Tag Archives: God’s promise to Abraham

Coming together in dark days

A few hours before I shall light the first candle at nightfall I shall look at the 1st day of Chanukah but also shall see how many come to celebrate a feast, they also call the feast of light, but has its main day on the birthday of the goddess of light, December 25. Lots of heathen but also lots of Christians shall have little candles in their decorated trees.

In my home the coming days there’ll also be some light, spiritual and literal, to have me thinking of the wonders of the Most High. The Eternal Being have been for ever, having made us in His image, has always been prepared to be there for those who want to be with Him. These present times there may be lots of darkness, violence and hate against each other. The heavenly Creator never created the human beings to go fighting against each other. Those people who claim to be lovers of God, be it Jews, Christians or Muslims, should all feel united under the same umbrella of their Divine Creator. Especially in these darker and colder days of the year we should make more time to come in each others warm houses to feel the generous warmth of solidarity.

It is in those darker days when we do not have to go to work, but can enjoy some free time, that we should bring up remembrances of how we and our ancestors grew up. We must become aware of how our minds get filled with lots of stuff as we grow from baby to adult, and how we are modelled by it. Growing up we come to certain believes and want to follow certain ideas. The beliefs we create are part of what forms our being, but they are also based on our genetic heritage, what other’s tell us, and what we accept as fact based on our experiences.  (Which explains why siblings can be alike or different and also why some twins raised in separate home turn out to have similar tastes and beliefs.)

English: The Byzantine army under Nikephoros P...

English: The Byzantine army under Nikephoros Phokas captures Halep (Berrhoea), Syria, in February 963. Ελληνικά: Κατάληψη του Χαλεπίου (αρχαία Βέρροια) της Συρίας από τον βυζαντινό στρατό του Νικηφόρου Φωκά, Φεβρουάριος 963. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The day that Byzantine troops led by Nicephorus Phocas, who had lead an expedition against the Saracen Emirate of Crete, and stormed Chandax and wrested control of the entire island from the Muslims, in 961 defeated Moslem forces and seized Aleppo, we once more have a picture of a destroyed Aleppo and a ruined city of Mosul.

As the 10th century temporary turn of events could not have been good for the Jews who had been living in Aleppo since Biblical times because it was the Moslem conquest of the city in 636 that removed the disabilities placed on the Jews by the Byzantines. Lots of times the Jews had to face difficulties and many generations had to suffer under persecution, like the ones who found themselves squeezed out of the major cities and ports into the area known as White Russia on  this day in 1791 when Great empress of Russia Russian Yekaterina Velikaya, also known as Catherine II (the Great) created the Pale of Settlement.

When tonight I, like the Jewish troops with General Sherman, who kindle the first light of Chanukah in Savannah, GA. in 1864 (24th of Kislev, 5625) I’ll try to remember the good thing which happened to the Jewish community and the many signs which proof that they are a special blessed people. The world shall have to know that the Jews are the Chosen people who have been promised to reside in a Holy Land. This Holy Land may perhaps be something lots of people will not like to see realised, but the world must know that the Plan of the Most High Maker shall become a reality.

In the ancient books is being told of that Great Plan. Not only Jews know of it; Christians and Muslims are also told about the prospects believers in God may expect. In the Torah the Most High calls people to share the news of a Messiah, a liberator for all. Generally lots of Jews look perhaps at a different Messiah than the Messianic Jews and Christians. Though perhaps because many of the Hebrew people forgot about their Creator, it can well be that This Holy Creator made His call also clear to the goy or goyim. For that reason Christians and Jews should look at each other, know their roots, know their common writings, and should learn from each other how to prepare themselves for the day that Messiah may come or return to this earth for finally bringing to Jerusalem full glory, as the capital of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria, 1914.

Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria, 1914. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though thick-skinned the Jews always tried to find a way to survive, never loosing their faith in their Maker and the hope in the promise made to him by their patriarch Abraham. Christians and Muslims today should also know that the Most High spoke about a terrible time, when more natural disasters would come over man, but also where children would come to stand up against their parents, and religions would come to fight against each other. We may well see lots of signs described in the Holy Scriptures as being the sings of the Endtimes.

Not having the pretension to be a spiritual leader or rabbi, but looking at the Torah, I can only come to the impression we have arrived in times that those who really love God should come together, unite and should come to spread the Good News. Lovers of God should spread the love and message of peace. Together they should become strong to help each other in the coming difficult times. By helping each other to come to understand each their way of life and come to see the religious teachings having to grow to a point where they shall be in line with God His teaching and not keeping any more to human dogmatic teachings.

Perhaps not regularly writing here, nor on my own site, I am honoured that I am allowed to share some thoughts from the Holy Scriptures and that I hopefully may show some ways Jews see the world and hold their religion high. By bringing also some news from the Jewish site I do hope this shall shed some light on present and future events and shall bring some more mutual understanding between the different religious groups our world has created .

