Category Archives: Spiritual

Eternal Value

As I begin my withdrawal from social media I’ve discovered that many of the thoughts/topics that filled my mind no longer seem interesting to me.  Of course, much of the time was consumed with obtaining information for topics on a regular podcast I did for almost 8 years.  Now that I no longer do that particular podcast I’ve come to realize that the time consumed in research no longer appeals to me.  The revelation has been that although my efforts to inform and reveal insights to the listeners were sincere, the information itself had no eternal value.  It changed minds, gave knowledge, may have touched a heart but didn’t change, heal or repair a soul.  It had no eternal value.  My desire now is to focus on things that have eternal value.

Philippians 4:8  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Colossians 3:2  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Beautiful sunshine

RJ Grund

Anti-Social Media

SocialMedia

As we see the exposure of social media for the trojan horse it was always meant to be we have to decide what to do.  Do we sever all ties and shut down all of our accounts?  Do we ignore the information flooding out about the deceptive practices of the social media giants?  What do we do?

I don’t have an answer for you.  I can only answer for myself.  And, after prayerful consideration, I am moving away from the social media giants.  Is that too little too late?  It probably is.  What we are learning now about Facebook’s data collection practices of all Facebook members and even non-members, we have to realize that the horses are out of the barn.  Even so, we must close the barn door anyways so as not to keep the predators out.  To do nothing at all is as foolish as entering the quagmire to begin with.  Once you realize you’ve stepped into quicksand you don’t just sink to the bottom and die.  You fight with all your might to extricate yourself and get free.

You have to ask yourself the question – has social media helped you, hurt you or do nothing at all?  All the time spent on social media acting “social” really is deceptive.  All of the people you are connected to on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. aren’t really your friends.  Some may be but most are total strangers that you’ve now given access to your personal and family life.  In fact, you don’t really know if they are who they say they are.  Maybe, like me, you’ve reconnected with friends or family you lost touch with. That seems to make this all worthwhile but truthfully all it did was make it easier.  A little more effort expended in finding a home or email address, mutual friends/family or a simple Google search (which brings another set of questions too) may have done the same thing.

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As you see, there really is no simple answer to this quandary.  What is simple is the fact that all of the social media giants have sold our data to third parties.  It’s how they offer their sites for “free”.  Aldous Huxley and George Orwell had visions of this type of society.  They just didn’t think it would be this easy.  And, they most certainly didn’t think their fiction would become a blueprint for these events.

What do you think?

Share your thoughts and comments.  All comments will be monitored.  Any profanity, abuse or off-topic interaction will be deleted.

Richard

Lessons Learned from Irma

Hurricane Irma, which formed on August 30th and dissipated on September 13th, was the most powerful hurricane since Hurricane Dean in 2007. It was the most intense storm since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  It had sustained 185 mph winds for 37 hours.  That makes it the strongest and the longest sustained intensity on record.  Hurricane Irma spent more time as a CAT 5 hurricane than any other storm in recorded history with as much cyclone energy as an entire Hurricane season.  It inflicted catastrophic damage in the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina.  The death toll has risen to 82 with an estimated 62 Billion Dollars in damages.  Millions are without electricity in Florida and the Caribbean.  I was without power for a sweltering 7 days and 8 nights. Some may be without power for weeks or even months.  And, in the midst of it all, there were lessons to be learned from Irma.

When you strip away the “toys” and wealth and the perks of society, we are all the same.  Whether you spent your time in a home, hotel, or shelter we were all people in need.  Some of the worst destruction was seen by those who supposedly live the “good life” with a home on the water.  Movie and music stars saw their Million Dollar vacation homes on Caribbean Islands treated just as disrespectfully by Hurricane Irma as every other home in its path.  Who you were or how much money you had meant nothing to those pounding winds and waves.

I was raised to believe that no one was better than anyone else.  We all put our shoes on one foot at a time and until I hear of someone being able to jump into their pants both legs at once, that goes for pants too.  What makes us different is the lies of this world and the manipulation of society.  Children don’t see skin color as a difference until someone tells them it is.  Societal status is inflicted up us to keep us “in our place”.  And, none of that comes from God.  if we measured ourselves by Him and His Word we would know that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.  We would also treat each other accordingly.

