Monday, June 13, 2016

Following Through on Logical Consequences Instead of Dealing with Extreme Behaviors, We Don't Always Stop to Realize That God Is Taking Care of Us, Getting a Greater Sense of God's Involvement in Our Lives posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. Deuteronomy, Chapter 21, verses 18-21.

I don’t want people to get the wrong impression of God because He is both loving and forgiving. I think that God is referring to extreme situations that are similar today. Situations where someone’s grown children are addicted to drugs or alcohol and they don’t work and are defiant. Some make choices that threaten the lives of others. Some beat their parents, some steal and some abuse or neglect their own children.
I know it would be difficult for any parent to consider this extreme of a consequence-no matter how many faults their adult child had. This passage makes me think about how it would be so much easier for parents to address their children’s behavior by setting limitations and having logical consequences while they are still young, so they never get to this point of unruliness.
It seems that some parents are lax about disciplining their children on a consistent basis. I always thought that it was better to make sure that my children grew up respecting laws and were a productive part of society than to have them thrown into prison for stealing to get their next fix. (In this example, the defiant, unproductive adult isn’t stoned to death but is dealt with by society through the penal system.) Who wants that for their children?
I know it takes a lot more effort when parents are already tired after a long day at work. Parents may not want to deal with a child who argues with them when they follow through on consequences. Isn’t it better to deal with that than to see your child have a miserable life later on, dealing with the law or maybe running from it? They are our children and they’re worth the extra effort!!!!

And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against Me, saying, mine own hand hath saved me. Judges, Chapter 7, verse 2.

This is an interesting passage when you know why God said this. Gideon was going to fight the Midianites for God. He called all his soldiers (the Israelites) and a large army gathered. God said, (paraphrased) “If I have the Israelites win the battle against the Midianites while you have lots of soldiers, you won’t realize the victory is because I had you overpower them. Instead, the Israelites will think that they had won the battle because of their large army.
“I want you to weed out the majority of your soldiers so that there is only a small band of your soldiers left fighting against the Midianites. Then they will know that only I, the One True God, was in control of having your small band of men win the battle against the huge army of Midianites.”
The small band of Israelites did overpower the huge army of Midianites. God staged all of this so that the Israelites would have conclusive proof that He is the One True God. (Feel free to read Judges, Chapters 7 and 8, to find out more about this.)

It wasn’t the war part that impressed me so much. It was that God went to such great lengths to show the Israelites that He was looking after them. I think God does this in our everyday lives, as well. I don’t think we always stop to realize that it’s God taking care of us. I think we chalk it off to coincidence or have some other way of rationalizing it. I think God wants us to open our eyes and see how He works in our lives each and everyday. God isn’t just some holy figure way off in heaven, but is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives.

And when he [Samson] came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men. And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi. And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised? But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof En-hakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day. And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years. Judges, Chapter 15, verses 14-20.

This isn’t the story we focused on in Sunday school about Samson and Delilah. This was before that time in Samson’s life. I like this passage because it shows me how powerful God is. Samson was bound and the Philistines wanted to kill him. Sampson was tied up and God made the cords come off of Samson’s arms easily, which is the first miracle in this passage. The next miracle is when God allowed Samson to kill a thousand Philistines all by himself with just the jawbone of an ass.
I’ve seen lots of war shows with one group fighting against the other. The whole screen is filled with people fighting and lots die. In this case, the movie screen would have been filled with a thousand people trying to kill Samson. Samson would be fighting them all by himself with only a jawbone of an ass, a skeleton he found there. Samson killed each and every one of them by himself. Of course, Samson really wasn’t alone; God gave him this ability. After this was over, Samson thought he was going to die of thirst. Then, God had the third miracle happen. Water came out of the skeleton (jawbone of the ass) so that Samson could drink the water and be refreshed.
It is easy for me to read right through this passage and not pay any attention to how God had His hand in these situations. This gives me a greater sense of God’s involvement in our lives and what He is capable of. If He can have one man conquer an army of a thousand, He can surely take care of our daily needs!

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