A time of war, And a time of peace. 

Everything Has Its Time

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
     And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

As written in this wise set of verses in Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…” Everything has a season & a purpose to occur. There is a time for everything under the sun and under heaven. It was once explained to me that without having infinite knowledge, we cannot know everything; hence, there may be a reason for everything and every occurrence but because of our lack of knowledge and inability to see the future and the past – the true reason for something happening might not be known or knowable for 10 years, 100 or even 1000 years, from now. Is this to mean that we are to understand that a person died for a reason that we cannot possibly know for 10, 100, or 1000 years from now? Not necessarily, but God does desire that each and every one of His creation be saved  and know the truth!

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV

We see  throughout the biblical text that there are times for everything to happen, war, peach, birth, death, suffering joy, anger, forgiveness, etc. Each and everything occurs in it’s appropriate time. God uses man’s fellow man to chastise him or his enemy (i.e., war.) At other times we are called to protect or defend the weak (also a form of military action.) However, these actions can be personal, or individual. Meaning You, or I, may be called to defend someone who is weaker than we.

Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked.

~Psalm 82:3-4 NKJV

We can also see it this way as described by Paul, the Apostle:

And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.~1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 NKJV

We are called to aid those who cannot help themselves. Sometimes we are the only one available to help a person. Help with a word of caution, or a word to build them up; admonish them, or guide them. We sometimes can help with but a word. Be wise in how you speak to others. This is why we study the bible and the doctrines within. Because with those words we speak we can be either the starter of war, or we can be the diffuser of chaos and calm things down. Words have started many a war in days long gone by. Now-a-days, that is not as big of a problem. Although, on a more individual level a word can be the difference between a friendship or a fight. There is a time for such things and we each learn from our misguided steps in any direction. At least we hope to learn from our mistakes and misguided notions, but that is not always the case!

He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.

~Proverbs 17:27 NKJV

It pays to be a man of wisdom and of great learning; however, the greatest of learning comes from our experiences from our past actions, both good and bad. Often we learn good decision making skills from the bad decisions from our past. It is quite the conundrum.

Often, our warriors have a battle waged within their hearts and minds, which is called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or with a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury.) Each possess it’s own problems and their individual discussions are best left to those who are either those who have experienced the problems or are medical persons with the technical learning and expertise with those injuries. There are a great many other problems out there which touch on these subjects, but for brevity I will leave it there.

While there is a time for all things, that does not necessarily mean that those things are good for all that are involved. It has been said that if everyone in the world saw the true cost of war, there would be no more war.

War is hell and those that must bear the brunt of the loss, are often not seen and not always acknowledged. We send our sons and daughters off to war and those that return as cargo destroy us; but there are those who return less than what they were, because they cannot come to terms with the fact that they survived and their buddies did not…many of whom, sadly, commit suicide.

War is a terrible thing, but do we have the infinite knowledge required to truly and definitively say that it was an unjust war? We must take solace in the knowledge that God used our children for some greater purpose. That our sons and daughters are in a better place that no longer has sorrow or pain. And that all their tears have been wiped away.

It is my belief that so long as man populates this world, there will be war and killing. Man, while he has the desire for peace, he also has the affinity for troubles and problems. As we grow older, hopefully wiser, we seek something better. We will always need someone to go in and keep the peace or finish the war, internationally or domestically. So, support your troops and military, support your police (state, county, & city). There are bad people, but remember not all are bad!

We all need support from others at any given point in time, they need it always! God uses all of us and God uses them for His divine purpose and plan.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Is abortion the wrath of God realized in the reality of today, or is it the wrath of man for the unborn? After all, we each have our own perspective on this rather controversial subject. There is literally no one out in the world today who has absolutely no opinion on this subject, even if they were to defer it as a women’s subject for discussion. A non-opinion is an opinion! (A bad opinion, I might add, but it is an opinion!)

wrath_of_god

We have been fearfully and wonderfully made by the very hand of God who created each and every one of us. Whether you choose to believe this, or not. Each of us is created in such a way that we are similar, but we are unique in comparison. Yet, we are created in God’s image:

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ~Genesis 1:27 NKJV

So, do we infer from this that God makes mistakes? No, not at all! Each of us is the way we are suppose to be, barring any decisions that we ourselves make during the course of our lives…which can be and tend to be the mistakes which we will generally blame on God. Also, we have numerous assaults upon our person while we are growing up, which can also mold our psyche as we mature & develop. Consider the transgenderism dilemma today, the gay issues, the man’s mind in a woman’s body, the “non-binary” and gender fluidity mentality, etc.

Those of us who believe in God, the One True God and Creator of all things, hold to the belief that Moses put forth in the Book of Genesis:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  ~Genesis 2:7 NKJV

And the words that King David put forth in order to explain to the reader of his Psalm or to clarify to himself:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. ~Psalm 139:13-18 NKJV 

And the words that described how God formed us by the Prophet Jeremiah:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” ~Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

We were created for a specific purpose! What was that purpose? Good question, although it is a different answer for each person; however, we each have something in common and that is to glorify God! However, we are also given gifts by God in order to a great number of other things. Sing in order to entertain, play an instrument to entertain, the ability to act, the ability to teach or research in order to transpire information or educate others, and so much more…all to the end of glorifying God. Some are doctors and others are nurses. Some are policemen, others are firemen, and still others are EMTs as first responders in order to aid the public and each to the end result of glorifying God. God places at our fingertips a number of qualities in order to aid those around us, both to help them and to glorify God in the long run! Of course, with others it is a long road to find those specific traits and qualities in order to aid others and glorify God. Sometimes it is a short path and other times it is a very long arduous trek, but in the scheme of things it is all well worth it. Moses spoke of such things, at least inferred it in the Book of Exodus:

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship ~Exodus 31:3 NKJV

We are each promised, in essence, that we will be given the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, or abilities of workmanship through the Spirit of God in order to carry our our abilities to Glorify God and aid those around us.

So as we move onward, to understand we are fearfully and wonderfully made which infers we have been created for a specific reason. Abortion, on the other hand, is simply, in my opinion, a vehicle for eradicating a perceived mistake. With the advent of removing God from our schools and society, prayer and blessings from our everyday actions and furthermore the destruction of the atomic family (the central core of the American dream, if you will) YOU steer man away from his very central purpose of pleasing and glorifying God and replacing such with the pleasing and feeding the new god of men, government and big business. Now your purpose is to consume (making business happy by buying and spending the money you do not have) and to work hard in order to pay your taxes (thereby, feeding the new god, government, with your money. This blog post, as many others are never meant or intended to be or get political. BUT they are intended to make you think about what you do…to please God or self? How you spend your time…for God or self?

We truly need to get back to focusing on God in our lives, spending our time pleasing and glorifying HIM and not ourselves. Teaching others to do the same. Steering our society into doing the very same in order to get us, as a society, community, and as a country, back on track in order to bring this country back to serving the God that formed it and ourselves, as well!

 

 

As Liz Wheeler mentioned in the video above, where will it end? There is some point in time, or so I hope and pray, where common sense will take hold in the minds of those at the helm. If not, perhaps you or I should become those leaders that refuse to actually lead, if it be God’s will. I tend to be of the mind that if we are to lead that God would place a passion, a desire, or a burden on our heart to do something…despite the fear that we have for doing so. The urge will become far stronger than the fear that is ever-present.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Pre-judgement, Judgement, & Post-judgement

guiltyHave you ever said something, or made judgement upon another, and then thought yourself to be the fool? YEAH, that is me, I am guilty! Go ahead, throw your stones…I did it!