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Please do find my introductions to my site

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Additional reading

  1. Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today
  2. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  3. Germanic mythological influences up to today’s Christmas celebrations
  4. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  5. Pagan Holidays
  6. The imaginational war against Christmas
  7. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  8. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  9. Continues Syrian conflict needing not only dialogue
  10. To freeze the fighting in Aleppo
  11. Old texts saved behind a wall at the Mar Behnam monastery

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Further related articles

  1. Living Beyond Our World
  2. Chankkah
  3. Toldos – Generations
  4. Happy Chanukah, Y’all!
  5. Holiday Traditions – Chanukah
  6. Our Style: Happy Chanukah!

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Peter Forbes comments:

4:2      In questioning Abraham’s righteousness Paul develops the point that he made in Rom 2:13 showing that the law does not bring righteousness.

4:3Abraham believed God …‘ the quotation is from Gen. 15:6. Righteousness is imputed by God on the basis of faith, not works of the law. Gen. 15 predates the giving of the law. This is the thrust of the argument in verses 4:4,5 and circumcision – the implications of this are developed in Rom.4:9-13.

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusa...

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine, March 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4:6-8 The appeal to Psalm 32:1-2 which is a Psalm that David wrote after Nathan had spoken of God’s forgiveness for David’s adultery [2 Sam.12:13] continues the theme of forgiveness from ch. 3:4 We should take great comfort from the fact that God was willing to forgive the repentant David.

4:7  Notice the subtle but important difference between the language of  Psa 32:1 – and Paul’s words here. Whilst the Psalm has ‘he’ whereas Paul here says ‘they’. Paul generalises from the Psalm. The Psalm has specific relevance to David’s situation. Paul says that specific application of forgiveness actually extends to all who follow David’s example of repentance.

4:11 Whilst Israel seemed to see circumcision as the ultimate test of Jewishness Paul clearly says here that it is a sign of what has already been seen in Abraham – that is his faith in God which was counted for righteousness.

4:18against hope believed in hope‘ tells us that Abraham had to have faith in the promise of the seed as it was humanly speaking impossible.

4:23 The implication from ‘now it was not written for his sake alone …‘ is that Abraham had a written copy of the promise.

Cliff York comments

Romans 4 To meet the views of the Jews, the apostle first refers to the example of Abraham, in whom the Jews gloried as their most renowned forefather. However exalted in various respects, he had nothing to boast in the presence of God, for he too was saved by grace, through faith, even as others. Without noticing the years which passed before his call, and the failures at times in his obedience, and even in his faith, it was expressly stated in the Scripture that “he believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness,” Genesis 15:6. From this example it is observed, that if any man could work the full measure required by the law, the reward must then be reckoned as a debt, which evidently was not the case even of Abraham, seeing faith was reckoned to him for righteousness.

It is clear from the Scripture, that Abraham was justified several years before his circumcision. This then is Paul’s point to those who prided themselves on their pedigree and/or on the very private mark they received in their flesh whilst they were too young to effectively protest otherwise. It is, therefore, plain that this circumcision was not necessary in order to that justification which is by faith.

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It is truly fascinating to reflect on the great wisdom of the Father as one reads the 3 portions of Scripture each day, and often there runs a “Golden Thread” through them all. For example, one of the Golden Threads evident today, is the concept, that we can only be Justified by the Grace of God. Paul deals in great detail with the subject, of course, in Romans, Joseph in his life revealed how great a force faith in God is the life of each of His saints – Genesis 47:12, and the Psalmist captured the same beautifully in the closing verse of Psalm 50Whoso offers praise glorifies me: and to him that orders his conversation aright, will I show the salvation of God.”

John Wilson comments

Prayer of David, psalm 51

Prayer of David, psalm 51 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rom 4:7  As we read from Psa 32 the other day, and as we read from Psa 51 tomorrow, we can clearly see, and appreciate that the confession of sin is not seeking forgiveness, it acknowledges the righteousness of our Heavenly Father. We must also be aware of the fact, that our failings can not be forgiven unless we are prepared to acknowledge them.

Rom 4:17  “I have made thee a father of many nations.” Paul is quoting from Gen 17:5  Sarah was still barren at this time, but we see that this is written in the past tense. This was foreordained. There is a difference between pre-existence and being foreordained. The seed of Abraham, both Isaac and Christ were foreordained.

4:21 All promises that have been made by God, he is able to perform, certainly different from promises made by man. God never forgets a promise, while man frequently forgets, God’s promises are priceless, while promises of man are often times useless, God’s promises are always right, while mans are often wrong.

