Just men reading, memorizing and studying the bible together!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Deuteronomy 20–22
Chronological Order: Psalms 90, Numbers 16–17
Old Testament Only: Numbers 11–12
New Testament Only: Mark 8:11–30

Daily Verse: Genesis 16:13  Genesis 16. 13

Bible Study

The Angel Of The Lord

Passage: Genesis 16:7-16

Sarai and Abram wanted a child and, even though God promised them one, they were tired of waiting. So Sarai and Abram decided to “help” God along by taking things into their own hands. There was doubt and a lack of trust which led them to making a disastrous decision. Instead of waiting for God to bring about the birth of the Child of Promise through Sarai, who thought she was unable to conceive, they took Sarai’s slave and impregnated her. Once Hagar, the slave, was pregnant Sarai felt she was being looked upon in contempt by Hagar. Now it is possible that Hagar did just that, but it is also possible that once Hagar was pregnant it became clear that the problem was not with Abram but Sarai and she became jealous. Either way Abram gave Sarai permission to mistreat Hagar which Sarai evidently did. Hagar ran away. What follows is a conversation between the “Angel of the Lord” and Hagar after she ran away from her abusive mistress.

Genesis 16:7-16 ESV

[7] The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. [8] And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” [9] The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” [10] The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” [11] And the angel of the LORD said to her,

“Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction. [12] He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

[13] So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” [14] Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered. [15] And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. [16] Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

In Genesis 16:7 we are introduced to a being described as the “Angel of the Lord”. This is the first time we see this appellation in the Bible and it is rather unique. There is a debate as to whether or not this is an actual angel or God in the form of the pre-incarnate Christ. First off let us understand what an angel is. Strictly speaking the word angel means “messenger”. Angels are messengers of God. We tend to think of angels as created beings floating around in Heaven praising God. Well, there are angelic beings but a messenger of God does not have to be one of these. Jesus Christ was a messenger of God. He is not a created being and yet He came to Earth to walk among us and deliver the Gospel message. God can be His own messenger.

Notice also that the title is not “an” angel of the Lord but “THE” Angel of the Lord. Granted this was written in Hebrew not English but the translators got the sense of the title right. He is THE Messenger above all other messengers. Could anyone top Jesus Christ as a messenger of God? In his Exposition of Genesis, H. C. Leupold provided a summation of classic arguments in support of the idea that this angel is the pre-incarnate Christ.

The Angel of the Lord is not a created being but the Divine Being Himself; for

  1. He explicitly identifies Himself with Yahweh on various occasions.
  2. Those to whom He makes His presence known recognize Him as divine.
  3. The Biblical writers call Him Yahweh.
  4. The doctrine here implied of a plurality of persons in the Godhead is in complete accordance with earlier foreshadowing.
  5. The organic unity of Scripture would be broken if it could be proved that the central point in the Old Testament revelation was a creature angel, while that of the New is the incarnation of the God-Man.

Perhaps most telling of all is that Hagar recognized this person as divine. She said “You are a God of seeing. Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” She didn’t claim to have seen God’s messenger but rather God Himself. It would be easy for someone to confuse a messenger of God with God Himself but throughout the Bible, messengers of God make it clear they are not God. That did not happen here. The Angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Christ Himself.

Another thing to note is that Hagar was not seeking God. God sought her. This is how faith in God always starts, not with the Lost seeking God but God seeking the Lost. Don’t tell me we have an uncaring, aloof God. He has acted throughout history and is working to this day!

Finally, look at the prophecy concerning the people who would spring from this Child of Flesh, this Ishmael. God said that he, meaning his descendants, would be a wild “donkey” of a people. A donkey can be ornery, stubborn and hard to deal with. The prophecy says they will be against everyone and everyone will be against them. It is pretty hard to have peace with such a people. Does this remind you of the Arab people throughout history as well as today? It should. Now don’t confuse the Iranians with Arabs. Iranians are not Arabs; they are not descendants of Ishmael. Iranians are Persians. They have their own issues but it does not flow from this prophecy.

The lesson for me in this story of Hagar is that God seeks the Lost; He pursues the Lost. If God has such a passion for the Lost, how should we, His children, feel about the Lost? Should we share His passion? Should we pursue the Lost as He does? This land of the Lost is God’s field and we are His workers. The harvest is at hand and it is given to us to work our Father’s field; to bring the harvest home.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Deuteronomy 16–19
Chronological Order: Numbers 14–15
Old Testament Only: Numbers 9–10
New Testament Only: Mark 7:31–8:10

Daily Verse: Psalm 27:14   Psalm 27. 14

Bible Study

It’s Not About You

Passage: Genesis 16:1-6

In Genesis 15 we read of how God reassured Abram that he would indeed have a son who would be the beginning of a great horde of descendants. To confirm His promise in the most concrete fashion, God performed a contractual ceremony in which He promised Abram many descendants and the land of Canaan. You’d think that would be the end of Abram’s doubting, but you’d be wrong. Here in Genesis 16 we read of how Abram acquiesced to Sarai’s demand that Abram father a child by her servant Hagar.

Genesis 16:1-6 ESV

[1] Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. [2] And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. [3] So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. [4] And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. [5] And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!” [6] But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.

Now you might say “hold on Bill – it was Sarai that doubted not Abram”. Well, it is true that Sarai doubted and it won’t be the last time for her either, but Abram was the patriarch. He didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to do. If he had no doubt about God’s promises then he could have said “Sarai, God has promised us a child and that’s good enough for me. It may seem impossible but He is God, so we shall not take matters into our own hands but wait upon Him.” Granted, having more than one wife was not unusual in this place and time, and God does expect us to act in claiming His promises. The thing is, God did not instruct Abram and Sarai to take this route; neither did they seek His guidance. This entire affair is a direct result of doubt on the part of both Abram and Sarai. They tried to “help God along” and ended up putting additional strain on their marriage and starting a blood feud between the children of Sarai and the children of Hagar that is with us unto this day. By the way, the Bible makes it clear that God’s plan for marriage is a monogamous, committed relationship between a man and woman for life. Nowhere in Scripture does God ever instruct a man to take more than one wife.

The child born of Hagar was a child of the flesh while the child born of Sarai was a child of the Promise. That born of the flesh will lead us to ruin while that born of God’s promise will lead to blessing. Oh but we are so impatient. Notice in the Scripture above that it starts off with Sarai saying “the Lord has prevented me from having children”. Did He? He might have. He may have intended for her to bear a child in her old age so that His miracle would be obvious and His glory greater. Sarai not only didn’t believe God’s promise but blamed Him for her lack of fruitfulness. Let me ask you this. If you think God has deliberately caused something to take place, do you think it wise to attempt to thwart what He is doing? Sarai very clearly was saying “I don’t like what God is doing so I’m going to have my way by doing things my way.” Sarai is at the center of her life; not God.

If God has promised you something but it hasn’t taken place yet, why has it been delayed? Maybe you think that God’s promise to you is all about you, that you are such a great and wonderful person that God owes you His blessing. If that were the case then a delay wouldn’t really be fair would it? Well friend, I’ve got a couple of things to say about that. First, do you think God knows what He is doing? You know I’ve promised my daughter that one day she will drive a car. Should she be angry because at fifteen that promise still has not yet come to pass? Maybe she should just take the keys and start driving. Pretty dumb huh? God’s promises often times require that we mature to a place where we can handle the fulfillment of the promise. Second, God doesn’t make promises to you based on your worthiness. He doesn’t make promises for your glory. He makes promises so that He will be glorified. It’s not all about you; it’s all about Him.

