Wednesday, May 25, 2011


     We have all studied the creation account.  Since childhood we have been taught about the days of creation and the beginning of man's occupation of the earth.  We also learn of man's sin against God and the curses that would plague the earth because of that sin.  In chapter 4 following the birth of Seth we read man began to call upon the name of the Lord. (verse 26)  In chapter five we are given a genealogy of the generations of Adam which take us to the birth of Noah and his sons.
     But there is something written in the course of the genealogy we often acknowledge, and yet really don't give much thought to what is being said.  When Enoch is mentioned in verse 21 we are told he became the father of Methuselah.  Attention is then given to Methuselah who lived longer than any other man in human history.  Often overlooked in this piece of trivia is the account of Enoch.  It is not enough to pay attention to Enoch's age when he became the father of Methuselah.  Something else much more striking is written about Enoch.
     When all of the other genealogies are read there is a common thread mentioned about them all except Enoch.  All the others died.  Enoch did not die.  In verse 22 we are told that Enoch walked with God for three hundred years after the birth of Methuselah, becoming the father of other sons and daughters during that time.  In verse 24, we are told again that Enoch walked with God, and then, he was not, for God took him. 
     When Enoch walked with God he had a fellowship with him.  This fellowship denotes an intimate relationship shared between him and God.  We are also told in 6:9 that Noah walked with God.  The same word used to describe the walk of Enoch with God is used in connection with Noah.  In 6:8 we are told that Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord.  And yet Noah was not taken in the way Enoch was taken.
     The phrase and he was not simply tells us Enoch no longer existed in the flesh as others of mankind.  The only explanation given for this is found in Hebrews 11:5.  Enoch was taken up by faith so he should not see death, and he was not not found (and he was not) because God took him up.  The last portion of this verse is striking, "for he obtained a witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God."  We are then told in verse 6, without faith it is impossible to please God.
     What are we to learn from the written word?  First, God blesses man in various ways.  We may not always understand but it is not always given to us to understand.  Secondly, if we are going to be people of faith we must have an intimate fellowship with God as Enoch did.   Implicit in this fellowship is our dependence on Him and obedience as we call upon His name.  This is how we become pleasing to Him.  Finally, if we desire to be taken up by the Lord as a part of that resurrection unto eternal life, then let our life boldly proclaim to those around us we walk with the Lord.  Rodger

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wagging Tongues Mock The Truth

   When Jesus was on the cross there were those who cast insults at Him and mocked Him.  He claimed to be the Son of God, and yet, there He was on the cross, His life blood dripping from His hands and feet.  Scripture tells us the people were wagging their heads. (Matt. 27:39)  The 'wagging' taking place means to move the head in such a way as to express derision.  Derision refers to one being made a laughingstock, one being derided, or an object of contempt. (Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1983, pg. 490)  Another word for derision is mockery, among others, and it is mockery I want to focus on.
     On march 24th, I received an email from Military .com that included an article concerning the Stolen Valor Act.  This act was passed by Congress several years ago in order to protect the honor of those who had served in the military in heroic ways, and had been awarded the Medal of Honor.  An article from August 2010, mentioned that a federal court had found the act unconstitutional.  The reason the court was having to rule on the matter was because of one named Xavier Alvarez. who claimed to have been awarded the Medal of Honor while serving in the Marine Corps.  The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest honor.  Mr. Alvarez was never awarded the Medal of Honor.  In fact, he never served in the Marine Corps.  He lied to make himself look good.  It was later discovered he at one time claimed to have played for the Detroit Red Wings, a National hockey League team, as well as having rescued the American ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis.  He never did either of those things.  It is bad enough Mr. Alvarez has made a mockery of the truth with his wagging tongue of derision, but he has also acted in a contemptible manner toward the public concerning the matter of truth. What's even worse is the decision of the court system to say lying is okay by declaring the Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional.
     What the judges have failed to realize is that Mr. Alvarez is as big a loser in this ruling as the American people.  If you ever talk to this man, how can you be sure he is being honest with you, or simply telling another lie?  Nothing he says can be taken as truth or believed because he has admitted the lies and doesn't seem to care.  How can we as parents hope to teach our children not to tell a lie when the court says its okay.  If one is willing to lie about his or her service record, or any other part of their life, they will lie about anything. 
     What of the harm done to those who truly earned this Medal of Honor through heroic measures?  Their acts have been greatly diminished by a group of legal eagles who are supposed to support truth, and have even taken an oath to that effect.  Whom do we believe?  Whom can we trust?  Jesus may have been on the cross but He was raised from the dead.  He said that would happen.  Jesus also said many would arise claiming to be Christ. (Mt. 24:23ff)  That has happened as well at various times.  Jesus said He would build His church. (Mt. 16:18)  He has done that too.  All what Jesus said He would do (except His second coming and that's' still coming) He has done.  Other biblical writers have attested to that fact.
     We don't need anymore wagging tongues, or tongues of derision that make a mockery of truth and reveal nothing more than a contemptible attitude toward our brethren and others we may meet.  If we are going to be the mirror image of our Lord and Savior, then let our 'yes' be 'yes' and our 'no' be 'no!' (Mt. 5:37)  If people cannot depend on what we say, how are we going to help them in life, much less teach them the gospel?  If you have given your heart to God your tongue should be His as well.  Use it wisely and allow your tongue to be a ready writer of truth for God. (Ps. 45:1; Col. 4:6)