Monday, April 5, 2021

The Sanctity of Marriage redux (Heb 13:4)

 Dr. Paul Manuel—2020

 Text:

Heb 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Outline:

      I.    Marriage is an honorable state.

Application: God intends marriage to be a permanent endeavor between a man and a maid lasting as long as both shall live. (Matt 19:6)

     II.    Marriage is a pure state.

Application: All people are responsible to keep God’s commands about sexual morality. (1 Cor 6:18)

    III.    Marriage is an accountable state.

Application: People often behave as if their conduct has no consequences. But actions do have consequences, both good and bad. (Matt 16:27)

Introduction: Much has transpired since man’s first contact with woman in the Garden. Man may even have gotten smarter, some men at least:

Jim said to his co-worker Jack, “I have not spoken to my wife in several months…because I don’t like to interrupt her.”

Some men may even have gotten smarter, although silence does not guarantee marital harmony.

Background: Marriage is not for everyone, but it is for most people, if for no other reason than to provide a proper setting for physical intimacy:

Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband… To the unmarried…I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Cor 7:2-3, 8-9)

Many people, however, engage in the latter (i.e., physical intimacy) without adopting the former (i.e., marriage), thereby engaging in immorality and setting themselves outside God’s will, which is not a good place to be. On the contrary, the best place to be is at the center of God’s will, and marriage helps most people with that positioning, especially if they maintain “The Sanctity of Marriage.”

     Paul argues against asceticism (Hughes 1977:563), considering marriage an acceptable state, even a preferable state, although he himself is unmarried (“as I am” v. 8), and he counsels his readers accordingly. Why Paul is unmarried may have to do with his itinerant lifestyle. In any case, he does not consider his occupation to be a disqualifying factor:

Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? (1 Cor 9:5)

Still, he recognizes a husband’s obligation to his wife:

A married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife. (1 Cor 7:33)

Perhaps Paul does not want his attention divided between the needs of those under his care and the needs of a wife. It is a strict way of applying Jesus’ warning against serving “two masters:”[1]

Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. (Matt 6:24)

Nevertheless, Paul realizes that marriage deserves the believer’s respect, and “that….

      I.    Marriage is an honorable state.

     As an honorable state marriage is also a desirous state, something sought because it is advantageous in many ways:

        Having a mate can enable a person to “enjoy life” (Eccl 9:9).

        Having a mate can bring a person “good” always (Prov 31:12).

        Having a mate can be profitable because “two have a good return for their work” (Eccl 4:9).

And most importantly…

        Having a mate can bring “favor from the Lord” (Prov 18:22).

     Moreover, marriage is to be a permanent state (“as long as you both shall live”). Divorce, however, is permissible, although it evinces man’s weakness, his rebellious nature (Manuel 2015):[2]

I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel. (Mal 2:16)

Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. [This suggests that divorce was not an option for Adam and Eve.] Anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. (Matt 19:8-9)

The vague grounds for divorce that many people claim today (e.g., irreconcilable differences) are simply unacceptable to God, who expects people to resolve their disagreements not retreat from them. Such resolution is especially necessary when children are involved, both for their ultimate good and for the example it sets. The only grounds that accords with God’s will is marital unfaithfulness (again, disobedience), because that truly breaks the marriage bond. Anything less may strain the union, and often does, but does not rupture it irreparably in God’s eyes (although even when it does, reconciliation, however unlikely following divorce, is still possible).

     When a marriage fails, it often demonstrates unrealistic expectations about what such a union entails or, more importantly, an unwillingness to yield one’s personal ambitions to the ambitions of another. Successful marriage always entails some sacrifice (and compromise), but successful marriage always brings great reward, exceeding whatever sacrifice it requires. Marriage is an honorable state.

Application: Many people do not view marriage the same way they regard a career or education, as a goal one achieves only with great effort. Yet there are many similarities, especially in the commitment marriage requires. It is a long-term endeavor, not “to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly.” Marriage is not an experimental lifestyle one establishes on a whim and then discards if it does not go well. There is no such thing as a starter marriage, a brief first union that ends in divorce with no kids, no property, and no regrets. God intends marriage to be a permanent endeavor between a man and a maid lasting as long as both shall live:

What God has joined together, let man not separate. (Matt 19:6)

Marriage is not a temporary arrangement. It is a permanent commitment between two people from the start. As such, marriage is an honorable state.

