God the Warrior, Gibbor

GOD as Warrior 

As a reminder: Every society needs its warriors to survive.  It is the warrior in men that energizes us and allows us to defend our values.  It’s the warrior in us that allows us to stand our ground and protect and defend even to the point of death.  The warrior is an inherent instinct within the nature of men.

When looking at the term “gibbor”, we know that God Himself is a warrior.  We see the words of Jeremiah, “Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. [gibbor] – (Jeremiah 10:6) Please turn to Psalm 89 and you will observe the psalmist saying of God, “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.  Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” – (Psalm 89: 13-14)   Righteousness and justice is the foundation of his throne and He is full of power and strength, He is exalted and He acts with love and faithfulness.

When God saves, and vindicates us humans it is His warrior strength that overcomes the enemy. (Psalm 54:1-4, 20:6) God’s warrior strength and the relationship with His character allows His name Yahweh to be identified with gibbor: “Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is the Lord. [Yahweh]” – (Jeremiah 16:21) A commentator has observed, “One thing the Exodus does not require is any military violence on the part of the Hebrews… Moses arsenal does not include a single bona fide weapon – no swords, no spears, bows, or knives, much less chariots and horsemen. It is Yahweh who fights!

God is not passive.  He fights for His people to save, liberate, protect and sustain.  He has all the attributes of warrior.  I’m glad Jesus is a warrior, I’m glad He fought for my salvation by offering up His only son and glad He will fight again.

The Messianic Warrior

In the promise concerning the Messiah, one designation placed on Him will be “El Gibbor” or the mighty-warrior God.  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” – (Isaiah 9:6) His name is listed alongside eternal Father and Prince of Peace. This indicates that being God is not inconsistent with being a warrior and being a warrior is not inconsistent with being the Prince of Peace. God’s ultimate representative, His own son, the Messiah, is a warrior fighting and laying down His own life for His Father’s cause.  And one day soon He will mount His white horse and slay the armies of the world to establish a perfect and lasting peace. (Revelation 19:11-21)

Gibbor as National Warrior and Hero

All through the Old Testament the use of “gibbor” refers to the experienced veteran of combat or the hero status achieved from spectacular feats of bravery. Psalm 19:5, Isaiah 36:5, Genesis 6:4, Genesis 10:9 are all examples.

Gideon and Jephthath, two of Israel’s judges were called gibbbors. (Judges 6:12, 11:1) In Judges chapter seven Gideon made a name for himself by destroying the pagan altars and fighting the Midianites with a corp of three hundred gibbors.

The reign of David advanced the concept of the gibbor to an outstanding militia and hand-picked corp of warriors.  It was carried on by Solomon and the number of his gibborim grew to 60.  He comments on their “parade dress” appearance in Song of Songs 3:7-8.

The warrior is part of the routine expression of manliness in the Bible. God the Father and Christ are examples of what it is.  As men, we need to embrace the latent or rejected warrior within for our own development and for the sake of our society and church. The warrior never serves himself. The warrior serves his king and his commander.  We must know and understand what and who we serve. The power of the warrior needs to be in the service of a larger view of masculinity.

Let’s be clear, being a warrior is not the goal of manhood.  It is a stop along the way to full maleness. Scripture shows that a true warrior should develop as a spiritual warrior.  This takes more than just being tough, strong, or determined to win.

Gibbor as the Spiritual Warrior

Solomon says, “Wisdom is better than [warrior] strength.” (Ecclesiastes 9:16) The psalmist adds, “He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.  The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” – (Psalm 147:10-11)

Isaiah declares a man’s real strength lies in things like repentance, resting in one’s salvation, and in the quiet trust of God. (Isaiah 30:15)  This is reaffirmed through the prophet Jeremiah: “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” – (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

This clarifies the true warrior.  Not a warmonger or baby-killer but warriors that know their limitations and place their faith in God. The warrior does not trust in his own ability but he puts his commitment, allegiance and trust in God. For a man that has not had a significant male role model in his life this is bad news.  The fatherless generation could learn a lot about being a man through the study of God’s word and witnessing a true warrior in operation.  The true warrior does not trust his own strength but he trusts in the strength of the Lord.

