What Are We Passing on…? Psalm 78

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

Listen, my people, to my teaching;

turn your ears to the words from my mouth.

I will speak to you in parables

and explain mysteries from days of old.

The things which we have heard and known,

and which our fathers told us

we will not hide from their descendants;

we will tell the generation to come

the praises of Adonai and his strength,

the wonders that he has performed.

He raised up a testimony in Ya‘akov

and established a Torah in Isra’el.

He commanded our ancestors

to make this known to their children,

so that the next generation would know it,

the children not yet born,

who would themselves arise

and tell their own children,

who could then put their confidence in God,

not forgetting God’s deeds,

but obeying his mitzvot.

Then they would not be like their ancestors,

a stubborn, rebellious generation,

a generation with unprepared hearts,

with spirits unfaithful to God.

a stubborn, rebellious generation, a generation with unprepared hearts, with spirits unfaithful to God.  A generation like today. A nation in the process of turning its back on God, a nation more and more unfaithful to God, to the principles upon which it was built.  A nation who is losing its position in the world as a beacon of light in the darkness. A nation looking at the rest of the world and wanting to be like them…  This is not new, there are consequences that follow when this path is taken.  We’ve been here before; perhaps not as a nation but as a people it is recorded for us to read about and learn from, to take note and avoid the same consequences that have fallen on others who took this path.

The people of Efrayim, though armed with bows and arrows,

turned their backs on the day of battle.

10 They did not keep the covenant of God

and refused to live by his Torah.

11 They forgot what he had done,

his wonders which he had shown them.

He had done wonderful things

in the presence of their ancestors

in the land of Egypt,

in the region of Tzo‘an.

13 He split the sea and made them pass through,

he made the waters stand up like a wall.

14 He also led them by day with a cloud

and all night long with light from a fire.

15 He broke apart the rocks in the desert

and let them drink as if from boundless depths;

16 yes, he brought streams out of the rock,

making the water flow down like rivers.

17 Yet they sinned still more against him,

rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High;

18 in their hearts they tested God

by demanding food that would satisfy their cravings.

19 Yes, they spoke against God by asking,

“Can God spread a table in the desert?

20 True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out,

until the vadis overflowed;

but what about bread? Can he give that?

Can he provide meat for his people?”

21 Therefore, when Adonai heard, he was angry;

fire blazed up against Ya‘akov;

his anger mounted against Isra’el;

22 because they had no faith in God,

no trust in his power to save.

23 So he commanded the skies above

and opened the doors of heaven.

24 He rained down man on them as food;

he gave them grain from heaven —

25 mortals ate the bread of angels;

he provided for them to the full.

26 He stirred up the east wind in heaven,

brought on the south wind by his power,

27 and rained down meat on them like dust,

birds flying thick as the sand on the seashore.

28 He let them fall in the middle of their camp,

all around their tents.

29 So they ate till they were satisfied;

he gave them what they craved.

30 They were still fulfilling their craving,

the food was still in their mouths,

31 when the anger of God rose up against them

and slaughtered their strongest men,

laying low the young men of Isra’el.

 So they ate till they were satisfied; he gave them what they craved. They were still fulfilling their craving, the food was still in their mouths,  when the anger of God rose up against them and slaughtered their strongest men, laying low the young men of Isra’el. Consequences for asking? No. Consequences for mouths that spoke deception and rebellion.  Even while they are being blessed they turn their hearts from God.  Our nation, even while it is blessed is turning its heart from God.  Evil is growing unchecked in our actions, our laws, our words.  We do not demonstrate the principles of a loving people connected with God.  We argue, engage in name calling even while our mouths are full of the blessing of God.  We support those who call for the spilling of innocent blood for profit; those who celebrate the perversion of God’s creation; those who advocate the destruction of God’s places of worship and the destroying of His Word.  Consequences will fall that are not pleasant; that will decrease our numbers.  The examples that have gone before us are written down and yet we continue with our mouths full of his blessing to turn our hearts from Him.

Still, they kept on sinning

and put no faith in his wonders.

33 Therefore, he ended their days in futility

and their years in terror.

34 When he brought death among them, they would seek him;

they would repent and seek God eagerly,

35 remembering that God was their Rock,

El ‘Elyon their Redeemer.

