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Some thoughts on Psalm 98:
It occurred to me that "salvation" spoken of here is not the same as what automatically comes into my mind. I think of Jesus' salvation of me/us into God's kingdom. However, since Jesus had not yet come in the Psalms era, I think salvation from God is about physical/military defeats where it was clearly God that saved the Israelite people. In the light of Gideon's story, the "shouts of joy" and general bursting into jubilation makes sense. How amazing the victories must have felt, and I can imagine the party and praise for God that must have happened afterwards. (Of course, our salvation is also cause for celebration)

So now it's clearer to me why Jesus' followers just didn't understand when He died, even though he TOLD them that he would rise in three days (Luke 18:31-34). They understood physical salvation well from their history. Spiritual salvation must have been a hard concept to grasp. Which is why Jesus had such a hard time getting people to understand his teaching. Even to the end, people were expecting Jesus to be their saviour in the same way as Gideon etc were deliverers of Israel. I can start to understand why even Jewish people of today have difficulty with the idea of Jesus as the Messiah/Saviour.

"Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink." 6 Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
I think it is wiser,more efficient and more "human"if not dignified to lap water with your hands than with your tongue!!God looks at the heart...true but he does care about our actions.He certainly seemed to mind that his people were drinking like animals,he does care when we act like the enemy...the world.Do we by our actions show that we're "civilized"..that got my attention.
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I keep thinking about the thief that believed that Jesus was the saviour.Faith comes by hearing the word of God...even though it was written in irony and mockery on his cross,Jesus was the King of the Jews(was the King of Kings)...was it the words that came out of the soldiers...how did this thief hear and believe...I can only pray that the seeds we sow into the people around us bear fruit.The word of God has the power to save...we can't convince anyone,only the Holy Spirit can...It was a lesson I had to learn over and over(I'm not even still sure I got it).

Sorry,Jesus was and still is the King of Kings.
God bless you all

Judges 7:1-8:17


How long will it take me to understand that I’m am just a spectator along for the ride when I am confronting my enemies. From Gideon to King Jehoshaphat, God is in the business of “small” beginnings, small army’s, ‘fraidey cat people, and wavering believers. He is in the business of working for them and through them in spite of their insufficiencies because in Him is everything we need.

He said, Hearken, all Judah, you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you King Jehoshaphat. The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow go down to them. Behold, they will come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the ravine before the Wilderness of Jeruel. You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you. (2 Chronicles 20:15-17 AMP)

As long as I know that God is sending me, that I am on God’s side, and not thinking that He is on mine, then it is God calling the charge, God doing the fighting and I’m only along for the ride. How cool is that?

It has to be God for three-hundred men to successfully take on and win, an army of 135,000.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Anka,

Re: criminal coming to Christ

Welcome back. How was your time with your family?

Remember that Jesus had a three year ministry. Like all Jews he was required to be in Jerusalem for the three required feasts. When in Jerusalem, he often taught in the temple courts or on the steps leading up to the Temple.

I say all this, because while a criminal or malefactor - we do not know the crime. It could be they were part of Barabbas' crew (speculation). Regardless, just because they were criminals under Roman Law - does not mean they did not practice the Jewish faith. Maybe they heard Jesus speak over the years, probably in Jerusalem and thus - "heard" the Word.

I do not think it is coincidence there were two (forgetting prophecy), and that the reaction to that Word and Jesus was typical. One rejected, and one accepted.

The seed bore fruit, and was harvested even on the Cross. I will also note, that the word used for paradise was not the same word typically used for Heaven. I think Jesus before the Ressurection was down in Sheol/Hades communing with Abraham and other Old Testament saints.

Just another reason why I think the story of Lazarus, Abraham and the rich man was not a parable but a teaching of the current afterlife in that time. No other labelled parables used any proper names, people of the time may have embraced a soul sleep "sheol" idea, and this was just a teaching of the way it really was after death.

If so, and Jesus was in sheol/hades, and not only was the criminal there (on Abraham's paradise side), but all the tortured souls across the chasm could see Jesus and hear his proclamation of victory over death.

Caryn,

In addition, I believe Jews struggled with Physical bodily ressurection. Believers may have believed Jesus would return to the Father spiritually upon death, but physical ressurection was at best something Jews thought would occur at the end of time at God's pleasure.

It is late for me, but I will try to rustle up some links on Judaism and ressurection beliefs tomorrow.

NOTE: Of course the Sadducees did not believe in Ressurection (they were in the minority).

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