Inheritance #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter I

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

Inheritance occurs over 200 times in the Bible. In the Old Testament it is used to speak mainly of land. God promises the people land (the promised land), which becomes their inheritance. In the New Testament the inheritance is about being adopted into God’s family and often refers to spiritual gifts.

Either way an inheritance is something given freely and not earned, although there are warnings about losing an inheritance. 1 Chronicles 28:8 Passing on the good land was conditional on behaviour. Proverbs 13:22 A good person’s wealth goes to their children, but a sinner’s to the righteous. Several proverbs are about how to treat an inheritance or to gain one.

The Book of Numbers sets out rules for inheriting from a father. The way the land had to be shared between the tribes of Israel also features in various Old Testament books. The land became their inheritance.

Psalm 78 sets out the history of God’s dealings with the people of Israel up to David’s time in the form of a warning to the people. The word inheritance appears a few times.

Proverbs 20:21 Is about claiming an inheritance too soon (as the son in an earlier story did.)

Isaiah 61:7 inheriting and joy are linked.

A story within a story

Jesus had gone to Jerusalem with his disciples for the Passover festival. He knew that his enemies wanted to kill him. This is one of the stories he told while he was teaching in the temple courts.

A landowner had worked very hard on his land, which he valued highly. He had planted a vineyard and set a wall with a watchtower around it. There was also a winepress. Then he went to live somewhere else. Before he went he rented out the vineyard giving his tenants instructions to look after his property.

Harvest time came round and he sent his servants to collect the fruit. Instead of giving them what they asked for, the tenants attacked them violently. One died and others were injured.

The landowner sent a larger group of servants to collect the fruit. They were treated similarly.

The landowner decided to send his son, who would have more authority than his servants.

The tenant farmers recognised the son as the landowner’s heir. They killed him in order to obtain his inheritance.

Jesus asked the people listening to him, what the landowner would do to the tenants.

They replied that he would bring them to a miserable end and would rent out the vineyard to trustworthy farmers, who would give him his share of the crop.

The chief priests and the Pharisees were upset by Jesus’ teaching, which they knew was about them. They looked for a way to kill him.

The story is told in Matthew 21:33-46

Other references to inheritance in the New Testament include Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus, the letter to the Hebrews and Peter’s first letter.


Good(ness) #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter G

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

Good, the word in this post, is particularly important. The search on Bible Gateway for ‘good’ found more than 600 results, including the words ‘good’, ‘goodness’, ‘goods’ and ‘goodwill’.

‘Goods’ means possessions – good things with which God has blessed people. Of these results 23 were for ‘goods’.

To jump to the story The Good News of the Bible’s Message click here.

Creation was good Genesis 1

Tree of the knowledge of good and evil Genesis 2

Exodus 33:9 Moses met with God in the tent of meeting, but God was concealed by smoke. Moses asked to see God’s glory; God’s goodness would pass by Exodus 33:18- 23

Promise of good things Numbers 10:29

All God’s promises were fulfilled. Joshua 21:45 and 1 Kings 8:56, for example.

The temple was filled with God’s presence as a cloud after the people praised him saying He is good, His love endures for ever. 2 Chronicles 5:13

Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good and his love endures for ever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Mark1:1 John the Baptist declares the good news

Acts 10:36-38 A reminder about Jesus Christ’s healing ministry, prophesied by Isaiah. (Isaiah 35:4-6)

2 Peter 1:5-7 Character traits to be developed by followers of Jesus Christ include goodness.

Proverbs 14:22 Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.

The Good News of the Bible’s Message

In the beginning God made the world and everything in it. It was good. The first people lived in a garden where there were trees with fruit. God told them they could eat fruit from any of the trees except one. They were disobedient, eating fruit from the forbidden tree.

From then on the story is of a few people drawing close to God and learning from him. Having the conviction that God is good, they passed on their knowledge of him and his instructions to the others.

One such person was Isaiah. He was a prophet in Judah for many years. When he began to prophesy King Uzziah reigned. After him there were two kings – a father and son – Jotham and Ahaz, who reigned for a total of 45 years. The next king was Hezekiah and Isaiah was still prophesying in his reign. (The time was around 740 – 680 BCE.)

Isaiah’s prophesies include some things which happened soon after he spoke about them. Others took hundreds of years to be fulfilled. Some may not have come to pass yet.

The Book of Isaiah is the longest book of prophecy in the Bible. Some of the best known parts of it concern a virgin, who would give birth to a son, named Immanuel, which means God with us. This child would be the Prince of Peace. His kingdom would never end. Isaiah also spoke of miraculous healings, which would happen.

Fast forward to around the year 30CE.

John the Baptiser (or Baptist) had proclaimed good news of the kingdom. Jesus of Nazareth claimed that Isaiah’s prophecies had been fulfilled in his own healing ministry.  The people of his own town did not accept this, but Jesus continued to spread the good news of the kingdom of God in other towns.

The parts of Isaiah’s prophecy, which have not yet come to pass, are about the time when Jesus Christ will return in glory. No-one knows when that will happen, except God the Father.

Sources of information: Bible Gateway, Holy Bible (NIV) with cross-references and concordance, The Amazing Collection for Women published by Big Dream Ministries


Forgive #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter FForgiveness is an important theme throughout the Bible. In many prayers God is asked to forgive people either individually or en masse.

People are also asked for forgiveness, for example after the death of their father, the sons of Jacob ask Joseph for forgiveness. Genesis 50:15-21

Jesus Christ taught about forgiveness in parables and in his answers to questions. In the prayer he taught his disciples forgiveness is important – both being forgiven and forgiving other people. Matthew 6:12 and Luke 11:4 How many times should I forgive? Luke 17:3-4, Matthew 18:21-22

In one story Jesus told there is a marked contrast with the passage from Deuteronomy (mentioned in my Letter D post) about a son, who would not be disciplined by his parents. In Deuteronomy the son would be stoned to death. The story for today’s post has a different outcome.

The wayward son and the forgiving father

There was a family with two sons. They worked the land and made a good living, but the younger son was not content. He wanted to see the world. By all the customs of the time, he would have been expected to work within his family and be content. Only after the death of his father would he expect to inherit any property or money.

He was impatient and asked his father to give him his share in advance. His father agreed, dividing his estate between the two sons before the younger son set off on his travels. With money to spend, he lived a debauched life. When he ran out of money he had no friends. There was a famine in the land. He went to work for a farmer – presumably a gentile as he kept pigs, which were not allowed to be eaten according to  the Law of Moses. He was hungry. In fact he was so hungry that he thought about eating the same food as the pigs.

His thoughts turned to his earlier life and his comfortable home. He realised that his father’s paid servants were better off than he was. He went back home to ask his father’s forgiveness and for a job.

His father saw him in the distance and did something, which was not considered dignified at the time. He ran to meet his son and welcomed him home. He restored him as a member of the family and ordered that a feast be prepared to celebrate his return.

The older brother was jealous. He complained that he had worked constantly and his father had never given him anything to have a party with his friends. The father pointed out that everything he had belonged to the older son, but he was celebrating the return of one, who had been lost to him.

The story Jesus told is written in Luke 15:11-31