Valuing The Human

An innocent little six year old was mercilessly gunned down by someone in a fit of road rage recently.

I wondered how was this possible?

The Lord led me to the story of Cain and Abel in the book of Genesis.

Cain and Abel were two brothers, the children of Eve, “the mother of all the living.”

When her first son was born, Eve called him “Cain,” a name related to a word for “lament” or “wail.” Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord…”

“…man” meaning:

אישׁ ‘ı̂ysh

BDB Definition: 11b) husband, 1c) human being, person (in contrast to God), 1f) champion, 1g) great man

The Bible says of Cain that he “…was a tiller of the ground.”

The word for tiller means: H5647 (Strong)

עָבַד

‛âbad, aw-bad’, A primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.: be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), (be, become) servant (-s), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.Serve self

Where Eve seemed so filled with hope after Cain’s birth giving him a name that meant “Champion,” she seemed to have lost her faith sometime after his birth.

For she named her second son Abel which means:

הבל hâbal

BDB Definition: 1) to act emptily, become vain, be vain; 1a2) to be utterly vain;1b1) to cause to become vain; 1b2) to fill with vain hopes;

People who have lost their dream call faith “vain hope.”

Also, branding a child with such a name is akin to calling them hopeless, futile, or vanity.

It would not be any wonder then that Abel would find refuge out in the fields with his Father God while tending the sheep rather than with a family who considered him “… filled with vain hopes.”

Abel was given the name of someone whom his parents saw as having no expectations.

And this was surely to open the door for his brother to also adopt the same attitudes toward him as someone who was worthless.

It might not be difficult for a man to murder a brother whom he neither loved nor valued. For Cain had no love for his brother the Bible says.

“This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other. Don’t be like Cain. He belonged to the Evil One. Cain killed his brother. But why did he kill him? Because what Cain did was evil, and what his brother did was good.” 1 John 3:11-12 – ERV

Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God. But Abel offered a better sacrifice to God because he had faith. God said he was pleased with what Abel offered. And so God called him a good man because he had faith. Abel died, but through his faith he is still speaking.” ~ Hebrews 11:4 – ERV

After Cain had killed his brother, the Lord asked him where Abel was. Cain sarcastically replied, “I don’t know, am I my brother’s keeper?”

Keeper means:

שׁמר shâmar

BDB Definition: 1) to keep, guard, observe, give heed/ 2) 1a1) to keep, have charge of/ 3) 1a2) to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life/ 1a3) to watch for, wait for/ 1a4) to watch, observe/ 1a5) to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory)/1a6) to keep (within bounds), restrain/ 1a7) to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow)/ 1a8) to keep, preserve, protect/ 1b1) to be on one’s guard, take heed, take care, beware/ 1b2) to keep oneself, refrain,/ abstain/ 1b3) to be kept, be guarded

God revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ that we are indeed to be our brother’s keeper. We are to love and to lay our lives down for one another.

Abel was asked to sacrifice His will to God even as Christ would one day be asked to sacrifice His will to the Father that all might in Him be given eternal life through His sacrificial death.

Abel gave God what He asked of him. This pleased the Lord greatly.

For Abel like Christ in effect had said, “Father I want Thy will not my will…”

How did Abel know what God’s will was?

He spent all his time with the Lord every day in a close relationship with Him.

While working in the fields he was abiding in His Maker. He listened to God speak to his heart.

God wanted something that was difficult for Abel to give Him. Something that Abel loved, prized, and valued very much. The finest of his flocks.

Yet, what else was worth having if he kept it back from God and lost his intimacy with the Lord by withholding that thing which God had asked him to sacrifice?

What could be more important than his relationship with the Lord, his Creator?

Abel knew what God required of him, he knew and cared to do God’s will.

The Bible says that the ungodly don’t care to know about or to do God’s will. They just want to please themselves.

‘“At harvest time, Cain brought a gift to the Lord. He brought some of the food that he grew from the ground, but Abel brought some animals from his flock. He chose some of his best sheep and brought the best parts from them. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift.But He did not accept Cain and his offering. Cain was sad because of this and he became very angry.” ~ Genesis 4:3-5 ERV

Cain offered to God the sacrifice of man; the sacrifice that insists on doing its own will and pleasure. Such a sacrifice may take a lot of time and effort to accomplish, and appear beautiful but it will not satisfy our Creator if it is not what He asked for.

