Category Archives: Greed

Abimelech and Schecem Receive Justice

The Bible is the greatest story ever told. To those who say it is boring or not full of meaning, I say they have not fairly read through it with an open mind. It is a fascinating record of how YHWH has interacted with his people.  There are plot twists and turns that are stranger than fiction.

Judges 9 is a good example. Remembering from Judges 8 that we just wrapped up the history of Gideon, also known as Jerubbaal, now we see what happens after his death. We see plotting and scheming for power and how YHWH brings about justice on those who deserve it.

Judges 9

Abimelech’s Conspiracy

     1And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s relatives, and spoke to them and to the whole clan of the household of his mother’s father, saying, 2“Speak, now, in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or that one man rule over you?’ Also, remember that I am your bone and your flesh.” 3And his mother’s relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the hearing of all the leaders of Shechem; and they were inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our relative.” 4They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, and they followed him. 5Then he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. 6All the men of Shechem and all Beth-millo assembled together, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar which was in Shechem.

      7Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, “Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you. 8“Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ 9“But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness with which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?’ 10“Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 11“But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’ 12“Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 13“But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’ 14“Finally all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come, reign over us!’ 15“The bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.’

      16“Now therefore, if you have dealt in truth and integrity in making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have dealt with him as he deserved— 17for my father fought for you and risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian; 18but you have risen against my father’s house today and have killed his sons, seventy men, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your relative— 19if then you have dealt in truth and integrity with Jerubbaal and his house this day, rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. 20“But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and consume the men of Shechem and Beth-millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem and from Beth-millo, and consume Abimelech.” 21Then Jotham escaped and fled, and went to Beer and remained there because of Abimelech his brother.

Shechem and Abimelech Fall

     22Now Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24so that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers. 25The men of Shechem set men in ambush against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who might pass by them along the road; and it was told to Abimelech.

      26Now Gaal the son of Ebed came with his relatives, and crossed over into Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. 27They went out into the field and gathered the grapes of their vineyards and trod them, and held a festival; and they went into the house of their god, and ate and drank and cursed Abimelech. 28Then Gaal the son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Is he not the son of Jerubbaal, and is Zebul not his lieutenant? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem; but why should we serve him? 29“Would, therefore, that this people were under my authority! Then I would remove Abimelech.” And he said to Abimelech, “Increase your army and come out.”

      30When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger burned. 31He sent messengers to Abimelech deceitfully, saying, “Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his relatives have come to Shechem; and behold, they are stirring up the city against you. 32“Now therefore, arise by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field. 33“In the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early and rush upon the city; and behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, you shall do to them whatever you can.”

      34So Abimelech and all the people who were with him arose by night and lay in wait against Shechem in four companies. 35Now Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance of the city gate; and Abimelech and the people who were with him arose from the ambush. 36When Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains.” But Zebul said to him, “You are seeing the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.” 37Gaal spoke again and said, “Behold, people are coming down from the highest part of the land, and one company comes by the way of the diviners’ oak.” 38Then Zebul said to him, “Where is your boasting now with which you said, ‘Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?’ Is this not the people whom you despised? Go out now and fight with them!” 39So Gaal went out before the leaders of Shechem and fought with Abimelech. 40Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him; and many fell wounded up to the entrance of the gate. 41Then Abimelech remained at Arumah, but Zebul drove out Gaal and his relatives so that they could not remain in Shechem.

      42Now it came about the next day, that the people went out to the field, and it was told to Abimelech. 43So he took his people and divided them into three companies, and lay in wait in the field; when he looked and saw the people coming out from the city, he arose against them and slew them. 44Then Abimelech and the company who was with him dashed forward and stood in the entrance of the city gate; the other two companies then dashed against all who were in the field and slew them. 45Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and he captured the city and killed the people who were in it; then he razed the city and sowed it with salt.

      46When all the leaders of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered the inner chamber of the temple of El-berith. 47It was told Abimelech that all the leaders of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48So Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand and cut down a branch from the trees, and lifted it and laid it on his shoulder. Then he said to the people who were with him, “What you have seen me do, hurry and do likewise.” 49All the people also cut down each one his branch and followed Abimelech, and put them on the inner chamber and set the inner chamber on fire over those inside, so that all the men of the tower of Shechem also died, about a thousand men and women.

      50Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and he camped against Thebez and captured it. 51But there was a strong tower in the center of the city, and all the men and women with all the leaders of the city fled there and shut themselves in; and they went up on the roof of the tower. 52So Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it, and approached the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire. 53But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull. 54Then he called quickly to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that it will not be said of me, ‘A woman slew him.’” So the young man pierced him through, and he died. 55When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, each departed to his home. 56Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father in killing his seventy brothers. 57Also God returned all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads, and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came upon them.

