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Category Archives: Breathing-Fragile-Life

Turbulence (mi.mne’sko.mai) Reminder

Breathing-Fragile-Life faith hope Hope Joan Winifred lamentations of the heart never giving up! sleep trust Truth

Turbulence…

Doesn’t mean a crash!

Emotionally speaking/feeling…

Turbulence tears; WAKE YOU UP

(Columbine & Loss of ALL PRECIOUS LIFE)

RIP to ALL (millions named and unnamed) in the common grave of mankind: Mark et Al:(

John 5:28, 29 “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”

Further reading “Resurrection“:)

4/20/18 @ 8:30 p.m.

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Muppets Muddling through Life

Breathing-Fragile-Life God insights Joan Winifred knowledge mind food

Just discovered this new (well, new to me) little kids’ show…(while sitting at Dentist’s office/waiting area this morning w/daughter)…have always loved the Muppets as kid and adult..”Kermie” is my favorite… and Miss Piggie 2nd. Ironically, am much more into Muppets than my kids..um, teens;) and probably will ever be. (Yes, she/me is an oddly odd older one and Note to self, get over the basic alliteration, bones, already!)

Fun waiting at the dentist today..fun, jokey small talk with assistant and Doc… don’t know what our dentist quite thinks… me asking IF he dreams of teeth and whether he played dentist or with play-dough teeth as a little boy.

Just trying to keep it light and fun… and laughey before the dreaded needle… was today’s “missing” laughing gas..which they do not utilize at this location… this causes my daughter to incrementally, face and be exposed to her strong dislike/at one time intense fear/hatred of needles.

Okay, this is Joanie’s show n tell time… aka intriguing answers to Bible questions obscure or otherwise encountered through the years… (my daughter informs me today that other cultures don’t have small talk and that my friendliness would be considered RUDE!! She’s correct… oh god, another know-it-all teen??… just joking, she’s not like that (too) much… You can reason and converse with her about deep stuff and she actually listens!!:))

Enough small ramblings… and Yes, obviously, by 49 I have matured and don’t regularly feed my mind on “Muppets”..and have accepted since childhood they are not real creatures..Duh, though they teach lessons. But some lessons/tough topics require adults communicating directly to their kids. What happens to kids IF we parents abdicate our teaching role or neglect it…

Following the incident regarding Noah’s drunkenness, Canaan came under Noah’s prophetic curse foretelling that Canaan would become the slave of both Shem and Japheth. (Ge 9:20-27) Since the record mentions only that “Ham the father of Canaan saw his father’s nakedness and went telling it to his two brothers outside,” the question arises as to why Canaan rather than Ham became the object of the curse. Commenting on Genesis 9:24, which states that when Noah awoke from his wine he “got to know what his youngest son had done to him,” a footnote in Rotherham’s translation says: “Undoubtedly Canaan, and not Ham: Shem and Japheth, for their piety, are blessed; Canaan, for some unnamed baseness, is cursed; Ham, for his neglect, is neglected.” Similarly, a Jewish publication, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, suggests that the brief narrative “refers to some abominable deed in which Canaan seems to have been implicated.” (Edited by J. H. Hertz, London, 1972, p. 34) And, after noting that the Hebrew word translated “son” in verse 24 may mean “grandson,” this source states: “The reference is evidently to Canaan.” The Soncino Chumash also points out that some believe Canaan “indulged a perverted lust upon [Noah],” and that the expression “youngest son” refers to Canaan, who was the youngest son of Ham.​—Edited by A. Cohen, London, 1956, p. 47.

The prophetic element of the curse must also be considered. There is no evidence to indicate that Canaan himself became the slave of Shem or Japheth during his lifetime. But, God’s foreknowledge was at work, and since the curse expressed by Noah was divinely inspired, and since God’s disfavor is not expressed without just cause, it is likely that Canaan had already manifested a definitely corrupt trait, perhaps of a lustful nature, and that God foresaw the bad results in which this characteristic would eventually culminate among Canaan’s descendants. In the earlier case of Cain, Jehovah had noted a wrong heart attitude and had warned Cain of the danger of being overcome by sin (Ge 4:3-7); God also had discerned the unreformable bent toward wickedness on the part of the majority of the pre-Flood population, making their destruction warranted. (Ge 6:5) The most obvious evidence of the justness of the curse placed on Canaan is thus seen in the later history of his descendants, for they built up a particularly sordid record of immorality and depravity, as both Biblical and secular history testify. The curse on Canaan saw its fulfillment some eight centuries after its pronouncement, when Canaan’s descendants were subjugated by the Semitic Israelites, later coming under the domination of the Japhetic powers of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. [reference: “Canaan” Insight Vol. 1]

further excerpted past readings…”Canaan” Insight Vol. 1

The justness of God’s prophetic curse on Canaan found full confirmation in the conditions that had developed in Canaan by the time of the Israelite conquest. Jehovah had allowed 400 years from Abraham’s time for the ‘error of the Amorites to come to completion.’ (Ge 15:16) The fact that Esau’s Hittite wives were “a source of bitterness of spirit to Isaac and Rebekah” to the extent that Rebekah had ‘come to abhor her life because of them’ is certainly an indication of the badness already manifest among the Canaanites. (Ge 26:34, 35; 27:46) During the centuries that followed, the land of Canaan became saturated with detestable practices of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed. The Canaanite religion was extraordinarily base and degraded, their “sacred poles” evidently being phallic symbols, and many of the rites at their “high places” involving gross sexual excesses and depravity. (Ex 23:24; 34:12, 13; Nu 33:52; De 7:5) Incest, sodomy, and bestiality were part of ‘the way of the land of Canaan’ that made the land unclean and for which error it was due to “vomit its inhabitants out.” (Le 18:2-25) Magic, spellbinding, spiritism, and sacrifice of their children by fire were also among the Canaanites’ detestable practices.​—De 18:9-12.

Baal was the most prominent of the deities worshiped by the Canaanites. (Jg 2:12, 13; compare Jg 6:25-32; 1Ki 16:30-32.) The Canaanite goddesses Ashtoreth (Jg 2:13; 10:6; 1Sa 7:3, 4), Asherah, and Anath are presented in an Egyptian text as both mother-goddesses and as sacred prostitutes who, paradoxically, remain ever-virgin (literally, “the great goddesses who conceive but do not bear”). Their worship apparently was invariably involved with the services of temple prostitutes. These goddesses symbolized the quality not only of sexual lust but also of sadistic violence and warfare. Thus, the goddess Anath is depicted in the Baal Epic from Ugarit as effecting a general slaughter of men and then decorating herself with suspended heads and attaching men’s hands to her girdle while she joyfully wades in their blood. The figurines of the goddess Ashtoreth that have been discovered in Palestine are of a nude woman with rudely exaggerated sex organs. Of their phallic worship, archaeologist W. F. Albright observes that: “At its worst, . . . the erotic aspect of their cult must have sunk to extremely sordid depths of social degradation.”​—Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 1968, pp. 76, 77;[…].
Added to their other degrading practices was that of child sacrifice. According to Merrill F. Unger: “Excavations in Palestine have uncovered piles of ashes and remains of infant skeletons in cemeteries around heathen altars, pointing to the widespread practice of this cruel abomination.” (Archaeology and the Old Testament, 1964, p. 279) Halley’s Bible Handbook (1964, p. 161) says: “Canaanites worshipped, by immoral indulgence, as a religious rite, in the presence of their gods; and then, by murdering their first-born children, as a sacrifice to these same gods. It seems that, in large measure, the land of Canaan had become a sort of Sodom and Gomorrah on a national scale. . . . Did a civilization of such abominable filth and brutality have any right longer to exist? . . . Archaeologists who dig in the ruins of Canaanite cities wonder that God did not destroy them sooner than he did.”​—PICTURE, Vol. 1, p. 739.

“Ham”…

Ham was the father of four sons, Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. (Ge 10:6; 1Ch 1:8) The Ethiopians, Egyptians, some Arabian and African tribes, and the Canaanites descended from these sons. While it is claimed that some of the Hamitic tribes and nations listed in Genesis chapter 10 spoke a Semitic language, this does not weigh against their being of Hamitic descent or their having originally spoken a Hamitic tongue. Many peoples adopted the language of their conquerors, of other peoples with whom they associated, or of the land to which they migrated.

