Archive for the ‘Curse’ Category


Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tight-fisted old farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went to call on his best girl. “Why,” he exclaimed, “when I went a-courtin’ I never carried one of them things. I always went in the dark.” “Yes,” the hired man said wryly,” and look what you got!”

Have you ever held your Bible in you hand and thought, there is no way I can understand this! There is simply too much in here. How can I even begin to understand it all? I must admit, it seems every week I am thinking exactly that. I keep bringing my thoughts back to this one thought: The Bible is not a history book, it is not an anthropology book, it is not even a religious guidebook. The Bible is the message of God seeking and redeeming men women and children who see His light and respond to His light and walk in His light. That is why so little of the history of the world is not mentioned in the Bible. That is why it is not organized into neat chronological stories. It isn’t about what we can figure out with our little brains. It is all about God and His light. The Bible is written to move us to seek His light.

For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down. For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. Psalms 18:27-28

Of course we can’t understand it all! But does that mean we give up reading it, loving it? I will never completely understand my wife. Does that mean I give up trying?

We seek after the light because we love the light! Do you sincerely want the light of God in your life?

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalms 36:9

This Christmas we are focusing on the “True Light” of Christmas, the birth of our Savior, God in flesh, Jesus Christ. He is the “True Light” of Christmas.

As our world becomes increasingly secular, there will be the danger of relegating Jesus to a display, a manger scene, when in reality HE desires no other recognition than to be Lord of your heart and life. He desires to be your light and life. He does not want to be trotted out every December. He does not want to be honored just on Christmas Eve. Jesus desires to light your life every day of your life. That will take a commitment on your part, a commitment which Satan will do everything in his power to obstruct.

The Scriptural foundation for our study this morning.

  • Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
  • As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:5
  • …whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness“. John 12:45-46
  • In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4
  • That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Ephesians 1:17-19

John in Chapter one of his Gospel declared that Jesus is the True Light, and His light is the life of men, and darkness will not overcome it. However, that does not mean that the darkness does not try. In fact, a survey of history reveals how the darkness has tried to obliterate the true light.

At the very time, John wrote his gospel there was a falling away from Jesus Christ. People were questioning the deity of Jesus Christ in the flesh. They were saying that He only became God when the Spirit came upon Him at his baptism.

That is why He was inspired to write:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

After a beautiful gospel that presents Jesus Christ in His deity, John concludes with this assurance:

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31

However, he questions continued and grew more intense. The doubts about the deity of Jesus spread. Many years later John wrote once more, offering his personal assurance:

In I John:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:1-7

He adds the weight of his own testimony, and bears witness to the life and light of God manifested to the disciples through the Son-Jesus Christ. John declares that the message that Jesus proclaimed to him was that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Our fellowship with God MUST be based on our walk in His light. If we walk in darkness, we have no fellowship with God. But praise God, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, so that we can walk with God in His light!

That is why John concludes His book with an even greater declaration than that which closed out his gospel. Not only can we have Life in Jesus Christ, but also John declares:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. … We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:13-21

  • Are you really desiring to be in God’s purpose;
  • Do you really seek to know what that purpose is, and to be found in it?
  • Everything depends upon whether you have such a concern. Your desire will determine whether you are simply here to increasing your knowledge about spiritual things or whether you are here because of your strong desire to be in God’s purpose, the eternal purpose of God.
  • Are you prepared to commit yourselves to the Lord and to living completely according to His purpose?

From the very beginning God has sought people to fellowship with Him, to walk with Him. However, because God is light, fellowship could only be in the light of His righteousness. For in Him is no darkness at all.

ADAM & EVE

God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening.

However, Adam and Eve loved darkness, and chose to rebel. Their fellowship was lost, their eyes were changed. Now instead of seeing only the light, they saw darkness. Their eyes were blinded by the darkness of sin.

God responds with Abel and the altar. The altar dealt with the darkness of sin and allowed the Light of God into their relationship.

Cain ignored the light and offered that which was cursed. His blindness then led him to murder his brother.

From their experience, we conclude this foundational truth of our relationship with God.

  1. Fellowship with God is only possible through the light
  2. Fellowship is only possible through the removal of the curse of sin.
  3. The removal of the curse requires a sacrifice.

