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Strong, Tough Hearts
Category: Teaching Topics

The price of greatness is responsibility. [Winston Churchill]†

"For it was the LORDíS doing to stiffen (literally: to make strong) their hearts to give battle to Israel, in order that they might be proscribed without quarter and wiped out, as the LORD had commanded Moses." [Joshua (Yehoshua) 11. 20 Tanakh, Neviíim]†

I have a dear friend, who along with many other critics of the HOLY WORD of GOD, especially the OLD COVENANT, due to HIS harsh brutality such as displayed when HE commanded Moses to destroy all the Canaanites. "When the LORD your GOD delivers them to you and you defeat them, you must utterly destroy them." [Deuteronomy/Devarim 7. 1 - 2]† This seems even more severe than ever when we read that ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF hardened the hearts of the Canaanites so that Joshua could destroy them.†

However, for one to assume the BLESSED MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE is but a kind and loving heavenly dispenser to fulfill our wishes is a self-serving illusion of manís selfish or sinful imagination.† For ALMIGHTY GOD is a "CONSUMING FIRE" [Hebrews 12. 29], and we are warned that "the wages of sin is death." [Romans 6. 23] GOD does "not change" [Malachi/Malakhi 3. 6]; the NEW COVENANT also teaches, "The LORD JESUS is revealed from heaven with HIS mighty angels, in FLAMING FIRE taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the GOSPEL of our LORD JESUS CHRIST." [2 Thessalonians 1. 7 - 8]†

In HIS OWN words the OLD COVENANT proclaims HIS character, "The LORD, the LORD GOD, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty." [Exodus/Shemot 34. 6 - 7]† HE desires that we have, "such a heart...that [we] would fear [HIM] and always keep all [HIS] commandments, that it might be well with [us] and with [our] children forever!" [Deuteronomy/Devarim 5. 29]†

As for the Canaanites, the LORD GOD had given them 400 years to repent [Genesis/Berepooh 15. 13 - 16], but with each generation, they went further and further away from the LOVING MASTER growing more depraved then the ones before them.† Even archaeology has revealed that they practicing every form of depravity, wickedness and iniquity known to man.† Therefore, it was an act of HIS great mercy toward all those who would come in contact with them in future generations to decreed their destruction immediately and completely.†

Because they thought they could destroy GODíS people, the OMNIPOTENT ONE hardened the Canaanites hearts against Israel, which only hastened their well-deserved end.† Like so many today who have already permanently hardened their own hearts toward GOD, this too could be their doomed outcome.†

Remember, the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL is the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, and we† will be required give an account for our actions and choices.† "The LORD seeks out the righteous man, but loathes the wicked one who loves injustice." [Psalms (Tehillym) 11. 5 Tanakh, Kethuvim] †

To be righteous: Fear, Love, and Obey the MAJESTIC LORD GOD.† Once you know HIM you cannot help but love HIM with all your heart, soul, and strength.† It is that simple, it is also that critical. Therefore, these things were written that we may know.†

Sha'alu (Pray) for the Shalom (Peace) of Jerusalem and all of Israel!
Redeem Israel, O ELOHIYM, out of all their troubles!
†As we bid farewell to Shabbat, may our lips ever declare praises to our KING, HELPER, SAVIOR & SHIELD and magnify HIS glory for HIS loving kindness is mighty over us. Blessed are YOU, WHO in YOUR glory gives life and light to the whole world; for YOUR great goodness and endless mercies, we give YOU thanks.
†May the LIVING ETERNAL GOD, blessed be HE, hold you close, may HE hold you ever so close in the palm of HIS mighty hand and watch over you. Have a great week honoring the HOLY ONE WHOM we celebrate and adore!
†It is pointless to argue with those who happily pervert reality in the service of their profoundly held prejudices. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. But, with the hand of the MASTER DESIGNER in our life, great and marvelous things happen. Think about that as you enjoy your up-coming week.†

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem, is praying for the return of our Messiah and Lord and for the Kingdom of God He is bringing when He comes.† Then God's Will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven and the world will experience true godly universal peace which is the fruit of Righteousness.††


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