Will you be a hearer or a doer?
Are you called?
- Book of Isaiah.
- Book of Jeremiah.
- Book of Lamentations (in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh, ascribed to Jeremiah)
- Book of Baruch (not in Protestant Bibles, ascribed to Baruch ben Neriah, scribe of Jeremiah) …
- Book of Ezekiel.
- Book of Daniel (in the Ketuvim of the Hebrew Bible).
So, where do Abraham, Moses and David fall in?
Wow! It would take us hours (or more) to delve fully into this! Above we can see the major prophets. How were they called? What existed before they were on the scene?
The ‘people’ of Israel desired to be like other ‘nations’ and posess a king! Deuteronomy 17:14 said Israel would have a king “like all the nations” surrounding Israel had a king. … Israel wanted a king to judge them, despite the fact that Yahweh was their judge. And Israel wanted a king to fight their battles, despite the fact that Yahweh fought their battles for them.
There was NO king that dealt with the Egyptians who subjugated the descendants of Joseph who had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. … Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
All was known before time! The Story has been written beginning to end, Amen. God literally sits and watched His story unfold.
We are led to ask “Does our part in The Story change?” The Story NEVER changes! Our parts may, but The Story NEVER changed. In praying on this and seeking guidance, I recieved something in my Spirit – there are those whom are spoken of. Hold on! This gets deeper and we will discuss it!
In speaking on what we previously spoke on/about – Abraham was promised a son, secondary to age and wishing on prompting of Sarai, he bore a son – Ishmael with Hagar – his mother. We can be reacquainted with the account in Genesis. Hagar is a biblical person in the Book of Genesis. She was an Egyptian slave/handmaid of Sarai, who gave her to Abraham to bear a child. The product of the union was Abraham’s firstborn, Ishmael, the progenitor of the Ishmaelites.
Again, The Story was written for the impact it had/has on His-Story. Ishmaelites. According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites (Hebrew: Bnei Yishma’el Arabic: Bani Isma’il, ) are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham and thedescendants of the twelve sons and princes of Ishmael. Ishmael in Islam.
Ishmael (Arabic: إسماعيل, Ismā’īl) is the figure known in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as Abraham’s (Ibrahim) son, born to Hagar (Hajar). In Islam, Ishmael is regarded as a prophet (nabi) and an ancestor to Muhammad. He also became associated with Mecca and the construction of the Kaaba.
Again, we could go on! I am tempted to examine World religions and how they all add up! Something that the five major world religions(Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam) have in common is a sense of community. A sense of community provides group cohesion and identity, as well as a way for rituals and traditions to be passed down from generation to generation.
In returning to our focus, we can see The effect of the written about on His-Story.
When Moses was born, the Egyptians instituted a law of slaying all nee born male children (population control!?) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses
Human reproduction planning is the practice of intentionally controlling the rate of growth of a human population. Historically, human population planning has been implemented with the goal of increasing the rate of human population growth. However, in the period from the 1950s to the 1980s, concerns about global population growth and its effects on poverty, environmental degradation and political stability led to efforts to reduce human population growth rates. More recently, some countries, such as China, Iran, and Spain, have begun efforts to increase their birth rates once again. While population planning can involve measures that improve people’s lives by giving them greater control of their reproduction, a few programs, most notably the Chinese government’s “one-child policy and two-child policy“, have resorted to coercive measures.
Again; we could speak ad nauseam on this, but we will adhere to our current focus. Who is Jochebed? According to the Torah, Jochebed was a daughter of Levi and mother of Aaron, Miriam and Moses. She was the wife of Amram, as well as his aunt. No details are given concerning her life. According to Jewish legend, Moses’s Mother is buried in the Tomb of the Matriarchs, in Tiberias.
We more likely than not were not aware of that name. His-Story? Key figures are shared! It is said about The Works of Jesus – “There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” Amen.
At this point we share that key figures are spoken of in The Word. We are briefly touching on a few… Key to contemplate “Who are those in God’s-Story (His-Story) not spoken about?” We shall never know.
An individual had a ‘dream’ of an angel’s visit. A question – The Question was asked!
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’
‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’
The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’
‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.
The History behind an Angel visiting Mary in the Christmas Story
Mary was probably about 14 to 16 years of age when she gave birth to Jesus. This was a very common age for young women to be engaged and marry in biblical times. So the son of God was the son of a teenage mother. Joseph was probably slightly older, around 30.
Joseph and Mary were a very average couple in Israel at that time. They would have probably been quite poor. Joseph was a carpenter and this job was seen by some religious leaders as a religious duty rather than a profession. Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of King David of Israel, but at this time his family was in the poorest state it had ever been. Mary was also related to the traditional Priest families of Israel through her cousin Elizabeth.
