Gone Viral

Viral Attack

A Literal Viral Attack

Saying something has “gone viral” in our culture has meant that something on social media has garnered a huge number of views or shares across the internet.  Additional exposure would be further inflamed as mainstream media began reporting on the item.

Today, in spring 2020, we are faced with battling COVID-19, an aggressive respiratory virus rapidly spreading across the globe. This is a literal viral attack on humanity that we are battling. As our governmental and medical authorities issue comprehensive measures to slow the spread of this viral attack on our physical wellbeing our national and global economic wellbeing is struggling to adapt.

In the OT book of Joel successive locust hordes had completely devoured Judah’s plant life. Their physical and economic wellbeing was in even worse shape than we currently are.

What can we learn from Joel 1:6 that can help us deal with the literal viral attack of today?

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Shortages Today

Medical gear, toilet paper, and other shortages

In early spring 2020 much of the global economy is facing shortages of medical gear, food, and other items due to concerns over a new virus pandemic sweeping through humanity. Some countries are in serious trouble due to this pandemic while others are issuing a variety of mandates to limit physical interaction with fellow humans hoping  to  stop or limit the spread of this virus. Unfortunately, hoarding behavior is occurring even though authorities are saying it isn’t necessary.

This week my husband attempted to acquire a new basic thermometer since the one we have is showing signs of not working well. Eight stores later he still couldn’t acquire one. Several days later, same story. Online shopping reveals shortages of basic thermometers as well.

How should we respond to these shortages?

Does the Bible give us any guidance in situations like these?

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Current Crisis

Current Crisis

What is Crisis?

How are you handling the challenges encompassing the global crisis of the corona virus in 2020? Are you heeding the advice of authorities? Or are you ignoring them?

Shopping for household goods has become a bigger challenge because of this 2020 virus crisis. People whose panic button is easily triggered started buying out shelves of all kinds of items.

We’re being told by authorities that there’s no need to hoard items. Yet stores are having to literally stand watch in certain aisles to insure you obey the new limits of only 1 paper goods item or 2 sweet potatoes allowed per customer.

How do you respond to this? Are you getting upset and angry at the clerks running the store? Or are you taking it in stride and adapting to the current perceived crisis? Do you smile and thank the clerks for their efforts to limit hoarding behavior?

Are we truly in crisis at this point?

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Sharing Stories

Sharing Stories

The importance of Sharing Stories

Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. (Joel 1:3 ESV)

We are three verses into the book of Joel at this point.

The first verse told us who the book’s message is from while the second verse expressed that the entire community should pay attention to what is to follow.

Now in verse three the community is given an instruction to share this story from generation to generation.

Why instruct your audience about sharing stories before stating what the event is that the LORD is speaking into?

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Breaking News

Breaking News

How do you respond to breaking new?

From the coronavirus, tornados in Nashville, to election coverage we’re inundated today with a variety of headlines from around the globe through a variety of media sources.

Titles of breaking news are written to get your attention. This isn’t a new practice. In Old Testament times messages were also written with intent to capture an audience’s attention.

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Names and Their Meaning

What does your name mean?

My first name, Barbara, is the feminine version of the Greek word  barbaros  with  the meaning strange or foreign. Lynn, my middle name, stems from Old English or Gaelic  and was typically used as a surname to indicate a person lived near a lake, waterfall, or some other type of water. When combining them I am a strange or foreign body of water! Giggling…

Biblically the meaning of names is significant in communicating its message to the readers.

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Sabbath Rest

Historically Sabbath rest is understood as a religious day of abstaining from work .  

What do you learn about God’s view of practicing Sabbath from the passage below?

 Exodus 16:22-30 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 he said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.'” 24 So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it.

25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.” 27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See! The LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

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You Shall Not Eat – the Results!

While listening to one of my music students perform, I was asked by a former music teacher of my own which was easier for me, performing myself or listening to a student of mine perform. Without hesitation I replied that performing myself is much easier. If I made an error, it was on me to recover from it. When listening to my students I had to trust that they were prepared to recover from any error they might make.

Reading about Eve and Adam’s performance in Genesis 3:1-6 we observe that they have violated the only command they were given in eating from the tree of knowledge and evil. Have you ever wondered what God was doing while Eve was in dialogue with the serpent? Or when she gave the fruit to Adam he willingly consumed? We’re not told the answers to these questions in Genesis. What are we told?

Read Genesis 3:8-19

After covering themselves with leaves to hide their nakedness from each other, Eve and Adam hear God approaching them. Then they decide to hide from God.

Did you catch the important information here? God approached them. God came to them after they disobeyed his command. He went looking for them, but they tried to hide. God had created an abundant garden with purpose, beauty and sustenance for Eve and Adam. He gave them one rule to follow in their relationship with Him. After observing them disobey, He pursues them. Why?

What are the questions he asks them?

  1. To Adam:
    1. Where are you?
    1. Who told you that you were naked?
    1. Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?
  2. To Eve:
    1. What is this that you have done?
  3. To the serpent:
    1. No questions were asked!

As the creator of the universe and ultimate law giver it is appropriate for God to issue some consequences for their disobedience (Review Genesis 3:14-19). Don’t miss the fact found in this passage that God is the one who seeks us after we sin in order to restore our relationship with Him.

What else do you learn about God in this passage? I’d love to hear from you!

Blessings,

Barbara Lynn

You Shall Not Eat 4

A moment of decision arrives for Eve in Genesis 3:6. Will Eve eat or not?

ESV  Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Having discussed the one and only command provided to her and Adam by God due to the serpent’s questions that raised uncertainty and doubt about God’s character and provisions for Eve, how does she now assess the prohibited tree?

  1. Eve saw that the tree was good for food
  2. Eve saw it was a delight to the eyes
  3. Eve saw that the tree was to be desired to make one wise

How would you describe what is happening in Eve’s mind and heart as she gazes at the forbidden fruit tree?

Fixating on the forbidden attractive delectable fruit with the idea that it is the path to gaining wisdom, Eve decides to partake and gives some to Adam as well, who willingly partakes.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation as Eve and Adam? Fixated on something you have been told you can’t have?

Personally, I recall many times in my life where I’ve been told I couldn’t do, be or have something and my immediate response was “watch me, I’ll prove you wrong!” Sometimes that type of attitude is appropriate when interacting with our fellow humans.

But when it comes to our creator’s commands it is always the path to shame, guilt and negative consequences rather than a path to being wise if we have the “watch me, I’ll prove you wrong!” attitude.

What things can you do each day to keep your focus on God’s abundant provision for you no matter your current circumstance today?

Send me your thoughts!

Blessings,

Barbara Lynn

You Shall Not Eat 3

In Genesis 3:1 the serpent appears to be seeking clarification from Eve about what God had commanded regarding eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After Eve’s failure to quote God accurately the serpent reveals a more sinister motive:

ESV  Genesis 3:4-5 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Look again at what God had commanded:

ESV  Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

When striking up the conversation with Eve initially, the serpent had turned the abundance of fruit trees God provided for consumption into a complete ban of all fruit trees. (See 3:1). Now the serpent contradicts God by negating the consequences of eating from this one banned tree.

God warns “you shall surely die”. Eve interpreted this to the softer statement of “lest you die”. The serpent discounts both God and Eve saying, “you will not surely die”.

The serpent goes even further in discrediting God’s character by implying that the reason this tree’s fruit has been banned for consumption is that it will open Eve’s eyes to become like God.

Consider what is said though about the creation of man:

ESV  Genesis 1:26 Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Notice that mankind was already created in God’s likeness. Further, mankind was created to have authority over animals. But here in Genesis 3, it is the serpent, an animal, who is challenging God’s authority and integrity.

Next time we’ll study how Eve responds to this new challenge by the serpent.

Meanwhile, what else do you see in these verses that I haven’t mentioned? Send me your observations! I love to hear from my readers.

Blessings,

Barbara Lynn