     II.    Marriage is a pure state.

     When the biblical author says “the marriage bed [is to be] kept pure,” he means that God has imbued the physical act of intercourse with the ability to sanctify the union in His eyes.[3] By the same token, intercourse outside of marriage, lacks the divine imprimatur and is, thereby, impure. That is why God prohibits immorality, because, whether by any sexual license, adultery or fornication, immorality sullies what God has sanctified.[4]

     The term the biblical author uses here, “pure” (NAS “undefiled”) evokes the sacrificial system, and the need for all offerings to meet God’s exacting standards. He expects His people to uphold the same high standard in their personal relations, including the relation of marriage:

Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her. (Lev 18:20)

Do not defile yourselves…because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. (Lev 18:24)

Do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God. (Lev 18:30)

God has always wanted His people to remain pure, and for married people this is especially so.

     Nevertheless, purity is not for the married alone; it is for “all,” including the unmarried. They are to maintain their purity as long as they are unmarried. Beyond (or after) that, they are free, even expected to engage in marital intercourse:

Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Cor 7:5)

All people, married and as well as unmarried, must “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Cor 6:18). No sexual immorality, not adultery or fornication, may have a part in the life of God’s child.

     There is something about marriage that makes it unlike any other relationship, about the intimacy it establishes, an intimacy that Adam understood:[5]

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Gen 2:23-24)

Intimacy does not automatically follow a single act of intercourse (or a formal ceremony). It depends on maintaining a most important attribute in the relationship, the one feature that promotes careful attention to details, details the song “Do You Love Me?” from Fiddler on the Roof that Golde sings to her husband Tevye when he questions her devotion:

Do I love you? [she asks]

For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes

Cooked your meals, cleaned your house

Given you children, milked the cow [= an interesting juxtaposition]

After twenty-five years, why talk about love?

It should be obvious. Golde’s attention to the details of their marriage is proof of her love for Tevye. Such attention to detail combats the forces that would chip away at marriage.

Application: Marriage is not like a series of outer garments a person collects in a clothing store before entering the changing room to see which one fits then deciding what to buy. It is much more like a package of underwear that, once opened, cannot be resealed and returned for a refund.

     Some of God’s commands He directs narrowly, to His people Israel. Other commands He directs broadly, to all people, including gentiles. Prohibitions against various kinds of sexual immorality are of the second type. As such, all people are responsible to keep God’s commands about sexual morality. So the apostle Paul says more than once:

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. (1 Cor 6:18)

Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity…because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Eph 5:3)

Put to death…whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires…. (Col 3:5)

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality. (1 Thess 4:3)

No one is exempt from maintaining moral purity. Marriage is a pure state.

    III.    Marriage is an accountable state.

     A vow people take before God—and all vows are before God—they are responsible to keep, lest they suffer His displeasure, as several passages warn:

When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. (Num 30:2)

If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. (Deut 23:21)

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? ….He who keeps his oath even when it hurts. (Ps 15:1, 4)

People must recognize that they are responsible to God for the words they speak (Manuel 2002b).

Application: You may think that much of what you say is inconsequential, and it may be. Much of what you say in the course of a day does not matter, but you say it any way. A promise, however, is not inconsequential.

     A vow or promise may be to another person, but it is essentially before the Lord. Indeed, every vow is before the Lord, whether or not a person intends it to be:

Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth. (Deut 23:23)

Consequently, a vow is a serious commitment one must not make lightly, lest he incur God’s displeasure. God does not take lightly, frivolous vows. For some people a vow or promise comes easily, too easily. The words, “I promise” are often quick to pass one’s lips, especially in casual conversation. They should not. People must reserve such language for solemn occasions (e.g., wedding, court), not make it a flippant addendum for emphasis:

When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. (Eccl 5:4-5)

Many parents use the phrase “I promise” with their children, which can raise unrealistic expectations for the them or damage the parents’ credibility, especially if they do not follow through with their commitments. Ultimately, a vow or promise is to the Lord, which makes both it and the person who utters it accountable before God.

     People often behave as if their conduct has no consequences. But actions do have consequences, both good and bad:

The Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matt 16:27)

What consequences will your actions today have? Marriage is an accountable state.

Conclusion: Silence does not guarantee marital harmony, but fidelity does promote it, in great part because it accords with God’s will. Whether or not you are married, you can understand “The Sanctity of Marriage.” Does your life accord with God’s will?