How often will we take matters into our own hands only to blame God and others when our plans come to disaster? It can be hard to know when we should act and when we should wait, but we have no shot of knowing if we refuse to seek God’s guidance first. God does communicate to His children but to hear Him we must be quiet and listen. Don’t be angry if you don’t get an answer to a question you didn’t ask. Don’t get angry if God doesn’t answer on your schedule. He makes the schedule not you. All of this comes down to being in right relationship with God. Are you god or is He God? If you truly hold Him as God, then you come to Him seeking His will and His timing. You do not go to Him expecting Him to rubber stamp your initiatives in your time frame solely for your benefit. Such an approach proves, no matter what you say, that you view yourself as the center of the universe. So, today’s post comes down to this one simple truth, “It’s not about you”.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Deuteronomy 12–15
Chronological Order: Numbers 11–13
Old Testament Only: Numbers 8
New Testament Only: Mark 7:14–30

Daily Verse: Malachi 3:17 Malachi 3. 17

Bible Study

Reflecting The Image Of God

Passage: Genesis 15:7-21

Chapter 15 of Genesis contains a ceremony in which God affirms His promises to Abram in a legal, binding contract. Back in the day, if people wanted to make a firm contractual agreement they divided a few animals down the middle, lined them up and then walked between them where they stated their mutual promises. I’ve written in this blog before about this covenant which God made with Abram and don’t want to bore my long time readers. I don’t want to leave my new readers in the dark either so to summarize, God had Abram prepare the animals for the covenant ceremony but then only God walked into the middle and spoke His promises. This was a one sided contract. Abram was not required to do anything to obtain the benefits of the contract.

So many people think they can negotiate with God and stand as an equal in some kind of bargain. “God if you’ll do this I’ll do that.” Think about that. In our culture today a sane adult cannot enter into a contractual agreement with a child or mentally disabled person. Mentally disabled people and children are not viewed as legally competent; they are not legal equals of sane adults. This is the case with God; we are not His “legal” equal. Another reason we cannot negotiate with God is that as the Creator we cannot offer Him anything that is not already His by right; including our worship and obedience.

This covenant that God made with Abram was all on God. He chose Abram not because Abram deserved to be chosen but simply because it pleased God to do so. God made His promise without any consideration from Abram; Abram had no end of the bargain because there was no bargain just God’s promise. Well, with all of that said, I was reading James Montgomery Boice’s commentary on Genesis chapter 15 and came across something that I had never considered. I felt I just had to share it with you so the rest of this post is simply a quote from Dr. Boice.

“The presence of God in this ceremony was signified for Abram by two symbols that were intended to tell Abram something of God’s nature. First, Abram saw a “smoking firepot,” or furnace, pass between the animal pieces. In our day we have almost lost the significance of this object, but it was well known in ancient times. It was a small furnace used to purify metals. As the ore was heated within the furnace, the dross separated from the metal and rose to the top. It was the refiner’s work to skim off the dross until the metal appeared. He looked into the smoking furnace until he could see his face in the surface of the molten metal. Peter had such a furnace in mind when he wrote of the trial of our faith being “of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire” (1 Peter 1:7). Malachi wrote that God “will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness” (Mal. 3:3). Malachi meant that God refines his people until he can see himself in them.

God wishes to do the same with you. At times the trial may be painful and you may resent the fire. But it will be good for you. God will purify you until you reflect his image.”

Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: an expositional commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

I knew of the biblical analogy of a furnace, or a crucible, in which gold is heated until the impurities bubble up and out. This was analogous to the challenges the Christian faces in life as he journeys down the road of sanctification; hard times come but God’s children will always come through the other end better reflecting the image of God. God uses all things for good for those who belong to Him; and bad things in particular. I had never thought about the idea of God purifying His children until He could see Himself in us. Wow! I’ve learned in my own life that I grow closer to God, more holy, which is to say separated from the world and unto God, when the heat is on, when I have difficulty and struggle in my life. If that is what it takes for God to see Himself in me then I say “bring it on”. Oh I know, I ought to be careful about such a statement; be careful what you wish for right? Well I want to be the man God created me to be so I want what He wants for me. Lord, please continue to purify me for your purpose and glory!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Deuteronomy 9–11
Chronological Order: Numbers 8–10
Old Testament Only: Numbers 7
New Testament Only: Mark 6:45–7:13

