Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made? God designs us in a way that our bodies are the fullness of our parents. Our flesh, bones, and inert nature, are already decided even before we are conceived. This is part of God’s plan. We do not have the right to take the life of one that is preordained into existence unless God did not intend for the child to be born just yet. Since we do not know God’s Plan and His Timing is beyond our comprehension, we are not the ones who can decide to end a life before it even begins.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16
Fearfully made in this context is standing in awe of God who created from nothing. God formed life from the basic materials found on the ground of the earth as it was being finished. Understanding the intricacies of the human body, it is no wonder the writer was in awe of his own creation. He gives God all the glory for the mere fact He could take mud and clay, mold it, breathe in it and here we are.
Wonderfully made is the uniqueness of the individual in the formation but at the same time understanding that we all have the same basic purpose in life, glorifying God for all He does. We are given a purpose for being on this earth before we are ever conceived physically because God sets for the plan in our lives, placing us with the individuals who shall guide us in the direction we should go.
Yes we still have to fight our sinful nature but God’s purpose in our lives will always win out as long as we believe, have faith and trust that Jesus is our Salvation through His Blood and the only way to the gates is doing as Jesus taught us to do. Worshiping and praising God all the way.
Humans have always wanted to be like God and with the advent of clean abortions (yes hard to believe there is such a thing), stem cell research, and now exploring the possibility of repairing corrupt DNA brings us closer to believing we can create and destroy as we please. We cannot create, only manipulate what is already in place. It is not our place or even our right to destroy what is created by God. You cannot argue that God has a hand in our creation Our spirit is formed before the shell of flesh and bone and our purpose is known by God alone.

 

Importance of the Second Son P3

Jacob and Esau

AND GOD told Rebekah

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”
Gen 25: 23
The Younger, Jacob, had known that he would always fight with his brother Esau for the affections of his father. Early in their years Jacob saw an opportunity to make himself better than his brother and Esau sold his birthright over a bowl of stew. Later, when Isaac was near death, it was time for the blessing and Esau was hoping to receive at least that. Well, Rebekah heard the conversation where Isaac wanted Esau to hunt and prepare him a meal then he would bless him. Rebekah, remembering God’s promise dressed Jacob in fur and rubbed a scent which smelled of his brother.
Listen to the blessing Jacob stole:
“Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”
Gen 27: 27-29

Upon Esau’s return, he prepared the food and came to his father. Isaac realized he was swindled and after much hesitation gave Esau this blessing:
“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.”
Gen 27:39-40

Obviously this does not set well. Esau wanted Jacob’s head so Isaac and Rebekah sent Jacob to live with Laban so he would marry a Canaanite woman. Esau, recognizing the distaste for his Hittite wives, went and married a daughter of Ishmael.

I could speak more of Jacob’s redemptive journey but let’s take a look at his importance:
Jacob was a conniving momma’s boy who really did not know God at first. He stayed in the protection of the tents instead of making something of himself. He knew of God only by name and never fully experienced Him as others had done. When he was on the way to Laban he slept and had a conversation with God in which God promised him a great nation to come from him. Jacob asked for God to protect and provide for his journey then he would follow Him all his days.
1. Sometimes a bargain with God will turn into a test of Faith.
Saying that you will follow God giving Him conditions does not always turn out the way people hope. Jacob was consistently tested and his ability to bargain, barter, and act somewhat treacherously to get free of the bonds. Was this a test of his resilience? Probably. God wants people who can accept and face challenges with God as the guide and protector. It took Jacob to have a wrestling match with the Angel of God (BTW this was Jesus) for him to understand all he was going through was because of bargaining with God.
2. Having Patience with God’s Plan is a good thing.
Face it, we all lose patience at one time or another. We need to remember that things happen in God’s timing and not ours. We cannot tell God when things will happen, God tells us.
3. Having God in Our Lives Creates a Loving Atmosphere that Overcomes Hate
For some this may be a hard pill to swallow but truly being in Christ and not just believing leads to a healthy loving relationship with our fellow man. This relationship with God gives us eloquence in speaking peace, encouragement, and correction as needed. This day and age is filled with many discouraged and lost people who could really use God’s Love from His perspective, not a human one. Our human emotions can get in the way of being in Christ when sharing Him, His Love, and His Tough Love. Having God as the center gives us the courage to stand firm in the midst of hungry lions.
4. Forgiveness is a two way street
The embrace of brothers we see in Jacob and Esau was not an easy one but it began the conversation which led to peace. The forgiveness was mutual as it should be today. When you wrong someone not only do we ask for forgiveness but the other party must be willing to forgive. The one forgiving has to search deeply and ensure their forgiveness is genuine. Finding forgiveness in their heart opens many doors. The one asking forgiveness must be genuine as well and be truthfully willing to never wrong the person or people in that way or any way again.

Jacob and Esau would live with certain tensions for the remainder of their days but for then there was peace.

Let us remember to not tempt God or bargain with Him for we may not like the resulting years of pain before the dawn of the morning. Let us also learn patience with God’s timing and accept all things with grace remembering that God is the center. Forgive and be forgiven; Love as God Loves us. Be blessed Brothers and Sisters.

 

Now Jacob had twelve sons and one (known) daughter. Many things occurred with that family but it our journey takes us next to the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh.

The Importance of Being Second P2

Ishmael and IsaacIshmael and Isaac

Abram had two sons from different women. Ishmael was the son of Sarai’s Egyptian handmaiden Hagar whom she gave to Abram in hopes that he has a physical heir to his properties. Isaac, the son of the promise was born to Sarai when she was very old. Now Ishmael means God Listens while Isaac means Laughter. Sarai thought the Lord was joking when He told her she would bare a son but (sorry) God got the last laugh in this case.
Sarai took it upon herself to let Abram have Hagar and give him a son and she was jealous of Hagar especially when Ishmael was born. Thing is, Ishmael was not the child of the promise and God knew that Sarai would give Hagar to Abram. God still used Ishmael and his descendant
Abram joyfully taught Ishmael all he needed to know and had him circumcised as the first born in God’s covenant with Abram. Sarai became jealous of Hagar which would carry on into the boys. Sarai (now Sarah) bore Isaac and he became the favored child.
The Book of Jasher tells us that when Isaac was five, Ishmael (then 18) attempted to kill Isaac with a bow and arrow. Ishmael was a wild youth who mocked Isaac every chance he had and would not follow Abraham’s direction so Hagar and Ishmael were banished. Abraham asked God for pity on them and He granted them safety. An angel came to Hagar and Ishmael ensuring they were looked after and he would father a great nation. Ishmael had two wives (not at the same time) and twelve sons, the Arab Nation also known as Ishmaelite’s. Later in his life Ishmael and before Abraham died, Ishmael became a penitent man. When he died he was buried in what would be called Mecca.
There are so many issues with timing and age here but should we really worry about semantics over meanings?
When Isaac reached the age to assist his father with the sacrifice, he went with Abraham to the mountain and was the physical object of God’s test of Abraham’s faith. Abraham from there understood that God would provide for him and his many children as long as they were faithful servants. The angel of the Lord told Abraham, ”By Myself have I sworn, says the Lord, that because you have done this thing and you did not withhold your son, your only one, that I will surely bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand that is on the seashore, and your descendants will inherit the cities of their enemies.“
So what is the importance of Isaac besides the second son of the father of many nations? Isaac is the Son of the Promise, honestly that is really the most important thing about him outside of his children. He was a faithful man who would later father twins who would once again separate nations. These two people would suffer contention and strife even today although the brothers found peace in their time.
We learn more about Abraham’s faith from this story than anything else. First we see how Abraham and Sarah could not believe that they would even be able to have children at their age especially since Sarah was well above child bearing years. They learn to listen to God and that He can make all things possible, even what we would consider impossible. Abraham never saw God, only angels that were His messengers and carried out God’s commands. His faith in the unseen made God known personally to Abraham. Ishmael would never have as close of a relationship with God as Isaac did. Maybe that is why there are so many issues.
This story tells us that we can have that personal relationship, in fact that is what God wants. We will later see how much more this point is brought out with Isaac’s son, Jacob.
PRAYER:
Father God, We desire a personal relationship with You. Thank You for giving us Jesus so we can have that relationship. Thank You also for the understanding of faith in the unseen but understood, Father. The lessons from the past are truly alive today because of that relationship You have built with us. Teach us, Oh Lord, so that we may share this relationship with others as we build deeper relationships with You ourselves. Guide us to those who You desire a deep personal relationship so we may tell them our story in order for them to discover theirs. Thank You for the gift of Your Son and His gift of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name AMEN

The Importance of Being Second

Children are God’s gift to His creation. Not only are children born for parents to care for and learn joy and true love from, they are the future generations who will help bring God’s Kingdom to completion here on earth. God gave us the Bible to learn how He wishes us to live and celebrate Him but there is more to this. Even though it has been said there is no instruction manual for being a parent, those who say that are incorrect. God teaches us in Scripture how to raise the child. Does He not say in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”?
Throughout the Old Testament (and Jesus Parable in the New) there are stories that contain two sons. Some are twins and some are born within a short matter of years of each other. Why are the second born so important. What if I told you that many of the second born actually foreshadow the completion of God’s work through Christ? That was something I bet not too many people would think of.
Anyone who has heard an old theologian minister knows that names in Hebrew actually have more significant meaning than our names do today. Yes some people actually live up to their names while others sit back on the sidelines. The names of Cain and Abel are especially significant when it comes to their father and future descendant Jesus. But I do not want to give away too much right now.
In this study we will look at the sons of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, and God just to name a few. As time moves forward we may find more than meets the eye looking into the children who would receive the blessings as the second sons.
So why study the uniqueness of the second born male child? Think of all the times we hear about the firstborn, first-fruits, first this and that all through Scripture. It is apparently good to be the first for many reasons but it can also be a great challenge.
Firstborns are the experimental child for parents who think they may want more. The parents are either overprotective and careful or they forget the child is even there sometimes. Some are spoiled while others are treated as hired servants. Second children (more specifically in the biblical times sons) are just as, if not more, important. The parents are either more strict or less stringent on the second born. They are sometimes more spoiled than the first (except in the case of Joseph and Benjamin). Second children seem to get the worst from the grandparents because they are expected to be just as good or better than the first. Basically, the second child is looked at as a blessing and a curse.
God made good on the second born for many of the key figures in biblical times. For some reason the second born was always used as an example for something even when it was not necessary to do so. Many brilliant life lessons are learned looking into the lives of the second child.
I myself am a second child (only son born to my parents) and I can say that it was an exciting ride growing up in a family where one parent was an avid church attendee and the other could not stand the hypocrisy. There were many moments that were tumultuous but great lessons were learned. I was the one given to God as servant but that is another story.

For the next few weeks we will look at lessons from the lives of the second sons. During this time we will learn how negative and positive emotions and values can affect the outcomes in our lives. We will discover how God uses those lessons for instruction and guidance leading us towards Him. Join me on this journey as we discover the Importance of Being Second.