Mother Nature Waits

There are times when we sense there is something behind nature. The term Mother Nature becomes a good expression for the feeling we hold for that moment. But other aspects remind us that nature can be cruel.

But what if it is not nature that wants to be cruel? What if nature desires to mother us? Sadly, she is held back. By what? When did nature begin to change?

There was a time described where animal and tree were at peace with humans. This was when a man named the animals as they came before him and received their name. Trees were glad to produce their fruit to be eaten by humans. How long did this last? Long enough to sink deeply into the soul of man.

After man and woman made their choice to live apart from God (a sad day, indeed), nature began to change. The earth produced weeds and the roses grew thorns. The animals also began to change until they were violent towards men. They had no fear of men at that time.

It says all were corrupted, both man and beast. There are no details given. But a new beginning took place where a few people and select animals were saved in a boat, an ark. The earth has maybe one hundred years to go as Noah and sons build this massive boat.

Everyone knew of this crazed endeavor of Noah. No one believed the boat would be needed. But Noah was inside when it started to rain like it never had before. Both men and beasts were washed from the land.

We don’t know when this took place. Five thousand years ago? Fifty thousand? No one knows. But nature was restrained somewhat after this in that wild animals avoided men. But the basic conflict between men and nature remained. Cultivating land was still work.

So nature did not turn evil. Man took independence from God and was divorced from nature. Then nature became like the man, undirected. It resisted the work of men, yes, but eventually complied and grew the needed food.

Nature waits for men to become what they were supposed to be. That day will come when harmony between nature and people is restored but only to the children of God.


Romans 8:19, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”

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Desire

What is the indescribable longing for something, you don’t know what, which makes you wonder if life has purpose. It lives in the back of your mind or really in your heart.

It is like when you are young and gaze too deeply into the eyes of another. You see something that is beyond words that two in love may share. But the desire is more than that and can lead to hope or despair.

But I can’t leave you between hope and despair. First, why despair? If you are sure you can never find this desire, there is nothing but despair in this world.

But the fact that you have this desire contains hope. How can you desire something that does not exist? This would be most cruel. Worse than the one who desires a mate but can’t seem to find the one they seek.

But what if the love, and it is love, is beyond you? That is not a problem to The Lover. He must understand love to create us able to love at all.

So we must become lovers not just beloved. What was the first command? Love God. Why? It is the only way to begin. To love the most lovable one is the easiest love. Then loving people can begin.

Our self-love is misinformed. Can we please our conscience? It wants perfection. When does it ever say you are good enough? The one who says they are a good person seems to be waiting for their conscience to say, “No they’re not!”

Now we can turn outward and begin to love. Love God. This is the first outward turn. The second is to love other people. God supplies this love. But we have to activate this gift. We love unselfishly.

Impossible? In our own strength, yes. But we have met the Inventor of Love. Someone went this far: saying God is Love.

So your desire is not wrong. You want love that heals you. This is the love of God that changes the receiver into a lover. What is this pure love? What is the love that gives without thought of receiving back. Divine love from the Divine Lover.

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What is Light?

Some people read the bible and think, “Why is Jesus so different from God in the older parts of the Bible?” I had the same thought for many years. We could put this question as – Why doesn’t God behave like I think he should behave?

The problem is that we don’t understand God. We assume that God’s actions should be understandable. They should make sense to us. But sometimes even our friends act in strange ways and we are not sure why they act like that.

Let us look at the first thing God did. “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.” Now, what exactly does that mean? I don’t know. Light wasn’t. Then it was, because God said it. Let’s take an easier question: What is light? We have had light for, let’s say, 20,000 years. That is enough time for us to figure out what light is, don’t you think?

Well, it travels fast. Like about 186,000 miles per second. It heats things when it hits them. Light consists of photons. Now we are getting somewhere. So these photons are particles, right? Maybe. One guys says particles but the other says, no, it’s waves. Now, it is said that sometimes light behaves like particles: other times, it behaves like waves.

When you ask about the colors of light, they give you a prism and you hold it up and it splits white light into a rainbow. Ooh. I can see violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Don’t forget indigo, they say. Each color is a different wavelength, they say. Wow.

In 1950, a machine was made that intensified light beams called laser beams. These were useful. You could put them in a laser pointer and drive your cat crazy. You could also do laser surgery with them instead of a scalpel. So, we have been able to do amazing things with light without really knowing what it is. Then someone pipes up and says, “That is just visible light.” What do you mean? “There are other kinds, you know, like x-rays, ultraviolet rays, infrared, microwaves and even radio waves. You can’t see any of those.”

Now we have microwave cooking and UV filters in our sunglasses. We know so much about how these waves behave, we can use them for many things. Yet, while we know how light behaves, we still don’t know what light is besides calling it electromagnetic radiation.

My point is this: if we can’t really understand the first thing God created, light, how can we understand the Creator? I am glad we don’t have to understand him. He is not like us in the sense that he is completely good. We are not very good in comparison. He is powerful enough to effect change within people, yet he refuses to force people into doing good. Let’s say we now believe that God is good, powerful and wise. Is that enough? Not a chance. This powerful, good and wise being may want nothing to do with us. Maybe he would remain aloof to our plight as fallen creatures.

The Apostle John wrote that God is Love. He cares much about men and women and wants to help them. He is willing to overlook our messed up situation and move us forward in his plan. Most people like his willingness to forgive them. Some call his plan redemption or salvation. But rather than a return to our original state, like Adam and Eve, he wants to make us better than that.

He will only accept our voluntary involvement in his plan. Jesus said something like this: we think we are free but we are not really all that free. Your God-given freedom will become much more real. If the Son of God sets you free, you will be free indeed.

So, we have a God who loves the people he created. He has a plan to make us to what he had in mind for us. Our cooperation is a must. Can you believe that he is preparing us for a great future? He will create a new earth where goodness can live without restraint. Do you dare to follow his Son, Jesus? He calls you now. He desires your company.

If anyone follows me, he must become as I was in the world. Look at Me and see if it’s worth it. I have finished my course and now you can begin your new life on earth. Follow my path and you will surely end up with me in my kingdom.

Jesus was what a man was supposed to be. And he was in the same situation as you and I. He took no special privilege as the Son of God. He embraced his humanity and began reaching out to all people. And now he is calling you to himself. Why? So he can make you into the best you possible.

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Doing Good

How can some people do so much good in this world? Let us talk about doing good. It was written that Jesus went about doing good. This tells us a lot. He made it very clear that everything he did was the will of God. This idea of the will of God may surprise you. Isn’t everything the will of God?


This seems to confuse some people. Why does God allow evil to be done? He could stop it. He certainly has the power to do so. It says that in the future he will stop all evil actions from being done by any creature to any other creature. The lion will lie down with the lamb and not in its stomach. Satan will be bound and held from any activity.


So we know that God can and will deal with all evil and it will be stopped forever. But who will then do good? Good angels will do good. But what about people? Those that do good now will do more in the future. What do we need to do to become these do-gooders?


Selfishness is our problem. What if you think that something is good for you? But this same act is bad for another. Let us take an extreme example. Some is trying to kill you but you have the means to kill them first. Should you do so? Stop, you say. Drop your weapon! They advance toward you.


What can be done about this? Anything? Should anything be done? Isn’t it natural to defend your stuff. Yes, it is. But there is another nature that Jesus revealed on this earth. That is doing good with all your heart even at your own expense. This is the opposite of our natural state. But this is the great plan of God for people: to change their nature to good. It is a job only God could attempt and accomplish.


Where do we begin? We are told to begin with repentance. I don’t think so. The disciples did not begin that way. They began with the attraction of Jesus. He shocked them over and over with his unselfish behavior. Peter had a moment where he said to Jesus that he was nothing like Jesus and that they had nothing in common. But Jesus said to him, we will work together to change the world. This is not a direct quote, by the way.


Jesus said that when he was lifted up, he would draw all men to him. Some say he meant the cross. But he was not drawing anyone at that moment. Others say he meant his resurrection. He spent his time convincing his followers that he was alive mostly. When did he draw all men to himself? It began after Pentecost. Many were draw powerfully then. Thousands.


Jesus draws you now. He draws you to follow his path. He will care for you forever but now is the time for us to begin doing good. How? The same way as Jesus did. What did Jesus do first? He got baptized. You would think Jesus would be the last person to need be baptized. But what happened? The Holy Spirit came down upon him. Again, Jesus needed the Holy Spirit? Yes. How much more do we need the Holy Spirit? This is great gift of God to people. Ask God for his Spirit. Or ask to be filled with the Spirit of God if you have received from God already. Learn to love the will of God like Jesus did. Glory awaits those who follow his path.

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Looking Back

Imagine yourself in the future – one hundred years from now. Yes, you are dead. But you still exist. Who are you now?

Really, your soul cannot be destroyed. You, in some form, will continue to exist. Do you know people were not meant to die? Death was added on. All the self-aware creatures were meant to exist forever. But we are on Plan B. Plan A: live forever. Plan B: we die and move on to something else.

We have little information about the next state. But we have at least two historical examples. A guy named Lazarus who was dead four days and was brought back by Jesus. He was no worse for wear it seemed. His sisters were glad to have him back after the shock wore off.

It’s good to have a friend like Jesus. But he himself had a bit of a time convincing his close friends when he came back from the dead. They looked at him like he was a ghost. He asked for some food. Ghosts don’t eat food, huh?

Anyway, back to the question: who are you? Should you be included in the next big thing? God has a long range plan to have the earth like he wanted it: filled with good people doing good things.

Do you think God will be thwarted on his plan? He won’t. Are you in or out?

Not ready? Who is? We have to be changed, yeah, no one is ready, really. Start with forgiveness. Get it; give it. But how far back do we go? Actually, all the way to Adam. When he went wrong, we went wrong. Just as if we were him. You think you would have done better than Adam or better than Eve? We would have done the same as they did. Much later, we are born with inherent wrongness that shows up sooner or later. Some call it sin. You could call it a disconnect from God.

Jesus came to deal with sin and sins. Sins can be forgiven. But sin is a wrong condition. Jesus came to deal with that bigger issue: Sin. That was a big prediction about the Messiah, that he would deal with sin in a final way.

Look at what happened! This good man was convicted by a kangaroo court at midnight. He was turned over to a Roman governor who was coerced into setting him up to die. This was a dreadful punishment for the enemies of Rome, a humiliating kind of torture death that could last for days.

Roman soldiers carried out the whole business with grewsome enthusiasm. It took each type of evil found in men, hate, indifference, coercion, and just plain evil. Jesus forced the issue when he appeared in Jerusalem and insisted that he was the only hope for men.

They asked him who he thought he was. He quoted their book that he was the person God will appoint as the ruler over everyone and everything. He was that Son of Man.

They said he claimed to be the One written of long ago. What nerve! Could the Messiah be killed? They thought not. But this imposter certainly could be. Driven by evil, they plotted his end. But only Rome could legally kill someone publicly so they engineered it.

The Romans carried it out. So religion met politics that day and killed the best man to ever walk the earth. One reason this happened is so we could see what sin does to men.

But God cannot be thwarted in his plan for men. The triumphant return of Jesus back from the dead convinced his friends that God could do anything.

So here we are, some time later. There is no new plan. The power of God works in us and begins to make us ready for his great future. Hope past the grave. Life changing power, right here, right now.

Are you in God’s plan? Who are you? You can be changed. You can become good through Gods power in you. But he does not coerce. Never has; never will. Only the willing become the sons and daughters he always wanted people to be.

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Finding the Hidden Manna

The mysterious box called the Ark of the Covenant held several items. One was a bowl of manna. In Revelation, we find Jesus referring to the Hidden Manna. He says he will give you some of the hidden manna. My question is this: how is it hidden?

The Ark was a strange box that was carried around in the desert by the descendants of Israel and was finally placed in the temple built in Jerusalem. The top of this box was called The Mercy Seat. Once a year, during a special ceremony, lamb’s blood was put on this Mercy Seat.

So the hidden manna was covered in mercy. We found Jesus to say that his food was to do the will of God. I offer that the reason the will of God may be hidden from us is because it is wrapped in mercy. We can recognize justice easily enough. Is justice, also, the will of God? Of course, it is.

But mercy is what God is really all about! We are called to act justly but we are called to love mercy. The will of God is wrapped in mercy. It is hidden in mercy. Do you find the will of God difficult to discern? Look at his mercy and you will discover his will.

What does this mean? If we would find the will of God, we will move in mercy toward others. By doing this, by having mercy on people, we act with God toward them. He is always being merciful toward each person. But sometimes, too often, we will not receive his mercy.

How do we receive mercy? By lowering ourselves. If you hold yourself high, usually in pride, you cannot receive mercy because mercy flows to the lowly in heart.

And mercy only flows through those who are lowly in heart because they have received mercy. Now they are able to show mercy to others. Jesus said that he himself was lowly in heart.

And so we may miss doing the will of God. We are quite willing to join in calling for justice. We are willing to point out the faults of others. But mercy?

I have seen two people in my life than showed mercy. They did so in the worst of circumstances. One was in Detroit. He had a small mission outreach that helped children. These children were either neglected or from very poor families. He had what he called his breakfast club. He would provide breakfast food for children in the mornings. He did much more than this but that part really touched me.

Another person went to Beijing, China and began to help young people who had fallen out of the system. She helped them get a place to stay and to get some work. They were done with education for whatever reason. She also created a shop than made bread and cakes. It eventually became a café and the kids were the workers.

These two people showed mercy to those who needed it. They did it without any fanfare or expectation of recognition. They were eating the hidden manna and found it very satisfying.

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The Hidden Manna

The mysterious box called the Ark of the Covenant was carried around in the desert by the descendants of Israel and was finally placed in the temple, built in Jerusalem. There were several things inside.

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus says than we will be given some of the hidden manna. He is referring to a bowl of manna that was inside the Ark of the Covenant. But my question is this: How is it hidden?

This manna was food given by God. It was given when there was no other food to be found. And it was given faithfully every day by God.

So how would we eat the hidden manna? When Jesus was asked if he wanted some food that the disciples had obtained, he said, “I have food you don’t know about.” What did he mean by that? As we read the story, we see he was talking to a woman who was amazed by what Jesus had told her. Jesus found it very satisfying. Jesus found doing the will of his Father to be as satisfying as eating food.

Now, are we interested in eating the hidden manna? Eating the hidden manna is doing the will of God. And how is it hidden? It is hidden to those who are satisfied with other food.

Are you satisfied with your life? That is fine, but you won’t discover the hidden manna because you are already full. “That hidden manna sounds interesting. I’ll have to check it out sometime.” But only when you are dissatisfied with your present food will you desire a better kind.

What do you think the will of God is for you? Maybe you don’t know but are pretty sure you won’t like it. It’s easy to think that. People tell us of a strict God who will have perfection only. But let’s look back at the story. Jesus spoke to a woman. But what a woman! She was obviously a Samaritan. Common wisdom said best stay away from those people. And since when was it proper to talk to strange women? Jesus had to step past local social boundaries to do this.

So, we find doing the will of God may involve getting out of our ‘comfort zone’. But many of us have such small comfort zones anyway. “But someone could get the wrong idea!” But Jesus has the right idea and he leads this woman with a bad history to hope for a new life.

Are you happy with what you were told would satisfy your heart? You will discover that those things are not able to feed your soul. If we reach out for the hidden manna, we will find real food to satisfy our appetite for life.

Think again of those in the desert so long ago. They saw nothing to eat around them. Then God could give them this wonderful food they called manna. As long as they desired something else, they would be unhappy. But when they ate the manna, they found it satisfying.

Finding the Hidden Manna

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Out of Time

How many close friends do you have? I have trouble sitting at a table with three others and balancing my interest in the various viewpoints. I’m glad God is not like this at all.

He can maintain an unlimited number of personal intimate relationships at the same time. And why is this? Because they are not ‘at the same time’ to him. In the beginning, God created… So time and place came into being together. And before that, there was no Time. But there is Time now. But God is not subject to time since time is a subject of his and nothing God has made is ever outside his power and authority.

Do you think the world has gotten away from him? Has this world, full of so many people, slipped beyond his control? Some think so. But it is not true. Why doesn’t he stop bad people? He will stop all bad behavior in the future but He has made men responsible for all their actions and will exact an accounting from each of us for our time spent on earth.

But this great God who is not held back by time and space, has sometimes intervened. This may help us to understand several incidents recorded in the Bible.

