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Herod the Great

I remember the day in May 2007 when Professor Ehud Netzer, an archeologist from the Hebrew University, announced the discovery of Herod’s Tomb among the ruins of the Herodium, a man-made mountain fortress built about 3 miles southeast of Bethlehem.

 

The emotions surrounding the announcement remind me of what Matthew tells us about the day Herod and all Jerusalem were troubled by rumors that a delegation of stargazers from the East had shown up in town saying they had come to honor the birth of the king of the Jews (Matthew 2:2-3).

Jerusalem already had a king. Though tyrannical and self-absorbed, he had leveraged his relationship with Caesar, the Roman Senate, and the religious leaders of Jerusalem to give the people of Judea a temple-to-die-for, a misleading understanding of religious freedom, temporary political standing, and a series of ambitious building projects that included several fortresses designed to give his family protection in the event of an insurrection.

We remember him as Herod the Great while telling the story of a child who would live in obscurity— until showing Jerusalem and the world what real hope and greatness look like.


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77 Responses to “Herod the Great”

  1. poohpity says:

    Temples made with human hands can not house the greatness of God because He can not be contained. Those temples are sure for destruction. Acts 7:48-49 NLT

    Acts 17: 24“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need.”

  2. poohpity says:

    However for a short time the fullness of God was found to be housed in a human body(temple) Col 1:9,10

  3. poohpity says:

    oops that was Col 1:19,20 not 9 and 10

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Many years ago I read a book I believe was called “The Tell”. It was about an archaeological dig on a mound, or “tell” there in Israel.

    The story took the reader down through each layer and told the story of each consecutive generation and of the people who lived there.

    It was quite interesting and alerted me to the fact that the national pastime of Israelites is archaeology.

    I used to get a magazine called “Biblical Archaeology” and it of course concerned itself with digs all over the world that substantiated the stories of the Bible.

    If any of you don’t have a copy of “Josephus” I recommend it for a cross reverence to the Bible as Josephus documented many of the events of the Bible and one such historical look is recorded concerning Herod.

    He was a brutal murderer and ambitious ruler. Easy to see whereas he would have given the order to kill all the children 2 years old and younger in Bethlehem as recorded in the Bible.

    Interesting that I see the events of the existing world as “troubling” and can easily relate it to the coming of a King who will cleanse the world and rule with perfect greatness.

    As it is obvious man has never ruled very well, Christ will show once again how it’s done.

    Steve

  5. Beloved says:

    What Child is this who, laid to rest
    On Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
    Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
    While shepherds watch are keeping?
    This, this is Christ the King,
    Whom shepherds guard and angels sing,
    Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
    The Babe, the Son of Mary!
    Why lies He in such mean estate
    Where ox and ass are feeding?
    Good Christian, fear, for sinners here
    The silent Word is pleading.
    Nails, spear shall pierce him through,
    The Cross be borne for me, for you,
    Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
    The Babe, the Son of Mary!
    So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
    Come peasant, king to own Him.
    The King of kings salvation brings,
    Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
    Raise, raise, the song on high,
    The virgin sings her lullaby,
    Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
    The Babe, the Son of Mary!

  6. Beloved says:

    Daniel 2:44
    In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will shatter all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself stand forever.

  7. Beloved says:

    Psalm 2:10-12
    10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
    11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
    12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
    for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

  8. street says:

    Interesting that I see the events of the existing world as “troubling” and can easily relate it to the coming of a King who will cleanse the world and rule with perfect greatness.

    As it is obvious man has never ruled very well, Christ will show once again how it’s done.

    thinking of the temple of our bodies, made of earth/dirt/dust. thinking of the seraphim declaring the whole earth is filled with His Glory! a King cleansing His subjects with His blood from the rebellion against Him! calling them friends and children of God. oh Joyful Christmas and Joyful return of the Lord! soon to be conformed to the Image of His Son. incorruptible, Holy and never separated from His Love. a certain hope for now. Merry Christmas, Emmanuel.

  9. Beloved says:

    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;

  10. jeff1 says:

    It’s Still the Greatest Story Ever Told

    A woman and an angel!
    A promise and a song
    A word too grand for any mind to hold
    A tax law and a journey
    A stable and some straw
    These tell the greatest story ever told.

    Oh sing glory in the highest
    He is come our great Messiah
    Come bow before this awesome mystery
    Mighty God and fragile Baby
    Here a lowly manager hold
    And it’s still the greatest story ever told.

    A hillside and some shepherds
    A blaze of blinding light
    Angels singing carols in the cold
    Eternal revelation
    To men as dull as stone
    The glorious, greatest story ever told.

  11. poohpity says:

    It would seem even in our world today people have a different idea of what greatness and hope looks like and who can give it to them. They depend and look to all that the world has to offer and believe in the way the world has told them to live but use the Lord as a badge of honor until He tells them to; do not return evil for evil or turn the other cheek or forgive as I have forgiven you(just a couple of the upside down ways He asked us to live) then God goes back into obscurity in minds and hearts of those who say they believe in Him.

    Sing a few Christmas songs and say Merry Christmas but hearts are so far away from wanting anything really to do with Him. No surrender just the thinking if you do not do the things I ask you to do then you are just a word, God, not a real entity or person, but just a word. Let us build beautiful buildings and other things that show our own magnificence and greatness that give us hope we can accomplish anything without you, Lord. Genesis 11:4

  12. poohpity says:

    John 1:10

  13. SFDBWV says:

    You can’t begin to tell the Christmas story without the “Magi” of the “Three wise men” fame.

    These men were of the ruling class of Persian society and were intellectuals as well as students of prophesy found both in the ancient writings of the Hebrew people who still lived there and were well aware of the history and prophesy of Daniel.

    They also were students of the original Zodiac and were able to relate a new star to the date of the promised Savior’s birth as given exactly by the writings of Daniel.

    And so they followed this new star to the place and at the time of the birth of this King.

    They believed the Word of God, and so acted upon it. It was the Hebrew Priests who should have known who alerted Herod that there was an ancient prophesy about the birth of a king in Bethlehem. It was they who should have been going to Bethlehem to worship their Messiah instead of a group of Gentiles.

    However these same Priests were comfortable with Herod and so thought it best not to “rock the boat”.

    The three Magi were wise enough not to trust Herod and knew of his reputation Herod was after all only “great” in his eyes.

    Sort of like here in the USA where we have a sitting president who also thinks himself to be “great” and no lack of sycophants who tell him he is.

    There are still Magi in the world, but the world still wants its own kind of king.

    Steve

  14. poohpity says:

    I believe the Magi did not come until Jesus was around 2 years old and it was God in a dream who told the Magi not to return by way of Herod but to go a different way. The chief Priests are the one’s who told Herod the prophesy of Micah where the child was to be born, then Herod told the Magi. It is written in Matt 2.

  15. Beloved says:

    We remember him as Herod the Great while telling the story of a child who would live in obscurity— until showing Jerusalem and the world what real hope and greatness look like.

    What a paradox! Not only how Jesus lived, and died, but that His death was for ALL, even the Herods of the world!

    Open our eyes, LORD, so ALL those in authority–those you died for–can see Jesus, even as Paul saw Him. Please open our eyes. Amen

  16. Beloved says:

    Our devotional today was about Mary, the vessel chosen by God to carry the Christ, Jesus. She was unmarried which carried the death penalty in those days, making it extremely perilous. Yet God took care of her, sending her to stay with Elizabeth, also pregnant with John the Baptist. i recalled how John lept in his mom’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit knowing his coming King was also in the room! Dangerous yet exciting times. I took away from the story how we too have the same hope as them because of the power of God not only in making sure eye witness accounts of Jesus’ life were written down but having the same Spirit in our lives, with confirmation of that very same Spirit between us. Everlasting comes to mind. Jesus Christ the same, yesterday today and forever.
    Blessings this Advent season!

  17. SFDBWV says:

    It is said “you can’t out run the Reaper.” In time with no fanfare mentioned in the Bible Herod died (Matthew 2:19 KJV), and so Herod the Great turned out to be no different than any other with regards to that great common denominator “death”.

    Personally I find it quite interesting that Herod’s son, “Herod Antipas” was killed by an angel for accepting the adulation of the people and not giving God the glory and so was “eaten by worms” and died. Acts 12:23 KJV.

    People like to quote Scripture and tell us that God puts kings and presidents and leaders of nation in place and we are to bow to their authority as given from God.

    If that is “always” the way of things then God put Herod the Great in place for the birth and Herod Antipas in place for the death of Jesus.

    Either way you feel about it a Herod played a part in the story. Perhaps “used” of God for His purposes as well as providing yet another example of the stark difference between real “greatness” and the smallness of an egomaniac ruler.

    I am reminded of a lesson I learned early in my youth. Talking to an old Amish man I made reference to the fact that divorce is not to be allowed scripturally, whereupon he simply stated to me, “Steve not all marriages are not made in heaven.”

    Equally I don’t think every ruler is placed there by God. Sometimes He lets people have their way…

    Steve

  18. jeff1 says:

    Would have to agree with you Steve God has His reasons and I am not always privy to them but He asks me to trust Him when I am not understanding and so I must accept that there are rulers who are anything but what I can expect a ruler should be but God turns it around for His purpose but that doesn’t say I should blind myself to the facts that not all rulers seek Godliness for history tells us otherwise.

  19. poohpity says:

    It is similar to slaves obey your masters because that is the right thing to do.

    From the “Pulpit Commentary”: It is of God’s ordering that there should be human governments and human laws. Without them there could be no order, security, or progress among mankind. Imperfect as they may often be, and in some instances oppressive and unjust, still they exist for a purpose of good, and form part of the Divine order for the government of the world. In this sense all are from God, and ordained of God; and in submitting to them we are submitting to God.”

    It would seem our job as followers of Christ is to be law-biding citizens except if we are asked to do something that goes against the highest authority, God.

    Look at all the fanfare that Herod the Great needed but the King of Kings born in obscurity with straw for a bed surrounded by His creation and His angels quietly came into the world not to rule over people and boss them around but to save them.

  20. poohpity says:

    Jesus did not ask us to do anything different than what He did by following the governing authorities of the land and if He did not there would have been no crucifixion or penalty paid for our sins.

    It would be nice if there were only people in every country that put God first as their rightful King but there are not so the only authority they have is their own governments or there would be total chaos all around the world each person doing whatever they wanted to do with no guidelines or laws to follow. Similar to what people were like before the flood.

  21. street says:

    Herod the Great
    babylon
    pesian
    greek
    rome
    thinking about government. rule by consent. seems like mart mentioned all the guilty parties in allowing this ruler to come to power. could you say God was guilty in letting this man rule? no, man is guilty for failing to trust God and His Word. we see in Daniel that God destroys the governing powers by a Rock uncut by human hands. i guess God’s consent is removed, the filling up the cup of His wrath. only to be poured back on them in Holy Righteous judgment. a judgment that could have been avoided by consent. thinking of niniva getting another 100 years. the drift of the flesh like gravity will not always be with us, thank God! free from the fowlers snare, broken by the cross of Jesus. the one He asks us to take up daily and follow Him by consent. yes we stumble. turn your heart back to the One. divided consent is not working. paul speaks of being dead to the world and alive to God in Christ Jesus. living sacrifices. saw this line recently about comfort. after very difficult times a saint was asked what gave them comfort? the reply was the only comfort they were allowed was,” …in life or in death my only comfort comes from knowing i belong to Jesus.” an eternal comfort. Merry Christmas!

  22. Beloved says:

    Knowing I belong to Jesus”

    Brought a smile to my face this morning. Merry Christmas indeed!

  23. Beloved says:

    If an angel should fly from heaven and inform us personally of the Savior’s love, it wouldn’t provide any more evidence than we already have from the Holy Spirit. Spurgeon

  24. SFDBWV says:

    I bet none of you knew that the song “Mary Did You Know” was controversial. I sure didn’t until I got my Christianity Today Direct this morning.

    As unbelievable as it is there are both Christian “Thinkers” who think the song insulting as well as CT Direct for giving them a platform to state their case.

    I guess the body of Christ (Christianity) hasn’t escaped the upside down, narrow minded, dim witted view of the current world at large at all.

    Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem.

    Had fried potatoes in bacon grease, pork chops and butter beans for dinner with a slice of lemon meringue pie for desert. Country living at its best.

    Blessings to all.

    Steve

  25. street says:

    Herod the Great
    he was so well liked his grave was almost completely destroyed. one report i read said he wanted to do a dig on kind david’s grave site. only to find someone had beaten him too it. have to say i watch archeology with interest in what they find and think. i guess it started in Genesis 3 and went awry. if you think about it seek ask knock was not our fall. flat out disobeying was. learning to focus.

  26. jeff1 says:

    This beautiful carol always a favourite.

    Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

    Hark! the herald angels sing
    Glory to the new-born King
    Peace on earth and mercy mild
    God and sinners reconciled

    Joyful, all ye nations, rise
    Join the triumph of the skies
    With angelic host proclaim
    Christ is born in Bethlehem
    Hark! the herald angels sing
    Glory to the new-born King

    Christ, by highest heaven adored
    Christ, the everlasting Lord
    Late in time behold him come
    Offspring of the Virgin’s womb

    Hail the Flesh, the God Head see
    Hail the incarnate Deity
    Pleased as man with man to dwell
    Jesus, our Emmanuel!
    Hark! the herald angels sing
    Glory to the new-born King

  27. Beloved says:

    Good day all.
    Woke up to the sound of fire alarms blazing then a fireman pounding at my door saying get out, there’s a fire in the building! I’m on 1st floor but as always the concern is for those on upper floors who depend on the elevators, which don’t run during an alarm. Wheel chairs, walkers, bed bound, deaf even are stuck in their apts. It really shakes us all up a bit. The fire was an electrical one, starting in a public bathroom. The caretaker, a lapsed Christian, said he “happened” to be walking by and saw smoke. Flames were on the ceiling and floor but he got it out with the fire extinguisher, before the fire dept. arrived. They gave us the all clear after making sure there were no further fires in the ceiling, (good because it was 5 degrees F outside). Could have been real bad had it gotten further between floors/ceilings. I said thank you LORD when the caretaker told me his part in it. He said Someone was watching over us! I’m praying this incident will open his eyes to the love God has for him, and for us all!!! He was a member of Benny Hinns church in Florida for many years, so doesn’t attend church up here as of course miracles are of the more common quiet nature up North. We witnessed a miracle today, God was here, just as He was during the time of Herod, Hitler, Bin Laden and on and on. God is ALWAYS performing miracles, sometimes dramatic, often behind the scenes. A babe who was born in obscurity to die for those that killed Him, and then live again so we also can live forever!! Now that was a miracle!! Emmanuel, God with us. Even in the dirt and ashes of our lives. Hallelujah!!

  28. jeff1 says:

    Thinking that my country is an example of ‘what not to do’ as we played the blame game and there are no winners as we all shared the blame.

    Keeping my focus on ‘Jesus’ keeps me from being judgemental as that is what my dad did and he didn’t play the blame game.
    He didn’t judge but by staying focused on ‘Christ’ he didn’take sides and his vision wasn’t blurred which made him objective in seeing the whole truth rather than just his truth.

    God rewards those who remain faithful to ‘Christ’ as I see now my dad’s righteousness came from his obedience in putting Him first in his life and so he was aligned to doing God’s will and rather than talking the talk he was walking the walk.

    Disciples have God given wisdom and not man driven and it is a gift from God should any man boast as our part is obedience and the rest is the work of God.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Well we have snow on the ground, I suppose that should pacify those wanting a “white” Christmas even if it is still days away.

    However unless my memory has failed me I read long ago that Jesus was actually born the last week of September, the 23rd I believe.

    I am certain it doesn’t matter when we celebrate the birth of Jesus as long as we believe.

    The story of the Magi is one of those situations whereas God provided for all that was needed in order for Mary and Joseph to take little Jesus to Egypt in order to escape the wrath of Herod.

    Once again I see a parody in the current news whereas we here have a would be tyrant throwing a fit because he isn’t getting his way and is attempting to force his will even if it hurts people and jeopardizes national security.

    As the world turns darker and darker God has an escape plan in place for us who comprise the body of Christ as well.

    Praying for the peace of Jerusalem and all blessed today.

    Joyce I am pleased that your excitement of a fire in your building was averted and nothing catastrophic occurred. Praise God indeed.

    Steve

  30. poohpity says:

    Steve, I know that political discussions can bring nothing but grief but I would like to give you something you can not only research from the past but will show you that it has been in the heart of not only Sen Obama ’05 but President Obama ’15 and Sen Schumer ’09 have spoken many times about the need for a barrier at the border to stop “ILLEGAL” immigration. It is just since Pres Trump has been in office that they have changed their minds and are against it. It is not only called hypocrisy but lying. It is not Pres Trump’s wall it is an American wall to secure the border of which I live in a state that suffers the consequences of there not being one to stop the flow of “ILLEGAL” entry. Do some research before you accuse our President of being tyrant or before you accuse anyone of anything, it is a true reflection of your so called godly heart.

  31. SFDBWV says:

    Well what do you know, while listening to my favorite music this morning on “YouTube” up came the subject of when Jesus was most likely born.

    To this commentator it had to be in the spring when the sheep were giving birth to their lambs.

    I love it people, looking for the littlest detail of the “Lamb of God”.

    It really just doesn’t matter as long as folks keep looking for Him.

    Steve

  32. Beloved says:

    Agree Steve. As long as we keep looking for Him! The other day someone asked what NOEL meant after we sang “The First Noel”. It means birth! Isn’t that something. I have a Christmas decoration outside my door that spells out NOEL, right next to my “Jesus Is The Answer” plaque on my door knocker. Now it carries special meaning for me! And something else to make conversation about. The fields are truly ripe for harvest, as Jesus said.

  33. Beloved says:

    Just curious Steve. Is springtime in Bethlehem the same time as it is in the USA? With your weather connections you might know.

  34. Beloved says:

    Thinking about Chris and wondering how the annual cookie bake went for the prison? Blessings to you as you minister this lonely season and may Gods comfort overwhelm those incarcerated as well as their friends and families.

  35. Beloved says:

    Viv I would love to attend Christmas services at your church. The larger older churches are so beautiful this time of year! I often attend one of the larger Lutheran churches we have here at Christmas. Beauty is so glorifying of God and uplifting to all!

  36. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce Israel is in the Northern Hemisphere and just north of the same latitude (30%) as is Georgia, USA. So it has the same seasonal cycles as the USA.

    Hope this answers you question.

    Steve

  37. cbrown says:

    Good morning all! Beloved we went to the prison last Saturday. The women in the church cooked 26,000 cookies that were distributed by 40 men to guards and inmates.Also, 40 men accepted Christ at the prison.Thank you for asking. Love, Chris

  38. jeff1 says:

    I would agree Beloved we do have beautiful churches but I don’t like that our churches are locked up and that is why my mum and her friend always went into the Chapels because there’s is not.

  39. Beloved says:

    Viv ours are locked up also as we are in a very low income high drug/crime area. We have bible study Monday am’s and doors are locked 20 minutes after it starts. Many churches also have what are called “monitors” when the doors are open, men at all entrances to watch for trouble. One day I saw gang signs on the church dumpster! I hate it too, not being able to walk in and sit alone during the week. (Sometimes I sit in my car at home to find quiet.) Sometimes I even yearn for a quiet manger, lol!

    I have to explain that ANYONE is welcome in our churches, if their intent is to worship, and not to do harm.

  40. Beloved says:

    That’s wonderful news Chris, 40! Praise God!

    Thanks Steve that was helpful.

  41. jeff1 says:

    I know that our silver and collections are locked in the vestry so I think it is vandalism that is the problem here but I know my mum and her friend where forever walking around the graveyard of our church and I was just a little girl and I can remember them talking about the people that died as they would read the names off the gravestones and reminisce about them.

    They talked to a Priest who told them that the chapels always open and so they would go into them often for my mum’s friend was a Roman Catholic who had converted when she married a Protestant.

  42. jeff1 says:

    Faith has to be lived out as we all have our storms and darkness, our doubts and our fears.

    I will always find a song to encourage as the writers have been numerous in their seeking and understanding of God from the greatest Hymn writer’s to modern day versions of songs I always find solace, encouragement and peace that God doesn’t leave us orphans as I have glimpsed Him in my life and the the life of others and so I look forward to Christmas as a very special time of the year and wish all a happy one and a blessed New Year with the hope of a lasting peace when we keep God in mind above all other.

    [Verse 1]
    When you walk through a storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark
    At the end of the storm
    There’s a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of the lark

    [Pre-Chorus]
    Walk on through the wind
    Walk on through the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown

    [Chorus]
    Walk on, walk on
    With hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never walk alone

    [Verse 2]
    When you walk through a storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark
    At the end of the storm
    There’s a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of the lark

    [Pre-Chorus]
    Walk on through the wind
    Walk on through the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown

    [Chorus]
    Walk on walk on
    With hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never walk
    You’ll never walk
    You’ll never walk alone

  43. poohpity says:

    That song means a lot to me since I just got the news Friday that I am in the final stages of liver disease, cirrhosis. I had thought since the liver regenerates itself after I went through the treatment for Hep C when I was in third stage that it would start healing, so much to my surprise it has gotten worse. Over 80% of my liver is scared. So those who did not want me around you may have gotten your hopes answered, lol. Just kidding.

    The song writers share their experiences with the Lord that seems to be why their music touches our hearts because it comes from their hearts. Heart’s touched by God sing wondrous praises for everyone to share in the choir. I think that is how it will be when we get to heaven and for now we are just practicing.

  44. poohpity says:

    You know what bothers me about all those fancy buildings to think of all the people who could be helped by what they covet as priceless. Thank God, He considers the people His church and eventually He will take us, His church, home. If they have to keep their doors locked to protect what is in them, they have lost track of the Lord and what is important to Him.

    Luke wrote in Acts 17: The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples made by human hands. 25Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.… Amen and Amen

  45. Beloved says:

    Sorry to hear about your diagnoses, pooh. My friend also on Friday found she’s not a candidate for cancer surgery, ever, and was told to go home and rest. She may or may not have more chemo, which only slows it down but doesn’t destroy what’s already there. She’s not celebrating Christmas. Her son has left his treatment facility for alcoholism to be with her. So he needs prayers also to maintain sobriety, as he has almost died several times in the past but has been doing well for the past year or so. He’s only 44.

  46. poohpity says:

    Thank you Joyce. Yes I just started a go fund me page for my daughter who has no teeth and is homeless to get her some dentures and my hope is that will help her eat better and be in a better position to get a job. So I have nothing but empathy for your friend and her son however I am celebrating Christmas actually this is the best Christmas I have had in several years, my eyes are on Jesus and not what I do not have or what I am not able to do. I am so grateful, so very grateful for the life the Lord has given me thus far and for the future of hope. Heaven just seems to be getting closer hallelujah!

  47. Beloved says:

    I like your attitude pooh. Yes Jesus only, is enough!

  48. Beloved says:

    I was thinking just yesterday how I’ve gotten more content spending Holidays apart from my children. I used to sit and cry feeling sorry for myself. It all started when we divorced in the 80s and the kids of course preferred to spend holidays with their dad, who showered them with gifts I couldn’t afford. The closer I get to Jesus the less those things we “expect” from others becomes important also. We all do the best we can with what God graces us with, whether wealthy or destitute. Realizing as His beloved He directs my path -not one I would have chosen- has brought me greater peace, as does submitting to His will for me. My daughter sent me several gifts with a beautiful card, thanking me for praying for her all these years. We may not leave much when we go to heaven but our prayers, trusting God can do far more than what we can do, are priceless. Eternally important. Hallelujah!

  49. Beloved says:

    Pooh you and I both know that without the LORD intervening we probably would not have lived as long as we have. Oh He’s so good!

  50. street says:

    dear poo, rejoice! rejoice! rejoice! God dwells in humans! God is all and in all. i envy you in away that you will be eternally separated from corruption soon. your days and my days will be completed just as they were recorded in God’s book. i’ll be praying for you and your family. still the mom looking out for her daughter. if there is anything i want my children to understand it is this, that the only true inheritance that will last is Jesus, an eternal One. the Holy Spirit drives this One Home. i will be cheering for you out of turn four and sprinting through the tape. it will be hard, i remember paul saying he finished the race while still here. something i will need to return too. God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you, forever. He will never leave us nor fore sake us, Emmanuel.

  51. cbrown says:

    Dear Pooh, what is the address of your daughters go fund me page? Love, Chris

  52. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, when I think of the many people who have died that I knew from your condition, cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, heart it helps me to understand that there is a far better world awaits us than we can ever imagine.

    I am deeply sorry and hope that whatever our differences you know that I hold no malice towards you or indeed towards anyone as I have learned from living with and in hatred that God knows human nature better than we ever know ourselves and in His hands we are all much safer and that I have often failed to comprehend this in my lifetime has been to my great loss but God is more merciful than our failings and of that I am completely convinced as Jesus is the evidence of God’s love and mercy for humankind as all like sheep have gone astray and who knew that better than God because we are all much better at recognising when another goes astray than we are at recognising it in ourselves or admitting to it anyway as in our humanness we are much more alike than we are different.

  53. poohpity says:

    Go fund me dot com/ s6xwsh-take-a-bite-out-of-life. Thank you so much Christ for asking, you have touched my heart beyond measure.

  54. poohpity says:

    Viv, I did not realize I had gone astray since I had accepted Christ into my life. My failings are covered by the blood of the Lamb and God no longer looks at them but by what Christ did for me. That is the whole point of the Good News, that is the Good News in a nutshell.

  55. poohpity says:

    Phil 2: 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

    6
    Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
    7
    Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
    When he appeared in human form,
    8
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

  56. bubbles says:

    street,
    That is really not the way to talk to someone. Unless you have a serious illness you would not understand how to talk to someone.

  57. Regina says:

    Good Morning, BTA friends! :-)
    Apologies for being away SO long! Just got carried away with the cares of this life (the ordinary cares) and distractions. I pray all is well with you all, and MERRY Christmas Eve! Will write more later… Gonna read some of the comments on this blog topic.

    Love to all,
    Regina

  58. SFDBWV says:

    Last evening around 7pm the National Weather Service people in Sterling VA called me, as is their habit, wondering what the weather was doing here.
    I always get a smile out of that.

    Their radar just isn’t all that accurate here in the mountains so they rely on weather observers like me to help them fill in their gaps.

    I have the easy job of simply observing and recording whereas they have the more monumental task of “predicting” and alerting the public as to what to expect.

    It was snowing…

    This morning we have about 3 inches of very wet heavy snow. The type everyone likes to take pictures of as it clings to every branch and bush and paints a beautiful snow coated landscape.

    It is one of those things that, depending on how you look at it, is either a curse or a blessing.

    On the TV show “Long Lost Family” every adoptee thanks their biological mother for not having aborted them and giving them “life”.

    But life for some people is not all that good nor even enjoyable.

    Some spend their lives in personal indulgent while others gives their lives gladly for others.

    All who come to salvation spend the remainder of their lives learning and perhaps improving themselves to become more “Christ-like”. Only to come to the same end as those who spent their lives getting all they could the easy way and in pleasing themselves.

    Paul said he had run the good race and did all he could for the Gospel. He wanted to do more, but it is not recorded he ask for more life.

    I believe it was King Hezekiah who ask for more life and when given it he undone all the good he had done prior to knowing his time on earth was up.

    Looking back on life is most always a combination of regret and satisfaction.

    Can any of you remember the fully satisfied and comforting feeling that came when as a child simply setting in your mother or fathers lap or being held in love by them?

    Some memories are good and some are bad. Hopefully we all learned from both successes and failures as we grew older and improved ourselves as a result. However what good is it if in the end we all die?

