HOW GOD STAYS IN TOUCH WITH MAN: XIX

Caiaphas and his Kangaroo court were about to sit down and eat their Passover meal when Judas arrived and informed them that Jesus could easily be apprehended without a public notice. To avoid public retribution, the leaders had decided to have Jesus removed, as a rival to Caesar. So, Judas led a band of Sanhedrin guards and Roman soldiers to Gethsemane, where they arrested Jesus. They then took Jesus to Annas and Caiaphas where Jesus was humiliated and sentenced to die. The Sanhedrin feared the public because the people liked what Jesus was doing. Therefore, the Jewish leaders put the blame on the Romans. These Jewish leaders forced Pilate to do their killing. By six a.m., in the morning, they had Jesus handed over to the Romans. And by nine a.m., in the morning, a strong Roman military contingent led Jesus to Golgotha. False rumor had it that Jesus had planned an insurrection. And that is why mostly women met Jesus carrying the cross. And only one man, going home, was forced to carry Jesus’ cross (Luke 23:28; Mark 15:21). By three p.m., in the afternoon, Jesus had died.

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

The passing on of the "spirit" of Elijah to Elisha is not a new phenomenon. It began when the Creator breathed His Breath into man. And the Creator commanded man to multiply, so that the "spirit" was being passed on. The passing on of the "spirit" became the responsibility of the individual person; therefore, every new baby that is conceived receives a double portion from the father and from the mother. It matters greatly how the "spirits" of the parents were developed and how they were influenced. The "spirit" in man, like his conscience, can be trained and it can be conditioned towards what is right or towards what is wrong. My parents began to train my "spirit" when I still was in diapers. When I began to talk and think, I already knew what was good for me and what was bad and that what I did pleased or hurt others or myself. The "spirit" my parents passed on to me included a healthy "fear of God" that improved by ability to love and to respect the Creator; His handiwork, which also included man. The fear of giving an account to God has helped me to be responsible for my life so that I can be accountable to others. I have had the problem and I still do with people who tell me what I should be doing; yet, they, themselves, do not do what they should be doing. Jesus faced a group like that and He left us this advice, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat; so practice and observe what they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice” (Matthew 23:2-3).

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

The passing on of the "spirit" of Elijah to Elisha is not a new phenomenon. It began when the Creator breathed His Breath into man. And the Creator commanded man to multiply, so that the "spirit" was being passed on. The passing on of the "spirit" became the responsibility of the individual person; therefore, every new baby that is conceived receives a double portion from the father and from the mother. It matters greatly how the "spirits" of the parents were developed and how they were influenced. The "spirit" in man, like his conscience, can be trained and it can be conditioned towards what is right or towards what is wrong. My parents began to train my "spirit" when I still was in diapers. When I began to talk and think, I already knew what was good for me and what was bad and that what I did pleased or hurt others or myself. The "spirit" my parents passed on to me included a healthy "fear of God" that improved by ability to love and to respect the Creator; His handiwork, which also included man. The fear of giving an account to God has helped me to be responsible for my life so that I can be accountable to others. I have had the problem and I still do with people who tell me what I should be doing; yet, they, themselves, do not do what they should be doing. Jesus faced a group like that and He left us this advice, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat; so practice and observe what they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice” (Matthew 23:2-3).

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

In the early period of the kings, Elijah and his successor Elisha were violent men. It was the age when justice demanded, "a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye and a life for a life" (Genesis 9:1-7). Early on, Adam had learned that he could not eat everything, nor could he have everything. Adam learned the hard way, that if he ate the wrong thing, he would die. Unfortunately, the knowledge came too late because Adam disobeyed the warning. Adam died in the hope that his offspring would heed the warning. However, Cain did not heed the warning; therefore, Cain learned that he could not replace his brother's life. It is the perpetuation of a measurement, which could not and which cannot amend the harm it has done. Even in Jesus’ day, “the measure you give will be the measure you get” (Matthew 7:2). Unfortunately, those that are in power use favoritism and also extend that favoritism in their favor. Favoritism has become a bottomless pit, which no one has been able to fill. Not just for the individuals, but also the nations were toppled by unfulfilled favors. The kings of Israel and the kings of Judah are good examples of what favoritism does. Today, our modern socialistic systems lives and thrives on making empty promises. Let us not forget, to include the promises we make as Christians, which have no chances whatsoever to be fulfilled. We all suffer from a false sense of reality when we expect some super being to rescue us from the trouble we are in. I am afraid when people tell me that the Lord will take them away before their trouble will start.