Not having the electricity to keep the TV on or my laptop charged forced me to limit time on my devices to listen to Him more.  Sometimes it takes being still to know that He is God and that we need Him.  I suspect some people prayed during Hurricane Irma that had not prayed in a while.  Events like Hurricane Irma force us to be plugged into Him and not into an outlet.  Was it uncomfortable?  My mind told me it was but in truth, it was no less uncomfortable than life before technological comforts.  We talk about the “end times” but do we consider that the fear, trials, and stress of Hurricane Irma (and those that come afterward) could just be a prelude and preview to the end of days.  I have considered all of the above and more.

What have you learned about yourself and this world during the last week?  Whatever it was, hold on to it and keep it close at hand.  The power is flowing once again to distract you away from the simplicity of a life whose heart, mind and soul are set on God.  He rewards those who diligently seek Him and want to be with Him.  And, all I truly want, is just to be in His presence.  That to me is my reward.  And, when I am doing that it causes me to appreciate the things of value in my life – family, friends, and pets.  Everything else is replaceable.

Thank you, Hurricane Irma, for reminding us of what really matters.

 

Exposure

 Ephesians 5:11-14 11  Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12  It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13  But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14  for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Messiah will give you light.”

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The Apostle Paul was referring to the depraved practices going on in the Ephesus caves.  Bacchanalian orgies and rituals were being done in secret and some in the church either knew about it or were still participating in them.  The new Believers in Ephesus had come out of that darkness (Ephesians 5:8)

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Notice that he doesn’t say anything about the workers of darkness but instead focuses on the darkness itself.  Darkness is the absence of Light and is exposed when the Light of Truth is shined on them.  

Expose (Greek: elengcho) means to reprove, rebuke and testify against.  It’s a verb and therefore indicates action.  And the Light in question is the fiery Light of the Holy Spirit:  John 16:8 (NKJV) 8  And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

The Spirit of Truth is one of the greatest weapons against the powers of darkness.  And, again, that means we must act to do so.  Do not be fooled though and think there will be no reaction from the enemy.  No, the enemy will be fierce in its reaction and we should be ready for it.  It HATES being exposed.

John 3:20-21 (NKJV) 20  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

We are seeing this now in the world as the battle between Light and darkness rages on every level from politics, media, religion and societal values.  And, as verse 14 of Ephesians 5 mandate WE MUST WAKE UP!

triumph-of-evilSilence and inaction is implied consent. And, that cannot continue.  As those who live in the Light we must shine that Light into the darkness and expose it.  Confront it.  Rebuke it.  Or, allow it to triumph and become defeated by it.

So, my closing thought here is this, Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV) 13  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand firmly in place.

Dig those heels in and SHINE!

Richard J Grund

Baby Girl

Baby Girl
by
Richard J Grund
 
For a few years now there has been a feral cat that comes to our home to be fed. She was led here by our next-door neighbor’s cat who showed her his feeding dish outside our door. Yes, he’s our next-door neighbor’s cat but she’s not home much so he comes here to be fed. We got him an outdoor dish and one day there she was with him. They must have had a bad break up because he hisses when he sees her now but still lets her use the dish. He doesn’t drive her off or attack her as he does any other cat that thinks they’ve struck cat gold.
 
She’s a very petite little lady. And, very skittish. She would eat the food but if you were anywhere in the vicinity she would take off running. Not too far mind you but far enough to be out of reach. It appeared that she did not trust people. One of her ears had been tipped so it appears someone had her fixed and turned her loose. We would speak to her in soothing, loving tones every time we saw her and never chased her. Over time she would move away from the dish but not as far as before. Her sweet, small feminine face would look at you from a distance. There was no way to know how old she was. So, we started calling her Baby Girl because she was so small and very much a girl.
 
