Beware of what is unseen…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Numbers 16:

8Then Moshe (Moses) said to Korach (Korah), “Listen here, you sons of Levi! 9Is it for you a mere trifle that the God of Isra’el has separated you from the community of Isra’el to bring you close to himself, so that you can do the work in the tabernacle of Adonai and stand before the community serving them? 10He has brought you close and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you. Now you want the office of cohen (Priest) too! 11That’s why you and your group have gathered together against Adonai! After all, what is Aharon (Aaron) that you complain against him?”

12Then Moshe sent to summon Datan (Dathan) and Aviram  (Abiram), the sons of Eli’av  (Eliab). But they replied, “We won’t come up! 13Is it such a mere trifle, bringing us up from a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert, that now you arrogate to yourself the role of dictator over us? (ii) 14You haven’t at all brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, and you haven’t put us in possession of fields and vineyards. Do you think you can gouge out these men’s eyes and blind them? We won’t come up!”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

*words in parenthesis are English for the Hebrew placed by this author.

The heart of the matter is a grab for power.  It is couched in words of men’s reason. But God.  Truth is revealed to Moses:  “You want the office of priest.  That’s why you and yours have gathered against Adonai!” They made it appear to the assembly as if they were against Moses and Aaron for designating themselves as overseers of the assembly.  They made it look as if the wandering about in the wilderness was Moses’ and Aaron’s doing.  They questioned why they weren’t being taken into the land of milk and honey.  They accuse Moses and Aaron of attempting to keep control; have it their way.  Moses was able to see the truth of the matter.  Moses walked with God and because of this relationship saw beyond the men to the real enemy.  “You have gathered against Adonai!”  There is only one who defies God impudently and that is Satan the enemy of the human soul.  Truth will prevail.  Eyes are blinded, the people are manipulated by the lie.  “Did God say?”  continues to place doubt and cause division.

The political half of the rebellion refused to even come up when Moses called them.  Their arrogance is in full view of the people.  Their response to Moses clearly shows their intent to take authority from him.  They accuse him of blinding the assembly to truth when in fact it is they who do so.

These tactics continue today on so many levels.  Satan uses them to divide God’s people at every opportunity and those who are immature are taken in and deceived.  The assembly heard and were swayed by those rebelling.  None of these were open to instruction from God.  They were full of themselves and their ’cause,’ ideologies, thinking that is skewed away from God.  Unable to receive correction through Moses, they are left wide open to God’s judgment and correction.  Self has once again risen to take its place over God.  The move is subtle but can be heard by those whose ears are open to hear.

In this day, self-esteem led to self-awareness and now to self-identity.  Who do God’s people seek?  Their own identity or God’s?  A warning is being sounded, a caution.  The question: “Did God really say?” led to a lie.  ” He (God) knows that when you eat you will…”  And evil was revealed; was birthed in humanity. This deception continues today in the cloak of seeking identity.  Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, His righteousness is received and identity is revealed.  Then all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Pray – Lord we have been given your Word both scripture and in Jesus.  May we heed what it says, apply it to our lives, our thinking and actions so we can build your kingdom, not one of our own making.

Repent – Lord, I’m sorry for the movement away from You.  Please open eyes and ears to see and hear from you.

Ask –  I join with you in asking that we be completely one and those outside the assembly of believers may realize who you are and who you sent.  I ask that your love be manifest in how we love one another.

Yes – Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these people have known that you sent me.  I have made your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I myself may be united with them. – Jesus.  I pray this with you, Lord, may it ever be You who is seen and glorified.

John 17:25-26

May I never be guilty of flattering you with my lips…may my heart be always yours, obvious in what I do and say…careful to follow your commands, to give you honor and respect.

Source: Numbers 16 and John 17

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Fear equals respect…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Proverbs 16:6-

Grace and truth atone for iniquity, and people turn from evil through fear of Adonai.  When a man’s ways please Adonai, he makes even the man’s enemies be at peace with him.  Better a little with righteousness than a huge income with injustice.  A person may plan his path, but Adonai directs his steps.

 

Fear of Adonai equates with respect.  Respect that stems from understanding who he is and what he does.  Yes, Jesus smiles but he had a face of flint toward those who practiced pride, arrogance, judgment, and oppression toward others.  We look at one aspect of God and, like children, forget the whole, making the one aspect the whole.  There is a gross lack of respect following on the tails of a smiling, gracious God that is evidenced in the actions of some.  It is notable that ‘go and  sin no more’ followed ‘neither do I condemn thee.’  Truth will demand respect as grace opens up love…

 

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Who has knowledge, understanding, wisdom?

Daniel 5:1-12

Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.

5 In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6 Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other. 7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke, saying to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Now all the king’s wise men came, but they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished.

10 The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came to the banquet hall. The queen spoke, saying, “O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your countenance change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. 12 Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas [fn1] were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Dan&c=5&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Ah, to be known as the one in whom the Holy Spirit resides.  Looking at this passage a question comes.  Can the wisdom of God be bought?  I will clothe you in purple, place a gold chain about your neck, give you authority over a third of the kingdom, only tell me what this means.  The king was wise enough to be fearful of the hand that wrote.  What has he done? He has treated the holy vessels of God as common and to add insult did so while praising other gods.  Has he done this out of ignorance?  It seems it does not make a difference if he knows the God Almighty or not; he is judged guilty of disrespect.  The Holy Spirit is the giver of understanding and knowledge and fear of the Lord brings wisdom.  Rather than fear of the Lord the party-goers were exhibiting pride and mockery.  And now, it takes the voice of a woman to remind them of one who has the Holy Spirit.  How are we known?  Can others sense the presence of the Holy Spirit within us?  Do we give evidence of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge only He can give,  not of this world but of the kingdom of Heaven?

