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Now that Mother’s Day is over, remember, it’s not all Mom’s fault – and she should be glad to know that (a little wordy, but it captures it)

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Now that Mother’s Day is over, remember, it’s not all Mom’s fault – and she should be glad to know that (a little wordy, but it captures it)

Spell check does not help very much with tongue twister names like Hephzibah, Meshullemeth, Jedidah, or Hamutal. Yet they are real names of real people who are remembered as being the moms of a sequence of kings of Judah. Probably some of those moms would wish they could have been more effective in influencing their sons’ decisions in life. Perhaps, like every mom, they learned something about the limits of motherhood while trying to do their best for their children. The kings of which these women were mothers were Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoahaz. All related, their respective ages when they became kings were 12, 22, 8, and 23. Only the youngest, Josiah, did well. The others did real bad, especially Manasseh.

     The account is in the Scriptures in 2 Kings 21-23. Three of them “did evil in the sight of the LORD”. Josiah, however, “did right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all of the way of David his father…”

    The Jewish historian, Josephus, makes interesting observations about these kings. Of Josiah he says, “He was of a most excellent disposition, and naturally virtuous, and followed the actions of king David, as a pattern and a rule to him in the whole conduct of his life”. (Antiquities, 10.4.1)

   But of the others Josephus reports differently, and of a fifth king, Jehoiakim, we find, “He was of wicked disposition, and ready to do mischief…” (Antiquities, 10.5.2)

    Josephus doesn’t blame the moms for their sons’ messes. Neither does the Bible.

Do we really get a “blank-page-to-write-on” when we become moms (or dads)? Not really. Newborns come with an agenda, not a blank page. Their “disposition” will help or hinder their ability to respond to instruction. It’s not all Mom’s fault.

    Keep praying for your children; keep seeking God’s wisdom (James 1:5). Ultimately they will answer for their own choices, whether good or bad.

Starry night

Posted by on 9:52 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Starry night

Recently a www.spaceweather.com article announced the arrival again of the “Lyrid” meteor shower. The meteors are actually debris from comet “Thatcher”, and they don’t really “arrive” on earth, the earth passes through Thatcher’s debris cloud. The moon’s brightness often obscures all but the brightest meteors, but it’s still fun to watch for them. Just to be out there at night or early morning and seeing all the stars, and being able to pick out the Milky Way swath across the sky, is fascinating.

    It is a privilege and a unique opportunity when we observe a meteor or witness an aurora. A privilege because these are not common events, and a unique opportunity to praise God for the beauty of His creation. We may be the only human to observe this particular event, so we would be the only human who can praise God for it. That is definitely special.

    Individual meteors are random in that they do not follow a pattern of frequency or intensity.

    Putting two events in the Bible together then, we can see an example of God’s infinite wisdom and sovereignty.  The two events are day four of creation, when God made the stars and many other heavenly bodies, and the other event is the “star” the Wise Men from the East saw announcing Christ’s birth. (Matthew 2:2)

    According to Genesis 1:14, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years’.” (NASB)

  Note it includes for “signs”. That means that way back at creation God arranged for there to be a unique “star” at just exactly the right time beginning its journey light years away from earth, to arrive at earth over the Persian sky when these guys happened to be looking up! That is awesome! But then, God is awesome! Certainly worthy of our praise!

Image thanks to Joe Lefevre, www.joelefevrephotography.com.

Four cups of wine

Posted by on 4:37 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Four cups of wine

With all of the other gentile students at George Washington High School in Philly back in the 60’s. we were happy when Jewish holidays rolled around. That’s because about 40 percent of the student body was missing, making it hard to follow the regular curriculum schedule. Life was easy on Jewish holidays! 

   With so many Jewish friends I got to learn more about Judaism. One good  friend, Mark, kindly invited me to join his family for their Passover meal celebration one year. It was very interesting, and there was lots of good food! His mom was a great cook.

    Without Passover we wouldn’t have Easter. The “Last Supper” was actually a Passover meal, and when Jesus spoke of the wine being the “new covenant” in His blood, He was giving Passover a whole new significance that probably surprised His disciples.

    Every place setting in a Jewish Passover meal has a small cup for wine. That cup will be filled four times during the ceremonies. Once for each of the parts of God’s redemption described in Exodus 6:6-7. God’s spoke to Israel that first Passover that: 1. “I will bring you out”, 2. “I will deliver you”, 3. “I will also redeem you”, and 4. “I will take you for My people”. Each is commemorated by successive cups of wine at designated times during the meal – four cups in all.

   The third cup, the cup of redemption, specifically commemorates the lamb whose blood was required to mark the doorposts and the lintel of each Hebrew family dwelling so that the “destroyer”, or “death angel”, would “pass over” that house. The account is in Exodus 11 and 12.

    When Jesus raised the third cup and spoke of the new covenant in His blood, He identified Himself as the sacrificial lamb! He was the redeemer, the Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

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