The Ministry of Prayer

 Dr. Paul Manuel—2019

 

     Because MS confines me to bed, many of my previous pastoral duties—like preaching, teaching, and visiting—are no longer possible for me. Thankfully, God has preserved my mind, enabling me to continue writing and to participate in one other aspect of ministry unhindered—praying. No longer must I divide my time among several competing and equally demanding responsibilities. Now there are fewer things I must do and a few things I may do as much as I want.

     I am very glad that I was able to devote considerable time studying the spiritual discipline of prayer earlier (see Bibliography) so that I could expend my efforts efficiently later. My understanding of its limitations manages my expectations of its results and helps to avoid disappointment when some petition remains unfulfilled. More importantly, my appreciation of its great potential encourages me that my ministry can still have a positive affect despite physical constraints.

     There is a temptation to assume the end of one’s ministry signals the end of one’s productivity. That need not be so. As long as God gives me the mental acumen, I can pray, and if I can pray, He allows me the privilege of being productive in the advance of His kingdom, a most worthy endeavor. I can still help people, perhaps more than before. There is, of course, a need for patience, because the outcome of this effort may not be—and probably will not be—evident to me in this life. That is, I may not know if my petition for this person or my plea for that problem has any positive affect. I can only trust that God is somehow able to transform my utterings into action as He sees fit. That is another consolation in this venture, that God is not only attentive to me (an amazing concept) but that He translates my frequently incoherent rantings into beneficial results. This too amazes me:

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the

Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (Rom 8:26)

     I am very grateful that my malady is not painful, that, unlike my wife, a typical day is not an uninterrupted torrent of discomfort only medication can mitigate. Consequently, I am able to concentrate for long periods, a necessary prerequisite for productive writing and a helpful one for extended sessions of prayer. One of the difficulties many people experience when they pray is to stay on task, to keep their mind from wandering. Thankfully, that is not a common problem when I pray. I am usually able to stay on topic. That is not to say my mind never veers off course. It does but not too far or for too long that I cannot bring it back again. In any case, the key to prayer of any duration is persistence.

 

The Ministry of Prayer

     Prayer allows me to continue in ministry even though many aspects of my previous involvement are no longer possible. It means I can still have a positive influence on people, helping them move ever closer to the goal God has set before them. Most importantly, this spiritual discipline is available to anyone who has a relationship with God. Prayer is an open invitation to come before the Lord of the universe.

 

 

Bibliography

 

Manuel, Paul http://paulwmanuel.blogspot.com

     2001       “Praying in Private” (Luke 5:16) [Devotional]

     2003      “The Value of Prayer” (Dan 10:1-14). [Sermon]

     2004a     “Jesus’ Last Prayer Meeting” (Matt 26:31-46), a sermon in the series Messages from Matthew on the Ministry of Jesus.

     2004b    “Prayer: A Demanding Discipline” (Matt 26:36-46), a sermon in the series Messages from Matthew on the Ministry of Jesus.

     2005      Praying through Tough Problems: Biblical Models for Arguing with God.

     2007      “Praying for Those in Harm’s Way” (1 Sam 12:23). [Sermon]

     2008      Praying through the Bible: A Reporter’s Investigation.

     2008      “Acts of Righteousness—Praying” (Matt 6:5-15), a sermon in the series Messages from Matthew on the Ministry of Jesus.

     2008      “Should you adopt the prayer of Jabez?” an excerpt from Judges: The Struggle for Autonomy.

     2012a     “The Foremost Communication” (Eph 6:18), a sermon in the series What Is Foremost?

     2012b    “What Are You Praying for the Church?” (Col 1:3-14). [Sermon]

     2018a     “Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer” (John 17:1–26). [Sermon]

     2018b      “Only by Prayer” (Mark 9:14-29). [Sermon]

     2019          “What to Pray” (2 Chr 20:1-13). [Sermon]

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Tranquility in God’s Presence (Isa 26:3)

Dr. Paul Manuel—2020

 Text:

Isa 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.

Outline:

      I.    You are secure in His presence: “You will keep.”

Application: You cannot go wrong following the path God lays out for you, the path that accords with His provision for His people’s pardon (Prov 3:6).
     II.    You are calm in His presence: “perfect pace.”
Application: God’s peace will protect you from anything and anyone threatening to undo it (Phil 4:7).
    III.    You are resolute in His presence: “[His] mind is steadfast.”
Application: When you think no one is watching, perhaps especially when you think no one is watching, it is important to emulate God’s patience (2 Pet 3:9).
   IV.    You are confident in His presence: “He trusts in You.”
Application: We no longer have a physical sign of His presence, so we must rely on an intangible sign, one evident only by faith (Heb 11:1).
      I.    You are secure in His presence: “You will keep.”
     II.    You are calm in His presence: “in perfect peace.”
    Repetition is a technique Hebrew uses to mark emphasis, as when the seraphim extol the absolute purity of God’s character with a three-fold cry in chapter six:
Or in this passage where shalom shalom is translated most often “perfect peace,” which is what God will give those who keep their attention on Him.
Application: God does not employ half measures. For example, eternal life is not just a few more years than you have now. Count as high as you can; then keep counting, and it still will not be enough. Similarly, the peace God offers is beyond any you can imagine (Manuel 2001). As Paul also says:[3]
    III.    You are resolute in His presence: “[His] mind is steadfast.”
Application: There is a measure of comfort in knowing God is with you, but how great a measure depends on how well you know Him. If you have only a passing acquaintance with Him that is confined to your time in church, then you will probably not know Him well beyond that environment. If He is a regular part of your daily life, someone with whom you have regular even constant contact—and you need not worry about becoming a pest. God is surprisingly patient.[4] As Peter writes…
   IV.    You are confident in His presence: “[H]e trusts in You.”
Application: God’s presence abiding with His people has been His intention since Israel’s trek through the wilderness, accompanied by the ark, which signifies His presence. We no longer have a physical sign of His presence, so we must rely on an intangible sign, one evident only by faith:

Introduction: We generally appreciate the presence of help for certain chores, but not always.

Co-workers sympathized as Edith complained that her back was sore from moving furniture. “Why don’t you wait till your husband gets home?” someone asked. “I could,” Edith told the group, “but the couch is easier to move if he’s not on it.”

We generally appreciate the presence of help for certain chores, but not always. As the Israelites learn, God is present whenever they need help, but His help also includes His peace during a potentially disruptive time.

Background: Isaiah discusses four themes that he cycles and recycles throughout his book—rebellion, retribution, repentance, and restoration (Lancaster and Manuel 2001). It is a tumultuous period. The northern kingdom of Israel has already fallen to the superpower, Assyria, with the next superpower, Babylon, already rising in the East and threatening to over-run the southern kingdom of Judah. It does not bode well for God’s people. Yet in this political uncertainty God brings hope. In chapter twenty-six the prophet treats the unlikely topic of restoration, reminding Isaiah’s audience that even in the midst of tumult God’s people can find peace from Him.

Isa 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.

      God promises Abraham that He will protect Israel from its enemies, those who threaten His people:

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Gen 12:3)

Those who oppose Israel are actually opposing God and, thereby inviting His wrath.[1] It is an unenviable position, one Israel’s enemies may not realize until it is too late. That is God’s promise through Joshua:[2]

The LORD has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. One of you routs a thousand, because the LORD your God fights for you, just as He promised. So be very careful to love the LORD your God. (Josh 23:9-11)

God makes protecting Israel His responsibility, and He does not look kindly on any who undermine that task. While “it’s not nice to fool mother nature,” it’s worse to mess with God’s priorities.

     The Psalmist attests to God’s continuous care for His people: “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps 121:4). He has a singular devotion. No other people has His uninterrupted care. Since God made His covenant with Abraham, He has loved this people above all others:

If you obey Me fully and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites. (Exod 19:5-6)

He does not require costly animal sacrifices from His people, but He does require their obedient devotion, because in the end “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb 10:4).

Application: Caring for God’s people, including you, occupies His full attention. Thankfully, God does not get distracted, and He warns His people similarly. They—you—must remain focused on what is truly important:

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Prov 3:6)

Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. (Prov 4:25)

You cannot go wrong following the path God lays out for you, the path that accords with His provision for His people’s pardon.

They were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty.” (Isa 6:3)

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:7)

God’s peace is beyond human comprehension and appreciation. Moreover, God’s peace will protect you from anything and anyone threatening to undo it. The danger of a particular situation may remain, but the mental and emotional anguish it causes need not trouble you.

