Tag Archives: water

Privilege


He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Psalms 104:10-11

God is the ultimate provider. He opens his hand and the creation is satisfied and if he closes it all perish. Life as we know it is only possible where there is water. Astronomers spend a lifetime looking at the vast universe and trying to find a place where life is possible, as it is on earth. So far they have found in other solar systems several planets presumably with similar conditions on earth. Some think that these planets would be good places to which to escape and use as shelters in case the earth’s resources are depleted and humanity cannot longer survive in her. They are not concerned at all about the inability to travel through space to those distant places because of the astronomical distances and the limitations imposed by physical laws. Imagination is enough for them.

The beasts and the wild animals are smarter than these stubborn and feverish scientists who work with numerous hypotheses and theories, but never manage to reach the truth. The animals know who feeds them and who gives them water to drink. They praise God at all times with different sounds according to their species but in any case praising the Lord God of creation. And you? Have you thought about joining the universal chorus of creatures, items and objects that praise God for having created and allowed life to exist? Life is not a right but a privilege that depends on the grace and good will of God. Let us always recognize that without him we are nothing and there is nothing we can do. Celebrate the gift of life as an integral part of God’s creation. To God alone be the glory!

Unconditional love


If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.
Proverbs 25:21-22

Humans classify people around them, known and related, in two broad categories: enemies and allies. All is seen in terms of war and we look at everybody else as people who support us or as people who oppose us. Those who think like us and therefore are friends and those who assume positions different from ours automatically become our greatest adversaries. We see everything from the utilitarian point of view. If a person is useful for our purposes we consider him as an ally and if the person does not contribute towards achieving our goals we consider him as a personal enemy. The way we treat our neighbor depends on which category he belongs, all in accordance with this simplistic classification to which we subject him.

This is not the way that God has taught us to behave through his word. He has shown us something profoundly more radical that flows counter-current to the practices of the world. According to what God teaches us, our love can not be oriented according to our understanding of the world or to the rationale we use to classify people as enemies or friends. Treatment should be equal for both because God commands it. As with all of God’s commandments, obedience brings blessings and rewards but they do not come until we have fulfilled our part of the agreement which is to obey God. Let’s not see our neighbor through the glass of the categories and let us share with them the love God has poured into our hearts, regardless of the position they hold in relation to ours. Enough of hatred, envy and war. Let us obey the Master. To God alone be the glory!

Authority


But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
Psalm 104:7-9

There are two ways to interpret the actions that occur in the passage under consideration depending on how verse 6 is translated from the original Hebrew to English. One version tells us that the waters rose over the mountains and descended into the valleys, which could be an allusion to the hydrological cycle and the other way to translate this verse tells us that the mountains rose and valleys descended probably referring to the orogenic processes by which the mountain ranges took the shape we see today in many parts of the world. It does not matter if King David was talking about hydrology or orogeny since the message of the passage is the authority and dominion of God over his creation, regardless of the manner in which things take place. Both physical processes are among the many tools available to God to create and transform creation. As the Master Teacher, he has at his disposal brushes, spatulas, canvas, oils, acrylics, watercolors, crayons, pastels, charcoals, and so to shape his masterpiece.

He who has the power to create a universe of universes with dimensions and shapes that we are unable to understand is the same one that has sought us to be his children. He is the same one that speaks to our hearts by his word in a language that only our heart can understand. With God nothing is impossible. His wishes are commands to creation and creation joyfully obeys without questioning and without delay. There is not a single problem in the world that God can not solve. If you really need something that looks impossible to achieve or accomplish, take it to God in prayer and let him act. Put your trust in the One who will not disappoint you nor forsake you. Come to the Lord Jesus and you will have everything you really need. To God alone be the glory!

Search for heroes


Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!
Proverbs 30:4

We all love heroes. Whether mythical heroes such as Gilgamesh, Hercules, Odysseus, Achilles, Perseus, Sir Galahad, Aeneas, Roland, El Cid, William Tell, Robin Hood, Batman, Superman or Rambo or historical such as King David, Samson, Leonidas, Charles Martell, William Wallace, Simon Bolivar, the Pola, Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi, Pancho Villa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Jim Elliot we all feel admiration for these characters that have inspired many to carry out further acts of heroism or write narratives of courage in times of difficulty. At all times, different cultures have relied on these mythical and real stories to unite the crowds in search of an ideal. However, with all the appreciation we feel for these champions, none of them approaches, even remotely, the glory of the Creator of the universe and Author of salvation.

This does not mean we’re going to stop reading the books (or e-readers and tablets) or stop watching movies that show us the exploits of these champions. Nor does it mean that we will fail to be inspired with their stories. There is nothing wrong with cultivating good literature and knowledge. What we must not neglect is the daily search for wisdom, discernment and knowledge of the holy God. If we ask the questions that Agur, son of Jakeh asked and try to find the answer to them we will go on track to attain the wisdom that comes from above. Before the glory of God the exploits of the heroes mill take a distant second place. To God alone be the glory!

