Honor – Who or What Do YOU honor?

Don't wait till they are dead to honor them

Who or what DO you honor? This is the Easter long weekend. I know some families will have ‘the knock.’
You open the door and there is a police officer (or two) standing there. ‘The knock’ for my husband and I came at four in the morning.  Our son was not an Easter fatality, but the knock is the same horrifying reality for all who have experienced it.

There will be more fatalities during this time than at most other times of the year. “Drivers are urged to take extra care over the next few days with the Easter long weekend historically proving a dangerous one for fatal accidents.” 
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/motorists-urged-to-drive-safely-over-the-easter-long-weekend-ng-b881173204z

Do we honor the road rules?

It would seem not. Queensland had a horror start to the Easter long weekend.

  • Police are concerned at the number of people who continue to drink-drive with 44 people charged on day one
  • 275 roadside drug tests were carried out on Thursday with 44 drivers testing positive to illegal substances.
  • 2,858 drivers were clocked by speed cameras going over the limit, while another 390 speeding fines were handed out by Police.
  • 29 people were busted using their mobile phones behind the wheel while 31 fines were handed out for seat belt offences.
    http://www.mygc.com.au/horror-start-to-easter-period-on-queensland-roads/

Across Australia, road deaths were already being recorded on Friday morning.

Do we honor our families?

Going by the Queensland statistics it would seem not. Most other States will have similar statistics,

What do those statistics speak of?

  • Selfishness
  • Disregard for the law
  • Lack of love for their families
  • Thoughtlessness
  • ‘It will never happen to me’

Unless someone sets out to deliberately murder another person, the answer fits somewhere in one of those categories.

Nevertheless, the result is the same. Deep hurt, unbelievable sorrow, guilt, emotional pain.  There are only a few pathetically inadequate words to attempt to describe the reaction to ‘the knock.’

honor before, not after death

‘Honor your father and mother’ is one of the Ten Commandments. Well, not only younger people have parents, so do grown-up children. The command to honor parents applies as long as the parents are alive.

Also children who are parents should think of their children.

Do you want your child/children to grow up fatherless or motherless?

Most people do not want that, many never think of the consequences, or realize this is what they are risking.

All of us need to be more ‘thinking’ people.

Allow me to tell you about the last night with our son.

Before 'the knock.’

It was a warm summer evening, and our son who had been through a dreadful week, was in a happier mood. His friend, who had recently passed his driving test, was coming to pick him up and they were going out.

Jim, (not his real name) hugged his Dad and I, and went out to meet his friend who waited at the end of our driveway. His father followed him part way, delighted that Jim seemed to have survived the terrible week.

“Dad,” Jim called, and his father went closer. “Look, a bird has fallen out of this small tree.” He looked down at the bird, and said, “It looks as if it cannot fly. Will you take it and put it in one of the trees in the backyard where it will be safer?”

Carefully taking the bird, a dove,  my husband saw it was indeed injured, and smiled. Not many teenagers were so kind and tenderhearted. Most would have walked past the bird on the ground, some not even noticing.

That was the last time we saw him alive.

After 'the knock’

We went through the same horror many others have suffered and are suffering.

Shock, horror, disbelief, guilt, wishing it was a nightmare and we would wake up and Jim would be back home. In all honesty, I can think of no words to describe the feelings that threatened to overwhelm us, not only then… but for a long time after.

honor road rules

You might not like the police, your parents, the rules, but believe this…
The rules are there for protection, not to make your life difficult.

Please, honor those who love you.

Obey the rules – and THINK.

With love

Susan

With heartfelt empathy for all who are walking this path, wherever you are on your journey.

Posted early in the hope it will save someone answering ‘the knock.’

Invited into the family

Footballer invited into Touhy family

I saw most of an old movie the other night. I discovered the next day when I did an Internet search; it was called ‘Blind Side.’ I didn’t see the beginning, but the trailer I found matched the movie had been watching.

That night I woke up shortly after 1:00 am and could not  go back to sleep. My nose was blocked and consequently it was difficult to breathe the oxygen through the nasal prongs.

Well, I talked to God, reviewed what I had to do later in the day… in the daylight hours. Then my thoughts went back to the movie I had watched in the evening.

(I looked up the summary of The Blind Side and it explains why the movie was called The Blind Side. It explained what the blindside is in a football game.)

It was interesting, but not the theme I found myself thinking of in the early hours of the morning when I could not sleep.

Exciting is how I would describe my mental review of the movie and the connections I made during that sleepless night.

Although reviews of the film point out several inaccuracies between the movie and the reality, the bare bones are there.

  • The teenager was homeless.
  • He did spend some nights in the family home, although did not move in with them immediately, as portrayed in the movie.
  • The rich white family did offer Michael Oher a home.

They were kind to him, and accepting of this teenager whose life was the opposite of their lives.

I guess this is where I started making connections to my faith journey.

Do you want to join our family?

God does not force us; He gives as all free choice. Have you read the scripture…

For many are called, but few are chosen.
Matthew 22: 14 KJV

You can read an explanation of the parable and possible point of what Jesus meant at https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/christian-trends/what-does-many-are-called-but-few-are-chosen-actually-mean.html

Back to the movie…

The teenager could have refused the offer, but he chose to accept the invitation to be part of the family.

In agreeing to be part of the family, he also accepted the challenge to live as they did.

Physical Family

Spiritual Family

The teenager was educated

Educated in the family

The Holy Spirit is a bridge to God and Jesus Christ

Invitation to God’s family

When we accept an invitation to join God’s family, do we accept the challenge to live as Christ lived?

I have heard it taught that the word ‘Christian’ means ‘belonging to Christ.’ You can find a discussion on it here. https://www.allaboutgod.com/what-is-a-christian.htm

Back to the movie…

https://www.trend-chaser.com/entertainment/movies/the-true-story-behind-the-blind-side/?firefox=1

In a Today Show Interview, Michael’s adopted mother Leigh Anne Touhy said, “I love Michael Oher as much as I love my two biological children. There’s no difference in them.”

God loves His family

Since I spent so much time researching the Gospel of John for the books I wrote, I am familiar with the following scriptures

John 17:23 “I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.” (Bolding mine.)

And in one of John’s epistles…

1 John 3:1 “See how great a love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.

When we accept an invitation to join God’s family, we receive so much, just as Michael Oher received much.

Our future is spiritual though.

Sharing some thoughts from a sleepless night

Susan

Was the Old Testament Done Away With?

Old testament removed?

I have heard many preachers say the Old Testament is done away. I cannot find where it says that in the Bible, and I have many versions I used for researching my book series. It would be logical to look for proof of that in the New Testament.

In the book of Hebrews…

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 8: 13

Has it vanished away? Let’s look.

On Passover night, Jesus kept the Passover…

and he said unto them, ‘With desire I did desire to eat this passover with you before my suffering,
Luke 22: 15 Young’s Literal Translation

Following the Passover, He instituted the new symbols – the bread and the wine.

Passover bread

Did this do away with the Old Testament?

After Jesus’ resurrection, He walked to Emmaus with two men.

Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, how slow are your hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself.
Luke 24: 25 – 27 Berean Study Bible (Bolding mine)

In the often quoted Beatitudes – Jesus says a number of times “You have heard it said….” Then He goes on to say…” But I tell you…”

For example…
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
Matt 5: 21, 22 NKJV

This comes after He said…

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Matt 5: 17,18 NKJV

Some say that Jesus’ death fulfilled the Old Testament.

However, heaven and earth do not pass away until the end of this age.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed.
Revelation 21: 1 Holman Christian Standard Bible

This is when heaven and earth pass away

Scattered through the New Testament

Are direct quotes from Old Testament scriptures, how do we cut those out?

(You can find a comprehensive list at this site

https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/o/old-testament-quotations-in-the-new-testament.html)

One example…

As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not my people, `my people,’ and her who was not beloved, `beloved.’ “
Romans 9: 25 New American Standard Bible

This was written by the Apostle Paul

Also written by the Apostle Paul. this time to Timothy…

and you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus
2 Timothy 3: 15 Good News Translation.