God’s will is that we obey Him no matter what that obedience looks like, no matter how displeasing to us it seems. The Lord needs to know that His will matters to us more than our own our own will.

He created us to worship HIM. We were not created to please and worship ourselves.

Abel obeyed the Lord and offered the blood sacrifice He required. Cain did not.

Hebrews 9 explains that under the Law that without the shedding of blood there was no forgiveness of sins. A blood sacrifice was required for the atonement of the sins people had committed. That was just how it was. We may not like it or understand it. But that was why Jesus Christ, God’s Son had to die to shed His spotless blood for the sins of all humanity to redeem us and put a fallen world back in right relationship with God. This is the truth. Cain refused to believe this truth of the need for the blood sacrifice to atone for his sins to be made right with God. He would do his own work and labor to please and satisfy God. Yet, God only wanted the sacrifice of an innocent pure lamb to atone for the man’s sins. He need only go to his brother and procure a sheep to sacrifice to the Lord. It was that easy. Cain made things hard in his unbelief.

Cain was furious when he saw that God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice and not with his own.

The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why does your face look sad? You know that if you do what is right, I will accept you. But if you don’t, sin is ready to attack you. That sin will want to control you, but you must control it.”~ Genesis 4:6-7 – ERV

God up and told Cain His will and the man simply ignored the holy revelation! It went right over Cain’s head because he had no regard for the Lord any more than he valued his brother’s life.

If he had loved and feared the Lord then he would have obeyed Him. Christ equated love for our Lord with our obedience to Him.

Jesus said to His disciples: “If you love Me, you will do what I command.

Those who really love Me are the ones who not only know My commands but also obey them. My Father will love such people, and I will love them. I will make Myself known to them.”

…All who love Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them. My Father and I will come to them and live with them.

But anyone who does not love Me does not obey My teaching. This teaching that you hear is not really Mine. It is from my Father who sent Me.” ~ John 14:15,21,23-24 – ERV

The rest of the story is a very sad one.

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” So they went to the field. Then Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

Cain answered, “I don’t know. Is it my job to watch over my brother?”

Then the Lord said, “What have you done? You killed your brother and the ground opened up to take his blood from your hands. Now his blood is shouting to Me from the ground.So you will be cursed from this ground. Now when you work the soil, the ground will not help your plants grow. You will not have a home in this land. You will wander from place to place.”~Genesis 4:8-10,12 – ERV

The price Cain paid for his sin was enormous. Cain’s former gift of being able to till the soil successfully became a curse as God said, “Now when you work the soil, the ground will not help your plants grow.

Whereas Cain had been the family’s hope for success and prosperity, “their champion,” he now became the disappointment, the one who was truly filled with “vain hopes;”one who could no longer produce. The Lord not only took away all former expectations of success, but also drove him away, branding him with the indelible mark of a murderer, condemning him to the life of a wanderer. (*See Genesis 4:13-16)

Have we ever stopped to think of what we give up when we ignore the Lord’s voice, giving in to our stubbornness, anger, own desires, and lack of faith over simply obeying the Lord’s will?

First we must like Abel abide in Christ to love God and to know His will.

Second we must care to obey His will once He reveals that will to us.

If we don’t love others, we won’t love, honor and value our God. When we do not love and value others we disobey God’s will.

Christ said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35 – KJV

Jesus once told a religious ruler that the two greatest commandments upon which hung the whole Law were the first two: 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 22:37-40 – KJV

The Apostle John wrote, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21 – KJV

In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus let us know that in God’s eyes, everyone is our brother and sister. Not just people in our religious affiliations, our fellowships and social cliques. The Lord does not see as we see according to the teaching Christ gave us in that parable.

As I contemplated the enraged man who’d gunned down the innocent child on the freeway, I couldn’t help but wonder if he, like Cain, had lost his love and value for human life made in God’s holy image ~that life of which God says we are to be his keeper, his guardian, and to keep ourselves from harming.

