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Wednesday: A Wife for Isaac — 44 Comments

  1. We are so besotted with the idea of romantic love - western style - that it is difficult for many of us to get our heads around an arranged marriage as described in the passage we are studying today. Mind you, I know of a number of marriages in the span of my life that do not follow the "normal" pattern but have lasted the distance and have grown and matured into a loving relationship.

    One of the notable points in this story is that Eliezer went about his task in a very practical way. He asked for a sign, but it was not some mystical sign. He wanted to find a woman who was unselfish and thoughtful of others. I sometimes hear of folk today asking for a sign from the Lord to help them make the right decision. A student who had some doubts about whether he has been called to be a minister wanted a sign from the Lord that it was his calling. He had failed the ministerial course 3 times! Surely, that was a sign in itself.

    Signs do not have to be esoteric to be meaningful. I think that sometimes we are so focussed on the supernaturalness of God that we fail to recognise that he often works quite meaningfully in very ordinary ways.

    The simple act of offering to water the animals as well as providing Eliezer a drink showed the sort of woman that Rebecca was - and she was comely as well. That was the bonus.

    [I am back from our holiday on Norfolk Island. It was extended an extra day because the plane we were to return on had a bird strike as it landed. We had to wait until engineers from Australia came the next day to certify the plane before we could fly out. When we did get back to Australia we had to abort our first attempt at landing at Sydney airport because the plane in front of us had a potential bird strike on landing and they had to inspect the runway before we were allowed to land. It could only happen to a keen bird photographer!]

    Amen!(85)
    • Hi Maurice,
      Good to have you back safe and sound; and you were truly missed.

      I'm not sure if someone has already said this, or thought about this, regarding the story of Isaac and Rebekah, but here it goes: Do you realize that this is the same "Eliezer" from back in Genesis 15:2-3, where Abram told God that Eliezer would be his heir, "And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?...and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir." And God quickly told Abram, verse 4, "This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir."

      If Eliezer had the heart of some men nowadays, like those on the reality shows (by the way, I stopped watching those shows), then he could have said in his heart, "Why should I help Isaac found a wife? If he can not find a wife, then I and my descendants will be back in the race as Abraham heir." This could have been a possibility (from man's point of view or schemes, but not God's; because God already had a plan), especially with Abraham being so far along in age to not fight against him. But instead, hear the language that Eliezer used, and I want to say from his heart, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.", then he prayed that the Lord would give him the sign that he stated in order to ensure that he would indeed find the right wife for Isaac. He cared more about his master Abraham, and his son, Isaac, then he did for himself.

      Somehow, Eliezer's faith and knowledge of the Lord God was growing right alongside with Abraham's faith, and he know that "God would provide". He know what we are still learning that if we obey the Lord and His law, that everything else will fall into place. However, many of us are still wrestling with the same problem that most of the secular world is facing; we still think that "we" have to obtain what we need and want, instead of letting "the Lord provide" for us.

      He said:
      "seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added on to you", Matthew 6:33,
      "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."2 Corinthians 12:9,
      "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.", Matthew 11:28.

      Psalm 34:8 says, "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."

      And finally, as the hymn says, "Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey". Let's our heart song be to "Trust and Obey", and leave the rest of it to God, "He will provide".

      (I do know that it takes a faith journey, or a growing of our faith, to get to that point; but we can purpose in our hearts today to start by deciding to "follow the Lord", then we will continue to grow day by day, moment by moment, as another song says, "I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.")

      God's blessings to you all.

      Amen!(3)
  2. I really appreciate today's emphasis upon God's authentic commitment to freewill - that "as powerful as He is, God does not force humans to obey Him". Thus God is a radically different form/type of Sovereign, exercising a radically different form/type of Sovereignty than we are are familiar with from our worldly experience/s with sovereigns and sovereignty.

    The lesson also notes that "...somehow, despite the reality of human free will, and many of the terrible choices humans make with that free will, we can still trust that in the end God’s love and goodness, ultimately, will prevail." Why will God's love and goodness ultimately prevail? Is it because God will use His powerfulness to make sure it does? Or is there something inherent to reality* that means that this is the only viable, and therefore possible, outcome?

    -----
    * Please note that I am not suggesting that reality is bigger than God.

    Amen!(14)
    • If that is the only possible outcome, why was there a war to cast Satan out of Heaven?
      What is the war in Rev 19:11-21 about?
      Why is there a judgement in Rev 20:4-15 and anyone not found in the Book of Life thrown into the lake of fire?
      Why does God have to make all things new? Why do only the overcomers go into the New Jerusalem while the wicked get thrown into the lake of fire Rev 21:7-8?
      These are all forceable actions taken by the LORD to ensure peace and harmony in Heaven and the Earth made new!
      When the LORD removes all His restraint from Satan and evil there is only more evil and without the intervention of Jesus Christ all the righteous would be destroyed, that is the only possible outcome, if one believes the Bible.

      Amen!(13)
      • Hi Shirley

        So I can know how to respond to your fair and reasonable questions, I first need to know how you understand the following. When God told Adam and Even in Genesis 2:16-17 that in the day they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die, was God informing them that they would die because He would have to kill them or was He saying they would die from the inherent consequences of sin?

        Thanks

        Amen!(5)
        • Hi Phil,

          What do you mean by "the inherent consequences of sin"?
          I note you use the word "inherent" often - what is your definition of it?
          Also what is your definition of sin?

          Amen!(5)
          • My 'definition' or explanation of sin's nature and character is 1 John 3:4. The Greek word that is translated lawlessness is anomia with 'a' being a prefix meaning not or without and nomia meaning law. This is not talking about rules but the laws of life - otherwise known as constants or inherent cause-and-effect principles. The most foundation nomia is self-renouncing love that is the (definitive foundational) law of life for earth and heaven and has its origin in the heart of God.

            God has 'employed' use of laws to provide the order that is necessary for life - laws of physics, health, etc. Moral laws functionally share this same nature (inherent cause-and-effect principles/constants). While God provides the 'energy' or breath of life, He 'distributes' this energy through these laws. When things operate in harmony with these laws, beneficent life is the inherent outcome. When things go out of harmony with these laws (ie become lawless/anomic), life is precluded. One example is a cancer cell. Cancer cells start out as normal cells but then, due to the impacts of mutation, become lawless/anomic in their functioning. In doing so, the now cancerous cell is now only capable of inherently producing cellular destruction.

