Hope for our children - 20 January 2020

Neville Turley

This is what the Lordsays: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.Jeremiah 31:15 (NIV)

Rachel and Leah, the wives of Jacob, are recorded in Ruth 4:11 as being the matriarchs of Israel – the mothers of the nation. In our verse for the day, Rachel is personified as Israel, the bride of God weeping for her exiled son – the tribe of Ephraim.

In the Gospel of Matthew we read that this prophesy of Jeremiah was fulfilled when Herod ordered all boys of two years and under, who lived in Bethlehem and its neighbourhood, to be killed. (Matthew 2:16-17)

Nothing cuts more deeply into one’s heart and leaves one with feelings of shock and anger than when we hear of vulnerable children being callously abused and mistreated. It was with utter abhorrence one read of the one hundred and forty eight children massacred in Peshawar, Pakistan a few years ago. It was not an isolated incident in a distant land. Not much has changed since the “Massacre of the Innocents” by Herod. 

Child abuse is worldwide. Innocent children are often the victims in our broken, sin-stained world.

Parents, and those to whom children are entrusted, have an onerous responsibility. They need to take every precaution to safeguard their charges. It is a duty they dare not take lightly.

Sometimes children are harmed by the very persons responsible for their care. Instead of enjoying a happy, safe environment, they find themselves in a nightmare of suffering and pain.

In a society where women had little status under Jewish Law and children none at all, Jesus made his attitude towards children very clear. “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:13-14)

From the cradle to the grave Jesus is the hope and refuge for all who come to him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the hope our children have in you. We pray for your protecting power over them. Keep them safe and happy, Lord. Make them ever aware of your loving kindness. This we ask in Jesus name. Amen

Hoop vir ons kinders - 20 Januarie 2020

Neville Turley

So sê die Here: 'n Gekerm word op Rama gehoor, 'n gehuil vol hartseer: Ragel treur oor haar kinders, sy wil haar nie laat troos nie, want haar kinders is weg. Jeremia 31:15

In Rut 4:11 word daar na Ragel en Lea, Jakob se vrouens, verwys as die vroue wat saam gebou het aan Israel – die moeders van die nasie. In ons vers vandag word Ragel voorgehou as Israel, die bruid van God wat treur oor haar verlore seun, haar eersgeborene – die stam van Efraim.

In die Matteus Evangelie lees ons dat hierdie profesie van Jeremia waar geword het toe Herodes beveel het dat alle seuns, twee jaar en jonger, wat in Betlehem en omgewing gewoon het, doodgemaak moes word. (Matteus 2:16-17)

Niks raak 'n mens dieper en laat jou meer met 'n gevoel van algehele skok en woede as wanneer jy hoor van kinders wat misbruik en mishandel word nie. Dit was met totale afsku wat ek 'n paar jaar gelede gelees het van die slagting van 148 kinders in Peshawar, Pakistan. Nie baie het verander sedert die kindermoorde in Herodes se tyd nie.

Kindermishandeling kom wêreldwyd voor. Onskuldige kinders is dikwels die slagoffers in ons gebroke, sondige wêreld.

Ouers, en diegene aan wie kinders toevertrou word, het 'n veeleisende verantwoordelikheid. Hulle moet alles moontlik doen om hulle kinders te beveilig. Dit is 'n plig wat hulle nie ligtelik kan opneem nie.

Soms word kinders juis deur diegene wat verantwoordelik is vir hulle sorg en veiligheid misbruik. Instede van 'n gelukkige, veilige omgewing bevind hierdie kinders hulle dan in 'n nagmerrie van pyn en lyding.

In 'n samelewing waar, volgens die Joodse Wet, vroue feitlik geen en kinders absoluut geen status gehad het nie, het Jesus sy houding teenoor kinders baie duidelik gestel. "Die mense het kindertjies na Hom toe gebring dat Hy hulle die hande moet oplê en vir hulle moet bid. Sy dissipels het met hulle daaroor geraas. Maar Jesus het gesê: “Laat staan die kindertjies en moet hulle nie verhinder om na My toe te kom nie, want die koninkryk van die hemel is juis vir mense soos hulle.” Matteus 19:13-14

Jesus is die hoop en toevlug vir almal, jonk en oud, klein en groot, wat na Hom toe kom.

Gebed: Hemelse Vader, dankie vir die hoop wat ons kinders in U het. Dankie dat U vir hulle 'n toevlug is. Here, bewaar hulle en skenk aan hulle geluk. Maak hulle asseblief bewus daarvan dat U vir hulle omgee. Ons bid dit in Jesus se Naam. Amen

Hope for the world - 17 January 2020

Neville Turley

And so the word of God continued to spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem grew larger and larger, and a great number of priests accepted the faith.

Acts 6:7 (GNT)

Jerusalem was agog at the amazing news that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. That being so the logical hope was that death was no longer final and the impact that made was felt far and wide.

The number of believers increased by leaps and bounds. Both Jews and Gentiles received the Holy Spirit and were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:47-48) It was at Antioch that believers first came to be described as Christians (Acts 11:26)

Flavius Josephus, a Pharisee and noted author and historian was born in AD37. He had this to say about the Christians: “Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both, many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared alive to them again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.  Antiquities of the Jews: Flavius Josephus

“The tribe of Christians” continues to grow today. Christianity is now the largest religion in the world. According to current statistics some 2,4 billion people in the world are Christian, that is about 32% of the world population.

Prayer: All honour, praise and glory be to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Father, may your word continue to reach hearts throughout the world for Jesus sake. Amen

Hoop vir die wêreld - 17 Januarie 2020

Neville Turley

Die woord van God het verder versprei, en die getal gelowiges in Jerusalem het geweldig toegeneem. Selfs 'n groot aantal priesters het gelowig geword.  Handelinge 6:7

Jerusalem was vol opwinding en afwagting oor die verstommende nuus dat Jesus uit die dood opgestaan het. Indien dit waar was, was dit logies om te hoop dat die dood nie finaal is nie. Die impak hiervan het ver en wyd gestrek.

Die aantal gelowiges het met rasse skrede toegeneem. Beide Jode en nie-Jode het die Heilige Gees ontvang en is in die Naam van Jesus Christus gedoop. (Handelinge 10:47-48) In Antiogië is gelowiges vir die eerste keer Christene genoem. (Handelinge 11:26)

Flavius Josephus, 'n Fariseër en bekende Romeinse geskiedskrywer, is in 37 n.C. gebore. Hy skryf oor onder andere die tyd wat Jesus geleef het en het die volgende oor Christene te sê: "Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both, many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared alive to them again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."  Antiquities of the Jews: Flavius Josephus

“The tribe of Christians” waarna Flavius Josephus verwys, neem steeds toe. Die Christendom is die grootste godsdiens ter wêreld. Volgens beskikbare statistieke is sowat 2,4 miljard van die wêreldbevolking Christene, wat sowat 32% van die wêreldbevolking uitmaak.

Gebed: Aan U kom al die eer toe, Vader Seun en Heilige Gees. Hemelse Vader, gee dat u Woord sal voortgaan om regoor die wêreld die harte van mense aan te raak. Ons vra dit in die Naam van u Seun, Jesus Christus. Amen

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