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The Right Decision

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Last Friday, June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned the almost 50-year-old ruling on Roe v. Wade.[1] Judges have debated through the years over whether the ruling was constitutional. Even liberal justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg questioned the validity of the ruling. Justice Ginsburg felt “that Roe was a faulty decision. For Ginsburg, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion was too far-reaching and too sweeping, and it gave anti-abortion rights activists a very tangible target to rally against in the four decades since.”[2] Justice Ginsburg was pro-abortion, but she felt that Roe v. Wade went too far. She said, “A less encompassing Roe, one that merely struck down the extreme Texas law and went no further on that day, I believe and will summarize why, might have served to reduce rather than to fuel controversy.”[3]

Many judges agree that Roe v. Wade is bad law. Nothing in the Constitution grants a woman the “right” to have an abortion. Civics 101 informs us that any law not enumerated in the Constitution is given to the states. (It is interesting that the Constitution only lists three crimes: treason, piracy, and counterfeiting.)[4] So, in overturning Roe v. Wade, SCOTUS rightly returned the responsibility of legislation to the states where it belongs. The decision does not make abortion illegal, unfortunately. Many left-leaning states will allow abortions on demand even to the moment of birth. Many other states will allow for abortion under only the most extreme of cases. I doubt that any state will completely outlaw abortions under any circumstance. That is the way our federal representative system of government is supposed to work.

However, the left does not see it that way, and from the moment the decision was announced, baby killers (sorry, that’s what they are) started their loud protesting with threats of violence. Even before hearing the final decision, the baby killers launched their violent and destructive attacks on crisis pregnancy centers and churches. Sadly, many government leaders encouraged the behavior. In the almost 50 years of Roe v. Wade, pro-life activists have peacefully marched outside of Planned Parenthood clinics and quietly counseled young women going into those places. With a few exceptions by wackos acting on their own, pro-life activists have never caused property damage to Planned Parenthood clinics or attempted to do harm to those who worked there or visited there. The pro-abortionists behave in the opposite manner. They are violent, vicious, vociferous, and vulgar.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade by SCOTUS was the right decision. It would have been better if it had declared abortion illegal. However, that is not the function of SCOTUS. That function belongs to the legislative branch of our government.

Title 18 U.S. Code §1111 makes murder illegal in the United States. It reads in part, “Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought … Whoever is guilty of murder in the first degree shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life.”[5] Title 18 U.S. Code §1841 makes it illegal to kill an unborn child. It reads in part, “Whoever engages in conduct that violates any of the provisions of law listed in subsection (b) [subsection (b) references §1111 above among others] and thereby causes the death of, or bodily injury (as defined in section 1365) to, a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place, is guilty of a separate offense under this section … (2) (C) If the person engaging in the conduct thereby intentionally kills or attempts to kill the unborn child, that person shall instead of being punished under subparagraph (A), be punished as provided under sections 1111, 1112, and 1113 of this title for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.”[6] (emphasis mine)

I am no lawyer, but it appears to me that there are existing laws against killing an unborn child. These laws are codified federal statutes that supersede state laws.  Why are they not being applied in regard to abortions? Well, the persistent argument claims that the child in the womb is not a person until a certain stage of development. The argument stems from the evolutionary concept of development. Although it has been debunked for decades, biology textbooks still show the development of a human embryo the same as any other fish, reptile, or mammal. My college biology textbook claims that “Human development is controlled by the same mechanisms that control the development of other animals (emphasis mine). In fact, our development strongly reflects our evolutionary heritage.”[7] The quote is found in the chapter titled “Animal Development” and the subtitle “How Do Humans Develop?” On Page 280 of the same book, one finds the embryological stages of a lemur, a pig and a human all looking remarkably similar. The message: humans are just another form of animal.

Since that is the case according to evolutionary thought, when does that human embryo become a human person? One study admits that “The fields of biology, medicine, and embryology have described the developmental milestones of humans throughout gestation in great detail. It is less clear as to when humans are recognized as people, persons, or beings with rights that are protected by legislation. The practice of law is irrevocably intertwined with that of ethical conduct; and the time at which a human life is considered a person has implications that extend to health care, legislation on abortion, and autonomy of individuals.”[8] The bottom line is that they do not know based on their understanding of “personhood” and evolution. So, the left continues to push the boundaries. At first it was six weeks, then 12 weeks (3 months), then six months, then up to the moment of birth, and now some suggest a baby may be murdered after it is born upon the mother’s wishes.