            Yes, I use the word 'inherent' often. As per typical dictionary meanings, inherent means that an outcome arises from factors/characteristics that lie within the phenomenon being referred to. For example, lawlessness produces death due to the nature of that lawlessness rather than due to something outside of lawlessness. Galatians 6:8 is a verse that describes inherence.

            So, how do you understand Genesis 2:16-17? Was God meaning that Adam and Eve would die because He was going to kill them?

            Amen!(1)
            • Based on numerous texts throughout the Word of the LORD I believe that in Gen 2:16-17 the LORD was in effect saying "if you disobey My command I will withdraw My life force from you and I will not give you the gift of Eternal Life"

              Amen!(4)
            • We are so blessed that the LORD does not leave us to be ruled by impersonal laws like nature. He is personally interested and involved in our lives. He reveals His thoughts and ways to us and gives us the choice to obey or not until the Second Coming, then Eternal Life will only be given on condition of agreement with His Principles.

              It is good to study Genesis again, it shows us the LORD interacting with humans, investigating allegations of rebellion, making judgements, putting the verdicts into effect which range from those of Adam to those of Sodom and Gomorah. Some are given time to repent while those who have filled up their cup of iniquity are destroyed.

              We discover that the LORD'S plan of Salvation is for all to be "born again" to be transformed to have a character like Him, to partake of the divine nature, to love the LORD with our whole being and to treat others like the LORD treats us.

              Amen!(5)
            • Hi Shirley

              I see that you and I differ on our understanding of whether destruction is an inherent or imposed phenomenon. And I have a better understanding of what you believe and why - thank you. If I were to answer the questions you raised above, inherent would be the basis of the answers I would provide along with comment regarding whether the war in heaven is a physical war or a war of lies vs truth (as per 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). I would also provide comment as to whether the references to throwing into fire are exact literal descriptions or whether they are metaphors of literal realities due to some problems in literal interpretation of those passages such as:

              * Satan being bound by a literal chain (Revelation 20:1) in a literal abyss that is literally sealed over to be physically inescapable (Revelation 20:3),
              * the devil, beast and false prophet being literally thrown into a fire that isn't enough to kill them outright for they last at least a day into a night (Revelation 20:10),
              * and finally death and Hades being literally picked up and literally thrown into a lake of fire (Revelation 20:14).

              However, while you and I have our differences regarding the nature of God's Sovereignty and therefore the implications of that, I do agree with you regarding:

              "the LORD'S plan of Salvation is for all to be "born again" to be transformed to have a character like Him, to partake of the divine nature, to love the LORD with our whole being and to treat others like the LORD treats us."

              So, each of us will continue to gently and respectfully share what we are each convicted of (1 Peter 3:15) and hopefully do so in a way that encourages all readers to study for themselves regarding what they believe and why (as per Acts 17:11; Romans 14:5b) - and in so doing grow in their walk with God and their service to others (as per John 13:35).

              With regards...

              Amen!(1)
            • Thank you for your response. Do I understand you to say that you believe there will be destruction of all the wicked as an inherent result of lawlessness?
              Do you believe there will ever be an end to evil?

              I am looking forward to a new earth where only righteousness dwells!
              2Peter 3:13

              Amen!(0)
            • Thanks Shirley

              Yes, I believe there will be destruction of all the wicked as an inherent result of lawlessness/anomia* and that the destruction will be produced by the lawlessness (due to the nature of what anomia is/does).

              And yes, when God finally releases all 'probation-based restraint' of the full magnitude of what lawlessness/evil inherently is, that will be the end of lawlessness/evil.

              I too am looking forward to a new earth where only righteousness dwells once again (2 Peter 3:13) - and to sharing that new earth with as many others as possible. Hence my heart resonates with God's desire in 2 Peter 3:9, as I am sure yours does too.

              ------
              * These are functional terms meaning they describe how something actually operates. That is why I refer to sin/evil as lawlessness (English translation) and anomia (Greek) - not operating in accordance with 'law' - which most fundamentally/foundationally is the law of self-renouncing love that is the basis of all life on earth and in heave and which has it's source in the heart of God. Because anomia is out of harmony with that which can only support and sustain life, anomia cannot support and sustain life and therefore perishes (biblical term) or self-destructs (more modern term).

              Amen!(1)
            • Phil, you wrote: "And yes, when God finally releases all 'probation-based restraint' of the full magnitude of what lawlessness/evil inherently is, that will be the end of lawlessness/evil."

              Does this include God bringing fire down from heaven(Rev 20:9), or do you see God as not involved in destroying the wicked? Can you elaborate on how you understand "when God finally releases 'probation-based restraint'(restraint of what?)"? Do you have any scripture reference to point to which describes this?

              Amen!(0)
          • In all fairness, Phil and Shirley, I have to note that you are both right, provided neither one of you takes your point to an unnecessary extreme. Sin is inherently contrary to the natural order of things. God's law is descriptive of reality. Thus God's acts of judgment, as certain as they are as a divine intervention, are not arbitrary, but are a natural expression of reality. They are acts of mercy, as simply leaving things to their own natural course would result in needless suffering.

            Amen!(2)
        • Not speaking for Shirley, but for myself as I have come to understand the Word of God. This may get lengthy due to the points needing attention.

          Precisely Phil, God would have put them to death for the violation of the Holy Sovereign Law of their Creator. If you study all the related passages on this story it is very clear. If you read Genesis 2:17 in the Hebrew the verse ends with the phrase of 3 words: "muth, muth, muth"(Heb 4191, three times!).

          Strongs, muth: A primitive root: to die (literally or figuratively); causatively, to kill -- X at all, X crying, (be) dead (body, man, one), (put to, worthy of) death, destroy(-er), (cause to, be like to, must) die, kill, necro(-mancer), X must needs, slay, X surely, X very suddenly, X in (no) wise.

