Wednesday, October 26, 2016

All About the Judges: Who Should the Christian Vote For?

Today's Reading:
  • Judges 1:1 - 2:23
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Judges 1:1 - 2:23
Today's reading is the first from the book of Judges. This is an extremely relevant book in face of the upcoming general election. How so? Well, it starts, of course, with the Israelites. The Israelites conquered the land promised to them, but they failed to conquer it completely, therefore disobeying their instructions and leaving them open to strife. In verse 2:8, we learn that Joshua had died at the age of 110. Soon, that entire generation passed, and an ungodly one grew up in its place. This left the people vulnerable to attack and defeat, for the Lord was not pleased with them.

In verse 2:16, we learn that the Lord raised up judges to rescue the Israelites. We are told that the Lord was with each judge he appointed, and that during each judge's lifetime, the Lord rescued the Israelites from their enemies (2:18). We are further told that, at the death of each judge, the people's evil ways would return and they would once again defy the Lord (2:19).

I believe that the judges would intercede for the people with the Lord, thus retaining His protection. These judges were the highest powers in the land, and they revered the Lord. Here in our present time, the United States is in a state of turmoil. We are seeing the shift of this nation from being a godly nation, to a nation where the Lord is being slowly kicked out. That scares me.

It is my opinion that the most important issue of this election are the judges. It is expected that the next president will appoint up to 4 supreme court justices. The outcome will be a supreme court that is either skewed toward conservatism, or towards liberalism. That means that the next generation of laws that pass through our land will be heavily influenced by which president is elected.

So where do we want our country to go? This election is difficult in that both candidates are not very likeable, and both have abhorrent personality traits. Maybe this is Satan's influence to push the Christians to either (1) not vote; or (2) vote for the wrong candidate. Is there a wrong candidate? My answer is absolutely. As a Christian, I can not vote for things like legal abortions and same sex marriage. These things do not line up with the bible that I have read (at this point, cover to cover, multiple times through).

I am not voting for a candidate at this point. I am voting for our supreme court. A conservative supreme court. A supreme court that will help us to turn our faces back to God as a nation. A supreme court that will help intercede our case with the Lord. A supreme court that will buy us more time as a nation. I don't want to be a part of the nation that falls. Throughout the bible, we see this pattern. I am praying that we turn back now, before it's too late.

Please vote. Don't be discouraged as a Christian because both candidates have such poor personality traits. Remember that God can work through anyone. Yes - the Lord could even work through Hillary. But as Christians, if we are not voting, if we are not standing up to keep the Lord in our nation, then we are part of the problem.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Perseverance for the Godly (Words from Proverbs)

Today's Reading:
  • Proverbs 13:30 - 25
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Proverbs 13:12 - 25
Today's reading has a few different themes. Verse 13:20 starts off by telling us that those who walk with the wise will become wise, and those who associate with fools will get in trouble. Do you want more wisdom in your life? I know I do, especially after reading all the wonderful proverbs about how wisdom gives us life. The answer is simple - one of the ways you can gain wisdom is by associating yourself with those who are wise. Surround yourself with wise and godly people, and your perspective on life might change.

Verse 23 talks about injustice when it says that a poor person's farm may produce an abundance of food, but injustice sweeps it away. I see this as both literal and figurative. I see literal references -- especially when I hear cases of the government forcing metric tons of crops to be dumped and destroyed, in order to leave room for import items. It is sickening to see that forced waste.  Figuratively, the poor person is often persecuted unjustly. They can't afford to fight battle, and therefore some will use their power to walk all over them. All we can do is keep the Lord in our sight, and never give up faith or hope.

Verses 21, 22, and 25 specifically address sinners. We are told that troubles chase sinners, the sinner's wealth passes to the godly, and that the belly of the wicked go hungry. On the contrary, blessings reward the righteous, good people have wealth left over to pass to their grandchildren, and the godly eat to their heart's content. I know these verses might seem to be full of contradictions. After all, how many extravagantly rich sinners do we see? How often do we see the "bad" person persevere, while the "good" one struggles? There are more important things than what we see on this earth. We are in an endurance race to the end of our lives, the reward of which is eternal life with the balances restored. Don't let anyone - and certainly not the unbeliever - rob you of your end goal. All of this is not for naught. God is real, Heaven is real, and eternal life with our Lord and Savior is real. Those who struggle yet remain righteous will prosper for all of eternity. Our years on earth feel long yet fleeting at the same time; just remember they are but a drop in the bucket to all eternity.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Are we in the End Times?

