Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Reflection - Experiencing God (3)

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Chapter 9, Question 4, Page 137.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


The story of Jephthah’s daughter remains enigmatic and disturbing to today’s readers.
PHOTO: The story of Jephthah’s daughter remains enigmatic and disturbing to today’s readers. Indeed, this tale of a nameless young woman, with scarcely a voice of her own and with her violent fate precipitated and carried out by her own father, is surely one of the most horrifying tales in the whole Bible.
Picture posted by Shadows in Eden on Tuesday, 14 October 2014
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DmxQLnsBcHc/VD2IN60c9uI/AAAAAAAAGdU/Uyt0DsnYArg/s1600/Edwin-Longsden-Long_Jephthah's-Vow_The-Martyr.png
http://shadowsineden.blogspot.sg/2014/10/jephthahs-daughter-darkness-in-gilead.html
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vCTJwGIdEtI/VwJqmtXxkwI/AAAAAAAAjfQ/VDLahios6wUrjgF4RU4eTJeqilmU8GzFQ/s1600/Edwin-Longsden-Long_Jephthah%2527s-Vow_The-Martyr.png
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/04/reflection-jephthahs-daughter-women-of.html


Jot down examples where the Bible has taught you, rebuked you, corrected you, and trained you in righteousness. Share your list with others to encourage them.

Jephthah's Daughter - Women of the Bible
Do not be quick with our mouth, do not be hasty in our heart to utter anything before God. Stand instead in awe of God.

Jephthah makes a sacrifice of his daughter according to his rash vow.

There is some debate from the text as to whether or not Jephthah fulfilled his vow or not, but whether or not he did, it was still a foolish vow.

God knows we are fallible humans who are likely going to fail if we make a vow to Him. This is sin. The Bible also says that there is nothing at all wrong with never making a vow to Him. Therefore, it is wise to never make a vow.

Bible says that there is NO sin that is unforgivable (save for Blasphemy Of The Holy Spirit). Therefore, obviously, breaking a vow/oath to God CAN be forgiven. We must come before Him with true repentance, confessing our sin and God will be "faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness".Jesus said in (Matthew 5:34-37), "(34) But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: (35) nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (36) Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. (37) But let your communication be, Yea (Yes), yea; Nay (No), nay: whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (Texts by Steve Shirley - http://jesusalive.cc/ques210.htm)

The Sacrifice of Jephthah's Daughter
PHOTO: The Sacrifice of Jephthah's Daughter
Jephthah vows to God that if victory is granted to him, he will sacrifice to God “whoever [whatever] comes out” of his house first on his return from the fight (Judges 11:31). God grants Jephthah and his forces victory over the Ammonites. The rejoicing is short-lived, however, for on the return to his house it is his daughter that he sees coming out to meet him. Jephthah bemoans (express sorrow) the fate to which his vow has brought him.
Painting by John Opie (1761 - 1807) - The Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter, 1790
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8VNHx1GuIhk/VwJqod0uBvI/AAAAAAAAjfc/C4GhJR9hhu8YQ8iDYD4G1pdzzywlvmN2A/s1600/The_Sacrifice_of_Jephthats_Daughter-001.jpg
http://www.newprophecy.net/The_Sacrifice_of_Jephthats_Daughter-001.jpg
http://www.newprophecy.net/more22.htm
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/04/reflection-jephthahs-daughter-women-of.html



Deborah and Jael - Women of the Bible
Deborah did not lack confidence but she did not allow pride to taint her. It is a godly attitude that promotes a person. People will respect and heed to your ministry once they see the love and character of God flowing out from you.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul tells us that God said to him, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Paul then, concludes with these words, For when I am weak, then I am strong.

That is God’s message to us. We do not have to first become strong to work for God. Just as God gave a great victory for the Israelites through the hands of Deborah in the Bible and Jael, the Kenite. He will give that same victory to us in the battles we face each day. It is never by our strength that we overcome the hurdles of life, but only God’s strength as He works through us. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

As you go about your duties today, think of Deborah. Go out today and be strong for God!