  • Enoch disappears from time and space. It says, “he was not, for God took him”.
  • The creation may have run over eons. There were no humans to measure the time. It says “day” but had that word been defined? Yes, it came to mean 24 hours but try to keep track if you fly east or west through several time zones.
  • Moses held up his hands and that day lasted several hours more.
  • Hezekiah saw the shadow go back up the stairs.
  • Phillip moved instantly from a desert oasis to a city.

But Jesus was subject to time and space for thirty some years. Yet it says, “And no man has ascended up into heaven, but he that came down from heaven, the son of man who is in heaven.” John 3:13 Many have tried to explain this passage. “It can’t possibly mean what it says!”

And why not? Jesus cannot exist in two dimensions at once? Are angels no longer ‘in heaven’ when they appear on earth? Where is the line? He could be present on earth and also be ‘in heaven’ where there is no time. We know there is no time in the heavenly realm because the angels do not age. There is really no problem to be solved here.

Jesus says he is not like others in that he came from heaven. He also returned to heaven. But before he did, he demonstrated that his body was not limited by time and space. Jesus implies that he has not given up being ‘in heaven’ because he was here bodily. How does John speak of him as “The Word”? He says The Word became flesh. Did Jesus stop being The Word when he walked on earth? Now be sure of this: I am not saying I know exactly what all this means but I think you must agree that Jesus is a unique being and this allows his turning up in the past as “The Angel of the Lord”.

  • Adam hears him coming.
  • Abraham has him visit him at home.
  • Jacob has a unique encounter and wrestles with him.
  • Moses takes off his sandals is his presence and hears him speak.
  • He is seen as a Pillar of Cloud and a Pillar of Fire in the Exodus account.
  • Job sees him as a Whirlwind and bows.
  • Gideon is shocked to be called “a mighty, man of valor” by him.

And Daniel sees “one like the son of man” brought before the “Ancient of Days”. Now, do we see God the Father here? Remember, it is a vision. Daniel had also seen several strange beasts in a vision. But this passage remains one of the most significant in the Bible. Jesus quotes from it during his trial. They saw his implication and were angry that a man on earth should say this. But they had demanded he reveal who he was.

Is Jesus any different than he ever was? Not really. In his nature and his relationship to the Father, he has not changed. He is the same wonderful being who enjoys being the Son of His Father. But in relation to the creation and men, he has changed and will change again. He will receive all he has been given by the Father and all things will be under his feet. But look what he has done already!

  • The Word did become flesh and live among us.
  • He did fulfill much of Daniel’s prophesy.
  • He has dealt with sin in a final way.
  • He, the Messiah was cut off, but not for himself.
  • He “put an end to sin, and made reconciliation for iniquity”

If he has done all this, he will surely accomplish all things. He has been glorified with a body not subject to time and space. “All power in heaven and earth is given to me.” Matthew 28:18 Notice the use of the word “is” not “has been” or “will be” but “is”, a timeless word.

But the writer of Hebrews tells us two things: “You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” and “But now we see not yet all things put under him.”

And we read these words: But we see Jesus…

  • Made lower than angels for the suffering of death
  • Crowned with glory and honor
  • Made perfect through sufferings

And also, “he that sanctified and those that are sanctified are all of one”

So how then can we expect to become like Jesus who was ‘made perfect’ through sufferings without suffering ourselves? Remember that Jesus said to a man who claimed to have kept the Law of Moses all his life, ‘give up your wealth’. But he said more than this. When the man asks, “What do I lack?” Jesus answers, “If you would be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give the money to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Did the man do it? Sorry to say, he chose something else. But many have read these words and laid hold on Jesus. They gave up much and received more. They became rich before God. Does God require that everyone give up their wealth? He requires more than that. He that gives up his life will find it. Those than have left everything, have found a new life with a different reality that fills the soul and rejoices the heart.

Paul tells us, in Ephesian’s that we are seated in the heavenlies. Do you believe it? You have place in the heavenly realm. But I’m here, not there, we say. So was Jesus ‘here’ and not ‘there’. Yet, he enjoyed his Father as he willingly served him. You know, he has always done this: loved and served his Father. He is seated at the Father’s right hand, we are told. And the same God can hold you up and deliver you into the timeless eternity. And again, he said, “I will be with you always”. Another paradox. Seated there and with us, with you, here.

