Be vulnerable. A criticism holds veiled wish so when you say, “You’re always at football with your friends,” you mean, I wish you were here with me so ask for what you want with the possibility that you may not always get what you want.
Abolish sweeping accusations. Phrases like “You never, “You always…” are loaded with negativity. Listen to the difference between “I will love it if you do dishes this evening, I’m really tired” instead of “You never do the dishes!”
Listen carefully. When something is thrown your way, take a pause. When we are in critical mode, take the time to reflect. Think about the following: why am I feeling angry? What do I want? So take responsibility for feelings, share it.
Think Rumi. The 13th-century Persian poet wrote, “Raise your words, not your voice. Rain grows flowers, not thunder.” A relationship cannot blossom if voices are raised. Try whispering if upset and let God be at the centre of your love life. Forgive spouse daily as Christ forgives us and raise your children to love, fear honour God in Jesus Name.Published by Anne-Celine Jaeger Sources: Esther Perel’s State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity; psychotherapist and author Barton Goldsmith.
Zephaniah 3:17 says that God Almighty in heaven rejoices over us with singing! Can you imagine God’s great Majestic sonic booming maestro sound echoing throughout the firmament and universe because God is so joyful about you. Yes you, it seems oxymoron to even suggest God is happy with you let alone is joyful over you. Perhaps you spent your whole life miserable, angry over God as unfair killjoy ready to lash out and to point out only your faults to punish you. Such misrepresentations of God’s TRUE reflection of eternal joy in heaven with saints and angels rejoicing over all saved in Jesus Name in the LORD GOD saps joy out of life. Yet in the midst of sorrow Jesus comforted His apostles and disciples to have joy in spite of adversity, knowing grief or pain is momentary so they will be reunited forever in heaven permanently. Godly joy is not absence of the circumstances we would prefer not to endure or have to put up with in life. Rather our source of joy comes from Christ in us our hope of glory therefore external or internal issues trying to derail our joy is negated by the blood of Jesus. Even within those dark gloomy days of deepest grief, pain, loss or sorrow Christ encourages us to look up to Him to rejoice forevermore. As a matter of Godly joy eases sorrow so takes out the sting intended to wear you out to lose confidence and faith in God. It is the Joy of the LORD GOD Almighty that replenishes and sustains us to keep on keeping on despite hardships of life. Absolute perfect joy of God flows into us from God cancels the bitter, toxic, vitriol intended to depress or separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. The cares of the world can sometimes overwhelm to distract us to forget the goodness of the strength the joy of the LORD brings us. Preoccupation of sadness, bitterness, anger, grief, sorrow, melancholic living distracts us from refreshing joy in the presence of the LORD. Often the darkest times is when disconnected from God so most vulnerable to things of the world that try to come against us. Pure Joy is found in Christ residing in our hearts to help us to overcome in life. In fact God’s crown of rejoicing reward is given to all who manage to remain joyful even if all odds are against them. Another verse in Bible says, God is disappointed because HIS Children do not reflect HIS TRUE joyful qualities so world has a distorted view of who God really. The believer’s responsibility of joy is not an option but a duty of care to reflect joy of the LORD to the world and to the fellow believers in Christ by good example as Jesus did during His passion of sorrow to save us.
Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ Jesus grafted together in covenant with the God of Abraham as a promise to bless all nations on earth. Old and New Testament shows Jews and Gentiles called to live as disciples of Lord Jesus. In Christ there is no Jew, Gentile, slave, free male or female only brethren in the Kingdom of God. During Passover and Easter this unity in Christ is celebrated to reaffirm the Messiah’s death burial and Resurrection. As earth’s population celebrate the Passover or Resurrection Sunday miraculous event’s redemption remind us of the close spiritual bond of Jews and Christians. Celebrations are God’s deliverance from despair of slavery and from despondency of sin. The Passover and Resurrection Sunday shed light on deep roots of Judaism and Christianity representing Supernatural hope in God in Christ’s love for His people. Celebrate this sacred season with family, friends, as Christians United for Israel together share Godly love with joy and peace. So our unity is a sign of our unconditional love for God and each other. Israel’s GREAT COMMISSION Blesses all nations of earth by freewill. All who bless Israel are blessed but all who curse Israel cursed in GENESIS 12:1-3. So 1 Now the Lord said to Abram,“Go forth from your country, from your relatives from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” in Genesis 12:1-3.1 God Chose to bless Abraham and all his descendants2 above other nation,3 not because of prominence or powerful pious4 or faithful after being chosen.5 God Chose to bless Abraham’s seed as testimony of His grace to bless and channel blessing to “all families on earth in Genesis 12:3. God’s blessings gifts of HIS grace not earned. Blessings belong first to Israel as a gracious gift shared with others. The stewardship of God’s gift than matter ownership.6 God made it clear the land of Canaan did not belong to Israel but BELONGS to God: So Land reclaimed because Land Belongs to ME you are foreigners residing with me in Leviticus 25:23. God removed the Canaanites from the land because of sin He does the same to Israelites if defiled the land by committing the same sins.7 God’s blessings poured out on Abraham and his descendants so that His chosen people could be instrument God blesses the world through. This blessing comes to through nation Israel as blessings to Gentiles. The Israelites relate to other nations through blessing to them. But do not confuse Canaanites and Gentiles. Distinction between Gentiles Canaanites is important as Israelites possess land of Canaan God commands HIS people to annihilate them: 14 Israel is blessed beyond all peoples with no barrenness among them or livestock after 60 CE/AD 60,000 Roman soldiers obliterated once thriving Jewish towns, none allowed to escape the Roman sword except two men. In 60 CE/AD 60,000 Roman soldiers led by General Vespasian destroyed this Jewish towns. The untouched ruins are the awful price paid in human terms of Magdala, Gamla, in north suffered same fate as Jerusalem prophesied by Jesus, and Masada. Th commander of Jewish Resistance in Galilee Yosef Bar Mattityahu escaped slaughter in Yodfat became historian Flavius Josephus. He wrote 4 books to fill in historical gaps from 0-100 CE/AD like New Testament. Standard text of His Antiquities XV111, 63 contains the most famous passage:
“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man achiever of extraordinary deeds was a teacher of those who accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks as Messiah. Indicted by principal men and Pilate condemned Him crucified, who came to love Him did not cease to do so; for He appeared on third day restored to life, as prophets of God foretold these countless marvelous things about Him. Tribe of Christians named after Him did not disappear to this day. At Passover we rehearse Exodus 12. “And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on lintel of the houses where they eat it. I will pass through the land of Egypt that night and will strike all the first born in the land…Now the blood shall be for you a sign……when I see the blood, I will pass over you…Keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations…Exodus 12:7,12,13. Those believe instructions of Moses obeyed and took action by putting blood of the lamb on door posts and lentils of their humble homes, not all did. Obedience of God after long journey, nation of Israel was born at Sinai and given her Charter of Rights; The Ten Commandments. Let all Christians who say they worship Jesus, LISTEN and OBEY his warnings and admonitions. Remember when you are blessed, you are blessed through Israel, chosen and called to walk before you. Christians are grafted into Christ true olive tree. Israelis saved love God and Jesus’ truth revealed. Jesus returns their first born son and Messiah. “And I will pour on the house of David and on inhabitants of Jerusalem Spirit of grace and supplication: so they shall look upon Me whom they pierced. Yes they will mourn for Him as grieving for a firstborn…Zechariah 12:10. No one can say to the other’ I have no need of you…1 Corinthians 12:21. So Christians pray for willingness to see Jesus through His roots in Jewish people and in His home-Land, Israel. Do not be high minded but fear God …Romans 11;19 Jews and Christians pray for each other so grateful for the millions of dear believing Jews and Christians. Jew and Gentiles grow in wisdom understanding and favour with God and man. So pray and ask LORD God to help during season of Jesus’ Sacrifice. 15 The LORD protects from sickness and will not experience the terrible diseases known in Egypt instead God inflicts it on all those who hate you. 16 You must destroy all people whom the LORD your God is about to deliver over to you so do not pity them or worship their gods for that is snare to you in Deuteronomy 7:14-16. Book of Deuteronomy talks of treatment of Gentiles and of Canaanites by God. To distinguished Gentiles from Canaanites HIS instructions to Israel is to confront people and cities possessing the land of Canaan. Canaanites lived in the nearby cities but Gentiles lived at a distance: 10 When you a approach city to wage war against it, offer it terms of peace. 11 If it accepts terms and submits to you all the people in it become your slaves. 12 If do not accept terms of peace to make war with you lay siege to it. 13 The Lord God will deliver it over to you and you must kill every single male by the sword. 14 The women, little children, cattle all else in city plunder for yourselves as a spoil. Take from enemies so plunder what the LORD your God gives you. 15 You are to deal with all cities located far from you that do not belong to the nearby nations. 16 Cities the LORD God gives you as inheritance do not allow a single living thing to survive. 17 Instead you utterly annihilate them, the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites as the LORD your God commands you, 18 So not to teach you abhorrent ways to worship gods so causing you to sin against the LORD God in Deuteronomy 20:10-18. God ordered annihilation of Canaanites not for living nearby but because of idolatory. Those Canaanites contaminated them with sin so had to be exterminated. Idolatry sin plunged them into depths of depravity like Sodom and Gomorrah so children, animals contaminated to be destroyed.8 Jews after victory became complacent, arrogant, self-righteous, despising the Gentiles. Eager to see all Gentiles perish, as Jonah wanted Ninevites destroyed so opposed extension of God’s grace to the Gentiles an attitude that persisted in the New Testament times:“We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners in Galatians 2:15. This is not attitude of unbelieving Jews, its deeply embedded in the hearts of the apostles, seen from Peter’s resistance to Gentile’s home in Acts 10 and reaction of fellow-apostles to preach gospel to them.9. The Old Testament, New Testament Gospels, Acts, Jews made no distinction between Canaanites pagan or Gentiles. The Jews lumped Gentiles as not deserving God’s blessings. Self-righteous arrogance the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable in Luke 18: 9 Jesus told parable to some confident more righteous so look down on others. 10 “Two men in the temple prayed, one a Pharisee and other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee: ‘God, I thank you I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers or like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tenth of everything I get.’ 13 The tax collector, stood far off, would not look up to heaven beat his chest and said, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you this man went home justified than the Pharisee. All who exalt self will be humbled, but who humbles self is exalted in Luke 18:9-14. Jew and Gentile must acknowledge they are unworthy sinners made righteous by salvation in Christ. Paul’s words in Romans 2 says Jews more responsible and accountable to God because of greater knowledge of Old Testament Scriptures. And so Paul’s attitude after conversion on the road to Damascus changes his pride, arrogance in Philippians 3:1-6 to humility, sinner, saved by grace alone: 12 Grateful to God strengthening him in Christ Jesus our Lord, because considered faithful as put in ministry, 13 though once blasphemer persecutor, arrogant treated with mercy acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 LORD’S grace abundant, brings faith and love in Christ Jesus. 15 Trustworthy so deserves full acceptance for Christ Jesus came in the world to save sinners and the worst of them! 16 Was treated with mercy: so as the worst, Christ Jesus demonstrates His utmost patience, as an example for those going to believe in Him for eternal life in 1 Timothy 1:12-16. Paul himself as chosen vessel for salvation he a devout Jew and example as “chief of sinners,” completely unworthy of salvation. God saved him to show ones like him could be saved. No one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. Paul is a trophy, not of self-righteous works but divine grace. God arranged Abraham and his descendants be a blessing to the whole world.
