Grace Depictions

~
When people survive long enough, two situations eventually befall them all, to wit:
they get old, and their parents die.

Young and beautiful,
But someday your looks will be gone.

( Love Will keep Us Together, Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield )

Though my father and mother forsake me,
The Lord will receive me.

( Psalm 27:10, David ben Jesse )

My dad passed away in 1972 when I was 28 and he 62. His death left me staring
into an abyss and feeling adrift with no anchor even though at the time I had a
good job and was independent.

My dad had always been available when I was down; he was a resource I could
count on to prevent my ending up on the street alone, in poverty, and homeless,
i.e. he was a very dependable safety net. So I lost more than a parent when he
died: of a sudden I was an insecure child.

So I turned to religion for strength and in time became a serious student of God's
ways via the Bible, bible-study books, radio programs, and church attendance.
Time and circumstances have proven my dad's replacement a wise choice; at least
for me anyway. Others may have better success in other directions.
_
 
~
In ancient Israel, a man's eldest son was automatically his principal heir for
perpetuating their father's estate. Daughters were typically not included among a
man's heirs because their destiny was with a husband and his family away from
their father and their family.

However, a special case arose in the 27th chapter of the book of Numbers where a
man with five daughters died leaving behind no sons to perpetuate his estate: and
the covenant that the Moses' people agreed upon with God contained no
instructions for fathers lacking male heirs.

So the man's daughters consulted Moses for a legal solution to their deceased
father's dilemma, and Moses in turn consulted God. That all resulted in the creation
of a new rule (thus far unheard of) allowing a man's daughters to become his
principal heirs in the absence of a son. The only caveat was that the daughters had
to marry men within their deceased father's tribal affiliation so that his tribe's land
wouldn't be lost to outsiders. (Num 36:1-12)

My point is: God took the daughters' side in the matter and Himself personally
stepped up and did right by them; which should help towards convincing certain
women that God isn't the total sexist bigot that the world sometimes makes Him
out to be.
_
 
~
Jesus was left alone in this next scene as his men had gone into town in search of
victuals.

John 4:3-9 . . He left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

. . . Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called
Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was
there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.


NOTE: Sychar (a.k.a. Shechem) wasn't located in a foreign country. It was actually
situated in Israel within the territory assigned to Joseph's son Ephraim. (Josh
21:21)

. . . It was about the sixth hour when a Samaritan woman came to draw water.
(That would've been +/- mid day per the Jews' time as their civil day began half
way between midnight and high noon per Roman time whether the sun was up or
not.)

. . . Jesus said to her: Will you give me a drink? The Samaritan woman said to him:
You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?"
(For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

That scene was an excellent means for testing Jesus' prejudices which, if he was
motivated by any; didn't factor into this meeting at all. In point of fact, he
discussed with this woman-- ordinarily a religious and cultural outsider --some very
important facts of life relative to everyone desiring to associate with God no matter
what their age, race, gender, economic level, and/or ethnic distinctions.

* Jesus counseled a very receptive audience as this woman not only knew about
Messiah's coming but was watching for it. (John 4:25) In other words: she trusted
in the reality of such a man; and Jesus said of her: "I have food to eat that you
know nothing about. My food-- said Jesus --is to do the will of him who sent me
and to finish his work" (John 4:32-34) viz: the meeting with that woman wasn't
happenstance; she was on Jesus' itinerary for that very day's activities.
_
 
~
At Luke 15:11-24 the story is told of a privileged young man who grew up in a good
home but in time longed to go out on his own and make his mark in the world-- you
know: be independent and all that.

The thing is: Mr. Privileged Jr. didn't know how good he had it till setting out on his
own. Well; I rather suspect Privileged Sr. half expected his offspring to fall on its
face and end up needing a safety net 'cause his youngest was permitted to leave
with neither resistance, nor lecture, nor complaint.

Long story short: Privileged Jr's venture out into the world ended badly and he
came to the realization that his ambition to be independent was all pie in the sky.
Sort of like it's said: The dream is better than the reality.

We might expect his dad to scold the lad upon dragging himself back home, but no;
his father was really glad to have him back and I think we can be reasonably
confident that Privileged Sr. guessed his boy had learned a thing or two about life
during his walk on the wild side; so to speak.

Ergo: that father's lenience, combined with patience, was a bit risky but in the end,
Privileged Jr. was a better man due to a father stepping back and allowing his son
space to try his wings.
_
 
~
He looked beyond my faults,
And saw my need.

(Dottie Rambo, 2003)


NOTE: Solomon wrote 1,005 songs (1Kgs 4:32) Dottie surpassed him with +/- 2,500.

Anyway, that one brief lyric says quite a bit.

1John 4:9-10 . .This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and
only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we
loved God, but that he loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our
sins.

Without Christ's crucifixion, mankind would have no safety net to rescue them from
facing justice with a very meticulous, unbiased jurist; and for sure the outcome
would not be to their advantage. But why would God go to the trouble?

The Greek word translated love in the above passage isn't necessarily relative to
affection. It mostly pertains to impersonal interactions, for example: kindness,
courtesy, charity, civility, tact, assistance, compassion, pity, and sympathy, et al.

Compassion plays a strong role in many of God's activities with mankind. It can be
defined as a sympathetic awareness of others' distress coupled with a desire to
alleviate it. A longing for sympathy is sometimes viewed as a character flaw; but
nonetheless, I think it's perfectly normal for people to crave it.

I've encountered folks on internet forums who actually resent Christ for doing
something for them that they didn't ask for. Well; the thing is; complainers don't
have to sign on for the benefit, after all; it is optional: sort of like the liberty that
homeless people exercise when they refuse a hand-out. But in this respect, we're
not talking about money and/or goods and services, instead, we're talking about a
man's life. i.e. an uncommon donation that's above and beyond the usual.

Rom 5:6-8 . .At just the right time, when we were still helpless, Christ died for
the impious. Very rarely does anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good
man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us
in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
_
 
~
Eph 1:4-5 . . He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ,
in accordance with His pleasure and will.

There are important differences between adopted kids and foster kids.

The latter have no inheritance rights, they have no right to be known by a foster
father's name, they have no right to a foster father's love, they have no right to
address their foster father with a filial vocative like dad, pop, or papa; and they
have no right to a place in his genealogy.

Plus, foster care is temporary. Older kids eventually age out of the foster system
and the State ceases to assist foster fathers to continue providing for them. At 18
the older kids are legally adults in my country, and the responsibility for their
providence is upon themselves. Ouch!

Adopted kids' circumstances are so, so much better. They are legally just as much
an adopted father's children as his biological offspring. Ergo: adopted kids have
inheritance rights, they have a right to be known by their adopted father's name,
they have a right to their adopted father's love, they have a right to address their
adopted father by a filial vocative, and they have a right to be placed in his
genealogy.

Plus, adoption is permanent. Older kids don't age out of their adopted homes so
they always have a family support base to fall back on should their circumstances
become difficult. (cf. Luke 15:11-24)


NOTE: During the +/- 27 years I've been active on nigh unto 50 internet forums,
I've seen quite a number of debates and discussions relative to something called
OSAS, to wit: Once Saved, Always Saved. Well; some folks really ought to get off
that tiresome treadmill and consider switching to OAAA, to wit: Once Adopted,
Always Adopted because Eph 1:4-5 is an astonishing degree of generosity rarely
mentioned; especially the part about legitimate placement in God's genealogy,
which is almost too remarkable to believe could ever be true.
_
 
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