Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pulling Onions

The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love him and imitate him.—John Milton (writer, poet)

Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Hebrews 1:1-3, "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, ..."

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

The foundation of faith, the base upon which the structure of our assurance is founded, is developed upon an undeniable concept of the love of God. The cornerstone of the foundation, the blood-written and signed contract of our faith is fully expressed in the person hood of Jesus Christ and by that expression of God's love we hold the title-deed to our own eternity. 

God's love blares out from the heavens His character and assures our faith. Faith is described by two words: surety and certainty: Alpha and Omega: beginning and end: the points of faith determined by believing in God's character and God's promises: God is Who He says He is and God will do what He says He will do.

However, ...

"... without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." 

"This is what God puts in your hands. He says, " I tell you I Am. You act upon that; for I know that your conscience moves you to it; you act upon that and you will find whether I Am or not, and what I Am." Do you see? Faith in its true sense does not belong to the intellect alone, nor to the intellect first, but to the conscience, to the will, and that man is a faithful man who says "I cannot prove that there is a God, but, O God, if Thou hearest me anywhere, help me to do Thy will." There is faith, "Do this," and he does it. ... that is faith; it is doing that thing which you, let me say, even only suppose to be the will of God; for if you are wrong, and do it because you think it is His will, He will set you right. It is the turning of the eye to the light; it is the sending of the feet into the path that is required, putting the hands to do the things which the conscience says ought to be done. ... it (is) all for faith, and nothing but faith. There (is) a truth; there (is) a live truth; a truth that (has) welled through and called the knowledge of truth up in us, nay, called up in us the very possibility of feeling truth; and according to this law .. men walk through all the world, and all the worlds together set themselves against them, and in the name of .. the living God--they walk right on and meet their fate. Yes; victory and the participation of the Divine nature, that (is) their faith.

Therefore, friends, the practical thing is just this, and it is the one lesson that we have to learn, that whatever our doubts or difficulties, we must do the thing we know in order to learn the thing we do not know; but whether we learn it or not, "If ye know these things," saith the Master, "happy are ye if you do them." It is the doing that is everything, and the doing is faith and there is no division between them."

"Once upon a time there was a peas­ant woman and a very wicked woman she was. And she died and did not leave a sin­gle good deed behind. The dev­ils caught her and plunged her into the lake of fire. So her guardian angel stood and won­dered what good deed of hers he could remem­ber to tell to God; ‘she once pulled up an onion in her gar­den,’ said he, ‘and gave it to a beg­gar woman.’ And God answered: ‘You take that onion then, hold it to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. And if you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to Par­adise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.’

The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her; ‘Come,’ said he, ‘catch hold and I’ll pull you out.’ And he began cau­tiously pulling her out. He had just pulled her right out, when the other sin­ners in the lake, see­ing how she was being drawn out, began catch­ing hold of her so as to be pulled out with her. But she was a very wicked woman and she began kick­ing them. ‘I’m to be pulled out, not you. It’s my onion, not yours.’

As soon as she said that, the onion broke. And the woman fell into the lake and she is burn­ing there to this day. So the angel wept and went away."

--Grushenka's fable, from The Brothers Karamazov

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