Let God Arise

Let God Arise is an extension of the post-God’s Love. The postmodernist ideology has twisted the love of God to dilute what He did to show His love to us. He sent and allowed Jesus to be the sacrifice for your sin. The catch is you have to choose Jesus and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit into a righteousness life. Right living according to God’s standard is what the world leaves out or twist to justify their wrong behavior.

These verses are a few that show the mind of God. (They are NIV. If you use KJV, look for arise instead of rise.)

  • Psalm 74:22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long.
  • Psalm 45:7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness
  • Isaiah 30:18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

Father God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. We need to adjust our minds back to the mind of God. One area to bring our minds back to His thoughts is miracles. Yes, they are real and they still happen today. God’s miracles are to bring glory to the Father through Jesus. His righteous plan for His kingdom is the driving force behind miracles. Please, do not dismiss the work of the Holy Spirit that is trying to bring people back to the Father.

The miracles and acts of God that are below, I believe, protected the Father’s righteous plan. While defending His own/plan, the offending party did not fare well. But, Father God is just, whether you agreed with Him or not. Check the verses, as I am giving a synopsis of the story. 

            Sarah 

  • Genesis 12:17 God defended His woman, even when her husband feared for his safety. Diseases afflicted Pharaoh and his household because of Sarah. 
  • Genesis 20:3-17 Abimelech and his household became afflicted with diseases and their wombs closed. God rose up and protected Sarah and Isaac.

            Moses 

  • Numbers 16 The earth swallowed Korah’s family alive when it opened up, and the opposing elders also burned as they opposed Moses and Arron.
  • Numbers 21:1 Miriam, Moses’ big sister, contracted leprosy because she wanted to be in charge.  
  • Deuteronomy 31 or 34 Moses did not enter the Land, when he did not show God as Holy by obeying Him. 

            Paul 

  • Acts 13:6-12 Elymas of Cyprus lost his sight for a while for perverting the ways of the Lord. He hindered Paul and Barnabas as they talked to Sergius Paulus. (1st trip.)
  • Acts 16:16-19 Owners of the fortune teller lost money and the use of their slave when Paul called out the demon spirit. (2nd trip.)

            Ark

1 Samuel 16:19 The priest or Levities who looked in the Ark when it came back from the Philistines died. It was forbidden, and they knew it. 

David

2 Samuel 6:23 Michal became barren after criticizing David for dancing before the Lord. 

Elijah

2 Kings 1:9 Lightning struck two groups of soldiers and died for threatening the prophet. 

Elisha

  • 2 Kings 6:18 Blind soldiers were led into Samaria.
  • 2 Kings 5:26 Elisha’s servant took money for a miracle instead of giving God the glory. 
  • 2 Kings 2:23 Bears killed the youth who taunted Elisha and called him names. 
  • 2 Kings 7:2 The officer who mocked Elisha’s predication and God’s ability about food being at the gate died at that gate.

Uzziah/Azariah

2 Chronicles 25:11 He was a good king whose pride caused a problem. He offered incense in the Temple, only Aaron’s family could do that. He was struck with leprosy and lived by himself until he died.

Nebuchadnezzar 

Daniel 4:28-33 Nebuchadnezzar became mad until he acknowledged God’s power and gave the glory to Him.

            The Early Church

Acts 5:5 Ananias and his wife dropped dead for lying and trying to bring themselves glory. 

Let God Arise and His enemies be scattered. The Father is no pushover. Just because He has mercy does not make Him weak.

In pondering these stories and other miracles in the Bible, something stuck out and is worth mentioning. Jesus went around doing miracles and setting captives free. The Plan involved Him dying, and being beaten, and mocked, and abandoned. But the defense of God’s plan begins again in the ministry of Paul and Peter. 

Let God arise and His Kingdom come.

God’s Love

God’s love, God is love, or a God of love are terms that I have heard many times in the news and or on media sources lately. These facts are real for me as a Christian. The times I have heard them used have not been by Christians. It is political pundits, tv-trebles, movie-missed-the-pointers, and leftist-that-have-leaned-to-far individuals that have been giving their jaded insights into God and love. The problem is not that they are sharing their views. The problem is that Christians have a hard time separating out the partial truths they are saying. The comments have fallen into two general groups: 1. The way God should be. 2. Christians not fulfilling THEIR idea of loving your neighbor.

In my opinion, much of this comes from the postmodern influence on our society. Postmodernists change your mind by changing the vocabulary of society. One example of this is how they changed the Biblical definition of marriage. This practice is a bastardization of Romans 4:17 where God calls things into being that was not there before. 

Our Father and Love

When I have heard these interviews, the first thing that stands out is the generic term god. (It is easy to get caught up in this mindset.) So, ask them to name the god they are talking about. Another push would be to ask if it is a capital G or a lower-case g god. As a Christian I have a Father God, Jesus is my Lord, and the Holy Spirit is our Helper. Ask them to say Jesus is Lord. Pray for guidance here because you need to be knowledgeable and comfortable in how you refer to God. Who knows, their god maybe that lucky sports jersey with their good luck number on it. Please, remember the god of this world is satan, he is the maker of the problems we see here. Jesus has the keys and all things will be set right in time, read Revelation.

The second thing I have heard is they want our God to act according to their paradigms of what a good god should act like. A news commentator thought that a good god should give just sunshine, lollipops, and blue skies, and no one ever suffers. Basically, he was blaming Father God for the work of satan and this fallen world. He went on to say that a good god should accept the things he did and never judge him.

The Third issue was the definition of love. Ask them to define the love they are talking about. The burden here is on you to know God’s love, a good study is the only way to have a good answer. When was the last time YOU studied the topic of agape (love), as found in the Bible? How do charis (grace) and God’s view of you sit in your study program? Oh, just one passage or internet search does not make a study of a word or topic!

Here are a few verses:

  1. Psalm 45-God loves righteousness and hates wickedness.
  2. Psalm 136-He is good and His love endures forever.
  3. Acts 10:38-Jesus went about doing good.
  4. Exodus 34:6-7-This is God introducing Himself to Moses on Mt. Sinai. 
  5. 1 John 4:8 and 16 are the only verses I found that says “God is love”. That is enough for me, but I thought you should know. The Greek is theos eimi agape. This is from Mounce Reverse Interlinear.

Why-Is a very big part of the argument on how God acts. You need to know it is the god of this world they are complaining about, not Jehovah. Adam and Eve gave control of the Garden/world to satan, don’t blame Father God.   

Christians and love

Finger-pointing, condemnation, and you do not do enough were a few things I remember from the interviews. These are the same people that blocked Samaritan’s Purse from setting up during the pandemic to help New York hospitals. Helping and doing good deeds because we love God and our neighbor should be our heritage. Unfortunately, there are people who like to be Christians that don’t like Jesus and His ways. But, asking them how much they have personally given to relief and charity work may be a good start to changing the direction of the conversation. Just make sure you are part of the solution.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 does not fit well in a liberal thought process. Helping a person in need versus giving them everything does not get you votes on election day.  

The Father’s Love

Remember, God the Father’s love for us came at a price. There was a dead Son, a cross and beatings, blood, and letting His Son go through that for us. That part of God’s love the world cannot understand. Choosing Jesus and being led by the Spirit cost you something. Understanding grace and that the Blood of Jesus is why God accepts us with our sins is just not talked about enough.

God’s love is real, but you do not get to dictate to Him how He loves.     

Kingdom Wedding

Matthew 25:1 compares the Kingdom of Heaven to ten girls waiting for their wedding. This post continues the ideas in the Ten Virgins Who Woke Up by examining components of a Jewish wedding. Marriage and the Wedding are core to the Kingdom of God. It is the third thing that God provided to Adam in the Garden-a place to live, a way to support himself, and a wife (life is a given). Genesis 2:24 is the first explanation or commentary in the Bible. The verse explains the “why” for the first recorded words of any man: “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. Yes, Adam spoke names of animals, but they are never listed. This shows the importance of marriage. Because this joining reflects how God wants us to relate to Him, is there any wonder why marriage between a man and a woman is being attacked? The serpent’s assault on the Kingdom in the Garden is intended to separate mankind from God and to tear apart the union of Man and Woman. What if Adam never ate the fruit? Eve was deceived, but sin entered when Adam followed his wife in eating the forbidden fruit. How would things look now if Adam followed God’s voice and instructions? Okay, back to the symbolism in a Jewish wedding. 

In Luke 2, Mary is betrothed to Joseph. This part of the wedding is the erusin and, according to custom, they are bound to each other. Joseph’s father paid the mohar or bride’s price to Mary’s father (Exodus 22:16). This money should follow Mary into the marriage, but the money or services belonged to Mary’s father. I am sure that the money became part of Joseph’s concern when he found out Mary was with child. Father God paid the mohar; Jesus came to earth and died for us to pay the price. Our erusin began when we choose to accept that payment of Jesus’ blood and the work of the cross.

The mattan are the gifts given to the bride by the groom over and above the mohar. This thought is overwhelming! Jesus sent the Holy Spirit and with Him are the gifts. Charis is the Greek word used for the gifts of the Spirit and for grace. Are you picking what part of the mattan you want and fits in your BOX, or are you taking all the Gift? 

For the next parts of the wedding, I will list and explain as I see them and how they fit into the Kingdom.

  1. In the erusin, the groom is to prepare a place for the bride to live (John 14:2+3). Search in Bible Gateway for-prepare a place. The results are interesting. https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=prepare+a+place&resultspp=100&version=NIV
  2. The bride (and the groom) are to wash in a mikveh. This is a spiritual preparation. A mikveh is a pool of living (moving) water. I will equate the washing to baptism, but there are many types and reasons for washing in Jewish customs. 
  3. Nissuin is the wedding, and a part of this is a colorful parade. This procession is in the parable of the Ten Virgins. The Bride was never sure when the groom would come, so they had to be ready. The Father of the groom decided the exact time for the procession. Jesus said this in Matthew 24:36. I did not find this in my current research, but I believe the nissuin was two parades, one going to get the Bride and one going home. If that is the case, I would like to call the Palm Sunday ride into Jerusalem the first parade and the second parade is yet to happen.
  4. The chappah is what the Bride stands under, and that symbolizes the marriage chamber. May I offer the tongues of fire when they settled above the disciples’ heads on the Day of Pentecost as the chappah? They represent the glory of Heaven as first seen on Mount Sinai
  5. The Bride has responsibilities and duties during the erusin. Her price has been paid, and she is now married (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The free.messianicbible.com site uses the Parable of the Virgins as its focus, so I am good with that. Again, I don’t have sources, but many of the things they say I have heard/read in other places. The bride had to be ready and part of that was a lamp filled with oil. She was to be concerned about her clothing and ornaments. She needed to be listening for the shofar (the trump) that will announce the groom’s coming. In our current customs, the bride and her family are busy doing all the work for the perfect day. That is not what it looked like in the first century. The groom handled the marriage feast.

Another post will focus on verses in the Bible about this topic. They are surprising. Psalm 45, which is labeled a wedding song, will provide a new twist on Kingdom, weddings, and brides. 

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/465162/jewish/The-Jewish-Marriage-Ceremony.htm

https://www.biblegateway.com

myjewishlearning .com

jfedgmw.org

free.messianicbible.com

I apologize about the URL for the last three websites. All deal with ancient Jewish wedding practices. Facebook is creating links that I did not wish to have in my post.

Ten Virgins Who Woke Up

The parable of the Ten Virgins caught my eye because they woke up from sleeping while they were waiting for their bridegroom. The term woke has become a popular phrase to identify yourself with a particular ideology, almost theology. It is important for believing Christians to take notice of the two groups that woke up in this parable.

Matthew 25:1+2 has the Wise Five and the Foolish Five as part of the kingdom of heaven. In our modern context of Woke, that adds a layer to the story that only God could have seen. But the story was told to first-century Jews and for us. Because the groups had different responses and actions after they woke up from a period of sleep or inaction would have more meaning for Jesus’ audience. 

The setting of when and where this story was told is part of the prophetic importance that I usually miss. The immediate setting is the Temple just before Jesus’ final Passover. But placing it in the metanarrative of the Gospels cannot be lost in the parable’s study. This Passover is about forty months from when Jesus went to the Jordan to be baptized by John, Matthew 3:13. The exact time is not recorded, but after Jesus’ first miracle, He goes to Passover, John 2:13.

Jesus was at the Jordan when he started His triumphal march to Jerusalem. This concluded with the parade we call Palm Sunday. (See on His Way to Jerusalem and #2, and The Triumphal Enter.) The Sermon from the Temple occurs on Tuesday of Holy Week. The Kingdom and His return become the chief topic and the watchfulness that the believers in God should have is highlighted. When Jesus tells this parable, it is to reinforce and add to several vignettes about the End of the Age. Jesus frames this parable with why He is teaching it: Matthew 25:1 and 25:13. Verse 1 says (my paraphrase) Then the kingdom will be like ten virgins. Then the kingdom, or at that time, refers to 24:36-51. This is echoed in verse 13 when it says, watch or stay alert because you do not know. 

The Kingdom is the object of the lesson, and everything will need to be viewed considering it. But this teaching is being used to explain 24: 36-51. Then, as now, people had/have different views of what God’s kingdom should look like. We want to think we know the mind of God, but our personal desires, doctrinal leanings, and political hopes might not be what God has in mind. Please, be careful of putting God in YOUR box.

Like it or not, all ten girls represent the kingdom, vs 1. You can argue the metaphors all day long and there are many things that have been said, but the ends time will be like those virgins. (This is stirring me to focus again on the kingdom.) All started with a call or invitation from the bridegroom, all brought their own lamps; all of them fell asleep, all woke up and tended their faltering lamps; and all wanted to go with the bridegroom. The first five are foolish (moros Strong’s G3474) because they take part in senseless wickedness. The wise (phronimos Strong’s G5429) five are considerate, thoughtful, prudent, and discreet. Leaders of the kingdom, that sounds like the people need your help.   

Woke Up-the virgins all responded to the call that their Desire was near and they had to go meet Him. The Foolish Five demanded oil from the wise. They were denied. So, in the middle of the night, they went and woke up those who sold oil. Does that sound familiar? The Wise Five left and went to wait for the groom. The refusing to share, by the Wise Ones, will need further musing, but that is a radical thought. Believers, that sounds like saying NO is an acceptable answer when pressured by those who choose to be foolish. The foolish left and got: I never knew you, when they knocked on the door. THOUGHT-How would this story look if they had just stayed with the Wise Five.

The term in this story for woke is ēgerthēsan. It occurs twice in the New Testament. Here in Matthew 25:7 and then in 27:52. Chapter 27 is telling about the dead who rose to life and went back into Jerusalem.   

https://biblehub.com/greek/e_gerthe_san_1453.htm

For just a moment, compare the two stories-sleeping, waking, and going. Another story about sleeping and waking in Matthew that is connected to Holy Week is the Big Three falling asleep while waiting/praying with Jesus. Again, many connections there are hard to dismiss.

Telling on myself. This post was growing out of control, so I pruned it. Parables of the kingdom and other discussions about the kingdom will be coming. The ten virgins who woke up still have many worthy points in it that need talking about.

Lean

My post “Lean” is a glimpse at this Biblical concept. There will be attempts at humor associated with this post, I hope. I pray my wit will not hinder my attempts to improve the use of lean. Since I am writing this the Oxford Dictionary might not agree that this is sarcasm, which is normally spoken. I personally do not see it as satire because I will not build a story around it. Even though it is written it does not fit a lampoon because I do not want anyone vexed. This is my first test with this post, so we will call it a written satire without a lot of severity. With that resolved, I will now lean in or lean on my subject of lean. (The NIV and KJV are close on the number of times they use the term lean.)

