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My wife and I recently visited with a couple who were the proud parents of a baby boy, just over a year old. As soon as we entered their home, we noticed that everything about this house was dedicated to protecting their baby. There were plastic plugs in the
electrical outlets to keep the baby from seeing what happens when he places his little fingers in them. When they opened their pantry door, there was a small plastic “baby gate” nailed into place, keeping the baby from getting to items that might be harmful for
a small child. When you tried to open their cabinet doors, there were small hooks in place to keep the baby from being able to open those doors and reach more harmful things. Finally, we drove somewhere with this couple and noticed they had a special baby seat to buckle him in, in case he would try to move about. We couldn’t roll down the windows because they were “child proof”, in case the baby tried to reach through
them and become hurt. When we arrived at our destination, we couldn’t open the car doors because they had “child proof” locks that only the driver could unlock. Everywhere you looked, everything about their lives was dedicated, not only to protecting the baby from others, but from protecting the baby from himself. So our Heavenly Father protects us not only from evil in this world around us, but even from
A. Todd Coget
[The Honorable Bird, Philip Yancey in the foreword of Robertson McQuilkin’s Life in the Spirit]
Dorothy Sayers tells of a Japanese convert struggling to grasp Christian theology.
“Honorable Father, very good,” he said to his missionary teacher.
“Honorable Son, very good. But Honorable Bird, I do not understand at all.”
WHO ARE THOSE MASKED MEN?
Some of you would have no idea of who I am talking about when I speak of the LONE RANGER. He is way before your time and he doesn't fit into our culture anymore. Pity. He had a strict moral code and even the actor, Clayton Moore, was a great ROLE MODEL for children.
Actually, the Lone Ranger was rarely alone. He hung around with his Indian sidekick Tonto). He rode a WHITE STALLION (I never liked the white stallion as much as Zorro's Tornado. I guess I liked the black look. I still wear black, but without the cape and mask. They seem to suit Antonio Banderas better).
Anyway, the Lone Ranger would be introduced each episode with the tune of the WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE (then Robin Hood got in on the act and used the same theme music). Towards the end of each episode, as the Lone Ranger galloped away towards the sunset, he would shout to his stallion "Hi-yo, Silver, away!" No-one ever asked what "HI-YO" meant or why he said it, but this was inevitably followed by someone asking "Who was that masked man, anyway?"
And that's the question I find myself asking when I get to Genesis 18. Abraham meets with 3 men with SECRET IDENTITIES. He doesn't even ask them who they are? All we know is that they are more powerful than either Zorro or the Lone Ranger and their theme tune would more appropriately be HANDEL'S MESSIAH.
Genesis 18:1-2 (NLT) mysteriously speaks of 3 men who visit Abraham. WHO ARE THESE MASKED MEN? (OK, so they are not wearing literal masks but they're real identities are masked from us. Who are they?) I know that One of them is the Lord Himself in human form from later on in the passage, but WHY THREE? The Lord and two angels? The Lord and two prophets? The Trinity in human form? Did the Lord need witnesses concerning the promises He was about to make with Abraham and then the judgment He inflicted on Sodom?
This is all a bit weird and Abraham starts to act even more weird, bowing down, washing their feet, feeding them and waiting on them like a servant before he even asks them who they are and what they are doing here. Even then he doesn't ask the questions I am dying to ask. He had to be interested, surely?
The visitors seem more interested in asking the questions and after Abraham waits on them like a servant and provides a barbeque lunch, they ignore him and ask about his wife, calling her by name (Genesis 18:9). How did they know Abraham's wife was Sarah? And why are they so interested in his wife anyway?
Then comes the bombshell!
In Genesis 18:10 one of them says, "I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!" Now this is a nice positive word to leave with a couple to encourage them when they have been trying to have a child, but it's a bit cruel to say to a couple who are BEYOND CHILD BEARING AGE and have always wanted children of their own. They don't know Abraham's wife. SHE IS 90 YEARS OLD! Abraham himself is certainly no spring chicken!
"Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. ... she laughed silently to herself..." (Genesis 18:12). I mentioned this story to some women in their 90's the other day (I work in an aged care facility) and THEY LAUGHED TOO!
In 2006 CBS News reported on a 62-year-old woman, Janise Wulf, who "gave birth to a healthy 6-pound, 9-ounce baby boy, becoming one of the oldest women in the world to successfully bear a child." CBS didn't mention Sarah.
In Genesis 18:14 the Lord says, "IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?"
The answer to that question is "NO." It is the most important question in the Bible in a way. It needed to be answered by Sarah as she took a step of faith in believing God. It's a more important question than "WHO WERE THOSE MASKED MEN, ANYWAY?" or "How did they hear Sarah laugh? Why did they eat a meal if they are angels?" and all the other questions I have about that passage. When it all comes down to it, the really important thing I need to decide about the Lord is whether He is TOTALLY ABLE to direct my life or not. When I get that right then I have acknowledged that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.
WHO WILL PROVIDE?
A young woman brought her fiancé home to meet her parents for thanksgiving dinner. After dinner, her mother told her father to find out about the young man. The father invited the fiancé to his study for a talk.
"So what are your plans?" the father asked the young man. "I am a biblical scholar," he replied.
"A Biblical scholar. Hmmm," the father said. "Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in?"
"I will study," the young man replied, "and God will provide for us."
"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?" asked the father.
"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replied, "God will provide for us."
"And children?" asked the father. "How will you support children?"
"Don’t worry, sir, God will provide,"...
THE WHOLE EAST COAST
While our friends from India traveled around California on business, they left their 11 year-old daughter with us. Curious about my going to church one Sunday morning, she decided to come along. When we returned home, my husband asked her what she thought of the service.
"I don’t understand why the West Coast isn’t included too," she replied. When we inquired what she meant, she added, "You know, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the whole East Coast."
SOURCE: Ann Spivack, Reader’s Digest.
WHAT GOD SAYS
In the Spring of 1924, Jack Sundine was a four-year-old kid, standing in a line with his father inside the White House, waiting to meet President Calvin Coolidge. As they neared him, Jack noticed that he said something to each visitor as they shook hands. Soon, the thrilling moment arrived. Jack put his small hand into the President’s. Then the President said words Jack will always remember: “Move along.”
RICHES REVEALED IN THE TRINITY
There is a cartoon showing a lawyer reading the last will and testament of his client to a room full of greedy relatives. The caption reads: “I, John Jones, being of sound mind and body, spent it all!”
When Jesus wrote his will, He gave us all He had. Not only that but He also died so it could be in effect. (Hebrews 9:15-17)
We find our riches in ...