Showing posts with label preacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preacher. Show all posts

Friday, 15 April 2016

Gimme Yer Money!

Acts 16: 16-19. The Bible says very little about the damsel in this story, but we can hope it turned out something like this, can’t we?
It doesn’t take a studious historian to know that women have been used and misused almost since the beginning of time. What is it about the fairer sex that causes men to take advantage of her?  Here’s an example, of course my imagination had to kick in to fill in the details.

“Okay, damsel, get out there, hurry now, those Christian men are heading to the place of prayer, and you know what you are supposed to say.”
The young girl lowered her eyelashes for the briefest instant and stifled a sigh. Yea, of course she knew what to say and she knew the terrible beatings, or worse, she would have to endure if she didn’t appease her masters. At least they didn’t demand that she try to sell her body to these preachers: that would seem impossible, she knew they were good men, and loved the One True God.
“These men are the servants of the most high God,” she called, then glanced worriedly at her owner. ‘I’m not being forceful enough.’
“These men are the servants of the most high God,” she called out once again, trying to make her voice sound stronger and more mocking.
Several people scurrying by paused to look at her then at the men. They knew that she was considered a wicked woman so cast the humble, earnest preachers’ scornful looks.
“If Delilah says good things about them, they must be worthless frauds,” they told each other.
Tears sprung to Delilah’s eyes, she knew they were good men and hated what she was doing.
“These men show us the way of salvation,” she screeched, and several others scurried over to Master Kasich to pay to have their fortunes told next. She felt creepy for always ‘knowing’ what to say about their future, and didn’t enjoy doing it.
This continued day after day, Delilah was impressed that the men never yelled at her or knocked her around because of her scornful shouting. ‘Do they know I don’t really want to do this? If they know surely my masters will catch on also.’
She tried desperately to try to be louder, more raucous, and saw the men who had bought her rub their hands together maliciously, gleeful that she was bringing them so much business.
But then something happened.
The preachers turned to look at her, and her heart pounded loudly. The tall, thin one, she already knew his name was Paul, seemed so grieved. ‘Is He mad at me?’ But no, he started speaking, and it seemed like he was talking to someone else, that ‘someone’ inside her that made her say such mean things even when she didn’t want to.
Delilah’s eyes widened, Paul was commanding the evil spirit to come out of her in the name of Jesus Christ!
Suddenly Delilah felt so released, so free, so filled with a quiet joy. She would have collapsed with the wonder of it all if Silas hadn’t taken her by the arm to steady her.
Of course Kasich grabbed her roughly and told her to get back to work, but she didn’t, she simply couldn’t say anything against these godly men, she couldn’t even foretell the future for any of the customers crowding around, either.
After roughing her up for a while they turned on the men, and Delilah knew they would be in deep trouble.
We’ll get to that in the next story, but I like to think someone, a kindly Christian matron, perhaps, had been watching Delilah pityingly all these days. Now that the mob was focused on the two would-be prisoners she took Delilah by the arm, and whispered,
“Would you like to come home with me?”
What do you think Delilah said?
This is one of my favorite verses: ‘For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ Can you grasp that?

Monday, 7 December 2015

The Flood From a Child's Viewpoint

The Flood from a Child’s Viewpoint

Have you ever gotten the feeling that there were things in the Bible that didn’t seem right but you thought you should bury your head in the sand and pretend you didn’t notice? One question you might have asked yourself is: why did God allow man to have a free will then destroy him with a flood?

Shaba’s eyes rounded in horror and he clasped his hand over his mouth to keep from vomiting, or worse yet screaming. He couldn’t keep from staring at the charred bones in the pit of ashes. At first he was totally frozen to the spot then completely involuntarily his foot nudged at the bones. Yes, it was a skull, a tiny human skull. He knew it was, had known it would be. A shadow felt across the pit, a huge black shape holding a machete. Before he had a chance to flee or even scream he was yanked by his hair and dangling a foot above the ground.
                “Ha! I knew your curiosity would get the better of you sooner or later! Yup, that’s your kid sister alright. Made a mighty good sacrifice, she did, but not as good a one as you would have.”
                Shaba wanted to wriggle and try to get free but was too terrified. The monster-like man whipped the machete within a hairbreadth of his neck then slowly pressed it closer, drawing blood.
                A small crowd was gathering around, some cheering him on.
                “What do you think guys? Should we take this one?”
                “Nah,” one of his companions drawled. “He’s too skinny. One brute a night is plenty or it will get too common.”

                Faintly over the breeze they hear someone with a strong voice speaking.  Shaba saw the crowds’ attention shift from him to the distance preacher. Mobid’s grip slackened and Shaba fought desperately to get away.
                “Hey, I didn’t say you could go!” But Shaba had vanished, a ripped piece of his tunic dangling from Mobid’s hand. Mobid lunged after him but he didn’t have a chance.  Shaba was fleeing for his life.
                “You okay, Shaba?” The small boy shrank back in terror into the dark recesses of his thatched roof hut. He was pretty sure who was looking in on him but wasn’t about to let his presence be known. Not yet.
                “C’mon Shaba, you’ve been hiding here most of yesterday and all night. Mobid and his gang are picking on other prey. Let’s go find out what Preacher Noah is talking about. It’s pretty safe if we get up close to the ramp.”
                Shaba knew that was true. People hurled insults or even rocks from a distance at the old man but they seemed afraid to do it within twenty feet of him. Did they think he would strike them dead or something? It took a long time for Raibo to convince him to come out, and when he did it was only because Raibo had slashed open a pineapple and coaxed him to come out and help him eat it.
                The boys slipped stealthily through the lush, over-grown jungle, ever keeping a wary eye open for vicious animals and even worse humans.
                Raibo pushed his way through the restless, scoffing multitude hanging around the ark that was being built, with Shaba at his heels.
                Shaba felt his tension slowly ease away when he gazed into Noah’s kind, gentle eyes.
                Most of his sermon was hard to understand but he knew that Noah was pleading with the people to repent of their wicked ways. Shaba knew what wicked meant. He saw it every day. Every day someone was being abused. He didn’t know the words to describe what was happening mainly to little kids like himself and Raibo, but he knew it was evil, very evil, and terror haunted him wherever he went. He looked longingly at Noah and his wife, his three sons and their spouses and knew with a certainty that they never ever had treated each other in the way that every kid and women in his village were molested.
                Noah was begging them to find safety in the Ark because a flood was coming to drown all the bad people. Shaba didn’t need anyone to tell him what a flood was. He would never forget how some older boys had thrown him over a small waterfall and he had thrashed and screamed his way to shore. How he had survived he would never, ever know.
                “Shaba!” The barked command made Shaba’s knees buckle. Was it Mobid? No, but it was just as bad.  The crowd quickly parted as his dad shoved his way through and flung Shaba on the ground. A woman tittered nervously as Jakal thrashed him.
                A sharp cry came from the Ark’s doorway. Jakal rose and shook his black hair out of his eyes, glared at Noah then continued beating the lad.

                Another stern command came from above, and Raibo said later he thought for sure Noah and his sons were going to plunge into the crowd and break up the fight, but just then Jakal yanked Shabo to his feet and dragged him away. Raibo didn’t dare follow, he was sure Shaba would be killed anyway.