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 21:1 - 22:13
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Luke 21:1 - 22:13
I find chapter 21 to have confusing timelines. This is because Jesus tells of two prophecies that are separated by a vast amount of time. I had to do some research to see if I understood these passages correctly. It seems that versus 5-24 are talking about the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, as well as the severe persecution of Christians. These prophecies would occur in the near future, and be reported in the book of Acts.

In verse 9, Jesus declares "but the end won't follow immediately". In verse 25, Jesus starts to talk to about His second coming. Jesus warns there will be strange signs in the sky, as well as roaring seas and strange tides. The nations will be under turmoil, and that people will be terrified of what they see coming upon the Earth. In verse 27, Jesus says: "Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory."

Jesus then tells us to stand up and look when these things start to happen. He goes on to talk about how fig trees, or any tree, gives signs as summer is coming. And when we see these things start to take place, that we can be assured the time is near. We should stand watch, and not be caught off guard.

Do I believe we are living in the end times? I am unsure. I certainly haven't studied enough of the bible to know (yes, I have read the bible in its entirety, but that is not the same as studying, and I have trouble placing timelines and such). I kind of feel like everyone, since the time Jesus died on the earth and was resurrected, has felt that the second coming is near. I do not know personally what all the signs are. I know that we have many terrible disasters, earthquakes, tidal waves, devastating happenstances. But I wonder, do we have more of those than before? Or, are we just more knowledgeable of affairs of the world?

I know that Daniel 12:4 talks about the increase of knowledge in the world at the end times. I definitely see that as happening right before our eyes, right this very second. We can see what is happening in another country in real time. That is just amazing to me, considering how news used to travel. Stories can be propagated throughout the entire world in minutes from the time they are written. And who needs a doctor these days? You can google and solve it yourself in a few minutes. The answer is always cancer, by the way (sarcasm intended - but you get my point). People used to have to find other people who had knowledge on a subject, and today you have an unlimited amount of knowledge at your fingertips. Literally at your fingertips. How many of us have smart phones? Little computers that go with us everywhere. Yes, knowledge has greatly increased. And for that, I am leaning towards believing that we are in the end times.

Whether or not we are in the end times, our action is to remain the same - be ready, be alert, be looking for the Lord. Never be caught unawares.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

As for Me and My Family, We Will Serve the Lord

Today's Reading:
  • Joshua 24:1 - 33
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Joshua 24:1 - 24:33
The book of Joshua ends with Joshua's death at the ago of 110 (24:29). Before he died, Joshua summoned the people one last time. Joshua gave them a message from the Lord, in which the Lord reiterated all the mighty deeds he had done for His people. He talked about the lines of Isaac and Jacob (24:4), He talked about the plagues sent down on Egypt (24:5). He talked about the parting of the Red Sea for escape (24:7). He talked about the victory over the Amorites (24:8), Balak (24:10), and Jericho (24:11).

Joshua then warns the people that may must choose which god to worship. The decision to worship the Lord should be made wholeheartedly (24:14). Should the people turn away and worship other Gods, they would be abandoned by the Lord (24:20). Joshua also gave this famous verse:
But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. (24:15).
The people of Israel agreed to worship the Lord, and were faithful throughout the rest of Joshua's life, and the life of the elders who outlived him. Joshua died peacefully and was buried in his allocated land.

Verse 24:15 speaks dearly to me. It does not matter what the world says. It does not matter what the nation says. It does not matter what my neighbor says. It does not matter what my friend says. It does not matter what my brother says. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Let God Not Forsake Us

Today's Reading:
  • Psalm 89
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Psalm 89
This psalm starts with great praise to the Lord. We are reminded that the Lord's unfailing love endures forever (89:2), and that He will sit on his throne from now and throughout eternity (89:4). We are then reminded of the Lord's covenant with David. Although the Lord made a covenant with David, He also warned the people that disobedience would result in punishment (89:32). The psalm then moves into a story of despair - a denounced king (89:39), and a people who are wholly vulnerable and defeated. The psalm ends with a plea that the Lord would swoop in and rescue his people. The psalmist reminds God that his life is very short (89:47) and not to forsaken him.

