Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Lineage of Grace - RAHAB

Rahab is the second female mentioned in the genealogy of Christ. Her story is found in Joshua 2 and Joshua 6. She is also mentioned in Hebrews 11 as someone who demonstrated great faith.

Rahab - was a prostitute. The people of Jericho including Rahab knew of the Israelites and how God had rescued them from Egypt and protected them in the desert. Because of this, the inhabitants of Jericho were afraid of the Israelites.

Moses had died and Joshua was now in charge of the Israelites. Because of their unbelief in God, God declared that they would wander in the wilderness for 40 years.  The period of 40 years was for the 'unbelieving generation' to die off, so they new generation could rise up and enter the land. The younger generation may have determined not to be as disbelieving as their elders.

Jericho was part of Canaan which was part of the land promised to Israel.  Joshua sent two spies to spy out the land. The spies took refuge in Rahab's house.  When questioned by a messenger of the King as to the spies' whereabouts she misled the king and told him that she had no idea where they were.  Rahab used her knowledge of her country and its customs to protect the spies. Rahab affirmed her belief in God and told the spies:
"....I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.  We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[b]  When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below." Joshua 2: 9-11.  
She then asked the spies to promise that when they capture the land her and her family would be spared. 

“Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.” Joshua 2:13-14

When the Israelites captured the land they spared Rahab and her family. She lived with the Israelites for the remainder of her days and eventually had a son by the name of Boaz.

Can you relate to Rahab? Do you feel unworthy because of how you may be forced to make a living? Have you ever affirmed your belief in God like Rahab and changed the way you live? Tamar deceived Judah, Rahab misled the king - is deception ok? Did Rahab's actions demonstrate her trust in God?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Lineage of Grace - TAMAR

We read A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers as part of our women's Bible Study. The book provides a story book format of all the women who are mentioned in the lineage of Christ in Matthew 1:1-16, which are highlighted below.
The author does not add to what is written but uses her knowledge of history during bible times to personalize each woman. After reading each story, you are able to put yourself in that woman's shoes.

This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Tamar - was the daughter in law of Judah.  She was first married to Er, but he was a wicked man and God killed him.  Then she was married to Onan, Er's brother.  Onan did not want to have his brother's child, so during intercourse he spilled his semen on the floor.  God did not like that, so he too was killed.  There was a third brother - Shelah, but instead of Tamar being given to him in marriage, Judah told her to go home to her father's house.   Judah never gives Shelah to Tamar in marriage.  Tamar recognizes this and realizes that if she does not bear a child, she is nothing.  One day, a much older Judah is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep and Tamar is aware of this.  Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute, and sleeps with Judah.  Before she sleeps with him she struck a deal with Judah for a goat with a security deposit of his staff, seal, and cord.

In the process of time, Judah finds out that his daughter in law is pregnant and commands that she be burned to death for committing adultery. Tamar, never losing her wits has the staff, seal and cord delivered to Judah with the message that the owner of these items is the father of the child. Judah recognizes the items and she is not killed. Instead she is brought back in to his house and she delivers twins - Perez and Zerah. Tamar spends the rest of her days in Judah's house but they do not live as husband and wife. The story in it's entirety is found in Genesis 38.

Heady stuff, isn't it. Yet God showed grace - undeserved favor to Tamar. At Christmas you always hear that Jesus was descended from the tribe of Judah. This is the Judah that is being referred to. He didn't start off as an honorable man, but he had a change of heart and God used him and Tamar.

Can you relate to Tamar? How do you handle broken promises? Is it ever ok to deceive someone? Can deception be part of God's plan?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Truth and Lies

This post is courtesy of what I was fed this Sunday at church, during service and Women's Sunday School.  I hope it blesses you as much as it blesses me.

The first woman Eve, had everything she needed: she had a man - Adam, she lived in a beautiful home - the Garden of Eden, she was provided for - fruit trees, she was loved - by God and Adam.

Yet when Satan approached Eve, she fell. Eve had everything she needed, but Satan caused her to focus on the one thing she did not need. The Bible says Satan was subtle. The definition for subtle is: Characterized by skill or ingenuity; clever; Crafty or sly; devious; Operating in a hidden, usually injurious way; insidious.(

Eve had no idea who she was dealing with. She was the first women and probably had never dealt with subtlety or she underestimated his capabilities.