Over time she would wait to be fed and when we went back inside she would venture near the dish. Always looking and watching for another cat or for someone coming by. If either of those happened she’d run underneath our fence and off into the yard. Just one sound from our door and she’d be off and running. We had no idea where she went or where she stayed at night. Sometimes during the day she’d lie in the sun off the side of our driveway and when it got too hot would slide under the shade of a tree or my SUV. We never gave up trying to win her trust. Eventually, that effort would pay off.
 
One day I opened the door to see her sitting at the end of the walk near our front door. She was waiting to be fed. I spoke to her, saying “Hello Baby Girl”. She watched me carefully to make sure I didn’t move toward her. And, I never did. I would place the food in the dish and change the water. Before going back inside I’d invite her over and tell her to come eat. Once the door was closed she would come over to the dish. This went on for weeks until one morning she was just a few feet away from the door. She was now showing up last thing at night as well. She knew she had a good thing going. I greeted her as I always did and set down her food. She had come realize I would not hurt her nor try to grab her. This was our new routine until one day the ice was broken.
 
On this morning when she was at the door and I set the food down she was suddenly right next to my feet. I dared to risk petting her that day by lowering my hand so that she could see it and put it near her head. She didn’t move so I gently touched her head. I gave it a gentle pat and soft scratch behind the ear. She leaned into it and the rest they say is history. Every morning and night she’d be out there to be fed. Waiting to have her head rubbed, ears scratched and to rub against my legs. Baby Girl and I were friends. She was always looking at the door to open or the window for me to look out. When I opened the door, she would meow away her story for the day and we’d go through our routine. I would take the dogs out early in the morning usually, around 6 am and she’d be waiting. If she wasn’t there I’d worry about her and when she showed up that night, I’d lovingly scold her for frightening me. I’d get a few meows; a leg rub and we were good.
 
About a month ago both she and my neighbor’s cat went missing at the same time. I suspected someone had taken them. They’re both black and there are people that use black cats for ritualistic purposes. It upset me because I feared for her safety and wellbeing. I’d come to care for her and would want to know if anything ever happened to her. Outdoor cats don’t have long life expectancies and I had come to realize that Baby Girl wasn’t as young as she appeared. One day she looked up at me in the bright sunshine and I could see her eyes were clouded with cataracts. She was obviously older than we knew. No matter. However long it was that she had we wanted to be safe and pleasant. Not seeing her waiting for me that week hurt our heart. My wife too had fallen in love with her and even though she didn’t let Deb pet her she did wait for the food from a nearby, safe distance.
 
Then, one morning after about a week as I glanced outside there she was. Thinner but seemingly unharmed. I grabbed some food, dumped the entire can with kibble in a paper plate and ran outside. I told her how much we missed her and worried we were about her. She meowed the whole story as she snaked in between my legs rubbing them furiously. And, the neighbor’s cat was found the same day. I believe they got away together from whoever took them. She would have made someone a great lap cat if not for how feral she was. If we did not have two big dogs that we knew would not accept her, we would have tried and brought her inside. But that was not an option.
 
Next to the food dish is an old cat carrier we had. I set it up with a soft rug on top and a bathroom rug inside. She would sometimes lay on top when it was warm and even took to sleeping there at night. A few weeks ago, we got hit with a cold spell and I worked on showing her the inside of the box where she could stay dry and warm. Once she discovered it we found her sleeping there regularly. We would look out the window after she finished eating and she’d be inside the box asleep. Sometimes she’d look up with those felines eyes, give that blink and contentedly go back to sleep.
 
By this time, she was not coming by alone. Another feral cat with a crooked paw was coming by too. Now I was setting down food for two. He was much more feral than she and didn’t seem to like people. But, I eventually won him over too. Just yesterday morning he was at my feet watching her get petted and touched. Although he didn’t lean in for it, he didn’t run either. He even let his tail touch my leg but moved when I lowered my hand toward him. It would only be a matter of time before he would be getting petted too. It was great to see her have a friend and when the food arrived it was a head-butting, purring love fest between the two. So much so I’d have to step carefully because they’d stay right in front of the door.
 
