Leave one tie for another

Genesis 12:1 records the edict of the LORD to Abram, wherein God asked Abram to leave his people (kindred) and his father’s house (family) to go to a place that God was going to show him. Genesis 12:3 ends with the words “and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

In these two verses, we can unearth a couple of invaluable hidden treasures …
First, God wants us to love him and obey his commands more than we love our own (people/family).
Second, God wants us to leave our earthly ties so that we can belong to the family of God and as children of God, we would be a blessing to many (many more than our own families and people). The greatest blessing of God to mankind, through the seed of Abraham is Jesus Christ, in whom all nations are blessed.

Points to ponder:
Ask any missionary who has left their own families, responding to the call and command of God, and you will find that their willingness to leave their own ties, so that they could belong to the family of God, brings with it many blessings, not only to themselves but to other families as well. All who believe in Jesus Christ are on a mission as missionaries on earth. Are you willing to leave earthy ties to be a blessing to many by pointing them to Jesus Christ, the greatest blessing above all to mankind? What is God asking you to leave today? How do you respond?

Genesis 12:1, 3 (KJV)
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Sin begets sin

Genesis 4:18-24 gives an account of the genealogy of Cain, and focuses primarily on Lamech, one of the descendants of Cain. In this record, it is written that Lamech took two wives, and a brief account of his children and their professions is mentioned. Even though there is no account of any legal restrictions against polygamy at this point in time, I believe, Lamech was in violation of the words of God, which was for him to leave his parents and cleave to his wife, not wives (Genesis 2:24). By taking two wives, one named Adah and the other Zillah, Lamech could not have cleaved to one, contradicting the words of God. Then this account starts to gravitate towards even more sinfulness of Lamech. Lamech tells (boasts to) his two wives, “Listen to me and pay attention – I have murdered a young man who hurt me and if Cain (his ancestral father) was to be avenged seven times, he expects to be as well exponentially (seventy and sevenfold times).” In other words, Lamech shows no sign of remorse or repentance, and he was willfully taking advantage of the grace and mercy of God, that was extended to his forefather Cain.

Points to ponder:
Like Cain, Lamech was under the influence of the devil, who is a liar and a murderer from the very beginning (John 8:44). The devil had told Eve, the motor of Cain, that she shall not surely die (Genesis 3:4) but his lie had brought death into the world, not just death, both physical and spiritual death. The sin of murder that Cain committed was begetting another murder by one of Cain’s progeny. Sin was begetting sin. Let us not fool ourselves into thinking that our willful sins shall have no consequences – those who follow us may succumb and be subject to the same sin, if we don’t repent and turn from our wicked ways. Short term pleasures (of sin) has long term penalties, for unconfessed and unrepented sin begets sin.

Genesis 4:18-24 (KJV)
18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

Leave and Cleave – Not just earthly but heavenly as well

Genesis 2:24 is often exposited as the “Leave and Cleave” model of marriage – one as the one God intended it to be. Sermon after sermon on the two who are married becoming one flesh is taught and the need to leave old familial ties to cleave to the new one is taught. Interestingly though if you notice, most world systems have gotten this backward as in many cultures, it is is the woman who leaves her father and mother and cleaves to the man (husband). Though the command is given to the man, I don’t believe that this text is necessarily discriminatory based on gender as both male and female were created in God’s image and so I believe that both parties in the marriage ought to renounce old familial ties in exchange for the new one.

Close scrutiny of the scripture also reveals that the “leave and cleave” modus operandi does not merely have just an earthly application but also a heavenly one. Jesus Christ, the Man (in heaven) left his heavenly relationship with his Father in order to cleave to his bride, the Church (believers). Jesus called those who were refusing to believe in him, those who chose to ignore his word (the truth), not doing what he was asking them to, as the children of the devil (John 8:44) and each one of us, at times, refuse to express our love of Jesus, by not doing what he instructs us to. However, we as the Church are made from Christ, the Man – therefore we ought to leave our old familial ties with the evil one and this world and cleave to Christ, our bridegroom for we are one body (flesh) in Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Points to ponder:
Let us leave our ties to this world and the evil one or his ways and let us cleave to Jesus Christ.

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

Death is Certain; Life is Not

Death Is Certain Life Is NotWhile celebrating our firstborn son, Reuben’s birthday in the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, I came across a young man wearing a T-Shirt which had some intriguing and interesting words printed in the back. I stopped him and asked if I could take a picture of his T-Shirt and he agreed to allow me to do so. I quickly snapped a picture and later when going through my photos, realized as to how “serious” the message in the print was. The T-Shirt print read “(Bible) studies have proven — Death is certain, Life is Not.” and it had the verses from Deuteronomy 30:19-20 printed below that phrase.

Come to think of it, we cannot choose whether and when we will die and in that regard, death is certain, but once we die, it is appointed unto man that we must enter into judgment (Hebrew 9:27). The verdict of this judgment would be based on whether we have chosen life when we were alive or not. In other words, if we have believed in Jesus Christ, the Lord our God, who is the resurrection and the LIFE (John 11:25), then we shall not perish but have everlasting life as the verdict (John 3:16), but if we have not, then the verdict is eternal separation from God or death again (second death) (Revelation 20:6).

Points to ponder:

God has set life and death, blessing and cursing before us this day (Deuteronomy 30:19). The choice is however ours. We must choose today, life or death. If we choose to know Jesus, the Lord our God, we choose life, for in knowing him is eternal life (John 17:3; 1 John 5:20) and once we come to know him, we must love him and obey his voice (Deuteronomy 30:20). To love him is to obey his voice (commandment) (1 John 5:3). We must also cleave to him (Deuteronomy 30:20), meaning that we must leave the allegiance we have with the world and its pleasures of sin, but be faithful to Jesus and love him for his first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Death is Certain; Life is NOT — Choose ye this day, life!

Deuteronomy 30:19-20a (KJV)
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: …