Law Provides: Gentile Converts
In law of Moses, God made provision for foreigners who embraced Israel’s faith to worship with the Israelites. So before Israelites left Egypt, God’s instructions says foreigner could participate in the observance of the Passover: 48 “When a foreigner lives with you and wants to observe Passover to the LORD, all his males must be circumcised, approach and observe it, and he will be like one born in the land but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49 This law applies to native-born or foreigners living with you in Exodus 12:48-49.10 The foreigner wants to participate in celebration of Passover can be circumcised to enter a covenant relation with Israel’s God. It is not physical circumcision an issue it is a circumcised heart that matters most to God. It is important to distinguish God’s inclusiveness to draw unbelievers to church inviting them to participate in worship and ministry. God provides a way Gentiles enter Israel’s worship but participation requires Gentiles to fully embrace by faith the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus as the one TRUE God, the Creator of all things, God alone. One cannot participate in Israel’s worship without first embracing Israel’s faith in God. It is not surprising God permitted foreigners to participate in celebration of Jewish holidays as Feast of Booths:9 Moses wrote down law given to the Levitical priests, who carry ark of the Lord’s covenant, and all Israel’s elders. 10 He commanded them: “At the end of 7 years appointed time of cancellation of debts, at Feast of Temporary Shelters, 11 when all Israel appears before the LORD your God in the place HE chooses, you must read law before them to their hearing. 12 Gather the people – men, women, and children, the resident foreigners in your villages so they hear and learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully obey all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who have not known this law will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God for as long as you live in land by crossing the Jordan to possess in Deuteronomy 31:9-13. The foreigners invited together with Israel hear reading of law learn to fear God. In the law, God instructs Israel concerning sacrifices, sin offering, atonement of sin for unintentional sins of Israel and for unintentional sins of the foreigners who embraced Him as their God: 22 “‘If you sin unintentionally and do not observe commandments spoken to Moses 23 all the LORD commands by the authority of Moses from day the LORD commanded Moses and your future generations 24 if anything done unintentionally without knowledge of the community, the whole community must prepare a young bull burnt offering for pleasing aroma to the LORD with grain and drink offering, a male goat for purification offering. 25 The priest makes atonement for whole community of Israel to be forgiven, if it was unintentional brought offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD, their purification offering before the LORD, for their unintentional offense. 26 And whole community of Israelites, the resident foreigner who lives among them will be forgiven, since all people involved in unintentional offense’” in Numbers 15:22-26. Contact with people of God results in faith of Gentiles.11 For some of Egyptians believed and entered into God’s blessings with Israelites. At the time of the exodus, some Egyptians feared word of Moses, saved their cattle, and midwives saved the male born sons while others did not.12 Some attached themselves to Israelites, accompanying them to the Promised Land. Jesus is the Ultimate Sacrifice for sin superceding the annual sacrifice of sheep and goats.
13Israelites first entered land of Canaan, along with foreigners worshiping God in 2 groups: half on Mount Gerizim half on Mount Ebal as Moses instructed in Deuteronomy 27:1-8:30. So Joshua built altar LORD God of Israel on Mount Ebal, 31 as Moses, LORD’s servant commands Israelites. Moses said, make altar with uncut stones untouched by iron tool, offered burnt sacrifices and sacrificed tokens of peace. 32 In the presence of Israelites, Joshua inscribed on stones a duplicate of the law written by Moses. 33 All the people, rulers, leaders, judges standing on either side of the ark, in front of Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of Lord. Both resident foreigners, native Israelites were there. Half the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim, other half in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses LORD’s servant instructed to do for a blessing ceremony. 34 Joshua read aloud all the words of the law, including blessings or curses, written in law scroll. 35 Joshua read commandments Moses gave before whole assembly of Israel, women, and children, resident foreigners who lived among them in Joshua 8:30-35. Temple built to facilitate prayers and worship of both Israelites and Gentiles. I find it interesting Solomon dedicated temple to facilitated prayers and worship of the Israelites. A place of prayer for Gentiles to worship God of Israel: 41 Foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation. 42 When they hear great reputation and ability to accomplish mighty deeds, they will come and direct prayers towards this temple. 43 God listened from heavenly dwelling place and answer all prayers of foreigners and all nations of earth acknowledge your reputation, obey you do to people of Israel recognize this temple I built belongs to you in 1 Kings 8:41-43. Old Testament prophets spoke of Coming of Messiah as a source of blessing for the world, and not just for Jews alone: 3 No foreigner who is a follower of the Lord should say, ‘The Lord will certainly exclude me from His people.’ Eunuch should not say, ‘Look, I am like dried-up tree. 4 This is what the Lord says: “The eunuchs who observe MY Sabbaths and chooses to please ME and faithful to MY covenant, 5 I will set up in MY temple as MY walls monument better than sons, daughters. I set up permanent monument for them that remains. 6 As foreigners become followers of the LORD and serve HIM, love name of the LORD as HIS servants, observe Sabbath so not defile it, faithful to MY covenant 7 I will bring them to MY Holy Mountain make them happy in temple where people pray to ME. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices accepted on MY altar, for MY temple known as the temple all nations pray in Isaiah 56:3-7. Our Lord was disturbed by way temple misused in His time to exclude Gentiles: 12 Jesus enters temple area and drove out all those who selling and buying in the temple courts, and turned over tables of money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 And He said, “It is written, ‘My house is called house of prayer but turned into den of robbers Matthew 21:12-13. And Isaiah and prophets said salvation of all Gentiles is through Coming Messiah: 1 “Arise! Shine! As your light arrives! The splendour of the LORD shines on you! 2 For, look, darkness covers the earth and deep darkness covers nations the LORD shines on you; HIS splendour appears over you. 3 Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light in Isaiah 60:1-3. 18 “I hate deeds thought, so coming to gather nations, ethnic groups will come witness My splendour. 19 I will perform a mighty act among them send all who remain to nations to Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal, Javan distant coastlands who did not hear or see my splendour. To tell nations of my splendour. 20 They will bring all your countrymen from all nations as offering to the LORD. They will bring them on horses, in chariots, in wagons, on mules, on camels to MY HOLY Hill Jerusalem,” says the LORD, as Israelites bring offerings to the LORD’s temple in pure containers. 21 And I will choose some as priests and Levites,” says the LORD. 22 “As the new heavens and the new earth I am about to make will remain standing before me,” says the Lord, so your descendants and your name will remain. 23 From one month to next, from one Sabbath to next, all people will come to worship me,” says the LORD (Isaiah 66:18-23. 21 Divide land for yourselves among the tribes of Israel. 22 Allot it inheritance among yourselves and for foreigners who reside among you who fathered sons among you. Treat them as native-born among people of Israel; they will be allotted inheritance with you among tribes of Israel. 23 Whatever tribes the foreigner resides in there you give him his inheritance,” declares the sovereign Lord in Ezekiel 47:21-23.
Jews A Light to Gentiles, World
Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12:1-3 says nation Israel is a source of blessing to Gentiles. Israel is called to be a “light to the Gentiles but because Israel failed to accomplish this mission so our Lord came in the flesh to fulfill that mission. Israel’s purpose is to be a “light to the Gentiles in definition in Isaiah 58. So 6 this is kind of fast God wants to remove sinful chains, to tear away ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free oppressed, to break burdensome yokes. 7 To share food with the hungry to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe him! Do not turn back on own flesh and blood! 8 Then your light will shine like sunrise; your restoration quickly arrives; your Godly behavior will go before you, and the LORD’s splendour will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call out, and the LORD will respond; you will cry out and he will reply, ‘Here I am.’ Remove the burdensome yoke from you and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully. 10 You must help the hungry and feed the oppressed so your light will dispel the darkness, and your darkness will be transformed to noonday. 11 The LORD will continually lead you; HE will feed you in parched regions. He will give you renewed strength like a well-watered garden a spring continually producing water. 12 Your perpetual ruins will be rebuilt; you will reestablish the ancient foundations. You will be called, ‘The one who repairs broken walls, the one who makes the streets inhabitable again in Isaiah 58:6-12.14
Israel’s “fasting” ritualistic observances an offense to God because heart of true worship was lacking. First chapter of Isaiah said Israel continued to perform religious rituals practiced and failed to defend orphans or care for widows.15 True fasting not a temporary period of self-denial unbridled self-indulgence, true fasting is love for God and love for one’s neighbour. True fasting seeks the liberation of those in bondage including oppression by men and bondage to sin. True fasting not denying self food for a time without bread given to someone in desperate need of it. Its to deny oneself empty self for Holy Spirit of God to take over.16 Sabbath is kind of fast set aside the pursuit of personal pleasure to have time to delight in the LORD.17 Caring for poor and oppressed not Old Testament obligation: Pure and undefiled religion before Father God is to care for orphans and widows in misfortune, keep oneself unstained by the world in James 1:27.
Old/New Testament Evangelism
Evangelism in the Old Testament from evangelism and New Testament is: Old Testament evangelism says, Come and New Testament evangelism says, “Go.” 3 Nations come to your light kings to your bright light in Isaiah 60:3. 18 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to Me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Remember, I am with you always to the end of age in Matthew 28:18-20. In the New Testament Jesus invites sinners to come to Him for their salvation.18 in Old Testament, Jonah is commanded to go preach to Gentiles. In Old Testament Gentiles joined Israelites as Rahab and Ruth did by prophets in Israel as Naaman the leper did, came to Jerusalem and temple Solomon built in 1 Kings 8:41-43. Old Testament lesson, is Gentiles drawn to land of Israel, blessed find favour with God. So Old Testament law facilitated Gentile evangelism by making Israel the haven for foreigners.