Michael Parry comments

Paul; the writer to the Hebrews; James; and Peter all talk about Abraham. He was the patriarch of the physical Jewish nation and also father of the faithful (4:16).
He was given the promises before the Law (Gen 17:5-8) – even before his circumcision (Gen 17:24).  The particular seed of his promise was Christ who fulfilled the Law (Matt 5:17, Gal 3:16).  However, God still has a covenant with the Jewish nation and the land of Israel even though they have not (yet) accepted Christ.  It is a mistake to believe, as some groups do, that any prophetical reference or future application concerning the Land and people of Israel is purely spiritual and not physical.

Rob de Jongh comments

For many of us the intricate arguments of scripture are too much to grasp. That’s why we’re given Abraham as an example. All we need to do is read about his life, emulate what we see, and we will obtain the same promises as him. Rom 4:3, 11-12, 16, 20-25.

 

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Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

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Additional reading

  1. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  2. Testimonies to observe, inspired by God
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  7. A secret to be reveiled
  8. Gone astray, away from God
  9. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  10. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  11. Two states of existence before God
  12. The God of hope filling us with all joy and peace
  13. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  14. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
  15. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  16. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  17. Atonement and the race been bought
  18. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  19. Fixing our attentionSelf inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  20. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  21. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  22. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  23. Hope by faith and free gift
  24. God’s love – Equal and unconditional for all believers
  25. True richesBeing Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  26. If you have integrity
  27. Honor your own words as if they were an important contract
  28. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  29. Our openness to being approachable
  30. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  31. Is your mind thirsty?
  32. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran

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Further readings

  1. Daily Devotional – Romans 4:1-12
  2. Daily Devotional – Romans 4:12-25
  3. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  4. Faith-full Father Abraham
  5. Paul’s Scriptural Argument
  6. Paul’s Argument of Maturity
  7. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  8. Background to Romans 9-11: key teaching from Romans 1:16-4:25
  9. Structure of Romans 1:16-4:25
  10. May 23 2 Chronicles 6,7; Psalms 135; Romans 4
  11. Devotional # 90. Galatians 3:15-29
  12. A Promise
  13. God is righteous and just (God is good 4)
  14. “It’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it.” ~Apostle Paul
  15. The relevance of  God’s Word today
  16. Righteousness of Faith
  17. Could Abraham have remained childless?
  18. Would Your Faith Save You?
  19. It’s not about you
  20. The Best Way to “Stand Up” For Jesus: Revisiting Romans
  21. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  22. Nullify the Torah?
  23. Apart From The Law Of Righteousness
  24. Under The Law
  25. Scriptures on Righteousness- Joseph Prince
  26. Righteous and Right-ness
  27. Greater Love Hath No Man
  28. Jesus Christ has done enough
  29. Verse of the day – Righteousness of the Law
  30. Grace words for today Devotional
  31. It is in difficult times that we choose to continue to do what is right while everything else seems wrong that we grow
  32. Getting wisdom
  33. Moral Image
  34. Incredible Peace
  35. It Is God’s Presence in Us
  36. Strength In Your Hair Or Your Faith?
  37. Daily Inspiration, January 28th
  38. You Have on Different Clothing Now
  39. Christ: A Place In God
  40. The Privilege
  41. The Sermon on the Mount is not a Guide to Christian Salvation
  42. Experiencing Revival Part 3: Obedience
  43. Righteousness Pt 10
  44. Kingdom Come
  45. You Christian, shouldn’t carry guilt, or seek ongoing forgiveness to stay “right” with God.
  46. Exodus 4-6 Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son
  47. The Myths and Facts of Circumcision
  48. The Question of Circumcision II
  49. God confronted even Moses for not keeping the covenant
  50. What is so important about this Commandment?
  51. Experience the change in status from “Children of the flesh,” and of the world : to “Children by promise,” and in the World -Guy#2:03
  52. Surrender: Circumcision of the Heart
  53. Is your heart circumcised today?
  54. Only Jesus Christ – no if’s, no but’s (1)
  55. Yes’s and No’s
  56. entering in…as chosen ones

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Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

 

 

“1  What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4 Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6 Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works, 7 Happy are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Happy is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin.”

9  Is this blessing then pronounced on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it credited? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be credited to them. 12 The father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision.
13 For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect. 15 For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience. 16 For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

17  As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were. 18 Who in hope believed against hope, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So will your seed be.”
19 Without being weakened in faith, he considered his own body as dead (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 Yet, looking to the promise of God, he did not waver through unbelief, but grew strong through faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 Therefore it also was “credited to him for righteousness.”

23  Now it was not written that it was credited to him for his sake alone, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.” (Romans 4:1-25 NHEB)

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Woodcut for "Faith" depicting Abraha...

Woodcut for “Faith” depicting Abraham and Isaac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Filed under Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs