You pay for what you do

This cartoon is cute, but it does say something important; sin has consequences! If you do something wrong, the injured party is very likely to come back at you and there will be consequences. One of the reasons I love the Bible so much is that it tells the truth in a very straightforward manner. David was the King of Israel; he led the nation, but he was a man and that man had a weakness....sex! He saw the wife of Uriah the Hittite bathing and had sex with her. When she conceived he had her husband killed in battle. Sounds like the stuff of a soap opera doesn't it? Yet, even though he had all the power in the nation, God had far more! The Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David and his sin was exposed. The punishment?

2 Samuel 12:10-14 Complete Apostles' Bible
(10) Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and you have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite, to be your wife.
(11) Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house, and I will take your wives from before your eyes, and will give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.
(12) For you did it in secret, but I will do this thing in the sight of all Israel, and in broad daylight.
(13) And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David, The Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.
(14) Only because you have given great occasion of provocation to the enemies of the Lord by this thing, your son also that is born to you shall surely die.
Trouble had arrived in the house of David; warfare, public sexual sin and death were the result. God spared David's life, but I can only marvel at the pain he must have endured when these pronouncements actually occurred. David sinned in private; God punished in public, what irony! The bottom line is that you pay for what you do, because God not only sees what you do, but WHY you do it! Be careful; avoid sin at all costs!

Breathing room

Very nice picture of a family. The children look close together in age, so I imagine there is the usual wrangling over possessions, money and possessions, etc.. Truthfully, every family is a little different and each one has its own strengths and weakness. I have always enjoyed the story of Esau and Jacob (listed according to age) because it gives insight to what can really happen in family dynamics.

Genesis 25:28-34 Complete Apostles' Bible
(28) And Isaac loved Esau, because his venison was his food, but Rebecca loved Jacob.
(29) And Jacob cooked a stew, and Esau came from the plain, and he was weary.
(30) And Esau said to Jacob, Let me taste of that red stew, because I am fainting; therefore his name was called Edom.
(31) And Jacob said to Esau, Sell me this day your birthright.
(32) And Esau said, Behold, I am going to die, and for what good does this birthright belong to me?
(33) And Jacob said to him, Swear to me this day; and he swore to him; and Esau sold his birthright to Jacob.
(34) And Jacob gave bread to Esau, and a stew of lentiles; and he ate and drank, and he arose and departed; thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 27:1-41 Complete Apostles' Bible
(1) And it came to pass after Isaac was old, that his eyes were dimmed so that he could not see; and he called Esau, his older son, and said to him, My son; and he said, Behold, I am here.
(2) And he said, Behold, I have grown old, and know not the day of my death.
(3) Now then take the weapons, both your quiver and your bow, and go into the plain, and get me some venison,
(4) and prepare some meats for me, as I like them, and bring them to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.
(5) And Rebecca heard Isaac speaking to Esau his son; and Esau went to the plain to procure venison for his father.
(6) And Rebecca said to Jacob her younger son, Behold, I heard your father speaking to Esau your brother, saying,
(7) Bring me some venison, and prepare some meats for me, that I may eat and bless you before the Lord, before I die.
(8) Now then, my son, listen to me, as I command you.
(9) Go now to the cattle and bring me from there two choice kids, tender and good, and I will prepare the meats for your father, as he likes.
(10) And you shall bring them in to your father, and he shall eat, that your father may bless you before he dies.
(11) And Jacob said to his mother Rebecca, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man.
(12) Perhaps my father may feel me, and I shall be before him as one ill-intentioned, and I shall bring upon me a curse, and not a blessing.
(13) And his mother said to him, On me be your curse, my son; only listen to my voice, and go and bring them for me.
(14) So he went and took and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared the meats, as his father liked them.
(15) And Rebecca, having taken the fine clothing of her elder son Esau which was with her in the house, put it on Jacob her younger son.
(16) And she put on his arms the skins of the kids of the goats, and on the bare parts of his neck.
(17) And she gave the meats, and the loaves which she had prepared, into the hands of Jacob her son.
(18) And he brought them to his father, and said, Father; and he said, Behold I am here; who are you, son?
(19) And Jacob said to his father, I, Esau your firstborn, have done as you told me: come, sit and eat of my venison, that your soul may bless me.
(20) And Isaac said to his son, What is this which you have quickly found? And he said, That which the Lord your God presented before me.
(21) And Isaac said to Jacob, Come close to me, and I will feel you, son, if you are my son Esau or not.
(22) And Jacob came close to his father Isaac, and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
(23) And he knew him not, for his hands were as the hands of his brother Esau, hairy; and he blessed him,
(24) and he said, Are you my son Esau? And he said, I am.
(25) And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of your venison, my son, that my soul may bless you. And he brought it near to him, and he ate, and he brought him wine, and he drank.
(26) And Isaac his father said to him, Come close to me, and kiss me, my son.
(27) And he came close and kissed him, and smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said, Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of an abundant field, which the Lord has blessed.
(28) And may God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and abundance of grain and wine.
(29) And let nations serve you, and princes bow down to you, and be master over your brother, and the sons of your father shall reverence you; accursed is he that curses you, and blessed is he that blesses you.
(30) And it came to pass after Isaac had ceased blessing his son Jacob, just when Jacob had gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
(31) And he also had prepared meats and brought them to his father; and he said to his father, Let my father arise and eat of his son's venison, that your soul may bless me.
(32) And Isaac his father said to him, Who are you? And he said, I am Esau, your firstborn son.
(33) And Isaac was amazed with very great amazement, and said, Who then is it that has procured venison for me and brought it to me? And I have eaten all of it before you came, and I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed.
(34) And it came to pass when Esau heard the words of his father Isaac, he cried out with a great and very bitter cry, and said, Bless me -- me also, father!
(35) And he said to him, Your brother has come with subtlety, and has taken your blessing.
(36) And he said, Rightly was his name called Jacob, for behold, this second time has he supplanted me; he has both taken my birthright, and now he has taken my blessing! And Esau said to his father, Have you not a blessing left for me, father?
(37) And Isaac answered and said to Esau, If I have made him your master, and have made all his brethren his servants, and have strengthened him with grain and wine, what then shall I do for you, son?
(38) And Esau said to his father, Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me -- me also, O my father! And Isaac being troubled, Esau cried aloud and wept.
(39) And Isaac his father answered and said to him, Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above.
(40) And you shall live by your sword, and shall serve your brother; and there shall be a time when you shall break and loosen his yoke from off your neck.
(41) And Esau was angry with Jacob because of the blessing, with which his father blessed him; and Esau said in his mind, Let the days of my father's mourning draw near, that I may kill my brother Jacob.
I know its a long series of verses, but what happened? The older son was loved by the father for his lifestyle and the younger by the mother. Instead of treating them equally, there was favoritism; this led to a world of trouble. Jacob tricked his brother out of his birthright as the oldest (Gen. 25) and then with the encouragement of his mother tricked his father into giving him the preferential fatherly blessing (Gen. 27). The unfortunate reality is that this sort of manipulation happens all too often and causes bad feelings for many years. So it was then and now. I bet there are a few of you out there who would disagree with the last two sentences, so I would ask you to once again focus your attention on the picture above. Notice that the mother is sitting on someone (probably the oldest child) and that says a great deal. All children are different and my guess is this one was the underdog in the family (whether actually deserved or not) and therefore put down at every opportunity. Give the kid a break and a little breathing room; it may just solve a lot of problems. As far as Issac and Rebecca go, they just needed to work out their difference without involving the kids; end of story!

