming the name of the LORD, a violation of the third command, and one demanding the death of the offender (24:10-11; Exodus 20:17). Realizing the severity of the offense, Moses did not rush to judgment, but “put [the offender] in ward [under guard], that the mind of the Lord might be shewed them” (24:12).
After hearing the witnesses, and seeking God’s will, Moses demanded the blasphemer be taken out of Israel’s camp, and those who witnessed his sin, lay hands on him as a testimony against him (24:14). The judgment was made that the blasphemer should be stoned to death (24:15-16), and “the children of Israel did as the Lordcommanded Moses” (24:23).
I close, reminding you God is merciful, and just. A murderer was to be punished by death (24:17, 21b). A man who killed the beast that belonged to another, was to restore the same, “beast for beast” (24:18). Injure or maim a man, and the law demanded you should suffer the same: “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (24:19-20).
A Closing Thought: Our world has lost its good sense of justice, and our judicial system has become a demoralizing failure. Too often in our society we find criminals are pampered, and their victims are left scarred, wounded, and frustrated with no hope of reprieve. Do you wonder why there is no justice, no fairness, in society? You need look no further than Proverbs 29:2.
Proverbs 29:2 – 2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: But when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
So much has changed in our world since the morning of September 11, 2001. It might be argued that whatever innocence (or naivety) that remained in our society, was suddenly rent from the heart of our nation when Islamic terrorists, in an unprovoked attack, struck a blow at the soul of America.
The World Trade Center, an international symbol of American capitalism collapsed in a pile of rubble. The Pentagon, a symbol of our nation’s military might, suffered a direct hit. The crash of United Airlines Flight 93 into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, became a symbol of American heroism as average citizens determined they would not go to their deaths as helpless victims.
“We the People” became one that day as sorrow, anger, and patriotic zeal spanned the differences that often divide us. Race, religion, and political ideologies were set aside for an all too brief season as we grappled with an assault on our individual freedoms and sanctity as a nation.
We congregated in America’s churches, sought solace in each other’s company, wept and prayed. For a time, there was hope of a spiritual awakening, a humility and sincere turning back to the LORD that would bring revival in the hearts and souls as a nation. Instead, we find America torn asunder by petty partisanship, and violence that not only afflicts our cities, but assaults our sensibilities of law and justice.
King David asked, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1). The answer: Because the nations, the political governing bodies of the world, are opposed to God, and the people of the earth are by nature, rebellious. The greater question to ponder is, “Why is God so patient, so longsuffering with sinners?”
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
SEVENTH IN A PACKAGE OF NINE PHOTOS. An explosion rips through the South Tower of the World Trade Towers after the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175, which departed from Boston en route for Los Angeles, crashed into it Sept, 11, 2001. The North Tower is shown burning after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the tower at 8:45 a.m. (AP Photo/Aurora, Robert Clark)
Following the death of King Solomon (2 Chronicles 9:30-31), his son Rehoboam ascended the throne and all Israel came to Shechem to make him king (10:1).
Unfortunately, all was not well in Israel. Though not yet physically divided, the nation was spiritually duplicitous and Solomon’s “heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father” (1 Kings 11:4). The LORD had warned Solomon that his failure to keep the Law and Commandments would be punished by Israel being divided by one of his own servants. The identity of that servant is revealed as Solomon’s old adversary, Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 10:2-3).
Evidencing the foolishness of his youth and inexperience, Rehoboam faced the grievances of Israel, lacking both grace and humility (10:4-5). Rejecting the counsel of his father’s older and wiser advisors (10:6-7), Rehoboam heeded the counsel of his peers and the king’s harshness provoked the people to rebel (10:8-14).
Remembering the LORD is sovereign, we read, “So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God” (10:15). The ten northern tribes of Israel, after hearing the king’s words, “went to their tents” (10:16) and “rebelled against the house of David” (10:19).
Under Jeroboam, the ten northern tribes became known as Israel and the tribes of the south, Judah and Benjamin, became one nation known as Judah. King Rehoboam had thought to raise an army to seek the unification of Israel through war; however, the LORD sent a prophet named Shemaiah and deterred him from provoking war against his brethren (11:1-4). Dissuaded from civil war, Rehoboam set about building fortresses (11:4-12) to strengthen Judah against the battles that would be provoked by a divided kingdom.