Deborah encouraged Barak to stand up as a deliverer of God’s people
PHOTO: Deborah encouraged Barak to stand up as a deliverer of God’s people
Picture posted by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania on August 2015
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Jde0yhl1Efk/VvpzVq1C3ZI/AAAAAAAAjak/a1ifYIch-Ag74ib6h9wip0MG8IY4tMEJw/s1600/2015566_univ_cnt_2_xl.jpg
https://assetsnffrgf-a.akamaihd.net/assets/m/w15/20150801/w15_20150801.art/2015566_univ_cnt_2_xl.jpg
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20150801/deborah-mother-in-israel/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/03/reflection-deborah-and-jael-women-of.html



Achsah The Daughter Who Asked for More
We can be like Achsah when we pray. She had strong faith and trust that God would keep His promises. Our heavenly Father wants to bless us. We should be bold as she was when we present our petitions. We should not be surprised if our Father gives us even more than we asked.

Achsah was a woman who boldly asked.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened…. how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  (Matthew 7: 7,8,11).

Achsah is Caleb's only daughter
PHOTO: Achsah is Caleb's only daughter
According to one rabbinic tradition, Achsah was so beautiful that any man who looked upon her would be angry with his own wife for being less beautiful.
She also got her pluck and pushy determination.
Picture posted by seanieblue.com - Shahrzad Raqs, belly dancer, A burgeoning superstar. Shot at the Yellow Shoppe.
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JUxSiFIno0s/Vup99RxXhJI/AAAAAAAAjSw/zXTZTxz1ZekzpAIF1DMUZlukUZwDaVjCQ/s1600/nica%252B1300%252B39%252B%25281%252Bof%252B1%2529-2.jpg
http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5057b74724acf7cfaa540574/50826ef2e4b066390d121877/53dcc317e4b095bd5b107a4f/1407486564422/nica+1300+39+%281+of+1%29-2.jpg
http://www.seanieblue.com/performers/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/03/reflection-achsah-daughter-who-asked.html



Rahab the Harlot (prostitute) of Jericho and the Two Spies
We are sinners and if we die in our sins we can't pay the price to get into heaven. We need a Savior. Jesus died for us so that we can be forgiven and saved.
After escaping, the spies promised to spare Rahab and her family after taking the city, even if there should be a massacre, but she had to mark her house by hanging a red cord out the window.

A prostitute named Rahab began to believe in the God of Abraham.
PHOTO: A prostitute named Rahab began to believe in the God of Abraham. When she hid the spies sent from Joshua, she gained the salvation of her whole family.
"By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe [her faith in the coming Messiah saved her] when she had received the spies with grace."(Hebrews 11:31).
Texts posted by HubPages Inc. on 11 September 2015, http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gods-Gift-Of-Music-Part-2-PoetryMusic-Connecting-The-Old-Testament-With-The-New
Picture from free-wallpapers/imgs
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xxpcI3GBgUE/VuAuMFbiL3I/AAAAAAAAjMw/a_5cySbmMdo/s1600/Hetaera.jpg
http://fantasyartdesign.com/free-wallpapers/imgs/Hetaera.jpg
http://fantasyartdesign.com/free-wallpapers/imgs/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/03/reflection-rahab-harlot-prostitute-of.html



The Devil, the flesh, and the world
God rescued us from the power and bondage of the world, the flesh, the devil, and supernaturally empowered us with the light of His truth, love, and Holy Spirit. The power of darkness is anything that blinds a person to the reality of sin, the true love of God, and the victory we have in Christ.  It is the power of darkness that blinds a person to his or her need for salvation, and from receiving God's free gift of Holy Spirit.

At the moment a person accepts Christ, he or she stands before God completely justified, as though that individual never sinned.
PHOTO: At the moment a person accepts Christ, he or she stands before God completely justified, as though that individual never sinned. The believer starts off with a clean slate, and also receives access to God's throne of grace for the forgiveness of sins committed thereafter.
Picture posted by Joye Nichter
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZDIi5N28Wr8/VtFBb6yT3NI/AAAAAAAAjFw/Bh-Qi8KG9fo/s1600/476cdb4f49e83511e53b223869f8c1cc.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/47/6c/db/476cdb4f49e83511e53b223869f8c1cc.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/66568900717054161/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/reflection-devil-flesh-and-world.html



Doing God's will
As we seek God’s will, we should make sure what we are considering is not something the Bible forbids. For example, the Bible forbids stealing; since God has clearly spoken on the issue, we know it is not His will for us to be a bank robbers - we don’t even need to pray about it.
As Hebrews 4:13 states, God sees you as you really are.  You are open and lay bare to His eyes.  But He is not only our judge, He is a sympathetic High Priest who is a wonderful counselor and helper.  He will speak to you and tell you what you need to know and what He wants you to do.  Heed His voice and draw near to Him with confidence, and you will receive His mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16).

It is important to know God’s will. At its most basic, the will of God is to repent of our sin and trust in Christ. If we have not taken that first step, then we have not yet accepted God’s will.
PHOTO: It is important to know God’s will. At its most basic, the will of God is to repent of our sin and trust in Christ. If we have not taken that first step, then we have not yet accepted God’s will.
Picture posted by TheGlorySite.com
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ugwf-r8upGg/VsWO9kqWw0I/AAAAAAAAjB0/7xgHNAE2NZI/s1600/JesusandtheDove.gif
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9ot7SJP9FrU/R1AfLITbjHI/AAAAAAAAAWw/wYSRT6TFtqc/s1600-R/JesusandtheDove.gif
http://theglorysite.blogspot.sg/2007/11/when-i-meditated-on-word-guidance-i.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/reflection-doing-gods-will.html



False Teachers
Be seeking not so much to get rid of the opposition but to deal with false teaching through the faithful teaching of God's truth, not with meanness and pride, but with love and gentleness, in the hope that we might win the opponent for Christ. Such a Christ minister would be greatly used by the Lord, and such a ministry of Christian leadership will bring honour to the Lord.

And as the Lord's servant; must not quarrel; instead be kind to everyone, able to teach sound doctrine, and not resentful. This is so that everybody may be saved from falling prey to dangerous doctrines and wrong lifestyles, and be saved.

A False Prophet
PHOTO: A False Teacher, Prophet
Refuting false teaching a better pastoral option than trying to get rid of false teachers. Deal with false teaching through the faithful teaching of God's truth, not with meanness and pride, but with love and gentleness, in the hope that we might win the opponent for Christ.
Picture from CHRISTLICHE STIMME  
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QZlJH9BGx9U/VrM3Y0XwSmI/AAAAAAAAi4M/sPTl6Zi84dg/s1600/wolf.png
http://cerkiew.nazwa.pl/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/xh13.pdf
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/reflection-false-teachers.html



Zelophehad's daughters - Women in the bible
The story of the five daughters of Zelophehad provides legitimation of a limited right of Israelite women to inherit land. It also places specific marriage restrictions upon any women who inherit under this right. The story celebrates women’s boldness and at the same time offers comfort for men who have the misfortune (from the Bible’s androcentric [focused or centred on men] point of view) to have no sons.

When Moses passed out the inheritances he only gave them to the male descendants.
PHOTO: When Moses passed out the inheritances he only gave them to the male descendants. Daughters of Zelophehad, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah all showed up at the door of the tent of meeting and asked why they had been overlooked in the apportioning of the land.
Posted by mylordkatie on 3 November 2014
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qC6mQYGmv0o/VqCgmysZ0PI/AAAAAAAAixI/D6ofd2Qtxqg/s1600/moses-and-daughters-1.jpg
https://mylordkatie.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/moses-and-daughters.jpg
https://mylordkatie.wordpress.com/page/8/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/01/reflection-zelophehads-daughters-women.html



Evidence for Lilith in the Bible - Women of the Bible
Associating the serpent with the female in particular and evil in general has been terribly exploited. In the Bible the serpent suffers from a bad image as an instrument of Goddess worship. The snake is actually a positive, healing concept. The view of the serpent as evil came from the patriarchal projection of all Goddess symbols as evil, of the Goddess religion as evil, and the assumption that anything women were involved with must be inherently evil. - Aradia Vive

Jewish mythological figure Lilith
PHOTO: Jewish mythological figure Lilith
There was a demoness named Lilith who matched all of Lilith’s legend’s critical features and that this demoness was linked to the curses of the bitter water trial.
Picture by John Collier (1850-1934), England -  Lilith (1892)
Posted by Andrey on 8th January 2015

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UHnJOdc6OoA/Vpru8tPPzFI/AAAAAAAAitk/pZ59mPO7qaU/s1600/1892_%25D0%259B%25D0%25B8%25D0%25BB%25D0%25B8%25D1%2582%2B%2528Lilith%2529_86%2B%25D1%2585%2B46_%25D1%2585.%252C%25D0%25BC._%25D0%259B%25D0%25B0%25D0%25BD%25D0%25BA%25D0%25B0%25D1%2588%25D0%25B8%25D1%2580%252C%2B%25D0%25A1%25D0%25B0%25D1%2583%25D1%2582%25D0%25BF%25D0%25BE%25D1%2580%25D1%2582%252C%2B%25D0%259A%25D0%25B0%25D1%2580%25D1%2582%25D0%25B8%25D0%25BD%25D0%25BD%25D0%25B0%25D1%258F%2B%25D0%25B3%25D0%25B0%25D0%25BB%25D0%25B5%25D1%2580%25D0%25B5%25D1%258F%2B%25D0%25AD%25D1%2582%25D0%25BA%25D0%25B8%25D0%25BD%25D1%2581%25D0%25BE%25D0%25BD%25D0%25B0.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EZHpo1FAtCY/VK4l2lhhohI/AAAAAAAAVOA/DHQZsv-PEHc/s1600/1892_%D0%9B%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%B8%D1%82%2B%28Lilith%29_86%2B%D1%85%2B46_%D1%85.%2C%D0%BC._%D0%9B%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BA%D0%B0%D1%88%D0%B8%D1%80%2C%2B%D0%A1%D0%B0%D1%83%D1%82%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%82%2C%2B%D0%9A%D0%B0%D1%80%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%8F%2B%D0%B3%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B5%D1%8F%2B%D0%AD%D1%82%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%B0.jpg
http://vechnost7.blogspot.sg/2015/01/john-collier-1850-1934.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/01/reflection-evidence-for-lilith-in-bible.html



Miriam's Critical Spirit - Women of the Bible
A critical person has an excessively negative attitude with harshness in judging, faultfinding, and complaining. Critics feel a sense of significance and power when they criticize. The heart of a critic is not the heart of God.

Imitate Miriam's example of humility and faithfulness but not the Critical Spirit. Thank God for being gracious and forgiving our critical spirit, making all things new. Our critical spirit can be redeemed into a caring spirit, when aligned with God's Word and controlled by His Spirit

Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses
PHOTO: Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses
Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this (Numbers 12:1-2) .
Photo by Raquel Rodriquez, Know Your Value — Wonderfully Made's (wonderfullymade.org), 19 June 2013
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yHoa8UKEIO8/Vo-zJ7o-tdI/AAAAAAAAiqk/0Nmh5Tabzdk/s1600/criticism_pic.jpg
http://www.wonderfullymadeblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/criticism_pic.jpg
http://www.wonderfullymadeblog.org/?p=75
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/01/reflection-miriams-critical-spirit.html



Shiphrah and Puah - Courageous Women in dangerous times
Reverence and trust God more and more.

These two women deserve to be called heroes. They are an example to us in the way they kept faith in God and demonstrated courage and integrity. They stood up for what was right and refused to collaborate with those seeking to do harm. They feared God rather than man.

Their story is a challenge to us to be open to God, to be obedient to his word and to fear and reverence him above all things.

Shiphrah and Puah, courageous midwives
PHOTO: Shiphrah and Puah, courageous midwives
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.
The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.
Posted by Violet Nesdoly on 15 October 2015, Shiphrah and Puah (Artist unknown)
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rMo7ymn-HZk/Vi3_f9XS1ZI/AAAAAAAAh_U/sEgGCk6ka7U/s1600/shiphrahpuah.png
https://vnesdolypoems.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/shiphrahpuah.png?w=645
https://vnesdolypoems.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/midwife-openings-sjt-redemption/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/10/reflection-shiphrah-and-puah-courageous.html



Remember Jesus Christ
We will look upon the Lamb of God, who is perfectly God and Man, who abolished death and sin, who overcame the devil and restored all things, and worship with awe.

Our response is to wholeheartedly pursue and know the One who has accomplished all of this, the One in whom are all the hidden riches and treasures of wisdom and knowledge of God (Colossians 2:3).

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David
PHOTO: "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David" (2 Timothy 2:8). This statement points to both the divinity and the humanity of the Lord. This dual emphasis on the divinity of Jesus proven by His resurrection and His humanity as a descendant of David.
Painting by Greg Olsen, Lost no more, Never Alone
Jesus Christ, The Good Shepherd, IN THE WORLD, NOT OF THE WORLD by Greg Olsen
Posted by Helena Lehman on Sunday, 02 February 2014 at 2:57 AM

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jj7ysSxN8k8/VicWthhhvZI/AAAAAAAAh8Q/Esu9-GLnn4w/s1600/greg-olsen-good-shepherd.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-okE8UUaY-BA/Uu4GvJ-IEjI/AAAAAAAABV0/92asmA-Oyck/s1600/greg-olsen-good-shepherd.jpg
http://pillarofenoch.blogspot.sg/2014/02/a-sheep-without-shepherd-or-shepherd.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/10/reflection-remember-jesus-christ.html



Tamar (Genesis) - Women of the Bible (This Woman Doesn’t Belong)
Not until the story completes itself in the centuries to come did all of it become clear. There was a lineage spelled out in a bloodline that began with a man named Abraham and ended with a foretold Messiah, Jesus.

Whether Jesus was the Messiah is not for this story to argue, but his history reached backwards through a litany of names unknown to most - Jacob, Akim, Manasseh, David, Perez....and a woman who just wanted a baby.

Tamar. Tamar and Judah. Onan forfeited his role in history and it was completed through a deception. There are some things that just need to happen.

Judah and Tamar (Genesis)
PHOTO: Judah and Tamar (Genesis)
Upon arriving at Enaim, Judah saw the woman but did not recognize her as Tamar because of the veil she wore over her face. Thinking she was a prostitute, he requested her services.
Painting by Émile Jean-Horace Vernet (30 June 1789 – 17 January 1863), Judah and Tamar (1840)
Posted on Tumblr

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vLZZ8U7nHdY/Vh-Ypz9iUHI/AAAAAAAAh4U/3yRtyi_GX9U/s1600/tumblr_m19oxitWmq1qfswibo1_500.jpg
https://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m19oxitWmq1qfswibo1_500.jpg
https://www.tumblr.com/search/judah%20and%20tamar
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/10/reflection-tamar-genesis-women-of-bible.html



Potiphar's wife - Women of the Bible (plotting against Joseph)
Word of advice. When you’re being invited by Potiphar’s wife, run. Leave your cloak behind or what have you. Let her make her accusations. Run like you’re going to die.

Because the truth is, if you don’t run, you’re probably already dead.

And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. Joseph resists her luring enticements('lie with me').
PHOTO: And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. Joseph resists her luring enticements ("lie with me").
Jean-Francois De Troy, Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
Posted by Thomas Hawk (flickriver), photo taken on 23 December 2010

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DfHhvJmm3Ps/Vh0C4Svr2vI/AAAAAAAAh18/uKayrasGBqg/s1600/8072904300_f4dfbcba6a_k.jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8171/8072904300_f4dfbcba6a_k.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/8072904300/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/10/reflection-potiphars-wife-women-of.html



Rachel & Leah - Women of the Bible, a tale of two sisters
After getting your heart right with God, you can then pray and break the curses that might have been let loose in your life because of the actions of other people. It might be helpful to ask other believers to pray with you. Ask God for healing and a restoration of all the things that evil has caused.

Rachel and Leah were two sisters who married the same man - Jacob
PHOTO: Rachel (right) and Leah were two sisters who married the same man - Jacob
Jacob has a nasty shock. Just as he had deceived his own father many years ago (Genesis 27), Laban deceived him. After seven years of hard work Laban tricked Jacob into marrying the older sister Leah - a lot of wine and a veil over the head of Leah during the wedding did the job.
Leah and Rachel when it came to the dowry, their father Laban tricked his daughters and their future husband. It did not end well.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pgVphCSNmRw/VhIfKq6J-TI/AAAAAAAAhxA/bX1h71-LMCA/s1600/Laban_Rachel_Leah.jpg
http://www.womeninthebible.net/Laban_Rachel_Leah.jpg
http://www.womeninthebible.net/money_marriage.htm
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/10/reflection-rachel-leah-women-of-bible.html



Rebekah - Women of the Bible with her human weaknesses
Isaac and Rebekah made the same mistake that many parents make; they chose favourites among their children. This is something that all parents should guide against. The results of such actions can cause conflicts in your home that can go on for many years. You have been warned!

A woman of godly character but not without her human weaknesses
PHOTO: A woman of godly character but not without her human weaknesses
Rebekah, who was described as very beautiful and have a caring heart, pushed Jacob, her son, into deceiving his father and stealing his brothers blessing (Genesis 27:2-13). The same mistake that many parents make; they chose favourites among their children.
Jean-François Portaels (Belgian painter, 1818-1895), Painting - ” Oriental beauty ”
Posted by Istanbul Tours, Ottoman Harem

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QEZ1C5tRJSo/Vg4o8qLd2AI/AAAAAAAAhvc/4m9jaBFU2s8/s1600/harem.ikbal.jpg
http://www.turkeyforholidays.com/images/harem.ikbal.jpg
http://www.turkeyforholidays.com/Ottoman-harem.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/10/reflection-rebekah-women-of-bible-with.html



Sarah kicks her slave Hagar out of the house
God is always attentive to the voice of the one who has been rejected. When, against all probability our prayers have been answered, then and especially then, we should know that God is looking past us to those whose prayers have not been answered, the unhappy, the unhealed, the rejected. Any triumphalism from those who believe they have experienced God’s favour (like Sarah) is not pleasing to God.

Life is never going to be easy, or light, or happy, or wonderful all the time. It’s going to have boring parts. It’s going to have sad parts. It’s going to have disaster, and mayhem, and anger, and tears. No life is without this, and that is why this story in Genesis calls out to us to remember it today. Rather, it’s the ending that calls to us.

'The Expulsion of Hagar', Adrien van der Werfft
PHOTO: 'The Expulsion of Hagar', Adrien van der Werfft
Abraham got up early in the morning, took some bread and a flask of water, and gave it to Hagar. He put the boy in her shoulder sling and sent her away.
Painting by Adriaen van der Werff (1659 - 1722), which is located in Dresden's Old Masters Picture Gallery. The high rectangular picture shows the Old Testament scene with the beautiful slave girl Hagar in the center. Abraham sadly sent her and her son Ishmael from the threshold of his house into the desert. Behind Abraham is his wife Sarah and their son Isaac.
Posted by HAMPEL Fine Art Auctions Munich on Thursday, 25 September 2014

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5_eikBq69so/VgjWzyg26XI/AAAAAAAAhpE/LmqHDZzKJ1g/s1600/Hampel-97013030-1.png
https://www.hampel-auctions.com/img/auktionen/A98/b/Hampel-97013030.jpg
https://hampel-auctions.com/a/Maler-des-18-Jahrhunderts-nach-Adriaen-van-der-Werff-1659-1722.html?a=98&s=409&id=521518
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/09/reflection-sarah-kicks-her-slave-hagar.html



King David, Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite - Coveting and Sin
It was told in the Old Testament that King David, after taking a nap, saw from his palace a "very beautiful" woman  who showered. She was Bathsheba. King David asked that she be brought to the palace, and soon after they met - in the purest human sense, Bathsheba became pregnant.

That would be no problem, but Bathsheba was already married to another man, Uriah. David sent for his good friend Uriah and tried to convince him to go home. There, Bathsheba and Uriah would went to bed and everything would be solved. Uriah would then supposedly be the father of Bathsheba's child. But Uriah refused.

