Abraham … a liar?!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by 254chronicles

Before you dismiss this as an attack on the Abrahamic faiths or a conspiracy theory, hear me out.

Yes, he is the father of faith. He’s the one that most Biblical characters referred to when quoting whose God’s people were: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Israel. He’s the one who was instructed to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, who was born to him and his wife after close to a century of childlessness, and almost did it too. He’s the one God initiated the covenant of circumcision with, a practice that is still very much alive today.

Impressive CV, right?

Well. let’s turn back the clock to just before his name change. Now my story begins…

Abram had been called by God to leave his family home and travel to Canaan, the land God promised to his descendants. He arrived safe and sound, and even built an altar to the Lord. 

Unfortunately, famine struck while he resided there, prompting him and his family to flee to Egypt. His wife Sarai was very beautiful. (A Jewish legend says when Abram went into Egypt, he tried to hide her in a casket. When Egyptian customs officials asked what he had in the casket, he said, “barley.” “No,” they said, “it contains wheat.” “Very well,” answered Abram. “I’ll pay the custom on wheat.” Then the officers said it contained pepper. Abram said he would pay the custom charges on pepper. Then the officers said it contained gold. Abram said he would pay the custom charges on gold. Then the officers said it contained precious stones. Abram said he would pay the custom charges on precious stones. By this time, the officers insisted on opening the casket. When they did, all of Egypt shined with the beauty of Sarai. These same legends say that in comparison to Sarai, all other women looked like monkeys. She was even more beautiful than Eve.)

He anticipated that she would be taken by Pharaoh due to her beauty, and feared he would be killed. Therefore, he instructed her to say she was his sister,  a half-truth (or half-lie), as she was his half-sister. As he expected, on their arrival, she was taken to Pharaoh’s house. Abram was treated well for her sake, rewarded with livestock and servants. Seemed like his plan worked…. or so he thought.

God afflicted Pharaoh and his court with great plagues. Pharaoh wasn’t the dullest knife in the drawer, and quickly put two and two together. He summoned Abram and asked him why he lied. Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.

These were the humble beginnings of one the greatest men that ever lived. He later trusted God enough to almost sacrifice his only son. Through God’s grace and transformative power, Abram grew from a liar to the father of faith.

Faith is not a mushroom that grows overnight in damp soil; it is an oak tree that grows for a thousand years under the blast of the wind and rain. (Barnhouse)

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2012 by 254chronicles

A prostitute in the King’s bloodline

Posted in Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Fear of God, God, Jesus, Joshua, Rahab, Religion, Uncategorized, Women, women of the bible with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by 254chronicles

Rahab.

Think she’s one of the more outstanding women. Her story just reminds me of how God searched for a young king David, a humble shepherd in a family of burly warriors. How God said through Samuel that He’s only interested in what is in our hearts and not what is on the outside.

Here’s how her story went:

The Israelites were now on the offensive; it was their turn to eat. They had just crossed into Canaan, and leadership had transferred to the young but very able hands of Joshua. As always, their missions were preceded by reconnaissance carried out by two of Israel’s finest. Their instructions (should they accept them) were to “look over the land, especially Jericho”.

Off the two spies went.

Once in Jericho, they entered Rahab’s house, and she gave them refuge.

When the Israelites first embarked on their journey, God promised to put fear in the hearts of their enemies, so Rahab knew who these spies were representing. In fact, everyone knew of the Israelites and their mighty God … the desert nomads who had swept through entire cities and eliminated whole tribes. They were the chosen ones.

She hid them in the roof of her house, and when the kings people came around searching for them,  she quickly gave them a story to lead them off course. She protected and sheltered the spies, and sought only one thing in return. Aware of their mission, she knew her beloved home town was soon to be no more. With this in mind, she asked that her life, and those of her family, would be spared by this Great God of Israel.

They accepted the terms. She was further instructed that she was to hang a scarlet cord from her window and leave it there on the day the Israelites would come. That way, she and all who would be in her house, would be saved.

When they came, they marched around the city and sounded their trumpets …. and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. Rahab, as well as her family, were safe. After the city and all in it were burned, Rahab and her family lived with the Israelites.

Someone saw how powerful God was. Someone noticed that with these Israelites was a real God. Her life was spared, and she ended up one of Jesus’ ancestors.

” The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 1 Pro. 1: 6-8 (NIV)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2012 by 254chronicles

Originally posted on Rivers of Hope:

And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit-.-.-.-And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. —Mark 9:17, 22

You may be facing failure, or perhaps you just received a bad report from the doctor. You may desperately need Jesus, but a faithless disciple may have destroyed your faith. One of the greatest obstacles to seeing lost souls won to the kingdom is the failure in the lives of professing Christians to live for Christ. They say one thing on Sunday—but on Monday, it’s business as usual.

Jesus responded by telling the one who came to him the problem was not with what He could do, but in what the man could believe. Jesus…

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Ruth … a simple girl

Posted in Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Faith, God, Love, relationships, Uncategorized, Women, women of the bible with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2012 by 254chronicles

Here’s a summary of the Old Testament book.

RUTH:

The man she married had moved into her home town (Moab) from Bethlehem due to drought. He passed away 10 years into their marriage, childless. His brother, and before them, their father, also passed away. Ruth was left with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and sister-in-law, Orpah. Since Naomi had nothing left in this foreign land, and the drought was over, she decided to return to Bethlehem. The original plan was to go alone, but Ruth insisted on staying by her side, till death (& possibly beyond).

In Bethlehem, Ruth collected the barley left behind by the harvesters in Boaz’ field. He saw her, and liked her. On Naomi’s instruction, she spent the night at Boaz’ feet, a way of stating her interest in him. The next day, Boaz asked their immediate relative if he was going to buy Naomi’s land (which was a custom) in order to keep her late son’s name, and marry Ruth as well. The relative declined and, with the elders as witnesses, Boaz took up the role, as he was the next in line.

Ruth and Boaz’ first child, a son, was King David’s grandfather.

MY THOUGHTS:

It’d be a short movie this one. But, coming from books filled with rules, doctrine, customs (the books of the law) it is a welcome break to just sit back and view someone’s life.

In chapter one, we see how she spent 10 years without a child. We all know what a big deal this was (and still is). Nothing else is mentioned about this till the last chapter where “God enabled her to conceive” when she was Mrs. Boaz. Note the use of the word “enabled”. Don’t take that pregnancy for granted ladies … it was His will.

Her obedience to her mother-in-law is also another theme. Everything Naomi instructed her to do, she followed diligently. This, coupled with her loyalty to the lady, were surely what made her known as a “woman of noble character” throughout the town.

She was simple and respectful. These to me are the true beauty of a woman. The purity of heart and soul that attracts nothing but positive attention from those around her and carries her reputation before her.

And, most importantly, for honouring God, the one and only true Creator, her status was uplifted to include her in the lineage of the lamb of God, and of Israelite royalty.

Ruth’s re-invention of the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep it Simple & Sweet.

:)

UPDATE:

The relationship between Ruth and Naomi alludes to our individual relationship with God. To follow Him wholly, we need to leave our former lives, obey His every word, and follow wherever He leads.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1, 2012 by 254chronicles

254chronicles:

Just like the children sing .. “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.”

Originally posted on Rivers of Hope:

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.”
-Psalm 3:3

Do you think you can walk in pride and be humble at the same time?

What does it mean to walk upright? My first response is that walking upright is what distinguishes man from the animals. However, according to scripture, walking uprightly is simply walking unafraid, with pride and acting humbly at the same time.

We are warned about the arrogance of pride in Proverbs, but when we walk with pride and in His light because we are proud of being a chosen child of God, God promises us that he will not withhold anything good from us: “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor” (Proverbs 29:23).

Prayer: Dear God, help me to walk through life with pride and humbleness, knowing that…

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Contentment

Posted in Christian, Christianity, Contentment, depressed, Faith, God, Happiness, Happy, Inspiration, Thankful, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2012 by 254chronicles

You will never have everything you want, perfectly.

You will never be everything you want, perfectly.

Please, do not frustrate yourself trying to be the jack of all trades.

Be grateful to God for everything you have & for who you are, now.

Strive to be who you want to be in Him. Work hard to meet your needs and those of your dependants.

Trust His infinite knowledge, power and perfect planning for that which is beyond you.

Have faith, He knows what He’s doing.

P.S.

On those days that everything’s gone wrong, rant it all out to your Creator, and seek His strength, grace and favour. That’s His job.

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