Man is the only animal who seems to be able to judge others and clear themselves of any wrong doing, even though it be the same exact crime against God!

raised hands

Yeah, go ahead…raise your hands in agreement to that one, too! Man is, by his nature sinful and therefore, hypocritical! We talk out of both sides of our mouths and skirt the truth with ourselves, all of the time! Don’t worry about a thing, if any of you won’t raise your hands in agreement over this…there are plenty who will gladly chastise me, while at the same time they are doing the same things as I.

Let us look into the past week with Joel Osteen and the Hurricane Harvey debacle.

While there are plenty of videos of news, and others, tearing at Joel Osteen’s church and ministry; many are failing to realize that Lakewood Church had rising waters in the basement. Also, I watched several videos defending Joel Osteen because what would happen if someone was injured on their way to get to Lakewood Church, or died? Or perhaps, if they got to the church and they closed the doors as they got there? What would the ramifications of that be.

We all, each and every one of us, has a problem with judgement of others. Just nod your heads in agreement! Especially without all of the facts at hand. And in this day and age of half truths, and partial sporadic news reports…thereby, coining the phrase “fake news.” We tend to be quite a bit more outraged at those with all the money and power. Now I don’t necessarily agree with Joel Osteen, nor his methods of preaching, but his judgement in THIS case happens to be spot on. Tyler Perry, a man for whom I have  a great respect for, has gone to Joel Osteen’s defense.

While we each, and yes I do mean all of you as well as I, tend to judge others based upon the perception of evidence at hand. However, if you will pay close attention, most of the perceived evidence out there is truly just an accusation or an assertion that is without any proof or evidence, at all! Sadly, but that is how this whole victimhood thing works. We, the species of man, are a sad creature. As we tend to do all we can to demean our fellow man in order for us to feel better about ourselves!

There are a number of scripture passages which target the fool and the wise, with respect to our speech. However, this one seems to hit home for me:

Proverbs 29:20

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Yeah, that is me…the man who is hasty in his words. Yeah, that is right…fools will have a better time than I! I work on it daily, but I also fail God daily in both little an great ways!

The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that King David who was “Apple of God’s eye.” King David requested and prayed to God to aid him to be maintained in such a status in Psalm 17:8 where he wrote:

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings

We must remember that King David, despite his sinfulness and behavior, he was always contrite before God when he was called out on the carpet by his prophet. He sought God’s forgiveness and always sought his Lord’s guidance to be healed from his haughtiness and sinfulness and sinful ways. God chastised him, as any father would do to his own son. And then he was back to a clean slate, once again. What we see here is that God is the God of the second chances, as coined by Dr. J. Vernon McGee. Where God will use us after redeeming us from our sin(s). And more importantly, He will use us as well as the Gentiles, because Jesus paved the way for them also!

…the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time… ~Jonah 3:1 NKJV

Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also ~Romans 3:29 NKJV

God has given me far more than 2 chances, I would submit to everyone out there that each of us have been given dozens of chances. And we will receive many more chance before we draw our final breath.

Let’s face it, we all judge others. Whether in our minds and thoughts, outwardly in our reactions or in our verbiage toward them, or perhaps we show our disdain toward others in our posts on social media or other opinionated sites.  Consider the people of WalMart on Facebook, or other demeaning sites. We should treat everyone with a certain modicum of respect as well as understanding. We are called to be patient with all people! To treat the lowly with respect, as though they were rich…give no one an overtly specialized attention.

As I have said all throughout this post, I am as guilty, if not more so, than any. But by God’s grace I will overcome my lowly actions and rule over my sinful desires and urges to judge others, to gossip (which is a form of judgemental speech toward another.)

