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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gabbatha , The Place of Judgment



     Sometimes journeys are measured in units of distance, sometimes in units of time and finally some journeys are measured by experiences.  All three could be applied to the title of this post. The word Gabbatha, however is only used one time and in one place in the whole Bible. It refers to the place of judgment and where the judgment was carried out.

  ‘When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out. Then he sat down on the judge’s bench at the place known as “The Stone Pavement.” In Aramaic this pavement is called “Gabbatha.” 

   As I drove a truck for most of my life, which I learned to do in Vietnam while running away from God, it took on a special meaning to me. To me it means we are judged by the path we walk every day of our lives. You can find a couple versions of that story elsewhere on my blog. My company name was G.I.F.T. Enterprises, The acronym is “Gabbatha Interstate Freight Transportation” At least it was till I had a heart attack died and had to quit trucking.   Then it became ‘God Is for Trusting” That happened thirteen years ago today.  It seems every year about this time I go on a nostalgia trip.

      My wife goes to Texas to see her mom in January and February which is usually not a bad decision but it left me taking care of my twin four year old Great-Grand-Grand-daughters 10 hours a day and five days a week. I was doing fine, till I got the flu earlier in the week.  Fortunately me for their mom took a couple days off and gave me a couple days to recuperate.  Suddenly I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and decided to watch a movie and found the movie Forrest Gump just as it was starting. My dog Forrest Gump, a Boston terrier, was my youngest daughter’s dog before she passed away. You can find the story in one of my blog posts. It is a real tear jerker and even though I cried with my daughter every time we watched it I never realized it was almost the story of her life though she left three boys, not one.

    While watching I had an Epiphany. Suddenly I realized that Jesus’s walk on the Pavement took all his life to get him to that point, but he knew where he was going. Thank God my daughter had the faith to make that journey trusting she was going to a better place. She fought a brain tumor for seven years from 2003 to 2010.  When I had my heart attack in 2004 it gave us a lot of time to be together. The Lord provided me time and a means to be there for her till she went home. It says in Math 27:33 and Mk 15:22 they offered Jesus pain killers, but he refused them. The pain and the suffering were why he was here.

       The thought crossed my mind that Gol’gotha, where they took Jesus to crucify him, was more than a place and very symbolic.  His cross pierced Gol’Gotha (the skull) just as it should our minds so that we really grasp that dying is not a onetime experience, but an ongoing event that is played out in the course of our lives.

     The turmoil and hate that has been generated in America during this election cycle had totally baffled me till I started looking at it. Many people who I know and who I consider good Christians are ready to fight if anyone says anything against the new president.

     All my life elections have been about controlling spending and cutting or fixing the government, things that did not even get a mention during this election cycle by any of the candidates. It was Islamophobia and Immigration and none of the  views expressed during the cycle showed any Christian compassion for those suffering around world, a large portion of which have been caused by American actions to start with.

     Another thing that has come up repeatedly during the course of my life is taking or creation a national ID card.  Christian American would beat that down every time it came up as being a sign of the Mark of the Beast.  I think the will of the people to stop such an action may have been finally wiped out by the fear of terrorism.  I pray not, but I definitely see things to look out for.

    The Bible also says a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. I don’t think I need to mention where that might apply.  Proverbs 6 gives us another piece of food for thought, reading the whole chapter may even be more insightful

        16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

   Amos 4:6 makes the price of ignorance clear.  Notice he said my people. He did not say the ignorant or the ungodly. He said His people would perish, time may be running out to confirm that the knowledge you possess will actually save you.
 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.  7As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.

    At some point God will become fed up with mankind and pour out his wrath on mankind. We may be getting very near that point. I have heard several people say that we got the President that God wanted us to have.  That may be true and probably is, but keep in mind that God put some kings in place to lead Israel into judgment.  To me that is where I see this new President leading America. He has done nothing but insult people and nations since he took office.

      He says he is going to create jobs, but his tactics may backfire. He has constantly insulted the country of Mexico.  I heard last night on the news that Mexican politicians in retaliation are going to boycott American corn and buy all of their corn from Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina.  That will definitely not be good for the American economy.  The President’s business failures and short comings definitely indicate the possibility of a major problem in the making.

     Many countries are in the process of dumping the dollar as their reserve currency. That is not good at all for America.  With all his insults to China they could easily cut America off financially and quit buying American Treasury bonds which at present time pay virtually nothing to those who have them.  Such an event would collapse the American economy in short order.

   Considering all the chaos he has created in just one month, it is hard to believe that America can survive four more years of his Presidency. The scandals he is having in his administration could easily lead to his impeachment, which may be the only hope for America.

     So to those who say we got the President God meant for us to have. We might search our heart and ask what God is trying to tell us as a nation.

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