36 But they tried to deceive him with their words,

they lied to him with their tongues;

37 for their hearts were not right with him,

and they were unfaithful to his covenant.

38 Yet he, because he is full of compassion,

forgave their sin and did not destroy;

many times he turned away his anger

and didn’t rouse all his wrath.

39 So he remembered that they were but flesh,

a wind that blows past and does not return.

Therefore, he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. When he brought death among them, they would seek him; they would repent and seek God eagerly,  remembering that God was their Rock, El ‘Elyon their Redeemer. But they tried to deceive him with their words, they lied to him with their tongues;  for their hearts were not right with him, and they were unfaithful to his covenant. This we see today among believers and unbelievers alike.  There are the unfaithful who use words to try to placate a God who demands holiness. God is not mocked; He is not a God of our own making.  He has told us who He is and what He does.  Do not be deceived, there will be much sorrow to pay for our lack to stand as our forefathers stood.  We sit behind doors and talk, talk, talk.  We even join in prayer but our hearts are not in it.  But they tried to deceive him with their words, they lied to him with their tongues; for their hearts were not right with him, and they were unfaithful to his covenant.  How do we know?  One indicator is the voting, another is the language on social media.  There is shaming and name-calling.  This is not a generation who loves their God and their neighbor. It is all too evident in how they treat one another.

Yet he, because he is full of compassion, forgave their sin and did not destroy; any times he turned away his anger and didn’t rouse all his wrath. So he remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that blows past and does not return. The destruction of the pandemic could be much worse.  The coming destruction of our systems of government and laws could be much worse.  The destroying of our economy could be much worse.  We have a God who is also full of compassion. He recognizes we are fragile, a wind that blows past and does not return.

The signs are all around us.  We seem to have forgotten how to read the signs as Christ instructed us to do.  There are those among us putting out the call to repent and change, to fast and pray, to ask in the name of Jesus for deliverance in our land; the move of the Spirit of God on the hearts and souls of men. The question is who of these are you?  What do your words indicate? What does your vote, although private it’s not hidden from the eyes of God, say about your heart? What is your stand; what does it look like?  Are you praying from the heart not just words with no desire to change? Time to take inventory of the soul.  What are we passing on to our generations that follow?

Scripture taken from:

From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2078&version=CJB>

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Faith or Fear?

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

Faith over Fear

Pandemic Reflections

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

8:45 AM

Today began with time spent listening to Candace Owens put all that has been happening together into one concise piece.  It resonated with me in that much of what she said I too have listened, watched and drawn conclusions about.  God blessed us with discernment, wisdom and intelligence.  We can use the gifts or cave to fear.  I for one do not want my life led by fear.  I also ask for wisdom. I have often been blessed with discernment.  God’s word is full of wisdom, wisdom that is for our use and benefit. I thank Him for those gifts and give Him the glory for the answers to prayer that permits me to continue to have faith in His work on this planet. That said, I then shared a time of devotions with my husband and this is what we were presented with.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

[Ecc 3:1-8 RSV] 1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

There is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.  The devotional continued with a focus on the autumnal season; a time of great beauty but also decrease into apparent death.  The point was made that the apparent death held life in the form of seeds being planted to come forth at a later season with new; new life, new possibilities, new creation… Keeping that in mind, then read what Parker Palmer had to say in “Let Your Life Speak; Listening For the Voice of Vocation. Pp. 98-99.

“Autumn is a season of great beauty, but it is also a season of decline: the days grow shorter, the light is suffused, and summer’s abundance decays toward winter’s death…

In my own experience of autumn, I am rarely aware that seeds are being planted…

But as I explore autumn’s paradox of dying and seeding, I feel the power of metaphor.  In the autumnal events of my own experience, I am easily fixated on surface appearances–on the decline of meaning, the decay of relationships, the death of a work.  And yet if I look more deeply, I may see the myriad possibilities being planted to bear fruit in some season yet to come.

In retrospect, I can see in my own life what I could not see at the time–how the job I lost helped me find work I needed to do, how the “road closed” sign turned me toward terrain I needed to travel, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to discern meanings I needed to know.  On the surface it seemed that life was lessening, but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.”

 

That last line especially can be applied to events we are experiencing today.  “it seemed that life was lessening…” does it feel that way for you? “but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.”  are you searching for alternatives, new ways of doing, new information and understandings?  I see the emergence of new personalities who have potential for leading in healthy directions, I see the exposure of those in leadership who do not seem to have the best interest of humanity at heart, rather there is a strong element of self-interest at heart.

We will have the opportunity, Lord willing, to use what is being made clear to us to inform our choices in the days ahead. Will we function under the strong arm of fear or will we allow our faith in God to direct us in new paths according to His word?  Can we remember the words of Paul,

[Phl 1:21 RSV] 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Believers, there should be no fear of death.  Our future is sealed.  Our actions should give hope to those who do not yet know life that is found in Christ, given to us by God, lived by the Holy Spirit.  We can act with wisdom, but also without fear.

The devotional left us with a question:  “What ‘road closed’ sign is before you today that may be God’s way of redirecting you to something new?”

Take on the day and live in peace, not the peace the world offers but the peace that God gives in the midst of turmoil.  Confusion is not of God, he is a God of order.  Seek His face in today’s events.

The link to Candace Owens’ video: https://www.facebook.com/realCandaceOwens/videos/168943087616092/?t=0

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Reacting To Correction; Proverbs 9

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

March 9 found me reading Proverbs 9.  It spoke to me of confidence and how valuable understanding is to being sure of yourself. And, I found verses that gave me a clue as to what our reactions to correction say about us.  Hmmm…worth spending time reflecting on.

Proverbs 9:6 “Don’t stay unsure of yourself, but live! Walk in the way of understanding!”

What should I understand that can give me confidence? How can I be sure of myself by walking in the way of understanding? Wisdom offers me confidence; says to me I can become sure of myself by dwelling in her house and learning from her. But there’s more…

Proverbs 9:7 He who corrects a scoffer only gets insulted; reproving a wicked man becomes his blemish. 8 If you reprove a scoffer, he will hate you; if you reprove a wise man, he will love you. 9 Give to a wise man, and he grows still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will learn still more…knowledge of holy ones is understanding.

If you correct someone; note their reaction…if you are corrected; note your reaction…wise or scoffer; righteous or wicked? And it would seem gathering information will increase understanding; that includes gathering information from the correction that comes or the reaction to the correction that comes.  What say you?

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Proverbs 29 then 1 and 2

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

February 29 allowed me to read Proverbs 29. The verse that stood out for me was 25:

Fearing human beings is a snare; but he who trusts in Adonai will be raised high.

This one is unafraid and their soul is secure; safe from the second death.

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March 1 led me to Proverbs 1 and verse 22 stood out for me.

How long, you whose lives have no purpose, will you love the thoughtless living? How long will scorners find pleasure in mocking? How long will fools hate knowledge?

Lord, have mercy, forgive our thoughtless ways and Holy Spirit help us turn toward God and his ways not away from them.  Thank you, Jesus Christ, for your sacrifice that enables us to be reconciled to God the Father in unity with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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March 2 gave me Proverbs 2 and several verses stood out for me. Verses 6-11 with verse 3 and 4 thrown in for good measure.  Bear with me:

6 For Adonai gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding-– (3 yes, if you will call for insight and raise your voice for discernment, 4 if you seek it as you would silver and search for it as for hidden treasure–) 7 He stores up common sense for the upright, is a shield to those whose conduct is blameless, 8 in order to guard the courses of justice and preserve the way of those faithful to him. 9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice, fairness and every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will be enjoyable for you, 11 discretion will watch over you, and discernment will guard you. 

  1. Wisdom
  2. understanding
  3. knowledge
  4. discretion
  5. discernment

Ask and He will give this to you.

James 1:5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him.

Lord, I ask for wisdom to gain knowledge of You and understanding to apply to my walk with you.

Is there a need for this in today’s society?  Do we lack in these qualities? What can be done?

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Proverbs 28

 

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

Embarking on a year of Proverbs. One chapter a day correlating with the date. I began the 28th of February and the procedure I am following is to read the chapter, then write what stands out for me.  Beginning with Chapter 28 the first verse states

“The wicked flee when no one pursues them; but the righteous, like lions, feel sure of themselves…”

When you do not have a clear conscience you fall victim to paranoia…”paranoia strikes deep.”  A clear conscience allows you to advance with surety, clear vision, unafraid.  Which state allows for freedom, for unhindered progress in anything you do?

Verse 13 states

“He who conceals his sins will not  succeed; he who confesses and abandons them will gain mercy.”

This is a verse/principle for Living Free and Celebrate Recovery participants to live by.  This is a verse/principle for all of us to live by.

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Our Ways…

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 16:7  When a man’s ways please Adonai, he makes even the man’s enemies be at peace with him.

In this verse what is meant by man’s ways?  Strong’s # H1870 : a course of life or mode of action; course of life; of moral character…

The question is What is the condition attached to the promise of God’s provision?

Answer:  It would seem our ‘ways’ must please the Lord to receive the promise of God’s provision to see to it that our enemies will be at peace with us.  These are defined as how we act, our moral character, our manner of living which includes how we treat others.  Would it be fair to ask when we find ourselves not at peace with others how much is due to our own actions?  Something to chew on…

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Correct in humility…

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

Reading from Zechariah 2:

Then I looked up and saw four horns.  I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” He answered, “These are the horns that scattered J’hudah, Isra’el and Yerushalayim.”

Next Adonai showed me four artisans.  I asked, “What are these coming to do?”  He said, “Those horns that scattered Y’hudah so completely that no one could even raise his head–well, these men have come to terrify them, to overthrow the nations that raised their horns against the land of Y’hudah to scatter it.”

Related image

Image from google images

There’s more to this chapter, but this portion spoke to me and I wish to share those thoughts.  The explanation in the study Bible states the horns are the nations who came against the Hebrews and defeated them, scattered them as judgment from God because the Hebrews turned from God to other gods.  The artisans are agents sent by God to defeat those nations and therefore allow God to rebuild his city, Yerushalayim. Other writers see the craftsmen as agents who also assist in the rebuilding of the Hebrew nation.

Reflections on this passage noted that those used by God to punish his people who have turned away from him are in turn destroyed for coming against his people in such a way.  It is fearful to be used by God to discipline another.  That same discipline may come back around on the one who was used.  Beware of pride which can falsely elevate one’s sense of being more than one actually is.  A key phrase in scripture is to “walk humbly with your God.”* It is tempting to become smug at another’s correction.  No arrogance will go unpunished.

[Proverbs 17:5 NKJV] 5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.  (emphasis mine)

Note also, those used here in this passage were not ‘believers’ but outside the family of Hebrews.  Judgment against God’s people, his ‘church’ may come from outside the family of believers; it will still carry the curse of God, ‘anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye.’  Whether or not the judgment comes is not based upon belief.  God’s word does not return void, or empty, it does accomplish what it sets out to do.

When one is used by God to correct another it would be wise to remember to do so humbly; not in weakness but with the knowledge that the correction comes through them not from them; it comes from God…this might help those who often say to ‘correct with love,’ since our definitions of love have been corrupted.

*[Micah 6:8 NKJV] 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (emphasis mine)

Correction has an objective and that is to change direction or purpose; it also has an end goal and that is one of rebuilding something anew.  When one is going in the wrong direction, it is good to be redirected. It may protect from future harm; it may enable one to have an increase in purpose.  In this portion, the horns destroyed the old ways and paved the way for the craftsmen to rebuild.  Those giving correction and those receiving correction can more easily move through the process if they keep in mind the purposes of correction.

Any thoughts on this?

 

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Psalm 56; timely for today

Psalm 56

Have mercy on me, O God,

For my enemies are hounding me;

All day long they assault and oppress me.

 

Our government leaders, our religious leaders, our neighbors…all stand on both sides of this fence.  Some call for the harassment; some are at the effects of the harassment. Some call for violence; some are at the effect of the resulting violence.  Stand back and listen, read the comments, listen with open ears and read with open eyes.  What does the Lord God Almighty have to say about this?  Do some soul searching…are we truly enlightened?  Then where do we stand in this picture? Do we join in with language that is demeaning or do we answer softly, kindly, gently or not at all?

 

They hound me all the day long;

Truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

Whenever I am afraid,

I will put my trust in you.

In God whose word I praise,

In God, I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can flesh do to me?

 

All day long they damage my cause;

Their only thought is to do me evil.