This morning I was up early. I looked outside expecting to see her and her friend as I had for months now. Neither one of them was there. This happened periodically that they would sleep in somewhere. They had full bellies from the night before. So, I thought they were sleeping it off. But, I kept going to the window to check on her arrival. She was never there. About 10:30 am our neighbor’s cat, whose name is Baby but we call Moochie for obvious reasons, was at the window demanding to be fed. When I say demanding I mean it. So, I got his food and headed back to the dish. That was when I saw her. One of her sleeping spots at night was near our car where she could dart underneath if in danger. There she was. She had been there all along. My heart jumped to see her. It appeared she was sleeping. I called out her name. She didn’t move. She wasn’t sleeping.
 
Sometime during the night, she must have passed. From the open eyes and tongue hanging out, it appeared to be a stroke. We have had cats and I’ve seen this look twice before. I simply muttered, “Oh, Baby Girl…” and shed a tear for a feral cat that had won my heart. She had been gone for a while as her body was already stiff. She probably died not long after I fed her last night giving her one last scratch of the head and getting one last rub of my leg. I buried her in her favorite spot next to the driveway. This had become her home and we her family. I figured she deserved at least to have that. Maybe it was more for us than for her but it felt right. I would never have to wonder now where she was or if she was safe. She’s home.
 
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
Psalm 36:6 (NLT)
 
Richard J Grund

Don’t Break the Seal

This morning while preparing to make our morning smoothies, my wife couldn’t get the bag of frozen fruit open.  I told her to use her thumb to break the seal and it would open.

Immediately my warped sense of humor inspired me to blurted out, “And, that is never a phrase to use around prophecy teachers.  It triggers them.”048

At first it was meant as a wise crack but the more I thought about it the more it became a serious thought.

In today’s digital society everyone who has an idea, thought, theory or simple mental short circuit can post it online, build a following and make money.

Everyone is either a “prophecy teacher” or a “watchman on the wall”.  Because of that we not only get a wide range of teachings but an equally wide range of overreaction to any world event.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 (NLT) 11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

All that we know now is partial and incomplete.  He will fill in all the blanks in the twinkling of an eye.  At that moment we will realize how off we were in trying to discern His actions.

Isaiah 55:8-9  (NKJV)

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Hold loosely to what you think you know as “revelation” and make it line up with The Word.  Don’t manipulate The Word to match your “revelation”.

It won’t work.

He made sure of that.

Be careful to preface any insight or revelation with the fact that it is a belief or a theory but may not be a fact.  Oh, and the “thus says the Lord” thing went out of style in the 1600’s.  In case no one told you, He doesn’t speak in King James english.

There is no doubt that the days ahead will be tumultuous but in the midst of it all we can live a life of the peace that surpasses understanding because we belong to Him.

Study, prepare and pray.  We are told to do that.

Then, trust Him and let God be God.  We are told to do that too.

Who knows, He may surprise you with a rainbow when you were expecting a storm.

And, He may shock you with lightning when you, or someone you follow, “prophesied” sunshine.

transformers3-shia-running-fullOh, and for the fun of it sometime, run into a conference room full of prophecy students listening with baited breath for the next recycled teaching or new revelation and shout…”the seal is broken”.

 

Just don’t stand in the door way.

Richard J Grund

 

Intervention not Interference

This blog has been inspired by the especially religious thinking being promulgated by many known religious leaders that in Election 2016 no matter who wins, or who you vote for God is still Sovereign and still in control.  I would bet that many people heard this ear tickling message from the pulpit recently.

Yes, ear tickling message.  It does not line up with the totality of The Word of God.

That’s like saying no matter what happens on Tuesday fire will be hot and water will be wet.

It’s an immutable unchangeable fact.

God is sovereign at all times.  That is a fact.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD The biblical teaching that God is the source of all creation and that all things come from and depend upon God. Sovereignty means that God is in all and over all. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

Psalm 24:1 (NKJV) 1  The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.

