Why Curse Canaan?


Genesis 9:25 Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.”

Why did Noah curse Canaan if it was Ham who was guilty? Well, maybe Ham was not guilty.

Think about the clues that these verses offer as well as verses in the next chapter.

  1. Ham saw Noah naked. There is no evidence that Ham DID anything to Noah besides accidentally seeing his father’s nakedness.
  2. Verse 22 points out that Ham, who saw his father’s nakedness, was the father of Canaan. Keep in mind that up to this point in Genesis everything is about the “firstborn.” if you will read verse 10 in the next chapter you will discover that Canaan was Ham’s youngest son. So, why throw in this fact unless it meant something.
  3. Verse 24 says that Noah knew what his younger son had done. Someone did something to him and it had to have been worse than seeing the naked body of an old man.

So, someone did something to Noah while he was naked and verse 24 gives no names, Canaan is mentioned twice while not not even close to being the oldest son, and Canaan gets cursed.

You do the math and take it from there.

Can You Forgive Sins?


picture-171John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

Can we forgive sins? The King James calls it remitting which means to release, to acquit, to surrender.  God forgives sins, but you must also.  You are releasing them from the sins against you.  Don’t hold it in your heart.

Longing for the Wilderness Experiences


In The Wilderness

In The Wilderness

Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

All of my life I have been taught that spiritual wilderness walking was something to be feared. It was recognized by lonely times, moments that God felt so far way.

We often relate the wilderness to spiritual hunger and thirst, doing without, wondering with no direction. But, is it really.

  • Was it not in the wilderness that God gave Israel their first laws as a new nation?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that Israel never had to worry about hunger again because of God’s Manna that He sent them?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that Israel’s clothes never became thread bare?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that God was always visible to Israel as a cloud by day and a fire by night. Never in their history was God ever so close to them visibly.

It is true that all but two of the first generation out of Egypt died in the wilderness. But when we are spending time in God’s presence, learning during lean times how faithful He is to provide – that is when the desires of Egypt can be conquered and our Independence can be placed in check.

Jesus often went into the wilderness to pray. His 40 day fasting took place in the wilderness. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness.

The promise land is wonderful, but let’s not forget what can be accomplished back in the wilderness.

That leads me to another question as food for thought. If Israel moving into the promise land represents heaven, as so many songs suggest, then where were there so many battles taking place in the promise land in order to conquer the land?

Giving and Getting


imagesDid you know that there is a chapter in the Bible that is committed to the subjects of our giving and what we get back? Sure there is and it is found in the New Testament. It is the middle of what we call the Sermon on the Mount – chapter 6.

I did a sermon series on this chapter one year and we had 14 documented substantial financial miracles that happened within two months – I’m talking thousands.

Rather than outline the chapter here I challenge you to look and ask yourself how each verse or paragraph fits into one of two categories; giving or receiving. Grab ahold of these biblical principles and watch them transform your life in your finances.

Just remember, although you may be in the midst of financial stresses, do not forget Genesis 15:1 … “Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

Mustard Seed Faith


From seed to tree

From seed to tree

For those of us who have grown up around faith talk we have heard a thousand times that if we have faith the size of a mustard see that we can move mountains. Not only is that a teaching not supported by any other scripture, but it is a misquote.

Jesus said in Matthew 17: 20 ” . . . I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from her to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

The down side is that there are a few translations which translate this to say “the size of” or “as small as.” And yet, in the original text it is a comparative.

Allow me to explain.

1. In Matthew 6:30 Jesus chides the disciples for having little faith.

2. In Matthew 8:26 Jesus scolds the disciples for fearing the storm and having little faith.

3. In Matthew 14:31 Jesus tagged Peter as having little faith when he began to sink on the water.

4. In Matthew 16:8 it happens again.

Now on the other hand Jesus praises several individuals for having great faith; the Centurion in Matthew 8:10 and the gentile woman in Matthew 15:28.

So, if Jesus is not referring to the size of the mustard seed then what is He referring to? We find the answer in Matthew 13:31-32. The mustard seed one of the smallest of all seeds and yet when it grows it is as big as a tree. The mustard plant in Israel will grow to 6 to 9 feet tall within 6 months.

With that information we can better understand that Jesus was saying that faith, like that of a mustard see, can move a mountain. For the mustard seed understands that it may be the smallest yet it will be great. It is growing faith!

Feel free to leave your comments or insights.

Stormy?


Stormy Walk

Stormy Walk

Matthew 14:22-24 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

Although the disciples were in the middle of the sea in a storm we can not forget this one thing: Jesus made His disciples to get into the boat to go to the other side. They may have been in a storm but they were still in obedience to God’s will. HELLO!

They were called to a mission – go to the other side. What is your mission?

Weathering the storm required faith. Is your faith in the boat or tools of ministry or on the one walking on the water?

Feel free to leave a comment or insight.

Speak To Be Understood


Spreading Seed

Spreading Seed

Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

I am including this one because the verse did much to direct me when I began pastoring in 1995. For me, up until that time, I had never notice this verse and it became real at a time that I was really seeking wisdom as a new pastor.

Straight out of college and into the field, I found myself as a youth pastor, although I had never heard of a youth pastor at the time. It was on-the-job-training. I poured my life into it for 11 years and hung with teens very well.

Then God begin to lead my heart to pastor. I was in strange territory and I needed help. Within the first month God led me straight to this verse and then I understood that it did not matter what sermon method or style I used to deliver a message that burned in my heart. If I did not communicate it then it was wasted breath.

I had always thought that the hard ground was their hard hearts and hard heads that would not listen. That is not what Jesus said here.

Someone once told me that preaching or teaching should not be for the purpose of educating alone, but speak it in such a way that the group can repeat it to someone else. Use all the illustrations you can. Jesus illustrated.

Speak the Word of God to be understood or the enemy will snatch it away from their hearts.

Feel free to leave a comment or insight.