Text Size: Zoom In

Ebola and Leprosy


Photo by: European Commission

Toward the end of a BBC article on the tragic story of Ebola, a video provided by Street Child quietly whispers the story of African family members who have lost loved ones. Their subtitled words and talking eyes portray the humanity behind the sterile images of suited, goggled, and masked health workers.

While recalling their faces and words, I remembered reading about the day Jesus touched a man with a dreaded skin disease that may have been, in some ways, like the Ebola of our day (Mark 1:40-45). According to the Law of Moses, persons infected with “leprosy” were to be considered so dangerous that they were required to live outside the city and cry “unclean, unclean” as a warning to any one who came near (Lev 13:44-46).

According to the Baker Bible Encyclopedia, Jesus’ attitude was in marked contrast to other rabbis of his day. “One rabbi would not eat an egg purchased in a street where there was someone with leprosy. Another rabbi threw stones at lepers in order to keep them away.”

Today, we might think such rabbi’s insensitive and cruel. But they had reason to be concerned for themselves and their community. They had no less than Moses and the law of God on their side.

Fear and sadness. Leprosy and Ebola. Health workers and patients. Laws and protocols. Moses and Jesus. There must be more than a story here, somewhere.

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+17 rating, 17 votes)

86 Responses to “Ebola and Leprosy”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart you and I are old enough to remember “sanitariums”. People who *may* have the symptoms of tuberculosis were placed there to both take them out of the population as well as cure them.

    The recent situation of Ebola in the world shows how vulnerable we are to infectious disease and how truly unprepared to handle them.

    Our Bible mentions “pestilence” as one of the terrors of the end of the age. I would suppose that during the “black plaque” of Europe people thought the end was upon them, and yet we survived.

    The lessons we learned from that experience seemed to have been forgotten.

    The first persons outside of the local populations of the infected areas of Africa who became infected with Ebola themselves were people who were there to offer help.

    Their courage to “touch” the unclean didn’t prevent them from being infected themselves.

    The situation then becomes complicated. The healthcare worker who has placed themselves in danger of the disease now has endangered their loved ones their families, their neighbors and so forth.

    Watching the story unfold here is like watching a movie I have seen before called “The Stand”. In that story it was a government biological warfare agent that got out of containment. The General in charge of the matter said that once an escaped infected soldier stopped into a fast food restaurant it was out of control and there was no stopping it.

    Odd that no one even talks about “AIDS” or even “Herpes” anymore and as far as I know neither has been cured.

    The practical approach would be to isolate infected persons and their caretakers until the matter is eradicated. Though that sounds cruel it is the safe method.

    Whatever measures are taken in these next weeks and months ahead, prayer has to be number one priority and as a Nation that should begin from the top and we as a Nation should come together in prayer and unity showing both courage, common sense and compassion in moving forward to keep our population safe.

    Perhaps God is giving us an opportunity to do just that…at a cost.


  2. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Jesus was not afraid to touch those with leprosy. He was, of course, God, and had the power to heal. Jesus did not fear death. He feared separation from the Father. In fact, He knew that to die was to return to the Father.

    The rabbis and Pharisees always come off looking so bad in the Bible. They are always the villains. But why are they the bad guys when their only crime is following the law? It is so true that those who keep the law are still very much afraid of death, even though death is the only way to return to the Father.

    Do I fear death? Do I fear ebola? Do I fear the end of this world? There is a part of me that does. It’s the part that loves the things of this world and the people of this world and can’t bear to leave them. But I do have moments of peace when I trust God to keep hold of me and that there is a better place than this world for me.

    Luke 12:4 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.

    God is in control. His will be done.

  3. poohpity says:

    It seems the religious leaders back then did not just follow the law but added to them and misunderstood the intent of the law from what Jesus explained in the NT. They left out the spirit and heart of the law which Jesus said was summed up in, to love others as you would yourself. His words, my paraphrase.

    If I had a disease like Ebola I would want to do everything in my power not to infect someone else and if that meant being quarantined then I would have no problem with it. In Nigeria they have done just that and had traveling bans until a person is deemed to be disease free.

    It seems to be a balance of compassion and restrictions. After Jesus cured the lepers he sent them to the priest to be deemed disease free so they could enter the community again. I do not recall that any other lepers were told to enter the community before they were healed. They kept themselves away from others to stop the spread.

  4. poohpity says:

    I do not think we are to have fear about this because we trust the Lord but trusting the Lord He also has given us wisdom by His command to treat them how we would want to be treated.

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    There is more than a story here. Turning on the radio in the morning or the tv in the evening for a news report, you or I will hear the word Ebola within the first minute of the program. The final outcome has not yet been determined, but an impressive number of medical personnel, both persons of faith and others, are heading to Africa because they have the training to confront this scourge of Ebola head-on, answering the call to compassion.

    Didn’t Jesus say, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” The measure beyond a 60 second news item or a three-minute “story” is the stirring of hearts, hands and feet to bring healing — and to stand between real people and the threat of Ebola.

    It is perhaps fruitful to apply the Law of Moses to this latter day “leprosy,” but it is more fruitful, it seems to me, to apply the Law of Love that Jesus plants in our hearts by the working of the Holy Spirit.


  6. poohpity says:

    I was thinking that when a government gets involved the right hand usually does not know what they left is doing it may be a wise move to allow those already working with Ebola to be the ones directing. They are usually the faith based organizations.

  7. street says:

    i wonder about ebola in relation to sin and the law. Jesus said it would be better to cut your body part off if it caused you to sin. pretty sever. He is making it very clear that sin is so bad it must be treated radically, like ebola. we also know from what Jesus said that sin originate in the heart of men. His discussion, all food is clean and it is what comes out of man that make him unclean before God and man not the latest illness. when men say you did something unclean you do get a chance to reply to their accusation. hopefully your response is such they can glorify God.

    now for radical living, don’t judge, don’t condemn, pardon freely. side note, freely give what Jesus has give to you. you can not give what you have not first received.
    dear children keep your selves from idols.

  8. joycemb says:

    It’s more than a story, it’s about a way of life. A life that goes counter to not only the culture but to common sense!

    We Christians have the joy and privilege of living out our lives in service to God and man. We may not all have the same physical healing touch as Jesus, but our efforts in His name can certainly reverse the process of destruction that the enemy so loves.

    We can’t change what has already happened, such as the horrible losses described in the video, but we can and do reach out to help through prayers, money, and rebuilding lives. We are Jesus in this century. I still think it is amazing that so many years ago a simple carpenter would show us all how to live, love, and be in the world, but not of it.