We read “the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to [Rehoboam] out of all their coasts [borders; i.e. cities and lands in Israel]… and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off[i.e. cut them off]from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD” (11:13-14).
True to the character of a godless politician, Jeroboam consolidated the northern ten tribes not only politically, but spiritually. He instituted a new religion worshipping calves, ordaining “priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made” (11:15). Thankfully we read that there were a few left in Israel who “set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel” and they continued to worship in Jerusalem (11:16).
For three years, Rehoboam exercised the wisdom passed on to him by his father; however, it was his father’s proclivity to lust and immorality that proved to be his own destructive pattern of sin (11:17-23).
Comfortable in his palace and with Judah secured and strengthened, Rehoboam “forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him” (12:1-2).
The LORD brought Shishak, king of Egypt against Judah. The prophet Shemaiah declared that the sins of Rehoboam were to be punished by the LORD delivering his kingdom over to serve Egypt (12:1-5). Hearing the warning of the LORD’s displeasure, the king and his leaders humbled themselves before the LORD, Who in His mercy, spared Judah from destruction (12:5-8).
Adding to Judah’s humiliation, Shishak removed “shields of gold which Solomon had made” from the walls of the palace (12:9). Rehoboam, perhaps to save face in front of his people, contented himself with a counterfeit of the glory that once belonged to his kingdom, and “made shields of brass” to replace the “shields of gold” (12:10).
What a tragedy! Where shields of gold once reflected God’s glory and blessings upon Israel, shields of brass, cheap imitations made of tin and copper, masked the miserable state of the nation!
I close pondering what lessons we might take from today’s Scripture.
Is it possible that, like Judah of old, our nation’s wealth and prosperity has deceived us? In the same way Rehoboam became servant to Egypt and counterfeited the loss of his “shields of gold” with brass shields, I fear we have become a nation enslaved to a mounting debt we owe to enemies committed to our own demise.
The United States has rejected the LORD, His Word, Law and Commandments. Is it possible our nation’s pursuit of the pleasures of sin has blinded us to the warnings of the evangelists of old… There is a pay day someday!
I am not one given to self-promotion; however, there are subjects I address in the pulpit at Hillsdale that I wish were preached in every pulpit across America. Unfortunately, just the opposite is true. I find few pastors willing to confront the sins of society and honestly address the spiritual issues of our day.
I fear the majority of churches in America will never hear anything more from their pastors than a spirit of compromise and appeasement when it comes to honestly confronting and addressing the social issues that are tearing at the soul and moral fiber of the United States.
I encourage you to have your Bible in hand and follow me as I go systematically through Isaiah 1:1-10. I will address the moral failings of the United States, using the backdrop of the cyclical nature of the rise and fall of nations that is illustrated in God’s warning of judgment to Judah that was delivered by His prophet Isaiah.
I promise to end the sermon on an encouraging note.
Continuing our chronological daily reading of the Scriptures, you are invited to read Proverbs 16-18. Today’s devotional will be based on Proverbs 16:10-13.
Americans live in a republic whose laws should be as binding on her leaders as they are on common citizens. Idealistically, no leader is above the law and the scales of justice are in no man’s favor.
In a monarchy, however, the king is the embodiment of the law and the citizens of his realm can only pray that their king is a righteous man who fears the judgment and wrath of God.
Proverbs 16:10-13 expresses four principles that serve as a guide for every leader and those he serves.
Proverbs 16:10– “A divine sentence[decision reflecting God’s Law]isin[proceeds from; is on]the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not[does not committrespass]in judgment[sentence; verdict].”
Kings, rulers, judges and all who are in authority are to exercise judgment being mindful that God, not man, is the ultimate authority of right and wrong. When godly men sit in places of judgment, their hearts are able to weigh matters with the discernment God alone gives. How is that possible?
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 – “And it shall be, when he[king] sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, thathe[king] shall write him a copy of this law in a bookout of that which is before the priests the Levites:19And it shall be with him, andhe shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:20That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”
The kings of Israel were to possess a copy of God’s Law written in their own hand (17:18). The Law of God was to be a king’s daily meditation (17:19) and he was to remember he was God’s servant and a minister to his people (17:20).
Proverbs 16:11– “A just weight[right verdict; scale]and balance[scales]are the LORD’S: all the weights[stones; measurements]of the bagareHis work[labor; work of His hands].”
