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Mike:

In your comment on Psalm 43, I really like the cartoon titled “Being Stalked Despite The Injection” [of TV, Radio, Movies, etc.] That is really a great cartoon!
~~~

On a different note, when I think of Job, it is amazing to me, and an encouragement to me, that he sought God with his whole heart.

He lost everything and people automatically assumed that was because “God was punishing him. As such, Job was severely criticized as being a liar when he said he loved God.

We really need to be careful with our words and in what we believe. We need to be forever freed from the lie that every bad thing that happens to someone is because God is punishing them.

Some people go through life thinking that every pain or every misfortune is God punishing them.

Yes, God is God and He has a plan, and His plan will not be thwarted. Yes, Satan rebelled against the Father in foolish, shortsighted and wicked pride.

Yet, God will even use Satan for His glory—even when Satan wants to spit in God’s eye because of foolish hatred toward God.

God does not delight in punishing people. Neither is He as is portrayed waiting with a big club in heaven to punish someone for a mistake.

Exodus 34 (NKJV)
6
And the LORD passed before him [Moses] and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
7
keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Since Job’s “friends” saw the misfortune of Job and his family, they may have assumed that Job was experiencing God “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children”.

Yet, this is God’s Name and God’s character: “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”.

Yet, it is also true that He will “by no means [clear] the guilty”. If a man or woman is judged for their sin, they really have to consistently persist in the foolish pride of Satan to be judged.

For God longs to forgive. He is ready to forgive. Yet, He will not let the guilty be unpunished.

And if a man or woman consistently and persistently sins, he or she opens up the following generations of his or her family to sin that must be judged by the Lord.

I really like this note on Exodus 20:5 in the Spirit Filled Life Bible.

Exodus 20 (NKJV)
5
you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
6
but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“It was possible for four generations to live around the aged head of the family. Because of the close ties of a patriarchal family, the influence of the patriarch, good or evil, affected all generations under his control.”

Even today—in the very mobile and dispersed American family—the influence of parents on children through their choices is huge. I heard a testimony on Focus on the Family with James Dobson of a man who spoke at Promise Keepers. He shared, when he was a boy, how his father regularly beat his mother and tormented his family.

Yes, it crucial that we spend time with the Lord! We as humans are inherently sinners, and we need God’s grace.

What God allows to happen to us is God letting Satan “do his thing” so He can judge Satan and can bring us closer to God by forming the image of Christ within us.

Eventually all choices of good and evil (including those of Satan) will be judged, and good will forever triumph in heaven.

Finally, I like what Andrew Murray says in “With Christ In The School of Prayer”:

“It is in prayer, in the exercise of the faith that I have, in fellowship with the living God, that faith can increase. Faith can only live by feeding on what is Divine, on God Himself.”

“It is in the adoring worship of God, the waiting on Him and for Him, the deep silence of soul that yields itself to God to reveal Himself, that the capacity for knowing and trusting God will be developed.”

Amen.

Vance

2Cor3

NOTES

1)Going to have to start keeping track of this - do most of the problems within the different "assemblies" have to do with outsiders or insiders?

Sure there will be persecution (later), mocking, and arguments by non-believers. But so far, in Corinth, it seems most of the issues (problems) addressed by Paul originate within the "brethren". Is that still true today?

2) In vs. 6 Paul mentions the "new" covenant. There were options in Greek. Paul chose "kainos" meaning - "with respect to". Not "new" from a point in time, but "with respect to" Scripture (OT).

This is not something Paul, or for that matter Jesus made up, the "new" testament is rooted in the "Old" Testamanet.

In John 3:10
"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?" NIV

Nicodemus, a learned ruling member of Pharisees, was supposed to know about "rebirth by the Spirit". How? From the foreshadowing in Old Testament by the prophets. (Jeremiah 31:33,Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26)

3) Always glossed over the comments of Moses and Veil in 2Cor. I am guilty of always assuming the veil in Exodus was worn by Moses to protect the people of Israel. Protect them from being exposed to the brilliance of God so they would not be afraid.

Paul is saying here: Moses wore the veil so that people would not see the fading of the "glory". Symbolically, the LAW faded in glory from the start. It was glorious in how it was given to Moses and what it represented - God's standard for righteousness.

Over the years, as the people disobeyed the Law, added to the Law, and considered it as a set of rules (legalistic) to live by - its glory faded.

The people of Israel cannot perceive that the glory is faded from the Law. When they hear the Law read - the same veil is symbolically on their hearts - they think the "glory" is still in the Law. Jewish nation can't see Christ's message, because they don't see a need. Jewish people have a system - it works for them. They perceive the system (the Law) as full of glory to this day.

Paul is speaking of Israel as a "nation". Of course, individuals of Israel, have come to the Lord. James led an "assembly" in Jerusalem. Whe you turn to the Lord the veil is taken away, and you can see the truth. Glory is gone from the Old, which allows one to seek the "new" in Christ.

Is there a starting point and ending point to this national "veil" on Israels heart?

I believe it begins here:

Luke19:42 "..If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes." NIV

and will end here:
Rom11:25b "...Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in." NIV

4) Thinking out loud here:

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." NIV

I wonder if a country that does not embrace Christ ever has a lot of (personal?) freedom. Or to the degree that a country embraces Christ - if it lessens - do (personal?) freedoms seem to diminish?

5)"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." NIV

We are being transformed into the image of Christ (sanctification) process. The Greek verb tense of "transformed" indicates "ongoing action done to us" (Present Passive) - through the Spirit. (Makes accessing the Holy Spirit in Rom12:1-2 VERY important.) Ultimately the process will be completed in heaven.

By the way this is not true just for Christians. The secular world is also being transformed. I am not very familiar with Biblical Hebrew, but I wonder if this process is being done to them???? In Psalm 135 when talking about idols, this comment is made:

Psalm 135:18 "Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them." NIV

Pray for the unsaved, in general - and those you personally know.

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