Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb
For His Glory!
Looking Beyond Series*
My Brother’s Keeper
The principle of collective punishment
When we are ‘Looking Beyond’ our present day concerns we will not have much to look forward to unless we are practicing this important principle. Because we are called to be the disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) and a light to all - consider this as a brother in Messiah (Christ).
The following article was written by Ronald L. Dart. (From an April 2018 newsletter, see website www.borntowin.net)
Gen 4:8(KJV unless indicated - bolding by MEM) 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
"Cain was a murderer and a liar. And in two terse sentences, he revealed the kind of character that led to these sins: Cain was the center of his universe. No one mattered but him He accepted responsibility for no one but himself.
"Jude called it "the way of Cain" (Jude 11). It was the way of Cain to concern himself solely with his own needs, his wants, and his own rights. Let the other man look out for himself. Since Cain did not want in any way to accept responsibility for others, God sent him away from others. As he was a spiritual isolationist, God gave him all the isolation a man could ever want.
"The way of Cain is remarkably persistent. We find it in every age of man and in every place-even in the church. Paul warned Timothy, 2Tim 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
"In the very last days of man on this earth, there will be people walking in the way of Cain. They will be a people who have a form of godliness. They will be church people. Like Cain they will be spiritual isolationists. They may enjoy fellowship, but they will be spiritual isolationist. They may enjoy fellowship, but they will want to avoid all responsibility to others or for others. They are people who insist on their rights, their freedoms-- even the freedom to commit sin without it being anyone’s business. Were God to ask about another member, they might well reply, "Am I my brother’s keeper?"
"Just how responsible are we to be? How much are we expected to sacrifice in order to avoid hurting another person-- especially a brother? Have we no rights at all?
"The Corinthians believed that they had certain rights relative to one another--rights that could be enforced in court if necessary. Paul was shocked. Brother was going to law with brother and that before the unbelievers. 1Cor 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
"Yes, we do have rights relative to one another, but there is a limit beyond which we must not go to enforce those rights. We may be called upon to sacrifice those rights rather than cause harm to another. It is the way of Cain to blindly insist upon our rights at the expense of our brother.
"As it happens, the Corinthians had imbibed deeply of this way of thinking. Paul had plainly taught them to abstain from the pollution of idols. This was not accepted without argument. Someone had replied, and his reply had run along these lines:
Acts 15:20But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Acts 15:23And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
Acts 15:29That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
"This was not accepted without argument. Someone had replied, and his reply had run along these lines: "Why should we have to abstain from such a good, plentiful, cheap source of clean meat. We have knowledge. We know that this idol is nothing. It is just stone, and it has no effect on the meat being offered. Meat is meat, and it makes no difference to me what the butcher had in mind when he slaughtered it. Why should my liberty be judged of another man’s conscience?"
"Paul understood their argument and realized that, while there was some truth in it, the argument included a fatal error--it was based on the way of Cain.
"Paul began, 1Cor 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
"With this rebuke, Paul begins an important explanation" 1Cor 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God… 7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge…
"And there lies the point. You are not living on this planet alone. You have responsibilities.
"Paul acknowledged the obvious: 1Cor 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.
"How could this be? Paul explains: 1Cor 8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
"But is it really all that serious? Paul continues, 1Cor 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
"Paul’s reaction is about as far from the way of Cain as one can get. Is it really necessary to go that far? Take another look at the consequences and then ask that question. Jesus said that such offenses would take place, but pronounces woe upon the man causing the offense. Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
IT’S MY BUSINESS
"But supposing no one knows? What difference can it make to my brother (even if it is a sin) if I keep the whole thing to myself? Isn’t it my business how I run my life? There was a man once who reasoned that way. His name was Achan.
"Everyone knows about the battle of Jericho (Joshua 6). But unless you have read the story, you may have missed the most important lesson in the whole thing.
"God had cursed the city of Jericho. The city, everything and everyone in it were to be destroyed. The things that wouldn’t burn (silver, gold, iron, and brass) were to be brought into the treasury of the Lord (Joshua 6:19). But a man named Achan found an expensive imported garment, a wedge of gold, and some silver. He took them and hid them in his tent. Maybe God would be displeased, but he would chance it. No one would know, and God rarely acted immediately to punish specific sins. He could repent later.
"But it turned out to be much more serious than that. You can read the story in Joshua 7. The wording is interesting: Josh 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan… took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
The Principle of Collective Punishment
"When I was in the Navy, I recall that the principle of collective punishment was the order of the day. If one man lost points on an inspection, the whole company suffered. Needless to say, there was much muttering about the fairness of the procedure. Why should all of us suffer because of the laziness of one feckless sailor? But when we saw that the rule was not going to change, we all began to put pressure on the laggards in our midst. It worked, but that wasn’t the real lesson. The real lesson was that we all depended on one another, and that in battle, one man’s negligence could cost us all our lives. We had to accept responsibility for one another.
"So it was that when Israel next went into battle, they were defeated. Thirty-six men lost their lives because one man walked the way of Cain. Achan could have argued that his sin was his own business. As it turned out, it was very much the business of the thirty-six men who died at a little town called Ai. God wanted all Israel to understand how the sins of one man affect everyone around him.
WOE IS ME
"There is yet one more characteristic of the way of Cain and one more man who walked in that way. When Cain was caught in his sin, he might have repented. Instead, he felt sorry for himself! There was no pity for his dead brother, mind you. All he could do was groan, Gen 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
"There was a man named Baruch, who had the unenviable task as acting as a scribe for the prophet, Jeremiah. Only after reading these prophecies can we understand the depression that must have settled on Baruch’s shoulder. But Baruch could spare no pity for Israel. He could only feel sorry for himself and lamented: Jer 45:3 …Woe is me now! for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.
