Is God all powerful? Matthew 19:26 says God can do everything, but Judges 1:19 says He couldn't drive out the inhabitants of the valley. Why couldn't He, if He is truly all powerful?
Jesus Christ plainly stated: "... but with God ALL THINGS are possible" (Mat. 19:26). He repeated this statement on several occasions in the course of His ministry. Almighty God is the great Creator God who MADE the Universe, and everything within it. Isaiah 40 gives a vivid description of His Creative POWER! In Revelation 19:6 we read that the Eternal GOD is omnipotent — which means, ALL POWERFUL! But then WHY do we also read in Judges 1:19, "And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron"? Isn't this rather strange? Yes, it IS! But let's really understand what we are reading! If you read carefully, you should clearly see that this verse says Judah — the tribe of Judah — drove out the inhabitants of the mountain, but was unable to drive out the inhabitants of the valley. Why? Because they had iron chariots — great war-making machines, in that day! This verse does NOT say God Himself was unable to drive out the inhabitants of the valley! Such a thought would be preposterous! God created the heavens and earth; He brought the Flood upon mankind; He delivered His people Israel from bondage in Egypt through many mighty miracles; and He destroyed pagan armies to save those who relied on Him! Surely, then, GOD could have driven the people with iron chariots out of the valley. But the fact remains, for some reason He didn't. Why? The Bible itself gives the PLAIN answer. Read the entire first chapter of Judges. You will see that several other Israelite tribes also did not completely drive the Canaanites out of the land. Rather than have confidence in God, and FAITH in His power to help them, the Israelites lost faith — they lost their nerve. When they saw the iron chariots, and the Canaanite fighting men, they decided the best thing to do was CO-EXIST with them. They did not relish the thought of more bloodshed — maybe their own! Instead of being strong in faith, like Moses and Joshua, the children of Israel compromised with the commandments of God. They settled down side by side with the remaining Canaanites in the land. They did not have FAITH that God was on their side and would deliver their enemies into their hand. Notice how God rebuked the Israelites for this wicked attitude. "And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have NOT OBEYED MY VOICE: why have ye done this?" Losing faith in God, the Israelites stopped obeying Him. He had commanded them to cast the pagans OUT of the land — but they didn't think they could. For this reason, God sternly warned them, "Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as THORNS in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you" (Judges 2:1-3). Since the children of Israel compromised with God, He did not use His great POWER to drive the inhabitants from the land. He left the Israelites to their own devices — until they would repent of their sins and unfaithfulness, and turn to Him. The lesson is plain: God has ALL power — But, God will not USE His great power on behalf of His people, unless they put their trust and FAITH in Him — and OBEY Him!
My ten-year-old daughter is feeling bad because of her poor grades. Her teachers lowered her grades because she took off time to attend the Feast of Tabernacles. What can I do to help her?
First, you need to ask yourself, what is the REAL reason your daughter received poor grades? Has her schoolwork been inferior? Did she neglect to keep up with her studies while at the Feast? Frankly, as a parent, how much interest and concern do you take in your child's grades? Often, a child's poor showing in school can be directly traced to the environment at home! If parents take no real interest in properly disciplining and TEACHING their children at home, this fact is often evidenced in poor grades at school. Remember, God holds the PARENTS directly responsible for the education and especially the religious instruction of their children (Eph. 6:4). This is a vital, serious responsibility! Don't neglect it! Parents should always take a direct interest in the studies and schoolwork of their children — perhaps even discuss it at dinner once in a while. Their children should feel free at the right time to approach Mommy or Daddy to receive proper help and encouragement in studies. If parents will treat this responsibility seriously, they should be able to give their child vital help, a positive attitude toward learning, and communicate to their children a vital enthusiasm toward education. Also, if parents are really interested in their children's welfare, they should REALIZE the problems which come to a child due to missing two weeks of school in the Fall. They should, therefore, approach the child's teachers prior to the Feast, and politely explain that they will be attending a "church convention" and that the children also attend, and politely ask permission for their child to be excused from classes for the duration. They should let the teachers know that