Moving. They said it takes two or more words to make a concept, but somehow the one word "moving" packs a whole concept by itself. If I say moving, I imply a lot more. Lol. But, enough with reading between the lines. To finish out the concept, I am unpacking dishes, pots, pans, cleaning supplies, medicine cabinets, and towels. We've had a system going since we have the whole month to move. As boxes are packed, they are hauled to the new house. This is the beginning of the unpacking. But, the furniture won't be moved for a few more days.
The utilities have been taken care of today. DISH not only gets moved Friday, but we got an upgrade with the move that includes the Big Ten Network...Michigan Football for the Mister, and the Versus channel... Tour de France, etc, etc. for me. That's great!
As I was saying, I'm piddling around unpacking at a snail's pace while Larry is working. I rode with him to Tallapoosa, so we go home when he gets off. Travis is a high quality dish packer. Everything was neatly wrapped in perfectly cut bubble wrap. Popping the bubbles is irresistable. Washing and putting away all the dishes, etc in their cabinets leaves a satisfying feeling. I've had to do so little.
But, moving reminds me of the story of the Split of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. 2 Chronicles 11:13 Solomon's son, Rehoboam (Re-run or Junior) took the throne in Jerusalem. But, another man, Jeroboam (Jerry) took ten and a half tribes of greater Israel and split the nation. Now, the temple was in Jerusalem, the seat of Re-run's scraggly remnant kingdom of the throne of David. The Levites were the tribe of priests, and they didn't have their own possession of lands. Instead, they were stationed throughout the country, as ministers to the different tribes. Now, that there was a ceding, they were living in a foreign country. Being loyal to the throne of David, and to God was a big part of the decision that followed for them. But, the biggest part was the fact that Jerry did not have a need for these priests of God in his larger possession of the kingdom, since he built the people local temples, and placed idols in them, to keep the people from the need to go to Jerusalem to pray. He wouldn't want them to be getting any "patriot" ideas while praying. So, the decision was easy for the Priests. They packed up all their belongings, abandoned their land and homes that were basically parsonages, and moved to Jerusalem, Re-run, and God.
Such a touching little scene from the Old Testament. Nothing more than the fact that that God had moved, so they packed up and moved with Him. If God moves, are you right behind Him?
Sorry I've been AWOL. I guess it's some kind of crash from the infusion. I felt like my old normal psycho self, energetic and all for the three days I was on the thousand m's of solumedrol daily. But, the last dose was Sunday evening. I hate the syringes of sodium before and after each IV bag the most, because they burn. The other syringe doesn't burn, its just for bloodclotting or something, and the IV itself is painless if it is not too cold. But, the IV was removed yesterday evening.
And, I haven't been able to move since I got home last night after a flattire on the interstate which a HERO DOT truck arrived to fix before the roadside assistance crew's ETA. I was already zoned out enough that I thought it was the roadside assistance fixing my car. They just jumped in. It was after the call from the garage which I couldn't hear from the trraffic whizzing past on I75 in downtown, that I looked back and saw the HERO word on the truck.
It seems like my body is making up for all the sleep I lost while on the steriods. I thought it would last longer than this. And, I've felt lke I have a volcano in my stomach...like the solumedrol burned a volcano in my stomach. Now, I'm sipping cold milk, unable to eat. And, my neck hurts really bad. I've got to feel well enough for the drive to ATL in the morning for next specialist visit, and that's what I'm concerned about now. I feel so lethargic my hands are all that's moving on the keyboard. I need prayer that I will be able to walk and drive by morning. But, the good news is the exploding headache is mysteriously let up with the IV.
Genesis 2:8-15 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden;
and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD
God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the
tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it
was parted, and became four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it
which encompasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold
of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the
second river is Gihon: the same is it that encompasses the whole land of Cush.
And the name of the third river is Tigris: that is it which goes toward the east
of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. And the LORD God took the man,
and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it.
Why am I reading this passage? Why wouldn't I? Here you have a beautiful garden, with four rivers. There is a land of gold, and a tree of life yet to come. It;s a nice picture to hold on to during times of pain. It reminds me that even paradise will be restored. Good night. I feel another "power nap" coming. Lol.
Habakkuk 3:19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like
hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief
singer on my stringed instruments. KJV1611)
This is part of a beautiful passage, and it is the end of a song as well. The line at the end mentions what kind of instruments it is intended to be played on, and the first verse of the chapter tells what melody is to be used, in the same way that music leaders and singers tell those musicians accompanying them in what key to play a piece. Habakkuk 3:1 So, it is a prayer intended to be sung originally. This means simply that it is praise and worship directed toward God, as is the whole chapter. Habakkuk is praising God for His strength, His restoration, His ability to lift us out of the depths of problems.
The song is interlaced with prophecy, as well as praise, for all praise usually encounters prophecy in that praise admits that God will do a work in the Earth, and in our hearts and lives. I believe that God is able to work a work in our lives, just as He did in the Bible. This is what Habakkuk is pointing out in this chapter, as He lived long after the days of Moses. He is speaking of the wilderness deliverance of Moses and the Israelites, as if God can do the same work for the Israelites of His day just as he did for the early Hebrews. He lived about 626 years before Christ, but he saw the problems his nation faced as a whole. And, he recognized a need for deliverance.
But, on a larger scale, the song goes beyond saying that God will deliver the nation out of their bondage to the Romans, and restore them to their mountains. It claims that God will endue them with supernatural power, like deer able to scale mountain ledges. God will not remove them from the rocky ledges of the mountains, but will make them strong enough to leap upon the rocks without falling. It is such a beautiful picture of God's gift of empowerment for His people...for you and I today!
The Old Testament prophets describe the problem of the fall of the nation of Israel- God’s people, and God’s plans for punishment and redemption. The advent of Christ and the future outpouring of the Holy Ghost are even described in prophecy. Through these prophecies, we living in the dispensation of Grace learn of God’s holiness and aversion to sin. We see concrete examples of God’s judgement on those who do not follow His plan. We also see God’s forgiveness and restorative acts in repentance. We see concrete examples of God’s love for His people.
The prophets are a picture of the rejected mercy of God. We hear God repeatedly cry in Isaiah, “Thou hast not known me!” In Jeremiah 31:3, God proclaims, “…I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” In Lamentations 3:22, it is said of God, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” In Ezekiel 22:30, God seeks for someone to stand in the gap for the sin of the land, and does not find a single person. But God gives us a purpose for the prophecies in Daniel 12:10: “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
If we throw out the prophets, we would lose a vast portion of our church teaching and procedures today. We might want to hang onto these 17 little books inside of the Good Book. Isaiah is known as the messianic prophet, for all his predictions of the coming Messiah. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet, because he lamented the impending fall of his people. Amos was the country preacher who had such a strong grip on who God is. Ezekiel was the prophet in captivity who saw where God's people were and where they should be. There is so much to gain within the pages of the book. Whether prophets, or kings, or wandering shepherds, the characters of the Bible point us in the direction of the living God.
If you are interested, give these questions about the "three kings" of the unified nation of Israel a try.
1. Why did God give Israel a king at the time He did?
2. Was it God’s intention for them to ever have a king?
3. How did Saul qualify to be king?
4. What caused Saul to lose his kingdom?
5.How was Saul constantly humiliated?
6. How was David different from Saul?
7. Why was Saul jealous of David?
8. What was David’s great desire, and when did it come to pass?
9. What books authored by Solomon reveal the downward progression in his life? Put them in order.
10. How many Proverbs and songs did Solomon write?
My answers to these thought questions are below. (Possibilities vary.)
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God is the God of the Universe. He has made all things. He orders the laws of physics, mathematics, and all that we know is eclipsed by the surplus of His knowledge of this created world that we yet do not know. Some things in
Scripture stand out more readily than others. Some stories capture the attention of the casual reader, like dear sweet Jochebed and brave, heroic David. It's easy to see why children can become enchanted with the stories of the Bible. But, there is so much more in the Bible that remains unnoticed by casual reading. Bible reading becomes almost intoxicating when you dig deeper. It seems like the more you know, the more you have to dig to get a better taste. Like the harder drugs or alcohol bring a greater sense of euphoria. Or, so I've been told, as I have never experimented with even gateway drugs. So, just ignore any idotic thing I may inadvertantly say about drug usage, seeing that I am not well versed on that subject, and didn't really listen in Health class.