  9. hera says:

    Just a side note, I think AIDS and/or Herpes is not much talked about because I think there is a sort of “cure” i.e. it has to be taken regularly and it will sort of suppress the work of the virus, not sure how it really works, just that it will help the person (immune system?) to have a regular life, no threat of imminent demise – they say it (the disease) will be just something like “flu” -> once we are infected, we will every now and then ‘catch’ it, never go away completely but manageable; same with Herpes I think.
    To me, not death itself that scares me,in fact I think death will free me (am looking forward to it), it’s the suffering-painful journey towards death that I fear most..and the possibility of being a burden to anyone in any way..(may I never experience that *knock on woods 3 times* :) )
    As far as I know people usually associate suffering with sins, be it (natural/not) disasters, diseases, illness, or bankruptcy, poverty etc…some will say that he/she must have a lot of sin so he/she got that disease, personal disaster..and so on..
    And..perhaps, there can be another side of “do unto others”..being-people have very varied value-systems, perspectives and perceptions…
    Hope God will always keep us all healthy :)

  10. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday morning I had to go get some lab work done. It was a busy morning at the local hospital and as I was being processed by the Hospital staff right away she looked up almost in an exasperated sigh and ask if I had recently returned from a trip to West Africa.

    Now it must be understood that she knows me and I her, so we just shook our heads and started talking of the mess Ebola has created and how we can’t even jest about it as it is too touchy a subject.

    When I look at the modern day pestilence’s that have made themselves a matter of life and death, I look at how and where they came from.

    AIDS was supposed to come from “Monkeys” as a virus found in their blood. I am not sure where Ebola originated as far as we know.

    But the one thing I do know is that these diseases make their jump to humans most often because of poverty, unclean, unwise cultural and consumption habits.

    Leprosy still exists and so do some of their famous isolated colonies. As far as I know all originated by Christian churches in order to care for the “unclean”.

    The Mosaic Law gave mankind a road map as how to live a safe healthy life. One of the famous old sayings is still good advice “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

    Those who do not agree with the Mosaic Laws or may not even know about them have never been told never to eat blood (Leviticus 3: 17) yet many cultures do.

    I may be mistaken, but up until the infamous 60’s nearly all efforts to fully educate the impoverished areas of the world was done by Christian missionaries, all done so in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. A full education includes the education of the Bible and of Christ.

    But when our governments began taking over the role of educating the uneducated of the world they did so without God and without Christ.

    I think we are seeing the results of reaping what has been sewn.


  11. hera says:

    I am sorry, I am a bit puzzled…about not eating blood – Leviticus..does that mean we are to uphold the laws in the OT, if so that means all, including circumcision etc..wouldn’t that be the same as what the Muslims/Moslems do nowadays?-that also means no pork, do not have dogs as pets at least don’t get licked etc….and wouldn’t this be sort of contradictory to the statement : not what goes in, but what goes out of a man’s…..etc?
    A little note, I read in the news about a Christian Pakistani woman got into trouble because of drinking from a glass belonged to her Muslims neighbor, it is said Christians are deemed ‘unclean’…not sure that’s true/not..
    Just thought I share that.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Hera it is ok to be puzzled, please allow me to hopefully explain what not eating blood means in Biblical as well as scientific terms, if I can.

    This is not a matter of whether or not we should be attempting to follow Mosaic Law as a religion, we as Christians are somewhat exempt from that practice.

    However there are good scientific health reasons for following the guidelines of the diets and cleanliness given to the Hebrew as their “law”.

    Drinking raw blood is not a healthy nor smart thing to do.

    There are cultures in the world that drink snake blood and some that puncture the veins of their cattle and drink their still warm blood.

    Surely you understand this is not healthy and how diseases can be introduced into humans as a result.

    Just from a purely secular scientific view eating blood is at best not a wise risk to take. Yet here in Leviticus God told the Hebrew not to drink blood *period* without having to explain why, above His command for them not to.

    Still puzzled?


  13. poohpity says:

    “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” “God helps those who help themselves” are just a few statements that are not biblical of the oh so many there are. I guess you could say because we live in a fallen world that there are diseases in the first place but blame never helps the conditions here and now. Isn’t it the here and now we are asked to help in some way to bandage, wash, minister, comfort, feed, clothe and pray etc.. If we did more of those things as Christians instead of telling people what they should or should not be doing be next to Godliness.

  14. poohpity says:

    Snakes have blood?

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Pooh snakes have blood.

  16. poohpity says:

    Thank you Steve it must be very little. Is it enough to drink?

    Hera, you are right about what goes into our mouth is not as important as what comes out. Jesus said,” It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Matt 15:11 NLT and then goes on to say, “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. 17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

    Then we are taught the lesson of the “Good Samaritan” in regards to Ebola.

    Jesus said Isaiah prophesied something to watch our for principles being taught that are not from Him like “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
    9 Their worship is a farce,
    for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God”

  17. joycemb says:

    About the phrase, cleanliness is next to Godliness I found this from the writings of Warren Wiersbe,

    John Wesley made a reference to the expression in one of his sermons in the form we use it today. Wesley wrote, “Slovenliness is no part of religion. Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness.”

    It is not in the bible per se, although it was found in ancient Hebraic and Babylonian literature.

    We need to be careful about judging others for their use of words that may not be exact scripture. All scripture is open to interpretation. Just look at the many different bibles we have to work with, along with study notes/guides.

    I also googled drinking snake blood and it is indeed a practice in some cultures. Funny. Like you said, Pooh, can’t be much!

    blessings all day,

  18. joycemb says:

    I am also thinking about the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves”. Not that God doesn’t help those who can’t help themselves for various reasons, but the story of the nuns who were stuck in a tree during a flood comes to mind. It’s said that God sent various way to rescue, a helicopter, a boat, can’t remember it all right now. But the gist of it is that they declined the help saying that they had faith that God was going to rescue them. Of course they drowned, but it goes something like them asking God why he didn’t rescue them. He said, I sent you a helicopter, a boat. Why didn’t you get on?

    So certain phrases not in the Bible still can have meanings of spiritual importance/significance when applied along with the knowledge of God and who He is.

  19. street says:

    Today, we might think such rabbi’s insensitive and cruel. But they had reason to be concerned for themselves and their community. They had no less than Moses and the law of God on their side.

    and the power of sin is the law 1 Corinthians 15:56
    evil uses law to steal kill and destroy. the law which is good is used by evil for bad. God uses the law for quit another purpose. the contrast can not be more stark.
    Romans 15:13 do you notice it is by God’s Power and not our own in this verse. throwing stones is like trying to achieve salvation on your own or in your own strength, very limited. faith, hope and love that Jesus talks about never fail. may they all be found in Him. truly great thing He has done.

  20. hera says:

    Thank you for the responses.
    There is drinking blood – raw & liquid, and eating blood -cooked, not liquid I think…I don’t do that but I know there are those who do, some say it is good for strength, stamina etc…also there are a lot of other ‘extreme’ culinary – foods from insects, caterpillar, snake meat, dog meat..etc being served all over the world, each is said to have its own ‘specialty’ in taste or how it will benefit the body…
    If one day food is a scarcity…..?