Big Brother

Remind you of anything? How about the book by George Orwell (1984) or perhaps the movie? Nobody likes the thought of government watching your every move. Why, because that just gives someone, somewhere, a little too much power! But what about God, doesn't he watch over us? I have always loved this passage from the Psalms and I hope you do as well.

Psalms 139:1-12 Complete Apostles' Bible
(1) For the end, A Psalm of David. O Lord, You have proved me, and known me.
(2) You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts long before.
(3) You have traced my path and my bed, and have foreseen all my ways.
(4) For there is no unrighteous word on my tongue: behold, O Lord, You have known all things,
(5) the last and the first: You have fashioned me, and laid Your hand upon me.
(6) The knowledge of You is too wonderful for me; it is very difficult, I cannot attain to it.
(7) Where shall I go from Your Spirit? And to where shall I flee from Your presence?
(8) If I should go up to heaven, You are there: if I should go down to hell, You are present.
(9) If I should spread my wings to fly straight forward, and sojourn at the extremity of the sea, it would be vain,
(10) for even there Your hand would guide me, and Your right hand would hold me.
(11) When I said, Surely the darkness will cover me; even the night was light in my luxury.
(12) For darkness will not be darkness with You; but night will be light as day. As its darkness, so shall its light be to You.

There is a big difference between an anonymous "big brother" and God. First, when "Big Brother" is watching you, you have to ask yourself WHY? Does the government want to do something to me because it has an agenda? Will I be treated fairly? If I had the time, I could probably come up with an endless list of questions, because the unknown does tend to make one paranoid. But, what about God, doesn't he watch us all the time and how is HE any different than "Big Brother"? The answer is that God is different from "Big Brother" in that God made you and cares for you and has told you all about HIMSELF in the Bible. Need more proof, well, think for a moment about three crosses on a hill in Jerusalem and then the difference is obvious. God's message to us is not found in electronic messages on a board, but in the sacrifice of our true "Big Brother" Jesus and that good news was written in his own blood.