|Vol. 14 No. 7 July 2012||
T. Pierce Brown (deceased)
How often have you heard one praying for a sick person say something like this, “Bless the hands that wait on him or her, and the means being used for their recovery,” but somehow seemed unwilling to say, “Cure their disease.” Of course, with my aversion to the claims of so-called “faith-healers” who give glowing testimonies of how they know of someone who was cured of almost anything they could imagine, I can understand our skirting around anything that might make us sound somewhat unorthodox.
However, having long since passed the point where merely “sounding orthodox” unduly concerns me, I would like to suggest that we pray for the things about which we are concerned. I do thank God for the “hands that minister,” but ordinarily I am not really as concerned about them at that moment as I am with the particular person to whom they are ministering. So why not say so? I am not nearly as concerned with God blessing the knife that does the surgery (whatever that means) as I am with His blessing the person who is having the tumor removed.
It is also slightly disturbing for me to continue hearing persons say, “Forgive us of our many mistakes and shortcomings,” without ever mentioning “our sins.” God can overlook our mistakes, but our sins have to be forgiven through the merits of the blood of our loving Lord, or we are lost forever!
Surely, when we say, in reference to a sick person, “Nevertheless, thy will be done,” we are trying to echo the sentiments of our Savior. Yet, is it possible that what we actually mean is, “I do not really believe you are going to answer affirmatively, so I will give you a chance to cop-out on my doubts”? Since I use the expression, “Thy will be done” and commend the attitude, the above critical question is probably a result of a recognition of my own failures and shortcomings!
I still remember one of my prayers (?) of almost 60 years ago. I had been reading the promises of Jesus about granting whatever was asked in faith, so when I came to a gate as I was walking through the woods to a little one-room schoolhouse with my lunch pail in one hand and my books in another, I said, “God, open the gate for me.” For some reason He did not see fit to do it. Since He did not seem to hear, I raised my voice a little and said again, “God, I said I wanted you to open the gate for me.” When it still did not open, I said, “I did not think you would do it anyway.”
It is possible that I have done the same sort of thing in my more mature years if I have prayed, “Bless the means being used for his recovery,” and when he died anyway, said, “I never did have any hope for him.” Perhaps all of us, critics or otherwise, need to pray as did the man in Mark 9:24, “I believe. Help thou mine unbelief!”
As I was finishing this article, I thought, “Lord, bless the editor’s pen (or blue pencil) that they may be used only in a way to glorify thee.” Then I thought, “And Lord, if you can see your way clear to do it, you might bless the editor, too.”
In today’s news, one hears much about what is called “same-sex” marriages. What is promoted by such is a man married to a man or a woman married to a woman. What about such marriages? Are they approved of God? In discussing such issues, many want to leave God out of the picture. Some are more concerned about the feelings and the thinking of man than the will of God. As we turn to the Bible, we can see, understand and know how God feels about so-called “same-sex” marriages.
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are not more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:3-6)
Concerning marriage, God from the beginning ordained that it was to be male and female to be joined together. In Genesis 2:18, we read that God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” What was it that God gave to man to be his help meet? Was it some animal? No! Was it another man? No! It was woman. “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:21-23). God made “woman” not another “man” for man. As one has said, God gave Eve not Steve for Adam!
Notice the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:1-3, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me; it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.” Paul said that a “man” is to have his own “wife” and a “woman” to have her own “husband.” It is not “man” with “man” or “woman” with “woman.”
“Same-sex” marriages are contrary to God’s plan. Marriage is to be between “man” and “woman.” This has been true from the beginning of mankind. “Same-sex” marriages are not pleasing to God for they constitute a homosexual relationship. Homosexuality is condemned by Scripture (Genesis 19:1-14; Leviticus 18:22- 23; 20:13; Romans 1:26-32; 1 Timothy 1:8-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Since homosexuality is condemned by God and “same-sex” marriages are homosexual, we must therefore conclude that such marriages are not approved by God.
Since God is the originator of marriage, He knows what is best. We had better listen to God and make our marriages according to His Will. Let us build our marriages upon His Word, and then they will be pleasing to God.