  21. street says:

    If one day food is a scarcity…..?

    people would eat there own…..yes it happen in the city of david when the babylonians came to town as God’s instrument of punishment. the prophets said they would save their lives if they surrendered, today’s message is similar, repent and believe in the One He has sent. surrendering to a HOLY Benevolent God is the beginning of wisdom and life.

  22. poohpity says:

    Joyce, I do not know how I was judging anyone but if you said I was, I must have been. Far be it from me to compare what is said against God’s Word it seems I usually mess up by doing so, I wish more people would mess up that way. I guess it is better to teach man-made ideas as commands from God.

  23. poohpity says:

    There probably would not be so much push back. Man-made ideas and philosophies seem to more readily accepted.

  24. joycemb says:

    Hi Pooh,
    I guess I have not seen any man-made ideas or philosophies here for a long time. Only biblical interpretations using current or even not so current phraseology. (Have you read the Message Bible? Wow that’s an interesting read! Quite different from our regular translations but carries the same spirit of God’s truth).
    If anyone is speaking from a heart that we think has been unchanged by Christ, then we are to do as Jesus said Matt. 15:13,14 NLT. It is not our responsibility to decide what’s in a man/woman’s heart. Only God knows for sure. Jesus said it’s what comes out of a man’s heart that defines him, his character.

    Now, I may be completely wrong as I read your post of 10:07am, and if I am please forgive me. As I have said before, it is hard to understand the written word sometimes on a blog. Saying that, it does appear to me that you and Steve have very different views on living out your Christianity, yet I believe you both are beloved children of God and redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. And also a great couple of characters, ha ha. Pun intended but with love.
    blessings, Joyce

  25. SFDBWV says:

    “Fear and sadness, leprosy and Ebola. Health workers and patients. Laws and protocols. Moses and Jesus. There must be more than a story here somewhere.” Mart De Haan

    During those very few and precious times when I can set outside on the swing and talk with my wife about life there are some sobering and stark realities that often surface into the conversation.

    Those realities are always there, but I am too often too busy to allow such thoughts to enter in. But in those quiet times they take center stage.

    Life is filled with sadness and tragedies and the fear of them; interrupted by moments of joy and happiness. I have a quote here from famous and recently deceased Joan Rivers that goes as follows, “If you can laugh at anything, it helps you get through life. Comedy is relief. Life is very sad and tough.”

    In something of a contrast to that I have another quote from George Washington Carver that is as follows, “I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets.”

    For some trying to figure out life and their part in it is a lifelong pursuit. Sadly in that pursuit some miss out on living and the enjoyments that are available, even if only temporary.

    Solomon tried to fill his life with sensual pleasures and found them all lacking, his conclusion was to fear God and keep His commandments, because God will ultimately judge every work and every secret thing we do. (Ecclesiastes 12: 13, 14)

    This is the one commandment that fulfils all the others, “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15: 12)

    In the end of our lives all else will not matter, only how we treated and loved others.

    30 degrees this morning.


  26. foreverblessed says:

    What a difficult theme, what to say. In our country they are making a few hospital ready for ebola patients. On tv one man owas saying that the rules for caretakers of ebola patients was different from the rules they used in the US. The caretakers did not cover their whole face with a mask. And they will do here. I hope they are right in taking better precautions.
    Jesus says, what goes into our mouth does not defile us. He is speaking in spiritual terms.
    It is physically better to have cleanliness: a sewer system, (not throwing the excrements out on the street, as is done in many undeveloped countries)
    clean drinking water. And not eating blood, as all the diseases are in there.

    It is also not wise to eat too fat food, to salty food, too much sugar.It is good to go out and walk, instead of sitting behind the computer all day, etc. Just sensible living.
    But that not change our hearts! Our hearts could still be harsh, judgmental, in chaos. Jesus came to rescue us from the dominion of darkness Col 1:13
    To bring us in the Kingdom of Light.
    Yesterday I was in church and a young man was back, he had been gone for over a year, He had been using drugs, and alcohol. Was clean, then his therapist died, and he fell back in a dark place. Thank God, he is out of it again. He was angry at God, while it was he himself who started drinking again, and after that using drugs too. In this case the entering of the alcohol through his mouth did defile him.
    (or am I seeing it not as Jesus did: it was not the drinking but the taking of alcohol to comfort him instead of looking to Jesus for comforting him)
    We have been praying for him in our house group, and waiting for God to work.

    We have been discussing this here, that prayer is so important.
    Prayer for this disease. That we stay calm. Especially us, christians.
    Here in our country it is on tv that there is so much panic in the US. Just ONE patient, and the panic is out. I wonder what the situation in my country will be, when the first patient will appear!

    But I pray that we will be looking to God, have our eyes fixed on Him.
    And even if we do panic, Jesus will pray: Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing
    As the disciples were in panic when Jesus was arrested, and they fled, and left Jesus alone. Yet Jesus used these feeble men to bring the News of the Gospel to the world. How merciful God is, the ones that failed Him are the ones He uses!
    I guess the those are the ones that are completely humble, they knew they could not do anything on there own. As we often think in our scientific modern time.

  27. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    The current trend of the conversation tugs at my heart today. St. Francis of Assisi made his motto “piu che posso” (more than I can). What makes the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa and the fear it is producing elsewhere more bearable is prayer to God.

    All the careful medical procedures and protocols must be in place, and in addition persons of faith are truly contributing when we:

    Trust God in Christ
    Remain faithful in the community of believers

    Saturday there was a wreck on the state highway near my town. The LifeLine helicopter was waiting on a nearby field. Fire Dept. and enforcement vehicles were pulled up nearby. All those at the grocery on that end of town were watching and waiting attentively. I stood with a couple of fellow Jesus-followers. We thanked God that help was here — and we prayed for all the people involved.

    Soon, the ambulance pulled up — and a gurney emerged bearing a person wrapped in blankets, strapped down, with head immobilized. There were many praying that afternoon right there, faithfully calling upon the Lord. The person was rolled onto the helicopter and was flown to the nearest emergency facility.

    Moments later, as I returned home from the grocery, I stopped once more as the helicopter circled our town and headed east toward Portland. No news yet, but we prayed — and are still praying for healing. The reason this is more than a story, is the fact of God’s faithfulness. We may think as we step out into trusting Jesus that we will step onto thin air, but we step onto the Rock of Ages — our refuge and our strength.

    God loves us more than we can love ourselves or one another.


  28. poohpity says:

    Joyce, the passage you gave about the blind leading the blind was exactly my point. I am blind and broken so why point people to anything I say or what other people say, it seems best to direct them to the One who has the Words that bring sight to the blind and healing for the broken.

