Basket of Figs

A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Prayer for Monday Morning, January 11, 2016. Psalm 34:9-16

Psalm 34:09-16

“O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that
fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that
seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

"Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of
the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days,
that he may see good?

"Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes
of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto
their cry.

"The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the
remembrance of them from the earth.” (Ps 34:9-16 AV)


O precious Father, we acknowledge that it is very foolish for us not
to love you with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, for we
have been created for that purpose and everything in our true being
cries out for You. We fear You as children to their earthly fathers
and we do not want to displease you in any way. But we confess
our sins and hardness of hearts and do repent them.

Even the beasts of the field suffer hunger and want and fall prey to
other animals, but those that fear You and seek You shall not lack

You call us to You, dear Father, in order to teach us the fear of the
Lord. How we need this, O Heavenly Father. We desire life in the
fullest sense and wish to see good.

We want to learn to speak good and not evil. We would not speak
guile and hypocrisy and pretense, O Lord, but that which is pure
and good. Teach us to seek peace and follow after it, pursue it as a
man would bend forward, chasing an enemy. Peace is not an
enemy, but a very great friend, and the soil of righteousness and
true wisdom.

Your eyes are upon the righteous, those to whom You do not
impute sin. Your ears are open to our cry, but your face is against
those that do evil and their remembrance shall be cut off from the

But you remember your covenant to a thousand generations to
those who love you and are always mindful of us, your people.
Praise the Lord and Bless Your name forever and ever. In the name
of our Redeemer, Jesus Your precious and only begotten Son.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Prayer for Today: January 9:2016 Psalm 71

Prayer for January 8, 2016.   Psalm 71:1-3

1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to

2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline
thine ear unto me, and save me.  

3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually

resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my
rock and my fortress.

Precious Father, we praise and magnify Your wisdom and grace

this morning. W reject the arm of the flesh and the wisdom of the

flesh, which are confusion and  trouble.

You alone are wise and good, O Father, and we have nothing of our
own. Our life is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then
vanishes away. But our hope is in You alone. Do not forsake us, O
Father, or leave us for a moment, or we will be put to confusion
and waste away.

We are caught in the snare of sin and misery, O Lord, and only

Your righteousness can deliver us. We flee to Your righteousness,
O Lord, for our salvation is in Your righteousness alone. We love
the Lord Jesus, whose blood and righteousness has been appointed
for our salvation.

We confess and believe that it is through the knowledge of God,

and of Jesus our Lord, that according as his divine power He has
given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
“through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and
virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious
promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Our sinful desires will destroy us, O Lord, so we would escape to

Your righteousness and turn from our own ways to find safety in
You, our rock and our fortress. We may continually flee there, O
God, for You are our strong dwelling place.

How precious is Your commandment, O Lord, for You have given

commandment for our salvation! The hosts of heaven are sent on
behalf of those who will be heirs of eternal life; the very rocks and
hills, the seas and the vastness of the heavens bend to do Your will,
to accomplish the salvation of those who trust in Jesus Christ.

So we will not fear what man can do to us. Forgive for our doubts

and fears, and let us always seek Your obedience and Your
kingdom before all else.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hey! The Lord Is at Hand!

December 27, 2015 Philippians 4:4-7

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your

moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful
for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the
peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:4-7 AV)

We confess, O Father, that in our hearts we often fall short of our
profession, for we do not trust You as we ought and our joy is
depressed. We know that we are so preserved of You that without
your will not a hair can fall from our head; yea, that all things must
work together for our salvation and good. This we know and
confess. We pray that that assurance would break through the
gloom of our hearts and that our joy would be pure and sure.

We pray for moderation to be known of all men. That we can be
thankful for good things that come, and patience when bad things
come, for we know that both come to us from You for training and
growth in Christ. May what look like storms not create storms in
our hearts, knowing that they soon will pass. May what look like
unmitigated blessings not arouse fleshly pleasures, for they, too,
will soon pass away.