In the book of Numbers is an exciting story of redemption and desire, possession, and purchase. So, you think I'm lying now? The title is very misleading. Actually it is probably the most boring meaningless title for a book isn't it? Let me show you the real story. God gave birth to the nation of Israel in Genesis, the book of beginnings.
In Exodus, the child Israel grew in bondage, like Joseph. God delivered His children from bondage in a mighty act of deliverance that took a series of plagues against Egypt to effect. The last of those plagues was the death of the
firstborn of all Egypt. Now, this would have convinced the hardest hearts to listen to Moses, to lose your firstborn child. But, those who were under the blood were saved. From that day of God's deliverance from bondage, God declared to Moses that all the firstborn of Israel would belong to Him, seeing that He had saved their lives from the plague of death.
You've heard stories where a person saved another person's life, and the saved man felt he owed his life of service to the man who saved him. That is exactly the case with Christians, and with the firstborn Israelites. But, the day comes, after the Israelites are in the wilderness and ready to move towards possession of the promised land, when God organizes the little band of men into a nation. Moses takes a census of the men of war above the age of 20 in Numbers 1, but doesn't count the Levites. God says the Levites will now be His to use as priests, instead of the firstborn of every family. Numbers 3:12,13.
Of course, God knows how to make a trade. He also keeps count of what belongs to Him. The firstborn were already his. He ordered Moses to count the firstborn, and a total of 22,273 is reported. Then God orders a count of the Levites, every male above one month of age. That's interesting. God only counted the men of war above the age of 20. But, when He was counting His own of the Levites, He counted even the babies. We all belong to God regardless of age.
But, back to the counting. I was totaling the numbers in the margin of my Bible as I read, when I first read this story several years ago. The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Gershon's family numbered 7,500. Kohath's family was counted at 8,600, and Merari's family totaled 6,200 males. I totaled that to get 22,300. When I finished reading the counting...after I had already added... Numbers 3:39 gave the total as 22,000.
Notice that that number is different from the number of the total of the individual families. This could be due to several factors. I call the number recorded in verse 39, the "Total accepted Levitical count" because that was the
number accepted and recorded by Moses, Aaron, and God. The other 300 were not accepted in the number for some reason. It could be perhaps, that the firstborn Levites were excluded so that they would not be counted twice. Or those 300 may have been on "disability" for some reason or other. We know that God said the Levites with a handicap were not to be put to work in the temple, but were to be fed...God's disability plan for priests...they can eat without working. Leviticus 21:22. Regardless, they were not part of the accepted count.
Look back at the total number of the firstborn, 22,273. Without the 300 that were not accepted, God will be losing a total of 273 souls in the trade. They want to do the right thing by the God of the Universe when they calculate their gift. So, God tells Moses to set the redemption price at 5 shekels apiece for the 273 firstborn that are not replaced by acceptable Levites. This totals 1,365 shekels to be paid to God's treasury by the Israelites. Now, God has a tabernacle, priests, and a treasury.
It is noteworthy that 5 shekels, the redemption gift of a firstborn child, was a small amount, and was
equal to the amount that Joseph was sold into slavery for by his brothers in Genesis. And, Scientists calculate the worth of all our basic elements in any given human body to be about $4.70. So, don't think God is devaluing us. He is giving us a higher market value at the value of five silver dollars today. So, go ahead and sell out to God, since the world won't give you what Jesus did on the cross.
The part that grabbed my heart was the fact that God desired ownership of the Levites, and he didn't want them counted along with the rest of the Israelites, because they were his. Possessed, owned by God Almighty. But, he did not forget that these firstborn were His. These things were done as a type of Redemption at the cross.
Today, God has purchased and redeemed us off the slave market of sin. We belong to the God of the Universe. He paid a price for us in blood. He knows who is His. He counts us everyone. He talks about this ownership throughout Scripture. And, in the end, He will take us to Himself. Revelation 21:3.
We are instructed to care for the possession of God, which he purchased with his blood. Acts 20:28. Don't think you are not an overseer. Regardless of your position in church, somebody is watching you. Remember when we have baby dedications in church, the church is pledging to be an example in front of the child of a Christian, and not become a stumbling block before him as he is raised before God. Just like the parents are responsible for his upbringing, so are the fellow church members responsible for the example of Christianity that they show this child.
I think it is remarkable the way God seems to be jealous of His own people. Exodus 34:14. Romans 14:8. When one is lost, God will not rest seeking him. Luke 15;7.
Psalms 11:1-7 In the LORD put I my trust: how say you to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may secretly shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids test, the children of men. The LORD tests the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hates. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous LORD loves righteousness; his countenance does behold the upright.
It is easy to notice that David seems to think of himself like a bird. But, not just any old bird. He compared himself first, to an eagle in Psalm 103:5, "My youth is renewed like the eagle's;" once to an owl in Ps 102:6, "I am like an owl in the desert;" and to a pelican, in the same verse, "Like a pelican in the wilderness;" another time to a sparrow Ps 102:7, "I watch, and am as a sparrow;" once to a partridge, "As when one doth hunt a partridge." He would like to be like a dove in Ps 55:6, "O that I had the wings of a dove, for then I would flee away and be at rest."
David, like all of us, sees himself differently in different situations, yet always having wings.
When things were going well and he was on top of the situation, he felt like an eagle. When things were going against him and his resources seemed dried up, he felt like an owl in the desert. When he was heartbroken, he compared himself to a pelican. (Note-the New King James says vulture, but the Greek word is defined as a pelican. Both are birds with wings, no less, and they both wander in the wilderness.) Or, he felt as lonely as a sparrow alone on the rooftop. Worst of all, he sometimes felt hunted for sport, like a partridge.
David often used this metaphor of a bird, and it seems fitting. A bird is going to fly whenever any of these problems present themselves. We as Christians can also fly. But, looking at Psalm 11, it appears that David resents being given the advice to flee, like a bird. His friends and enemies know he can very well escape to the hills, to his hideouts there. The young shepherd boy, David, is most comfortable in the wilderness with nature all around him anyways. The very metaphor which David so often used on himself, his enemies in the first verse of this Psalm used on him.
Whether the reason for David being given advice to flee was the impending attack in Saul's court, or later after the massacre of the Priests by Doeg, or later when Saul was pursuing him in the woods, David always eluded Saul. So, it is obvious David did indeed flee, and that would have been his intention from the start. It looks as if his enemies are taunting him here by accusing him of being a scared little bird hopping from hilltop to hilltop. Birds are skittish. They have excellent eyesight, and strong wings. They see trouble coming and fly quickly to safety. But, they are skittish because they are small and fragile. Yet, David didn't like the reference here. He protested because He knew he wasn't running in fear, but running to the safety aforded by God, and God is our mountain. What else did they think David was going to do? Stay and be killed by Saul. That seems to be what enemies often expect from us, to stand still and wait for destruction. No, God's children are instructed to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. Turn the other cheek doesn't mean to be foolish.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of
wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Indeed, if the foundations of government and justice are destroyed, what else can the righteous do but run to God? David knows this. A Christian does not have to be afraid to turn away from bad situations, abuse, crippling loss, or injustice. God provides shelter, and he gave us our wings to fly to Him. Go ahead David, fly to your God!
The Genesis record continues to be credible in our day. The record provided by Genesis is verifiable on many counts. The New Testament contains over 200 references or allusions to Genesis, indicating that the Apostles and Disciples, as well as the Pharisees, Saducees, Jewish leaders, and Jesus Himself accepted the validity of the text.
Science lends credence to the creation account. Evolutionists contend that things of greater complexity derived from things of less complexity. This is purported in the development of intelligent Homo Sapiens from higher primates of the animal kingdom, which in turn developed from lower primates, reptiles, fish, down to a single-celled organism. This single cell developed from a “soupy Sargasso Sea” that formed from gases that appeared from nothing. This line of reasoning is in direct contradiction to the laws of Science. Science shows that intelligent life comes from intelligent life. All creatures reproduce “after their own kind,” as in the Genesis account.
Furthermore, the Big Bang theory supposes that a colossal explosion hurled the planets into their orbits. Of course, it wasn't supposed to be a fast explosion, just some unknown force moving things apart, as the Universe is thought to be ever expanding. Opponents of the theory first called it the "Big Bang" and the name just stuck. We know now that not all the planets or their moons orbit in the same direction, which would defeat the idea of the planets spinning as a result of an explosion. The idea of chance producing a complex universe is as absurd as the idea of a Mercedes Benz being created in the aftermath of a tornado going through a junkyard. Theoretically it could happen. But, would there be gas in the tank to make it go? I think not. In the same way, wildflowers can grow in a field, as fragile objects of beauty deriving apparently from nothing. But, in a hundred years the field of wildflowers will not remain, unless tended by human hands and caused to continue their growth. Living things decay. The earth changes continually, seemingly at the whims of nature. A garden continues to grow because it was planted. The universe continues to spin because it was constructed and hung in space by the Creator.
The universality of the Deluge in Genesis is a fact, based on Non-Biblical evidence (i.e. dating of oldest living things at post-Flood time, marine fossils found on crests of mountains, sudden extinction of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.)
Further, 87 important Biblical words were first mentioned in Genesis, providing strong internal evidence of the validity of this collection of ancient books. The words life, atonement, command, glory, just, impute, mercy, love, light, salvation, and righteousness all appear first in Genesis. This supports the idea that Genesis was the foundation work of the other 65 books of the Bible.
I think the most compelling reason to believe the Genesis record is the stark plainness and simple honesty of the recorded events. The polished omissions of a story weaver are not there. We read succinctly about Jacob’s lies, Sarah’s laughter, Eve’s deception, Noah’s drunkenness, Lot’s incest, Tamar’s adultery, Dinah’s seduction, Miriam’s outrage that her brother married a black woman, and Leah’s lewd accusation to Rachel concerning the mandrakes. These character deficits are not the usual list of accomplishments of a nation’s heroes or the founding fathers of a religion. You never read in the history books about what a drunk U. S. Grant was, but only about his military prowess. The detailed record of such foibles in Genesis, (as well as the accurate list of birth records) gives undeniable credence to the Genesis account.
Furthermore, if we expect to believe that God is capable and willing to redeem us, then we must first believe that He created us. If we cannot accept the accuracy of Genesis miracles, such as creation, then we have no basis for belief in later miracles, such as Jonah and the whale, water into wine, Elijah in the chariot, etc. This is one of the primary reasons Atheists try to deny the credibility of Genesis. They seek to tear out the foundation for the cross.
The Genesis record is important as the foundation of our salvation plan. Genesis 3:15 is called the protoevangelium, which means “the first good news.” Now that man has sinned, God’s grace is evident in that He promised a Messiah who would come later and bruise Satan, destroying his power. There are many types of Christ in Genesis; including Isaac and Joseph. There is no purpose for the cross work of Jesus if Genesis is discredited. This would destroy all our Christology and Soteriology Doctrine. Without a Fall, we would not need a Savior-Hero.
There is evidence that God could have created a universe with “age-dating factors” already in place to support life? After all, it is stated that Adam and Eve were created as adults, not babies. It is reasonable the earth would have appeared aged at Creation. There are fossil records dating back billions of years, as well as human attempts at “carbon-dating” that indicate an aged terra, well beyond the age indicated by creation and the Genesis account. This, as well as the existence and extinction of the dinosaurs indicate an apparent conflict in dating. However, one theory is that God created the earth fully mature, as he did Adam and Eve and the animals. Therefore the mature earth was created with fossils intact, sufficient to support plant life. Another theory conflicts with this idea. This theory contends that the earth was perfect after creation, according to God, and could not have contained death within the earth. The fossils only appear to be so aged because of the devastating effects of the worldwide flood. Both are viable options. Why should they be less viable than current evolutionary thought?
When Enoch was 65 years old, his wife had a son. Enoch named this first son Methuselah, meaning literally, “man of the dart.” That can be interpreted as meaning “God’s Judgement comes next” or “When he dies, Judgement” for two reasons. First, Enoch was a prophet, according to Jude 14, 15. He prophesied of the Second Coming of Christ. Second, the Flood began the year Methuselah died; indicating God seemed to have a promise with Enoch concerning the life of his son. So, it seems Enoch was prophesying of the Flood when he named his son. We know that God relates longevity to adherence to his laws because of Exodus 20:12 and the fact that Enoch (and Elijah) was translated not to even see death because of his walk of faith. Methuselah lived 969 years, the oldest recorded. He must have had a good relationship with God. Its interesting to note that God stayed his hand of judgement for 969 years in loving compassion, just as He now tarries so long before the final judgement. As Peter said, God is “longsuffering,” not willing “that any should perish.”(II Peter 3:9) This lays a foundation of our escatological doctrine. Escatology, the study of things to come, is meaningless if there is no resurrection from the dead.
The Patriarchs were a part of the Genesis Record: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Abraham was born in Ur of the Chaldees, 19 generations after Adam. Terah, his father moved the family to Haran, possibly to separate his family from the prevailing idol worship. Abraham moved the whole family to the Promised Land, after Terah’s death. The word patriarch means “rule by the father,” so these men were the ruling fathers who formed the roots of the nation of Israel. Pulling Genesis out from under the Biblical Canon would quickly unravel the whole Gospel.
A dispensation is a period of time in which God deals with humans in a very distinct and unique way. It refers to the geographical concept of time and place. It includes the different groups of people who were treated in a different way from other people, or people of a different time. The seven dispensations can be broken down the following way:
1st Innocence Gen.1:28 One rule, close (perfect) communion with God
2nd Conscience Gen.3:10,23 Do your best, communion through sacrifice
3rd Human Government Gen.8:20 Man governs for God, communion through government
4th Promise Gen. 12:1 Blessings tied to the land, communion through bloodline
5th Law Exo. 19:4-8 10 Commands and many laws, communion through strict adherence
6th Grace John 1:17 Love brother as self, communion through blood of Jesus
7th Kingdom Ephesians. 1:10 Rule by Jesus Christ, perfect or Messianic communion restored
We live in the dispensation of Grace. Genesis establishes reason and evidence of God's plan through the ages for a redemption of mankind from the curse of death. Paradise was lost in Genesis. Paradise will be restored in Revelation. Unless, of course, Paradise never existed. Where would we be without Genesis? There is so much more to look at when considering the Genesis record, and I have not scratched the surface. But, there is more than enough evidence to convince a thinking person that the record of Creation has been retained through the generations intact. I believe in Creation by an omnipotent Creator God. I believe Genesis was inspired by Him, and outlines not only His work of the ages past, but His plans for the ages to come.
I've added two more poems to the bottom of "The Child Within Me" Page of my Poetry Collection on this website. I haven't written any new poetry in a few years, though I wrote a huge notebook full over a period of 20 years. The two I just added are Peace and Security. I wrote them the summer after I turned 15, just two summers after I met Jesus. Both of them have Scripture allusions.
Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to
kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body
I've also filled up about 20 journals, not counting the very first one I wrote. I finished my first diary (one of those tiny 5 year locking kinds) when I was about 16, and then built a fire in the backyard just to burn it, out of concern that anyone might ever read my words. :) I was really shy. But, I've got past that, and now I just keep them all locked away.
When Jesus came into my life, it drove a lot of fear out of my heart. I don't know how. I had been afraid of the dark even, and was tormented with nightmares almost every night for much of my preteen and early teen years. I would sleep walk often, and many times I woke the whole house up screaming from bad dreams. It was so bad that I became apprehensive about going to sleep at night, because I knew the dreams would return. But, with salvation came safety that could not be provided by people. And, the night terrors left. But, I was never afraid of storms. Storms, after I met Jesus, became a peaceful time when I was reminded that God was more powerful than man; my Father looking over all His children.
I've felt such a sense of peace and safety since, that I even worked security at night for a couple of years, when my boys were young, and I "moonlighted" literally. :) I can remember the glow of my flashlight beam casting across the parking lots, between the parked transfer truck trailers, when I would come out of the vacant plant to make my night rounds. The moonlight was beautiful, and there was this seperate peace in the darkness, because I could see. I had already backslid and divorced by that time, but the fear was gone, because God had removed all the sources of fear from around me, setting me in a safety that reached farther than I had run.