Resolve…to stand…respectfully

Daniel 1

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. 6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.

8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

11 So Daniel said to the steward [fn1] whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed [fn2] them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Dan&c=1&t=nkjvp>

“…But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself …”…during a time of  his life that he could accurately claim was a dark period, Daniel resolved/purposed in his heart, and became a light in that darkness.  His trust was not in the legal system, the political system,, the economic system; it was in the  Lord God Jehovah.  He could correctly be called a slave; he was owned by the king; he was among the spoils of war and conquest.  Yet he did not compromise even under these conditions. He did not justify going with the flow and he did not fight back.  He spoke with respect and made a request.  God honored his trust; the trust in God showed in his demeanor and attitude.  As a result, his request was granted and God’s light was permitted to shine through these young men in their dark hour.

Take away:  even though our times may seem dark, may seem as if the ‘rule’ is anti-God, we can resolve not to defile ourselves.  We can place our trust in God alone; not in mankind’s economic, political, or legal systems.  We do not have to despair but rather resolve to stand, in a respectful and honorable attitude.    The Lord delivered these men into Nebuchadnezzar’s hands; they probably voted against him, but no fear, no despair, they continued in their dark hour to stand for what was righteous and just and they did so  respectfully.

Awe inspiring…

Ezekiel 1:15-28; 2:1

Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold, a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their workings was like the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. The appearance of their workings was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they moved, they went toward any one of four directions; they did not turn aside when they went. As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them.  When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit went; and the wheels were lifted together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When those went, these went; when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures  was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads.  And under the firmament their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body. When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings.

And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around.  Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.”

So much floods the mind when reading this it is hard to totally absorb.  Fascinating imagery that is offered as a glimpse into what the author calls heavens.  Keeping in mind the limitations of our language, we are dependant upon the Spirit’s move to speak to us.  There are seeds of origin for what we are familiar with.  Is it too much of a stretch to wonder if we are seeing through the eyes and words of Ezekiel the origin of some of what we are familiar with here?  Are the images symbolic or  representative of a time and place beyond our known sphere?  In any event, it is awe-inspiring and it brought the prophet to his knees in reverence.  This is a reverence we see too little of today.  When faced with “God-spots” do we drop to our knees in reverence?  When Ezekiel did, God spoke to him.

  Reverence God and hear him speak.

Exposé or complaint; critique or judgment

John 12:1-11

Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead,  whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said,  “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii  and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.  But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

 We often hear  this same complaint spoken against the church at large.  Perhaps the gifts of some to the church are like the gift shared by Mary, given from their heart , offered to honor and respect our Lord.  Who are we to judge another’s heart?  Who are we to decide for another what they should do with what is theirs in the first place?  Who are we to determine the best use of anything that God  has given to another?  At the root of these judgments do we see the same bitter root that Judas displayed?  We, perhaps, can get into a critical spirit and find ourselves looking at others rather than looking  to our own doings and listening to the voice of the Spirit of God guiding our own actions.   What is the true cause for the judgment?  Did not God call for the jewels, gold, fur and fine linens to adorn His tabernacle?  Were there critics then? Let God judge, we do not know the possible plans He has, and we never need be guilty of hindering His glory.

An act of unselfish love and gratitude is smeared with the judgmental objection of one who had no part in the giving and no right to decide its use.  The cold stings the face and hands, unwrapped skin; recoiling from the bitter onslaught,  cover is desired drawing inward away from the pain.  The beauty of the snow gives way to misery.  Withdrawing to the warmth of the interior, away from the inflicted pain, the thaw of the fire and light is welcome.  Criticism is the cold, and what appeared at first to be an agent of beauty and enjoyment turned bitter.  Escape to the true warmth of a fire lit by the Spirit of God gives comfort and peace.  Let us spread a positive thought to counter the negative we have been made aware of, rather than speak more criticism with no offer of the warmth and love of Christ’s teachings.  It is not enough to only point out the  ways in which we err, Christ followed his truths with acts and teachings that heal, giving opportunity for change.

 The voice in the wilderness exposed sin, then called for repentance and provided a means to change and new life.  If we are to be that voice, follow through with the message that gives the means for change.

What is lawful?

Luke 6:1-11

On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

 On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him.  But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored.  But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

 There is a difference between harvesting and eating what is needed to remain healthy and strong.  There is a difference between eating enough of the consecrated bread to keep strength and moving into the temple to occupy it.  Jesus asked the question: is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?  It might be said the harvesting could lead to greed; it might also be said the taking of more than was needed in the place of worship would also be greed or disrespect.  Attitude then is what is being addressed.  The watchful eye of the Pharisee had become oppressive and manipulative. 

 Take away –  We exercise care in the making of rules and enforcing them.  Are the restrictions serving a purpose of protection or oppression?  Are the restrictions in line with the commands of God and His nature?  Do we have the right to judge another?  Are we doing good or harm in the keeping of laws, the making of laws, the judging of laws?  How does this relate to our daily lives, everyday living?  How does this affect our interactions with others?  Attitude says a lot; do we move in respect looking out for the good of others or are we moving in disrespect and oppression similar in nature to bullying?  Take care how we judge, take care how we try to manipulate others, take care to be living with an attitude of love and concern for others.