Law Says Israel’s Light Bearing
Old Testament law includes foreigners among Israelites shown charity. When you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. You must leave themfor the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God in Leviticus 23:22. In Leviticus 19, the Israelites were instructed to love their fellow-Israelites: “You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord in Leviticus 19:18. In Leviticus 19, Israel commanded to love foreign neighbours as themselves: 33 When a foreigner resides with you in your land,you must not oppress him. 34 The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you; so you must love him as yourself, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God in Leviticus 19:33-34. The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 in the light of both of these texts. The lawyer seeks to put Jesus to the test by asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by asking this lawyer what the law required, to which he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself” in Luke 10:27. The lawyer ill at ease seeks way out asking Jesus to define term “neighbour as Leviticus 19:18 but Jesus pressed further, to the definition of Leviticus 19:33-34. So his neighbour was in need, or a foreigner like Samaritan. Fellow-Jews in great need so act neighbourly to enemies so Old Testament allowed Israelites to minister to needy Gentiles as required. The foreigner is vulnerable members of society, widows and orphans so widow without husband so defend, protect her, provide for her and orphans, parents, and foreigner with no legal standing or rights, vulnerable in distant lands. Old Testament law, this should not have been the case for a foreigner who lived in Israel. The law assured foreigners the same legal standing as the Israelite:
Both a foreigner and native citizen, I am the LORD your God says Leviticus 24:22. 19.16 You judges pay attention to issues of fellow citizens, judge fairly with one citizen or another resident foreigner. 17 Do not discriminate in judgment, but hear lowly and great not intimidated by human beings, for judgment belongs to God. If matter adjudicated too difficult bring to me for hearing in Deuteronomy 1:16-17. Gentiles come to faith “coming,” to Israel Old Testament draws Gentiles to faith not drive away as unworthy heathens. If obeyed, draws Gentiles to Israel and to faith if people of God live in obedience to God’s law so prosper: 1 “If you indeed obey the LORD your God and careful to observe commandments given you today the LORD your God will elevate you above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come to you in abundance if you obey the Lord your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. 4 Your children will be blessed, as well as the produce of your soil, the offspring of your livestock, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your mixing bowl will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7 The LORD will cause your enemies who attack you to be struck down before you; they will attack you from one direction but flee from you in seven different directions. 8 The LORD will decree blessing in your barns and in everything you do, HE will bless you in the land HE is giving you. 9 The LORD designates HIS Holy people as promised you, if you keep HIS commandments to obey HIM. 10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see you belong to the LORD, and they will respect you. 11 The LORD will greatly multiply your children, the offspring of your livestock, and produce of your soil in the land HE promised your ancestors to give you. 12 The LORD will open HIS good treasure house, the heavens, to give you rain for the land in its season and to bless all you do; you will lend to many nations but you will not borrow from any. 13 The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be up at the top and not at bottom, if you obey commandments urging you today to be careful to do. 14 Do not turn from all commandments I am giving you today, to the right or left or pursue other gods to worship them in Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
If Israel lived in obedience to God’s law, He promised to bless them greatly. An obedient people means a prosperous land. In the law, God commanded the Israelites to set aside some abundance to minister to needs of poor, Gentiles foreigners poor. Gentiles will be safe, secure in land of Israel not oppressed or victimized, as immigrants in the world. The law required Israel treat foreigners with respect and as people with same civil rights. Israel like all nations to be a place of prosperity, generosity, safety to Gentiles gravitated. Those who “came” to Israel and found salvation like Rahab, the harlot, believed God was with Israel. She joined Israel not own people saved physically and spiritually.20 Ruth too came to faith in the God of Israel, and thus attached herself to Naomi and her people.21And then there was Naaman, the leper, who was also the commander of the Syrian army. He came seeking a cure for leprosy and left believer in God of Israel.22 Naaman did not remain in Israel but returned to Syria, took some Israelite soil with him.23 Gentiles who attached themselves to David like Uriah the Hittite in Israel, married an Israelite woman, one of David’s most competent and trusted warriors.24 Other Gentiles attached themselves to David.25One is favourite one Ittai the Gittite:.19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come with us? Go and stay with new king, for you are a foreigner and exile from your own country. 20 It seems you arrived yesterday, today should I make you wander around by going with us? I go where I go. But you go back and take your men with you. May genuine loyal love protect you!” 21 But Ittai replied to king, “As surely as the Lord lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord king is, whether dead or alive I will be as well!” 22 So David said to Ittai, “Come along.” So Ittai the Gittite went along, accompanied by all his men and dependents with him (2 Samuel 15:19-22.
Like Ruth, Ittai the Gittite remains with David not desert him. David made Ittai the Gittite commander of one-third of his forces going out against Absalom.26. A Gentile came to Israel as queen Sheba, recorded in 1 Kings 10, not poor and not oppressed woman of great means heard of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth drawn to Israel into Jerusalem: The queen of Sheba heard fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions in 1 Kings 10:1. Solomon an exceedingly wise man, whose wisdom came from the LORD.27 Queen of Sheba presented difficult questions to Solomon, wisdom in responss surpassed reports that drew her to Jerusalem in the first place, she acknowledged work of God in his life: 6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight was true! 7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear half the story! Your wisdom and wealth surpass report to me. 8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” 10 She gave the king 120 talents of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched (1 Kings 10:6-10).
