But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT) Samuel told King Saul that God said to attack the Amalekites and completely annihilate them including the women, children, and animals. The battle was waged and the Israelites attacked the Amalekites, just as God had commanded. Unfortunately, they also kept the King of the Amalekites and the best of the animals. As a result, God sent Samuel to deliver the message to Saul that since he had not obeyed, God was removing him from the throne. When Samuel calls Saul on the carpet about not destroying everything, Saul claims he saved the best animals to sacrifice to God. So first he partially obeyed, which is basically saying “I will follow Your instructions, but only the part I want to.” It is the same as the temptation of Eve. God saidContinue reading »

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Friendship Delights – Part Two

Days ago in Rest in Hope, I posted Part One of “Friendship Delights” that shared about the bond of David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Another favorite bible friendship story is that of Naomi and Ruth. Naomi’s two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah became widows, as did Naomi. After her husband passed, returning to her homeland, Judah, was Naomi’s mission. Orpah and Ruth told Naomi that they’d go with her to her people. Naomi discouraged them both, but Ruth persisted. She said to Naomi these words from the book of Ruth 1:16 – KJV, “. . . Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” How touching is that love, loyalty and devotion?

Naomi convinced Orpah to return to her kinfolk, but Ruth refused to be deterred. Off she went with her mother-in-law to a destiny of which she likely had no foreknowledge. Upon reaching and settling in Judah, Ruth listened to her mother-in-law’s wise and timely advice. Subsequently, Ruth gained Boaz as a husband and he gained a jewel of a wife. Ruth conceived and birthed Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David. Little known is that, according to the genealogy in Matthew 1:5, Rahab, the harlot, — Joshua 2 — was the great-grandmother of David.

Ruth 4:18 – KJV:

Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

Matthew 1:5 – KJV:

. . . And Naasson begat Salmon; and Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king.

Note: The spellings of the subject names differ in the Old and New Testaments.

I end this with a salute to my nearest and dearest best friend, Arnetta, who has passed on, but memories of her remain solidly in my heart. Ours was a proven and treasured friendship — indeed. The photo that accompanies this piece is of Arnetta and I from “back in the day.”

I am so sorry Mrs. Caldwell,” Doctor Benson said in a fatherly tone while he looked down at the young woman in the hospital bed. “We think it would be more advantageous if we terminate the life of your baby.” Mary Caldwell’s face turned white. “W-what do you mean, doctor, terminate little Anthony’s life?” Doctor Benson shook his head and pressed his lips together. “It’s no use, Mrs. Caldwell. Your baby, I mean-eh-Anthony, is too weak. You know he has Down’s syndrome. His heart has serious problems and we cannot guarantee he will ever be a happy child. We, the staff and the nurses, have come to the conclusion it will be better to terminate his life now before he becomes a burden to both you and society.” Mary Caldwell blinked her eyes. My baby…a burden? Was she maybe in the middle of a bad dream and would she wake up soon? But no, this wasn’t a dream. Doctor Benson was clearly standing there next to her bed and hoveredContinue reading »

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. James 1:13-14 The Lord does not tempt anyone to do wrong, but God does allow us to reap the fruit of our own unrighteous actions, and He uses that fruit of destruction to bring us to repentance. When we pursue our own desires apart from the will of God, we will inevitably reap the fruit of our evil desires. However, when we make a mess, let’s not blame God for suffering we have brought upon ourselves. Remember that even the knowledge of evil was a result of disobedience. Adam and Eve were created with only the knowledge of good, with pure hearts, but they let their desire to have the one thing that God forbid lure them into sin, and the knowledge of evil was born in their hearts. Even from the beginning they began toContinue reading »

Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord – 2 Kings 19:14 Here is one of the best pictures of prayer in the Bible. Hezekiah is king over Israel when the cruel and powerful Assyrian army marches against them. Rabshakeh, the army’s spokesman, sends a threatening letter and tells Hezekiah not to trust in his God for deliverance. Here was an enormous temptation and a trial, all wrapped into one little scroll. There is the imminent danger of being razed to the ground by the Assyrian empire; then there is the verbal prompting not to trust in God for a rescue. But how does Hezekiah deal with this letter? He receives it, he reads it…and then he takes it straight to the Lord and spreads it before him. What a wonderful picture of prayer! It is the spreading of our problems, our temptations, our struggles before the Lord inContinue reading »