Sunday, 21 January 2018

Our Dominion over animals -part 4


Psalms 8:6-8 Thou madest him (man) to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

This verse is a quick refresher that we have dominion over the animals. The other thing we discussed in part one is God put the fear of man on the animals for their protection. At the same time, though, we have still been able to tame the animals since then. James 3:7 says, For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind. 

Does God care how we treat animals?

Proverbs 12:10 The righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. It is a godly thing to care for our animals. Remember the story of Balaam how his donkey stopped on the path a few times and he whipped it? God had something to say about that. Firstly God used the donkey to talk to Balaam then He sent an angel as well. Numbers 22:32-33  And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: 33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. God cares about the animals He created too. There are a couple of other rules God told the Israelites. Deuteronomy 25:4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. And it also says not to breed animals with different kinds (Leviticus 19:19). 

Animal's understanding. 
You know it is interesting what the Bible says about animal's understanding. There are some verses that seem to conflict each other, but I'm guessing as we look closer they will agree because God doesn't conflict. 

Psalms 32:9  Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. To start with David says they have no understanding, but then he says they must be held by a bridle. A horse actually has to understand a bridle before it will listen. James 3:3  Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. They don't understand words without signals or cues. Still, we can get them to the stage where we can turn about their whole body. Now this is the verse I struggle with: Proverbs 26:3  A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back. Why the whip for the horses? I actually find donkeys much more stubborn, not that I would whip them either. For an animal that has had no pain from a whip, they can be great to give cues. But if an animal has been whipped or scared (like Maverick), they are not likely to forget that and a whip just sends them into fear mode. Going back to the verse I think we should also look at the context, the section is talking about fools and I think this verse is clear about fools. 

Now for the verse, I love but yet is so sad. Isaiah 1:3  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. I love that the Bible says about animals know who feeds them and where. I guess that is because I'm daily reminded when I step out the door in the morning something expects and depends on me! But it is so sad that we hardly give a thought to what God gives us. 

Note

While animals are made by God and need to be treated well, humans are in His image and higher than animals. There is a trend to rescue and care for animals because they say we are equal. We are not, the Bible is clear on that, and there are many suffering people who need help. 
Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
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You made it to the end, I'm proud of you! I really didn't know it would go on for this long. That's the great thing about the Bible it is so deep, you can study as long as you want. I haven't included all the verses on the topic either, so you can go find others. Anyway, what did you think? Had you thought about dominion before? Did you notice my posts keep getting longer? 

Monday, 15 January 2018

Our Dominion-part 3


The last post we looked at God's dominion, this one we are going to focus more on the dominion God gave us.

John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. From this verse (and others too) we know Jesus is our example. His dominion was revealing His character, so in order for us to follow His example of sharing life giving dominion, we need His character, His life. Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.

Dominion over one another - the family/church structure.

I hope by now you're sure of the word dominion (as I wasn't to start with), otherwise it is kinda scary to say we use it over other people. Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. This is a general statement, so we all need to be willing to lay our ideas aside in the favor and love for another. There is more about this in 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Back to Ephesians; Paul goes into the family structure.

Ephesians 5:22-25 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

So wives are to submit to their husbands, but that doesn't mean husbands can just rule sternly. They are to love their wives. Then children come into the picture. 

Ephesians 6:1,2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

Children are to obey and honour their parents' authority (dominion :). And a final thing to fathers;

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.




Wednesday, 10 January 2018

God's Dominion -part 2


Psalm 145:13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. From this verse, we see God's dominion is everlasting. And Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not... unchanging. I could go so far with this because while there aren't lots of other verses to do with dominion, God's character is revealed in His dominion. So without going to Bible verses here is a quick list of some of God's character traits: Love, Liberty, Joy, Peace, Mercy, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Patience, Righteousness, Goodness, Meekness, Temperance, Graciousness, the Way, Truth, and Life! These all are seen in His dominion.