These truth’s are confirmed as we trace the history of the conflict between darkness and God’s Light

From Abel to Noah

From Abel to Noah the darkness becomes more intense and deliberate. The earth – which is the Lord’s – is taken possession of by man for his own ends.

God says, “you like darkness?” How would you like 40 days and 40 nights of rain? Every living creature is destroyed except those saved by the ark.

Emerging from the judgment, Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifice, and in so doing declares, in intent and effect: “The earth” (the renewed earth) “is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (Ps. 24:1).

God has fellowship with man again. Light is returned to the world through the altar. Sin was judged by the death of the flood.

However, darkness returns all too soon. Even Noah is an agent when he gets drunk.

Babel

Babel is built by men desperate for a god of their own making, desperate to prevent a future judgment. Babel is cursed by God, and under that curse men are scattered to the four corners of the earth. Then, when, it would appear that the testimony of God has disappeared from the earth, God finds a man willing to obey Him, willing to follow the light.

Abraham

Abraham responds to God’s call. “The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia” or (when he was in darkness) – (Acts 7:2).

The God of glory APPEARED, showed Himself. Abraham had his eyes opened to see the God of glory and all the great redemptive work of God went forward through Abraham on that basis.

Their fellowship was secured when Abraham is willing to sacrifice his own son to Jehovah. The altar is once again in view, and Abraham walks in the light of God, and a new nation of God followers begins.

Israel in Egypt

God remembers his people in bondage in Egypt. In the light of the burning bush, God calls Moses to deliver them and lead them to God’s Promised Land.

God once again sets forth the Altar. In the midnight darkness of Egyptian homes a wail is heard as the angel of death slays all the firstborn males. Yet in the Jewish homes, there is the light of God, for He has seen the blood and passed over them.

His people are redeemed and led across the Red Sea on dry ground.

God leads them with fire. He has fellowship with them in the Tent of Testimony.

The Conquest of Palestine

Next, we have His people led by Joshua who is following the Captain of the Hosts. Their very entrance into the Promised Land must be across the Jordan River, which symbolizes death in both the Old and New Testaments. Once they cross, an altar is made as a monument. It symbolizes the death of the Jews to their flesh and sin and their new life of fellowship with the light of God. Their very first victories reveal that this is to be God’s battle, in God’s strength, under God’s Laws. If they go their own way or rely on their own strength, they will suffer judgment and defeat!

Judges and Kings

From here commences the long and infamous history of Israel’s descent into darkness. What had been intended to be a Kingdom of God and God’s light became a nightmare of the darkness of sin. Repeatedly they departed and deviated from God’s light.

Even though sacrifices were made, the heart of the people was dark and far from God.

God stirred men to bring His people back, men such as Hezekiah and Josiah. However, the heart of the entire nation was never stirred back to the light of God’s word. When the leader died, the apostasy set in and deepened.

First the Northern and then the Southern Kingdoms were captured and led into captivity. The nation was obliterated, the Temple, the Altar were destroyed. The darkness appears to have overcome the light of God.

Yet God reveals His light through Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They are faithful to the light of God; they sacrifice their lives to him on the altar of fire and lions. After Daniels prayer, God moves in a handful of remnant, people who still look to the light of God.

We read about this remnant in Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah. It is a great time of revival and restoration, but the darkness creeps back.

Malachi

There is more apostasy, rebellion, until we get the terrible conditions recorded in Malachi, leading up to the awful announcement:

You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Malachi 3:9

How black and dark things were! Were they ever worse? Yet God is not defeated; the light is not obscured; for, in the midst of the blackness, there is that which represents the most blessed victory:

Then they that feared Jehovah spoke often one to another; and Jehovah observed [it], and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared Jehovah, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be unto me a peculiar treasure, saith Jehovah of hosts, in the day that I prepare; and I will spare them as a man spared his own son that serves him. Malachi 3:16-17

Malachi closes, and for four hundred years, there is darkness and chaos. Surely now the testimony has ceased and faithfulness has disappeared? Surely now the Lord has lost everything? The darkness has conquered the light?