          NASB Translation(muth):
          body (1), bring about my death (1), bring death (1), caused the death (1), certainly die (1), certainly put (1), certainly put me to death (1), corpse (2), dead (104), dead man (1), dead* (2), deadly* (1), death (21), deceased (5), destroy (2), die (214), die shall be put (1), died (167), dies (30), dying (1), kill (13), killed (24), killing (2), kills (4), means kill (2), mortally (3), must die (1), perished* (1), put (4), put her to death (1), put him to death (1), put him to death (20), put his to death (1), put me to death (1), put me to death (3), put my to death (1), put some to death (1), put the to death (3), put their to death (1), put them to death (1), put them to death (8), put to death (62), put us to death (2), put you to death (6), puts him to death (1), putting to death (1), slay (7), surely be put to death (56), surely we will kill (1), surely will die (1), surely die (16), surely* (1), took life (2).

          As for "the inherent consequences of sin", I take you to mean that their sin itself would cause their (second)death, yet in Gen 3:22-24 God clearly states that these (now pardoned)sinners would live forever as sinners if given access to the tree of Life, and were thus banned from it with an angel posted to keep all sinners away from it. So what does this say about "inherent consequences" and likeliness of them dying the 2nd death "in the day" they ate of the tree?(yes, smoking or drunk driving may cause one to die, but not the 2nd death, which God, as the Creator, alone must "execute".) But instead of executing the just sentence upon Adam and Eve for their transgression of God's eternal Law, this is when God("who so loved the world") revealed the Gospel, both in heaven and upon earth. This, at the "foundation of the world", is when the "Lamb" was "slain"(Rev 13:8), though it would be fulfilled 4,000 years later. In God's reckoning, it was as good as done, and the guilty pair was pardoned upon the promise of this (second)Death of the Christ in their place. Just like Isaac in Genesis 22!

          Ellen also writes of Abel reasoning with Cain, reminding him that God in mercy did not put their parents to death, though having just cause to carry out the sentence. (I have read this in more than one reference, and not that long ago. I'm certain you will find it in a search.)

          Regarding your question if God would "have to kill them", when a criminal receives a just sentence of capital punishment for their crime, are they killed or executed? What is the difference? Keep in mind that the God who could have justly executed them is the ONE who promised to be executed FOR them. Just like Isaac in Genesis 22!

          Amen!(4)
          • Whenever I hear talk of retributive justice, I am reminded of the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea. There they were with a wall of water to their left, and a wall of water to their right, and dry ground before them (which was no less a miracle than those walls of water!). And they made it across, praise God! But here comes Pharoah's army chasing after them. And Pharoah's army has a wall of water to their left, and a wall of water to their right, and dry ground before them...until suddenly they don't.
            So my question is this: When those walls of water came crashing down on Pharoah and his army, was that a retributive act of God? Or was it the natural consequence of standing beside a wall of water once God's restraining hand was removed? The children of Israel seemed to think it was the former (See Ex. 15:1-19). The laws of hydrostatics suggests the latter. But is there really a difference? Who authored the laws of physics, after all?
            If Paul says in Acts 17:28 that "in Him we live and move and exist," then what happens when sin separates us from God? If someone at last makes that final and irrevocable choice to be outside Him, can that person expect still to live or move or exist? Whether the second death is retributive or a natural consequence may be a matter of semantics, but I find I prefer semantics that emphasize God's boundless love and eagerness to save, over those that might be misinterpreted to suggest the contrary.

            Amen!(8)
            • L.R. Lait, could your question regarding the drowning of Pharaoh and his army include the ten plagues? Also, sometime after the Red Sea some people in the camp of Israel were swallowed by the earth. Does that reckon into your question as well? There is more, as Shirley points out above, but these events I list would be sufficient for an understanding of God and His ways which are called "just and true" by the saints(Rev 15:3).

              When we read Rev 11:18 about God rewarding His faithful servants, and destroying those who destroy the earth, are we to believe that those who destroy the earth actually destroy themselves, which would mean they must resurrect themselves for the occasion(Rev 20:5,7-9)? If so, do the saints reward themselves too? What then does God actually do? According to this verse, He does both.

              Now are we talking about "retributive(as some define it) judgment" or justice? What is the difference? Can vengeance be just, or even holy? Is righteous indignation a "thing"?

              Is Satan "separated from God"? Is he alive today after 6000+ years of separation(at least, plus the 1000 years yet to come)? And when God(who is The Sovereign) removes anything which destroys His "very good" creation, is it done out of love or hate?(some might call this a "trick question")

              Amen!(3)
            • Hi L.R. Lait.

              I agree with your unpacking of the Red Sea experience. In regard to your comment about 'is there really a difference' or is it merely semantics, might I suggest that if God authored the laws of physics on an arbitrary basis - meaning He could equally have authored the laws of physics differently and it would have made no difference - then it would be a moot semantic matter as you suggest. But if God authored the laws of physics the only way that can actually be authored to viably support life, then it is no longer merely a semantic issue. Rather it become an issue emphasising the non-arbitrary nature and character of God and His Ways - which I would propose even more strongly emphasises God's boundless love and eagerness to exclusively promote life and therefore salvation.

              Your thoughts?

              Amen!(2)
            • I totally agree with your thought expressed as

              If Paul says in Acts 17:28 that "in Him we live and move and exist," then what happens when sin separates us from God? If someone at last makes that final and irrevocable choice to be outside Him, can that person expect still to live or move or exist?

              Since God is both the Author of life and the Sustainer of continuing life, willful separation from Him inevitably results in the cessation of life. Humans, after all, are not naturally immortal. God provides probationary life to sinners until such a time as He determines how their lives shall end - ultimately in the second death.

              However, Phil Van der Klift took the general principle a step further into territory that I do not see sustained by Scripture:

              But if God authored the laws of physics the only way that can actually be authored to viably support life, then it is no longer merely a semantic issue. Rather it become an issue emphasising the non-arbitrary nature and character of God and His Ways

              This statement implies a reality existing before God created - a reality to which God is subject in His manner of creating: "God authored the laws of physics the only way that can actually be authored to viably support life."

              By contrast, I believe that the laws of our being and the laws of this planet are what they are because *God* set them up to be this way, and He could have set up the physical laws (including "physics") to operate in a different manner. If He had, that would be the "reality" we would know.

              I would caution against going beyond what God has revealed and speculating regarding rules He must follow in creating and in dealing with His created beings. (See Deut. 29:29)

              Amen!(1)
            • Inge

              I only share the following because it parallels the 'concept' I am referring to.

