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

Savior of My Soul~A Prayer Song

Original Illustration © S.D. Harden All Rights Reserved.Original Illustration © 2014  Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

Savior of My Soul Prayer Song

© S.D. Harden All Rights Reserved.

 

O, I will trust the living God,

The Savior of my soul-

I may not understand His ways

But He is in control.

 

My path may be obscure

And in the darkness lie,

But I will hope in Jesus

Who holds me in His eye.

 

He will not forget me

For I have been engraved

Upon His holy hands;

For Him my soul is saved.

 

For Him I am redeemed,

For Him I am reserved;

For Him I am a trophy

Of His grace to be preserved.

 

And though I sit in darkness

With trees that will not bud,

I have a promise from the Lord

That spring will surely come.

 

Though winter struts along

Like it will never end;

It’s just a giant’s shadow~

The spring He soon will send.

 

God’s promises are sure

Though I must walk by faith;

Such wonder in believing;

Such hope it generates!

 

Oh I will trust the living God,

The Savior of my soul;

O Lord, you know the paths I take,

For You are in control.

 

Yes, You are in control;

You know what’s best for me;

You’ve set apart unto Your heart

Those who will but believe.

 

And you will keep your promises

To those who trust in You

Though they may not understand

The mysteries of Truth.

 

Though I sit in darkness

On a path I had not planned

I will trust I am engraved

Upon Your holy hand.

 

And You will keep Your promises,

For You are in control,

O You will not forget me,

O Savior of my soul.

Little Praying Girl © S.D. Harden All Rights Reserved.
Little Praying Girl © S.D. Harden All Rights Reserved.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the assurance that You are always in control of all things. Thy word says in Psalm 103:19, “The Lord has prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom rules over all,” and in Hebrews 1:3  that You “uphold all things by the word of Your power.”Romans 8:8 assures me that every detail of my life is being orchestrated by  You into something grand and beautiful and for my ultimate good because You care very much about each one of us. Psalm 138:8 promises that You will “fulfill Your plans for my life.” So I don’t need to worry about whether or not I am going to accomplish Your will for me. You will get me on the path I need to be on. And all I need to do is Trust You.

Lord, though this is often so hard to do, please help each of us to trust You when we cannot see past the bend in the road, when we cannot fathom Your purposes for us on the path You have chosen for us. Help us to trust You when nothing makes sense. Help us to keep our eyes on You anyway; to know that You are in control and that You cherish each of us beyond what we can imagine.

May the sense of Your abiding presence sustain every person praying this prayer. May they feel You with them as they never have before. May You renew their faith, fill them with new hope, and give them joy.

Thank You, dear Lord, I love You, In Jesus’ name. Amen.

*If you would like to listen to the Instrumental Music for my Prayer Song “Savior of My Soul” please follow the link to my Music Website where you will find the song at the top of the playlist in the music player at the bottom of the page.

http://www.peacefulprayersongs.com  “Savior of My Soul” is one of the first instrumental pieces of music the Lord gave me for the piano and on my music blog I have written a message about my recording entitled “Not Perfect.” 🙂  I pray the music and my message will bless and inspire you~God bless! love and blessings, Suzanne 🙂

 “Savior of My Soul” ~A Prayer Song © 2011 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. All Illustrations © 2014 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Angel Song © 2014 Suzanne Davis Harden  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

The Rusty Nail

Detail, Worshiper, Painting by S.D. Harden © 2013 All Rights Reserved
Detail, Worshiper, Painting by S.D. Harden © 2013 All Rights Reserved

The Rusty Nail

A few weeks ago I posted a blog and music video based on Psalm 51:10, the Psalm King David wrote after he’d committed adultery with Bathsheba, gotten her pregnant, and then murdered her husband to cover up his sin.
God sent Nathan the prophet to confront the king and David repented, praying, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” ~ (Psalm 51:10-11)