Nazareth, the town where they both lived, was a small hill town on a caravan route through the country. It also had a center for the temple priests, in which they could come and pray and fast when they were not on duty at the temple. So a wide range of people would travel and visit a town like Nazareth.
Under Jewish law, an engagement like Joseph and Mary’s was treated almost like a marriage and could only be broken by an official divorce.
The angel Gabriel, who visited Mary, is God’s chief messenger angel and only appears to very important people in the Bible. The first words that Gabriel spoke to Mary ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ are very important words. ‘Highly favoured’ means ‘God’s holy grace is upon you’ and is a divine blessing from God – something that would have never normally been said to a peasant girl like Mary! She would have been very scared by this and that is why Gabriel said ‘Do not be afraid’.
The name Jesus (or Jeshua as it would have been said then) was a very common name in Israel at that time. If you had gone down a normal street and called ‘JESHUA’ to some children playing, it is more than likely that a couple of them would be called Jeshua! The name Jesus means ‘Saviour’ and has a very important meaning in the story.
Mary would have been very surprised with the Gabriel saying that the Holy Spirit would be in her, because in the old Jewish stories, only very important people had the Holy Spirit come into them. She might not have even believed that it is was going to happen, so she went to see her cousin Elizabeth, who Gabriel said would have a baby, to see if it was really true. She did this even before she told Joseph about Gabriel and Jesus.
Again, we could go on, but to curtail run on stories is our desire. Mary was born for This Reason, as was Joseph. King David was tried, tested and found to be true. HUGE question; are you tested? IF you are/were/should be…are you willing/able/geared up to be just who you were Created to be.
Here, I smile and give ALL praise to God! Hallelujah! In life, I have been blessed beyond imagination. The opportunities and blessings HALLELUJAH! High School, College, Medical School, Residency, Fellowships, Practice – to God be ALL The glory, Hallelujah!
My story is a testimony. I am he that waffled and fell so many times. We may say “God is Love!” Do we truly understand this? In many cases, I think not. Very recently, I spoke to a family member that lived (prior to my accident) with me. It had been quite a while since we had spoken (all things happen for a reason) after a few warm greetings, she confirmed what I had since learned. My accident was ‘fatal’, information that was passed on to family!
Yet, my Mother and Sistren/Brethren kept the requests and thanksgiving alive and going, praise The LORD! I had to shake myself to confirm that I was truly here! Each time I am ‘reminded’ it is an awakening that I have reason! I skim away from the share, but for good reason!
In my ‘dream’ in the coma, I have previously shared what I did experience, prior to waking up (in my mind, a few minutes after ‘falling asleep’) it took MONTHS to realize that it had been almost two months that I had been in the coma.
Teaching point! Time, is only of this plain/plane/period. ‘Time’ as we ‘know’ it consists of the rising and setting of the Sun! Can ‘Time’ be stopped? The simple answer is, “Yes, it is possible to stop time. All you need to do is travel at light speed.” … To phrase this tenet in a more friendly manner, it means that a light beam’s speed remains unchanged even if the observer moves relative to it. Is that possible? In physics, Yes. In our reality, it has not been done yet.
In reading His-Story, ‘Time’ has stood still: Science gnaws holes in this concept: If the Earthly stood still, the oceans would gradually migrate toward the poles and cause land in the equatorial region to emerge. This would eventually result in a huge equatorial megacontinent and two large polar oceans.
Yet, there is the account of Joshua.
The Sun Stands Still
Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies. He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”
Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.
The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”
So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”
After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on[b] its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!
Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.
We are chosen, we do not choose where and/or how we are chosen. We are Created for a reason! Find it and live it, Amen. Mind you, The Word says “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in My name The Father will give you.”
Language is our limitation! The Right Hand of God (Dextera Domini “right Hand of The LORD ” in Latin) or God’s right Hand may refer to the Bible and common speech as a metaphor for the omnipotence of God and as a motif in art. In the Bible, to be at the right side “is to be identified as being in the special place of honor”.
Proppet and Apostle: The difference between prophet and apostle is that prophet is someone who speaks by divine inspiration while apostle is a missionary, or leader of a religious mission, especially one in the early christian church.
If people know anything about Jesus, it is that he was a consummate storyteller. Jesus’s parables have the remarkable ability of engaging our imaginations and challenging our assumptions. Jesus did not teach in parables to provide blanket affirmation for the way we understand God, ourselves, and other people. He taught in parables to invite us to reexamine some of our most cherished convictions about matters of eternal importance. For this reason, Jesus’s parables often unsettle rather than reassure.