Lady Justice continues to serve as an international symbol of equity. She is often depicted wearing a blindfold, holding in her left hand the scales of justice, and in her right the double-edged sword of judgment. She serves as a modern reminder of what kings were to remember: God is the final judge and arbitrator. Israel’s king was to remember that God’s Law and the immutable principles of His holiness, grace and mercy were the final word when he executed judgment.
Proverbs 16:12– “It isan abomination[abhorrence; loathsome; repulsive]to kings to commit[do; execute]wickedness[moral wrong]: for the throne[seat of authority and judgment]is established[fixed; firmly established; made strong]by righteousness[rightness; moral virtue].”
Proverbs 16:12 addresses the responsibility and influence of kings and all who are in authority. I believe America is in a quagmire of immorality and injustice because our leaders have forsaken the Law of God, and have no moral compass for discerning right and wrong. The decay of our strength and security as a nation has paralleled the erosion of our confidence and respect for those in authority.
Proverbs 16:13– “Righteous[true; just]lipsarethe delight[desire; pleasure]of kings; and they love[desire; like]him that speaketh right[just; upright].”
The integrity of a leader may be measured by the moral character of his counselors. Godless leaders seek counsel from those who serve their immoral ends, but godly leaders have a passion for truth and love those whose words and counsel are honest and just.
Do you desire wisdom and discernment? Study God’s Word and meditate on His Laws and Commandments.
Psalm 119:103-105 – “How sweet are thy words unto my taste!yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.105Thy wordis a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
In the fortieth year of his reign as king, David was conscious of the frailty of old age and the increasing shadow of his own death. In today’s Scripture reading we have record of David’s final preparations before his inevitable departure from this earthly life.
Continuing the organization of those who will minister in the Temple, the focus of 1 Chronicles 26are those men and their families who will be charged with guarding the entrances to the Temple. Altogether there will be twenty-four guard stations attended by porters or gatekeepers described as “mighty men of valour” (26:6) and “able men for strength for the service” (26:8), meaning able-body men.
Men of the tribe of Levi were also assigned to guard the Temples treasuries (26:20-28) that consisted not only of what was given by the people, but also “out of the spoils won in battles” (26:27).
Having completed the affairs of the Temple and its organization, David’s focus then turned to the organization of Israel’s armies by twelve divisions, each division consisting of twenty-four thousand men (27:1-15).
The rulers of the Twelve Tribes of Israel are named (27:16-22), as well as those men who were charged with managing the king’s possessions (27:23-31).
The record of David’s trusted counsellors is also stated (27:32-34).
Calling together all the leaders of his kingdom (28:1), David made certain there would be no ambiguity as to his desires and God’s plan for Israel when he died.
Seeming to indicate he had been lying on his bed until now, we read that “the king stood up upon his feet” and began to share the longing in his heart to build a Temple for God, as well as, the reason why he was denied that privilege: “But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood” (28:3).
David shared how God had chosen Solomon to be king (28:5) and had promised him a perpetual kingdom if he would keep the LORD’s “commandments” and judgments (28:7-8). In the audience of the leaders, David exhorted Solomon to know God and serve the LORD “with a perfect heart and with a willing mind” (28:9-10). David charged Solomon to take up architectural plans he had devised for the Temple and to “build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it” (28:9-10).
We come to the end of this first chronicle of Israel’s history having followed God’s providential hand in His creation from Adam, the first man (1 Chronicles 1:1), through Noah (1:4-17) and his son Shem (1:17). Of Shem’s lineage was born Abraham (1:27) with whom God established His redemptive covenant that was to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1).
David has reigned forty years as Israel’s king (29:27) and his final appeal to the leaders of the nation is recorded in 1 Chronicles 29. The king reminded all Israel that God had chosen Solomon to succeed him as king, but urged the people to remember he was “young and tender, and the work…great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God” (29:1).
Modeling the manner of giving that honors the LORD, David gave liberally and enthusiastically for the building of the Temple (29:2-5). The leaders of the nation followed the king’s example and “offered willingly” (29:6-9). Witnessing the spirit of their king and leaders, the people also “offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy” (29:9).