We can certainly wonder sometimes why it seems evil people have success in their endeavors at the expense of “good” or “innocent” people. We can even ask YHWH, but we must trust in him no matter how strange or “unfair” the events appear to us. Judges 9 shows an example of justice delivered after a time.  There are times when we may not ever see the justice delivered to the wicked. However, we will all stand before YHWH one day and be judged and be held accountable for whether or not we accepted Yeshua as our savior and how we lived our lives.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Difficult Times Will Come

The difficult times referred to by Paul in 2 Timothy 3 are very challenging indeed. There is a list of bad things that have become commonplace, ranging from loving self to disobeying parents to loving pleasure rather than YHWH. This describes many times and places throughout history and certainly applies to the United States today. In particular, one deceptive aspect which is not to be overlooked is that people hold to a form of godliness, but have denied its power. This is particularly dangerous as it misrepresents YHWH while claiming his name. We have instructions to stay away from people such as these… not to convert them or win the argument but to stay away.

Paul also included advice on what Timothy was to focus on when confronted with these difficult times and we can as well. We can expect persecution and hardship when we stand for Yeshua and YHWH. We are to endure it, not avoid it by hiding our faith or acting as if our faith is “private” and not to be shared. Faith, patience, love, and other such qualities are key for us during these difficult times.

Paul also ends the chapter with direction that Timothy should study and rely on all scripture, in particular the scripture he has been studying since he was a child. The New Testament was not yet written and compiled as scripture. Paul is clearly referring to the Old Testament. We should take care to hold fast to the whole Bible and not discard or downplay the Old Testament in pursuit of the New as is often taught or emphasized in churches today. The whole of scripture works together as one unit and does not contradict one another. Paul directed Timothy to study the Old Testament, and this was after the death and resurrection of Yeshua. We should do likewise.

2 Timothy 3

“Difficult Times Will Come”

     1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 9But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

      10Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Instructions for All Who Follow Christ

1 Timothy 6 contains timeless wisdom for us to consider and apply in our lives. As you begin to read, consider that though the slave / master guidance may seem obsolete, perhaps you should consider it in regards to employee / employer perspective as I believe it still applies in that context or others where you are subject to proper authority.

1 Timothy 6

Instructions to Those Who Minister

     1All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. 2Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.

      3If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

      11But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

      17Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

      20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.
Grace be with you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

He Who Loves Money Will Not Be Satisfied With Money

Riches and wealth by themselves have no lasting significance. This seems contrary to what our culture today testifies and covets. However, really it changes when you stop thinking only about this world and start thinking about eternity. We can take none of this wealth with us.

Ecclesiastes 5:10-20

The Folly of Riches

     10He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. 11When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on? 12The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.

      13There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt. 14When those riches were lost through a bad investment and he had fathered a son, then there was nothing to support him. 15As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand. 16This also is a grievous evil—exactly as a man is born, thus will he die. So what is the advantage to him who toils for the wind? 17Throughout his life he also eats in darkness with great vexation, sickness and anger.

      18Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward. 19Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. 20For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.

For those who love money and seek to be satisfied by it, there will never be enough. There is always more to pursue.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Leadership Qualifications for the Church

Paul provides some timeless guidance on how carefully we should choose leaders within our church body. They high standards and appropriately so. Someone not only needs to meet these standards to lead in the church but also to remain in leadership within the church. If they fall, even if they repent, one must still consider very carefully if they are “beyond reproach” and if it is appropriate for them to retake a leadership position again. The emphasis is really about helping those they lead to grow closer to YHWH and it is not about maintaining the career interest of the leader.

1 Timothy 3

Overseers and Deacons

     1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

      8Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

      14I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

16By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:
He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory.

I think this is an valuable standard to consider for all of us who wish to lead lives pleasing to YHWH, whether or not we take a formal position in the church. Prayerfully reflect and ask the Spirit to show you, without bias and defensiveness, how you and your household stack up to this standard. Ask him help to lead you in change as needed or continued growth in these areas. Pray for one another in this regard, that we would grow toward this standard.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What Did Jesus Say About Paying Taxes?

Mark 12 documents an encounter Jesus had with the Pharisees and Herodians as they were trying to trap Him. He not only deflected their trap, but also laid out  straightforward guidance for all of us in regards to submission to government and paying taxes.

Mark 12: 13-16

Jesus Answers the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes

      13Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15“Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

Clearly Jesus did not agree with everything the Romans were doing, but He still gave guidance to pay the taxes to Caesar. Some may speculate that He was just deflecting the trap question, but Jesus never provided a wrong answer just to avoid a trap. He always took the opportunity to address the trap and make a point on the right way of doing things also.

For those who need more convincing… the Bible has it.

Romans 13:1-7

Be Subject to Government

      1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

It is ok to work lawfully to reduce the tax burden. Governments usually waste money badly. Often they spend on things which may not honor God. However, just refusing to pay is not the guidance that Jesus provided for His people.

We can also recognize that not all governments are acting as described in Romans 13. Some persecute followers of Christ openly and actively. You could perhaps debate then if you are required to pay taxes, but to what end? To give them more cause persecute you? The government was no friend to Paul as a follower of Christ as he wrote Romans. Keep that in mind.

We can debate the “why” Jesus gives this instruction. Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that He does not want Christians to be misunderstood by unbelievers as lawbreakers, unruly, selfish, greedy, and rebellious on matters that do not offend God. Maybe He does not want His people putting their freedom at risk or constantly distracted by a fear of arrest so that they live not in the fullness of joy He intends. Maybe he wants us to be content with what we have and avoid greed.

It is indeed different if the government calls us to reject our God or  His instructions. Then there well may be times where we refuse to obey as we stand for a higher authority, our Father and Creator, if there is a direct conflict between the laws of men and the laws of God.

This article was developed in partnership with GrowGodsMoney.org.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Put On The New Self; Do Not Remain The Same

When we become disciples of Christ, we are not to remain the same as we were before and simply “add Jesus” on top of everything else we were already doing. There are behaviors and thought patterns which we must die to and others we must pursue. With God’s help, we become more like Him and less like our old selves… but we have to choose to pursue righteousness and reject sinfulness. He will not simply force it on us because we said His name once. This transformation is typically a journey, not typically like turning on a light switch. It is like cooking in a crock pot rather than a microwave. It takes longer, but it tastes so much better when it is done.

Colossians 3:1-17

Put On the New Self

      1Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

      5Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.6For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

      12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Take time to reflect on your life. Ask the Spirit to give you insight specific to you. Are you living according to the description above? If not, ask forgiveness from God and ask God for help. Renew you commitment to live for Him and seek repentance… seek to change yourself to be more like our Lord.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

When The Righteous Increase, The People Rejoice

Let us pray for an increase of righteous, godly people in our churches, communities, states, nation, and across the world. Let us seek righteousness in God’s word and through relationship with Him. Do not pursue the deceptions of worldly teaching on what is righteous and what is wicked for Satan revels in deception as those that claim God all the while rebel against His ways.

Proverbs 29

Warnings and Instructions

       1A man who hardens his neck after much reproof
Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.

      2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
But when a wicked man rules, people groan.

      3A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.

      4The king gives stability to the land by justice,
But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

      5A man who flatters his neighbor
Is spreading a net for his steps.

      6By transgression an evil man is ensnared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

      7The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor,
The wicked does not understand such concern.

      8Scorners set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away anger.

      9When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man,
The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.

      10Men of bloodshed hate the blameless,
But the upright are concerned for his life.

      11A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back.

      12If a ruler pays attention to falsehood,
All his ministers become wicked.

      13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

      14If a king judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

      15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

      16When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

      17Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
He will also delight your soul.

      18Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law.

      19A slave will not be instructed by words alone;
For though he understands, there will be no response.

      20Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

      21He who pampers his slave from childhood
Will in the end find him to be a son.

      22An angry man stirs up strife,
And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

      23A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

      24He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the oath but tells nothing.

      25The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

      26Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the LORD.

      27An unjust man is abominable to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Proverbs: A Manual For Living

Proverbs is a manual for living. It is every bit as relevant today as it was when YHWH revealed it to Solomon. Read it slowly, one verse at a time and pause to reflect on the wisdom and how it applies in your life and the life of others today. Let it guide your path.

Proverbs 28

Warnings and Instructions

      1The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

      2By the transgression of a land many are its princes,
But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.

      3A poor man who oppresses the lowly
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.

      4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law strive with them.

      5Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the LORD understand all things.

      6Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.

      7He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.

      8He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.

      9He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

      10He who leads the upright astray in an evil way
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.

      11The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him.

      12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

      13He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

      14How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

      15Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

      16A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding,
But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

      17A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.

      18He who walks blamelessly will be delivered,
But he who is crooked will fall all at once.

      19He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.

      20A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

      21To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

      22A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth
And does not know that want will come upon him.

      23He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

      24He who robs his father or his mother
And says, “It is not a transgression,”
Is the companion of a man who destroys.

      25An arrogant man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

      26He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But he who walks wisely will be delivered.

      27He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.

      28When the wicked rise, men hide themselves;
But when they perish, the righteous increase.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

How Will You Treat The Vineyard Owner?

The Israelites at times turned their backs on YHWH. They rejected his prophets and then killed His son, Yeshua. The Jewish people largely rejected Christ. As such, YHWH invited the gentiles to be grafted in to be His people in their place. If YHWH will allow His chosen people, Israel, to be replaced, none of us should be so arrogant as to think we can dictate the terms of our relationship to YHWH. He invites and accepts people on His own terms, which are outlined in the Bible.

YHWH will not force any to remain in relationship with Him. Nor will He hold back judgment for those who reject His offer through Christ of forgiveness by grace

Luke 20:9-18

Parable of the Vine-growers

     9And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10“At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11“And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. 12“And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. 13“The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14“But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15“So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16“He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!”

17But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’?

18“Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

Those who reject Christ may feel as though they are having a victory in this world for a time. They may laugh and reassure themselves that they are in control. However, YHWH will hold them accountable for their sin should they continue their rejection of Christ’s offer of forgiveness through grace.

What decision will you make? How will you treat the vineyard owner and His messengers? His son?

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.