Archive for April, 2022

4-30-2022 – A Word to the Wise – I have often found gems in scripture that just cry out to be noticed. The story of the Shunammite women heads the list of such jewels. So first let’s look at the passage found in II Kings 4

8 One day Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman; and she persuaded him to eat bread. So it was, that as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat bread. 9 She said to her husband, “See now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God who passes by us continually. 10 Please let’s make a little room on the roof. Let’s set a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp stand for him there. When he comes to us, he can stay there.”

11 One day he came there, and he went to the room and lay there. 12 He said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13 He said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Behold, you have cared for us with all this care. What is to be done for you? Would you like to be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the army?’” She answered, “I dwell among my own people.” 14 He said, “What then is to be done for her?” Gehazi answered, “Most certainly she has no son, and her husband is old.”15 He said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 He said, “At this season, when the time comes around, you will embrace a son.” She said, “No, my lord, you man of God, do not lie to your servant.” 17 The woman conceived, and bore a son at that season, when the time came around, as Elisha had said to her. 18 When the child was grown, one day he went out to his father to the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!” He said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 When he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees until noon, and then died. 21 She went up and laid him on the man of God’s bed, and shut the door on him, and went out. 22 She called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the servants, and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.” 23 He said, “Why would you want go to him today? It is not a new moon or a Sabbath.” She said, “It’s all right.” 24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward! Don’t slow down for me, unless I ask you to.” 25 So she went, and came to the man of God to Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her afar off, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, there is the Shunammite. 26 Please run now to meet her, and ask her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with your child?’” She answered, “It is well.” 27 When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi came near to thrust her away; but the man of God said, “Leave her alone; for her soul is troubled within her; and Yahweh has hidden it from me, and has not told me.” 28 Then she said, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? Didn’t I say, ‘Do not deceive me’?” 29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand, and go your way. If you meet any man, don’t greet him; and if anyone greets you, don’t answer him again. Then lay my staff on the child’s face.” 30 The child’s mother said, “As Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So he arose, and followed her. 31 Gehazi went ahead of them, and laid the staff on the child’s face; but there was no voice and no hearing. Therefore he returned to meet him, and told him, “The child has not awakened.” 32 When Elisha had come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and lying on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door on them both, and prayed to Yahweh. 34 He went up, and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. He stretched himself on him; and the child’s flesh grew warm. 35 Then he returned, and walked in the house once back and forth; and went up, and stretched himself out on him. Then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 He called Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite!” So he called her. When she had come in to him, he said, “Take up your son.” 37 Then she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground; then she picked up her son, and went out.(ESV)

So, lets identify some traits of the woman. First, she appears to be a self-assured leader. She is assertive and decisive, confident and enterprising. Notice how she gives her husband advice and how he obviously follows her lead. (She said to her husband, “See now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God who passes by us continually. Please let’s make a little room on the roof. Let’s set a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp stand for him there. When he comes to us, he can stay there.”).

This woman is perceptive and principled, two times in these short passages she refers to honesty as opposed to deceit.

Other traits that stand out about this woman. She is wealthy and uses her wealth prudently. Not only did she furnish the room for Elisha but did so generously at her own expense expecting nothing in return. What she proposes is an enlargement to the house with an outside entrance for Elisha. No small, nor cheap task.

The woman is religious. She recognized Elisha for who he was and chooses to provide for him according to the religious customs of the time. When Elisha wishes to repay her, the reply; absolutely not I have no need of anything. Promising her a child she passionately demands honesty of him no false promises when it comes to children. In fact, to the Shunammite it is just not possible she is past childbearing age and her husband is just too old. Moreover, something hidden in the Hebrew is note worthy

According to the midrash the “le-hodfah” of the original language is an abbreviation of two words: hod she-be-yofiyah, the “majesty of her beauty,” meaning she is attractive.

This may explain why originally Elisha did not address her directly. He finds her attractive. Again, the midrash labels her as a relative of Abishag the Shunammite, possibly because of the “Shunammite” appellation they share.

