What are the bitter roots in life Genesis 4: 1 – 26)

We all know the narrative of Cain and Abel. It’s an account which is a good example of human nature i.e jealousy, unrighteous anger and ultimately murder.

I remember reading a Testimony which was written by a Minister who changed his views from believing that there was one way to G’d through his Son to believing that surly if God was a God of love He will not condemn those who forsake Him.

How can we a mere man try to understand a powerful almighty G’d? It is impossible. And many people on the  the streets that we  come into contact with can’t see that it is impossible to fathom an Almighty G’d.

In this passage we read that Abel was a keeper of sheep whereas Cain was a tiller  of the ground.And in time they both give an offering to God. One can ask why does God look on favor towards Abel’s offering and not Cain?  (See Verse 5)

If we look at the text there isn’t an explanation here.

Some suggest that it is in the nature of the offerings. The offering of the animal is favored more because of the blood.

Exodus 30:10

Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the LORD.”

But if we look we look at Leviticus 1 – 7 we could see that God valued and wanted both grain and meat offerings. The Hebrew word for offering is used in both situations so the writer is trying to show that there is not one better offering than the other.

Perhaps we could suggest that the difference could be in the attitude of the heart. The text is putting forward the fact that Abel’s offering is of a high standard that is the “firstborn” and the “fat” i.e Abel gave the best.

Exodus 13: 11 – 13)

11“After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your forefathers, 12 you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord. 13Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.

Exodus 23
16“Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.

19“Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.

Abel honored God as Lord with his offering , and Cain just brought his offering.

What ever the conclusion we might come to here, we have God favoring one offering –  the offering of Abel and not Cain.

Cain becomes more angry and is warned that if he chooses the right path he will be accepted and if not sin is knocking on his door.

He chooses to allow his heart to become hard. Resentment comes in and he takes his brother’s life.

Verse 9

God asks him where his brother is. Cain is flip meant and says is he his brother’s keeper. His heart has become  hard.

Cain suffered the consequences and yet God in his mercy on him set a mark on Cain (Scripture is isn’t specific on what so of mark it was) On one side he is branded as a murderer but on the other hand Gods hand is protecting him from being killed.

And through generations we see that sin repeats itself through Lamech boast of murder in  see verse 23

A  man I once spoke to  said that the Hebrew Bible shows a vengeful and merciless God and so the NT somehow balanced this somewhat harsh side of God.

And yet in this passage we see a compassionate G’d. He cares about the death of Abel and shows mercy to Cain. He doesn’t strike Cain down but protects him from those who would want to harm him

G’d gives man free will choice. We are not robotic machines that are  being programmed to behave think and act in a certain way. We all have a choice to go G’ds way or our way.

Bitterness and unforgiveness  is so ingrained in the world and here we see what bitterness ultimately achieves. Cain’s was bitter towards his brother Abel because God favored  Abel’s offering more than he did with Cain’s. G’d looked upon the offering with favor but He didn’t cast Cain aside. It wasn’t for Cain to question G’d as G’d is G’d and man is man.

Romans 9:21
Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Cain had no  right to be envious of His brother. If he would have shown mercy and been content for his brother he would have closed the door of bitterness in his life.

We were once ministering to someone who kept on holding on to the bitterness and hurts and was  unwilling to surrender to G’d.

It’s our choice. We can live a life of victory or choose to live in a state of anxiety  and we will still go to heaven if we have made Y’shua as  our saviour but will live a life of unhappiness on earth. G’d won’t love us less just as he didn’t love Cain less then He did Abel.

I’m not a gardener but once tried to dig weeds out. Some weeds if the root is not dug out  will keep on surfacing. We can cut the weeds off but if we don’t dig up  the bitter roots in our life than the bitter roots in our lives will keep on surfacing and surfacing

Hebrews 12:15
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to Cause trouble and defile many

Cain was not willing to allow God to root out that bitter root judgment in his life.

G’d sees our heart like He saw Cain’s heart. We can’t hide anything from Him. He knows us more than we know ourselves.

This passage gives a small insight of human nature but it also shows the mercy of the Almighty.

So many people have bitterness, anger and unforgiveness which have  been buried in their  hearts for so many years. But when they hand it over and give it over to the Almighty they are set free. We can ask ourselves what are  the roots in our lives which stop us from growing as believers. G’d can help us dig them out so we can then experience being free.beutiful flowerroots

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The heart of Abba Father

rose  

I have ministered to many people who can’t relate to Hashem as a loving Father. People come to Y’shua and receive a touch from  the Lord and yet still carry so many hurts from the past. Sometimes the future can be mirrored by what has taken place in the past. I recall ministering to a young man who was abused by his Father. He had a lot of anger towards his Dad and one day wished his father wasn’t alive. His Father found out and punished him. The boy fell ill with a fever and the Father never came to his aid but said that G’d was punishing him because of what he had said. The Father never hugged his son or comforted him at this time of need. The boy grew up with a distorted view of G’d as a loving Father. It took a real encounter with the Lord for this young man to heal.

