Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Death of My Wife's Beloved Father - Funeral Service

John 14:1-4

1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

2000 years ago, Jesus’ disciples also faced the gruesome reality of death.  Their hearts were gripped with sadness and fear.  They feared what would happen to them when Jesus died.  Yes they have heard by this time several times that Jesus would have to die.  Jesus Himself declared it.  The terror and horror of death overwhelmed their feeling and mind.  They could not hide it.  So Jesus had to calm His disciples.  This picture is most stunning because what usually happens is that the one facing death is the one in need of being calmed.  The usual happening is that the one facing death does not desire death.  He or she would repeatedly say: “I don’t want to die.”  This situation would prompt others to console the person dying so that he/she can face death in peace.  But in this passage we witness the one facing death, and not any common death, but the kind of death that is at the most severe in nature, consoling those whose lives were being spared.  This is most stunning!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Pardon of God and the Decision of the Lord

20 Then the Lord said, “I have pardoned, according to your word. 21 But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, 22 none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, 23 shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it. 24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. 25 Now, since the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valleys, turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”
Numbers 14:20-25

Right at the border of Canaan, Israel rebelled against the Lord.  Listening to the report of the ten spies, their hearts were overwhelmed with fear.  They ignored the report of the two other spies, Caleb and Joshua.  Their fear got the best of them.  As they couldn’t manage their fear, they burst into self-pity.  The result was putting blame to God and His servants.

1Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”  Numbers 14:1-4

The rebellion did not go unnoticed.  The Lord heard everything.  But the people did not stop at grumbling.  Their self-pity led them to self-righteous feeling, which in turn gave birth to unholy anger and uncontrolled rage.  Moses, Aaron, Caleb, and Joshua tried to plead with them that they would listen to the Lord and obey.  The people got raving mad listening to them.