Category Archives: Parbles For Our Time

WHO WAS THIS ADAM GUY?

If we read literature of any kind we can’t escape references to Adam and Eve, Abraham, and Moses, Delilah and Bathsheba, Mary and Joseph. Who were these people? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All these and many more inhabit the Scripture’s story line. Depending, of course, on your view of Scripture they may be historical or mythological.

Personally, I believe that Scripture is the most comprehensive and accurate record of history that we have. Unlike Zeus or Ulysses, these were real people. There is far more proof for the Bible’s authenticity than for ancient Greek or Roman writing. But more important, the lessons they teach us about life, for good or ill, are of inestimable value.

Character defines who we are more than our stature, ethnic background or hair colour. And our family and the people we hung out with have influenced our character for good or ill. In this series of blogs, I invite you to hang out with Bible characters. Let their livDSCN2176 - Copyes impact you for good. Learn to embrace their good qualities and avoid their mistakes.

Of course, if your character is already perfect [tongue firmly in cheek] you might want to follow these blogs just to bone up on universals embedded in Western culture. Allusions to the ten commandments, the good Samaritan, Bathsheba, Samson, and so on.

Consider first Adam, who–as indicated by Jesus Himself–was not a type or symbol of humanity but a real person. God created Adam in His own moral image and gave him responsibility to steward the resources of earth at a time when the environment was ideal. “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed”(Gen 2:8).

Within the godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit enjoy a loving and expressive relationship with each other. God knew, “It is not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). And so He created Eve as Adam’s companion to somewhat replicate the divine interaction of the persons of the godhead. Alexander Whyte in this book on Bible Characters describes Eve as “sweet, warm, tender, wistful, helpful, fruitful—a love full of 00008_s_15amtvyymk0021nice and subtle happiness.”

Loving relationships form the foundation of human experience. We were created to relate to others not to live as loners. In relating well to one another, in marriage and in other human relationships we reflect the image of God in us.

As divine image-bearers Adam and Eve possessed qualities that reflected on a limited scale divine qualities. Their intellectual ability qualified them to communicate and investigate. Their creative ability enabled them to originate things and value beauty. Their administrative ability prepared them to wisely care for the world. Their moral image enabled them to be and do righteously. “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

We should celebrate the amazing potential that God has created within us. That potential should move us to use our abilities to bless the places where we live. As a children’s song tells us, “God don’t make no junk.” As image-bearers we should honour and respect all people. Racism, prejudice, and arrogance are clearly sub-human, evil.

Adam and Eve were placed in an idyllic garden where they could enjoy fruit from all the trees except one–the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One prohibition! They had free will to choose to obey or not. They faced thousands of positive, attractive, nutritious options. Delicious fruits. Only one temptation. WOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhat did they do? What will we do with all the healthy, constructive, godly options that we enjoy? Will we choose obedience or will we be drawn to harm ourselves by choosing hurtful options?

Satan slithered into the garden and temped Eve. He said, “You shall not surely die for in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen3:5). She “saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…gave to her husband” (Gen 3:6). Temptation exerts a powerful appeal to us by enticing us through the lust of the flesh (an appeal to our physical appetites), the lust of the eyes (an appeal to something we want to possess) and the pride of life (something to enhance our ego). Let us ask the Lord to help us recognize temptation in these three areas and resist its downward pull.

Eve chose to disobey the one command God gave her. Adam knew it was wrong but yielded to Eve’s offer of the fruit. Both broke God’s command. But when asked by God what they had done they pointed their fingers instead of accepting blame. Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed Eve and God! Adam said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate.” Eve said, “the serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen 3:12,13)

DSCN4987 (2)Both Adam and Eve played the blame game. Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Eve. Part of the fallen nature that we inherit includes the propensity to blame others for our sins and weaknesses. Our parents. Our education. The government. The environment we grew up in. The church. Our friends. God. If we would mature spiritually, we need to stop blaming others and accept personal responsibility.

From Adam and Eve we learn about our need for relationships; the fantastic potential enshrined in ever human; the importance of obeying God’s commands; the need to make careful, moral choices; and about our propensity to blame others for our sins.

(Further articles, books, and stories at: http://www.countrywindow.ca –  Facebook: Eric E Wright –   Twitter: @EricEWright1  –  LinkedIn: Eric Wright )

 

The Banquet Invitation and the party crasher

A king prepared a wedding banquet for his son. When everything was ready, he sent his servants with a fleet of Cadillacs to pick up the invited guests. But the guests ignored the servants. One went off to check on his ranch. Another refused to leave his business. Several others heaped abuse on the servants, smashing the windshields of their limousines and fatally wounding several. The king was enraged. He called in his palace guard and sent them to destroy the ranch of one, the business of the other and cast the violent ones into the sea.

After pondering what to do with the magnificent banquet that was ready to be served, he sent more servants out into the city’s streets and alleyways to gather all the people they could find; the good, the bad, the downtrodden, the poor, the homeless, and the prostitutes. “The empty seats must be filled,” he said. “Provide them all with wedding garments.”

But when everything was ready, the king went in to begin the celebration. But he was astounded to see one man wearing only shorts and sneakers instead of the required suit and tie. “How did you get in here without wedding clothes?” he said. The man trembled but could not answer. The king then ordered that the man be cast outside.

King Jesus invites many to his salvation banquet but sadly many make excuses, despise his offer or live distracted self-centered lives. Often it is the weak and despised who celebrate the good news banquet. But some try to crash the happy party without putting on the robes of righteousness that Christ provides. Sad, that so few heed his words, “Come onto me.” (See Matthew 22:1-14.)

The Strawberry Farmer

The kingdom of heaven is like a strawberry farmer who went out early in the morning to hire workers to pick his fields. At 7:00 he hired three for $10 an hour. Seeing that the strawberries were plentiful he went out at 10:00 and found more workers waiting to be hired. “Go join the others,” he said, “and I’ll pay whatever is right.”

He went out and did the same at 12:00 and at 2:00 pm. Finally at 4:00 pm he went into the town square and found some workers still lounging around. “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing,” he said.

“No one has hired us,” they said.

“Go and work in my strawberry fields,” he said, “And I’ll pay you whatever is fair.

At the end of the day, he charged his foreman with paying the workers, beginning with the last ones. The workers who were hired at four in the afternoon received $100. Hearing about this, the ones hired first supposed they would receive much more but when their turn came they were given $100. Looking at the dollar bills in their fist, they began to grumble. “It’s not fair, “they said, “We laboured through the heat of the day and received no more than those who worked only an hour.”

Hearing their grumbling, the farmer asked, “Didn’t you agree to work for $10 an hour?”

“Yes,”, they replied but—

“Take your pay, and go,” the farmer said, “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” And so the first shall be last and the last first in the kingdom. (See Matt. 20:1-16)