    Mart often likes to venture out into the world of “if”, well if we believe in a life after death then how we lived our lives matter most after death because that life is eternal and death can no more rescue us from bad memories.

    It is written that “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV)

    It is a gift, all we have to do is accept it.

    So this life we have lived seems to have been an experience we lived , but the next whereas may reflect that experience is given us as a gift complete with new bodies and a more perfect ability to experience it.

    I am sure Mart will have a Christmas wish and topic tomorrow, so for now I wish and pray for all of you to have a very merry Christmas eve and tomorrow or right now all of your Christmas wishes and prayers come to be.

    Steve

  59. Regina says:

    Refreshed my page, and ended up seeing Steve’s comment before reading any of the others. Steve, some of the statements you made in the middle of your comment (sitting on your mom/dad’s lap feeling fully satisfied, some people lives not being good or enjoyable, a life of personal indulgence vs. a life of sacrifice, “snow” being viewed as either a blessing or a curse, etc.) brought Eccl. 3rd chapter to mind…

    1) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2) a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3) a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5) a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    6) a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7) a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8) a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 9) What do workers gain from their toil? 10) I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12) I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13) That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14) I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

    Actually, Steve, the entire 3rd chapter kinda mirrors what you wrote about in your comment, so I think all who read this blog should take a few minutes and read verses 15-22.

    And you’re right, it was King Hezekiah who asked God to heal him, and give him more years of life. Isn’t it interesting that God healed him; gave him 15 more years, even though HE knew that Hezekiah was not going to use them in a “God honoring” way??

  60. Regina says:

    Wow, Herod’s tomb is a truly exciting discovery. Mart, did you and others have an opportunity to visit the tomb?

  61. Beloved says:

    It was Hezekiahs pride that did him in. It’s a common problem.

  62. Beloved says:

    Yet before the birth/death of Christ God heard and answered Hezekiahs prayer and blessed him with more years. He’s sooo good! We all fail, which is why we need a Savior, Emmanuel. Whether our years are few or many we find Jesus is enough, enough for salvation, life/living in a world destructing. Hallelujah!

  63. bubbles says:

    Hello, Regina! I have been thinking about you and wondering how you are doing. Good to hear from you again.

  64. Regina says:

    Yes, beloved, the moral of the Hezekiah story is that we’re all recipients of the manifold GRACE of God! Though many (or at least some) desire to show their gratitude by living a righteous, “God honoring” life.

    Hello, Bubbles! I’m so grateful to be in your thoughts, I’m doing great. I’ve just been busy, and you all have been in my thoughts! It’s *awesome* to have time to chat with you all again!

  65. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning and Merry Christmas to all.

    Steve

  66. poohpity says:

    Good Morning! Merry Christmas.

    Isaiah 42: “Look at my servant, whom I strengthen.
    He is my chosen one, who pleases me.
    I have put my Spirit upon him.
    He will bring justice to the nations.
    2
    He will not shout
    or raise his voice in public.
    3
    He will not crush the weakest reed
    or put out a flickering candle.
    He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
    4
    He will not falter or lose heart
    until justice prevails throughout the earth.
    Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.”

  67. foreverblessed says:

    Dear all!
    Have a blessed Christmas time:
    Jesus is born in the cradle of your heart!

  68. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All!
    ((MERRY)) Christmas to all! I pray that this is one of the best Christmases (if you’ll allow me to make up a word) that you’ve ever had, and really mean that!

    pooh, believe it or not, I just finished reading the Bible passage you shared in this blog! I read it in the MSG version of the Bible, and I have to share it here…

    Isaiah 42:1-4, MSG

    “Take a good look at my servant. I’m backing him to the hilt.
    He’s the one I chose, and I couldn’t be more pleased with him. I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life. He’ll set everything right among the nations. He won’t call attention to what he does with loud speeches or gaudy parades. He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant, but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right. He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth. Far-flung ocean islands wait expectantly for his teaching.”

    Low 57 degrees F/High 63 degrees — 50% chance for rain in my neck of the woods…

    LOVE to all,
    Regina

    ps. I recently discovered (though I remember at least two references from pooh about it on this blog) “Discover the Word” on the ODB website, and I’m THOROUGHLY enjoying it!

  69. street says:

    Herodium and the Solomon’s temple. thinking about the passage of time and how both of theses structures needed repair over time. the pyramids even seems to show there age too. yet this birth of the Son of God we Celebrate because He Redeemed the Children of God and promises to make all things New, incorruptible. knowledge wisdom prophesy will pass away, but God never changes. a God to live for Who asks us to deny ourselves take up our cross and follow Him and yet tells us to be still and Know I Am God. He invites us to come to Him and ask. God asks us to be still and also to speak, to known when is for the Glory of God.