God set Abraham and offspring Israel apart for blessing so a source of blessing to the nations. God did not set Israel apart to save Jews but send them to rest the world. Israel sey apart is blessed so in turn become a channel of blessing to the nations. Salvation of Gentile, Rahab, Ruth, Naaman, and other Gentiles not meant to be viewed exception. Drawing Gentiles to Israel to faith is the rule not exception. God did not call Israel into existence to be a “reservoir”of all God’s blessings, to store it for themselves and share sparingly at their discretion. So Israel is a “river” of God’s blessings to pass through His chosen people to the other nations. Jesus condemns all those purposed to build bigger barns to hoard God’s blessings; so become distribution channels for gospel to be conveyed to those perishing. 16 He told a parable: “The land of certain rich man produced an abundant crop, 17 so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This night your life will be demanded from you, but who will get what you prepared yourself?’ 21 So it is with all who stores up riches for self, but not rich toward God in Luke 12:16-21.28 Like Israel of old, we are not owners of God’s blessings but stewards of God’s blessings. Do not hoard God’s blessings,29 bury them,30 or sell them for profit.31 We are to give freely.32 To do otherwise of all God entrusts to us is deceive ourselves we are blessed so we are better deserving than others. God’s blessings are the manifestation of His grace not of our goodness. The Christian life is relay race to pass the baton on in order to win. A runner sprinting ahead of his competitors passes baton to next member of his team. The only way to win race is to pass on blessings God has entrusted to us. The blessings of God are not for the elite, but for those who are in great need and know it. Jesus was criticized for associating with sinners than catering to elite, His response was simple and direct: 11 When Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard this he said, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but those who are sick do. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners in Matthew 9:11-13. Queen of Sheba was drawn to Israel to observe wisdom of Solomon for herself, most came to Israel in desperate need.and they knew it. God’s law made special provision for weakest, neediest, most vulnerable segment of society: widows, orphans, and foreigners. Focus on the foreigners is a matter of heated debate in countries displacing them. Millions of dollars raised in America and elsewhere to foreign missionaries to places so they proclaim the gospel. If leading to faith in Christ lead fellow-countrymen too to faith as well and the foreign students. If those who came to the U.S. as students met Jesus Christ as Saviour through the witness of faithful Christians who reach out during their stay tudents separated from home, families and culture often curious learn about American culture, and religious beliefs. Open door families in our church with volunteers working with International Students. There are opportunities for many more to build relationships with foreign students. So Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, states near Mexico after destruction of twin towers in New York City on 9/11, feelings run strong about problem of immigrants. No simple political or legal solutions for problem but confident the vast majority of visitors, peace-loving people wish to provide a livelihood for themselves and their families, greatest need is a Saviour. Foreigners in our country are a field “ripe for harvest,”33 Old Testament law instructs we should respond to them and needs. As light to our neighbours involves sharing good news of Jesus Christ. Need for a Saviour is man’s greatest need so meeting this need, address physical needs of those hungry or poorly clothed. Care for their physical needs open door for meeting greatest need. Jesus preached gospel; He fed hungry and healed sick. We should do no less. We pray God strengthens us to obey Him and help our neighbours in Jesus Name to Glory of God. Gentiles in turn bless Israel applying golden rule of loving one another. The Jews and Arabs living side by side in Israel since 1978 as a small community of Wahat al-Salam, Neve Shalom – meaning “oasis of peace” was founded by 4 families of Jews and Arabs on a hill-top between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In pioneering experiment peaceful co-existence within long-term Middle East conflict. Four decades on, it is now home to more than 60 families. 2 long-standing residents, are called Nava Sonnenschein and Daoud Boulus, spoke to share their experiences.
1 Genesis 12:1-3
11 Rahab, Ruth, and Naaman are some of the most obvious.
19 In the context, this refers to offenses against God or society such as cursing, blasphemy, murder, and personal injury.
28 I believe “being rich toward God” is, in this context, being rich toward those in need.
Copyright © 2007 by Community Bible Chapel, 418 E. Main Street, Richardson, TX 75081. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 13 in the Following Jesus in a Me-First World series prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on January 21, 2007. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit. The Chapel believes the material presented herein to be true to the teaching of Scripture, and desires to further, not restrict, its potential use as an aid in the study of God’s Word. Publication of this material is a grace ministry of Community Bible Chapel. Related Topics: Spiritual Life
Sibling rivalry started in the beginning with two brothers in Scripture, Cain and Abel. Other sibling rivalries in the Bible includes Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Leah and Rachel, Joseph and his brothers, Abimelech and his brothers. Sibling rivalry results in advised, sinful action instead of obeying Godly desires to live in harmony and love with each other according to Psalm 133:1. Love is basis of family love Christian believers are to treat each other by in Hebrews 13:2 and 1 Peter 3:8. Wherever Spirit of the LORD God is there is a spirit of unity love and harmony. On the contrary the world promotes and encourages sibling rivalry often portrayed as a bit of fun or banter. Cartoons, films influence society so brothers and sisters model life based on such unrealistic expectations so fight each other, lie and trick each other, and treat each other horribly at times. They forget actors pretend to be a ‘family’ on TV so go home to enjoy real families. So strive, bitterness, unforgiveness impacts children parents raise to be Christlike to look to Jesus as most important example on how to behave and treat others well. The golden rule soon dissipates into the attitudes and arguments reinforced by the separation of families into the class system. Children relate more with their age group peer classmates than a blood family members. Therefore the root of rivalry is subtle but ingrained so festers into full-blown sibling rivalry. Jesus said the two most important commandments is love God and love our neighbours as a requirement in Matthew 22:36-40. We know Jesus means family, friends and colleagues close to us on daily basis. So a home is a place children learn to love each other and love covers multitudes