Monday, June 28, 2010

The Necessities of Life

R. J. Brimmer wrote:

"Throughout the Bible, God uses simple, everyday illustrations to communicate spiritual truth. Frequently these illustrations are taken from the agrarian lifestyle common in biblical times. These teachings were meant to bring clarity and insight to the readers in an easy-to-understand manner.

Unfortunately, we live 2,000 years after the events of the Bible, and most of us are not involved in growing our own food. Even if we are farmers, the methods have changed dramatically over the centuries. We read Scripture through our own cultural eyeglasses, and often miss truths because we simply don’t understand the illustrations.

So, let’s transport ourselves back in time several thousand years. First, we need to understand that life in Bible times was much more fragile than today.

People were totally dependent on the crops they grew. If there was a drought, a famine ensued. There were no grocery stores from which to purchase food. If there was no rain, there was no harvest, and if there was no harvest, the people starved. Life revolved around the seasons. It wasn’t just a segment of society that was concerned about farming issues, as in our modern society; everyone was affected. When God said that the Israelites were to obey Him or there would be no rain, it was serious business: “

‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today; to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.

And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn and serve other gods and worship them, lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you”
(Deut. 11:13–17).

These verses were so important that the Jewish people were commanded to recite them morning and evening and to write them upon the doorposts of their houses and upon the gates of their cities. To this day they do so in their daily prayers (Hareuveni). Mezuzot, small boxes created to hold the Scripture passages, are affixed to the doorposts of the houses as a constant reminder to love and serve the Lord as a condition to receiving His blessings.

Notice the three food items listed: grain, new wine (from grapes), and oil (from olives). These were the staples of life to the Israelis. It was as if God were saying to them: If you love and serve Me, I will provide all the necessities of life. The key was to be in relationship with God.

In the Christian Scriptures when Yeshua (Jesus) says,

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you(Matt. 6:33).

What things was He referring to? Look at verses 25–32 for the answer: food, drink, and clothing. God will provide for our sustenance if we will love and serve Him, putting Him and His kingdom first."

[Donna: In the King James Version, the word corn is a generic term used for grain. Corn as we know it did not exist in the Holy Land in Bible times. The author uses a different translation than the KJV where this verse says corn.]

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