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Archive for the ‘Bible Characters’ Category

LittleBeeBefore meeting Christ, Saul (who later became the Apostle Paul) “breathed” anger and murder against Christ’s early followers.

When he had his own encounter Jesus told him an interesting fact still true today.

“I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” – Jesus (Acts 9:5b)

The word translated, “pricks”, literally means a “stinger” — like on a bee or scorpion.

Abusing Christ’s followers is seen by God as personal assault against himself and the one really getting hurt is the abuser.

fritz

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goldencalf

When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, “Do something” – Exodus 32:1

When you don’t know what to do, sometimes the very worst thing is to just do something!

– Fritz

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mendedheart

“Bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite. Abraham and his wife Sarah, Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried there; I also buried Leah there.” – Jacob (Genesis 49:29-31)

I always felt sorry for Leah — the wife not chosen, always losing in a rivalry with her sister over the affections of her husband.

Then there’s this verse.

The cave where Jacob wanted to be buried was significant because it was the first place in “promised land” his people actually owned — a stake in the ground, so to speak, of things to come. There the faithful were buried as a statement that they belonged and as a place of honor.

We notice it wasn’t Rachel but Leah so honored by Jacob. It points to a loving relationship prior to her passing. There, beside his first wife, Jacob chose to await the change.

Relationships heal and just because they go through rocky times, faith, forgiveness, perseverance make a difference.

– fritz

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josephbrothers

in jail …[Jacob’s children] started talking among themselves. “Now we’re paying for what we did to our brother…. Reuben broke in. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t hurt the boy’? But no, you wouldn’t listen. And now we’re paying for his murder.” — Genesis 42:17-22

[Many years later after their father died] Joseph’s brothers talked among themselves: “What if Joseph is carrying a grudge and decides to pay us back…?” — Genesis 50:14-15

Jacob’s children did a terrible thing to their brother. From then on every time something bad happened they remembered their guilt like it was yesterday. Though they were later forgiven it still haunted them.

Guilt is like that, unable to be completely ignored it’s always in the back of the mind stirring up doubt, blame, fear — even when forgiven by the person wronged it remains.

The only release is to pay for it. Only justice removes guilt.

Justice is something we don’t have but Jesus does. He paid the price for sin and guilt, though he had none, and he offers it to those who ask him for it.

“It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. …It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

–fritz.

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“Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” — God (Job 1:8)

When one thinks of suffering, Job traditionally comes to mind. Even God said that among people he was “perfect”. Yet, God allowed Job to go through troubles that make thinking people cringe. Why?

God does not answer that question directly but, like a good teacher, he leaves clues for those who really want to know.

Among those “in the earth” Job was as good as it gets but there has only ever been one completely free of sin and self — and it wasn’t you, me, or even Job.

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” — God (Ezekiel 22:30)

As good as Job was, there were things that could only be learned through extended emotionally difficult times. During these seasons compassion is learned, God’s ability and desire to do all the carrying, all the heavy lifting, all the providing is learned. We learn how to focus on God’s approval, to be attentive to his ways. We learn how to pray.

These things we must learn to walk with God and they can only be learned by walking with God through suffering. Strange as it may seem, it was God’s goodness that allowed Job to go through the difficulties. Job not only ended up with twice as much as he had before but he ended up with a changed heart, too.

Something to think about.

— fritz.
Related Post: “Job’s Misunderstanding” – May 31, 2011

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No Grandchildren

Medieval stained glass depicting Daniel, Job and Noah being crowned by angels.

“These three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, … should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness … they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. — Ezekiel 14:13-16

God has no “grandchildren”.

Every person can become a child of God through faith in Christ but no one can depend on their parent’s faith to get them into heaven nor obtain God’s blessing here.

— fritz

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Medieval stained glass depicting Daniel, Job and Noah being crowned by angels.

“If I make wild animals go through the country … or bring war … or visit a deadly disease … pouring out my lethal anger, killing both people and animals, and Noah, Daniel, and Job happened to be alive at the time … not a son, not a daughter, would be rescued. Only these three would be delivered because of their righteousness.” — Ezekiel 14:12-20 (MESSAGE)

A sobering message through Ezekiel (the prophet best known for strange visions of wheels and eyes) — but for those who read between the lines there’s a message of hope!

There is protection from the wrath of God, a promise of deliverance for those who, like Noah, Daniel, and Job, live by faith and follow God’s righteousness.

“God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials. And he knows how to hold the feet of the wicked to the fire until Judgment Day. — 2nd Peter 2:6-9 (MESSAGE)

— fritz

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