Just remembering that in order to change something in your life, you must become aware of your wrong actions. This is your warning…pay attention and change your ways, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

Even God Gives Sarcasm When Necessary

“Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, That you may take it to its territory, That you may know the paths to its home? Do you know it, because you were born then, Or because the number of your days is great? ~Job 38:19-Job 38:21 NKJV

sarcasm

Sarcasm is not original to you or I, but did not God prod even at Job in that time while chastising him? Since we tend to understand God and all of His glorious words in human terms (anthropomorphic) then God’s speech and chastisement can also, in a sense, be anthropomorphized. Consider what was written in the Reformation Study Bible commentary on Job 38:21:

Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? – This may either be a question, or it may be spoken ironically. According to the former mode of rendering it, it is the same as asking Job whether he had lived long enough to understand where the abode of light was, or whether he had an existence when it was created, and knew where its home was appointed. According to the latter mode, it is keen sarcasm. “Thou must know all this, for thou art so old. Thou hast had an opportunity of observing all this, for thou hast lived through all these changes, and observed all the works of God.” This latter method of interpreting it is adopted by Umbreit, Herder, Noyes, Rosenmuller, and Wemyss. The former, however, seems much better to accord with the connection, and with the dignity and character of the speaker. It is not desirable to represent God as speaking in the language of irony and sarcasm unless the rules of interpretation imperatively demand it.

Unfortunately, we as humans and the species of man do not throw out sarcasm sarcasm-freeor irony toward another in the chastising process in order to teach our underlings or peers a lesson; at least most of us do not. We normally do so in order to be wiseacres! We do so to demean and to make fun of what they did and to humiliate them. In such a process, we do not teach anything of value but how to humiliate another person. THAT is the message that comes across. I can look back at my time in the military and see how both myself and others did such things. Even at my present job, it is quite the same! Now-a-days, we each wear these badge of “sarcasm” and “irony” as badges of honor. As though we have gone through the Great War of Sarcasm & Irony and survived. But it is not such as a true veteran who had survived a war, we simply survived the war & battle of words that were thrust our way. Sounds much like the Snowflake Wars of recent battles held on college & university campuses by those who are harmed by words of free speech with which they tend to disagree and fight the good fight in order to stop such abuses of free spech on their college campus! [Yes, THAT drivel was sarcasm!]

However, even though you or I are being sarcastic, our point can be transmitted to the one we desire to make understand our opinion or our point. Well, God did so with Job in this particular point in Job’s life. It was both sarcastic and quite telling of that point which God was attempting to get across to Job. God was quite straight forward about the point, don’t you think? He asked, “Do you know it, because you were born then, Or because the number of your days is great?” No matter what we think we know as the species of man, we are quite finite in our understanding. Think about that…no matter how much I learn I always know that I don’t know everything! (Although, I do not admit this to my wife. lol) But looking at it all, we have a very finite understanding, in that, we know what we have learned in the past and what we are leaning now. Unfortunately, we don’t know everything to an absolute certitude! We do not have experiential knowledge of all things present, past and future. God on the other hand, has an all encompassing knowledge of what has happened, what is happening, and all that will happen.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good. ~Proverbs 15:3 NKJV

Does God have eyes? No, because God is a spirit. But God created man’s eyes and we anthropomorphized the eye of man to God that we could understand such a thing, better. Is God able to be everywhere? He is a spirit, the bible says that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, and the bible says that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow! So, why wouldn’t I believe that God can do all of these things? You do the reading, studying, and the research. What are the answers you come up with??? God makes sense where no sense can be made, in my humble opinion.

Consider this:

  • What exactly did Charles Darwin prove? Did he, in fact, prove that evolution was a fact? IMO no, he proved, theoretically, that it was possible…but did not prove so in a laboratory.
  • What did Einstein prove? Did he, in fact, prove that the speed of light was attainable? IMO, no, he proved theoretically that it was a possibility. As of yet, no one has proven such to be physically possible.
  • Has science proven that earth is millions, or billions, or years old? IMO, no, if you accept their assumptions which are part of their calculations in order for them to work…they have only proven, theoretically, that the earth may be that old.
  • Has science proven the creation of the first life on earth? No they haven’t. They have only posited proofs, postulated and theories but have not proven such creation in a laboratory.