Would that people knew God’s will and would do it!

Then I thought are we not too like that furious man when we explode like a seething time bomb with bitter words; words like lethal verbal weapons, over everything under the sun, ever finding fault, seeking to destroy with bitter criticism, accusation, and judgment, ever so quick to assume false conclusions without having all the facts? The internet and social media are daily inundated with these incidents of “virtual road rage.”

And if we regard not the life of our neighbor, resisting God’s will to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper, we absolutely do not love, fear, nor honor God our Heavenly Father, the Bible declares. (*See 1 John 4:20-21)

Jesus said, “…the bad things people say with their mouth come from the way they think. And that’s what can make people wrong. All these bad things begin in the mind: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and insulting people. These are the things that make people wrong.” Matthew 15:18-20 – ERV

“Heavenly Father, may You give us Thy divine love for one another, that we may also love and honor Thee, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Click to listen to this Piano Solo by Suzanne Davis Harden
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
~ Cain Had No Love © (p) 2019 All Rights Reserved.

Peaceangelsong, Text & Digital Scripture Paintings, Copyright © 2021 by Suzanne Davis Harden, through the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, All Rights Reserved. Scripture References taken from various translations: ERV (Easy To Read Version Bible) Copyright © 2006 Bible League International; The King James Version Bible, Public Domain; Strongs Bible Concordance, Public Domain

Christ, My Healer

Christ, My Healer

I Am the God that heals thee
I mend the broken hearts
I restore the shattered souls
That have been torn apart…

I Am the God that heals thee
Who bears with thee thy pain
I bore upon My cross thy grief,
Thy sickness, and thy shame…

I bore thy suffering, thy sin
And by My stripes you’re healed
And made whole within thy soul,
Redeemed, forever sealed…
Upon My heart, upon My hands
You ever are engraved,
Forgiven from thy every sin,
Thy soul within is saved.

I Am Thy God that heals thee
Within thy very soul,
I’m working every day you live
To ever make thee whole…
Perfecting thee on thy journey
Since it was begun,
I will complete My work in thee

Until Thy journey’s done,

In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Prayer Poem) All Glory To God, Copyright © 2020, Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved.

Christ, My Healer

Scriptures for Meditation

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” ~ Psalms‬ ‭30:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Lord my God, I prayed to you, and you healed me. Lord, you lifted me out of the grave. I was falling into the place of death, but you saved my life.”~ Psalms‬ ‭30:2-3‬ ‭ERV‬‬

“I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until He completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again.” ~Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭ERV‬‬

“God has blessed you in ways that serve Christ. He allowed you to believe in Christ. But that is not all. He has also given you the honor of suffering for Christ. Both of these bring glory to Christ.” ‭~Philippians‬ ‭1:29‬ ‭ERV‬‬

Prayer

Lord, many of Thy children are suffering. Please wrap Thy Holy arms around each one of them. Help them to know that You love them very much.

May they feel Thy tangible presence with them as they walk through the Shadow Valley; may they know without a doubt that You are with them, so they will have no fear.

May You comfort and encourage them today and give them peace and hope that You will surely bring them through this dark time; that there is joy and light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel.

Though weeping may endure for a night, joy will come in the morning, for so Thy Word has promised.

Lord, please hold their hands and pour Thy peace upon them without measure; let them know that You love them as if they were the only child that You had to love. Thank You Lord, we love You.

In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.

Please Pray for America!!!

Peaceangelsong, All Glory to God, Copyright © 2020 by Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved. Original Prayer Poem, Christ My Healer, May Christ be glorified in these works! Copyright © 2020 by Suzanne Davis Harden, All rights reserved. Original Scripture Collage Digital Paintings, Copyright © 2020, by SD Harden, All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations quoted in the text are from the King James Version Bible, Public Domain, and the Easy To Read (ERV) Bible: © 1987, 2004 Bible League International, All rights reserved.

The Traveler’s Scripture Prayer Card

Traveler’s Illustrated Scripture Prayer Card

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
Psalms 121:8 KJV

In the illustration for this prayer card, the Lord inspired me to paint the central figure as a visual metaphor representing a female traveler.
She is a student learning lessons on the path of life, collecting them in (metaphorical) note books that she carries as her life lesson journals in her arms next to her heart where they are engraved even as she lives them.

