October 8, 2014

bible study imageSubject: Reward or revenge?

Golden Text: I Sam. 23:26 (New International Version, NIV)*

The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness.

II Sam. 21:1-6, 9-14

During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.” The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?” The Gibeonites answered him, “We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” David asked.

They answered the king, “As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel, let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul—the Lord’s chosen one.”

So the king said, “I will give them to you.”

He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed them and exposed their bodies on a hill before the Lord. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning. 10 Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds touch them by day or the wild animals by night.

11 When David was told what Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went and took the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. (They had stolen their bodies from the public square at Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.) 13 David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from there, and the bones of those who had been killed and exposed were gathered up. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish, at Zela in Benjamin, and did everything the king commanded. After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Civilization and Science stand strong on the side of justice, and encourage the elimination of discrimination, however, every time an effort is made to remedy unfairness, we must be alert that the effort doesn’t encourage difficulties of greater magnitude. Higher aims and motives, as well as improved mental character, must be considered as the feasible and rational means of progress.

Our laws will eventually take cognizance of mental crime and no longer apply legal rulings entirely too physical offences. It will go down in history that how we think, or what we think, directly or indirectly affects action, including the action of what we call physical bodies. The medical field is even somewhat recognizing the power of metaphysics. Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., a pioneer in integrative medicine, testifies that, “Meditation is a wondrously powerful medical modality…the meditation that I teach employs not just patients’ mental energies, but also their physical energies”[1]

Matt. 5:1-2, 46

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

Matt. 6:1 -8, 22-27

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

From 21st Century Science and Health

Whoever uses their developed mental energies or powers to commit opportune atrocities is never safe. God will arrest those people. Divine justice will confine them. Their sins will be millstones about their necks, weighing them down to the depths of disgrace and death. The aggravation of error foretells its doom and confirms the ancient axiom: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

The human attitudes of dishonesty, sensuality, greed, revenge, and malice, cannot heal the sick. Thoughts that try to control another person are crude tendencies and by no means the mental qualities which heal.

God never punishes us for doing right. Love never penalizes us for honest labor or deeds of kindness, even if we are exposed to fatigue, cold, heat, contagion. If we seem to incur the penalty through matter, this is but the false-ego, or human mind’s thinking. Unfair repercussions are not established by wisdom, and our nonconformity to injustice can nullify the penalty. Through this action of thought and its results upon the body, students will prove to themselves, by small beginnings, the grand verities of divine Science.

Consciousness of right-doing brings its own reward; but merit is not seen and appreciated by onlookers.

Roman 12:1-2, 14-21

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Heb. 10:19-22, 31-35

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Malice or hate, finding satisfaction in revenge, is pathetic. Evil is sometimes believed to be our right, until we learn its self-destructiveness. As the pleasure in wickedness is lost, the wrongdoing becomes a torment. The way to escape the misery of sin is to stop sinning. There is no other way. Sin is the image of the beast to be wiped out through agonizing mental improvement. It is moral foolishness which rushes around chaotically, making annoying demands or loud complaints. We can become secure in civility and goodness.

Let the dupe of self-destructive desires learn the lessons of Christian Science. They then can get the better of those desires, and ascend a degree in the scale of health, happiness, and existence.

Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help. You uncover sin, not in order to hurt, but in order to bless the human being; and a right motive has its reward. Hidden sin is spiritual wickedness in high places. The masquerader in this Science thanks God that there is no evil, yet serves evil in the name of good.

Patiently attentive to the Lord, we will leave our real intentions to be rewarded by Spirit.

Put an end to the chatter in your head and calmly enter spiritual consciousness. In the refuge of sincere intentions you must deny sin and affirm God’s allness. Become committed, “pray continually,”[2] and go forward with a pure heart to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. Such meditation is answered insofar as you put your spiritual desires into practice.

* THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] From Pain Cure, The by Dharma Khalsa. Copyright ©. By permission of Warner Books, Inc. All rights reserved. To purchase copies of this book, please call 1-800-759-0190.

[2] I Thes. 5:17

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One thought on “October 8, 2014

  1. It occurred to me when reading the Golden Text, (I Samuel) that God is the source of EVERYTHING, therefore I could read “The Lord rewards everyone [WITH] righteousness and faithfulness.” I love this. We have all goodness from God.

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