I don't ever want to feel the Lord's wrath like this. I can't imagine what it would be like to live every day, knowing that you were living out the Lord's punishment against you. All throughout the old testament I've seen God dealing punishment in terms of entire nations. It makes me worry for my nation, as we fall further and further from the Lord. As our government dictates that every religion but Christianity should be celebrated and protected. As the White House lights up in rainbow colors - God's promise - in celebration of marriage covenants that the Lord would not sanction. As ten commandment markers are removed from courthouse lawns. As local businesses are ruined because they don't want to do something against their beliefs; yet businesses that stand on other religions are not touched. As marines are brought up on charges for leaving an open bible on their desks.

I feel our freedom slipping away, large chunks at a time. Little by little Satan infiltrates the Christian mind. We are conditioned to think that sin is normal and should be embraced. After all, it's all about "love". We are being desensitized and pulled away from the holy life God has called us to live.  Please pray for our country, and vote for our leadership. Those are the two things that we as Christians can do. We are NOT a minority in the US, yet we are letting these things be taken away from us. If we stood together, and with the help of the Lord, we could take back our nation. Our Lord is far mightier than Satan and the work being done against our nation. Please pray for your nation, pray for its leaders, and vote.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Concept of Marriage in Heaven

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 20:27 - 20:47
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Luke 20:27 - 20:47

The most interesting passage to me in today's reading is the passage about marriage after the resurrection. The Sadducees tried to trap Jesus by asking him who would be married in Heaven if a woman was sequentially married to 7 brothers, each of whom had died before she married the next. Jesus gives a startling response that challenges many people's ideas of marriage in Heaven:
"Marriage is for people here on earth. But in the age to come, those worth of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection." (20:34-36).
I did a little online research about this and could not find any articles that contradicted this statement with scripture. I found many references that talk about how Jesus is our "bridegroom" and how our marriage here on earth is but a shadow of Heaven, for we are the bride of Christ. The marriage relationship we foster here on earth will pale in comparison and we will not lack that intimate sharing of ourselves, but instead be utterly fulfilled by our relationship with Jesus Christ. It seems "till death do us part" is most certainly a true statement. I can't really fathom how it will all work, but I trust the promise of eternal happiness.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Taxes and Caesar - The Perfect Answer

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 20:01 - 20:26
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Luke 20:01 - 20:26
Jesus is tested by religious leaders, spies, and Sadducees. All were trying to trick him into saying something that they could report back. These people hated Jesus so much that they were constantly trying to trap him into a situation where he could be executed.

Jesus responded perfectly to these traps - questions that were perfectly sculpted so that any answer would be wrong. In verses 20:21 - 20:26, the people asked about paying taxes. If Jesus said to pay taxes, it would be upsetting because the people were unfairly taxed. On the other hand, if Jesus said not to pay taxes, they would report him immediately. Instead, Jesus asked them whose face and name were on the coin. When they replied "Caesar's", he told them to "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God" (20:25).

Jesus could not be accused of telling people not to pay taxes. As much as I don't like to pay taxes, taxes are a necessity for maintaining the land we live in. On the other hand, we know that everything is God's, no matter whose face is on it. Jesus's ability to appease all parties with his answer is truly amazing. Can you imagine that today, with the battling political parties? Only Jesus would be able to craft a statement that no one could find fault with - a statement that would speak differently and appease each person who heard it.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

They Obeyed Every Command

Today's Reading:
  • Joshua 21:1 - 23:16
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Joshua21:1 - 23:16
The elders of the tribe of Levi came to Joshua to discuss land allocation for their tribe. We are told the leaders of the other tribes each conceded land that had been previously given to them "by the command of the Lord" (22:3). As we continue to read chapter 21, we see that each tribe willing gave up their very own land. In verse 8, we again see that the "Israelites obeyed the Lord's command"and assigned the land based on sacred lots.