    The Word is not hard to understand and is available to all. We have a helper to help us. It may take a lifetime even to get a glimpse of what is written in it but I do not see that there is anything better than to devote a life to reading it. Preachers preach from it, authors write about it so why not go there one’s self to discover the treasures that are found in the pages, the treasure of getting to know the God we love and serve and in getting to know Him we learn about ourselves too. Our minds then get transformed as they are filled with His Words. Beauty in pushes garbage out.

    I am more than sure you could care less how many translations I have read and that is not as important as just reading it whatever translation that may be. There is always more to the story. Our words do not bring life but His does.

  29. cas139 says:

    The posts I read this morning had me thinking of prayer rather than panic and of the wider picture rather than the smaller picture. It occurred to me that Ebola has killed thousands in Africa, but it took one person contracting the disease in the US to really get my attention and the attention of many here. The disease is no more deadly and contagious than it was before it crossed our borders, but it is closer to home now. The threat is closer and more personal now — scarier too in its nearer proximity.

    As I was thinking about this, the words that just kept coming to my mind were those familiar words in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” In verse 17 I read that God didn’t send his son to condemn the world, but in order that the world could be saved through him. God loved and loves the WORLD, not just part of the world or certain people in the world. God desired that the world be saved through his son.

    So, these verses remind that when I pray, I pray for those I know and those I don’t know. I pray for the powerless as well as the powerful. I pray for the healing of Christ close to home and far from home. In the instance of this disease, Ebola, I pray for those who have the disease, their families and those who care for them — here and across the world. I pray for those who are in a position to set protocols for containing the disease and those affected by those protocols. I pray for myself that I might have more empathy than fear in regard to this disease.

    There are so many problems in this world that it can feel overwhelming when considering the magnitude of those problems. I am, after all, only one very small person in one very large world. For me then, the answer is that I can pray. I can pray to the one who so loved the world, that he sent his only son. I can pray that the world might still be saved through him.

  30. SFDBWV says:

    Maru, your story of the auto wreck brought back several memories for me. As my wife and I sat in the hospital hallway with our son in ICU every time we heard the helicopter come in to the rooftop we would say that there is someone else’s heartbreak.

    One thing about that entire experience as we lived there in a hallway for over three weeks was there was plenty of prayers going up.

    Every family there prayed for each other and all became connected in a very special way.

    Have you been following the turmoil of the Mars Hill church there in Seattle with Mark Driscoll?

    A Catholic friend of mine years ago gave me a little card with a rose pedal that supposedly had been blessed by St Francis of Assisi. He and I enjoyed sharing our faith together and never argued about any differences we may have had, come to think of it we never really talked of any differences, just enjoyed sharing our Lord together.

    There seems to be good news today about Ebola in Africa and here in the USA as well. I hope that keeps up.


  31. street says:

    Whatever measures are taken in these next weeks and months ahead, prayer has to be number one priority and as a Nation that should begin from the top and we as a Nation should come together in prayer and unity showing both courage, common sense and compassion in moving forward to keep our population safe.

    i was wondering how an atheist is dealing with ebola outbreak with no promise of a future. knowing the short comings of man in a world of suffering. it’s no wonder even believers are struggling in fear with this new pestilence on their horizon. man’s enemy, death, walks back on shakespeare’s stage of life in full measure of evil and darkness. it is just a little bit harder to ignore him now the way we ignore other things that clamor for our attention. the fields are ripe unto harvest, pray to the LORD for more harvesters.

  32. bubbles says:

    “There must be more than a story here, somewhere.” I have re read this post several times trying to figure out what the message was.

    Jesus’ actions showed that He saw the PERSON and not the disease or impairment.

    We can do that, can’t we? No matter what people have, they are a person first.

  33. hera says:

    I am sorry if my comment about eating blood causes arguments. When I read about eating blood is tied to Leviticus I am reminded how the Muslims ‘disseminate’ their religion- by explaining what the do’s/don’ts in the religion and support it with scientific reasons then how the truths contained in Koran is really the true ones and it is said to have made many people convert because of it, including Japanese scientists etc. And I think those are similar to the OT- what is kosher/not..etc. (I think there is also a rule about covering the head as well in the OT, just like the Muslims do).
    As for the the verse about ‘what goes in…’ about defile, I once heard a sermon about it, the priest said that, differentiating rules about food (kosher) between Christians – Muslims.
    I wonder…wouldn’t addiction is a form of idolatry…?-be it alcohol, drugs, money….lust…?
    Again, I am sorry.

  34. SFDBWV says:

    Bubbles it may be that you have encapsulated Mart’s story completely; “No matter what people have, they are a person first.”

    I am sure it is also how God sees a person infested with sin, they are first and foremost a person. As well as how God wants us to see as well.

    Good job


  35. SFDBWV says:

    Hera be at peace, you have said nothing to cause dissention. The purpose of the blog is for people to express their thoughts and then together discuss them. Rarely is there ever a consensus on any topic. But we all are exposed to the views and ideas of others.

    That is how it should work.

    I fully understand the dangers of using Scripture for the wrong purposes and you should be cautious when it may sound that way.

    My intent was to show that the best prevention of diseases like Ebola and leprosy is to prevent their being introduced into humans in the first place, by education and simple clean habits.


  36. street says:

    My intent was to show that the best prevention of diseases like Ebola and leprosy is to prevent their being introduced into humans in the first place, by education and simple clean habits.

    i think this is like shutting the barn door after all the animals have escaped. do you think shutting the barn door is an admission of guilt for not shutting it and securing it the first time? you would have to admit the person observing this behavior would find it a little funny, but not to the one having to go round them up or the person sitting judgment. hope it’s not raining when they are discover to be awol.

    the bible tells us there will be trials, testing and tribulation. in other-words many barn doors. it is God’s providence that these things happen in His timing. is our first respond, to the adversity, the blame game or turning to God for help? i wish i was one that did not have to turn to God because i was instep with Him in season and out of season. if you look closely you could see i am in the blame game mode. my prayers, not my comments would be more fruitful.

  37. poohpity says:

    hera, most religions are about do’s and don’ts(rules) to earn something. The Christian life however is about having a relationship with God and others respecting and honoring others above one’s self.

    If i understand it right even in the NT there were significant problems in the church about wearing head coverings as per collisions of different customs/cultures and rather than it causing divisions in the early church before the gospels were even written. It seemed more expeditious to just go along with the head covering rather than arguing about it, you know like picking and choosing battles to fight or to make peace. When the head covering for women were to show reverence and submission to their husbands and to God. (1 Cor 11) It seems like it was different in Rome than for the Greeks or the Jews. It seemed to be a blending of cultural norms with elevating God above all else and taking out the worship of man-made gods and there were many.