              "In God’s moral government, which is a government based upon a distinction between right and wrong, laws are essential to secure right actions. But Lucifer took the position that wrong existed in heaven and in this world as the result of the law, and that it need not have been had there been no law. This brought against God’s government the charge of being arbitrary, and made God responsible for all moral deficiencies. But right and wrong are not based upon God’s moral government; God’s moral government is based upon a distinction between right and wrong. The erroneous view which many have of this subject cause them to rebel against God’s law of government as arbitrary; but moral law is a necessity where free moral agents exist." (11LtMs, Ms 79, 1896, par. 4)

              With further regard to the notion of God setting reality up, if that was the case as you propose, then why did God set up a reality that comprised both good and evil? If God could have done it any way He wanted and that would have been reality, then He could equally have set up a reality where there is authentic freedom on some other basis than one involving the freedom to rebel. That would have rendered all creation secure from the outset and avoided all the devastation that has occurred under the reality that is in existence.

              Amen!(0)
            • Thanks for your response, Phil. I will address the quotation you reference in another comment. For now I want to address this:

              why did God set up a reality that comprised both good and evil?

              I am very sure that God did not "set up a reality that comprised both good and evil."

              The biblical record tells us that even in the creation of this planet, everything was "very good" when God finished creating it. He did not create evil. Evil was an uninvited intruder. Please keep in mind that evil is not a "thing" that needs to be "created." Evil is a choice to rebel against God's moral government. Yes, God created every created being with the freedom to choose to trust Him or rebel against Him because love is not possible without freedom of choice. And freedom of choice, by definition, includes the possibility to choose rebellion rather than trust. Lucifer inexplicably chose to depart from God's law of self-denying love, and thus he chose to be "evil."

              I repeat, God did not set up "reality" that included evil. He did not create evil.

              Amen!(3)
            • To both Phil and L.R. Lait regarding free will and God's part in removing sin from the earth, and what the Law tells us: "for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments".

              God also states concerning Himself towards sinners: "The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation".

              I am left to choose my own destiny, and will receive either God's mercy, or God's (holy)wrath, but I get to choose which it will be. God has made it perfectly clear what the choices are and the sure outcome for each choice, and leaves me to exercise my free will. If I don't want God's will controlling my life, I am not forced to accept it.

              Amen!(1)
            • Thanks Inge

              Re your comment above, I agree with you that God did not create evil. Yet evil exists and is therefore reality within the totality of reality (for now). God did not create that aspect of reality - but it exists. And God has needed to deal with that aspect of reality that He did not create. This is an example of why I believe there is an ultimate objective reality that exists and which God 'employs' and is in harmony with. And I believe that ultimate objective reality is that beneficence is the only viable basis for true life and living and that this is why God is beneficence. However I don't believe that this means that reality is bigger than God and controls God or that it pre-exists God for it cannot because God has always been. But I do believe it is foundational objective evidence at the highest level that God is non-arbitrary* in all (just and true) His Ways.

              I find Ellen White's suggestion that "right and wrong are not based upon God’s moral government; God’s moral government is based upon a distinction between right and wrong" to be consistent (or at least not inconsistent) with what I have outlined above regarding apparent existence of objective reality where there objectively is inherent right and inherent wrong. However, I appreciate that you or others may see things differently.

              Thanks. Phil

              ----------
              * My use of non-arbitrary is referring to things being in accordance with (the 'mechanism/s' of) reality as opposed to being based on personal preference apart from reality. This conceptualisation of non-arbitrary is in accordance with the reference to principle and system within the definition of arbitrary by Collins English dictionarywhich states:

              "If you describe an action, rule, or decision as arbitrary, you think that it is not based on any principle, plan, or system."

              And by principle, I mean inherent cause-and-effect dynamic.

              Amen!(1)
            • [Actually in response to Phil van der Klift on May 21, 2022 at 3:19 am]
              Phil, I want to thank you for bringing that quotation to my attention. It is new to me, and I see that it was "previously unpublished" (definitely unpublished when I did most of my studying). It is an interesting manuscript from 1896, and I encourage our readers to read it in its entirety. It is published as Ms 79, 1896 "The Moral Law," February 1, 1896.

              I had written previously:

              Phil wrote:

              But if God authored the laws of physics the only way that can actually be authored to viably support life, then it is no longer merely a semantic issue. Rather it become an issue emphasising the non-arbitrary nature and character of God and His Ways

              [My reply:]
              This statement implies a reality existing before God created - a reality to which God is subject in His manner of creating: "God authored the laws of physics the only way that can actually be authored to viably support life."

              By contrast, I believe that the laws of our being and the laws of this planet are what they are because God set them up to be this way, and He could have set up the physical laws (including "physics") to operate in a different manner. If He had, that would be the "reality" we would know.

              You replied with this quotation from Ellen White's manuscript:

              "In God’s moral government, which is a government based upon a distinction between right and wrong, laws are essential to secure right actions. But Lucifer took the position that wrong existed in heaven and in this world as the result of the law, and that it need not have been had there been no law. This brought against God’s government the charge of being arbitrary, and made God responsible for all moral deficiencies. But right and wrong are not based upon God’s moral government; God’s moral government is based upon a distinction between right and wrong. The erroneous view which many have of this subject cause them to rebel against God’s law of government as arbitrary; but moral law is a necessity where free moral agents exist." (11LtMs, Ms 79, 1896, par. 4)

              Notice that my argument was specifically regarding the laws of physics, and the statement by Ellen White does not address this at all. I stand by my statement above.

              The statement, "But right and wrong are not based upon God’s moral government; God’s moral government is based upon a distinction between right and wrong," raises the question of just what is "right and wrong." I think Ellen is trying to make the point that "right and wrong" are not "right and wrong" just because God says so, but they are based on something more fundamental. And I believe that the "something more fundamental" is the character of God Himself, which is self-giving love. I do not see "right and wrong" existing before and/or apart from God Himself, and it is not justifiable to draw such a conclusion from this isolated statement.

              The following paragraph actually states

              The law of God is the expression of his character, and in his holy word it is pronounced holy, just, and good. David says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” [Psalm 19:7.]

