God’s Jealousy and Anger

(Meditating on Psalm 79)

I know that such title wouldn’t do well specially with people who believe only in a loving God and not in the just, righteous, holy God that punishes iniquities. But one needs to speak the truth. I read Psalm 79 and though it tells of the captivity of Jerusalem (maybe this was during the time of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon who invaded Jerusalem, defiled the temple of God, and took Zedekiah the king), the following verse stood out and it’s what I want us to meditate on:

How long, Lord?
Will You be angry forever?
Will Your jealousy burn like fire? 
(Psalm 79:5)

Jerusalem was punished by God because of her consistent idolatry. He used Nebuchadnezzar as instrument to serve His purpose. In our present time, idolatry still doesn’t go unpunished.

Years before Bro. Louie Angeles came to know the one true living God and surrender his life to Him, he knew many gods made of wood and cast stone. Every morning, even before the sun rose, he would be in their market stall helping his mother. His mother’s number one instruction was for Bro. Louie to kiss a statue of a “young Jesus” with a crown and a cape decorated with gold stitches before he started work. (This icon is widely popular in the Philippines that its yearly feast is celebrated for days).

But before Bro. Louie could do that, he would first diligently search for the head of the statue which always went missing because the rats played with it during the night. When he had found it, he would fix it on top of the statue and only then could he kiss it. Bro. Louie worked diligently in their market stall to finance his college education. When he graduated, finishing Bachelor of Science in Architecture, he found out he had leprosy. To read more of Bro. Louie Angeles’ amazing testimony, click here.

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How about the devotion to a black statue whose yearly feast is celebrated with so much fanfare and attended by millions of devotees, but also marred by disasters and tragedies? This Filipino Catholic tradition was analyzed in depth in this article Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo » Faith or Fanaticism? Click the link to read the essay.

The Bible teaches us to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

Until the people come to the knowledge of this truth and worship the one true living God and not impotent idols made by hands, there is no real peace and the land remains captive and “desolate” [barren; lifeless].

New testimony post: Healed of Witchcraft: The testimony of Sis. Maria Fe Lible

Photo courtesy of Bro. Edu Cortez of extremedetails.com
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What Competition Really Is

“Competition brings out the worst in the human animal.” That was my answer to one of the questions during a beauty pageant in college. (Yes, you read that right – I was a participant, a contender of the Department of Chemical Engineering to be exact. No, I didn’t want to be in it but our department head ordered me to. There was no other she could think of she said. You may lower your brows now (smile). I know I’m not a “beauty pageant material”, even my older sister advised me then, “Rina, I think you should just come out during the question-and-answer portion.” See?). Anyway, I got that quote from a movie I watched that summer :).

I didn’t really know it then, how painful and destructive competition could become. I learned later in life, however, how competition really brings out the worst in the human animal.

When I was still managing our company, I had a client-friend who competed with her own close relative in the same industry. They had had a nasty history and from then on, competed with each other so ferociously one observer, also a client-friend, commented, “I’m scared to think what will come of these two, competing like that.”

I know too well how competition could be so ugly and scary. For the strong-gutted, they will thrive, but for the faint-hearted ones, they are in for a painful ride. But I do believe, both are bound for destruction.

When the relative inaugurated her new laboratory, this client-friend confided that she dreams of building her own lab. She said she must have her own lab! She said she couldn’t sleep just by thinking about it. She was consumed by it. The immediate effect of competition is peacelessness.

I knew where she was coming from. When I put up my own company, I also thrived in competition. But I could say it was a healthy one, as I aimed of leading the pack. I tried not to be diverted by competitors’ tactics as I worked to reaching my company’s vision.

But competition may come in different forms, like competing with neighbors and friends, reminding us of the old cliche, “keeping up with the Joneses”.

Competition breeds covetousness and vice-versa. It’s a vicious cycle.

To be consumed by covetousness is beyond scary. But its hapless victims don’t know that. They are as helpless as any other who are in the clutches of the enemy.

Covetousness is idolatry. It’s worshiping the things of this world. That’s what the Bible says.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry(Col. 3:5)

Did you know that if we love and embrace the things of the world the love of God is not in us? Read carefully:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2: 15-17)

But there is help for the covetous as there is help for the murderers, adulterers, robbers, and all products of sin. And that help comes only from the Lord Jesus Christ. He promises:

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

You who are powerless against the temptations of this world; you who are under the influence of the god of this world, consciously or unconsciously walking the path of competition and covetousness – come unto Jesus. He is bidding you. He alone can set you free.

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Related:

(If you haven’t received the Lord Jesus Christ in your life and are not sure if you are saved and heir of eternal life, and you are so searching for true peace and happiness, know the keys of salvation here).

My weekly gratitude list ~ thankful to the Lord for:

  • birds gaily singing outside the window even before the morning sun bathes our home with its golden glow.
  • a luxuriating foot spa (with dead sea salts foot soak and lavender-scented scrub) assisted by my beloved husband; lavender doesn’t fail to soothe my senses.
  • cozy snuggles in my sweetheart’s arms.
  • our buffet table and display cabinets finally cleaned of clutter; a box full of old silver and glass dishes sent away to the province.
  • fluffy pancakes dripping with my favorite virgin honey from a bee farm in Tagaytay. I love its very distinct floral taste. It’s like eating a bouquet of flowers :).

Linked to Sharing His Beauty, Multitudes on Mondays, Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Encourage My Heart, Teach Me Tuesday, State of the Heart, Women Living Well, Women in the Word Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual Sundays, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home