The notion of sacred lots has always intrigued me. I tried to learn more about it. The general consensus seemed to be that sacred lots were considered an impartial way to make a decision when no clear direction from God was given. I was also told that no sacred lots are mentioned after the Pentecost. I have not verified if this is the truth, this is just what I read from various sources and have not researched it myself. It is generally agreed, because there was no mention of sacred lots after the Pentecost, that the divination of the Holy Spirit upon us has negated the need for sacred lots. There is no longer that divide. The Holy Spirit can live in each of us if we so choose. That's pretty amazing! No longer do we have to go to priests who have to go to the Lord for us; instead the spirit is accessible to each of us. The blood of Jesus Christ bridged that great divide and made that possible. I can feel the Holy Spirit; I know God is there and with me. This makes me wonder what it was like before, when intercession was made directly with sacrifices and through priests.

After the Levi's were given their land, Joshua called the half-tribe of Manasseh and the tribes of Reuben, and Gad together. Joshua told them that they had obeyed every command the Lord had given to them. They had been faithful and followed through. They were now being blessed and granted rest, just as the Lord had promised.

What struck out to me most today in my reading was obeying the Lord's command and finishing strong. Multiple times we were shown a faithful people who obeyed the Lord. Joshua's speech on being faithful and following through really struck me. I want to be the faithful servant who finishes her race for the Lord. There would be no greater honor than to finish strong and true. To obey the Lord wholeheartedly. I fall so short of this measuring stick, but everyday I shall try to follow more closely, to honor and obey the Lord my God.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Eternal Separation from the Lord

Today's Reading:
  • Psalm 88
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Today's reading is a dark one, full of despair and hopelessness.  It is a psalm of the descendants of Korah, and in it the author cries out to the Lord to once again turns His face towards him. The author says he is forgotten and cut off from the Lord's care (88:5). He says that he has been engulfed by wave after wave of anger (88:7). He says that his eyes are blinded by tears (88:9) and that darkness is his closest friend (88:18).

This psalm is so upsetting that I almost didn't want to write about it. It seeps despair with no happy ending in sight. Many psalms cry out to the Lord for justice, but also talk of how great the Lord is and the trust the author has in the Lord to rescue them from any situation. This psalm, however, is simply a dark place. A place where the Lord has turned His face and offers no mercy or relief.

I pray that I never see such a time in my life. To feel completely and utterly cut off from the Lord - my rock, my salvation, my protection, my provider - would be the most terrible thing imaginable. Then I wonder, is this what Hell will be like? To have your soul be irreparably separated from its creator? Aside from physical torture, which is horrible enough, what does a soul feel like that has been completely cut off from the Lord? It has to be the most horrible feeling imaginable. Horrible, and eternal.

I often focus on how great it will be to be with the Lord for all eternity. My mind doesn't usually wander to what it will be like for those who failed to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. LORD and Savior. Not just Savior - LORD and Savior. A lord is someone who is obeyed, and those who do not obey a lord suffer the severe consequences. It is oh so important that we remember the LORD part of salvation. Too often I think we focus on the pure love and sacrifice, and forget that we are declaring Jesus as the Lord over our lives. We must obey, we must become a NEW person in Christ. A new person who is changed by obeying the Lord and fulfilling his Christian call to life.

I am talking to myself here as much as I'm talking to anyone else. I did not want to do this today. I've already spent half my day with church. The baby is napping, I have many things to do. As I walked past my study, I felt the call. I felt the Lord telling me to obey, to get in there and do this work. I tried to walk on by but last minute I turned around and obeyed. I sat down, I didn't want to open the bible, I didn't want to read more, I didn't feel like writing. But I took a deep breath, said a prayer for the Lord to put down my flesh, and obeyed. It's been a very short reading, and it didn't take me that long to write this. I am so very very thankful I obeyed and my spirit has been uplifted because of it. I hope I don't ever find out what it is to be eternally separated from the Lord, for that would be a dark place indeed.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Love and Repentance

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 19:28 - 19:48
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Luke 19:28 - 19:48
Today's reading starts with Jesus humbling riding into Jerusalem on a donkey colt. My study bible tells me two things: first, his ride on the donkey is fulfillment of prophecy; and second, that choosing a humble donkey instead of a war horse is symbolic of the reconciliation and peace that Jesus would bring.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, a huge crowd gathered and threw their clothes on the ground in front of him, shouting and signing songs of praise as they followed along side. I can hardly imagine this scene. A man, riding on a donkey on top of piles of clothes thrown in front of him and crowds singing and praising all around. What a glorious sight that would be. It is hard to believe that human nature is so fickle, that many of these same people would soon be publicly demanding his crucifixion.