You are always at hand, Dear Lord. Your ear is always open to our
cry, and you are more ready to hear than a father to hear the cry of
his child. You will do us good and not evil all the days of our lives,
we do confess. The wicked are in your hand and will vanish like
snow before the hot sun, when you choose.

Hence, we sin, if we do not in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known
unto God. We are to pray without ceasing and to be careful for
nothing. Nothing should fill our hearts with care, because you care
for us.  

Our hearts, then, will be kept be kept by the peace of God in a way
that is far beyond our understanding; our affections will be
enclosed in your love and compassion and our wandering minds
will be disciplined by your doctrine and assurance, as you have
promised, and so we believe.  In the Name of Our Lord Jesus.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Christmas Prayer, Philippians 3:20, 21

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the
working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Php 3:20-21)

Our Precious Father in Heaven. The coming of your Son to Bethlehem was an exclamation point in
the history of the world, for it reveals that there is far more to reality than man’s kingdoms, societies
and cultures.  

For Jesus who was in heaven came from Heaven to reveal and secure for us a whole world of angels
and spirits and power and glory that we could have had no idea of except for His coming. No man has
seen God at any time, but The Son who is in the bosom of the father has revealed Him.

What a wonderful world was opened up to us by the coming of our Lord Jesus, the Only Begotten
Son of God. He opened up vistas that eyes had not seen, nor ears heard, nor the heart of man could
have imagined, but by our Lord Jesus Christ, these wonderful things that God had prepared for those
that love Him have been revealed by the Holy Spirit.

What a wonderful world this must be, O Lord Jesus, and you went there and prepared it for us, and
you will come to take us to where you are now, with your Father and a new heaven and a new earth.
Even our bodies of sin and death will be fashioned like unto His glorious body, for our corruption shall
put on incorruption, this mortal shall put on immortality, dishonor shall put on glory, natural shall put
on spiritual, the earthy shall put on the heavenly for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of

And we shall not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and this vile body
shall be fashioned like unto his glorious body, and so shall we ever be with the Lord in his heavenly
kingdom. Amen and Amen.

You came, dear precious Lord Jesus, into our world of blood and hair and filth, our world of sin and
misery, of death and sorrow and tears and grief, so that you could take away our sins by your
suffering and righteousness and take us to be forever with you, our Lord of Glory, the mansions of
eternal glory and honor. "So shall we ever be with the Lord."

This our Lord Jesus came to teach us. Though he was rich, yet he became poor that we by his poverty
might be made rich. May we, O Lord, even now in the days of our pilgrimage, learn to set our
affections on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God for we have been risen with
Christ, and when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory. As
the apostle Peter wrote, we have been begotten to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in
heaven for us.

What a world opens for us by that little baby, the Lord of Glory, the crown of Heaven, the beauty of
worlds unknown before. And we belong to You, O Heavenly Father, for He brings to us our
inheritance, purchased with His Own Blood. Amen and Amen.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Prayer for the Advent Season: Meditation on Isaiah 9:6

December 6, 2015.   Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9:6 AV)


Our Precious Father in Heaven. We rejoice in your wonderful gift to your church on that first Christmas morning so many years ago. You gave us your most precious gift, Your only Begotton Son. The fairest treasure of Heaven, the Word and Wisdom of God, the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star. If we do not love Him, we are cold indeed of heart, and blind to the things of God.


How Wonderful He is. The more we meditate on His Person and Word, the more we are amazed and filled with Wonder.  The Son of God and the Son of Man. Truly God and Truly Man. He must be Man in order to bear the sins of the world; in order to fulfill all the requirements of your Holy Law and Suffer all that your Holy Justice required to put away sins and bring in everlasting righteousness.  True, eye did not see, nor had ear heard the things that You had prepared for Your people, but You have revealed them to us by the holy words that Your Holy Spirit as delivered unto us—the holy Scriptures.


Therefore, O Precious Father, we are completely safe when we trust in Him, for He is a most Wonderful Counsellor.  How foolish we are to walk in our own ways and trust our own hearts, for those that do that are fool indeed. You are the only safe guide of our feet and the happy counselor of our youth, through life, and even to old age.  How wonderful if the gift of Your Son, O Precious Father, for you have not left us to wander  in the darkness or try to see our way by the sparks that we kindle in our own minds How foolish we are; and Wise is He, or Lord and Savior.


