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I would like to say a few words about the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14, 20-26, Matthew 21:18-22). I’ve heard people, even ministers, say that Jesus cursed the fig tree just so that He could teach a lesson from it. That is NOT what the Scripture says at all. Jesus cursed the fig tree because (1) He was hungry and (2) He became frustrated and even angry when there was no fruit on the tree to meet His daily human need at that exact moment. This shows us the human side of Christ and it also shows us that Christ knows what we endure being humans! He had the same daily needs that we have; He suffered the same pangs that we suffer; He knows what it is like to become frustrated when our daily needs are not being met. These scriptures have always been a great source of comfort to me. Our Lord is not a mystical creature in some far away place. Our Lord has walked on this earth in our shoes and He has experienced what we experience. He has even reacted with the same human emotions that we display during times of frustration, anger and fear.

Yes, Jesus used that fig tree to teach a lesson but not until the next day! Matter of fact, He used that withered tree to teach us two lessons! Lesson one – We should talk over our needs with the Lord and believe that the Lord will meet our needs! Jesus could have ordered figs to grow on that tree at that very moment but He did not. He went on traveling until another source of food was located. Even though we become frustrated, we have to keep on the road Christ has paved for us until our need is met. It may not be met in the way we expect, or at the time we want it met, but it will be met! Lesson two – We need to try to understand the hasty actions of other people and forgive them, and we need to ask for forgiveness when we act hastily in a negative way. These are two powerful lessons!

God Bless!
Pat

Hello,

First, I must admit that I'm glad to be finished with Leviticus for now. I did enjoy the commentaries--especially Deffinbaugh's connection of the Old Testament feasts to New Testament realities, but all said and done, Leviticus is a lot of work! My husband and I repeatedly talked about how you have to dig deep to get juice out of Leviticus because if you just stay on the surface with a quick read, it becomes drudgery.

I am looking forward to Numbers, though we have to get through that census first! ; )

I'm thanking God this morning for the usefulness of His psalms. Right after I read Psalm 46 this morning, our nine-year old came into the bedroom downcast because of two bad dreams she had last night. After listening to her dreams, I was able to read her to Psalm 46. We listened to Steve Green's "A Mighty Fortress" (what a stirring rendition) and then looked up the lyrics to Luther's hymn and sang them together. Despite the antiquated (though gorgeous) language, we were able to get ahold of some great and greatly useful truths---God is our fortress, Satan may try to scare us, but ultimately God's rule will prevail. We talked about how He is the ultimate bulwark (wall of defense, or part of ship's sides above water--had to look this one up!) a defense that never fails.

Praise Him for His faithfulness to help us out this morning. His Word is everlasting, useful and true. His mercies fresh every morning,

at first, I did not take Proverbs 10:23 personally, but your explanation helped illustrate how this verse relates to all of us. Surely this verse also refers to the subtle ways that sin can enter our everyday lives. It is bad enough that we have our tongues to contend with, James clarified that, but then there are those foolish little activities that may seem OK or not so bad, but do contribute to drawing us away from God. Cold drafts entering through the holes in our armor.

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