On the other side of things, the psalmist admits that “gibbor” can use power for malevolent causes and become a violent man full of evil.  This is a possibility inherent in the warrior psyche.

“Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” – (Psalm 40:4) and in contrast, “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” – (Jeremiah 17:5) 

Job was told by God to “Gird up his loins as a warrior would do preparing for battle” in (Job 38:1-3) He was telling Job to receive the words of God as a warrior would do.  For three chapters God put Job in his place by reminding him of who he is and asking him to receive the admonition as a warrior would.  The warrior salutes and carries out the order.  No debate, just Yes, sir.

King David was a supreme example of the spiritual warrior and the gibbor.  He always credited his military accomplishments to God and sang praises to Him. (1 Chronicles 29:11-14) David also illustrated the downside of the life of the warrior.  To be a successful warrior, blood must be shed.  There is a certain irony in the life of the warrior. It is a much-needed stop on the male journey. It is where we grow up. But, it still involves, blood, risk, and/or sacrifice. We need to prove ourselves. It is different with each man how that occurs. Sometimes it takes all the warrior courage we can muster up to pull the task off.  Whatever it is, however, we must call forth the warrior within us to kill it. We must trust God with the outcome and risk psychological or physical injury to become men. “What is a man without his sword?”

The challenge of being a warrior is twofold:  Knowing what to fight for, and knowing when to quit and neither of these is easy to learn. Usually it takes a major and very tragic loss or a severe wounding within the life of a man to move him out of the warrior perspective.  The warrior never leaves us but if the warrior fights enough battles he can become seriously wounded.  The arrows find their targets and we become wounded to the point of new an uncharted territory.  It’s a dark and scary place.  It is a stage on the journey to manhood most men would love to skip.  If you are stuck in the wounded male space, you are lost and feel you will never find your way back.

This brings us to the subject for the next post, The Wounded Male- Enosh: The Painful Incongruency, so come back for this in the next posting.

All credit goes to Robert Hicks and The Masculine Journey.

God bless you all,

The Tubthumper

Click Here to jump to next Post- Painful Incongruency…

In God’s Image, Really?

imageWhat do you think when you read that man was created in God’s image.  We could all write pages and pages on what is all encompassed within being created in God’s image. The first thought I have is that God created us perfect and then man’s sin with Satan’s treachery ruined it all. Have you ever thought about all the absolutely beautiful things in the world? Sometimes I see something and I think “Oh my, that is so beautiful… how can it be?” Can you possibly imagine how beautiful God is? My pastor said yesterday that to be with Him someday and see that awesome beauty will be like I have never, ever seen before. That is a good first thought.  It is a thought about His beauty, His greatness, His power and His love. And how can it be that we would be created in that image?

In Genesis 1:26-27 it says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

I think these verses actually refer to the nature of man and not how we look. I don’t think it is referring to the physical bodies we are in now. One clue I have is that my body is deteriorating fast and God’s body has none of these effects.

I believe that even in my best years, (and in my prime I was a handsome and fit man if I don’t say so myself) I could never have held a candle to the image of God. Never! We have no clear image of God’s beauty and looks.  No person has ever seen God.  John wrote, “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Jesus said in John14:9, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” 

The very first sentence in Genesis 1:27 say’s a lot. God created, therefore, anyone believing the Bible is truly the word of God must without question put aside any thoughts of evolution. We did not evolve. We were created.  Because we were created in the image of God, He must have had a plan for us. He must have designed a purpose. He must have a divine purpose for each of us when we were created or as a whole when mankind was created. There are scriptures that indicate we were created for Him and we were created for His pleasure. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

The Bible indicates in many passages that God is a Spirit. Because we were created in His image we then have a spirit. We were created in His image and have a body, a soul and a spirit. Certainly and evidently we have no divine trinity like He does but we do have a type of triune existence that is much inferior to His. Much, very much inferior to His.  (Created in his image.) Remember that an image is simply a reflection. We experience the spirit existence when we pray and when we hear that still small voice within. It is the Holy Spirit (God’s spirit) communicating with our spirit. What about the soul, the soul, is hard to understand and cannot be explained because it is one of God’s great mysteries Think of how we think, if you can. I think of my being and who I am deep down.  Actually this soul is the inner you and it is the person God sees. The person you show other humans is not really you. Only you and God know the real you. It is that part that only God knows that is the soul. It is what drives your thoughts, your conscience, your intellect and common sense and it is your will. The will is important because it is there the battle rages between flesh and spirit. The fact we were created with will means we have choice. What a mystery and a wonder this is. With the soul he created us with emotion and the ability to love. Is there another word in the Bible mentioned more than the word love? With some research you will find the word love shows up in different numbers depending on what version of the Bible you are reading.  Regardless of the version, however, love comes up huge.  The King James Bible shows the word love 314 times, the word love’s appears once, the word loved appears 98 times, the word lovedst appeared twice and the word lovely appears 4 times. In the New American Standard version the word love appears 133 times in the Old Testament and 215 times in the New Testament.  In the New International Version the word love shows up 319 times in the Old and 232 times in the New Testament.  Lastly in the New Revised Standard version the word love appears 317 times in the Old and 221 times in the New Testament. Lot’s of love. God is love and he created us with the capacity to love. He wants us to love. Through our loving and His love we glorify God and we demonstrate the Glory of God which is our purpose. Love is one of His pleasures. We were created for His pleasure.

God created us in His image so that He can have fellowship with us and we can fellowship with Him. God desires our fellowship. He desires to share all the glory and beauty of His love with us. We are to stay in fellowship through prayer and the reading of His word.  It seems like God wants to have an ongoing meaningful relationship of love with all He created. Earlier it was mentioned that He created man for His pleasure. His pleasure is to love us and to be loved by us. His pleasure is to have us glorify God.  Those that refuse to accept His love and deny Him do so by exercising that free will He provided in creation. He made it clear that to deny Christ is to deny life. If you are reading this and your life is empty and useless then turn to the one who gives life and love. As Elmer Towns always says, “Believe and live.”

I must conclude with a thesis of what it means to be created in God’s image is that we were created with the capacity to love and it is God’s desire that we share His love.  That is His pleasure.  We are beings that were created as loving beings.  We were filled with God’s love.CreatedinGodsImage5th

There is so much more to be said. Of course we know of the horrible act in the Garden where evil and hate became real. That became real along with the choice to love or to hate. (That is another subject for another time.)

God bless your day today,

“The Tubthumper”

Love me do

lovehandsBack in 1959 while Paul McCartney was skipping school he was scribbling some song words on a notebook and dreaming of being a star one day.  John Lennon added some lines to it and they scribbled “Another Lennon-McCartney Original” at the top of the page.  What was born form that scribble was the first hit single from the Beatles.  “Love Me Do” backed by “P.S. I Love You” was released on October 5, 1962. When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom, it peaked at number seventeen; in 1982 it was re-issued and reached number four. In the United States the single was a number one hit in 1964.

Love, love me do, You know I love you, I’ll always be true; So please, love me do; Whoa, love me do.

Love, love me do, You know I love you, I’ll always be true; So please, love me do; Oh, love me do.

Someone to love, Somebody new, Someone to love, Someone like you.

Love, love me do, You know I love you, I’ll always be true; So please, love me do; Oh, love me do.

Love, love me do, You know I love you, I’ll always be true; So please, love me do; Whoa, love me do. Yeah, love me do; Whoa, love me do.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well in reality we see mostly love, love me don’t.  You know it’s likely when these teens wrote this song they were thinking of romantic love with the young ladies.  To an extent what I am talking about today can go there but I am thinking now of agape love, the brotherly love like in Philly.

Actually I am writing this because of a strong prompting to do so.  I know not why but I have learned recently to listen to those divine prompts.  Most certainly I am no expert on the subject and almost any day you could grab me by the collar and say, “now was that the love of God I saw you show just then?”  And I would shrink in shame.

Think about this, would you?  Do you think there is more love shown to humanity and between our neighbors today than in days gone by or do you think it is less?  I’ll give some time for you think about that.  I promise that I’ll come back to it.

The prompting I have been getting is telling me that speech has little value.  What I mean to say is that when it comes to love talk doesn’t mean anything.  Love needs action.  Love comes from emotions or should be an emotion. The word emotion is derived from motive or motion, e-motion.  So love should motivate.  It should motivate us to do kind things and helpful things for those we love.

We should be motivated to take action.  But where is the action?  I have been noticing that all around there is a lack of action.  I know I am addressing fellow brothers and sisters that love the Lord and of course anyone else that should happen along to my humble little blog.  So it’s possible I have a mix of audience of us and them. Or call it them and us. You know, we Christians that are “born again’ and filled with “God’s love” and those that have not made a commitment to the Lord and are still in the world. (As we call it.)  A friend made me accountable not too long ago.  A group of people had taken a view different than we (Christian’s) would take on a subject and I said, ‘”Well those yahoo’s should get a life”.  Or something very much like that and he immediately thumped me.  I know that brother loved me because he abruptly and lovingly put me in the place I needed to be.  He said, “Frank, don’t refer to others that way, because we are to be different.” Now, those folks never heard my comment.  My brother in-Christ knew my brain needed a jog though. He knew I needed a “check-up from the neck-up” as the late Zig Ziglar used to say.  He was so right though.  We are supposed be different. The world is always watching. As family in God’s Kingdom we are supposed to different.  In the world but not of the world. Sometimes it seems to me that we are worse at what I am taking about than the world is.

So talk is cheap.  I am certain you are pretty tired of hearing that “actions speak louder than words” right?  Well, it doesn’t matter how overheard the cliché is, it won’t get any less true.  And oh, how true it is.  Love requires action and here is the most telling point.  Love requires time.  An investment in time is required and it is getting very hard to find fellow human beings that are willing to invest any of their time to express love for their neighbors.  It is commanded of us.  Let me repeat that, “It is commanded of us!” Now even though it is commanded of us we hoard that time and use it for ourselves instead of using it for what God intends.  As I see people parceling out their time I see precious little of it parceled out for the love category.  Yup, there is no time for love these days. Too busy!  You know sometimes it even strikes me that the world is investing a little more time in showing love than we Christians are.  I know it is a sad statement but I can’t help it.  Several Saints around me seem to be short on time and effort in this category.  Lest I be called the fire that’s calling the kettle black I remind you that I need this as much anyone.  Many seem a bit lax on this one trait that is truly the number one request of the Lord.  1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Do everything in love.”  Short and to the point.  It doesn’t get any plainer than that.  Ok, the context of that short verse came just after we are told to stand firm in our faith and be resolute.  We are to be firm but we are not to be the devils tool in the process.  Someone said that the wrath of man will never, ever work the righteousness of God.  And how can it? I mentioned this was a commandment.  Check the 10 commandments out but first I’ll provide these verses.  “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”, (Matthew 22:36-40).

So love your neighbor as yourself.  And who is your neighbor?  I will remind you that according to scripture, your neighbor is anyone you can help.  And guess what?  They are wanting it and waiting for it.  So when you respond to someone or you address someone or more importantly, if you are in the presence of someone then acknowledge they are there and show love and kindness.  Such a short time it takes for a hello or hand shake or a hug or warm look in the eyes.  But few invest it. That time and effort, I mean; and many feel unloved.  Mother Teresa said, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

Come back and I will finish this thought…  Click Here to go to Part Two

Have a Godly day,

“The Tubthumper”


Are we a Bunch of Losers, Part 5

church29So what is a healthy New Testament Church anyway?

A New Testament church is a church in which God is present through His Spirit, and in which He is powerfully at work to glorify Himself by manifestations of His power and grace. A New Testament church is a church where the fruits of the Spirit are as evident as the manifestations of His power. That is the kind of church we desire to be. We as individuals are “THE CHURCH”.  Remember that it is ‘THE BODY’ of believers.  The saints!  Therefore, we as individuals are to strive to be full of the Spirit, exhibiting the fruit of the spirit and glorifying God by manifestation of His power and grace in our lives.  We are to be different!

A healthy church is one that is founded upon the person and work of Jesus Christ and His infallible Word, the Bible. The first three chapters of the Book of Ephesians deal with essential Bible doctrines. Paul’s appeal to these saints to live godly lives in the last three chapters is rooted in the sound doctrine of chapters 1-3. I don’t have room to address that here but please go and read it for yourselves.

