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Rachel: A Beloved Wife


Today’s Audio Episode
Rachel: A Beloved Wife-Trinity Tidbits

Click and listen in to:

Rachel: daughter of Laban, wife to Jacob and mother to Joseph and Benjamin, and sister to Leah.

Joseph was tricked into marrying Leah 1st, sister to Rachel. Genesis Ch 29-35 tell their story in detail.

Later this week, devotional readings will give more details on this story. Check it out.

Great life lessons are to be gained from this story. Can you figure them out? Listen and read to see.

Join me this week as we talk about Rachel.

Elizabeth Gives Birth to John the Baptist

John the Baptist is Born image
A few months later, after Mary went back to Nazareth, Elizabeth gave birth to the son she had always hoped for. She named him ‘John’. Luke 1:57-66

Everyone was very happy and excited for her.

She did quite well for an elderly woman giving birth.

There was a discussion among family about the baby’s name and what it would be. They decided his name would be after his father, Zechariah. However, Elizabeth quickly corrected them. She was adamant, his name is “John”. Afterall, this is what Gabriel the angel gave instruction to.

Zechariah now able to speak. This baby would one day be a prophet of the Most High, he said, preparing the way for the Messiah.

This picture is the last we see of Elizabeth. By the examples of the time, she was already old, and she might not have lived to see John grow to adulthood.

So, the main takeaway from this story is that being patient and waiting on the Lord brings great blessings.

How are you doing in your waiting time? Share and bless others with your experience.

Elizabeth: Mother of John the Baptist

Listen to today’s episode of Trinity Tidbits – “5/10 Elizabeth: Mother of John the Baptist” on Anchor.fm.

At the moment each episode is available to listen to for 24 hours from the time it is recorded. You have until tomorrow, Tuesday, the 14th of Nov to listen to this episode. After, that, I’ll have a podcast channel we can use.

Forgive me while we have growing pains with this audio segment of Trinity Digital Ministry. Thank you for your patience.

Esther: For Such a Time as This

Queen Esther image

Listen to this segment: “Esther: For Such a Time as This” on Anchor for the short audio version.

‘Esther’ means ‘hidden’ – her Jewish identity was hidden from the King. Esther’s Jewish name Hadassah, means ‘myrtle’, a tree whose leaves release their fragrance when crushed.

Queen Esther’s story has three parts:

  1. Vashti was banished, and Esther became Queen.
    Queen Vashti disobeyed the orders of her husband King Ahasuerus, so he divorced her. Lonely, he sought a new queen who was to be the most beautiful woman in the land. A young Jewish orphan, Esther, was chosen. She kept her Jewish identity secret. Her cousin Mordecai, a servant of the king, overheard a plot and warned his master through Esther.
  2. Esther saved Mordecai from Haman.
    Mordecai offended a high court official called Haman, who decided to kill not only Mordecai but all the Jews in the Persian empire (the first recorded slaughter against the Jews). Esther turned the tables on Mordecai. She pleaded with the king at two banquets she gave, and Haman was horribly punished. He was hanged on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai.
  3. Esther saved the Jewish people.
    Letters were sent throughout the kingdom revoking the order and the Jewish people in Persia were saved. There was great rejoicing, and an annual festival was celebrated to remember the courage of Esther and the deliverance of the Jews. This festival was called Purim.

Why did Esther’s story mean so much to Jews?

  • Esther was a symbol of Jews who lived successfully in an alien culture.
  • As a woman, she was not in a position of power, just as Diaspora Jews were not members of the power elite.
  • As an orphan, she was separated from her parents, as Diaspora Jews are separated from their mother-country.
  • With both these handicaps, she had to use every skill and advantage she had, as Diaspora Jews did. They, like Esther, had to adapt themselves to the situation.

What are the main themes in Esther’s story?

  • Let God be your ruler: Esther’s story was a political ridicule, showing the danger of giving absolute power to someone who might be a fool. Ahasuerus governed by whim rather than by wisdom, becoming the tool of anyone shrewd enough to exploit him. The lesson is clear: do not give too much power to any one person; in the long run, God alone should rule us.
  • Right Living: the Book of Esther was written for Diaspora Jews (Jews who lived outside Israel), to show them how to live in exile. If they encountered bigotry and prejudice, they must act with courage, wisdom, and integrity.
  • The origin of Purim: the story explained the origin of a major Jewish feast day.

Christianity is sometimes accused of causing the anti-Semitism that has shamed the modern world. This story shows this prejudice existed long before the birth of Jesus.

The book of Esther doesn’t suggest that the goal of proper Jewish living is to return to Judah; rather, it encourages the idea that Jews can live personally fulfilling, and even socially successful, lives in exile from Palestine. It asks who are we; if we not only don’t live in Judah but also don’t even want to?’

Life Lessons

  • Esther’s courage and wisdom were used by God to save His people from extinction.
  • Beauty and creativity are also useful tools for a God-fearing woman.

What are your thoughts on this story? Comment, let’s interact!

Mary: A Virgin Mother

Listen to segment 1 of “Trinity Tidbits: 1st (Mary) of 10 amazing women of the Bible!” on Anchor: Episode 1: Mary: Mother of Jesus.

Today’s devotion will focus on Mary of Nazareth.

Mary of Nazareth image
Mary of Nazareth

What do we know about Mary? The audio episode linked above tells a little bit about her. When you listen to the audio you’ll know a little information.

Mary spoke Aramaic. She lived with extended family. The nuclear family of today honestly didn’t exist. It wouldn’t have worked. There were too many chores that needed several people working together.

When she was about 11 or 12 years old, Mary began to menstruate. This meant she was of marriageable age, in Aramaic a betulah. The corresponding word in Hebrew, the ancient language of religious texts, is almah.