We are all travelers, sojourners on this earth. The face on my traveler is purposely in shadow. Who is she? What will be the outcome of her journey?
That is the question in our own mind whenever we embark on some trip.
We must go by faith and we proceed on our way (usually) with joy and optimism.

We pray in hope over our babies when they begin their path of life.
We pray in sorrow as we watch loved ones depart on their journey into eternity.

Ever since I learned this Bible verse, Psalm 121:8 has been a foundational prayer that I offer to God daily.

We pray this beautiful prayer asking the Lord to guard our going out and our coming in from this time forth~ right now~ till forever ~ throughout our whole lives and for all eternity.

By praying this prayer we are acknowledging that our Creator is in control of all things that pertain to us and we are renewing our trust in His care as our Holy Protector, Good Shepherd, and Guardian.

The word the Psalmist used for *preserve is * shamar (transliteration) (BDB Thayer Bible Dictionary Definition)
To keep, guard, observe, give heed… protect, save life…watchman… to keep within bounds, restrain…

The verse before the affirmation that God shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from now till forever promises: “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.” Psalm 121:7

The word for evil is ra’ ra’ ah (transliteration)~from the BDB definition)
Bad, evil…disagreeable, malignant…giving pain, unhappiness, misery…displeasing, bad value…distress, adversity injury, wrong, ethical evil, from a word meaning…
Ra-ah (phonetic); to be bad, be evil > to break, shatter, to be broken, be broken asunder, broken in pieces. Origin: a primitive root.

Now we know that we all have bad days. And we all get sick. I have severe migraines every day…though I pray this wondrous prayer daily, and many more besides.

So what exactly kind of evil does the verse promise that God will preserve us from then?
The following verse defines the promise: “He shall preserve thy soul…”
What does the soul mean?
The word used means * neh-fesh (*Phonetic)
The soul, self, life, creature, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion, /that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man/ the living being/ seat of the appetites/ seat of emotions and passions/ activity of the mind/activity of the will/activity of the character…

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to pray something very important that is related to Psalm 121 every day:


“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Matthew 6:13 KJV

As we continue to give God the control over our lives He is going to guard and to preserve our will, and give us self control, and work in us the grace to do what is good and right and proper.


“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Philippians 2:13 KJV

It is truly only God’s grace that protects each one of us from doing the unthinkable. God’s Holy Spirit will restrain our sinful impulses as we invite our Lord Jesus Christ to be our Guardian God to keep us from harm and danger, and surround us with His holy favor, so that we can live peaceful, happy lives that honor and glorify Him.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

As we pray such prayers from God’s word we are praying His will~for God’s word IS His will.


As we pray and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Lord of our lives, we are inviting our Creator to not only participate or share in our lives but to be our Guardian God, our Shepherd, and Guide, our Protector from all evil and temptations to do harm.


For all of us are sinners. God’s word says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”


Jesus Christ the Son of God suffered and died on the cross for the sins of all humanity to make people righteous by His spotless blood. He then rose again from the dead after three days and now lives forever to rule and reign over all the Universe.


He makes those who receive Him into their hearts a new creature reborn in their spirits in His image. He puts His Holy Spirit in our hearts and gives us the desire to love Him and other people and do the things that agree with His will.
How does He accomplish these miracles?

By the gift of His almighty grace.

Long ago the story is told that as a Christian watched a condemned man being led to the gallows he humbly bowed his head and said, “But for the grace of God there go I…”

Praying the Traveler’s Prayer from Psalm 121:8 won’t guarantee that a soul will not have adversity. But it will invite our Creator to take over the reins in our life and guard our SOUL from evil.

It gives our Creator great joy when we invite Him through prayer to protect us.
For He loves us and wants to share our lives with us in intimate fellowship.
God longs to be our Friend.
The Lord wants to guard our going out and our coming in from this time forth even to forever.

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, please guard my going out and my coming in from this time forth even to forever, in Jesus holy name, amen.