              And that seems to confirm my conclusion.

              But the full manuscript actually addresses issues in the larger discussion we have been having. Here are some further excerpts:

              A government, of whatever character, supposes a governor. This world has a governor—the God of the universe. His guardian care is universal
              ....
              As Creator of heaven and earth and thousands of world that have never fallen, God is governor over all, and bound to exercise a moral government throughout the universe. To exact less than obedience to his law from moral agents, would be to abandon them to ruin. Should he not enforce his law by the penalty of death, the whole universe would be in confusion. The moral law is God’s barrier between the moral agent and sin. Infinite wisdom places before man the distinction between right and wrong, between sin and holiness; but God’s government is a government of free will, and there is no act of rebellion or obedience which is not a free will act.

              Then there's this interesting paragraph that makes a distinction between God's moral law and "positive law." I believe some refer to the latter as "imposed law.":

              This law which man is called upon to obey, as the standard of right for the moral universe, is the most wise and holy counsel of God. It is a moral law, and has its foundation in the difference of the quality of moral agents. Positive law is the expression of the will of the law-giver. Moral law is universal; positive law is not necessarily universal, but may be restricted or extended according to the will of the law-giver. Moral law must be immutable, while positive law may be enacted, changed, or abolished, as the lawgiver may determine.

              God's moral law is "immutable," because it is based on His unchanging character. (Mal 3:6) A fascinating manuscript indeed!

              Amen!(1)
            • This quote above is stunning - it confirms my understanding of the choice of Adam and Eve at that tree of which the LORD commanded them not to eat. As I study throughout the WORD of the LORD, this same conclusion is progressively revealed.
              God's Moral Law which is a transcript of His Character is the only way for humans to live in peace and harmony.
              ....

              As Creator of heaven and earth and thousands of worlds that have never fallen, God is governor over all, and bound to exercise a moral government throughout the universe. To exact less than obedience to his law from moral agents, would be to abandon them to ruin. Should he not enforce his law by the penalty of death, the whole universe would be in confusion. The moral law is God’s barrier between the moral agent and sin. Infinite wisdom places before man the distinction between right and wrong, between sin and holiness; but God’s government is a government of free will, and there is no act of rebellion or obedience which is not a free will act.

              Amen!(0)
          • Hi Robert

            I find a different reading of the Hebrew of Genesis 2:17 than you report. I find the Hebrew says mowt tamut. I find that this literally means 'dying you will die' which is a parallel phrase to Genesis 2:16 which literally means 'eating you will eat'. When I consider that mowt is a Qal Infinitive Absolute verb and tamut is a Qal Imperfect verb, I find that the implied meaning is 'perishing you will perish' rather than 'executing you will be executed'. I find that this notion of 'perishing you will perish' aligns with what God is trying to help us avoid in 2 Peter 3:9 and John 3:16. I also find this conception to be in harmony with the nature of sin as anomia (1 John 3:4) which is a state of inherent dysfunction that correspondingly inherently precludes life. This also aligns with Galatians 6:7-8, James 1:14-15 and Romans 6:23 that denote that sin (anomia) is the state that inherently produces death via perishing.

            But I can put that aside and ask a question. If God gives authentic freedom of choice to choose for or against Him and His ways, but then kills those who choose against His ways, how is authentic freedom to choose against His ways authentically preserved? If I say to you that you are free to choose to drink water or poison and you choose poison, so I kill you for making that choice, have I authentically given you freedom to choose?

            Amen!(1)
            • Hello Phil,
              God gives all free choice, or the tree would NOT have existed. However, God was clear about the results of making a rebelious choice, and eating from that easily accessible tree which was not locked behind a guarded gate. So yes, it was a real, free choice. If I choose to disobey the Sovereign command, I must die. That death does not remove my free will. If you believe that free-will only exists if there are no consequences, you must find a different universe than this one. This entire creation we exist in has a Sovereign, who has given His Law. He will not force you or me to live in obedience. There is another option, which Satan has exercised, and we are free to follow his example. It is really quite simple isn't it?

              God does not "kill" for making a choice, but He does state plainly that the rebellious choice will lead to death. What we are left to determine is the nature of that death, and how it takes place. From the evidence I have studied and shared already, the only way Adam and Eve would die "in the day ye eat of it", would be divine execution, which has not been elaborated on. Without God's active intervention, and with access to the Tree of Life, we know they would have lived forever, so it was not some natural result or poison from the forbidden fruit. And with the greater detail provided in the inspired writings, we learn that righteous Abel reminded Cain that God spared their parent's lives in mercy, while He would have been just in ending their lives, however that might have been done, in that same day. (This is how God worked through Israel: execution happened the same day as conviction, with examples for our study. There was no death row in Israel while God was obeyed as Sovereign.)

              The Hebrew text I referred to is from the KJV (Strong's). I am not familiar with what you cite.

              Neither you nor L.R. Lait have responded to my question regarding the plagues or the execution of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. I believe it is important to examine these actions if we are going to bring up the Red Sea as an example. The Same Power was active in all these cases, and one example only does not give the broader view.

              Amen!(2)
            • Phil, you wrote

              If God gives authentic freedom of choice to choose for or against Him and His ways, but then kills those who choose against His ways, how is authentic freedom to choose against His ways authentically preserved?

              You used the word "kill," which has a different and more negative connotation than "execute," which would be the normal description of such actions. (To "kill" or "execute" God only needs to withhold the breath of life, which sounds less threatening than "kill," but it's a matter of semantics, because the result is the same.)

              Your statement appears to imply that any kind of judgment on sin involving the execution of a death sentence or other negative consequence on wrong-doers eliminates freedom of choice. But the Bible does not present it that way. Over and over again, humans are asked to choose either life, through obedience, or death, through disobedience. In other comments, you have implied that they would have freedom of choice if death came "naturally" (as inherent consequence) rather than God's imposition of a penalty. But there really is no practical difference. It is a choice between life and death either way.

              The Bible is actually replete with threatenings of "judgments" on sinners and rewards for the righteous.

              Please consider that there was a time in the life of Israel when God was the direct Ruler of their nation - not just their spiritual Ruler, but the King of their nation. And, through Moses, He gave them laws to govern their lives. These laws included the death penalty for a number of offenses. These offenses did not have any "inherent consequences" of death, but the offenders were to be executed after sentence was passed on them.

              Should these laws God gave directly to Israel not inform us as to how God governs? (2 Tim. 3:16)

              Is there perhaps some danger in judging that all the major translations of the Bible got it wrong, and that we must re-translate/re-interpret portions of the Bible that explicitly speak of God executing judgment on sinners - whether on specific individuals, on nations the Israelites conquered or on sinners in the final judgment?

              Might it not be the more prudent course to take the Bible as it reads, except when there is some clear indication that it is not meant to be read that way, including God's demonstrated self-sacrificing love that did not stop at taking the sin of humanity on Himself at the cross? That should color all our reading of "judgments" and help us recognize that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but rather performs the necessary surgery for the health of the universe.

              Amen!(2)
            • Hi Inge

              I hear what you are saying, but don't necessarily agree.

              In regard to "the Bible is actually replete with threatenings of "judgments" on sinners and rewards for the righteous", how does 1 Corinthians 4:5 'define'/unpack the God's judgment process? I find this to parallel John 3:17-19 and John 12:47-48 to show that I am not basing my view on a single text.

              In regard to "Should these laws God gave directly to Israel not inform us as to how God governs? (2 Tim. 3:16)", Matthew 19:8 also provides comment as to factors influencing the laws that were given to Israel.

              Also in regard to the issue of Bible reading as it plainly states, I have not seen acknowledgement of the following:

              "...Hebrew culture attributed responsibility to an individual for acts he did not commit but that he allowed to happen. Therefore the inspired writers of the Scriptures commonly credit God with doing actively that which in Western thought we would say He permits or does not prevent from happening, for example, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart." (SDA Methods of Bible Study, section 4.16

              The above makes specific mention that this is a common rather than rare or occasional point - yet it has not been taken into account in the Bible translations. Therefore a plain reading of Bible translations fails to convey the existence of this vital understanding and unless a reader is aware of it, the risk of misperception of causation is high.

              Thank you for allowing me to present my perspective and supporting explanation and 'evidence'.

              Amen!(1)
            • Ok Phil, I found a Hebrew rendering which you shared, and both those words(mowt tamut) are forms of Heb 4191: muth, with the same definitions I shared above. So in this manuscript "mut" is repeated but twice, whereas in the manuscript I referenced it is 3 times(Blue Letter Bible app, Strongs). Why the difference I don't know, but the meaning is the same, especially when all related passages and inspired comments are included. Without the Lamb of God, Adam and Eve would have perished at the hand of their Sovereign Creator (in some way) for their rebellion against His Sovereignty, which is what it was, and is with our sin as well.(see Eze 18:4, John 8:24, etc.)

              There in fact was a death "in the day" they ate of the forbidden fruit/tree, but as a substitute for theirs. We are taught in God's word that without blood, there is no forgiveness(Heb 9:22), and to be still alive and clothed, they had to be forgiven first. This is the order of the Gospel.

              This is not complicated at all, and simple to see and understand if we believe the Truth. On that very day of man's rebellion, the Executor promised to become the executed in their place. This is Heaven's gift to all who "repent and believe the Gospel"(Mark 1:15).

              Amen!(1)
            • Hi Phil, Robert and Inge –
              Please permit me to contribute to the conversation in order to bring out one point which has not been made clear in your conversation regarding ‘free will’ - 'good and evil' and the consequences related to it. I think the conversation related to ‘free-will-decisions' needs to include that this takes place exclusively in the spiritual realm though being manifested in the physical realm because the 'living soul' is designed to have a physical appearance.

              My understanding is that the exercise of ‘free-will’ is done in the environment the Creator set up at the beginning of ‘time’; time started with the creation of matter and any building blocks necessary to govern the manifestation of matter and life was present at the beginning of ‘time’; therefore, the spiritually based moral aspects – right and wrong – was also present at that time.

              The Triune-God ultimately created in unison the platforms for the existence of all that is; it includes everything that is and can be experienced. In this singular paradigm is present the ‘freedom to exercise ones will’. Again, this freedom is a spiritually based freedom as part of the only reality in existence - which is essentially spiritual but made experiential/visible through action and physical manifestations.
              Ellen White’s quote: .. “right and wrong are not based upon God’s moral government; God’s moral government is based upon a distinction between right and wrong."

              ‘Right and wrong’ are therefore the mortal's basic distinction of life or none-life, this meaning - outside of life. Therefore, the emphasis ought to be not on ‘killing’ or executing’ life because of 'sin', the emphasis ought to be on accepting/maintaining one’s spiritual existence within the reality of life instead of withdrawing from the Creator Father's reality of life through spiritual unbelieve.

              I see the choice of man to be based on: 'living by the spirit-reality of Life which is God’s reality revealed to man, or to life by the spirit-reality of death, which is based on choosing to live contrary to God’s spirit of Life."
              God does not sustain the spirit of death, His reality only sustains the spirit of Life – the Creation-spirit of the Trinue-God present at the beginning of time.

              Amen!(0)
            • Hi Phil, you wrote:

              I hear what you are saying, but don't necessarily agree.

              As I might expect.😊

              You wrote

              In regard to "the Bible is actually replete with threatenings of "judgments" on sinners and rewards for the righteous", how does 1 Corinthians 4:5 'define'/unpack the God's judgment process? I find this to parallel John 3:17-19 and John 12:47-48 to show that I am not basing my view on a single text.

              I do not see anything in these Scriptures as suggesting that there will be no judgment. Rather, they address the timing of judgment (1 Cor. 4:5) and the standard of judgment (John 3:17-19; John 12:47-48).

              In regard to "Should these laws God gave directly to Israel not inform us as to how God governs? (2 Tim. 3:16)", Matthew 19:8 also provides comment as to factors influencing the laws that were given to Israel.

