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Thursday: Blame the Victim — 13 Comments

  1. The lesson says, "God warned Israel to beware lest after they entered the land and became prosperous they should forget that all the good things they enjoyed came from Him, including the power to get wealth (Deut. 8:11-18)." To me Deut 8:11-18 is an important bit of scripture to study and understand. It is also a telling testimony to the misuse of wealth when Hosea wrote concerning what Israel did in spite of the warning in Deut 8, "For she did not know That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, And multiplied her silver and gold-- Which they prepared for Baal" (Hos. 2:8 NKJV).

    God planned to have Israel the wealthiest nation on earth and to have that wealth a drawing card and blessing to lead people to the God Israel was supposed to worship. Instead God's people worshipped the money that God gave them just like they worshipped the creature rather than the creator of the creatures (Eze 8:5-12) and therefore failed miserably by doing far more harm than good.

    Wealth is power and it is only good as long as it is used as it should be - to God's glory and the glory of His government that includes His church. Only as we are a blessing rather than a selfish curse can God bless us with gifts and those gifts are as much for us as they are for others. We are to, "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:39 NKJV) and each of us is to, "look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil. 2:4 NKJV). None of that means that we are to hate ourselves by punishing ourselves and becoming miserably poor but rather to edify the entire church which includes ourselves and be like the river of water that Ezekiel saw in vision (Eze 47) that blessed the dry places and caused things to grow. That is what wealth is supposed to do and it all comes from God who is pleased to see His children happy and prosperous. That is why Jesus did the miracle that He did at Cana that turned water into a huge amount of beverage far exceeding the need of the occasion.

    Therefore, we are to be in the center of the road of wealth rather than fanatically on either side of it.

    • Amen brother Tyler!

      My prayer is Solomon's prayer: “That I may not be full and deny you saying, "Who is the LORD?" Or that I may not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:9)

    • Tyler,

      This reply is super! I am copying it for my files and for Sabbath school. I think you covered the points in a clear, Biblical way.

  2. Do not resist evil???

    Mat 5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist evil. But whoever shall strike you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
    Mat 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you,
    Rom 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. ……
    Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as far as is in you, being in peace with all men. Rom 12:19 not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord."

    What is the Word telling us? Paul in Romans I understand - don't take revenge, don't repay evil for evil, but Jesus in Mathews is harder to take in, don't resist evil?
    What I understand from Jesus comments is firstly don't take private revenge 'eye for eye', let the government and the LORD see to justice.
    Secondly if we carefully study Jesus' words he says 3 things:
    1) if he slaps your cheek - i.e. insults you, don't make a big deal
    2) if he takes you to court, give him more than he asks
    3) if he - authority - compels you to carry his load, go further than he requires

    Is this the correct interpretation? Or is Jesus saying allow people to kill us without resistance?

    Isa 50:6 I gave My back to the strikers, and My cheeks to pluckers; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

    • Shirley, my Hebrew translation says, in verse 39, "But I say to you to not stand against the evil person: but who strikes you in your right cheek, you must at once also turn the other to him."

      I think this clears up the misunderstanding, it's the evil person, not evil that we must not resist.

  3. 1. How many times have you condemned others only to realize later that you were really the one who was wrong?

    Well, I wish that this wasn’t the case but I must admit (with lots of regrets) that I most likely identify with the crowd that condemned and crucified Jesus. However, I now realize that I was truly wrong!!! Christ did not deserve to die, I did ... as it was all my fault!

    2. Does this mean that we should just let people walk all over us?

    Well, what would Jesus do (WWJD)? Whenever I read His experience from the court room to the cross, all I see is people walking all over Him.

    Christ was:
     (i)Falsely accused by the chief priests and elders
     (ii)Stripped naked by a company of soldiers
     (iii)Crowned with thorns
     (iv)Spit upon
     (v)Forced to carry His own cross to Calvary
     (vi)Offered toxic drink (wine mixed with gall)
     (vii)Insulted by by-passers, with words such as; “... you saved others, save yourself..!”
     (viii)Insulted by one of the robbers crucified by His side
    .....to mention a few. Wow! He really let people walk all over Him.

    3. How many quarrels have you had that would never have happened if you had put up no resistance?

    Again, taking Jesus as our example – He avoided many quarrels and arguments by simply keeping silent.

    4. What does Jesus mean by turning the other cheek?

    See answer # 2 above. Jesus did exactly that. He turned His cheek to His accusers many times.

    5. How are we on a practical level to do this (or is the problem that we want to be practical about something that, in and of itself, isn’t really supposed to be practical)?

    (i) Look unto Jesus, (ii) Pray about it, and (iii) Follow His example.

    • Angeline, what you say is good and we indeed are to follow Christ, our exemplar who is love. However, if we are to really do that then we must also see Him being very blunt about sin. Besides, He did stand His ground many times during His ministry, especially with the Pharisees at the end of His ministry. It is not easy to call someone whitewashed tombs that are full of dead men's bones and hypocrites while pointing out their sins (see the woes on the Pharisees Matt 23).

      To me Jesus is both gentle and pliable and yet He is the solid Rock, soft and yet tough. When it came to principle He was stiff as a board and at the same time had mercy for those who were not which is the reason He could honestly pray, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Lk. 23:34 NKJV).

      To me knowing when to give in and when to stand firm or even go on the offensive is wisdom from above. There are times when saying nothing is the way to go but not always. Whatever we do should always be done with love and kindness coupled with abundant wisdom but there are situations where being a door mat does more harm than good. As Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword" (Matt. 10:34 NKJV) which is the word of truth that has the tendency to create division and argument and cause sorrow.

      • It is my understanding that when the gospel was misrepresented Jesus defended the gospel. When Jesus' character was misrepresented, him being falsely accused and persecuted, he did not defend himself. His life was a witness to the gospel he lived by. This is a hard thing for me for I am defensive by nature. It will only be by the Holy Spirit working in me that I can "turn the other cheek".

  4. Tyler I like your comments. I was reading proverbs 22:21-23 the Lord Jesus taught in proverb he warns us about riches. True riches come from Him and their is no sorry with it. My way of saying it is only true happiness is found in Him. We all need money but it is just a means of exchange.True Love can't be bought it's a Heart thing.

    • Shirley, Angeline, Tyler and John,

      I was touched in my heart about your replies and need to think about them over and over again. These concepts are important and hard to always put into action in our lives.

      John ended his comment with, "We all need money but it is just a means of exchange. True Love can't be bought it's a Heart thing."

      Our little granddaughter gives us more love than anyone we know. She blows kisses from the car and when they get to our house, she runs and jumps into our arms. She tells us she loves us and snuggles and is grateful for all we do for her. This is a little five year-old and she hasn't been taught all this. We see God's love coming through her and it is a priceless experience.

      Thanks everyone for the replies posted.



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