Perhaps seven to 10 years go by. The promised child falls ill while in the field with his father. Probably a heat stroke. The child is brought to the mother and placed in her arms. Shortly thereafter he dies. When the child dies there is only one thing to do. Focused on the only acceptable solution and not deterred by husband or servant. The prophet promised this child and it is now his problem. Let’s go find him.

She is strong willed she heads for Mt Carmel where Elisha is to be found, she makes a round trip of some 30 to 40 miles in one day. No easy task for the strongest of men. But she is driven for time is of essence.

One other Hebrew element when Gehazi pushed her according to the midrash on this section he put his hand between her breast and shoved her. Even under this circumstance her earnestness clothes her she will not be deterred. She falls at Elisha’s feet.

When confronting Elisha, she is dedicated and absolutely determined of the course of action needed. With great courage she confronts Elisha and demands an accounting. I did not ask for this child, you insisted. I demanded your honesty in the matter now the child is dead.

So, Elisha immediately heads for her home. He sends Gehazi before him with instructions. Gehazi get to her house with all haste with the special instructions by Elisha speak to no one, no lengthy conversations with friends or passersby’s. Upon Elisha’s arrival he finds the child is indeed dead. Elisha gathers him up takes him to his room, the very room this woman built for him. Prays and ask the Lord to restore his life, which the Lord does.

Years later Elisha warns her of a coming famine that is to last seven years. She immediately took him at his word gathered up her family and takes them to safety. A very strong-willed woman, wise of heart, and obedient.

Her relentlessness never fades notice upon returning and finding her land misappropriated she goes to the king to demand that it be returned according to the custom of the day. She is tenacious demanding her rights under the Torah law. Her persisting’s pays off. She is granted from the king all that she has lost. Notice in the beginning she needed nothing from the king or other officials, now she does. She expects justice. Under the law of the time the land is still hers and should have been immediately returned.

These biblical stories have a way of working into one’s soul delighting the spirit. Make a habit of reading them often.

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4-20-2022 – A Word to the Wise – Because of the season I wish to share two events rarely ever considered taking place April 3, 33 A. D. There are several other events but for brevity’s sake I will limit this to just two.

Jesus, beaten and bleeding hangs on the cross. He has been there 3 hours. It is noon. There are many disagreements about what takes place at this moment in time, but I believe the scripture is very clear. The Lord God Almighty turns out the lights. The sun is turned off, the moon ceases to shine, and the Lord turns off the stars. There is no eclipse. For the next three hours darkness descends on the land. This by the way is according to the prophet Joel some eight hundred years before. (Joel 3:15; “The sun and the moon are darkened, the stars withdrew their light). This according to the prophet occurs on the day of the Lord.

Consider what this means. In a normal full eclipse lasting about half hour the temperature drops about 10 to 12 degrees. The average temperature of Jerusalem on the first of April is 67 degrees. Three hours of darkness means a temperature drop of at least 20 to 30 degrees or more. Jesus on the cross bleeding now begins to experience hypothermia. Death usually occurs within three hours. Look that up please.

The next events take place after the death of Jesus. This again, is my opinion based on a couple of scriptures.

1 Peter 3: 18 Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit, 19 in whom he also went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, It is my belief that the first thing Jesus did was to preach to the dead after dying. That is what Peter says took place. Must have been a pretty busy day and some sermon.

But that is just the first sermon Jesus preached to the dead. I think there is a second sermon. Matthew 27: 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many.

The text says they came out after the resurrection. But prior to that Jesus must have talked to them just like he did to the two on the walk to Emmaus opening to these few dead who were to rise from the dead who had previously walked among their friends. Jesus taught them the meaning of the scriptures of old so they could testify to the living the meaning of the Messiah passages of old.

Consider please these interpretations of the passages. These interpretations are mine alone there are no other references where they are mentioned that I know of. So, feel free to question or disagree.

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4-11-2022 – A Word to the Wise – WARNING SEXUAL ORIENTED MATTER read no further if upset by this type of material


I have wanted to do this project for some time. For the most part all I am doing is taking scripture and adding some color to the passages. The ‘color’ is strictly mine in an attempt to make the text clear. The text I am using is the WEB translation since this version is not copyright.

1 Kings 17

Elijah the Tishbite, who was one of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”

2 Then Yahweh’s word came to him, saying, 3 “Go away from here, turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is before the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook. I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to Yahweh’s word; for he went and lived by the brook Cherith that is before the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 After a while, the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

8 Yahweh’s word came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain you.”

First let’s look at the town of Zarephath and see if it produces some ideas about why the great prophet Elijah traveled from a small dry creek bed and came some hundred miles by foot to get here. We place the time about two years into the famine that Elijah had called for and five years before the contest on Mt. Carmel around 874 B.C.

Zarephath is about 50 miles North from Mt. Carmel which may be important when Elijah confronts idolatry in about 5 years.

What is most significant is knowing that Zarephath is a principal city for the promulgation of the worship of Tanit-Astarte. Here in this town were both metal works and other materials used to make these popular idols. The major elements of this idolatry involved child sacrifice, and males practicing self-castration and homosexuality and females involved in cult prostitution.

Whereas Elijah was very familiar with the Baal worship of the day I suspect in this town he received an education about different forms of idolatry. We will return to this momentarily.

10 So he arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her, and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.”

11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”

12 She said, “As Yahweh your God lives, I don’t have a cake, but a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jar. Behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Reaching the city Elijah immediately finds who he is looking for. It would appear that this woman lived right outside the city itself because that is where she is gathering firewood. Something else Elijah asks for water, which the woman immediately respond to which leads us to believe that the lack of rain had not yet affected this area. The woman is a widow who cares for her only son. Moreover, she is very poor in fact on the brink of starvation.

Notice that she refers to Yahweh, knows that Elijah worships this God, and even recognizes that he is a prophet. Perhaps by his unique dress. This leads me to believe she was a Canaanite probably married to a Jew who was now dead.

13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go and do as you have said; but make me a little cake from it first, and bring it out to me, and afterward make some for you and for your son. 14 For Yahweh, the God of Israel says, ‘The jar of meal will not run out, and the jar of oil will not fail, until the day that Yahweh sends rain on the earth.’” 15 She went and did according to the saying of Elijah; and she, and he, and her house, ate many days. 16 The jar of meal didn’t run out, and the jar of oil didn’t fail, according to Yahweh’s word, which he spoke by Elijah

“Go and do as you have said; but make me a little cake from it first,” This simple request spelled death for her and her child yet she was willing to believe. Notice Elijah did not enter her house at this point rather insisted she brings the food to him.

Just as evident in making the dinner she discovered the meal and the oil did not decline. Elijah stayed here probably the next three years until he journeyed to make ready the contest with Ahab on Mt. Carmel.

Elijah had two major tasks in ZAREPHATH. First, he was here to provide for and protect this woman and her son. No doubt by the time he left he had established the foundations of belief in the family and those associated with her.

The second task was far more difficult. This was the center of Tanit-Astarte worship which is about to spread like a wildfire through the Northern and Southern kingdoms.

Up until now Baal worship was the main form of idolatry practiced in these two kingdoms and confronted by the prophets of old.

However, Tanit-Astarte worship was far more radical and deadly. It was practiced in the earlier period of ancient history, in one form or another in the Old Testament period and characteristic of the goddess worshipped under the name of Artemis that Paul confronts. It is the chief form of religion practiced in every century up and including this century. The Shaman’s who practice this worship maybe found in every culture; Middle east, oriental, South America, and strongly among Navajo Indians of North America.

I am not going in detail about the form of worship because it is so sickening yet I need to show the link down through history.

The chief traits which Elijah discovered are three in number and one may find these traits either one or all three from inception until now. First, the belief or attempt to reduce a person to asexual or homosexual, second, the element of self-castration among the shamans, or priest. Third the murder of babies.

The first two are obtained through homosexuality and cross dressing. The death of babies was a core issue in the early centuries and is now being brought about by abortions.

I realize this is very brief but to go into detail is beyond our purpose.

I will admit three or four yeas ago my son dragged me to a special Hebrew seminar in Colorado, the focus was I Kings 18-19, which just happened to be the chapters I struggled with in graduate school under Dr. Lewis. My does the Lord make sure we learn important lessons.

Sorry about the distraction but notice please I Kings 18:28. What was the custom? These were the self-castrations practiced in Tanit-Astarte. Elijah learned of this in Zarephath the center of this worship.

Notice verse 18:40 has Elijah killing the 450 prophets of Baal. The text does not say it but I believe it also included the 400 Shaman or prophets of Tanit-Astarte since I Kings 19:1 says he killed all the prophets and the ones most important to Jezebel were the Tanit-Astarte worshipers.

I have often heard the phrase ‘all sin is equal’. It is not. There are some sins on the Lord’s list which are absolutely terrible.

In Exodus 17 we learn of a nation that the attack Hebrews leaving Egypt. They attack the helpless, weak, sick, the young and very old. The Lord said for their behavior the whole nation was to be destroyed.

Amos 1 gives a brief list of other terrible sin, a people involved taking captives and using them for slave labor. This very sin is going on today in America.

Some would say that homosexual behavior is the same as any other type of immoral behavior. It is not true. The reason is homosexual behavior has its roots in the worship of Tanit-Astarte. That does not make other immoral behavior acceptable it does not. It is just not the same. Jesus, himself expresses this when he says if you hurt one of my little ones you would be better off to have a huge millstone hung around your neck and cast into the sea.

All sin is not equal except all but one is forgivable, but the consequences of sin that is a different matter.

So what is the bottom line? I suspect those who practice homosexual behavior would be surprised to learn that this behavior is the key form of worship in these religions. Any study of Tanit-Astarte, Artemis, the Mystery religions, Gnosticism, even Jung a Swiss psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology brings out this form of behavior and espouses it.

Yet today so many worship at the feet of this man and he is treated like an idol in the field of psychiatry. I remember a conversation with my mother years ago saying the Lord blessed this man with special insight and then he turned it against the Lord. There is a lesson in all that for us with that. Do you misuse God’s precious gifts?

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4-1-2022 – A Word to the Wise – PART 3 Let us turn now to the cure for addiction. It should be noted that man has been working desperately to find a cure. For some, the belief is that education is the answer. So in an attempt to stop drug abuse among teens, there has been a dramatic increase in the advertisements aimed at this segment of society. Does education work? The reality is that there has been a tremendous increase in the use of both alcohol and drugs among young people.

Rehabilitation centers are popping up all over the country with magical cures (if you have money or insurance) the chief aim of which is to soothe the panic ridden family that has reached its “wits end.” The ultimate failure of rehabilitation lies in its failure to recognize the basic biblical principle that abstinence is no cure for addiction. The therapies are endless, and the success rate is small. For instance, over 90% of cigarette smokers return to smoking the first year. Even if the abstinence works, nothing has been done about the underlying causes. A new object eventually replaces the present object of addiction.

We understand that certain medicines may affect one type of illness and yet not affect others. Thus, while one type of antibiotic may destroy bacteria in the lungs it has no effect on infection of the kidneys. Just so, the malady of addiction has a specific treatment.

How would you respond, if having pneumonia you went to a doctor and he told you just to take a bath, and you will get well? As if cleansing the outside of the body would cure the inside. Yet, how frequently we try to cure heart problems with cognitive behavior or spiritual problems with radical emotional changes. Addiction is a malady of the heart. Effective treatment means getting to the root of the problem and employing the cure that is most effective with the problem.