LUKE

Now we take up the book that Luke wrote to his friend Theophilus. Luke brings into our view a certain priest

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth

“And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. Luke 1:6

We also find Mary, to whom the angel Gabriel said:

“Thou that are endued with grace, the Lord is with thee”. Luke 1:28

There was also Simeon and Anna:

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Luke 2:25-32

And there was one Anna, a prophetess… she… spoke of him to ALL THEM THAT WERE LOOKING for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36, 38.

Even in the midst of great darkness, God has always had a faithful remnant who seeks HIS LIGHT! Listen to their Witness:

  • Zechariah:  “because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:78-79
  • Mary: “And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Luke 1:50
  • Simeon: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel”.Luke 2:31-32

Throughout history, no matter how deep the darkness, no matter the degree of blindness, there has been a remnant, a peculiar treasure, a group of jewels who have sought the light of God! Even when there has been no written revelation, they have seen that

1. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5)

2. The Kingdom of God is the rule of Divine light.

In the New Jerusalem, the heaven in which we shall one day dwell, it is recorded:

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. Revelation 21:23-25

Birth of Jesus – FOCAL POINT OF CONFLICT

The Birth of Jesus was the revelation of God’s Light in human form. However, what made His light so intense, so beautiful, was that the manger they laid Jesus upon represented the altar that God requires for us to walk in His light.

For Jesus was not born to reign as a King, or Serve as a Priest, He was born to die. He was born to deal for once and for all the mighty deathblow to the prince of darkness.

While we sing of Peace and Silent Nights, the birth of Jesus was a focal point of intense conflict. For God has been set against the darkness from the very creation.

God has always attacked the Darkness

Genesis 1 opens with “Darkness upon the face of the deep”. God did not just look at that darkness and call out in a soft voice: ‘Let us have some light.’ I believe that God attacked the darkness by boldly declaring ‘Let there be light!’ Darkness is contrary to my nature.

In 2 Corinthians 4:4, listen to the stern tone of Paul’s voice as he cries out:

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

This darkness is the work of the devil, and God is adamantly against it.

The Redemptive message of God’s Word is that the Light will overcome the darkness through the altar, through sacrifice, through removal of the curse!

Jesus declared this about Abraham to the Jews:

“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” John 8:56

The Jews were in darkness, their eyes blind to the truth of Jesus, and took up stones to kill Jesus. They refused the light of God, just as their fathers had before them, and their fathers before that.

Abraham saw the light of Jesus Christ!

Satan does not want our eyes open to see the True Light of Jesus Christ. He wants us to relegate him to a pretty story, a beautiful manger scene. However, God wants us to see the conflict that is raging between the darkness and the True Light.

This conflict is ever at our door, for by nature we love the darkness rather than the light. Look at God’s own people to see how easily they became blind to God!

Where do you stand? Where does your family stand? Are you with the faithful remnant? Are you ever looking to the True Light of God? Are you daily dying on the altar, the altar of death to the flesh, the altar of death to sin?

Are you daily looking to the True Light by looking to His Word, by seeking His light in prayer?

On the other hand, are you so rushed at Christmas time that Satan has stolen the True Light from your life. Are you so busy and stressed that you have no time for the True Light?

The supreme work of Satan is not to get good people to do bad things, not to drag good people into the cesspool of sin, nor does he drag young men and women into moral corruption, nor does he make infidels and atheists. These are only byproducts of Satan’s supreme work! His supreme work is to blind us!

Take away the blindness, open our eyes to the True Light, and all this will be dealt with. Satan wants to keep us in the dark as to the True Light! The True Light is the most fatal thing to the kingdom of Satan. Paul put it simply:

“LEST the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ should shine.”

Satan says:

‘If those people get the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, MY kingdom is gone. The battle is over for me. I am lost.’

Satan will do anything to keep us from having light.

This is why Paul prays in Ephesians that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened. The darkness is ever around us.

Paul mentioned those who are “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Ephesians 4:18

You may be thinking, ‘Well, we are not in the dark. We are saved people.’

  • That is exactly what the Jews were thinking. What happened to their Temple? What happened to their Holy City?
  • That is exactly what the seven churches were saying, yet every one of their candlesticks is removed today. Today Turkey is covered with the darkness of Satan.