Daily Verse: Deuteronomy 8:10  Deuteronomy 8. 10

Bible Study

Live Like You Believe God’s Promises

Passage: Genesis 15:1-6

I’ve mentioned before that we are watching the spiritual growth of Abram as we progress through the Genesis story. In Genesis God started with the big picture and then came back and filled in little bits of the picture. At first we were given the big picture of creation and then God came back and gave some more detail of that creation including the creation of Adam and Eve. In this we see God at work in the Universe. Now that we have come to studying the life of Abram we see God at work in the individual. As we progressed from Adam to Noah, and then to Abram, we saw all of humanity sin greatly against God. This one genealogical line was different and became the focus of the biblical tale. God took men who had the sinful nature of Adam and Eve, and preserved in them a lineage through which the Messiah could be born.

Do you think it was an accident that this one line from Adam down to Jesus was able to remain in right relationship with God? If you do you haven’t been paying attention. The only way a line could have been preserved was if God acted in the lives of these people to grow them spiritually in right relationship with Him. Abram didn’t earn God’s blessing. God chose Abram and led him down a long road toward spiritual maturity. Scripture from the first six verses of Genesis 15 is a case in point.

Genesis 15:1-6 ESV

“[1] After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” [2] But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” [3] And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” [4] And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” [5] And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” [6] And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”

First, please notice that God came to Abram to reassure him before he even cried out for reassurance. Second, Abram had his doubts about God’s promise and needed reassurance. God has been active in Abram’s life and yet he still has his moments of doubt. Isn’t it comforting to know that even the heroes of the Bible had their moments of doubt? The Bible is real man; it shows us the truth about everyone – warts and all. It shows us how to grow in right relationship with God and it shows how we all stumble along the way. Abram’s doubt about fathering a son, an heir that could inherit his wealth and build a lineage, would resurface again a number of times. In fact, the doubt that he and Sarai had would result in a sin that would haunt the world to the very end. The enmity between the sons of Ishmael, Abram’s son born of Sarai’s handmaiden Hagar, and the sons of Isaac, Abram’s son born of Sarai as God promised, are at the heart of the Middle East conflict we find ourselves facing today.

Abram’s failure to maintain his confidence in God’s promise did not cause him to lose that promise. Abram’s actions which were a direct result of his lack of confidence did not derail the promise, but they did bring pain and suffering in to his life and the life of his descendants. It’s good to know that Abram had the same problems that you and I face. Verse 6 above tells us that Abram believed what God promised him and it was counted to him as righteousness. You have believed God and it is counted to you as righteousness as well. Still, we must be on guard against actions that bring harm to us because of a lack of confidence in God’s promises.

God has promised you good things. He has promised to meet your needs. Like any good father, God knows that it isn’t good for things to be simply handed to you. He knows that you need to work for what you have so that you will appreciate what you have and so that you will grow in the process of working. Have you ever seen a child who was always handed whatever he wanted and never worked a day in his life? Would you really like to be like that child? Even so, God will never let his child lack what he needs most. He has promised to provide for you now and in eternity. Do you believe Him? Do you trust Him? If so, do you obey Him? Do you seek Him out when needing to make a decision? Do you consider what God would have you do when taking action?