they will be very happy to see to it that the child keeps up with any required schoolwork — and even ASK the teachers for advance assignments which they could then give the child during suitable hours during the Feast itself. When approaching a teacher about the Feast, parents should use wisdom and NOT make it sound like some crank religious assembly. Just using the term "church convention" will often be the best way to avoid stirring up unnecessary questions or problems. In certain cases it might also be necessary to see the school principal and explain the situation to him. If approached in a positive, friendly manner, everything should work out all right. But be friendly! DON'T try to "preach a sermon" about the FEAST! Make your explanation personal, and friendly, without implying that the whole world is wrong and everybody should attend the Feast. Avoid all religious argument — and you will avoid trouble! In most cases, if parents will treat their responsibility seriously, and HELP their children to keep up with their studies, the children will not be left far behind when they return to school. In a very few cases, however, certain particular teachers may give the child lower grades out of religious spite. Then what? Naturally, the child would feel "bad" about it. Here is your chance, as a parent, to really help your child build character, and instill within her (or him) certain valuable lessons in life. By gentle teaching, help the child realize that the grade itself isn't the important thing — the important thing is the knowledge learned. And, through patient teaching, help her realize that the knowledge she learned at GOD'S FEAST OF TABERNACLES is the most important, most VITAL knowledge available anywhere — knowledge which simply does not come from textbooks at school! Another lesson which such persecution affords is a chance to teach your child how to withstand persecution and trials — the lesson that God's people can expect persecution from the world. Teach the child that a certain amount of such persecution is good for us — it strengthens character, teaches us patience, and helps us to really realize that the world is in deep ignorance of God's plan and purpose in life! Therefore, when persecution comes, we should radiantly REJOICE — with gratitude and thankfulness, knowing that trials and tests are necessary in life, and that having the knowledge of God's truth and being able to attend the Feast of Tabernacles to worship the TRUE GOD is far more important than a few undeserved grades in a few classes 1 Teach your children to have an outgoing, positive attitude toward their trials in school. Teach them to let their lights shine forth in GOOD classroom work and study habits. Teach them to ALWAYS maintain a respectful, good attitude toward all their teachers, both the friendly, and the unfriendly. This way, you will be helping THEM lay the groundwork for the future, in their personal lives, teaching them lessons which will be VITAL to them in later years!
Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up" (Jn. 2:19). Jesus was speaking of His own body — but how could He resurrect Himself?
When Jesus Christ died, He was totally DEAD. "Christ DIED for us," the apostle Paul wrote (Rom. 5:8). And, "...we were reconciled to God by the DEATH of His Son" (v. 10). Jesus was dead and buried for three days and three nights in the tomb (Mat. 12:40; I Cor. 15:3-4). Since He was dead and in the grave for three days, He obviously had no power to resurrect Himself, by His own power! According to Solomon, those who are in the grave "know not anything" (Eccl. 9:5). He declared, "... for there is NO WORK, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest" (v. 10). Those who are DEAD have no power, no consciousness — no knowledge. Since Christ was dead, He was in the very same literal condition. Yet Jesus plainly said in three days He would raise up His body. Since He could not have done it through His own power, how was this tremendous miracle accomplished? Notice Jesus' own explanation. He declared, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (John 10:17-18). The living Father in heaven resurrected Christ and gave Him POWER to ascend out of the grave! The apostle Peter also explained, "Whom GOD hath raised up having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it" (Acts 2:24). Again, "This Jesus hath GOD RAISED UP, whereof we all are witnesses" (v. 32). Long before His crucifixion and resurrection, Christ KNEW that the Father would raise Him from the dead. Jesus had absolute, unwavering confidence that God would perform His promise. He laid down His life with assurance, knowing that God would perform His part. When you, for instance, deposit money at a bank, you have confidence that you can return to the bank and withdraw your deposit. Why? Because the bank has given you its word — it has promised. Even so, God the Father had given His Word to Christ that He would raise Him up. Jesus relied on this absolute PROMISE of the Father, Therefore He spoke with authority and conviction whenever He spoke of His coming resurrection!