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About Anna

A Born-again child of God striving to share God's truths.

The Women in Samson’s Life

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Samson’s Mother – A Woman of Confidence

We are not told Samson’s mother’s name. Only that she was the wife of Manoah, a man of Zorah-west of Jerusalem-of the tribe of Dan, and that she was barren – Judges 13:2. She was humbly trying to accept the fact that she would have no children to keep her memory alive. One day while out in the field, an Angel of the Lord came to her and prophesied that she would bear a son who would deliver Israel from the heavy-handed Philistines. The Angel told her that she was not to drink wine nor strong drink, and she was not to eat any unclean thing – Judges 13:4.

Samson’s mother and Manoah were obviously God-fearing believers, but the Angel’s prophecy seemed almost too good to be true. She told her husband all that the Angel said, and Manoah prayed that the Man of God would return in order to “teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born” – Judges 13:8. He wanted to hear it for himself. The Angel did return for a third time to repeat the rules of the Nazirite vow: no wine or fruit, no razor was ever to touch his head, and no touching of anything unclean.

Although this woman may have been uneducated and dependent upon her husband, as a believer and an expectant mother, she had no trouble complying with the instruction of the heavenly messenger. Manoah made an offering to God, on the spot, “and as the flame ascended, the Angel went with it. Terrified, the two fell on their faces to the ground” – Judges 13:19, 20.

The revelation of the supernatural was required for a depraved society such as theirs, and the dramatic display confirmed God’s supernatural intervention, no doubt answering their prayers. When Manoah expressed his fear that they themselves would die because they had seen God, his wife demonstrated her confidence in God: “If the LORD were pleased to kill us, He would not have received a burnt offering.” – Judges 13:23.

Their promised son, Samson (meaning “sunlike” or “splendor”), chose a lifestyle reflecting the fallen nature of his world; nevertheless, God used him to restrain the Philistines. As a result, his name is found with the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11:32.

The disappointment of barrenness was transformed into the joy of motherhood. Though grateful for a son of such unusual strength, this humble mother must also have grieved over Samson’s selfishness and disobedience to God, as all mothers do when they see their children straying into the fallen world. Certainly, his mother’s prayers and nurturing played a part in the contribution Samson made as a deliverer of his people.

This unnamed woman will be remembered as a believing woman who left her testimony: Every woman must not only listen for God’s direction, but also obey Him, even in the minutest detail – Judges 13:14 “She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.” God’s holy angels are poised to bring about His will even when we least expect it.

Samson’s Heathen Bride

This impressive woman from Timnah captured Samson’s affection with her beauty and charm, and she, too, was most likely infatuated with his strength and wit. They married hastily and without their parents’ approval. The marriage was doomed from the beginning because of competing loyalties which pulled at the young couple, as well as selfishness and immaturity on both their parts.

The Timnite had remained in her parents’ home after her wedding, and would receive occasional visits from her husband. These pagans practiced what is called a metronymic  marriage which means the husband was viewed as having joined his wife’s family, and in theory he was subservient to his wife’s father. Any children born of the marriage were considered members of the mother’s family. These customs totally went against all that God Jehovah made marriage to be.

This woman was most concerned with her own self-preservation. Just as Samson, she was accustomed to getting her own way, if by no other means, through manipulating with her tears and whining – Judges 14:2, 3, 16, 17 “And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well…And Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee? And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.”

She used all of her skills of manipulation, including a week of tears, to meet the demands of her countrymen, knowing all the while that they planned evil against her husband. When Samson finally trusted her with his secret, she blatantly, and seemingly without remorse, betrayed him. She was under threat for the lives of herself and her family, but in the end, perhaps because of her own wrong choices, all their lives were lost – Judges 15:6 “Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.” Who knows what protection Samson might have given the family if only his wife had communicated her fears to him. But of course since they jumped quickly into a marriage based on infatuation, they had no friendship or loyalty of any kind for each other. They did not take time to bond.

Both the Timnite and Samson erred when they rushed into the serious commitment of marriage based upon “love at first sight” – Judges 14:2,3. Neither had left father and mother in order to give primary loyalty to the other as taught in Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Of course, it is only common sense that the same goes for the woman. Neither one of them reached beyond self to be concerned about the best interest of the other as it says in Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Neither of them even considered the consequences of being joined to another who did not have the same spiritual commitments – Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” We are not to be in-equally yoked.