You will also notice that the subject matter of the last half of Ephesians has to do with relationships, primarily relationships in the church. In the first half of chapter four, Paul makes his appeal for unity and growth. Then, in the last half of this fourth chapter, Paul shows how faith in Christ requires a radical change in the way the believer relates to others. Relationships were an important part of Paul’s teaching, and they should be important in our teaching and church life as well. I will point out again that relationships involve intimacy and closeness.  Those are two scary words in our society today.  We rather isolate ourselves and communicate by means of internet like I am now. We communicate through Facebook and email.  Personal contact is the last thing we want to do.  We have become a non- relational world.  Intimate and face to face communication is becoming extinct.  Love and the manifestation of love require action and it requires time.  If we are unwilling to invest the time to show others we love by indicating they exist by showing personal action to speak directly to them and acknowledge them we will always be perceived as unloving.  And the perception by others is everything.  We need to be clear that we have God’s love and we share it.

Let’s get back to the subject before I go off in another direction…

Looking back to the Bible in Acts we see the start of ‘The Church’.  The church that is described in Acts 2:41-47 is a Jewish church, worshipping as we would expect of a group of new Jewish converts. It is a church of very new believers, who exhibit the vital signs of new life in Christ. This is not a church that has “arrived;” it is a church that has a good start and is moving in the right direction.  It is a church that loves God and others. It is a Spirit-filled church that is moving toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission. But it is not a perfect church in any case.  It still has some growing to do and it will.

What does this church have to teach us, to teach our church?  We should always be troubled by the words of our Lord to the church at Ephesus as recorded in Revelation 2:1-7. The Church at Ephesus has “departed from their first love”.

I believe our text in Acts 2 greatly helps us discern the answer to these questions. To lose one’s ‘first love’ is to cease to love as you once did, at the beginning. Acts 2:41-47 describes the church’s first love, and thus it describes the deeds that one who has lost his first love must once again do. The early church in Jerusalem may not be the perfect pattern for all that we do as a church today, but it is an excellent example of a church that is marked by love.  It was an example of a church that has a love for God and love for others.

We should evaluate ourselves and we should evaluate our church of today.  Now when I say our church of today I am talking about the body of believers and the organized church as well.

We see in the book of revelation what Jesus does when he evaluates the church and what He expects.

Take an evaluative look at your local church and then do the same for your life because you are the church and then also think about God’s church in the bigger sense of things.  I mean globally.  Let’s take a look at what Jesus thought about the seven churches he evaluated. Let us evaluate where we are headed.

In the next two posts I will go over what Jesus saw regarding each of these churches and how he addresses them.  It would serve us well to see where we have fallen and how history can repeat itself.  We may want to take note as well to what happened to these churches as a result.

See you next time as we conclude with a walk through the first six books of The revelation of Jesus Christ. (Click Here for continuation)

Please have a Godly day today,

“The Tubthumper”




Day 15 to pray for elections, 25 to go

praying7May Your love flow through and around us.

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;  That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ”, Philippians 1:9-10.

O’ Dear Lord in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  You are the mighty King.  You are the master of everything.  We praise you God almighty!  We love you dear Lord.

Father, forgive us.  We have lost our way.  We have strayed from your loving arms.  Bring us back to you.  Father, we bow our heads before You and we confess that we have too often forgotten that we are Yours.  We have carried on our lives as if there was no God or some other god and we fall short of being a credible witness for You.  For these things we ask your forgiveness and we also ask for your strength.

We thank you Lord for Your everlasting love which you show regardless of our infirmities. We thank you for your blessings.

Lord today we pray for our fellow man. Father please help us all to be of strong and clear mind as we approach the election decisions.  Please help our people to recognize the right choice for our entire nation and not choose based on selfish and self-centered desires.  Allow us to see that the enemy lies just beneath the shine and polish.  We pray our people will not vote based on who looks the part, who has the most show or who is the most camera friendly.  Help us to grasp, dear Lord, that looks can be deceiving. Help our people to seek the answers dear Lord and work to understand who they are voting for. Help them to know the person and to know your desire.  Help the sheep to not go astray, O’ Great Shepherd.  Father, we all need your help in this important issue.

Lord, help us to draw on your love.  May Your love flow through and around us.  Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may witness to You in our world.  Remind us to be who You would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Hold us to You and build our relationship with You and with those You have given us.  Speak to our hearts and open our minds that we may see You and the light of Your glory.  Send your Holy Spirit, Father.  Cleanse us, O’Lord, that we may stand before You without blemish.  Help us as a nation to be a discerning people with moral voices to bring glory and honor to You, O’God.

We ask all these things through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.


Who Is Your Neighbor?

talking-over-the-fenceWho is your neighbor?  I will answer this very question at the end of the post.  For now I want to provide the reason I asked the question.

There is a passage in the book of Luke where a lawyer was tempting Jesus Christ.  The lawyer asked Jesus, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life”?  Jesus answered him this way, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”  (Luke 10:27)  It was then the lawyer tried to justify himself and asked, “And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29)

I will paraphrase what happens in the next seven verses.  This is how Jesus used a parable to explain who your neighbor is.  Please keep in mind as you read this account of the parable that Jews and Samaritans were enemies.  They were never seen together and if anyone had a reason to keep walking and ignore a Jewish man needing help it is a Samaritan.  A man (a Jewish man) was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by a bunch of thieves and thugs.  They robbed him and beat him and left him lying in the road half dead.  Well, along the road came a priest and a Levite.  These two were travelling the same road and saw the man lying there in dire need of someone to help him.  These two men took a quick look at the man and rushed off refusing to help him.  The next man that came through was a Samaritan.  This Samaritan stopped and offered his assistance.  He bandaged the man’s wounds, picked him up and placed this wounded Jewish man on his donkey.  He then took him to a nearby inn and paid the innkeeper to nurse him back to health.  (Luke: 10:30-37) This parable exhibits gentleness and I should point out a miracle by Christ in Luke 17:11-19 which also involves a Samaritan, the coinciding miracle of the Cleansing of Ten Lepers exhibits gratitude.   Of the ten lepers only one was a Samaritan.  The Samaritan fell at the feet of the Savior and worshipped and thanked him.  The others, Jews, ran off to the temple priests without giving thanks.  They had committed the ultimate sin of thanklessness.  A thankful person is a humble person.  Someone made an observation of, “Be careful for nothing, be prayerful in everything, and be thankful for anything!”

Ok, let’s get back to the neighbor thing.  There is some irony at play here.  If anyone should have helped the injured Jewish man it was the Priest or the Levite.  The Priest probably was leaving Jerusalem after being in the temple presenting sacrifices to God.  The Levite would have been in the temple proclaiming the scriptures.   Isn’t it just like some things we see today in that neither of them would lift a finger to help a fellow human being in need?  Talk about irony; look at the one that provided the help.  This man that stopped to help was a Samaritan and a member of a race that was hated by the Jews.  “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him]”, Luke 10:33.

The question the lawyer asked is “Who is my neighbor?” and the answer is that your neighbor is anyone you can help. 

About 500 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Confucius preached the Golden Rule and some accused Jesus of borrowing words from Confucius.  The Golden Rule is “Don’t do to others that which you would not have them do to you.”   That is in no way the message Jesus wants us to hear and is vastly different.  Here is the Golden Rule that Jesus gives, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets”, Matthew 7:12.   

Which advice did the Priest and the Levite follow?  It appears they followed the advice of Confucius because they didn’t beat or rob a man because they wouldn’t have wanted it to be done to themselves.

It seems the Samaritan was the only one to follow the advice of Jesus and the Golden Rule.  Not only had the Samaritan not inflicted any additional harm to the injured man, he actually did what he would have desired for someone to do to him.   He would have wanted someone to stop and help him and to care for his wounds as Jesus advised.

There are three different attitudes present here.  The first attitude comes from the robbers.  Their attitude is “What is thine is mine.”  I don’t want to get distracted here but we surely see lots of this devilish attitude amongst us today.  The second type of attitude comes from the Priest and the Levite.  They have the fleshly and self-righteous attitude of, “What is mine is mine”.   Lastly the Samaritan has an attitude that is Devine, “What is mine is thine”.

The Samaritan stopped and helped while others just walked on by.  The Priest and the Levite should have helped and did not.

Who is your neighbor?  It is whoever is in need.

Who is my neighbor?   It is the man who is in need.

Be thankful always and love your neighbor as yourself.

FJ1“The Tubthumper”