Do not misunderstand me, I am not anti-science, nor are any of the Christian community. And Christianity does not teach anything of the such, God uses the sciences to much. Many of the sciences actually prove much of the bible (archeology, astronomy, anthropology, biology, geology, etc.) The problem is that many scientists tend to lean toward atheism and many people desire to push such an agenda where there is not God.

Sometimes I think that there is much sarcasm within the sciences, but that could be an entire blog on it’s own. Well, sorry that I was all over the place on this one…and that was not sarcastic! But an admission of guilt.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

“You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”

You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. ~Exodus 22:28 NKJV

Bible spine

How often have we complained about our government? Our leader(s)? I don’t know about you…but I have quite often.

God placed all those that rule over us in their places, according to the bible!

“You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” ~ John 19:11 NKJV

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. ~Romans 13:1 NKJV

Quite the slap in one’s proverbial face, eh?? One could say that bad rulers are put in place to chastise us and reap a judgement upon us. True or not…that is for God to decide. But, biblically, the bible does show a history of God using others to reap a judgement upon people. Whether it be through war, external or internal problems (political, civil disobedience, or through civil attacks.) The history of the world is wrought with such examples, equating those examples to acts of God is another argument.

Generally speaking, most everyone is patriotic toward their own country and have a certain amount of Nationalistic identity and love for their country. We each must assess our own love of country for ourselves. It would seem that, now-a-days, our youth are being taught a sense of globalist identity; which concerns me to a degree, although that would be more of a political debate and this is not the place for such. However, Jesus taught us to be more identified with our citizenship in heaven, as opposed to our country.

For our citizenship is in heaven ~Phillipians 3:20 NKJV

While this was blatantly written by the Apostle Paul, Jesus reminded us of this, “ For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21 NKJV) and He did tell us

…for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ~Matthew 5:12 NKJV

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16 NKJV

Subtle reminders that we are creatures created by God who resides in heaven and that one day we will return, bearing the inference that God is watching over us; hence our citizenship is heavenly! And since we know we will die (just not when) our earthly presence is temporal.

Which drives me back to the topic at hand. We are to do everything on this think_on_these_thingsearthly presence of ours to reflect God’s very image, which we have been created in. We are God’s representatives toward others we come in contact with on a daily basis. Jesus was sent not just to be the sacrificial lamb, in our place. But He was also our example of how to live and how to act in the presence of others. Showing others such things as love, compassion, faith, hope, noble, just, pure, virtue and praiseworthy, but we are to meditate on these things ourselves.

How are we to be better than if we were to think on such things? The only way to get better, let alone change our habits, we must first think on these things and work them into our minds and hearts. Delving into the biblical text, gaining deeper understanding will change us. And slowly moving back to the topic at hand, in a slow calculated fashion…

Now, back to the main premise of this blog. We should not be attacking and cursing our leaders, especially since they are placed there by God.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. ~Romans 13:1 NKJV

God has ordained everyone in authority to be in their place. We must be God ordainedwilling to be subjected to chastisement by those even when we are in the right and they are in the wrong!

For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. ~1 Peter 3:17 NKJV

We must be humble under God’s rule! There are times when we must speak out concerning the evils of this world and those that would perpetrate them, there are times when we must fight against evil itself, and there are times when we must annihilate evil upon God’s command. Speaking on this moments ago, the Israelites do not realize what they have done, generations ago, when the did not follow God’s explicit commands to, “you shall utterly destroy them” Just look at all of the issues we are presently having these days! It is abhorrent and abominable! And yet, we as Christians cannot even agree on many of these things. Others proclaiming to be Christians, but by their actual proclamations prove otherwise. In that, those that proclaim we must be more accepting of homosexuals, pedophiles, and various other sins & sinfulness that are/is abhorrent to God. NO! We do not need to be more accepting of sin! We do need to be more accepting of those that seek, truly seek, God; accepting them and Reaganshowing them the word of God and the teachings.