The Holy Scriptures that the Apostles preached from was the Old Testament. They had no New Testament. They were writing it by their letters and in the gospels.

I believe we can learn much from the Old Testament.

These things happened to them as a warning to us. All this was written in the Scriptures to teach us who live in these last days.
1 Corinthians 10: 11 Contemporary English Version

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Romans 15: 4 NIV

New Testament

More musing

Susan

After Three Days

After three days he will rise

Jesus said, “The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”

But there are not three days – 24-hour periods – between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. This was something my fellow Bible College students and I asked every year when this study came up.

One lecturer said, “Jesus was speaking metaphorically.”

I dismissed this because that meant I would have to distrust everything that Jesus said.

Another time, a lecturer said, “They counted night and day as full days.”

Okay… Friday night in the tomb. Saturday day in the tomb, Saturday night in the tomb.

How does this square with the Bible?

God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There was an evening, and there was a morning: one day.
Genesis 1:5  CSB – Holman Publishers

(More at this blog post )

There was an evening and a morning – one day, for seven days.
To count it the way the lecturer said would have made creation week fourteen days long.

~~~~~~~

Aside: One helpful instruction we were given as Bible College students was, “If you don’t understand something, put it on the ‘back burner’ – the answer might come up in a future lesson.

That one never did, not at Bible college, so remained on the back burner for a great many years.

Sometimes scripture can seem confusing

I had to do a great deal of study as well as research when writing the Apostle John Series of novels. (Much of that I share with my VIP Readers.)

A little bit of that research can relate to this subject.

  • Why did Jesus have Passover the night before the temple sacrifice?

The original instruction from God was that it was a ‘domestic’ sacrifice.

The killing and cooking of the lamb was as the fourteenth started. (Just after sunset when the Israelite day started – so it was on the evening of the 13th as we would count it.)

  • Why did the Passover change from home to temple and on a different day?

When in exile in Babylon the Jews could not keep the Passover on the correct day. They believed it could only be done at the start of the fourteenth day (evening of the 13th) if they were in their own land. Therefore, they kept it the next evening.

The first record of Passover being a temple sacrifice I found was that of King Hezekiah (Chronicles 30: 1-5) These changes were instigated by King Hezekiah in his zeal to abolish idolatry in the land, and restore the worship of God.

    • In the time of Jesus, some were keeping a domestic sacrifice, as Jesus and the disciples did, and others kept a temple sacrifice, as the Pharisees did.

So Jesus and the disciples kept the Biblical Passover, not a supper before His crucifixion to say ‘goodbye.’
And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before My suffering.”
Luke 22: 15 Berean Study Bible

I have many thick books of information on all of this, but that is not for here. I share what is above in order to show the main points about Passover.

After three days

Many years ago, someone pointed out to me that in the week after the crucifixion there were two Sabbaths.

The gospel of John holds the clue.

It was the day of Preparation, and the next day was a High Sabbath. In order that the bodies would not remain on the cross during the Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies removed.
John 19: 31 Berean Study Bible

High holy days

A ‘high’ Sabbath was one of the seven annual holy days. The one following the Passover, which started after sunset on the 14th, making it the start of the 15th was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (A holy day.)
High Sabbaths

According to a list of Passover days going back over the centuries, Passover that year was on a Wednesday.

This fits the three days and three nights, and Jesus would have risen just after sunset as the weekly Sabbath ended.

Jesus said of the religious authorities of His day…

You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.”

He went on to say, “You neatly set aside the commandment of God to maintain your own tradition.
Mark 7: 8, 9 Berean Study Bible

Are our observances of Easter ‘keeping traditions of men?’

Something to think about.

Susan

Old Covenant, New Covenant?

a covenant is an agreement

Covenant at dictionary.com is defined as ‘an agreement, usually formal between two or more persons to do or not to do something specified.’

 In ancient times, these words meant more than they have come to mean today. Perhaps this is one of many reasons we do not understand the significance of some of the stories in the Bible.

Old Covenant

What is it? Well, there is more than one ‘old covenant’ in the Bible. Examples are…

  • Noahide Covenant,
  • Abrahamic Covenant,
  • Mosaic Covenant,
  • Davidic Covenant

Some sources cite eight covenants (HERE)

However, the one most usually seen as the Old Covenant is the Mosaic Covenant. In this covenant God promises to make the Israelites his treasured possession among all people and “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”  if they follow God’s commandments. As part of the terms of this covenant, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments.

The Mosaic Covenant

After bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, God led them to Mount Sinai where they camped before the mountain. Moses went up the mountain where God spoke to him.

(Scriptures in this section are from Exodus 19, NKJV)

God’s proposal

“You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Note: There was a condition (if) and a promise (then).

Moses took the proposal to the people.

“So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him.”

The Israelites accepted the proposal.

“Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

Moses took the answer back to God who gave instructions to prepare for the giving of the commandments three days later.

covenant made at Mt Sinai

“Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”

The Ten Commandments

Surrounded by the Egyptian culture, the Israelites had been slaves for many generations, so had lost much of the knowledge of their heritage.

The first commandments tell them that God is the One Who brought them out of Egypt, just as he was the One Who created them. They were to put aside foreign gods and to worship Him alone and treat His Name with reverence.

The fourth commandment reminded them of the day of rest, instituted during creation week. As slaves they would have had to work when they were told and may have lost track of time.

These first four are usually counted as ‘obligation to God,’

The next six are ‘obligation to fellow man.’

Since God says in Leviticus 20 verse 9…

“For every one that curses his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be on him.”

… it is clear that God’s instruction in the 5th commandment to honor parents was not a mere suggestion for children.

honor parents

Like the five commands that follow this one, they set the basis of society.

Broken Covenant

As any student of the Bible will know, Israel did not follow God’s commands. Time after time the people went after ‘foreign gods’ – even sacrificing their infants to Molech.

God sent prophets to correct them and to call the people back to Him and the covenant they had made with Him.

New Covenant

At this time of year, Christians consider the cost of the new covenant. For Jesus, it was not a time of bunny rabbits and chocolate eggs, but the fulfillment of a costly plan prophesied at the time of the sin of Adam. (Eve was deceived; Adam sinned. See International Women’s Day post)

Thinking

Susan

The First Passover

A lamb was chosen for the Passover

After the nine plagues, the first Passover protected the Hebrew slaves (Israelites) from the tenth plague and enabled them to leave Egypt.

At this time of year it is good to look back and see what it meant.

“Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.’” Enduring Word Commentary. (Highlighting mine.)

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, the ‘day’ began after the sunset on what we would call the day before. (Calendar and Confusion) So, the fourteenth day began after sunset on the thirteenth. Twilight is that period between the end of one day and start of another when the sun has gone down but light continues. (Hebrew term ‘ben ha arbayim’ and this is different from ‘erev’ meaning evening.)

The Israelites were in their homes scattered throughout Goshen and they followed the instructions relayed to them by Moses.

Goshen where the first Passover was kept

Goshen was a pastoral region in Lower Egypt, occupied by the Israelites before the Exodus.

Passover Instructions

‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire; its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.’ Enduring Word (Highlighting mine.)

I have seen this word ‘haste’ in Exodus 12: 11 translated as ‘trepidation.’ This made more sense to me, so I looked up a Hebrew concordance. Trepidation is indeed one of the possible words from this Hebrew word.

Transliterated Word

TDNT Entry

Chippazown

TWOT – 708a

Phonetic Spelling

Parts of Speech

khip-paw-zone’ 

Noun Masculine

  1. hurriedly, in haste, trepidation, hurried flight

I favour ‘trepidation’ because God’s command was not to leave their homes until daybreak.

“And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.”
Exodus 12:22 NKJV
(bolding mine.)

If they had gone out, they would have left the protection of the blood on the doors of their homes. As they were eating, or clearing up according to the instructions to burn all that had not been eaten, they would have heard the cries of the Egyptians.
It must have been a frightening time, not knowing what was happening outside their homes.

Dictionary.com defines trepidation as … ‘tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation.”

‘Morning’ in Hebrew is ‘boqer’, which is translated     day/early/morning/morrow. The Hebrew day did not start at midnight as came in with the calendar changes. Covered in Calendar and Confusion

Why have I written about the first Passover?

Because we are on the lead-up to the annual commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the true Passover Lamb.

It is good to look back to the root, or beginning, in order to understand the present more fully.

Passover, blood on doorposts and lintel

Sharing my musings,

Susan

Calendar and Confusion

calendar, one month

I counted over eighty calendars listed on a page in Wikipedia. Then there are other variations to month names and non-standard weeks.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_calendars

In our era, the commonly used calendar is the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. It was developed to correct the ‘drift’ of the calendar with respect to the equinoxes.

The old Roman year had 304 days divided into 10 months, beginning with March.
In the 1st century AD the calendar in use was the Julian calendar. Julius Caesar realized that the old Roman calendar system had become inoperable, so he effected drastic changes in the year of his third consulship. The New Year in 709 AUC began on 1 January and ran over 365 days until 31 December. Further adjustments were made under Augustus, who introduced the concept of the “leap year.”

However, man’s ideas do not alter the ‘pattern’ of the heavens, or control the sun or moon. They were set at creation.

Before the Calendar

God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There was an evening, and there was a morning: one day.
Genesis 1:5 CSB – Holman Publishers.

Did you catch that? There was an evening, and there was a morning: one day. At creation, and throughout Hebrew history, a day started just after sunset.

This was one of the most difficult things for me to keep in mind when writing my novels set in the 1st century AD.

(It also meant that when Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week, it would have been Saturday evening by our thinking. But that’s another story.)

The Hebrew Calendar

Hebrew calendar

Running concurrently with those eighty-odd calendars was the calculated Hebrew calendar, a variation of which is in use in Israel today.

The Hebrew calendar is very complicated, because it has to align the solar year (365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46-seconds) with the lunar year (12 months of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds).

In leap years (such as 5779) an additional month, Adar I (30 days) is added after Shevat, while the regular Adar is referred to as “Adar II.”

Also calculated differently were the days.

Unlike our standard modern 12-hour clock that assigns 12 o’clock pm for noon time, in the ancient Jewish tradition, noon time was always the sixth hour of the day. The first hour began with the break of dawn, the ninth hour three pm.

Then there were the nights. The Jews reckoned three military watches: the “first” or beginning of the watches (Lamentations 2:19), from sunset to ten o’clock; the second or “middle watch” was from ten until two o’clock (Judges 7:19); the third, “the morning watch,” from two to sunrise (Exodus 14:24; 1 Samuel 11:11).

Under the Romans they had four watches (Matthew 14:25): Luke 12:38, “even, midnight, cockcrowing, and morning” (Mark 13:35) ending respectively at 9 p.m., midnight, 3 a.m., and 6 a.m.

The current Western calendar

January in the northern hemisphere
January in Nothern Hemisphere
January in the Southern Hemisphere By BaroBert - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Even though it is strange to have the first month of the year start in ‘the dead of winter’, or the heat of summer, (for those of us ‘down under’), we are used to our calendar.

It was only when researching for my novels that I discovered there were many iterations of the calendar over the years.

For those living in the times of the change between versions of the calendar it must have been confusing.

The Julian calendar was created because “Drastic measures were required to make up for the many omitted leap months. Therefore 46 BC became a year with 15 months and 445 days; that year has been aptly termed “the last year of confusion.”

The Hebrew calendar has two ‘new years.’

Abib/Nisan – the biblical/religious new year.

Rosh Hashanah – the civil new year.

Our days…

Begin with sunrise, whatever time that happens to be – dependent on the time of year.

I guess my thinking on this calendar ‘issue’… is that it is difficult to look at historical times through our 21st century eyes if we do not know what their times were like.

I will close this week’s musings with a photo of sunrise taken by myself when I used to be able to go for early morning walks.

Susan

Sunrise, Western Australia

International Women’s Day

International Women's Day - celebrate choices

The International Women’s Day theme this year is Balance for Better. I wanted to write about Eve… you know – the first woman according to.

Why write about her?

Two reasons. She brought balance, and because she has long been blamed for the Bible something she did not do… sin.

What does Eve have to do with International Women’s Day?

Several things, actually. Christians and Jews see her as the first woman created. From the information I could find the creation story in Islam is a little different, focusing more on the creation of mankind.

Sticking with the Christian viewpoint because I know that better… Eve often wears the label ‘the one who sinned,’ and who tempted her husband to sin.

That she is a secondary creation and subordinate to man is another misconception.

Refuting the misconceptions

Celebrate Eve on International Women's Day
By Michiel Coxie - Web Gallery of Art: Image Info about artwork, Public Domain

First, that she was secondary and subordinate. Read this and judge for yourself…

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
Genesis 2: 18 NKJV

Does that sound secondary? ‘A helper comparable to him.’  My understanding of helper is someone very skilled and trustworthy. Comparable, to me, means of similar standing.

Dictionary.com says this…

Capable of being compared; having features in common with something else to permit or suggest comparison.
Worthy of comparison.

Eve brought a balance that could not be achieved by Adam alone.

Now to the sin. Who was the sinner? Again, according to the Bible…

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Genesis 3: 16, 17NKJV 

If you read the full text at the start of Genesis 3 you will see that the serpent made a concerted effort to seduce Eve into taking the fruit. He manipulated her.as well as deceived her… subtly.

Note: God gave the instructions to Adam.

Question: Did Adam tell his wife? The text does not say but by reading the conversation she had with the serpent, she knew of the restriction. Nevertheless, she gave in to the temptation.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 
Gen 3: 6 NKJV

Yes, Eve was tempted.

At any time, Adam could have intervened and pointed out what was happening. He said nothing… Moreover, he did not object when Eve handed him some fruit. Instead, he ate it.

So, who was the sinner? Adam was the one instructed by God. Adam was the ‘head of the household’ and Eve the helper comparable to him.

Another question: Should he not have protected the one he had been given as a helper?

Eve, unfairly has worn the blame all through the years.

I trust I have given you ‘food for thought’ – and it is not the forbidden fruit. We were given minds to think and to make free choices. Eve made a poor choice. Are we not all guilty of that from time to time? (Both males and females.)

So, on this International Women’s Day rejoice

No woman is a subordinate creation. Woman is different to man and has a skill set that complements a man and brings that balance to his life…if she chooses to be in a relationship. If not she still has an important skill set.

Balance is better, yes, and to achieve that balance we all have choices; we need to use them wisely.

Musing on International Women’s Day,

Susan

But I am a worm…

Tree used by Tola worm to lay eggs

Why choose a worm for a topic? I have to turn back the clock many years to the first time I heard the explanation of – “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people,” (Psalm 22: 6).  I was at a Bible College. The lecturer explained the word used here was for a special worm, one from which crimson dye was made. Crimson was a color so expensive only kings (and high priests) wore it. I remembered it, but never heard anyone else mention this fact… till recently.

Psalm 22 is generally seen as a crucifixion psalm and as we approach this time of year, twice recently I have heard my almost forgotten fact mentioned. A friend, who calls regularly every weekend, told me excitedly of a sermon she had heard in church. It was about the tola worm. I smiled, my memory was not faulty, I had remembered correctly.

Then I logged in to an online Bible Study, and what was the topic? You have probably guessed.

“But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.” Psalm 22: 6

Once again, after many years, I was fascinated.

Most of us know what a worm looks like… some of us might squirm. Others might use the earthworm as bait for fishing, However, a closer look at the original language shows that this is not the word that is used here.

Usually in the Bible, the Hebrew word for a worm is “rimmah” which means a maggot – but the Hebrew word used here for worm, is TOLA’ATH, (Tola: latin name coccus ilicis]) which means “Crimson worm” or “Scarlet worm”. It looks more like a grub than a worm.

The Tola (crimson) worm

There is more to this worm than meets the eye

When it is time for the Tola worm to lay eggs (which she does only one time in her life), she finds the trunk of the Quercus coccifera, the kermes oak and attaches her body to it and makes a hard crimson shell.  She is so strongly and permanently stuck to the wood that the shell she has formed can never be removed without tearing her body completely apart.

The Tola worm then lays her eggs under her body in the protective shell. When the larvae hatch, they stay under the shell. The mother’s body gives protection for her babies, and also provides them with food – the babies feed on the LIVING body of the mother!

After a few days, when the young worms grow to the point that they are able to take care of themselves, the mother dies. As the Tola worm dies, she oozes a crimson or scarlet red dye which not only stains the wood she is attached to, but also her young children. They are colored scarlet red for the rest of their lives.

After three days, the dead mother Crimson worm’s body loses its crimson color and turns into a white wax which falls to the ground like snow. This was collected and used as shellac to protect wood.

Jesus as a Tola worm

Just like the Crimson worm, Jesus sacrificed or gave up his life on a tree so that his children might be washed with his crimson blood and their sins cleaned white as snow. He died for us, that we might live through him!

The minister leading the Bible study gave many cross-references to scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments.

This is not my purpose – to repeat a Bible Study, merely to share an interesting fact… one that might give you a different understanding of that scripture. Or, as it did for me, confirm something I was taught a long time ago.

Sharing some thoughts,

Susan

Is Christ Divided?

Divided

Is Christ divided is a question the Apostle Paul asked in a letter to the Corinthians.

Addressing problems among them, he says…

What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
1 Corinthians 1: 12, 13. Berean Study Bible

This lack of unity flourished throughout the 1st century AD and was addressed by other church leaders.

Anyone who has read my Apostle John series of books, or even the blogs, will know I have a great interest in the Gospel of John and his letters. One of the statements/instructions he made was…

By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13: 35

To many observers this would seem to prove that there are NO disciples.

Why? They were divided.

There are so many ‘varieties’ of beliefs. Sadly, many of these varieties are still at ‘war’ with each other, sometimes even within one group.

There is another scripture… Jude verse 3

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.”

Could it be that already the white horse of Revelation 6 had started its ride?

Mistaken Identity

An article by Chuck Missler says

“What is surprising is how many Bible expositors find themselves misled on one of the most dangerous “mistaken identities” of all. The first world dictator was Nimrod, “a mighty hunter,” whose Hebrew name means “let us rebel,” given by his contemporaries to one who ever had in his mouth such words to stir up his band to rebellion. The final world dictator seeking global domination will also be an “Assyrian” who is here characterized by holding a bow and riding a white horse. It is interesting how many confuse this counterfeit with the rider of the white horse in Revelation 19.

The Apostle John wrote…

White horse of Revelation 6

Here is the first: “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Rev. 6:1-2).

Christ previously had revealed the meaning of the white horse. His disciples once asked Him, “…when shall these things [the destruction of the Temple] be? and what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3).

Christ is the One speaking in both Matthew 24 and Revelation 6. He is addressing the very same questions in both chapters. He answers by listing, in time sequence and order, the events and trends that precede the end of the age—and thus His Coming.

Some have thought that the rider of the white horse is Christ Himself, however, in context consider, that the white horse that John described here in Revelation 6 represents false ‘christs.’

The one on this horse is a counterfeit of the true Christ and a counterfeit of His Second Coming, described in Revelation 19:11-16. There the real Christ wields a sharp two-edged sword, while the false christ is represented as carrying a bow with no mention of any arrows. This is an important difference.

Divided and conquered?

Does this rider explain the differences, the dislike, the accusations between Christians? Perhaps.

So how do we find this ‘faith once delivered’?

Perhaps we will not, not until Christ returns. However, in the meantime should we not be striving to be known for our love for one another?  John 13: 35

Way back in the Apostle Paul’s time, people were choosing who they preferred. “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”

 Judging by the continuing divisions down through the centuries, we might as well face it. We will never feel close with some people. There are others we may not even like, but we can love them, from a distance, and pray for them. 

Many different plants grow together.

Growing together

Thank you for reading my musing,

Susan