Marriage to a foreign woman who was not committed to the God of Israel was strictly forbidden because intermarriage was a huge factor in the destruction of the nation – Deuteronomy 7:1-4 “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” Judges 3:5, 6 “And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.” They turned away from God Jehovah.

Not only was Samson an Israelite and thus committed to Yahweh, but he was also a Nazirite, therefore he was set apart by God in a special way. For a judge to fail in this area shows the far-reaching result of spiritual apathy. This marriage put Samson on the road to estrangement from Yahweh; yet only the Lord could have given wisdom and imparted the love needed to overcome the overwhelming obstacles that faced Samson and the Timnite in their challenging marriage.

Delilah – A Teasing Temptress

Samson and Delilah are one of the most well-known couples in the Bible. Samson is known for his strength; Delilah is known for her seductive manipulation. (It appears that Samson had a weakness for seductive and manipulative women.)

Delilah lived in a small village near Samson’s hometown. She was probably Philistine, although her name is Semitic. She may have been a temple prostitute. Apparently Samson had been visiting her quite often, and their relationship became known to the Philistine leaders. They went to Delilah with an offer that she could not refuse.

Samson’s background, his upbringing, and his own experience should have taught him to stay away from foreign entanglements, but it is clear that Samson felt an emotional attachment to Delilah. No evidence exists that she felt personal admiration or affection for him. On the contrary, she clearly was motivated by greed; she was perfectly willing to use all of her charming seductiveness (which apparently was considerable) to earn a large cash bonus. She was only focused on how she would be set for life.

The ingredients for disaster were in place: a morally weak man with uncontrollable sexual passions; a seductive temptress motivated by greed; a group of foreign leaders with unlimited funds and the strong conviction that their national security perhaps, even their national survival, was at stake.

Her methods were simple, and though it took time, they eventually worked. She was playful and teasing, flirtatious and provocative, alluring and enticing. She coaxed and sweet-talked. She pouted and demanded. (Gee doesn’t that sound familiar? You would have thought that Samson might have learned from his experience with his pagan wife; but no, apparently not.) There was a fortune waiting for Delilah if she could discover the secret of Samson’s strength. She was determined, and she ultimately succeeded in prying his secret from him.

Convinced that he had finally told her the truth, she sent for the Philistine leaders. She lulled Samson to sleep and had his hair cut off. With complete and utter heartlessness, she watched as he struggled out of a deep sleep, thinking he would fend off his attackers as easily as before, only to discover to his horror that his strength was gone. No doubt, she was counting her money as they led him out.

Delilah personifies the immoral woman of Proverbs 5:4-6 – “But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.” Men beware of these manipulative temptresses. But, we all know that “what comes around, does go around.”

Even though Samson chose to go into the world and follow his lusts, God still used him to accomplish His perfect will. This is proof that God is always in control of all things.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Jochebed – Mother of Moses

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Moses introduces his mother to us as “a daughter of Levi” in Exodus 2:1. He was careful to identify her family heritage because until the lifetime of Amram and Jochebed, the name Levi implied violence and revenge – Genesis 34:25-31; 49:3-7 “And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?; …Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”

Hebrew thinking often equaled wealth with sons and daughters, when they thought on the promise of God to Abraham – Genesis 12:2 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” Note the beginnings of this Levite mother. She “conceived, and bare a son…saw him that he was a goodly child…took for him an ark…and put the child therein.” (Exodus 2:2,3) Her actions denote a fearless and focused woman of faith. She completely trusted God with her son. Her motivation and its results are clarified by the writer to the Hebrews – Hebrews 11:23-27 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”

Jochebed fearlessly disobeyed the Pharaoh’s edict to destroy her baby as she placed him in the Nile River in the safety of the ark, under the watchful eye of Miriam, his sister – Exodus 1:22 “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”; to surround him with protection, including a watchful sister, was faith – Exodus 2:3,4 “And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.”

Our Western minds have a hard time understanding the terror tactics of ancient pharaohs. Idolatrous and corrupt, they held nothing but contempt for the mysterious Yahweh of their Israelite underdogs. Hatred, hostility, and hard labor were facts of life. Yet one woman, acting as a caring and resourceful mother, soared above the evil around her. God saw her heart, heard her prayers, and intervened on her behalf. Her fame lives on through the lives of her remarkable children – Number 26:59 “And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.” God honored her steadfast purpose and faith by using one of her sons to deliver the Hebrews from Egyptian servitude and by appointing her other son, Aaron, as High Priest. Her daughter, Miriam, became the leader of the Hebrew women, and Jochebed’s entire tribal family was selected by God to lead the rituals of worship for His people.

Jochebed models for today’s woman an infectious courage to fear/reverence God instead of people and a firm faith in His promises and providences. The author of the Book of Hebrews records that Moses left Egypt, “not fearing the wrath of the king” – Hebrews 11:27 “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”, and that his parents before him were “not afraid of the king’s commandment – Hebrews 11:23 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”

It is not so much important who you are but what you do to meet the challenges and responsibilities that come. Jochebed took her motherhood very seriously, nurturing her children in the Lord with conscientious devotion. Surely, she must have been the chief influence unto God in the preparation of these children for the great tasks God gave to each in leading His people out of bondage.

 

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2019 in Godly Women

 

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True Worship Glorifies God

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All of the great religions of the world claim to worship god. In our society, any form of worship, when sincerely practiced, is thought to be acceptable The Bible tells us otherwise! It teaches that God Himself commands how He is to be worshiped. He also tells us how to dress when we worship Him, in a Holy manner – in modesty and humility. Not dancing around on a stage with tambourines, drums and electric guitars blasting over the loud speakers while we shake ourselves about, as if putting on a concert. This is bringing the world into God’s church and trying to bring Him down to our level instead of lifting Him up with praiseful Holy words to help prepare our hearts for the man of God’s message given him from on high.

Too many today use entertainment to draw the crowds with itching ears who only want a show and only want to hear that God loves them. Heaven forbid they are told that God hates our sin! They might leave and then the church would be out the money. And if you think God is present for these shows, you are sadly mistaken. He is at enmity with the world and therefore so are we His children. If we bring the world into a place meant for Holy worship, it is no longer Holy unto God and He cannot be there.

God called His people Israel to forsake other religions. He commanded them from the beginning not to worship the Lord as other peoples worship their “gods” – Deuteronomy 12:3, 31 “And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place…Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.”

The Lord instructed that His people were to worship only in the place He chooses to make His name abide and that they come with blood sacrifices – Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 14, 18, 26 “But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:…Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:… But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee…But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto…Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose:”

Worshiping God in any way we may choose is still not acceptable to Him. God must be worshiped where He chooses to make His name abide. God still requires an atoning sacrifice for sin. As God’s work in history progressed, He revealed Jesus Christ, the “name which is above every name” – Philippians 2:9 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”, as the final atoning Sacrifice for sin – Hebrews 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

Though there are many competing religions in the world, Jesus Christ came to reveal that He is the one and only way to the Father – John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” It is the job of God’s church to lead the lost to Salvation and healing through the Gospel/Good News of Jesus Christ. When so many are putting on a circus and trying to tickle the itching ears, they neglect to let the lost know that they need a Saviour. But, those false teachers calling themselves pastors, who only tell people that God loves them and teaches them out of worldly self-help books and corrupted versions of what once was God’s True Word, as they let the lost continue to be lost, will stand before Jesus on That day and give account. I sure would not want to be in their shoes. Can you imagine how it will feel as we, God’s Saints, have to stand and watch the lost we did not give the Good News to dragged into eternal hell and damnation as they look at us and ask, “Why did you not tell me?”

Christians can be assured that worship centered around Christ, and not for self-edification and euphoria, will glorify and please God, and that is what true worship is meant to be-glorifying and pleasing to God:

Luke 19:28-38 “And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”

Ephesians 1:6 “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Many of these feel-good churches of today are confusing the masses with all the different corrupt versions of God’s Word and they are deceiving them instead of leading them to Salvation through Christ. And we wonder why our country is in the Godless sinful state it is today, tolerating all sin “because God loves us!” Shame on the churches who confuse and deceive! Repent and turn to true and Holy worship that prepares hearts for the message of Salvation. We are running out of time.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Holiness – Set Apart

“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him;

and they were full of eyes within:

and they rest not day and night, saying,

Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty,

which was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8

We are to be holy or “set apart” unto the Lord. We are not to be conformed to this evil world. When we choose not to try and live holy as He is holy, the Holy Spirit within us convicts us and we cannot be happy and experience the joy of the Lord. What a sad way to live. Holiness is the character of God and the code for our Christian conduct. Our KJV Scriptures show us the holiness of God and express God’s desire for His children to develop a similar holiness:

Exodus 19:6 – “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Leviticus 11:44, 45 – “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 19:1, 2 – “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15 – “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”

The word holiness has several different meanings. In terms of our individual relationship to God, it means “set apart.” God is the “wholly other” or totally different One, unlike any other. Holiness also describes a way to live. Christians are called to live according to a different set of principles and standards than the ungodly world–to lead a pure life in accordance with God’s call, commandments, and consequences. This “set apart” life of righteousness is of God and from God. 1 Corinthians 1:2 – “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 – “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” And let us not forget what the word Christian means – to be Christ-like. These days, that word gets thrown around very loosely so that many do not take it as seriously as it is meant to be. The world looks at many of today’s so-called Christians and laughs at them, saying, “If that is Christianity, I want no part of it.” So many think it is okay to live with one foot in the world and the other in the Kingdom of Heaven because so many of today’s feel-good churches teach them that they can do whatever they want because God loves them. Yes God loves us, but He hates our sin, and if we say we are Christian and continue in any sin, we have broken fellowship with our Lord. And we have ruined our testimony for Him in the eyes of this world. A holy life is a life that always chooses to do what God desires, just as Jesus did when He came here from Heaven and lived a holy life as an example for us.

Obedient believers are instructed to NO LONGER be conformed to their old desires and patterns of thinking and behaving 1 Peter 1:13-16 – “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We see over and over in God’s Word that we are to be holy, as He is holy. The conforming to a life of holiness, however, requires more than the “will” of a person to “change.” It is the work of the Holy Spirit made possible through Christ’s death on the cross. So if we are putting substances in our bodies that affect our minds, we are numbing that Holy Spirit. That is when we choose to do our own thing and go the way of the world, instead of conforming our minds and hearts to the heart of Christ. How sad that the precious Holy Spirit of God gets drug through every bad choice we make.

True happiness is illustrated only in God, though the Holy Spirit empowers His children to pursue holiness 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 8 – “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.” The good news is that as we seek to be holy and invite the Holy Spirit to do His work in us, the Lord responds by cleansing us, leading us into His righteous and holy ways, and strengthening us to withstand the temptation to return to our former “ungoldly lives.”

We cannot make ourselves holy; but, if we desire to become holy and set our wills toward following the Lord, He will make us holy. The Lord never commands us to do something that He does not enable us to do Romans 4:21 – “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” God always prepares the way and provides us with His resources to accomplish His plan. The Holy Spirit is our greatest resource for living a holy life unto God. So many forget that God’s saints will live a holy life with Him in Heaven for eternity. Why not start practicing living holy unto Him now.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Leah the Unchosen Wife

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Poor Leah. While we experience righteous indignation at Jacob and Rachel being tricked, we cannot help but feel sorry for Leah. Though her father was supposedly looking out for her best interests by putting her in Rachel’s place as wife to Jacob, she had to know that she would never be first in Jacob’s heart. Although she must have been at least willing to be part of this deceit, she could have also been just being an obedient daughter. I am sure she did not look forward to being considered the “old maid” of the family because she was the older daughter. She probably felt like she would not have much chance finding a suitable husband in the short-term.

Of course, had Leah’s father been obedient to God’s plan for marriage being one man-one woman, this would never have had to happen in the first place. Had he truly been a faithful servant of God, he would have went to Jehovah and trusted Him to bring a husband for Leah. But alas, another story for another time.

The Bible describes Leah as having “tender” or “weak” eyes – Genesis 29:17 “Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.” This could infer that she had poor eyesight, but as I read “but Rachel was beautiful…” I am inclined to think that Leah was more plain looking compared to Rachel. As time went on, she grew to love Jacob and became a devoted wife throughout their marriage, even though her soul must have withered knowing that she was a disappointment and scorn to him, as well as being the tool that her scheming father used to get both of his daughters married off.

Leah lived with the constant comparison to her unusually beautiful sister, but she was nevertheless, not ever hidden from God’s caring eyes. In God’s all-knowing wisdom, He allowed her to conceive while he made Rachel’s womb temporarily barren. Though Leah had the honor of mothering Jacob’s oldest son, she wrongly assumed that it would earn her her husband’s love – Genesis 29:32 “And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.” (I have seen women strive to become pregnant to save their marriage, but instead they usually end up dealing with much heartache.)

