No one wants to be like a dragon. That is, we don’t admit – at least publicly – that a dragon is our role model. But then, did we ever stop to think how closely our most precious thoughts, desires, and dreams might resemble those of a dragon?
Why do bad things happen to good people? Maybe it’s because they are far better able to handle adversity than those whose connection to the Creator is tenuous. Maybe the righteous suffer not only because they can endure trials, but because their Redeemer wants to refine them for something eternal.
Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Matthew 25:14-30; Hebrews 12:4-11
It’s not enough to seek justice, and it’s not enough to seek righteousness. We have to seek both, and do so in a spirit of compassion and mercy. But is that just a government thing, or is it something we can do in our daily lives?
Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9; Isaiah 51:12-53:12; Matthew 25:20-25; Luke 18:1-8; Philippians 2:5-11
Having walked this path of faith for several decades, I have come to understand that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not require His people to do anything that He Himself is not prepared to demonstrate by example. In other words, whatever requirements He places on us in the form of commandments will have some corresponding requirement He has placed on Himself. For example, in the famous Akedah, the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19), YHVH calls on Abraham to take his only son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice. Abraham obeys, and on the way to the place Isaac asks him where the lamb for the burnt offering is. Abraham answers, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). Many centuries later, we find that Messiah Yeshua fulfills that role of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29-36, Revelation 5:1-14), just as prophesied in Isaiah 53. The holy example is that God Himself gave the His very own Son, withholding nothing to redeem mankind, and therefore demonstrating that those who choose to follow Him must hold nothing back in their obedience to His will.
If this principle of “heavenly reciprocity” is true, then there should be some equivalent to the Lord’s requirement of His people to love Him and love one another. Yeshua identified these as the two greatest commandments, and the authorities who questioned Him had no disagreement on that point: