Thursday, January 23, 2020

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: Misery is Mercy

I've been through an excellent book from Puritan Thomas Brooks called "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", where he identifies the various ways Satan goes about his work, and offers remedies to help against those devices.

I believe it's important we are aware of these things, as the Bible says:
1 Peter 5:8 - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

And we are to resist...
James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Ephesians 6:11 - "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

...but only with God's help:
Psalm 28:7 - "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."

Below is another device of Satan to draw a person to sin, sin being something we should hate in ourselves since sin is against God and hated by God as well. The device is to get us to shy away from afflictions and difficulties of life, but the remedy is to understand and welcome the loving, chastising hand of our heavenly Father!

And the worst thing possible for a man is to be left to himself to commit sin:
Rom 1:18-32:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 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:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Ps 81:10-16:

10 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.

12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!

14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.

15 The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.

16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

I've included the other remedy points below for context, but for this blog post am just focusing on Remedy 3. However, you can listen to the whole section in this audio reading (it starts with Device 7):

or download it:

The entire book is scanned in here:

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Brooks - Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices

From Thomas Brooks:

The eighth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin, is,

Device (8). By representing to the soul the outward mercies that vain men enjoy, and the outward miseries that they are freed from, while they have walked in the ways of sin.

Says Satan, Do you see, O soul, the many mercies that such and such enjoy, that walk in those very ways that your soul startles to think of, and the many crosses that they are delivered from, even such as makes other men, that say they dare not walk in such ways, to spend their days in sighing, weeping, groaning, and mourning, and therefore, says Satan, if ever you would be freed from the dark night of adversity, and enjoy the sunshine of prosperity, you must walk in their ways.

[Footnote: It was a weighty saying of Seneca, there is nothing more unhappy than he who never felt adversity. Some of the heathens would be wicked as their gods were, counting it a dishonour to their god to be unlike him. - Lactantius.]

By this stratagem the devil took those in Jer. xliv. 16-18, 'As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee: but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth of our mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.'

This is just the language of a world of ignorant, profane, and superstitious souls in London, and England, that would have made them a captain to return to bondage, yea, to that bondage that was worse than that the Israelites groaned under. Oh, say they, since such and such persons have been put down, and left off, we have had nothing but plundering and taxing, and butchering of men, etc.; and therefore we will do as we, and our kings, and nobles, and fathers have formerly done, for then had we plenty at home, and peace abroad, etc., and there was none to make us afraid.

[Footnote: It is said of one of the emperors, that Rome had no war in his days, because it was plague enough to have such an emperor. You are wise, and know how to apply it. [The allusion, no doubt, is to Charles I., and the agitation for the Restoration of Charles II. Cromwell died Sept. 3. 1658. - Editor]]

Remedy (1). That no man knows how the heart of God stands by his hand. [ie. people cannot know how God feels about them just by how things are happening in their lives]

Remedy (2). That there is nothing in the world that does so provoke God to be wroth and angry, as men's taking encouragement from God's goodness and mercy to do wickedly.

Remedy (4). That the wants [lacks] of wicked man, under all their outward mercy and freedom from adversity, is far greater than all their outward enjoyments.

Remedy (5). That outward things are not as they seem and esteemed.

Remedy (6). Consider the end [purpose] and design of God is heaping up mercy upon the heads of the wicked, and in giving them a rest and quiet from those sorrows and sufferings that others sigh under.

Remedy (7). That God does often most plague and punish [with spiritual judgements] those whom others think he does most spare and love [because of their temporal ease].

Remedy (8). Dwell more upon that strict account that vain men must make [on judgement day] for all that good that they do enjoy.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider,

That there is no greater misery in this life, than not to be in misery; no greater affliction, than not to be afflicted.

Woe, woe to that soul that God will not spend a rod upon! This is the saddest stroke of all, when God refuses to strike at all: Hos. iv. 17, 'Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.' 'Why should you be smitten any more? you will revolt more and more,' Isa. i. 5.

When the physician gives over the patient, you say, 'Ring out his knell, the man is dead.' So when God gives over a soul to sin without control, you may truly say, 'This soul is lost', you may ring out his knell, for he is twice dead, and plucked up by the roots.

Freedom from punishment is the mother of security, the step-mother of virtue, the poison of religion, the moth of holiness, and the introducer of wickedness. 'Nothing,' said one, 'seems more unhappy to me, than he to whom no adversity hath happened'.

Outward mercies ofttimes prove a snare to our souls. 'I will lay a stumbling-block,' Ezek. iii. 20. Vatablus' note there is, 'I will prosper him in all things, and not by affliction restrain him from sin.'

Prosperity has been a stumbling-block, at which millions have stumbled and fallen, and broke the neck of their souls for ever.

[Footnote: Religion brought forth riches, and the daughter soon devoured the mother, said Augustine.]

May the God of infinite mercies never leave us to ourselves, to walk in our own ways! And may we be thankful to Him for His loving, chastising hand!
Heb 12:6 - For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Rev 3:19 - As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

-- David

Monday, January 13, 2020

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Surprise 1st Chick Hatching of 2020

Just recently, Sue came briskly walking up to the house, which usually means something's wrong on the homestead. I braced myself and went out to meet her and asked her what was wrong. But what ended up being "wrong", or at least of some immediate attention, was that she discovered a chicken mommy in the barn loft with a whole batch of chicks with her! Near the edge of the loft too, which is probably 10 feet off the ground! Wow!

Here's a picture of the stairs going up to the loft -- she made her nest way in the back corner there by the buckets:

Barn Loft Stairs Steps in Place

We went up there, and sure enough -- a bunch of them! They had at least moved away from the edge, and so we grabbed mama and put her in a cage for the moment, and then gathered up her little ones into a pet carrier, and put them all into the brooder barn (formerly the summer kitchen).

And here they are now! We believe there are 15, and it appears the hen hatched out all the eggs that were under her. She must have just been dropping eggs into her nest herself, and then did the sitting. This mother is a good one too -- very often broody:

1st Chicks of 2020

More of 1st Chicks of 2020

And here's their video:

We are very thankful to the Lord for this unexpected gift to start this 2020, and for the safe hatching, and that He had mama set on the nest in the barn! We pray they are used for His glory in some way, and the benefit of the homestead and others, as He wills!

-- David

Friday, December 27, 2019

Goat Breeding Time 2019!

Middle Fall rolled around this 2019, and it was time to put our billy goats with their respective nannies for breeding time! We do it around beginning to mid-November to try to get kid delivery happening after March, because we've had snow here into early April before.

Sadly though, our oldest goat this year, Pammy, died early Fall. It was kind of suddenly...just one night in the barn, even all bundled up with sweaters and blankets, so we're not sure exactly what happened. She had a sweet disposition, was one of the originals here on the land, and will be missed. We thank the Lord for the many kids and much milk He granted from her!

Here she is with her first kid for us, 10 years ago:

Pammy with Her 2009 Kids

And her last ones last year:

Pammy with Her 2018 Kids

What a good mommy! :) Again, we are thankful to God.

But time continues, and it was time to put the goats together. We are down to 5 females now, and we really want to keep any next female from Hannah, the most LaMancha female we have, and so with Pammy gone, we moved Lucy to be with the "older" group (Hannah & Annie) with Shakespeare, and kept the 2 sisters, Adeline and Nellie, to be with Elvis:

Here's Shakespeare:

Goat Buck Shakespeare

And Elvis, sans his horns. If you read last year's breeding time blog post, we talk about how Elvis was going after Marie and using his horns as weapons. Well, in the off season, we took him to the vet, and polled him, and now he can't do that. :) We're thankful this worked, as we were not going to be able to keep him if it didn't:

Goat Buck Elvis

Here's me getting a shed in place after dragging it behind the truck on our shack caddy from one yard to the other:

Getting Goat Shed in Place

And the dogs are ready! (to watch, at least) :)

Dogs Watching Ready for Goat Move

And here is our video of putting the groups together for this year:

As always, we are thankful to the Lord for the provisions of the goats. We pray He might grant kids in Spring, and safe deliveries, and help through the Winter. And again, we are thankful to Him for allowing us to have Pammy and for the provisions He granted from her!

-- David

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Goat Kids of 2019 - Update I

When I was about to prepare to put together our 2019 goat breeding blog post, I realized I had sadly forgotten that I had not put out a blog post about our final little goat provision of the year the Lord had graciously granted! He was born much later than all of the others, so we had to wait to be able to sell him.

And here he is!

Last 2019 Goat Kid

And here he is with mama, Hannah. Sue called him "HB" for "Hannah Boy", and I think I added by calling him "Hannah Boy-berra" ;)

Another of the Last 2019 Goat Kid

Sadly, he didn't have much time around the other youngin' goats, but he mixed it up with the best of them as he got older:

And another of the Last 2019 Goat Kid

And here is his video on sell day. You can tell in it that he had a sweet disposition:

We are always thankful to God for Him granting these provisions out here, and we pray they are a blessing to the new owners, and always used as the Lord would have us use them!

-- David

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Community Singing - December 2019

We were thankful to be able to gather together again this past Lord's Day to sing the praises of God in Psalms from the psalter from Crown & Covenant we use, and to record them to help us all learn them better, and in the hopes that having them available might help someone else. And so we did the next set, Psalms 77A to 78H!

Here are the latest:

(If the above player doesn't work, you can click the Listen link below; or if you would like to save any of the files locally to your computer, you can right click on Download and click Save As in the popup menu.)

Psalms 77A-78H

May praise to the name of the Lord always be in our hearts and in our mouths, making a joyful noise to His glory!

-- David

Previous Psalms singings:

Psalms 1A-12B (minus 4B)

Psalms 4B & 13-18L

Psalms 19A-22E

Psalms 22F-24C

Psalms 25A-27F

Psalms 28A-31G

Psalms 32A-34D

Psalms 35A-37F

Psalms 38B-40F

Psalms 41A-44F

Psalms 45A-49C

Psalms 50A-53

Psalms 54A-59B

Psalms 60A-65B

Psalms 66A-68E

Psalms 69A-71D

Psalms 72A-76B

Monday, December 2, 2019

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 7th, 8th, & 9th Chicks of 2019

Catching up on the 2019 chicks the Lord has graciously granted, here are the last hatchings of this 2019 -- 7th, 8th, and 9th!

Here's group 7, 5 hatched, 5 still alive!

7th 2019 Chick Hatching

More 7th 2019 Chick Hatching

And group 8, 6 hatched, and all 6 doing well!

8th 2019 Chick Hatching

More 8th 2019 Chick Hatching

And group 9, 3 hatched and 3 still going today! This group started in one of the barn horizontal purlins, and moved her and her eggs into this room in the brooder building:

9th 2019 Chick Hatching

More 9th 2019 Chick Hatching

And here's the video of all 3 groups:

As always, we are very thankful to God for granting these provisions. May we remember these are gifts from Him for our use, not ownership, and that He is always Lord over all!

-- David

Friday, November 15, 2019

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: Repentance is Easy, Part 4

This is the final part, continuing from part 3 from Puritan Thomas Brooks' book "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", where the devil entices people to sin by suggesting repentance is an easy thing.

You can listen to it here:

or download it:

The entire book is scanned in here:

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Brooks - Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices

From Thomas Brooks:

The sixth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (6). By persuading the soul that the work of repentance is an easy work, and that therefore the soul need not make such a matter of sin. Why! Suppose you do sin, saith Satan, it is no such difficult thing to return, and confess, and be sorrowful, and beg pardon, and cry, "Lord, have mercy upon me;" and if you do but this, God will cut the score (footnote: this references notched sticks by which debt accounts were recorded anciently), and pardon your sins, and save your souls, etc.

By this device Satan draws many a soul to sin, and makes many millions of souls servants or rather slaves to sin, etc.

Now, the remedies against this device of Satan are these that follow:

Remedy (1). The first remedy is, seriously to consider, That repentance is a mighty work, a difficult work, a work that is above our power.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider of the nature of true repentance.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is seriously to consider, That repentance is a continued act.

Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is solemnly to consider, That if the work of repentance were such an easy work as Satan would make it to be, then certainly so many would not lie roaring and crying out of wrath and eternal ruin under the horrors and terrors of conscience, for not repenting; yea, doubtless, so many millions would not go to hell for not repenting, if it were such an easy thing to repent.

Remedy (5). The fifth remedy against this device of Satan is seriously to consider, That to repent of sin is as great a work of grace as not to sin.

(Footnote: Yet it is better to be kept from sin than cured of sin by repentance, as it is better for a man to be preserved from a disease than to be cured of the disease.

By our sinful falls the powers of the soul are weakened, the strength of grace is decayed, our evidences for heaven are blotted, fears and doubts in the soul are raised (will God once more pardon this scarlet sin, and shew mercy to this wretched soul?), and corruptions in the heart are more advantaged and confirmed; and the conscience of a man after falls is the more enraged or the more benumbed.

Now for a soul, notwithstanding all this, to repent of his falls, this shews that it is as great a work of grace to repent of sin as it is not to sin. Repentance is the vomit of the soul; and of all physic [medicine], none so difficult and hard as it is to vomit. The same means that tends to preserve the soul from sin, the same means works the soul to rise by repentance when it is fallen into sin.

