My Third Birthday – Part 1

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him, then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you [Deuteronomy 11:22-23].

It was my third birthday. I remember it well. Dad and Mom were there, along with the several siblings. There was a pretty, decorated cake with my name on it and three lit candles in the center. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of wrapping paper around a rectangular box. A decorative bow graced the top of the box.

My attention straightway went from the cake and siblings to Dad. He held the present, you see. My eyes were riveted on that box in wrapping paper and bow. Nothing else could compete. The world faded into the background, along with everything and everyone. All that existed in my mind was a rectangular box with wrapping paper and bow.

Alas for me, but Dad popped my bubble. The words he spoke went something like this:

Son, here is a list of your chores, itemized by hour and day. You are required to carry your weight, if you want to be a member of this family. Be sure you do every chore on this list and put a check mark next to the chore when you finish it.

If you perform your responsibilities perfectly and don’t fail even one time, then you will remain a part of this family. You will earn this reward which is wrapped in decorative paper with a bow on top. But should you fail even once, it’s curtains for you. You’ll have to hit the road and find someone else to put up with your failing ways.

Huh? I was only three. Was Dad kidding? Was he on drugs? What was wrong with that man?!

Okay. I confess. It didn’t really happen that way, not even close. But guess what. It did happen that way with the Israelites and the Lord. And no, the Lord wasn’t kidding…or on drugs either. The Israelites asked for it and the Lord accommodated them.

The Israelites were at their grand inauguration. They were to become the people of the Lord and represent Him to the world as His family. Trouble was, they were incompetent for the task at hand. Even worse, they didn’t know they were incapable of performing all their chores all the time without fail even once.

That was where the Law came in. Read the two Bible verses quoted at the start of this study. Do you see how the Lord laid a task on the Israelites, telling them that if they perfectly performed all their chores, then He would give them the rectangular box wrapped in decorative paper with a bow on top? Er, I mean He promised to give them the Promised Land as their own country, where they could represent Him to the world as His family.

Oops! We are out of time today. We will continue this subject on the morrow. For today enjoy some time alone with Jesus for a spell.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Deuteronomy: Volume 5 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

What’s a “Mahanaim” – Part 2

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

“Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel [Numbers 14:9-10].

Incredible. Utterly incredible. Ten spies and all Israel witnessed the Lord bring the mighty Pharaoh to his knees. Egypt was the world power of the day, and the Canaanites cowered before Pharaoh. If the Lord made mincemeat of Pharaoh, how could the Israelites believe He was impotent against the Canaanites?! Sin makes us crazy, dear friends. Sin makes us wicked crazy.

The two faithful spies were Joshua bin Nun and Caleb ben Jephunneh. In the Bible verses quoted to kick off this study, the words in quotation marks were spoken by them. Those words were their ticket into the Promised Land.

Standing opposite those two were the other ten spies, with all the Israelites on their side. Let me tell you, those guys (i.e., all the Israelites) were schoolyard bullies! As reported in the Bible verse, all the Israelites wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb. We might be inclined to ask them why.

I mean, they saw with their own eyes how the Lord put the lumber to the side of Pharaoh’s head and set him straight. It didn’t even require faith to trust the Lord for victory. Eyesight sufficed in their case! But no, they preferred to disobey the Word of God because there wasn’t a soupçon of true spirituality in them.

The Israelites looked at the enemy, then they gazed at themselves, and they drew their conclusions based upon what they saw at the time. This is known in Scripture as walking by sight. Trouble is, without faith it is impossible to please God. They needed to walk by faith in the Word of God. That is how we depend on God to solve the problem.

So there were Joshua and Caleb on one side, and over against them were the other 3½ million Israelites. Joshua and Caleb exhorted them to obey the Word of God. The 3½ million folks threatened to stone Joshua and Caleb to death. But the Lord…

Ah, throughout history those words have spelled the conclusion to the matter. They did so in Egypt. They did so at the Red Sea. They did so at Mount Sinai. And guess what? They did so at Kadesh-barnea too.

The Lord appeared in the tent of meeting as the Shekinah glory, and the matter was resolved pronto. The adult Israelites would not be permitted to enter the Promised Land and receive it as their inheritance because they hadn’t faith in the Word of God. Instead, they would walk the desert sands for another thirty-eight years, until the entire lot of them had died.

After they died, their grown children would be permitted the pleasure of entering the land, conquering it, and receiving it as their inheritance. Joshua and Caleb were the only adult Israelites at Kadesh-barnea who would enter with the younger generation thirty-eight years thence.

The picture painted by the two Bible verses we quoted is an exact replica of all human history. The world stage is composed of two camps:

  1. the Lord
  2. mankind

Mankind is made up of two camps (aka Mahanaim):

  1. those with faith in the Word of God
  2. those without faith in the Word of God

It has always been this way, it is this way now, and it will be this way until Jesus comes again and sets all things right. Every human being is permitted to choose whom he will serve. We can choose to believe the Word of God and act accordingly, or we can choose to believe self and act in kind.

So which camp are you in?

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Numbers: Volume 4  of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

What’s a “Mahanaim” – Part 1

Sunday Mornings at the Movies.

Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake!  Simply click here to order.

Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.

“Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel [Numbers 14:9-10].

In the schoolyard at elementary school the bullies tend to rule. The bullies are the biggest and baddest dudes, of course. If they can hoodwink the rest of the kids into being intimidated by their presence, then they continue to rule.

The next best thing to being the bully in the schoolyard is to be the bully’s best friend. No one picks on you then because no one wants to settle accounts with the bully. In effect the bully’s best friend has the stature of the bully himself.

The Israelites were at Kadesh-barnea. Two years prior they witnessed the Lord inflict the mighty Egyptian god, Pharaoh, with ten plagues, bringing bully Pharaoh to his knees in abject and unconditional surrender. This self-styled “god” cried “Uncle!” and pleaded for mercy from the Hebrew God, YHWH, i.e., the Lord. As terms of his surrender, Pharaoh released the Israelites from slavery. Yea, he even begged them to leave his land!

The Israelites then marched to the Red Sea, where Pharaoh attempted to renege on his agreement to set the Israelites free. He charged after them, hemming them in between the Red Sea and his armies. Once again the Israelites witnessed the Lord inflict the mighty Egyptian god, Pharaoh, with utter defeat. Pharaoh and all his military were drowned in the Red Sea, while the Lord’s people, Israel, crossed the seabed on dry ground.

From there the Israelites marched to Mount Sinai, where they spent a year receiving the Lord’s legal code to govern them in the Promised Land. And they constructed the tabernacle worship structure and crafted the priests’ wardrobe. Now they were able to maintain a covenantal relationship with the Lord. All that was needed was a land to call their own.

So the Lord directed them to leave Mount Sinai and march to the southern border of the Promised Land. And that is how the Israelites found themselves at Kadesh-barnea. The city was on the southern reaches of the Promised Land, on the edge of the Sinai Peninsula.

The Lord directed the Israelites to enter the land, conquer the peoples living there, and exterminate them. The land was their inheritance from the Lord. The Israelites thought it wise to send spies in first to reconnoiter the terrain and peoples, so as to plot a proper military strategy for conquering the land.

The Lord permitted it, though He was none too pleased that they didn’t trust Him enough to enter and conquer the land. So twelve spies went into Canaan and surveilled the territory. Alas, but they didn’t return with a unanimous verdict.

Two spies sided with the Lord and wanted to enter the land and conquer it according to the Word of God. However, ten spies claimed the inhabitants were giants whom the Lord was too small to defeat! To make matters worse, the entire congregation of Israel sided with the ten timorous spies.

This is mind-boggling, dear friends! We need to take our leave for now and gather our thoughts at the feet of Jesus. We will continue this tale tomorrow.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Numbers: Volume 4 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86