Friday, September 27, 2013


    Our allegiance is very important in all matters relating to God.  From beginning to end, the Bible reveals that the spiritual life is simply not becoming a part of religion but in the context of personally entering into a meaningful relationship with our creator.  God has hated and denounced religious shenanigans that has no sincere heart involved.  It is the individual response in sincerity and truth that always finds God making His ways known and providing guidance and sustenance.  For example, Psalm 23 is a very relational poem.  "Yahweh is my Shepherd."

     Under divine guidance Moses wrote down in the Torah that followers of Yahweh are to love Him as priority (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).  He must be first in all things.  Jesus (Yahshua) reaffirmed the same as the great commandment:  "You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart..." (Matthew 22:37).

     God has created mankind to be strong in the family bond.  But even here Jesus said that a true follower must love God more than one's own family members.  Of course He is talking about priority in allegiance.  In comparison, our love for Jesus must be passionate to the point of hating our own family members;  it does not mean hate in the apparent sense, but when it comes down to choosing Christ Jesus above others, our loyalty to Him must be first and firm.  No slackness here.  In reality, it is Christ that makes us love our dear ones better in every way.  The obvious paradox revealed here is that by loving Christ we are able to love our fellow mankind sincerely and meaningfully.  Jesus Himself is the epitome of love (John 3:16; 13:1).  "Love one another," says our Lord (John 13:34).

     The Bible records that Jacob loved Rachel and hated Leah.  Really?  Well, it is simply a semitic expression to say that Jacob finds Rachel more attractive than Leah.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Using similar language, God says in Malachi 1 (vs. 1-3) that He loves Jacob and hates his brother Esau.  Did God maliciously hate Esau? No.  It is Esau who never truly loved God but simply used God to advance his material gain, and this is what God can see and exposes.  Esau never pursued God, never built an altar to God, loved materialism and indulgence of the flesh, and married heathen wives to antagonize his parents (Genesis 28:8-9; Isaac and Rebekah).  It is Jacob who desired God's blessings and built altars to worship God (Genesis 35).

(Tornado rips steeple of Church where leaders gathered to vote on gay marriage)

       Were you perfect when you responded to the the grace of God?  No.  But God saw the spark of divine desire and sincerity in your heart and took you in, and from there you were admonished to grow in grace --- maturing process through trials, prayers and study of the Word.  Likewise, there existed impurities and dishonesty in the heart of Jacob, but compared to his brother Esau, Jacob had the deep desire to inherit the blessings promised to his grandfather Abraham.  To Esau this blessing was no big deal so long as he become filthy rich materially, as this will be played out in his life.  So he sold his birthright on this: for a delicious meal (Genesis 25:34).

(will continue...)


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