Eternity’s darkest moment


I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
Psalm 22:14

When King David was composing this portion of the word that we now call Psalm 22 , most likely he could not imagine that he was referring to the Messiah who was to come to liberate the people of Israel a thousand years later. A reading of the passage makes it clear that David was going through a very difficult situation which could only be described by means of unusual terms for that kind of suffering. No one disputes that the affliction that Christ suffered at the hands of Roman soldiers was terrible, , but we disagree with the importance that some doctrinal trends have allotted to such suffering in the redemptive work of our Lord. Besides being the proof of fulfillment of several of the Messianic prophecies, the most important aspect of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is that he who was sacrificed was absolutely innocent of any crime that the religious authority  wanted to charge him with or any other crime, for that matter. Compliance with the requirements of the divine law could only be achieved if the victim was totally pure, without blemish or defect. The full weight of justice fell on the shoulders of him who never knew in his body or in his spirit what it meant to make a mistake or to break a divine commandment. The real suffering of the Son of God occurred at the time he was separated from the Father to take upon himself all the awful burden of human disobedience. That was eternity’s darkest moment.

Some of the children of God have had to go through long periods of suffering and pain, which in their case have a reason and place for the specific purpose of carrying out the transformation of our soul so that every day we become more like Christ. In any case, the reward that awaits us and that we will receive when we get to be in God’s presence far outweighs any discomfort or suffering that we endure as we fulfill the pilgrimage of this earthly life. We look forward to that wonderful time when our pain and illness will give way to the joy and the well-being of living in the glorious presence of God for eternity. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for July 21, 2011


He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
Psalms 104:5-6

Scientific and technological advances are difficult to ignore. Every day a new technology application is developed to improve our health or our wellbeing. Millions of Euros and Dollars are spent daily on scientific research and companies that engage in this research generate large fortunes for their stockholders. Hence, science has a reputation as a generator of well-being and progress to the point that science has replaced faith in many areas of knowledge. While the areas of application are different, many have used science to discredit faith. It is like an expert in History of the French Revolution questioning the advances in Cell Physiology and vice versa. Science deals with what can be seen and what can be felt and measured. Faith deals with things that cannot be seen and cannot be measured physically. At some points these two study areas overlap and that is where the most heated arguments arise between believers and scientists. Both try to claim that little common ground for themselves.

We can find one of these points of overlap in the study of the origins of the universe, life and our planet. The vast majority of scientists have rejected a priori the option that God’s hand has intervened in the creation process of all we can see today. Arrogantly they raise and wield their ever-changing theories, which they take for truth though most of them have proved to be defective. When this happens, they simply create a new theory to replace the one that has failed, which serves to keep them occupied until the new theory is also found to be false. The word of God on the other hand is consistent and reliable. God’s promises are true and need not be exchanged for new promises. God is faithful and his word is trustworthy. This is something that science will never achieve. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for July 16, 2011


He divided the sea and led them through;
he made the water stand up like a wall.
He guided them with the cloud by day
and with light from the fire all night.
He split the rocks in the wilderness
and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
he brought streams out of a rocky crag
and made water flow down like rivers.
Psalm 78:13-16

It’s amazing how God’s grace was present over all of the people of Israel before Moses received the law from God’s hands. The foolish and ungrateful people did not quite understand the wonderful liberation they had obtained through God’s miraculous intervention in Egyptian affairs. They had not done anything particularly meaningful to earn the privilege of being guided by day with a pillar of cloud and by night with a pillar of fire. When they had to face the formidable obstacle of the Red Sea and saw that the Egyptians were close behind them, they let themselves be overwhelmed by fear and ended up complaining and protesting against Moses for having freed them from slavery. They did not deserve to have the sea divided to allow them free passage to freedom. Still, God showed his grace to this rebellious people.

Later, when they came to Rephidim, the Jews began to complain that the territory had no water for them and their beasts to quench their thirst. On the instructions of God, Moses along with some elders of Israel advanced to an even drier and more desolate place: Mount Horeb. Here the Lord again showed His grace to a discontented and murmuring people by producing water from a barren rock. The people who left Egypt and their descendants could never understand the grace of God and because of it they rejected grace and God had to assign a guide to lead them to Christ. It was not until Christ revealed to the world that they were able to leave the imprisonment that the law meant.

Today there are many people who do not understand the concept of grace and take refuge in the law or in a personal kind of legalism which keeps them tied up and paralyzed in their progress towards spiritual maturity in Christ. Like the foolish Galatians, after beginning by means of the Spirit, they are now trying to finish by means of the flesh. Let us fix our eyes on our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s seek support on his grace and mercy. Let us be embraced by his love so we can be set free from the slavery we find ourselves into when we believe that justice can be achieved through the works of the law. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for June 16, 2011


He divided the sea and led them through;
he made the water stand up like a wall.
He guided them with the cloud by day
and with light from the fire all night.
Psalm 78:13-14

The famous Spanish poet Antonio Machado once wrote a poem that was popularized by the Spanish-Catalan poet Joan Manuel Serrat, that says: “Wanderer, there is no road─ only wakes upon the sea.” Well, what a wake was left by these wanderers that came out of Egyptian slavery into the freedom of the desert! The sea that normally hides the paths that God has prepared for us, split wide open to allow the migrating Israelites to cross without hindrance to freedom. The lives of the children of God are well marked paths in which we can place our confidence that they will lead us to our destination. The liberated Jews did not have a compass or a map to tell them where to go or where to turn the corner. However, they had none other than the Creator of the universe removing obstacles and pointing out the road with signs and wonders.

Moses reminded the fearful Israelites of God’s words: “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the LORD your God” Moses emphasized what God said: “There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place” Let us, therefore, stop wandering through uncertain paths and let us follow the signs and directions which God has placed for us to stay on the right path. The sweet voice of our beloved Savior calls us to follow him. Do not disregard his call, otherwise we’ll run the serious risk of deviating from the path to end up lost in the midst of solitude. God has shown us the path to follow, let us follow him without delay. To God alone be the glory!