For those readers who did not have an opportunity to read my original post about this beautiful psalm and how David repented of his sin, I encourage you to take a moment to do so.
I took down my music video a few days after posting it with the promise that I would repost it again for you soon.
I created my original music video for my prayer song “Create in Me a Clean Heart” as a worship aid for a special prayer night at our church. The Lord gave me the song the day of the prayer service!
Our Lord is very generous with His gifts! I had not asked Him for the song; in fact the worship leader and I were planning to do a different music video I had already created.  But the Holy Spirit had a different plan so I got busy preparing the song and video the Lord gave me. I had only 3 hours in which to record the song and create the video that day.
I am not a trained videographer. All my training is in art and writing. I never sought to be a musician, a singer, or to create videos. One day a few years ago, I went to the altar at church to pray about some burden I had. The Lord spoke to my heart and asked me if I would sing for Him.
“My Suzy, will you sing for Me?”
This request had nothing to do with my issue I was praying about. And besides that, to sing for anyone was the LAST thing I wanted to do, having a terrible phobia of public performance of any sort.
I didn’t want to be disrespectful of the Almighty, but I couldn’t help but think He HAD to be joking. I like to draw cute little dressed up animals. If I were to draw myself as an animal I would be a shy little, timid mole hiding behind her little art desk painting and writing and drawing. Never singing.
“Lord,” I said, to Him, “not to be disrespectful, but I don’t think You are remembering who I am…I can’t sing, I’m an artist.”
He only said, “My Suzy, won’t you sing for Me?”
I peeped around as I knelt at the altar wondering if anyone could see how exasperated I was.
“Lord,” I said, “Have You forgotten how bad a singer I am…so bad that when I sang “Jesus Loves Me” to My child when he was 6 years old he HOWLED?!”
I felt like crying because I had once sung praises to The Lord in my quiet times up until that had happened. Many years had passed and I no longer sang to Jesus because of that incident with my little boy. The enemy used it to make me think I had a terrible voice and I kept silent after that.
When Christian grew up he said, “Mama, I only howled because the dog across the street was howling with the wind that night. I was howling with him. I loved your singing.”
But when I was at the altar that day I didn’t know that.
I only knew that I believed I had a terrible voice and that there was no way I wanted to sing for God because I was so ashamed of my voice ever since that day.
“My Suzy, will you sing for Me?” Jesus asked me for the third time.
I knew it was God’s voice. And I could not say no if I loved Him.
Then He said, “My Suzy, will you trust Me?”
I knew I had to lay down something. I had to lay down my fear, my pride, and give God my will and allow Him to make me what He wanted me to be.
Singing was the last thing I wanted to do because I never believed I could be good enough.
Though I never trained to be a musician, nor did I ever sing until I became a Christian and then only in my quiet times, yet God has blessed me with many beautiful songs inspired by His word. Whether piano solos or prayer songs, The Lord continues, ever since that day at the altar when I reluctantly said yes, (though I was terrified) He has given me over 350 pieces of music for His glory. I have recorded them all.
My new video includes my worship painting based on Luke 7 that I’ve been working on for the last several months. It was not finished yet when I made the first video. That video made heavy use of a lot of images pulled from the Internet that may have been copyrighted and I did not have time to get permission or check the copyright status of all those images I used.
My new video includes more original content and makes use of some classical works of several great artists from the past and present whose works are in the public domain.
I’ve always believed that God can anoint a rusty old nail if He chooses to use it for His glory. So it does not matter what I have to give Him, as long as I give it by faith in humble obedience to His will, He can bless it and use it to bless others.
My prayer is that this music video will bless and inspire you, and draw you closer to the God who died on the cross for each of us in order to create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us.

Heavenly Father, Help us know that you do not desire perfection from us in what we give You, just trust & obedience. You will supply all the rest.
Create in us clean hearts that serve You & worship You in sincerity & truth. Thank You Lord. In Jesus name. Amen