For the One that you gave us is the Mighty God.  He not only died for sins, but He is the eternal God who can die for all Your people. He not only is wise, but He is powerfully wise. He does not make promises that He cannot keep. He truly gives rest to those who trust Him. He provides all the needs of those who trust Him.  He truly forgives all the sins of those who trust Him. He truly gives new life to those who trust Him. He is able to save to the uttermost to all those who trust in Him.


What a marvelous gift on that Christmas so many years ago. But there so much more that overwhelms our souls, for in Him we also find the everlasting Father. For His is one with the Father in Creation and providence, and everything that can be said about God as Father and Creator is also said of the Son. He said, “Have I been so long with you and yet hast thou not known me. He that has seen me hath seen the Father.” We look no where else for God except to the Son, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. All that the godhead is, Jesus of Nazareth is. He is our Lord and our God.


And He alone is the Prince of Peace.  We have no peace in our hearts until He reigns there. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” This promise was sealed with His blood, the blood of the New Testament. Therefore we can absolutely depend upon You. As you have promised we can let the peace of God rule our hearts and minds, because you have promised that we are in one body we are called to thanksgiving.  The peace of God passes understanding, and we must reject our own reasonings and cogitations for these leads to fears, and it this peace which passes understanding that keeps our hearts and minds.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Types and Imagination: 1 Corinthians 10

There are several things that need to be said concerning this passage. The apostle uses the word
“example.” This is the word from which we get “type,” which means a pattern. For instance, in
Romans 5, Adam is said to be a “type” or a pattern of Christ. As Reformed Christians we tend to be
very modest and temperate in the use of types. That there are types is without question, that the Bible
is not to be interpreted by an unrestrained imagination is also without question. The bible does hook
our imaginations in such passages as Psalm 23, where the Lord is called “My shepherd,” and where
Jesus calls Himself the “Good shepherd,” but this does not mean that we are to take wild flights of

The word is used twice in I Cor. 10, in verse 6 and verse 11. That the manna and the rock are types of
Christ is without question, and Christ refers to Himself and the water of life, and the bread of life.
These figures are very rich indeed. But because of the very nature of imagination, whatever we may
think we learn from the figures must be subjected to the rule of consistency with the rest of Scripture
and the rule of faith. It also must be subjected to the rule of language. What ever Jesus meant when
He said He was the Good Shepherd is tied to the words “good” and “shepherd.” Conceivable, it could
not mean that He is a skillful soccer player.

This word is also used in Hebrews 8:5, when the things that Moses prepared for the tabernacle in the
wilderness are said to be made after the “patterns” of things in heaven. This is the reason such strict
injunctions were given to Moses to be very careful how they prepared the things, because they were
types of heavenly things—that is of spiritual things—are Moses was to be very careful he did not
distort the meaning. For the same reason, we must be very sober in our interpretation of these figures
that we do not go beyond that which is intended by Scripture. The figure must be permitted to say
what it says, but it must not be stretched beyond what God actually said.

The word is also used in I Peter 5:3, and I Thess. 1:7 where ministers are called to be examples to the
flock. Ministers are called to pattern Christian obedience to the people of God. Again, we must not
push the figure beyond the rest of Scripture, as if Christ were not the only express image of God.  

It is important for us to realize the nature of the figures. The things referred to in I Cor. 10 are things
in the history of Israel that are figures of the things of Christ. It is not the other way around. I have
often said that Christ did not come to lead us to Moses; but that Moses came to lead us to Christ.
Once you have found the treasure that the pirates buried, it might be curious to look over the
topography in order to understand the map better, but why? The map has filled its purpose when the
treasure is found. So the Scriptures are to be our lifelong study—not simply that we know what they
say, for the Jews did this—but that we know who Christ is and love and follow Him. In heaven, when
our knowledge of Christ is complete, we will have no further need of the Scriptures.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Lay of the Last Minstrel, quotation

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.


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