12th May is Mother’s Day.
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Women have an honoured place in the Bible - Sarah, Rebekah, Miriam, Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Esther, Elizabeth, Mary, Dorcus and Lydia.
1. Jochebed, the mother of Moses, refused to comply with Pharaoh's edict. She defied the baby killing culture of Egypt and devised a bold plan to save her baby's life - right under the household of Pharaoh himself. The Exodus of Israel from bondage in Egypt and the Law of Moses - the Ten Commandments - continue to be the foundation of Western Civilisation.
2. Ruth forsook the pagan culture of Moab and travelled to Israel to find a Kinsman Redeemer. She became the great grandmother of King David - whose descendants continue to rule. "Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God."
3. Hannah, though jeered at for being childless, and misjudged by Eli as being drunk when praying, determined to seek a child from the Lord - in order to consecrate him back to the Lord - and she gave birth to Samuel, who at an early age learned to say: "Speak, Lord, Your servant listens." Samuel grew to be one of the greatest of Israel's prophets and the one who anointed David as the next king of Israel. (Andrew Murray's Africa Institute in Wellington sent out hundreds of missionaries under the slogan: Africa for Christ. Their building is named: Samuel - Received from the Lord, Given back to the Lord.) Hannah kept her word and gave Samuel back to the Lord for His service - and the Lord blessed her with more children.
"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Surely we did not know this,' does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?" Proverbs 24:10-12
Biblical Truth Must Lead to Action
This is a Biblical command. We are commanded to rescue those being led away to death. Biblical Truth should always involve knowledge that moves us to action. Theology is not just to stimulate us intellectually and to add to the memory bank of our knowledge and Theological information. It is always meant to change attitudes and actions, behaviour and belief. The whole concept of Biblical knowledge and Truth is always experiential. It is faith in action. It must not only affect the head. It must affect the heart and the hands. It is not just intellectual. It is emotional and spiritual. It is transformational. Biblical truth leads to bold action
The Bible is a Pro-life Book
The Bible describes a child in the womb as a person. In the Bible there is no different word in the Hebrew, or Greek, to distinguish between a child in the womb, or a child out of the womb. The same word is used, in Greek it is brephos. The Bible speaks about Elizabeth who when she heard Mary's greeting "the baby in her womb leapt for joy." This referred to John the Baptist. It is the same word that is used when it speaks about the baby in the womb, or the toddler crawling around. There is no different word distinguishing between a baby that is pre-born and a baby that is born. Exactly the same word, in both the Hebrew in the Old Testament and the Greek in the New Testament, is used. As Elizabeth said: as soon as Mary's greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy!
People pleasers make traitors (John 12:43).
"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ."
The Sanctity of Life
This Friday is being observed as a National Day of Repentance for the national sin of abortion. The 1st February 2014, marks the 17th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion on demand in South Africa. Christians who respect the sanctity of life observed Sanctity Life Sunday on 26 January, or will do on 2 February, Christians in Cape Town will be marching to Parliament on Friday, 31 January to conduct a memorial service and wreath laying ceremony in memory of the 1,200,000 babies killed by abortion in South Africa since 1997.
March for Life
In the United States of America over 650,000 Christians marched to Washington DC in extremely cold and freezing weather, last week Friday, 22 January, to commemorate the Roe v. Wade landmark decision, which legalised abortion in their country. Sanctity Life Sunday was observed by tens-of-thousands of congregations in the USA. It would be embarrassing to note how few congregations in South Africa observe Sanctity Life Sunday, or participate in a National Day of Repentance here.
“They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrifice to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled by their own works, and they played the harlot by their own deeds. Therefore the wrath of the Lord was kindled against His people, so that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hands of the gentiles, and those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.”
The pagan religions practiced child sacrifice. One of the many pagan gods, Baal, was worshipped as the key to fertility and prosperity. To entice Baal to bless their land, mothers were required to present her firstborn child to the priest. Baal was represented by a huge stone, or brass, statue carved in the image of a bull’s head and the upper body of a man. The arms were extended to receive babies and fire belched from a hollow area in the chest.
As the priests of Baal carried each baby up the stairs and laid the victim in the arms of the horned idol of Baal, the baby was consumed in the flames. This was the religion of Baal and of those who worshipped Asherah. The Ammonites who worshipped Molech and the Phoenicians who worshiped Kronos also practiced child sacrifice. These pagan religions required the parents to have their children pass through the fire as a sacrifice to their demon gods.
SAFM invited me to take part in an hour-long debate on radio, Wednesday 29 July, on the subject of polygamy. The other panel guests included a professor of Islamic Studies at Kwazulu Natal University and a chief from the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders.
Some of the justifications given for polygamy included: that because of war and other factors, men tend to die more frequently and earlier than women, and there are more women than men. Therefore, for the provision of these women, men should be able to take more wives.
In response I pointed out that Christianity has always rejected polygamy because it inhibits, and in fact exterminates, exclusive, devoted love. Christians have always maintained that love between a man and a woman must be exclusive. Otherwise marriage is degraded, in essence, to mere physical lust. No woman who loves her husband, and wishes to be loved in return, can tolerate “another wife”.
Protecting Women and Children
Polygamy erodes the concept of a Biblical family. Christianity has always maintained that monogamy alone gives the woman the recognition, status and value that she needs. Monogamy provides the environment for raising children in a stable and loving home.
"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them."
The Bible tells us that God seeks
When God established His covenant with Abraham, He said:
"And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant.you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations."
A PARENT'S PRIORITY
As a father, one of my greatest desires and priorities is to bring up my children "in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4. I am to "train a child in the way he should go." Proverbs 22:6. My greatest concern is that my children grow up to love the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind, and with all their strength. I pray that my children will grow to love, trust, obey, worship and serve God more consistently and effectively than I have done.
We are to
"tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done.so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn will tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands. They would not be.stubborn and rebellious.whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to Him."
"Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God Who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His command-ments."