If we want to keep walking in the True Light, we must realize it will only come with sacrifice and conflict. Satan is opposed to the light!

Divine light is POSITIVE.

You cannot have Divine light and be neutral. If God has shined into your heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,

Your life is a challenge to the kingdom of Satan, and his attitude to you will be: ‘We will get you out as soon as we can!’

You will find that Satan will stop at nothing to quench that light. You see, Jesus being the True Light of Christmas is not just a pretty story or Bible theory;

It is a menace to the kingdom of Satan.

Are you walking in the True Light of Jesus Christ? Then your very existence disturbs the kingdom of Satan.

Isaiah 60:1-2

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you and his glory will be seen upon you.

We love seeing the Nativity scene. We use it to decorate our homes. We even set them up in our front yard. But understand this. That was no simple manger that nestled the head of baby Jesus. That manger was the altar of sacrifice, the means of our fellowship with the Light of God. It was the means of the defeat of sin and Satan. That manger meant the death of God’s only begotten Son.

1. We must constantly be on guard against the darkness entering our life.

2. Realize that Satan’s number one goal is to bring dullness and/or darkness into your life, so that the Word of God has no effect.

3. Disobedience, disregard, doubt, distraction all work to dull our eyes to the light of God’s Word.

4. The Light of God only enters our life through the altar. We must die to our desires, we must lay aside our pride, we must humble ourselves to God’s sovereign will.

5. We must desire the Light of God’s Word more than Life itself.

6. We must daily seek the Light of God’s Word! We must ask for it! We must set our heart upon it!

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slide2Over the last few weeks we have been discovering the value of Honor in finding God’s path for our life, in growing in faith, in seeing the Power of God in a real intimate way, and in realizing our full reward here on earth! God has been dealing with me in learning to honor our political leaders. I have been praying for our National as well as Local leaders. I have been asking God to build honor for them in my heart. In honoring my social authorities, I have been seeking to honor Jesus Christ and seeking how He would pastor our church. God brought a Debate coach into mind that I had failed to honor in high School. I had always honored and respected him until we got political. We got into a big shouting match during a class and I walked out, in fact I think we both walked out. I never went back.

Well, God brought my forensics coach into my life this past week. I was able to thank her and honor her as I probably never really said so when I was in school. She is going to get Tom Cameron’s number for me so I can call him. I look forward to honoring him after I ask his forgiveness.

This is what the Pathway of Blessing series is all about. It is about seeking to know God’s ways and then walking in His path. God’s path is a path of blessing. God’s path is a path of earthly rewards. But God’s pathway is found only as we honor those authorities and leaders God has placed in our life.

This discourse we are going to look at the Value of Honoring our Mother and Father. In looking at honoring our Mother and Father, we will discover some amazing truth about the promises of God. We will also learn a bit about drama queens or kings and why this growing phenomenon will prevent many people from finding God’s Pathway of Blessing.

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3

honor-father-and-motherHonor for our parents is not a recommendation, it is a commandment. Keeping God’s commandments is evidence of our love for Jesus Christ. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21

We also see: “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it”. 2 John 1:6

With God, it is all about obedience to His word: “ keeping the commandments of God is what matters” 1 Corinthians 7:19 (NKJV)

result-of-born-again-lifeIf you habitually ignore the commandments of God, perhaps you have never had a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit. God says: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:20 (NKJV)

If the Holy Spirit isn’t producing “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control, then you need to honest with yourself and say I’ve never been born again. The Spirit of Jesus Christ doesn’t live in me. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 Jn 2:4) If you know Jesus in a real intimate way, you will have a heart drive to follow Him.

Let’s review what HONOR is:

Honor: to value, to esteem, to respect, to treat favorably, to have high regard for. If we view our parents through the eyes of honor we will communicate with them in respect and love. Honor is displayed in deed, word and even thought. But all true honor originates in your heart.

dishonor-of-parentsSo if a young or old person speak in a flippant, careless or irreverent way on a regular basis toward their parents or grand parents, they are displaying outwardly their lack of true honor for their parents. Jesus told us: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. (Matt 12:34)

You can display dishonor by your behavior, by the tone of your voice, rolling eyes, disgusted look, dragging your feet to carry out a request, complaining and so forth. I’ve mentioned before a time when I was 12 that I have never forgotten. My mom had said something I didn’t want to hear and I looked at my friend and did this: (crazy sign). My mom saw me out of the corner of her eye and she slapped me so hard I thought my head would pop off. She said don’t you ever disrespect your father like that again.