    Like when Jesus was confronted about paying the Temple tax (Matt 17:24-26 NLT) rather than arguing about it and offending anyone just paid the tax. (Matt 17:27 NLT) So if a culture thinks it right to not do something then it is honoring them to comply especially if one wants to present the Lord to them because we not find a problem with it but they do so keep a conscience free. (1 Cor 8:9 NIV)

  38. street says:

    hera, most religions are about do’s and don’ts(rules) to earn something. The Christian life however is about having a relationship with God and others respecting and honoring others above one’s self.

    there is more to this than meets the eye. God told abraham that He would be his exceeding great reward among other things. Genesis 15:1 i do not understand why some people disdain the blessings of God and think it should be due to them for what ever reason they can come up with. don’t kid yourself Christ likeness is “do” God’s will, “don’t” the will of the flesh. it is a lot easier in a relationship of understanding of just who and what God is. one thing that comes to mind of living in an impossible age of evil is not to resist it. Jesus never condemned a single sinner. even the ones who crucified Him he ask His Father to forgive them they were clueless. offenses will come let it come in relation to God not man. remember the parable of the two sons and the fathers will? which one did the fathers will? was it God’s will for joesph’s brothers to sell him to slave traders on the way to egypt? oh the unsearchable wisdom and goodness of God!

  39. poohpity says:

    street , just a little confused about all the different things you bring up.

    God’s blessing are not due us they are due to Him. We can not earn God’s love or as religions teach earning our way to God to earn His favor.

    So to emulate Christ is to forgive as He has forgiven. There is no way any of us can die for the sins of anyone isn’t that Christ-likeness and impossible for any other person to do? God’s will for Jesus was to die for our sins and reveal the Father (Heb 1:3 NIV; John 14:9; John 10:30 NIV). Isn’t Gods will for us is to believe in the One He sent and to love others? (John 6:29 NIV; 1 John 3:23 NIV)

    I think God used Joseph’s brothers for exactly that (Gen 50:20).

  40. poohpity says:

    street , just a little confused about all the different things you bring up.

    God’s blessing are not due us, they are due to Him. We can not earn God’s love or as religions teach earning our way to God to earn His favor.

    So to emulate Christ is to forgive as He has forgiven. There is no way any of us can die for the sins of anyone isn’t that Christ-likeness and impossible for any other person to do? God’s will for Jesus was to die for our sins and reveal the Father (Heb 1:3 NIV; John 14:9; John 10:30 NIV). Isn’t Gods will for us is to believe in the One He sent and to love others? (John 6:29 NIV; 1 John 3:23 NIV)

    I think God used Joseph’s brothers for exactly that (Gen 50:20).

  41. poohpity says:

    That was not meant to be posted twice the web was down and so I did not think it went through at all and then it turned up twice.

  42. street says:

    dear poo, yes Jesus is God’s answer for dealing with sin and He removes an enormous burden through repentance and faith. this is an end to dead works and sin. new birth,new creation by the Holy Spirit. new growth new direction new purpose new love. Hebrews6:1 and this we will do if the Lord permits. yes we receive forgiveness from Christ and so much more. it’s the more that mart is trying get us to grow up in Christ through revelation of God’s Word of all He has done and is doing for us. love worked out in daily life is just one practical, difficult, application to grow up in Christ by receiving “Daily Bread” from God to walk as wise children of God. i say difficult because i am not as mature as i wish i was or as mature as i think i am, but i am getting better at understanding God’s Word, by spending time in it. i thank God for all the grace and mercy He has extended over the years i have squandered like a prodigal son. that son was so happy to be home with his Father. ok back to the trenches. oh and take the Holy Spirit with you.

  43. street says:

    poo said, God’s will for Jesus was to die for our sins and reveal the Father.

    what did Jesus reveal about the Father?

  44. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    It seems to me the conversation has struck a chord that reveals the face of God. Though not an expert in public health, I do recall that one protocol in disease prevention, intervention and cure is the assumption that everyone is infected until proven otherwise.

    A case can be made that the Levites were about keeping the tabernacle/temple clean. They fasted and cleansed themselves before worship. They laid aside their daily clothing in a special place and put on their ceremonial garments before entering the holy place. So many rituals of the Old Testament time were about cleansing, and the teaching was, “Touch not the unclean thing.”

    But, Jesus embraced the lepers, the blind and the lame. He brings in the grace, mercy and healing of God’s kingdom. All that he teaches is toward allowing the holiness of God to enter hearts and minds and bodies of all God’s children. He went into the temple and into the synagogues — but he prayed and met God out in the garden. He brings cleansing to the entire universe.

    He is Messiah:

    “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    Because the Lord has anointed me
    To bring good news to the afflicted;
    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    To proclaim liberty to captives
    And freedom to prisoners;
    To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
    And the day of vengeance of our God;
    To comfort all who mourn,
    To grant those who mourn in Zion,
    Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
    The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
    So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
    The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

    Jesus removes the scourge of sin, disease and death.


  45. SFDBWV says:

    I recently read an article about the “Spanish flu” and how it killed more people than WWI. The article went on to say that the returning American soldiers from WWI brought the flu home with them and it was so devastating to the US that it dropped the life expectancy of America 12 years.

    Spanish flu, Asian, flu, swine flu, avian flu, the list goes on and so does their effect on the world. Though any of these flu’s can be fatal, we live with their presence in the same world. We have learned to take precautions against them.

    Polio, measles, and some others were once thought to have been defeated and eradicated from our populations, but once again ignorance and fear have brought them back from extinction.

    Another old saying is “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.”

    While we certainly place our newest epidemic on the altar we also have to use all the knowledge we have available to save the lives of not only the infected, but the remainder of our populations.

    I miss hearing from so many old participants of BTA and pray they are ok, just staying away. As anger, is also contagious and the best defense from it is not to be infected by it by not being around it.


  46. poohpity says:

    street, His grace

  47. poohpity says:

    Steve, is there anger in your home? Do you stay away because of it?

  48. poohpity says:

    I think the more to the story Mart was talking about is that deep need inside those who have a communicable disease and yes that can even be anger, Steve, the desire to be touched or hugged and the need to feel part of the community. Lepers had to call out that they had it and that alone kept people away. Jesus touched them before He healed them and just that human touch seemed to mean so much. The lack of a sense of belonging and no human touch being alone, not only alone by choice but because one is cast out, the hurt and pain they must have felt being ostracized from all others. Jesus showed them that they belong and not only belong but are part of His family.

    A family where they are cared for and no matter their affliction feel part of and matter, having a place of worth, value and acceptance.

  49. joycemb says:

    For those with various afflictions; physical, mental, emotional and are actively unable to participate in the corporate Body there is an answer. Our Daily Bread today shares the bottom line of our individual faith no matter what or who we are.

    If worth, value and acceptance depend on our human counterparts, then some are going to feel sorely abandoned and hurt-because they are among fallen creatures as themselves. I know this well.

    Jesus only told a few to physically join him, but all to believe him. To ‘go and tell’. So that’s our mission and inheritance as Maru so beautifully reminded us today.

    Love and blessings in Christ Jesus to all,

  50. poohpity says:

    That is why we do not depend on our human counterparts, we depend on Jesus. If we live for the praise and acceptance of other people then we will grumble and wither under their rejection or criticism.

  51. poohpity says:

    Emerson wrote, “For every minute you remain angry, you give up 60 seconds of peace of mind.”

  52. poohpity says:

    OOps I meant crumble not grumble but I guess there will be grumbling too. :-)

  53. joycemb says:

    Pooh, a few weeks ago you posted that you are able to ‘read’ people because you were once a street person. I know some of your background because you shared it with me. I have been wanting to ask you, though, if learning to ‘read’ people came from God as you were growing up, like a gift, or, could it have come from the enemy? Seems more likely to me it comes from the enemy who rules the streets. Very witty and intelligent, but deceptive none the less. With fear and trembling of God I write this as God is asking me to post this, I believe.
    And for the love of God and you I submit.

  54. poohpity says:

    I do not read people I listen to them and hear their hearts through their words and actions. I have heard yours and if it were the right things to say the Lord would have given you peace not fear and trembling.

  55. poohpity says:

    Fear and trembling is usually a sign of passive/aggressive anger.

  56. joycemb says:

    See, you’re doing just as I said. When God convicts it’s with love, gentleness, and produces good fruit. When the enemy convicts it produces destruction, and even death-whether death of the spirit or behaviors leading to physical death even.

    Your analyzing (reading) is not producing good fruit, if only the good fruit of teaching people when to back-off.

    ps. I always tremble when God want’s me to step out of my comfort zone.

  57. street says:

    Jesus removes the scourge of sin, disease and death.


    maru i still get sick! i think paul said Jesus does away with sin and death, we still get sick.

    i did love to see again the reading Jesus read at the beginning of His ministering to people.

  58. street says:

    God so loved the world He gave us…..ebola
    mental illness
    things that break
    His Son that who soever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  59. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    God’s kingdom is very near, Street. The fallen world has brought us most of the line-up you present, I believe — except for the Son of God, the last crucial matter!

    Government (item # 4) is an interesting part of God’s kingdom, as Isaiah reveals:

    “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
    And the government will rest on His shoulders;
    And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
    There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
    On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
    From then on and forevermore.
    The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”

    We Jesus-followers live in the kingdom now and the kingdom to come simultaneously. We live in the fallen world, but are citizens of the New Jerusalem. Go figure!


  60. street says:

    maru said God’s kingdom is very near, Street. The fallen world has brought us most of the line-up you present, I believe — except for the Son of God, the last crucial matter!

    maru these “things of the world” as bad as we think they are can not be explained away as saying they are from satan or they were sinners. God doesn’t sin nor can He. He is also LORD over these events. remember job? providence comes to mind. these events cause us to take off our rose colored glasses. Ecclesiastes, job, ebola numbs my mind when i think i know God. i know He created ebola cancer war accidents old age. how else is He going bring about death from the knowledge of good and evil? Adam blamed God because He gave him eve that plan did not work out so good.

  61. poohpity says:

    Did God create Ebola, cancer, war, accidents, old age or even blame? Not the God I know. Did people have something to do with them, yes because they made the choice to do things their way. Human kind causes all kinds of messes that God cleans up one way or another.

  62. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Mart, you wrote:

    “According to the Law of Moses, persons infected with ‘leprosy’ were to be considered so dangerous that they were required to live outside the city and cry ‘unclean, unclean’ as a warning to any one who came near (Lev 13:44-46).
    According to the Baker Bible Encyclopedia, Jesus’ attitude was in marked contrast to other rabbis of his day.”

    It seems to me that God pronounced the blessing upon humanity even as God pronounced the curse upon Satan:

    “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

    As God said in Eden, Jesus Christ is the Son of Man (born to a woman) and the Son of God (conceived by the Holy Spirit). This is still being played out in the scourge of Ebola, as it was in the scourge of leprosy back in the day, it seems to me. Satan struck Jesus’ heel, but Jesus crushed/crushes/will crush the head of the evil one, who is the accuser of humanity.

    Yours in Christ,

  63. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce though not identified as “quietgrace” any longer you show that you are full of grace and a class act.

    Yes Maru you are quite right in all you have said and identifying Satan as the accuser.

    Street you are also correct in understanding that all things were created by God (John 1:3).

    Fallen man or perhaps better said depraved mankind has misused or corrupted everything in creation that he can. These diseases existed in their created environments safe from man and were only introduced into mankind by mankind’s disobedience, ignorance and or stupidity.

    One look at Revelation and you can see that God punishes mankind by pestilence, warfare, starvation, as well as supernatural disasters and only the return of Jesus prevents all of mankind from being erased from the face of the earth.

    We share then in the rebuilding of the world with Jesus as King over the all the nations who must come and pay respect to Him or be punished for not doing so. (Zechariah 14: 16, 17, 18, 19).

    The fear of God is the *beginning* of wisdom.


  64. street says:

    It seems to me that God pronounced the blessing upon humanity even as God pronounced the curse upon Satan:

    in Genesis3:17 God cursed the ground and not man directly. that was/is grace! even though he is made from the ground.

    steve i think there is a misunderstanding with Revelation with God’s purpose. i think it would be safer to say God has used all those things in the past to keep evil at bay and preserve the elect. as for rebuilding the world how can you rebuild what has be cursed? i think Revelation paints a different pic then you describe. one where God let man and satan see the end result of their actions. yes He steps back in to save mankind again. in the very end God destroys the earth and creates a new heaven and earth. God is keenly interested in a fruitful harvest. if we do the same the rest will take care of itself in the proses. hopefully He will not have to uproot the planet like He has done in the past in our lifetime. remember the person that was stoned for picking up sticks on the Sabbath? my fear is rekindled.

  65. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Ebola hearkens back to the sadness and separation brought about by leprosy. The great diseases (work of the pale horseman, Death), plague, flu and polio have appeared and reappeareed in the world. Even in our prayerful concern, we may rejoice because of what hour it is, it seems to me. For the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven from God. “…and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Hallelujah!

    Surely, the consequences of sin are the curse of the fallen state: toil all the days of Adam’s life; thorns and thistles supplanting the crops, hard labor for a living; and death, which would not have entered the world except for Adam’s rebellion against the Lord’s generosity.

    God’s pure purpose in Jesus is more than a restoration. It is New Life with no death at all. Come, Lord Jesus.