God has something to say about that, although the baby killers reject God, much less anything God has to say. (That is the main problem with our society.) First of all, from the very beginning, God gave life to all living things. However, into man, He breathed His breath of life.[9] In this, He made a distinction between mankind and animals. Since God is the one who gives life, only He has the right to take life. Throughout Scripture, God makes it clear that He is the One who blesses parents with children. Some examples are Abraham’s wife Sarah, Isaac’s wife Rebekah, Jacob’s beloved Rachel, the wife of Manoah (Samson’s mother), Hanna the mother of Samuel, and others. In each case, God makes clear that He controls the birthing process. One may argue that these represent special cases while other women were bearing children left and right at the same time. However, the point God makes is that He controls it all.

Very early on in Scripture, God establishes the sanctity of life. Immediately after the Global Flood, God called for capital punishment for taking a human life. “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Genesis 9:5-6, emphasis mine). Not even animals are exempt from the taking of human life. God makes the reason clear: because man is made in the image of God.

That image is not acquired at some unknown point in the process of gestation. It is there from conception. Hear the Word of the Lord to Jeremiah: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5, emphasis mine). God had a purpose for Jeremiah and He has a purpose for every person He creates. There is personhood even before conception. David, the psalmist, describes the intimacy of God’s involvement in the process of gestation.

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

The word “unperfect” in the last verse is not an error, nor does it mean “imperfect” as though there is some flaw. Unperfect means to be “incomplete” – the gestation in the womb is still processing and not yet complete.

So, from God’s perspective, the child in the womb is a person from conception. Thus, abortion at any point in the pregnancy is the taking of a human life and that is murder. We saw that in the federal law above – Title 18 U.S. Code §184. But before our legislators codified that into federal law, God had already called it murder. The Sixth Command says, “Thou Shalt not [murder]” (Exodus 20:13). In the next chapter, the law extends to children in utero. “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow [i.e., it was accidental]: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow [i.e., the hurt to the woman was intentional], then thou shalt give life for life” (Exodus 21:22-23, emphasis mine). Killing an unborn child carries the death penalty.

Of course, the baby killers claim that it is the woman’s choice what she does with her own body. I agree. She can choose not to have sex with a man that can potentially get her pregnant. (That is the sin of fornication, by the way.) She has the choice to take contraceptive measures to avoid pregnancy. However, once she becomes pregnant, the baby in her womb IS NOT HER BODY and no longer HER CHOICE. She does not have any rights over that body. In fact, the baby in the womb is in control of the pregnancy (by God’s design).[10] And if she chooses to abort the baby, she has chosen to commit murder.

SCOTUS may have made the right decision in overturning Roe v. Wade, but abortion is still allowed (although arguably illegally) in America. It would be better if abortion were banned altogether by applying the written law – Title 18 U.S. Code §1841. Anyone guilty of abortion is guilty of murder.

The mess we see in our country (and the world) right now is a sign that Jesus is coming soon, and His reward is with Him. The signs of His appearing are increasing in intensity and frequency. Are you prepared to meet Him? If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]   January 22, 1973

[2]   https://www.law.uchicago.edu/news/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-offers-critique-roe-v-wade-during-law-school-visit

[3]   https://time.com/5354490/ruth-bader-ginsburg-roe-v-wade/

[4]   https://www.findlaw.com/legalblogs/criminal-defense/which-3-crimes-are-in-the-us-constitution/

[5]   https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1111

[6]   https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1841

[7]   Audesirk, Teresa and Gerald, and Bruce E. Byers, Biology: Life on Earth, Sixth Edition, (Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice-Hall, 2002), p. 750.

[8]   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5499222/

[9]   Genesis 2:7

[10] “Made In His Image: Human Gestation” – https://www.icr.org/article/made-his-image-human-gestation

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Pride

People march down 5th Avenue in Manhattan during the 2019 World Pride NYC and Stonewall 50th LGBTQ Pride parade in New York, U.S., June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (Psalm 10:4)

In case you have not noticed (and it is understandable. The important things of life – like finding gas under $5 a gallon or collecting enough coupons to keep a meager grocery trip under $100 and hoping you will find all your needed items on the shelves.), June is “Pride Month” in America.

Not so many years ago “Pride Month” in America would probably conjure up visions of rows and rows of the Stars and Stripes fluttering in the breeze and parades with bands blaring out John Philip Sousa marches. However, that dream is far removed from the celebration of perversion the American people are being compelled to acknowledge. “Pride Month” celebrates homosexuality and a multiplicity of other sexual perversions. Considering that only about 7.1% of the population identify as “gay,”[1] it seems a bit contrived and strained to dedicate an entire month to the observation of a lifestyle that is foreign to the majority of the population. Why not set apart a month to extol the virtues of heterosexual unions in which the majority of the population participate?

At the time when I achieved adulthood, tolerance meant that you allowed for differences of others even though you disagreed with their ideas or lifestyles. The idea of “live and let live” or “whatever floats your boat” ruled the day. “Queers” existed back then, but they kept their lifestyle to themselves. In those days, “queer” was a pejorative, but these days it is a badge of “pride.” Back then, if I discovered a guy was queer (“gay”), I treated him with common courtesy even though I avoided getting too chummy with him. I am pretty much the same in my advanced years. It is just difficult to talk “guy stuff” with a gay guy. I would not want to send up any false flags.

Today, tolerance not only means allowing for differences, but it includes accepting and advocating for every form of deviance. Many churches accept “Alphabets” (LGBTQ+) into their pulpits and on their church staff. Schools allow adult males dressed in “drag” to read to elementary school children in order to train children to accept this kind of behavior as “normal” or “natural.” Some schools introduce “gender confusion” into the curriculum of children even as early as kindergarten and encourage children to reject the gender given to them at conception. (Yes! From the moment of fertilization, the baby in the womb is either male or female.) Even more outrageous and enraging is their deliberate effort to hide these activities from the children’s parents. Now, young men who cannot compete athletically against their own male peers, declare themselves as “transitioning” so they can compete and win against young women who are obviously not as strong. Where are the women’s rights groups advocating on behalf of these young women athletes? Our society has degenerated to the point that a candidate for the Supreme Court cannot provide the proper definition of what a “woman” is. Seriously?

To an old codger like me, this state of confusion baffles me. I am a man. My wife is a woman. I can distinguish between a boy and a girl, a young man and a young lady. I have no problem with that at all. And when I see a man dressed up as a woman and swaying his backside more than any female “wiggle,” I have no problem identifying him as a man dressed up in woman’s clothing. Bruce may call himself Bernice and demand that he be addressed by feminine pronouns, but I am not buying it. Bruce is queer!

I am flabbergasted at how the world is celebrating, embracing, encouraging, and promoting this abnormal behavior. It is a huge mound of hot, steamy, stinky BS, and the world is eating it up.

This article is likely to get censored as “hate speech,” but there is no hate here at all. I am speaking the truth, and often, the truth hurts. I do not hate these people. I am deeply saddened for them because I know what their end will be unless they reject and come out of that lifestyle.

Speaking of “pride,” the verse I cited at the top of this article lays it out pretty clearly. The “Alphabet” (“Alphabet” because they keep adding letters to the acronym) community uses the term “pride” to promote the gay lifestyle. The Bible says, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4, emphasis mine). I do not watch gay-pride parades, but in the few glimpses I have caught on the news, I see a lot of “pride” in the faces of the participants. They show a lot of pride in exposing their deviant behavior to the public. These people obviously are not seeking after God and God is the furthest thing from their minds. Well, what does God have to say about it?

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27, emphasis mine)

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, emphasis mine)

And [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6, emphasis mine) Asunder: to separate into parts or to break into pieces; to pull apart or widely separate. God’s design was for a man and a woman to be brought together, but our society wants to tear God’s design asunder.

But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they [two] shall be one flesh: so then they are no more [two], but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Mark 10:6-9, emphasis mine)

Thou shalt not lie [i.e., have sex] with [men], as with [woman]: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie [i.e., have sex] with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down [i.e., have sex] thereto: it is confusion. (Leviticus 18:22-23)

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Romans 1:26-27, emphasis mine)

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (Romans 1:29-31, emphasis mine)

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [i.e., “gays”], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [i.e., homosexuals] (1 Corinthians 6:9, emphasis mine)

All of the above is not “hate speech.” This is the Creator’s perspective. He designed a man to mate with a woman, not with another man or with a child or with an animal. Male and female “parts” fit together for the purpose of procreation. Two men cannot mate and procreate, neither can two women mate and procreate. That is against God’s design. It is against nature. “Hate” is withholding the truth – God’s truth” – from people so that they fail to see their error and repent and be saved. THAT is hate.

Paul’s depiction of the descent of man[2] ends like this: those listed in the previous verses, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of [eternal] death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:32, emphasis mine). In other words, they not only participate in their perverse acts, but they take “pride” in those that participate in perversion. They praise, promote, and protect depravity even to our youngest, most vulnerable, and innocent of our population. I see nothing to take “pride” in that. The ancient words of wise King Solomon warn, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18, emphasis mine).

June may be “Pride Month,” but the object of celebration is nothing to be proud of. God help us!

Jesus is coming soon, and His reward is with Him. The signs for His appearing are increasing in intensity and frequency. Are you prepared to meet Him? If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “What Percentage of Americans are LGBT?” – https://news.gallup.com/poll/332522/percentage-americans-lgbt.aspx

[2]  Romans 1:18-32

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Sometimes Good Deeds Are Rewarded

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (Psalm 37:3)

Karma characterizes the eastern idea of reaping what you sow. If you sow good deeds, you will reap good. If you sow evil deeds, you will reap evil. To be fair, the Bible teaches the same thing in a more realistic way.

“The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward” (Proverbs 11:18).

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Of course, the Bible also says that such is not always the case. To us, it sometimes appears as if the wicked receive good for their evil.

“The tabernacles [i.e., “houses”] of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly” (Job 12:6).

“I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches” (Psalm 73:3-12).

The difference between karma and the Bible is that for karma, the axiom is sure and constant. The Bible makes no promises that good will be rewarded or evil will be punished in this world. The Bible offers many examples of good individuals suffering evil consequences: Joseph, Jesus, Paul, and the other apostles. Just rewards are reserved for eternity.

However, the Bible also gives examples of those who were rewarded for their righteous acts. Such was the case with one Ebed-melech. “Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king’s house.”[1] Ebedmelech was probably not his real name. My KJV Bible hyphenates the name emphasizing the compound word, which means “Servant of the King.” He was an Ethiopian; therefore, he did not have a proper Hebrew name. Scripture tells us that he was a eunuch meaning he had been castrated at some point in his life – probably when he entered the king’s service.

“Eunuchs would usually be servants or slaves who had been castrated to make them less threatening servants of a royal court where physical access to the ruler could wield great influence. Seemingly lowly domestic functions—such as making the ruler’s bed, bathing him, cutting his hair, carrying him in his litter, or even relaying messages—could, in theory, give a eunuch “the ruler’s ear” and impart de facto power on the formally humble but trusted servant. Similar instances are reflected in the humble origins and etymology of many high offices.

Eunuchs supposedly did not generally have loyalties to the military, the aristocracy, or a family of their own (having neither offspring nor in-laws, at the very least). They were thus seen as more trustworthy and less interested in establishing a private “dynasty”. Because their condition usually lowered their social status, they could also be easily replaced or killed without repercussion. In cultures that had both harems and eunuchs, eunuchs were sometimes used as harem servants.”[2]

King Zedekiah, in whose service Ebedmelech was employed, had been set up as king over Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar[3] following the first deportation. Zedekiah called on Jeremiah for counsel from the Lord, but he despised what the Lord had to say.[4] Zedekiah sent word to Jeremiah asking him to pray to the Lord for them. At this time, the Egyptians had come up to defend Judah, but the “Chaldeans,” i.e., the Babylonians, turned them back to Egypt.

“Then came the word of the LORD unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to enquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire” (Jeremiah 37:6-8).

God advised Zedekiah not to deceive himself into thinking that the Egyptians could defeat the Babylonians. “For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire” (Jeremiah 37:10).

While the Chaldeans were off fighting the Egyptians, Jeremiah left Jerusalem and went to the territory of Benjamin. There, he was overtaken by Irijah, one of Zedekiah’s officers and accused of defecting to the Chaldeans. So, Jeremiah was arrested and imprisoned in a dungeon. While there, Zedekiah came to him requesting “any word from the Lord.” The word from the Lord was that he would be delivered over to the king of Babylon. The word displeased Zedekiah and he put Jeremiah back in prison.[5]

Jeremiah continued to prophesy from his prison cell in the court where all passersby could hear. Jeremiah’s message was harsh but true. All in the city would “die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”[6] However, anyone surrendering to the Chaldeans would be spared.[7] The message did not appeal to the leaders because they felt it would dishearten the people. They asked Zedekiah to do something about Jeremiah, and he gave them permission to do whatever they wanted with the prophet. So, their solution was to put Jeremiah in a deep cistern that held no water but was deep in mud. Here is where Ebedmelech comes in.

“Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; Ebedmelech went forth out of the king’s house, and spake to the king, saying, My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city. Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison” (Jeremiah 38:7-13).

Ebedmelech had nothing to gain by pleading on Jeremiah’s behalf, but he had surely heard Jeremiah preach and believed that he was God’s prophet. He also trusted that Jeremiah’s message was true. Seeing the mistreatment of Jeremiah moved him to compassion. As a eunuch in the king’s service, he had the trust and the ear of the king, so he acted on behalf of Jeremiah and rescued him from the mirey pit.

Again, Zedekiah requested a word from the Lord by Jeremiah and the answer came back the same. The Chaldeans would conquer the city and all would die by the sword. However, if they surrendered, they would survive. Zedekiah rejected the message and imprisoned Jeremiah again, albeit not in as harsh of conditions. Zedekiah resisted the Babylonians for two years under siege, but the Babylonians finally prevailed. All that resisted died by the sword and those that surrendered were taken away captive in the second deportation. As for Zedekiah, “Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon” (Jeremiah 39:6-7)

In all this time, God did not forget the good that Ebedmelech had done for Jeremiah.

“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee. But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid. For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 39:15-18).

Our good deeds seldom get noticed or rewarded instantly. It is quite possible, that they many never be rewarded in our life here on earth. By the same token, neither do our evil deeds. We often see wicked people get away with murder and never get their just punishment, but God does not forget. Karma, as any false idea, is only partially true. Sometimes we do receive good for good and evil for evil, but not always. The Bible’s record shows that all deeds will eventually be justly rewarded. No one can get away with murder in the end.

Jesus is coming soon, and His reward is with Him. The signs for His appearing are increasing in intensity and frequency. Are you prepared to meet Him? If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Jeremiah 38:7

[2]  “Eunuch” — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunuch

[3]  Jeremiah 37:1

[4]  Jeremiah 37:2

[5]  Jeremiah 37:11-21

[6]  Jeremiah 38:2

[7]  Jeremiah 38:3

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Is the Number of Stars Definite or Indefinite?

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And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (Colossians 1:17)

Is the number of stars definite or indefinite? I recently posted that question my Facebook status, and I was completely unprepared for the firestorm of controversy that seemingly innocuous question would raise. The question, to me, seems simple enough. I have identified a subject – the number of stars – and offered an either-or response.

One person responding to the question suggested that the number of stars is indefinite. Certainly from man’s perspective that is true. There is no way for us to ever know the exact number of stars. There are billions of galaxies in our known universe, and each is composed of billions .of stars. Such numbers are staggering. And then there is that outside possibility that new stars are being “born” regularly. That has never been observed, and it is based solely on very questionable evolutionary theories – more on that later.

But from God’s perspective, the number of stars is definite. The psalmist says, “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names” (Psalm 147:4). The Hebrew word translated “telleth” (tells) is mânâh and it means to “weigh out, to allot, or to enumerate” and so could be translated as “to number.” By this we know that God keeps a complete inventory of the stars. He “calls” them – Hebrew qârâ’, which means “to call out to” or “to address” each individual star by name. Well, one might say, God could still be creating stars, and He would still know the number each time He creates a new one. That is also true. Jesus says that the very hairs of my head are numbered (Matthew 10:30). God knows exactly how many hairs on my head I started with, the maximum count I had at my zenith, the number of hairs I have lost and He knows my current count now. So, whether God has created new stars since the beginning of creation, or whether the number has remained static since creation, to God, the number is always definite.

One perceptive individual responded “Yes!” In other words, he was saying it’s both. I wrongly responded “No. It has to be one or the other.” But after thinking about it, he was more right than anyone, considering what I have just explained above. To man, the number is indefinite, but to God the number is definite.

But, as these “conversations” tend to go sometimes, it quickly degenerated into a discussion about whether God was still actively creating or not. Since the subject is “stars” I would suggest that the answer is no; God is not actively creating new stars, or anything else for that matter. I see all those red flags going up right now! Before you burn me at the stake as a heretic, hear me out. I base this on two very basic verses in Genesis. As we read the creation account in Genesis one, we see that at the end of almost every day, God’s assessment of the process was as that “it was good.” This is true of every day of creation except for the second day where earth was, for lack of a better term, a big mud ball; it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good enough to be called “good” by God. At any rate, we get the feeling that God was pleased with His creative work. Then when the sixth day of creation was completed “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). “Very good” (Heb. ṭôb me‘ôd) meaning vehemently good. Such an assessment coming from a perfectly good Creator implies that it could not be made better than this; it cannot be improved upon. So, when God “made the stars also” (Genesis 1:15), the number of them was perfect by His assessment. Furthermore, we read in Genesis 2:2 that “on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” That He “ended his work” translates the Hebrew word kâlâh, which means “to cease” or “to be finished.” This too seems to have a note of finality – it’s done! In addition to that, it says that “He rested.” God was not tired and in need of a break! The Hebrew word used here is shâbath, which also means to “desist from exertion.” What I get from this, is that when God finished His creative work, He set in motion the laws of physics and nature that maintain the current state of the universe in stasis. This is alluded to in our opening verse (Colossians 1:17): “by [Jesus] all things consist,” i.e., “hold together.” The Greek word translated “consist” is the compound word sunistaō from sun meaning together and histēmi meaning “to stand” or “to abide.” We see that it is God – Jesus – Who is keeping everything from flying apart! We see God’s promise to keep things together following the Flood. God promised, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22); in other words, things will continue as God designed.

There is a danger in seeing this from a deistic perspective and concluding that God, like a divine clock maker just got it all wound up and let it go without further involvement. That would be a very wrong conclusion considering the record of God’s involvement in the affairs of man that are contained in Scripture. Does this mean that God no longer creates? The answer is both yes and no. God is no longer creating the “stuff” of the universe; the first law of thermodynamics confirms that. But He has not stopped creating altogether. Each time a baby is conceived, God has created a whole new soul. God’s involvement in the development of a baby in the womb is beautifully described by the psalmist in Psalm 139:14-16:

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Jesus performed creative acts during His earthly ministry. He turned water into wine (John 2:1-11).  He healed a boy of a fever by reversing the effect of the first law of thermodynamics (John 4:46-54). He healed a paralytic and restored the atrophied muscles to his legs (John 5:1-9). He fed the 5000 (men, not counting women and children) from just two fish and five buns (John 6:1-14). He walked on water suspending the laws of physics that would cause Him to sink (John 6:16-21). He healed a man who had been blind since birth (John 9:1-7). He raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44).  All these He did by just His word. And His greatest creation miracle of all is when He gives new life to the walking dead by the regeneration of the “new birth” (John 3:3; John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Not only does God continue to create in this way, but He will one day create a New Heaven and a New Earth (Revelation 21:1). But new stars, for now, I don’t think so.

For more on star creation listen to Ken Ham’s commentary on the subject: Star Formation – Can it Happen? Also, Answers in Genesis has a couple of short articles on the subject:

Classic Conundrum

Star Formation and Creation

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Shiftless Hired Hand

Brueghel-j_bad-shepherd

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  (John 10:12)

Jesus began this passage in the form of a contrast.  “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (v. 11).  Jesus substantiated this claim by giving His life on the cross for us, His sheep.  In contrast to this is the shiftless hired hand who is more concerned about his wages and his own skin than for the well-being of the flock.

Who is this no account hireling, and how does this illustration apply to us?  A hireling can be compared to a pastor or a teacher who is responsible for the care and nurture of those God has assigned to him.  The New Testament word is “bishop” (episkopos) meaning superintendent or overseer, and it is used only five times.  “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).  “A bishop then must be blameless,” (2 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7).  Jesus is compared to a bishop: “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25).

The no account hireling, then, would be the pastor or teacher who neglects the responsibility God has given him.  Sadly, there are some who have taken on the responsibility for reasons of self-aggrandizement rather than to serve the flock assigned to them by the Good Shepherd.  These, when trouble comes, shirk their responsibilities and abandon their post, leaving the flock to fend for themselves, often with devastating outcomes.

As Christians, we are all leaders in one way or another – as teachers, parents, friends, workers – we are all given a sphere of influence.  God has given each of us some “sheep” to nurture and defend.  Let us not be found negligent in the responsibility God has given us.

 

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