Man identifies abstinence as the cure the Lord does not. The Apostle Paul introduces the subject of abstinence and its failures in Colossians 2:20-23. He states that severity to the body such as do not taste, do not touch, while seemingly wise, is actually of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh.

Attempts to handle addictive behavior with self-control are doomed to failure. True, one may actually give up the behavior; however the character problems remain. The problems are magnified because we focus on a physical desire (being thin) as opposed to setting our minds on Christ.

These principles hold true whether the addiction is to food, chemicals, sex, or any other object man might deify. There is a heavy price to pay for abstinence. Abstinence alerts and shuts down every physical, psychological, and spiritual function. Abstinence, instead of taking the mind off the addiction, focuses and concentrates on it. It is like the child who has chapped lips. You tell them not to lick them, but they do anyway. The hope of the child is the pain will go away. The result is they get worse and the entire focus becomes the lips.

The addictive person is a self-absorbed person. His existence has been centered in “getting” for himself. As anyone who is an addict, or who has lived with one knows the addict pleases only him/herself. Even when doing for others the addict’s actions are motivated by “what can I get out of it.” Nine of the ten lepers that Jesus healed had this problem. Cleansed on the outside, they still bore the attitude of ingratitude, which resulted in little faith.

By changing direction from how much can I get to how much can I give, the covetous person is able to set aside addiction. How does one come to the point where they are willing to give instead of get? By experiencing gratitude. Gratitude is the little golden egg.

The characteristic of gratitude is the central truth by which the addict changes. Gratitude is an inward attitude directed toward the Lord, expressing appreciation for all benefits received from Him. It is experienced in the spirit of man. Gratitude is manifested in an outward expression called thankfulness. It originates in the heart. Giving is a result of the inward attitude of gratitude and an outward expression of thanksgiving.

This change is imperative if the addict is to find peace. Whereas, most treatments for addiction tend to modify the outward behavior or mental imagery, they have little effect on the spirit-soul of man.

The Lord’s approach to treatment is different. The person changes from the inside out. The behavior is not the focus of attention, nor is it the central problem. One of the assignments I give to clients is directed towards acquiring gratitude. It begins by listing everyday 25 things you are grateful for in the past and present.

Gratitude is achieved by choice, never by duty. As one examines the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual gifts that God has bestowed, expresses thanksgiving to God in each of these areas for these gifts, then the gratitude batteries recharge. It is not how many gifts God has given, rather how one feels, what one does, and how one expresses thanksgiving for those gifts received.

Gratitude is not focused on “what is not” but on “what is.” It is not focused on losses, but on one’s gains through those losses. This quality does not focus on one’s afflictions, but rather on the results of those afflictions. The depth of gratitude is determined by humility. The greater the humility, the deeper the gratitude. Levels of gratitude are attained through sacrifice. Thus, the greater the sacrifice, the greater the level attained. By writing out one is grateful for eventual transforms the soul. Not the first day, or month or even six months. After the first few weeks the addict has to get serious about his thankfulness. He has to really dig. It is this process that helps transform the person.

When gratitude is exercised, it acts as a protective cover shielding one from the addictive forces of the world. Gratitude, like faith is dead without works. The works of thanksgiving are charitable, unmerited acts towards others. This is the second part of an assignment. One is required to find widows, orphans, or unlovable individuals and on a daily basis meet a need of theirs. Both searches, the one for things one is grateful for the other finding the unlovable, the ungrateful, those who can not return good and shedding blessings on them is the therapy.

Addiction is not a sin—addiction is the consequences of sin. This explains why one cannot stop the addiction until the root sin is discovered and repentance occurs. If one fights the addiction it becomes stronger, and if perchance one conquers it then it will break out in other areas. Paul tells us in Rom 6:16 “if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin which leads to death or of obedience which leads to righteousness.” The slavery of addiction—and who would deny the heavy burden of addiction is the result of disobedience.

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