  66. SFDBWV says:

    Street my first wife didn’t accept Christ nor attempt to read the Bible until she was dying of cancer. During those first few months of her introduction to Scripture she started asking me questions about the Book of Revelation.

    I explained to her that a new Christian has to be fed on the milk of the NT before going to the back of the Book and tackling the meat of Revelation. However I did explain to her what I understood and believed.

    None of the tribulation events of Revelation have occurred nor will they until the Lamb of God (Jesus) opens the seven seals and pours out God’s judgment upon the earth. It is a 7 year period, the worst of which occurs during the last 3 and ½ years.

    Jesus returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and so begins the 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth with us to rule with Him.

    After that thousand years have transpired God releases Satan from his prison and allows for him to bring about another rebellion which will be cut off quickly. It is then that Satan hell and death are sent into the eternal lake of fire with all those who sided with them at the second resurrection.

    Then God makes a new heaven and a new earth.

    There is a division of beliefs amongst Christians about the Church’s place during the tribulation. There are some who believe that the Church (body of Christ) is raptured away before the beginning of the 7 years of the tribulation period, some who believe that the Church is raptured after the first 3 ½ years and some who believe there is no rapture.

    I stand in the group that believes the “Great Rapture” will herald in the beginning of the 7 year period as there are no instructions for the Church found in the Book of Revelation. Only what some consider to be the Church ages found in the first 3 chapters.

    Jesus gave us a full accounting of the world before any of this begins in the Gospels and there have been many, many books written on the subject.

    The crux of the matter is to be ready at all times for His return no matter what else we may believe.

    Thanks for the exercise.


  67. joycemb says:

    I was just listening to Fernando Ortega Traveler on youtube. Thought others might enjoy it also. It speaks to your comment Steve about being ready at all times for His return no matter what else we believe.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus to all,

  68. poohpity says:

    “Jesus’ attitude was in marked contrast to the other rabbis of His day” and what does that mean for us today? While it was the law for the lepers to call out unclean they were themselves keeping others away but the lengths the rabbis went through by not even eating an egg sold on the street where an leper was and even throwing stones at them shows they were not concerned about their well being at all but elevating themselves above those who needed help.(Matt 23:27-28 NIV) One could spend a lot of time trying to figure out how they got that way and not figuring out how to be in service to them.(Matt 23:11-12 NIV) Jesus knew they needed His touch and the rabbis were afraid to touch them and that may have been right but the lengths they did show their attitude toward others in so many other ways.(Matt 23:23-24 NLT)

  69. street says:

    you know poo the rabbi’s response to lepers is not uncommon to what we do. i think they knew instinctively they could do nothing to help them get cured. they could help feed them and give the cloths and shelter but that is as fare as it could go. then came along Jesus. i hope we say and do the right thing since we claim we are His followers and God lives in our hearts. i have to say many times i walk like an ignorant rabbi. but this is not why i came to the site just now. it is the first thing i read this morning….

    “We are apt to think that everything that happens to us is to be turned into useful teaching; it is to be turned into something better than teaching, viz. into character. We shall find that the spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something but to make us something. The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 664 L”

  70. poohpity says:

    street, if you are giving food, cloths and shelter I would say you are a reflection of Jesus not the attitudes of the rabbis. Yes I so agree that character building is similar to being transformed not to be a show boat to look good on the outside while the inside is so full of ugly but to treat others as better than yourself and to think of their well being above. I do not think we need to be self deprecating(false humility) but to think of ourselves the way God thinks of as beloved, much loved, of much value and worth. If we think that way then we will treat others that way too.

  71. poohpity says:

    Even if they have Ebola or Leprosy or any other sickness or sin we treat others the way the Lord has treated us, giving Himself for our good.

  72. joycemb says:

    Street I’ve been thinking about your quote all day. “We are apt to think that everything that happens to us is to be turned into useful teaching; it is to be turned into something better than teaching, viz. into character. We shall find that the spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something but to make us something. The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 664 L” I believe Oswald Chambers’ writings teach the same thing.

    Mart’s remark, “Today, we might think such rabbi’s insensitive and cruel. But they had reason to be concerned for themselves and their community. They had no less than Moses and the law of God on their side”.

    Please bear with me as I tie these together in my mind. What I’m thinking is what was Jesus purpose in putting the scriptures together? Was it for our teaching? Was it for our learning to develop Christ-character? Were the scriptures intended to be used like rocks wrapped in paper, to throw at those who don’t think as we do? Or were they put down in writing to share a bigger purpose, a road-map and history of the coming of the Messiah?.

    I’m thinking of what Jesus said after healing the lepers Luke 17:14 NLT. Why go show the priest? Luke 17:18 NLT The priests could not heal but they could diagnose. By Jesus healing it proved something bigger, that Jesus was the Son of God. That was Jesus’ point, to show to mankind who He was.

    I still think it’s ok and even a mark of the character of Christ to be concerned and help lepers and other outcasts of society, but we can’t loose sight of why we do what we do, and the why is because of a Holy God we serve.

    Throwing ‘scripture stones’ is not what God intended.

  73. joycemb says:

    Worshiping God through our works, faith, and love is I believe what God intended.

  74. poohpity says:

    It seems the same Lord who told Moses to present lepers to the priests also told the lepers then to do the same to fulfill the law. Lev 14:1-2 NLT

  75. street says:

    dear joycemb you said,

    Please bear with me as I tie these together in my mind. What I’m thinking is what was Jesus purpose in putting the scriptures together? Was it for our teaching? Was it for our learning to develop Christ-character? Were the scriptures intended to be used like rocks wrapped in paper, to throw at those who don’t think as we do? Or were they put down in writing to share a bigger purpose, a road-map and history of the coming of the Messiah?.

    what is the purpose of the Bible? very good question. i think it is to get to know God. all books have authors and we can understand them a little by what they write. reading the Bible without looking for God is like a pencil with no point, it’s pointless. be forewarned sometimes it is painful. the biggest pain is not understanding what is written. i say that because it is all very important.

  76. street says:

    dear jocemb I believe Oswald Chambers’ writings teach the same thing. yes it was his quote. it’s from rbc site.

  77. street says:

    dear poo you said,” street, if you are giving food, cloths and shelter I would say you are a reflection of Jesus not the attitudes of the rabbis.” the government is doing this on a massive scale. somehow i don’t believe they are doing this for Jesus who they have kicked out of the public square or for God. need to look at their motives more closely.

  78. poohpity says:

    beloved street, it is not my job to look at anyone’s motives, I trust God. Isn’t it a reflection of what the Lord has given us to do (Matt 25:35-40 NLT) The Lord has even established the government (Romans 13:1 NIV) When it forces us to go against God’s Word then and only then are we not to follow it from what I understand.

