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

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”

Jesus Is Driving

Jesus Is Driving

My Jesus is driving; I know not how

My Jesus is driving; He’s driving me now…

My Jesus is in control of my car;

He’s in control and He is God.

My Jesus is driving and He upholds

My car and me by His powerful Word.

He upholds me and all the world

Oh He’s driving me and the Universe.

My Jesus is driving the world and me

Though He is God and works unseen.

He loves me and all the world

It says so in His Holy Word.

He died to save the world from sin

From death He rose back up again…

He suffered, bled, and died that we

Might live for Him eternally…

All those who believe in Him

Jesus comes To live within…

So that He their Car can drive

And be the Pilot of their Life.

He holds tomorrow and today;

With Him I am always safe.

My Jesus is driving; I know not how

My Jesus is driving; He’s driving me now…

My Jesus is in control of my car;

He’s in control and He is God.

(Prayer Poem) All Glory To God

© 2019 SD Harden All Rights Reserved.

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Scriptures For Meditation

“…for through (Christ) God created

everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—

such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.

Everything was created through Him and for Him.

He existed before anything else,

and He holds all creation together.”

Colossians 1:16-17 *NLT

“For God wanted them to know

that the riches and glory of Christ

are for you …

And this is the secret:

Christ lives in you.

This gives you assurance

of sharing His glory.”

~ Colossians 1:,27 *NLT

“For God in all His fullness

was pleased to live in Christ,

and through Him

God reconciled everything to Himself.

He made peace

with everything in heaven and on earth

by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

This includes you

who were once far away from God.

You were His enemies,

separated from Him

by your evil thoughts and actions.

Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself

through the death of Christ

in His physical body.

As a result, He has brought you

into His own presence,

and you are holy and blameless

as you stand before Him

without a single fault.

But you must continue to believe this truth

and stand firmly in it.

Don’t drift away

from the assurance you received

when you heard the Good News.”

Colossians 1:19-23 – *NLT

“The Son is the radiance

and only expression of the glory

of [our awesome] God

[reflecting God’s Shekinah glory,

the Light-being, the brilliant light of the divine],

and the exact representation

and perfect imprint

of His [Father’s] essence,

and upholding and maintaining

and propelling all things

[the entire physical and spiritual universe]

by His powerful word

[carrying the universe

along to its predetermined goal].

When He [Himself and no other]

had [by offering Himself on the cross

as a sacrifice for sin]

accomplished purification from sins

and established our freedom from guilt,

He sat down [revealing His completed work]

at the right hand of the Majesty on high

[revealing His Divine authority]…” Hebrews 1:3 *Amplified Bible

Angelsong “Jesus Is Driving ” (Prayer Poem) All Glory To God; Copyright © 2019 by SD Harden All rights reserved. Scripture Quotations are from The Holy Bible, New Living Translation Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carole Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Amplified Bible, Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631 All rights reserved.

The Choice

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Mark 10:21-22
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him,
“One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up thy cross, and follow Me.”
But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Good Teacher, What Must I Do?
© 2012 Suzanne Davis Harden

“Good Teacher,” said the young man,
“What must I do to be saved?”
And Jesus looked in His eyes
He loved the young man He’d made.

And Jesus looked in His eyes,
Though rich, the man was a slave;
Now seeking the things of God;
Jesus loved the man He had made.

And Jesus looked into His eyes
“And so you seek to be saved…”
Keep the commandments of God—
All of the ones He gave…”
The young man stood up tall
And He looked at the Lord with pride,
“I’ve kept them all from my youth,
Yes, since I was a little child.”

And Jesus peered in His eyes,
Looked deep in His very soul,
“One thing, My son, you lack,
And then you’ll be made whole.”

The man looked up at Jesus,
His eyes a puzzled stare,
“Give all you have to the poor, My son,
Then follow Me everywhere.”
Trade your earthly riches
For those you cannot see…
Let go of all you have, My son,

And come and follow Me.
My son, come follow Me,
And give to Me your life,
And I will meet your every need;
I’ll never leave your side.
Don’t trust in what you see,
Don’t trust in what you have;
Trust in One who gives good things
To those with faith to ask.

My love will carry you
Down every path you take;
I’ll carry you to heaven,
Your heart I won’t forsake.”

The young man looked at Jesus,
Then sadly walked away.
He would not trade His riches
For the Savior’s path of faith.
He would not trade His riches
For the heart of Jesus’ love,
And He walked away from Jesus
Choosing wealth over God above.

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“Good Teacher, What Must I Do?” Poem © 2012 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. ANGELSONG © 2014

Illustrations
“Christ and the Rich Young Ruler”~ Painting by German Painter Heinrich Hofman (1824-1911)
“For He Had Great Possessions” Painting of Rich Young Ruler by George Frederick Watts (British Portrait Painter 1817-1904)