Leah faced her second childbirth more realistically, but apparently a deep desire still gnawed at her – Genesis 29:33 “And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.” Then she exclaimed with her third pregnancy “Now this time will my husband be joined unto me.” (Verse 34) She never completely gave up on her hope and longing for her husband to return her love. What a sad state of affairs to have to live through.

She had begun her marriage by focusing on what she lacked and feeling miserable, but she changed her heart and focus to what God had given her as she determined to praise the Lord. Leah did not really learn to trust Yahweh until the birth of her fourth son, Judah. Genesis 29:35 “And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.” If we trace the Messianic Lineage, we can rejoice with Leah as her faithfulness was rewarded. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah,” Jesus the Messiah, came through her offspring, Judah, and the priesthood through her son, Levi. Revelation 5:5 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”

Leah embodied for every woman our crucial need to live primarily for God and his glory. Though she may have been unattractive in appearance, unloved, unwanted, and even despised, God saw her inner beauty which equipped her to carry out his plan – Genesis 29:31 “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.” She could not change Jacob, but she could change herself and recognize God’s hand in her life – Genesis 30:13 “And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.” She did not let the attitudes of others distract her from the task God had given her, as he turned all the wrong choices that were made on her behalf into part of His wondrous plan for the Hebrew Nation.

There are times in our lives when things happen to us that we see as unfair, but God is faithful and He always turns them around for His purpose and, of course, to make us the better for them. There have been times in my life that I have made very bad choices and faced some dire consequences, but every one of them I have seen God turn to good for His glory and for growing me to be more like Jesus.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2018 in God's Love

 

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Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes?

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Proverbs 23:29-32 “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, (don’t even look at it) when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”

When I was much younger, it was difficult for me to take much time in the Book of Proverbs. I think we all know why. It is all purely common sense that God shares with us about anything and everything we could think of to get ourselves into in this world. I used to be deceived about the use of wine/alcohol in my own life. I used to believe the phrase, “Everything in moderation.” After spending much time with my Lord and His Word, I do not see God condoning us to put any type of alcohol nor anything harmful into our bodies. He tells us that our bodies are His temple if we are saved, His Holy Spirit dwells in us. What we do to ourselves we do to the Holy Spirit. And the effects of alcohol definitely quench/numb the Holy Spirit in us. Therefore, we make horrible fleshly decisions while under it’s effect. God’s Word tell us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Even one drop of alcohol grieves our Holy Spirit. Sigh, why must some of us choose to go our own way, which means we learn lessons the hard way, and only see the truth when we are aged?

To begin my thoughts on this subject, I want to first point out that the word wine in the Bible is not always referring to fermented alcohol, it is referring to the fruit of the vine, grape juice. A study of the Greek words used in context with the Scripture tells us that for the most part, it is speaking of grape juice. And we need to understand that they had wells as their source for water in most parts then, and it was terrible for their stomachs. Research has shown that there is an enzyme in grape juice that is very good for the stomach’s digestive system. Some use it for an excuse to drink wine, but we do not have to have the wine to get it, it is in the grape juice. So be aware that wine in the Bible is not always referring to the wine when it is red.

Oh, and here is something else I used to use to condone drinking, “Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. So it must be okay.” The first thing I learned about that being false is that in Proverbs 20:1 God tells us exactly what He thinks about us drinking wine, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” So we see that He is giving us the free will to drink alcohol, but He is not telling us that He condones it. He is actually telling us how it will affect us, and that we are indeed fools/not wise if we choose to imbibe in it and thereby be deceived. We will face the consequences. I have seen too much harm to loved ones and family from the use of alcohol.

God also says in Proverbs 23:31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” Of course we know He is speaking of fermented alcohol here.

Now you are reading me saying that “God has said” because God did indeed write His Word, okay? So why would He tell us in one instance why we ought not do something and then send His perfect and Holy only begotten Son to make the substance He told us to not even look upon, and serve it to people? God does not contradict Himself! Neither would He say, “Here ya go, drink this fermented wine.”