Another place to find more of an idea of God's dominion is to look at where He exercises it from: the throne. Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Notice it is the water of life; the same of which Jesus said if you drink of this water you'll never thirst again(John 4:14). God's dominion is life-giving!

One more characteristic of the throne is it has a rainbow around it. Revelation 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like an emerald. I can't say God's reason for the rainbow, but it reminds me of the covenant He made back just after the flood. Genesis 9:11,13 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there anymore be a flood to destroy the earth. 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 

A final and beautiful picture of God's dominion is in the recurring parable of Jesus our Shepherd. There are quite a few verses but they are so amazing I want to share them all.

John 10:10,11,14 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Here we see again God's dominion is life-giving.

Isaiah 40:10,11  Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
The very beginning sounds like a stern ruler, but He is so gentle.

Ezekiel 34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
He is merciful. This next verse I find so exciting, I want to go home with my Shepherd. 

1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Dominion in the Beginning -part 1


Recently I heard a short message in which the speaker shared a few things he had learnt about dominion. It was fascinating to me especially because he pointed out the difference between dominion and dominance. I was reminded of horse trainers often talking about being the dominant one in the relationship(a concept I don't agree with. I might write another post on it.). This morning I began my own study into dominion and I thought I'd share my findings with you!

*****
From Genesis chapters 1-3 we see that God has dominion over everything. But He gave us dominion over the animals. To Adam, He gave dominion over his wife, especially after the fall. And we know from Ephesians (Ch 5-6) that together He gave them dominion over their children. Still, God retained overall dominion. Here is a chain of responsibility. 

You don't have to go very far in Genesis, to chapter 6, to see what man did with the dominion he was given. Verse 12 says And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted His way on the earth. Man misused the gift he was given. How come they went off track so fast? They didn't acknowledge or submit to God's dominion. 

God brought the animals to Noah and saved them in the ark while cleansing the earth. When God dried the earth and they all came out here is what He did: And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth on the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea: into your hand are they delivered. Genesis 9:2. God put the fear of man upon the animals for their protection.

That's as far as I got this morning, but there is more to come! 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Quotes for You

I don't feel inspired. I'm tired, and my brain is struggling to process. But I thought I'd share some quotes that inspire me: ones that make me push on, ones that make me smile on the hard days, true ones that I wish more people would read. (You may notice a slight theme! ;)
















Trust

I hope these inspired you too. Until next time...


Friday, 10 November 2017

Another Gift





God's love, the gift of his Son and salvation are some of the amazing gifts we often talk about. But this morning I've been thinking of another gift God has given that I sometimes forget. The gift of Souls. 

Psalms 2:8  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, 
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Joshua 1:3  Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, 
that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

Isaiah 55:5  Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, 
and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, 
and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

It is a gift; it is a promise; it is a duty to let His light shine to the world. How blessed we are to have the promise. We have hope. Yet the Bible still says it is more blessed, more blessed even than all these gifts we have received, to give. 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Four Enthusiasts

Mark 2:3-5, 11. 
3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was carried of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

I had never really stopped to think about this story much until one morning recently.

Four men bring a paralyzed man to Jesus. We don't know how far they have come but they arrive and can’t even get in the door! This doesn't stop them for long. They lug the limp man up onto the roof and begin making a hole.

Imagine now you are one of the crowd in the house, listening to Jesus preach. Suddenly you hear people walking around on the roof. Then there is banging and bashing. You try to refocus on Jesus, but you happen to notice dust coming down from the ceiling. Soon there is a hole and you see the culprits. The men continue making the hole bigger. Then they lower a paralyzed man and Jesus miraculously heals him.

The verse says 'when Jesus saw their faith,’ this is an active faith, a faith that doesn't count costs. Would you put a hole in someone else’s house even if it was to help another person? Wouldn’t you consider other options first? I would have just waited at the door, I mean less effort, no damage to the house… These men have inspired me. Inspired me to have faith, put in effort, persevere, be persistent and go the extra mile.