Archive for Faith

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)

 

 

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.

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.

How powerful is God?

Posted in Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Faith, God, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by 254chronicles

Since Biblical times, it “appears” God has “significantly decreased” His one-on-one interactions with humanity. We do not seem to see the feats reported in the Holy Bible: the parting waters, God’s finger writing on walls, or God speaking through a cloud of lightning and thunder. We do not hear as often as it was in the Bible times of one of His great miracles. It gives the false implication of a “decrease” in His power; makes it seem as though he’s on a hiatus from humanity. Let us revisit one of those Biblical scenarios.

At the beginning of the book of Deuteronomy, we find the Israelites mid-journey. They were a desert-wandering nation. God took them out of slavery in Egypt and was leading them to the promised land (Caanan). The journey was literally no walk in the park. They complained several times: no food, no water, these people want to kill us, and this really ticked God off. He therefore decided to entirely eliminate this stubborn generation and only then would He allow them to enter the promised land.

They proceeded to do another 38-year long lap round the desert. When, at last, they were to enter the promised land, they had another obstacle before them. It wasn’t fertile virgin land remaining untouched for them to stroll in and settle down, but was occupied by other tribes. One example is the land of Bashan: it had 60 cities, was secured with sky-high walls and a well-equipped army. Apparently, the Israelites would have to fight for their inheritance.

Keep in mind that they were from a nomadic lifestyle. They were to battle established and well-trained armies. The thought of it is quite suicidal. But they had the greatest weapon in their arsenal: Almighty God Himself. He told them through Moses, their leader, that “He Himself would fight for them”. And He did just that.

Think about it for a moment. A group of nomads come from nowhere and wipe out an entire nation. God gave them His word. No man could stand against them. No army. No foe. No power. Nothing could stop them.

And that God has not changed one bit. He is the same powerful God that changed the entire course of history. He is the same one who promised His beloved nation of Israel something, and they got it no matter how impossible it looked in the eyes of man.

What troubles do you have that He can’t conquer?

He wants to love you

Posted in Christian, Faith, God, Inspiration, Jesus, poetry with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by 254chronicles

When you are moody and do not want to be around anyone, He wants your company.

When you feel alone, like no one cares for or loves you, He asks if the birds of the air never store food yet never go hungry, don’t you wonder how much more valuable you are?

When your speech is full of self-pity and negativity, He still wants to listen.

When all things you want are beyond your reach and you are tired of trying, He says seek my kingdom first, and I will add all these things.

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When the mirror just shakes its head and says “you’re not going anywhere looking like that”, He reminds you that He made you in His glorious image.

When they all look better, stronger, more capable and you just don’t have it together, He tells you His plans are to prosper you.

When you are afraid, confused, overwhelmed, anxious, and do not know what to do, He says do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation present your requests to me, and my peace will guard your heart and mind.

Lastly, when you can’t see Him, can’t feel Him, don’t believe in Him, but need Him, He gently whispers, I will never leave you or forsake you.

Bless His Holy Name. 🙂

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