Crystal Writes A Blog

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Make A Room for Daddy


Room Constuction by Flickr User Jeff Frisbee, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Room Constuction by Flickr User Jeff Frisbee, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I’ve always thought that houses with “Mother-in-law quarters” were a nice idea for people who wanted to be closer to their parents in times of need but not have them living under the same roof. It offers the respect of privacy for both the full family and the addition, and above all else, it offers close proximity.

In today’s reading from Exodus 25:1 through Exodus 25:16, we begin a new portion, number 19, titled T’rumah which is Hebrew for “Contribution.” It’s all about the contributions the people of Israel will give to build the Holy Temple according to God’s command. It begins with the very important statement that the only acceptable offerings are those the people freely and wholeheartedly want to give. God knows what materials He requires for this new temple, but the thing He wants most is that all will be done with desire and not because people have to give. He still wants us to give in this way.

In verse 8, God says that He wants the people to make him a sanctuary. His reason, He says, is so that He may dwell among them. Of all the reasons we build churches and temples these days, do we ever think about the first temple to God Himself, and that it was built for the purpose of His dwelling among His children? That’s why He wanted it built with freewill offerings. He didn’t want the scenario where a child grudgingly allows a parent to live with him but hates every moment of it. He wanted to be wanted. Of course, after everything He did for them, it’s hard for me to imagine not wanting Him around, but if I look back to my days of living in sin, I can see how that could happen.

Specifically, this makes me think of a time when I was homeless due to some bad decision-making on my part. I was so embarrassed about my situation that when I spotted someone I knew passing through town (I was living in Las Vegas, and people who were on their way from Los Angeles to Utah for a big convention came through there during my lowest time), I ran the other way. They would have loved me, cared for me, fed me, and brought me back home–but I ran. I ran hard and scared. I was terrified. Maybe I was sure they would hate me if they saw the real me, or maybe I was just humiliated, but whatever made me run felt more like someone was after me to kill me than to love me.

I think that fear of the unknown contributes to all people who run from God instead of letting Him into their lives. That’s why it takes faith to let Him in. Israel had a battle with that, and God just kept looking for ways around it. He let them be taken into captivity, and then He got them out. He delivered them from their captors, and He allowed them to see the death of their tormenters. He gave them bread from Heaven, and He brought them up to hear His voice at Mount Sinai. Now He is having them build a sanctuary that will allow them to bring Him into their midst without the fearful images they saw when they tried to look on Him directly. Because it is impossible for sin to dwell in His presence, He has issued rulings to purify the people, and He will be putting these rulings in the ark He describes in verses 10-16, so they can always remember them. He does all of this just because He desires to dwell with His people. I think we should make room and let Him in.

February 1, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sweet Aroma


This is my first post from my phone app since I know I will not get home on time. I’m thankful I have this option.

Now, to continue on with the story of Noah. In today’s reading from Genesis 8:15 through Genesis 9:7, he and all living things from the ark are finally getting to come out and restart life on earth. I don’t imagine life trapped inside the ark for almost a year was pleasant. Yet, the first thing Noah did when he exited the ark was to build an altar and give an offering to the One who saved him and his family. There’s no record of what Noah thanked God for, but I imagine it was an extensive list. If I were Noah, just some items from my list would be…

  • Thank You for looking at me with grace;
  • Thank You for saving me from destruction;
  • Thank You for being my Provider and sustaining me for all those months;
  • Thank You for saving my family;
  • Thank You that I know You Yahveh Almighty.

Whatever Noah thanked God for, that smell of his thankful offering went up as a sweet aroma to God and was pleasing to Him. And I believe that sweet aroma was more about the offering of thanksgiving that came from Noah’s heart and mouth than it was from anything that burned upon the fire. I believe this because of the new testament verses that tell us that the sacrifice of our praise goes up as a sweet-smelling aroma to God. I can compare this to how I respond to the smell of something grilling on a barbecue. Even when I’ve just eaten and am full, I could sit downwind of the aroma of a barbecue and just enjoy it as it wafts in my direction. If our praise smells even close to that good to God, no wonder He is enthroned on the praises of His people.

October 8, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Above The Earth


Something came to me about the readings for the last three days, and I want to bring it up before I jump into today. In Genesis 6:8, Noah found grace in the eyes of God. In Genesis 6:9, Noah was righteous & wholehearted, and he walked with God. In Genesis 6:18, God told Noah He would establish a covenant with him. In Genesis 6:22, Noah did all that was commanded of him. In Genesis 7:1, God says to Noah, “I have seen that you alone in this generation are righteous before me.” In Genesis 7:5, Noah did all that God ordered him to do. Can you see a pattern here?

Remember, this was before any of the levitical laws were given, so what do you suppose made Noah find grace in the eyes of the Lord? And that brings us to our reading for today from Genesis 7:17 through Genesis 8:14. Verse 17 tells us that the ark was lifted up above the earth. And that’s where I want to focus.

Noah, whose name actually means “rest,” had a spirit that was above (not obedient to) the flesh. He was, like the ark that he built, lifted up “above the earth” if you think of earth as representing flesh since that’s what we are made from. None of the Scriptures I found say anything about his wife, sons, or sons’ wives being holy, obedient, or finding grace in the eyes of Yahveh.

So, we can sum it all up this way: A man called Rest (and remember our Savior Jesus is The Rest wherein the weary may rest) was righteous. He built a vessel (like our Savior robed Himself in flesh) that would be lifted above the earth (like Christ was lifted up on Calvary and lifted above sin) to save those he loved from complete destruction. Now go back and read the story of Noah as if you’re reading the story of salvation, and ask yourself yesterday’s question…will you get in the ark?

October 7, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Righteous Before The Creator


My reading today from Genesis 7:1-16 is short, but it puts feet on the commands God gave to Noah yesterday. The ark is built, the animals have shown up, and now God invites Noah & his family into the place that will save them from destruction.

You know, it seems from the beginning that God has always delighted to give those who love Him a refuge from the troubles and trials that are created by the disobedience of those who do not love Him. He truly lives up to the name, Deliverer. Here is a slide from a Bible study by Beth Moore that nicely describes how God is ALWAYS our Deliverer:

Image

While the slide talks of fire, it was no less a deliverance for Noah and his family to be delivered from the death of all other living things. This story is only the beginning of God showing people that He wants to be our Deliverer, and it represents His heart of hearts–to deliver us from the ways of sin and the wages of sin (which is eternal death). Now our question; will we give up our own ways and go into “the ark” when we are invited?

October 6, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

All That God Commands


The title for this post comes from the last verse of this reading from Genesis 6:9 through Genesis 6:22, “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (This verse from the Amplified Bible.)

I just spent an evening and a full day at a training seminar to learn about prayer and healing and ministering to others. I have about 25 pages of notes, and I saw some amazing things in the Power of God. Since I have walked as a follower of God, I can testify to multiple miracles, including one that is medically verified. And yet, I look at these chronicles of Noah, and I wonder, if it were me in his place, would I do ALL that God commanded me to do?

If we all told the truth, I’m sure we would all admit that it would be a struggle to exceed the boundaries of the natural things God wants us to do and take a jaunt into the supernatural. If we can’t see it or feel it, can it really be true? Then again, we can’t see love, but we somehow trust it is true. We can’t see salvation, but we know it is true, and often trust someone who says they’ve become saved just on their word. And salvation, the regeneration of the human soul, is the greatest miracle of all. Of course salvation wasn’t even part of the culture back then–except for Noah. The world had never yet seen a drop of rain, so just believing that God was going to destroy the earth with water was a stretch, but he did it. But then, to build a boat on dry land, build it the size required and believe it would float, and then trust that the animals from all over the earth would just find their way there and walk right in? Wow! Most of the world would have called, and probably did call, Noah a crazy man. But he obeyed in spite of their accusations.

Growing up, we had a record, and yes I mean a vinyl LP album, called “Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow…Right!” I can’t tell you how many times we listened to it, but it was funny pretty much every time. The part we listened to most was the three skits where God calls on Noah to build an ark. Noah asks questions like, “Am I on Candid Camera?” and “Who is this really?” And while the story is written as a comedy, so much of it rings of truth when thinking about how humans react to that which is supernatural in God. To hear it for yourself, listen to this recording at God Tube… http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WL7YYLNX and let me know if it’s your first time hearing it, or if it brings back some great memories for you.

And after you listen to Bill Cosby, and/or read today’s Scriptures, ask yourself whether you would act like Bill’s Noah, or the Noah in the Bible who, rather than doing things his own way, did ALL that God commanded of him. No wonder he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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