From the beginning God had great disdain for disobedience. He expressed clearly to Adam and Eve the penalty for disobedience. They did not adhere to His warnings and were expelled from the Eden's beautiful garden.

     When Joseph's brothers sold him to Egyptian traders, this resulted in the entire family ultimately going into Egypt due to  a famine. When a new Pharaoh rose to power, the Hebrews became slaves. Later when Moses was sent to bring them out, God had to send 10 plagues to convince Pharaoh to release them. Among the plagues were hordes of locusts, as pictured above. Even in modern times locusts have been known to fill the air like great clouds. Having been a beekeeper for years and capturing swarms, I find a swarm of locusts difficult to comprehend. God truly meant business!
     My first wife used to sing a beautiful song that was along the theme, "God does not make you go against your will, He just makes you willing to go. He does not make you do things against your will, He just makes you willing."
     Such was the case with the Israelites. They chose to go after strange gods. As a result the Hebrews were in Babylonian captivity for 70 years. Never again from then until Christ was born in Bethlehem, did the Hebrews worship idols.
     Because Jonah refused to go warn Ninevah of pending destruction because of their wickedness, he lived submerged in the ocean for 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a specially prepared fish. When belched up Jonah went and preached to the Ninevites and they repented.
     Noah preached for decades of pending destruction by a flood, and offered salvation aboard a huge ship, but he was scoffed and they were doomed.
     The apostle Peter haughtily declared he would never deny Jesus. But he was warned that before the rooster crowed next morning he would have denied Him three times. The cock crew and Peter was ashamed and wept.
     Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul, persecuted Christians. While on the road to capture more Christians, a bright light blinded him and he accepted Christ as savior at the ministry of Barnabas.
     Coming into modern times, good leaders have the ability to raise the morale of their employees and increase production without creating animosity. My wife baby sits three little ones ranging in age from a few weeks to 5 years of age. Recently she had the middle child, 2 year old, sitting in a riser at the dining table playing with some cards the child likes. In a little while, with a swing of her arm, the youngster swept the cards on to the floor and said, "Elmo", meaning she was ready to watch "Elmo" on TV. My wife said, " You pick up the cards first, then we will watch Elmo" Now on the floor, the little tyke said, "Trudy pick up." My wife responded quietly, but firmly, "You put them on the floor. No Elmo until you have them picked up." Instantly the Little One had them up and stacked, and on the table. This was the magic of emotional appeal.
     Several years ago I knew of a Christian business man, R. G. LeTourneau, who had built a very prosperous construction business. His company built highways that were unsurpassed by anyone in the business. Eventually he landed a contract to clear thousands of acres in a country in South America. He built magnificent highways both here and there. He had earth digging equipment that, in a single scoop, could move dirt leaving a hole big enough to bury a huge 3 bedroom home. The wheels on much of his equipment stood taller than a 3-story house. If it ran over a car, it was as unnoticeable as a sedan running over a brick.
     Early in the building of his business, LeTourneau made a pact with God: he would give 90% to the church and live on only 10%. At one point he saw the opportunity to realize 100,000s of dollars in profit in a very short time. But he would need the money now. So he "borrowed" the money promised to the church, with the promise to pay it back later as soon as the profit was realized. But he realized a net loss equal to the amount he anticipated to earn. He repented and begged forgiveness and never again did he use God's money for his own good. He went on to become a multi-millionaire, on only 10%. Today a major Christian College, of international fame, LeTourneau University, in Longview, TX, stands in honor of the faith of R. G. LeTourneau.
     In conclusion, I like Matthew Henry's comment: "Happy are those who take the Lord for their God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselves wholly to His wise disposal. 'Let thy Spirit convince us of sin in the want of this disposition, and take away the worldliness of our hearts.'"

    Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don. 



Updated February 22, 2010
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