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The Eternal State

The eternal state is independent of time. It existed before time. It is not ‘forever’. That would merely be an extension of time. Time has a beginning and an end. The eternal state was unaffected by time. It did not stop when time began. It will not start when time ends. It has nothing to do with time. Nothing at all.

Why is this important? Because God lives in the eternal state. If we would be in contact with God, we must connect to the eternal state.

So, two things must be true. It must be possible for people to connect to the eternal state in time. And it must be beneficial to do so.

Let’s step back for a minute. We must be in a state to be close to God. We cannot make ourselves ready. God must make us ready.

He has removed all obstacles that would prevent us. This is because he desires to be close to us. But he leaves it to us to desire to be close to him. Seek and you shall find.

Now we understand what the eternal state is not. But what is it? It cannot be explained. But it can be experienced. Any attempt at explaining it is useless. Why? Because it is no place for the intellect. We can know it exists. But there it stops. It is a place for the spirit and truth. The intellect can evaluate truth and falseness but it cannot become truth.

We go forward in spirit and truth. There is no other way. We are made spiritually alive by God. But we must choose truth. Casting aside all falseness, we can meet God. This is not an exercise for the moment. We hold the false close to us to justify ourselves to the world. To ourselves. But we must be brave enough to move toward God in raw spirit and truth.

But our brave movement is not far. We are caught up by the Lord because he seeks such. All who seek, find. The ‘leap of faith’ does not exist. It is called that by those who have not taken it.

But from this point, we walk with God. There is no guidebook. It is between you and God. There have been a couple people who were forced to write their experiences with God as part of their trial. A couple others did so voluntarily. I have read them. They will not help you. To produce words to explain these experiences to the intellect is again useless.

Why is this true? Because these experiences are between you and God. They are not to instruct others. They are not even to benefit your own mind. This is to eat the ‘hidden manna’. This is life for your spirit.

This is a state of being. It is to be ‘in Christ’. You experience the state of Christ with the Father. This is not an experience for the elite. This is a normal state for a follower of Jesus. He means us to follow him in all things. He means for us to be as close to the Father as he is.

What will get you close to God? Longing to be with him who loves you. The curtain between us and God was torn from top to bottom by God.

God is Spirit and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.

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First Fears

In the beginning, Adam and Eve had no fear at all. But fear became part of the human experience. Just what fears entered their lives?

Their first fear came with their discovery of their naked condition but just what were they afraid of? It doesn’t appear to be danger of being injured. It rather seems to be acute awareness of their vulnerability to the general environment. It says “their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked”. The intense feeling of being naked motivates them to make coverings of leaves.

As they anticipate the arrival of the Lord, they run and hide. This is an act of pure fear. They stop running as reason comes back but let Adam explain, “…I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself.” Adam speaks as if they had no handmade coverings. He needed a lot more leaves between him and God. Adam speaks as a man who feels alone in the world.

We can be sure of this: they did not want to be seen as naked. Adam becomes silent as the reason for his fear is examined. Adam blames Eve, Eve blames the snake and both imply God is somewhat responsible by giving out wives and creating sneaky creatures that bother innocent people.

The source of their fear is separateness. Adam is now separated from God, his wife, his environment. He is even divided within himself, he feels blame but tries to cast it off himself without success. With this separateness will come sorrow for both the woman and man.

We turn to the first man born: Cain. He discovers a new fear. Cain remakes himself into a heartless murderer. Cain has discovered killing is rather easy and now he fears retribution.

Eve indicates her fear of having no one to lead the family after losing Abel. She and Adam find hope in their new offspring, Seth.

The next fear is fear of drowning. At first, no one but Noah and family take this seriously. They build a boat for the purpose of surviving an enormous flood. When the flood waters eventually start to rise, the people find their fear will not enable them to find any way to save themselves. There is no time left now.

We learn about another fear from Noah. It is a fear of disrespecting order. The patriarchal family of Noah and his sons is now the foundation for a new society. This is endangered by one son who shows disrespect for his father. Noah recognizes the danger of this and deals with it before it can topple the fresh start.

The Lord does not want men to be full of fear. His remedy for fear is trust in God. He cares even about the small birds and will surely care for those who trust in him.

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