Waiting for His Return

Life is waiting; it is time divided by seconds, minutes and hours. All in the space that time allows in a clock to guide us as we wait for something. Waiting teaches us patience and maturity of our understanding; it teaches us to accommodate ourselves to the framed time we must wait. Waiting requires faith for one to be at peace in that period of time. There are many types of waiting; some not so urgent in its routine. But some others very much to the point of bringing us anxiety. It is a thing of the mind trying to control the situation. Usually, we expect the worst, believing whatever comes to mind. This kind of waiting destroys the well-being of the body, especially in area of the stomach, because of its root being fear embedded in worries. However, we must realize the importance of time and use it to do things unrelated to what we are waiting for. It is the time to exercise the muscle of faith, which is in great need to be made strong.

The Upstairs Room

It was close to YAHSHUA’S last Passover, when He sent two of His disciples to a definite place to prepare it for His last Passover Super with them. He said, to them, go into the city, and a man carrying an [earthen] jar or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him. And whatever [house] he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples? And he will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready; there prepare for us (Mark 14:13-15). He had come to the end of His earthly ministry and needed a time alone with those called apostles to warn and to teach them and to prepare them for the ministry He was leaving behind for them to continue. That was the time and place when YAHSHUA, alone with His disciples, ministered to them by washing their feet; the time when He constituted the new covenant of His blood; the time when He gave a new commandment- to love one another as He loved them; that was the time and the place where He uttered His priestly prayer for them and for us. There were many disciples who followed Him, but He chose only twelve to be His messengers. These were the ones He explained the meaning of the parables to, who experienced a deep relationship with Him as His friends, who experienced the mount of transfiguration, and who witnessed His anguish at the Gethsemane Garden in the crucial moment of His decision. The last words from YAHSHUA to His disciples were printed in their hearts to change yesterdays and today’s world. Peter’s life was changed from a coward to a courageous outspoken man for the sake of the message he was given to tell; The doubtful Thomas died as a martyr in India for obedience to go and preach to all the world the message of salvation. John died on the Patmos Island, after they tried to kill him by putting him a caldron with boiling water. All died as martyrs for their Messiah. Nothing would stop these disciples from taking a stand for their Master, after the upper room experience.

Rebekah’s Dilemma

(Genesis 25:20-27)

Abraham’s wife was dead at the age of 127 years old. As it was the costume of those days for the parents to find spouses for their children, Abraham trusted his servant, Eliezer of Damascus, who ruled over all he had, to get his son a wife from his own relatives. So, it was that Eliezer by God’s providence found his son a wife, who was Abraham’s brother Nahor’s granddaughter and his grandniece. The Bible relates a beautiful picture of Isaac and Rebekah meeting at her arrival: It was at the time when Isaac went out to meditate and bow down [in prayer]. He looked up and saw that, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah looked up and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel, for she [had] said to the servant, Who is that man walking across the field to meet us? And the servant said, He is my master. So, she took a veil and concealed herself with it. And the servant told Isaac everything that he had done. Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s ten, and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus, Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death (Gen. 24:63-67). Isaac was then forty years old. They were married twenty years and without children. Isaac prayed much to the Lord for his wife, because she was unable to bear children; and the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah, his wife, became pregnant (Gen 25:21). God’s timing plays a very important role in the fulfilling of His promise, no matter how long it will take for it to be fulfilled. In the case of Abraham, it was not until twenty-seven years later, when he was then one hundred years old, that the Lord blessed him with the son of the promise. God blessed Rebekah with twin boys- a double blessing she did not expect. However, wanting to know why such a struggled within her, she went to inquire of the Lord. He revealed to her that two nations were in her womb, and the separation of two peoples had begun in her body; the one people shall be stronger than the other, and the elder shall serve the younger (Gen. 25:21-23). There, in His presence, she found the answer for her dilemma.  Understanding the problem, her burden was not as heavy on her soul. As Rebekah experienced the lifting up of her burden in the presence of the Lord, we too can enjoy the relief of our troubles in His presence. It is there that we will experience peace, joy and healing. Psalm seventy-three shows the frustration the psalmist struggled with in relationship to the prosperity of the wicked. He said, But as for me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped, for I was envious of the foolish and arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked… But when I considered how to understand this, it was too great an effort for me and too painful, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. A prayer away, is all that will take to understanding and relief from our struggles.

In Remembrance, I Bow Down

(Lamentations 3)

The cries of Lamentations’ writings detail the sufferings of Israel’s people when taken away as captives by Babylon. “How solitary sits the city that was full of people!… all Zion gates are desolate… all her people groan and sigh seeking for bread; should and shall women eat the fruit of their own bodies, the children whom they have tended and swaddled with their hands?” (Lamentations 1,2).

Calamity had come to the city of Jerusalem-Judah and its people for their sins were grave before the Lord. Israel had been warned by Moses when yet in the wilderness of the consequences if they deviated from obeying the commandments of the Lord. The prophets also warned them of the coming judgment if they continued in their idolatry. But Israel’s heart was hard toward the Lord. “Jerusalem has grievously sinned; therefore, she has become an unclean thing and has been removed…her filthiness was in and on her skirts; she did not consider her final end (1:8a,9a).

In 589 BC Nebuchadnezzar II laid siege to Jerusalem; In 587 BC the culmination of the destruction of the city and temple happened. The Jewish people were then deported to Babylon, including Daniel and his friends, who God used mightily to change the heart of the King; He used Daniel to serve as prophet for the Jewish nation. God, in His love and mercy, allowed seventy years of captivity for the Jewish nation for having failed to keep seventy Sabbath years. It is written in the book of Leviticus that a Sabbath year comes every seventh year:  But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord, you shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of itself in your harvest you shall not reap and the grapes on your uncultivated vine you shall not gather, for it is a year of rest to the land…and you shall number seven sabbaths or weeks of years for you, seven times seven years, so the total time of the seven weeks of years shall be forty-nine years (Lev. 25: 4-8). The number seventy is embed in the prophecy of Daniel chapter 9:24: Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city to finish and put an end to transgression, to seal up and make full the measure of sin to purge away and make expiation and reconciliation for sin to bring in everlasting righteousness… When the disciples asked YAHSHUA how many times should one forgive, He gave them the answer found in the period of 490 years given the Jewish people in the prophecy of Daniel, illustrating the validity of Daniel’s prophecy’s time frame given them for forgiveness.

The Eyes and the Ears are the Windows to the Soul

The first lust of the eye happened in the Garden of Eden, when Eve fell into the serpent’s temptation. Because Eve believed the serpent, she became recipient of Satan’s curse. She disregarded God’s law concerning the tree at the moment she looked at it and she saw something she hadn’t seen before.  That’s how her mind interpreted what she was seeing: the tree was good for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise; (then the result was that) she took of its fruit and ate; and gave some also to her husband (Gen. 3:6). As a window to the soul – intellect, will and emotion, the eyes are essential in what we see. A blind person, not having eyes that cause him to sin, has no window to fall into temptation, or direct the mind to sin. However, the eyes are not the only window to the soul; the hearing is also the other window to the soul. Eve heard the serpent’s deceitful words before she looked at the tree. The serpent’ swords misguided Eve to sin.  I am sure that Eve had looked at that tree several times, but without intention to eat of its fruits. Satan’s words came to her tempting her to doubt God’s commandment: Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? The words were formulated into misguiding her to doubt God’s authority. Then Eve answered him saying, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle on the garden God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die; the serpent replied, You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity (Gen. 3:1b-6). So, it was that the woman seduced by the lust of the eyes, caused not only her soul to sin, but also the entire world.

DNA – The Evidence of God’s Signature in Every Cell

God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in our image, after our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. So, God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them; then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the flesh; and the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Then Adam said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of a man (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7,21-23). When God created men, He perfected them with intelligence and wisdom. No one can comprehend the complicated manifold of His work. The human body, the heavens, all nature and every created living thing, have God’s signature on them. His, and His alone matches the manifold of wisdom manifested in all He created. “OH, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever! Amen (Rom.1:33a,36).

When created man and woman, God performed an act of perfect and wonderful creation. He focused on every detail of the body, visible and invisible. When He said, Let Us make mankind in our image, after our likeness… His words carried a very important meaning, not applied to the rest of His creation. Man was made to carry God’s image and likeness (Gen. 1:27). In that, man was set apart from the animal world. King David in his psalm 139 says, … You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb; I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well; my frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depts of the earth; Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them; how precious and weighty also are Your thought to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! “Intricately and curiously wrought,” he could be referring to the DNA, the hereditary part of humans. It is there that information is stored as a code. It transmits genetic information. It determines each cell’s structure and function; located in the center of the cell, it is responsible for the control of the cells’ activities. We are truly “God’s intelligent design!” Amazingly, scientists have found proof of God in the DNA code. As Paul said, man is without excuses concerning the existence of God (Rom. 1). DNA expresses information from intelligence, and one like no one else’s “It is an instructional script.” The DNA’s code is very complex, compost of 3 billion letters, which are four chemicals called, adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. It is mind boggling; It is hard for men to grasp the complexity of God’s creation, for they are limited in their understanding concerning the deep wisdom and knowledge of God, since they are created and are not the Creator. DNA’S code is the evidence of God’s signature in every cell proving that He is the Creator of all living things. Paul asks the question: Who has known the mind of God and who has understood His thoughts, or who has been His counselor?  (Rom. 11:34) All God’s creations – animal and plants alike have DNA, which is a long molecule containing their entire genetic code. Although the animals have will, emotion and intelligence, showing how smart they are in many things, they do not reflect the image of God. God does not require accountability from them, as Paul said, Creation was subjected to frailty, not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will off Him Who so subjected it- with the hope that nature itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children (Rom. 8: 20-21).

“Read This in my Word Everyday”

Were the words I heard right after I woke up from an afternoon nap. I tried remembering the dream I had that afternoon, to understand what were the words the Lord was telling me to read every day. But I did not remember the dream.  However, a few minutes later the phrase, “As it was on Noah’s day” and its reference came to me. My husband and I have been reading this passage of Mathews 24: 37-46 together every day since a week ago. From the amplified Bible it reads: As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and be given in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark, and they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away – so will be the coming of the Son of Man. At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left; two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Watch therefore for you do not know in what kind of a day your Lord is coming. But understand this: had the householder known what watch the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be undermined and broken into. You also must be ready therefore, for the son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him. Who then is the faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household to give to the others the food and supplies at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom, when his master comes, he will find so doing.

In another passage, the Lord YAHSHUA again warned the disciples about the things that are coming to the entire world and told them to “keep awake and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man” (Luke 21: 36).

Oh, That I Had Wings Like a Dove

Listen to my prayer, O God

Hide not Yourself from my supplication

Attend to me and answer me

I am restless and distraught at the noise of the enemy

My heart is grievously pained within me

And the terror of death has fallen upon me

Fear and trembling have come upon me;

Horror and fright have overwhelmed me.

(Ps. 55: 1-5)

A prayer in the form of a psalm from the depth of the of David’s heart, speaks to us and comforts us in some way, knowing that we too can go to the heavenly Father with all our cares and troubles. This psalm is an expression of what David was going through in that time of his life. This shepherd boy, who killed a bear and a lion to save his sheep, finds himself in a crossroads where no help was in sight, only faith and a prayer to deliver him from the rebellion of his son, Absalom and the betrayal of his close friend, Ahithophel and many of his servants. (II Sam. 15-18). Betrayal is like cancer; it eats up the emotion and robs the peace from within. It takes a while for the results to fade away, and meanwhile, the soul is tormented with bitterness. In writing this psalm, David did not express forgiveness, but asked for God to avenge those who had offended him. We can taste his hurt feelings in verses 12-15: For it is not an enemy who reproaches and taunts me- then I might bear it; nor is it one who has hated me who insolently vaunts himself against me- then I might hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend; we had sweet fellowship together and used to walk to the house of God in company. (Psalm 55:12-14). The memory of his past friendship with Ahithophel was like the taste of bitter herb going down to the stomach. That was a heavy burden on the soul.  David and his family had to flee from his son, who tried to take the kingdom from him by stealing the hearts of the men of Israel. His rebellion was also a betrayal and vengeance.

David’s prayer was of urgent timing. His supplication came to God in restlessness of his heart, in grievous pain. Desiring peace, David wanted to fly away from all his troubles. He said, Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hasten to escape and to find a shelter from the stormy wind and tempest (Vs. 6-9). A temporary relieve, was David’s desire to have. A place where he would not hear the noises of confusion and anger against him. He just wished wings of a dove, a symbol of freedom. However, a physical presence elsewhere would not accomplish much in the way of inner peace; but a calm and undisturbed mind and heart. Circumstances we face in our everyday life can lead us either to peace or disturbances of the mind. The secret of consistency in achieving victory through it all however, is not in our self, but in the trust and faith in God, our Provider, our Shelter and refuge in our troubles. David well knew it, as he expressed it in several of his psalms. But it was necessary for him to express his inner feeling of fear and uncertainty in face of his circumstances, for they were of great proportion, beyond his ability to cope alone.

Every Life is a Book

Without paper, without a pen, every minute pages are written through someone’s life. From the crib to the grave, life speaks through attitude and actions without language, without voices one’s book is developed page by page in a subtle way, until life’s breath is taken away from us. Life is a beautiful expression of God’s wisdom, love and His mercy.  It demonstrates the immensity and depth of God’s wisdom. Created to bring glory to God, we humans have failed God’s purpose for creating us, but not nature around us. Look at the flowers of the field, the firmament declaring His glory. They are faithfully declaring their Creator’s glory. The Word of God says, The heavens declare the glory and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge (Ps. 19:1-2).  From the time we are born we start the first page of our book. For many, their stories are filled with joy, pomp privileges and smiles. For others, not so fortunate, nonetheless. The pages of their book start with misfortune and death. Millions of others will not have a chance to see the light of the day, only anguish and despair, for their lives are taken away in suffering. They have been denied the right to live when being sucked out of the mother’s womb, the supposed safest place to be. Their book is a wordless book. No one knows what would have been their lives’ story registered in a forever book. Only God knows. Life is given to all by God with a future planned under each name, as David so wrote: I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret intricately and curiously wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when yet there was none of them (Ps. 139: 14-16).

The Lion Has Roared

(Amos 3:8)

When we see a lion roaming around, we come to the realization that he is, without a doubt, the king of the beasts, for his powerful appearance and uncompromisingly strength. None will escape his attack in the strength that he displays to bring its victim down. It is heartbreaking to watch the killing taking place, though. Fear of him is spread all around at the sound of his roaring heard five miles away. In a frightening moment at the dark of the night, one experiences the hair standing up in a chill of death. But that roaring is only expressing his right to the prey he is killing. The success he utters is not for sharing of the meal, but to warn all to stay away. Who cannot help but to feel the vibration of fear all over the spine at his roaring? Running a short distance at 50 mph, no one can escape his pursuit. Majestic and intimidating, the lion stands tall and non-afraid. Although, many of their care givers lost their lives at their claws and mouth, the lion has shown undisputable love toward their owners even when apart from them many years through their affection demonstrated to them. It is hard to believe how he can be so loving and at the same time so ferocious!

 YAHSHUA , the “Lion of Judah” came from the tribe of Judah, the most privileged tribe of all the twelve tribes, because it was through this tribe that God chose to send His Son to the world. Therefore, it is through this tribe that the world has been blessed according to the blessing God promised Abraham at the ranges of Mount Moriah after testing him. Judah’s name means praise or thanksgiving. Although, Judah was not an ideal moral man, God’s sovereign purpose was accomplished through his descendants. In Genesis 49:8-10 Jacob, before he died, prophesized to all his sons, and of Judah he said, Judah, you are the one whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down to you; Judah, a lion’s cub! With the prey, my son, you have gone high up. He stooped down, he crouched like a lion, and like a lioness who dares provoke and rouse him? The scepter or leadership shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff between his feet, until Shiloh comes to Whom it belongs, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Jacob’s words echoed through the years and will continue to the day when YAHSHUA, the Lion from the tribe of Judah will come to reign and through Him the prophecy will be completely fulfilled.  His voice is compared to the roar of a lion, powerful in times of His judgment. Amos 1:2 says, Jehovah roars out of Zion and He utters His voice from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the head of Carmel withers. We see in the prophetic words of the Prophet Amos confirming and warning the people of the seriousness of God’s judgment. The lion hath roared; who will not fear? The Lord Jehovah hath spoken; who can but prophesy? (Amos 3:8). Even nature in its frailty recognizes the voice of God! There is much to ponder at the sound of the Lord’s roaring. As nature trembles at the sound of His voice, men must realize the tone of judgment in God’s voice and mend his ways.