Far too many of us believe God’s promises and then we run our lives as if we don’t. This will not deprive you of God’s promises but it usually results in bringing unnecessary pain and suffering into your life and the life of your family. Brother, please believe God’s promises and then live like you believe them.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Deuteronomy 6–8
Chronological Order: Numbers 7
Old Testament Only: Numbers 5–6
New Testament Only: Mark 6:14–44

Daily Verse: Psalm 16:2  Psalm 16. 2

Day of Rest

Saturdays are a day of rest for me in my blog writing. I write the blog a day ahead so this means it is a day of rest from my commentary for you on Sundays. Enjoy your day of worship!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Reading Plans
Bible Order: Deuteronomy 3–5
Chronological Order: Numbers 5–6
Old Testament Only: Numbers 3:40–4:49
New Testament Only: Mark 6:1–13

Daily Verse: 1 Samuel 17:45  1 Samuel 17. 45

Bible Study

War And The Believer

Passage: Genesis 14

Yesterday I provided commentary from Dr. James Montgomery Boice on Genesis 14 because I was out of time and wanted to provide you with something of value. While pulling the commentary I used yesterday, I noticed a subheading a little further down that read “War and the Believer”. Well I decided then that I would come back today and read what Dr. Boice had to say on the subject. I’m glad I did. War is violence in the extreme and I have often wondered if it would be wrong for me, as a Christian, to use violence to defend my country, my fellow Christians, my family, and even myself. This may seem like a ridiculous question to ponder to some, but Jesus did call upon His followers to be peace makers and He did scold Peter for trying to defend Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. I think Dr. Boice does a pretty good job on this topic so I decided once again to provide an extended excerpt for you today. This is a long post so feel free to skip it if you are short on time. Read God’s Word instead!

War and the Believer

“So we are dealing in Genesis 14 with a real war—not a mere petty squabble among competing local chieftains, but a real war involving a major invasion of one area of the world by soldiers from another, as well as a terrible destruction of the defeated areas by the victors. And here is the important thing: we are dealing with the role of a man of God in that struggle.

One of the ethical issues of our day is whether a Christian can participate in war. It is the issue of pacifism. Jesus told his disciples that they were to be “peacemakers” (Matt. 5:9), and many have concluded from that statement that Christians have no right fighting under any circumstances. When given the choice of fighting under certain circumstances or suffering the loss of country, possessions, home, and sometimes even family and life, they have replied that if such losses are what God wills, so be it. If he does not, then he will provide for his children even in such difficulties. Whether Christians are to fight is a big question, of course. Even if war is sometimes justified (the nonpacifist position), it is obviously not justified under all circumstances. This recognition has given rise to the “just war” theory. But although the question is too large to treat fully while dealing primarily with an exposition of Genesis 14, this portion of Scripture clearly does bear on the issue.

For one thing, Abram did fight. Moreover, he was prepared to fight. Although he was apparently the most peaceful and nonbelligerent of nomads, he had nevertheless trained the men of his family in the art of self-defense. Consequently, when he had need of them—as he did in this encounter—he was able to call out 318 who were trained in the art of fighting (v. 14).

Someone may say, “Yes, but Abram was not a fully sanctified man at this point; he had many things to learn.” That is true, of course. Abram did have many things to learn, and he was not fully sanctified. But that has no bearing here. For the issue is not how sanctified he was but whether he was operating in the will of God when he became engaged in the conflict to rescue Lot and his possessions. The answer to that is fairly clear, for we are told in the next section of the narrative that when Abram was returning from defeating the eastern confederacy, Melchizedek, priest of God Most High, came out to meet him and blessed him saying:

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Genesis 14:19–20

It is hard to imagine anything clearer than that. God himself, through his priest Melchizedek, declares that Abram had done the right thing and that he, God, had given Abram the victory.

Abram could have found many reasons for not fighting. He might have argued from fatalism, the view that this is an unjust world but that this is just the way things are. Nothing can be done about Lot’s fall. The best one can do is accept it while, at the same time, providing for oneself as best one can. Abram might even have found religious justification for his fatalism and resulting noninvolvement. After all, he worshiped the sovereign God. Nothing in this world happens without this sovereign God’s approval. If God had allowed the kings of the east to conquer the cities of the Dead Sea plain, who was he, Abram, to interfere? Besides, had not God placed him in the hill country of Judea? God obviously knew what he was doing. He was safe there. It would be tempting God, and perhaps even outright disobedience, for him to leave his mountain sanctuary and engage in open combat with eastern armies.