              When Jesus spoke of allowing divorce because of their hardness of heart, I don't see how that suggests a lower standard after the incarnation. Rather, He seems to expect more of His disciples. And when Paul says that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" in 2 Tim. 3:16, I expect that includes the laws God gave Israel regarding how to apply the principles of the Ten Commandments in real life - a little like "case law" in the western legal system. (See "God’s Law: The One, the Two, the Ten and the Many"
              I see you really like this paragraph from "SDA Methods of Bible Study," section 4.16:

              "Therefore the inspired writers of the Scriptures commonly credit God with doing actively that which in Western thought we would say He permits or does not prevent from happening, for example, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart." (SDA Methods of Bible Study, section 4.16)

              I believe you are making this statement carry much more weight than it was intended to convey. I don't believe it was intended to convey that all statements of God's activity in discipline, judgment or punishment should be regarded as meaning something different from what they actually say.

              We can apply this principle where it has explanatory power, without doing away with the biblical teaching of executive judgments. (Often it's reasonably obvious that God did not actively do what the writers credited Him with doing. But when they quote God as directly saying, "I do ... " maybe we should be careful with our interpretation.)

              You also mention that the extract above "has not been taken into account in the Bible translations." If you see this as a fault, it seems to me that you would prefer a paraphrase (like The Remedy), rather than a translation, because this "taking into account" lies in the realm of interpretation, not translation. Some translations do veer in the direction of interpretation, and insofar as they do that, they diminish the role of the Holy Spirit as Interpreter to each individual reader. And that's not a good thing.

              Thank you for the conversation. 😊

              Amen!(1)
            • This is fascinating. Phil correctly points out that, in reality, sin (i.e. self-seeking) is inherently destructive. Inge responds correctly that God is the One who created our reality in that way. This seems to set us up for a multiple choice.

              A) God is love because, in reality, love's opposite (self-seeking) is inherently evil -- contrary to the well-being of all.

              B) Self-seeking is inherently evil because God is love, and has chosen to set reality up in that way.

              C) Both of the above.

              In order to accept B as the correct answer, we might have to consider the absurd proposition that God could just as well have been selfishness, and chosen to set up a reality in which self-seeking would have been best for everyone.

              In order to accept A, we might have to posit a reality that is greater than God, and essentially predates Him.

              Thus I am compelled to accept C as the correct answer, an answer that I can no better comprehend than I can comprehend a self-existent God with no beginning and no end.

              Coming back to what I think we can all understand, sin is indeed inherently destructive and, if left to themselves, sin and sinners would eventually destroy themselves and each other. However, anyone who actually reads the Bible and takes it seriously can easily see that God has no intention of pursuing that course of inaction. Why not?

              Clearly, God's purpose in dealing with sin is to bring about the eternal security of the universe -- to minimize suffering by ensuring that sin with never again rear its ugly head. As I understand it, the universe will have to be thoroughly convinced that:

              1) Sin (self-seeking) is a really bad idea, and not just because the Almighty is against it, and

              2) Perfect justice has been done.

              There can be no loose ends to occasion any future dissatisfaction.

              So, why can't God just let things run their course and let sin destroy itself? To take the latter item first, I can find no reason anywhere to believe in the existence of Karma. Perfect justice will not just bring itself about by any passive means. Secondly, waiting for sin to eventually destroy itself would be unnecessary, and therefore cruel.

              Revelation 15:3-4 tells me that, once things have sufficiently come to a head, the universe is fully capable of seeing, once and for all, where things are headed, and all will be prepared to glorify God for the actions He takes in bringing sin and sinners to an end, and in meting out perfect justice, as nature itself requires.

              Amen!(2)
            • Thanks Robert

              If we go by the Blue Letter Bible, how do you understand the 2nd usage of mut as verb qal infinitive absolute and the 3rd usage as verb qal imperfect to guide which meaning these specific verb forms in this specific order are referring to (from among the array of meanings of the various forms of mut that you have listed)?

              I find that qal infinitive absolute preceding qal imperfect of the same root means that it functions as an emphatic underscoring the intensity and certainty of the following verb. I then find that the 3rd and final usage, being qal imperfect, is active voice where the subject is (the) agent of the verb. Thus, I find that this means that the dying will be from within Adam/Eve (as 'you' is the subject that the verb is referring to), not from an external agent/agency. Thus I find that this parallels the concept of perish rather than be executed - as per usage of perish in key verses such as John 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:9. While I acknowledge that perish in English can mean to be destroyed by an external agent, it can equally validly mean to come to destruction via 'ruination' which can be an internally-driven process.

              I only also mention Ellen White because I find an examination of her views on the topic of how sinners come to destruction (via ruination as an internally-driven rather than externally-imposed process) to not preclude what I have outlined above. While I only include a single quote for the sake of keeping this comment brief, I find this succinct quote is not a misrepresentation of her views on the topic - but please do your own research.

              "Pharaoh had his sowing time, and he also had his reaping time. He sowed resistance and obstinacy. He sowed the seed in the soil. No new power was put into operation by God. The seed was left to spring up; the man was permitted to act out his true character. When the Lord sees unbelief in the heart against light and evidence, all he has to do is to let the human agent alone; for the seed put into the soil will bring forth seed after its kind. Many have been sowing the seed of unbelief, and if this seed is cultivated, it will produce a harvest that will not be so pleasant to reap as the seed is to sow. When Pharaoh refused to heed the messages and admonitions of God, and was not admonished by the first miracle that God worked to convince him, he was in a condition more easily to say, “I will,” and “I will not.” His independent resistance produced a harvest after its kind, and all the evidences that God gave to set his steps in the right path, only served to fasten him in unbelief and rebellion. He went on from one degree of resistance and wilful disobedience of God to another degree, just as the ungodly of all ages have done, and will do to the close of time, until he finally looked upon the dead face of his first-born. The character revealed by Pharaoh is similar to that of all the impenitent. God destroys no man; but after a time the wicked are given up to the destruction they have wrought for themselves. (YI November 30, 1893, par. 6)

              I understand that you may have a differing view on all that I have said. However, I have outlined above what, to me, is "simple to see and understand if we (I) believe the Truth".

              With genuine regards and respect,

              Phil

              Amen!(0)
            • May I suggest that the fact that the wicked choose their own destruction in choosing to separate from the Author and Sustainer of life (as I believe Scripture supports) does not preclude God from deciding just when and how they rceive their "wages" of destruction. It is clear that the wicked are not destroyed in this life as a result of their wickedness. Many live longer lives than the righteous.
              Yet there are specific instances recorded in Scripture in which God signally cut short the lives of certain rebellious people, according to His own purposes.
              The final destruction of the wicked is also accomplished according to God's timing and in His manner, according to Scripture.
              Isolated extra-biblical statements are probably not the surest foundation for significant doctrines.