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

The “condition” God installed in Genesis 2:17 dominated the "Monarchs" of Israel and Judah. The world also can slice off a piece of the pie of “good and evil,” and so can every person. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows of his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reaps eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well - doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:7-9). There is no mention of any spiritual activity or divine intervention after Solomon’s second dream until Elijah confronted Ahab, Jezebel and Baalism (I Kings 9:2; 18:12). Elijah represents a period when the human spirit was energized by the need to produce action.

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, became king over a people that were exploited by his father; yet, he knew nothing about it. Rehoboam behaved as if he sat on a pot of gold. He inherited a shadow of empty greatness. He became an example for every leader who sets out to lead without analyzing his own inability. For people to lead, one has to have the ability and the means by which one can decide between right and wrong. It is a question Jesus asked and so should every leader, or king, or president. We read in the Gospel of Luke, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace” (Luke 14:28-31). Unfortunately, far too many political promises are built on sand and not on a rock. To conclude His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us an alternative in Matthew, “Every one then who hears (reads) these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon a rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears (reads) these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

In the early period of the kings, Elijah and his successor Elisha were violent men. It was the age when justice demanded, "a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye and a life for a life" (Genesis 9:1-7). Early on, Adam had learned that he could not eat everything, nor could he have everything. Adam learned the hard way, that if he ate the wrong thing, he would die. Unfortunately, the knowledge came too late because Adam disobeyed the warning. Adam died in the hope that his offspring would heed the warning. However, Cain did not heed the warning; therefore, Cain learned that he could not replace his brother's life. It is the perpetuation of a measurement, which could not and which cannot amend the harm it has done. Even in Jesus’ day, “the measure you give will be the measure you get” (Matthew 7:2). Unfortunately, those that are in power use favoritism and also extend that favoritism in their favor. Favoritism has become a bottomless pit, which no one has been able to fill. Not just for the individuals, but also the nations were toppled by unfulfilled favors. The kings of Israel and the kings of Judah are good examples of what favoritism does. Today, our modern socialistic systems lives and thrives on making empty promises. Let us not forget, to include the promises we make as Christians, which have no chances whatsoever to be fulfilled. We all suffer from a false sense of reality when we expect some super being to rescue us from the trouble we are in. I am afraid when people tell me that the Lord will take them away before their trouble will start.

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

The “condition” God installed in Genesis 2:17 dominated the "Monarchs" of Israel and Judah. The world also can slice off a piece of the pie of “good and evil,” and so can every person. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows of his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reaps eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well - doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:7-9). There is no mention of any spiritual activity or divine intervention after Solomon’s second dream until Elijah confronted Ahab, Jezebel and Baalism (I Kings 9:2; 18:12). Elijah represents a period when the human spirit was energized by the need to produce action.

Restoring God’s Image and Likeness in Man

Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, became king over a people that were exploited by his father; yet, he knew nothing about it. Rehoboam behaved as if he sat on a pot of gold. He inherited a shadow of empty greatness. He became an example for every leader who sets out to lead without analyzing his own inability. For people to lead, one has to have the ability and the means by which one can decide between right and wrong. It is a question Jesus asked and so should every leader, or king, or president. We read in the Gospel of Luke, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace” (Luke 14:28-31). Unfortunately, far too many political promises are built on sand and not on a rock. To conclude His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us an alternative in Matthew, “Every one then who hears (reads) these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon a rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears (reads) these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).