     The reason you can be assured of God’s peace is that He has a unique perspective on life:

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. (Isa 46:10)

God is not simply a glorified fortune teller. He does not only foresee the future; He forms the future, causing events to happen or preventing them from happening. No fortune teller, regardless of how accurate the claims, can do that.

     In the face of such power, you can be confident that because He has the best interests of His people at heart, your interests occupy His close attention. Therefore, your situation and your needs will not escape His notice. Even as Jesus promises to be with his disciples “always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20), so God the Father makes a similar promise to Israel facing the uncertainty of life in a new land:

The LORD Himself…will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deut 31:8)

Both Jews and Christians have the same promise of His presence.

     Isaiah presents a contrast between an unstable mind “blown here and there by every wind of teaching” (Eph 4:14) about the cause of and the solution to Israel’s dilemma. James warns against a similar attitude:

He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (1:6-8)

Rather, “the mind fixed upon the promises of God” (Young 2:207) is confident He is present even in the midst of trouble. “To trust one’s ability partly and God partly is the surest prescription for insecurity and anxiety” (Oswalt 1986:472). God expects all a person’s eggs in one basket: His.

He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pet 3:9)

This virtue contrasts sharply with what is true for most people, particularly when stuck in traffic. Even at such times as those, or when you think no one is watching—hopefully no one who also notices your religious bumper sticker—perhaps especially when no one is watching, it is important to emulate God’s patience.

     Man’s confidence that God will be with him begins with trust in His promise to forgive him. That is saving faith, but it grows with experience into a living faith, and into a confidence that God is with him always, which is what Isaiah advocates here. Moses expresses a similar confidence in God’s abiding presence as he addresses the Israelites about to enter the Promised Land:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you…. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deut 31:6, 8)

God gives a similar assurance to Joshua, who must conquer the Promised Land:

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Josh 1:5)

It is Solomon’s prayer at his crowning as king over God’s people:

May the LORD our God be with us as He was with our fathers; may He never leave us nor forsake us. (1 Kgs 8:57)

It is part of David’s caution to Solomon at the new king’s coronation:

If you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. (1 Chr 28:9)

It is a common warning in Jeremiah, and the people’s failure to heed this warning is a cause of disappointment to God:[5]

You forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of Me. (Jer 2:19)

Given what God has promised and demonstrated over the centuries, His people should have confidence in His presence with them.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Heb 11:1)

Nevertheless, faith in God can be demanding, even costly, especially as it does not generally evince instant gratification. Consequently, prayer and patience go hand-in-hand.

Conclusion: Even in the most unlikely set of circumstances, when events seem totally out of control, God is able to bring order out of chaos and impose peace on a volatile situation. “The Tranquility in God’s Presence” that He offers the people of 8th century Judah is available to people of the 21st century, to you.

Bibliography

Lancaster, Steve and Paul Manuel http://paulwmanuel.blogspot.com

     2001      “Issues in Isaiah: Vindicating the Holy One of Israel.” An unpublished Bible study.

Manuel, Paul http://paulwmanuel.blogspot.com

     2001      “What Does the Bible Mean by the Word ‘Peace’?”

Oswalt, John N.

     1986      The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 1-39. NICOT. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Young, Edward J.

     1965      The Book of Isaiah. 3 vols. NICOT. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.



[1]Israel holds a most-favored-nation status with God:

Zech 2:8 Whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye.

[2]Panic is also what some of Israel’s enemies experience:

Exod 12:33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!”

1 Sam 14:15 Panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.

2 Kgs 19:35 The angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!

[3]Other Pauline references to peace:

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Phil 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

[4]There is a little ditty my grandmother used to recite, the truth of which personal experience probably bolstered:

Patience is a virtue; possess it if you can.

It’s seldom found in women…and never found in men.

[5]It is a common warning in Jeremiah, and the people’s failure is a cause of disappointment to God:

Jer 5:7 Your children have forsaken Me and sworn by gods that are not gods.

Jer 5:19 You have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your own land.

Jer 9:13 They have forsaken My law, which I set before them.

Jer 12:7 I will forsake My house, abandon My inheritance.

Jer 14:9 We bear Your name; do not forsake us!

Jer 17:13 All who forsake You will be put to shame.

Jer 19:4 They have forsaken Me and made this a place of foreign gods.

Jer 22:9 They have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God.