I learned to respect my parents, but I’m well aware that: Dishonoring our parents has become a normal way of life in America.

dishonor-of-parents-is-funnyWe have gone from “Father Knows Bes”t to Homer “Doh” Simpson! Or Psycho Dad Al Bundy. It is funny to make fun of your parents. It gets big laughs from the viewing audience, from the kids at school. It is expected. “Well Jim, that’s part of growing up. It’s ok to make fun of your parents” But God doesn’t think it is very funny.

“ ‘Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ Deuteronomy 27:16 (ESV)

cursed-are-those-who-dishonor-parentsDo you understand how strong a word “cursed” is? It is the word awrar, and it means to bind, hem in with obstacles, render powerless. The serpent was cursed, when he caused Eve to sin. Does your life feel as if you meet one road block after another? Do you have sins that you feel powerless to overcome, they have you bound up? Perhaps you have dishonored your parents. You may expect that God only curses murderers, thieves, sexual perverts, yet God said more than once that the one who dishonors his father or mother is cursed. To dishonor your mom or dad means to treat them as common, ordinary, or menial. At worst it means to treat them shamefully, even humiliate them.

Consequences of Dishonor

Noah became a farmer after the flood. One day he drank some fermented wine and got drunk, took off all his clothes and passed out in his tent. We can only speculate why he did this, or if he did it on other occassions. What happened next is what we need to take note of. His son Ham, went into the tent, saw his dad naked, and went outside and told his brothers. We don’t know exactly what Ham said but I imagine it was something like this: “Hey guys, you are not gonna believe this, Dad is a drunk as a skunk and naked as a jaybird! You gotta see this!”

they-honored-noahHowever, Shem and Japeth showed honor to their drunken father and grabbed a garment, held it up and walked backward into the tent, covering their dad without looking at him. They did not want to see the shame of their father. When Noah wole up the next morning, he realized what happened and said:

“Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.” Genesis 9:25

This prophetic word from Noah, the only statement of Noah recorded in the Bible, was played out for several generations. cursed-by-canaanThe Canaanites, the descendants of Ham, were cursed and eventually overtaken by the Children of Israel at God’s command. Ham dishonored his father and brought a curse upon his descendants. Noah’s behavior brought no such curse. In fact, Hebrews 11:7 says that

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV)

noah-was-righteous1Ham is not mentioned in Hebrews 11.

Noah’s moral failure became a test of honor for his three sons; it revealed their true heart. Note: Ham was accurate in his report. His father was drunk and naked, yet Ham was wrong in principle. You could certainly justify his reaction. He was being truthful. Yet the principle of Honor and Kingdom authority says he was wrong. Have you passed God’s Test of Honor for your Life?

Dishonor Grows Over Time

jacob-loved-rachelDishonor for parents is like a disease. If left untreated it grows over time. Case in point: Most of you are familiar with the story of Jacob, how he was tricked into marrying Leah and finally got Rachel after working 14 years for her. Well, what you may not remember is that Rachel and Leah had an ongoing feud over who Jacob loved more. Leah kept having babies. In spite of the babies, Jacob loved Rachel, but Rachel was barren. Leah felt unloved, even though she was the one bearing Jacob all the children. She thought that her children would cause Jacob to love her.

leah-and-rachel1“The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.”

Rachel devised a plan to get back at her sister. She let her handmaid Bilhah bear children for her.

And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali. Genesis 30:7-8 (NKJV)

Reuben, being the firstborn, grew up with all this strife. He had to have felt for his mother, and resented the way his dad loved Rachel more than Leah.