Genesis 41:19 is the story of Pharaoh who woke up because of a dream where lean cows and heads of grain ate up the fat ones. His trusted advisors could not give him the skinny on the dream. So, he called for Joseph. The KJV uses the term lean fleshed, in 2021 that might be viewed as something favorable.  

Jacob leans on his staff in Genesis 47:31 to bless his boys. After reading the Complete (CJB) and Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) and several other scholarly works, it seems he leaned but not on his staff. The first Latin translations did not let the absences of vowels deter them. A better interpretation is he bowed his head on his bed, or at the head of his bed. The man was 147 years old; he did not need to stand up to bless his family.

Samson, in his last minutes of life, likewise did some leaning. He leaned in or leaned on the pillars of Dagon’s Temple to bring it down-Judges 16:26. Because his act brought the house down we can go with lean in.

Leaning in while playing sports frequently gets you called for a penalty. Well, at least in basketball when you are blocking someone. Tackling in football (American) is leaning in. Leaning in while batting in baseball may get you hit with the ball. 

King Saul died while leaning on his spear-2 Samuel 1:6. Finally, I could get a lean on into the conversion. 

The reason for this post is the buzz words-lean in. There is one preacher who seems to want you to lean in during every one of his messages. Not that he uses it wrong, but after thirteen sermons it gets a little old. By the fourteenth time, the expression is no longer fresh. Where did I get my figures? I made them up! Things are always more impressive if you spout numbers. Just hope no one asks you to document your facts. But, then you could say, “Well, everyone knows that.” That always seems to work for politicians, as long as they can change the topic right away. 

In Psalm 62:3, a leaning wall is a metaphor for a man not doing well in life. Walls can lean for a variety of reasons. But getting pushed on repeatedly or fatigue seems valid for this case. So, this metaphor may have been for Jeduthun. He was a prominent official and worship leader in David’s kingdom. If you are the person leaning into someone, know that it will take a toll on them.

Proverbs 3:5 underscores the importance of trusting the Lord and do not lean on yourself. To understand this metaphor better, try to lean on your own body. Okay, that is strange if you just tried it. Leaning on your own arm is done, but the arm should be on something. We need something or someone else to lean on. After that, you are on your own.

The disciple John had the right idea in John 13:25. He leaned on Jesus to ask a question. All the disciples wanted to know the name of who would betray Jesus. (The alternative accounts are in Matthew 26:21, Mark 14:18, and Luke 22:21.) The other disciples did not get an answer because they were not close enough to Jesus to lean back on Him. Judas may have been that close because he dipped his bread into Jesus’ bowl. Luke records a dispute among the disciples during the dinner. I will always think Judas started that. It is an excellent diversion tactic. 

 Anapipto is the word used by John when he leaned back on Jesus. In Strong’s, it is #377 in Greek. Use this to learn more-https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/anapipto

My point is you can lean into someone or something and never touch them. You will hear better because you have come closer to the source. But when you lean on someone, must make contact or you will just fall.

There is a Greek word that all of this leaning made me think of-charatoo. Now, this concept has nothing to do with leaning in or on. The root of this word is charis or grace. Charatoo is used twice in the Bible: in Luke when Gabriel talked to Mary and in Ephesians 1:6. Both refer to grace surrounding the person. I can see Jesus putting His arm around John, surrounding him with His presence when John leaned on Him.

We will go back to the overuse of fashionable terms. I traded out words in these phrases, since I am older, the word in parentheses is what I removed. 

  • Lean (right) on, bro
  • Keep on leaning (trucking)
  • Leaning (standing) tall
  • Stop, look and lean (listen)
  • Lean (waste) not want not

Well, that sounded better in my head than on paper. The point is, don’t lean too often on popular idioms to make your point, because people may lean away from you instead of leaning into you. 

The image is from the Brooklyn Museum https://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/tis-last-supper/