Unfortunately, in this present snowflake revolution generation, and in the immortal words of President Reagan concerning his Democrat counterparts: “…It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so!” It is quite the same message for our Liberal Christian friends. We need to show them where they are wrong in doctrine, thought, biblical precepts, etc. Many of these kids are growing up in a lack luster household not being taught about God, after school enter college and if they knew God, generally speaking lose their faith by the end of college. They are born again agnostics or atheists. The percentages bear this out, in the 1980s it was 8% but by early 2000s had doubled to 16%. I could only imagine what the numbers bear out now-a-days…

And in the future, yes our future and yours, too; they will be the political leadership in charge of the creation of law. Many of which are derogatory to the the Constitutional protections that are now being ebbed away so flippantly.

I would urge you all to PRAY for each and every one of our representatives in Washington DC and in each and every individual state of the Union. Pray for each and every one of your local governing bodies, Police forces, Sheriffs, etc. They each need God’s guidance and protection that they each fulfill God’s Will! Now, while the bible is more so guiding one to not curse his leader, meaning his spiritual leader, I believe biblically it is prevalent that we not curse either, but pray for their guidance to follow and fulfill God’s Will!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

 

God’s Ten Commandments versus Jesus’ Two Commandments

What are the differences? How can the “supposed” Son of God change the commands of God? Or, did He change them??? Let us look into this, it has always been on my mind and have not researched or even sought an answer…

ten-commandments

So, it is agreed, for the sake of this discussion that God did give to Moses, His servant, the Ten Commandments for Israel to adhere to and follow all the days of their lives and they were first given in Exodus 20:1-17 NKJV.

greatestcommandment

And Jesus came along and gave us the Greatest Commandment in Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV, which is derived from Deuteronomy 6:1-3 NKJV.

Consider, for a moment or two, that there was a reason that Jesus simplified that which was already simple. How so, you might ask? Well, let’s take a good look:  The Jews were reminded that the Lord God lead them out of Egypt and the land of bondage.And the Sabbath was/is on a Saturday.

It is my contention that the Ten Commandments were, specifically geared toward the Jewish people, the very chosen people of God, Himself! Whereas, the modified Greatest Commandment was aimed toward the Jews but moreso in preparation for the Gentiles to adopted into the family of God.

As Christians, or sons and daughters who are adopted into the family of God (adoptive Jews, so to say) we were not lead from Egypt, we celebrate the Lord’s day on Sunday as it was the day upon which Jesus rose from the dead. Also, under the laws work was very specifically defined, such as walking beyond straight from one’s home to the synagogue was considered labor and other things as such. Jesus called out the Sanhedrin and Pharisees on such hypocrisies.

The Lord gave the Jews the land of milk and honey, i.e. Israel. While all of this world is the Lord’s, and everything therein…the land we live on was not given to us as the land (nation of Israel) was given to the Jews. While we can debate upon this matter, to a certain extent, we have not had to battle to maintain our land in our possessions as the Jewish people continue to do.

As I do think it a moot point that Jesus made the Lord simplified the Commandments which we are to live by, in that you either love God or you do not. Can we agree on that point, at least?

Let’s look at the Greatest Commandment which Jesus simplified for us:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV

  • First of all, Jesus stated that “You shall love the Lord“, which makes these two commands individualistic and personal. Meaning they are demanded of each and every one of us who follow the Christ. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. We are to do so by choice, not by force
    • We are to love Him “with all our heart“, which means we are to be sincere in our love toward God. After all, God can see our hearts and therefore love is the first and great thing that we should devote to him.
    • We are to love Him “with all our soul“, which means the soul must be engaged for him, and all things carried out toward and for Him and for His glory.
    • We are to love Him “with all our mind“, which means God gave us a mind with which to think things out and to reason with. That said, we must glorify God with our power of thought and reason. We must use our minds to learn all we can of God and to pass that on towards others; thereby, to mentor and disciple others.
    • To love God as the One True and Only God and Creator of all, is the greatest test of all. After all, do you truly believe such a thing? And do you truly show your love toward God? Only you can answer such a question and you know that God can see your heart.
    • You love the Lord God when you honor Him, when you hold Him in the highest esteem because you know & believe that He created you and placed the breath of life in your nostrils. You honor God when you place nothing else before yourself in order to worship or love as your creator.
    • If you honor God daily, is there a necessity to have a special day? Good question, and each of us will have an opinion on such a subject. However, it cannot hurt to honor God on Sundays, despite your honoring Him everyday. Every day which you wake and rise with the breath of life in you…is, after all, a day of the Lord…is it not??

Some people make each concept (heart, soul, & mind) to denote one and the same thing, to love him with all our powers; others differentiate each term; the heart, soul, and mind, are the will, affections, and understanding. Our love of God must be a sincere love, and not in word and tongue only, as theirs is who say they love him, but their hearts are not with him. In my opinion, the Lord Jesus inferred that each term should be understood on their own merit(s) and as the sum of their merit(s), together. It is always wise to look at them from every angle possible, as God did grant us a mind to reason with.

  • Secondly, Jesus commanded us to …love your neighbor as yourself.” Sound familiar? It ought to, that pesky Golden Rule that we were taught as children. To love one’s neighbor as one’s self we need to follow last five of the ten commandments:
    • Honoring our parents, while not our neighbors but they are those over us who are commanded to rear us up in the word of God and teach us all His ways. We are instructed to hold those in high regard who are our elders.
    • Murder, adultery, stealing, false witnessing, and coveting – these each affect those around us, our neighbors, friends, etc. We would not appreciate any of these things happening to us; therefore, we are not to treat others so heinously! Our civil society is based upon these things; in fact, our laws are based upon these things. You honor and glorify God when you love your neighbor as yourself.

Is one set of commandments any better than the other? No, I don’t think so. But the commandments from Jesus were the true cumulative effect of all the Old Testament Laws and words of the prophets brought together in one paragraph.

I hope you found this interesting and helpful. My prayer is that we all can affect change in society through our changes toward how we treat our neighbors. Godspeed to you all!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Understanding Balaam’s Error

balaams error

Now this is a tough one, to say the least; as there are differing opinions as to what Balaam’s error actually was. It is quite the dilemma in my mind as well, but let us delve into this to see if we cannot come to an understanding of his problem and what he had done wrong in God’s eyes.

Now, I will not insert the full biblical reference, but rather will start off with Numbers 22 and you can refer back to it in the bible. Let’s see if we cannot weave in and out of this menagerie of problems.

Let us face it, we as the species of man have a tendency, perhaps even the habit, of using God’s gifts blessed in our care for our own, meaningless, and even selfish reasons and purposes. We tend to misuse the numerous gifts (the breath of life, our life in general, our work, our abilities to sing, organize, wisely & thriftily spend the resource of money in our care, and many many other known and unknown gifts – but we use them for selfish and meaningless reasons and purposes. That being said, let us move along with Balaam and his dilemma…

As we start out in Numbers 22 we see that Balak son of Zippor saw what Israel had done to his neighbors, the Amorites. Fear set in his mind, and as always in every society when the unknown occurs fear is promoted and preached among the people. This is the only way politicians can get anything done in their own societies.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country. ~Hermann Goring

This seems to be the way that not just the politicians, but also numerous small groups who desire to play the victim while all the time creating the havoc around them. People, mankind , in general, does not do any homework and believes the majority of what he hears in the news or from others. Instead of what they should be doing and that is the use of the brain and God given wisdom which he had received at birth and throughout his maturing years. But we no longer teach our children HOW to think, but rather what to think and to jump on the bandwagon. There was a book published back in 1928: PROPAGANDA By EDWARD L. BERNAYS who was the German Propaganda Minister for Adolf Hitler. Moving on…

Now, Balaam had a great reputation of knowing who was blessed and who was cursed. If he blessed them, they indeed were blessed; if he cursed them, they were indeed cursed. And the bible indeed indicates, in Numbers 22:12 where it states: “you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” And God warned him not to go with the leaders sent by Balak to bring Balaam to curse the Israelites. You just cannot get any clearer than that where God stated to him: “You shall not go with them” ~Numbers 22:12. One of the first errors of Balaam was he told the leaders: “Go back to your own country, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” ~Numbers 22:13. Which is interpreted to mean in today’s vernacular: “Well, I really, really, really want to go with you, but my Father won’t let me.” Which is an enticement for the other party to help entice you even further into sin. Instead, Balaam should have stated precisely what God stated to him. (1)

Another error accomplished by Balaam was that of falling into a form of greed. Balak sent other leaders, more numerous and more distinguished than the first group. But they offered riches and wealth. And by going was giving into such weakness of man…greed. It indicated to others, or could be inferred by others, that maybe God will change His mind if I go with them and see what Balak sees. (1)

I will reward you handsomely” ~Numbers 22:17 NKJV

Balak sent an offer to Balaam. And by Balaam’s answer, as mentioned, it could be inferred other ways. Meaning, perhaps, that God might just change His mind concerning this invading people and Balaam could obtain some extra money on the side.

Now, I do not know about you but I always had problems discerning the error(s) with respect to the avenging Angel, the donkey, and Balaam. On the cursory view of the matter, everything appeared to be on the up and up, with respect to the mandate of God which is spelled out in verse 20.  And as you read the passage, it still is not spelled out for us. However, we must go by inference with respect to the problem(s) at hand. He is associating and even working with those who are against God’s chosen people. For example, there are those of us (knowingly or unknowingly) who associate with or work with those companies or charities that are blatantly anti-Israel. (3) If we are truly men and women of God we will/would always align with God’s people. We do such things in order to garner support, favor, and acceptability with the secular society. In so doing we are cursing Israel and going against God. We are reminded in the Book of Genesis:

I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” ~Genesis 12:3 NKJV

Matthew Henry’s Commentary spells out quite a bit, in which, the Israelite people’s presence is so that they (Moabites) might come to know the righteousness of the Lord (MHC reference, Micah 6:5 KJV). Balak sent a diplomatic dispatch, of sorts, to Balaam in order to get the Israelites cursed, but you cannot curse that which God has blessed…can you?

God fulfilled His  promise to Israel by showing His displeasure with Balaam by having His angel stand in the way of Balaam, who was protected by his donkey shich he beat three times. It was at that point the Angel was revealed to him. (Numbers 22:21-34 NKJV, (4), MHC ref) We are intended to, and obligated to, follow God’s word, demands of us, requirements, etc. because if we do not we are in sin against God Himself and we will thus separate ourselves from Him!

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” ~ Isaiah 59:2 NKJV

We have a tendency to be blinded by our thoughts or our desires that we are unable to see the dangers ahead of us. God will give us some warning signs and some of us will notice and change our direction. Unfortunately, if you are like me you tend to be a bit thick in the head, stubborn, or just oblivious to what is happening and blame it all on Murphy’s Law, until such time as you notice it was God all along trying to get your attention.

murphys-law

Eventually, we all show our true colors in any given situation, that is a fact! For example, when you claim a friendship with someone and say you are there for them, excepting only those times when they truly need you…you know, stuff like that! But getting back to Balaam, when he told the second set of ambassadors to remain the night. The reason this was wrong, as with many of us, is that we tend to think God will change His mind for our benefit, because it is something we desire to do. There is no need to check with God a second time for anything, as His word is final and is the Law. We need to face something…God’s word is final. (2)

I am truly hoping that I ave not confused any of you, and that I was able to aid in your understanding of Balaam. It is quite difficult, at best. I needed to do some extra biblical reading on the subject, myself.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

References:

(1) The Error of Balaam

(2) Balaam the prophet of error

(3) Balaam’s Error

(4) Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Balaam