When Satan approached Eve:

  • She listened - she engaged him in conversation.
  • She dwelt on what he said
  • She believed what he said
  • She acted on the lie.

Once she acted, she sinned and she knew it then, because she was convicted.

The battle for truth over lies often takes place in our minds.Satan's goal is to deceive.

If you know the truth, it will change your thinking; and when you change your thinking you change your life.
Those that speak truth and walk righteously dwell in the Lord's tabernacle - Psalms 15:1, 2. When you have an intimacy with God, you are the recipient of truth.

Nothing else makes sense unless you know the truth - when you think on these things, the first thing that we are told to think on are things that are true - Phil 4:8

God protects our front and our back; he is our shield (protection in the front) and our buckler (protection in the back) Psalms 91:1-4. Therefore, we are protected from Satan's fiery darts of deception and lies.

The truth sets us free - John 8:32

If we know the truth, God's truth it's hard to fall prey to Satan's lies.

Do you know the truth? Do you fall prey to Satan's subtleties?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Soccer Shenanigans - Update

Last week we creamed the competition, this week they creamed us and unfortunately the Little One was the goalie when they scored four (that's right!) goals. The final score was 7-2.

At this age level, there's something known as a "blow out" rule which goes something like this - if you're leading by x amount of goals, don't score any more and try to let the other team score.

This week the team that beat us did not observe the "blow out" rule - they were relentless and continued to score. We got creamed!!!

But it's all good...I can't speak for all, but I don't think any one's self esteem was scarred permanently.

When you lose it doesn't always feel good, but it's a part of life. If we didn't lose we wouldn't know what we are capable of.

I don't know how I feel about the "blow out" rule - but I'm glad for God's grace and mercy which I tried to extend to my daughter after their loss.

So hopefully, next week they will have a better outcome!

Update - they were on the wrong side of the 6-2 score again. On the upside it was not a blowout, the girls are having fun and getting fit.  The opposing team scored 4 goals on another goalie on our team this time. The parents, on the other hand, aren't doing so well.  Let's see what next week brings.

Today, we won 2-0.  Woohoo!  I'm sure these girls are learning perseverance.

10/13/12 - It was a tough game.  We were ahead 2-1 until the 4th quarter; then the opposing team tied it and at the last minute were able to score another goal.  We really tried to tie it, but we took a loss.  Final score 3-2.  Overall, the girls are playing well, running faster and harder and working on being more aggressive.  Even though they lost we can see improvement.

It's Wednesday - the day we have a 90 minute practice.  Today it became clear to me that some parents are unhappy with our game record and are being quite verbal and rude about how they feel. Perhaps I have bigger fish to fry, but I am of the notion that 9 year old soccer is for the girls to learn the fundamentals of the game while having a bit of fun.  Since it's a game they're literally going to win some and lose some.  There are no superstars on our team, so it's quite unfortunate that one parent is so verbal about his feelings. Yes, I'd like my child to be part of a winning team, but since life doesn't always go that way, I don't mind her being on this team. It's tough sometimes, but I try to keep everything in perspective.

They tied last week 2-2 and won today 4-3.  I think they're doing ok.

They won again today 4-1; but I think I may be too invested as a parent.  While intellectually I know that hardship is how we learn, sometimes I want my little one to be the star of the team and score all of the goals. She plays defense, and when she plays it well it's reflected in the score.  However the primary role of a defender is not to score a goal, but to prevent the other team from getting in to position to score.  I think the Little One handles it better than me.

They won today - 6-1.  I didn't go to the game but my husband said she played very well today.  She's been practicing her kicks at home, so I guess that made a difference I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

Have you heard of the "blow out" rule? Does it matter? Are your children on winning teams or losing teams? How do you feel when your children lose?

Friday, November 9, 2012

On a Lighter Note.........

I am married to a sentimental sap (this is a good thing), who loves music.  Recently he celebrated a major milestone so he was given the gift of music. We got him a record player, so that he can play records from his collection.

I'd never heard of Tavares until he played this song for me - Words and Music:

You see, he's not very vocal, but he said - "Come on, I want to play this song for you."

Sometimes, I don't know how much I mean to him or I'm deluded by my emotions and moods but then he plays this song and I'm ecstatic. It just goes to show, we can't live by our emotions.

True love...makes me ecstatic!

I hope you are the words and the music to someone special.