So David asked Joab the commander of his army to "Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die." (2 Samuel 11:15) But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord and David was punished.

Coveting and Sin [2]
While coveting does not always lead to sin, sin most often begins with coveting. If God is the greatest good and of infinite value, then we men should covet having fellowship with Him, and make whatever sacrifice is required to attain and enjoy it. If we once agree that God is the greatest good, then He must be man’s highest goal. Whatever sacrifices a man must make to know God and have fellowship with Him is worth the price.

To covet anything more than God, is to place that thing we covet above God, which is idolatry. Coveting anything above God is making that thing our god. It is assigning to that thing ultimate value and worth. That which has ultimate value and worth in our eyes is our god, it is our idol. Thus, covetousness (which assigns highest value to things, rather than to God) is idolatry.

Matthew 6:19-24Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

We should practice sacrificial giving. By thus “laying up our treasures in heaven” we will begin to experience that our hearts will follow our treasure, and begin to focus on heaven and not earth, on Christ and not things. [2]

 
Bathsheba, Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904)
PHOTO: While coveting does not always lead to sin, sin most often begins with coveting. If God is the greatest good and of infinite value, then we men should covet having fellowship with Him, and make whatever sacrifice is required to attain and enjoy it. If we once agree that God is the greatest good, then He must be man’s highest goal. Whatever sacrifices a man must make to know God and have fellowship with Him is worth the price.

To covet anything more than God, is to place that thing we covet above God, which is idolatry. Coveting anything above God is making that thing our god. It is assigning to that thing ultimate value and worth. That which has ultimate value and worth in our eyes is our god, it is our idol. Thus, covetousness (which assigns highest value to things, rather than to God) is idolatry.
Painting by Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904) - Bathsheba
Bethsabee : Jean-Leon Gerome painting. Jean-Leon Gerome was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as Academicism. The range of his oeuvre (work of a painter) included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects, bringing the Academic painting tradition to an artistic climax.
Posted by Me Quietly, painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9tUQ134llxg/Vff3c3xIj3I/AAAAAAAAhWM/7Kt85baoNWM/s1600/bethsabee-809-2-1.jpg
http://www.deshow.net/d/file/cartoon/2009-12/bethsabee-809-2.jpg
http://www.deshow.net/cartoon/bethsabee-809.html
http://em-mim-serenamente-2.blogspot.sg/2013/06/jean-leon-gerome-betsaba.html

http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/09/reflection-king-david-bathsheba-and.html


Inquisition, Unimaginable Medieval Torture - Terrible people
Here is terrible world of inquisition: barefoot girls in chains, cruel hangmans, gloomy torture-chambers, prisons, dungeons, irons, stocks, collars and of course burning at stake. Visual information found in museums or in ancient engravings, with restored dress, interiors, coiffures and torture instruments as it was.

Occurring every day for centuries, tens of thousands ended up being tortured and executed because of witchcraft.

Reflecting on the facts, and understanding such events occurred "under the law," one can clearly understand how Thomas Hobbes (this is a contemporary biography) came to the conclusions about "man in a state of nature."

". . . . . . Born free, in a state of nature, the individual might end up in chains, in an unjust society. Conservative writers thought that governments should be strong, and accordingly they tended to emphasize the horrors of life in a state of nature. . . . . . . " [4]

"If man is capable of such violence and inhumanity in a state of civilization, what is he capable of when there is no laws, and no society?" - (Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D) [3]

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

Inquisition, Prison
PHOTO: Inquisition, Prison
Picture by Bessonov Nicolay. Confessor. Canvas. 1991.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XrqktvbrW7g/VbEBzD9y5HI/AAAAAAAAgr8/SWE9BncxAMA/s1600/prison-n06.jpg
http://www.inquisition-art.net/gallery/prison-n06.jpg
http://www.inquisition-art.net/eng/gallery/gallery07_09.htm
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/07/reflection-inquisition-unimaginable.html


Inquisition, Dungeon - Months and years were spent in dark dungeons, seperated from the rest of the world, waiting for martyrdom.
PHOTO: Inquisition, Persecution, Arrest
Inquisition, Dungeon - Months and years were spent in dark dungeons, separated from the rest of the world, waiting for martyrdom.
Picture from Biblical and Christian images - Saint dragged to the Colosseum.
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http://biblephoto.ucoz.ru/_ph/34/929621865.jpg
http://biblephoto.ucoz.ru/photo/biblejskie_kartinki/gonenija/34
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/07/reflection-inquisition-unimaginable.html



Godliness and Persecution
While the Bible is filled with promises that make glad the heart of the Christian, there are promises, predictions if you prefer in this instance, which make the Christian heart step back. This is one of those: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

The spiritual dynamic behind this verse is simple enough. The world is not godly, moreover it hates godliness. In particular, the world hates those people who point to or speak of Christ. To the world godliness, Jesus-likeness, is offensive, it is putrid (rotting smell) smelling, indeed, it is the odor of death to those who are perishing. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16) Therefore the world will naturally hate Christ-likeness. Any and all who desire to live like Christ, to walk as he walked, to love as he loved, to hate sin and evil as he hated it, to love the Father as he loved the Father, to hold loosely to the world as he held it loosely, will be hated by the world. Jesus warned us, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

Pray to God for help to endure persecutions and to persevere being faithful to Him. Ask Him to be our Mentor as He has already set His examples when He Carry the cross up to Calvary to save us while we are sinners. Study The Word so that the Holy Spirit can sanctify us.

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).
PHOTO: Scripture says, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (
2 Timothy 3:12). A source of comfort; "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20). We are in conflict with sinful flesh, the world systems, and the god of this world, the devil. But, God is more powerful than all of these.
Amazing creations of Photographer/editor Marina Gondra
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3WJ6ChAXbkA/VlQzgm7XqnI/AAAAAAAAiSw/nTXP4OIAvPU/s1600/photo-48708888.jpg
https://drscdn.500px.org/photo/48708888/m%3D2048/b9fa76ec6f0993ab0dc5e6fe0f70f22d - (photo-48708888.jpg)
https://500px.com/photo/48708888/nunca-jam%C3%A1s-by-marina-gondra?ctx_page=2&from=user&user_id=117665
https://500px.com/marinagondra
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/reflection-devil-flesh-and-world.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/05/reflection-godliness-and-persecution.html



Heresy

Ask to be protected by the Lord.  We are God's servants and we want to serve Him with power.  Seek protection for our homes and to remember the power of His name, the blood of Christ and the word of God.  Do not get lazy in our own personal Bible study so we can know His voice. Ask for help to recognize and discern when a preacher or teacher who is speaking The Words, is twisting, denying and hiding the truth of the message.

Heresy is a departure from the truth
PHOTO: Heresy is a departure from the truth
False teaching that destroys souls and brings darkness. Much was at stake, because if the gospel were distorted or compromised, God's eternal plan of salvation would be compromised, and the salvation of human beings affected. To guard the integrity of the gospel is not a matter of leisurely intellectual debate or ecclesial power politics. It is a life and death issue that affects the salvation of people.
Picture from :La Etnnia's Photos
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https://www.facebook.com/LAETNNIA527/photos/pb.34295217953.-2207520000.1412072045./10152604701642954/?type=1&source=42
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/06/reflection-heresy.html


Reflection - Experiencing God (3)
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


 

Reference
[1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright © 2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART THREE: UNLIKE THE WORLD, Chapter 9 "Christian Character in a Terrible World" (2 Timothy 3:10-17), Page 137.

[2] Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Coveting -- and a Whole Lot More! (Exodus 20:17), posted by Robert L. (Bob)Deffinbaugh on 13 May 2004 (Bible.org), https://bible.org/seriespage/23-everything-you-ever-wanted-know-about-coveting-and-whole-lot-more-exodus-2017

[3] The Horrors of The Church and its Holy Inquisition, from TheChristianEnterprise Website, http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vatican/esp_vatican29.htm

[4] ORIGIN OF SOCIETY, Thomas Hobbes, http://www.uboeschenstein.ch/texte/kuper.html

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