Author: R. Izak

I am a son, friend, sheep, and member of Christ. The Lord has formally developed my interest in Actuarial Science and Finance, and I currently work for a big, bad American insurance company as an actuarial analyst. He has also informally developed my interest in theology, soccer, and anything else you will find on this website. My aim is to connect theology to all of my life.
A Nation’s Confession

A Nation’s Confession

“Stand up, bless Yahweh your God from everlasting until everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name that is being exalted above all blessing and praise! “You alone are Yahweh. You alone have made the heavens, the heavens of the heavens, and all of their army, the earth and all that is in it, the waters and all that is in them. You give life to all of them, and the army of the heavens worship you. You are Yahweh, the God who chose Abram and brought him from Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. You found his heart faithful before you and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite and the Girgashite—to give it to his seed. And you have kept your word because you are righteous. “You saw the misery of our ancestors in Egypt, and you heard their shout at the Red Sea. You gave signs and wonders against Pharaoh, all of his servants, and all of the people of his land because you knew that they acted arrogantly against them. You made a name for yourself, as it is this day. And you divided the sea before them, and they passed through the sea on dry ground, but their pursuers you threw into the depths like a stone into mighty waters. You led them by day with a column of cloud and with a column of fire by night, to give them light on the way that they were to go. Then you came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right judgments and true teachings, good regulations and commandments. You made known your holy Sabbath to them and gave them commandments, regulations, and law by the hand of your servant Moses. You gave them bread from heaven for their starvation, and you caused water to go out from a rock for their thirst. You told them to go in order to take into possession the land that you have sworn by your hand to give to them. “But they and our ancestors acted arrogantly and stiffened their neck and did not listen to your commandments. They refused to listen and did not remember your wonders that you did among them. They stiffened their neck and in their rebellion determined to return to their slavery. But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abundant in loyal love, so you did not abandon them. Even when they made for themselves a molten idol of a calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you out from Egypt,’ and committed great blasphemies. But you in your many mercies did not abandon them in the desert. The column of cloud that was over them in the day did not cease to leave them on the way, and the column of fire by night that gave light to them on the way that they went. And you gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years you sustained them in the desert—they were not in need. Their clothing did not wear out and their feet did not swell. And you gave them kingdoms and nations and allotted them a portion. They took into possession the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. You made their children numerous like the stars of the heavens and brought them to the land that you told their ancestors to enter in order to take possession. So the children went in and took possession of the land. You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites; you gave them into their hand, and their kings and the nations of the land to do with them according to their pleasure. And they captured fortified cities and a fertile land and took possession of houses filled with every good thing: hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves, and many fruit trees. They ate and became full, and they became fat and took delight in your great goodness. “But they rebelled and were rebellious against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them to turn back to you, and they did great blasphemies. Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemy, and they brought trouble to them. Then in the time of their trouble they cried out to you, and you heard from the heavens, and according to your great compassions, you gave them saviors, and you saved them from the hand of their enemies. But when they had rest they returned to doing evil before you, and you abandoned them in the hand of their enemies, and they ruled over them. Then they returned and cried out to you, and from the heavens you heard and many times rescued them according to your compassions. You warned them so that they would return to your law. Yet they acted arrogantly and did not listen to your commandments but sinned against your judgments that a person must do so that they may live. They turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not listen. You were patient toward them for many years, and you have warned them by your spirit through the hand of your prophets, but they did not listen. So you gave them into the hand of the nations of the lands. But in your great compassions you did not put an end to them, and you did not abandon them. For you are a gracious and compassionate God. “And now our God, the great, mighty, and awesome God who keeps his covenant and loyal love, do not belittle in your presence all of the hardship that is found in us, our kings, our officials, our priests, our prophets, our ancestors, and all of our people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until this day. You are righteous in everything that has come on us, for you dealt faithfully, and we have acted wickedly. Our kings, our officials, our priests, and our ancestors did not keep your law and did not listen to your commandments and statutes that you declared to them. And in their kingdom and in the greatness you gave to them, and in the wide and fertile land that you gave before them, they did not serve you and did not turn from their evil deeds. Behold, we are slaves to this day, and the land that you have given to our ancestors to eat its fruits and enjoy its goodness—behold, we are slaves in it! Its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have given over us because of our sins, and they are ruling over our dead bodies and our livestock at their pleasure. We are in great trouble. “Now because of all of this we make a binding written agreement and are writing on the sealed documents the names of our commanders, our Levites, and our priests.”
Nehemiah 9:5‭-‬38 LEB

Nehemiah’s Prayer

Nehemiah’s Prayer

“O Yahweh God of the heavens, the great and awesome one who keeps the covenant and loyal love for the ones who love him and for those who keep his commands. Please, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I am praying before you by day and by night for your servants, the Israelites, and confessing the sins of the Israelites that we have sinned against you. I and my father’s house have sinned. We have certainly offended you and have not kept the commands, regulations, and judgments that you have commanded your servant Moses. Please, remember the word that you have commanded to your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you act unfaithfully I will scatter you all among the nations. But if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, even though all of your outcasts are at the furthest parts of heaven, I will gather them and bring them to the place which I have chosen to make my name dwell.’ They are your servants and your people whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. O Lord, please let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight to revere in your name. Please, let your servant be successful this day and give him compassion before this man.”
Nehemiah 1:5‭-‬11 LEB

Ezra’s Prayer

Ezra’s Prayer

“My God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God. For our sins have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors until this day we have been in great guilt, and because of our sins we ourselves, our kings, and our priests have been handed into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to utter shame, as it is this day. But now for a brief moment mercy has been shown by Yahweh our God, who left behind for us a remnant, and given us security in his holy place—for our God to brighten our eyes and to give us brief relief in our bondage. For we are slaves and in our bondage our God did not forsake us, and he has extended to us loyal love in the presence of the kings of Persia, to give to us deliverance and to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem. “And now our God what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded by the hand of your servants the prophets saying, ‘The land that you are entering to possess is a land of impurity with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their detestable things which they have filled from end to end with their uncleanness. Therefore, do not give your daughters to their sons, and do not take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek their peace and prosperity so that forever you may be strong and eat the good of the land and may give it as an inheritance to your sons.’ After all that has come upon us for our evil practices and for our great guilt—you, our God, have held back less than our guilt deserved and you have given us a remainder such as this. Shall we again break your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who practice these detestable things? Would you not be angry with us until you destroy us with no remnant or remainder? Yahweh, God of Israel, you are righteous, for we have been left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, for none can stand before you because of this.”
Ezra 9:6‭-‬15 LEB

Another Prayer

Another Prayer

“Blessed are you, O Yahweh, God of Israel, our father forever and ever! To you, O Yahweh, is the greatness and the power and the splendor and the glory and the strength, for everything in the heavens and in the earth. Yours, O Yahweh, is the kingdom and exaltation over all as head! And wealth and glory are from you, and you rule over all. And in your hand is power and might. And in your hand is power to make great and to give strength to all. And now, our God, we give thanks to you and offer praise to the name of your splendor. And indeed, who am I, and who are my people that we retain power to offer according to these offerings willingly? For everything is from you, and from your hand we have given to you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners like all our ancestors. Our days are like the shadow upon earth, and there is no hope of abiding. O Yahweh our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build for you a house for your holy name is from your hand, and all of it is yours. And I know, my God, that you yourself test the heart and are pleased with uprightness. I, in the uprightness of my heart, have willingly offered all these things, and now with joy I have seen your people who are found here willingly offer to you. O Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our ancestors, keep this forever as a plan and thoughts of the heart of your people, and establish their heart toward you. Grant to Solomon my son a heart of peace to keep your commands, your statutes, and your regulations to do everything, and to build the citadel for which I have provided.”

Mortification of Sin Excerpt

Mortification of Sin Excerpt

An Extended Excerpt from Mortification of Sin in Believers by John Owen:

 

The correct and acceptable principles of mortification will be emphasized from here on. It is hating sin as sin, not just as a painful or disturbing habit, and comprehending the love of Christ as revealed in the cross, that lie at the bottom of all true spiritual mortification. It is obvious that the selective mortification I speak of is spawned by self-love. You resolve with all diligence and earnestness to mortify a particular lust or sin. What is the reason? It bothers you. It has robbed you of your peace. It fills your heart with sorrow, trouble, and fear. You have no rest because of it. Friend, I suspect you have neglected prayer or reading. You have been conceited and loose in your conversation, or involved in things different than the lust that bothers you. These are no less sinful, and no less evil, than the one causing you pain. Jesus Christ bled for those too. Why not set yourself against them as well?

 

If you hate sin as sin, and every evil way that grieves and disturbs your soul, then you should be just as watchful against everything that grieves and disturbs the Spirit of God. It is obvious that you struggle against sin merely because of the trouble it causes you. If your conscience was quiet about it, you would let it alone. If it did not bother you, you wouldn’t bother it. Now, do you really think God will put up with such hypocritical endeavors? Do you not think his Spirit will testify to the treachery and falsehood of your spirit? Do you think he will relieve you of what bothers you, so you will be free to pursue something else that grieves him just as much? No, says God. “If he could be rid of this lust, I would never hear from him again. Let him wrestle with it, or he will be lost.”

 

No one should think to do his own work if he will not do God’s work. God’s work consists in universal obedience. To be freed of the present problem is our own work. That is why the apostle writes, “Cleanse yourselves from all pollution of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”1 If we will do anything, we must do all things. So then, what is acceptable to God is not only an intense opposition to this or that specific lust, but a universally humble frame of heart. We are to be watchful over every evil, and perform every duty.