Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Ripe Arkansas Black apples.

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Compare and contrast, we all do this don’t we? And, whether we’d like to admit it or not, we do it a lot.

 It doesn’t matter if we’re believers or not, we look around at other people’s lives, then look at our own and automatically what do we do? We compare and contrast ours to theirs, and theirs to ours, to see what the differences are and who seems to be doing better in our eyes.

 Whether we’re actually born with a little gene with compare and contrast on it, or we’re taught it, it sort of reminds me of the game that some of us played while we were planted in front of the television watching Sesame Street.

The game was played on the television screen when someone held an apple in one hand and another apple in the other hand. You saw the two apples were exactly the same, then a deep, booming voice off camera would say, “same”. Another shot would show one hand holding an apple and the other holding an orange ( or some other fruit) and the booming voice would say “different”. It showed very clearly that some things were the same and other things were different.

 Of course, when we’re children we need to know what is the same, and what is different because we need to know how to differentiate between things. But, as we get older, seeing the differences between things becomes seeing the differences between ourselves, then making value judgments and decisions about another person or ourselves based on those differences.

 Think about it, very rarely do we automatically see the similarities we have with another person. Usually we see the differences first, then the similarities, if we even get that far.

 Unfortunately, we do this in all arenas of life, with our jobs, our houses, our spouses, our children, and our relationships with the LORD. We look at someone and assume that they are so much more spiritual than we are, so much closer to the LORD than we are, or so much less so depending on our perception of them, which drives division between us instead of unity.

 Or, worse yet, we look at what we perceive as blessings ( usually defined as wealth and achievement in the Western World) coming one person’s way and wonder why someone else doesn’t recieve the same blessings from the LORD, then take it one step further and use that as the plumb line to determine how close each of us is to the LORD.

 Think about that. Very often we use physical wealth and success to determine the strength of someone’s spiritual connection with the LORD.

 When I see others do this, and yes, do it myself, I am reminded of Job, who had every physical blessing only to have it all taken away from him. His friends assumed it was because there was something very wrong in his relationship with the LORD that caused it, when in actual fact it was the complete opposite. It was his righteousness and his reverence of the LORD that allowed it.

 The experience reaffirmed to Job, and to us in looking at his story, that no matter what we have, or don’t have, the most important thing is having reverence for, and rightness with the LORD, because He doesn’t view things the way we do.

 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.””

 1 Samuel 16:7

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Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...

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He will do all His will. Think about that. It doesn’t say some of His will, or the parts of His will that relate directly to you. it says all of His will.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own little world’s that we just push aside the parts of His will that aren’t directly related to us. Well, actually sometimes may be a little weakly stated, when in reality it’s pretty much 99.9% of the time that we push aside what all His will may actually mean in the grand scheme of things.

Just recently I received a prayer request email about two young Israeli men who have been called back into active military duty since the recent attacks on Israel. So? You may ask, doesn’t that happen all the time?

And, the answer would be yes, unfortunatley, attacks on Israel happen more often than not. But, it wasn’t the fact that the young men were being called back into active duty because of these attacks that caught my eye, it was what one of them said about it.

He talked about the honor of serving in the standing army in Israel, and more than that what an honor it was to serve in the only standing army to exist since the time’s of King David.

Since the Time’s of King David? That was more than 2,000 years ago. In looking at what little I know about that part of history. I do know that after the period of the kings in Israel’s history, that even if they lived in the land the LORD had promised them, they had no standing army until they once again were brought back to their land then recognized as a country in 1948.

Over two thousand years is a long time to go without a standing army, yet they remained a people and were brought back to their land where they now have the ability to defend themselves.

Think about that in the context of the LORD doing all His will. I mean, really, just sit and think about the enormity of that. Ask yourself, what other people could be essentially displaced from their homeland and remain a nation, a people, for over 2,000 years then return and regain their land to the point that they now have a standing army? Give up? The answer is no others, only Israel.

Why? Simply put, because when the LORD says He will do something, whether it’s on a national scale that seemingly has little do with our little worlds, or an intensely personal promise that He’s whispered in your ear, He does it. Period.

“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

Isaiah 46:10

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