Moses’ sister Miriam and his brother Aaron tried to disqualify their brother, Moses. God set them straight and said to them, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all of my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” That is why the Law of Moses is final and cannot be altered (Numbers 12:6-8). God chose Moses to be the mediator between Himself and the People to restore or to reawaken His Image in them with Laws, statutes and ordinances.
Samuel had the unpleasant task to inform king Saul that David, his armor bearer, was replacing Saul, by God’s choice. “But now your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart; and the Lord appointed him to be the prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you” (I Samuel 13:14). David’s analysis of himself was revealed in his prayer in Psalms:
Bread alone cannot sustain life. The human body alone consists of sixty percent of water. The planet earth is surrounded by water and ice. The blood, in the human body, turns into water when the soul and the spirit depart. We do not just drink water, but we use water to clean and to wash everything, including ourselves. One of our Lord’s last Words on the cross were, “I thirst.” The beloved John Zebedee with Jesus’ mother watched the crucifixion and recalled the incident:
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, was a Jew. And Paul died as a Jew. He proclaimed a Gospel based on "faith alone." Yet Paul, himself, did the work of a Jew. Paul was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem before the day of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks when the first fruits of rededication to God were presented (Acts 20:16). Before Paul and his Jewish companions could participate in the offering in the temple, they had to undergo purify themselves. The Jewish Christians were still practicing the Jewish traditions and Paul did the same.
Samuel ranks second to Moses as a leader in the history of Israel as a nation (Jeremiah 15:1). Samuel represented the end of Moses' Theocracy and the beginning of Israel’s Monarchy. Samuel was the most flawless person in the Old Testament. Unlike Samson, who occasionally was endowed with God’s Spirit, Samuel constantly lived in the Spirit of the Lord. Samuel, too, had to learn that God did not go against the will of the people. The people, too, had to learn by trial and by error. Without God’s Spirit and without God's Laws, man has to depend on his trials and his errors. Hence, "many are called, but few are chosen," who realize that their trials and their errors are endless, and they lead nowhere. Man needs more than an occasional "Presence" of God’s Spirit.
Gideon had left the people hanging between God, Baal and his Ephod. The next two judges, Tola from the tribe of Issachar and Jair from the tribe of Manasseh let things slide into the direction of Baal. Immorality and idolatry became bad enough so that the people began to repent, broke up idols and cried out to the God of their fathers. They turned to Jephthah, of the tribe of Manasseh for help. Jephthah was known for his ability to lead and also his ability to handle the sword. He was an outcast and his half-brothers banished him to live in exile. The elders called him back and pledged that they would not turn him over to his half-brothers. Jephthah tried to settle peacefully with the Edomites, Ammonites and Moabites, but to no avail. It was at that point that, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah.” And he began to move his army to face the Ammonites. The task to defeat the Ammonites appeared overwhelming. And Jephthah made a vow, which he should not have made. God already had disarmed his enemies, and all Jephthah had to do was thrust in the promise of God. Instead Jephthah vowed: “If thou wilt give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes forth from the door of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer him up for a burnt offering” (Judges 11:30-31).
Grace embraces the gifts of the Spirit of God, who is the source of all life. The Apostle Paul listed some of the fruits that man can harvest and use. It is man’s task to keep the weeds out, which can hamper the growth of grace, and the use of it. Living in the Spirit is living in grace and vise versa.
Living in Christ means to “live a ransomed life from sin and fleshly entanglements from the world.” The Apostle Paul put it thus, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in it” (Ephesians 2:10).
I was a young pastor when a couple asked me to marry them. The young lady was hesitant, as to whether he was the right man, but he was absolutely convinced that he could not live without her. I inquired whether they felt a spark of love and she indicated that she could love him. And of course, he assured her and me that he had unimpeachable love for her. I, the fool-hearted preacher with a wonderful marriage, told them that love would resolve their uncertainty. This marriage resolved in a heartbreaking divorce for two families, at a time when divorce, in their religious circle, was a disgrace. For the last, nearly sixty years, I have and I still ask young lovers with noble intentions whether they have bread on the table. While we live here on earth, I have been convinced, over and over again, that love does not fill an empty stomach. It is true that man does not live by bread alone, but without bread, man cannot live at all (Luke 4:4). It is not love or the wheel, but it is bread, which turns the world. Love and the wheel should be used to produce bread.
Christmas represents women as God’s favored creatures. Think of this: “To save the world, God could do without a man, but not without a woman!” Mark Twain was asked, “What would the world be without women?” He replied with one word, “Scares!” Friends, salvation would not exist! Without women, Jesus could not have come, grace would not be available, and man would forever be separated from God. The Jewish culture, in Jesus day, had an ill taste for Eve and her kind. The Apostle Paul, whom we revere as the father of Gentile Christianity, said this about women: