I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
Chapter Four DEATH
When the Israelites went up against the people of Ai and conquered them in battle, Achon, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, thought he could gain monetarily by keeping part of the spoils for himself. Thus by lies, deceit and covert operations, he plotted to keep the thing hidden from all of the people in the tribes of the nation of Israel. He buried the treasure in his tent and thought that no one would be the wiser, but God knew and made the transgression known to Joshua. It was up to Joshua and the people of Israel to restore order, or God would take away His favor and withhold His blessings. Because of one man and one sin against God, an entire nation would be punished, if they did not restore order. (Joshua 7:1-26)
Today, we look at inner city violence and the war-torn countries in the world, shaking our head and praying that the violence will end because there has been too much bloodshed and death. We know that chaos, disorder, radical ideology, hatred, prejudice and hostile rhetoric of any kind is dangerous in nature and capable of bringing harm to others and the possibility of leading to countless deaths. When we are overwhelmed with too much violence around us, voices cry out that something has to be done to protect the people and restore order. However, we live in a divided country and world, overshadowed by darkness; darkness within our own country, which has stripped many Americans of truth and allegiance. We are faced with leaders who feel no allegiance to God or country, but, who instead are enslaved to ignorance, hatred and what they believe to be the “almighty dollar.”
Our news is filled with headlines shouting and announcing new events pertaining to LIES, DECEIT AND COVERT OPERATIONS surrounding the corrupt regime that has taken our government hostage. The administration uses the cunning tools of their master, the prince of lies, to continue to stir up chaos, create confusion and widen division. Yes, the adversary is their master for God is not a god of confusion or chaos, neither does He operate in lies and deception. Many Believers hoping for change for the better continue to be lied to and deceived. This, of course, is of no concern to our president, who himself, claims to be a Believer, working on behalf of Evangelicals and other misled Believers who have supported him.
As the people look to the president to restore order within the country, he has turned the country over to an enemy, who seeks not only to destroy us, but the ideology, structural balance of government and institutional stability that weaves the very fabric of Democracy that strengthens us as a nation and a leader within the world.
The president has inundated us with lies to distract us while those around him work to achieve the real objective of this administration, which is to transact policies and business deals on behalf of themselves and the Russian government. Lies, deceit, and covert operations against the people of the world and the children of God; lies not only to man, but to one nation under God; lies to the Word of God; and lies to God’s Holy Spirit–blasphemy.
Amidst all of the sin against God, lies, deceit, and covert operations, who will restore order? –YAHWEH will restore order and He will use those who TRULY BELIEVE, who are the Righteous of God. The wicked shall be cutoff.
Psalm 37: 1,2 King James Version (KJV)
1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
How foolish of Putin, Trump and their cronies to believe that Democracy is simply IDEOLOGY, CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS, POLITICAL AND GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE, BALANCE OF POWER, INSTITUTIONS, CAPITALISM, and a piece of LAND filled with gullible, over-indulged and complacent PEOPLE! God dwells within the hearts of many Americans and the millions of people within democracies!
Our enemies have miscalculated their odds! They misjudged and incorrectly analyzed their foe! Had they been ABLE to see sin through God’s eyes, they would see their certain death and demise. As unbelievers, they were foolish not to believe there is a GOD! He is neither a god that can be deceived and lied to, nor will He forsake His children and leave them to be devoured by wolves. They believed their foe could be defeated and was incapable of knowing what was transpiring before their eyes! However, God doesn’t need intelligence agencies! God doesn’t need cameras and the media! HE IS OMNIPRESENT AND ALL KNOWING! He has promised NEVER to leave His children ALONE! And He shares His knowledge with those He calls FRIEND!
Psalm 119:21 King James Version (KJV)
21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
If we, as Believers are to truly live abundantly, eternally, we must understand the cunning mind of the adversary who can convince us that we are gaining or helping others by supporting the lies, deceit and covert operations around us. Therefore, we must be able to see and recognize sin in the different forms it takes to mislead us. God has not changed as to that which He considers to be sin, lies, deceit and malicious cover-ups. As Believers, we should look through God’s eyes, past the desires of the flesh, to see that the lair of sin contains the trap of death, ready to be sprung, leaving us trapped while the smell of death begins to close in around us.
QUESTIONS: CAPITAL GAIN
One might ask, “Why so many questions, instead of providing more information and the answers to the questions?” Although, we are all following The Truth, The Light and The Way, as Believers, we each will have a unique walk with Jesus. Sometimes, we may not know which way to go to keep us on the right path. Asking ourselves questions, and acknowledging that God is there to help us find the answer, can help us to find the direction we are supposed to take at that point in our lives and stay on the right path. Questions help us to examine what is in our heart and determine if we are following the Mind of Christ, before we take actions or speak. As you get in the habit of asking yourself questions, I believe you will discover that: God is always there waiting for you to have a conversation with Him; to guide you with unconditional love; and to comfort and encourage you with blessed assurance, throughout your life.
- Why do you think most Trump supporters and republican government officials accept, condone, ignore, or are indifferent to the lies and the lies of his administration?
- Can we benefit from sin within our lives or within society? How so?
- If there is only temporary earthly gain, should we be concerned with the lies that are being fed to the people? Why or why not?
- In what ways does their lying harm other people?
- Do you care if many people are hurt by the lies, deceit or cover-up, or are you just concerned about trying to gain from the republicans being in charge of passing legislation to benefit your interests? Is this the Mind of Christ?
- Can we have the Mind of Christ when we engage in politics?
- Is our government supposed to be an example of how we should live and what we teach our children? Why or why not?
- If the government is representative of the values of the people who supported and elected them, then, do the values of the Trump administration represent the current values of his supporters?
- If so, how does the world view the values of his supporters and the American people?
- Are trust and reputations easily mended and regained?
- If lies and sin cannot benefit the Trump administration in God’s eyes and in the eyes of the righteous, and they continue to lie, then what is the attitude of the Trump administration towards God, His Word and Righteousness?
- Do Trump supporters see themselves as benefiting from the lies of Trump and his administration?
- Do you see yourself as gaining from any lies told by the Trump administration? Why or why not?
- If you know that they are telling a lie and you see no reason of opposing or correcting the lie because you feel that it will benefit you, does that make you guilty of sinning against God’s Word also?
- Were you aware that blaspheme was more than just taking the Lord’s name in vain or speaking against it?
- Do you show irreverence for God by regularly using expressions like OMG or using His name to curse and swear?
- Do you rank the degree of how bad or terrible you consider a sin to be?
- Do you see all sin as being the same?
- Within some societies, cultures, or races, a behavior that one considers a sin may be more acceptable than in others. Do you accept, condone, ignore or become indifferent to some sins because they are more acceptable within your society, culture or race?
- How does your decision to lessen the harm of sin align with your faith, the Mind of Christ, The Word of God and God’s Will and Way?
- Can we pass on our practice of lying and sin in government to future generations?
- If you study African history and politics, you will find that colonialism had a direct effect on the way that politics is transacted and how many current governments are run. The corrupted colonizers of many African countries ran corrupted governments, passing the practice down to the governments of the countries when they gained independence. Is it fair to say, that we in America will be faced with similar problems if we do not cast out corruption within our government and restore accountability to the people?
- Paul said that God forgave his blasphemy because he was ignorant of what he was doing. Can you claim being ignorant to the lies, deceit, and covert operations that have been brought to light with the current administration?
- Can you claim ignorance to God’s Word, Will and Way? If you cannot, should you knowingly support those who lie, deceive and practice corruption and illegal acts against the people?
- Are you looking into the eyes of sin knowing that it ends in death? Or, are you only seeing what you want to see in the flesh, (self) to see what you can gain?
SELF REFLECTION: A Look in the Mirror
Once again, when we look at Jesus’ parables, He is challenging us to examine where our heart lies. Closely examining your heart, answer the questions ABOVE.
DISCUSS your answers with a mature Believer who can guide you in your spiritual relationship with Jesus and our Father, and/or have group discussions to learn from those who have different experiences and perspectives.
QUESTIONS: Write down your own questions and discuss them with a mature Believer or submit them to this blog.
Joshua 7 King James Version (KJV)
7 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel.
2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.
3 And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.
4 So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.
6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.
7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!
8 O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!
9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?
10 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.
14 In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the Lord taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the Lord shall take shall come by households; and the household which the Lord shall take shall come man by man.
15 And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.
16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken:
17 And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken:
18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.
20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:
21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.
23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord.
24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.
25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.
26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.