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

A Closing Prayer For The Old Year

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” ~ Colossians 3:15, 17 KJV

May Our Heavenly Father bless you all with a beautiful New Year in 2021! May He keep you and your precious families all healthy, safe, and close to His heart, and fill you with His peace and grace, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Love always and forever on Christ, Suzanne, Mark, and JJ ❤️

Forget Not

Forget Not

There has been so much bad news lately that sometimes I find myself feeling very anxious and unsafe.
Psalm 103:19 reminds me that God truly is in control of all things no matter what is going on in the world.


“The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all.” ~ Psalms 103:19 KJV


The Psalmist tells us, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:”
Psalms 103:2 KJV


The word he used for “forget” means “to forget, ignore, cease to care…”

He then goes over all of the wonderful things the Lord does for us:
“Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
Who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” ~Psalms 103:3-5 KJV

Imagine spending a night in an agony that affects every fiber of your body, unable to feel Christ’s loving presence, certain that you’re the chief of sinners, unforgiven, forever condemned to this abyss of torment.

Whenever there is a bad storm or rainy weather, I get violent migraines that rupture my mind with as severe emotional pain as the physical and neurological symptoms they cause.


Suddenly it seems I’ve fallen into a bottomless pit and that no one loves me—not even Jesus. I feel as if I’m the most despised of souls by everyone, even my family. I’m completely cut off, isolated in an abyss of pain.
The burden of all the sins in the world are fastened around my aching head in a crown of thorns as sharp as daggers. My legs will not be still and seem like a thousand snakes are crawling inside of them. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I see Jesus on the cross crying to His Father and I cry out in tears for the Lord to come rescue me from this horrible torment. But I neither see nor feel Him. I’m a condemned sinner screaming and weeping in the darkness for I can’t bear to look at any light.


There in the Abyss I weep tears of remorse.
Surely I must have been unkind to my husband, been the worst of mothers and grandmothers, daughters, siblings, friends, and citizens.
I’m certain that I must have failed God and everyone else.
And the most tormenting of all—-I must have committed the unpardonable sin— why else would I keep having these wretched migraines? Why else would God keep letting this happen to me?


In that pit of Sheol showers of condemnation pour mercilessly upon my soul like the rain drumming endlessly upon our windows and roof as the pain and neurological symptoms torture me.


My precious husband comes and prays for me, while I weep and pray unable to feel either Christ’s presence or love, nor even Mark’s, until at last I fall asleep, exhausted.

The next morning my symptoms are gone. I awake as if resurrected to new life. I’m filled with wondrous joy and peace, How grateful I am that Jesus went to the cross for me; that He has washed my sins away as far as the east is from the west. “Bless the Lord oh my soul. Forget not all His benefits. Who forgives all our sins, who heals all our diseases…”
The beautiful sense of Christ’s love and presence enfold me in His arms.


I know then that He has held me throughout the night. He had not really abandoned me.
Yet the dark storm of pain from my fierce migraine made me feel hidden from Christ’s presence and forsaken by Him who had promised to never fail or forsake me.

The Psalmist once experienced something like this.
“Will the Lord cast off for ever?
And will He be favourable no more?
Is His mercy clean gone for ever?
Doth His promise fail for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious?
Hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.

And I said, This is my infirmity:
but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.” Psalms 77:7-10 KJV

He goes through the bad things he suffers but then he says, “Ok, this is happening because of my afflictions. But I won’t dwell on the suffering. I will remember the good things God has done for me.”


In other words, “Bless the Lord oh my soul! Forget not all His benefits!”

Nationally we are experiencing a stormy path of darkness.
Severe pain and troubling circumstances can make us feel isolated from the loving presence of God and cut off from all His promises.

God’s word promises that He heals all our diseases, He forgives all our sins.
God is watching over all of us. He is still on His throne.
He has not hidden His face from us.
He hears all our prayers.
Just as He eventually heals me from my migraines, I believe that the Lord will ultimately heal our nation from our current plague of troubles.

The definition for the word the Psalmist used for healing is interesting: (BDB Bible Dictionary Definition of original translation~ rapha~Strong’s H7495)
To be healed of national hurts (figuratively)
Of personal distress (figuratively)
Of national defects of hurts (figuratively)
To heal (literally)
Of hurts of nations (Involving restored favor)

“The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger forever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us
according to our iniquities.

For as the heaven is high above the earth,
so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalms 103:8-12 KJV

Not one of us deserves the grace that has been given us by the Lord through the cross of Christ, for the Bible declares that all of us are sinners.

The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men,
to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy:
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Psalms 14:2-3 KJV

I guess our world reflects what the Bible declares we are.
A mess.
Jesus, the Son of God, came to die for us all to make us holy and to clean our souls up~to forgive our sins and heal us spiritually~to make us one with Him.
This is very good news and fills me with such joy and peace!

Peace I Leave with You

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you,
my peace I give unto you:
not as the world giveth,
give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27 KJV

I appreciate Christ’s gift of salvation and forgiveness more than I can ever say because of my chronic migraine affliction.
Therefore I pray that I will never forget, mislay, or cease to care about this wondrous benefit from God, this gift and treasure of everlasting life and peace with God that my Lord Jesus suffered and died on the cross to give me and everyone in the whole world who will receive it.


“Bless the Lord,
O my soul:
and all that is within me,
bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord,
O my soul,
and forget not
all His benefits…”
Psalms 103:1-2 KJV
In Jesus’ name, Amen and amen.

Prayer


Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your Gift of Salvation in Christ,
the forgiveness of sins
As far as the east is from the west,
Your measureless love for us,
Oh thank You and may we never forget
Or mislay, or cease to care about all You do for us every day
For Thy mercies are new every morning,
In Jesus name.
Amen and amen.

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.