"Listen to God’s reply: Jer 45:4 Thus shalt thou say unto him, The LORD saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. 5 And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.
"Here we are, living in the last days of man’s misrule on this planet, and some of us can only think about our rights, our feelings. We could be the custodians of God’s last message for mankind, and still be worried about whether we are getting the credit we are due.
"What this all means is that we can’t spend the rest of our Christian life by the "every man for himself" philosophy. We are indeed "our brother’s keeper" and, as such we need to spare a little thought, a little consideration, and a little pity for our brother.
"It all comes down to a question of whether we will be self-centered and walk in the way of Cain, or we will be God centered and walk in the way of Jesus Christ. His way is different, you know. Paul described that way thus: Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
* The "Looking Beyond" series is meant to keep our focus on the future - the coming Kingdom of God. We are not to hide this hope by shirking our responsibilities for today. Remember the "the principle of collective punishment". Keep His commandments as we seek His kingdom. Love God and our fellow man as ourselves.
We need to be our "Brother’s Keeper", walk in the Word.
Proverbs 6:16There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Proverbs 24:12If you say, "See, we did not know this," Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?
Proverbs 3:1My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments;
We have a responsibility toward our brothers - as we await our redemption.
"You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Seek today to live beyond your circumstances, beyond the world, beyond the finite, in the day beyond days in the Eighth Day."
Jonathan Cahn - "The Book of Mysteries" (Day 89)
Attitude shift by Robin Gilman
To do lists - sometimes I write them, other times I have them in my head. Recently, I was mentally going over all that I had to do: "I have to _________, and then __________, and then _________."
I was feeling just slightly negative - not that I particularly disliked all the things I had to do, but these things just made me busier than I wanted to be - they interfered with my doing other things that I would have preferred to do.
And then I had an attitude shift, simply by changing one word! Instead of "I have to…" I thought, "I get to…" All of a sudden, instead of feeling burdened by my, ‘to do list’, I felt joy.
Changing that one word, for example in "I have to go grocery shopping" to "I get to go grocery shopping," brings on an attitude shift that is beneficial to me and others around me. The change is from a duty to a privilege. I get to go to a store and select food to bring home for my family’s nourishment.
I get to clean the bathroom, eliminating germs for my family’s well-being (my children get to do this as well!).
When I make a discovery such as this concept, I share it with my children. My son was not happy when I told him we were going to work on French. "You get to do French!" I told him enthusiastically. "You have a mom who cares about your education and your future, and she is spending time with you so that you can thrive! You get to do French!" I’m not quite sure that he has caught it yet, but I get to keep teaching him to have a good attitude.
Whether from "having to do laundry" to "getting to do laundry", or from "having to pick up this child from a lesson" to "getting to pick up this child from a lesson," the reason we have to get to do things is because we have things (clothes, homes, people) in our lives. And that is a blessing!
It was well recognized that Martha Raye endured less comfort more than any other Vietnam entertainer.
The most unforgivable oversight of TV is that her shows were not taped.
I was unaware of her credentials or where she is buried.
Somehow I just can't see Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, or Jessica Simpson doing what this woman and the other USO women, including Ann Margaret & Joey Heatherton did for our troops in past wars.
Most of the old time entertainers were made of a lot sterner stuff than today's crop of activist bland whiners.
The following is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane:
"It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku.
We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back.
All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear.
There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a Special Forces beret and jungle fatigues, subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard. Maggie' had been visiting her Special Forces (SF) 'heroes' out 'west'.
We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku.
As we all started unloading our sad pax's, a USAF Captain said to Martha.... "Ms. Raye, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show!"
To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said "Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve, and on this is a 'Caduceus' which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical specialty.... now, take me to your wounded!"
He said, "Yes ma'am.... follow me."
Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.
Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.
Hand Salute! A great lady.
(Not all items verified)
A traveler to a remote Island remarked on how healthy the locals look.
"Yes, it’s the island, said an attractive resident. "When I first arrived I was bald and toothless. I was so weak I couldn’t even walk. And look at me now!"
"That’s amazing," said the traveler. "So where are you from?"
"I was born here." Said the man.
Keep your fingers away from a power saw-it doesn’t know you need them.
Do you love me? Which is to say: Do you love to do my will and obey my commandments? What believer would say no to the first question? Yet would you expect less enthusiastic responses to the second question? Many people, even among those who affirm the faith, have a vague notion of love as a positive feeling. Yet it would be wrong to draw a distinction between the first two questions given above, for one implies the other. His will is inherent in His being and inseparable from it. So the word tells us that by this you know that you love Him, when we keep God’s commandments. He who loves Yeshua (Jesus) will also love those He loves, including our brother.
Are all men brothers? You may only refer to those with similar beliefs as your brothers, but all have the same blood and descend from the same ancestor. Do you see differences between men beginning with the obvious distinction of race and extending to the less visible but more important distinctions of character and values? Yet all are made in God’s image and share a common humanity. Are you your brother's keeper? You should be, for Yeshua’s love that is shed abroad in our hearts is not only for those with similar beliefs, but a light to shine for all humanity. He wants us to have a heart of compassion for everyone, for in this sense every man is our brother and our neighbor to whom we owe a debt of love.
(Adopted from a blog post by Dale Cresap)
Ps 35:14I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.
Ps 50:20"You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother's son.
Ps 133:1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!
Ps 122:8For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, "May peace be within you."
Blessed be YHVH (Genesis 14:20 And blessed be God Most High…)
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