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Vol.  10  No. 7 July 2008  Page 3
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Wisdom's Corner (Youth Page) By Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorter

Hidden of God

    An interesting observation about the names of the 12 spies of Israel is that part of the message of their names was that they were hidden by the majesty of God. They were hidden by God as they spied out the land. Christians do not spy out lands like the Israelites did Canaan. We do not need that kind of miraculous hiding. Yet, there are ways that we need to be hidden by God.

    Psalm 32:7, “Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.” By obeying God’s laws, we keep ourselves from much trouble, and he will providentially take care of us.

    Psalm 119:114, “Thou art my hiding place and my shield; I hope in thy word.” God’s Word helps shield us from the darts of the Devil.

    Psalm 64:2, “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the tumult of the workers of iniquity.” God will always provide a way of escape from temptation. He will protect us providentially.

    Colossians 3:1-3, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” When we become Christians, we dedicate ourselves to Christ. We are dead to the old life and make our life like Christ’s. We are hidden with Christ in God from sin.

   James 5:20, “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” When we become Christians, our sins are taken out of the sight of God. He no longer sees our sins because they are cleansed away by the blood of Christ.

    Be hidden of God. Obey him. Study your Bible so that you know how to be hidden in Christ with God, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

A Centurion and His Slave

    In Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10, we read about a Roman centurion who wanted Jesus to heal his servant. This centurion lived in Capernaum where Jesus made his home for some time. Peter’s mother-in-law lived there. Jesus performed several miracles in Capernaum.

    Evidently, the centurion knew about Jesus. He may have personally heard Christ preaching and teaching. He knew that Jesus could perform wonderful things and was convinced that Jesus could heal his servant.

   The elders of the Jews in Capernaum thought highly of the centurion. He had built them a synagogue. His friends thought highly of him because they also approached Jesus with a message from the centurion.

    However, one of the most amazing things about the centurion was his concern and love for his servant. The Romans normally did not have much concern for a slave. Aristotle, talking about friendships that were possible in life, stated, “There can be no friendship nor justice towards inanimate things; indeed, not even towards a horse or an ox, nor yet towards a slave as a slave. For master and slave have nothing in common; a slave is a living tool, just as a tool is an inanimate slave.” Peter Chrysologus wrote that, “Whatever a master does to a slave, undeservedly, in anger, willingly, unwillingly, in forgetfulness, after careful thought, knowingly, unknowingly, is judgment, justice and law.”

    The centurion was not the normal Roman slave owner. He was a man of exceptional compassion and love. He was a man of war and a man of power, but he did not think too highly of himself. He humbled himself and considered a mere slave as a person of importance. He also humbled himself enough to acknowledge his lowliness to the elders of the Jews and his Roman friends. They transmitted this message to Jesus. Jesus was told that the centurion believed that Jesus could heal his servant simply by saying it from a distance. The centurion did not consider himself worthy for Jesus to enter his home.

    Jesus recognized the wonderful humility, faith and love of the centurion. He stated that it was this kind of faith that would bring salvation to a man.

    One more interesting fact is that we are not told the centurion’s name. This, in a way, goes with the account. It is not in making a great name for oneself that demonstrates proper faith. It is the attitude behind actions that really matters.

    Are you like the centurion? Do you consider others as good as you are? Do you love others? Do you believe Jesus? Does ‘making a name for yourself’ mean more to you than actually doing good for others?

    Study your Bible. Believe Jesus. Obey Him, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

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