of sins and wrongs in Proverbs 10:12. It is in the home family deals with sibling rivalry to make peace and walk in life.Sibling rivalry stems from fear jealousy, selfishness and the perceived parental partiality. Sibling rivalry between Cain and Abel was caused by Cain’s jealousy over God’s acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice in Genesis 4:3-5. Cain focussed on Abel’s achievement, good success instead of an opportunity to reflect deeply to learn to change and take action as Abel did. The vitriol of rejection led to his murderous sibling rivalry to kill Abel who did not do anything to him. He unleashed anger on innocent brother in an envious rage. In Gideon’s family, Abimelech’s selfish desire to rule as the king in Judges 9:1-6 made him eliminate his potential rivals. Sibling rivalry in Jacob’s sons, fueled by Jacob’s recognition of God’s call upon Joseph’s life and love for Rachel. Duped to marry Leah knew Joseph was robbed as FirstBorn by grandfather’s tricks to marry Leah. The Spirit of God in Joseph stood out so approved and endorsed by Jacob made Joseph’s spirit the source of accusation of favouritism of Joseph in Genesis 37:3-4. The coat of many colours represented rainbow symbols of God’s interwoven colours Joseph wore. So the misguided siblings misunderstood Jacob for supporting Joseph’s necessary role. It eventually paid off in circumstances that saved whole world from famine. So the causes of sibling rivalry can be truly overcome by kindness, respect and love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Communication is essential to express any dark thoughts and feelings of resentments between the siblings. Parents should insist their children treat each other with kindness, respect, love and parents should do the same. Bible teaches to love one another in Ephesians 4:3, challenge to confront negative behaviours to avoid bitterness. And encourage forgiveness and positive behaviors to cultivate Spirit of love. Get rid of bitterness, rage anger, brawling and slander, every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other as Christ and God forgives us. Again Philippians 2:3-4, says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you look to the interests of others to build all up.Joseph and his brothers involved sibling rivalry of jealousy and hatred so some horrible things happened to Joseph. But the story had happy ending for Joseph shows genuine and true brotherly love, forgiveness, God’s sovereignty goodness in Genesis 37:50. Joseph’s treatment by his brothers led to the good example of kindness, humility, love, forgiveness. It was ordained by God Joseph’s crucial role in life preserved 12 tribes of sons of Jacob now the nation of Israel. Victory of God’s Command in Joseph triumphed over attempted destruction of Tribes of Jacob’s family. Within the reach of God’s plans is always seeds of rivalry to try to ruin God’s purpose for mankind. Spirit of God in Joseph preserved or protected Joseph in spite of adversity. What devil meant for evil God turned into good to bless, save all nations on earth. Rivalry used to attack, harass and to undermine Joseph by siblings is channel God turns into supernatural miracle interventions to save the misguided people. Cain and Abel offered Minchah but Cain and his offering not accepted as Able’s offering was. Abel offered fat portion firstfruit of his flock but Bible says Cain’s fruit produce brought from ground. So Cain did not offer Minchah in faith or with a right attitude as in Hebrews 11:1–2, 4; 1 John 3:12. Cain became bitter for God rejected him and his offering yet God graciously told him to do well so to be accepted. Cain rejected Adonai’s advice so things went from bad to worse, did not repent, rebelled killing his brother. If you do right thing will be accepted if you do not do what is right, sin is at the door trying so reject sin in Genesis 4:7.
Yosef and Nakdimon carefully prepared
Yeshua’s body for burial, when women came to tomb after High Shabbat ended, it was empty and burial linen left to the side. Yeshua had already risen from the dead. Yosef and Nakdimon performed mitzvah commandment of preparing Yeshua’s body for burial, they were performing the duties of the Khevra Kadisha burial organization to ensure the body is correctly prepared for burial protected from desecration. Wrapping Yeshua in linen practicing the custom of takhrikhim, by providing proper burial garment for the deceased. Sabbath was quickly approaching so insufficient time to complete preparations before Holy Day of Passover began so Yeshua placed in a sealed tomb until close of the High Sabbath day. Yeshua was buried in rich man’s tomb in fulfillment of Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53: “He was given a grave with the wicked, and with rich in His death, though He did no violence or any deceit in His mouth in Isaiah 53:9.
Garden Tomb in Jerusalem important as Yeshua’s burial site where Jesus arose from the dead to gain victory over death. Hallelujah! Both spiritual and physical death defeated in Yeshua’s Victory as Paul said: Messiah indeed is raised from the dead as the firstfruits bikkurim of those fallen asleep (dead). Since death came through Adam so the resurrection from death comes through Jesus. In Adam all die so in Messiah all made alive in 1 Corinthians 15:20–22. It is this Good News shared with all the people on earth to be sure of their place in olam habah world to come in eternal heaven and earth. Since death is result of sin, Yeshua is Sinless so is qualified to redeem from sin. Yeshua Messiah is our Passover Lamb Sacrificed to save us in 1 Corinthians 5:7. And Yeshua’s death burial, resurrection occurs in Hebraic context so Jewish customs surrounding death, burial, mourning or resurrection further helps is to understand Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. So God’z Creation, including all mankind was not intended to suffer death. First book of Genesis, reveals death is result of judgment of God upon mankind for spiritual fall in Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve failed test of obedience, God said: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat food until returned to the ground adamah since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return in Genesis 3:19.
The name Adam from word ground means earth adamah so Adam means earth or ground. Hebrew word reveals God’s spiritual truth sin brought physical death to mankind so returned to the earth as adamah. Ends person’s physical existence on earth but spirit separates from body back to God in heaven. Yeshua our Saviour death as sinless Saviour who died took upon Himself all sins of world and all guilt with it. Jesus came to take away all sins in Him with no sin in 1 John 3:5. Sibling rivalry between Ishmael and Isaac spill over so Hagar abandoned with her son Ishmael born with Abraham arranged by Sarah. Sibling rivalry wars continues today between Judaism, Ishmaelites and Christianity contesting over Abraham’s Covenant with God and Jerusalem. The generations of descendants of Abraham still at enmity over Holy Temple Mount. The City of God, through David’s throne is given to KING Jesus to Rule and Reign. Jesus the Lamb of God, Prince of peace comes to restore peace in Jerusalem in Israel forever so all will love each other.