The first menstruation was a big milestone in any girl’s life, and in Mary’s case, it would have been celebrated with a party – to let everyone know she was now ready for marriage.

Now that Mary’s menstrual periods had started, serious consideration was given to the choice of a husband.

Mary’s whole family joined in the selection of an appropriate husband. After all, it was something that would affect them all, because of the nuclear family lifestyle they lived.

Joseph, Mary’s prospective husband; he was a young man, not much older than she was, and well-regarded by the people of Nazareth. We know this because Matthew’s gospel calls him ‘just’ or ‘righteous’.

The betrothal was a formal agreement to marry, settled with the transfer of property from the young man to the girl. The betrothal of a young couple had to be public, witnessed by many people. At this stage, there was no sexual contact.

During Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27

Mary was pregnant. What’s following? The next thing we know, Mary was pregnant. Her normal menstrual periods stopped. This can be hidden for quite a while in the modern world. But in Mary’s time, when a whole family lived and slept in one or two rooms, the fact that a young girl’s periods had ceased was noticed immediately.

In the conservative Jewish family Mary belonged to, her pregnancy meant severe embarrassment if not outright disgrace to herself and all her family.

This is human thinking:

These are the facts we know:

  • Mary was pregnant.
  • There had to be a human father.
  • She was frightened, her family embarrassed, and the man, whoever he is, could not be named.

So who was he? There are several theories. Only theories.

Shocking as the idea may be, he may have been a member of her own family. Statistics in the modern world show that pregnancies with an unnamed father usually come from the girl being interfered with by an older male relative. Probably not much has changed in two thousand years. This is one possibility, however distasteful, that has to be faced.

Was Mary the rape victim of a Roman soldier?

Another theory, quite well argued, is that the father of her baby was a Roman soldier posted at a nearby army station. On the face of it, this sounds unlikely, something you’d read in an offensive tabloid. But there are some facts that make the theory at least probable:

  1. Nazareth, where Mary lived, is only a few miles from Sepphoris, the capital of Galilee (see top left of the map at right). It was much more advanced than little Nazareth, and there were Roman soldiers stationed there. Mary and the other residents of Nazareth certainly came into contact with these soldiers at various times.
  2. Sepphoris is in the north of Galilee
    Sepphoris is in the north of Galilee.

    At around about the time that Jesus was conceived, a great many of Galilee was in an open uprising against Roman rule. This uprising followed immediately after the death of Herod the Great in 4BCE.  Sepphoris, only four miles from Nazareth, was the center of the uprising in Galilee. The royal palace there was attacked and robbed (Josephus, Ant.17, 10.5/271-72). The whole area was a breeding ground of raging discontent against the Roman occupation.

  3. In the cleaning up processes after the rebellion, the Roman general Gaius burned Sepphoris and sold its residents into slavery. Remember that Sepphoris was less than four miles from Nazareth. Some of this violence and disorder must have been felt in Nazareth, only an hour’s walk away.
  4. Is it too much of a stretch of the imagination to think that in this situation a young girl may have been raped by a soldier from nearby Sepphoris? Any Roman soldier stationed in the backblocks [the outback] of Galilee would have been the riffraff, socially speaking, of an army already noted for its savageness – a ‘kill first then let’s talk’ policy was what had built the Roman Empire.
  5. Early Jewish writings (the Baraitha and Tosefta, written about 150-200AD) openly talk about Yeshu the Nazarene, who was the son of a Roman soldier called Pantera. ‘Yeshu’ is the original Semitic word for ‘Jesus’. Though it may, of course, be pure coincidence, a monument was also found of a ‘Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera of Sidon, aged 62, a soldier of 40 years’ service, of the 1st cohort of archers’. Jesus, during his short career as a philosopher/teacher, makes an otherwise unexplained trip to Sidon, detouring quite out of his way to go there. (Mark 7.31) It seems a strange thing to do unless he has some connection to the place.

So a Roman soldier as the father of Mary’s unborn baby is a possibility. No more than a possibility, but at least that.

Mary visits Elizabeth

It’s at this stage of her pregnancy that Mary went away to stay with a reputable cousin, Elizabeth. It’s not known which relative she was. It was possibly done for her own safety.

Mary returned to Nazareth and Joseph takes responsibility and asks Mary to marry him.

I’ll end this post with that. However, let’s go back to the audio episode linked at the top. What can we take away from Mary and her actions?

  • Mary modeled an attitude of obedience and trust.

When we take on the attitude of obedience and trust what happens? Where does it lead us?

Comment or send me a message using the contact form:

How Wicked Is Our Sin?

This isn’t something I normally do. However, this one time I felt this message to be powerful enough to share, even though it’s on Facebook. Watch the video. It’s not long. However, it will knock your socks off. That is if you’re wearing any. Then, if not, it will make your hair stand up and take notice.

How Wicked is Our Sin? – Paul Washer

A powerful word from Paul Washer on the wickedness of sin. Video by Mike Lynam

Originally Posted by Depraved Wretch on Thursday, August 24, 2017

Junk Removing

In our society today we have hoarders. I used to be one. Fleshly desires are hard to control, without the Holy Spirit.

The adversary tries to make us believe we can’t live without the “stuff”. Not only material things, but also mental things.

All that “stuff” it’s blocking the Holy Spirit from working in us and through us.

What are you holding onto? How can junk removal help you?

Yes, I did a mental and physical junk removal and cleaned house (the temple of the Lord). I wrote a blog post a while ago on this. You can find it here: <ahref=”http: anewlifeoasis.com=”” mindset-clutter”=””>Mindset Clutter (It’s on my life coaching blog.)</ahref=”http:>

Comment your responses! Let’s interact!