Jesus’s parable of the wedding feast does just that.
This parable is, like the others, about the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 22:2). It tells the story of a king who gave a wedding feast for his son (Matt. 22:2). The wedding feast has widespread significance in the Bible. Ultimately, it is the day when God will gather all his redeemed and they will enjoy his presence in complete holiness and joy.
By the king’s order, banquet invitations go out. The king’s servants are “sent . . . to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come” (Matt. 22:3). They offer a host of excuses and mistreat the servants, so the king punishes them (Matt. 22:5–7). The king then dispatches his servants: “Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find” (Matt. 22:9).
Jesus is describing here the offer of the gospel, first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. The Jewish nation had decisively rejected the offer God made to them through his prophets. For that rejection, Jesus announces the judgment God will bring—the Roman armies’ destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. But in God’s providence, that rejection is the occasion of the gospel being extended to Gentiles. The result is that “the wedding hall was filled with guests” (Matt. 22:10).
But then something unexpected happens.
The king joins his guests and discovers “a man who had no wedding garment” (Matt. 22:12). The man can give no reason why he has no garment. In an act of eschatological judgment, the king orders his attendants to “bind [the man] hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13). Jesus ends his story by pronouncing the aphorism that summarizes the parable’s meaning: “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14).
To understand this pithy closing statement is to understand the parable as a whole. What does Jesus mean by “For many are called, but few are chosen”? To answer, we must understand what Jesus means here by “call” and “choose.” The word “call” runs through the parable. In the Greek text, the servants are said to “call those who had been called to the feast” (Matt. 22:3). The Jewish invitees are the “called ones” (cf. Matt. 22:4, 8). The servants are then commanded to “call” the Gentiles (22:9). The word translated “called” in verse 14 belongs to the same word family as that translated “called” in verses 3, 4, 8, and 9.
This pattern helps us understand the nature of the call in this parable. It is the summons or invitation of God through his servants—prophets in the Old Testament, ministers in the New. This call bids hearers to repent and believe the good news the servants proclaim. It is possible to refuse, as many Jews did. Jesus teaches that those who refuse the call are culpable for refusing it.
But it is also possible to respond to this call in a non-saving way. The man without the wedding garment in 22:12 presumably responded to the invitation. But his lack of the garment proves he doesn’t belong at the feast, and he is justly banished. What is the “wedding garment”? It likely pictures the gift of salvation freely offered in the gospel. Only those who receive this gift will be seated at the wedding banquet of the Lamb at the consummation of all things.
Who are they who sincerely respond to the call and receive Christ in faith? Jesus calls them the “chosen” or, as the Greek word may be translated, the elect. These are all whom the Father has chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Eph. 1:4). Only these chosen ones will constitute the company of the redeemed when Christ returns in glory. God’s eternal choice ensures they will respond sincerely to the call.
Since the New Testament elsewhere joins calling with election (see 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 8:30), what does Jesus mean when he says there are some who are called but not chosen?
The external call goes to all people. But only the elect experience the internal call.
The answer lies in a distinction necessary to understand the way the biblical writers speak of “call.” In this parable, Jesus speaks of “call” in an external sense. It is the summons of God through the gospel message. This call bids men and women to come to Christ by way of repentance and faith.
In other places the biblical writers speak of “call” in an internal sense. For instance, Paul speaks of this internal call in 1 Corinthians 1:24—this is the effective, saving work of the Spirit of Christ in conjunction with the gospel’s outward call. This internal call powerfully and effectively turns the sinner from his sin to Jesus Christ. The external call goes to all people. But only the elect will, in God’s time, experience the internal call. For them, the gospel is indeed “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16).
What It Teaches Us
What are the main lessons Jesus has for us in this surprising, unsettling parable?
First, it is not a slight thing to refuse the summons of God through his messengers. God will hold those who refuse that summons responsible on Judgment Day. Second, Jesus wants us to realize there is a more subtle way to refuse the summons. One may pay lip service to the external call but never truly embrace Jesus as offered in that call. Even this refusal subjects us to God’s just judgment.
The bad news is we have no power in ourselves to change our rebellious hearts. The good news is God is pleased to change rebellious hearts by the invincible power of his Spirit.
If we have responded to the external call in repentance and faith, it is only because God has first been at work in us to turn us to himself in Christ. Salvation is truly by grace alone. This truth is unsettling, but Jesus unsettles us for a reason. He wants us to find salvation and life in him alone, by grace alone. And only in Christ may we find an everlasting, unshakeable foundation.