Deception brings with it death

While Esau was deprived of his blessing from his father Isaac, for his younger brother Jacob had deceived him and taken the blessing, he starts to hate his brother, with so much hate that he sought to kill (slay) his brother after his father’s death. The deception of Jacob brought with it hate from his brother which in turn brought the threat of death. As you can see hate in the heart turns brother against brother.

Points to ponder:
Deception brings with it death. The deception to disobey God, by the ancient deceiver, the devil (Revelation 12:9), brings with it the threat of death, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but the gift of God is eternal life to all who chose to obey God and keep his commandments to love God above all and love mankind as themselves (Matthew 22:36-40).

When love trumps hate, deception and death have no place. If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20).

Even when it is hard to love someone, we are asked to do so, just as God did, and not hate in our hearts. It comes down to loving God, loving man, lest we be deceived. Be ye not deceived.

Genesis 27:41 (KJV)
41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

The LORD checks in

Genesis 18:20-22 reads “And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.

What is interesting to glean from this text is that not only did the Lord God pay attention and heed to the cries of people, but he responded with action. Though it may seem at times, that the sinful state, rampancy and grievousness of sin has no hope for the better, we see that God does not check out but instead checks in to verify the real state of affairs. He hears the cries of his people even if they are a minority, even less than ten people in a city (Genesis 18:32).

Points to ponder:
When there was no solution to the grievousness of sin, resulting from its wages i.e. death (Romans 6:23), since the fall of man (Romans 5:12), the Lord (Jesus) willingly came down from God the Father (John 6:38) and checked in with man, becoming man (Philippians 2:5-8). God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us and when the state of world affairs may seem bleak and hopeless, you can expect God to check in (to our lives). Have you allowed the Lord God to check into your life?

Genesis 18:20-22 (KJV)
20 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.

Nahum 3:19 – To be spared or not to be (that is the question)

The latter part of Nahum 3:19 poses a question – “Upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?” While the direct reference here is to the city of Nineveh and its wicked king, it can be extrapolated that the Assyrian king is a reference to the devil, as stated by prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 14:25). By beguiling Eve and through her Adam (2 Corinthians 11:3; Genesis 3), the deceiving serpent (the devil) subjected the entire creation to become sinful and be subject to death (Romans 5:12) and in that sense, the wickedness of the devil has passed over all continually since the willful disobedience of men.

Interestingly though, just as the last verse in the book of Nahum, an oracle against the city of Nineveh, ends with a question, so also the book of Jonah, which concerns the city of Nineveh, ends with a question – a question posed by God. The question is “Should I not spare Nineveh, the great city, its people and even its cattle?” God spared Nineveh, a little over 150 years ago (during the time of Jonah around 780 to 750 BC) but Nineveh had willfully chosen to revert to its wicked and evil ways, bringing God’s judgment on them, and this time, it was not going to be spared (during the time of Nahum around 615 to 612 BC).

Points to ponder:
The question is “Has not the wickedness of the evil one (devil) passed over us?” In other words, “Are we sinful?” All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And with sin came death for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). There is no one righteous, no not even one (Romans 3:10) meaning that all deserve death. Though the wicked (sinful) deserve to die, God is a God who spares, for he spared not his own Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:32). Jesus Christ willfully accepted to become the sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:12) and paid the wages of sin by his death (John 19:30).  Jesus was crucified in our place. So everyone who believes in him has eternal life (John 3:16).

And those who have believed, let us not revert back to our sinful ways (as did the people of Nineveh), drawing back into perdition (Hebrews 10:39). for if we keep on willfully sinning after having received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation of the Lord (Hebrews 10:26-27), which shall devour his enemies (friends of the world – James 4:4).

Have you believed in Jesus Christ to be spared? If you have, are you living according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Romans 8:1)?
To be spared or not to be – that is the question.

Nahum 3:19 (KJV)
19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?

Jonah 4:11 (KJV)
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Hebrews 10:26-27 (KJV)
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Romans 8:1 (KJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The first curse; Go on your belly and eat dust

God asked Adam, where he was and if he had eaten the fruit of the tree that he had commanded him not to eat of. God asked the woman (who was beguiled by Satan) as to what she had done. But God did not ask, Satan, where he was (for God knew that he had fallen from heaven to earth – Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:9), or if he had rebelled against God (which was not new for Satan – Ezekiel 28), but instead cursed him for his deception.

Though man had sinned against God, the first curse was on Satan, who brought it upon himself for God said “Because thou (Satan) has done this (beguiling man to sin), you are cursed above all cattle and every beast of the field.” (Genesis 3:14).

The first curse of God can be exposited as being both literal and reflective. Literally, serpents crawl on their belly but what about eating dust? Snakes don’t eat dust or do they? Snakes have been observed to flick their tongue and lick the dust of the earth and take odor particles from the dust to an olfactory sensory organ (Jacobson’s organ) that is found in the roof of their mouth (buccal cavity). Once these particles reach the organ, the chemical compounds in these odor particles bind to receptors in the organ and sensory messages are sent to the brain. These organs helps snakes to hunt and track their prey, which in a sense is akin to eating (licking) dust to eat (hunt and track).

Reflectively, this first curse of God was on Satan, the ancient serpent (Revelation 20:2). The Bible teaches us that the things that go on their belly in an abomination (Leviticus 11:42). God told man that he was dust and to dust he shall return (Genesis 3:19). The Bible also teaches us that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (eat) (1 Peter 5:8). So reflectively, to eat the dust for the rest of his life implies that Satan will continue to seek to devour mankind, till his appointed time.

To go (crawl) on the belly is a sign of disgust (abomination) To eat dust is a sign of despondency (Micah 7:17) which is the current cursed and future (the rest of his life) state of Satan

Points to ponder:
Sin brings with it a curse – the curse of death for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and the soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). Let us be sober (in the Lord) and watchful and not allow ourselves to be devoured as dust by Satan but let us be transformed now by believing in Jesus and look forward to the transformation of our bodies of dust (jars of clay – 2 Corinthians 4:7) to an eternal celestial glorious one like his (Philippians 3:21).

Genesis 3:14 (KJV)
14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Leviticus 11:42 (KJV)
42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.

Micah 7:17 (KJV)
17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and shall fear because of thee.

Not to con but to confess

The two questions that God asked Adam, after God had asked him where he was (after Adam had sinned) are: “Who told you that you were naked?” and “Have you eaten of the tree that I commanded you that you should not eat?”.

The first question goes unanswered and in the article entitled ‘The Naked Question“, an exposition of the first question from God was given. The second question gets answered even though the question itself may seem quite absurd and rhetorical to an omniscient God. The question was “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou should not eat?” and Adam answered, after attempting some frivolous excuses and playing the “blame game”, “I did eat.”

The significance of God’s questioning and Adam’s response lies in the fact that God is showing us his character. Though he knew of Adam’s sin, he asked Adam instead of accusing him. God wanted Adam to confess for those who confess shall find mercy (Proverbs 28:13).

Adam eventually fessed up saying “I did eat” (Genesis 3:12). Imagine for a moment, what Adam’s consequence would have been, if he had try to con God, or denied his sin. If Adam had refused to accept him sinfulness, implying that he was without sin, he would have made God a liar (1 John 1:10). The Bible teaches us that God is not a man that he should lie nor the son of man that he should repent (change his mind) (Numbers 23:19). It is man, that needs to repent, when he/she sins, with a change and renewing of the mind, so that it does not conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2). The Bible states that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) and whoever covers sins will not prosper, but he that confesses (his sins) and forsakes (his sinful life) shall find mercy (Proverbs 28:13).

The wages of sin is death, but instead of punishing Adam and Eve with death, which they deserved, God was merciful in letting them live, but since God is a Holy God, and no unholiness can dwell in his presence, sinful man and woman had to be removed from the garden of God, where God came to commune with man. Though God is a Holy God, he does not accuse man of their sins and is a merciful and forgiving God.

Points to ponder:
Let us not make God a liar but let us find mercy and forgiveness from God. This comes by us,  acknowledging our unrepented sinfulness and confessing our sins, so that he, who is faithful, will have mercy upon us and forgive us, because of his faithfulness. God wants us not to con him, but to confess to him. Have I fessed up? Have you fessed up?

Genesis 3:11-12 (KJV)
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Proverbs 28:13 (KJV)
13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

They know not :: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do

Jesus’ first saying from the Cross is recorded in the gospel according to the apostle Luke in chapters 23 verse 34. It reads “Father, forgive them;  for they know not what they do.” referring to the parties that were responsible for his crucifixion at that present time, and all who preceded and succeeded them.

Jesus’ reasoning to God, his Father was that the people did not know. What is it that the people did not know? They did not know, that knowing God and Jesus, whom God had sent was eternal life (John 17:3). In other words, they did not know what eternal life is. They did not know that in killing Jesus, the One who is life personified, they were players in God’s grand plan of being gifted eternal life, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin and the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:22; Romans 6:23; John 3:16).

They did not know that the verdict of their guilty act of murdering Jesus was not death, but life; life eternal.

Points to ponder:
Do you know God the Father and Jesus whom he has sent, for only in knowing God the Father, and his Only begotten son, through the revelation of God’s Holy Spirit, are you assured of eternal life. If we know, and our verdict is life instead of the death which we deserve, are we living as if we have been gifted eternal life, or are we living our lives without Christ Jesus being the Lord and Master of our lives. In other words. would Jesus have to request to God the Father, today, for him to forgive us and give God the reason – They know not? Think about that.

Luke 23:33-34 (KJV)
 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

John 17:3 (KJV)
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

There is no God :: Just and Savior

It must be pretty important for us to recognize that God is serious when it comes to our recognition that he alone is God. The very first commandment of his is “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3). The prophet Isaiah, in chapters 44 and 45, records the phrase “there is no God” not once or twice, but five times (Isaiah 44:5,6,8 and Isaiah 45:14,21), each time as the words of God himself. The last time that Isaiah records this saying of God, he qualifies the nature of God as a Just (Righteous) God and a Savior, before affirming that there is none beside him (Isaiah 45:21). Jesus is the Righteous Branch from the line of David, whom God sent to execute judgment and justice/righteousness (Isaiah 23:5; 33:15). All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God’s pristine righteousness required him to have to judge man for man’s sinfulness, as justice had to prevail. This means that man had a death sentence proclaimed on him. This is where God has to step into the scene himself and is begotten and named Jesus, which means Savior (Matthew 1:21). There is no other God who is a Just God and a Savior.

Points to ponder:
Jesus among other gods stands out for there is no other divinely begotten eternal god; all others are man-made. There is no God like Jesus – for he is the perfect, unblemished, sinless, sacrifice that a Righteous God accepted, which makes him the only provision of Salvation unto all mankind. Have you believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior? There is no God who is a just God and a Savior! Don’t delay in believing that Jesus is Lord. Respond now, for now is the appointed time, now is your day of Salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Isaiah 45:20-22 (KJV)
20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.