Something else God has revealed to me in this Scripture is that the celebration had been going on for some time and they ran out of wine, and at that point many of them were quite drunk. Do we really believe that Jesus would really make more alcohol for them to drink and become more drunk on?! At one point in my life, I worked in a bar and when some had too much to drink, we had to shut them off, for their own safety and for the safety of others. If we as humans have that rule, do we really believe Jesus is going to make and give them more alcohol to drink? See, common sense!

So what it all boils down to is this, we all have free will and God lets us learn things the hard way, if we choose to do so. We do not have to wait for Him to speak to us each individually whether He wants us to do something or not. He has laid it all out in His Word for us to know. And once we know the truth, the best choice we can make, if we truly love and want to obey God is to accept and surrender to His will and not our own.

Some who are too involved in the things of this world mock me for these kinds of beliefs. That’s okay. If you truly seek the truth, He will show you too. It matters not to me what others think. I do not look down on you, as I was once where you are. That is between you and the Lord. I am not responsible for anyone else, only myself and my own walk with my Lord. I will end with this Scripture:

Galatians 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Rachel – an Honored daughter of Yahweh

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The name Rachel means ewe-a female sheep. Gee I’m not sure I would appreciate that, but, she was a shepherdess caring for her father’s sheep in Haran when an unexpected visitor appeared. Her cousin, Jacob, was looking for his family, and he ran smack dab into them. It seems he was hit by the “love at first sight” bug. Genesis 29:10-12 “And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father.” It also seems as though Rachel was quite smitten with Jacob.

Jacob had agreed with Rachel’s father, Laban, to work for seven years to earn the right to ask for the hand of the beautiful shepherdess – Genesis 29:20 “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.” According to local tradition, the wedding ceremony proceeded, allowing the men to celebrate, while keeping the bride out of sight until the groom entered her darkened tent.

Only after it was too late, did Jacob realize that Laban had deceived him. He had actually married Laban’s older daughter, Leah, whom he did not love. But, here we see how “what comes around goes around.” He now knows what it feels like to be deceived as he had deceived his father and brother. But, alas, another story for another time. A week after their marriage, Jacob received Rachel as his wife. It must have been agony for Rachel after having waited those seven years, only to have her dreams dashed by her father’s trickery. The rivalry and jealousy between Rachel and Leah, and perhaps a desire on Rachel’s part for retaliation against her father for his deception must have put a tremendous strain on the family.

To add insult to injury, Rachel was unable to bear children! Genesis 29:31 “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.” Okay, so God had compassion on Leah because Jacob loved Rachel more. Had I been in Rachel’s shoes, I would have had a very hard time with that. It is not hard to understand the jealousy she must have felt. At the same time, it would have been far better for them all had Rachel put her full trust in the LORD. Instead, she first blamed her husband, and then she allowed her maid to bear children for her. Genesis 30:1-5 “And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.” Now I know I could never have done that, but it was a different culture than what I know.

Rachel finally did become pregnant and gave birth to Joseph, who became Jacob’s favorite (and that’s another story for another time ;-).) – Genesis 30:22-24 “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.”

In due time, Jacob decided to return to his homeland. After Jacob’s departure, Laban found his household gods missing. Jacob did not know that Rachel had put the gods in her saddlebags, then sat on top of them astride the camel. When Jacob gave Laban permission to search through their belongings, Rachel pleaded weakness because of her menstrual cycle, and she did not dismount from her camel. It was believed that whatever a menstruating woman sat upon was unclean, so of course they did not make her move.

Some believe that those small idols Rachel had stolen from her father were customarily kept in their homes, and were essential evidence for a claim to the family inheritance. But, some also believe that Rachel was a secret believer in pagan superstitions. If this were true, she would have believed that the images would give her and her family safety in their travels and prosperity in their new home.

So, the family returned to Jacob’s homeland, but sometime later, when they were moving again, Rachel became pregnant with Benjamin. The travel in the hilly country was difficult under any circumstances, but it would have been very hard on a woman far along with child. As they approached Ephrath (Bethlehem), Rachel went into hard labor and died while giving birth. She was buried there in Bethlehem – Genesis 35:19 “And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.”

Rachel was a woman greatly loved by her husband, and she gave the world two outstanding sons. Despite her flaws, she stands as an honored daughter of Yahweh. It just goes to show how much God loves us all, even in spite of our wrong choices we may make in our journey in this world. He knows that each of us must go through trials and testings on the road to knowing Him more and coming to the point of total surrender and obedience.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Women of the Bible

 

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