 

They band together; they lie in wait;

They spy upon my footsteps;

Because they seek my life.

 

Shall they escape despite their wickedness?

O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.

 

You have noted my lamentation;

Put my tears into your bottle;

Are they not recorded in your book?

 

Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight;

This I know, for God is on my side.

 

In God the Lord, whose word I praise,

In God I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can mortals do to me?

 

I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God;

I will present to you thank offerings.

 

For you have rescued my soul from death, and my feet from stumbling,

That I may walk before God in the light of the living. Amen

 

What is your position? Where are your eyes and ears looking and listening?  Where is your understanding?  Are you in the light or functioning in the dark?  What is your fruit?  Is it encouraging and building or tearing down and hurtful?  It is time to turn the tide of evil in the land; one at a time.  Relying on the Lord God for truth, strength and wisdom.  By your love they will know you.  That is the love of God and neighbor.  Not love as our society sees it today.  It is time to do some soul searching and praying in the Father’s will and wisdom.

contempt for Adonai bears fearful consequences…

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:

Then Datan   (Dathan) and Aviram (Abiram) came out and stood at the entrance to their tents with their wives, sons and little ones. 28Moshe (Moses)  said, “Here is how you will know that Adonai has sent me to do all these things and that I haven’t done them out of my own ambition: 29if these men die a natural death like other people, only sharing the fate common to all humanity, then Adonai has not sent me. 30But if Adonai does something new — if the ground opens up and swallows them with everything they own, and they go down alive to Sh’ol — then you will understand that these men have had contempt for Adonai.”

31The moment he finished speaking, the ground under them split apart — 32the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all the people who had sided with Korach  (Korah)and everything they owned. 33So they and everything they owned went down alive into Sh’ol, the earth closed over them and their existence in the community ceased. 34All Isra’el around them fled at their shrieks, shouting, “The earth might swallow us too!” 35Then fire came out from Adonai and destroyed the 250 men who had offered the incense.

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

English names for Hebrews are in parentheses placed there by this author

korah

It is a fearful thing to disrespect God.  This fear is a mix of knowledge, awareness and respect for authority.  It is wisdom.

 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge,but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

A knowledge of the capability, the consequences, an awareness of the danger that is potential and real, a respect for the nature of anything will give way to wisdom in how that entity is approached.

Working with raw glass is a prime example.  Raw glass when mishandled can cause deadly harm.  There is a wise, correct way to handle it.  There are precautions to take, safety gear to wear and safety measures to follow.  Those who do not use wisdom with what they have been taught and proceed with an attitude that they know better, are stronger or bigger than those who gave the instructions are often injured; some of them become drastically impaired if they live.

Knowledge of who God is and what He does was available to these men.  They were lacking in wisdom to use that knowledge and live wisely.  Fear of God is missing.  It is replaced with arrogance and confidence in self.  Lack of respect placed them in a position of peril.  Paul advises the believer to know God and live wisely.  (Ephesians 5:15) This event is recorded for the benefit of all who profess a belief in God, develop a relationship with Him through Christ, and take advantage of the grace offered.  Those in this event did none of the above.  They had knowledge but  self had risen above God and hindered their spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear.  They were deceived and it cost them.

The same is true today.  Those who are deceived are subject to God’s judgment.  It may not come in the form of the earth opening up and swallowing them but it does come in other ways.  There are plenty of testimonies available sharing that those whose eyes and ears were opened were able to be freed from the deception.

God is holy, will not be mocked or disrespected, but is also long-suffering and merciful.  It is great to be living in the days of grace, having knowledge of Jesus so abundantly available.

Pray – May we bring You praise.  May we speak as one whose eyes have been opened; as one who hears God’s words; who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes.  Numbers 24:3

Repent – I repent for those times I did not speak the words you gave, O God.  I repent for those who refuse to see or hear your words.

Ask – That spirit that confuses your people; that one who hinders your words from being heard or seen, may you destroy that one.  I will call on God and Adonai will save us.  He redeems us and gives us peace.  Psalms 55

Yes – I will praise you forever for what you have done, and I will put my hope in your name; for this is good in the presence of your faithful.  Psalm 52:1

Source:  Numbers 16, 24, Ephesians 5:15  and Psalms 52, 55,