              Amen!(2)
            • Yes indeed, Inge. Not only do the wicked often live longer lives than the righteous, but some take their own lives in order to avoid accountability for their deeds. As recorded in Psalm 73, Asaph was grieved and horribly perplexed by what he was seeing, until he understood how God would someday intervene.

              Phil's objection that God's slaying the wicked (which the Bible unmistakably says He will do) would remove the authenticity of free will is falsified by the fact that God has sworn that every knee shall bow. That is, prior to being punished and exterminated, every lost soul will freely confess that his or her punishment is just and necessary -- in effect that he knows he has destroyed himself by pursuing a course that would irretrievably unfit him for life in the reality of the universe.

              Amen!(1)
            • Phil, regarding your response concerning the Blue Letter Bible Strong's usage:

              I know by now that I have no answer to satisfy your questions or sway your opinions. We could focus on these meanings until eternity itself passes(which it won't, but if it could...) and resolve nothing.

              What we must each do is examine ALL truth, and the Truth is that there WAS death the very day Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command and set themselves over His Sovereignty, by establishing their own.(How many realize that this is what sin does/is? And the only way to protect a government is to stop all who would overthrow it.) The only reason that it was not their death is because Jesus took it upon Himself for them(us), or they would have died "in the day" as God said, who never speaks idle words.(How can it be that there at the "foundation of the world", God in Christ was the FIRST death in His "very good" creation?!!)

              God created all Life, and sustains that life, and since sin entered, God even sustains the life of rebels, until they either repent or confirm their unbelief, and so that sin can be fully exposed for what it is. There is no automatic (2nd)death to sinners except by the hand of Him who gave them their life. I believe the Bible is perfectly clear about this in many passages on this topic. We see that all the wicked who died by whatever means, will be resurrected on "the last day" by Christ(who died to save them) to receive judgment, sentence, and execution, by whatever means God will use, most often described as fire, burning, etc, which scripture tells us comes "from God out of heaven", being "prepared for the devil and his angels(along with all who rejected salvation), to "reduce [them] to ashes upon the earth".

              God's creation was "very good", and for eternity. It will not self-destruct. God alone can undo what He(all 3) alone has done, otherwise, how could it be called "very good"?

              You don't agree with this overview and have been promoting an alternative which I have found no support for in God's Word, however it has come to us(scripture, Ellen, Holy Spirit, etc), since I was first introduced to this view in the early 1980's by a family member.

              Since I have nothing new to add, I am finished here.

              Amen!(1)
    • Freewill can only be safe in a mortal creation.
      Freewill reveals true motivations in hearts and minds.
      All accounts of God's *final* judgement of destruction and/or gifted eternal life, on individuals and powers, is when righteousness and evil is fully developed !

      Nothing outside the Godhead is inherently immortal !

      Do we concur ?

      Shalom
      🙏

      Amen!(3)
    • Hello Phil - I reflected on the issue of 'free will' a bit and found that humanity has, when one boils down the notion of 'free will', only two choices – the choice to live with God or live without Him.
      This is ultimately not really the case (as you have stated when refering to it as 'reality'), but let it stand for now to reflect on the what seems to be the 'simple' matter of a free-will choice.

      I think the first choice - the one which decides to live with or without God - to be the only truly 'free-will' choice humans have. All other choices after one makes this first one fall into the spiritual paradigm established by this first choice - knowing there is a God and accepting Him or rejecting Him.
      Yes, daily ‘free-will’ experiences occure, but they are sourced in the power of the spiritual source one has chosen when selecting either the with- or the without-God-choice - 1Cor.6:19-20; 1Cor.2:11-13

      Once accepted to live according to God’s Will, our choices spring from and are folded into God’s Will - being 'born again'. This spiritual oneness with our heavenly Father, which our Lord and Savior so extensively spoke about and lived to give us an example of, imparts the most wonderful peace and happiness a human being can experience.
      When having made the free-will choice to live in the kingdom of God whole-heartedly, human beings experience God’s ultimate blessing available when walking along life’s path of faith.

      Amen!(2)
  3. God is marvelous! He takes care of every detail of my (or anyone else's) life! I am the one who is a rebel, who goes out in the search for feelings... but at a certain experience, the best thing to do is to surrender to God's pathway, to the mission I need to acomplish here on Earth, to the life He can disclosure for me to be a blessing to others, and also to myself! Oh, Lord, may I be open to your ways, not mine! May I listen to your voice telling me which decisions to make today! And may this continue everyday, until You come to get me (us).

    Amen!(23)
  4. Why is Abraham so concerned that his son not marry a woman from the Canaanites?

    I do believe that Abraham did not want his son to marry a cannanite who did not believe in God. Be ye not unequally yoked is good advice, especially for marrage. 2Corinthians 6:14.

    Another lesson from today is that God educates us adequately to make the right decision, and then let's us make the choice. He does not force His love on us. In some cases the education is over whelming it puts us on our knees to worship Him in love and gratude of what He has done for us. He gave us His one and only Son to be a perpetuation for our sin. Romans 3:25. What wounderful love. Yet some reject it instead of turning to the Cross of Christ in repentance for the sins that have crucified Him.

    Another amazing part of the plan of salvation is that if we do make a wrong decision He rescues us, providing a way out. 1John 2:1-3

    Amen!(4)
  5. What I took away from todays lesson was what an amazing influence Abraham had on his family and all the extras that were with him. Eliezer was closely connected with God, close enough that he was communicating with God about the choice of a wife for his masters son. That says a lot about Abrahams character, that even with all the mistakes he made, his connection to God led Eliezer to trust God too. It also says a lot about the character of Eliezer. He didn’t trust himself with that choice, so his first action was to ask God to make that choice and reveal Gods choice to him. That is trust in action.

    Amen!(14)
  6. Hello John. I refer to "Abraham did not want his son to marry a cannanite who did not believe in God" ...was not this the same reason why Abram left his kindred they're unbelief... was not a suitor for Issac likely to have the same traits in idol worship as the Caananite ?

    Amen!(0)

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