Psalm 121
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
From whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
Which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper:
The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
He shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out
And thy coming in from this time forth,
And even for evermore.”
~Psalms 121:1-8 KJV

*To see more photos of the Travelers Prayer Card and read more information it, follow the link below to Etsy Shop “Wings Publications Fine Art, Cards, & Music:

https://www.wingspublications.shop

The Travelers’s Scripture Prayer Card, All Glory To God, Copyright © Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved.

Songs of Comfort

Click on the Album to Listen to Sample Tracks

Songs Of Comfort

One night a few years ago I was out with my husband and friends who’s son was performing on the vibes at a local cafe.
It was getting late, some young women soaked in perfume came in and sat near us.
I immediately prayed that the Lord would protect me from getting a migraine.
Scents are one of my fiercest migraine triggers.
Suddenly as I was listening to the music, I became aware of all of the colors in the cafe; then everything I saw and heard poured like an uncontrolled river into my brain simultaneously.
I had no ability to focus on anything I heard or saw.
Now the cafe loomed up around me like a room crowded with thunder and giants in a blaze of unrestrained colors. I seemed to see every minute detail of everything ~the people and what they were wearing, every nuance of every color in the room, the windows, what was outside them, what was on the walls, the globe lights ~ and I could smell every odor~ the food cooking, the smoke from the grill, the smell of people and their colognes, shampoo, soap, as well as whatever they were drinking or eating ~ all of which was profoundly nauseating.
And all the while the music poured into my ears along with all of the other information without a director to focus my thoughts. It was like being in a madhouse.
As panic arose in my heart, I prayed for the Lord to rescue me.
Suddenly I felt His presence holding me close.
Although my brain was still in a state of uncontrolled sensory input, now I was no longer afraid for the Lord was guarding my thoughts and helping me to view the experience from a different perspective.
For the Lord had suggested to me, “Isn’t this fascinating, you don’t often get to see and hear things like this. Just think of it as a story you are writing.”
So then I calmed down and was even able for a few seconds at least to focus on bits of conversations around me. If raucous laughter was like nails piercing my ears, even the barest whispers were strangely loud for I seemed able to hear every noise in the room along with the music.
One moment I was mesmerized by someone’s drama only to be attracted by someone else’s saga behind me, and then the music, then the colored lights, then BANG went my head exploding in pain, and the room went spinning and I almost passed out.
I don’t even know how Mark got me home.
I vaguely remember our friends asking if I were all right.
Then Mark saying we had to leave.
“Hush, Be Still, Be Silent…” one of the comforting songs on my new album Paths of Mercy is just the right prayer song for a migraine sufferer. 🙂
There are so many prayer songs on Paths of Mercy that are just right for someone who needs to calm down, to get quiet before the Lord, to return and rest in Christ.
The prayer songs on this album are some of the most encouraging songs that my Savior has ever inspired.
Sometimes people ask why they have to suffer. There is a passage in the Bible I cling to that helps me put my own suffering in perspective every time I listen to the comforting prayer songs, poems, and music the Lord gives me.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort
we ourselves receive from God.
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,
so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation;
if we are comforted, it is for your comfort,
which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. ” (NIV) 2 Corinthians 1:3-6
“Oh Lord, You Know The Way I Take,” is a prayer song that reflects my challenges in just showing up to any task by faith when I barely have any strength to get out of bed.
The “Prayer Song to Jesus My Good Shepherd,” is one I love to listen to and sing often because it encompasses so many of my challenges and presents my needs upon Christ’s Altar of Mercy and Grace.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV

“Hush, Be Still, Be Silent…” the prayer song I referred to earlier, is one I praise and thank my Lord for always.
This song truly presents my needs to God when I have migraines and all my thoughts are whirring about in my brain like a blender out of control, and only the Lord can push the stop button and reassemble all the fragments and corral them back into the fold of rationality.
And which of us cannot say that we don’t need to seek the Lord now while He can be found?
I know I harp on this but All of these songs were inspired by the Holy Spirit and the scriptures.
They came to me as gifts from the Lord and I am profoundly grateful and humbled by them.
God’s gifts more than anything remind me of the truth of the scriptures that God indeed has no favorites.
Continue reading “Songs of Comfort”