God did that for me. And, I knew that He was my safety. There have been many times I've been aware of angels surrounding me, God's bodyguards. In Genesis 22, we read a strange story of Abraham laying his son on an altar of wood, and raising a knife, when an angel, or perhaps the Spirit of God Himself, cryed out for Abraham to not harm the boy. Imagine the effect this had to have had on his son, Isaac... hearing the angels speak on his behalf from heaven! We don't read much about Isaac, beyond his birth, this scene, his marriage, and the wells he re-dug, and then the focus shifts to his children. But, you know he had to be a changed man; had to always remember that God was watching over him and keeping him safe from harm.
Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh, which means God provided, or the Lord is my Provider. There was an old country song I remember hearing as a child that always reminds me of Jesus.
"You're my bread when I'm hungry.
You're my shelter from troubled winds.
You're my friend when I'm lonely.
And, in the cold, You keep me warm."
I have no idea who sang that song. But, it fits Jehovah-jireh. And, when the nights are dark, He is the beam of light piercing the night... my Security Guard.
Hear the Parable of the Cedar:
Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair
branches, and with forest shade, and of a high stature; and his top was among
the thick boughs.
The waters made it great, the deep set it up on high with its
rivers running round about its plants, and sent out its little rivers unto all
the trees of the field.
Therefore its height was exalted above all the trees of
the field, and its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long because
of the multitude of waters, when it shot forth.
All the fowls of heaven made
their nests in its boughs, and under its branches did all the beasts of the
field bring forth their young, and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.
Thus was it beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches: for its
root reached to great waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it:
the fir trees were not like its boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like its
branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto it in its beauty.
I have made it beautiful by the multitude of its branches: so that all the trees
of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied it.
Ezekiel prophesied this parable to the Pharaoh of Egypt, who was apparantly from Assyria. Egypt often had foreign Pharaohs. Quite an odd thing. We wouldn't do well to have a Japanese President of the United States, I don't imagine. Oh, but this Pharaoh had prospered, and multiplied his greatness. He saw himself as a cedar, so to speak, but forgot he was planted in the Garden of God.
If you compare the NKJ text above to the Old King James, it only differs basically by substituting male and female pronouns for the pronoun "it," when referring to the Cedar and the waters of the deep. The Old King James uses "He" for the Cedar because the Cedar is symbollic of the Pharaoh, a man. Likewise, the groundwaters (waters of the deep) are personified as "her." The waters in Revelation are symbolic of "many people." That leads you to see many people here who are fed and made rich by the Assyrian, putting them on the receiving, or feminine, end of the trade. In the same way today, America is a woman, Russia is a Mother, etc. They are feminine because they are traditionally led by men, it seems. It is only metaphoric, so they are basically the same.
God had bad things in store for the Assyrian, Pharaoh of Egypt, which is a symbolic name of the devil and of the Antichrist, along with the name, "the Man of Sin." You see, God sees you in respect to whose side you are on... or rather, whose work you are doing. Are you against Christ? Then He sees you as Antichrist. Are you for Christ? Then you are a Christian. There is no middle of the road, no purgatory either, no other garden in which to be planted.
Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathers not with me scatters.
No neutral territory it seems. Either you become a planting of the Lord, or you become plucked out of the Garden of God. But, that's not my point. What most strikes me about this parable sleeping among the prophets, is the fact that the Assyrian was in God's Garden. He was planted by God. He was given his dominion from the Lord of Hosts. The Magnificent Creator delivered all this into his hands, then judged him for his works.
We are saved by grace, through faith in the blood of Jesus. But, that does not cause us to despise works, does it? James says that if we say we have faith without works, then he will show us his faith by his works.
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me
your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
But, we are judged by grace, right? Wrong. try door #2.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;
and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of
life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the
books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it; and death
and hades delivered up the dead who were in them: and they were judged every man
according to their works.
This pretty much measures up to what Jesus taught in the Parable of the Talents. The Master judged the servants for the works they did with the talents they had been given. But, there are two interesting things to note here in this Old Testament Parable.
1. We all belong to God... whoever you are...however you see yourself.
2. God is in charge.
Whose side are you on?
Matthew 25:14-15 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling
into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his
goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to
every man according to his own ability; and immediately took his journey.