The point should be made that the future ahead was conditional; if they did this. God knows the outcome but, yet the choice is given. There is not a person at the beginning of a choice that doesn't feel confident, inspired, capable; the choice seems obvious. As the consequences and requirements of choice develop human will follows the path of least resistance, the path of least effort. It is not that the human will does not want to do good, that it does not choose to do good, it is that it does not know how to sustain good, to expend the resource and effort to remain good. Most importantly it is the reprobate distaste of having to surrender itself to the highest good by obedience to the will of God.
If our hope is in something that has no possibility of coming forth or is not in the will of God or is not pursued in a manner pleasing to God or we never diligently pursued it the heart will remain sick. One must be honest about what is deferring the hope. Who, what, when, where, how, to what extent and to whose glory seem to be the appropriate questions.
So what is the will of God concerning us? What is it that He is grooming in us no matter what our situation? Intelligence? Superior charm and tolerance? Personal mastery and the ability to channel His energy to achieve our many goals? No, thanks!
Israel is blessed more in the end then in the beginning not because of their goodness but because of His holy name. How can this be true if the Israel spoken of here is someone other than the Jews as some cults claim? They claim that the Jews are apostate, it says here that they will be given a new heart of flesh. They claim that God has moved on, it says that the prophesy directed to the mountains of Israel and the land that will be fruitful. Like the Edomites, these cults presume that it is over for Israel, that they are the true Israel, that they will inherit what was once the Jews. Theirs is not some special higher knowledge of the will of God it is a resentment.
You can see just how much the subject of trials and suffering for Christ play into Peter's theology. He sees it as the necessary cleansing and separating agent in the believers life, thus the will of God. This leads him to conclude that the end judgment begins with the house of God and works outward. Essentially, it is suffering in Christ that shapes us and our reaction to and obedience in that we are judged by. It is the measure of just how faithful we believe Him to be.
We know that Jonah had intended to resist the will of God by not going to Nineveh. How Jonah came of mind that God would still be willing to help him even the belly of this judgment, I don't know. We should take it that even in our own lives when we think that we have blown any chance with God, God still has His chance with us. If we are honest and repentant, if we are like minded in faith, it is never to late for God to do a wonderful miraculous work.
The angel had prepared the servants way to prosper at this task. The blood line was to remain pure. I take it (way) to mean that he prepared Rebekah and her family's heart. The servant put a test before the angel so that he would know when he found the right woman. I have known people to put other tests out in their own prayers and dealings; I think that we need to be careful. Remember that Isaac was to become the continuation of the covenant with Abraham, this wife was to birth a great many seeds of the covenant. There is a righteousness there that may not be there if we place a similar test on which job shall we take or what city. Often our tests favor preconceived notions of what we would most like the answer to be and the situations leading to them born out of our dissatisfaction or restlessness. I am not saying that tests such as these are not good in certain cases, I am saying one must truly search out their intentions and honesty before making demands upon the righteous will of God.
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