Screen shot 2009-09-11 at 11.44.19 AMRomans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

There are examples of this all through the Scriptures that back up what Paul writes here. He is actually quoting from Deuteronomy 25:35.

One of my favor examples is in the book of Ezra. In chapter 1 God fulfills his promise in letting the Southern kingdom of Israel to go home after 70 years of captivity. Cyrus lets them go.

In chapters 2 and 3, once they arrived back into Jerusalem they begin rebuilding the foundation of the temple.

But, visitors came from the north in chapters 4 and 5. They were Samaritans who pretended to have their vision. They did their best to distract, discourage, and accuse them in order to derail the rebuilding of the temple.

These distractions continued for years, on into the time of Nehemiah. When king Darius, now king, searches the records he discovers the original decree by King Cyrus to allow the Jews to rebuild the temple.

The result is found in chapter 6. He declares four things against the Samaritans.

  1. They have a restraining order against them in verse 6.
  2. In verse 8 the King has ordered that the tax money of the Samaritans goes toward the rebuilding of the temple.
  3. In verses 9 and 10 they are ordered to provide everything the priest need in order to offer their sacrifices.
  4. Finally, in verse 11, if anyone makes a change to this decree, the timber will be ripped out of their house and they will be hung on it with their house left in ruble.

Our command is to love our enemies and He will take care of the rest.


Adam, An Influencer?

Screen shot 2009-09-10 at 2.25.42 PMGenesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

As I read this verse I can’t help but get the picture that Adam and Eve knew very well that not only was it God’s presence coming but that He came walking. I can not explain how God came walking, but I am completely convinced that they walked together enough times that they knew what He was doing.

Can you just imagine the experience that Adam and Eve had to walk with God without the limitations of sin getting in the way? Can you imagine the conversations they must have had and the emotions that were involved.

Now, try to understand the loneliness and emptiness they must have felt once this opportunity was gone. The walks are only a memory, but what a memory.

According to Genesis 5:5 Adam lived 930 years. That was long enough to know his sixth great-grandson, Noah’s father, the ninth generation from Adam. And as we read the few chapters following we can see the possibility of Adam’s stories of walking with God.

Genesis 4:26 – after the birth of his grandson, Enosh, men began to call on the name of the Lord.

Genesis 5:22 – after the birth of Enoch’s son, Methuselah, he began to walk with God and walked for 300 years and was no more.

Genesis 6:9 – Noah walked with God.

Genesis 17:1 – God instructs Abram to walk before Him.

That last one was quite a leap, and yet the influence was not so far removed. Although Noah did not know Adam, his father did and for the last 56 years of Adam’s life. Therefore, Noah could have heard the stories secondhand from his father who could have heard them firsthand from Adam.

Abram, although he is 10 generations removed from Noah, could have known Noah for the last 58 years of his life and could have heard the stories of Adam walking with God thirdhand from Noah.

Oh, what it must have been like for Adam and for anyone who would have dared to listen back then and anyone who would dare to imagine and hunger for that walk today.

By the time Adam was dead and Noah was 500 all of mankind had forgotten God and the stories. We tend to so easily forget.

Walk with God.

Enoch, Walking With God (part 2)

Screen shot 2009-09-03 at 10.15.16 AMGenesis 5:22-24 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years And Enoch walked with God; and he was not for God took him.

There are two facts about these verses that are often overlooked. First, Enoch did not walk with God all the days of his life. As a matter of fact, he did not start his walk with God until his first son was born.

Now, as we read on we discover the end result, that his walk is so intense that after 300 years of it God just takes on with him without facing death. But, what got him to thinking about this walk? What convinced him that it was the thing to do?

To discover this we will have to dig deeper into these verse. It was not until after Methuselah was born that he began to walk with God. Do you see anything yet?

Ok, then let’s look into the name Methuselah. We know that names meant everything in Old Testament. So, what did Methuselah mean. His names means – “his death shall bring.” Bring what?

The answer is found in this chapter. It’s in the genealogy and ages. With the information that is given you can easily discover that Methuselah died the same year that the flood came. It was the exact same year.

So, what did Enoch know? Coincidence? An event that effected the whole planet is a major event. Man started over with destruction of every human on the planet but 8. It is possible that this was the first of many rains. And the lifespan of man began to shorten. That sounds major to me.

His death did not happen at an economic crisis. His death did not happen at a major election. His death did not happen at the discovery of a major artifact. His death happened at the destruction of the world.

Did Enoch know something? If he did, which it seemed that he did, how did he discover this? This could have been only a revelation of God.

Therefore, I submit to you that Enoch, once getting a taste of God’s divine revelation, couldn’t stop there. He had to have more. He had a hunger that only God could fill. From that point on he walked with God.

This revelation may have been the beginning of his walk but it certinly was not the only revelation that he had.

Jude 1:14-15 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Enoch, Walking With God (part 1)

Screen shot 2009-09-03 at 9.37.03 AMGenesis 5:22-24 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

I asked my 22 year old son to tell me what he knew about Enoch. He simply said, “Enoch walked with God and was no more.” That is an answer that most people would give. How much more information can you give from three verses here and a small handful in the New Testament?

Did you know that there is a book called Enoch which some accept and others do not? You can find it on the Internet for free. If it is legit then it would be the only book we would have that predates the flood. The Ethiopian Christians have the oldest complete versions of this book in their language, Ge’ez. Some ancient fragments of it have been found near the Dead Sea. Actually, the book of Jude quotes from this book in verses 14 and 15.

So much more can be understood about Enoch if we will take the time and discover exactly what the Bible is saying.

What more can we discover? He walked with God for most of his life, for 300 years. Walking with God seemed to be more than just a change in lifestyle. It was this walking that took him to a place he eventually just kept walking and no one ever found him again.

Hebrews 11:5 offers more insight but still not much detailing on what was involved in the walking. His testimony was that he pleased God during his walks and on the day he was taken by God it was an act of faith.

Are we walking a walk with God that pleases Him?

Halal – Praise

Psalm 150:1-6 Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!

In the King James Version it says “Praise ye the Lord.” This was the favor proclimation of my mother’s father, Glenn Hartman, when he would walk into a room or great someone.

Halal is the most common Hebrew word for praise. It is what makes up the word Hallelujah which is translated, “praise ya” or “praise the Lord.” Ya is short for Yawah which was translated as Jehovah by King James’ scholars who did not realize that the scribes put the vowels of the word Adoni with Yawah to keep them from accidentally pronouncing God’s name.

Halal means to be boastful, to be excited, to enjoy, to flash forth light. It is an explosion of enthusiasm in the act of praising. It can also mean to act foolishly.

Could this be a way to describe David as the disrobed and danced before God with all of his might?

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Ruwa – Shout

Screen shot 2009-09-02 at 10.22.41 AMPsalm 95:1,2 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

We first see this word in Joshua 6 when the instruction is given to Joshua and then from Joshua to the people to “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!”

Ruwa means to shout a war-cry or an alarm or to shout in triumph.

In the book of Numbers king Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel and each time only blessing would come from his mouth. During his second attempt at cursing he made the following declaration in Numbers 23:21:

The Lord his God is with him, and the shout (ruwa) of a King is among them.

Psalm 47:1 Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout (ruwa) to God with the voice of triumph!

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Tehillah – Praise

Screen shot 2009-09-02 at 9.40.42 AMPsalm 22:3 But You [are] holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth.

This word for praise is Tahillah which means to sing praise. This is the praise that dwells on. This is the praise that David said that he wanted to be in his mouth continually.

It’s root word means to shine and the letters of the root word means “Look at the Shepherd” or Look at the One who is in control!” (Hey, Lamed, Lamed)

These are songs that put all attention upon God, to boast of who He is. In Psalm 40:3, David said that “He put a new song in my mouth, praise (tahillah) unto God…”

Psalm 66:2 says to Sing out the honor of His name; Make His praise (tahillah) glorious.

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