Don’t Mess With God’s Kids! – PART 1

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As some of my readers know of late, I’ve been doing ‘detective’ investigations in The Book of Ezekiel (Hebrew -“God is strong”).  I was considering naming this study in Chapters 25 thru 32, the ‘Judgment on the Islamic nations.’  However, these verses not only cover SEVEN NATIONS, which happen to be ALL the Islamic nations, but the judgments apply to ALL other countries of the earth as well.  This includes godless or watered down Christian countries.

The SEVEN NATIONS included:

#1.  Ammon  (25:1-7)

#2.  Moab      (25:8-11)

#3.  Edom      (25:12-14)

#4.  Philistia  (25:15-17)

#5.  Tyre         (26:1 thru 28:19)

#6.  Sidom      (28:20-24)

#7. Egypt        (29:1 thru 32:32)

GOD IS STILL THE SOVEREIGN GOD OF ALL THE WORLD!!!

THE FIRST Nation we come across is AMMON (25:2). 

The Ammonites were relatives of the Jews based on being descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot.

Family relationships today in our culture can be…ARE at times difficult as well.  Because of this family relationship our Lord watched over and protected the people of Ammon.  The book of Deuteronomy 2 tell us,  “When you come near the territory of the sons of Ammon, do not trouble or assault them or provoke or stir them up, for I will not give you any of the land of the Ammonites for a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession.” (verse 19).

Even though they were blood relatives to the Israelites, the Ammonites turned out to be enemies.  [see Judges 3:13, 10:6; 2 Chronicles 20:23]

Every social and moral aspect of our behavior is under the scrutiny of God’s all-seeing eye.  Just because these nations didn’t carry Bibles under their arms, it didn’t exempt them; their CONSCIENCES were enough to condemn them!

In one of Dryden’s poems, there is a line:  “And because the fury of a patient man” [footnote [i].  Ezekiel would add the thought:  “Beware the wrath of a patient God!”

AMMON and MOAB (25:8-11):

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AMMON: Northern Jordan (Amman) and MOAB: Central Jordan.

AMMON and MOAB, being LOT’S two sons born of his incestuous relationship with his two daughters were regarded as relatives of Israel, though both treated Israel with contempt.

AMMON’S CRIME

The ‘crime’ was the Ammonites delighted in the downfall of God’s kingdom (25:3, 6).  Not from just observing Israel’s destruction from a distance; like coming upon an accident on a freeway, slowing down, rubbernecking the scene, then passing on by–but the people were clapping their hands and stomping their feet with glee!

We all too frequently find amusement in the misfortunes of others.

Ammon’s heartless response to their neighbor’s fate was not only wrong but also blind; they too would fall (25:4).

“DONT’ MESS WITH GOD’S KIDS!”

When reading and studying Scripture there always seems to be a lesson to take in for all us.  The lesson here is one of failure to appreciate that the fall of a neighbor is one that can befall us too, apart from God’s GRACE.

Every time we see another fall into SIN, even if he or she is our enemy, we shouldn’t “clap our hands” and “stomp our feet” with joy, but rather offer compassion and thankfulness:  COMPASSION, for we should LOVE even our enemies, and THANKFULNESSESS that “There go I, but for the grace of God”  (Quote by John Bradford, 1510-1555).

THE MOABITES – Ezekiel 25:8-11:

[8] “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘Because Moab and Seir said, “Look, Judah has become like all the other nations,”  [9] therefore I will expose the flank of Moab, because of Moab, beginning at its frontier towns–Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon and Kiriathaim–the glory of that land.  [10] I will give Moab along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, so that the Ammonites will not be remembered among the nations;  [11] and I will inflict punishment on Moab.  Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

“DON’T MESS WITH GOD’S KIDS!”

So what did the Moabites do wrong?  Look at the indictment:  “Because MOAB and SEIR say, ‘LOOK! The house of Judah is like all the other nations.’

They were in effect saying, the God of Israel is powerless.  He is just like all the other gods.  If Judah’s GOD is supposed to be ‘All powerful’, then why didn’t he protect the Jews from being protected?

They were MOCKING that the Lord is nothing special.

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Moabite Fortress

MOAB would receive the same punishment Ammon their brother received. These desert dwellers would come and destroy the mighty fortresses and notable cities they were so proud of.

Ezekiel 25:12-14 Now it’s EDOM’S turn!

“Don’t Mess With God’s Kids!”

[12] “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘Because Edom took revenge on Judah and became very guilty by doing so,  [13] therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will stretch out my hand against Edom and kill both man and beast. I will lay it waste, and from Teman to Dedan they will fall by the sword.  [14] I will take vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they will deal with Edom in accordance with my anger and my wrath; they will know my vengeance, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

Southern Jordan, Edom, or Mt. Seir are slated for the grimmest JUDGMENT and it shall be rendered in places, utterly uninhabitable. [Ezekiel 35:1-7]

Ammon and Moab were BAD, but Edom surpassed these two others in its brutality against the Jews.

Psalm 137:7 (Amplified Bible):

[7] Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites, that they said in the day of Jerusalem’s fall,  Down, down to the ground with her!

When some of the Israelites tried to escape to Edom they were turned away by the sword.

Where are the EDOMITES today?

In Genesis 27 we read about Isaac’s two sons Jacob and Esau: Jacob received his father’s BLESSING by pretending to be his brother since Isaac’s eye site had failed.

Esau finding the results asks his father, “Bless me–me too, my father!” (vs. 34).

“Do you have only one blessing, my father?” (vs. 38)

[39] His father Isaac answered him:  “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.

[40] You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother.  But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”

The “EDOMITE SPIRIT” is alive and well!

Although the land of Edom today is but a desolated and barren land today–the spirit of EDOM is apparently still alive and well.

Isaac’s Blessing on ESAU was very clear.  Isaac prophesied over his firstborn son and he gave him a “left-over” sort of blessing that provided me with some clues.

Isaac told Esau that his descendants…

#1.  They would end up dwelling in rich countries–the ‘fatness’ (KJV); the ‘fruitfulness of the earth’ (AMP).

#2.  He would live by the sword (gun).

#3.  Eventually, he would break free from Jacob’s yoke of civil behavior and run wild!  (Gen. 27:40)

If the Edomites are around today, they might be found in nations such as ours.  The richest nation is to be found in Western civilization.

Let’s face it, thousands of years have passed by and the spirit of Esau (Edom) is now flowing in nations far abroad with anti-Semitism.

The Philistines Enter The Picture!  (Ezekiel 25:15-17):

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[15]  “This is what the Sovereign LORD says…  

Don’t Mess With God’s Kids!”

‘Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah,  [16] therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says:  I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and wipe out the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast.  [15] I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath.  Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.”

“Philistines” or “Palestinians”?

It is from the term “Philistines” that the name “Palestinians” have incorrectly been taken.

Actually, the ancient Philistines and modern Palestinians DO HAVE something in common: both are INVADERS from other lands.  That’s precisely the meaning of their name, not an ethnic denomination but an adjective applied to the name–Pleshet, from the verb “pelesh”: “dividers” or “invaders”.

The PHILISTINES were a confederation of non-Semitic peoples from Crete, the Aegean Islands and Asia Minor, also known as “Sea Peoples”.

The original homeland was the island of CRETE.

Invaders from Greece took control of the island and the ancient Cretans arrived in Southern Canaan and were known as “Paleshtim” by the Hebrews and Canaanites (they became allied to fight the invaders).

EZEKIEL 25:16-17:

We now see our heavenly Father directs His attention to a non-relative, Israel’s old-time arch-enemy, the Philistines.  Although they were greatly weakened by king David, they continued to exist as a people.

The God of Israel–Jehovah Roi, has finally had enough of these foreigners.  His Mercy and Grace has come to an end!

In the book of Zephaniah, chapter 2, it mentions the Cherethites or ‘Cretans’.

[4]  Gaza will be abandoned and Ashkelon left in ruins.  At midday Ashdod will be emptied and Ekron uprooted.

[5]  Woe to you who live by the sea, you Kerethite people; the word of the LORD is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines.  He says, “I will destroy you, and none will be left.”

The world has been tricked into thinking today’s Palestinians are Descendants of the Philistines.  This is NOT true!–

To insult the Jews after the Roman army destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD, they changed the name to PALESTINE.  There never was a group of people descended from this group of people.  The Philistines as described here in Scripture ceased to be a people.

PART 2– I’ll continue with the nations and the Prophecy Against Tyre–

Ezekiel 26:1-28 thru 28:19.

 


FOOTNOTES & CREDITS

Footnote [i]:  “Absalon and A. chi top el e-notes”

Credits:  

PALESTINIAN MYTHS – Myths, Hypothesis, and Facts Concerning the Origin of Peoples.

The Edomites Today – End-Time Pilgrim by Gavin Finley, MD

Jordan; Ammon, Moab, and Edom…Islam in Prophesy by Pastor Bill Randles Blog.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV), except where noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unconditional Election

 

Well, here I sit at my laptop computer, television cable news on low volume in my ear, and trying to focus on the message coming from Scripture, all at the same time.

imagesIt is season of ELECTION here in the United States, and between the robocalls, car bumper stickers, political signs placed in front yards, and every television and radio station broadcasting partisan campaign rhetoric…it’s still over two months from election day.

It is hard to accept all the hype of the campaign’s politicians.  But at the same time, the outcome of the election can’t change one’s acceptance of the results–positive or negative.

Accepting God’s Unconditional Election – A Study in Romans 9

My hesitancy, even my personal objections to this topic fell apart as I studied and meditated on God’s Word.  I could no longer explain away Romans 9.

What is UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION?

John Piper, Founder and Teacher of desiringGod.org states the definition as…

“God’s free choice before creation, not based on foreseen faith, to which traitors He will grant faith and repentance, pardoning them and adopting them into His everlasting family of joy.”

My public Prayer:

Father, I need your Spirit to enlighten me in explaining Your word on this sometimes difficult topic.  May I be clear in explanation and stay out of the “rabbit holes.”  Thank You in advance, Amen.

GRACE & ELECTION –

The real question is NOT “Why are only some saved?”, but “Why are any saved?”

Without God’s ELECTION, none could, would or even should be SAVED from His judgment.

The true children of God, God’s election of His family, is not determined by the will of mankind, but by the eternal decree and divine counsel of Almighty God Himself!

Let me state right up front, that there are some hard things to understand in the Bible–like Unconditional Election or the Calvinist approach to predestination.

Here are three passages of Scripture to read and meditate on:  Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11.

Romans 8:29 (KJV):  For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Ephesians 1:5 (NAS):  He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.

Ephesians 1:11 (AMP):  In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained  (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will.

If election is true, what happens to human responsibility?  And, If some are “predestined” to heaven, then why bother with evangelism in the church?  How can people be guilty of sin, since they are doing what they were predestined to do?

This topic of conversation can–has, caused friendships to fracture, churches to split and divide Christians into different doctrinal groups.

Let me give you my understanding, and you can agree or disagree.  I have a simple mind, so this might not be satisfactory to everyone reading this.

God is supremely SOVEREIGN and we are responsible to our response to His calling.

The word “sovereign”, “Sovereignty of God”, is the biblical teaching that ALL THINGS are under God’s rule and control, His authority, and nothing happens without His direction or permission.  [See footnote [i] ]

Romans 9 emphasizes the SOVEREIGNTY of God while Chapter 10 emphasizes man’s foundational response (I’m sticking with Chapter 9 for this blog).

The apostle Paul doesn’t seek to relieve the tension, nor does he fully explain the working out of election and responsibility of his listeners in this chapter.  He seems to be more interested in pointing out the pompous hearts that dares to question the Creator.

Election and Responsibility as taught by Jesus in John 6:37:  

“All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me” [divine election]; “and the one who comes to Me” [human response] “I will most certainly not cast out {I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me]” (Amplified Bible in italics).

THIS BLOG’S BIBLE TEXT:  ROMANS 9:19-29

In my study this week on the above passage, I found 7 different questions in regards to UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION.  While Paul doesn’t specifically answer each of these questions, there’s at least 3 answers that are given.

God DESIGNS with purpose (vv. 19-21)

[19] You will say to me,  Why then does He still find fault and blame us [for sinning]? For who can resist and withstand His will?”

Paul has given reference to Moses as an example, where he states that God will have MERCY on whom He will have MERCY and COMPASSION on whom He will have COMPASSION (v.15).  Paul further states that the MERCY is God’s gift (v. 16) and not on one’s own willingness nor works.

Paul then contrasts MERCY with STUBBORNNESS, as with Pharaoh’s condition of an unyielding heart (vv. 17-18):

[17] For Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over.

[18] So then He has mercy on whomever He wills (chooses) and He hardens whomever He wills.

Paul’s not concerned with the person’s question in verse 19, as much as his concern for the “attitude” behind the question.

Paul’s seemingly agitated response in verse 20 is to the point:

[20] But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? 

In the New International Version of the bible, it reads “talk back”.  Paul was putting the person’s attitude in his place for “talking back” to God.

It’s not wrong to ask questions of our Father God, but we cannot presume to correct Him.

We should be reminded of what God said in Job 38:2-3:

[2] Who is this that darkens council by words without knowledge?  [3] Gird up now your loins like a man, and I will demand of you, and you declare to Me.

Job is put in his place in 40:2:

“Shall he who would find fault with the Almighty contend with Him? He who disputes with God, let him answer it.”

I love the way Job responds in verses 4-5:

[4] Behold, I am of small account and vile! What shall I answer You? I lay my hand upon my mouth.  [5] I have spoken once, but I will not reply again–indeed, twice (have I answered), but I will proceed no further.

It is hard for us at times, just to be still when God declares His will.  Many of us want to have the last word with God.

God has the absolute rights of ownership.

By putting together passages from Isaiah 28:16, Isaiah 64:8 and Jeremiah 18:1-6, Paul shows that as Creator, God has the absolute rights of ownership (v. 20 b.):

“…Will what is formed say to him that formed it,  Why have you made me thus?”

He then expands the analogy of the Potter and the clay (v. 21)

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[21] Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use?

God Delays punishment (verse 22-23)

God DESIGNS with a purpose and He also DELAYS punishment to some, in order to show His MERCY to others.

[22]  What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath–prepared for destruction?

[23]  What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory–  (NIV).

Notice the two uses of the phrase “What if…”

Paul states 2 categories of people here.  The Bible often uses extreme terms to separate people into two groups.

  • The SAVED and the LOST,
  • Children of God and children of Satan,
  • Light and darkness.

The last words in Verse 22 make it a tough passage to deal with–“prepared for destruction”.  It is written in the “passive voice” for grammatical correctness.

It shows that people prepare themselves for DESTRUCTION by their sins.  It’s not that God makes people sinful, but that He leaves them in their sin unless they REPENT and receive Jesus.  If people resist and reject God, they end up preparing their own destruction.  If, during the time of “divine delay,” any individual repents and receives Jesus, he or she becomes an “object of His mercy.”

EZEKIEL 18:30-32 SAYS,

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So, who then, are the OBJECTS (“vessels”) of MERCY?

God gets the GLORY either way!  He even uses Israel’s unbelief to further His purposes.  Actually, He uses ALL CIRCUMSTANCES to promote His Glory.

VERSE 23 (AMP):  And [what if] He thus proposes to make known and show the wealth of His glory in [dealing with] the vessels (objects) of His mercy which He has prepared beforehand for glory.

There’s the grammatical construction in verse 23, that’s different–we don’t prepare ourselves for glory because we are “prepared beforehand for glory” by God.

God is delaying His JUDGMENT so that you will repent and receive Jesus.  But He won’t wait forever.

At the beginning of this POST, I made the comment that God is supremely sovereign and that we are responsible for our response to His call.

So SALVATION starts with God and ends with God.  If UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION is true, then it means that we can never claim any credit for our SALVATION, or anyone else’s SALVATION.

We don’t even get points for seeking the Lord, because He sought us before we sought Him.

Someone may say “Why should I bother responding?  If I’m “predestined”, God will save me when He’s ready.”

The Bible says that God SAVES those who place their FAITH in Jesus Christ.

Henry Ward Beecher, a Congregationalist clergyman during the 1800’s, used to say the ELECT were the “Whosoever wills” and the non-elect were the “Whosoever won’ts.”

If you are wondering whether God has chosen you to SALVATION, just answer this question.  Have you ever placed your FAITH, your TRUST, in Jesus Christ–and in Him alone for your SALVATION?  If you answered “Yes,” then you have been “Unconditionally Elected” (“chosen”) to enter Heaven.  But what if the answer is “No”?

One reason God has delayed His punishment is to give you more time to be SAVED. If you go to hell, it won’t be God’s fault.  He’s done everything necessary to make sure you go to heaven.

UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION simply put…God chose you first and if He didn’t choose you first, you would never have chosen Him.

In other words, God so arranged the circumstances, when the moment was right, I had no other choice but to freely choose Jesus.  That occurred in the evening, August 15, 1972.  I was 30 years old, and God had been calling me for an unknown period of time but I was stiff necked in responding to His call.

Our CHOICE is a FREE CHOICE, but it is made possible only by God’s Spirit enabling us to BELIEVE and be SAVED.

 


Footnotes & Credits:

Footnote [i]:  Definition of God’s Sovereignty from Theopedia.

Bible Translations:  King James Version (KJV); New International Version (NIV); New American Standard (NAS); Amplified Bible (AMP).

Photos:  Google Image Search. 

LIVING AS A WANDERER vs. AS A PILGRIM

GENESIS 4:13-16 (New International Version – NIV):

hiding-from-god-theme-2Cain said to the LORD,  “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

But the LORD said to him,  “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.”  Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.

So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

In 1952, John Steinbeck wrote the novel, East of Eden.  It’s a book that wanders through the subjects of depravity, beneficence, and yes, love.  It goes to great lengths to detail human struggle for acceptance, greatness, and freedom.  Also, it relates to man’s capacity towards self-destruction.

Despite being considered a great book, East of Eden hasn’t come close to the total number of sales of the BIBLE, nor lasted through thousands of years like the GENESIS account has.

As The Word Detective, I’m always curious to the origin of unfamiliar words; their meaning and sometimes, the geographical significance to the story.

Gordon-MacRae-Falsely-Accused-Priest-Land-of-Nod-East-of-EdenThe Land of Nod  (Hebrew: eretz – Nod) a place mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, located “on the east of Eden,” where CAIN was exiled by God after Cain had murdered his brother Abel (Gen. 4:8).

“NOD” is the Hebrew root of the verb “to wonder”–therefore, to dwell in the Land of Nod is usually taken to mean that one takes up a wandering life.

In English, to “nod”  is to fall asleep suddenly.  Consequently, in the United Kingdom, to go to the Land of Nod is to go asleep.  [Footnote [i] ]

CAIN was worried, in despair, about the PUNISHMENT that had been handed down by God.  Based on our laws today, the sentence was less than it deserved perhaps.

In his anger, Cain kills his younger brother over jealousy:  “…And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering,   But for Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed”  (Genesis 4:4-5 AMP).

Ah, that old SPIRIT OF JEALOUSY and ENVY had gotten hold of Cain that day.

JEALOUSY is a feeling of discontent because of what others possess.  Jealous people view someone else’s success as a threat to their success–their existence.

ENVY on  the other hand, is proof that the SPIRIT OF JEALOUSY is present in your life and as a result, there will be negative consequences.

In CAIN’s future, he certainly faced in his wandering, negative consequences, spiritually and physically.

Although JEALOUSY is a tool the devil uses in our lives at times, there are ways in which you can open the door to that spirit.  I’ve been down that road myself too many times before.

James 3:14-16 – AMP:

[14] If you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth.  [15] This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, even devilish.  [16] For wherever there is jealousy and contention, there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.

[See also, Philippians 2:3; Proverbs 14:30]

And what was Cain’s outcome, his punishment from God regarding his selfishness?

He was left aimlessly to WANDER the earth as a vagabond; even the ground wouldn’t yield for him.  Whatever he sowed…would fail!

Our bibles make a contrast between the sowing of unrighteousness and the harvesting of FAITH.

Cain sowed the ground with BLOOD of his brother as the result of his JEALOUSY.  

It was because of Abel’s FAITH that his offering was acceptable to God.  [See Footnote [ii] ].

Cain’s lack of FAITH, instead of being converted–a change of mind–through the lessons God had presented, led to the murder of his brother resulting in NO HARVEST at all, even for the duration of his life.

We have exactly the same thing going on in the world today.  Christians are murdered in large numbers for their FAITH by the modern spiritual successors to Cain–the “peaceful” religion of Islam.

But in the end, those faithful Christians will stand in JUDGMENT over those who kill the body but can’t harm the soul.

The WAY of Cain leads to DEATH whereas, the FAITH of Abel last for eternity.

After his sentencing, Cain cried out “from Your face I will be hidden”  (Genesis 4:14).

The greatest honor that can be placed upon a person is to have the face of God shine on their life.  For this reason the High Priestly Prayer found in Numbers 6:24-26 not only includes it, it states it twice–

[24] “The LORD bless you and keep you;

[25] the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

[26] the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

In 1 Peter it says the reciprocal is true for Evildoers –

“For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,  And His eyes are open to their prayers;  But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil”  (1 Peter 3:12).

CAIN understood this in his limited way and cried out at the loss–a loss which he had brought upon himself.

The very first thing I noticed Cain doing AFTER God banished him from His presence, was to continue to defy God after He said, he would be a fugitive and a vagabond.  (4:14).

BUT verse 17 tells us Cain “built a city”.  Apparently Cain still didn’t believe that God’s Words were true.  Cain was attempting to establish a permanent place of settlement, a place for him to find residence after God had declared that he would never find such.

Some Bible Scholars believe that because of God’s punishment, CAIN only started building a city, leaving a legacy, letting his son Enoch to complete his unfinished work.

Despite of CAIN’s SIN, his murder, we see a great demonstration of the LORD’s MERCY.

In order to protect him, the LORD said  “…if anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.” 

Just so you know, CAIN was given a mark to protect his earthly life, but those who call on JESUS, the last chapter of the Bible says we too will have a mark.

The MARK will be on our foreheads and will be the very name of God–an eternal reminder that we have been purchased with the most precious substance in the universe–THE BLOOD of Jesus Christ  (Revelation 22:3, 4).

Revelation 22:3, 4
Revelation 22:3, 4

If you find yourself “wandering” aimlessly…staying away from God’s presence and a rewarding life because you think you’re living under God’s punishment, you are a vagabond in the Land of Nod.

BUT…there is a way to ESCAPE!

Wandering vs. Pilgrimage –

A TRUE BELIEVER’s life is at its very heart a PILGRIMAGE–LIFE on this present earth is not the final goal.

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To be sure, the Christian Pilgrimage, unlike the WAY OF CAIN, while coming with difficulties, can none-the-less be productive and filled with assurance.

God is with us and the best is yet to come!

As BELIEVERS, we must neither wander for the presence of God nor His standards.  In fact, to live a lifestyle of a WANDERER, invites His righteous response in JUDGEMENT.

If we are tempted to do so, let’s be quick and earnest in seeking our Heavenly Fathers’ COMPASSION from a living God (Psalm 103:1-18).  

For He will TRANSFORM our earthly desires into even better ones.  Moreover, to begin WANDERING could lead to further Wandering and take us even farther away from God’s BLESSINGS in our life.  And of course, this could lead to even more punishment, chastisement.  A vicious cycle indeed.

Rather than Wandering, wasting our productive life away from God and following one’s own selfish, worldly desires, BELIEVERS should keep in mind…this earth is not their true home and final destination.  Ours is a PILGRIM’s JOURNEY while we work out our salvation.

Therefore, as the apostle Peter admonishes his readers, 

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us”  (1 Peter 2:11-12 – NIV).

BELIEVERS therefore should remember and honor the fact that living as PILGRIMS, we should put away selfish lusts and desires, for it only causes their condition to worsen further.

As Grant Osborne’s commentary on 1 Peter 2 advises,  “We…can trust our lives to our Creator, but we are also at war with our ‘worldly desires’.  Every part of our life is involved–the physical and spiritual, the internal and external–and when one gives in to sinful behavior, Satan is waging WAR against us.”  [Footnote [iii] ]

As PILGRIMS in this world, abandoning self-centerness and personal wandering (not focused) becomes a daily exercise, not a one time experience (Romans 12:2).  

BASK in the full light of God’s abundant grace.

May we be careful in our living and keeping His standards; be living testimonies as His redeemed people, glorifying the LORD by experiencing the BLESSINGS of His presence and His guidance,

I still love singing Old Hymns that used to be sung in the church but not so much today.  I rediscovered the words to a hymn, I think best sums up my thoughts:

‘O Jesus I have promised to serve Thee  to the end,

Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend;

I shall not fear the battle, if Thou art by my side

Nor wander from the pathway, if Thou wilt be my guide.


FOOTNOTES & CREDITS:

Footnote [i] : Land of Nod – Wikipedia. 

Footnote [ii]: See OUR “OFFERINGS”; The “Why’s” and “How’s” of Our Giving – at https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/our-offerings-th…ws-of-our-giving/

Footnote [iii]:  Grant R. Osborn, “1-2 Peter,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, Ill. Tyndale House, 2011; 18 vols.).

Photo’s:

Land of Nod Map: In the Land of Nod, East of Eden – These Stone Walls.com – All other photo’s obtained from Google Image Search.