Posts Tagged ‘Affliction’


Leviticus 26:1-4,14-16,18,21,23-24,27-28,36,40-45 “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD. “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit… “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it… “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over… “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve… “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over…

“‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over… “‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them… “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.’”

Never before have I had to select so many verses to draw what I believe God is speaking to us and I do hope you will read the chapter before your read any further because the above highlighted verses don’t fully draw out the essence of the chapter.

We are now living in times when many great thinkers and authors seem to be using their combined learnings of various religions and beliefs to create a concept of spiritualism, a mantra the seeking world is fast accepting.

Religion appeals to few but a watered down version is palatable and some ex-christians twist the word of God to their own benefit showing the character of God to be different from that of Jesus and revealing the God of the Old Testament as a hateful and heinous God, therefore not deserving of our love or care.

When we read chapters such as today’s passage, it seems easy to be misled by such questions and so what then is really the truth? (more…)


Exodus 4:1,10-11,13-14,24-26,31 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’”… But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”… But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart… At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision… And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Moses doubts repeatedly and God quells each of his doubts with miraculous gifts that confound imagination and obviously work in establishing what Moses was sent for to the elders of Israel.

However, the threat to Moses’ life by God Himself is a strange incident and Zipporah’s response seems very crude. What was all that about and what is God’s word for us today? (more…)


Genesis 31:36,38,41-42 Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me?… “These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks… “These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times. “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night.”

It’s been 10 days since I’ve put pen to paper and the reason is that I took a holiday with my family. Feels good to be back at the writing desk again with the Lord as my guide and the word as his map to us.

This spat between Jacob and Laban may not be unknown to you but like in everything in the word of God, it speaks volumes into our lives when read with the guidance of God through His Holy Spirit.

Twenty years before, Jacob ran away from home to get away from Esau who wanted to murder him. He came to his mother’s brother Laban to live in safety and ended up being a slave to his uncle in exchange for his daughters Rachel and Leah and then for his flocks.

We know that God has been with Jacob from the beginning but what is hard to understand is why then Jacob suffered so much if God were on his side? (more…)


Genesis 29:22-23,25-28,30-35 Laban gathered all the men of the place and made a feast. Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to him; and Jacob went in to her… So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?” But Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn. “Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.” Jacob did so and completed her week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife… So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with Laban for another seven years. Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Jacob finally reaches the land of Laban and has a chance meeting with Rachel, the beautiful younger daughter of Laban. In order to marry Rachel, he offers seven years of service to Laban and gets married.

Deception does not seem to go far from Jacob either in his own doing or as done to him. He is deceived by his uncle who gives Leah, Rachel’s older sister, in marriage to Jacob and he realizes only after he consummates the wedding.

However his uncle makes Jacob an offer to keep Leah as his wife, marry Rachel and serve another seven years. Jacob, so in love with Rachel, agrees and has two wives, one who is beautiful and one who has poor sight, both sisters and both his responsibility.

Unfortunately, Jacob’s love for Rachel makes him less considerate of Leah and she is left wanting. God intervenes and opens Leah’s womb so that she can have four sons while Rachel has none.

Why does God permit these strange situations and did He not promise to be with Jacob and bless him? (more…)