Tuesday, August 24 2021
And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and life forever."
Adam and Eve are on the cusp of changes. Their world has collapsed and they must make decisions they never knew they should.
First of all, did they know the consequences of their earlier action? (Eating of the forbidden fruit) It would appear that they were very aware of their transgression (sin) and wanted to cover it up quickly before God had wind of it (2nd sin). They used grape vine leaves to create a skirt that covered their nakedness to some extent.
So, they quickly adapted to their new "status" of being aware of evil. They made bad decisions one after the other.
This teaches us about jumping on the "sin" train. You jump on when you should not. Then you need to hide because you have done this wrong. Next, you try to hide from the conductor collecting the tickets. Once confronted, you again try to wriggle your way out of the mess.
How many of us have done this in our own lives?
BEING BITTEN BY THE SNAKE I remember that I accidentally stood on some doggie doo. We were being cared for by our neighbour, Mrs Connor. We all sat at her kitchen table and had a drink and some bread. She noticed a "smell" and asked "Who has brought in doggie doo?" (not exact words). I knew instantly that it was me, but I kept my shoes on my feet under the table and ducked my head to hide the truth. In that instance I was relieved to go out her back door and run home quickly. I escaped her wrath by the skin of my teeth. I never told anyone about that, but scraped my shoes in the grass before I went into my own home across the way.
In Adam and Eve's case, they had done worse than my doggie doo incident, they had blatantly disobeyed the Lord's orders, and then tried to cover it up. They had a snake bite and could not find a cure.
Their punishment was swift and severe. They lost their paradise. They lost their standing with the Lord God. He was their friend and now their foe. Barriers were created instantly, not the least the one of a Cherubim and a flaming sword turning in all directions. They could no longer eat from the tree and rest under its branches, dreaming of its nourishment. Now they would need to actually "work" for their food, their living, especially Adam, the man. Eve would suffer in childbirth more than before the transgression. The ground was also cursed by God. So, thorns and thistles would grow instead of beautiful things.
What can we learn from this record today?
1. Hide from sin, run from the temptations of the devil, not from God.
2. Listen to the Lord's instructions to our hearts.
3. Look ahead and see if danger is coming your way and do something practical about it.
4. Note that the Lord said, "As one of US", therefore God is plural and in agreement with his personalities.
We know that God has revealed his Spirit, His Son, Jesus, and His Fatherly figure. This was a unanimous decision, worked through for its outcomes.
We know that when we are unsure about our decisions, we should consult with other like minded folk who are rational and who care about our future.
5. Another note here, sometimes we get insights as to destiny, so we should talk to the Lord about that. For instance, those who made plans to leave Afghanistan are now safer than those who were busy and not aware of what was going on. Discussion is the key here. We all should discuss our thoughts with someone who cares about us and find our pathway before it is too late.
6. The snake was also punished by the Lord, destined to eat dust for the rest of its life. It was cursed for facilitating Lucifer in his evil quest to confound humans with lies.
Knowing all these things can help us to be wise in our choices as we work our way through troubled times on the earth. I pray that you will find your way through by the spirit of the Lord into a safe place.
Friday, August 06 2021
What a year of lockdowns! There seems to be no end to our troubles here in Australia and around the globe. Fires rage in Europe, hurricanes in Japan, deaths in Indonesia and the usual murders and crashes everywhere.
What is God doing about all this? You may ask. "Nothing," you may reply. It seems that troubles are here to stay for a long time.
But, who is really in control and who is causing these troubles?
We can all look around and see troubles and troubled people in our own backyards, streets, states and countries.
But, all is not lost, I assure you. I want to look at the life of a great king who totally trusted in the Lord of Heaven (Jesus Christ unknown then as the Lord)
King David. Not only was he a just king, he was a very brave young man in his day, defeating wild animals for the sake of his charges, sheep.
He was the youngest of his family and so the gopher for them. We always think of the firstborn being the most valuable to society and family. But, David breaks every mould we make. He was from a "poor" family. He was not thought of as a great kid. He did not win medals at any olympics, but did show his stuff in his youth.
But, his life was not easy and the most outstanding characteristic he owned was that "He had a heart after God's own heart."
David was anointed king by Samuel, yet he remained in hiding from the resident king Saul for years, narrowly avoiding death at every turn from Saul.
In the meantime, his love for psalms and poetry also sharpened. He played the harp as well as the slingshot and the big sword. He was adept at whatever he chose to do.
He was a man we would like to have on our side. Faithful to the end, he even lamented the death of his greatest friend and his opposition king, Saul and prince Jonathan.
Reading through the Psalms is very therapeutic and helpful in these Covid crazy days. You will find loads of history, theology, and cries for help within the Psalms of David.
Read Psalms 109 - 119 and you will find encouragement to keep going forward.
David was indeed a Son of God. Jesus is the actual Son of God. We all can be given this title as Christians and followers of Jesus Christ. (John's Gospel Chapter 1)
In Psalm 110, David brings up the great priest, Melchizedek, the priest who met with Abraham way back in Genesis.
David says: The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion (Israel) You will rule in the midst of your enemies. Your troops will be willing on the day of battle.
Arrayed in Holy Majesty from the womb of the dawn, you will receive the dew of your youth.
(5) The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head.
In the psalm David has experienced all of these events and recorded them for someone else when he speaks in the third person.
Jesus Christ quoted these verses (Mark 12:35 - 37)
They apply very strongly to Jesus Christ and his ongoing battle for his own sheep. Jesus will rule in the midst of enemies. David ruled over Israel whilst being attacked by even his own son (Absalom) who desired his throne.
Life was a continuous battle for King David. He barely had a moment's peace, and then he made a serious mistake (Bathsheba incident).
But, he was the friend of God and a man "after God's own heart" as regards to justice, righteousness and prayer.
King David is a great example for every believer who does his or her best and fails at times.
Now we see the wrath of God descending upon this world and the people do not know where to look.
But this psalm holds a secret: the Lord is not finished his ruling from Heaven. The last verse (7) tells us that the King, in the middle of this battle, takes a break for a drink from the brook, then lifts up his head once again.
Wait for the next chapter in the life of King David and his Lord, Jesus Christ.
Have a rest in Christ and drink with him. Remember what Jesus has achieved for you and me. Turn and praise the Lord as much as you can.
Picture countesy of Holy Pictures of Jesus website. Thank you and God bless your generosity.
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