Jesus then wept, for he knew the people would reject his salvation and come to ruin. Jesus is there for all of us, he died for all of us, yet how many of us will refuse that wonderful gift? How many souls of the people we know and love will be forever lost and separated from God? It's a terrible thing.

We are then told of how Jesus drove the money changes and merchants out of the temple. Luke's account of this event are fairly mild. John 2:15 tells of how Jesus made a whip to drive these people out. It seems that in today's world, people only want to talk about the love of Jesus. Every sin seems to be covered by the fact that Jesus loves and forgives. It is very true - without the true love Jesus showed by dying for us, without his forgiveness, we are destined to hell. But too often it seems to be overlooked that Jesus also condemns the sin. He drove those people out with whips! The woman who was caught in adultery, whom Jesus saved from being stoned, was told to "Go forth and sin no more" (John 8:11).

Jesus came to save us. Jesus came so that we could be forgiven. Jesus loves us more than we can ever comprehend. He died for each of us - the ultimate gift one can give. Jesus is full of love and forgiveness, but we must also repent. The love does not excuse the sin, as seems to be taught today. Through repentance our sins are forgiven, but they must be repented of. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word repent as: "to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life". To repent, we turn from our sin. We then make amends for our sins by changing our ways. The Lord is gracious to forgive us, and the Lord absolutely loves us, but love does not excuse our sins.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Dream Fulfilled is a Tree of Life

Today's Reading:
  • Proverbs 13:12-19
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Proverbs 13:12 - 19
Today's reading is a series of verses from one of my favorite books - Proverbs. I love Proverbs because it gives us clear directions on how to go through life. Not just go through life - but to soar through life, how to succeed in what you do, how to have happiness, and how to obtain wisdom.

There were a few reoccurring themes throughout today's reading. I found verses 12 and 19 to fit together:
13:12: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
13:19 It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them. 
 I do agree that never seeing one's hopes and dreams fulfilled can be quite crushing on one's spirit. I am caught on the words: "a dream fulfilled is a tree of life". This phrase makes me picture my life as a tree, soaring up into the sky. My dreams are branches, some developed and blossoming and full; others budding and taking shape; some withering and dying. Is your entire tree withered up? That would certainly make one's heart sick. My tree is pretty full and happy. But should something happen to my tree, crushing as it would be, my hope is in the Lord. I know that he can take a tree that has withered and passed away and revive it into the most glorious tree ever seen. Nurture your spirit with the words of the Lord. Turn away from the evil ways of this world. Let his essence feed your tree of life, and see your tree reach it's full, beautiful potential.

Verses 13 through 18 are about one of my favorite topics: Wisdom. Here is a summary from these verses.

To obtain wisdom:
  • Respect commands for a successful life
  • Listening to wise instruction is like a life-giving fountain that helps one avoid the snares of death
  • People with good sense are respected
  • The wise think before they act
  • Accept correction and be honored
The unwise:
  • Those who despise advice ask for trouble
  • Treacherous people head to destruction
  • Don't think before they act, and often brag about their foolishness 
  • Ignoring criticism lands one in poverty and disgrace
Every time I read Proverbs, especially when Wisdom is being discussed, images of the world as I know it today floats through my mind. People, places, current events, pass situations. These images, these thoughts, they affirm everything I read. Just look at those lists. I'm sure you can easily place people you know into both of those extremes. I want my life to look like that first grouping. I want to have a successful life where I am respected and honored. Eventually I want to be the wise one who is helping to fill the fountains of others. I've got a long way to go, but I've got the best helper in the entire universe to help me - the Word of God. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Seeking Those who are Lost; Investing in the Kingdom of God

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 19:01 - 19:27
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Luke 19:01 - 19:27

Today's reading focused on two stories - that of Zacchaeus the tax collector, and the Parable of the Ten Servants. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector; in other words, a regional tax collector who oversaw subordinate collectors. This made Zaccheaus a very rich man. But Zaccheaus was drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ, so much so that he climbed a tree (apparently a very demeaning thing for a man of his stature to do) just to get a glimpse. Jesus called Zacchaeus by name down from the tree and invited himself to dine in his home. This upset people, for they new Zacchaeus sinned by stealing from people, making himself rich in the process. The story ends with verse 19:10:

"For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."
It can be hard to remember that Jesus is seeking those furthest from Him. Most of us have been that person far separated from Jesus in our lives. The closer we walk with the Lord, the more righteous we try to become to align with the Word of God and remain obedient, the easier it is to forget that Jesus calls the sinners. He calls the worst of the worst, He wants all to belong to Him. I know many people feel uncomfortable trying to find a church home. They feel like they have to "clean up" their lives to become good enough to find a church and become closer to the Lord. But that is the opposite of what needs to happen. The church needs to welcome the sinners with open arms, to bring them in, to help them with their walk towards Jesus. I know my church has been an integral part of my growing relationship with Christ, for this very reason, and I am so very thankful for that. When I walked into my church for the first time, I didn't feel judged; instead I felt loved. I felt genuine interest for myself and my family, and it was wonderful. I began to attend regularly, and slowly work through the things that were separating me from the Lord. It is a constant work in progress; a never ending work, but it helped me to realize that you don't need to be "fixed" to find and attend a church. The church will help to fix you through the love of Jesus Christ. 

Onto the second part of the reading - The Parable of the Ten Servants. This parable reminds us that God has invested in us and that we are expected to grow that investment. The concept of the story is financial, as a king has given each of his servants ten pounds of silver to invest while he was away. The first servant made ten times as much, the second made five times as much, and the last made exactly nothing; he simply returned the original amount to the king. This, of course, infuriated the king, who expected at least something in return, even if just a little interest. To the other two servants, he gave them proportional responsibilities in his kingdom.

Although the concept of the parable is financial, I see that this parable can apply in many different ways in our lives. Yes, we have a financial responsibility to tithe and to give God what is His, regardless of our own income. The more we can give, the better. That will bless people and help to grow God's kingdom. But there are other things, too - such as giving our time, our talents, and simply spreading the word about Jesus Christ to friends and family. This is a hard topic for me because I know I don't give as much of myself as I should. I try to spread God's Word, but that is very difficult for me too, as I am a very shy and introverted person. I have to remind myself that the work done here on Earth has eternal consequences. What will my reward be in Heaven? What kind of return have I given compared to all the Lord has blessed me with?This parable is a great reminder that we are plant, grow, and harvest the things given to us for the good of the Lord.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cities of Refuge

Today's Reading:
  • Joshua 16:1 - 20:09
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Joshua 16:1 - 20:09

Chapters 16-20 covered the vast allotment of the cities and towns to the various tribes. The entirety of the land was surveyed and mapped and divided according to each tribe's share. I love how the Lord ensures everyone is taken care of equally. Chapter 17 talks about Makir, who had no sons. Typically the land was divided by male heirs, but in this case there were none, so the daughters of Makir were granted a share of the land. I struggled at first with the idea of the land being split up by male heirs, but then I realized it made perfect sense. Daughters are given in marriage and then go live with their husbands and set up home there. So if the males always have an allotted portion of land, the females are always taken care of. We live in an age where female independence is desired and esteemed. I enjoy my role in modern society, for sure. I have to wonder, though, how much simpler life would be for me if I were able to manage the household and have my husband work to earn the living. I never thought I'd be content as a stay at home mom, but we live in a different time. It's hard to gauge these things when you're viewing them through a different perspective.

Chapter 20 discusses cities of refuge. I've always thought cities of refuge were a very interesting topic. The Old Testament talks about an eye for an eye, a life for a life. Taking another person's life is a mortally serious thing to do - arguably one of the worst sins (I realize in the scheme of things that ALL sin has mortal consequence, despite the severity). When someone is killed, people get mortally angry. In these times, people were allowed to take the life of the person who killed their loved one. The Lord, however, recognized the need for people who had accidentally killed another person. These were the cities of refuge, located throughout the territories. If someone accidentally killed another person, they could flee to these cities. This did not automatically give someone a free pass - they still had to stand trial with the elders. It did, however, give them a chance to have that trial and hearing and be cleared of wrong doing and protected from retaliation. We take processes like fair trials for granted depending on where we live. That was not always the case (and may not be still today depending where you live in the world). I love how the Lord takes care of all people, even killers.