THE NEW EWE

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

September 16, 2009

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

Between Genesis chapter one and chapter six, approximately 1650 years had gone by. In chapter 5 is the genealogy between Adam and Noah. It's interesting when you figure up how long everyone lived and how old they were when they had their sons who are listed. You will see that Adam lived 56 years after Noah's father was born, which is eight generations from the time of Adam's creation. The life span during that time was anywhere from 777 to 969 years. Enoch was only on earth 365 years, but he didn't die, for God took him straight to heaven due to his righteousness.

Jon and I recently made up a graph that showed the genealogy from Genesis 5. It depicted the approximate year each man was born and also when he died. It was very interesting to see how the lives of various men that we've read about overlapped. They may have lived in different areas and may not have all known one another. But one interesting example is that Adam would have still been alive when Enoch was translated into heaven. Another is that Methuselah, the oldest man who ever lived, would have died not long before the flood occurred.

In the beginning of Genesis chapter 6, Noah was 500 years old and his three sons had just been born. But evil was rampant upon the earth. In verse 6 it says that, "The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart."

Verse 7 says, "So the Lord said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.'"

Back in Genesis chapter one, God had just completed the creation of the world, animals and man. Verse 31 says, "Then God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good."

When God first made the earth and everything in it and upon it, He was well pleased with His handiwork. He enjoyed coming down and walking in the garden with Adam and Eve and communing with them. He gave Adam the responsibility and honor of naming all the animals an caring for them. God's plan for this creation of mankind and the earth was well intended and very good.

But He didn't want man to be robots without any will or mind of their own. So He gave them instructions and gave them choices and told them the consequence if they made the wrong choice. We all know how that went! Adam and Eve sinned, and from that point on, sin and temptations was upon the earth. That didn't mean that all mankind were destined to sin and do wrong, but that every generation from that point on were given choices and there were consequences for sinning and doing evil.

We read where there were righteous men upon the earth who loved God and worshipped Him. But there was also a whole lot of sinning taking place. Men's imaginations and intents became more and more evil, and they came up with more and more ways to disobey God and corrupt the earth.

Finally after 1650 years, God had had enough and was ready to destroy everything that He had created. He was sorry that He had ever made man.

But in the midst of all the chaos and evil, God looked down and found one righteous man. I'm not sure how many thousands of people were alive at that time, but I'm sure there were probably hundreds of thousands. Remember that the lifespan of mankind was over 800-900 years and they had children when they were up in their hundreds, so it's not unreasonable to believe that each family consisted of numerous offspring.

Yet out of all those hundreds of thousands of people, only one man "found grace in the eyes of God". God only found one family worth saving upon the whole earth. That's pretty sad!

Noah built the ark to God's specifications, and he and his family and the instructed number of animals were saved. Everything else on the face of the earth was destroyed.

I hear religious zealots today preaching and teaching that God is a loving God who is tolerant of all people, all lifestyles, and all choices. They say that you can live how you want and do what you desire without consequence of judgement. After all, God is love therefore He loves and is tolerant of all people. They leave salvation and Jesus' sacrifice on the cross out of the equation as being unimportant and insignificant. And so many people are buying into this message and being deceived! They want their conscience to be eased and not be responsible for their sin or their actions.

But as in the story of the generation of Noah, we can see that God will not continue to tolerate sin and evil forever. There will come a time when He'll say enough is enough. Hopefully when that happens, He'll find more than one righteous man upon the earth.

Fact is, God is love. God is merciful and forgiving. But God also made a way for man's salvation through the death of His Son. And the only way to truly experience His love, mercy, and forgiveness is through accepting that gift and repenting of your sins.

I never want to be ashamed of my relationship with God. I don't want to ever be deceived into believing lies and wrong doctrines of spiritual teachings. When God looks upon me, I want Him to see me as righteous. I want to find grace in the eyes of God. May that be your prayer also.

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

I want to make sure I start off by saying that I truly believe God is perfect. He is perfectly holy. He is all knowing. And He is all powerful.

But is His will always done? When I read that God looked at mankind and regretted creating us, I see that His will isn't always carried out.

There's a common doctrine that whatever we do isn't important because whatever we do is part of His will because His will always comes true. But God gave each person the choice to follow His will, or his own will.

Fortunately, God does have a fantastic ability (He is all-powerful) to take the messes we create by going against His will, then turning them into something good. Moses was in exile for years before returning to free his people. Paul (writer of much of the New Testament) persecuted Christians before he was called to minister. And there are far more examples of people oppressed by demons or illness before Jesus freed them.

There have been many preachers use a scripture that says, "God wills that none should perish" to push a false doctrine that everyone will go to Heaven and no-one will go to Hell. But we don't always give God what He wants.

ON THE MENEWE:

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs

3 tsp. Cinnamon

1 cup oil

1 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. Baking powder

2 cups grated zucchini

2 tsp. Baking soda

2 tsp. Vanilla

1 cup nuts (opt.)

2 cups flour

1 cup raisons (opts.)

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

LAMB TALES:

My mom was pretty laid back and easy going for the most part. I wish I were more like that!

My cousin recently told me a story about something that occurred back when she and her brothers stayed with my grandparents for a few months when they were kids. She and my mom were close to the same age.

One night everyone had gone to bed for the night. The kids were spread out on pallets in the living room. Poppy (what everyone in the family called my grandfather) started complaining that he didn't have enough heading (meaning pillows). Finally Mama spoke up and said, "Poppy, do you want me to get up and get you more heading?" He replied, "Well, maybe dreckly (word meaning in a little while)."

Apparently, my mom had listened to him complaining long enough and was getting fed up. She was probably also thinking that he'd probably wait until she was almost asleep, then want her to get up to find him more pillows.

Mama told him, "If you want me to get up and get you more heading tell me now; otherwise, I'm going to sleep!"

She didn't get upset very often and my cousin said all the kids got tickled and started giggling. Poppy finally saw the humor in it and started laughing.

It's funny sometimes the stories that will stick out in our minds and that we'll remember. This probably happened around 65 years ago!

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

Don't find fault; find remedy. - (Henry Ford)

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We hope you all are having an enjoyable summer.

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

E-Mail: shepherd@grayengineers.com

http://www.graysheep.org