Ham married before the Flood. Along with his wife, his father and mother, and his two brothers and their wives, he survived the Flood. (Ge 6:18; 7:13; 8:15, 16, 18; 1Pe 3:19, 20) Ham’s sons were born after the Flood.

Sometime later he became involved in an incident that brought a curse on his son Canaan. Noah had become intoxicated with wine and had uncovered himself in his tent. Ham saw his father’s nakedness, and instead of showing the proper respect for Noah, the family head and the servant and prophet whom God had made an instrument in the preservation of the human race, Ham told his two brothers of his discovery. Shem and Japheth exhibited the proper respect by walking backwards with a mantle to cover Noah so that they would not bring reproach by looking on their father’s nakedness. Noah, on awakening, uttered a curse, not on Ham, but on Ham’s son Canaan. In the accompanying blessing of Shem, which included a blessing for Japheth, Ham was passed over and ignored; only Canaan was mentioned as cursed and was prophetically foretold to become a slave to Shem and Japheth.​—Ge 9:20-27.

It is possible that Canaan himself had been involved directly in the incident and that his father Ham had failed to correct him. Or Noah, speaking prophetically by inspiration, foresaw that the bad tendency in Ham, perhaps already manifest in his son Canaan, would be inherited by Canaan’s offspring. The curse was partly fulfilled when the Semitic Israelites subjugated the Canaanites. Those who were not destroyed (for example, the Gibeonites [Jos 9]) were made slaves to Israel. Centuries later, the curse was further fulfilled when descendants of Ham’s son Canaan came under the domination of the Japhetic world powers of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

Some persons have incorrectly held that the black race and enslavement of members of that race resulted from the curse pronounced upon Canaan. On the contrary, the descendants of Canaan, the cursed one, were not of the black race. The black race descended from Cush and possibly from Put, other sons of Ham who were not involved in the incident or the curse. [excerpted: “Ham” Insight on Scriptures, Vol. 1]

“Canaanite” readings…

4. Did not the Canaanites’ destruction conflict with God’s love? On the surface, God’s exterminating the Canaanites might seem inconsistent with his love. (1 John 4:8) However, that love becomes quite apparent when we take a closer look.

God knew long beforehand that Canaan’s inhabitants were headed in the wrong direction. Yet, instead of immediately wiping them out, he patiently allowed 400 years to pass until their error had “come to completion.”​—Genesis 15:16.

When the sin of the Canaanites reached the point where all hope of improvement was gone, Jehovah brought their end. Even so, he did not blindly execute all Canaanites. Why? Because not all were beyond reform. Those willing to change, such as Rahab and the Gibeonites, were shown mercy.​—Joshua 9:3-11, 16-27; Hebrews 11:31.

5. How could a God of love destroy any humans? That question is understandable, for the destruction of human life is not pleasant to contemplate. Really, though, it was God’s love that impelled him to take such drastic measures against the wicked. To illustrate: When a patient develops gangrene, doctors often have little choice but to amputate the infected limb. Few would enjoy performing such a procedure, but a good doctor knows that the alternative​—the spread of infection—​is worse. Because he cares, he carries out this unpleasant task for the good of his patient.

Similarly, Jehovah did not enjoy destroying the Canaanites. He himself says: “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Ezekiel 33:11, Darby) At the same time, he purposed for the nation of Israel to produce the Messiah, the one who would open the way to salvation for all those exercising faith. (John 3:16) Thus, God simply could not allow Israel to become infected by the disgusting practices of the Canaanites. He therefore ordered the Canaanites to be cut off, or evicted, from the land. In so doing, God demonstrated outstanding love​—love that moved him to perform an unpleasant task for the benefit of his faithful worshippers.

Value for Us

Does the record of the Canaanites’ destruction have value for us today? Yes, for Romans 15:4 states: “All the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” How does what happened in Canaan instruct us and give us hope?

These accounts teach us much. For example, God mercifully spared Rahab and the Gibeonites when they turned to him in faith. This reminds us that anyone who truly wants to please God can do so, regardless of his background or past sins.​—Acts 17:30.

Accounts of the destruction in Canaan also give us hope by providing us with a preview of what God will do in the near future. They assure us that he will not allow evil to snuff out good completely. Rather, the Bible affirms that he will soon act to destroy all wicked ones, whereas he will deliver those who love him into a righteous new world. (2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 21:3, 4) At that time, these comforting words will be fulfilled: “Hope in Jehovah and keep his way, and he will exalt you to take possession of the earth. When the wicked ones are cut off, you will see it.”​—Psalm 37:34. [Why Did God Wage War Against the Canaanites? w 2010]

Tough readings? Who of us enJOY needles, painful dental work or going to the dentist generally speaking?! (NOT ME!)…or the thought of gangrene or amputation??…or destruction/death of any people, fellow-fragile-life??…but truly LOVING/HONEST/COURAGEOUS Docs…don’t keep uncomfortable/difficult diagnoses or treatments from patients!!…IF they are “legit” docs!!..they tell the hard TRUTH (put their own opinions/discomfort/feelings aside)…even when/IF patient is terminally ill and they do HOPEFULLY talk openly about pain management…etc.

And You don’t have to be a brilliant/caring doctor to recognize the wisdom…or necessary life-lessons taught by negative outcomes…results/patterns popping up in history or modern-story…unhealthy pathways/behaviors…leading to much suffering, misery, and death!:(

Anyway Reader🙂 please keep choosing real Life, real Love…and “real” Freedom…aka LIVING TRUTH…and not cowardly/arrogantly running away from it! Not all aspects of Truth are pleasant, eh? (or easily digestible;)

Muppets can be fun (distraction?) pain management, huh? Laughter is good medicine…helps with the spiritual mind-food!:) Popcorn…fun snack.

3/29/18 @ 4:09 p.m.

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A Hurtful Satanic Lie…

appreciation Breathing-Fragile-Life God Joan Winifred justice love never giving up! peace

It’s a damaging/misleading lie…That God doesn’t love us (breathing-beautiful-fragile-life) “individually”… in other words… God is an impersonal force and that individually we don’t mean anything to God personally or are unworthy of His love, care, protection, education, or intervention… or that we are worthless/expendable/replaceable as individuals… unlovable/meaningless as individuals… so, this demonic-lie devalues/degrades/dismisses humanity, the individual–one and all!:(

However:) Bible is full of accounts of “individuals” who God took notice/note of and those who actually had a close/personal relationship/friendship with Yahweh (Hebrew) Jehovah (English). What we do as “individuals” matters/counts! We are account-abel. (Good thing the Divine accountant is benevolent and forgiving.)

“All hearts Jehovah is searching, and every inclination of the thoughts he is discerning.” (1 Chronicles 28:9) As God searches through billions of human hearts in this violent, hate-filled world, how delighted he must be when he comes upon a heart that loves peace, truth, and righteousness!(excerpted reading: “Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love” Chapter 24, Draw Close to God)

What does it mean to have an agreeable heart?
3/29/18 @ 1:29 a.m.

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ABEL Bodied SPIRITUAL Man

appreciation attitude Breathing-Fragile-Life faith family Joan Winifred

How do You put a price on the priceless??… when you “attempt” to monetize the priceless, you actually devalue it… but, because at this moment in time, cannot come up with a better aka more appropriate illustration… Your parents are beyond billionaires… and because of an extremely selfish decision they didn’t consider you whatsoever or (your future)… in comparison to what your parents once had…you’re worse off than homeless and you’re worse off than penniless!…because what is a home or pennies IF you’re cursed/terminally ill with DEATH; hopeless?? nah!!

Beautiful, perhaps (?) on the outside, but UGLY, corrupted and rotting on the inside… Abel’s parents, Adam & Eve, STUPIDLY squandered and forfeited his “priceless” inheritance of perfect-health and perfect-never-ending-eternal-life in a perfect-park, Eden… oh no? Oh, Yes…

Sobering thoughts for “honest” reflection…because all of us have had good things and bad things happen to us and our families/ancestors… (and as parents we have a privilege/responsibility to try and bring out the best in our kids, and to “hopefully” provide a positive example worthy of even a “little” imitation.;))

Parents today can learn much from those first parents. By your words and actions, will you feed your children’s pride, ambition, and selfish tendencies? Or will you teach them to love Yahweh/Jehovah God and to seek friendship with him? Sadly, the first parents failed in their responsibility. Yet, there was hope for their offspring. [excerpted readings: He, Although He Died, Yet Speaks w 13]

There is no Scriptural record that God spoke to Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Eden. Still, Jehovah did not conceal himself from their sons. From their parents, Cain and Abel no doubt learned what had occurred. They could see “the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24) These men also witnessed the truthfulness of God’s declaration that sweat and pain would become the realities of life.—Genesis 3:16, 19.

Cain and Abel must have been aware of Jehovah’s words to the serpent: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Genesis 3:15) What Cain and Abel knew about Jehovah would enable them to develop an approved relationship with him.

Reflecting upon Jehovah’s prophecy and his qualities as a loving Benefactor must have generated in Cain and Abel a desire for divine approval. But to what extent would they cultivate that desire? Would they respond to their innate desire to worship God and develop their spirituality to the point of exercising faith in him?—Matthew 5:3.

In due course, Cain and Abel brought offerings to God. Cain presented fruits of the ground, and Abel offered firstlings of his flock. (Genesis 4:3,4) These men may then have been about 100 years old, for Adam was 130 when he became father to his son, Seth.—Genesis 4:25; 5:3.

Their offerings indicated that Cain and Abel recognized their sinful state and desired God’s favor. They must have given at least some thought to Jehovah’s promise concerning the serpent and the Seed of the woman. Just how much time and effort Cain and Abel devoted to developing an approved relationship with Jehovah is not stated. But God’s reaction to their offerings provides insight into each one’s inmost thoughts.

Some scholars suggest that Eve viewed Cain as the “seed” that would destroy the serpent, for at Cain’s birth she said: “I have produced a man with the aid of Jehovah.” (Genesis 4:1) If Cain shared this belief, he was totally wrong. On the other hand, faith accompanied Abel’s sacrifice. Thus, “by faith Abel offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than Cain.”—Hebrews 11:4.

Abel’s spiritual insight and Cain’s lack of it was not the only difference between these brothers. There was a difference in attitudes as well. Therefore, “while Jehovah was looking with favor upon Abel and his offering, he did not look with any favor upon Cain and upon his offering.” It is likely that Cain gave little more than superficial thought to his offering and merely went through the motions of presenting it. But God did not approve of mere formal worship. Cain had developed a bad heart, and Jehovah discerned that he had wrong motives. Cain’s reaction to the rejection of his sacrifice reflected his true spirit. Rather than seeking to set matters straight, “Cain grew hot with great anger, and his countenance began to fall.” (Genesis 4:5) His bearing betrayed wicked ideas and intentions.

Knowing Cain’s attitude, God counseled him, saying: “Why are you hot with anger and why has your countenance fallen? If you turn to doing good, will there not be an exaltation? But if you do not turn to doing good, there is sin crouching at the entrance, and for you is its craving; and will you, for your part, get the mastery over it?”—Genesis 4:6,7.

The inspired account continues: “After that Cain said to Abel his brother: ‘Let us go over into the field.’ So it came about that while they were in the field Cain proceeded to assault Abel his brother and kill him.” (Genesis 4:8) Cain thus became a disobedient, cold-blooded murderer. He showed not even an inkling of remorse when Jehovah asked: “Where is Abel your brother?” Rather, in a callous and insolent manner, Cain retorted: “I do not know. Am I my brother’s guardian?” (Genesis 4:9) That outright lie and denial of responsibility exposed Cain’s heartlessness. [excerpted readings: Brothers Who Developed Different Attitudes w 02–my highlights]

How do i react to counsel? Do i make excuses or take responsibility? What’s my attitude? arrogant? humble?

Abel’s Attitude and Faith…speaks LOUDLY from the dust!…{i LOVED the following past readings about Abel!! Hoping these highlights (help fill in any gaps/intervals or) incite new exciting thoughts and applicable insights which will potentially en-ABEL You:) spiritually and water Your spiritual growth!!:)}

Abel speaks to you today. Can you hear him? You might say that such a thing is impossible. After all, this second son of Adam died a long time ago. His remains are long lost, mingled with the dust of nearly 60 centuries. Regarding the dead, the Bible teaches us: “They are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10) Further, Abel never uttered a single word that is recorded in the Bible. So how can he speak to us?

The apostle Paul was inspired to say this about Abel: “Through it he, although he died, yet speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4) Through what does Abel speak? Through faithAbel was the first human ever to develop that sterling quality. So powerfully did he demonstrate faith that his example is alive, a vibrant standard that we can apply today. If we learn from his faith and seek to imitate it, then the record of Abel is speaking to us in a very real and effective way.

Abel was born near the dawn of human history. Jesus later associated Abel with “the founding of the world.” (Luke 11:50, 51) Jesus evidently meant the world of people who have the hope of being redeemed from sin. While Abel was the fourth human to exist, it seems that he was the first one whom God saw as redeemable.*(The expression “the founding of the world” involves the idea of casting down seed, suggesting procreation, so it has to do with the earliest human offspring. Why, though, did Jesus connect Abel with “the founding of the world” and not Cain, who was the first human born? Cain’s decisions and actions amounted to a willful rebellion against Jehovah God. Like his parents, Cain does not appear to be in line for resurrection and redemption.) Clearly, Abel did not grow up among the best of influences.

Though the world was young, a pall of sadness hung over the human family. Abel’s parents, Adam and Eve, were likely beautiful, dynamic people. But they had fallen far in life, and they knew it. They were once perfect, with the prospect of eternal life before them. Then they rebelled against Jehovah God and were banished from their Paradise home in the garden of Eden. By putting their own desires ahead of all else​—even the needs of their offspring—​they lost perfection and eternal life.​—Genesis 2:15-3:24.

Exiled to life outside the garden, Adam and Eve found their existence hard. Yet, when their first child was born, they named him Cain, or “Something Produced,” and Eve proclaimed: “I have produced a man with the aid of Jehovah.” Her words suggest that she may have had in mind the promise Jehovah made in the garden, foretelling that a certain woman would produce a “seed” that would one day destroy the wicked one who had led Adam and Eve astray. (Genesis 3:15; 4:1) Did Eve imagine that she was the woman in the prophecy and that Cain was the promised “seed”?

If so, she was sadly mistaken. What is more, if she and Adam fed Cain such ideas as he grew up, they surely did his imperfect human pride no good. In time, Eve bore a second son, but we find no such high-flown statements about him. They named him Abel, which may mean “Exhalation,” or “Vanity.” (Genesis 4:2) Did the choice of that name reflect lower expectations, as if they put less hope in Abel than in Cain? We can only guess.

True, Jehovah had placed a curse upon the ground, causing it to produce thorns and thistles that impeded agriculture. Still, the earth generously produced the food that kept Abel’s family alive. And there was no curse on the animals, including birds and fish; nor on the mountains, lakes, rivers, and seas; nor on the skies, clouds, sun, moon, and stars. Everywhere Abel looked, he saw evidence of the profound love, wisdom, and goodness of Jehovah God, the one who created all things. (Romans 1:20) Meditating appreciatively on such things strengthened his faith.

Abel surely took time to ponder spiritual matters. Picture him tending his flock. A shepherd’s life required a great deal of walking. He led the gentle creatures over hills, through valleys, across rivers​—ever seeking the greenest grass, the best watering holes, the most sheltered resting-places. Of all of God’s creatures, sheep seemed the most helpless, as if they were designed to need man to guide and protect them. Did Abel see that he too needed guidance, protection, and care from Someone far wiser and more powerful than any human? No doubt he expressed many such thoughts in prayer, and his faith continued to grow as a result.

Jehovah said that the ground would be cursed. Abel could clearly see the thorns and thistles that fulfilled those words. Jehovah also foretold that Eve would suffer pain in pregnancy and childbirth. As Abel’s siblings were born, he no doubt learned that those words came true as well. Jehovah foresaw that Eve would feel an unbalanced need for her husband’s love and attention and that Adam would, in turn, dominate her. Abel saw that sad reality playing out before his eyes. In every case, Abel saw that Jehovah’s word is completely reliable. Thus, Abel had solid reasons for putting faith in God’s promise about a “seed” who would one day right the wrongs that had begun in Eden.​—Genesis 3:15-19.

Abel did not find any good examples in the human family, but humans were not the only intelligent creatures on the earth at that time. When Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, Jehovah made sure that neither they nor their offspring would gain access to that earthly Paradise. To guard the entrance, Jehovah posted cherubs​—very high-ranking angels—​along with the flaming blade of a sword that turned continually.​—Genesis 3:24.

Imagine Abel seeing those cherubs when he was a boy. In their materialized form, their appearance surely bespoke immense power. And that “sword,” ever flaming, ever turning, inspired awe as well. As Abel grew up, did he ever find that those cherubs got bored and left their post? No. Day and night, year after year, decade after decade, those intelligent, powerful creatures stayed right in that spot. Abel thus learned that Jehovah God had righteous, steadfast servants. In those cherubs, Abel saw a kind of loyalty and obedience to Jehovah that he could not find in his own family. Surely that angelic example strengthened his faith.

Both sons of Adam may have used altars and fire for their offerings, perhaps within sight of the cherubs, who were the only living representatives of Jehovah on earth at that time. Jehovah responded! We read: “Jehovah was looking with favor upon Abel and his offering.” (Genesis 4:4) How God made his favor evident, the account does not say. But why did he favor Abel?

Was it the offering itself? Abel did offer a living, breathing creature, shedding its precious lifeblood. Did Abel realize how valuable such a sacrifice would be? Many centuries after Abel’s time, God used the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb to picture the sacrifice of His own perfect Son, “the Lamb of God,” whose innocent blood would be shed. (John 1:29; Exodus 12:5-7) However, much of that surely lay well beyond Abel’s knowledge or understanding.

What we know for certain is this: Abel offered up the very best of what he had. Jehovah looked with favor not only on the offering but on the man himself. Motivated by love for Jehovah and by genuine faith in him, Abel acted.

It was different with Cain. Jehovah “did not look with any favor upon Cain and upon his offering.” (Genesis 4:5) It was not that Cain’s offering was faulty in itself; God’s Law later allowed the offering of the produce of the ground. (Leviticus 6:14, 15) But the Bible says of Cain that “his own works were wicked.” (1 John 3:12) Like so many to this day, Cain evidently thought that the mere outward show of devotion to God was enough. His lack of real faith in or love for Jehovah quickly became apparent through his actions.

When Cain saw that he had not won Jehovah’s favor, did he seek to learn from Abel’s example? No. He seethed with hatred for his brother. Jehovah saw what was happening in Cain’s heart and patiently reasoned with him. He warned Cain that his course was leading toward serious sin, and He offered hope of “an exaltation” if Cain would only change his ways.​—Genesis 4: 6, 7.

Cain ignored God’s warning. Instead, he invited his trusting younger brother to walk with him in the field. There Cain assaulted Abel and murdered him. (Genesis 4:8) In a sense, Abel thus became the first victim of religious persecution, the first martyr. He was dead, but his story was far from finished.

Figuratively, Abel’s blood cried out to Jehovah God for vengeance, or justice. And God saw justice done, punishing wicked Cain for his crime. (Genesis 4:9-12) More important, the record of Abel’s faith speaks to us today. His life span​—perhaps about a century long—​was short for humans of that era, but Abel made his years on this earth count. He died knowing that he had the love and approval of his heavenly Father, Jehovah. (Hebrews 11:4) We can be confident, then, that he is safe in Jehovah’s limitless memory, awaiting a resurrection to life in an earthly paradise. (John 5:28, 29) Will you meet him there? You may if you are determined to listen as Abel speaks and to imitate his outstanding faith. [excerpted past readings…He, Although He Died, Yet Speaks w 13]

Have always enJOYed account of Abel –outstanding example of Faith and looking on the bright-side of things and being grateful for what You do have…and making the best of things despite difficult family issues…and Never Giving Up Hope… things can improve… be redeemed/salvaged!!:)
3/27/18 @ 10:02 p.m.
P.s. Also Abel’s example teaches appreciative meditation is crucial to spiritual health (among other things).
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