Yeshua’s death is not the final word as He promised death did not hold Him in the grave in John 2:18–22; Matthew 26:31–32. “He was delivered to death for our sins and raised to life for our justification in Romans 4:25. Sting of death’s sin in 1 Corinthians 15:56 put in Yeshua so death lost its sting! We live confidently without fear of death, dying, we know we pass from this life so our lives continue eternally with our loving Father in Heaven. The divide and rule tactics satan uses to try to destroy Jesus, Joseph’s family and believers is turned to good by God for such a time a this. It is often method used to try to create a hurt or pain among families but God is control on the throne so helps turn all strategies intended by God’s enemies to God to save many through Testimony and Blood of the Lamb Jesus. Easter is a family gathering celebrating Jesus by family reunion to strengthen family bonds in God in Christ Jesus. Prayer, forgiveness and love Jesus redeems families for eternity in heaven. Sibling rivalry by relentless generations promised Isaac and firstborn Ishmael led to global wars nations joined to fight till Armageddon. God decides to put KING Jesus on King David’s throne to solve this problem once and for all. This is why Jerusalem City of God is a bone of contention between all the nations siding with factions of the sibling rivalry to take city over.It is this endless conflict that led to Jesus appointed by God to overrule all to set up HIS Millenial Kingdom ruled by Christ. After Jesus returns to Jerusalem battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 takes place then the New Heaven comes to Jerusalem under God Almighty Yahweh.
There are 66 Books in the Bible: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek but the entire Bible translated into more than 530 languages, some parts into more than 2800 languages. The Bible is the Word of God written over 1500 years from 1450 B.C, before Christ to the year 95 A.D, after Christ (Anno Domino). Bible is written by 40 different people inspired by the Holy Spirit. Writers of the Bible are from diverse backgrounds like shepherds, fishermen, military men, some kings, prime minister, a royal cupbearer, a doctor, tax collector, tentmaker plus other people from different walks of life. The Bible is available in so many languages in the entire world so get a version for yourself. International Day of the Bible November 23 is a day set aside to invite people around the world to publicly read Scripture and share their favourite Bible verses or passage during the noon hour of their local time.I went to *Genesis* hotel through the *Exodus* road. On way saw *Leviticus* recording the *Numbers* of people at *Deuteronomy,* *Joshua* was waiting at Beautiful gate for the *Judges* to see *Ruth* calling *”Samuel,* *Samuel.* At *first and second Kings,* *Chronicles 1 & 2,* were coming to visit *Ezra* with *Nehemiah,* *Esther* on misfortune of *Job* their brother. So started singing *Psalms* teaching children *Proverbs* *Ecclesiastes* and *Songs of Solomon.* Coincides with period *Isaiah* engaged with *Jeremiah’s* *Lamentations* and together with *Ezekiel and Daniel* and friends but *Amos* and *Obadiah* not around. 3 days later, *Hosea* *Joel* and *Jonah* travelled on ship with *Micah* and *Nahum* to Jerusalem *Habakkuk* visited *Zephaniah* who introduced him to *Haggai* a friend of *Zechariah* whose cousin is *Malachi.* By tradition, *Matthew, Mark, Luke, John* involved in *Acts* of *Romans* behaved like *1st Corinthians* group. *2nd Corinthians* group were always at loggerhead with *Galatians.* They realized *Ephesians,* *Philippians* are close to *Colossians,* suggests *first Thessalonians* visit on the *second Thessalonians* visit. They should see *first and second Timothy* brothers gone to the house of *Titus* to teach *Philemon’s* younger brother to read and write in *Hebrew.* On hearing this *James* asked *Peter* twice to tell *three Johns* to disclose to *Jude* *Revelations* of Bible journey. So enjoy the Bible forward to Christians globally.
Use hashtag #BibleCelebration the top 100 favorite Bible verses often searched for on the website by millions of people from more than 200 countries. These visitors to Bible verses come to freely read, hear, search, study, compare, & share the Bible in more than 200 Bible versions & more than 70 languages. Millions more downloaded the Bible Gateway App to keep the Scripture with them on smartphones and tablets wherever they go. So no excuse for not reading your Bible. Bible helps to gain faith and confidence in God to feed the soul with Godly food. We need source of help in God’s words to withstand storms of life to endure the relentless buffeting winds of life. The joy of the LORD is our strength and we assured of blessings of God in Christ daily. The Bible is anchor of hope to hold onto God in adversity so rejoice in the LORD God in good times of life. Remember to thank to celebrate our Father God in Jesus Name.
International Bible Day, November 23th @IntlDayofBible.
BE CREATIVE USE YOUR IMAGINATION TO WRITE YOUR OWN BIBLE JOURNEY.
At Armageddon battle Jesus defeats His enemies of armies attacking Jerusalem to set up His Kingdom to reign on earth. Other nations left behind on earth after Rapture and in millenial Reign of Christ with the saints to visit Israel to worship King Jesus. Those who refuse to do so will have no rain as the word of God says in the Bible. At the end of millenial reign of Jesus Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 will gather together with the nations to attack Jesus spurred by the release of satan after thousand years bound. The nations are many like sand on seashore however God sends fire from heaven to consume them forever. Creates perfect peace on earth and perfectly Holy State for the New Jerusalem from heaven to come down to the New Earth. Almighty LORD GOD Yahweh will come down to Dwell among wo/men on earth because all things are made new so worthy of God’s presence on earth. After the 6000 years from time of Adam and Eve now sin and evil is forever finally wiped out so a perfectly very good human beings are restored according to God’s original plan. The battle is finally over, evil and death destroyed so Saints live happily ever after on earth. Those who rejected Christ and judged before the great white throne cast into hellfire tormented by the WRATH of God and Wrath of Christ. Jesus sets up a literal physical Kingdom on earth not symbolic metaphor. God means exactly what HE says in the Bible so ensure you are God’s Children.