  79. street says:

    dear poo i was out in left field on that last post. did you see what i did? i was not a doer but a judge. sort of like moses run in with the egyptian. ops. it is a major problem not for just me but for the collateral effect of knee jerk reaction from people who hear it. rarely is the reaction a godly one. i do know God made authority figures, dads, moms, government, and so on. i guess it is God’s will for us to stay off the bench unless He calls us to it. wish i was smart enough to delete it before i posted it. sorry about that one. street

  80. poohpity says:

    No problem at all, street, been there done that so I understand.

  81. SFDBWV says:

    I have enjoyed the conversation concerning how events help mold us into a more “christ-like” personality.

    It actually reminds me of another thought I personally have been working out in my own mind for a long time.

    “What’s it all about?”

    When Matthew asks me that, I laugh and sing a little from the song “What’s it all about Alfie”. He always laughs and my purpose is done.

    I also follow up my humor with a more serious comment about being able to be together.

    However in the private recesses of my mind I have often wondered what is the point to all the suffering, trials and “lessons” life produces?

    If we grow in Christ all of our day’s and gain more and more pleasing to God as being more like He wants us to be right up to our death, of what value is all that learning and character change then?
    Salvation came at the moment we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, so then as we learn and grow toward a more perfect being then die of what value to others is all that learning and character change?

    Is this something we carry over into life after death? Is the finishing of our education and transformation completed then once we are with God? If so, then at that point, we become all equal in both. It won’t matter at what stage of development we were or what age we were upon our deaths once we are “changed” and with Christ forever.

    So of what reason and value was all the suffering, pain and heartache?

    It just seems that since we can do nothing to gain Salvation from God excepting the acknowledgment and acceptance of Jesus as Lord, and once we have been transformed by a life time of change then die; how then does all that have use for aiding others toward a life with Jesus as Lord.

    When we stand before God are we measured by our lives? (Ecclesiastes 11:14) I read also that we Christians are to answer to Jesus for what we did with our “freedom” from sin for others. (Romans 14:10, 11, 12)

    It seems that we are to do the best we can and it also seems that the best we can is a gift from God as well.

    Good news on the story of Ebola today about the two nurses being free of the disease and a vaccine available by next year.

    Thank you Father.


  82. joycemb says:

    Ageing seems to bring about a lot of reflection and more questions. I myself as I get older have been so grateful to God just for getting me through another day. A friend recently shared her thoughts of what if in the end this Christian faith is all a farce? What if in the end there is no God, no Jesus, no redemption, no heaven and no hell. Honest questions I think, just as yours, Steve. Life does not get easier as we age. There will come a time when you Steve will not have the physical strength to take care of your son, or plow snow or whatever. Yes the Bible says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Luke 13:29-30 NLT Seems to be an upside-down religion we have. Maybe that’s why we struggle so toward the end? And even in the beginning?

    I woke up this morning feeling alone and wishing my Christian faith had not resulted in divorce, and how I’d hoped for many years God would give me my dream of a godly husband. Yet my ageing and mortality loom in the face of unmet dreams and losses too many to count. For what? All I have before me is to take up my cross and follow Him who does promise a better future, an eternal future where no one weds, yet is completely fulfilled. Hard to imagine with my finite mind. But it’s all I’ve got, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s been God’s intention all along to keep me all for Himself.

    I wonder also sometimes if I don’t get more caught up in the changes (character building) than in worshiping God.

    Yet questions or not, I know that if I am aware of my last breath I will be saying, “I know whom I have believed in” 2 Timothy 1:12 NLT

  83. street says:

    dear steve 1 Corinthians 15 could help a little about fickleness of life. it’s holding on to the promises of the Faithful ONE that keep us in the proper perspective. remember how the devil uses the Word of God to destroy people and God’s creation? he is using the curse, our pride, and sense of righteousness against us. know God and His Word is the only way we can guard our hearts form such a wicked adversary.

    remember the hit song with the lyrics,” it’s just another brick in the wall” ? the same message is being presented to the listener. his m.o. of dumb down what is really being done by God. building a Holy Temple with living stones come to mind? remember Jesus being a rock?….living stones?…. sounds like Christ like.
    patient faith in the Truth is not an exercise in futility it is a work of God. to Him be glory forever. i love it when i get lost, not in the sense of salvation, and He shows up! He really is a treasure.

  84. foreverblessed says:

    Have been following the line, thanks for all your comments!
    (If I would be helping an Ebola patient I would take all the precautions that are needed.)
    When Rees Howell was in Africa (The intercessor, book by Norman Grubb), having his missionary, the women would join the christians, but the men didn’t. Till there was this virus spreading, I think it was the Spanish flu, just after WO 1.
    The Holy Spirit had told them, that everybody who would come and live on the compound would be safe for the disease. So there the men came also, and many became christian. A disease used as a means for men to come to Christ!
    That is God’s way, He is busy with saving souls, and so should I.
    Praying that Jesus would come, what I have always done when I was young, nowadays when I [ray like that it is as if Jesus is saying to me: Exactly, that is what I want to do: Come into your own heart, more and more, till it is invaded, and your old man is receded, put on the cross, the cross that you carry just for that reason: to crucify your old man. And it is so that then I can live there fully, and fill you.
    And what changer there would be, if many christians would let Me in more fully!

  85. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce you are quite correct that getting older and or nearer to death makes one look at everything differently than when they were young and felt invulnerable.

    I have had a very rich life filled with adventures and diversities that continue to this day, all of which continues to make me who I am.

    Having the opportunity of having lived in a small town and a big city as well as being in the Marine Corps and been ¾’s around the world, I have seen a lot and did a lot all the while under the influence of an unseen God.

    I always knew that from my earliest age that I was never alone.

    One of the earliest memories I have believe it or not is that I can recall the time in my very young life when I wondered why I couldn’t see angels anymore.

    I can still remember the feelings that surrounded that realization.

    Dreams also have always influenced me all my life and I can still remember some from my very young years.

    If the opportunity is still there in the morning I will write more as my time at the computer for this evening is up.

    That is the power of reflection, when we can look back across our lives and see where God has been there with us all the time, and so trust that He still is now and into whatever the future may hold.


  86. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All..coming here this morning,..I sense the LIGHT shining brightly once again from beautifully honest Christ loving hearts. THANK YOU.

    I have come to believe that the purpose of our trials and suffering here on earth are to serve as catalysts to help us rise above OURSELVES(false pride, jealousy, overall selfishness, etc). Joyce, Steve, I truly believe that the two of you are very far advanced in that process of rising above self and that several others here are following very closely behind you. I have shamefully backslidden in that endeavor in the past year and I very much appreciate seeing the REAL THING here once again. I guess it was here but I fell in with the darkness that seemed to overthrow it. Anyway, I thank you for the LIGHT that is wiping out the darkness here…

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.