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The scriptures advise us to “be angry but don’t sin.” What does this mean? The story of Edom as retold in the prophets and writings gives us God’s answer. The Edomites were descendants of Esau, so they were the kin of the tribes of Israel who were the descendants of Esau’s brother, Jacob. They were family. So, God had given the nation of Israel specific warnings not to despise their Edomite brethren, nor covet their land – Mt. Seir. However, the Edomites on the other hand pursued the Israelites relentlessly. In their angry rivalry and hostility they invaded Israelite territory habitually, trying to claim it as their own. They were and still are implacable foes of Israel. More
Many years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation from his place of exile on the island of Patmos. He delivered a message from Christ to the church at Ephesus, and by extension to all who would read and heed Christ’s advice. Many hardships had befallen those early Christians. The temple had been destroyed, their nation had been ravaged, and a million had died in warfare. Most of the apostles were gone, and the Jews had banished Christians from their synagogues. God chides the church at Ephesus for their lack of love in these harsh times, but he also praises them. Why? They hated the same things that Christ hates. What angered God, also angered these brethren, so they would not tolerate the false teachings of the Nicolaitans. More
So what angers God? God is the epitome of love and compassion, yet there are things that make him angry. If we are to walk with God in covenant and love him, then we need to know what makes him upset. And the scriptures clearly outline the attitudes and behaviours that anger God. Moses had a special intimate working relationship with God. But, Moses’ initial reaction to being called by God to bring Israel out of Egypt was less than eager willingness. Moses made excuses and was full of self-doubt even after God’s “pep-talk.” God was angry with Moses diffidence and uncertainty, but he was patient and willing to work with Moses and provide support. Aaron, Moses’ brother, would do the speaking for Moses. Eventually, this overcame Moses’ hesitation and reluctance to do what God had asked. Are we eager to do the tasks that God has given us to do? Or, do we anger God with our reticence or insecurity in doing a job God has designed for us? More
Journeys of personal discovery may lead us to find the truth that transforms our lives. The biblical example of the prodigal son is such a story of transformation. The young man in his ignorance and self-will demanded his inheritance, left his Father’s home, and went on a journey. Instead of the hoped for adventure and fortune, he ended up squandering everything he had inherited. But his misery final provoked a profound change in action and attitude. He had to face the terrible truth of his own folly, and then appreciate what he had lost in leaving his Father’s care. Straying from the truth had cost him dearly. More
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God’s Unchanging Nature
We live in a world that is “changeable.” In fact within the past 17 years the Canadian supreme court has “flip-flopped” regarding its position on religious freedoms for private institutions. This reversal in how the Canadian Charter of Rights has been interpreted is very worrisome to those who value their religious freedom, and their role in Canadian society. But even in a changing world, there is one thing that does not change, and that is God. He has a message for all people, for he has the insight and the power to “declare the end from the beginning.” And one thing is certain. He is just and fair, and there is no “respect of persons” with God. More
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God’s presence in the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, foreshadowed a future time in the Kingdom of God. It looked forward to the time when the Messiah would be king and would dwell with his people. A time when God’s spirit in the minds of the people would produce life and peace. This is a future hope and not our present reality. For today, people are ruled by their fleshly nature. This has resulted in our modern culture wars and an ever-increasing carnage. Did you know that this year more people in the US have died from opioid overdose than were killed during all the years of conflict in Vietnam? But there is hope, and God has already given us the blueprint for the future — an amazing future! More
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A Blueprint for a Future Reality
Paul, the apostle, wanted God’s children to be mature, so they were no longer tossed about by false teachers who were trying to deceive them. He knew the importance of having spiritual vision. It was vital to be able to imagine the unseen spiritual reality. They needed to see beyond the gritty aspects of life in the Roman world by embracing a prophetic view of the future. Paul knew that a blueprint of the spiritual reality had been envisioned by God long before Israel became a nation. But, to help the people see beyond their limited view, God had provided insight into heavenly things in the creation of the tabernacle in the wilderness. It was a physical replica, built from a blueprint, and foreshadowing a future reality. More