Tag: motive

Mar 22 Can I get a Witness?

case-law-677940_640Lord what a seemingly complex system You dictated to the Israelites for justice.

You have told us before that the shedding of innocent blood pollutes the land, and that the blood has a voice.

You heard the voice of Abel’s blood calling to You from the ground and confronted Cain.   Here, one who kills with intent is a murderer and is to be put to death by the blood avenger.  The blood avenger is the male relative closest to the one who was murdered.  He is to avenge the blood that was wrongly taken.

If there is a question about the motive, whether there was intention to kill or not, the one who killed can flee to a City of Refuge to stand trial, and be safe there from the blood avenger.  At the trial, no one is to be put to death on the testimony of less that two witnesses.

Today, we call a ”witness” to testify as to what they “saw.”  However, they have no way of judging the intent, or what was in the mind of the person accused.

But in the Hebrew culture, one teaching suggests that a “witness” is one who has already

  • confronted the potentially guilty party,
  • explained to them what they were doing is wrong,
  • and the penalty they will bear if they proceed.

Thus, they can testify that the accused was aware that what they were doing was wrong, and that they had been warned of the penalty.  If the accused proceeded with the act, it was with volition and intent.

Father, I pray You would send witnesses into my life if I begin to stray down a path leading to sin.  Stop me in my tracks and confront me with the realization of where I am headed, so I can turn around before it’s too late.

Numbers 35:1-34

Nov 20 While here on earth…

GivinghandsandredpushpinFather, how I long for the day when I will be in Your presence for all eternity.  My real home is with You.  I long to sit at Your feet, to see You face to face, to wrap my arms around You and rest in Yours.

But for now, I must be here.

And not just with You, but with billions of other imperfect people like myself, who I need to learn to get along with.  Father, James tells me I need to live in this world, but not be friends with it.

I need to relate to people, but without speaking badly of them or judging them.

I need to suppress the desires within me that might cause me to selfishly fight and quarrel with others when I don’t get my way.

And I need to recognize the devil and resist him.

Thank You for placing Your Holy Spirit in me to help me with all these things.  Thank You for the grace You extend to me.  James tells me the key is to submit to You and humble myself.

So Father, I submit myself to You.  When I am obedient to You, I will not obey the devil.  I will not be selfish.  I will not mistreat others.

Father, I give You my plans.  Take the days of my life that You have already numbered, and show me how to live each one.  Do not let me get ahead of You.  And do not let me lag behind.  I trust Your timing for all of it.

I draw near to You Father, and ask You to search me and remove any desires that are not godly.  If I ask for the wrong thing, or ask with a wrong motive, show me where I have messed up.  If I become too attached to the things of the world, wean me from that dependence.  For with You, I have all I need.

Father, examine my relationships.  If there are any that do not serve Your purposes, then help me let them go.  If I am quarreling with anyone, or am out of fellowship with them, show me what caused it, Your plan for the relationship, and how to make it right again.

And when I am tempted by the devil, let me clearly see the “hook” beneath the lure he is dangling before me.  Strengthen me to resist, and turn away from that trap.

As long as You have me living here on the earth, Lord, guide and strengthen me.  Help me overcome my flesh and the evil one and the pull of the world.  I choose to hold my possessions, my relationships, my plans loosely so I can follow Your will.  Grant me success.  Amen

James 4:1-12

Mar 22 Can I get a witness?

case-law-677940_640Lord what a seemingly complex system You dictated to the Israelites for justice.

You have told us before that the shedding of innocent blood pollutes the land, and that the blood has a voice. You heard the voice of Abel’s blood calling to You from the ground and confronted Cain.   Here, a murderer, one who kills with intent, is to be put to death by the blood avenger. The blood avenger is the male relative closest to the one who was murdered. He is to avenge the blood that was wrongly taken.

If there is question about the motive, whether there was intention, the one who killed can flee to a City of Refuge to stand trial, and be safe there from the blood avenger. At the trial, no one is to be put to death on the testimony of less that two witnesses.

Today, we call a ‘witness’ to testify as to what they ‘saw’. However, they have no way of judging the intent, or what was in the mind of the person accused. But in the Hebrew culture, one teaching suggests that a person who is a ‘witness’ is one who had confronted the potentially guilty party, explained to them what they were doing is wrong, and the penalty they will bear if they proceed. Thus, they can testify that the accused was aware that what they were doing was wrong and that they had been warned of the penalty. If the accused proceeded with the act, it was with volition and intent.
Father, I pray You would send witnesses into my life if I begin to stray down a path leading to sin. Stop me in my tracks and confront me with the realization of where I am headed, so I can turn around before it’s too late.

Father, care for me as You care for the land. You “water the land and enrich it abundantly”. In the same way, pour out on me what I need for growth and fertility in my spiritual life. Provide me with the nourishment I need to grow in maturity and grace. You “drench its furrows and level its ridges, softening it with showers, blessing the land and crowning it with bounty and abundance”.   Father, drench me in Your love, even out my rough places, soften my heart where it is hardened. Open my eyes to acknowledge Your bounty and abundance of blessing in my life, and I will shout for joy and sing praises to You. Amen

Numbers 35:1-34; Psalm 65:9-13