Sometimes as believers we can intellectualize our walk with G’d. We can know all the right answers, preach the right words, know the Bible inside out and yet still haven’t understood the true heart of the Father.

Psalm 139 talks about knowing us before we were even born. It reads:

    For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.Psalm 139:13

And the Book of Isaiah 51:16 reads:

I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand– I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.'”

The Lord knew each and every person before they  were even thought of. Do we think that if someone is lost, not walking with the Lord, broken, downcast that the Lord will love them even less. He loves people with an everlasting love and yearns for those who are not walking with Him to follow Him. His heart is to heal the broken heart and take all shame off the shoulders. G’d never gave up even when the People of Isreal  came out of Egypt and moaned and complained. He never gave up even when the people of G’d turned to false idols. He still wanted all of  His people to return to Him. We only have to read the account of Judges to see that when His people cried out for deliverance from the enemy He set up Judges to protect His people and many battles were won. He delivered His people from the enemy

When we look at Y’shua we can see God’s love perfected in Him. And yet there are people full of so many hurts and heartaches, and there are  those who just refuse to turn him. G’d is love and wants to heal and mend the brokenness, save those who are lost and set free those who are captive.

We can ask ourselves do we know G’d as a loving Father. It’s amazing when people realize that the Heavenly Father isn’t a task master but loves that one man or woman  with an everlasting love, people are set free and experience a peace which can only come from G’d.

Where are we today with our relationship with Father G’d? And are we dictated by the past and cant believe that He has a wonderful future  for those who follow Him.

Faith in getting out of the boat

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.

How any times does God ask us to get out of the boat and we are challenged by circumstances which can sometimes inhibit our faith. Peter was the only man in the Bible and in the world who ever walked on water. He had the very Messiah amongst him and he chose to give into fear and to look at the storm as oppose to looking at Jesus. Sometimes we can think:

“God can’t possibly use me, I’m not like this person or that person”,  and yet God is asking us to follow Him.

There are countless examples in History where  God uses people who are the most unlikely of  candidates to be used by Him.

The famous Missionary Gladys May Aylward,  who  against all odds was determined to see God’s destiny for her life fulfilled  which as we know was to become a Missionary to China. Even when she was a domestic at such a young age,  she was determined to become a missionary to people who needed a touch from God. She didn’t have an education,  was turned down by many Mission agencies but never gave up that God would take her to China.  She saved up enough  money had a tenacity that would see her fulfill her mission. It was in 1932, Aylward used her entire   life savings on a passage to Yangcheng, Shanxi Province, China. The trip took her across  Siberia where the cold would have seen excruciating whether conditions and would have deterred many. She  was even  forced to get off the train and walk to her destination. This lady’s calling was now being fulfilled. Many Chinese people came to faith through Aylward. And in 1938, the region  that she was working in was invaded by the Japanese army  and  Aylward led over 100 orphans to safety over the mountains, even though she herself  was wounded physically.

No matter what odds Gladys met with she was to see  God’s destiny  come to fruition in her life. I recall hearing a story about a man who every year put off God’s calling on his life. He never felt completely satisfied as he felt he wasn’t getting out of the boat. When we put God first He is able to do amazing things in our life. So many believers are locked up in the self and don’t want to get out of the boat. Life is but a drop in the Ocean. And when we follow  the Lord  with a whole heart we can see Him move mountains in our own lives. Are we getting out of the boat or are we looking at the storms and and not seeing that the Lord is wanting to take our hand just as He took Peter’s hand in the stormy winds of the Middle East.

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Word for Today

Everyday day asking the Lord how to be a blessing to someone,  weather  it is an extended hand to the individual who is hurting  lonely or bereft,  can bring about a change to that individual. Living in a world which is highly motivated on the self it is is such a blessings when an individual is touched through a believer who extends the Love that Christ has shown to them to the that one person who is in need

Matthew 25:40:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I love the story about the sea which had washed up many of the star fish. A little boy was taking each individual fish and throwing each one back into the sea. When asked by a man why he was doing that as there were so many and it is impossible to save all the fish.; the young boy said if he can save but one star fish it makes all the difference. “Isn’t one as important as all the other Star Fish?”, the boy replied.

How much God reaches out to that one individual who needs to have a touch from the Lord

man-born-blindstar fish