We know the mercy and lovingkindness of God is one special means to keep the soul from sin; as David spake, "Thy lovingkindness is always before mine eyes, and I have walked in thy truth, and I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers, and will not sit with the wicked," Ps. xxvi. 3-5. So by the same means the soul is raised by repentance out of sin, as you may see in Mary Magdalene, who loved much, and wept much, because much was forgiven her, Luke vii. 37-39, etc. So those in Hosea, "I Come, let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us, in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight, or before his face," Hos. vi. 1, 2 ; as the Hebrew hath it, i.e. in his favour. Confidence in God's mercy and love, that he would heal them, and laud up their wounds, and revive their dejected spirits, and cause them to live in his favour, was that which did work their hearts to repent and return unto him.

I might further shew you this truth in many other particulars, but this may suffice: only remember this in the general, that there is as much of the power of God, and love of God, and faith in God, and fear of God, and care to please God, zeal for the glory of God, 2 Cor. vii. 11, requisite to work a man to repent of sin, as there is to keep a man from sin; by which you may easily judge, that to repent of sin is as great a work as not to sin.

And now tell me, O soul, is it an easy thing not to sin? We know then certainly it is not an easy thing to repent of sin.

Remedy (6). The sixth remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, that he that now tempts thee to sin upon this account, that repentance is easy, will, ere long, to work thee to despair, and for ever to break the neck of thy soul, present repentance as the difficultest and hardest work in the world; and to this purpose he will set thy sins in order before thee, and make them to say, "We are thine, and we must follow thee."

(Footnote: Beda tells of a certain great man that was admonished in his sickness to repent, who answered that he would not repent yet; for if he should recover, his companions would laugh at him; but, growing sicker and sicker, his friends pressed him again to repent, but then he told them it was too late, for
now, said he, I am judged and condemned.

As one Lamachus, a commander, said to one of his soldiers that was brought before him for a misbehaviour, who pleaded he would do so no more, saith he, no man must offend twice in war; so God will not suffer men often to neglect the day of grace.)

Now, Satan will help to work the soul to look up, and see God angry; and to look inward, and to see conscience accusing and condemning; and to look downwards, and see hell's mouth open to receive the impenitent soul: and all this to render the work of repentance impossible to the soul.

What, saith Satan, dost thou think that that is easy which the whole power of grace cannot conquer while we are in this world? Is it easy, saith Satan, to turn from some outward act of sin to which thou hast been addicted? Dost thou not remember that thou hast often complained against such and such particular sins, and resolved to leave them? and yet, to this hour, thou hast not, thou canst not? What will it then be to turn from every sin? Yea, to mortify and cut off those sins, those darling lusts [corrupt desires of the heart], that are as joints and members, that be as right hands and right eyes? Hast thou not loved thy sins above thy Saviour? Hast thou not preferred earth before heaven? Hast thou not all along neglected the means of grace? and despised the offers of grace? and vexed the Spirit of grace? There would be no end, if I should set before thee the infinite evils that thou hast committed, and the innumerable good services that thou hast omitted, and the frequent checks of thy own conscience that thou hast contemned; and therefore thou mayest well conclude that thou canst never repent, that thou shalt never repent.

Now, saith Satan, do but a little consider thy numberless sins, and the greatness of thy sins, the foulness of thy sins, the heinousness of thy sins, the circumstances of thy sins, and thou shalt easily see that those sins that thou thoughtest to be but motes, are indeed mountains; and is it not now in vain to repent of them? Surely, saith Satan, if thou shouldest seek repentance and grace with tears, as Esau, thou shalt not find it; thy glass is out, thy sun is set, the door of mercy is shut, the golden sceptre is taken in, and now thou that hast despised mercy, shalt be for ever destroyed by justice. For such a wretch as thou art to attempt repentance, is to attempt a thing impossible. It is impossible that thou, that in all thy life couldst never conquer one sin, shouldst master such a numberless number of sins; which are so near, so dear, so necessary, and so profitable to thee, that have so long bedded and boarded with thee, that have been old acquaintance and companions with thee. Hast thou not often purposed, promised, vowed, and resolved to enter upon the practice of repentance, but to this day couldst never attain it? Surely it is in vain to strive against the stream, where it is so impossible to overcome; thou art lost and cast for ever; to hell thou must, to hell thou shalt.

Ah, souls! he that now tempts you to sin, by suggesting to you the easiness of repentance, will at last work you to despair, and present repentance as the hardest work in all the world, and a work as far above man as heaven is above hell, as light is above darkness. Oh that you were wise, to break off your sins by timely repentance!

May we seek the Lord almighty in true repentance out of love for Him, and may He grant us that! May He protect us from the lies of the Accuser, and may we look to Christ Jesus alone for His redemption, righteousness, forgiveness and cleansing!

-- David