Another argument might have been from prudence. Even if he could not construe the outcome of events to be a sure expression of the unchangeable will of God, was it still not the part of wisdom to have remained where he was? The kings allied with Kedorlaomer probably did not even know where Abram lived, or even that he existed. If they had, they would probably have extended their conquests into the hill country. Shouldn’t Abram simply lie low—like Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox, waiting for Br’er Rabbit to trap himself in the tar baby? Besides, if Abram attacked these kings, he would make enemies of them. And regardless of the outcome of this one battle, the victors (or survivors) would remember him and prepare to destroy him on their next excursion into Palestine.

There might have been one more argument: God’s judgment on Lot. Abram was a spiritual man, so he would not have seen these battles merely as secular encounters. He would have seen things from God’s point of view and would have recognized God’s hand in the overthrow of Sodom. When Lot and his family were captured, Abram might have said, “This is God’s punishment on my nephew. He chose foolishly when he chose the plain of the Jordan, and he was certainly acting foolishly when he went to live in Sodom. He deserved what he got. That’s all there is to it. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” How spiritual! How pious! How wrong!

Abram did not think like this. The battle between the eastern confederacy and the confederacy of the cities of the plain was of no concern to him in and of itself. But Lot was his concern. Lot may have been foolish. He may have been unwise to live in Sodom. But who of us is not at times equally unwise? Abram had himself been unwise when he went down to Egypt. What is more, Lot was a fellow believer and a relative. Abram could not be as Cain, who said to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9). Abram was Lot’s keeper. Lot was in trouble, and it was Abram’s duty before both God and man to rescue him. One commentator writes of this incident, “Faith makes us independent, but not indifferent. It is enough for it to hear that its brother is taken captive; and it will arm instantly to go in pursuit.” Another says, “The man of faith is a realist, not a passive coward, or one incapable of leadership. When the crisis comes, he draws new strength from God and pursues to victory.”

As I said earlier, this account does not answer all the questions we might have about war or a Christian’s participation in it. But it does eliminate an absolute and unconditional pacifism—or so it seems to me.

May Christians fight? Not only may they, there are times when they must. Years ago I had a conversation with a young man who had recently been released from prison. He had become a Christian in prison and was now reflecting on some of his experiences. He described the terrible conditions. He told of the enforced homosexuality in which many of the stronger or more brutal prisoners inflict their base desires on others. Then he said, “When you find yourself in that situation, you have to fight.” He was right. Anyone should fight in those circumstances, Christians in particular. Moreover, the Christian should fight in defense of another who is being brutalized, even when he himself is safe.

What about war between nations? Isn’t that different? Perhaps, but not necessarily so. If one nation is brutalizing another for nothing but its own gain—as despotic nations seem to do—it is the duty of the Christians to go to the victim’s defense. This is particularly true if Christians constitute a large portion of those suffering.”

Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: an expositional commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Just recently in the Middle East 21 Christians who had been kidnapped by the Muslims of ISIL were brutally decapitated, one after the other, on a secluded Libyan beach in front of a video camera. The title of this video they subsequently released on the Internet was “A Message in Blood to the Nation of the Cross”. These Muslims wanted the world to see their brutality; they wanted Christians to know they were coming for them. Another 150 Christians were later captured and now they too are being threatened with beheading. What is America, the beacon of freedom, the defender of the helpless, doing about these atrocities? Nothing.

In the 90s we stepped in to save Muslims in Kosovo but today we will do nothing to save Christians in the Middle East. Yes our American politicians are indeed hypocrites. Brother, as Christians we should always look to be peace makers, but we have no obligation to sit idly by while the minions of evil perpetrate their heinous crimes against humanity. We have no obligation to surrender to evil. In fact we have an obligation to fight back against evil. Our cowardly politicians may not have the courage to do right but we Christians always should.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!