God’s rule extends to all people, even those who do not acknowledge His power.

Psalm 33:14 (NKJV) 14  From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth;

God created everything in an orderly and stable manner.

Psalm 89:11 (NKJV) 11  The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.

Psalm 102:25 (NKJV) 25  Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.

Psalm 104:5 (NKJV) 5  You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever,

Genesis 1:1 Names of God Bible (NOG) In the beginning Elohim created heaven and earth.

Created” in verse 1 is from the Hebrew bara’ (<H1254>), to bring into being.

bara’ (HSN-<H1254>) is reserved for the introduction of the three spheres of existence: the world of matter; the natural life of all living creatures; and spiritual life represented by man.

Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV) 3  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Deuteronomy 4:39 (NKJV) 39  Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.

He established it all and then gave us FREE WILL.

He intervenes in the lives of His children but He interferes with the works of the enemy.

He will never interfere with our free will.

And, those choices made with our free will are our responsibility.

He’s under no obligation to fix our mess or clean it up.

Genesis 2:7-9 (NKJV) 7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8  The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9  And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-17 (NKJV) 15  Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Don’t eat of the fruit of this tree….CHOOSE NOT TO DO THIS.  IF YOU DO THERE IS A PRICE; OUTCOME.

CAUSE AND EFFECT.

Genesis 3:9-13 (NKJV) 9  Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10  So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11  And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12  Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13  And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Adam’s answer was to blame God for the woman He gave him.

Eve blames the serpent for being deceived.

Blame infers a choice was made based on other influences.

Job 31:33 (NKJV) 33  If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,

 Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) 13  He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Adam wasn’t deceived (1Tim. 2:12-15).  Adam implied blame on God also, because if God hadn’t given him Eve he wouldn’t have sinned. Blaming others is a trait of the natural man.  Eve gave it to Adam and Adam accepted.

It is natural for both women and men to blame others. Eve acknowledged eating, but claimed she was not to blame. She was “beguiled” by the serpent.  The devil made her do it.

Sin entered because of Adam not Eve.  He could have said no.  He was there.  He could have run the serpent off but he didn’t.  His desire to please his wife was greater than his desire to please God.  And…God did not interfere with his choice.

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) 12  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–

The price was the curse of sin and death not just on Adam but on all things.  The curse was not only on man, but also on animals, the ground, and all that it produces.  That’s why all of creation groans for His Return.

Romans 8:19-23 (NKJV) 19  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21  because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23  Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Revelation 21:4 (NKJV) 4  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 22:3 (NKJV) 3  And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

Even so, until then, God INTERVENES:

Genesis 3:22-24 (NKJV) 22  Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– 23  therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24  So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

The fact that the tree of life remained, even though guarded by angels and a flaming sword, was our ray of hope. Is it not possible that because He but did not uproot it but simply kept us from it meant that one day its fruit may be eaten again? Indeed, one day we will see it again.

Revelation 22:2 (NKJV) 2  In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Adam and Eve were no longer welcome in God’s presence, but they had the hope that someday Paradise would be regained.

The way to the tree of Life is the narrow road that brings us to Salvation in the Lord.

CHOICE because God INTERVENED.

God’s sovereignty, His authority over creation, is grounded in God’s essential moral nature. God is to be obeyed not simply because He is mighty but because He is righteous.

God judges His creation on the basis of His profound moral character compared to theirs. And, since we cannot compare we must accept the substitute righteous of the Lord on our behalf.

Let’s get something clear.  No matter what the ear ticklers, watered down teachings and social media memes say, Divine sovereignty does not mean that everything which occurs in the world is God’s will. God has created a world in which freedom is a real possibility BY CHOICE. If we choose His perfect will for our lives, we find freedom.  Seek out His permissive will and we find trouble.

His permissive will provides for human freedom and the universal laws of nature. This freedom means that sovereignty must always be distinguished from “fate” or “destiny,” the belief that everything which occurs in the world has been predetermined, scheduled in advance, by God.

Adam and Eve tried to lay the blame on God for their choices but neither fate, destiny or the pagan concept of karma played a part in what they did.

That view, carried to extremes, makes human beings pawns or puppets of a mechanical universe in which all choices are made in advance and where freedom is not possible.  Freedom is always possible.

The Gospel suggests that human beings find genuine freedom, not in doing everything they wish, but in submitting themselves to the sovereign will of God, the rule and reign of God in their individual and collective lives.

The sovereignty of God is applied by the Fruit of the Spirt and our self-control along with God’s limitations in order that we might also choose freedom in Him.

We see this concept of intervention and not interference in the life of Abraham as well with the brith of Ishmael (Genesis 16).  Abraham and Sarah did not want to wait anymore for the promise to be fulfilled so they went ahead on their own to get it down with Hagar the Egyptian handmaiden when Abraham was 85.

Abraham was 75 years old when the promise was made. Fifteen years later, when Abraham was 90, God renewed his promise. Ten years later, at age 100, Abraham and Sarah finally had their son. That’s a total of twenty-five years before “the fullness of time.  And, because they couldn’t wait the problem of Ishmael and his descendants haunts Israel (and the world) to this day.  Hagar’s son would become the father of a great but wild and hostile nation living in the Arabian Desert as perennial enemies of Israel.

Living by faith requires perseverance.

This concept of intervention and not interference plays out in the times in captivity for Israel in Babylon, Assyria and Egypt.

Israel’s problem was not that the Lord wasn’t doing right by them but that they were persistently doing what was wrong to God. And, they were consistently punished for bad leadership that defied God.  They deserved God’s judgment.

Kings Of Israel

Kings Of Judah

1. Jeroboam 1 (22 yrs) 1. Rehoboam (17 yrs)
2. Nadab (2 yrs) 2. Abijam (3 yrs)
3. Baasha (24 yrs) 3. Asa (41 yrs)*
4. Elah (2 yrs) 4. Jehoshaphat (25 yrs)*
5. Zimri (7 days) 5. Jehoram (8 yrs)
6. Omri (12 yrs) 6. Ahaziah (1 yr)
7. Ahab (22 yrs) 7. Athaliah (Queen) (6 yrs)
8. Ahaziah (2 yrs) 8. Joash (40 yrs)*
9. Jehoram (Joram)(12 yrs) 9. Amaziah (29 yrs)*
10. Jehu (28 yrs) 10. Azariah (Uzziah)(52 yrs)*
11. Jehoahaz (17 yrs) 11. Jotham (16 yrs)*
12. Jehoash (16 yrs) 12. Ahaz (16 yrs)
13. Jeroboam 2 (41 yrs) 13. Hezekiah (29 yrs)*
14. Zachariah (6 mos) 14. Manasseh (55 yrs)
15. Shallum (1 mo) 15. Amon (2 yrs)
16. Menahem (10 yrs) 16. Josiah (31 yrs)*
17. Pekhiah (2 yrs) 17. Jehoahaz (3 mos)
18. Pekah (20 yrs) 18. Jehoiakim (11 yrs)
19. Hoshea (9 yrs) 19. Jehoiachin (3 mos)
20. Zedekiah (11 yrs)

The Bible says ALL of the kings of Israel were evil ( 229 yrs).  Among the kings of Judah, 12 were evil and 8 were good (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah). (414 yrs total. 263 good yrs.  One period of 137 yrs of good kings).

Exile = to be captive.

Babylonian exile = 70 years.

Egypt = 215 years of bondage.

Assyrian captivity = 200 years.

Did God interfere with their rebellion that allowed them to be taken captive?

No, He did not.  And, He won’t now.

He DID NOT INTERFERE but He DID INTERVENE.

Galatians 6:7 (NKJV) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Remember this when you vote tomorrow and in the days ahead for America.  We, like Israel, will reap what we have sown.

His Sovereignty will not change whether you vote or not or whomever you vote for.

Our lives, however, will.

Choices have consequences.

And, the outcome (cursed or blessed) will be our fault.

Richard J Grund