He got personally involved one time. He went out into the fields and found some juicy mandrakes. He brought them in for his Mom. Rachel saw her eating these juicy delicious mandrakes, and desired to have some. So Leah made a bargain with Rachel. “I’ll have Reuben get you some mandrakes if I get Jacob for the night”

The fact that Leah had to pay to have Jacob sleep with her meant that most nights he spent with Rachel. Evidently Reuben had a dishonor for Jacob that grew and grew the more he saw him neglect his mom. Finally, when Rachel died in childbirth, Reuben committed the ultimate dishonor to his father, he slept with Rachel’s handmaid Bilhah. Jacob didn’t do anything at that time, but when it came time for Jacob to die, he gave Reuben’s birthright to Joseph’s two sons. Reuben is not even listed in the genealogical records as Jacob’s firstborn son.

The oldest son of Israel was Reuben. But since he dishonored his father by sleeping with one of his father’s concubines, his birthright was given to the sons of his brother Joseph. For this reason, Reuben is not listed in the genealogical records as the firstborn son. 1 Chronicles 5:1 (NLT)

Jacob’s actions were wrong, in that he neglected Leah for Rachel. Reuben saw his father accurately. However, the bitterness he had in his heart poisoned his whole outlook on life. He let go of the honor a child naturally has for his parent and embraced an attitude of resentment that fostered dishonor. It grew to the point where he could justify his behavior toward his dad. He lost his birthright. Hannah honored Eli and received her full reward. Reuben dishonored Jacob and lost his reward.

wrong-behavior-not-affect

Don’t Allow Someone Else’s Wrong Behavior to Affect You

Moses: Moses had one of the hardest jobs you can imagine. He had to herd Three Million Drama Kings and Queens across a desolate desert.

What is a “Drama Queen or King”?

no-drama-queens1

People (mostly girls – but boys play their part) who like to blow everything

totally out of proportion because they either :

a) Want to seek attention

b) Have some emotional dysfunction and it’s their duty to make life harder for everyone around them

c) Just simple can’t get over it. (Urban Dictionary)

“The term “drama queen,” or less frequently, “drama king” is usually applied to someone who tends to overreact to seemingly minor incidents. A drama queen often views the world in absolutes, and only has two settings on her emotional control button; zero and ten. Psychologists might describe a drama queen or king as a neurotic personality with histrionic tendencies, meaning they tend to become needlessly dramatic whenever order is disrupted.

In literature, the character Scarlett O’Hara from Margaret Mitchel’s “Gone with the Wind” would be considered a drama queen by today’s standards. A drama queen is notoriously self-centered and self-absorbed, often viewing friends and relatives as lesser beings assigned to take care of her personal needs. A drama queen’s worst enemy is solitude, so she tends to be very outgoing and sociable, although many of her friendships tend to remain at surface level. Others who have experienced the drama queen’s sudden outbursts in the past may have a feeling of walking on egg shells around her, not wanting to be the person who delivers upsetting news or offends the drama queen in any way.”

spoiled-bratsWhen I was growing up we didn’t call people “Drama Queen’s”. We called them spoiled brats. If I acted like a spoiled brat my Dad would take the board of education and deal directly with my seat of knowledge. Now I don’t mean to make fun of what happened to the Hebrew Children, but Moses must have felt like he was dealing with a bunch of spoiled brats. Or “Drama Queens” in modern language. Because of their fear about going into the Promised Land, He was forced to wander in the desert for 40 years. For 40 years he had to babysit all those Drama Queens.

They were always complaining about this about that. The slightest thing would get them going. Nothing was ever good enough for them. God would do something to stop their complaining, part the red sea, drown Pharoah and his army, make manna fall from heaven, send quails, make a pillar of fire, but nothing God did ever satisfied them. They went from one big drama to another. Moses left them for just a few days and you would have thought the whole world was coming to an end. The made a golden calf and startted having a worship orgy around their new “god”.

You will never learn to honor your parents if you are a drama queen or king. Because life is all about God and what He wants you to do. And he wants you to get over yourself and realize you must learn to honor your parents, honor your teachers, honor those authorities in your life if you are going to grow in your trust of Him!

moses-was-angry-at-drama-queensYou could tell Moses was starting to crack even then because when he came down from the mountain, he saw what was going on and he threw the tablets of stone down, breaking them in pieces. Another time they were complaining because there was no fresh spring water. All the bottles of Evian were gone and they simply knew they would all die of thirst. So God told Moses to speak to a rock and then water would gush out of it. But at this point, Moses was so fed up with these “Drama Queens” that he gathered them together and said:

“Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out.

Now Moses let their bad behavior affect his good judgment. He struck the rock twice. God told him:

Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” Numbers 20:12

Psalms 106 explains what happened:

They angered Him also at the waters of strife, So that it went ill with Moses on account of them; Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he spoke rashly with his lips. Psalms 106:32-33

We cannot blame our wrong behavior on the bad behavior of others.

blame-gameReuben’s father was not honorable toward his mother, but that did not justify Reuben’s dishonorable attitude and behavior toward his father. God says to honor your father and mother, regardless of how good or bad they are in our eyes. Or how honorable of dishonorable their behavior is. Jacob had a terrible unloving attitude toward Reuben’s mother. But that did not justify Reuben’s dishonorable attitude and behavior toward Jacob. Noah did a terribly stupid thing, but that did not justify Ham’s disrespect toward his father.

I know most of you are thinking “What about when they…?” There may be times when you have to take a stand. But you never take a stand against your parents unless it is from aplace of Honor and Rspect. While you are to honor them, you may decide that to obey would be contrary to God. It could be asking you to lie to a teacher, or something much worse, involving some kind of abuse. Respectfully you must decline and make them aware that you mean no disrespect, but you will not violate God’s law in such and such. You may have to get your civil authorities involved if the situation of abuse or drugs is destroying your life. Many teenagers disobey their parents in the name of Jesus, when there is an underlying attitude of disrespect and even rebellion. Disobedience in the name of God is only powerful if it is done from a deep seated sense of respect and honor for your parents.

Believe me, they know the difference.

I have known youth directors who encouraged their youth to disobey their parents and come to youth meeting when the parents have grounded them. But what the yout pastor doesn’t realize is that dis-respect and disobedience is probably the reason they were grounded in the first place. Having them disobey to come to church is going to drive a wedge further into the relationship.

TWO FOLD REWARD

two-fold-rewardEphesians 6 said that there are TWO rewards when we honor our mom and dad. First, that things would go well with you. You will experience success in life the way God values success, peace, joy, love, self control. Your path will be clear. Second, you can live a long life.

You may be saying, “But I know someone who honored his parents and … Why didn’t this promise apply to them?”

The Power of Praying the Promises of God

Who found a wife for Isaac?pray-gods-promises

Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’–let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”Genesis 24:12-14 (NKJV)

God brought Rebekah forward that day. Isaac was promised many descendants because he was the son of Abraham. But Rebekah was barren. What was God up to? What about the Promise? Isaac had to pray the promise. “Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived”. Genesis 25:21 (NKJV)

Spiritual Truth: We Must DECLARE It!

must-declare-gods-wordSimply because God has given us a promise in His Word does not mean it has become OUR promise. We must claim it for our own! Scripture says God’s Word is established in Heaven, but Jesus says we must pray that God’s WIll is established on Earth as it is in Heaven! Our prayers are the Track that our powerful God moves upon!

  • Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. (Ps 119:89 )
  • Teach us to Pray: “Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
  • By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. (2 Cor 13:1)
  • You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you. (Job 22:26)
  • Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (James 4:2,3)
  • Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. (Matt 18:18-19)
  • I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

You don’t have to chose death, it is already working. But You DO Have to Chose Life

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. (Prov 18:21)

Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Lamentations 3:37 (ESV)

prayer-lays-the-trackThis command is the word “(t)sawa”. It pictures the enjoining of one with another in order to carry out a charge. It also pictures says that the one giving the command provides the power and the means to accomplish the charge.

God has placed His Commands in this BOOK. They are the Commands that will bring Life. He is looking for people to join with him and declaring those commands and promises, and thereby seeing them come to pass. Thee is this giant Locomotive loaded with all kinds of power and provisions, and we are the track upon which this Locomotive travels. We speak it, We pray it and God does it, when we enjoin ourselves with Him!

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJV)

Have you honored your mother and father? It is never too late. If they have passed on, you can repent before God and honor them in your hearts.

Have you claimed the promise of a “well” and long life? Go ahead, provide the track for God’s Power. Speak it and it will be so, for God has commanded it!