A beautiful benediction of praise and worship is recorded when David rehearsed God’s blessings on Israel (29:10-13) and his inferiority in the light of God’s grace (29:14-15). Remembering his humble beginnings, David prayed with a sense of awe:
1 Chronicles 29:14-15 – 14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort [remember, David was a son of a shepherd]? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow [shade; temporal; passing], and there is none abiding [no hope in this life].
David’s prayer turned to one of intercession as he contemplated the task of being king which Solomon was about to undertake (29:19). Sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving followed and the ceremony concluded with Solomon being anointed as king a second time and then taking his place on the throne (29:20-24).
God did answered David’s prayer, for “the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel” (29:25).
The reign of David, Israel’s great king, comes to an end with a simple obituary:
“And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead” (29:28).
Notice the memorial to David’s character in that last sentence: David “died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour [glory; splendor]” (29:28).
All men and women will die, but I dare say, few will die having lived a full life that has been blessed, bequeathing honor as their life’s crowning trait.
You are invited to Hillsdale’s Sunday Memorial Day Weekend Service, this Sunday, May 24, 2020.
9:45 AM Service – Youth Pastor Justin Jarrett will speak in the Teen\Family Bible Study as he continues his series in the Book of James. This week’s study is titled, Taming Our Twisted Tongues from James 3:1-12. (Please note the entrance doors to the building will open at 9:40 AM and will be closed at 9:50 AM. Per guidelines, please go directly to the auditorium.)
10:30 AM Service – Our Memorial Day worship service will begin promptly and doors to our building will reopen at 10:15 AM and be closed at 10:45 AM. The service will open with a video tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation and be followed by the pastoral staff singing the Navy Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”
Pastor Smith will be continuing his “Coronavirus Series” from Psalm 23. The focus this week is Psalm 23:4, “The Guidance, Protection, and Loving Care of My Shepherd.”
The following is an excerpt from this Sunday’s bulletin: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
Anglo/Irish author, statesman and orator, Edmund Burke, is credited with many of my favorite political and philosophical quotes. Burke’s observation regarding the “triumph of evil” when “good men do nothing” is cited with various wordings; however, the essence of his quote is that:
When good men are silent and do nothing; evil men will triumph in the moral, spiritual and political arenas.
I fear that day has come upon us, our nation, and our world. The wicked champion egregious sins and depravity marches in the streets under banners that assert freedom at the sacrifice of lives, individual liberty and happiness.
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is credited with a “do nothing” peace agreement that he signed with Adolf Hitler in 1938. Chamberlain returned to England and announced that he had negotiated with Hitler an agreement that would give all Europe, “Peace with honour…Peace for our time.” One year later, Germany’s army invaded Poland and plunged Europe, and eventually the world into World War II and a conflict that would take the lives of 85 million people, including 6 million Jews.
This Memorial weekend we take time to honor those men and women who did not stand by in silence when our nation went to war. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines refused to be numbered among the “do nothing” crowd that was so quick to dismiss their honor, and criticize those who made a difference, often at the sacrifice of their youth and their lives.
Warning: While “We the People” choose to “do nothing,” America continues to decline morally, spiritually, and politically. When evil is emboldened, freedom erodes. In the words of the 19th century French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville:
“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Teen\Family Bible Study: Youth Pastor Justin Jarrett will be continuing his Bible Study Series in the Book of James at 9:45 AM. The doors to our building will open briefly at 9:40 for those who will be joining us for the Bible Study.
The Memorial Day Sunday 10:30 AM service will open with a brief video tribute dedicated to our nation’s heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedoms.
The pastoral staff is dedicating this week’s special number to all who served and are serving our nation. We will be singing the haunting, but beautiful Navy Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”
Pastor Smith will be continuing his “Coronavirus Series” from Psalm 23. This week’s message is taken from Psalm 23:4 and is titled, “The Guidance, Protection, and Loving Care of My Shepherd.”
Guidelines for Those Attending Hillsdale’s Public Worship Services: Guests and members are welcome and we ask you to understand the extraordinary precautions we are taking.
The doors to our building will open at 10:15 AM for those attending the 10:30 AM Worship service. For the comfort and safety of all in attendance, you are to proceed immediately to the auditorium, sit with your family, and put a safe distance between you and others. You will find every second pew roped off to ensure a safe space between yourself and others in attendance. Physical contact (handshaking, etc.) is discouraged. Avoiding passing offering plates, tithes and offerings can be given as you enter and exit the auditorium.