  70. Beloved says:

    I was reading this morning again how God took Zachariah’s ability to speak away from him until John was born. Luke 1:20 Why? Because he did not believe what the angel told him. He was a priest of God!!! You’d think he’d know what to say! But he did not glorify/honor God in his response. Listening, honoring and glorifying God is what we are called to as followers. God has His ways of challenging our faithfulness to Him.

  71. Beloved says:

    Peter talks about how hardship is but a tool in the Fathers hands, to help us discover how loving and faithful He is. And to grow us in godliness.

  72. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    December 24, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Viv, I did not realize I had gone astray since I had accepted Christ into my life. My failings are covered by the blood of the Lamb and God no longer looks at them but by what Christ did for me. That is the whole point of the Good News, that is the Good News in a nutshell.

    I go astray all the time but I still believe Jesus died for my sins even though I still struggle with my demons so our beliefs are different and when you look at how many denominations there is in the world then what unites us is our belief in Christ and not on what we disagree on as no one has the whole truth except for Christ crucified, risen and will come again.

    God asks for our faithfulness and accepts us as we are which means He takes us in our imperfections which means I am still a sinner while on earth but His promise is that I will be changed and taken to Glory with Him in heaven.

    It is God who is faithful in changing me from a sinner to a Saint and this is the truth of the Gospel.

    Without Him I can do nothing; and while some may struggle more than others; it is still the miraculous work of God that saves and delivers me as He is my promise of eternal life, and, though I cannot understand all God’s ways I can trust His ways have overcome the world’s which are alien to me, but, I can take refuge in Christ and be at peace in the world and not allow the difficulties to overwhelm me which is what I believe God wants for His children in a wayward world.

    Who would think that what was needed
    to transform and save the earth
    might not be a plan or army,
    proud in purpose, proved in worth?
    Who would think, despite derision,
    that a child might lead the way?

    Shepherds watch and wise men wonder,
    monarchs scorn and angles sing;
    such a place as none would reckon
    hosts a holy helpless thing:
    stable beasts and by-passed strangers
    watch a baby laid in hay:
    God surprises earth and heaven,
    coming here on Christmas Day.

    Centuries of skill and science
    span the past from which we move,
    yet experience questions whether,
    with such progress, we improve.
    While the human lot we ponder,
    lest our hopes and humour fray,
    God surprises earth and heaven,
    coming here on Christmas Day.

  73. poohpity says:

    Viv, never said one does not mess up because I do all the time but I attached going astray with being lost before I had a relationship with Christ. So it could be just the way we say things. I do not base my beliefs on any denomination but what I have learned from what God teaches in His word. Like Isaiah 53:6 compared to what Peter says in 1 Peter 2:25 so it is like what we did before we knew Christ(gone astray) and how we are after we have accepted Christ(came home) our way is no longer lost.

    Astray means to me not having God. I guess it is just a case of our own meaning behind the words.

  74. Beloved says:

    Viv, be careful. Your good energy is being used.

  75. street says:

    the freedom of God in choosing outcome. demanding the freedom of man. free from darkness sin and evil. only in Christ. no darkness in Him. many things i wanted and many things i needed. i never needed the things i wanted. even in the things i received i got what i needed. were they difficult, yes. did they slip through my fingers, yes. until Christ is formed in me. to be conformed to His image. counting it all lost that i may gain Christ. in life and in death, my only comfort is knowing i belong to Him and He died and was raised for me. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. 8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. love joy peace patients kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self-control.

  76. Beloved says:

    street says:
    December 25, 2018 at 10:56 pm
    the freedom of God in choosing outcome. demanding the freedom of man.

    This was the most beautiful thing I’ve heard since my own conversion I think. I read it before bed and slept with a smile. I woke up and had to read it again! I’m not sure why exactly but it thrills me to my bones. Well, I guess thinking more about it and your development of it I find that as usual you direct me toward God, in a way that goes beyond human reasoning. Pure gospel! Bless you, street.

  77. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    December 25, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    I have never attached going astray to being lost but rather my wandering as I still believed in Jesus but was struggling to keep His commands.

    It wasn’t until I understood that God accepts me as I am which means Salvation is a gift and not about what I cannot do but what He has done on my behalf.

    This truth hasn’t changed because I still have wrong thoughts and sins of omission so it is not that I don’t wander from God’s truths but that I trust God to change me from this creature that I am.

    Perhaps for some it is black and white but for me I slip backwards or else I run ahead of God and get overwhelmed but then I have a chemical imbalance in the brain which causes disruption but in my heart there is peace with God and an understanding that He triumphs where I fail.

    You are very wise not to base your beliefs on denomination and Northern Ireland is an example of why not to! There is nothing that will lead you astray more than believing that God takes sides.

    If this country taught me anything it is that God knows best because I sure found that no one else did.

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